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Identify your intelligence

December 08, 2018


Illustration by Ahmed Amin
Illustration by Ahmed Amin

Do you believe getting the highest marks in a quiz or the maximum number of As in the report card is the only way to measure a person’s level of intelligence? Surprisingly, the answer is “No, it’s not.”

It is said that intelligence is not something that you can learn or grasp, rather it is something that you do when you are not told what to do. It could be anything that makes you stand out for your uniqueness. In spite of having various definitions, every individual can define his/her own type of intelligence.

Some of us are great at handling things on our own without depending on others, while some are better skilled to control and lead groups. We all have our own unique way of perceiving things and solving problems. A mathematics whiz could be afraid of presenting ideas in front of a crowd and the naughtiest kid of all could be the most confident performer of the class when it comes to arts. God has created every individual with some uniqueness. And these differences make this diverse world more interesting.

crowd and the naughtiest kid of all could be the most confident performer of the class when it comes to arts and dramatics. God has created every individual with some uniqueness. And these differences make this diverse world more interesting.

The common perception of intelligence is a fallacious belief, according to which an individual’s intelligence is judged by his/her academic results. In reality, intelligence is a diverse phenomenon. Each one of us is good at something, but no one is perfect at everything.

Have you ever come across the concept of ‘multiple intelligences’? Well, there are multiple types of intelligence. It is confirmed by psychologists that there are different types of intelligence. According to this concept, if you are not good at maths or languages, you might fall into some other category of intelligence which is unique and significant in its own way.

As classified by American psychologist Howard Gardener, there are nine basic types of intelligence.

Mathematical/Logical intelligence

Most of us deal with calculations throughout our lives while pulling out our hair, but there are some who are able to calculate and solve mathematical problems like a calculator.

People with mathematical/logical intelligence can be anyone, irrespective of age and gender, who not only enjoy doing maths but also take interest in solving others’ sums. These people tend to be smarter with maths than the rest of us.

Musical intelligence

Apart from being naturally gifted with a melodious voice, some people are better with music than the rest of us. Sometimes, it blows our mind to see how artistically and effortlessly these musically intelligent people play instruments, make tunes or hum unbelievable notes.

People who fall under this type are considered truly talented, however, their academic results may not always be as noteworthy as their musical accomplishments.

Illustration by Ahmed Amin
Illustration by Ahmed Amin

Existential intelligence

While majority of us enjoy gossiping about others and talking about fashion trends, the latest news or entertainment, there are some distinctive individuals who tend to talk about deeper topics. Like, how we came into being, what will happen after we die, how do we connect to God, and many other similar questions related to one’s existence.

This is also a type of intelligence known as existential intelligence. People of this type might sound boring to some, but they are really intelligent and deep thinkers.

Kinaesthetic intelligence

If you are thinking intelligence is all to do with brainy stuff, you are wrong again. Bodily or kinaesthetic intelligence is a type of intelligence that has all to do with one’s physical abilities which makes them stand out among the rest.

Why some people run faster than the rest? Why some of us are better with dancing while others just fumble around? Or why some of us have greater athletic qualities? It is all because of this kind of intelligence in which the brain gives better commands and the body follows it more efficiently.

Linguistic intelligence

From the time when we all used to rush to dictionaries to find out the meaning of some words to now searching for meanings on Google, we all know how is it to learn a language.

But we all know someone who is a walking dictionary itself. Some people tend to be better with languages than the rest. This type of intelligence is called linguistic intelligence. Such people are better at expressing their thoughts, writing prose or poems and even better at winning crosswords or scrabble. While we keep learning our mother tongue, people with this type of intelligence learn multiple languages and impress others with their vast knowledge and skills.

Naturalist intelligence

Have you ever noticed some people tend to attract animals more than others, or know how to take care of plants better? Gazing stars all night wondering about comets, putting feet in the fresh grass, playing joyfully with the waves or just pampering their pets, some people are special with things related to nature.

Such people come under naturalist intelligence. They can be great farmers, zoologist, vets or botanist.

Interpersonal intelligence

When it comes to interacting with others, we all know someone who stands out by their ability to empathise and connect with other people in a commendable way.

Unlike many others, these people tend to understand emotions easily and make intellectual connections with their intelligence. They can read people like books and be great leaders or teachers. These type of people fall under the category of interpersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal intelligence

Some of us keep wondering and trying to understand ourselves throughout our lives. It might sound easy, but it’s actually one of the hardest and most thoughtful processes to understand our deeper self. Those who are able to do that come under intrapersonal intelligence.

People who are able to identify their soul, emotions and priorities wins among the rest who remain confused throughout their lives. This kind of people may become great writers, philosophers or artists.

Spatial intelligence

If you are asked to imagine a Rubik’s cube or an empty box would you be able to picture it clearly in all its dimensions? Well, imagining objects in all three dimensions is also a type of intelligence, known as spatial intelligence.

As kids, some of us were expert with Lego, puzzles, maze games and building blocks. People who are spatially intelligent tend to solve such games easily and could become great painters, architects or artists.

Just how different all human beings are from each other, their types of intelligence also varies in the same way. In order to not only understand ourselves but to understand others better, we also need to have an understanding of different types of intelligence.

We all are created to perform different tasks and live different lives, hence being intelligent in dissimilar ways helps us create a better world.

Intelligent people know how to step out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves to learn and discover more about themselves and life in general.

They aren’t afraid to accept the way they are and they do not live their life comparing themselves to others.

We all are different parts of a puzzle that join together to build a complete picture. If we all were similar and alike, we wouldn’t ever be able to fix each other. We need to realise the fact that intelligence lies in risking and experimenting to find out the right way to our destination.

Published in Dawn, Young World, December 8th, 2018