12 Things Intelligent People Avoid

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Intelligence, the shimmering beacon of human progress, has sculpted our history in remarkable ways. Consider the ancient Egyptians, whose ingenious architectural mastery brought the majestic pyramids to life, defying both time and technology. In the realm of philosophy, Aristotle’s brilliance in ancient Greece laid the foundations of Western thought, pondering the mysteries of existence with unquenched curiosity.

Fast forward to the Renaissance, an era illuminated by the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, whose diverse talents spanned from the artistic marvel of the Mona Lisa to the scientific foresight in his anatomical studies. The 20th century witnessed the theoretical acrobatics of Albert Einstein, whose theory of relativity revolutionized our understanding of space, time, and gravity. 

Today, intelligence evolves with us, manifesting in the digital neurons of AI, echoing the limitless potential of the human mind. It’s a testament to our innate desire to understand, innovate, and transcend the boundaries of our known world. This journey of intelligence, from the chisels of ancient sculptors to the sleek keyboards of modern programmers, is a dazzling dance of human potential, ever-evolving and always inspiring. 

Things Intelligent People Avoid

Intelligence is undoubtedly one of the most important and sought-after traits in society. In movies and television, intelligent characters accomplish extraordinary things. They are the greatest heroes and the most intriguing villains. They are inventors, business magnets, and genius detectives. Something about being highly intelligent captivates us. And yet, so many people think intelligence is just something you’re born with, like your height or hair color.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Building brain power is like building a muscle. Your habits and choices are what really shape your intelligence. And while there are endless videos telling you about the things intelligent people do, this article is actually more important. Because being intelligent is really about what you avoid doing.

We live in a world full of temptation, where making bad decisions is extremely easy. There are millions of ways to fall off a cliff, and never recover. But when you learn to recognize these life traps and pitfalls, you can steer clear of the danger, and pursue the path of building a stronger, better life for yourself. Intelligent people learn to avoid these 12 things because their wealth,  health, and happiness depend on it.

1. Fearing Failure 

The fear of falling short can hold you back from pursuing your dreams. Maybe you’ve always wanted to start a business, but are so anxious about it not succeeding that you never give it a real shot. However, intelligent people know failure is often necessary for later success and embrace it as part of reaching their fullest potential.

Instead of perfectionism, they believe in trying their best and learning valuable lessons from mistakes when initiatives don’t work out as planned. Taking strategic risks, being resilient after setbacks, and trying new ideas lead to growth. Without failure, you can’t learn. Intelligent people understand that and refuse to let their worries stop them.

Things Intelligent People Avoid

2. Neglecting Personal Growth 

It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day routines and push self-improvement aside. For example, you may have always wanted to learn computer science but can never find the time between work, family duties, and your weekly basketball league. Intelligent people make continuous learning and personal growth a priority instead of always putting it off.

They set aside time for things like reading, taking online courses, or listening to educational podcasts during their commute. Making small efforts to better yourself little by little prevents falling into the trap of coasting through life without gaining new skills. Pushing your abilities keeps your mind sharp and allows you to reach your full potential.

3. Dwelling On Past Mistakes 

Agonizing over past failures can trap you in a toxic cycle of stress and negativity. For example, you might have lost sleep for weeks over one awkward moment during an important job interview you fumbled. The opportunity is gone, but you just can’t get over it. Intelligent people focus their energy on learning from their mistakes rather than brooding over what already happened.

If you miss a question on an exam, study harder next time instead of beating yourself up over lost points. If a relationship didn’t work out because you weren’t expressing needs, try having open conversations in new relationships instead of clinging to anxiety over getting hurt again. Moving forward constructively helps intelligent people grow wiser without wasting time feeling excessively guilty about the past.

4. Useless Drama 

Some people seem to thrive on chaos and stirring up turmoil. Maybe your attention-seeking coworker constantly gossips behind others’ backs and tries to draw everyone into petty disagreements. Or maybe two of your friends are bickering pointlessly over sports. Intelligent people recognize unhealthy drama and consciously decide not to get sucked in.

They don’t feed into the hostility by spreading rumors or picking sides in dumb arguments. Even if directly confronted with drama, intelligent people remain calm, acknowledge others’ feelings, and firmly remove themselves from messy situations that lack clear positive intentions. Setting strong personal boundaries protects intelligent people’s peace of mind.

intelligent person avoids 3 things in life

5. Financial Irresponsibility 

It’s tempting to overspend on fleeting luxuries that wreck your budget over time. For example, you may routinely buy $7 lattes multiple times a week without thinking much of it. However, intelligent people understand small daily expenses add up quickly. Rather than mindless swiping of a credit card, they carefully consider each purchase in terms of needs versus wants and make intentional decisions. 

