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8 Signs of Intelligence Proving You’re More Intelligent Than You Think

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Being educated does not always equate to being intelligent. Although they seem very similar, there is a fine distinction between these two concepts. Education is defined as something (i.e., knowledge) provided from elsewhere, such as parents, teachers, and mentor. Intelligence, on the other hand, has been described as an innate, natural ability that can be developed and enhanced by further education or training in the area of your choice.

So, what exactly is ‘intelligence’? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, intelligence is:[1]

  1. The ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situation, i.e. the skilled use of reason, and
  2. The ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria

That’s simple enough, but what intelligence quotes have surfaced and proved true throughout the ages?

Top 14 Intelligence Life Quotes Throughout History 

You may want to keep some of these valuable life quotes on your mirror or in your wallet.[2]

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates, Greek Philosopher

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking, Physicist

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, Politician and Activist

“The difference between intelligence and education is this: intelligence will make you a good living” – Charles F. Kettering, American Inventor, Engineer and Business Man

“Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good.” – Bertolt Brecht, German Poet and Playwright

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, American Novelist and Short Story Writer

“It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” – René Descartes, French Philosopher

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates, Greek Philosopher

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” – Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” – Salvador Dali, Surrealist Artist

“The intelligence is proved not by ease of learning, but by understanding what we learn.” – Joseph Whitney, Political and Environmental Geographer

“An intelligence test sometimes shows a man how smart he would have been not to have taken it.” – Laurence J. Peter, Canadian Educator

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates, Greek Philosopher

“Knowledge is having the right answer; intelligence is asking the right question.” – Unknown

If any of the intelligence quotes above had you nodding aggressively and thinking to yourself, that’s me, you probably share the most commonly known personality traits with fellow intellects around the world.

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8 Signs of Intelligence Proving You’re More Intelligent Than You Think

1) You are brutally and shamelessly honest about how much you do not know

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Many people can get caught in a trap by convincing themselves they are more intelligent than they think. One of the best lessons you can learn, however, is understanding and accepting that it’s perfectly fine not to be fully informed. Nobody is and so, this should be an encouragement to anyone who wishes to boost their intelligence.

2) You know how to explain your thoughts and ideas to anyone, effortlessly

No matter your area of expertise, if you cannot explain your brilliant revolutionary ideas to others, how can you expect them to become reality? As Einstein said in one of the most powerful intelligence quotes, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

3) You don’t talk for the sake of hearing your own voice; you listen more than you speak

Some people love tooting their own horns and revel in other people listening to them. But more often than not, the loudest people know the least. Intelligent people actively listen to others and collaboratively bounce ideas off each other to create something great.

4) You are driven by curiosity

Remember when your child, niece, or nephew used to always ask “why,” all the time? That should be your mindset every single day. The more you seek answers to questions, the more likely you are to find or even create them!

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5) Your intelligence and empathy are connected

In the words of Socrates, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Everyone, whether you can see it or not, is living daily with struggles of their own. This is arguably one of the most important behaviors of an intelligent person: empathizing with the struggles people are going through, because you either have or will experience something similar someday.[3,4]

6) You are your own best company

Carving out alone time is probably the biggest gift you can give yourself. Spending time alone allows you to self-reflect and arrive at conclusions that may not be possible in the presence and noise of others.

7) You are most productive at night or during odd hours

If you consider yourself to be intelligent, you probably also stay up late or wake up extra early if you want to get things done. Not everyone need that much sleep and since their brain activity is so high, hashing things out in peace and quiet is the best option.[5,6]

8) You have a sarcastic sense of humor

Do you often feel like no one understands your sense of humor!? Yeah, us too, but don’t worry! Studies have even linked sarcasm and wit to being more intelligent.[7,8]

[1] Intelligence. (n.d.). Retrieved December 06, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intelligence

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[2] Intelligence Sayings and Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved December 06, 2017, from http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/intelligence-quotes/

[3] Shipman, P. (2011, December 28). What Role Does Empathy Play in Intelligence? Retrieved December 07, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-animal-connection/201112/what-role-does-empathy-play-in-intelligence

[4] Bertram, K., Randazzo, J., Alabi, N., Levenson, J., Doucette, J. T., & Barbosa, P. (n.d.). Strong correlations between empathy, emotional intelligence, and personality traits among podiatric medical students: A cross-sectional study. Retrieved December 07, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28406102

[5] Kanawaza, S., & Perina, K. (2009, June 27). Why night owls are more intelligent [PDF]. Personality and Individual Differences.

[6] Kanazawa, S. (2010, May 09). Why Night Owls Are More Intelligent Than Morning Larks. Retrieved December 07, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201005/why-night-owls-are-more-intelligent-morning-larks

[7] Willinger, U., Hergovich, A., Schmoeger, M., Deckert, M., Stoettner, S., Bunda, I., . . . Auff, E. (2017, January 18). Cognitive and emotional demands of black humour processing: the role of intelligence, aggressiveness and mood. Retrieved December 07, 2017, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10339-016-0789-y?

[8] The highest form of intelligence: Sarcasm increases creativity for both expressers and recipients. (2015, July 17). Retrieved December 07, 2017, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S074959781500076X

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