The first question that merits an answer is what makes an individual smart. Is it the abundance of facts that one can memorize? Is it the above average, or exceptional, IQ? Perhaps, it is the wisdom to make a sound decision at the crucial moment, or knowing how to make the best out of the bad situation.
Maybe it is the ability to take as many aspects as possible into consideration before deciding on the future course of action. It is probably a good combination of all the previously mentioned traits.
Of course, if someone is smart and successful, it is hard to pinpoint what exactly is responsible for that person’s success and wellbeing. Truth be told, it is far easier to notice what these smart people don’t do, and arrive to a conclusion as to what is to be avoided. As long as we circumvent these negative things, the rest will come naturally.
1. They don’t overlook the possibility to save money
Prudence is a virtue, not to be mistaken with greed or stinginess. Being able to handle your finances and save, by avoiding unnecessary expenses, is an admirable quality. In fact, it is surprising how many small details there are, warranting closer scrutiny.
These seemingly meaningless expenses can be easily avoided, and the amount of money you can save can amount to something rather significant.
For starters, buying a tap filter can reduce the money spent on bottled water. Opting to refill a printer cartridge, rather than buying a new one is another judicious investment. Replacing light bulbs inside your home with those that conserve energy, is yet another wise choice. Utilizing apps to reduce credit card processing fees, or choosing a big bank as your provider, instead of your local town bank, is also a good decision.
The internet has an unfathomable amount of quality content, both educational and entertaining. Paying for a cable or magazine subscription is undeniably meaningless. Almost anything you are after can be found online, at cheaper price, either as a streaming service, or as an online news article.
The point is, learn how to fully realize the things you are already paying for or have at your disposal – that’s what being smart is all about.
2. They don’t heavily rely on others
There is nothing wrong with having friends, family members or coworkers you can trust and rely on. Everyone should have someone they can count on when things go south. Heavily relying on someone, however, only portrays you as powerless. As a smart individual, you should never indulge such a commodity.
You can have a brilliant mind, outstanding intelligence, etc. but if you do not put those traits to good use, then you will only come off as incompetent. When you are in need of assistance, pay close attention, see if your problem was truly difficult. In a great number of cases, it is our fear and insecurity that prevent us from acting.
There is always a thought “What if I only make things worse?” The thought is perfectly justified. The unwillingness to overcome such a fear on the other hand, isn’t.
3. They don’t act irresponsibly
Do not mistake this statement as “Smart people don’t have fun” or “Smart people are boring.” You can have fun, you can have a drink, or have a good laugh. Irresponsibility does not equal uninteresting, it only means you like to have an organized lifestyle.
Superior organization leads to greater efficiency, whether you are a student, an employee, a business owner, an artist, or a celebrity.
We all have certain responsibilities, and they are not always imposed by someone else. Putting them off for no valid reason is simply packing to travel into a more stressful future. Almost everyone experiences how being irresponsible tends to backfire, but smart people simply practice what they learn from such inconveniences.
4. They don’t feel defeated just because they need to reevaluate their convictions
Our environment, our parents, our education and our past are all responsible for forging our convictions and our perception of the world. It leads to a creation of what is referred to as “umwelt” which roughly translates as “self-centered world”. Umwelt is more connected to how we create the image of the world surrounding us by using our sense, but it can be extended to our point of view on philosophical matters.
The convictions we acquire throughout life are not wrong per se, but are very likely to be proven incompatible when exposed to an entirely new experience or more difficult questions that need answering. Also, if you move out and change the environment you are likely to witness different patterns of behavior, simply because education, or lack of education in some areas, resulted in the blooming of other other human qualities.
Sooner or later, our convictions are challenged and sometimes they will triumph, sometimes they will be trumped. Smart people constantly challenge their convictions; they do not discard them. They reshape them, and they allow them to grow proportionally with their new experience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to broaden your mind-set, you are not defeated if you gained something valuable.
5. They don’t dwell on their errors
To clarify, this refers to companies that manufactured a bad product, or movie directors who made bad movies, etc. It is not uncommon to come up with an idea for something that appears like a true masterwork for us, but once it’s realized, the general public may not be that impressed. It can feel humiliating and really unpleasant, however it happens, whether we like it or not.
