Intelligence v/s Success

Richard Feynman Genius
Nobel Physics Laureate Richard Feynman, regarded as one of the genius people of 20th century.
Richard Feynman Genius
Nobel Physics Laureate Richard Feynman, regarded as one of the most genius people of 20th century.

While intelligence may help you succeed materially (in terms of money), intelligence does not necessarily guarantee that you succeed. Intelligence is usually referred to your analytical skills, logical/mathematical capabilities, capacity to solve problems, puzzles. That is why (because they are good at mathematics) IITians are generally known as intelligent people!

But the most intelligent people in the world are not really the richest billionaires and not all the rich people are geniuses! Einstein, who is known as the most intelligent person of twentieth century, is not an owner of a multi-billion dollar company! In fact most of the Nobel Laureate scientists are just academicians working in universities earning far less than the richest people.

Bill Gates, who was world’s richest person for a long time, is not a Ph. D. in computer science; he is a college drop out from Harvard University.  On the other hand, Smartest geniuses like Dr. Einstein or Dr. Feynman who understood and unraveled the profound mysteries of how universe and sub nuclear particles work were not billionaires! There were also super brilliant people who lived a very poor life. E.g., world famous mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, who died a pathetic death due to malnutrition and stress, lived all his life as a poor man!

But there are these smart people like Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who have effectively utilized their mathematical prowess and computer science genius to create a mathematical marvel called Google that has brought them enormous fortunes and made them multi-billionaires

Mathematical / logical / analytical intelligence is just one aspect of intelligence. According to the theory of multiple intelligences, there are many kinds of intelligence – Musical–rhythmic and harmonic, Visual–spatial, Verbal–linguistic, Logical–mathematical, Bodily–kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic, Existential. A business person may not be a great genius or a well educated person or possess great problem solving capabilities, but s/he is ‘smart’ enough to make a good amount of money! We can probably say that some people are ‘financially’ intelligent!

Keeley Hazell
Keeley Hazell. Image courtesy: The Sun

So what are the ingredients of (material) success? Essentially people sell something to make money, it may be a product, service, work, talent, skill or work or money. A money lender or a bank ‘sells’ (loans) money to make more money! A potter sells his pots to make money. A builder sells apartments to earn money. A teacher teaches to make money. A beautiful model or actress ‘sells’ her body/beauty or ‘sex-appeal’ or acting skill to make money.  For example, Keeley Hazell has become famous and successful by posing topless. She has made millions of dollars just by virtue of having awesome twin assets! So what earns you money is unique to everybody and it is not necessarily intelligence always!

Intelligence (analytical skills) is just one ingredient to success. There are other ingredients like hard work, smart work, social positioning, education, cooperation from friends and family, circumstances, passion to be successful and many times sheer luck. Usually it is a combination of these factors. But not all the factors are necessary.

So you need not be super intelligent to make money. Wiki How gives the following success mantras. For detailed tips, read the original article.

Method 1 of 3: Planning for Success

  1. Imagine becoming successful.
  2. Find the purpose or goal of your life.
  3. Define the meaning of success as you see it.
  4. Selectively lower your confidence!!
  5. Set a timeline for when you want to achieve your objective.
  6. Identify the things/skills/material needed to achieve your objectives.
  7. Be curious about life.
  8. Identify the skills you need to sharpen and the skills you can outsource.

Method 2 of 3: Execution

  1. Execute your small objectives, focusing on your main objective.
  2. Stay away from distractions as much as possible.
  3. Surround yourself with other people who are successful.
  4. Trust other people to do their job.
  5. Find a mentor.
  6. Gather as much information as you can.
  7. Look at what the numbers are telling you.
  8. Take calculated risks.
  9. Solve problems.
  10. Use technology, don’t let it use you.

Method 3 of 3: Redoing

  1. Be persistent.
  2. Accept that life is unfair.
  3. Remember that success does not guarantee happiness.
  4. Remove fear and doubt from your way of thinking.

So it is not always the intelligence but how you use it and many other factors are involved in success! Inviting your comments.. Please share your views on this!