Fluid vs Crystallized Intelligence

Fluid vs Crystallized Intelligence

I suppose intuitively I have known there are multiple types of intelligence.  However, it was not until I read Strength to Strength by Brooks that I realized the profound impact these types of intelligences have on our lives.

Quick summary: there is fluid intelligence and there is crystallized intelligence.  In my own layman’s terms, fluid intelligence is the ability to come up with facts and data points with relative ease — the skill of being quick on the draw with your mind — which Google does quite well, by the way.  Crystallized intelligence is the accumulation of knowledge and then applying it properly — wisdom, for all intents and purposes.

Fluid intelligence tells us a tomato is fruit — Crystallized intelligence is the practical understanding you should probably not put a tomato in a fruit salad.

Fluid intelligence peaks early in life and crystallized intelligence peaks later. 

So no matter where you find yourself on these two curves, you should not ignore them. 

If you’re young, play a young person’s game and do it with excellence.  Enjoy the fruits of your quick wit, your athletic prowess, and your energy and stamina. 

If you are growing older and more mature, set yourself up to be helpful by focusing on activities which utilize your wisdom like coaching, teaching, counseling, pastoring, and advising. 

Be fluid in how you crystallize your gifts :-)

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