Street Smart vs. Book Smart

Don’t you just love the type that can talk your ear off about fascinating topics like physics and mathematics, but can absolutely not relate to emotions, what makes people tick, how to interact with others and how life may be anywhere else, but planet USA? You know, the type that talks about science for hours but can’t hold a single conversation about how a person is feeling? If you make the fatal error of just mentioning actual things that are going on in your life, they’ll just shut down and stare at you blankly, obviously uncomfortable and definitely not able to contribute anything that will make you feel better or even different.

I personally prefer people who are both, street smart and book smart. Knowing how the universe functions just won’t get you accepted in the world – it won’t find you love and it sure won’t make you happy. We are social creatures and being incredibly smart just by itself tends to keep us pretty isolated.

I often wondered if intelligence has anything to do with self-awareness. Having spent year of wondering, I can safely proclaim it does not. I know some pretty smart people who don’t have the slightest clue of who they are and where they are going. Lacking self-awareness usually also means they are lacking the power of creation … namely creating the life they want for themselves. Hence, a lot of the incredibly intelligent people are pretty miserable. To a degree, I have to agree with those who say that ignorance is bliss. If I have no idea about what it is I am missing, how would I miss it?

I suppose any fairly intelligent person can learn facts from a book. That doesn’t mean they will be successful. To me, street smart comes in handy AFTER I have learned a thing or two from a book. Understanding the basics of life, I can then go put the learned knowledge into good use. I can go to a therapist and learn something, as well as alter my behavioral patterns. Having been forced to draw from the most unusual places for survival has given me the ability to take pretty much anything on with an open mind and create a positive from it. I don’t just understand in theory how something works … I “get it”. And a lot of the book smart types never “get it”.

What do I mean by that? Well, if I want to learn how to ride a bike, I can read a book about riding a bike and understand in theory, how it works. But “getting it” is the perfect moment of balance, when you are suddenly riding the bike. From this moment on, you will always be able to ride a bike. You can get on one 20 years letter and you’ll still know how to ride. That is the difference between “getting it” and knowing something. The vast majority of people I’ve met know a lot about different things, but very few of them actually “get it”.

Books can teach you many things, but they won’t make you necessarily more successful than others. I use this knowledge in management – when I hire people, I hire the ones that can do the job because they “get it” versus the ones who knows the theory … passion can go a lot further than IQ.

15 thoughts on “Street Smart vs. Book Smart

  1. Pingback: Nerdy Turned Player: Smart Guys Still Cheat! | California Psychics Blog

  2. Stephanie G.

    sorry….I of course meant “talk” not take…error, LoL
    Why is it that we never catch the errors when reading it back but see them after they’ve been sent?
    (probably an error in this paragraph too! haha)

  3. Stephanie G.

    Feeling isolated myself, I’m glad this was written and responded to! Jacqueline’s response about her “superficial” sister is something I can relate to oh so well. I can make small take but rather not and can get bored quickly just hearing it. Sometimes I wonder if that is why I have no friends to hang out? My only sister has made sarcastic comments about me being “too deep”. She’d rather talk about a sale at the Gap. Others, like her friends, talk about people and incidents rather than concepts. I guess that’s why my mother and sister seemed to get along much better than I could. If I remember the quote correctly, it goes something like this:
    Thank you for this article 🙂

  4. LORI

    well, well, thank-you..carmen, i am so glad somebody but me…..anybody, but me…gets what you just wrote. that couldnt be more true, i am glad that there are people like you that would give us street folks a chance. my job did, an i am proving to them, i can do it, and very well i mite add, so, my hats off to you……thanks….

  5. Abigailx9570

    Very nice Carmen!
    I can tell you from experience that what is on paper (degree) does not mean it’s the best choice. My degree is in the school of hard knocks LOL (now its a PHD in it ) and I have a high IQ. Most of my knowledge and skill set that I used in my previous profession came from hands on….I was promoted and sent to schools because of my ability to grasp at things easily and my work ethic. Common sense is so important to live life without its like navigating in the dark. One intern that worked for me said what is your degree in and I responded school of hard knocks ? she did not think that was very funny and was kind of stuffy…LOL When she left in 12 weeks she said she learned more in that time than she did in years of school. Great article and I can tell you are a kick to be around ….

