Smart is Overrated

I asked a friend yesterday about the workout he does and what the effects are on him. He said that for the past 7 years he’s only been following one program that has given him significant results in his strength and mass. Having seen him go from The Thing strong to Hulk strong, I had to agree. When I asked him where he got the program he said,

“Yung program na sinend mo kay Enzo na hindi mo ginawa. Hahahahaa”

(The program you sent to Enzo that you never did.)


I vaguely remember researching on that program in 2006. It was quick, simple, and no-nonsense. I downloaded a sample program off the internet. Told a bunch of my friends about it. And I never did it.

Zach, on the other hand, took it, ran with it, and the results speak for themselves.

I only knew the information. I was actually smart about it. But I never did it. My friend didn’t know as much as I did when he started. But he did it. And he taught it back to me. Which one would you rather be?

Smart is overrated. If you had asked me to explain the importance of the program to you, I might’ve sounded smart because I knew how to explain it well. But there was no application. Therefore no result in my life.

Smart is overrated. Because of the internet today, we all have access to information. Knowledge is cheaper than ever. (It’s free!!!) We can watch YouTube how-to videos, read Wikipedia articles, subscribe to podcasts, etc. I hope we don’t ever mistake that shallow, casual information browsing for true learning which results in life-change. And it would be ridiculous and foolish of us to presume to have the same level of learning as people who have applied and live the information.

Smart is overrated. There are people who can speak well and can enthrall people because of their wit and creativity of presentation. Those are good skills. But before we swallow their pitch hook, line, and sinker, check out their lives. Do you like what you see? The level of success and discipline? The family and relationships? Because speakers who really practice what they preach will display it in their lives.

People with lives that speak louder than their promotional materials are the ones we should listen to. Whether it’s radio DJs giving life advice, motivational speakers, pastors and ministers, teachers, or celebrities – look at the results; look at their lives.* Anyone can talk well. Not everyone lives well.**

Smart is overrated. For the students finishing their first semester, please don’t study just to be smart for your teachers. It’s unfortunate that some educational practices emphasize the memorization of information more than the application to life.***

Also, don’t feel so bad if you’re not the smartest person in the class. If your grades aren’t that high, but you know how to study, work hard, ask people for help, and LEARN something, that will serve you better than being the genius kid who never had to study. If you are that genius kid, good for you! That’s a blessing from God. But please don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that is enough to get you through life.

The knowledge that we apply is the important thing. That’s what the Bible calls wisdom. When we read the Bible, we see that wisdom isn’t about what you know and talk about. In fact, the Bible constantly warns against people who consider themselves already smart or too smart to learn. Instead, wisdom produces humility, willingness to connect to others and learn, and an undeniable improvement in one’s life and the lives of those around them.


*You might say, “But I can’t see their lives! I only know them from a distance.” Then don’t believe everything they say. It’s like eating a sandwich that was left beside you in the jeepney. You don’t know where it’s been.

**Those who are only good in talking and not living have proven themselves good at one thing: Self Promotion. Maybe that’s the class they should teach.

***That’s because education shouldn’t just be in schools. Education begins at home and as we grow older it becomes our own personal responsibility. “I’m not learning,” doesn’t excuse us from learning. It just means we need to make changes for our own development.

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