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IQ & mapping it to content

17 September, 2020 - 2 min read

I had a thought recently. I'm no expert and this blog is largely a safe place to display my ignorance. But hear me out, I think I'm on to something.

What if I've been looking at this all wrong? What if applied intelligence is made up of two parts:

  1. Your base level of intelligence - something you can't change.
  2. Your map of existing knowledge - something you can drastically improve.

In other words, everyone has a base level of intelligence. Some higher than others but that's ok. Because the second part of the equation is just as important if not more so.

How complete is your map of knowledge in any given area?

It dawned on me that it doesn't really matter how smart you are if you're working with an incomplete map you're at a massive disadvantage.

I experienced this at work recently, I work as a developer and while I'm no genius I'm largely able to figure things out. But I was falling behind in my tickets as they started to get more complicated and involved.

It occurred to me that I was working with an incomplete map.

Despite my ability to figure things out. Now that the subject matter was getting more complex my blind spots were impacting my work.

To rectify this I've been studying. Slowly but surely adding to my map of knowledge and shrinking my blind spots.

It's very powerful, especially as a developer where your self worth can be tied to how much (or how little) work you got done today. And how much difficulty you had figuring out the problem at hand.

It's a menace, people worry about taking too long and it can be terrible for your mental health.

So next time you're stuck, instead of letting imposter syndrome creep in. Or before you start to stress out that maybe you're not smart enough for this.

Take a moment and access the map you have at hand - maybe you're just working with incomplete data and you're not an idiot after all.

You just need to improve your map.

More to come...

Please sir, can I have some more?Price's Law - it's terrifying