    Many Blessings

  6. Jacqueline x9472

    Hi Gina Rose, Yeah I bet they would make a great shopping

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

  7. Carmen

    *sigh* I am doing that, Gina Rose! I am the one who gets called from single friends to meet the new person. They know that my instinct is never wrong. My head and heart might be, but never my intuition.

    Dear Maryfrances, you are so right on! It is the difference between theory and wisdom. Hence, the difference between understanding and getting it 🙂

  8. Maryfrances ext 9225

    Miss Carman, Well done! I have always said there is a huge between wisdom and theory. Theory is taught, and wisdom is learned from applied theory. Imo, I.A. is one’s potential.

    love,, LOVE what you wrote,

  9. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Carmen,

    In fact, I’ve always said that IF I were going to ever re-marry…..I’d introduce my fiancee to my brother Sean before first ever introducing him to any of the Psychiatrists I read for.


    I could see my brother Sean shake his hand, look him in the eye, and talk to him for a few minutes and size him right up.

    My Mother is into labels…..LOL….she’s actually wasted more $$$$$$ on buying labels .

    I’m so glad my Great Aunt and Grandparents raised me….I love Mom, but at a distance……LOL

    I just love your articles….please keep on writing!!!!!!!

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  10. Carmen

    @Gina Rose: Yes, I can get that about your brother. I have lived in different places in the world and have lived in pretty bad environments. It also allows me to see the core of a person, regardless of what they may show on the outside. But then, that could just be my Scorpio rising 🙂 We see the “hidden” things people are trying to hide.

    @Jacqueline: *sigh* I know this kind well. The sad part is that these superficial people, who build their lives on material things, tend to be very unhappy. Of course, they tend to attract predominantly equally superficial people.

    I have known many people without a college degree and have hired numerous ones as well. Most of them were smarter than the ones with the degrees!

  11. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Jacqueline,

    I agree…… yeh, I hear you !!!!…..your sister should meet my Mother.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  12. Jacqueline x9472

    Very Thought provoking article,

    I have a sister who is not in touch with any feelings or emotions for others, no psychic skills either, but lives her life to how her appearance is, what label that is on her clothes, how big your house is and how many homes you have.

    It is more important to be in touch with others and the real world, than it is in a superficial, non significant world.

    Its all about heart and your connection with spirit, this is where you will find true happiness and peace in your life.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

  13. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    On the other hand, my younger brother Sean is an X Navy Seal…..

    He has a college degree but and now manages a dog food company and is an avid biker…..a Harley biker all the way, rides with a local club……

    But Sean has been in fights in bars and ” racy ” clubs all over the world when he was in the Navy…..
    I can say that Sean is the most street-smart person I know…..he claims it is because he’s been exposed to many different situations all over the world and has learned life from experience…….sometimes the hard way.

    Now, I do NOT endorse my younger brothers’ life style…but I can tell you, he can size up a person in a minute.!!!!!!!!!!!

    He hires and fires people at his company and seems to be able to pick out good employees from the get-go… and his company adore his people skills…….go figure…

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  14. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Carmen,

    Another interesting article……yes, I can tell you it’s true too.

    I joined Mensa back in the 80’s because somebody I knew encouraged me to join and I was curious…..but I have nothing in common with most of them…..made two interesting friends so it wasn’t a total waste….but high IQ doesn’t neccessarily gurantee awareness, or, even psychic ability.

    The smartest people I’ve met have learned what they know in the ” classroom of life”. LOL
    Experience, in my opinion, REALLY does make the best teacher, at least in most cases anyway.

    My Mother will drive me crazy sometimes because she doesn’t understand that things don’t always work EXACTLY like the directions say…… ( any seasoned garage mechanic will tell you too when it comes to working on vehicles )

    ….hey, but isn’t that life. (?)

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


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