10 hard things smart people make look easy

Smart people can manage to easily do things that a lot of us struggle with… and one can’t help but wonder how they do it.

Well, their intelligence plays a part in that, but there’s more than just smarts at play here.

So here are 10 things that smart people make look easy, and how they manage to do it.

1) Seeing the other side of things

There’s at least two sides to every story.

And there’s no way one could make a sound or fair judgment on a given situation without trying to see the other side.

They might hear about how someone is being “bullied” by a mob, for example. But rather than simply defend that person based on that fact, they would look deeper and try to understand why they are being “bullied” and if it’s in fact true.

People, after all, can easily make bad people seem good just to fish for sympathy, especially if they’re emotionally invested in that person.

For example, it might just be the case that the person being “bullied” had said something downright horrible—like trying to slander someone else, or trying to cover up a crime they committed—and is simply being held accountable for it.

2) Seeing through bullshit

Smart people are natural skeptics.

Rather than simply accepting things because someone older or respected says so, they would try to verify for themselves whether something is true or not.

This attitude will, over time, teach them the tell-tale signs that someone is just joshing them or is spitting absolute nonsense.

The ability to see through bullshit is a skill that must be learned…and it’s a skill that smart people all end up learning—not just because of the way they see the world, but also because they’re very good at identifying patterns.

3) Looking past their ego

Nobody is immune to developing ego problems, and that includes smart people.

What sets smart people apart is that they can look past their ego and try to be reasonable when others can’t or won’t.

Now, there’s a trend where smarter people tend to have smaller egos, but that’s not the entire reason why smart people can look past their own noses.

They simply understand that they aren’t perfect and so set aside time every now and then to stop and reconsider what they’re saying and doing.

As far as they are concerned, it’s more humiliating to stand their ground and make a public spectacle of themselves than it is to admit that they were wrong.

4) Foreseeing consequences

Smart people know that every action they make and every word they utter has an effect on others.

A lot of us do or say things without giving much thought as to the implications and knock-on effects that we might cause.

This is especially the case when we’re angry and stressed.

Consider someone learning that their colleague is taking the credit for their work, for example, and then going on a rant about— not just their work ethic— but their weight and looks and bad breath as well.

While their anger might be justified, those comments are not.

It can cause a big and permanent scar to the person they’re attacking…and for what?

Smart people take the time to understand the consequences and implications of the things they say and do.

This applies to big things such as moving to another city and pursuing their passion projects, to smaller ones like how they interact with strangers.

5) Changing their minds

It’s a well-known fact that the more people know, the more aware they are of how little they actually know.

In fact, there’s a name for this phenomenon—the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Smart people are well aware that they might be mistaken, missing critical information, or be simply outdated. They’re always challenging themselves, poking holes at the things they believe or know to see if they hold up to scrutiny.

So when they are proven wrong—either by themselves or others—they have no issues with changing their minds and adapting to new information.

As a consequence, smart people tend to be always changing and always learning.

Who they are now can be quite different from who they were a couple of months ago.

6) Accepting their losses

People generally do not like losing—period. And it doesn’t matter if it’s about sports, debates, or even simple bets.

To an extent, this is only to be expected. We all want to win after all. But a lot of people let their emotions get the better of them and dig their heels instead of accepting their losses.

Consider, for example, how a lot of people accused athletes like Liao Mengxue and Caster Semenya of being men after their wins.

Smart people might feel that same bitterness in defeat, but they’re significantly better at keeping their emotions under control and accepting their losses.

7) Staying cool under pressure

Now this isn’t a sure guarantee, because it’s still possible to be smart and yet be bad at staying calm. In fact, some smart people are very irritable and impatient.

But the majority of smart people are self-aware and this makes them more capable at handling their emotions better.

They have their ego under control.

When something manages to offend their ego, they’re aware of what’s going on and can stop themselves from acting out.

They also know about healthy ways to handle pressure, like walking away and taking a deep breath instead of doubling down and rabidly defending themselves.

And they are also aware of their own personality and their limitations. So they know how they would feel and react when pressed, and know how to compensate accordingly.

8) Paying close attention

A lot of smart people I know are experts at listening. And by this, I truly do mean listen, and not simply nod along to people and let their words pass between their ears.

They’re the kind of person who would surprise people by suddenly chiming into a conversation they weren’t part of so confidently it’s almost like they’ve trained to be a secret agent or spy of some kind.

They aren’t secret agents or spies (though they would be good at the job). They’re simply attentive and observant to everything and everyone around them.

And this superpower helps them in dealing with problems, interacting with people, and making sound decisions.

9) Setting goals and achieving them

We can all make goals and then try to achieve them. But not all of us will actually succeed.

There are many reasons, with some of us overestimating what we’re capable of, and others simply not having the willpower or strategy to see their ambitions to reality.

Smart people can actually achieve the goals they set because they know how to handle both of these things.

They know what they’re capable of so they set their goals accordingly, and make use of every technique they have to keep themselves going.

And if they struggle at something, they won’t hesitate to ask for help. After all, that’s the truly smart way to achieve anything.

Smart people know how to plan smart and work smart.

10) Learning when to quit

Smart people don’t like wasting time. When it’s time to let go, they let go.

It’s not easy to do, especially because there’s this thing called the sunk cost fallacy. It’s the fear of abandoning or quitting something that one has poured a lot of time and effort into.

There’s this idea that if one were to give up NOW, everything they have done will be for nothing. And so they keep on investing their time and effort into something that was clearly doomed to fail.

This is why you see a lot of people clinging on to abusive and failing relationships. They’re driven by the desire to try to “fix” things because otherwise they will have to face the fact that they wasted their time.

Smart people are well aware of this phenomenon and, for that reason, keep evaluating whether what they’re doing is still worth doing—if not, they’ll back off and accept it for what it is.


As you can see, many of the things that smart people just do—the “superpowers” they seem to have—are all rooted in things that all of us are capable of. It’s just that smart people are naturally predisposed to getting there.

But anyone can learn to be skeptical, to work wisely, to pick their fights and learn how to tame their ego. All you need is to be self-aware and to never stop trying, no matter how many times you fail.

Just because these smart people can manage to do these things with ease doesn’t mean that it’s exclusive to them!

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

10 simple habits that will make you more productive than ever

10 hidden signs you have a quietly powerful personality