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Why attitude is more important than intelligence?


Have you ever wondered why the world is full of people who have had huge successes in their lives and wouldn’t class themselves as intelligent at all? Even more so, the world is full of intelligent people who have not lived up to their potential. This discrepancy derives from attitude.

Attitude is defined as “a predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person, or situation.” This complacent way of thinking or feeling about a person or a situation, is reflected in one’s behavior towards life. One’s attitude is a major deciding factor for the level of success he or she will enjoy. If intelligence is not paired with the right attitude, it will stop you from achieving anything in life. Researchers found out that the best attitude in life is the “can do” mentality. This special way of thinking and feeling about everything provides you with not only positivity, but also important achievements.

Psychologist Carol Dweck’s theory regarding the fixed vs growth mindset demonstrates why intelligence does not matter when speaking about individual success. She demonstrates that people either have a fixed mindset or a growth-oriented one. Dweck has been studying mindsets for years and explains that people who make it in life believe success and failure are based on an innate ability (or lack of it): having a growth mindset.

People who have a fixed mindset consider their abilities, intelligence and talents as being maxed out and cannot be changed. This attitude becomes difficult when it comes to challenges, because anything appears to be more than one can handle. One’s fixed mindset is bound to make a person feel hopeless and overwhelmed. Contrastingly, people with a growth mindset believe that everything can be improved with effort. They overtake those who have a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace each challenge and treat it as an opportunity to learn something new.


People with a learning desire have an attitude that influences their individual choice of action, responses to challenges, incentives and rewards. By believing that everything can be developed through learning, persistence and hard work, they know everyone can get smarter if he/she works at it. Unlike fixed mindsets, growth mindsets are particularly self-critical when it comes to failure. By embracing challenges and failures, these individuals are more likely to succeed in life, rather than rigid counterparts.

According to Dweck, success in life is all about dealing with failure: “Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.” This positive attitude is of paramount importance and it could also develop a growth mindset. Following the below-mentioned strategies, one could improve or develop the right mentality and a growth mindset:

  • Be passionate. People who are not as naturally talented as others can make up in passion. Passion empowers and drives the pursuit of excellence.
  • Take action. Take actions towards overcoming fear and anxiety; remember, people with growth mindsets are not necessarily braver, but they know that negative feelings severely damage their inner state.
  • Be flexible. Embrace challenges and failures as a means for improvement and adapt until you attain your desired results.
  • Expect results. People with growth mindsets also experience failures from time to time, but they never let this keep them from achieving their goals.
  • Bring it all together. Keep track of how you respond to day-to-day work-related incidents in order to keep yourself on the right path.


Developing individual performance by having a growth mindset and a positive attitude is not going to happen overnight and although it takes a tremendous effort, it brings substantial advantages. A positive attitude will always equate to positive results, even in the case of mishaps. As we continue seeing nowadays, success is constantly being redefined in terms of embracing each challenge and failure you encounter along your way and treating them as a learning experience.

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