Lesson 15: Smart Thinking versus Intelligence

Don’t get me wrong, a few days ago I thought smart thinking and intelligence were the same exact thing. Now imagine the amazement on my face when I realise they weren’t.

I said amazed and I meant AMAZED

Now, I’m not to be blamed people! It’s an easy mistake to make. I always thought that the intelligent and hard workers of this blue marble were the ones who made it, and the rest strived to be the former.

A week ago, I was wondering around my house (as you do), and I was very frustrated at the progress of my writing and my entrepreneurial ventures. I thought everything came to a near halt because I wasn’t intelligent enough, I didn’t understand concepts enough and I had to read more, more, more! After the wonder-about, I put on my shoes and decided to jump on the tube and go to Central london to forget about this ordeal.

As my friend spoke away about her day and issues, I couldn’t seem to focus and my mind would always wonder at how many more books I’d have to read on innovation and creative writing before I got anywhere. She sensed I was uneasy (as I wiggled about in the Starbucks couch every minute or so). I explained my situation and she told me to get up and get out my credit card. We went to the neighbouring shop, which happens to be a book shop, picked up this book and said “Read this, you’re looking at it all wrong”. A few beeps later, and a further depleted bank account, I put the book in my bag and thought nothing of it for another 2 days. 

On the third day, I took the book out and stared at it.

Smart Thinking: How to Think Big, Innovate and Outperform Your Rivals: By Art Markman

After a few pages I became hooked, and read it in a few hours. I was thinking more about what I knew in one specific arena of my life, rather than applying knowledge from other parts to solve things like my writing and entrepreneurship. Intelligence is about how well our  innate ability to think is but smart thinking beats IQ tests in leaps and bounds. It is the ability to “solve new problems using your current knowledge”.

Markman gives an example of James Dyson, now a household name and appliance.

Dyson was unsatisfied with the suction on his vacuum and “…noticed that the dust would clog the mesh of the bag” making it all the more inefficient. Now most people also noticed this problem but thought to only advance the original parts, thinking it would make it more efficient. They thought about how to filter the dust from the mesh bag than separating it completely. Dyson took it a step further and wondered why not redesign the damn thing? Using knowledge about sand mills and their problems with sawdust, he used cardboard cyclones to centrifuge the dust from the air that would enter the bag. Smart thinking wins Dyson $100 million dollars p.a.

If you have a few dollars to spare, and you had the same problem I had, I’d invest in this book.

The new and improved smart thinker,

The MicroRead

4 thoughts on “Lesson 15: Smart Thinking versus Intelligence

  1. I like this and thanks for the book recommendation.

    One of the greatest challenges we face is having the self-confidence (many of us!) to think BIG and not tag along doing what’s considered normal, acceptable and typical. When you think big, you scare people who do not. Then you have to muster up the charisma and leadership skills to get other people to come and hang out with you….It’s fun and do-able but not easy! I do it often and it’s like walking a tightrope.


    1. Thankyou! It’s always lovely to have interactions on the MicroRead.
      I couldn’t agree more with you. I think it’s harder than walking on a tightrope. I feel like I’m walking on a stretched piece of dental floss. It’s difficult and no one really speaks about the lows of success without it being romanticised or played in a 1 minute clip in a motivational movie.
      So here’s to our ever-growing confidence in smart thinking. *clink tea cups*
      Have a great day broadsideblog


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