Smartest in the Room

There’s an old adage that states, “If you find yourself thinking you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.”  For some reason I’ve been thinking a lot about this one lately.  I like to consider myself an intelligent person, but I also love to be surrounded my minds that force me to think more thoroughly and work harder.  A big part of why I went back to finish my degree was to be taught by folks that were smarter than me.

In general I find that I mostly agree with this adage, but with one caveat—sometimes it’s good to be the smartest person in the room, but this should never be the norm.  We find ourselves in multiple “rooms” within our lives, and it’s likely that there’s at least one “room” we enter as the “resident expert”.  I argue that it’s good to be the smartest in these situations, but to still remember we have more to learn.

There are definitely “rooms” we are in that should have people smarter than us, whether they be our co-workers, our friends, our supervisors, or our spouses.  These “rooms” are good for us.  In theory, these “rooms” will help us improve; they will inspire us to be a better version of ourselves.

 As a Parent…

When I think about this adage as a parent I begin to change how I think about it.  My children are toddlers, so in a general sense they are not smarter than me.  But, even as toddlers, I know they have acquired knowledge and abilities that can blow my mind.  Each day I find myself amazed by these tiny little humans.

They learn so quickly; they adapt so swiftly.  I can definitely see a future where they are the smartest ones in the “room” we call home.  I look forward to that day, and based on how they’ve progressed so far I can’t imagine that day being all that far away.


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