There is no right way to be intelligent; it's all a matter of variation.
Have you ever been in a lecture or watched a talk and been completely lost?
Did you wonder if you had any kind of intelligence at all? Well, don't get down, because everybody has some kind of intelligence, and while it may not be the kind that gets you high scores on the SATs, it's still valuable and wonderful. You're not stupid - no one is.
The theory of multiple intelligences was developed by Howard Gardner, PhD., Professor of Education at Harvard University. What other scientists thought were just soft skills (people skills), Gardner realized were actually types of intelligence.
Think about it: By being a math genius you have an ability to understand the world, and so does being people smart - just from a different perspective.
If you aren't a math genius you might not be able to solve the problem of Tony traveling at one speed, Julia traveling at another, and figuring out at what point they'll meet. But you're likely to have the skills to find the right person who can.
With that, here are the types of intelligence. Which one best describes your personality type?
Here are the 9 different types of intelligence:
1. Naturalist intelligence or nature smart
People with naturalist intelligence have a sensitivity and an appreciation for nature. They're often great at nurturing and growing things (green thumb) as well as having the ability to care for and interact with animals. They like having pets, learning about nature, and love to camp, hike, walk, and climb. They also have an awareness of a change in the weather.
2. Musical intelligence or sound smart
If you're musically intelligent, you love music, appreciate rhythm and composition, and are gifted with the ability to compose, sing and/or play an instrument, can easily memorize songs, distinguish between different sounds, can tell immediately when a note is off-key, and almost always have a song running through your head.
3. Logical-mathematical intelligence or number/reasoning smart
If this is your kind of intelligence, you have the ability to think conceptually and abstractly and have the capacity to discern logical and numerical patterns. Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They're drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games, and experiments.
4. Existential intelligence or life smart
People with existential intelligence are all about the deep questions regarding human existence, and they're constantly thinking about the meaning of life, why we die, and how we got here.
5. Interpersonal intelligence or people smart
The individual with this kind of intelligence is able to detect and respond (in the appropriate manner) to the moods, motivations, and desires of others. If this is your type of intelligence, you're a leader among your peers, are great at communicating, and have the ability to consider multiple points of view.
6. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence or body smart
Clearly, people with this kind of intelligence love movement, whether it's sports or dance, or any kind of action. They have a need to be active. They learn by doing, are well-coordinated with fantastic motor skills, have a ton of physical energy, and enjoy figuring out how things work.
7. Linguistic intelligence or word smart
Do you love words? You might have this kind of intelligence if you enjoy reading, writing, and learning languages. People who are blessed with linguistic intelligence are good at teaching and explaining things to others, in ways that make them easy to understand. They will notice grammatical errors, have a large vocabulary, are able to remember famous quotes and sayings, love puns (even if it gets them eye rolls), and cherish their book collection.
8. Intrapersonal intelligence or self-smart
People with intrapersonal intelligence are adept at looking inward and figuring out their own feelings, motivations, and goals. They're self-aware, perfectionistic, independent, intuitive, introverted, and learn and work best when alone.
9. Spatial intelligence or picture smart
If you have this kind of smartness, you have the ability to think in images and pictures and to visualize accurately and abstractly. In other words, you can think in three dimensions. People with this kind of intelligence are often fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles and spend most of their free time drawing or daydreaming.
All of these types of intelligence are valuable and we're all lucky to have the ones we have.