Many times we need to figure out if someone is smart enough, to be on the team or to hang out with. How do we know is someone is intelligent without even checking academic records, social, and career achievements, or having to look for the lines on their forehead?
They keep asking questions.
But you ask when you don’t know, so how can someone who questions too much be intelligent?
Because they ask, and they learn. The Chinese proverb of wisdom states it clearly: ‘He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes, he who does not question, stays a fool forever.’
Intelligence is, without question, all about questions. Nobody will know it all. No matter how educated they are, nobody comes close to ever knowing it all. Even if you learn everything from top to bottom, tomorrow changes what you know today. We are all flawed, stumbling through life, with unrealistic expectations. So we need to keep questioning to stay afloat.
Intelligent people question everything, after getting answers, they question more. If you use words they can’t understand, they request clarification. They ask you to explain to the as if they just turned five when they do not understand what you are saying. If you say anything intriguing they make a note of it.
Be humble. Ask questions to reflect genuine intelligence.
So the next question is, ‘Do intelligent people make mistakes?’
The simplest way of judging intelligence is when someone accepts mistakes. Intelligent people accept mistakes, they welcome them, they know these are life lessons.
Intelligent people know that mistakes are part of life. Nobody is perfect and we are all free to err. Learning comes from struggling and making a flow of mistakes. Mistakes are agents of education. Mistakes are never any fun but are totally unavoidable. People who evaluate and learn from mistakes, self-reflect, and are aware that mistakes are a process of personal investment.