Top 20 Qualities of Smart People
by: Michelle Casto
In today’s competitive world, it pays to be smart. No matter how smart you
are, I am sure there is something you could “get smarter” about. Below are
some qualities of smart people. As you read the list, ask yourself: Am I as
smart as I could be in this area? How could I get smarter?
1. Make Decisions Intuitively
Smart people listen to and follow their intuition. They know how intuitions
and insights come to them and are tuned-in internally to make wise
2. Are Self-Aware
Smart people are aware of who they are— strengths, weaknesses,
personality, values, etc. As Confucious once said, “He who knows others is
wise, he who knows himself is enlightened,” they know that the most
important (and interesting) thing to know about is “self.”
3. Use Active Reflection
Smart people reflect on and learn from past experiences, finding out what
works and what doesn’t, and then adjusts their course of action as needed.
They think about things before jumping in, and also take the time
after-the-fact to actively reflect to fully understand what happened or
4. Think Out-of-Box
Smart people can easily entertain new ideas, thoughts, and ways of doing
things. They crave progressive and forward thinking information, concepts,
and people. They often come up with new and radical ideas on a regular
5. Have An Open-Mind
Smart people are open to different perspectives and see potential where most
people don’t. They would agree with what the quote, “A mind is like a
parachute, it only functions when it is open.” They are comfortable with
paradoxes and can relate to many sides of an issue or opinion.
6. Are Responsive
Smart people recognize and respond quickly to opportunities and people. They
act and react fast, and take care of what needs to be taken care-of, well
ahead of schedule.
7. Are Resourceful
Smart people don’t have to know it all, but they do know where to go to get
whatever information, resources, training, education that they need. They
are well-networked and have people to call on for resource referrals.
8. Question Authority
Smart people think for themselves. They do not blindly believe things
so-called “experts” say, in fact, they ask deep questions to discover their
9. Upgrade Their Brain
Smart people stay smart because they are committed to being a lifelong
learner. They continuously learn new things, and stay current with their
skills, attitudes, and beliefs.
10. Have a Sense of Humor
Smart people do not take themselves or life too seriously. They recognize
the importance of finding the fun in the irony and the comedy of everyday
11. Take Risks
Smart people are willing to try out new things, knowing that if it doesn’t
work out as intended, failure is often cleverly disguised as a learning
opportunity. They “swing out there” often, and it usually pays off.
12. Trust Themselves
Smart people believe and trust themselves first and foremost. They don’t
have to check with others to make decisions, they instinctively know what is
right for them and they go for it!
13. Write and List Things on Paper
Smart people have a well-developed life strategy that includes a written
life vision/mission, purpose, and goals statement. They also write
lists—one for “have to’s” and one for “want to’s.”
14. Are Productive
Smart people get things done, through whatever organizational/time
management system that works for them. They make the most of each day and
take action on important life tasks each and everyday.
15. Use Discernment
Smart people are able to discern (see clearly) other’s reasons and motives,
so they selectively choose who and what to align themselves with. They
surround themselves with only the highest quality people, programs, and
16. Read, Read, Read
Smart people tap into the collective brain power of others by reading books,
magazines, articles—anything that is helpful for their own development.
They are also able to filter out the information that fits for them and let
the rest go.
17. Value Learning
Smart people value the process of learning for learning’s sake. They do not
just learn for a specific end—to get a certificate, degree, title, etc.
They learn because it is intrinsically rewarding for them.
18. Teach Others
Smart people are the teachers of the world, who share their knowledge with
other people. They put themselves out there so the rest of us can benefit,
and in exchange, their own learning grows and develops because they are
actively talking about, researching, and understanding their subject.
19. Reinvent Themselves
Smart people do not like to stay the same, they love to grow and develop.
They often play with their image, brand, company name, and expand or change
it entirely. To stay ahead of the game, they often reinvent themselves time
and time again.
20. Are Students of Life
Smart people not only know about specific subjects and topics, but also
about what it means to be a human being at this time in our evolution. They
are insatiably curious and want to know more about becoming bigger and
brighter, as a result they naturally evolve.
As Lao Tzu said, “To gain knowledge, add things everyday. To gain wisdom,
remove things everyday.” This is so true, our brain is like a computer and
in order for it to function at a higher level, we must always be adding,
while simultaneously taking away information that no longer serves us. Think
about it, what do you want to remove from your database? And, what new
software program will you replace it with?
About The Author
Michelle L. Casto, M.Ed., is a Whole Life Coach, Speaker, and Author of the
Get Smart! LearningBook Series, which includes books and workbooks on
romantic relationships, career development, life purpose/life strategy, and
stress management. Her coaching practice is Brightlight Coaching. She
empowers people to live with passion, purpose, & possibility and inspires
people to freely shine their brightlight to the world. To learn more or to
subscribe to the Get Smart! Live Smart newsletter, Visit virtually:
http://www.getsmartseries.com or http://www.brightlightcoach.com.
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