The Power of Openness: A Fresh Perspective on Intelligence and Personality

I recently discovered a thought-provoking article by Jeff Haden on that not only explores the relationship between personality and intelligence but also emphasizes the pivotal role of “openness.” Grounded in a comprehensive meta-analysis of over 1,300 studies involving millions of participants, the article challenges prevalent stereotypes about intelligence. For instance, it dispels the notion that a cluttered workspace signifies creativity or that higher intelligence leads to unhappiness.
The Concept of OpennessThe central thesis of the article is that “openness” is the only personality trait with a significant correlation to intelligence. In this context, openness doesn’t mean oversharing personal secrets. Rather, it signifies a willingness to engage with new experiences, ideas, and information. As Jeff Bezos aptly puts it, “The smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved.”

What I find particularly compelling is the article’s focus on the adaptability of intelligence. It argues that you don’t need to change your inherent personality traits to become more intelligent. The key is simply to be more open to new ideas and experiences. This perspective is especially liberating for those who may feel confined by their existing personality traits.

Furthermore, the article highlights the importance of adaptability and a willingness to change one’s mind as indicators of intelligence. It cites research showing that entrepreneurs who adapted their positions during pitch competitions were six times more likely to win. This underscores the value of being open to new perspectives and willing to revise one’s understanding.

In summary, if you’re interested in enhancing your cognitive abilities or simply wish to gain a fresh perspective on intelligence, this article is an invaluable read.

Read the full article here.

Glass Houses…

Glass Houses is an interestingly simple concept. It’s really just common sense, and it is amazing how many people just don’t think about it.

The Charlesworks Offices as seen inside the glass house. Created by Charles Oropallo.
One of the CharlesWorks Offices as seen inside the glass house.

Navigating through our lives and making mistakes is indisputably part of life itself. Mistakes, like everything else, occur along a continuum ranging from those small innocuous ones to the incredibly gigantic ones. Life is not fair, it’s just life. My personal experience has shown that it’s clearly whatever we decide to make of it. I’m a believer that misery is the anomaly, although at times it can seem to be the norm when one feels overtaken by it. There are usually people in our lives who we care about immensely, but they are so stuck in their negative funk that we can’t reach them. Often they can easily intellectualize their non-productive state but are unable to make a practical application of their intellectualization.

Then there are the others who feel so lousy about themselves that they attempt to push themselves up by stepping on those around them. We all know some of those – they’ll back-stab nearly everyone around them. We know or at least suspect that they are talking about us when we’re not around. And apparently, they don’t know – and most likely don’t care – that everyone around them realizes this. What they usually fail to see entirely is their own faults and misgivings. They are the ones who blame others for everything from their inability to maintain healthy personal relationships to their drinking or other chemical abuse. Yes, we all know some of those.

And it appears to be so true that misery loves company. However, the reality is that miserable people really don’t love anything. If there is any root to misery, it’s connected to extremely self-centered individuals who have invested heavily into their misguided feelings of entitlement. They think that because everything didn’t go perfectly in their lives, it’s okay to spread the misery around like mud – throwing it everywhere. Basic victimology bears this out – thinking it’s okay to hurt others because you were hurt. It’s a false sense of balancing – of fairness – to somehow equalize the misery of their existence at that time. But it’s so short lived and usually gone immediately, as there is no balance achieved through causing pain to others either directly or through self-destructive behavior.

All this is just a cycle. Fortunately it can be broken. What it is not, however, is easy. There is a lot of work to change. But the good news is that it can be done.

Exactly how, of course, is yet another story!