From the time I was young, I was always an A/B student. But I’ll be honest, that was more due to “resourcefulness” than God-given smarts.
My brother was the one my grandpa wanted to be a doctor. There was no hiding that. He was a well-respected doctor and could clearly see genius when it was standing before him. I was just a simple kid plodding my way through the Sweet Valley Twins series, hardly doctor material.
I was OK with that though.
I was a jock and I had plenty of other talents. I thought reading was for introverts, anyway, and found school mostly boring. If all my friends didn’t go, I’d have dropped out in the second grade.
In high school and college, I began to understand the concept of street smarts. Now here’s where I thrived! I could talk myself outta mostly anything and could win friends and influence without ever cracking a Dale Carnegie book.
To this day, I’m terrible at Trivial Pursuit and cringe at the sight of a crossword puzzle. I just don’t have the brain that retains what I perceive as useless facts.
I’ve been known to watch half a movie before I realize I’ve already seen it, or buy books that are already in my digital library.
I got an “A” in Biology 101, but can hardly tell what’s what looking at the organs of the body.
I’m like a new mom on a bender. I pump and I dump. That simple.
But how much of this knowledge do we really use in the real world? I’ve gotten by for 30+ years fairly well, fending for myself.
It wasn’t until yesterday when I was reading Shawn Achor’s new book Before Happiness, that I realized I’ve got way more than just street smarts. I’ve got some God-given genius, boy!
Positive genius, that is;)
Positive genius is the ability to continually architect successful, positive realities based on true facts. Now that’s what’s up!
Howard Gardner was the first to argue that the ability to understand ones own feelings as well as the feelings of others was more important than IQ. Word!
In 1990, two psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer published an earth shattering paper arguing that IQ was worthless and that the ability to understand feelings was far greater predictor of human potential. They dubbed it: emotional intelligence, your ability to regulate your emotions.
Deemed a better predictor of success, companies began testing potential hire’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) rather than IQ.
Later Gardner coined the ability to understand and relate to other people as social intelligence.
Achor argues no one intelligence (IQ, emotional intelligence, social intelligence) is more important than the other. To be truly successful, he says, we need to find a way to combine all our intelligences.
All that said, you still don’t want me on your holiday Trivial Pursuit team, but I could talk a hijacker into submission any day. Now that’s a team player, right?
I leave you with this: What’s the focus in your home on grades and success? How might you be able to amp up your/loved ones positive intelligence? Oh, and if you haven’t seen Shawn Achor’s Ted, it’s a must. He’s smart AND he’s funny;)
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!