Intelligent people live below their means, pay bills on time, have an emergency savings fund for unexpected costs, and utilize available tools like auto-transfers and interest compounding. With time, they are able to effortlessly grow their financial wealth. Establishing smart money habits prevents intelligent people from ending up with crippling debt or bankruptcy.

6. Ignoring Health 

It’s easy to get overly busy and put your physical and mental health on the back burner. You may find yourself constantly stressed, eating fast food several times a week, and skipping doctor checkups. However, intelligent people make self-care a top concern instead of an afterthought.

They understand that feeling good fuels success in other areas of life. Intelligent people squeeze in time to destress, meal prep nutritious foods, keep up with critical health tests, and make sleep a priority. Establishing lifestyle habits that support well-being, like taking a lunchtime walk outside or reading before bed, keeps intelligent people happily healthy and prevents issues down the road.

7. Ego-driven Decisions 

We all want to be right, but sometimes we let our egos get in the way of good judgment. For example, you may buy a car you can’t really afford just because you want to impress others with your flashy new ride. However, intelligent people check their egos and make decisions based on logic rather than pride or vanity.

If proving someone wrong or one-upping the neighbors motivates a choice, they reevaluate. Intelligent people ask for input from trusted sources and truly consider constructive criticism. Making major money decisions, career moves, or purchases just to satisfy your ego or save face can easily backfire. Intelligent people let reason, not insecurities, guide their choices.

an intelligent person avoids 3 things in life confucius

8. Short-term Thinking 

Intelligent people know that making choices focused only on immediate results can lead to problems down the road. For example, you might take out a payday loan to quickly get cash without thinking about the super high interest rate you’ll pay later. Intelligent people consider potential long-term outcomes before making big decisions.

They ask questions like “How will I feel about this choice next month or next year?” Thinking through different scenarios helps them understand if something will really be beneficial over time or if it may cause headaches when rushed into too quickly. Taking a thoughtful pause before acting can prevent poor choices you’ll later come to regret.

9. Endless Procrastination 

It’s easy to constantly push things off for later and then regret it when deadlines hit. For example, you may chronically wait until the night before to start major projects for work or school. This causes huge amounts of unnecessary stress from pulling all-nighters. Intelligent people are able to motivate themselves to take timely action instead of pointlessly delaying the inevitable.

They make to-do lists, break large goals into smaller milestones, schedule priorities instead of forgetting them, ask for support stay accountable, and start tasks well in advance to allow wiggle room if speed bumps pop up. Establishing disciplined habits prevents intelligent people from sinking into an unhealthy pattern of never-ending procrastination. 

10. Resisting Change

Life is full of transformation. Maybe a long-term relationship ends or your career dramatically changes. It’s tempting to cling to your comfort zone when life throws curveballs. However intelligent people adapt well to change and focus their energy on growth.

Instead of getting upset when plans alter or the status quo shifts, they stay positive and ask themselves, “How can this help me? How can I use this to my advantage?” Intelligent people understand that transformation allows you to build wisdom and increase success. Whether it’s a move to a new city, changing technology in the workplace, or an unexpected life event, intelligent people flow like water and find openings for opportunity. 

an intelligent person avoids 3 things in life confucius

11. Never Asking For Help

No one succeeds alone, and asking for assistance when needed isn’t a weakness. Intelligent people recognize when extra support could produce better results and they leverage their connections to lighten the load.

Whether reaching out to brainstorm ideas, delegate tasks, or learn from an expert, asking for help allows intelligent people to tap into others’ strengths and solve problems more efficiently. Asking for help also strengthens relationships, which inevitably enhances future success. Intelligent people know that teamwork expands possibilities, and ultimately makes you better at what you do.

12. Toxic Gossip 

Many people love to get wrapped up in chatting about rumors and speculation. Maybe a friend is having relationship problems. Or maybe they just got fired. At times, it can be tempting to gossip. However, intelligent people refrain from it, particularly when the subject is personal lives. 

Instead of judgments or exaggerations, intelligent people talk about ideas, current events, books, and other thought-provoking topics. When gathered with others, they aim conversations toward productive ends and uplifting substance over petty drama or superficial fluff. Speak with integrity and purpose while steering clear of toxic speech.

how to be intelligent in everything

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