by Yolanda A. Facio | Featured Contributor
I had just finished reading a new book, one that I was extremely excited about.
I made a special trip to the bookstore and bought an actual hardback instead of a digital copy.
I had heard the author speak and was really taken with the message of the presentation. It aligned with my way of seeing the world and I thought, “Wow so I’m not alone in thinking this thought.”
Of course, from a psychological standpoint we like people who are like us, who think like us, and share our beliefs and values.
So when the book was finally released, “bam” I was right there, in line at the bookstore grabbing a copy.
When I got home I cleared my desk of necessary tasks, grabbed a nice tall glass of iced tea, and settled into my favorite spot on the sofa. I was going to savor the reading of this book!
By the end of chapter three, a mere 26 pages into the book, I had already texted a friend, “Disappointed.”
She asked why and I re-texted, “Thin”.
Here’s the thing… I’m a reader, I love books, and I love to read. Most of my reading is non-fiction, and while I don’t want to read a college textbook (been there done that) I do want to be a little challenged. This book offered no challenge.
So why am I telling you this story?
And, why am I not just telling you the name of the book and author?
Well this story isn’t really about the author or the book, it’s about intellect, but not in the way you might be used to thinking about it… because I have my own ideas about what I call “smartiness”.
I put “smartiness” into two different categories. There’s the ability to learn and grow, to accept that we don’t know everything and, therefore, continue to explore. Adventurous Smartiness. Kind of like the Raiders of the Lost Ark “smartiness”. It’s a ‘kick ass and take names’ kind of thing.
Then there’s the other “smartiness”. The kind that presents as, “I have studied and learned and applied myself and therefore… I am smart”. It is the kind of thinking that says, “I can stop right here in my process of learning and be considered smart. I’ve got some letters after my name, like Ph.D. and these give me authority and show my “smartiness”. I call this kind of “smartiness”, Fixed Smartiness. Yeah, these folks could learn more anytime they want to and they make sure you know that, but why? They are already smart.
The problem here is that those Fixed Smarty folks are missing out on the whole reason for learning. That thirst for knowledge, for knowing, for adventure.
There’s one more part to the story…
So days later I’m talking to an Adventurous Smarty person and talking about the book. I express my disappointment at the book, not just the content but the writing and execution. My smarty friend knows the author and we chat a little about it. At one point in the conversation she says something really important and the context here doesn’t matter at all. She utters the words, “I know he’s smarter than I am but…”
I think I said, “Whoa!”
So now I’m speaking to smarty friend and the rest of you when I say this… “Stop it now!”
You cannot and should not compare intelligence based on a certificate, or degree, or any other piece of paper. That piece of paper simply says you followed instructions, took the journey, like crossing the finish line at the Ironman… first or last.
Which leads me to the same old joke we’ve all heard: “What do you call the guy who graduated from medical school with all ‘D’s?” Doctor.
Paper doesn’t make you smart. Textbooks and tests don’t make you smart.
And not understanding Schrodinger’s Cat doesn’t make you dumb.
To my very smarty friend and all of you who pursue the adventure of learning, I have a very simple message – you are far more intelligent than the one who is fixed and satisfied in her intelligence.
To me, the “smartiest” people in the world are the ones who get up every day and say, “what can I learn today”, “how can I do better today”, “how can I help someone else be better today”.
When you are starting, growing, or building a business, success comes from asking those questions every single day.
That, my friends, is super smarty.
Yolanda A. Facio is an Entrepreneur, Consultant, and Writer who helps small business owners run their businesses better so that they can get more done, make more money, and have more life. A seasoned business owner, Yolanda has spent 20+ years starting, building, and operating successful businesses; she has in-the-trenches experience that she shares through her work as a consultant and writer. Author of two bestselling Kindle books, when she’s not blogging at Balance Driven Entrepreneur, Yolanda divides her time between her clients, businesses, writing, and her two furry girls.