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7 Signs You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are

7 Signs You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are
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Stop for a moment and ask yourself if there was ever a time (or times) you’ve arrogantly said or thought: “I’m too smart for this.” If you’re someone who always believed that you’re Mr. Smarty Pants, you may want to take a step back and contemplate. That kind of thinking can work against you in life and in work.

So while it’s difficult to face the truth, let’s entertain the possibility that you may not be as smart as you think you are.

Read on and check if you have the following signs:

1. You’re more of a talker than a listener.

And that’s putting it nicely.

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You like the sound of your own voice, with or without you knowing it. People don’t come to you to talk about their problems or even celebrate their successes because you always end up talking about your own problems and successes.

If this sounds like you, consciously decide to listen and focus on the what the person is saying the next time you’re in a conversation with someone.  Don’t try to upstage them, just listen.

2. You show off only the good stuff and make some up.

You hide your true personality. You fake it. Big time. While it’s good to always be at your best when meeting important people, you take it to a whole other level: You lie so that people have a better impression of you.

Smart people value truth and know better than to hide for the sake of looking good. Showing only your good side and adding some special effects will tire you in the long run.

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3. You’re always in the middle of a storm.

You always find yourself in the middle of conflict. And when you think back on it, you either caused that conflict or you added fuel to the flames.

Smart people, on the other hand, either don’t get involved when there’s nothing they can do or do their best to help end the conflict. Try to do the same.

4. You discourage people instead of lifting them up.

You discourage people, not just by saying so outright but also by not giving them the time of day. In a way, you’re telling them that their ideas or their problems are not worth your time or your (perceived) intelligence.

Smart people help encourage others by actually paying attention. They listen (note the first sign) and share what they know. If big shots like Richard Branson and Adm. William McRaven, commander in the U.S. special forces, can take the time to answer letters from kids, you can spend a few minutes encouraging people.

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5. You prefer lowbrow entertainment.

You don’t challenge yourself with difficult subjects and are content to stick to entertaining yet hardly thought-provoking reading material. You also spend hours watching bad reality TV.

Real smart people thrive on reading books and watching films that spark their creativity and make them think and question. A few hours of intellectual reading could open up your horizons so give it a shot. You can start by listening to audiobooks if the thought of reading thick books is daunting to you.

6. You’re always so busy.

Your work life consists of you running around like a headless chicken. There always seems to be a problem that takes up most of your work day. You also find yourself doing all the work, all the time.

Learn how to delegate and ask for help. It’s a little arrogant of you to think that you can do everything for everyone. Make it a point to rest and spend time on things that matter in life, not just work.

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7. You’re a guy who sleeps around.

Let’s be honest, cheating on your partner isn’t exactly a smart thing to do. And science backs that up!

A study suggests that male sexual exclusivity is a sign of higher intelligence. Yep. Fighting your biological urge to “spread your oats” shows that you’re not just smart, but smarter than most because you don’t let your primal instincts get the best of you.

You may have been praised a lot when you were a child, a teen, or a college student because of your high grades and other academic achievements. That’s great. Ego boosts now and then are healthy and needed. But strive for more than just accolades.

If you truly want to be smart but find yourself guilty of the signs above, now’s the chance to make a change. Be a smarter, better version of you. Listen, be honest, prevent conflict, encourage, read, delegate, and keep it in your pants.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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