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High IQ: Do We Really Need It in Life?

When a child gets the top score during an academic exam, people always tell the child “you have got a great future”. It is as if the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of the child is the defining factor of his future.

The typical viewpoint believes that the ingredient to a bright future in business or in career is two hundred table-spoonfuls of IQ. It is understood as: the more IQ, the bigger the chance of succeeding.

The Intelligences

Albert Einstein is a brand of excellence. He is known as a great scientist, dyslexic man and as a man with an IQ that is estimated at 160.

On the other hand, John F. Kennedy is known but in the world of leadership. His IQ is estimated at 119, quite far from Einstein’s. History books have it that the two were both outstanding and successful.

Comparisons of successful people, who have differing IQ’s, hurt the typical viewpoint that IQ is almost everything. Latter wisdom discovered that IQ is only for logical reasoning. It was learned that IQ is most needed when understanding patterns. But IQ is less involved when trying to touch the emotion of an investor to approve a proposal. It is also less involved when carrying a load of rocks up a hill.

Intelligence is not only about IQ. A person’s total intellect also includes emotional intelligence, moral intelligence and body intelligence. One may not be blessed with high IQ but he is given more on the other intelligences. This is called balance in nature, since it is unnatural to excel in all trades.

According to Howard Gardner who proposed the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, a child who got a task done in a shorter time cannot be assessed as more intelligent compared to another child who finished the task in a longer time. He believes there are eight abilities: spatial, linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. Thus, there is also intelligence in connecting to Mother Nature and in portraying a character in a movie. And that excellence in doing such is still considered “high intelligence”.

A research by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85% of the financial success of a person is due to skills in human engineering, personality and ability to communicate, negotiate and lead.  Clearly, the bigger share is not extracted from the juice of IQ.

Moreover, further studies that tracked kids with high IQ reveal that these kids ended up in less intellectually-demanding jobs. Thus, the typical viewpoint about IQ is a big X.
Life is fair at all. It does not demand high IQ.

Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner in Quezon City. He is an Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. To get in touch with him, please shoot an email to christianaligonow@gmail.com.

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