I was always smart as a young boy. At the time I didn’t know I was smart but I was always curious about the world.
I had and still have a passion for learning. As a young boy I would go to the library every 2 weeks and get out a bunch of books about all sorts of different topics. Some of the topics that interested me at the time were martial arts, cars, aircraft, boats and ships, nature, science, weapons, military, history, tribes such as the American Indians and Australian aboriginals and many other random topics. I was never into story books like most of the other kids. I wanted to learn facts.
I was also really quiet and introverted as a kid. Instead of talking all the time I would listen, think and observe.
I remember I was better at out-thinking other kids particularly when it came to solving problems that required visualising shapes in 3D, designing, architecture. Although mental maths and English (writing) was never and still is not one of my strong points.
Although I was a smart kid, I wasn’t an A grade student. I wasn’t always interested in the subjects we had to learn in school and I wouldn’t always try and pay attention. I was probably thinking about something else that interested me. While the school smart kids were focused on being good students.
This same lack of interest and effort continued into my entire school career and if it wasn’t for finally developing some work ethic in my final year of high school I may not have graduated.
But I always felt smart. I knew if I wanted to learn something it was only a matter of learning it. Nothing ever really confused me too much. If I simply tried to focus in maths class I would understand it. I was just lazy and busy focusing on my social life at the time.
One day I decided to take an IQ test because I heard that an IQ test is a measure of how smart someone is. I completed a few of these test and scored just above average in all of them. I don’t remember my scores but they all were somewhere around 115-130 by memory.
But I thought to myself how can these IQ test be an accurate measure of how smart someone is? What makes someone intelligent? What makes someone smarter than someone else?
So I went on google and typed in “how to be smart” “how to be intelligent”
I found all sorts of advice, such as,
Exercise, learn a new language, play a musical instrument, study, get good grades, go to college, play games, do brain training exercises, eat specific foods, get enough sleep, read a lot, write, have new experiences, improve your memory, be curious, figure things out for your own, teach others, ask for help, improve your vocabulary, find a new hobby, surround yourself with intelligent people, read the news.
In addition to the above, were all sorts of other advice and ideas of how to be smart, and while some or even all of the advice makes sense and would make you smarter in some way. I was looking for something more specific; I wanted to know exactly what makes someone more smarter/intelligent than someone else in any given situation. After some thought I believe that the answer is two words. Those two words are,
THINK and KNOW
What makes someone smarter than someone else in any given situation is a combination of how hard they THINK about the thing, and how much they KNOW about it.
Think about it, let’s say you do an IQ test right now, you may have done one before or you may have not. Go ahead and do one and try your best using all your brain power. Now once you have your score right that down. Now if you keep practicing doing IQ test this would improve your KNOWLEDGE about the test as well as how well you THINK about them.
Over time with some practice your IQ will go up, but this doesn’t mean you are smart just because some people say your IQ is a measure of hour smart you are, it just means you a getting more “IQ test smart”
Another example, you might be a doctor or lawyer who thinks you are the smartest person in the world. But let’s say your car breaks down and you need to take it to the mechanic. Are you smarter than the mechanic who can fix your car that you can’t?
No, and the mechanic is not smarter than you. But the mechanic is more “car mechanic’s” smarter than you. Because the mechanic THINK’s and had THOUGHT about car mechanics and has built up a lot of KNOWLEDGE on the subject.
The world is full of people who are smart in their own ways based on what they mostly think about and the knowledge and experience they have built up.
But how can you out smart most people in any given situation? You simply THINK hard and well about the problem/situation the best you can, using whatever knowledge you already have, and if you still can’t figure it out, simply go on your smart phone and google the knowledge required to solve the problem.
One of the guys I work with is really smart in my definition. He usually has great abilities at thinking and has a lot of knowledge in the field because of his 10 years or so of experience. It was thanks to observing this guy that helped me come up to this realisation.
Pay attention to who is really smart at your workplace. Usually that person thinks well and is focused on the job as well as having years of knowledge and experience. Unfortunately I’m much like how I was as a kid and can’t focus for too long at work as I get bored haha. Now I can be more “work smart” like my colleague, it’s simply a matter of having more focus and thinking more about the job and actively building up my knowledge. (But that’s boring: P, I rather think about this site or message some girls or something haha)
Here’s a tip, the next time you are trying to figure out something in some situation. Before you go on your phone to google it, try to figure it out just by thinking and using your existing knowledge, you’ll be surprised how many times you can figure shit out on your own, and if you still can’t, you have all the knowledge in the world in your smart phone.
Over time if you practice thinking what will happen is your brain will get better at it. Just like if you work out a muscle it gets stronger and more efficient.
So that’s how you be smart. You must THINK and KNOW about what you want to be smart about. If someone can solve the rubix cube, it does not mean they are smarter than you, it means they are more rubix cube smarter than you.
You are and can be smarter than anyone about anything if you put your mind to it and learn about the subject. And remember to always be open minded.
I hope you enjoyed my article and now know how to be smart.