A little while ago I was doing some research and by way of several non-connected links I ended up several websites away from where I intended to be and reading about intelligence. Dr Awdhesh Singh is an author of books on spiritual intelligence and leadership and he gave a most satisfactory insight as to what intelligence entails.
Most of us think that we are intelligent. We also like to believe that we are more intelligent than others. The only problem is that others also think in the same way and they don’t believe that we are as intelligent as we think we are. This leads to several problems in our life because:
1. When we believe that we are more intelligent than others, we don’t listen to their advice and hence suffer in our life
2. When we believe that others are less intelligent than us, we feel frustrated when they don’t listen to us
There are several methods to measure intelligence like taking IQ Test, getting admission into prestigious institutions like Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard; getting a tremendous salary in a top company. However if you have such a narrow view of what it is to be intelligent then you may have to perhaps treat some of the greatest men in history to not be that intelligent. Bill Gates who dropped out of school, Gandhi who despite everything else was not much of an academic and Albert Einstein who worked as a clerk.
Dr Awdhesh Singh suggests some questions which can help you know if you are really intelligent.
1: Can You Solve Real Life Problems?
The intelligent people are good at solving the real-life problems. The real life problems are quite different from the text-book problems, where the right answer is already known and every problem is simplified to a mathematical problem. In the real world, no situation is ever same. Even when the problem is the same, the persons and situations are different. Hence, you have to be really intelligent to find solutions to the real-life problems which are always unique and whose accuracy is known only in future.
2: Do You Choose the Right People for Right Job?
When it comes to solving problem, it is impossible for anyone to know the right answers to all the problems. However, an intelligent person knows quite well as to who is the right person to solve a particular problem. He chooses the right person for the right job and solve every problem quickly and effectively.
3: Do You Often Succeed in Achieving Your Goal?
Ordinary people are always driven by the motivation of others who often fool them by telling things like ‘nothing is impossible’, ‘you can do anything in your life’, ‘be always positive and optimistic’ etc. Intelligent people know themselves so accurately that know exactly where there are good and where they are not. They strive only for such goals which are within their ambit and their chances of success are reasonably good. Hence their successes are always more than their failures. How can you be called intelligent, if you fail in achieving what you want in your life? Even when an intelligent person fails, he learns from it and makes it a stepping stone of success.
4: Are Your Creative?
Intelligence is impossible without creativity. A man without creativity is like a machine which can efficiently execute the functions for which it is designed or programmed, but can’t do a thing more. An intelligent person is highly creative as he never repeats the same mistake twice. When Thomas A. Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work,” he was not talking about persevere as most people would like to imagine, but exhibiting his creativity of finding 10000 new ways to do the same thing. An intelligent person always discovers another method, if the present method does not work.
5: Are You Happy?
If you are not happy with your life, you are surely not intelligent. It is because your first goal of life is to be happy and as an intelligent person, you must know what makes you happy and how can you achieve happiness for self and others. If you are frustrated with life, you perhaps don’t understand yourself and the world. Under such situation, how can you be called intelligent?
6: Can You Synthesise Knowledge?
Intelligent people are not great scholars. They are rarely highly educated from the top business schools. They don’t waste their time learning something which they are never going to use. They have the ability to learn from anyone and from everyone. They have the ability to use the knowledge of one field into another domain. They are not domain expert but experts of life. They see unity in diversity as Einstein said, “’All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” If you can use your knowledge of art in science and the theories of science in religion, you are intelligent. If you can’t discover the connections between disparate things, you can’t be called intelligent.
7: Can You Work with People Smarter than You?
Intelligent people are not the most brilliant people. They often have poor memories and slow analytical power The stories of forgetfulness of Einstein and Newton are well known. However, they have the ‘knowledge of knowledge’. They have the macro-picture of the world and they know how individual things fit into its proper place. Hence when they meet smarter and more successful people, they don’t feel inferior but rather use their strengths to achieve their objectives.
8: Can You Predict People’ Behaviour Accurately?
Intelligent people are able to not only predict their own behaviour in a given situation but also able to predict the behaviour of other people, they are dealing with. They are hardly surprised when people behave in a particular way because they already know the people deeply from their past behaviour. While ordinary people’s expectation of themselves and others are based on idealism and wishful thinking, intelligent people’s behaviour is based on realistic assessment. Hence they are never disappointed with people as their expectations are realistically accurate.
9: Can You Predict Future Accurately?
While most people find the future quite unpredictable, the intelligent people already know the future before it comes. Hence they are always ready for the future. Because of their accurate knowledge of the people and the laws of the world, they not only predict the future but also make their future. While their predictions may not always be absolutely correct, but like good archers, they always shoot the arrows very near to the bull’s eye. Their prediction of future is rarely off the mark.
10: Can You Prevent Problems
While ordinary people solve the problems as and when they arise, the intelligent people are able to prevent the problem itself due to their accurate knowledge of the cause and effect. They know that nothing happens in this world at random and that everything happens due to some cause. Hence by preventing the causes proactively, they are able to prevent the birth of problem itself. Albert Einstein said this very wisely, “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.” –
Are You Really Intelligent?
If you feel that you possess most of these qualities, you are highly intelligent notwithstanding your academic qualification, your IQ score or your income. If your answer to most of these questions is in negative, you can’t be said to be intelligent despite all other indicators establishing your intelligence.
I must say I score 9 out of 10. I’d like to think I am creative with various writing and video projects. I run my own growing business which involves lots of dealings with people as well as resolving and preventing problems.
I really like working with people who are smarter than me, or even just smart people as so often life does seem full of idiots!
The thing I think I am particularly strong at is predicting the future. I’m very good at making character judgements on people and do make instant judgements on people within seconds. So far, I’ve never found someone I liked to be a bad person and I often take a dislike to a person when no-one else does only for a few months or years later, everyone else comes round to my way of thinking.
I’m always amazed generally at how people generally seem so terrible at predicting the future behaviour of other people or indeed the future very accurately at all. Right up to big news events such as 9/11, Brexit, Trump, Putin they all seemed very obvious to me before the time and in deed the subsequent fall-out from all of them too.
Regardless of the importance of intelligence, I’d much rather have an honest and kind average person than some selfish genius and I’d never judge someone on their intelligence. Even the least brightest person often has an insight or piece of wisdom to offer that others have completely overlooked.