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The Smartest Person in the Room

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Is Smart Overrated?

What does being ‘smart,’ actually give a person? Does it help them be happy? Will it help someone earn a living (maybe)? Will it help make them friends (depends)? Will it enhance their peace of mind (questionable)?

I am fortunate to have been born healthy, with a good mind. When I was in high school, being smart was not cool. Since I went to 3 different high schools, I needed to fit in more than I needed to show my smarts. I learned to adapt, to pretend, to act nice and funny… not smart. Anyway, girls aren’t supposed to be smart, right? (cough, cough)

Appreciate the Journey

On my journey to learn to be myself, I’ve come to appreciate the things that make me unique. My troubled upbringing and other life struggles have made me resilient and resourceful. My Capricorn’ness’, has provided me with common sense and an organized mind, but I had to learn to find serenity. I also had to learn how to:

  • trust people
  • stand up for myself
  • appreciate ‘everything’, (including “negative” feelings, etc.)

Being smart didn’t help me learn to do those things. Having self-compassion did. Being willing to change did. Learning to ‘trust but verify’ did.

Appreciate Myself As I Am

No matter what my level of intelligence, someone will always be smarter than me. Worrying about which college I go to, what courses I take, what my ‘major’ will be, can take a lot of a person’s time and energy. There’s advice flying in from all sides. Comparing my smarts to someone else’s is useless.

The important thing is to do my best. If I can take the steps I need to, then I can leave the outcome of the situation to larger forces in life. I know this goes against a lot of conventional wisdom, but I see a lot of anxiety being created that doesn’t serve any purpose.

The better I know myself and appreciate what I have (do you have food, clothing and shelter today? if so, you’re better off than over 800 million people in the world), the easier it is to have peace of mind. The more I appreciate what I have, the more likely I am to be grateful and calm in the face of challenges. No amount of smart can give me that.

Image credit: Learning workshop – MindEdge


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