14 signs you’re actually a smarter person than you realize

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There are a lot of people who are over-confident and think they’re smarter than they really are.

But even more common are people who don’t realize that they’re actually smarter than they really  think.

Is that you?

Here are 14 signs you’re a smarter person than you realize.

1. You are extremely curious

Intelligent people are insatiably curious. They tend to be highly interested in the world around them.

They ask questions to understand more and even ask questions of answers.

Nonintelligent people are the opposite. They have a closed mind and only accept information that confirms their worldview.

They reject anything that goes against their beliefs, even if it is backed up by evidence.

You’re most likely an intelligent person if you have an open mind and you’re curious about new information (even if it counteracts what your opinion is).

2. You learn from your mistakes and experiences

We all make mistakes. That’s normal. But if you learn from your mistakes and you don’t repeat them, then you’re probably smarter than most people.

After all, learning from mistakes and failures is how you become smart in the first place.

We all know people who are too afraid of making mistakes because it makes them feel bad about themselves.

But the truth is, making mistakes is the only way to progress. Any successful person will tell you that without mistakes they made on their journey, they wouldn’t be where they are today.

So if you’re comfortable making mistakes, and you see mistakes as an opportunity to learn, then you’re probably a smarter person than you think you are.

3. You don’t try to be like everyone else

Trying to fit in and be like everyone else is a recipe for living an inauthentic life.

But if you try to be like everyone else, you negate your true value and lose what makes you unique.

If you’re going to simply do what everyone else does, then you’ll find it hard to stand out and achieve meaningful success.

You’re a smart person if you know that your best option is to simply be yourself.

After all, when you embrace your true values and your instincts, you’ll ignite your true inner power and you’re more likely to be at your best.

If being yourself means you’re different from everyone else, then so be it.

A smart person would rather stay true to themselves and express themselves for who they are than stick to a pre-written script that sounds the same as everyone else.

4. You’re optimistic

Smart people see the best in situations. It doesn’t mean they avoid reality, but they realize that there is no point in complaining and worrying.

A smart person wants to progress forward, and optimism is the attitude that helps them do that.

And compared to someone who’s pessimistic and negative all the time, positive people feel much lighter and more enjoyable to be around in general.

If you can say that you make the most of every situation and rarely dwell on the negative you’re likely doing better than you think you are in this crazy journey of life, and you’re probably a smart person.

5. You have a plan and system

You won’t achieve much in life without a plan and a system.

Smart people know where they want to go, and they’ve also worked out what they need to do every day to get there.

They understand nothing good can be achieved in a day. It takes time to achieve your big goals, and that involves achieving little goals every single day.

For example, perhaps they made a goal of reading more books in a year.

And even though it didn’t seem big at the time, they got there by just reading 10 pages a day, which is 3655 pages in a year, or 12 books a year.

Someone that can organize a simple plan like that, stick to it, and then achieve it is a much smarter person than they realize.

6. You’re able to reflect and think

Do you spend a lot of time reflecting and thinking?

Have you worked out what your priorities in life are?

Then you’re probably smarter than you think.

A wise and smart person loves to reflect, meditate, and dive deep into introspection.

This is probably why you understand yourself and what your values are.

Most people don’t take the time to think about what their goals are and what is important to them, so if you’re clear on who you are, and your life direction, then you’re probably smarter than you think you are.

7. You have a quick wit and wicked sense of humor

People who are very intelligent also tend to have a beautifully sharp and keen sense of humor and wit.

Researchers in Austria found that funny people, especially those who enjoy dark humor, have higher IQs than their less funny people;e.

After all, it takes both cognitive and emotional ability to process and produce humor.

Their analysis found that funny people have higher verbal and non-verbal intelligence, and they score lower in mood disturbance and aggressiveness.

So if you’re able to make people laugh with a quick line here and there, then you’re probably more intelligent than you realize.

8. You have high self-control

Self-control is an important facet of intelligence and if you possess it, then you might be smarter than you think.

A 2009 Yale study gave participants IQ tests and offered them reward money (they could receive this award immediately or later (for more).

Those who chose to wait also had higher IQ scores, suggesting resisting making impulsive decisions correlates with intelligence.

So if you have high self-control, then you’re probably smarter than you realize, and according to Lao Tzu, more powerful as well:

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” –  Lao Tzu

9. You don’t blame others

Being a victim and blaming others gets you nowhere in life.

Being able to accept that you are responsible for everything in your life and that nobody is to blame but yourself makes you a strong and smart individual.

Smart people understand that the only way to progress in life is to own up to your mistakes and learn from your experiences.

Blaming others only helps you short-term, but doesn’t do anything to help you improve in the long term.

It takes courage to be able to look in the mirror and accept your faults and mistakes, but if you can accept these truths, then there will be no stopping your success.

10. You understand that it is useless to compare yourself to others

Everybody is unique, and we all have different circumstances in our lives.

For this reason, a smart person understands that it’s useless to compare yourself to others.

After all, what works for others might not work for you.

And that’s perfectly fine.

Instead of slumping to social comparisons, a smart person compares themselves with their past self to see if they’re improving.

A smart person remains true to their own dreams and aspirations in life.

If you can say that nothing really matters as long as you’re moving forward in your own journey, then you’re probably a smarter person than you realize.

11. You know that it’s dangerous to rely on others for happiness

Smart people are emotionally independent.

They know that no matter the circumstance, they have the tools to deal with it and embrace it for what it is.

They have the capacity to regulate their emotions and still feel good about themselves (even under challenging situations).

They know that if you rely on other people for happiness, then you aren’t in control of your life and your own destiny.

As Buddha said:

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

A smart person builds their sense of self without relying on others to make them happy or telling them how they should be or what they should be doing.

So if you’re happy with yourself, and you don’t rely on others to make you feel better, then you’re probably a smarter person than you realize.

12. You understand that it’s better to focus on experiences than material success

While a smart person understands that it’s important to earn enough money to make sure you live in comfort and you can buy your food to eat, there’s no point in being obsessed with material possessions beyond basic living.

A smart person knows that you live a happier life when you live in the moment and embrace all of the experiences of life.

After all, material gain, promotions, and career advancement are all superficial, and a smart person doesn’t want to rely on outside influences to make them happy.

You want to be in control of your happiness, and you know that they’re always in control of embracing their experiences and living in the moment.

13. You can adapt

Since a smart person keeps an open mind, you’re smarter than you realize if you are able to entertain a variety of different ideas from people with different mindsets.

A smart person isn’t rigid with their thoughts — they can’t risk it.

To be strict about what thoughts to entertain means denying new and potential solutions from entering the mind.

No two problems are alike, so each is going to need its own customized solution.

Each project is a different task that’s going to require different styles of thinking to accomplish.

You’re a smarter person than you realize if you can adapt to changes and think of new solutions that other people haven’t considered.

14. You’re creative

One of the best signs you’re smarter than you realize is that you think for yourself and have a creative and unique mind.

You approach issues from your own angle and you work through challenges in your personal and professional life in your own innovative way.

You see things others tend to miss, and to paint outside the lines.







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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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