Labor or Intelligence?

Have you ever wondered what makes a person successful? This basic question can have many different answers from different perspectives. The most common answers would probably be “hard working” or “intelligence of a person”. But if we acquire the question more deeply, we will see that these two answers are actually not that much related. And as a matter of fact, the things that bring us success are not always related, even sometimes they can vary from person to person.

First of all, what is intelligence? It is defined as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills” in the dictionary. So, we can say that this term is mostly related to a person’s brain and genetic factors. Can we improve our intelligence during our lifetime? Although science is on the fence about this question, the answer can be yes. It is possible to raise your intelligence through some brain-training activities. Memory training, executive control, and visuospatial reasoning can help to boost your intelligence. All in all, we can say that intelligence is more about gaining critical skills to think and analyze rather than your ambition about your goals.

The second key point which is believed to bring us success is “hard work”. Hard work can only be useful if it is done for the sake of some goals or achievements. Just sitting and working for hours will not be useful for anything since it also deals with meaning too. A person will need to give meaning to their choices, goals, and reasons. What I mean is that you must know why you are studying that hard. And also, we can say that being a hard-working person is a decision, not something that is related to your genes. In worldwide research on the relationship between success and hard work, more than 50% of all countries except 4 (Japan, Lebanon, Russia, and France) consider hard work essential for success.

As I just mentioned, intelligence and hard working are two completely different things. In my opinion, success depends more on intelligence while hard work depends on what your goal or task is. As an example, mowing a large lawn is mainly a matter of hard work, whether you are intelligent or stupid. On the other hand, solving quadratic equations is not hard work for those who know how, but only intelligent people are able to learn how. So in short words, I believe that intelligence is the key to understanding everything about success and it is definitely more needed than hard work when climbing the ladder of success.

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