Not all highly intelligent people become smart; not all smart people become successful. Why?
All of us can obviously read and write English but we’ve butchered the language. For example, intelligent people are also interchangeably referred to as smart. Intelligence and smartness are NOT the same.
All of us are born with intelligence – the ability to learn and make distinctions. Of course, there are different levels and kinds of intelligence, but that’s not our focus here. Highly intelligent people are more capable of learning, expanding and accumulating knowledge, making better distinctions and becoming even more intelligent than others. Therein lies the difference in intelligence between a high school dropout and a Stanford graduate.
Smart people are good at applying their intelligence in real world situations and therefore achieve positive outcomes. A high school dropout is just as capable (or even more capable) as a Stanford graduate in certain situations. That’s because smartness is very contextual. A smart engineer is not necessarily a smart electrician or manager. She may be able to make distinctions that a highly intelligent person can, but that doesn’t automatically make her better than a smart electrician or manager. On the other hand, a high school drop with ‘street smarts’ and understands human behavior may build a booming business.
I know many highly intelligent people who struggle to succeed, or are not as successful as they think they should be. Have you wondered why? I did, and realized that while they were highly intelligent, they were not contextually smart. So, what is the bridge between intelligence and smartness? Well, it’s our mindset – beliefs, values, rules, principles… that each of us live by. For example, a PhD from Harvard could struggle to move up the corporate ladder if he is arrogant and hates working in teams (because of his mindset – personal beliefs about himself and others, and the meaning he gives to teaming).
The bridge between your intelligence and your smartness is your mindset. You need to be smart in the context you’re working in… and need an enabling mindset (or mitigate your disabling mindset) to translate your smartness into greater successes.
“Change your mindset to become smarter and more successful.”
So, can you become smarter and more successful? , I’ve identified 16 factors that affect people who consider themselves ‘smart’, and developed a short assessment that pinpoints WHY INTELLIGENT and SMART PEOPLE DON’T (AND CAN) BECOME MORE SUCCESFUL – see the link in comments below.
Think about this… academia (think early years of your life) rewards intelligence; real world success (think later years as an adult) comes from smartness.