On Intelligence

There is very little real balance in life and the ideas of “work-life balance” are so terribly limited and broken that I’ve long-since used that aphoristic phrase for anything useful.

Rather, life is much more about managing tension than anything else, a rubber band ball really.

The same goes with skills, which on the service seem contradictory and conflicting. But, perhaps that means that you’re really smart – F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that intelligence is:

… the ability to hold two opposing ideas in your head at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

But, I’ll be honest… sometimes managing the mental conflicts are deeply maddening. I mean, how can you simultaneously trust your gut while also be aware that your gut is probably lying to you via your natural (and learned) biases?

How can you simultaneously be contrarian and reasonable, knowing that the collective minds on your team are probably smarter and more experienced than you?

How can you simultaneously have the confidence to build a company and also stay deeply humble (and grateful) for the opportunity to do something like that?

How can one be simultaneously focused and yet informed? How can one have unreal discipline day-in and day-out with one’s schedule and yet also stay adaptable and agile when necessary

All of these things require tension. All of these things are tension. Perhaps they are wisdom and intelligence too.