Does Success Depend On Being Smart?
Do you value success as our society defines it more than being happy? If so, join the rest of the monkeys lying, cheating, and stealing. But if you want to be happy and healthy, then read this article. You will discover why smart people are not successful.
In today’s competitive society, the most-wanted and most-valued people are the ones with the highest IQs. The idea is that they will be brilliant and have a lot of potential in life. Unfortunately, IQ is not a template for success. The logical and rational thinking qualities of a person are also relevant. The world is full of exceptional people, and many of them are not successful. For instance, Albert Einstein, the smartest man ever lived, felt he was not successful in his own life. He had huge self-doubt. For this reason, he felt lonely because he could never understand what makes other people happy.
How Do You Determine Success?
Success is subjective, so the definition of success can vary from person to person. According to dictionary.com, success is a favorable or prosperous outcome: the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like. Achieving this definition can be disturbing. Some people are happy while others are not. Why is happiness not success? Achieving success creates another problem because it is both relative and competitive with other people.
Einstein himself said that “everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” In other words, to be smart, you must spend time thinking and analyzing everything. This notion can prevent you from becoming successful in others’ eyes. They may consider you to be a social outcast and a geek. This external judgment can also keep you from forming and expressing your truth. Because your mind will want to go back to what everyone else says, thinks, and does. In Einstein’s case, his mind went back to ethics. He stated that “Without ‘ethical culture,’ there is no salvation for humanity.” Although brilliant in his field, his success was limited in other areas. He was a founding member of the German Democratic Party, and later had leanings towards Baruch Spinoza’s philosophy. Therefore, he determined success as someone of value rather than wealth. There are many famous quotes by Einstein to look up on this.
When Is Happiness Success?
Happiness is subjective as well. Based on personal values, beliefs, and experiences, it is essential to a person. Psychology Today says it is different for each one of us because definitions depend on our situation and values. You can realize happiness at any point in time. But rarely will you have a perfect life or moment when you are happy all the time. In conclusion, it is useful to understand that success and happiness are not linear. Both can go up, down, or sideways depending on your mood, actions you take, and other factors.
This article’s purpose is to show that intelligence is only one piece in the puzzle that determines success. Other factors, such as effort expended to achieve your aims and life goals, also decide on so-called success in life. Yet this may still be a success as measured by society, not our personal idea of success. If we look at the list of Einstein’s failures, it will be noticeably short. He had a good IQ and had many ideas, and he was intelligent. But he failed to reach the success that he felt everyone else achieved at that time. When it comes to success, what is important is not necessarily your IQ. It is also your goals, your knowledge and how much energy you are willing to put into your work. Although, the real question to ask yourself is whether this success also achieves happiness in your life.
Why Is Success Measured in Wealth?
In his book “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill said that “the more you get out of life than you put in, the more success you will have.” The statement suggests that success depends on how much effort or energy we are willing to invest.
To understand this point, let’s take a quick look at where people are right now in society. And consider how this will change by 2030. The data of the current social status of the American population comes from the following indicators:
Average income: $49,764
Median household income: $61,372
Number of unemployed persons aged 16 and older: 9.7 million or 10.7%
Percentage of children in poverty (under age 18): 17.7%
The poverty threshold for a family of four: $26,500
As can be seen from the above data, many people in America are well below what is called successful. Meanwhile, there are increasing numbers of billionaires cropping un on this planet. In 2030, most American people will be relatively less wealthy than they are today. Only a tiny percentage of people will still be leading amazingly comfortable lives. Others will not have a chance to lead a life at all. Life has become more difficult. It is not just money, but also about health and happiness that determine success in life. Without even one of the three, your success in life is compromised. Income and quality of life are real issues for many when it comes to being successful. Money increases the quality of life. For many being smart doesn’t even enter it.
Technology, Capital, and Jobs
It is worth noting that this trend is not limited to America. Artificial intelligence or robots are automating jobs. These robots have already taken over millions of jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and other industries. The world’s largest retailer, Alibaba Group, is using robots to pack and ship products by recognizing a customer’s needs.
Let’s now look at some of the most financially successful people in history.
Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, is one of the most notable figures in modern history. He is listed among the world’s wealthiest people and has been called “the man who saved capitalism.”
Steve Jobs, the co-founder, and CEO of Apple Inc., became financially dominant due to his iPhone and iPad inventions. He is one of the most successful people in modern history.
Warren Buffet, an investment guru, is another phenomenally successful person because he made billions of dollars from his investments. He now ranks among the wealthiest people on earth.
Elon Musk, a driverless car pioneer and owner of Tesla Motors Inc., is also one of the world’s most successful people.
Jeff Bezos is a business magnate and founder of Amazon. He currently ranks among the world’s top five wealthiest people.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook Inc., is one person who became a billionaire at 23 years of age.
