23 December 2014
What is intelligence? It sounds like an odd question, but whilst it might seem obvious on the surface, I think there’s a lot more to it than what you see at first glance.
All too often, people associate intelligence with formal education, yet I would argue that there is a difference between somebody who is academic and somebody who is intelligent. They’re not mutually exclusive of course, but I think it’s important not to limit intelligence to which university someone has gone to or how well they performed in their exams.
One of the best descriptions I’ve heard when it comes to intelligence is something Einstein – widely recognised as one of the smartest men in history – once said. He remarked, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.”
Personally, I think there’s more value in having the imagination to come up with ideas than having an understanding of something in theory or a list of impressive exam results. Whilst these things are good to have, they aren’t as powerful without imagination. Imagination is what drives innovation and offers us new ways of seeing the world.
There will be kids out there who don’t think they are intelligent because they don’t perform well in exams or enjoy the classroom environment. I was that kid once too, and let me tell you, if you have a great imagination; if you can engage other people or make them laugh, you’re intelligent.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.