The other intelligences: Part 1  SELF INTELLIGENCE

*A version of this post first appeared in the October issue of OH Magazine


I sat there in this outward pseudo-blasé state, answering the questions with full internal focus. On the one hand I said I “didn’t really care”, but inside I was hanging on the result for validation of my intelligence.

It was a few years ago now, back when I was at Uni in my homeland of New Zealand and there was a show on TV one night entitled “Test the Nation”. It was an IQ test.

The basis of which was to have the audience at home get an idea for their intelligence, while in the studio they pipped professions versus trades; lawyers vs. teachers vs. builders, and so on.

This was a way to simply test the intelligence of a large chunk of the nation, all at once. I did so pretending not to care about the result, but actually caring deeply, for this was nothing but one big test of where you sit in relation to the nation and everyone else you know.

The biggest problem with this, however, was that while most people were using it to desperately compare to others around the workplace the following day, it was sending everyone both the wrong message (comparison to others), and down the wrong path; this being that cognitive intelligence – IQ – something that is largely unchangeable (so they said) is the only form of intelligence, therefore, the only way to measure how intelligent someone is.


How wrong they were. It is just one part of an overall set of intelligences we have as humans.

Think about it for a moment; you know that person who is really ‘book smart’ but has poor social skills, that person who is “really quite stupid for someone so ‘smart’”. I’m sure we know people like that…


There are many theories around the different intelligences; however, without going to deep into the details, we want to simply apply what is relevant for us to better ourselves. The good news being just that, when we approach our other intelligences we can improve them. People can change, whereas IQ puts in an immovable box.

To some degree we’re talking about EQ – Emotional Intelligence – but we’re going further and deeper than that.


At the end of the day we all would like to become better versions of ourselves, that’s why we’re here, to evolve and grow as life develops. We’re all a work in progress – a project, if you will. Let’s call this concept ‘Project Me and to work on improving Project Me we can focus on three cornerstones; Self Intelligence, Physical Intelligence and Social Intelligence.

These will look and play out differently to each one of us, however, increasing our competency in the first two will yield drastic benefits in our health, both mental and physical.


Today we’re going to talk Self Intelligence. But first, let’s define it for you:

To gain maximum awareness of ourselves; our thougths, words and actions. From the more negative fear based drivers, to the more positive and purpose driven.

From this we can better manage our thoguhts, words and behaviours in order to ensure we are following our own compass and forging the life that is fulfilling to us. Also means knowing when to ask for help and who to bring into our team if and when need be.


How Self Intelligence impacts your life

There are many of us who are simply floating through life, moving from one event to another, going through the motions almost on Groundhog Day, aka around here the ‘Mediocre-Man Treadmill’. There is a serious lack of direction, clarity and purpose. We put our heads down after school/uni and ‘do the right thing’, but by whom?

The result is many guys becoming disconnected from what is most important to them. We lose our ability to listen to our intuition and do what is right by us. In essence we decrease out Self Intelligence.

We often go through life in the search for more; more money, a better body, more women/sexual satisfaction – without giving considered thought to what will bring us – the individual – the most genuine contentment and feelings of success.


To foil this we must start to work on improving our self awareness which will in turn help us better manage our behaviours. Not only will this uncover what our true health and body related goals are, but it will help give foundation and context to them, so we know the reason/s why we want those things. This also predicates the necessary intrinsic motivation required to achieve your goals and deepest desires.

When you know your why – your deepest and most powerful drivers – then you’ll be able to put into perspective what is really important to you, and you’ll much easier be able to consistently  execute the behaviours that will get you close to what success looks like to you.


Hand with marker writing: Who Am I?How to boost your Self Intelligence:

  • Who are you? Seriously. Write out a description of all your traits, quirks and personality characteristics.
  • What are you afraid of? What are you putting off due to fear? What thoughts and behaviours are coming from a place of fear, shame and guilt? What stories/rationalisations play out in your head?  Question these and get a better idea of why you’re failing/stalling?
  • What are your consistent behaviours, both positive and negative? What can you work on improving and focus on enhancing?
  • Work out your core values, these are your internal compass to which your life should follow.
  • Work out, using your values, what you truly want in life; health, body, career, relationships – work out how you want to feel, go deeper than the surface and work out how you love to experience the world.
  • Start pushing your comfort zone and perceived limits by experimenting; succeed/fail, assess, learn, re-do.
  • Ask 3 people close to you what they really think of you; strengths, weaknesses and general traits. No judgement or excuses – listen, take it on board and compare the feedback to each other and your own description.


Get a really clear picture of who you are and what drives your behaviours. From here you can start to get clarity around how to better manage your behaviours in the future relative to what you really want, be it physical, career, relationship goals or anything about you and your life.

Ask questions, seek information and apply that knowledge. That will see your Self Intelligence sky rocket, and any need for validation or comparison to others become irrelevant.


How Self Intelligent do you think you are? Comment and share below.

If you want to get a measure on where you’re at currently – take The Man Test now. Otherwise if you want to delve into this content further, we cover this in much more depth in The Solve Yourself workshops; Sydney based half-day workshops and online Solve Yourself Webinars available.