The Mis-Education of Intelligence

“There is always some frivolity in excellent minds; they have wings to rise but also stray.” Joseph Joubert


What does it mean to be intelligent?

The short answer; it involves straying from what you have been forced to believe all your life out into the wilderness of your own thought, primal intuition, and creativity.

The technical answer:

According to, the definition of intelligence is “Capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.”

I was talking to a really good friend of mines specifically regarding college education and if obtaining a degree makes one intelligent? Or is there just different forms of intelligence?

My friend brought up a really good point, he said that a college degree does not require intelligence for most general degrees, but more so, hard work and discipline. Obtaining a degree is just a game we all must play to eat. It’s somewhat of a survival tactic but so much as entrepreneurship is…

Many intelligent people are not given the opportunity to go to college or drop out after their second or third year. So, education doesn’t necessarily mean that one is intelligent.

I believe that intelligence is having the ability to create a body of work whether that is an invention, a company, literature, an organization, a mission, a program, music, art, philosophy, etc.

Therefore, intelligence is having the bravery to create from your heart what you feel will be a contribution to the world and boldly promote it and stand by it until it’s completion. It is also having the capacity to create something that doesn’t harm others, animals or the environment.


Real intelligence requires intuitive mastery and complete and utter self-trust and self-esteem. Intelligence isn’t capitalism. It isn’t amassing wealth and contributing to income inequality. Intelligence isn’t being ambitious to the point where you are so desperate for success that you would lose your self-respect and severely harm others to get to the top.

Nah. Success ain’t money! Norman Mailer nailed it when he wrote, “The desire for success lubricates secret prostitutions in the soul.”

“Success is living your intelligent truth and following NO other belief system than what is primal and instinctly your own. Real intelligence is being a glitch in the matrix. It’s busting out of the web of being forced to live by the ideas of others and fearlessly living by the ideas that are your own.”

Let’s break down the word intelligent… “in” – “telli” – “gent” 

The “in” stands for inner knowing and inner wisdom. Inner knowing is knowledge you know to be true in your heart. It is not derived from a textbook, it’s derived from the creative right side of your brain and it is as unique as your DNA.

The “tell” in intelligent is tell the world your truth by what you do for a living and how you live. It is NOT adopting an existing set of beliefs, philosophies, and ideas that already exist and sheepishly living by them.

Intelligence is living your truth.


By Janell Hihi