Back in 2007, when I studied yoga in India my guru talked about “being smart.” His teachings had nothing to do with being book smart. His philosophies incorporated concepts about being worldly and spiritually sophisticated.
Recently, I held conversations based on authentic intelligence with people who were born on different parts of the planet. The common theme that every conversation expressed included how real intelligent people use empathy and the ability to see every side of the story and to connect the dots in certain situations. Many of these people believe that authentically intelligent people can disconnect from the ego, drama, and need for praise and can detach from impulsivity and extreme views of thinking. In simple terms, it’s about having a balanced and wise approach to life.
There are a lot of smart people on this planet. Some are amazing spiritual leaders where others have built business empires. Even the biggest “gurus” out there are smart, but may not be intelligent. Authentic intelligence includes the ability of being able to sleep at night with the decisions made.
The world is going through a major change and social media has certainly influenced our thinking and behavior patterns. This is important because when we read or see something that we disagree about, the ego goes into overdrive and wants to be heard. This is not to say that you shouldn’t express your opinion, but is that opinion doing more harm than good? Can you truly assess every side of the story before you blame or label a person?
Authentic intelligence also understands how the world works and operates. It’s not about being a liberal or a conservative it’s about having an independent mind and detaching yourself from biases.
Most authentically intelligent people I know have experienced life a little differently. Whether they were born into an extreme situation or social class, most who break themselves from the world they know begin to see the worldly differently.
When you start seeing the world differently, you begin to see life like a movie. You are the director and you watch and analyze the characters of the world. In some ways its liberating because you know people and things cannot control your mind.
One of the biggest assets to authentic thinkers is that (whether they realize it or not) they live life with their senses. For example, they listen to one thing, but hear a different message. They eat but they can taste the real pleasure of human existence. They can see, but they see through every smoke screen on the planet or understand the root of the problem. They smell, but can smell when something is not right.
How do you become authentically intelligent? Many people discover this form of intelligence differently. The main three ways I have developed what I coin “authentic intelligence” is through traveling, conversations with people from different cultures and studying yoga.
Yoga teaches nothing but wise lessons that make you humble and able to detach from matters that are not important. When you travel and truly immerse yourself into a different culture you change. Evolving is part of the human experience and you begin to compare and contrast your culture to the world. Conversations with people from different cultures are important. When you converse with others you blend and fuse each other’s life experiences to enhance empathy. Some people I know, including myself, have learned some of life’s greatest lessons from people who are greatly older or have experienced adulthood prior to the 1970s. There is something wise to be learned from our elders not born into the social media and selfie culture.
In simple terms, developing an authentic intellect takes time, patience and experience. You know you have it when you can be real but ideal simultaneously. Have you ever talked to a smart person and then later spoken with a wise person? There is a vast difference between the two mindsets and philosophies in life.
Are you authentically intelligent? Or know someone who is? MBSF enjoys learning from others and would love to hear what you think about authentic intelligence.
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com