I have a friend and web developer who thinks I’m really smart, but he doesn’t think much of his own abilities. During a particular coincidence of both opinions, he asked me if I’d hire him if I was in a position to make such a judgement:

Me: Of course.
Me: Why do you ask this?

Him: I was just thinking that one day you will be atop the web
Him: And I want to be part of it

Me: In general, the thing I find is the #1 thing necessary for success is will. And you have will.
Me: Smarts is a result of will, not vice versa.
Me: So sure I’d hire you.

He tweeted that and someone liked that.

As someone who has leaned on his “smarts” a number of times to the detriment of his own personal development, I truly believe what I said. Every day, I’m starting to realize my inner Socrates:

It seemed to me … that the people with the greatest reputations were almost entirely deficient, while others who were supposed to be their inferiors were much better qualified in practical intelligence…

I reflected as I walked away: Well, I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of; but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems to me that I am wiser than he is to the extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.

One thought on “Will

  1. This is important info for many people who have suffered under the mysterious tyranny of “high IQ”. I’ve known many very intelligent people who almost invariably have character flaws that make them difficult if not impossible to work with in team environments.

    I will freely admit to not being a quick thinker. But this has not been a real impediment… I have a tenacity and will for great things that carries me more surely and further than high intelligence ever could. Thanks for the excellent post.

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