(I would first note that my four-legged family and friends consistently display these habits.)
1. Don’t talk about how smart they are
Because they don’t have to. If you’re always doing and saying smart things, people notice. Smart people aren’t interested in how they’re perceived. They’re busy growing their minds.
2. Learn best by imitation
Everyone benefits from a little guidance, but intelligent people prefer to watch what the pros do first. They reverse engineer success by studying what works and then trying that.
3. Try to figure things out themselves
Nobody can teach themselves absolutely everything. But an intelligent person’s first move isn’t to ask for help or step-by-step instructions. They want to experiment and problem-solve. They develop all kinds of mental muscles by doing this, and they can usually swim on their own.
They’re okay sinking for a few seconds.
Intelligent people want to struggle a little first. An intelligent person might look stubborn, but they’re really just self-sufficient. You don’t get there by giving up too soon and letting someone do things for you — or walk you through every step of every process.
4. Are always hunting knowledge
Intelligent people focus on what they want to know, not what they already know— or what might impress someone.
5. Don’t brag about what they know
Intelligent people apply their knowledge. They don’t keep it locked up in a trophy case for display.
6. Connect the dots
Intelligent people look for connections between dissimilar things. They read across fields and disciplines. They can import an idea from one context to another and unpack it.
7. Are okay with cognitive dissonance
The world contradicts itself all the time. Intelligent people can hold two conflicting ideas in their head at the same time, and find ways to admire each one on its own strengths and merits.
8. Ask lots of questions
Intelligent people know they’ll never figure out how everything works, but they want to try anyway.
This one might contradict the self-sufficiency trait. But smart people get curious. Sometimes they like to fire off a barrage of questions before they jump in and get their hands dirty.
9. Abstract from their experiences
An intelligent person finds patterns in ordinary stuff and scales them up. They’re always observing tiny parts of life that everyone else overlooks, and figuring out how to explain them. The explanations become theories, and they can lead to huge breakthroughs.
10. Seek out puzzles and paradoxes
Something that defies explanation is like a Christmas present for an intelligent person. They love wrapping their minds around things that can’t or shouldn’t make sense, because they know something causes it to happen — they just don’t know what that is yet.
11. Don’t get hung up on crumbs
Intelligent people are fine letting someone act like a jerk, as long as they do it over there — and don’t get in the way.
12. Move slowly, until they hit warp speed
Think about the last time you saw an intelligent person in action. They sat quietly for several minutes while everyone else did their squabbling and grandstanding. Or they went dark for a few days while everyone else was rushing around. If you don’t know an intelligent person that well, you might think they’re dumb or lazy at first. Then they say or do something so utterly brilliant it changes everything. That thing they do — that’s called thinking about a problem before doing anything.
13. Have no problem with failure
Any failed experiment is just information. Maybe it doesn’t pay the bills or rake in the grants, but it’s always one step closer to the eureka minute they’re looking for. They’re immune to failure because it’s baked in.
14. Don’t try to sound smart
You know you’re talking to an intelligent person when you feel smarter after the conversation, because they explained something complex in such a simple way that almost anyone could get it.
14-b. Make everyone around them feel smart
See above. I just wanted to stress this point. You’ll often find intelligent people praising other people’s intelligence.
15. Don’t always use big words
Intelligent people use the right word. Sometimes that’s a big word, and sometimes it’s a simple one.
The master habit: Practice empathy
If there’s one habit that oversees all the others, it’s empathy. Intelligent people try to think from lots of different viewpoints. They try to understand how their actions affect everyone — not just themselves, or the handful of people they care about or agree with.
They're a thing >> CATEGORIES OF BEING
The process of abstraction required to discover the number and names of the categories has been undertaken by many philosophers since Aristotle and involves the careful inspection of each concept to ensure that there is no higher category or categories under which that concept could be subsumed. The scholars of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries developed Aristotle's ideas, firstly, for example by Gilbert of Poitiers, dividing Aristotle's ten categories into two sets, primary and secondary, according to whether they inhere in the subject or not:
- Primary categories: Substance, Relation, Quantity and Quality
- Secondary categories: Place, Time, Situation, Condition, Action, Passion
Definitely on my gift list!
My Dad passed away in late 2008 in Brownsville, TX, while on an Oceanic Windsurfing Adventure.
While windsurfing, Dad was rushed to intensive care and then passed unexpectedly 3 days later. I've always believed it was the Swine Flu which was later discovered to be proliferating right about there and then (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-flu-texas-border-sb-idUSTRE53T1MF20090430).
Whatever it was Dad had, I got it from him while holding him through passing, and was so disabled by it that I missed his funeral.
I had always so dreaded the eventuality of my Dad's death.
But utterly, and completely unexpectedly, I did not sink into a bottomless grief from it. Instead something happened that had never once occurred to me. Even the concept had never crossed my mind. But it is exactly what happened:
Upon receiving the news from my sister that Dad was on his way to passing, I asked Dad if he could wait to pass until I could fly out to be with him, which I did.
