I think for a lot of my life I stopped short of doing a lot of the hard stuff that I really wanted to do.
I grew frustrated, thought I was dumb, and then thought enviously of the many other people who seemed to
have such an easy time at it.
I believe now that the many smart people in my life were people who took risks, and maybe were
fortunate to have someone show them where to begin with the hard stuff (or at least support their endeavors).
They were passionate about things, but they were also confident enough to do them.
I labelled them as smart because they seemed to get by with things with such ease. But perhaps they were
just skilled. It is strange how being skilled, in just one area, can facilitate understanding in another.
I never was a National Merit Scholar or a straight A student. I was pretty average, although I did get the
Honor Roll a couple of times. And yes, I did get some really high grades in some classes. I also got some
pretty low grades too :).
I think the people who would be labeled as "smart" are hard workers, centered, and do not back away from a challenge.
By centered I mean they are not emotionally overwhelmed by a situation (e.g. they are able to maintain a
positive outlook), and they do not fall into the the temptation of comparing themselves to others
sucesses and failures. In addition, their centeredness allows them to manage their time, and plan ahead.
I believe these "smart" people are always exploring new things, and they are not all that
bothered by their failures in the past. Things like high grades, and doing really well on the PSAT
are side effects of an overall attitude.
It is not enough to think one is smart. Perhaps, dwelling on this alone is not good because it
is not centered on anything. It can become a source of blindness, and result in many acts of
stupidity (such as giving up things on the grounds that they are below ones intelligence).
To me, being smart more of an action than anything else.