Blog | Personal development

Seven Types of Intelligences (And The One That Can Help You Be Rich)

Why Emotional Intelligence is Essential for Success

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One thing is certain, we’re all different. Each of us has our own natural strengths and weaknesses. In fact, knowing yourself and your strengths and weaknesses is one of the keys to doing well in life.

In 1983, Howard Gardner, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, published his book, "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences." In the book, Gardner outlined seven intelligences.

Rather than look at intelligence in a narrow way like IQ does, Gardner proposed that people had different intelligences in which they excelled. People didn’t usually excel in just one intelligence but instead had multiple intelligences that they were strong in but also multiple intelligences that they weren’t strong in.

The following are brief descriptions of Gardner’s Seven Intelligences.

Gardner’s seven types of intelligence

  1. Verbal-linguistic

    People gifted in verbal-linguistic intelligence tend to be good at reading, writing, and memorizing words and dates. They learn best by reading, taking notes, and listening to lectures. These people are left-brain dominant. School is relatively easy if you are strong in this intelligence. Most “A” students are strong in verbal-linguistic intelligence. Many go on to become journalists, lawyers, authors, and doctors.

  2. Logical-mathematical

    Those gifted with this intelligence do well in math. They are comfortable with numbers, numerical problems, logic, and abstractions. These people are often left-brain dominant. Students with this intelligence also do very well in traditional education environments and often become “A” students. Many go on to be engineers, scientists, doctors, accountants, and financial analysts.

  3. Body-kinesthetic

    These students are often gifted physically. They tend to learn better by moving around and by doing. This intelligence comes out through the gym, football field, dance studio, acting studio, woodshop, or auto shop. Professional athletes, dancers, actors, models, surgeons, fire fighters, soldiers, police, pilots, racecar drivers, and mechanics are often gifted with this intelligence.

  4. Spatial

    This intelligence is strong in art, visualization, design, and solving puzzles. These people are generally considered right-brain dominant. Students gifted with this intelligence tend not to do well in traditional education environments. They do better in schools that focus on art, design, color, and architecture. These students go on to become artists, interior designers, fashion designers, and architects.

  5. Musical

    This intelligence is sensitive to music, rhythm, pitch, melody, and timbre. This person often sings and plays musical instruments well. This intelligence does not do well in a traditional education setting. A person with this gift is better off in musical environments of learning, such as schools for the performing arts.

  6. Interpersonal

    These people are communicators. They are usually popular and extroverts, displaying sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments, and motivations. A person gifted with this intelligence often does well in school, especially in popularity contests such as running for student government. These people tend to go into sales, politics, teaching, and social work.

  7. Intrapersonal

    This intelligence is often called emotional intelligence. This intelligence deals with self-reflection and introspection. Emotional intelligence refers to having a 
deep understanding of yourself, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, and what makes you unique, with the ability to handle reactions and emotions. Intrapersonal intelligence is crucial for high-stress environments. In fact, intrapersonal intelligence is critical for success in almost any field or profession.

Building networks of multiple intelligences

While it is important to understand what types of intelligence you are strong and weak in, it is even more important to rely on other people’s strengths to supplement your weaknesses. I call this building a network of multiple intelligences.

For instance, I was not a good student. This is because I was weak in verbal-linquistic and logical-mathmatical intelligence. You might find this odd since I am a best-selling writer and teach on finance, but the key to my success is to surround myself with people who are smarter than me.

As I’ve always said, I’m a best-selling author...not writer. I’ve worked for years with other writers and editors to help shape my ideas for my books and articles. They help me shape my thoughts with their verbal-linguistic intelligence.

Likewise, while I understand the mechanics of finance, you do not want me actually running the numbers. That is why I have great advisors who help me with my accounting, taxes, and more. They use their logical-mathmatical intelligence to help me get richer.

Rich dad always said, “Business and life are team sports,” and one of the keys to success is building a team or network with multiple intelligences to help supplement where you are weak.

The one intelligence of success everyone must have

This is not to say that I could not learn how to be a better writer or to do my own accounting. I could, but it is not my natural intelligence. I believe it is much better to outsource to others who have those intelligences than to try and develop them myself.

That being said, there is one of Gardner’s types of intelligence that everyone must cultivate if they want to be successful. And that is Intrapersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal intelligence means communicating within yourself—being able to talk to yourself and control your emotions. For example, when someone who is angry says to himself, “Count to ten before you speak,” that person is exercising intrapersonal intelligence. In other words, he speaks to himself before he opens his mouth and lets his emotions speak. This is, unfortunately, not something you can outsource. Therefore it is something you must cultivate.

Intrapersonal intelligence is important for success, especially when times are tough and a person wants to quit or is fearful. In fact, many people going through the present coronavirus crisis will be successful precisely because they have cultivated intrapersonal intelligence. They are finding ways to not only survive but also thrive in the present circumstances. Those who are having a hard time most likely lack such intelligence and are giving into fear.

We all know people who are highly emotional. Rather than think logically, highly emotional people tend to let their emotions run their lives, often saying or doing something they may later regret. I’ve seen many people do this on social media, getting in arguments with loved ones over the coronavirus because they might have a different opinion...I’ve certainly seen people do it to me!

This inability to master the self leads to many struggles and heartaches for people, while those who put intrapersonal intelligence to work are some of the most successful people you know.

Emotional, not emotion-less

Emotional intelligence does not mean being void of emotions. Emotional intelligence means you know it is okay to be angry, just not out-of-control angry. You know it’s okay to feel hurt, but it is not okay to do something stupid in the name of revenge.

Many of us know a person who is very intelligent, let’s say in math, but allows their emotions to damage other parts of their lives. Addiction is another example. Addictions are often caused by a lack of emotional intelligence. When frustrated, angry, or fearful, a person may eat, drink, have sex, or do drugs to numb the emotional pain. Some people go shopping when bored, spending money they do not have.

Managing emotions is key to success

Today, take stock in how you manage your emotions. Are you smart in the way you express what you’re feeling, especially when the pressure is on? Or do you let your emotions continually handicap your ability to succeed?

If you want to be successful in life, you must have strong emotional intelligence, which means strong intrapersonal intelligence, because successful people are successful at managing their emotions, especially in stressful situations.

Interested in learning more about how your strengths can help you with your finances? Get a copy of my book, "Why 'A' Students Work for 'C' Students".

If you want to learn more about how you can make the most of your intelligence, play CASHFLOW Classic here.

Original publish date: June 25, 2013

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