One of my favourite topics as a student of psychology was INTELLIGENCE.
Because prior to being taught the topic, I considered myself unintelligent.
Even though in my elementary school days, I was a brilliant student.
In fact, more often than not, I topped the class. I got gifts for that and got gifts for being the best student in English language.
Sometimes, I got gifts for being a well-behaved student.
I did pretty well in high school, and in my second year in uni, I got a Dean’s award for having a first-class grade.
Still, I didn’t consider myself as intelligent because I was so poor at anything calculations and tech.
I didn’t consider myself smart enough. I thought of myself as just being book-smart.
But when we had classes on intelligence, my eyes opened.
I. Am. Intelligent!
There are many theories of intelligence, but this is not a psychology class, so we don’t have to go in-depth.
But one of the most important lessons I learnt is the theory that states that there are different facets of intelligence, and intelligence shouldn’t be defined based on a single criterion – IQ (Intelligence Quotient).
IQ usually measures academic intelligence, and this isn’t the only measure of intelligence.
Just because someone isn’t doing well academically or in one aspect of learning doesn’t mean they’re not intelligent.
They’re simply differently intelligent.
Consequently, everyone is intelligent, only in different ways.
There are different types of intelligence –
mechanical intelligence etc.
Another very important lesson I held on to was the argument that intelligence could be innate or acquired – the nature versus nurture controversy.
Some theorists believe intelligence is genetic while others believe intelligence can be acquired through various environmental influences.
Well, I tend more towards the nurture argument because I believe anyone can be whoever and whatever they want to be.
Just because you didn’t inherit a trait doesn’t mean you can’t work on yourself to possess that trait.
Everything that we need to be successful in life will not be given to us naturally, we have to work for some.
Even that which you possess naturally needs to be maintained by some positive habits.
Talent is Never Enough by John C Maxwell, one of the best books in history buttresses this.
Now, what is intelligence?
There are many definitions of intelligence but this is just fine for the purpose of this article.
Intelligence is “the ability to use memory, knowledge, experience, understanding, reasoning, imagination and judgement in order to solve problems and adapt to new situations.” AllWords Dictionary, 2006
So, what are the habits of a highly intelligent woman?
What habits will help you to do all that is listed in the definition above?
10 Habits of Highly Intelligent Women
1. They are curious
Intelligent women aren’t nonchalant to their environment and the way things work.
Their curiosity drives them to want to know things.
To be an intelligent person, you don’t necessarily need to be curious about everything on the planet because you can’t be interested in everything.
There isn’t enough time in the world for that.
To sharpen your intelligence, however, you have to be curious about the things that matter to you.
Great people who came up with different inventions that improved humans’ quality of life were driven by their curiosity until they achieved results.
Intelligent women are curious about their environment and things that interest them.
This is one of the ways they gain the knowledge that help them to solve problems and adapt to new situations = intelligence.
2. They ask questions
When you’re curious, you seek answers from people who seem to have them.
Intelligent women don’t claim to know it all. They ask questions to satisfy their curiosity.
One of the ways to know a curious person is their penchant for asking questions.
Usually, questions arise from deep thought, thus, intelligent women engage people with questions in order to get answers.
3. They read a lot
One of the ways to acquire knowledge is by reading.
It is usually people who know a lot that believe that they don’t know enough. Often times, people who feel they know everything actually know nothing.
So it is not surprising that highly intelligent women are constantly seeking knowledge, they have an insatiable taste for knowledge.
Therefore, they are voracious readers, with their nose constantly in a book or anything readable.
They read for fun too but they usually turn every reading experience into a learning experience.
If you want to be an intelligent woman, you’ve got to be a lover of information.
4. They embrace challenges
Remember intelligence involves solving problems and adapting to new situations.
Well, challenges are new situations, and intelligent women use their memory, knowledge, reasoning and experience to tackle them instead of shying away from them.
When I proceeded to study psychology as a Registered Nurse, I didn’t expect that I’d be doing a lot of statistics as a psychology student.
I don’t like Maths!
To my surprise, statistics turned out to be what makes psychology a (social) science, and it’s done from year one to final year.
As a matter of fact, it’s a compulsory course with the capacity to determine your graduation.
What did I do?
I told myself there was no way I’d carry it over or spend an extra year in school.
So, I started studying the course extra hard and mastered all the formulas. I later discovered it wasn’t that hard, in fact, I found it interesting.
I not only tutored others who had problems with the course, but I also looked forward to the exams.
Believe me when I say I had an A in the course from my second year until graduation.
I realized that I can achieve anything I set my heart to achieve.
Intelligent women are problem solvers. They don’t say “I can’t” rather they’d say ” I’ll try”.
They see every problem as a challenge and a test of intelligence, not a difficulty that cannot be surmounted.
Highly intelligent women are not afraid of challenges.
5. They think a lot
You need to engage your intellect to be intelligent because you gain a lot of insight when you think.
Intelligent women come up with great insights because they meditate a lot.
If you want to be an intelligent woman, you need to make it a habit to meditate.
Set some time apart every day to engage in positive reasoning, not depressing thoughts.
6. They imagine
You can think and not imagine.
Intelligent women are imaginative!
As a matter of fact, your level of intelligence is linked to your imaginative power.
Most of the great artworks, movies, songs. and inventions we enjoy today are products of their owners’ imaginations.
If you want to sharpen your intelligence, you’ve got to actively engage your imagination.
There’s power in your imagination. Unlock it. Use it.
And the most amazing thing about it is that, whatever you imagine, you can achieve. There’s no limit to your imaginative power.
7. They spend time alone
Highly intelligent women are not afraid to spend time alone because that is when they meditate, reflect, and imagine.
Yes, they enjoy the company of others but also spend time in solitude to recreate themselves.
They ask themselves pertinent questions on what they are doing right, what they are doing wrong, what they need to improve on, their goals and how far they are working to achieve it.
It is from this place of solitude they find inspiration to push for excellence in all that they do.
There are so many distractions in our world today – social media phones, TV, emails etc. that make it difficult for people to spend time alone.
However, highly intelligent women make it a discipline to have some ME time because they are aware of its importance.
8. They socialise and network
In the same vein, intelligent women understand that nobody is an island and nobody can do it all alone.
We all need people. So, they don’t alienate people.
No, they are not pushovers who need people’s approval before they can be themselves, so they don’t pander to everybody’s opinion.
But they don’t also chase people away; they enjoy spending time with like minds, learning and benefiting from them as well as also lending a helping hand to others.
Highly intelligent women are emotionally intelligent. They understand people, their motivations and emotions as well as theirs.
9. They play hard
Highly intelligent women work smart; nobody can accuse them of being lazy. But, they also play hard.
They do things they derive pleasure in. They find time to enjoy their hobbies and try to strike a balance between their work and social life.
10. They give back
Intelligent women understand the importance of giving back to society. They know they have something others can benefit from and they can show gratitude by pulling other people up.
They are either volunteering somewhere or giving their resources to the volunteers or just helping someone in need of assistance around them.
They are not self-absorbed or think that the world revolves around them.
Highly intelligent women are not necessarily the wealthiest but they give back to others within their capacity, which doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary.
Now, it is important to note that there are exceptions to every rule and this list is not exhaustive.
However, you can’t engage in these ten habits of highly intelligent women and not realise that something positive is happening to your intellect.