It’s Not Rocket Science

When it comes to the conception of intelligence in western society, our perception and conceptions of intelligence are very narrow and limiting. For instance, it is commonly accepted that intelligence (though it is a subjective quality) can be measured through standardized tests. That is, it is believed that intelligence can be quantified objectively. Furthermore, often times, intelligence is often associated with a very narrow set of intellectual skills, and thereby, restricting the “possession” of intelligence to an elite few, and, in doing so, relegating the masses to an implied mediocrity. This misconception of intelligence as something belonging to a privileged few is extremely limiting in terms of our ability to successfully create an abundant life for ourselves.

The perceptions of what qualities, attributes, or intellectual skills constitute intelligence are revealed in some of the clichéd statements circulating in our culture. For example, when someone is describing the level of intellectual difficulty of a task, they will often say, “it’s not rocket science.” The implication here is that rocket science is the criteria by which all other forms of intelligence are measured. Thus, the revelation that intellectual skills such as logical reasoning and complex mathematical computations are constitutive of true intelligence.

Another example of intelligence being made synonymous with a very narrow set of intellectual skills (primarily mathematical and scientific reasoning) is the fact that the figure of Albert Einstein is, more or less, widely regarded as the pinnacle of true genius. In fact, often times, when a person demonstrates extreme skill and proficiency in their domain of expertise, they may be likened to Einstein in being considered the “Einstein of” their respective domain.

These seeming inconsequential clichés are actually quite revealing in the insights they offer us about what we perceive intelligence to be. In short, in our society intelligence or genius is advance knowledge in the domain of science and/or mathematics. Perhaps, such accord is often give to great western philosophical minds, but I would argue that western philosophy is, in fact, quite mathematical in nature (e.g. Kant’s critique of pure reason), and is, therefore, really in the same domain.

All of this is relevant to out interest in creating a more favorable reality for ourselves because in order to live out our purpose in life, we need to be able to utilize the intelligence (special gift) of others in bringing our own gift to the world.

The best example of this from my own life comes from my own purpose of sharing with others the message of the creative power of thought. Due to the intelligence of two of my colleagues, one a web designer, and the other, an internet marketer, I have been able to successfully get this message to many people, and thus, live out my own purpose in life. But, it is only because of the synergy of each of our forms of genius that this message can be disseminated. If, on the other hand, I lived with the misguided notion that some people are intelligent whereas others are not, I would never have been able to capitalize on the opportunity to combine my intelligence with that of my colleagues, that we can co-create something meaningful together.

Therefore, if you want to successfully live out your own purpose in life, it is vitally important that you let go of the misconception of intelligence being the birthright of a few, and seek to see the genius in everyone. If you do this, if you truly look for the genius in another you will find it. Painter, Musician, Dance, Writer, Singer, Philosopher, Mathematician, Mechanic, Computer Programmer, Chef, Sculptor, Athlete, etc., are all domains of engagement that require ever-deepening knowledge, and thus, profound intelligence. And, when you can truly see the genius in everyone around you, you are giving yourself a greater opportunity to synergize your intelligence with that of those around you, in order to co-create a product/service that would be beneficial for others, as well as your own success.

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