What is real-world intelligence?

Get your hands dirty Mr. Genius.
Let's cut the bullshit.  Intelligence isn't about word puzzles, soduku, IQ tests, or SATs.

High performance on these "measures" indicates high intelligence in a subset of domains, but high performance in these domains does not translate to peak performance in the "real world".

The real world can throw a lot of shit at us: job losses, job interviews, working with people, learning new software, staying motivated, paying attention, being creative.

Essentially, intelligence is about performing well at as many things as possible, because you never know what life will throw at you.  I like to call this "cognitive fitness", a name that was inspired by the definition of fitness proposed by the Crossfit people: do lots of stuff well.

So, what are the components of cognitive fitness?  Here is my brain-dump of stuff I factor into real-world intelligence:

1. A healthy body - Your brain is an organ.  If it's unhealthy, you will be more stupid.
2. Focus - If you can't keep your mind from wandering, you won't complete anything.
3. Creativity - As Einstein said, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
4. Decisiveness - Analysis paralysis means nothing happens.  If nothing happens, no one knows how "smart" you are.
5. People skills - Making real things happen requires working in a team.
6. Feedback-seeking - Unless we look for ways to improve, we will not improve.
7. Resilience - If things go wrong and you quit, then you aren't an effective person.
8. Motivation - Success takes work. Work takes motivation.  Motivation takes... I actually don't know.
9. Pain tolerance - Related to resilience: being effective requires putting up with some discomfort.
10. Action - Procrastination means you're standing still.  Action is required to turn fake intelligence into real-world intelligence.

That's good for now.  If you have suggestions for other components of real-world intelligence, post them in the comments!

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