Smart People Are Dumb (Read time 1:13) They’re dumb at playing small. They’re dumb at being afraid to share their truth. They’re dumb at discussing petty showbiz gossip, even dumber at spreading it. They’re mostly dumb at demanding their way and very dumb at needing to prove they're right. They’re dumb at giving up AND giving in, and they’re way too dumb to think of themselves as being smart.  Look, I’m working on not being judgmental, and I try not to discriminate, and I call my self on it every time I talk down on somebody. But the truth remains, I love hanging out with smart people. I love walking away from a long conversation, blown away by somebody’s smart ideas. I enjoy grappling with deeper issues, with smart people who aren’t afraid to grapple with deeper issues. I even love the swagger of smart people, the way they glide into a room with the nonchalant confidence of a prima ballerina. And I enjoy regular weekly conversations with smart, foolhardy artists & treps who have absolutely ridiculous, utterly impossible huge goals and are nevertheless determined to achieve them. Smart people, who are not afraid to go deep, and get to the real truth that confronts their lives, tests their relationships, and stalls their careers. I also love it when smart people express genuine humility and play themselves down, giving others the upper hand, because it’s the smart thing to do. And I love reading smart books by smart authors, like Gladwell, Pressfield, Godin, Bruce Lipton, Deepak Chopra, Tom Cambell, Ray Kurzwiel, David Hawkins, and Elizabeth Gilbert. Of course I learn something from everyone I encounter—of course I do! But often my breath is taken away by a smart film director or a brilliantly written screenplay, or the genius lyrics and melody of a great composer, or a really intelligent band manager, or the phrasing of great poetry, or even the coding of a genius programmer. I even respect & admire the brilliance of a smart basketball coach, like Phil Jackson. Now there’s a really smart guy! Wanna learn how to market your music, publish your book, sell your script, turn your big corp into a global one, or incorporate the benefits of meditation into your daily business? Then read his new book “Eleven Rings.” Truth is, the more I hang out and interact with smarter people than me the more my awareness expands. The more I humble myself in the presence of smarter people than me, the more my level of consciousness rises. And the more I read smarter people than me, the more I realize how far I still need to go. Truth is, I just like playing racquetball with someone better than me. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.”  —Bill Gates
J Michael Dolan

Smart People Are Dumb (Read time 1:13)

They’re dumb at playing small. They’re dumb at being afraid to share their truth. They’re dumb at discussing petty showbiz gossip, even dumber at spreading it. They’re mostly dumb at demanding their way and very dumb at needing to prove they're right. They’re dumb at giving up AND giving in, and they’re way too dumb to think of themselves as being smart. 

Look, I’m working on not being judgmental, and I try not to discriminate, and I call my self on it every time I talk down on somebody. But the truth remains, I love hanging out with smart people. I love walking away from a long conversation, blown away by somebody’s smart ideas. I enjoy grappling with deeper issues, with smart people who aren’t afraid to grapple with deeper issues. I even love the swagger of smart people, the way they glide into a room with the nonchalant confidence of a prima ballerina. And I enjoy regular weekly conversations with smart, foolhardy artists & treps who have absolutely ridiculous, utterly impossible huge goals and are nevertheless determined to achieve them. Smart people, who are not afraid to go deep, and get to the real truth that confronts their lives, tests their relationships, and stalls their careers. I also love it when smart people express genuine humility and play themselves down, giving others the upper hand, because it’s the smart thing to do. And I love reading smart books by smart authors, like Gladwell, Pressfield, Godin, Bruce Lipton, Deepak Chopra, Tom Cambell, Ray Kurzwiel, David Hawkins, and Elizabeth Gilbert.

Of course I learn something from everyone I encounter—of course I do! But often my breath is taken away by a smart film director or a brilliantly written screenplay, or the genius lyrics and melody of a great composer, or a really intelligent band manager, or the phrasing of great poetry, or even the coding of a genius programmer. I even respect & admire the brilliance of a smart basketball coach, like Phil Jackson. Now there’s a really smart guy! Wanna learn how to market your music, publish your book, sell your script, turn your big corp into a global one, or incorporate the benefits of meditation into your daily business? Then read his new book “Eleven Rings.”

