How can you tell whether someone is smarter than you?

Act Smart.
Act Smart.

“I classify someone as smarter than me when she continually surprises me with insights. In other words, she often says things that, once I hear them, I know are true (or deeply beautiful), but which would never have occurred to me.

There’s one other requirement: these things can’t be just facts. It’s easy for someone to say something about the Ottoman Empire that is both surprising to me but true, because I haven’t studied the Ottoman Empire. The surprising thing can’t be something that wouldn’t surprise me if I just read a book I haven’t read. I know someone is smarter than me when she has the same information I do but is able to look at it in ways that are opaque to me.”(Thanks to Markus Geduld)

Smart People:

  • Don’t talk as much as you, because they know they got smart by listening.            talk less centrikid campstalk-less-do-more-Bags-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Know lots of things other than what they’re specialised in. Theirs is the gift of a broad mind, constantly fed with the stimulant of being interested in what everyone else is doing.                                                                                                                         
  • Juggle home, work and personal interests with dexterity and never fall back on the tired old refrain about “work life balance”. And when they’re juggling, they somehow manage to seem 100% engaged with what they’re doing, on all fronts simultaneously, even though you know they’re taking appropriate steps behind the scenes to make sure their lives are perfectly, serenely balanced.         
    Learn The Art Of Balancing.
    Learn The Art Of Balancing.

                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Even when things go very badly wrong, they’ll be smiling. Smart people never get ruffled because their smart brains present them with alternatives faster than the bad stuff can happen.                                                                                                   
  • Know they are usually the smartest person in the room, but they don’t spend their time dwelling on that. Instead, they take it as a personal challenge to see if they can make everyone else the smartest person in the room too.                                 
  • If managers, they will make every effort to get people smarter, more connected and more popular than them in their teams. They’re not threatened because they know that smartness is synergistic. They also make sure that their smart people get to look smarter than them for the same reason.                                                                                                                                                      
  • Have hidden skills that never get rolled out until they’re needed. They don’t have any need to show their full capabilities for reasons of proving they’re better than others.                                                                                                                                

    They know their capabilities...
    They know their capabilities…                     
  • Never, ever, under any circumstances, make you look stupid, even though it would be easy to do so. They’ve learnt through bitter experience that the only thing that happens when you make someone look bad is you look bad yourself.                                                                                                                             
  • Never make fun of people, may it be their enemy or a person they have just defeated. They are truly humble.                                                                                                
  • Love passionately and live life unconditionally.                                                                         
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