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3 posts from June 2023

10 Signs of Intelligence (sent by Rolf)

I only scored 4.3 because I find it hard not to show off when I think I know the answer.

Illustration: From SaleenArt... A protective Nazar plate: these eyes protect you from being influenced by others. Think for yourself!

            Score yourself from 0 (low) to 5 (high).

10 signs that you're way more intelligent than you think you are

1. You never feel the need to prove to other people how smart they are. Intelligent people know that their actions speak louder than their words. You don't brag about your achievements or flaunt your knowledge. You let your work and results show your competence and skill. You also don't feel threatened by other people's opinions or judgments. You are confident in your own abilities and don't need external validation.

2. You read a lot and are constantly still learning. Intelligent people have a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity about the world. You enjoy reading books, articles, blogs, or anything that can expand your horizons and challenge your perspectives. You are always open to new ideas and experiences. You don't settle for what you already know but seek to improve yourself and grow.

3. Intelligent people aren’t afraid or ashamed to tell you when you don’t know something. Intelligent people understand that you don't have all the answers and that there is always something to learn from others. you are not too proud or stubborn to admit when you are wrong or when you need help. you are willing to ask questions, listen to feedback, and learn from your mistakes. you also respect other people's expertise and opinions, even if you disagree with them.

4. You are independent. You make decisions unaffected by societal pressure or expectations. Intelligent people have a strong sense of self and a clear vision of what you want in life. You don't let others dictate your choices or influence their values. You are not easily swayed by trends, fads, or peer pressure. You think for yourself and follow your own path.

5. They communicate clearly. You don’t see them using big million-dollar words. You understand exactly what they’re trying to say. Intelligent people know how to express themselves effectively and efficiently. They don't use jargon, slang, or obscure words to impress or confuse others. They use simple and precise language that anyone can understand. They also know how to listen actively and empathetically, without interrupting or judging.

6. They are simple. They seem to choose material things based on the intrinsic qualities and functionality as opposed to the image or status they are going to project. Intelligent people are not materialistic or superficial. They don't care about having the latest gadgets, the fanciest clothes, or the most expensive cars. They value quality over quantity and substance over style. They appreciate the things that matter most in life, such as health, happiness, and relationships.

7. They have a good sense of humor. Intelligent people can laugh at themselves and at life's absurdities. They don't take themselves too seriously or get offended easily by jokes or sarcasm. They can see the humor in any situation and use it to cope with stress and adversity. They also enjoy making others laugh and smile with their witty and clever remarks.

8. They are adaptable. Intelligent people can adjust to changing circumstances and environments without losing their composure or confidence. They can handle uncertainty and ambiguity with ease and grace. They can also switch between different tasks, roles, or perspectives without difficulty or hesitation. They are flexible and versatile in their thinking and behavior.

9. They are creative. Intelligent people can come up with original and innovative solutions to problems or challenges. They can think outside the box and beyond the conventional wisdom. They can also use their imagination and intuition to create something new or unique out of nothing.

10.They are humble. Intelligent people don't let their intelligence get to their heads. They don't think they are better than anyone else or look down on others who are less knowledgeable or skilled than them. They acknowledge their limitations and weaknesses and strive to overcome them. They also recognize their strengths and talents and use them for good purposes.


Image from SaleenArt.


Nurturing Our Ideas

To become a good source of ideas, you have to do more than write them down. Greg Satell has done a good job of describing the support system necessary to bring ideas to life.

Digital Tonto: 4 Things I've Learned about Ideas, 2023-Jun-18 by Greg Satell

...creating, parsing and evaluating ideas is a skill that must be practiced and honed over time. Here are 4 things to keep in mind.

1. Ideas can come from anywhere 

2. Ideas need to develop over time

3. Ideas need ecosystems

4. You need to let the muse know you’re serious.

So I plan to actualize these concepts in my life and work:

  1. I'm already in the habit of reading widely and exploring new places. To move up to the next level of idea nurturing, I need to LISTEN more carefully to other people's ideas. The Thinker's Toolbox is good but it requires being able to sit and take notes. Rolf Smith recommends keeping a slips of paper in your pocket (or purse) and writing ideas down as you hear them. Most importantly, when I hear someone spout a good one, I will tell them I'm writing it down and giving them credit. (Just as Rolf has instructed me!)

  2. To encourage ideas to grow over time, I'll get a small spiral notebook I can carry around. When I'm waiting around, I can flip through it and re-ignite some ideas.

  3. I already have an idea nurturing group of innovator friends. We talk about our ideas once a week. What I need to do next is tell people who might be affected by my ideas about my ideas and invite them to comment and connect with me in the future.

  4. To become more tenacious, I'm going to stick with something I SO much want to stop: maintaining my project list. It's disheartening to see ideas just sit there on the list because I don't have time or resources to act on them. I'm going to try and make my project list more enjoyable and fun to peruse.


Better Storytelling with 3 Reveals, from Ann Handley

I'm still on the road to become a good storyteller, and Ann Handley recently offered a great tip. (A-ha: better way to connect with the reader.)

Total Annarchy newsletter: Yes, You Did See Me on MasterChef, 2023-Jun-4 by Ann Handley

Every story should reveal three truths. I call this the 3 Reveals (because I'm not great at titles).


  1. Reveal the writer to the reader: Help the reader understand the writer.
  2. Reveal the reader to the reader: Help the reader see themselves.
  3. Reveal an idea: Help deliver an a-ha moment.

Any story is a kind of partnership between the writer and the reader.

When one of the truths isn't present—a story falls flat. Feels inauthentic. Is boring.


A balance between all 3 Reveals is key. Over-indexing on one can easily throw the whole experience out of whack, like a wobbly wheel on a shopping cart that keeps listing too much to the right. You fight it—and the whole thing becomes annoying.