Intelligence Is Overrated. These 8 Things Matter Too.


A cursory and simple way to look at success and mastery is to consider it the product of sheer luck, rare genius or heredity.

To make this conclusion is to focus exclusively on the suddenly of success and neglect the gradually (the process) that make up the substance of good fortune.

Intelligence is very important but it’s not the no-brainer ingredient for success. People of average IQs can run circles round people with high IQ in terms of success, achievement and purposeful living.

This is what makes me think intelligence is overrated. The complementary qualities that makes for success can be developed by anyone, making success available to all. However, It is easier said than done to develop the following qualities.

1. Grit

Grit describes your personal staying power. According to Angela Lee Duckworth, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals…Grit is sticking with your future, day in day out, not just for the week, not just for the month but for years and working really hard to make that future a reality…Living life like it’s a marathon and not a sprint.”

Does this describe something you have? If you are wanting, start exercise your GRIT muscles today.

2. Desire

Nothing can replace desire. It is the fundamental force for change. Nothing really happens unless it is strongly desired. This must not be confused with wishful thinking or lazy daydreaming. True desire usually find expression in action. Like Mike Murdock said, “Pursuit is the proof of desire.”

3. Determination

Determination is an effective measure of grit. It is a can-do attitude. A sheer force of the mind that taps into the core of a man’s motivation, whatever they maybe. It happens when you choose not to let obstacles stand in your way. When after every fall or failure, you choose to rise up and try again instead of accepting defeat, you have enrolled in the school of hardknocks, where only the determined survive.

4. Positive Attitude to failure

Success will elude him who is so afraid of failure as not to try or so afraid as not to make another attempt. Failure is often a stepping stone to greatness when you choose to fail forward and when it is interpreted as an event and not a person.

5. Clarity of purpose

I believe in the anecdotal saying that the world usually makes a way for a man whose words and action shows that he knows where he is headed. You have clarity of purpose when your steps are calculated and consistent, when you focus on results and not excuses or activities, when you refuse to settle for less than you are capable of becoming.

6. Focus on Incremental growth

People want to have something and they set goals like magicians or like Aladdin making a wish to his genie. Your success won’t arrive on a magic carpet. You won’t suddenly arrive by flight. You must be willing to endure the often mundane experience of preparation and daily growth.

John Maxwell often counsels that we do not always need to make new decisions or resolution (except you are on the wrong course) but we need more effort in managing key decisions on a daily basis.

Trust me this requires tough minded discipline. I guess this is why most people are disappointed with motivational speakers. Maybe, they speak to that part of us that tells us we can change our lives in a day. Nothing could be further from the truth.

7. Humility

Success in the long run remains with those who refuse to be impressed with themselves, who consider themselves as lifelong learners and are in the process of becoming. They don’t learn in order to compete with others but to be an increasingly better version of themselves every day.

8. Execution

This is the ultimate skill of success. This is the focal point where intelligence and the great personal qualities converge to translate vision into reality. It is the ability to show people your dream instead of telling them. 

You have it when your actions outweigh your talk or when you can at least do as much as you talk. It is good to affirm yourself as the best. More importantly, show it through superior execution, course correction and results.

Let’s have a conversation

What additional personal qualities do you think should be on this list? Please feel free to make a comment below.


One response to “Intelligence Is Overrated. These 8 Things Matter Too.

  1. good work friend.
    Acts 1:1
    d teacher’s message is his life. as yu press towards the mark of the prize, take heed to yurself (first), and the ministry yu hv been given.
    the very best is my prayer for yu.

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