Top 20 Qualities of Smart People In today’s competitive world, it pays to be smart. No matter how smart you are, I am sure there is something you could “get smarter” about. Below are some qualities of smart people. As you read the list, ask yourself: Am I as smart as I could be in this area? How could I get smarter?
- Make Decisions Intuitively
Smart people listen to and follow their intuition. They know how intuitions and insights come to them and are tuned-in internally to make wise decisions.
- Are Self-Aware
Smart people are aware of who they are— strengths, weaknesses, personality, values, etc. As Confucious once said, “He who knows others is wise, he who knows himself is enlightened,” they know that the most important (and interesting) thing to know about is “self.”
- Use Active Reflection
Smart people reflect on and learn from past experiences, finding out what works and what doesn’t, and then adjusts their course of action as needed. They think about things before jumping in, and also take the time after-the-fact to actively reflect to fully understand what happened or didn’t happen.
- Think Out-of-Box
Smart people can easily entertain new ideas, thoughts, and ways of doing things. They crave progressive and forward thinking information, concepts, and people. They often come up with new and radical ideas on a regular basis.
- Have An Open-Mind
Smart people are open to different perspectives and see potential where most people don’t. They would agree with what the quote, “A mind is like a parachute, it only functions when it is open.” They are comfortable with paradoxes and can relate to many sides of an issue or opinion.
- Are Responsive
Smart people recognize and respond quickly to opportunities and people. They act and react fast, and take care of what needs to be taken care-of, well ahead of schedule.
- Are Resourceful
Smart people don’t have to know it all, but they do know where to go to get whatever information, resources, training, education that they need. They are well-networked and have people to call on for resource referrals.
- Question Authority
Smart people think for themselves. They do not blindly believe things so-called “experts” say, in fact, they ask deep questions to discover their own truth.
- Upgrade Their Brain
Smart people stay smart because they are committed to being a lifelong learner. They continuously learn new things, and stay current with their skills, attitudes, and beliefs.
- Have a Sense of Humor
Smart people do not take themselves or life too seriously. They recognize the importance of finding the fun in the irony and the comedy of everyday life.
- Take Risks
Smart people are willing to try out new things, knowing that if it doesn’t work out as intended, failure is often cleverly disguised as a learning opportunity. They “swing out there” often, and it usually pays off.
- Trust Themselves
Smart people believe and trust themselves first and foremost. They don’t have to check with others to make decisions, they instinctively know what is right for them and they go for it!
- Write and List Things on Paper
Smart people have a well-developed life strategy that includes a written life vision/mission, purpose, and goals statement. They also write lists—one for “have to’s” and one for “want to’s.”
- Are Productive
Smart people get things done, through whatever organizational/time management system that works for them. They make the most of each day and take action on important life tasks each and everyday.
- Use Discernment
Smart people are able to discern (see clearly) other’s reasons and motives, so they selectively choose who and what to align themselves with. They surround themselves with only the highest quality people, programs, and places.
- Read, Read, Read
Smart people tap into the collective brain power of others by reading books, magazines, articles—anything that is helpful for their own development. They are also able to filter out the information that fits for them and let the rest go.
- Value Learning
Smart people value the process of learning for learning’s sake. They do not just learn for a specific end—to get a certificate, degree, title, etc. They learn because it is intrinsically rewarding for them.
- Teach Others
Smart people are the teachers of the world, who share their knowledge with other people. They put themselves out there so the rest of us can benefit, and in exchange, their own learning grows and develops because they are actively talking about, researching, and understanding their subject.
- Reinvent Themselves
Smart people do not like to stay the same, they love to grow and develop. They often play with their image, brand, company name, and expand or change it entirely. To stay ahead of the game, they often reinvent themselves time and time again.
- Are Students of Life
Smart people not only know about specific subjects and topics, but also about what it means to be a human being at this time in our evolution. They are insatiably curious and want to know more about becoming bigger and brighter, as a result they naturally evolve.