I have never taken an IQ test, though I would guess I am neither super intelligent nor super stupid…I am firmly locked somewhere in between. My equation would go something like: Average/slightly above average intelligence + loves to overanalyze + questions everything/curiousity – lazy + a half-century of life experience = me, now.
I use the word intelligence in the loosest way possible. I prefer Howard Gardner’s approach to intelligence that challenges the traditional understanding of the term. Harvard University’s Gardner suggests multiple different types of intelligence, including mathematical, musical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, interpersonal, linguistic, intrapersonal, existentialist and, depending on what year you read him, naturalist.
He does seem to find a new type of intelligence every so often.
I believe most of us are exceedingly intelligent in at least one of these areas.
Yet, in it all, I contend that a primary key to knowledge-slash-intelligence is experience. If you are, say, 45 and have not gained some level of intelligence, you are just not paying attention.
Certainly genetics and environment factors into our intelligence make up, though perhaps an unconsidered factor in our level of intelligence is age. I am just old. I have seen, heard and read a LOT of stuff. And as you age you come to better understand your path as you hone your perceptual filters, I suppose it becomes easier to filter out the bullshit.
At a certain amount of life experience, when the focus becomes much more clear as to your station in life, where you have been and where you need to go, I believe most people hit the TOFTS stage, or what I call the Too-Old-For-This-Shit stage which assists with the bullshit filtering. I was delighted to recently attend a Dana Carvey performance at The Icehouse in Pasadena and he referred to this as coming down with a case of the “fuck its” (FI) –perhaps better stated. You know, those moments in life when you throw your usual cautionary self to the wind and pronounce, fuck it.
Reaching the TOFTS/FI assists in padding our intelligence because we begin to know what we really want and need, while realizing how best to go about getting it. And we realize what we DON’T need or want.
Sure with age comes a certain amount of knowledge; though with it also comes a certain amount of impatience. When you realize you are closer to receiving your death certificate than your driver’s license, patience seems to wear thin. Hence the TOFTS/FI.
How do you know when you have reached the TOFTS/FI stage?
- You usually keep your mouth shut at the Fuddruckers when your burger is too pink. No more, FI. TOFTS.
- The moment when you realize, “why the hell am I still eating at Fuddruckers?” TOFTS. FI. Ruth Chris Steakhouse baby.
- You have a choice between staying at the Hyatt when you know the Motel 6 down the street would be the financially wiser choice. You choose the Hyatt. TOFTS. FI. Bed bugs suck.
- You have always enjoyed the fine delightful bargain taste of “Two Buck Chuck “ and now find your eyes wandering to the French vintage wines and try it out. TOFTS . FI.
- You are sitting at a red light turn arrow with no cars within miles and you are late for an appointment. TOFTS. FI
- You decide to abandon the “friend” that continually gets on your nerves. FI. TOFTS. Nice is overrated.
- Costco vs. Whole Foods. What do you think? FI. TOFTS.
- You typically are reluctant to speak your mind and say what you really believe. FI. TOFTS. So sue me.
- You are concerned what people might think of you. TOFTS. You realize no one is thinking about you in the first place. I’ll start a blog, FI.
Do not mistake a brazen personality type with TOFTS/FI. TOFTS is recognizable by a distinct change in perspective and the situations where it is called upon. Sure you may be a young twenty-something who likes to challenge the red turn arrow, though without the fine discerning palette of age, that act is YAS (Young And Stupid); the TOFTS individual has the wisdom to perform the maneuver with the wisdom of the ages and with clear philosophical purpose.
TOFTS is brought about by a certain weariness from living a certain way too long. A realization of, “Why am I still doing this? Why? Why? Why?” If you are asking this question, you know it is now time to FI.
Once you have reached TOFTS, you are then freed up to focus on the things that really matter while discarding that which does not.
Or not. FI.