Truth is, the more I hang out and interact with smarter people than me the more my awareness expands. The more I humble myself in the presence of smarter people than me, the more my level of consciousness rises. And the more I read smarter people than me, the more I realize how far I still need to go. Truth is, I just like playing racquetball with someone better than me.

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.”  —Bill Gates


COMMENTS


Posted By Rachel
Smart is to carry on..
Hi Michael:-) I am learning that when I come to a monumental obstacle I can still move to accomplish my dream, that it may not take place in my impatience, but that I will keep that vision in mind, on the detour road, because that is the focus point. As to smart, I see many people in leadership roles that behave in ways that I would question, smart, or nice, which in the balance weighing..I'd rather weigh heavier on the nice side. But I don't mean any disrespect. I hope you are all well.:-)


Posted By Vernon

You are clearly smarter than me. That's why I read your posts. I took ma a while to get the concept of how being dumb about something can be a smart thing to do, but I get it now. You are making a point with irony. The double negative equals a positive. You have to be smart enough to be able learn from a smarter person and be dumb about being dumb.


Posted By joe
ruth hits a homerun
thank you ruth for saving me many words to try and say the same and thell the truth.. it seems success and status, confirmed by your bank statements, is what samrt means in most everybody's minds.. whatever.. :-)


Posted By Steven Barry
What Is Smart? Thought.
Hi Ms. Goldstone. The dictionary defines "SMART" as an adjective "having or showing a quick-witted intelligence". I used to be described as a "smart ass" because I would ask "Why?" one too many times to, possibly a dumber or less patient person. I think the tenor of what Mr. Dolan was expressing was a generally accepted subjectivity. We can't put our finger on it but we know smart when we experience it. If you are referring to what others (critics) might consider smart people, I generally don't listen to who they think is smart unless there is a need for me to think about it. Was Stalin smart? Of course. Was he brutal and possibly a monster? Sure. We could go on and on...thank you for stirring up the pot a little ;)


Posted By Karen L. Brown
Smart People
My senior year in high school, I was "BLESSED" to have received a PHENOMENAL English teacher! He STRESSED that one must know the DEFINITION of WORDS in the dictionary to make it & become ULTIMATELY SUCCESSFUL in LIFE!!! He was RIGHT! I never forgot this! He informed the class that the way he taught us to learn the words we would NEVER forget them - I haven't! He stated "keep a small dictionary with you at ALL times". Later in my adult life I was always ready with my "VERBAL JUDO"!!! (read the book - of same name). I kept my small Websters dictionary in my *back pocket, of my Levi jeans throughout the remainder of my high school year and early college years. To this current date I have REMAINED a *"SMART ASS"!(lol)!!


Posted By FreddieBrown
Clever Clever
I surround myself with the smartest people ALL the time. I am lucky that I have front row seats at my beck and call. I have recently discovered audio books where I previously only thought of them as for fiction (who has time for fiction) and now Michael, thanks to your book list, I have a one on one with some of the smartest people you've mentioned today. I love Gladwell's books. I'm now listening to The Magic of thinking BIG / David Schwartz.. a bit dated but relevant nonetheless to what I need now. Thanks Michael !! We like to hang out with you,, that's why we devour your thoughts - Squash anyone ?


Posted By Ken Budka
Lessons are everywhere
There is something to be learned in every encounter, with every person out there. Even those who think they are so smart and have it all, can teach us the value humility and earned respect.


Posted By J.G. Boccella
Singularity
Hey Michael. Thanks for this. Here's a site you might enjoy: http://singularityhub.com/


Posted By RICH PULIN
SMART PEOPLE ARE DUMB
See, I'm exactly the opposite! I'm #1 in "Geniusology" and lecture on this subject all the time! As a direct descendent of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Anna, how COULD I have turned out any other way than I have? Aside from 'terminal' high self-confidence, I never lose sight of benevolence, kindness and giving back, in music and in life.. I volunteered, just this morning, to sing and play for people with Alzheimer's disease...I also runa non-profit dog rescue which, for now, focusses on 300 animals in Boquete Panama! My family, Rich Pulin Musical Family, is a songwriting-performing unit! You can check us out at: www.reverbnation.com/richpulinmusicalfamily VERY CORDIALLY, Rich


Posted By Michael McKern
Me too
Thanks Michael this was a great read. I've been lucky enough to be around smart people all of my career. Frankly, like you I seek them out.


