The Candid Cuppa
Published in

The Candid Cuppa

A Flash Memoir Changed My Outlook On Intelligence

3 things that have a fair share in making you smarter

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Since intelligence is a multifaceted domain of psychology, it’s difficult to assess someone’s intellectual mindset by a few assumptions or ideals in our mundane world. Giftedness varies from person to person. There is always a way for growth regardless of our intellectual level.

A Flash Memoir

A little book taught me how sometimes ignoring facts, we underestimate intellectual minds.

A child psychologist Billy J. Burton, in his memoir, inscribed a little incident that startled him and changed his vision for good.

A mother brought her two teenage sons to get them tested. She herself had a boastful I.Q. status and had the same confidence for the elder boy, Frank.
She was proud of his intellect and told how generically popular he was as well as his uniform reflection.

As for the younger Joshua, she had no hope. Since he lived in his own world and had a strange mindset, his mother was not confident for him.

So, the writer tested both boys and got surprising outcomes.

His findings were altogether different from the mother’s perspective. Frank faked his assurance of how easy things were for him. His thoughts were inclined to success rather than originality and so he had a little trouble.

Joshua was ambushed by his brother, but he never gave up on creative thoughts, and results were in his favor.

That was startling for the mother. As the hopeless boy was in reality smarter.

After reading that book, I was in awe of how we are misguided by some of our ideals.

Even though sometimes he had little control over his instincts, Joshua was highly gifted. Here are the three lessons gleaned from that little memoir.

1. Voracious thirst for knowledge

Have you wondered why some children are enthusiastic about reading books on varied topics? Since their minds are not biased, they want to read anything under the sun just out of curiosity.

But growing with years they learn to set ideals — to judge books by what they have to offer and by the writer who wrote them — by norms and culture.

And, in that quest, they leave a part of their curiosity in their childhood.

It is pertinent to ensure the quality of reading, but what is the best way to judge stuff other than giving it a battling chance by reading.

That is the reason intellectual minds are eager to learn and they never take knowledge for granted. There is always room for newness. And so they are always open to alternative thinking.

Writer himself told in that book about Joshua’s strange thirst for knowledge. As he wanted to learn about mysteries of the world, rather than reading what others are reading, he read things he was passionate about. He was accepting his uniqueness.

During the test session, he was trying to be his true self, unlike his brother who was faking and bragging about some skills he never had.

But even in the contemporary century, when our norms are changing, still we judge books by writers, we judge speech by the speaker. Classic books are too difficult to digest for us. Why? Just because they were written years ago.

Does this imply the obsoleteness of classics? Certainly not.

I happen to know a mentor who is even above 65, but still passionate to learn even from his students who practically know little about life being a little over twenty. Instead of considering the speaker, he analyzes the lesson.

And so leaders are voracious readers. Despite their routines, they never give up on shaping their thoughts by reading.

So, help your understanding by challenging yourself to read enlightening stuff.

Image by GR Stocks on Unsplash

2. Seeking help from solitude

Normally humans love to blend in with crowds but intelligent people tend to stand alone. Leaders never follow the flow. Instead, they make a flow.

Have you wondered why they do things others have rarely done?

Because they have intrinsic motivation in solitude and so they sometimes prefer being alone and want to take such risks, others cannot.

It doesn’t mean intelligent minds are altogether antisocial nor it means, social butterflies have mediocre intelligence.

What I want to say is that intelligent people either prefer being alone or feel comfortable in like-minded people’s company.

Joshua was highly gifted but being bullied by his brother, he preferred his company which further groomed his mind.

Solitude has undeniable emotional value, as it tempts a soul to dig deeper into the brain — to seek originality from inspiration.

We are generally more productive in solitude. In such moments, we are our true selves, we break all facades. There is no mask of wisdom, strength, or assurance on our faces.

We are what we actually are in those hours and that’s why solitude assists in seeing through reality. It asks us to make a difference in the world by accepting and polishing our originality.

To accept the richness of yourself and thus to make a difference in world you have to accept your true self. And solitude is a gateway to that success.

3. Learning emotional intelligence if you have to

Normally we think if a person doesn’t answer back in Artemis Fowls’ style, he doesn’t have a decent intellectual level. But that is not always the case.

Since not all intelligent people have enough emotional intelligence to say the right things at the right time, assessing intelligence this way is not the right choice.

Both emotional and intelligence quotients have a fair share while reviewing intelligence.

Your humorous and sarcastic peers have a high intelligence level. That’s sure. But those who don’t move you by responses laced with witty asides, aren’t silly either.

As was the case in the book, where Joshua was shadowed just because he could not respond profoundly when distraught hit him. Still, he was more gifted.

There are cases when even intellectual minds are bewildered and cannot respond, as they should. And after a while, they think
Oh, God, I should’ve replied this way.

Bewilderment keeps their brain from functioning properly. As was the case with Joshua.

Timing is an important thing but if someone doesn’t have enough control over his instincts he can learn that by learning emotional psychology. As in life emotional and intellectual smartness have more or less similar value.

We know little about what happens behind curtains of brain, but we can guide our instincts anyway.


1. Unbiased thirst for knowledge fuels creativity and thus, boosts intelligence.

2. Solitude further opens the doors by tempting us to accept our uniqueness and work the way we are.

3. Learning emotional intelligence helps rectify our instincts in complex circumstances.

To make most out of our intelligence as well as to boost our intellectual giftedness, you and I have to do stuff that seems strange sometimes but is actually helpful. There is always room for improvement regardless of our intellectual level. And there is always a way for those who want to make a way.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Fiza Ameen

A nyctophile, truth-seeker gravitating towards human nature| Writing is my way of unlearning the patterns.