Not every deep thinker quotes Plato and stuns friends and family with their brilliance.
Legendary Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas, for example, was known as the “dumb ox of Sicily” by his classmates because of his quiet, simple manner.
Here are the top clues that you may be a deep thinker in disguise (DTID).
1) You ask lots of questions
The first clue that you’re a DTID is that you ask tons of questions.
From a young age you’ve been that guy or girl who wasn’t satisfied with the easy answer or the quick summary.
You wanted to know more. You still want to know more.
You have boundless curiosity and find yourself getting lost in informational rabbit holes on a daily basis.
One day you’re watching a debate between an atheist and theist on YouTube and then searching for answers about the history of atheism and the difference between atheism and antitheism.
The next day you’re learning about horticulture and the growth of urban centers along rivers.
There is so much to learn in this world!
And you can’t get enough…
2) You often think about existence
Deep thinkers don’t necessarily vocalize what they’re thinking, which is why other people might not recognize them.
Just because you’re having profound thoughts doesn’t mean you’re talking about them.
That’s why you may not realize you are actually a deeper thinker than most.
This includes regarding existential questions, where you may find that you often think about the nature of existence and its meaning.
- How did it really start?
- Why are we here?
- Why are you here?
- What’s your purpose or is it up to you?
This is the beginning of a wonderful and complex journey.
Many philosophers and theologians have gone before you, some finding answers and others finding only more fascinating questions.
3) You ponder your own purpose
As I mentioned in the previous point, a sign that you’re a DTID is that you think about your own purpose.
This involves trying to determine how much is up to you and how much is already predetermined.
Whether or not you are spiritual or religious, it’s clear that at least some of what we do is not up to us:
If you are born in a desert far away from any swimming pool then it will be very hard to become an Olympic swimmer, at least without moving!
If you have dyslexia then you will have a special set of challenges in becoming a legal scholar and reading the numerous required texts.
Then again, sometimes the challenges and difficulties we face in our outer life only make us more determined than ever to accomplish our dreams!
4) You prefer to listen than to speak
DTIDs prefer to listen than to speak.
That’s because they know that even stupid statements and questions from other people reveal a lot of information.
For example, imagine the following scenario:
You sit down alone in a restaurant in downtown Miami during the dinner rush. You are sitting next to a friendly-looking man who smiles and nods. There is a lull of conversation surrounding you.
a) Begin talking to the man about who you are, what you’re doing in Miami and ask his advice about the best drink on the menu?
b) Begin talking to the man but focused on asking him about himself. This would include speaking minimally about yourself and asking followup questions as he begins explaining his job, beliefs and ideas.
Of course both options would be possible and option a) might be quite interesting.
But option b) is going to let you learn a lot more about this man’s life, beliefs, reason for being in the restaurant and knowledge (or ignorance) about all sorts of subjects.
5) You love to learn about new cultures and ideas
DTIDs can’t get enough of learning about new cultures and ideas.
As alien or even upsetting as some ideas and cultures may be to them, they’re extremely interested.
This is an important sign that you’re secretly a deep thinker:
While others are focused on agreeing or disagreeing with groups, cultures, ideas and trends, you’re more interested in learning about them.
While other people are getting offended or overjoyed or copying ideas and cultures, you’re more trying to actually find out what’s behind these cultures and ideas.
6) You are bored by cliches and stereotypes
Stereotypes and cliches often have some grain of truth in them, but they’re ultimately boring.
They reduce people down to types and take away so much of the color and spice of life.
That’s why DTIDs don’t spend time on them and find generalizations boring.
They prefer to investigate for themselves and find out their own experiences than just believe what other people say, especially authority figures.
If this is you then you know exactly what I mean:
Just because the majority of television hosts seem to be telling you that conservatives are bigoted or religious people are crazy, you prefer to actually get to know conservatives and religious people and make up your own mind or at least judge people on an individual basis.
7) You are friends with people from all walks of life
As a DTID, you are friends with people from all walks of life.
Age, sex, location, religion, interests don’t limit who you’re friends with and connect to.
In fact, the more diverse your set of friends is, the better.
And you don’t befriend or cut people off based on their outer categories.
In fact you are even willing to be friends with others society may consider controversial or strange.
You may not agree with all their ideas or beliefs, but you enjoy being exposed to people from all sorts of backgrounds and ideological frameworks.
8) You find it hard to be turned on by a boring person
When it comes to romance and dating, DTIDs are sapiosexual.
This is a big clue that you’re a deep thinker undercover:
You can’t be turned on by physical beauty alone or emotional kindness and affection.
You crave that actual intellectual and intelligence connection…
If you can’t sit and talk about ideas or the meaning of life and really engage in that mental way, it’s hard for you to get turned on.
If it leads to a hookup or something more casual (if that’s your cup of tea) that may be one thing.
But you’re not going to fall in love with a beautiful person if you can’t connect mentally.
9) You are deeply attracted to intelligence
When it comes to what you are attracted to, intelligence ranks very high up there.
In fact you may find that you get to know somebody who you don’t find particularly attractive in terms of their appearance and only come to fall for them as you realize how smart they are.
Intelligence can seduce you in a deep and lasting way that outer beauty cannot.
You find that physical beauty may get your attention at first, but intelligence keeps your last interest after that point.
The same goes for friendship, where you find it hard to take a strong interest in people who aren’t curious, smart and intellectually versatile.
10) You are attracted to unique spiritual paths and religions
When it comes to spiritual paths and religion, DTIDs are immensely curious.
Even if you’re committed to a spiritual path or religious faith, you love to hear about the beliefs of others and try to understand them.
Mythologies, symbolism and articles of faith and spirituality deeply intrigue you.
You get fascinated by an account of the early beginnings of Scientology one day and then deep into a book by Thomas Merton the next.
Your spiritual curiosity knows no end!
11) You get sudden inspirations at unexpected times of day (or night)
Last up in terms of being a DTID is that you’re struck by sudden inspiration at the strangest times.
It could be before work at 7 a.m. while you’re waiting for your morning coffee to brew…
It could be just before you sleep at 2:30 a.m. when you bolt upright with the book idea of the century and flip open your laptop…
It’s impossible to predict.
Your brain is always switched on in the background, and like the low hum of the refrigerator that you get used to, you rarely notice its activity until inspiration comes up and revitalizes you.
Are you a DTID?
After reading the above signs you should have a solid idea of whether you’re a DTID.
If so, congratulations!
Deep thinkers are the innovators and difference-makers who help us discover new horizons and change the world.
If not, congratulations as well!
There’s a lot to life other than thought and being a more active person and less mentally focused can be a very strong trait!