Posted By Chico Fernandez

Old European saying...."We get too soon old...and too late smart"


Posted By Russall
Smart people
I like playing tennis with someone better than me too. I also like playing with smart musicians who are not filled with ego and stressed about getting rich. Id much rather read a good book than hang out with negative energy.


Posted By Timmy McMan
Smart people
I like the company of smart people who teach me and challenge me and never put up with my rare periods of self-pity or self-doubt. They bring out the best in me.


Posted By Ruth Goldstone
What is smart?
So how do we judge who's smart? By financial success? What about people who aren't recognized as smart until post mortem? Do dumb people have moments of brilliance? Is smart determined by the level of education? I know the people I like to hang out with are not only smart, but have a genuine concern for humanity, are authentic friends, and do what's right. Thanks for the insight.

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• GRAND FINALE!
• 2-DOZEN WAYS TO MAKE 2012 BETTER!
• DEAR PRUDENCE (read time :43)
• COMPLAIN ALL YOU WANT! (read time :23)
• IMAGINE (read time :57)
• WEEKENDS (read time :33)
• PIXAR LETTER (read time 1:03)
• RESISTANCE CAN KILL (read time 1:37)
• AMATEURS vs. PROS (read time :57)
• REQUIEM FOR A HONEYMOON (read time 1:09)
• CAN YOU FEEL IT? (read time 1:47)
• BRANCUSI'S VICTORY CRY  (read time :57)
• SAIL AWAY (read time :43)
• ARTISTS RULE! (read time 1:23)
• USE IT OR LOSE IT (read time :53)
• START HERE (read time 1:27)
• UNCERTAINTY (read time 1:19)
• STOPPED BY CALAMITY (read time 1:37)
• ART (read time :57)
• AUDACIOUS & UNSTOPPABLE (read time 2:37)
• WRITERS BLOCK (read time 1:47)
• BLOW AWAY DISTRACTIONS (read time :31)
• WAY OF THE CREATIVE WARRIOR (read time :27)
• GOOD BYE LADY LUCK (read time 1:53)
• CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING (read time 1:23)
• DEADLINE OR DIE! (read time 1:53)
• THE WIZARDS CLOCK (Read time :47)
• CREATIVE PRIVACY (read time :43)
• THE KOBE IN ME (read time 1:13)
• READY, SET, GO! (read time :47)
• EVE OF DISTRACTION (read time 1:29)
• KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09)
• JUST ONE MORE FOOT (read time 1:57)
• MY MUSE DOESN'T CARE (read time :39)
• MISUNDERSTOOD (read time 1:19)
• DUMP IT! (read time 1:19)
• IS IT WORTH IT? (read time :49)
• THE 24 HOUR RULE (read time 2:21)
• MONK ON THE MOUNTIAN (read time: a lifetime)
• “IT” (read time 1:37)
• BORN TO SHOW (read time 3:37)
• THE STING OF REJECTION (read time 1:13)
• LESSON FROM A ROCK STAR (Read time 0:27)
• THUMB POWER (read time 1:59)
• EXPOSING THE WIZARD (read time (1:13)
• HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? (read time 1:37)
• THE WAITING WARRIOR (Read time 0:41)
• PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK (read time :57 sec)
• AUTONOMY HIGHWAY (read time :35 sec)
• LIMPIDITY (read time :45 sec)
• WHY I MEDITATE (read time 1:00 min)
• YOUR SHADOW AGENDA (Read time 0:59)
• WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33)
• BARENAKED PROBITY (read time 1:47 min)
• THE FANTASIES OF POSSIBILITY (read time 4:17 min)
• THE TUG OF WAR (read time 5:09 min)