Maybe the question should be, “Why isn’t every single smart person rich”?
The simple answer might be that some people do not want to be rich. Money isn’t everything. Some people choose careers that are not lucrative, such as teachers, researchers, scientists or people who choose to dedicate their life’s work to a religious organization. Different people have different priorities.
Just so we’re all on the same page, let’s look at the definitions of smart and rich.
Smart – adjective \ˈsmärt\ : very good at learning or thinking about things, knowledgeable, showing intelligence or good judgment
Rich – adjective \ˈrich\ : having abundant possessions and especially material wealth
Success is More a Function of Effort than an Idea
Not taking that leap of faith, because of the inherent risk of the unknown, is too much for some people to handle. There is a blind leap required to believe you will get to the other side that simply baffles many very smart people. You also have to consider that the “smart” person knows too much, always takes the safe road or path of least resistance to appease the fear and possibility of failure. This alone hinders their ability to become rich. Many others simply lack the business skills or intellect needed. Taking risks and being outside the comfort zone is a trait of many self-made, rich people.
IQ isn’t everything. Intelligence does not equal ambition, vision or ones inherent ability to see the endgame – having abundant possessions and especially material wealth, i.e. being very rich. IQ has no relation to wealth. You also need to consider EQ (emotional quotient). While both IQ and EQ are related, they are also opposite in their view of mental ability. Whereas IQ sees intelligence as being a single measurable characteristic affecting all mental ability, EQ breaks mental ability down into many different characteristics which include the ability to evaluate, identify, express and control emotions, one’s own emotions; perceive and assess others’ emotions; use emotions to facilitate thinking and understand emotional meanings.
Luck or Lack Thereof
Some extremely dumb people are very rich and it just happens to be based on luck. Winning the lottery, inheriting money, being born into a rich family or marrying into money are all easy ways to be or become very rich. What does it mean to be extremely lucky? I would define luck as; success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions. So can being in the right place, at the right time or having the right idea and knowing the right people assist you in becoming rich?
Thinkers vs. Doers
Coming up with a good or great idea isn’t difficult – Implementing it and seeing it through to fruition is the difficult part. Being pragmatic and hands-on is a mandatory prerequisite which most rich entrepreneurs possess. Simply theorizing and not taking action is a likely rationale in understanding why the majority of very smart people are not rich. Being self-disciplined and not seeking instant gratification is also a trait of most self-made, rich entrepreneurs. Hard work and a never ending need to achieve success is an ingrained, burning desire of most smart, rich people. Individuals who are both smart and rich think differently than most and have their priorities organized differently than the majority of people who are simply smart. Creating wealth isn’t easy, even for smart people. Simply creating value doesn’t mean that you can capture or save any of it. All smart people have different driving motivations and some of these motivations conflict with wealth creation goals.
Besides a slew of other reason why all smart people aren’t rich, including but not limited to; lack of motivation, passion, poor social skills, emotional instability, the right opportunities, need or desire, not having a trusted network of advisers or mentors, you should also consider that the brightest and richest people realize that being rich isn’t a high priority, so they focus their time and energies on things which are more important to them.
Related Article: Mistakes & Failures are the Key to Success
I consider myself a passionate person? Being passionate is important in life, but it also can be difficult to deal with, (just ask my wife). Just like with all good things, too much of it can be damaging. However, passionate people, overall, do live happier and better lives than the average individual.
Passions give us purpose, but more than that, they make us feel that we have purpose in our lives. Being passionate isn’t just about knowing – it’s also about feeling. That’s what makes passions so important; they make us feel that we’re on the right path in life and give us hope for a happy and exciting future.
Passionate people lead significantly different lives from their less-than-enthusiastic counterparts. Below are 10 things that passionate people do differently and the good and bad that comes of it.
1. Waking up before the rooster crows.
It’s not that passionate people don’t enjoy sleeping – they do, I can testify to that. It’s just that once they’re up, they get excited about the work ahead of them. Even if the particular project or tasks they will be working on may not excite them, their future aspirations and the passion they have for what they do drive them to get out of bed rather quickly. Passionate people are all about doing and you can’t do much if you spend half the day lounging in bed or sleeping.
2. Constantly thinking and having their passions on their mind.
Passionate people are basically obsessed – usually in a healthy way. Healthy passions are healthy obsessions. You can’t keep your mind from returning to the topic and can’t help but get excited by those thoughts. Passionate people live in a world in which the few things that matter to them in life basically involve the passions they love.
3. Excitement and enthusiasm exude their being.
Passionate individuals may not always feel excited – no one is excited all the time – but when they get excited, they get really excited , for a longer duration and, overall, more frequently.
It’s because they have more in their lives to get excited about. They devote their time to usually one or two things and therefore make more progress than those who split their time amongst many things. The momentum keeps them excited.
4. Get pissed off and emotionally charged easily.
Just as the passionate get excited, they can also come off as very moody. They go from happy and excited to pissed off and miserable in a heartbeat. Because they are passionate, they are much more emotionally connected to whatever it is they are doing – so when things go well, the world is a beautiful place, but when things go south, shit gets real very quickly.
5. Bigger risks – Bigger failures – Bigger rewards.
If you’re passionate, you have a clear understanding of what your purpose is in life – if only your purpose for that very moment. For this reason, you give much less importance to other things. Therefore you’re willing to risk more for the things that you find most important, that you are most passionate about. Those that are passionate are much more willing to give up things that don’t fall in their scope of passion.
6. Unquestionable devotion – to their lives – to their dreams.
Life is filled with things worth doing and things not worth doing. That which we are most passionate about is what we believe to be worthwhile, everything else seems to be wasteful and lacking. Passionate individuals gradually gravitate towards their passions and away from the rest that life has to offer. They know what will make them happy and are willing to ignore the rest.
7. Blinded by their work.
People say that it isn’t good to bring work home. However, for the most passionate, work is home. It’s not possible for these individuals not to bring their work home because their work is in them and reflects in everything they have and do. But it doesn’t feel like work to them. It feels like life.
8. Can’t help but talk about their passions.
They know that you probably don’t want to hear about it because you hear about it all the time, but they don’t really want to talk about much else. And even if they do, their conversations almost always steer back to their passions. They can’t help it because they don’t see their passions as separate from themselves; they are their passions.
9. Either 200 MPH or parked in front of a bus stop – but no in between.
Passionate people aren’t always the best at balancing their lives. They get overly excited and push themselves to their limits. They love working and love moving forward quickly. But they eventually do run out of steam and crash. Only the seasoned and wise passionate individuals have learned to balance havoc and calm in a healthy manner. Now consider adding some ADHD into the mix? Its an interesting journey on a daily basis.
10. Always think positively about the future.
Their minds are always looking ahead, looking at what can be instead of what is. This has its good sides and bad, but nevertheless, they are always thinking about their next move. Sometimes even 3 or 4 moves ahead.
The one great outcome is that they always have something to look forward to and are excited to make it happen. As long as they remember to hang around in the present from time to time, they don’t run into too much trouble, unless you’re me, (just ask my wife) .