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What is Intelligence

What is intelligence? It is one of those areas that people know but defies real definition. According to Wikipedia on intelligence, when two dozen prominent theorists were recently asked to define what is intelligence, they gave two dozen, somewhat different, definitions.

According to some theories there are 7 or 8 different types of intelligence, again Wikipedia has definitions for those. What this page covers are what I feel are the basic elements of intelligence and how they apply to you.

Measuring Intelligence

There have been different tests devised for measuring intelligence. I suppose they serve some purpose but to me they are limited. When I was growing up a lot of importance was placed on a persons IQ score. For some reason people thought that an IQ score reflected a persons character or worth, and that is ridiculous.

When I lived in Alberta, Canada, I frequently had reason to visit an organization called Chrysalis. They worked with mentally handicapped people. I always enjoyed my visits there, the 'mentally handicapped' people were warm, friendly and always willing to help. They also produced some of the finest woodwork and crafts that I have ever seen. I like to pride myself on producing some nice woodwork but those guys put me to shame.

On the other hand, when I was a member of Mensa (high IQ club), I found that while most of the members were good people some were totally useless, they could not DO anything except proclaim how brilliant they were. I like good honest people and I don't care what their IQ score is.

Intelligence and Success

What is intelligence used for? At first that seems like a silly question, but think about it. It should be used to help a person live a more successful life and it can be used for that. However having a high IQ score does not guarantee a persons success. Like any other attributes, intelligence has to be used.

How intelligent does a person have to be to succeed? Obviously it depends on what success means to you. In the example above, the mentally handicapped are living quite successfully. They may never be rich or famous but they are happy, productive and financially secure, which is more than you can say for a lot of people.

Someone with a low IQ who knows what they want and uses the intelligence they have can be successful. A high IQ person who does not apply that intelligence will fail. As with everything else in life, a person has to use what they have and do things.

You are reading my web pages so you obviously have more than enough intelligence to succeed at whatever you want to do.

What is Intelligence

Basically intelligence is the ability to learn, reason and then apply that knowledge. It does not matter what your IQ score is, it is what you do with it.

If I touched a hot stove and got burned that should teach me something. I touch it again, same lesson. And touch it again..... now you are probably thinking well that is just stupid, that's right. Stupidity is the opposite of intelligence.

You watch someone pay out big money to join a get rich quick scheme, they get burned. They sign up for the next get rich quick scheme, burned.

Somebody works 40 hours a week, overspends and goes into debt. Works another 40 hours a week, goes further into debt. Works another....., you get the picture. Why is it that they can see that continually touching a stove is stupid, but they keep touching their version of the stove?

Einstein put it this way: Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

You will get burned, you will make mistakes, there is nothing wrong with that, it is part of learning and it is a good thing. Unless you do not take the lesson to heart, then it was all pain and no gain.

The next page will tell you some ways to Increase Intelligence. Have fun.

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