You're Just as Smart as the Next Guy

 Simplovate: You're Just as Smart as the Next Guy

smart 

adjective \ˈsmärt\

: very good at learning or thinking about things 
Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 9 Aug. 2014.

 

The desire to innovate is prevalent. But who is doing all of this innovating? Who are these smart people?

You are.

Get rid of the notion that smart things happen somewhere else. In other people’s brains. In the technology park, university or other revered place.

You’re as capable of thinking great things as the person next to you. 

Don't believe that the high paid consultants brought in from the outside are smarter because they’re high paid. They may have a different perspective but the suit doesn’t make them smarter. 

Your boss isn’t smarter. 
Your teacher isn’t smarter. 
Your parents aren’t smarter. 
You get the idea.

People have different views. A different way of seeing things. And everyone has the ability to think.

Don't hide behind stereotypes to defer thinking to others you deem more worthy.

Stop looking in other places for solutions, models and silver bullets.  Believe in your own ability to work out a solution. 

If you don't come up with an innovative solution - or any solution, all is not lost as you will have exercised your brain.

Some brains may be more 'fit' - because those people spend more time learning, building knowledge, and thinking. As with physical pursuits practice improves our ability. 

Stating 'I'm not smart' is as ridiculous as saying 'I'm not fit' and suggesting some external reason for it being so.

Practice thinking. Find a problem. Think of all the possible ways to solve it.

Learn from others. Allow their experiences to enrich your own understanding. But don’t assume they're smarter simply because of title, position, wealth, or any other superficial criteria. Don't be intimidated by stereotypes.

We've created so many professional silos to neatly categorise areas of thought that it can be easy to forget that we all have the capacity to think through any problem. Professional designation doesn't bestow exclusivity to solve a problem within it.

Kahn Academy was not started by an education professional. It was the vision of a Hedge Fund Analyst, who was trying to share academic knowledge with family.

Indiegogo the pioneering crowd-funding platform was incepted by a trio that first hand understood the challenges of raising money for the arts and charities through traditional means - not by a division of a high-street bank.

Mary Kay Ash sold home products before building a cosmetics giant on a unique business model that continues to flourish after 50 years.

It is incredible what the human brain focused on solving a problem can accomplish. But you have to believe in your ability to do so. You can't assume that someone smarter than you will figure it out leaving you as a mere consumer when they do. 

The notion that you're not as smart as the next guy becomes a barrier to you believing in your own ideas. Be a participant.