Intelligent people are often thought to have it all together. After all, they’re really smart so, they must have life figured out. On the contrary, they actually tend to live in messy spaces and thrive on chaos. Interestingly, it has nothing to do with their organizational skills but more to do with their list of priorities and how they spend their time.
1. Intelligent People Have Different Priorities
Intelligent people are often hard at work. They set out to solve the world’s problems or discover new things about it. As a result, they actually spend less time cleaning their homes or picking up after themselves. This is likely because the concern of maintaining organization is less pressing than accomplishing professional achievements.
2. Creativity Sparked by Chaos
There have been many links found between intelligence and creativity. While many people are, by nature, passionately creative, some people have used their abilities in order to innovatively create solutions for the world’s problems. Those who are passionately creative make beautiful music or incredibly intricate sculptures. Whereas those who use their intellect to innovate have designed things like machines that help purify drinking water in underdeveloped countries.
Or lifesaving medicines and surgery-performing robots. As it turns out, messy environments can be beneficial for both types of creators. One theory for this shows there is a relationship between a “disorderly environment” and feeling inspired to ‘think outside of the box or norm.’
3. Intelligent People Seek Stimulation
Another reason intelligent people are thought to be messier is that they spend more time looking for mental stimulation. They spend less time at home, worried about how the house looks. Instead, they are always out in pursuit of an opportunity to learn something new or strengthen the skills they’ve already developed. Depending on their area of expertise, they may go to museums, conventions, sit in on lectures, or spend time outdoors looking for inspiration to spark their next great idea.
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4. Unconcerned with Societal Expectations
Oftentimes, intelligent people are so focused on their goals and aspirations that they don’t worry about how society will view them.
5. Intelligent People Don’t Measure Time
While intelligent people do use math and numbers, they don’t fixate on time. They are often so focused on their current task that they don’t concern themselves with wasting time on mundane tasks. Furthermore, having very little idea of how long it might take to perform certain tasks, such as cleaning and organizing.
Intelligent People also don’t waste time doing something that doesn’t engage or stimulate them. Cleaning tends to be a mindless task. People daydream while washing dishes or dance around while vacuuming. As a result, they may often lose track of time. Intelligent people may view that as the lost or valuable time they would rather use to pursue other interests.
Scale for Intelligent People
Several tests measure intelligence. However, some research has suggested that one can increase one’s intelligence by working to strengthen neuron pathways. According to the Scientific American, “Intelligence, or IQ, is just one piece of the puzzle. Mindset may begin in the head, but its repercussions are far wider.
“And as we change our thinking, so too are we changing our performance and, in a very real way, our abilities.” Consequently, we can actually train our brains to be more open to learning. “Not only is intelligence not fixed, but neither are any number of abilities that we may think we either have or don’t have, be they as straightforward seeming as math skills or as complex as musicality.”
While genetics plays a role in our intelligence, fortunately, there are some modifiable factors we can address. This means that having a positive mindset, believing in your abilities, and doing certain daily tasks, can all contribute to improving your intelligence.
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- “Intelligence and Other Stereotypes: The Power of Mindset.” Scientific American. Maria Konnikova. April 3, 2012.
- “5 Reasons Why Highly Intelligent People Often Have a Messy House.” Power of Positivity. Kristen Lawrence. August 12, 2022.
- “Physical Order Produces Healthy Choices, Generosity, and Conventionality, Whereas Disorder Produces Creativity.” Sagepub. Kathleen D. Vohs. et al. August 1, 2013.