For Dad's last hour or so I was alone with him, standing over his catatonic body at the foot of his hospital bed, rubbing his feet continuously and coaching him toward letting go of this life, telling him that I would be OK, and that he could go now.
Lastly, I said "Really you should go now Dad, because you're the one that always said that whenever you died you never wanted to be lying in a bed like a vegetable."
Within 30 seconds of my saying that, the machines in the room suddenly went crazy and he was gone.
The most incredible gift for me was, and is still, that at the moment his body went lifeless, I felt something from him transfer into me which then became a part of my permanent temporal fabric. From that moment, I've never really "missed" him in the ways that I had always imagined and dreaded. I feel his presence continuously available within me – a gift, I suspect – from sharing as we did together, his most peaceful passing.
His own father, a silver miner in Park City, Utah, died in the mine when Dad was 9 years old. When he was 15, Dad came home from school one day to find a note on the kitchen table from his Mom saying that she and her new husband (along with Dad's 3 younger siblings) had sold their house and moved to Nevada. From that point, Dad was on his own in the world.
Dad "pulled himself up by his bootstraps", finishing high school while supporting himself with odd-jobs, and then serving in the Korean War to fund his subsequent College Education. He got his PhD and became a much-beloved teacher and mentor, and a meritorious College Professor in the field of Vocational Education.
Throughout Dad's whole life, how he expressed love and made connections, was by patiently and graciously, yet tenaciously, helping others learn how to help themselves recognize their own unique natural talents (no matter how rough or underdeveloped), and then build, hone, polish and leverage them into personal and professional (and whole life) success.
Dad's life's work was helping others learn how to raise themselves up in this world, as he had, from humble beginnings. He wrote a High School/Junior College text/work/book, "Personal Development for Life and Work" used by tens of millions of students in high schools and vocational colleges world wide:Personal Development for Life and Work
In addition to his intellectual adventures, Dad was also passionate about his outdoor adventures. He was the King of Selfies long before "selfies" were a thing:HERE ARE SOME CLASSIC SELFIES I RECEIVED FROM DAD ON HIS OUTDOOR ADVENTURES.
In the world of animals, naked mole rats are a super-species. They don't get cancer, are resistant to pain, and can survive up to 18 minutes without oxygen. But perhaps their greatest feat, is that they don't age.
Naked mole rats seem to flout the Gompertz law, a mathematical equation that describes how the risk of dying rises exponentially with age; in humans, for instance, it doubles every 8 years after the age of 30.
Except for the Naked Mole Rat, the Gompertz law applies to all mammals after adulthood.
In a furtherance of the oxy-moronic regressions of late . . .
In a solitary voice of dissent, Justice Neil Gorsuch says it best . . .
From Justice Gorsuch in Dissent – Part V.:
Just try to imagine this Court treating other individual liberties or forms of private property this way.
Major portions of this country were settled by homesteaders who moved west on the promise of land patents from the federal government. Much like an inventor seeking a patent for his invention, settlers seeking these governmental grants had to satisfy a number of conditions. But once a patent issued, the granted lands became the recipient’s private property, a vested right that could be withdrawn only in a court of law.
No one thinks we would allow a bureaucracy in Washington to “cancel” a citizen’s right to his farm, and do so despite the government’s admission that it acted in violation of the very statute that gave it this supposed authority.
For most of this Nation’s history it was thought an invention patent holder “holds a property in his invention by as good a title as the farmer holds his farm and flock.” Hovey v. Henry, 12 F. Cas. 603, 604 (No. 6,742) (CC Mass. 1846) (Woodbury, J., for the court). Yet now inventors hold nothing for long without executive grace. An issued patent becomes nothing more than a transfer slip from one agency window to another . . .
So what if patents were, for centuries, regarded as a form of personal property that, like any other, could be taken only by a judgment of a court of law. So what if our separation of powers and history frown on unfettered executive power over individuals, their liberty, and their property. What the government gives, the government may take away—with or without the involvement of the independent Judiciary. Today, a majority compounds that error by abandoning a good part of what little judicial review even the AIA left behind.
Use headings to show text structure
Headings are signposts that guide readers through an article. Because people tend to read them carefully, they should indicate what a section or paragraph is about, or people won’t know what to expect. Also, headings may help them get back on track if they get lost.
For web copy, it’s good practice to make sure that your headings are informative to the reader. Some people like to tease their audience in the headings, trying to entice them to read further. While that can work very well, it’s easy to get wrong. Remember that the main focus of headings should be on the content – and the main purpose should be to make the text easier to read and understand.
Read more: Why text structure is important for SEO »
Use headings to improve accessibility
Heading structure is important for accessibility as well, especially for people who can’t easily read from a screen. Because headings are in HTML, a screen reader can understand the article structure and read them out loud.
By reading or listening to the headings in an article, visually impaired people can decide whether or not to read an article. Screen readers also offer shortcuts to jump from one heading to the next, so they are used for navigation as well.
Don’t forget that, in many cases, what’s good for accessibility is also good for SEO!
