The Real Measure of Intelligence (And Who Ends Up Being a Winner in The End)

the real measure of intelligence

For me, the real measure of intelligence is a bit different from what we’ve been told by society and authorities.

I think that contemplating on life is essential for our personal development and spiritual growth.
And it’s a shame that so few do it.

I also don’t think intelligence or being smart can – in any way – be connected to school, passing random tests, being considered a professional in a job where you basically do what a machine can do too, or graduating university.

No. All these are skills too, just bad ones – the skill of answering society’s expectations, doing exactly what you’re told to do and nothing else, following the rules others have set and never asking whether they are the right ones.

And most people today have mastered these skills.

Don’t get me wrong. They have actually worked hard for that, have completed a large amount of work in a short time, and so on.
But that never really engaged their brains.

For me, being smart means other things.

The real intelligence lies in the deep realizations one comes to – like that change is the only permanent thing, that the past must be left there and accepted, that we never really own anything, that we’re here just for a brief period of time, that every thought of ours goes in the universe in the form of energy, connects with others with the same vibration and becomes reality, that peace of mind is the highest happiness, and so much more.

The real intelligence is in ideas – not in thinking and talking about other people and events, but about ideas. Giving birth to them, brainstorming, expanding them, and eventually working hard on turning them into reality.

The real intelligence can be found in little daily situations – when a man knows the person in front of him is not being honest, but goes beyond his own ego, is alright with that, slowly leaves the anger behind, and chooses to accept the person for who he is and to enjoy his company while he’s able to do it.
When a man loses a loved one, but realizes so deeply that he was happy enough to have spent this time with him and can only celebrate the life they’ve lived together.

Intelligent are those who say no to instant gratification in whatever form it comes. As that’s a sign of months, if not years and decades of hard mental work, building the willpower muscle and learning self-discipline.

Intelligent are all those who are thankful for painful experiences, mistakes and failures as much (if not more) as they are for the happy moments in life.
Because it shows they know that without pain there wouldn’t be pleasure. And knowing how to learn from the bad makes the good meaningful.

Suffering is much needed in order for one to grow, learn and fight his own demons.

Intelligence is the balance between having a vision, specific goals and a step-by-step plan and taking action every day, and going with the flow, following the natural course of events.

Intelligent are those who question everything, know there’s a deeper reason behind everything and always contemplate on the meaning of life, our mission here, the possible and impossible, the good and bad, etc.

Intelligence can be found not in judging anyone, but accepting criticism and learning from it.

Also, not in being in a rush all the time, but taking a moment every now and then to take a deep breath, to look around, see where you are in life, look back to appreciate the path you’ve walked and look ahead of you with a smile on your face.

Many people consider all these a waste of time.

They think it’s too much effort to work on stuff like finding peace, learning to let go, reading philosophers, making a self-analysis and trying to find the meaning of life.
They find that pointless.

They blame such passionate, curious individuals for their desire to explore the hidden potential of humans, to try to define their wishes and then let go of them, and for spending time thinking about death, being alone for hours reading, writing or working on a project.

But these blamers never really know what life’s all about in the end.

They never actually live it, they just get a sense of what it may look like while feeling a rush of adrenaline, a little burst of inspiration, meeting with other passionate people, or else.

But the deep thinkers, the ones that ask questions and open themselves for possibilities, those that go beyond the egoistic human nature and the little daily problems, that leave behind conventional wisdom and think for themselves – they are the ones who truly live, who succeed, evolve, get to know wisdom, passion, contentment and enlightenment.

They are the real winners in life.

Simply because they never really wanted to be in the race in the first place.

So that’s the real measure of intelligence for me. What do you think?

See also:

14 life lessons that go against conventional wisdom
The true meaning of wisdom
101 important life principles to live by every day
How to find your purpose and do what you love
What are the differences between knowledge, wisdom and insight?

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income