True intelligence extends beyond the acquisition of knowledge. Conventional wisdom may point to smart people with advanced cognition, creativity, or high IQ. Still, if you ever wondered whether you belong with the brainy bunch, these four signs may confirm what you already know. For others, it may be a pleasant surprise that you are, indeed, smarter than the average bear.
1. You’re highly curious
Harvard Business Review reports that people with a higher curiosity quotient (CQ) are more inquisitive and generate more original ideas, and that this thinking style leads to higher levels of knowledge acquisition over time. CQ, the author states, “is the ultimate tool to produce simple solutions for complex problems.” Now imagine a corporate culture of curious, innovative, and risk-taking entrepreneurs working for you. Are you getting the picture? It may explain why Albert Einstein famously said
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
2. You question everything
Expanding on the last point, you may experience an inclination to scrutinize the prevailing norms or challenge those in positions of authority, but fear not, for this propensity to question everything may very well indicate your intellectual prowess. Consider this: True intelligence extends beyond the mere ability to analyze information or solve equations. It encompasses an innate curiosity, a receptive mindset, and a willingness to embrace multiple perspectives. And this is precisely what happens when you question everything. It shows that you refuse to settle for surface-level acceptance; instead, you yearn to dive deeper, explore new ideas, and engage in critical thinking. Questioning everything epitomizes genuine intelligence and an inquisitive, open mind.
3. You are self-aware
When it comes to leadership, emotional intelligence (EQ) matters as much as, if not more than, IQ for work effectiveness and managing the people side of the business. While definitions differ, leading scholars say EQ is having the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions as well as recognize and influence the emotions of others. One of the cornerstones of EQ, self-awareness, is widely considered one the most important skills to master. With self-awareness, future leaders can probe their emotions in any situation to understand what they’re feeling and why. This is key for understanding how to appropriately respond to complex business situations rather than impulsively react to challenges going south.
4. You have a strong desire for continuous learning
Smart individuals display a strong desire for continuous learning and personal growth. They seek out new knowledge, stay informed about industry developments, and actively pursue opportunities to enhance their skills and expertise. One way to increase your learning and make you even smarter is to associate with people better than you. When you choose to surround yourself with better and smarter individuals and learn from their success habits, you absorb their knowledge and become better and smarter yourself. Do the opposite — spend time with procrastinators, complainers, and pessimists — and over time, you’ll become like them, severely limiting your success.