I’ve known and seen plenty of people who think they’re smart. They have high IQs or degrees or high-paying jobs. They think that they’re smart. They base their idea of intelligence on testing or income. personally, I think there are other kinds of intelligence, and those things are more important than how well you can score on a test.
In my experience, most of the types of people I mentioned above have book intelligence, but their personal and social intelligence is horribly lacking. They know information, but they don’t know people. They don’t understand human interaction, and they’re often bitter, cynical and unkind. It’s not all of them, but very many.
Now some people will claim that being “smarter” just naturally leads to the bitterness and cynicism, because when you’re smart you realize that everything is shit and there’s nothing to be done about it. I don’t believe that for an instant. Nor do I believe that optimistic, loving, honest people are any less intelligent than anyone else.
Personally, I think that personal and social intelligence is more important than anything. learning who you are and how to be your best self, understanding how others think and feel, learning how to make the world a better place, that’s what matters. Books and money can help, but if your mind and heart aren’t in the right place, if you don’t know what to do with them, they’re just part of the problem.
I challenge people to improve their personal and interpersonal intelligence as well as any other intellectual and financial pursuits. Be a force for good in the world and not just another cash-hungry replica with a heart of stone. If you’re not improving yourself and your world, you might not be as smart as you think you are.