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Defining Brainpower

How do you define brainpower? "Intellectual capacity," according to my dictionary, and that's the entire entry. This two word definition leaves some things unanswered. For example, is "intellectual capacity," and therefore brainpower simply intelligence, IQ, or "intelligence quotient"?

Here is a better definition of brainpower: "The effective use of ones brain." After all, power is defined as, "The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively," or "Strength or force exerted or capable of being exerted." It isn't the possession of things with potential, but the ability to use them. Military power, for example, isn't just owning weapons, but also having men who know how to use them.

Intelligence alone is not brainpower, if there is no ability to use it effectively. Most of us have known an intelligent person who can talk endlessly about almost any topic, but has trouble actually doing anything in life. Such a person has much potential brainpower, but a less intelligent man who can implement one good idea has more actual brainpower.

Many are in in awe of intelligence, but forget that like all tools, it has no value in and of itself. What real power does a million dollars have if it's simply hidden under a mattress? Is a man more successful because he has better business potential than another? Is an artist great because he could be better than the best? A persons unrealized potential is simply that - unrealized.

Defining Brainpower - Examples

Einstein, who also had a high IQ, had a lot of brainpower, because he produced many things with his intelligence. Henry Ford, not known for his high IQ, also had brainpower, because he very effectively used what intelligence he had. On the other hand, there are millions of intellectuals who have potential and even high IQ scores, but never seem to find a way to make that mean something in the world or in their own lives. By this new definition they have no real brainpower.

If you accept this definition of brainpower, and you want to increase yours, it certainly helps to have more knowledge. It helps to learn problem solving techniques, and certain approaches to analyzing things. You can also physically improve your brain with mental and physical exercises. But in addition to all of this, you have to connect that raw intelligence and technique to real life.

It doesn't increase your brainpower to have a new problem solving technique if you never solve a problem with it. It doesn't mean much to know all about mathematics or astronomy or politics if you spend your life washing dishes for a living and doing nothing with your knowledge.

It isn't uncommon for very intelligent people to be unhappy. This may be due to a lack of brainpower, which limits their ability to make that intelligence serve them.

The best definition of brainpower might be... The effective use of ones brain.


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