Smart But Dumb

4 minute read


This article is a brief summary of an article I found on Medium. The title of the original article is How Come You Know Everything But Do Nothing, written by Anna Asaieva.

It’s interesting to know why people considered smart, educated, and continuously developed choose to be idle. A simple analogy to this situation would be a marathon where these people seem ready to start the game, yet never run for something holds them.

According to the author, the rationale behind this behaviour is that they are too result-oriented. And that result always happens to be extremely unrealistic.

This result-oriented mindset only creates stress and demotivates when the results are not the same as the expectations. Indirectly, this becomes their fear when deciding to make an action.

They chase perfection and that what makes them stay on the start line and not join the game of life. To accomplish a perfect result, they choose to search for fancy approaches, read smart books, and listen to smart people to find great answers. However, all of these don’t bring any improvement to them as they are too busy with their own mind. In order for knowledge to be useful, it must be applied to real life. And this doesn’t happen to them.

Therefore, the simplest solution would be to change the mindset. From result-oriented to process-oriented. This process-oriented mindset actually becomes the most obvious thing that sets apart these people from other people who are considered “less-smart”. Those “less-smart” people move forward faster and enjoy their life as they don’t over concentrate on the results. They move slowly and take the simplest action. They don’t take groundbreaking approaches, yet choose to go by basics but proven ways. They already accept their life.

In the last part of the article, the author also suggests several ways to abandon the “idle” state and join the game of life.

  • Accept your current life as it is, with all its flaws
  • Reduce the amount of consuming information, daydreaming, and planning
  • Forget about the result. Focus on the process instead
  • Find pride and satisfaction in doing simple, monotonous, but necessary work
  • Realise that massive breakthrough will happen unexpectedly, but inevitably, as soon as you concentrate on the process

I loved the final statement from the author: “When you stop just wanting to get things and start wanting to become the person who gets those things done, you’ll end up having everything you could ever want”.

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Personally, I think that some of these people actually really understand how to accomplish the results they expected. They know the strategy to achieve the results. In addition, having poured lots of information into their brain, they should manage to hold enough knowledges to build the strategy.

The problem is, the strategies are sometimes too complicated. Another thing in their mind that interferes them to do an action is an assumption that a ground breaking approach should be the one that is complicated. If the approach is elementary, they might feel disappointed as they couldn’t put out all the knowledges they have. Or in other words, they aren’t able to apply their knowledges in a maximum level. If it’s so simple, there’s no need for them to perform the task. Just let the people who are considered “less-smart” do it.

Additionally, something that is complicated make the execution process even harder. They would need to deal with lots of risks. Risk of failing is one of them. Since they over concentrate on the results, they certainly don’t want to fail. Therefore, they presume that in order for the strategy to be executed well, they need more information. More information to ensure that the strategy would never fail. In such a condition, they are just busy with their mind. The problem is, they don’t even try to act on the execution.

Well, I think, if they’re really brilliant, they should be able to convert complicated things into simpler ones. The execution would be less troublesome. In my humble opinion, a person may be considered genius when he/she can make complicated things simple.

Last but not least, I would say that we impress people with our words, but we make an impact with our actions.

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This article was originally posted on my LinkedIn as Smart But Dumb