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Old 2010-05-02, 22:42   Link #1
GoGetMyShotgun
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Natural Intelligence Vs. Hardwork

A peer of mine was criticized the other day for a mark on a physics unit exam by my lab partner saying "it isn't fair he doesn't have to put too much effort while others stay up hours on end just trying to pull off a B." I honestly didn't know what to say about this since I enjoy physics, but have to work reasonably hard to keep my grades high.

So my question is: Is natural intelligence and hard work related to each other? Or is it really a matter of "you either have it or you don't" sort of thing?
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Old 2010-05-02, 22:48   Link #2
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoGetMyShotgun View Post
A peer of mine was criticized the other day for a mark on a physics unit exam by my lab partner saying "it isn't fair he doesn't have to put too much effort while others stay up hours on end just trying to pull off a B." I honestly didn't know what to say about this since I enjoy physics, but have to work reasonably hard to keep my grades high.

So my question is: Is natural intelligence and hard work related to each other? Or is it really a matter of "you either have it or you don't" sort of thing?
Both. We all have things that we are genetically predisposed to being good or bad at. But genes aren't the be-all or end-all; if I'm bad at spelling, I can put in hard work and still become a great speller.

We also have different ways we learn, some methods better than others. Some learn best by listening to someone give a lecture and taking notes. Others learn best by actually doing, while still others like to see things done a few times before they pick it up. If your friends are having a hard time, it could be that they would learn better via another teaching method.

And sometimes it's just enthusiasm and laziness. The more excited someone is about something, the more they can pick up, memorize, and use competently. I used to love games like Magic: The Gathering and Battletech, and thus could memorize rules, history, facts, strategies, and other things fairly easily. The trick is to find a way to make whatever subject you are learning, into something interesting and fascinating. Good teachers can do this.
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Old 2010-05-02, 23:00   Link #3
MeoTwister5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoGetMyShotgun View Post
A peer of mine was criticized the other day for a mark on a physics unit exam by my lab partner saying "it isn't fair he doesn't have to put too much effort while others stay up hours on end just trying to pull off a B." I honestly didn't know what to say about this since I enjoy physics, but have to work reasonably hard to keep my grades high.

So my question is: Is natural intelligence and hard work related to each other? Or is it really a matter of "you either have it or you don't" sort of thing?
Sorry but that's just a sad excuse by your lab partner. There's nothing you can do because there will always be people who are good at something that others aren't and vice-versa. Whether he's really just blessed to be good at it or went 110% to earn it is irrelevant; he got what he was capable of doing. This is usually an excuse made by people who find it easier to blame the inequality of achievement by placing it on people they perceive as naturally better rather than doing something else to reach the same level of ability.

And as Kaijo said yes there will always be people who will be better at you at something, and needlessly comparing yourself to them doesn't make you better. You can either wallow in your ineptitude or make yourself a better person. It's not a matter of achieving the same level of greatness as the ones born with the ability can, but reaching the goal you set for yourself that satisfies you. Perhaps without the natural ability they have you will not reach the same academic heights as them, but is that really the way you judge and rate yourself? I would say that satisfaction is derived from your own personal sense of achievement and not by being seen as better than someone else.
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Old 2010-05-02, 23:10   Link #4
Kudryavka
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You either have or don't have natural intelligence. In today's world, however, we demand to see hard work, effort, and outcome, not potential that goes unused. Having a high or low IQ is like being born with good or bad looks; if you have it, fine, if you don't, get over it. You should accept yourself as you are, and only focus on changing the things about you that you can actually change, like how much work and effort you put into things.

Just sitting around talking about how intelligent you are doesn't show that you use that intelligence for your or others' benefit.
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Old 2010-05-02, 23:29   Link #5
Moon Scent
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It's either one or the other.
Natural intelligence is necessary if you want to excel in whatever it is you want to do. Not to sound harsh, but hard work can only work for so long before the material catches up to you and leaves you in the dust. Natural intelligence and hard work combined, well, then good on you.

Good luck on your physics courses
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Old 2010-05-02, 23:34   Link #6
SaintessHeart
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Ever heard of : there is no medicine for stupidity?

If you are not smart, you have to live with it. Usually smart people lack in one thing stupid people have : and that is emotional intelligence and empathy. In the end, the whole world balances out, either we are mentally smart, or emotionally smart, or average in both.