Overall, we can infer from these examples that becoming successful is easier than it seems. It does not take a genius or natural talent. Instead, it just takes luck, hard work, and determination to achieve your goals. More importantly, it takes knowing what your goals are. Being in the right place at the right time is a highly significant factor behind financial success. Big technology earnings are getting continually richer.
What About the Future?
Bitcoin may generate a new breed of financially successful people. These people will mainly gain from being in the right place at the right time.
So, if these people didn’t have high IQs, what enabled them to become successful? Also, why did Einstein feel he was a failure and was unable to appreciate his success?
If we dig deeper into this question, we may find that the difference is how much effort they exerted in achieving their goals. As we all know, nothing comes easy in life. Whether you are an ordinary person or a genius like Einstein, you must work hard to get good grades and get a job that pays well. Yet in the future, this may not be enough. What Einstein did to become successful was not necessarily the wisest choice. He just focused on his interest in mathematics and physics. Because of this he failed to understand the nature of humanity. That humanity created the atom bomb using his research. His simple equation of E = mc2 created the most destructive human force on the planet. So, beware of seeking success blindly as it can bring about personal emotional destruction.
At the same time, it is universally accepted among employers that people interested in a subject better perform their jobs. Those who are not interested tend to underperform. For instance, if you like working with teenagers, you will better understand them. Compare this to someone whose specialty is not education or teaching. It is regrettable to see that many people today are not interested in something. They may take up a particular subject because it seems attractive to them. However, they may not put enough effort into their goals. It is vital for those who want to achieve something to put more effort into what they are doing.
Your future depends on co-existence of success and humanity.
Be Interested in Something You Are Good At
I have also noticed that the most challenging part of achieving one’s goals happens not at the beginning. But during the middle and latter part of the endeavor. It would help if you thought about these points when you are trying to get your goals accomplished. Anyone can learn to like something they are good at. So, why toil at something you love if it does not serve you in any way. You will eventually learn to resent it. Loving music doesn’t make you a good musician. It can make you a frustrated and angry person. Especially when the piece you produce is continually below your expectations.
Satisfaction in doing something well creates dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, oxytocin, or the ‘happy’ chemicals. Adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine respond to stress and cause us to go into fight or flight mode. A small amount of the stress hormones can help you concentrate. Although, an excess of these chemicals will turn you into a raging tiger and may cause you severe physical consequences.
It is also important to note that Einstein was not born a genius. He became a genius because he worked extremely hard at his goals and was able to achieve them. You may be wondering what I mean by this. Sometimes, people are born with talents and abilities that easily allow them to achieve their goals. However, those talents don’t always make people successful.
Take, for example, Mozart or Michelangelo, who were both prodigies in the arts. Mozart was a genius whose talent made him successful as a composer. He was good at what made him successful.
It is useful to remember that it is not enough to be born with good abilities in a specific area. Because you still need to work hard at achieving your goals. Even top athletes need to train to achieve gold medals. The more you work and put effort into your objective, the easier it gets. This is the way to succeed at something.
I have noticed one thing that helps people achieve their goals is doing more than they are comfortable with. So, if you feel comfortable getting stuck in your comfort zone, it is a good idea to do less of that. Go for more challenging things instead.
Here I want to stress what I consider the single most crucial factor for success. It’s about taking small steps towards one’s goals and becoming more confident along the way.
“If you believe, you can achieve.”
To achieve the things we want to achieve, we need to have a vision of what we want to achieve. We also need to know why we want it. Achieving your goals is not as hard as it seems at first. You need to unleash your inner power and understanding. Then apply some basic lessons you’ve learned along the way. There are some challenges on the list that may currently be beyond your present capabilities. So, work on them step by step to reach the ultimate goal. Even if for a brief moment, take pride in doing simple things well. This effort will build your confidence to do more things.
Note that many of these tasks require extra effort, which is necessary to become an expert. Unless you have a passion for learning new stuff, pick one undertaking and do it as best as you can. In the end, you might be surprised to know that it’s not such a difficult thing to do.
“…our limitations are often more about our beliefs than our abilities.”
What Are Your Values In Life?
People have different values in life. The things that matter to them may not matter to you. What you consider as success may not be the same as what others regard as success. As mentioned earlier, “success” is relative and subject to one’s opinion.
What improves your quality of life is the decisions that make you happy and contented.
“Hard work produces results, but people who work hard and are happy do more work and get more results than those who are not.”
If you want to be successful, it is vital to consider giving up what you love most. If what you love does not benefit you, it will drain your resources and you will grow to hate it. Kill your best-loved projects if they do not serve you. Work hard at your goals, and when committed, that concentration fulfills you. Then there is a strong chance that you will achieve your goal happily when the time comes.
Being happy in life means being content with what we have and now and being passionate in our striving.
The 6 Key Points to Success
Learn What You Are Good At
Practice Getting Better At It
Become Passionate About It
Challenge Your Comfort Zone
Follow Your Own Path, Not The Herd