“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
So. Having been extremely fortunate throughout my life glancing off a lot of really intelligent <smart> people I generally agree with this thought. Generally in that you could misdiagnose the thought if you are not careful because confidence isn’t always god and doubt isn’t always bad.
Let me just say, in my experience, intelligent people are not overwhelmed in a sea of doubt they simply temper their intelligence with doubt.
Between sea of doubt and ability to temper with doubt lies a chasm. A chasm which can kill you if you are not careful.
Suffice it to say, really smart people are typically confident, they just also seem to have either of the two following additional attributes:
– strong thread of insecurity that forces them to not go blindly off into a stupid black hole of unrealistic overconfidence
– a fertile doubting, self-reflecting mind constantly reassessing and reevaluating
These two things could actually be one and the same, but in my experience the really good ones, the really smart ones, kind of lean in one direction or the other. All I know is that it seems to work for them. It hones their intelligence and keeps them grounded.
Oh. Yeah. Honing. Even intelligence needs honing. The good news is that intelligence is restless anyway so it all kind of works.
I have seen the sharpest people <and I mean really really sharp> wrestle with thoughts & ideas & points of view picking their way through a path of possible decisions never really 100% confident until they reach … ‘the moment.’
<… oh … side note … intelligent people also tend to be the best frickin’ listeners you have ever known … they are sponges of information and thoughts>
With that said let me add in one additional aspect when discussing intelligent people and doubt.
That is ‘the moment.’ The time when the decision needs to be made, the point of view clearly expressed or shit needs to be done.
In that moment … that very moment … the intelligent person clears their head of doubt. It is an intelligent moment of clarity. It is like a donut hole in doubt or insecurity or whatever gets wrapped around that brilliant mind that makes it so good. And because of that last aspect it is a bear <really difficult> to discern the difference between an intelligent person and a stupid person in ‘a moment.’
Because both are going to be clearly confident in the moment.
I have no huge insight on this to help you … sometimes you just gotta go with your gut in judging <assuming you cannot get some perspective outside the moment>. By the way … smart people can be stupid. Stupid in overconfidence. Huh? Overconfidence actually begets lazy thinking and lazy thinking is stupid.
<somewhere in there is a business life formula>
Intelligent people are never lazy thinkers. Never.
I imagine I felt like writing this to point out that sometimes ‘doubt’ can be a good thing. It is healthy in doses. It provides balance and perspective not just for intelligent people but for all of us. I like to say that maybe some doubt keeps us from being stupid.