The Dichotomy of Intelligence

I have a different interpretation of what intelligence is, which I have formed through experience. My interpretation of intelligence is that intelligence is a behavior directed towards a goal. Those who have high intelligence engage in behaviors which are extremely effective and efficient at achieving their goals in a holistic manner. Those who are less intelligent engage in behaviors with either take them away from their goals, or move them towards their goals in a sub-optimal manner.

With this in mind intelligence is an action and a behavior not a state. Thus a person who is intelligent engages in intelligent acts on a consistent basis, and a person who is not intelligent fails to engage in intelligent acts on a consistent basis. This is very different from the modern definition of intelligence even though they may appear to be the same on the surface.

Example: A person who cannot do math, who works each day and saves their money and goes home to a happy family would be considered rather stupid by modern definitions. By this definition though, in order to know the persons intelligence we must know what their goal is. Suppose their only desire in life is to have a happy family and save a little money, then by their goals, this person is actually highly intelligent.

Another example: A student double majors in math and physics, his goal in life is to have a great career, a happy family and save some money. He works very hard in both subjects to get good grades, but he does not socialize because he has no time. He enters the workforce with no career prospects and due to his lack of socialization he struggles to date, he is used to isolating himself so he does so even more until he eventually takes his own life. This person, would be considered highly intelligent by society yet by our definition, he is a walking idiot.

Thus if intelligence is the measure of a behavior towards a goal, then it begs the questions:

1. How does one find more intelligent behaviors to engage in which will take them towards their goals rather than away from them

2. Once one knows more intelligent behaviors, how does one engage in them?

Well to be honest almost everyone knows what they should be doing, they know more intelligent actions to engage in, they simply fail to do so. I hypothesize the biggest difference between Warren Buffet and the rest of the world isn't knowledge but rather the ability to get oneself to do what they know they should do. Quite simply the gap between Warren Buffets behaviors and what he knows he should do is very small in comparison to the average person.

As a result, how can you get better at getting yourself to be more intelligent, by engaging in behaviors which take you in the direction you want to go faster?

One simple way is Pavlovian conditioning. Simply set up your life so that you receive punishments for doing what you know you should not do and you receive rewards for doing what you know you should do. For example if your goal is to exercise each day you can make an agreement with a life coach to pay them $10 for each day you fail to exercise. You can make a second agreement that you will eat your favorite food for each day you exercise immediately after doing it. This kind of reward structure can help you to change your habits.

What else can do it? Changing the way you think about a situation, planning when and how you will do something, holding yourself accountable to another person for the completion of it,


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