We’ve heard about wisdom, we’ve heard about book smarts, and we’ve heard about street smarts; but why do we not learn about all three simultaneously? The person that is the most intelligent all-around has learnt to incorporate the three smarts.
Age smarts is otherwise known as wisdom. We develop street smarts to protect oneself and to navigate social situations. Book smarts involve focused practice and improvement in skills and academia; it is usually the factor that most convinces people you are intelligent.
School and society puts greater emphasis on book smarts and so we find recurring defecits in one or more areas of individuals’ intelligence capacities.
We’re taught to get the best degree and learn to talk our way through a room in order to be successful in our twenties. We repeat this pattern throughout our careers sometimes neglecting our street smarts and, most of the time, age smarts/wisdom.
The benefits of developing book-smarts range from career progression, financial security and stability, innovation, and leadership/executive roles later in life. In early life book-smarts is celebrated in school and most homes, feeding the individual positive feedback all throughout their early life. You can see the imbalance of the positive feedback and behaviour reinforcement for the 3 smarts. There is little support in modern society for developing age smarts or street smarts in comparison to book smarts.
Street-smarts are not so celebrated although they are a coveted skill set in social settings, and a necessary skillset to develop in order to survive. Whether you are the life of the party or can you get yourself out of a lot of dangerous situations; street smarts is something that is invaluable for those that have developed it.
Finally age smarts is the ability to apply universal principles usually acquired from experience to life. Sometimes an individual is forced to acquire age smarts early or are naturally inclined to be wise. Wisdom is the overarching intellect and compass which points you to the priorities in life, human relationships, having the correct view of the world, and morality. While being the least celebrated intellect, it is begrudgingly developed after a few kicks to the teeth and knowing better and usually arises much later in life. This renders many years lost unnecessarily trying to figure life out. I wish for everyone including myself to figure out their balance of their smarts as I believe therein lies the trifecta of abilities in achieving your lifes purpose.