Today, for an explanation: why the smartest people are not always successful, let’s turn to Alice Boyes:
- Smart people sometimes devalue other skills, like relationship building, and over-concentrate on intellect. Very smart people sometimes see their success as inevitable because of their intellect, and don’t see other skills as important.
Solution: Use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses.
- Teamwork can be frustrating for very smart people. When someone grasps concepts quickly and has high standards for their own performance it can create difficulties when working with others who take longer to process information and pick up concepts.
Solution: Be self-compassionate about your internal reactions and understand where they come from, but also learn to genuinely appreciate what diverse minds bring to a team.
- Smart people often attach a lot of their self-esteem to being smart, which can decrease their resilience and lead to avoidance. If a lot of your self-esteem rests on your intelligence, it can be very difficult to be in situations that reveal chinks in your armor.
Solution: Take an objective view of the benefits of working with people who are, in some respects, smarter than you. If you’re surrounding yourself with smart people, you’re doing something right.
- Smart people get bored easily. Being smart is not exactly the same as being curious.
Solution: Try taking a 30,000-foot view of when it’s worth tolerating some boredom to collect easy wins when it comes to your overall success.
- Smart people sometimes see in-depth thinking and reflection as the solution to every problem. Bright people are accustomed to succeeding through their thinking skills, but can sometimes overlook when a different approach would be more beneficial.
Solution: Notice when thinking becomes an unhealthy obsession.