I am not the smartest kid on the block…as my friends and family will surely attest. My general knowledge is appalling. I’m a Trivial Pursuit failure. I have nightmares about that moment when someone says “Oh, not fair, such an easy question, EVERYONE knows that”, because inevitably, I don’t. I am not the one that can answer the children’s many questions about the universe, animals or history.
However, I have, on a few rare occasions, been called “wise”. Which has been the biggest compliment that can be bestowed upon me.
I love the idea of being wise. I love the idea of people coming to me for advice and guidance. To get my opinion or thoughts on something.
Clearly, I am not wise about everything. But what age has taught me, is that you don’t have to be smart at everything to be wise about some things. And being wise is not just about having knowledge, it is about being able to combine knowledge together with experience and some level of common sense.
For me, the path to being wise, is to start by being curious. Being eager to learn. To investigate. To read. To listen to others who have experience.
Whether it is at work, or at home with the family, when I feel unsure, I know if I open myself up to being curious, the answers usually come. And, in fact, it helps to consider yourself not very smart, because that is the key that makes you willing to learn more and open you up to other people’s opinions or ideas.
Sure, you probably don’t want me on your table at the parent trivia night at the school, but I hope that my colleagues and family will sometimes value my insightful views about life, work and how we can all bring the best of ourselves to the table.
Which is why being “Curious and Wise”, just got added to my vision board, is it on yours?
One thought on “Wise v’s Smart”
It’s interesting how often in our society we equate being ‘smart’ with the accumulation of facts and knowledge. Intelligence really is a multi-faceted construct and I think aspects of wisdom relate to being able to adapt to change and being flexible. People who are thinkers, creative, curious and flexible may/may not also be ‘smart’ or win Trivial Pursuit(!) but they’re the ones I want to be around. I do think that organisations, managers etc are much more likely now to think broadly about intelligence and the focus on emotional intelligence is increasingly important (and that is a good thing) and by the way, I would love to have you on my trivia table xo