Are you “intelligent”?


tl;drA lot of us need to stop generalizing “intelligence” as a factor of only being good at science and/or analytical problem solving.


There are multiple theories around what is “intelligence” and who is considered an “intelligent” person. The word “intelligent” can be replaced by other words like “smart”, “intellectual”, “sharp”, “canny” etc. but that doesn’t change the point I am trying to make here. Growing up in India, I have seen people looking up to people who are good at Mathematics, for example, but not so much if you excel at arts. And while this prejudice might be more prevalent in some countries than others, it undoubtedly exists across the world.

In 1983, Howard E Gardner, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education wrote a book called “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences” [1]. While his work is still argued by some psychologists and academicians as is the case with most theories, it is still regarded as one of the pioneer works done in the field of differentiating human intelligence.

Below are the 8 types of human intelligence as defined by Howard in his book that I have paraphrased and intentionally kept concise. But if you are interested in learning more about it, grab his latest book and give it a go!


1. Visual-Spatial intelligence – are you good at putting puzzles together? Can you interpret charts and graphs well? Do you enjoy drawing and painting?

2. Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence – are you skilled at dancing or sports? Do you remember things by doing rather than seeing or hearing? Do you like to create things with your hands?

3. Linguistic-Verbal intelligence – do you like writing stories? Can you memorize stuff easily? Are you good at debating and/or giving persuasive speeches?

4. Musical intelligence – do you like to play musical instruments or enjoy singing? Can you remember songs and melodies without much effort? Are you able to recognize musical patterns and notes easily?

5. Naturalistic intelligence – do you like being near nature camping or hiking? Are you interested in learning about other species? Do you find it easy to find patterns and relationships to nature?

6. Interpersonal intelligence – can you communicate well both verbally and in writing? Are you good at assessing emotions/motivations/intentions of people around you? Can you see situations from different perspectives?

7. Intrapersonal intelligence – are you good at self reflecting and being aware of your own emotional state and feelings? Do you enjoy exploring relationships with others? Are you good at analyzing theories and ideas?

8. Logical-Mathematical intelligence – are you good with numbers? Can you recognize patterns easily? Do you enjoy thinking about abstract ideas?


One can be considered “intelligent” in multiple fields and you might have a higher chance of being “successful” at something that comes more naturally to you, both professionally and personally. And I would even go to the extent of saying that, in my opinion, being aware of different kinds of intelligence can also help build more meaningful relationships with people around you.

Enough knowledge sharing for now and congrats if you made it this far in the post. And cheers to being more “intelligent” 🙂

[1]Gardner, Howard E. Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. Hachette Uk, 2011.

Amazing people do exist!


I had an awesome experience with one hell of an amazing person last night that I feel needs to be shared so here it is.

Me and a group of friends decided to visit Goldmyer Hot Springs yesterday. If you don’t know where that is, you can read more about it here – LINK. It was supposed to be an overnight camping trip. The only caveat being that it is almost a nightmare to reach there during this time especially when the last 12 miles of the road is unpaved with about 16 inches of fresh and old snow.

We decided to rent a big ass powerful AWD Jeep that had snow tires and bought most (“most” is an important thing to note here) of the supplies advised by the Goldmyer volunteers that included carrying an axe and a snow shovel.

The trip seemed to be going alright for the first 6-7 miles. There was about 12-16 inches of snow on the unpaved road that barely could accommodate a single car going forward although it was supposed to be a two way road. We encountered a few fallen tree branches and were driving at around 10 mph but it was going alright until we encountered a big fallen tree that couldn’t be jumped. We started using the axe we had to cut through it but after spending several hours on it and barely making any progress, we decided to give up on the axe.

One of us came up with the idea of making a snow ramp around the fallen tree so that it would look like a big speed breaker and the car would just go over it. BAD IDEA. Don’t do this if you ever get stuck in a situation like that. We spent several hours accumulating the snow and trying several times to make our car go over it but failed. On the last attempt of doing that though, the car got stuck on top of the fallen tree in a way that the front two tires were on the other side of the tree while the axle of the tire was stuck on the top of the fallen tree.

We tried everything that we could to get unstuck including going in reverse and forward but nothing worked. The tires didn’t have any traction since the car’s front axle was stuck on top of the tree. At this time, it was getting dark since the sun sets around 5PM. And did I tell you that it also started snowing? It was cold as hell and all of us were almost freezing. That’s when it hit us that we needed help!

Luckily, my phone had a network (Verizon is the best in the US!) so I started calling towing companies. I think I called about 10 towing companies and 9 of them turned us down because of the snowy conditions and how remotely we were located. The one towing company that decided to come help us out also took a u-turn when they encountered lots of snow on the road. Bad luck!

At this point, around 9PM, we realized that we might be spending the night in the car or setting up tents on the road. Then I saw a car coming behind and OMG, were we excited? We all thought that Ron from the towing company had somehow managed to come through.

We got out of the car and I said, “Hey Ron!” He didn’t answer. He came to us and saw that we were stuck. He went back to his car and got a chainsaw and started cutting through the tree. He had all the proper tools and seemed like he knew what he was doing. At one point he told all of us, “Just stay 10 feet away from me while I am using my chainsaw. I don’t want any accidents”. So we all were sitting in the car and he was just working on cutting through the tree. Once he was done with that, he started working on the part of the tree that was under the car on which the car axle was stuck. But this was the tricky part because there was no easy way to access it since there was so much snow under the car (remember we were trying to make a snow ramp?). He was literally lying on the ground covered with snow trying to somehow access the tree under the car. My friends and I were helping him by clearing as much snow as we could and picking up the logs of wood that he was cutting. He broke his chain once in the process because it touched metal. This guy was thoroughly covered under snow and wood dust and didn’t complain even once!

After spending about 3-4 hours working with us, we finally were able to get the car unstuck when he used his own car to pull us out after cutting through the tree on which the car’s axle was stuck. He then also helped us reverse the car for about a mile since there was no way for us to make a u-turn till we reached one of the turns. We all profusely thanked him and I told him that it is so amazing to have met a person like him today who helped us selflessly without asking for anything in return. We ended up giving him whatever cash we had although he hadn’t asked for it and I also took his information so that we could send him a check and a thank you note later.

The guy who helped us goes by the name of Bill Davis and is 79 years old. He retired from the Seattle Mountain Rescue team and lives in North Bend. Go Bill! You are AWESOME and one of the most wonderful people I have ever met!

One of the things that Bill said before leaving us on the main highway was, “When in doubt, don’t take the risk.” All of us will remember that 🙂

We finally reached home around 3AM.