Intelligence–some people just have it.
They may not be quantum physicists, spend their days researching at the library, or debating politics in the Middle East but they’re just… smart–the kind of unassuming intelligence that they themselves may not even always realize it.
We as humans sometimes underestimate ourselves. So, I’ve put together a list of 14 things that natural intelligence people do subconsciously, without even realizing it. Do you exhibit any of these signs? Let’s find out, shall we?
1) You constantly seek out new knowledge
Smart people are basically like sponges, you want to absorb as much information as they can, regardless of the topic.
You’re a jack of all trades when it comes to knowledge. And this of course is fully intentional–you have a natural curiosity about the world, people, and the universe. Their curiosity is insatiable.
You might quench this thirst by constantly reading books and articles online, attending seminars, and meeting people from different walks of life. They ask thoughtful and insightful questions whenever they can…
2) You’re a natural critical thinker
It still stuns me that people can change whole worldviews via one misleading headline. In today’s social media-dominated world, this is such a common phenomenon.
The smart person, however, doesn’t fall for such tomfoolery.
To be intelligent is also to be a critical thinker–meaning always questioning when information is presented, particularly from an online source.
You are able to analyze and assess what is given and then demand empirical facts and evidence. Once they have adequate proof, only then can they form an objective viewpoint.
Intelligent, critical thinkers are valuable commodities in this digital era, where misinformation is incredibly rampant!
Intelligent people are full of questions. This brings me to my next point…
3) You ask hard-hitting questions
Here’s the thing: intelligent people don’t ask tough questions because they’re skeptics or rebels, they ask because they genuinely want to know the answers.
As we learned in the early days of school when you ask your teacher a question, you get somewhat more enlightened on the subject.
This rule very much applies to intelligent people; you’re still keen students of life.
For the intelligent person, this curiosity never ends, and therefore neither do the questions.
4) You love to read
As we’ve established above, intelligent people are sponges for knowledge. And there are few better sources for learning than reading.
With the internet and technologies like tablets, reading is no longer limited to traditional books.
On the internet, with a few clicks, an intelligent person (or anyone, really) can read extensively about literally any topic they desire.
And because you read a lot, you tend to be worldly people too with a knack for getting along with a broad range of people.
My dad, for example, has always loved to read. He seems to know a bit about every topic out there. Sometimes, I call him a walking encyclopedia.
And guess what? Wherever he goes, he attracts a diverse range of people because of his incredible range of knowledge and the charisma he has when imparting that knowledge.
5) You take calculated risks
To achieve any sort of success in life, you have to be willing to take some risks. Intelligent people are acutely aware of this.
You might carefully consider a situation and then analyze the possible outcomes.
Intelligent people often achieve success because they know which risks are worth taking.
Risks are born out of curiosity. Another core trait of the naturally intelligent…
6) You’re curious
Here’s the thing: intelligent people are always curious. Some people are content to be ignorant or indifferent in terms of enhancing their knowledge of this world.
Not the intelligent person though. As we previously mentioned, an intelligent person has a built-in curiosity about them.
Whether it has to do with academia or travel or just everyday life, the intelligent person is constantly curious, wanting to know more about life.
7) You constantly want feedback
From my experience, intelligent people love feedback.
Some people get offended by bad or even constructive feedback but the smart individual embraces it, viewing it as an opportunity to grow and improve.
Some of the most successful businessmen in the country would not be where they are today without feedback. Imagine, if an entrepreneur was constantly surrounded by ‘yes men.’
Frankly, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Intelligent people realize the value of feedback so they can correct their mistakes. And speaking of which…
8) You have no issues with admitting mistakes
Another key trait of smart people is their willingness to admit when they’re wrong.
Intellectuals know that occasionally making mistakes is part of the human condition. To err is human.
Hence, you get that mistakes are just an organic part of the learning process and a good time for a bit of maturation and growth!
9) You think out of the box
Think of the most innovative people you know.
Two of the many traits they probably had in common are creativity and intelligence.
But creativity isn’t a quality limited to these movers and shakers, it’s something that is everywhere, particularly in smart folk.
Smart people tend to see things from different angles. You process information in their own unique ways.
Even in mundane, day-to-day things, intelligent people often come up with creative and successful solutions to problems.
10) You have long-term goals
I’ve always noticed that smart people have plans.
You know what they want in life in the long term and work daily towards achieving those things.
Whether it’s settling down with a family or living like a digital nomad constantly on the move, a smart person knows how to plan methodically and strategically.
And more often than not, you get what you put your mind to.
And if things don’t go you way, you adapt. This brings me to my next point…
11) You’re highly adaptable
Let’s not kid ourselves, life can be hard. This was especially true for most of us during the pandemic. You being a smart person, however, are like a chameleon in a sense.
Let’s say we have an intelligent owner of a popular restaurant, for instance, and the pandemic wiped out the majority of their sales, leaving them with unpaid debts and countless other problems.
Being intelligent and savvy, they make the pivot to takeout only, saving tremendous monthly overhead.
They don’t give up, they fight. Eventually, they might even find an investor or two.
And soon enough, business is back in full swing!
12) You have empathy
Not all smart people have empathy, but a lot of them do.
Empathy is the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by envisioning what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.
Intelligent people tend to be empathetic because they are aware that life can be difficult and not everyone has the same opportunities.
You understand the world and its inherent injustices and act accordingly.
13) You can have a good laugh
I won’t lie, some of the intelligent people I’ve met are also some of the funniest. Let’s face it: to be truly clever and witty, you need some degree of intelligence.
Some of the best standup comedians in the world are hilarious because of their use of observational humor. What others might see as uneventful, comedians see as an opportunity for a bit.
You see, intelligent people don’t just see mundane situations at the surface level, you find humor in them. This is another showcase of creativity.
You have the ability to find humor in everyday situations.
Let’s face it, life can be pretty damn comical at times. The smart person knows this.
14) You have a “sixth sense”
Smart people are quick to pick up on patterns. Whether it’s in the realm of business, human behavior, or politics, smart people are able to see trends when others don’t.
You have a strong intuition for life and humans, so you instantly have an advantage over the rest. Intelligent people with their perception and insight are almost like real-life fortune tellers.
To recap, people with natural intelligence are already miles ahead of the game. But intelligence will only take you so far. As much as there is intelligence on this planet there is an equal amount of wasted potential.
So if you’re naturally smart, please cultivate your gifts as best you can–I promise you, only good things will happen.