Intelligence and wisdom: 5 differences that are interesting to know

Intelligence and wisdom: 5 differences that are interesting to know

Intelligence and wisdom do not mean the same thing, even if we use these two terms indistinctly in everyday language. We live in a society where we value efficiency and results and where, apparently, only the most intelligent are destined to triumph. However, only the wisest attain authentic happiness because they let themselves be guided by values, use kindness and apply a more optimistic vision to life.

If we look now in the dictionary for the termwisdomwe will find a simple definition: people's ability to act with common sense, prudence or discernment. The first question that comes to mind is this: does not the intelligence give us the same ability to live on a daily basis?Does a medium or high intelligence quotient not guarantee us the power to make just decisions?

"True wisdom is knowing how to recognize one's own ignorance."


The answer is if, and it is true that when we speak of intelligence, several nuances appear. Thus, personality style and emotional maturity are conditions that no doubt influence the performance of the brilliant person, as well as his or her more or less skillful potential to cultivate one's own well-being and that of others.

Intelligence and wisdom are two interesting concepts that need to be nuanced, analyzed and separated; the goal is to come up with a more precise and useful idea. Because if there is something we want,beyond having a high Q.I. is to be able to develop an exceptional wisdom of life and to give shape to a dazzling virtue,one that goes a little further than the cognitive and emotional domain.

Differences between intelligence and wisdom

As curious as it seems, the differences between intelligence and wisdom had never been studied before the end of the 20th century.The concept of wisdom has always been associated with philosophical or even spiritual disciplines, with great Greek masters or great Buddhist figures who have enlightened us with their transcendental ideas, reflections and advice.

In recent decades, psychology has begun to deepen this theme. Works such as the one conducted by two professors from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego-Dr. Dilip V. Jeste and Dr. Thomas W. Meeks-have shed some very interesting ideas.

Thus, the differences between intelligence and wisdom are as follows.

The experience itself does not make us wiser

This idea is interesting and collapses a classic myth. It is often said that the experience brought by life also gives us wisdom. However, there is no direct and strong association between having lived a long time or not, and becoming wise.This virtue does not come naturally with age.

What's more, in the news, many researchers in the field of psychology and sociology are trying to understand a little more about these social, emotional and cognitive processes that transform experience into wisdom. The fact is that there are other variables that serve as a measure between the two, such as the capacity for reflection conditioned by the association contemplated in the myth (experience / wisdom).

Intelligence makes us efficient and more ethically competent

Smart people have a great sense of efficiency and what they consider "right".In this way, when something does not adjust to their expectations, frustration often appears. These people are normally focused on objectives, concrete results and, above all, probable.

This vision often makes them fall into very tiring states because – in general – people with a high Q.I. do not tolerate too much uncertainty and this factor is precisely the one that differentiates them from wise people. The latter are able to accept the unexpected, which does not adjust, which does not unfold as expected … They know how to relativize and adopt a more patient, quiet and understanding look at the reality.

Wise people make better decisions

We wish to point out, once more, that there are many individual differences between people who have a high Q.I. Some make fair and responsible decisions, while others simply leave themselves with a practical or objective side, without taking into account other nuances.

Now, if there is a clear difference between intelligence and wisdom, it is because this latter dimension is characterized by its association with more open integrating something that goes far beyond mere practical knowledge.Wise people have thoughtful experience, a deep sense of life, and this has made them accept uncertainties and hard times.

In addition, they have a clearer awareness of how events unfold over time. All this gives them a greater sense of balance, a better defined meaning.

Intelligence can be used for kindness or malevolence

The great intelligence can be applied to noble ends or, on the contrary, can be used to manipulate, conspire, betray or set up sophisticated actions for a perverse purpose.It can also be oriented towards higher and higher goals.

Wisdom, for its part, is connected with the most authentic sense of goodness; she has always had that connotation of know-how, humanity and a sense of spirituality that inspires others to cultivate good deeds.

The wise man is optimistic

Another interesting difference between intelligence and wisdom is that this last virtue almost always shares a very positive view of life, people and reality.This predominantly hopeful and fresh attitude is related to what we have described before, his sense of kindness. That's why wise people have the innate gift to move us, to give us energy and motivation to keep moving forward, to listen to their advice and to imitate their personal vision of things.

To conclude, it is possible that once arrived at this point, we wondered whether it is better to be wise or very intelligent. In fact, no dimension is better than the other because there are sages who are neither brilliant nor intelligent but who in their daily lives are extremely efficient and happy.

Therefore, we can aspire (to the extent of our possibilities) to both dimensions.We can train our cognitive processes, improve our emotional intelligence and integrate each experience from a more sensible, quiet and optimistic point of view.

In the end, wisdom is the art of knowing what matters most at each moment and the ability to apply appropriate responses and strategies to achieve well-being and to be able to bring others. This is where the real key lies.

Kindness takes care of our brains

Kindness, with all that it implies of compassion, sympathy and empathy, makes it possible to achieve greater well-being. Learn more
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