The 5 Unique Ways Intelligent People Screw Up Their Lives


This article isn’t a “left” vs. “right” thing, but this seems the least inapt forum for it:

The 5 Unique Ways Intelligent People Screw Up Their Lives
by John Hawkins

“There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.” — Thomas Sowell

  1. They may believe that learning about something is the same as doing it.

When you’ve gone to school for years, read hundreds of books, and talked to “experts” about a subject, there’s a tendency to believe that you can learn everything you possibly need to know about something without ever doing it. Unfortunately, there are some things in life you can just never understand without personally experiencing them …

3) They sometimes become overconfident about their intellect.

If dumb people have a tendency to ask too many questions and move too slowly, their more clever brethren can make the mistake of asking too few questions and plunging in too quickly. …

4) They’re used to being right so much that they stop listening to other people.

When you’re a genius, you get used to being right when everyone else around you is wrong. You outsmart other people, you out-test them, you outmaneuver them and you get very used to moving forward even when other people are telling you that you’re wrong. …

5) They may try to show how “uncommon” they are.

Common sense doesn’t appeal to many intellectuals simply because it’s common. That may seem counter-intuitive, but think about it from their perspective: If they’re ever so much smarter than the average person, why are they doing the same things that average people do? Why would they believe the same things that average people believe?

These are neither exclusively faults of intelligent people, nor universal among intelligent people (nor does Hawkins say or imply either idea). And these faults grow from a single root, Pride. Over-confidence, forgetting one’s limitations, ignoring the fact that “ordinary” people may yet be smart or have unique insights and experiences, these are all expressions of Pride.