When you are making something intended to be appealing to the masses, and in the end fail, start over again from scratch. If you want to impress, listen to your audience, don’t try to patch up the product, or make sequels, in an attempt to prove your vision was brilliant.
This kind of behavior will only cost you your credibility, and even when you manage to come up with something good, people might not even bother to give it a try. It won’t make you neither weak nor foolish, if you know when to give up. It will only give you more time to work on your comeback.
6. They don’t permit their past to hold them back
The past cannot be erased, and it does not come back to haunt us, it simply never leaves. We need to learn how to cope with it, and not allow it to interfere with our future achievements. If there is nothing useful to be recovered from the past experience, simply close those doors and let it go.
Past experiences shape who we are today, and our previous struggles can build a strong character, but people tend to use their past to justify their mistakes or behaviour. Perhaps we use these excuses to gain understanding from others, or to make it easier to forgive ourselves.
Still, if you acknowledge your flaws but refuse to do something about them just because you have an excuse, then you have chosen an easy way out, and that’s not what smart people do.
7. They don’t rely on good luck to solve their problems
“Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.” A good quote to be guided by when you invest your time and efforts into something. Hope for the best possible scenario is what motivates us, whereas preparing for the worst prevents us from falling apart. On the other hand, simply hoping for the things to work themselves out is no different from being lazy.
Luck should only take credit for a fragment of your success, considering that relying on it too frequently will only suffocate your ambition.
Besides, smart people would never permit luck to take glory for all their hard work. When you pour your heart and soul into achieving your goal, it would be disappointing to give good fortune the title of “major contributor”.
8. They don’t neglect important aspects of their business
One of the key factors responsible for success is attention to details or just paying good attention in general. When one is trying to be a smart business owner, he or she is generally governed by the idea that with a quality product, success is guaranteed.
The logic is not entirely flawless, since even if you can offer a top quality product at a better price than your competition, you are still a far cry from a lucrative business.
The absolute necessity for a successful selling period is credibility, meaning you will need to have a good advertising tactic. This implies striving towards omnipresence and professional appearance, which brings us to the most efficient tool for spreading this kind of brand awareness, and that is your website.
The impact of the website should never be underestimated; people will judge you as a professional based on your website design, its responsiveness, authority and its content. There are numerous people who offer an amazing type of service or products, in person, but simply look like amateurs online.
Start off by finding a good web hosting service, to ensure your sites responsiveness, proceed with quality design, and finally, eloquently describe your product or service.
Clearly, this is a single example of an important aspect, there are others as well. like providing a good customer service and creating efficient incentive plans etc. But the point is never to push in one direction. Always work on numerous fronts.
9. They don’t hesitate to learn from their mistakes
Mistakes are inevitable. Sooner or later something goes wrong, and an unaccounted for variable emerges, and places a grave dent in our previously well-laid schemes. You can’t always have everything under your control, and we do not have the degree of awareness necessary to view every possible angle.
Mistakes are there to remind us of our flaws, and force us to mitigate the impact they have on our lives. Honestly, mistakes can teach us a lot about our lives, and ourselves, but only if we let them.
Learning from your mistakes means finding what is worth salvaging from your unfortunate experience, realizing what went wrong and finding a way to avert it in the future. Smart people use this input to work on themselves, and change the things they have the power to change.
Arrogant people look for excuses, and choose to blindly believe in their judgement without any retrospect. Not only does this kind of behaviour hinder your future success, it also drives people, and allies, away from you.
10. They don’t give up on their ideas just because other people don’t agree with them
I know that it was stated how knowing when to give up and start anew is a good thing, and how being too stubborn or pushy will ultimately yield bad results. Well, a wise person knows when he or she should push the envelope and stand firm when the situation takes a turn for the worst.
There is a difference between when someone gives your idea a chance and did not like it in the end and someone not giving your idea a chance at all. We are all entitled to constructive feedback on why our ideas or products are not satisfactory.
If someone wants to discard our efforts based on a hunch, do not let them. Fight for your chance to shine, or try finding someone else who will hear you out and appreciate your idea.
There is always a possibility that someone is intimidated by your expertise; thus that person wants to hinder your development. If you want to publish or launch something, look for more than one opinion. Even if the first one is flattering, look for more.
Constructive criticism can be used as a precious insight for the future.
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