Have you ever been at a party or function and met that guy/girl who is so smart you don’t have a clue what they’re talking about? Those people are idiots. They have their heads up their asses. They have low social intelligence, which is a problem when doing almost anything. If a person is truly brilliant, figuring out how to explain a complex idea in an understandable, relatable way wouldn’t be so difficult.
Albert Einstein was brilliant, but his fame is only in part due to his discoveries. I think we know his name well because he explained his complex ideas in simple ways. He was witty and didn’t over-complicate things in an attempt to seem more intelligent:
- If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?
- Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
- When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.
- If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.
The problem with words like genius and brilliant is that we use them to describe people who are only experts and savants within a particular field. In math or physics, you can be effective without social skills. In the rest of the world you have to have some degree of social intelligence. Whether you want to solve poverty or launch the next tech gadget, to fix problems you have to understand how the world lives and thinks.
The next time someone strikes you as “so smart you can’t understand what they do”, consider the idea that they are a walking, talking book. Books aren’t very smart. Carry this idea through to your work life. Start by using the word “smart” sparingly, even in your head. Label people as “talented” instead. The word “talent” implies a narrow field and it forces you to think about what that field is. Save words like smart and brilliant for well rounded intelligence, where the person brings insight and common sense suggestion to all conversations.
Analytical findings, if not presented in a compelling way, might as well have been never found
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