Back in junior high, I had a mate called Rob. The guy could hardly read and write well though at that stage, that was too basic for everyone. But the amazing thing about Rob is, he could dribble the entire class if we stood against him in soccer. He was gifted. He was hailed by all until break time is over and we return to the classroom, then some of us take over. In my mind, he was a soccer demi-god. I admired his skill so much because I could hardly kick the ball. Since childhood, I’d always get my face hit with a shot and then leave the pitch crying like a baby; haha don’t laugh too hard please. We all have our talents. My friend would usually wonder how come I’m intelligent but can’t seem to learn a simple skill like playing soccer. Well, I could but not at that pace, it’ll take a longer time than it would for Rob.
Was Rob dumb or a genius?
Rob was a genius! Or at least he wasn’t dumb. He naturally had a higher bodily intelligence. He had great body coordination. He could translate his mental creativity into physical movements better than most of us. But he had a lower logical/mathematical intelligence. Also, he lacked linguistic intelligence yet he was a genius in the former category.
The 9 types of Intelligence
According to research, there are nine different type of intelligence but school considers about two or three of them. They are:
- Mathematical / logical intelligence: This belongs to the good mathematicians and scientists. They are usually loved by teachers. They can easily analyze and draw logical conclusions. We usually tend to consider them more intelligent than others because they get high grades in school.
- Linguistic intelligence: You’ve heard the argument that English is a language and not a measure of intelligence right? Well, since it’s a widely spoken language, to some extend it is. Knowing the right words to write or speak, is a form of intelligence. Have you ever listened to someone and thought: Wow! this guy is so intelligent. He is, but maybe he’s not so good in maths but he is intelligent. They may be hailed in school during debates, they may also become great politicians.
- Spatial intelligence: Some people can just look at a Rubik’s cube and imagine playing all the movements in their head, then close their eyes and do it! Isn’t that amazing? People with this intelligence think in objects, they may not be good in class but they are very intelligent. There’s so much more to Spatial intelligence but let’s move on.
- Interpersonal intelligence: The ability to empathize and feel what others feel. This is a great form of intelligence. Such people can even tell what someone is planning or going through just by being around them or even looking at them.
- Intrapersonal intelligence: How do you help others if you don’t even know your own self? This is so cool. People with this intelligence, can evaluate their own motives and thoughts better. They understand and know themselves better. They can therefore drive themselves in any direction they choose. Such geniuses!
- Bodily-kinesthetic: This is also known as Rob’s intelligence. Haha, just kidding. This is the kind of intelligence that Rob had. If you think Messi or LeBron James is intelligent, then know that they may not be “school” intelligent (mathematcal and linguistic) but they possess great bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. They have great coordination between their minds and bodies.
- Naturalist: People with this kind of intelligence, can read nature. They understand living things. They can probably tell if an animal is male or female better than you. They can tell if it’s going to rain, better than you. They’re naturalists.
- Musical Intelligence: The ability to distinguish between the numerous qualities of music. Such as tone, timbre, pitch. Such people can tell the key in which you’re singing (some may need an instrument to do that, others can do it without instruments). This is something that you will find very difficult to learn in school if you lack this intelligence. Even if you do, you may probably be seen as a weak student just as the musically intelligent person will be seen as a weak student in a regular school!
- Existential Intelligent: This is probably more spiritual. The ability to question our existence as humans. Our purpose, the meaning of life. People with this intelligence would usually shut out the noise from the world and focus on the deeper meaning of things.
You definitely have one or more
You need to try more things to discover where you fall. You may be a genius. You may be a great chef if you are a naturalist. How do you know? Try cooking often. Try out more skills and you will realize you are more than school says you are. You may be able to find true happiness without being rich because of your existential intelligence. You’re most definitely a genius in one of these areas or, at least better in some than the others.
School loves maths and linguistics
School (teachers) will hail the nerds, school (students) will also hail the jorks (that well built guy in the basketball team with great bodily-kinesthetic intelligence). Maybe you’re spatially intelligent like the guy in “Like stars on earth”. Do something else and see if that’s what you’re good at.
Like stars on earth
Genius or nah
You may be a genius. You need to discover that yourself. Do not let school define you. Discover your abilities!