As much as the whole world would like to believe that they are smart, the case is seldom so. I believed I was smart till I met 500 people smarter than me. And that was just at a single point-like place on earth. Our smartness is not only the measure of our IQ, but at how creative, innovative, thoughtful and perceptive we can be in different situations. A person can be too smart for his own good- like when you can’t shut up about how Van Gogh sucks in front of an ardent believer who also happens to be your Literature professor, or jeering at a Rooney goal in a club full of Manchester United fans.
Smartness is quintessential for surviving in today’s competitive world. But over-smartness can bring your fall faster than gravity. People get carried away by delusions of the superiority of their IQ which sometimes result in quite catastrophic consequences. So, to help you steer clear of such deluded notions, we just want you to ask yourselves the following questions and if you answer to even any one of it in affirmative, chances are, you don’t belong to the “Elite” class that you proudly proclaim yourself to be a part of unless you do something about it.
So, here we go; Do you…
10. Constantly find yourself the only one to seem to be “getting it”?
The problem here is not that you are surrounded by fools, but rather you are looking at it wrong. Sometimes, the context of the problem holds a bigger importance than just the logical derivation of an independent answer. Chances are, you are not taking into account the parameters that are important factors influencing the outcome of the situation. It’s like solving a profit and loss question based on hypothetical values without taking the current market trends into account.
09. Always seek appreciation and wide popularity to validate your smartness?
Ah! We don’t blame you for that. It’s an innate human instinct to constantly seek for approval for his deeds. But it’s primal and smart people know how to deal with their instincts. So, if you still trying to get everyone on-board with your new employer feedback improvement techniques with throwing an office party every weekend, you might need to get a quick introspection.
08. Value being right more than achieving the right outcome?
Smart leaders are scared more by “being wrong” rather than being proven wrong. If your smartness is independent of the holistic well-being of the people involved in the situation (neutral or antagonistic), then you need to re-evaluate your long-term goals and perception.
07. Always have to win an argument?
Would you defend your point on the basis of your IQ and knowledge to death rather than admit you are wrong? Well chances are, you are getting your ego and intellect mixed up. And that is a dangerous confusion, because it affects your credibility even when you are genuinely right. Such a situation arises from having successfully contested wrong ideas previously such that over time, they have come to believe that they are unarguably true. Winning an argument might come at an expensive price which you might be unable to afford.
06. Spend your time resting on your laurels?
You blow out your own trumpet because you feel this is the only effective way to market yourself. Well guess what? You are wrong. If you are indeed that smart, let the people around you say it. It is a much bigger satisfaction and more effective form of publicity this way. And the moment you stop challenging your intellect and adapt to new environments, you lose out on a considerable edge and are in danger of being replaced by someone who does.
05. Use your intellect to intimidate people?
Do you often indulge in using your intelligence in making people feel more stupid? Well, you can’t be more than off the ranks here. People who use their smartness to intimidate come across as mean, arrogant and delusional as opposed to what you think about yourself. Besides, its similar to bullying. Humility is the antidote to this one. Being humble not only makes you big morally, but also makes others respect you more. So, if the feedback from your surroundings differs from the self-image that you have construed in your mind, it might be time to change that.
04. Feel threatened by people who disagree with you?
It’s only human that you like to stick with others who love to agree with you and seldom try to challenge your intellect. This is called as a form of “Confirmation Bias”. We tend to put off by individuals, groups or news that makes us insecure about our beliefs or views. Smart people can get better of this cognitive bias and don’t let it affect their judgement. But if you chose to call Darwin a moron because you don’t believe in Evolution and block all channels that show related documentaries, then you are in the grip of a psychological bias which makes your stand a bit questionable.
03. Believe you are always the best at what you do?
Do you feel your smartness innately arms you with the most effective weapons to counter situations even in the most unknown of situations? Because Being a PhD in Rocket Science definitely doesn’t make you an expert in Animal Psychology. No matter how much you’d like to believe so, your smartness doesn’t make you ALWAYS right. No matter where you go, you’ll always find a person who’d have more insight in a particular field than you do, and the best way to deal with this existential crisis is to calmly accept the fact and use it to enhance your intellect.
02. Feel threatened by changes?
“The only thing constant is change”- as goes the saying. But generally humans are very apprehensive of changes- be it a new way of serving your carbonara, or the renewed deco of your favourite restaurant. This is called a “Status Quo” bias. This is one bias that might be held responsible for the rigid conservative tendencies existing in the society. But what makes people smart is the ability to adapt to changes and get hold of their own future. So, if you feel threatened by or outright reject new ideas or new reform policies without understanding its objective, your intellect would not be appreciated as much you’d like to.
01. Always “too busy” to listen?
If you are using that phrase more times in a day than taking a poop, you need to get a reality check done. People generally perceive such people as being impervious to new ideas or the importance attached to them. Smart leaders are never busy for listening to people, what they have to say and ways to adopt their ideas into the bigger picture. If you want to be listened, you should learn to listen first.