My son asked me if someone was as smart as they think they are. “No one is as smart as they think they are. A
guy can be an idiot, but if you agree with him, you think he’s a genius.” It got me thinking what else we often get wrong.
1. Two heads aren’t better than one if the dumb, loud guy does all the talking.
2. Instead of instantly deferring to somebody who says, “Listen to me because I’ve done X for twenty years,” wonder this: Have they been doing it wrong for twenty years?
3. When you correct someone, are you out to help them or to feel superior? If it’s the first, thanks. If it’s the second, shut up. (And no one likes you.)
4. Are you reacting out of fear? Are you worried about terrorists when you’re far more likely to die from heart attack, cancer or a slippery bathtub? (Yes, you’re more likely to die from a slippery bathtub.)
5. Do you feel compassion for others or have you given up already because it’s all just too much and what can one person do? One person can make a big difference with one person. Start small. If you can’t handle actual human interactions and social contact, start with that lovely person in the mirror.
6. Are you paralyzed by analysis or waiting for permission? Don’t wait until conditions are perfect to change your life. Perfect never comes but the Good Enough Train is always on time. If you’re waiting for permission, chances are excellent you have lots of people in your life waiting for you to ask so they can refuse. (Choose allies carefully. Dump enemies in the river.)
7. Are you certain about something? Beware! Certainty is the cardinal sign that you aren’t as smart as you would like to think. Serial killers are very confident and have high self-esteem. Scientifically, the less informed we are about a subject, the more certain we are in our opinions. (Though I’m not sure about this. Don’t be too sure. Intelligent people are about nuance, which is why they often lose elections.)
8. Are you mad at someone? They know, but are you sure they understand why? They might change their behaviour if they knew. (Yes, I’m saying don’t be so passive aggressive and spineless and state your needs. And, for God’s sake, if they have spine enough to look at you perplexed and apologize, take the apology and move on. Don’t hold on to your resentments. If they don’t apologize, dump him, girl, because if you don’t stop him now, you will be picking up after him forever.)
9. Some people are very negative, hurtful even, and add, “I’m just being honest.” Really? Or are they congratulating themselves for being nasty? You already know the answer to that question if you have one of these miseries in your life. If you are one of these miseries, stop. If you’re putting up with one of these miseries, go back to #8.
10. People put too much faith in top ten lists, don’t you think? They sure sound authoritative. But I’m just another nit on the interwebs, pontificating. You shouldn’t listen to me. (Or am I using mind fu in a cheap ploy to ingratiate?) Make up your own mind about stuff. You can do that as long as you distrust your brain. It’s not just that people lie. It’s that your brain lies to you all the time, mostly to distract you from the existential horror of the abyss. and to protect us froth knowledge that, yes, we really do look that fat in these jeans. In fact, we’re fat all the time. Hm. Maybe a few lies aren’t so bad. Keeps us off the ledge.
Ancient people thought they knew everything there was to know about the nature of the universe.
Every age is the most modern age and the best minds from each age now sound stupid on lots of subjects.
The chances we now know what we’re doing is, statistically speaking, lousy.
~ Robert Chazz Chute is the author of Self-help for Stoners, The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories, Bigger Than Jesus, and Sex, Death & Mind Control (for fun and profit). The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories is the foundation of the Poeticule Bay suspense novels that are now in the works. This novella and short story bundle is free on Amazon until Wednesday night. Please go grab it and, if you love it, please review it. Thanks!
- Ultimate Blog Challenge: Top 10 Things I know I don’t know (yet) (chazzwrites.com)
- Author Blog Challenge #26: The demons in my head (chazzwrites.com)
- The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories: Just released! (allthatchazz.com)
- Top Ten: My best fight (chazzwrites.com)
- PODCAST: Bigger Than Jesus Chapter 1 (allthatchazz.com)