“What is the definition of an Intelligent human being?”
Wow, that’s a tough question, isn’t it? In fact, it might take a long time to explain this and what it really means. That’s because it doesn’t really have to do with what you know, but what you think about what you know. Sorry, didn’t mean to confuse you any, I just wanted to set the stage for something in depth and truly educational. If you’re confused, either you will turn away and read something else, or you will continue in curiosity. I hope you continue to read, because that is one sign of true intelligence.
True intelligence is wanting to learn more. It starts with a mindset.
There are two distinct mindsets of the human being. One is called “Fixed” and the other is “Growth”. Yep, that’s the foundation of the human intellect…. whether we think we know what we know naturally or if we feel we must be constantly learning and becoming more intelligent as we go. To some, the choice is obvious…but to others, there’s a different view. Let’s examine them both, shall we.
The Fixed Mindset
This state of being reflects a character that sees themselves as a constant level of intelligence, as opposed to someone else’s constant. It means that what there is a fixed ability within each one of us, some greater than others and that’s the extent of it. To them, no amount of learning can greatly change the constant. Either we are intelligent or we are not.
Either we naturally have skills to perform certain things or we don’t. Yes, we can teach and we can learn but only to a point and then our abilities reach a plateau. This view places people at different points on the “smarts” spectrum, meaning some are just smarter than others and that’s that. Hmm, yes, some people think like this and it can be convincing at times-It’s also just as true to some as with growth.
Imagine each human being gifted with a certain level of intelligence at birth. Either they can learn their fullest potential or they can fall short. The point is, with the fixed mindset, there is a potential. That is the true meaning of this word many of us have heard in school. Reaching the full potential would mean getting no further once you get to the top! Teachers advocate for this, and so do parents.
The Growth Mindset
With this vastly different viewpoint, intelligence is indefinite. There are no limits to how much can be achieved, thus potential doesn’t really exist in the same sense. However, potential is seen rather as the potential to be anything you wish. Instead of hearing “full potential”, you might hear “the potential to be anything, do anything and say anything you desire with the right stimulus”. Yeah, that was a long definition, and it was my own opinion.
The growth mindset is one that never stops churning, never stops being curious and open to new ideas. Instead of looking for validation for what one already knows, the growth mindset asks questions and listens to the accomplishments of others in order to learn more. Validation, to the growth mindset is pointless, for validation means you need others to reassure that you are worthy. Worth has no place in intellect because intellect is knowing or not knowing.
Contrary to the fixed mindset, worth is replaced with desire. The desire for education grows intellect, feeds it and helps it spread more intellect.
Do these mindsets both have negative traits?
The fixed mindset allows you to be content in who you are, void of validation that is. If you have an audience, fan club or the like, you will be happy in that state. In your mind, there will be no need to learn more because you seem to like your present place in life. This contentment can be valuable for some. There is no pressure to be anything more and you can enjoy what you already know.
You can also teach others and gain a great worthiness from this. Unfortunately, you will not go any further and validation tends to run out at some point. This is the downside of having a fixed mindset.
The growth mindset has many obvious perks, as you already know. Knowledge is endless and there is truly no limit to what you can do, at least that’s what I’ve been told. Unfortunately, we are mortals and only have a certain amount of time on earth to learn. In the growth mindset, we know that so much will be squandered at death, unless written, passed on and utilized.
So, what have we learned? 😉
I hope you enjoyed picking at those scabs in your brain for a while, in case you have hard places up there. Whether you believe humans are fixed or constantly growing, intellect is important. Share this with others and see what they think. This is a great conversation that can keep them talking and learning.
Oops, did I let my opinion slip out again? Guess I will continue to learn something new about that too.