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 that, too, 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 suffer for it.
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 for measuring intelligence, like taking an IQ test, getting admission into prestigious institutions like Harvard, or getting a great salary in a top company. If you too believe these to be the true measure of intelligence, you have to treat some of the greatest men like Gandhi (who scored poorly in academics), Einstein (who got the job of a Class III clerk) or even Bill Gates (a school dropout) as non-intelligent.
Let me suggest some questions which can help you know if you are really intelligent.
1: Can You Solve Real-Life Problems?
Intelligent people are good at solving real-life problems. Real-life problems are quite different from textbook problems, where the right answer is already known and every problem is simplified to a mathematical problem. In real world, no situation is ever the same. Even when the problem is the same, the people and situations are different. Hence, you have to be really intelligent to find solutions to real-life problems, which are always unique and whose accuracy is known only in the future.
2: Do You Choose the Right People for the Right Jobs?
When it comes to solving problems, it is impossible for anyone to know the right answers to everything. 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 solves every problem quickly and effectively.
3: Do You Often Succeed in Achieving Your Goals?
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', 'always be positive and optimistic', etc. Intelligent people know themselves so accurately that they know exactly where they are good and where they are not. They strive only for goals that are within their reach and their chances of success are reasonably good. This way, 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 to success.
4: Are You Creative?
Intelligence is impossible without creativity. A man without creativity is like a machine that can efficiently execute the functions for which it is designed or programmed, but can't do a single thing more. An intelligent person is highly creative, and he never repeats the same mistake twice. When Thomas A. Edison said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work," he was not talking about perseverance as most people would like to imagine, but exhibiting his creativity of finding 10,000 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 aren't happy with your life, you may not be as smart as you think. 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 you can achieve happiness for yourself and others. If you are frustrated with life, perhaps you don't understand yourself and the world as much as you think you do.
6: Can You Synthesize 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 that they are never going to use. They have the ability to learn from anyone and from everyone. They have the ability to apply the knowledge from one field into another domain. They are not domain experts, 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, intelligent people have the 'knowledge of knowledge.' They have the macro-picture of the world and they know how individual things fit into their proper places. As such, 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's Behavior Accurately?
Intelligent people are able to not only predict their own behavior in a given situation but also able to predict the behavior of other people that 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 behavior. While ordinary people's expectations of themselves and others are based on idealism and wishful thinking, intelligent people's behavior is based on realistic assessment. They are never disappointed with people, as their expectations are realistically accurate.
9: Can You Predict the Future Accurately?
While most people find the future quite unpredictable, intelligent people already know the future before it arrives. 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 shape their future. Their predictions may not always be absolutely correct, but like good archers, they always shoot the arrows very near to the bullseye. Their predictions are rarely off the mark.
10: Can You Prevent Problems?
While ordinary people solve problems as they arise, intelligent people are able to prevent them because they understand cause and effect. They know that nothing happens in this world at random. By preventing the causes proactively, they are able to prevent the birth of problems. 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, no matter what your academic qualification, your IQ score, or your income.
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