If your lab partner thinks it isn't fair, tell him to find a way in which he doesn't have to study and be able to get good grades. Otherwise, tell him to shut up and go bang the wall. Don't bother being nice to people who display their jealousy for all sorts of pathetic reasons.
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Old 2010-05-03, 09:24   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Ever heard of : there is no medicine for stupidity?

If you are not smart, you have to live with it. Usually smart people lack in one thing stupid people have : and that is emotional intelligence and empathy. In the end, the whole world balances out, either we are mentally smart, or emotionally smart, or average in both.

If your lab partner thinks it isn't fair, tell him to find a way in which he doesn't have to study and be able to get good grades. Otherwise, tell him to shut up and go bang the wall. Don't bother being nice to people who display their jealousy for all sorts of pathetic reasons.
So from your point of view, human attributes are like the sphere levelling system from Final Fantasy X. In order to have one talent you must sacrifice having another. While I see what you mean, I don't buy it. There is no reason why someone can't be born with intelligence, social savvy, athleticism, etc all in one package. That is simply a matter of genetics and social conditioning.
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Old 2010-05-03, 09:58   Link #8
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
So from your point of view, human attributes are like the sphere levelling system from Final Fantasy X. In order to have one talent you must sacrifice having another. While I see what you mean, I don't buy it. There is no reason why someone can't be born with intelligence, social savvy, athleticism, etc all in one package. That is simply a matter of genetics and social conditioning.
Everyone has their flaws, just that some of which (like the good on both sides) we don't see or blatantly ignore. Unless you go the Eugenics way to create Coordinators. Then again, Coordinators are unable to live past their 3rd generation.

To create a perfect human being, you have to monitor what he/she does at every moment and guide him/her accordingly. However, it will still lack something : the ability to self-learn and guide him/herself independently.

Personally, I daresay I am mentally smart, but emotionally stupid. That's why I don't do well in life : I can't be bothered to work with people, or "suck it up" to the boredom of academics.
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Old 2010-05-03, 10:10   Link #9
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One thing that should be stated: Intelligence isn't a general purpose category. A person can be intelligent in a few categories, and stupid in others.

Wisdom is what I aim for; even if one is not too smart in a few areas, wisdom will help you find people who are that can enlighten you. It also keeps you from claiming to be an expert in any area that you are intelligent in. I believe someone said once, "The more I learn, the more I realize I know nothing at all."
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Old 2010-05-03, 10:12   Link #10
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It's not fair? Well, life isn't fair. I know, it's corny, but it's true enough. Some people are just able to learn things faster than others inherently. Of course, that can only get you so far. But if you ask me, hardwork is only going to pay off if you're any good at a subject to begin with.

I know that I'm somehow able to nearly sleep through my classes, never study, wait until the last minute to do work, and somehow pull off at least 3.5 in almost everything, if not a 4 (one, maybe two classes so far have been a 3.0, in the last three years). A lot of people think that's not fair somehow just because they have to work hard to get those kinds of grades.

Well, I don't think it's fair that some people learn just as well as I do, but they also get to be able to talk to people in person without practically passing out, and have naturally athletic physiques as opposed to being a pencil-neck like me. It's not going to get me anything by complaining, though.

If somebody has to constantly knuckle-down and break his back studying for something, then I think it should be fairly obvious that it's not his game. It would be like me complaining that it's not fair that other people are better at football, and I'm only 110lbs. He should find what he's good at and be satisfied that he's at least good at anything instead of complaining about what other people are good at.
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Old 2010-05-03, 13:47   Link #11
Irenicus
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I think the real heartbreaking point is if you're talented at something, but you aren't talented enough.

The entire art world, for example, is built on these little tragedies. Many people are talented in drawing, writing, painting, storytelling, singing, acting, footballing, playing this or that instrument, etc. Unfortunately there's only so much spotlight to go around, so only the best -- or the best-connected -- gets to achieve their dreams.

I think they have a saying about it, "too talented to give up, not talented enough to make it," or somesuch. The minor artist (/athlete/author/etc.) is the problem spot, not the utterly untalented or the total genius. Those two can make it just fine -- the ones who "can't" can just stop doing what they will never get good at, while the geniuses go on to conquer the world.
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Old 2010-05-03, 13:56   Link #12
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There's a relevant topic of "Intellect VS genius" or something, but anyway...I think that natural talent only reduces the amount of work you'll have to do. No matter how great someone is at something, they are never alone in the world, and because of that competition, they have to try, however little. So, the amount of hard work depends on the talent you got at the subject at hand.
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Old 2010-05-03, 14:02   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Everyone has their flaws, just that some of which (like the good on both sides) we don't see or blatantly ignore. Unless you go the Eugenics way to create Coordinators. Then again, Coordinators are unable to live past their 3rd generation.

