Are you good at solving math equations, but you’ve got two left feet? Do you enjoy meeting strangers and having meaningful conversations, but you can’t play a musical note? Have you always had a green thumb, but every time you try to describe your love of nature to people, you get tongue-tied?
It’s human nature to focus on what we can’t do, what we’re not good at, but what if we focused solely on what we can do? When we allow ourselves to get out of our own way and celebrate our strengths, we harness our unique intelligence in the process.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says, “Intelligence takes many different forms. It is not one-dimensional. And not as important as I used to think.” Bill Gates is a genius of mathematics, logic and coding, but he admits that his interpersonal skills are not his strong suit.
Lately, he’s been taking to Twitter to encourage others to discover and embrace their type(s) of intelligence. What are the different types of smarts?
Back in the 1980’s, psychologist Howard Gardener identified nine types of intelligence:
- Spatial: Visualizing the world in 3D
- Naturalist: Understanding living things and reading nature
- Musical: Discerning sounds, their pitch, tone, rhythm and timbre
- Logical-Mathematical: Quantifying things, making hypotheses and proving them
- Existential: Tackling the questions of why we live and why we die
- Interpersonal: Sensing people’s feelings and motives
- Bodily-Kinesthetic: Coordinating your mind with your body
- Linguistic: Finding the right words to express what you mean
- Intra-personal: Understanding yourself, what you feel and what you want
If you’re unsure of your type(s), sit down and write a list of activities and skills that come naturally to you. What do you love to do? What have you been told you do well?
Bill Gates is Bill Gates, there’s no need to compare yourself to him, because, you’ve got your own intelligence. And, when you identify and hone your natural abilities, they develop into an expertise that will benefit the world.
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