“I’m not smart”

In our culture, we have a fixed view of intelligence. We often think of intelligence as natural ability – basically our IQ score, our brain power – and we write-off an individual’s potential if they don’t stack up.

Here’s the problem: IQ is great when there are concrete rules and the path to success is linear, like in school, but in real life there are no rules. The road is long, windy, full of ups and downs – it’s non-linear.

How can we succeed in a non-linear world with no rules?

Learn the traits of intelligence that the IQ test is missing:

  • Collect information
  • Seek various points of view
  • Think before action
  • Continuously calibrate our opinions, plans, and habits to the available evidence
  • Seek nuance, avoid absolutism
  • Weigh consequences

Thanks to David Brooks’ The Social Animal for the inspiration. 

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