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Why am I not smart like others?

  1. Mar 13, 2015 #1
    I always wonder why am I not smart though I try my best to be while others are smart without making any efforts, I know that some people would say that its naturally people vary and each one has his own gift or talent but in fact I have I don't have anything, and it's not just I am not smart but I can say I am stupid and forget too much, I started hating myself for being stupid , I wish I can be creative and smart, I always wish to come up with new ideas but I always fail..
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  3. Mar 13, 2015 #2

    Quantum Defect

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    I have found as I have gotten older, that the kind of one-dimensional ruler that we tend to use to identify "smart" people is woefully inadequate. There are all kinds of intelligence, and as you get older you will see that you have skills that others are lacking: whether it is being tenacious where others give up, reading others' emotions where others blunder into emotional mine fields, etc. Be patient; learn about your strengths, and take advantage of these. Work hard to improve in areas that give you trouble, and don't beat yourself up.
  4. Mar 13, 2015 #3
    I would agree with the previous post, and add that there are many paths to being smart.

    I might advise finding some textbooks by people who look at subjects that are well understood mathematically in interesting new ways - asking thought provoking questions about why something is true. On the internet we see so much mathematics which is, unfortunately, very terse and doesn't expand on the why much - i.e. why this maths, what interesting and subtle points does it teach me?

    Find some textbooks if you can by an author willing to talk around the subject. I would recommend the popular science book "The Emperor's New Mind" as a good starting point - Roger Penrose is very good at asking these thought provoking questions.

    You need to get a toolkit in your head of general approaches to solving problems. One thing I used to ask myself when I was younger was "how does the calculator calculate sines, cosines, tangents. exponentials, square roots etc?" I knew that the calculator internally could only do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, so I eventually reasoned "there must be some way of calculating sines using only those four operations"

    Indeed there is - as I was later to discover when studying Taylor expansions. You'll know you're on the right track when you start anticipating that there must be something more that your teacher isn't telling you yet.
  5. Mar 13, 2015 #4


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    Abdusslam: I would suggest that it is not smarts you lack, but confidence.

    Confident people take chances that challenge them. They fail often, but they keep at it. When they succeed, they get better, And they choose to define themselves by their successes.

    Don't try to mimic what other people do well. Start with what you love. What do you enjoy doing? What do you do that pleases you even if no one else cares?
  6. Mar 13, 2015 #5


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    Elwood P. Dowd said that "for years I was the former (smart); I recommend the latter (pleasant)".
  7. Mar 16, 2015 #6


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  8. Mar 16, 2015 #7
    How are you comparing yourself? No matter how smart, there will always be someone smarter. It is not a good goal. You should be content with doing your best and learning new things every day. Some might say that racking up knowledge for the sake of collecting it, is no better than greed for money

    This thread made me remember that I go to trivia every week at a dive bar and there are some smart cookies in there. However, guess who the smarted person in the room is and who everyone wants on their team? The bartender.
  9. Mar 16, 2015 #8
    But then I can also ask when does confidence become bravado or in latin when does pride become hubris? After or before the fall? Not sure if true but a quote i've always attributed to Caesar (from the HBO's Rome) is that "it's only hubris if I fail"
  10. Mar 16, 2015 #9


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    Having confidence, or rather, overcoming feelings of inadequacy, is not bravado or hubris. Even accepting new challenges in order to test oneself is not bravado or hubris. Bravado is the tendency to adopt a bold manner or demonstrate a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate. I don't think the OP expects to brag about accomplishments.

    One can go boldly forward, but be humble and not brag about it.
  11. Mar 16, 2015 #10
    This type of feeling sometimes come to me also, when I am not able to do something.
    There is always rise and fall in life.
    To overcome this feeling just think about the cherishable moments when you have done something great or experienced something new.

    There is nothing like you are the smartest or you are the most stupid.
    There is always some who are above you in smartness and below you in smartness.
    Think like this and you will feel good.
  12. Mar 17, 2015 #11
    How are others smart without making any effort?
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