Being proficient in math or science doesn’t automatically imply being intelligent.
In actuality, some of the sharpest individuals are those that think independently, question conventional wisdom, and aren’t readily swayed by what other people believe.
This essay is for you if you value independent thought and the capacity for critical thought.
Let’s go through the top ten indicators that you are a clever individual who thinks for oneself.
1. You’re not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Stephen Hawking
The capacity to go against the grain and cast doubt on conventional knowledge is one of the first indications that someone is intelligent and independent-thinking.
It’s simpler than ever to follow trends and embrace ideas and methods of doing things, thanks to contemporary technology and well constructed filter bubbles.
But conformity prevents you from realizing your full potential and may even work against you.
That’s why you’re prepared to inquire “Why is our workflow and method this way? in professional situations.
Couldn’t we provide our goods for less money?
You won’t take “Because that’s how it’s always been” as an answer.
Even if they defy accepted wisdom, you aren’t scared to aggressively seek out novel insights and viewpoints.
Additionally, it implies that you are open-minded, responsive to new knowledge, and unafraid to alter your opinion if evidence emerges that contradicts your earlier convictions.
2. You’re objective and fair-minded
“Objectivity is the cornerstone of a good judgment.” – Learned Hand
The facts, or what they can see and learn, are always what really intelligent people are concerned with.
If you can put your feelings aside, stand back, and consider the problem logically in tense social settings, such in an argument, then you’re a clever person.
You are also aware of the impossibility of real objectivity. Every person has a pre-existing, individual prejudice.
You are aware that your best course of action is to collect as much raw facts and evidence as you can in order to make the most logical choice possible under the circumstances.
Instead of just accepting other people’s beliefs, you may use this to make educated judgments and build your own opinions based on facts and logic.
3. You have a curious mind and you’re always asking questions
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein
Smart folks tend to be the inquisitive sorts. They take their time drawing any judgments.
Gathering as much information as they can takes time.
You do this by asking questions and raising your hand, which is a tried-and-true strategy.
There will always be important facts concealed under enticing inquiries.
It may make project briefs clearer, bolster arguments, or even debunk certain misconceptions to convince others that there might be a better way to solve their issues.
Asking questions enables you to acquire a more complex and well-rounded viewpoint as well as to explain your own views and opinions.
This is all possible thanks to a few queries.
4. You have a rich imagination
“The imagination is the golden pathway to everywhere.” – Terence McKenna
The ability to recall information and to follow directions is just one aspect of intelligence.
If someone exercises their memory sufficiently, they can very much accomplish that.
If someone is genuinely clever, they can think for themselves and don’t need rules as crutches.
You may count on their own abilities to elevate commonplace items to absolutely outstanding status.
You have the intrinsic capacity to approach a problem with interest and to look at it.
You flip things around and think about what else may be going on instead of taking things at face value.
You may come up with fresh ideas and see the world from a different perspective because to this capacity for imagination.
It also enables you to comprehend other viewpoints and sympathize with others.
This brings up the following point.
5. You’re able to empathize with others
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli
When people open up to you about their problems with relationships or with finding the right job for them, you can easily see yourself in their shoes — even though you’ve never had a similar experience.
Your ability to empathize with others comes from the fact that you can not only actively listen to what they’re saying, but you can also tell from their body language that it’s been hard on them.
They seem to deflate and shrink, expressing how small and sad they’ve felt after their partner left or when they lost their job.
You can read from the hesitation and softness in their voice that this isn’t something that they usually talk about — meaning that they trust you enough to know about this side of them.
People aren’t often upfront about what they’re feeling, so it takes a keen eye to respond to them in the way that they want to be responded to.
This is how you’ve built lasting relationships over time. You can read between the lines and through their actions and tones.
This also means you’re open-minded to other people’s experiences and ideas, which is important in developing your views.
Empathizing with others helps you avoid confirmation bias because you consider multiple perspectives rather than just your own.