We all have expectations to meet, some big, some small. How are those expectations formed? By past actions, by successes and failures of past actions in by gone times. People look at us and measure us based on our track record.
And often times that track record is based on our intelligence, but not always. The more brains we have, the higher the likelihood that we;ll succeed. By that metric, the more brains we have, the more often things go our way. The percentage of time we got our way is positively correlated to our measurable intelligence.
Therefore those with higher intelligence have higher expectations based on the fact that they succeed more. While on the other side of the spectrum those not so smart who fail and fail often don’t have many expectations.
I bring this up because most of us are influenced in one way or another by peer pressure. And those expectations imposed upon us are a form of peer pressure. We are pushed to uphold the reputation given to us. And that is the point where the smart ones become fearful, while the stupid become fearless.
The smart ones have a fear of loss as no one wants to lose a good reputation. They become very risk adverse, always making the right decision, the smart pick, based on probability. They are unwilling to take leaps of faith because they want to keep what they’ve got. And by that logic, they spend their lives huddled in their own small corner of the world and don’t achieve anything notable, at least not anything as notable as they could have if they were willing to take leaps of faith.
The guy that ain’t so smart doesn’t have to deal with this issue of peer pressure though. If they fail they fail, no one judges them or thinks less of them because of it. They didn’t think much of him in the first place. This person is therefore more willing to take chances, often when there isn’t much at stake.
The person with high intelligence is able to see things from far away and if they anticipate a problem, they won’t risk it. The not so smart one needs to or is willing to get up close to an obstacle. And because the distance is shorter, they’re able to see more and cut an angle. Once in a while he’ll see something the smart guy couldn’t see just based on proximity. And that one time is, potentially when it makes all the difference.
Kingston S. Lim
May 13, 2020