Why Do Intelligent People Fail?

While surfing the interwebs, I came across a post by Matt Mullenweg about lack of motivation. His post featured 1 of the 20 reasons Why Intelligent People Fail by Michael Anissimov. These 20 reasons were excerpts from In search of the human mind by Robert J. Sternberg. Photo by unsoundtransient

Anissimov posted his 20 reasons on his site recently and this made me wonder why do intelligent people fail? You’d think that people with higher intelligence would have a lower failure rate, but this is not always true. I’m not going to list all 20, but here are my top 5 from Anissimov’s post:


1. Lack of motivation. A talent is irrelevant if a person is not motivated to use it. Motivation may be external (for example, social approval) or internal (satisfaction from a job well-done, for instance). External sources tend to be transient, while internal sources tend to produce more consistent performance.

This is true for anyone in fact. Motivation is a powerful force for all of us. Lack of motivation can lead to excessive procrastination. These two can seriously derail any progress on a goal or project.


9. Fear of failure. People may not reach peak performance because they avoid the really important challenges in life.

Fear of failure is another biggie. This holds so many people back it’s not even funny. Some people hedge their bets and reason if they only put in 60% and fail, it’s ok because they didn’t try their hardest anyway. Doesn’t make a lick of sense, but we’re not always logical.




10. Procrastination. Some people are unable to act without pressure. They may also look for little things to do in order to put off the big ones.

I have fallen prey to this myself. As I said above, procrastination and motivation can tag team you and stop you from completing your goals. By having some type of strong motivation, letting procrastination control your life is much harder.


19. Lack of balance between critical, analytical thinking and creative, synthetic thinking. It is important for people to learn what kind of thinking is expected of them in each situation.

Some people are great critical thinkers, but lack creativity. Others are very creative, but cannot take that inspiration and combine it with other ideas to make a complex solution. For these reasons, you may want to partner up with someone who can balance your weakness. Like peanut butter and chocolate (A favorite quote by The Ren Men)


20. Too little or too much self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence can gnaw away at a person’s ability to get things done and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Conversely, individuals with too much self-confidence may not know when to admit they are wrong or in need of self-improvement.

Yep. This may one of the biggest reasons why intelligent people fail. Being humble will help with continual self-improvement, but if you are an expert, be confident in what you know. It’s a balance. Pretty much never stop learning and growing.




5. Inability to translate thought into action. Some people seem buried in thought. They have good ideas but rarely seem able to do anything about them.

I had to add in this as a bonus. This goes back to my peanut butter and chocolate comment. If you are an idea person, find a salesman to partner up with. Your team may accomplish 10 times as much than working alone.


Do you have any thoughts on why intelligent people fail? Let me know in the comments!

For the other 14 Read Why Intelligent People Fail from Michael Anissimov.

Posted via email from Neville's Blog

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © New Gen Geek