8 Things Smart People Do, Follow These Steps To Be Smart Like Them!

5 min


What Makes Someone Smart?

“What makes an individual smart?” Many people believe intelligence is largely subjective and/or that there are different types of intelligence. This isn’t very helpful because the word “intelligence”, like all words, can lose it’s meaning if it is used for too many things.

To narrow it down, we can think of behaviors that are considered to be smart.

Is how much information someone can memorize a good measure of intelligence? Or Is it something special, like a skill or perspective, that they have? Or maybe it’s the ability to think and plan or to solve problems efficiently? Perhaps it’s a combination of all these.

In this article, we will cover 8 things that smart people tend to do and are characterized by. By the end of this list, we’ll conclude whether these things are learned behaviors or inherited traits.


1. They Do Not Waste Money

People who can manage their money and save by avoiding unnecessary expenses are very disciplined. Delaying gratification requires looking beyond the current moment and rejecting natural impulses.

Someone who is not ruled by their emotions is considered mature and in control. If you are careful with your money, you will appear to be reliable, smart and trustworthy.

Note: Self-control and discipline can be learned. Mastering your emotions gets you one step closer to reaching the smartest and strongest version of yourself. Check out some lessons from The Road Less Traveled, a book that teaches the importance of delaying gratification, among other things. 


2. Smart People Do Not Rely On Others

It is not wrong at all to have many friends, family members, or co-workers whom you can trust, rely on and work with; but smart people often do not depend entirely on others.

When you feel that you need help with something, first find out if your problem is too difficult or not; because often, fear prevents us from working on issues we have the capacity to solve.

As mentioned in the introduction above, problem solving is often attributed to intelligent people, so by avoiding problems or letting others solve your problems all the time, you appear less intelligent than you really are, while simultaneously discarding the oppurtunity to improve your problem solving skills (a.k.a. getting smarter).

Facing our fears and taking responsibility for our lives is a mark of maturity and strength, which bring us to…


3. Smart People Are Responsible

We all have certain responsibilities, some of which are not always imposed by someone else. The more mature we get, the more responsibilities we take on.

Maturity and Intelligence often go hand in hand. Being responsible means holding yourself accountable to the choices you make instead of blaming others, which takes a lot of maturity.

We’ve all felt at one point or another that people have treated us unfairly. Smart people figure out how to deal with those situations as best as they can by taking responsibility for themselves instead of waiting for others to defend them or looking for someone to blame.


4. They Don’t Feel Defeated

Some people treat failures as minor setbacks, and difficult situations as challenges. They are determined to go on no matter what comes their way. We admire those people, calling them brave, strong and smart.

Smart people don’t get too caught up with the current moment, they can look in to the future and visualize better possibilites and ways to get to where they want.

There’s an exception, though. Some of the smartest people have the least amount of faith in themselves. They believe they can’t amount to anything. They feel like nothing is possible. This belief is often what gets in people’s way, not their intelligence.

Believe in possibilities, believe that the way things are now can change.


5. They Admit Their Mistakes

Smart people aren’t always right, and they know it. Intelligent people know that at any given moment they can be wrong and aren’t afraid to admit it to others and, most importantly, to themselves.

Always try to listen to other people’s opinions and take them into consideration, you might learn something.

Jordan B. Peterson, Canadian Psychologist and Professor, advises his students to listen to their enemies. Enemies are often cruel and ruthless, but also brutally honest. You can learn something from what your enemies say and then better yourself. Your friends, on the other hand, may never point out your flaws. 

Don’t take everything your enemies say as truth, though. Many people will say anything to make you feel bad, whether it’s based in reality or not. A smart person decides what they think is worth listening to.


6. They Do Not Allow The Past To Haunt Or Distract Them

The past cannot be forgotten, but we need to know how to deal with it and not allow the past to interfere with our future achievements.

A well-balanced person doesn’t focus too much on the past, they live mainly for now and the future.

The same principle can be applied to distractions in general. Smart people minimize distractions in order to maintain focus on their goals.

7. Smart People Don’t Rely On Luck To Solve Their Problems

Smart people may not think too much of luck; when you put your heart and soul into reaching your goals, some might say it is wrong to give luck the greatest share of credit.

Others might say, “Yes, I was lucky. I was given an oppurtunity and I took advantage of it,” which is a fair point, not everyone takes advantage of the oppurtunities they were given. 

If you are given a chance to do something, be grateful for you fortune, but let your actions and willpower take over, not luck.

On the other hand, if you feel like you don’t have many oppurtunities, before blaming your misfortune for your problems, look first to see if there’s something you’re doing wrong that can be corrected.



8. They Do Not Give Up Just Because Others Do Not Agree With Them


Knowing when to give up something, and start over, is good.

A wise person knows when to make decisions without being influenced by those around them. Smart people don’t avoid trying new things or hold back their ideas just because their ideas don’t please other people.

There’s a difference between someone who gives you the opportunity to speak your thoughts, even if they don’t like them, and someone who does not even give you the chance to say them at all. Watch out for the latter.


Maybe you’ve noticed that most, if not all, of these qualities are learned behaviors, acquired knowledge and ways of seeing the world.

Humans are intelligent creatures, so these traits apply to everyone. Some people are no doubtedly smarter than others, but the difference in intelligence doesn’t matter as much as the difference in perspective. You are a member of the smartest race on the planet, now you just need to believe in yourself and your potential.


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