5 Things You Should Not Do
Smart people are not so easily defined. We used to consider people with high IQ’s to be the only smart people around. But then, educational researchers decided that there were all different types of intelligences, and that people should be categorized by these types. We all know people, for example, who are highly intelligent and graduate from the top schools in the country. But they may lack what we call “common sense,” and do not always navigate around the real world with great smarts. And smart people do make mistakes. In fact here are five of them that should be avoided.
1. Smart People are Thinkers – Sometimes to a Fault
It is quite common for smart people to over-think things. They must consider every facet of a task; they must think and re-think the pros and cons of a decision; they must anticipate all of the positive and negative consequences of an action. What happens is they get “stuck” in their thinking and postpone action, sometimes until it is too late. Consider the smart person who has decided to purchase a home. S/he looks at several possibilities, and one seems to stand out above the rest. But then that thinking culprit takes hold, and so much thinking occurs that by the time the decision is made, the home has already been sold. There are missed opportunities in both personal and professional lives when smart people over-think. The best remedy is to set deadlines for decisions and actions and stick to them.
2. Smart People Can be Over-Confident
A great surgeon is a smart person. But this does not mean that s/he is smart in all other aspects of living. Unfortunately, many smart people have too much confidence and they think they can be experts in all other matters. But expertise in any area requires study and experience. And so, the smart surgeon may not be careful about an investment tip. This may result in some very unwise decisions and potentially losing a great deal of money. Other smart people may think that they can become experts in the law with just a bit of online research – again, some pretty disastrous situations can be the result. The remedy for this is to find true experts in fields other than one’s own.
3. Smart People Equate Motion with Action
This often is an outgrowth of being a thinker rather than a doer. The difference between motion and action is this: Motion is thinking and planning but it is not action. Action is when that motion stop and the doing begins. Smart people may think that planning in itself is action. For example, a writer may be thinking about the next blog posts that will be written. S/he will spend a great deal of time thinking about topics and how they might be turned into engaging content that others will want to read. This is not action; it is motion. Until the fingers hit the keyboard and the writing begins, there is no action, only procrastination.
4. Smart People May Put too Much Value on Education
Because smart people did well in school, they see education as a pre-requisite for achievement. They then tend not to value others who may be highly productive and could be great resources, because they do not have the “suitable” level of formal education. This sounds as if the smart person is a bit of a snob, and sometimes that is true. More often, however, it is that smart people just really believe that a certain level of academic training is a must. This is a difficult mistake to overcome, because it involves a real thinking shift. But, if a situation ever occurs in which a “less smart” person provides a solution that saves the smart person’s “butt” at work, that smart person will have learned his/her lesson.
5. Smart People are Used to Being Right and They Can Become Unpopular
There is an old saying – “no one likes a know-it-all.” Smart people are so used to being right first in school and then on the job, that they think their “rightness” transfers over to all situations. They will thus attempt to impose their ideas, values, and beliefs on others. In social situations, this is a “killer,” and others will come to avoid these individuals. The remedy is to close the mouth and open the ears and give others the right to their opinions and beliefs.
Smart people would do well to understand that the world is composed of many people who have skills and talents that may not be defined as “smart.” They would also do well to remember that “smart” in one area does not mean “smart” in another. The good news? Because they are smart, smart people tend not to make the same mistake twice.