“Temperament is more important than IQ. You need reasonable intelligence, but you absolutely have to have the right temperament. Otherwise, something will snap you”. ~ Warren Buffett
Most People believe that thinking at higher level requires a greater Intelligence Quotient ((IQ).
They live under a myth that lack of higher IQ makes them less eligible to think smarter. But this is far from truth. IQ is not the sole aspect to determine how you think and live.
The Origin and Objective of IQ
To clear this myth, let’s briefly look at the origin of IQ and it’s tests:
The original IQ tests were developed in the early 1900s, and their main objective was to help predict which children were most likely to experience difficulty in school.
An IQ was originally calculated by dividing mental age (measured by the test) by actual age, and multiplying the resulting quotient by 100. The resulting number is your IQ score, and it’s compared to the rest of the population on a scale of 0–200.
While many tests have been developed since then, like the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), the Stanford-Binet, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Third Edition (WAIS — III), the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC-II), etc., the major thing all IQ tests have in common is that they measure a person’s cognitive ability — specifically their ability to solve simple and theoretical problems.
Impact of High IQ vs. Reasonable IQ
If you ever check out the highest ever IQs in the world, you won’t recognize many names. But on the contrary, you’ll also notice that many intelligent thinkers of the world didn’t have that high an IQ.
Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking had an IQ of 160, which is consider good, but that’s not as astronomical as compared to William James Sidis (an American mathematician, who had an IQ score of 250–300 or Tarence Tao, another mathematics genius (IQ score- 225- 230) (details here) .
Keith Stanovich, a professor of human development and applied psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada, and the author of What Intelligence Tests Miss, has stated that
“IQ tests measure an important domain of cognitive functioning and they are moderately good at predicting academic and work success. But they are incomplete. They fall short of the full panoply of skills that would come under the rubric of ‘good thinking’.”
Therefore, IQ isn’t everything.
“A high IQ is like height in a basketball player,” says David Perkins, who studies thinking and reasoning skills at Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“It is very important, all other things being equal. But all other things aren’t equal. There’s a lot more to being a good basketball player than being tall, and there’s a lot more to being a good thinker than having a high IQ.”
What world’s top successful people about IQ and Thinking?
Intelligent thinking does not entirely depend on IQ; rather it depends more on temperament and life-long learning, Warren Buffett and his billionaire partner, Charlie Munger, believed.
You can outsmart people who are smarter than you if you have two skills, as Buffett and Munger stated in one interview:
a. Temperament is more important than IQ. You can work with a reasonable intelligence, but you need to have the right temperament.
b. Secondly, you must be committed to life-long learning. Warren Buffet is much better in his 80’s than he was at a young age, as Charlie Munger pointed out. If you keep learning all the time, it adds up, and you have a wonderful advantage over others.
Therefore, don’t bother much about your IQ or other academic or professional scores, anyone can think smartly, if they decide to choose the right temperament and be consistent in their approach.
To learn more about how you should develop your thinking muscle, try out my book INTELLIGENT THINKING, where you will be surprised to learn what all is hampering your progress towards better thinking and decision making.
You’ll learn valuable lessons as well as actionable strategies adopted by topmost thinkers of history like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vince, Thomas Edison to name a few, as well the modern world smart thinkers like Elon Musk, Richard Branson and many more.
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