Dawn Celeste LLC


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I am smart.

I am smart.

Saying, “I am smart” is not socially acceptable, right? But is it okay to use industry speak, buzzwords, and acronyms to explain things that folks outside our domain won’t understand? It is interesting that it is faux pas to say I am smart, but it is said (not so subtly) all the time. Hmmm…

Growing up, being smart wasn’t a goal or anything to aspire to be. Honesty, kindness, responsibility, and working hard were the ideals. I appreciate how my experiences shaped how I think about and define smart. I don’t think there is a single definition.

All of us are smart in different ways and at different times and most of us are also not-so-smart in other ways or times. Smart is based on context. Do we mean emotional intelligence, IQ intelligence, book smart, good grades in school smart, smart player on the football field, smart at not getting caught, or what?

I don’t know what smart means. I do know, though, the times I think I am smart I often have blinders on (unbeknownst to me). For example, I was at a meeting a few months ago solving a business problem for a colleague. I listened to the facts of the situation and immediately the answer and what needed to be done popped into my head. When it was my turn I shared my (obvious yet brilliant) suggestion. I couldn’t believe nobody else suggested it! Weird. I later learned that this “smart suggestion” wasn’t smart at all. It didn’t take into consideration very important and specific details of this person’s situation that I didn’t (and couldn’t and shouldn’t) know.

Giving advice and playing quarterback on Tuesday after the Monday Night Football game is easy. Making all the right calls on the field during the game is a much more difficult task. Context. Let’s all heed caution when our Tuesday morning quarterback wants to jump in.

And don’t worry about being smart. I’m sure you are. We all are in our own way. But who cares. You be you and I’ll be me. And together we’ll be smarter. It’s more fun that way, anyway.

How do you define smart? I look forward to hearing from you.