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Steve Jobs reveals the number one sign of high intelligence and it's not what you think

Having a good memory of what we learned doesn't make us intelligent. As per Jobs, there's something else that matters more.

Steve Jobs reveals the number one sign of high intelligence and it's not what you think
Cover Image Source: Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs announces the new iPad as he speaks during an Apple Special Event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts January 27, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Life has a way of humbling us down when we think that we are above others. In fact, the archetypical notion that intelligence stems from learning, memorizing and applying what we learned to our jobs has been smashed by several intellectuals in the past. Steve Jobs, technology innovator and co-founder of Apple Inc., had one such distinctive perspective about intelligence and it's not what one would normally expect. During his inspiring speech at the Academy of Achievement in 1982 as a 26-year-old iconoclast, Jobs put forward one of the best, yet most unforeseen, signs of intelligence, as per Inc. Magazine

Image Source: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs chats with a general at the Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Awards on June 24, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images)
Image Source: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs chats with a general at the Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Awards on June 24, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images)

While most of us would consider intelligence quotient to be directly related to how great our memory is, Jobs says otherwise. According to the tech pioneer, "being bright," is not about having a good memory but about, "the ability to zoom out." He gave an instance, "You’re in the city and you can look at the whole thing from about the 80th floor down at the city, and while other people are trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B reading these stupid little maps, you can just see it all out in front of you." Jobs added, "You can make connections that just seem obvious because you can see the whole thing." So, one's ability to make connections makes them a great innovator compared to those who stick to the obvious perspectives, as per Jobs.

Image Source: Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at All Things Digital June 1, 2010 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Jobs spoke about where he thought the industry was headed. (Photo by Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions/Getty Images)
Image Source: Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at All Things Digital June 1, 2010 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Jobs spoke about where he thought the industry was headed. (Photo by Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions/Getty Images)

However, not every connection you make can be effective. Jobs emphasized that one has to "connect two experiences," that others hadn't thought of otherwise one may end up creating the same kind of connections as others. "So, what you got to do is, get different experiences than the normal course of events," Jobs pointed out. As an example, Jobs explained how people think going to high school and finishing college with flying colors is the path to success or intelligence. But those are all just "ordinary," as per the tech founder. Speaking of intelligent people who had exemplary life experiences and connections, Jobs said, "They had a variety of experiences which they could draw upon to try to solve a problem or attack a particular dilemma in a kind of unique way."

Jobs highlighted that young people are responsible for being the guardians of our world and making it a better place for future generations. So, he insisted the youth of that time get a hold of what true intelligence is so that future generations could inherit that understanding. Asking them to pay attention to what really matters when it comes to "being bright," Jobs imparted a significant life lesson while breaking the age-old stereotypic views on intelligence and learning.



 

Jobs had always offered his priceless wisdom to society not just about technology but also about life. In a 1994 interview of Jobs with the Silicon Valley Historical Association Jobs explained how seeking help and embracing opportunities can change your life. In his words, "asking for help is not a sign of weakness and it separates those who do from those who just dream." He shared how he was always offered help whenever he asked and added, "I just asked. And when people ask me, I try to be responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back." 

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