What exactly is "smart"? Being smart is more than having a high IQ. It has been proven time and again that IQ is fixed. The way we learn at 15 is the same way we learn at 50. To be smart one has to bring more to the table than intelligence alone.
At the core of smart people is an acute and ever expanding self-awareness. Smart people tend to be quick and prompt, mentally ready, shrewd, clever, effective, neat or trim in their appearance, socially elegant, sophisticated, current and charismatic. Smart is the sum total of many character traits expressing itself globally through a person’s impact on their world.
Smart people do not just rely on facts, they listen to and follow their intuition. They are aware of when and how their intuitions and insights come to them. They are internally tuned-in to make wise decisions.
Smart people are able to clearly see the reasons and motivations of other people. Because of this, they can selectively choose when, what and with whom to align themselves. They use their intuition in decision making, to chart new paths and in being diligent in surrounding themselves with only the highest quality people, programs and customers.
Smart people know who they are and are conscious of their emotional and behavioral tendencies across situations. They know their strengths, weaknesses, personality traits, values, morals and beliefs.
Smart people are wise to others but know that self-awareness is the ticket to their personal enlightenment and business advancement. They show the deepest commitment to themselves and to their own development. They are keen in knowing that the more conscious they are of themselves, the better they are able to know and predict others.
Smart people look back on, and learn from, experiences. They do not get stuck in the past but know they must look in the review mirror to properly navigate the front window. As they look back they take inventory on what they can learn from their experiences. They either perfect and repeat past efforts or abolish strategies that clearly did not work. They take the time to think about decisions before jumping in, and afterward, actively reflect to gain deeper insight into what worked and what didn’t.
Smart people are never satisfied with one level of advancement of their product, themselves or their business. They are drawn to new ideas, radical thoughts and innovative ways of changing and doing things. Smart people desire to chart new paths and crave progressive thinking, concepts and people. Their natural thought process is out-of-the-box. Stepping outside their comfort zone is something they see as imperative to their success.
Smart people welcome different perspectives and see opportunities where most do not. They see the mind as a parachute—it works best when open. Smart people are comfortable in paradoxical situations and have a passion for problem solving and fixing things in new and inventive ways. They are willing to listen to different points of view on how to strategize in problem solving situations. They let go of having things be their way when they come across more effective solutions.
Smart people recognize and respond immediately to opportunities and people. They act and react quickly, taking care of what needs to be done well ahead of schedule. Procrastination is not their habit, as losing opportunities is not an option. All opportunities, along with mutually respectful relationships, develop from promptness and dependability.
Smart people know where to get whatever information, resources, supplies, training and education they need when they need it. They have copious resources. They are well-networked and have many people to call on for referrals. This type of resourcefulness makes them successful as they are never short of ways to get to their goals.
Smart people habitually question authority. They do not blindly accept what so-call experts preach. They ask deeper questions others do not so as to discover their own truths. It is only through the discovery of their own truths that they can validate implementing new strategies.
9. Lifelong learners.
Smart people use their minds to the fullest. They are consummate learners. They are not lazy in their thinking and see the discovery of all new information as upgrades to their skills, knowledge, cutting edge information, attitudes and beliefs. Smart people crave and gather the collective brain power of others by reading books, magazines and articles that assist their own development. Learning is never a drag or a bore because for smart people learning is intrinsically rewarding.
Smart people do not take life or themselves too seriously. They have a sense of humor about things and recognize the importance of finding the joy in the irony and comedy of everyday life. Smart people find blessings in the bummers, silver linings in challenges and solutions in the problems. It is through this that they continue to be successful and personally satisfied in life.
Smart people are willing to try new things, knowing that if what they try at first doesn’t work out as they had hoped, it is no harm, no foul. They accept their failures as cleverly disguised learning opportunities. They take risks often. They are curious and adventurous in their business pursuits. They are willing to leap in to the unknown. Their risks usually pay off.
12. Believe in themselves.
Smart people, knowing who they are, believe and trust in themselves first foremost. They do not need the validation of others to make decisions. They instinctively know what is right for them and they go after it. They do not want or wait for change. Being in the holding patterns of waiting or wanting doesn’t fit their style. They take action and create change. They know the only person they can count on completely is themselves.
13. Write goals on paper.
Smart people have well-developed life strategies that include writing of goals, visions, desires and dreams they want to achieve. They tend to be avid journalers, list makers, and dreamers. Writing is their first step in making their dreams a reality.
14. Pay it forward.
Smart people are the generously give success, knowledge, and information to others. They are teachers, guides, mentors and helpers. They put themselves out here so the rest of us can benefit. Smart people share. They uplift and make others better. In exchange, their own learning grows and develops because they are actively talking about, researching, understanding and expanding their own field of knowledge.
15. Reinvent themselves.
Smart people abhor status quo and cannot stand being stagnated. They crave growth and development and are willing to shift their image, brand, logo, company name or change their direction entirely if necessary. To stay current or ahead of the game. They know exactly with whom to collaborate and are known to reinvent themselves over and over again.
Smart people are always adding to their knowledge and network base, while at the same time removing relationships, customers or strategies that no longer serve them. Experience, intelligence, class, wisdom and self-awareness are what set the smart apart from the average.
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This article also appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.