“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
Sometimes, we confuse merely using the power of our brain with true intelligence. The difference is living either an unhappy life of mediocrity or a magnificent life where you can achieve anything you want. Let’s explore the difference and how we can apply true intelligence to reach your unbounded potential.
The Stone Age
Your rickety wooden boat has just made it ashore. You have landed on a pristine beach on a tropical island. As your boots step on the glittering white sand you are surrounded by palm trees whistling in the warm winds and a wild symphony of bird sounds.
As you walk further down between the trees your pace is stopped by a growl and a loud bang. Bang! Bang! The banging continues, each time followed by a growl. Your muscles tighten as you scout your surroundings with the gaze of a hawk.
Then, there on the banks of a small river, you spot the source of the startling noise. On a large, flat rock lies an unopened raw cashew fruit – it’s skin hard as rock and harbouring a few delicious cashew nuts. On a small stone a few steps higher stands a tiny little monkey wielding a rock half it’s size high above his head!
With a small growl he musters all his strength and smashes his homemade tool against the cashew fruit one last time as it violently springs open. The monkey bares his teeth in delight, then looks straight at you – into your eyes – before running off with his newfound treasures.
The monkey has just progressed through the stone age and has displayed intelligence. He has positively adapted to his environment by inventing a new tool using the materials at hand.
Over time – the monkey’s primal brethren will also learn to use rocks to open cashew fruits. They will observe by example and pass this knowledge unto their children and their children until the knowledge is common sense. Are these second-hand inventors, however, truly intelligent? Or are they merely using their strong brain capacity to learn and record information? It seems there is a significant difference in how the original monkey and his disciples use their mind. What is the difference?
Standard Reference Book
We must acknowledge the difference between brain power and intelligence. The power of your brain does not determine your intelligence.
Brain power is the capacity to learn, to see patterns, to store facts and other knowledge in your mental memory banks. Brain power – in essence – is a recorder. Someone with a lot of brain power excels in recording and storing information from books and other sources and is thus often easily educated.
Someone with a lot of brain power is called smart, educated, knowledgeable, well-informed or someone with a high IQ.
Brain power is useful, but as literacy and the information age progresses – recording and storing information is decreasingly becoming an asset that is valuable for our life. We all know incredibly smart people that are unhappy, destructive to their environment or wander through life unsuccessfully by not properly utilizing the incredible power in their mind. Moreover, someone that knows a lot of facts is useless and worthless in the marketplace as they can be more cheaply replaced by a search engine.
A famous story driving this point home is about Einstein – the famous genius scientist. He was once asked how many feet there are in a mile. His reply was:
“I don’t know, why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book?”.
Einstein was clearly intelligent. So it appears once more that brain power and the proper storage of facts and processes does not correlate with intelligent behavior.
True intelligence, on the other hand, is the guided direction of your brain power. It is the ability to wield the brain power you have in order to create, dream and envision in a way that creates happiness for you and the people around you. Someone who displays a large amount of intelligence is great at creating happiness, wealth, health and abundance in all things.
A person that uses intelligence to guide his mind is called a genius, visionary, wise or brilliant as well as many other things depending on their particular achievements.
Intelligence means you choose to be the master of your thoughts, and to actively channel your brain capacity in such a way that you create positive thoughts. Positive thoughts are those that either make you more happy, make those around you more happy or those that create new wonders in the world. Intelligence means dominating your mind and thoughts in order to become more creative, motivated, happy, loving, imaginative, positive, inspiring and giving.
It is intelligence that makes someone successful in their endeavours and loved by those around him or her. Someone with an IQ of 120 that is pessimistic, sad, unmotivated and egoistic will sink away in the dust of mediocrity compared to someone with an IQ of 100 that is highly enthusiastic, motivated, friendly, hopeful, gracious and disciplined. The second person – the truly intellectual one – can achieve anything he or she can dream of – including happiness, wealth and love.
In fact, without intelligent guiding of the mind, a high amount of brain power can be detrimental to progress. You can bet your five dollars someone with a high amount of brain power can think of an infinite amount of ways why a plan will NOT work. It can lead to a serious case of analysis paralysis. Uncontrolled and unchecked brain power is the main reason why so many people with a high IQ live a mediocre, fearful life, have depression or are generally unhappy with their achievements.
Stand guard at the door of your mind
The bad news is that brain power seems to be largely hereditary from birth and cultivating it is difficult if not impossible.
The good news, however, is that intelligence is a skill that can be entirely trained within every individual. There are many ways to improve your intelligent guidance of your brain power. In doing so, you can be infinitely successful regardless of the size of your brain power.
The basic principle in cultivating intelligent guidance of the brain is that any pathway in the brain can be worked-out and grown – just like your muscles can. In effect, pathways in the brain that are used often increase in strength and connectivity – and can be more easily accessed in the future.
This means anytime you wield sadness in your mind, you strengthen the capability of your mind to feel sad. Anytime you wield the skill of dreaming, visualizing, or creating – you strengthen the capability of your mind to dream and visualize and create.
So in order to become as intelligent as possible – you must take care which pathways in your brain you are training to become undefeatable behemoths.
All truly successful people that I have come into contact with so far all make it an explicit point to ‘stand guard at the door of their mind’.
They are fiercely protective of the pathways in their brain they are using on a regular basis and what they feed their mind. They engineer their habits, thought patterns and emotions to aid them.
You see, feeling sadness is an emotion that just exists – you cannot completely block sadness from your life – but dwelling on the sadness is simply unintelligent behavior that must be avoided at all costs. In addition, successful people make it a point to have daily habits to strengthen the intelligent parts of their mind – skills like gratitude, discipline, bravery, intuition and creativity in order to give them an undefeatable edge over those with less-intelligent habits.
Over time, the strength of your neural pathways will determine whether you behave intelligent or that your brain power is used for irrelevant or even destructive purposes. Anyone that has or had a post-traumatic stress-disorder can attest to the strength and impact these conditioned pathways can have on your behavior once they have been used often.
So stand guard at the door of your mind – and contemplate this:
“Are you using your mental ability to record history made by others or to create history?”