The Extraordinary Intelligence Quotient: The Attitude That Sets Geniuses Apart

July 9, 2023 | 


Joanna Newman



In the vast spectrum of human abilities, intelligence holds a unique place. It is a coveted trait, often celebrated and desired, and rightly so. It opens doors, breaks barriers, and sometimes, even rewrites history. But what truly makes intelligent people different? Are they simply the products of high IQs and exceptional cognitive skills, or is there something more? Interestingly, research suggests it´s not just about the numbers on an IQ test or the grades on a transcript, but the unique attitudes and behaviors exhibited by highly intelligent individuals that set them apart. Let´s delve into these fascinating attitude traits, making the topic easy and fun to understand for everyone.

Always Curious, Always Questioning

One of the hallmark traits of intelligent people is an insatiable curiosity about the world around them. Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant minds in history, famously said, "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Highly intelligent people seem to be perpetually hungry for knowledge and understanding, with an intrinsic drive to question, explore, and seek answers.

This curiosity is not limited to any particular field or subject. They might be scientists, engrossed in unraveling the secrets of the universe; artists, diving deep into the nuances of human emotion; or entrepreneurs, ceaselessly searching for the next big innovation. No matter their discipline, they share an irrepressible curiosity and a penchant for asking "why?"

Persistence, Resilience, and Grit

As much as we´d like to believe that intelligence equates to instant success, that is far from the truth. Intelligent people, like anyone else, encounter failures, setbacks, and rejections. However, their reaction to these obstacles sets them apart.

Rather than succumbing to despair or frustration, they display resilience and an impressive ability to persist in the face of adversity. This quality, often referred to as ´grit,´ is a testament to their unwavering dedication to their goals and their willingness to strive, despite the odds. This refusal to give up easily makes their intelligence not only a tool for understanding the world but also a weapon for shaping it.

Openness to Experience

Highly intelligent people often exhibit a strong sense of openness to experience. They embrace the new, the strange, and the unfamiliar, often displaying a willingness to venture outside their comfort zones. This openness fuels their curiosity and desire to learn. It also makes them more adaptable to change, a quality that is indispensable in our rapidly evolving world.

Intelligent individuals are also open to various perspectives, willing to entertain different viewpoints even if they do not align with their own. This openness contributes to their problem-solving abilities, as it allows them to view challenges from various angles, leading to more creative and effective solutions.

Humility and Self-awareness

Paradoxically, those with exceptional intelligence often display a sense of humility and profound self-awareness. They understand their limitations and are willing to admit when they don´t know something. This humility doesn´t undermine their confidence; rather, it fuels their hunger for knowledge and understanding. It also makes them receptive to feedback, allowing them to grow and learn continually.

Lifelong Learning

Perhaps the most defining characteristic of highly intelligent people is their commitment to lifelong learning. They never consider their education complete but continuously seek opportunities to broaden their knowledge and skills. This thirst for knowledge transcends formal education and extends into every facet of their lives.

They are avid readers, with a wide range of interests. They pursue personal projects, take up new hobbies, and constantly push their boundaries. This commitment to lifelong learning keeps their minds sharp and allows them to stay at the forefront of their respective fields.

Creativity and Innovation

One might assume that highly intelligent people would be the most logical and systematic, but they also tend to be among the most creative. They have an uncanny ability to connect disparate ideas, leading to novel insights and innovations. This creativity is not restricted to traditionally ´creative´ fields such as arts or literature. Even in fields like science, business, or technology, they bring unique, out-of-the-box thinking that often results in groundbreaking work.

Conclusion: Intelligence – More Than Just IQ

In a world that often simplifies intelligence to a mere number on an IQ test or grades on a report card, it´s crucial to recognize the comprehensive nature of true intelligence. It is an amalgamation of curiosity, resilience, openness, humility, lifelong learning, and creativity, all working together to create a potent force that can change the world.

While we can´t all be Einsteins or Da Vincis, we can certainly strive to emulate these attitudes in our own lives. After all, intelligence is not just about the knowledge you possess but also about how you choose to use it, and that comes down to attitude. Let´s embrace these traits and embark on our journey towards becoming more intellectually enlightened, irrespective of our age, profession, or station in life. For true intelligence is less about knowing everything and more about the desire to know and understand, coupled with the right attitude to do so.