Most people think that they are intelligent, others also believe that they are more intelligent than others. 

The only problem is that others also think in the same way and they don’t believe that we are as intelligent as we think we are. This leads to several problems in our life because: 1. When we believe that we are more intelligent than others, we don’t listen to their advice and hence suffer in our life

2. When we believe that others are less intelligent than us, we feel frustrated when they don’t listen to us

There are several methods to measure intelligence like taking IQ Test, getting admission into prestigious institutions like Harvard, Cambridge, IIT or IIM; or getting a great salary in a top company. If you too believe these to be the measure of intelligence, you have to perhaps treat some of the greatest men like Gandhi (who scored poorly in academics) , Einstein (who got the job of a Class III clerk) or even Bill Gates (a school dropout) as non-intelligent.


Author Awdhesh Singh suggests some questions which can help you know if you are really intelligent.

1. Can You Solve Real Life Problems?

The intelligent people are good at solving the real-life problems. The real life problems are quite different from the text-book problems, where the right answer is already known and every problem is simplified to a mathematical problem. In real world, no situation is ever same. Even when the problem is the same, the persons and situations are different. Hence, you have to be really intelligent to find solutions to the real-life problems which are always unique and whose accuracy is known only in future.

2. Do You Often Succeed in Achieving Your Goal?

Ordinary people are always driven by the motivation of others who often fool them by telling things like ‘nothing is impossible’, ‘you can do anything in your life’, ‘be always positive and optimistic’ etc. Intelligent people know themselves so accurately that know exactly where there are good and where they are not. They strive only for such goals which are within their ambit and their chances of success are reasonably good. Hence their successes are always more than their failures. How can you be called intelligent, if you fail in achieving what you want in your life? Even when an intelligent person fail, he learns from it and make it a stepping stone of success.


3. Are Your Creative?

Intelligence is impossible without creativity. A man without creativity is like a machine which can efficiently execute the functions for which it is designed or programmed, but can’t do a thing more. An intelligent person is highly creative as he never repeats the same mistake twice. When Thomas A. Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work,” he was not talking about persevere as most people would like to imagine, but exhibiting his creativity of finding 10000 new ways to do the same thing. An intelligent person always discovers another method, if the present method does not work.

4: Are You Happy?

If you are not happy with your life, you are surely not intelligent. It is because your first goal of life is to be happy and as an intelligent person, you must know what makes you happy and how can you achieve happiness for self and others. If you are frustrated with life, you perhaps don’t understand yourself and the world. Under such situation, how can you be called intelligent?


5: Can You Synthesize Knowledge?

Intelligent people are not great scholars. They are rarely highly educated from the top business schools. They don’t waste their time learning something which they are never going to use. They have the ability to learn from anyone and from everyone. They have the ability to use the knowledge of one field into another domain. They are not domain expert but experts of life. They see unity in diversity as Einstein said, “’All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” If you can use your knowledge of art in science and the theories of science in religion, you are intelligent. If you can’t discover the connections between disparate things, you can’t be called intelligent.

6: Can You Predict People’ Behaviour Accurately?

Intelligent people are able to not only predict their own behaviour in a given situation but also able to predict the behaviour of other people, they are dealing with. They are hardly surprised when people behave in a particular way because they already know the people deeply from their past behaviour. While ordinary people’s expectation of themselves and others are based on idealism and wishful thinking, intelligent people’s behaviour is based on realistic assessment. Hence they are never disappointed with people as their expectations are realistically accurate.


7: Can You Predict Future Accurately?

While most people find the future quite unpredictable, the intelligent people already know the future before it comes. Hence they are always ready for the future. Because of their accurate knowledge of the people and the laws of the world, they not only predict the future but also make their future. While their predictions may not always be absolutely correct, but like good archers, they always shoot the arrows very near to the bull’s eye. Their prediction of future is rarely off the mark.

8: Can You Prevent Problems

While ordinary people solve the problems as and when they arise, the intelligent people are able to prevent the problem itself due to their accurate knowledge of the cause and effect. They know that nothing happens in this world at random and that everything happens due to some cause. Hence by preventing the causes proactively, they are able to prevent the birth of problem itself. Albert Einstein said this very wisely, “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.” 


Are You Really Intelligent?

If you feel that you possess most of these qualities, you are highly intelligent notwithstanding your academic qualification, your IQ score or your income. If your answer to most of these questions is in negative, you can’t be said to be intelligent despite all other indicators establishing your intelligence.

*Article first appeared on Independent