For years we have asked the question, “How smart are you?” rather than ask, “How are you smart?”. We have created a standard, called it IQ test, and measured everybody by these standards in a bid to answer a wrong question. Current research has shown that it is indeed a wrong question to ask “how smart are you?”, there are many ways in which one can be smart, and everybody is smart in one way or the other. The real question ought to be, “How are you smart?”. When you answer this question correctly you get to see that everyone of us has a genius inside, that the school system by creating uniform standards have overlooked. “How are you smart?”
This topic of smartness or intelligence is an area where there needs to be a paradigm shift, not only in some countries, all around the world. Not to get too technical, a paradigm is a way of looking at things, it is the lens through which we see the world. This frame of reference affects our beliefs, behaviours and sets our limitations or freedoms.
A paradigm is a way of thinking, usually arrived at as a conclusion of the facts at hand. The concept of Paradigms is a very interesting one, you can study the works of Thomas Kuhn (Professor Emeritus) and philosopher to gain more insigths into how paradigms work. A quick example though is the paradigm in the world at a time was that the world was flat. This way of thinking set the behaviour for those times. People rearly to ventured too far away from their houses for fear of falling off the edge of the earth. This paradigm limited exploration, limited adventure, limited the thinking of the people of the time and defined their freedom. After a while, some thinkers challenged this thinking with the paradigm that the world was round, as soon as this became proven, the world was literally set free. It is interesting to note however that paradigms do not just shift overnight, before the people who have strongly believed in a position will ever give it up, there has to be a paradigm crisis. This is a point where so many anomalies are noticed in the former theories that necesitates either blind ignorance or poignant questions. If the earth is flat, how come no one has ever fallen off, how come shadows are not along just one straight line all year long? As soon as paradigms shift, new truths emerge. I have gone through all that to say one thing, the paradigm that asks how intelligent or smart are you, has too many anomalies and is in the center of a crisis. How else will you explain the fact that Albert Einstein was rated as unintelligent in school to later become the smartest man that ever lived? How did Thomas Edison nearly pass for one with ADS Attension Deficiency Syndrome become the greatest inventor that ever lived? Why? Simple, because rather than finding out how people are smart, the systems have found out how they are not smart in the paradigm of intelligence that schools presently measure.
In the works of David Lazear, he discovered that human beings have multiple intelligences. Different people are smart in different ways. The fact that my IQ score is 140 or 50 doesn’t say how smart I am, it only says how possibly logic smart I am. David Lazear had 8 intelligencies in his research. I recommend you read his book – OutSmart Yourself! While I do not intend to rewrite his book :), I think there is a lot in their that will help you discover yourself and your sense of worth. The eight types of smart that exist are as follows. These are further grouped into 3 categories. And don’t box yourself, you might find yourself in many, there is a survey that helps you know your leaning.
Object based intelligences
1.Image Smart – This is the intelligence that people who love to think in pictures,shapes, colours e.t.c have the most. They like to paint, draw, match colours, find their way with a map, know how a room out to be decorated, doodle as they learn e.t.c. They are usually excellent when it comes to activities that involve using the minds eye. You can easily guess the kinds of careers they would be successful in.
2.Logic smart – This is the intelligence that uses, numbers, logic and math to form patterns. They like to see patterns in things that others miss. They are analytic, love to work with numbers, perform experiments e.t.c.
3. Body Smart – Learning by doing 🙂 This intelligence manifests in strong body awareness, connects well with activities peculiar to the body and hidden from the mind. Like how to dance, ride a bike, parallel park a car, run fast, walk on a rope, learn kung fu e.t.c.
4. Nature Smart – You have a strange connection with nature, you love the outdoors, you enjoy the scenery, you love animals, identify plant species, weather fascinates you, the farm appeals to you…this is you 🙂
Object Free Intelligences
5. Sound Smart – (I dear say this is strongest in Africa…but that was just me thinking out loud) You are very sensitive to sounds in the enviroment, you even remember past events by the sounds, various sounds and tones have visible effects on you, you can reproduce a rhythm having heard it once, your wife/hubby wonders where and when you heard all these songs.
6.Word Smart – you tend to think in words, you have highly developed skills for reading, writing and speaking, you like word games, making up poetry and stories, you enjoy debatting, remembering and telling jokes e.t.c.
7. People Smart – If this is how you are smart, you learn more from interacting with people, you learn more in a team environment, you have many friends, empathise with people, understand different peoples points of view. You are likely good at drawing others out, you are sensitive to peoples feelings and ideas. What you read in a book sticks less than what you had a friendly discussion about.
8. Self Smart – Hmmm, this is the intelligence that provokes “hmmms” :). You are very self aware, introspective, you are more likely to be in tune with your inner feelings, values belief and sense of purpose of life. You sometimes like to work alone, stay away from the crowd and range alone.You are very intuitive and are more self motivated than externally motivated. You are often strong willed, opinnionated and self confident, people naturally come to you for advice.
So the question goes to you, how are you smart? I’m sure reading this could help you come to a little understanding of my kind of smart as well :). The first step is to know yourself, then as you begin to settle that puzzle, all your friends and acquaintances will fall into perspective. If my daughter comes home with a report card that says failed? I know better, what was measured was not her smart.