The first step in becoming smart is not doing something stupid.


How to manage your own behavior

I’ve learned when you listen and keep your mouth closed that is a first step to smart thinking. You begin to empty your head that is filled with stupid. I speak from personal experience. Do not listen to what you are thinking when they are speaking to you. What you think is important but what they think is more important.

Smart to remove old furniture in your head

We all have a head with what can be described as old furniture, and lots of it, that should have been thrown away a long time ago. Old furniture can prevent us from listening. That old furniture in our heads is preconceived thoughts and beliefs of others we accepted as true. It was not of our independent knowledge.  It takes a lifetime to empty a head of stupid and maybe replace the old junk with accurate information from credible sources regardless of a bias. Bias does not necessarily deny accuracy. When you listen to the other person you may identify old furniture in their head. That contributes to you becoming smart.

Process to your IQ rising

What happens when you listen? When you listen you can focus on what the other person says, you do not become angry because you are attentive beyond yourself. You are being respectful and resolving differences which the fancy word is “conflict.” Nearly all conflict situations are very small in the scheme of life and really do not matter. You know, live and let live. Someone has a different thought or opinion.

Why in nearly all situations do you want to change their thinking? You have your own life to improve. However, the way you approach and manage conflict will influence others to at least understand your position and trust you. Your words have transferred your position into their brain. Once your words enter the air those words stir within their thoughts long after you’ve left them. Let them negotiate your words in their heads and change their own thinking.

Let them speak. It is more important to understand what they say and what motivates them. You don’t need to think about what you want to say. Listen to what the other person is thinking and to their emotions. That builds trust because they believe you are interested and helps you prepare for what you want. Civility begins on how you listen, and in what you say and how you say it. No need to argue. How many battles in your life are worth your time?

What do you do next when you’re listening?

Now that you’re listening to them, what they’re saying and why they say it, you focus on the other person’s concerns or what bothers them, you know, that’s what therapists call “issues.” Lastly you ask them the right problem solving questions with a curious purpose. This shows you care about what is bothering them. It doesn’t matter what you are thinking but it does matter what you say and how you speak the words.

This process works enough to be a 100% improvement in your life. It makes people want to cooperate with you. This is how you train your brain to think smart. They believe you are smart and you help them get smarter in spite of themselves wanting to argue with you. It takes two to get into an argument. If one person will not engage in the argument, there is not an argument, and you’re on your way to winning. And if there is an argument you could win the argument, but it’s like being dead right, you’re dead and relationship is dead too or damaged.

By listening, focusing on their concerns, and asking the right problem solving questions you will become intuitive. You will be able to judge people quickly and accurately, and develop ideas and insights using your intuitive abilities. And you win merely by thinking and being smart. Your chances of getting what you want are improved.

Author Stephen L. Carter, author of Civility of Civility- Manners, Morals and the Etiquette of Democracy, (1998), perspective and interestingly writes-

We think of manners as proper standards of moral conduct or standards of conducting public argument.  Civility is the sum of the many sacrifices we are called to make for the sake of living together.  Yielding to human instinct for self-seeking is often immoral.  We should make sacrifices for others not simply because doing so makes social life easier, and it does, but as a signal of respect for our fellow citizens, marking them as full equals.


It is morally proper to treat our fellow citizens with respect, and morally improper not to.  Civility is part of a larger crisis of morality.  Ethics and etiquette should be one and not separate.  There is a difference between good and good results.  Rules of behavior should not be moved from the realm of morality to the realm of pragmatism. We squabble over our rights and ignore our obligations …

link to-                             © 2017 – All Rights Reserved

.           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .

Narrative segment from my Novel, No Nude Swimming at Chapter 6

Sid the Psych: Psycho-Ceramics


“As I look at it, Sam, you and I are in similar businesses,” he began. “Yes, the people who come to you are called clients, while those who come to me are called patients. But in both cases, they come looking to us to solve their problems, don’t they.”

“That they do, Dr. Sid.”

“And many times those are problems they themselves have created, and continue to create, regardless of us or what we do. Right?”

“Oh, so right,” I replied with a knowing laugh.

“Well, I call the business of solving these people’s problems “psycho-ceramics.”

“Psycho-ceramics? I don’t get it. We’re ceramicists?”

“Yeah. We both deal with crackpots.”

I couldn’t resist a laugh. “Okay. So psycho-ceramics is dealing with crackpots.”

“You got it. An inside term of the trade. That’s what we do, you and I.” He steepled his fingers and made eye contact. “So, what’s going on? Tell me.”

I waited for him to say more, but he kept silent.

Finally, he smiled. “Well, Sam, you’re lucky. I don’t help crazy people. I help people like you. Your situation is normal. Yes, it’s dysfunctional. But it’s normal.”

I cocked an eye at him, and he understood that I didn’t really get what he was saying.

© 2017 Robert Gottlieb – All Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *