I have spent over three decades building global companies, and as part of that exercise setting up teams around the world. I have worked across diverse industries and cultures, setting up teams from scratch as well as scaling teams for new economy ventures. This has led me to better understand innate intelligence. While there is now proven body of work around lifelong learning, at its core is how we define intelligence.
I believe native intelligence comes down to our ability to perceive, from within the realm of our senses as well as beyond, and then connect the dots in the most efficient manner to extrapolate an output that well exceeds the input. I have repeatedly found the conventional definition of intelligence to be extremely wanting, especially when the task on hand requires creative and out-of-the-box thinking. In an interconnected world that is increasingly competing for scarcer resources, thinking within the confines of the box will no longer suffice.
It is natural to further extend the notion of intelligence to success. Clearly, what good is intelligence if one cannot be successful. Most metrics for success seem to be built around wealth, or fame, or both. As much as the lyric “…money can’t buy happiness, but it could buy me a boat…” holds true, over the years I have had the opportunity to interact with wealthy as well as famous individuals, and my consistent observation was their pursuit of happiness went beyond achieving conventional success. This has led me to believe that the true measure of success is personal satisfaction. It’s not money but the proverbial boat that brings happiness, and while there may be several different means to acquire the boat, it’s important not to confuse the means with the end.
So how do we ensure that we not confuse the means with the end, or that we not spend a lifetime pursuing success that is not fulfilling? The only safeguard against this is to find the best possible alignment with what genuinely gives us satisfaction. As early in life as possible, if I can truly figure out what I genuinely enjoy doing, I could then align all my efforts with that lifegoal or goals. Once I have this alignment in place, I am now innately driven to perceive and connect all the dots around me towards achieving that lifegoal, setting myself up for genuine success and the pursuit of “Happyness”.
Personally, I find immense satisfaction when I interact with young people in the Learn to Start program, helping them find this alignment and how best they can be equipped to achieve true success. It is my firm belief that once this alignment is in place, the innate intelligence comes to the forefront, proving that every soul is potentially divine. While the long-term benefit is setting our young people up for true success, the short-term benefit is heightened sense of focus. This should be reason enough for us to help our young people truly believe that each one of them is innately intelligent and capable of achieving real success, and the key is to find alignment with their true passion.