Smart or thoughtful

I share this as it reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes from the classic James Stewart movie, Harvey…”Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be’ – she always called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

Smart: Having or showing a quick-witted intelligence. (adjective)

Thoughtful: Showing careful consideration or attention. (adjective)

Somebody I once knew and was influenced by used to rank and judge everyone they met by IQ – or intelligence quotient. As a consequence, I did too. The way I saw it, there was nothing more important than being smart. As long as that criteria was met, the rest would be figured out.

As I reflect on this phase, I realize how much this way of thought screams of a fixed mindset. When you focus on smarts, you assume intelligence is fixed. It is a world view that encourages judgment and opposes learning and growth.

The funny thing about world views is that it takes a really long time to completely get rid of them. I caught the remnants of this world view a few weeks ago when I reflected on something…

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