To create a perfect human being, you have to monitor what he/she does at every moment and guide him/her accordingly. However, it will still lack something : the ability to self-learn and guide him/herself independently.

Personally, I daresay I am mentally smart, but emotionally stupid. That's why I don't do well in life : I can't be bothered to work with people, or "suck it up" to the boredom of academics.
It's not a matter of eugenics or a "perfect human being." Everyone has faults, and yes, it does all average out, but it averages out over the entire population, not a single individual.

We're all on the bell curve, and while most of us are huddled in the giant bump in the middle, there are going to be people who are off on the far tail ends. There are people born average and people born exceptional and people born unexceptional (prefix all these statements with "genetically predisposed to be") and that's just how random gene selection works.
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Old 2010-05-03, 14:34   Link #14
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I don't have anything to contribute (haha) except this is basically my school life story. All my friends do nothing and get amazing grades, while I struggle for my barely passing marks. I think I'm smart but terribly lazy.
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Old 2010-05-03, 17:41   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiga View Post
It's not a matter of eugenics or a "perfect human being." Everyone has faults
I just want to highlight this, because it's something to keep in mind no matter what subject you're on. Everyone has flaws, and while we probably know that on some level, it's another to to really know it. It's what keeps me from dropping friends, because I know that no how flawed they seem to me, I seem equally flawed to everyone else.

And thus everyone is gonna have good and bad areas. The truly intelligent realize this and adapt, while the not-so-intelligent can't stand it.
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Old 2010-05-03, 17:41   Link #16
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No matter how good you are, there's always someone better.
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Old 2010-05-03, 17:51   Link #17
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Originally Posted by Moon Scent View Post
hard work can only work for so long before the material catches up to you and leaves you in the dust
Hard work is awesome. Hard work alone trumps natural talent alone each and every time.

As far as intelligence goes, most people call the ability to memorize lots of facts intelligence, when that's not really what intelligence is. Memorizing things quickly and easily is a nice thing to be able to do, but it's not always the most useful thing in the world. It can get you through school with little effort, though.

If you're talking about a more accurate definition of intelligence, then it's pretty pointless to try and compare being naturally gifted to being a hard worker. People would be better off looking at things like this:

Results = Natural Ability x Hard Work x People Skills

Luckily in the real world there's rarely such a thing as a zero modifier. While you may not be able to do anything about your natural abilities, you can always work harder and you can always make more friends. And more importantly, no matter what your natural abilities are, if you don't put in lots of hard work and (depending on what you're doing) don't build proper connections with people, you're not going to be doing anything extremely remarkable anyway.

Also

Quote:
Originally Posted by SK55 View Post
I don't have anything to contribute (haha) except this is basically my school life story. All my friends do nothing and get amazing grades, while I struggle for my barely passing marks. I think I'm smart but terribly lazy.
"Smart but terribly lazy" is to "do nothing and get amazing grades."
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Old 2010-05-03, 18:24   Link #18
Moon Scent
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Hard work is awesome. Hard work alone trumps natural talent alone each and every time.
Like most people, I consider hard work an important value. But there comes a point where you can only hide it for so long and those with natural talent are the ones who end up excelling. This can include anything from academics, athleticism, singing etc...

Not trying to sound cold, but it's somewhat depressing to watch people strive and push for something they have no hope of achieving.
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Old 2010-05-03, 18:32   Link #19
GoGetMyShotgun
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Thanks for the replies everyone, I didn't think I'd get as many as this. Really grateful for the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Scent View Post
Like most people, I consider hard work an important value. But there comes a point where you can only hide it for so long and those with natural talent are the ones who end up excelling. This can include anything from academics, athleticism, singing etc...

Not trying to sound cold, but it's somewhat depressing to watch people strive and push for something they have no hope of achieving.
Um, I don't know which side of the spectrum you're on, but I'm under the impression that you find that people who bust their butts on a daily basis to pull of good grades pitiful? Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 2010-05-03, 21:40   Link #20
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Well as long as you work hard and study hard you can do any thing but we all know that crap your ether smart or your dumb. But I met alot of dumb smart people and people that need to be shot
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