I think most of us at one point in time thought that in able to be successful in life that we have to be gifted or talented and even have a very high IQ. Then as we go along in life we meet and see average people doing better than the people who we thought would be more successful in life.
I’m sure you have a friend who you thought would go far in life and someone you know that you thought would never go very far in life. Then you see them several years down the track and to your surprise, you find out that the person you thought didn’t have much hope for is actually doing better than the person who you thought would be all that. You might even fall into this category; you finished your bachelor degree at university and then you meet someone who didn’t spend their years at school has actually accomplished more than you and is earning more than you.
There are plenty of these examples in life, where a blue collar job is doing better than a person who is in a white collar job. Don’t get me wrong, there are heaps of high wage paying white collar jobs and there are also heaps of low wage paying jobs… plus, high income doesn’t necessarily means that you are very successful in life. It just means that you are earning heaps of money … unless, if your definition of success means having lots of money.
Most of us would think that you have to have a high IQ to be successful. I personally met heaps of people and tried to understand the differences between the successful ones and the not so successful. I tried to find out the relationship between having a high IQ and a low IQ and success. Clearly, the conclusion is that you don’t have to have a high IQ to be successful. It may help having a high IQ but the determining and underlying factor to success is not how much IQ you possess, it’s beneficial but it is not the crucial factor to success. Having a high IQ is actually like a double edge sword, it can work towards you or even work against you. Having a high IQ can actually hinder your success and I will explain this to you in a moment. It is like an inbuilt curse that will stop you from having what you want in life.
Let me illustrate a real life story and example (for privacy reason I am going to name these two people John and Greg):
John and Greg are both my close friends for the past 15 years. I’ve personally been there, seen them progress and grow in life; I was there in the sad and good times.
About John; John is your so-called average guy, he’s the guy who doesn’t stands out in a group, doesn’t have much ambition in life. I once asked him what he wants to do and achieve in life and his response was “I don’t know,… live a normal life I guess.” So what are your plans after you get out of school? “…get a job I suppose”. John is not your A grade student, his more of like a pass or fail grade student. If I ask John right now what’s 7x7?... he wouldn’t be able to answer it, smile at me and turn the conversation in a joking manner. Despite that being said, John is a very good, kind friend whose friendship is second to none.
About Greg; Greg is your A grade student, your so-called the popular guy, the alpha male. Greg have great ambitions in life, he is overflowing of his business ideas. Greg can speed read, have photographic memory, excellent with number crunching and very creative lateral thinker. Greg is also a very good and a kind friend.
Ten years surpassed, Greg is working in a white collar job (financial service) and had finished his bachelor degree and John is a trade person (mechanic). Greg is renting and drives a nice car but complains about paying bills all the time. John is a house owner with 2 other properties that he is renting out. The words that comes out of John’s mouth are his personal jokes that would have you laughing for hours (lol),… yet John drives an average car. If you don’t know these 2 people personally and you see them on the streets, Greg would catch your attention, very successful with a nice car and dressed nicely in a casual semi formal suit. John on the other hand, well you wouldn’t even know his existence in his jeans, shirt and average car. Greg has traveled to several places and John’s question to Greg was… “Where’s Rome?” 5 minutes later I thought John was fooling around, but then I find out that he was serious about his question. I asked John how did he come about investing in properties, he looked at me puzzled and said (along the lines) “I didn’t know what to do with my money,… nice cars doesn’t really fancy me,… I always wanted a house with a nice fence and a nice pond in the backyard… then the next door neighbour was going overseas and wanted to sell their house… it had a garage and I hate leaving my car out in the rain and out in the sun because its not good for its body,… plus, it also had a lovelier fence and a bigger pond in the back,… so I bought it.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you live in jeans, shirt, drive an average car and don’t travel. I don’t intend to suggest that you sacrifice the things you want in life in able to get the other things. I also don’t intend to suggest that you live a simple life. That is not the moral of this story. I also hear you saying what’s IQ got to do with all of this.
As the saying goes “If you don’t know where you want to go, the chances are, you won’t get there.” First, to be successful in life you need to know what you want in life. John and Greg both knew what they wanted. Greg wanted to travel and work in finance and John wanted a house with a nice fence and a nice pond. Both John and Greg achieved what they wanted, so you can count that as a success. But in my personal subjective opinion John is more successful because he is happier in his current state, rather Greg with his complaints in paying bills and the end sprouting results of living the high life. Success means being truly happy in what you’ve accomplished and being truly happy in what you do. If your definition of success is about materialism (your entitled to your opinion), well in this bout; John is still more successful than Greg because John actually has more money than Greg.
• Personal assets minus debt owing; John has more money than Greg.
• Bank account statement minus personal debts; John has more money than Greg.
• Stress levels and positive outlook in life; John is less stressed than Greg.
Cleary, two different people who have different levels of IQ can accomplish what they want in life. As I mentioned earlier on, having a high IQ can work towards you and in most cases it can work against you. IQ is not the underlying factor to success, it is your ability to focus and concentrate on achieving your goal. Focus is your way of steering your actions towards your goals. Once you lose focus, you lose steering and control. When you lose focus, you lose your control and you lose direction.
Having a high IQ gives you an advantage in solving problems. This is due to the ability to think laterally, to come up with an unconventional idea in solving the problem. A person with high IQ can find more solutions in solving a problem than a person with a low IQ. If you present an item to a person with high IQ there are hundreds of ideas that will sprout in their heads. Compared to a low IQ, only several ideas will sprout.
Having plenty of ideas is good, but sometimes it can be worse. It can leave you un-decisive because there are too many options. That is the curse of having a high IQ; having so many ideas. People with high IQ tend to lose focus due to the flight of ideas in their heads. They are prone to starting things and not finishing what they started, this is because they moved on to a newer idea and other things.
I’m sure you remember the story of the turtle and the rabbit?... well the turtle had one thing in mind, and that’s to finish to the finishing line. The turtle didn’t think about his speed nor the time when he’ll finish,… the turtle didn’t even think about his chances against a fast running rabbit. Ok during the race, the rabbit lost focus. An idea came to his head that he should rest since the turtle is very slow, he thought he should take a nap because it will take awhile and the rabbit thought that he couldn’t possibly lose the race. Rabbit, plenty of ideas and lost focus: turtle, one idea and stayed focused. In the end, the turtle won and arrived at his destination. It’s not what you don’t have that will determine your success; it’s what you do with what you got.
The positive thing about having a low IQ is that it is less likely to get distracted; this is because it is focused at one thing only. All energy is focused into one thing, rather than sharing the energy to multiple things. People with low IQ tend to approach things in a simple and direct manner.
You know, having a high IQ can lead you to having hundreds of ideas of increasing your wealth, on the other hand it can also lead to hundreds of ideas of spending it. Do you need high IQ to be successful? Having a high IQ doesn’t always equal to success.
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