We may take what it means to be “intelligent” as a given—you got straight A’s in school and can add up a table of numbers in your head, or you scored well on an IQ test, which measures your “intelligence quotient.”
Psychologists have been attempting to define intelligence since psychology was established as a scientific field in the late 1800s.
“Practical intelligence” may be a new term to you, but it is the key to success in life. Also called “pragmatic thinking,” practical intelligence encompasses a set of essential skills for managing day-to-day living in our modern society.
What is practical intelligence?
Practical intelligence is the capacity to discern what to do in any given situation. It’s a way of thinking that allows us to deal effectively with the challenges and opportunities we encounter in our lives.
Practical intelligence is not just about acquiring knowledge—it’s about applying that knowledge to real-world situations. It’s the ability to see things from multiple perspectives, make sound decisions, and take action.
In other words, practical intelligence is the ability to think and act in a way that allows us to achieve our goals.
Read also: What Is Interpersonal Intelligence
What is the difference between practical intelligence and IQ?
Practical intelligence is not the same as IQ. IQ measures a range of cognitive abilities, such as memory, logic, and analytical skills.
Practical intelligence, on the other hand, is more concerned with how we use our cognitive abilities to solve problems and achieve our goals.
While IQ is important, practical intelligence is a better predictor of success in life.
That’s because IQ only measures a limited range of abilities, while practical intelligence encompasses a much broader set of skills.
Practical intelligence includes the ability to:
- Understand and navigate the social world
- See things from multiple perspectives
- Make sound decisions
- Take action
What are some of the benefits of having practical intelligence?
Some of the benefits of having high practical intelligence include:
- The ability to find creative solutions to problems
- The ability to adapt to new situations
- The ability to think on your feet
- The ability to build strong relationships
Practical intelligence is a valuable life skill that can help us in many different areas of our lives.
Read also: What is Linguistic Intelligence
How can I improve my practical intelligence?
Here are some ways you can improve your practical intelligence:
Be open to new experiences
A key component of practical intelligence is the ability to adapt to new situations. This means being open to new experiences and learning from them.
When we encounter something new, our brains are primed to take in information and find ways to use it. This is how we learn and grow. And it applies to everything from learning a new skill to understanding a different culture.
Be willing to take risks
Many people mistakenly believe that practical intelligence is simply the ability to do things well.
In reality, practical intelligence is much more than that.
It’s the ability to come up with creative solutions to problems, to adapt to new situations, and to think on your feet. It’s also about taking risks.
After all, if you’re never willing to step outside your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re truly capable of.
Be persistent in the face of setbacks
Developing practical intelligence requires a certain amount of persistence in the face of setbacks.
For example, imagine you are trying to learn a new skill. At first, you might find it difficult and make little progress. However, if you are persistent and keep practicing, you will eventually get better and be able to use the skill more effectively.
The same principle applies to other areas of life as well. If you encounter a problem or obstacle, don’t give up; instead, try to find a way around it.
Be flexible in your thinking
One way to improve practical intelligence is to be flexible in our thinking. Too often, we get stuck in rigid patterns of thought, which can lead us to miss out on new opportunities or solutions to problems.
By remaining open-minded and willing to consider different perspectives, we can develop a more nuanced understanding of the world around us.
This, in turn, can help us to make better decisions and navigate challenges more effectively.
Be aware of your emotions
Another way to improve emotional intelligence is to learn how to regulate emotions. This means being able to effectively manage both positive and negative emotions in order to stay calm and level-headed in challenging situations.
Finally, it is also important to develop empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Those who can empathize with others are typically better able to build strong relationships.
Practical intelligence is a critical life skill that allows us to navigate the world around us and achieve our goals.
By remaining open to new experiences, taking risks, and being flexible in our thinking, we can all develop our practical intelligence.
Read also: What Is Intuitive Thinking
Practical intelligence is the ability to understand and solve problems in everyday life. It involves managing tasks, resources, and relationships effectively.
It also requires the ability to adapt to new situations and to quickly learn new skills.
Practical intelligence is important in many different domains, including work, school, and personal relationships.
People with high practical intelligence are often successful in various fields, including business, education, and health care. In conclusion, practical intelligence is a valuable ability that can lead to success in many different areas of life.