Read more: 5 easy accessibility improvements »
Use headings to improve SEO
It’s generally agreed that how you use headings doesn’t specifically impact your SEO; making minor tweaks to individual headings likely won’t help your performance. There are indirect benefits, though. Using headings creates better quality, more easily readable text. Better text is better for users, which is better for your SEO.
And headings give you a great chance to use your focus keyword (or its synonyms) prominently, to make it really clear what the page is about. But it’s important not to over-do it. It shouldn’t feel unnatural or weird, and if it does, that’s probably because you’re trying too hard, or over-optimizing.
So with headings, you should always put the user first. Use them to add structure and signposts to your content, and to describe what each section is about. If your headings let users know what your article is about, they’ll help Google to understand, too.
How to use headings in content
How headings work
NOTE: There are two different sets of ‘rules’ when it comes to how to use HTML heading tags; the ‘classic’ approach (from the HTML4 standard), and, the ‘modern’ approach (from the HTML5 standard). We’re going to focus on the classic approach, as there are some usability and SEO challenges with the modern approach (you can read more about that here).
When you’re editing an article, you’ll usually see different ‘levels’ of headings in the text editor – from ‘Heading 1’ to ‘Heading 6’. These are ordered by size, and by importance. A ‘Heading 2’ is more important than a ‘Heading 4’.
Behind the scenes, these are converted into HTML heading tags; from `<h1>` to `<h6>`. Your theme probably uses these HTML tags in its templates, too.
That’s why, when we talk about how to structure headings and content well, we talk about ‘H1’ tags, ‘H2’ tags, and so on. We’re referring to the underlying HTML code.
Learning the rules
Your H1 isn’t the same thing as your page title. For more information, you can read about the difference between and H1 and the SEO title.
Firstly, you should use only one H1 heading on each page. The H1 heading should be the name/title of the page or post. You can think of your H1 like you would think of the name of a book. On a category page, your H1 would be the name of that category. On a product page, it should be the product name.
Then, as you write your content, you can use H2 and H3 headings to introduce different sections – like the “Learning the rules“ section which you’re currently reading, which sits within the “How to use headings in content” section. Think of H2 headings like the chapters of a book. Those individual sections might also use more specific headers (h3 tags, then H4 tags, etc) to introduce sub-sections.
It’s rare for most content to get ‘deep’ enough to need to use H4 tags and beyond unless you’re writing really long, or really technical content.
An example heading structure
Let’s say that we have a blog post about ballet shoes. We’ve chosen “ballet shoes” as our focus keyword, and written an article about all of the reasons why we like ballet shoes.
Without headings, there’s a risk that we might end up writing a really long, rambling piece that is hard to understand.
But if we structure things logically using headings, we not only make it easier to read, we help focus our writing.
Here’s what the structure of that post might look like:
- H1: Ballet shoes are awesome
- H2: Why we think ballet shoes are awesome
- H3: They don’t just come in pink!
- H3: They’re good for more than just dancing
- H3: They’re not as expensive as you think
- H2: Where should you buy your ballet shoes?
- H3: The 10 best ballet equipment websites
- H3: Our favorite local dancing shops
- H2: Why we think ballet shoes are awesome
See how we’ve created a logical structure, using H2 tags to plan out sections, and H3 tags to cover specific topics? You’ll see that we’ve done the same thing in the post you’re reading, too!
We’ve also tried to mention our focus keyword – as well as some related terms – a few times (but only when it makes sense), and to outline the structure of the page. We’ve also tried to promise the reader something in each section, to encourage them to read through.
This is a good example of how your headings should be structured in a medium-length article. For a shorter article, you should use fewer (or more general, high-level) headings. If you want to go into much more detail, there’s nothing stopping you from using H4 tags to create even ‘lower-level’ sections!
Headings in themes
Most themes will use headings as part of their HTML code, but some don’t follow best practices.
Almost all themes will automatically use the name of your article in an H1 tag. This is helpful because it means you don’t need to repeat the post name inside your content.
Unfortunately, some themes use tags incorrectly – they use tags in an illogical order (e.g., an H4 then an H2), or use tags messily in sidebars, headers, and footers. This can cause problems for accessibility, as the order of your headings might not make sense. Users, search engines and assistive technologies usually look at the whole page, not just your content area.
If you have a custom theme, you might be able to fix this by adjusting your HTML code. If you’re using an off-the-shelf theme, you may need to reach out to the developers.
Either way, you should check that your headings make sense on each template type!
Check your blog’s headings
Using headings well is helpful for your users, increases the chances of people actually reading your article, improves accessibility and might even contribute to SEO. So add them into your copy – just make sure you use them correctly! If you want to check if you do, go and use them now to check your blog’s outline. And when you’ve read and understood all the above, you should now be able to determine whether your theme is doing a good job.
I provide Efficiency-Focused IT and Tech Support for Executive Teams across numerous diverse industries and non-profit Organizations.
Besides my Bat Cave (aka MicroChic's Learning Studio), you can find me geeking out in online forums and communities.
You can contact me through my Contact Page at Denver Geeks.