The bridge connecting actual and imagined intelligence

Everyone is much more intelligent than they imagine themselves to be. That is a fact. But must also be said that not everyone achieve the levels of intelligence that their imagination tells them to be. There is a big gap between perceived/imagined levels of intelligence and actual levels. What gave rise to the perceptions in the first place? Those little flashes of brilliance that you display on occasions. Let me elaborate on this a bit. Lets take Joey from Friends as a case study here. You must know the sitcom Friends, right? If not, you would be missing on an awfully huge dose of laughter in your life.

Joey is considered to be the dumbest guy in the group. For a guy who comes across as the dumbest, he has some spectacular scenes where he comes across as the most intelligent person in the group. One of those scenes, he corrects Ross, the supposed grammar nazi of the group.

joey 1
joey 2
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You can find the rest of his awesomeness here. Point is, even if everyone considers you dumb, you can still see yourself being the most intelligent guy in the group on many occasions. Extend this to other things and you will find yourself exploring unlimited possibilities. At work, you might not be the best person in the team, but you have the potential. You might not be the best person in the band, but you do have that voice that can make you the lead singer. You might not be a match winner in your cricket team, but you know you do have the potential to become one some day.

The bridge that can cover this gap is a very simple one to build. Joey attempts at chipping in with meaningful conversations by reading up the encyclopedia. Suddenly he becomes the smartest person in the world in everything “V”. How does he do that? He takes an effort in becoming good at what he isn’t. The secret to achieving your perceived level of intelligence is to put in that little effort. The problem is that we get bored of putting an effort on something all the time. Making it interesting will make that effort sustained for a slightly longer period of time than necessary. Soon, you will get tired of what was once interesting to you. The simple solution is to make it a habit. You are not bored of brushing your teeth every morning. Nor are you bored of taking a bath before going to work. Introspect a bit and you will find that habits don’t bore you. Make it a habit to put a small effort everyday in making yourself better and you will soon achieve greatness in whatever you want.

I ain’t promising you overnight success. But this one little tweak in your life will guarantee you success one day. The quantum of effort shouldn’t be too high to deter it from becoming a habit or too low to see a “1++” improvement from the previous day. To put it simply, identify the area of improvement, put in an effort to get that 1++ improvement and finally repeat the process to make it a habit. And voila, you have your little hack to achieve the imagined level of your intelligence. Its only your imagination that is going to limit you!



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