The last several years have witnessed a growing dissatisfaction, among both professional psychologists and the general public, with the traditional conceptions of intelligence. Two central notions defined the old view of the mind. The first was the image of the brilliant scientist, a type epitomized by Albert Einstein. People thought that the greatest scientists were the most intelligent people. The second was the IQ test. People thought that high IQ and high intelligence were the same thing.
Many people today, experts and non-experts alike, have become skeptical about both of these old ideas. And their skepticism has created a vacuum. If the old ideas are no longer acceptable, then we need a newer, better idea that can take their place. One influential theorist, Howard Gardner, sees an answer in the concept of multiple kind of intelligence. But the kinds of intelligence that he postulates seem to be top-heavy with skills that are generally taught in school. More and more psychologists feel that such a school-oriented theory cannot be right. They believe instead that we should attribute greater importance to ways of thinking that lead to career success and life success even if school does not reward them. In my experience working with university students and the general public, most non-professionals share this feeling.
If we look at reality, we can see that the meaning and nature of intelligence are always changing. Apart from looking for universal definitions, we need to look at the here and now. What does intelligence mean in the twenty-first century? In the world of information, high technology and global commerce? Intelligence is something that develops over time. Your mental consciousness is a crucial part of your intelligence. The better you understand your mind, the more effectively you can use it. The more you understand how your brain stores information, the better you can improve your memory. The more information that you can store, the faster you can learn and conceptualize new ideas. Increasing the magic of your mind changes more than the way you think, it also changes you as a person. If you can train your brain with memory training or memory techniques, it should help you adapt to the demands of the information age. In terms of what today is truly relevant, it will also help you extend your intelligence further than ever before.
You have more power than you realize. Some people think power comes from position, others think it comes from money, and there are those who think it comes from education. These externals must surely count for something, but they are not the whole story. You only have to look at yourself to see where to find a vast source of power, it is the power of your mind.
Consider the mind of one man, Galileo. Galileo did not accept that the planet earth was the center of the universe, and in the wake of this idea, the civilization of the Middle Ages came tumbling down. Minds have created and destroyed empires and changed civilizations. Your own intelligence has the power to change the world and the power to change your life.