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6 Commonalities Shared by Highly Intelligent People

6 Commonalities Shared by Highly Intelligent People

Plato. Newton. Einstein. Hawking. These are some of the most brilliant minds since the dawn of humanity. Despite the fact that each of them lived during different eras of human history, they all had many traits in common. While each of them may have been born with the gift of extreme intelligence, it’s what they did with this gift that cemented their place in the history books. The most intelligent people throughout humanity are known as such for the following reasons.

1. They’re adaptable.

Intelligent people are able to adapt to any given situation they find themselves in. They don’t make excuses when resources are limited; they find a way to accomplish their goals regardless of the roadblocks set up in front of them. For example, Isaac Newton invented calculus in the 1600s; obviously, he didn’t have the help of calculators and computers when doing so. Stephen Hawking has done more from his wheelchair than the majority of us have done with zero limitations placed upon us. No matter what adversity they face, intelligent people get things done.

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2. They know there’s more to know.

The smartest people in the world know there’s always more to learn. They’re never content with knowing what they know, and strive to expand their knowledge every day of their lives. Ironically, the smartest people in the world know they will never know everything, while those who are quite limited in their knowledge actually believe they know all there is to know. The true mark of an intelligent person is the ability to admit that there are other, much smarter people in the world.

3. They remain curious.

Like I said, smart people never stop learning. They’re constantly pondering why things are the way they are, and never quite become satisfied with an answer. Scientific theories are constantly being improved upon, as there’s always more to understand about them, and always ways to use this new knowledge to figure out more about our world. Once the scientists and mathematicians of the world figure out one vital piece of information, they use it to work toward understanding more.

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4. They ask intelligent questions.

Smart people ask smart questions. They don’t ask questions that have just one obvious answer. Rather, they ask open-ended questions that challenge common ideas and make others see things from another perspective. By asking questions which do not have an immediately accessible answer, they force others to think outside the box, and improve the intelligence and capacity for knowledge all around them.

5. They’re skeptical.

Intelligent people take every piece of information they’re told with a grain of salt. You’ve most likely seen articles with seemingly obvious titles such as “Scientists prove overexposure to sun causes skin cancer,” and thought “Well, yea.” However, even though many facts are generally accepted by the general population, scientists are constantly trying to expand their understanding of these common facts, becoming more and more specialized in their knowledge of them. Using the previous example: although it’s generally accepted that too much sun causes skin cancer, a true scientist will want to know exactly how much sun exposure is too much.

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6. They’re open-minded.

Intelligent people are incredibly open to new possibilities and ways of thinking. Although they are skeptical about almost everything, since they are constantly seeking new information they will entertain any idea they come across until they have either proven it right or wrong. This open-mindedness is the the real mother of invention. Intelligent people understand that there’s no such thing as an idea that’s too crazy to work. While others might shun an idea that falls out of their range of understanding, intelligent people will take that idea and make it a reality.

Featured photo credit: Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson Visits NASA Goddard / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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