IQ and achievement
A useful summary below from the Daily Mail. He is both right and wrong below. It is true that many high IQ people don't make a great mark on the world but it is also true that those who do make their mark in anything requiring brainpower do have very high IQs. High IQ is almost always very helpful
With the example he gives, the writer below does tell us why many SEEM to be low achievers: They have their own definition of achievement and the good life. And they work to that.
Her IQ has never been assessed as far as I know but her repeated good decisions tell me it is very high
And in my own case I made enough money in business to retire at age 39. And retire I did. I did not go on to make more and more. I had enough not to need a job and that was all I wanted
People who are intelligent tend to be healthier, wealthier and live longer.
But beyond a certain point, being clever can be more a hindrance than a help – and certainly doesn’t guarantee happiness or success.
The cleverest man I’ve ever met is a 67-year-old American called Chris Langan. He has an IQ well over 190 – higher than Albert Einstein, whose score was about 160.
Chris was once known as ‘the smartest man in America’, but he’s not a Silicon Valley supergeek or a multi-millionaire tycoon.
When I met him a few years ago he was a horse rancher working in the Midwest.
He had dropped out of college and spent most of his life doing manual labour, including as a construction worker and a bouncer.
He told me that he enjoyed being a bouncer because it gave him plenty of time to think about quantum mechanics.
He never pursued his obvious gifts – though he did on one occasion enter an American game show where he won the equivalent of about £200,000.
He told me he had enough money, so felt no need to repeat that trick. He was perfectly happy looking after horses.
The first person to properly explore the link between high intelligence and life outcomes was a psychologist called Lewis Terman.
In 1926, he visited Californian schools searching for the most gifted children.
He selected 1,500 with IQs of 140 or more. They became known as The Termites and have been studied now for over 90 years.
While some did achieve wealth and fame, others, Terman noted, became ‘policemen, typists and filing clerks’.
The link between intellect and achievement was far from clear.
So why doesn’t having a very high IQ make you better off? I think it is partly because if people are told when they are young that they are much smarter than others, they often feel burdened by expectations.
After that, they feel whatever they do is not quite good enough.
Another factor is that a lot of really smart people I know also spend way too much time agonising over things, seeing the different side to so many problems they find it hard to make a decision.
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