Intelligence Quotes

Most popular intelligence quotes

It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent. There must be some wisdom in the folk saying: 'It's the strong swimmers who drown.'


People are trying to be smart—all I am trying to do is not to be idiotic, but it's harder than most people think.


People feel deep anxiety finding out that someone they thought was stupid is actually more intelligent than they are.
I did not succeed in life by intelligence. I succeeded because I have a long attention span.

focus success

Knowing what you don't know is more useful than being brilliant.


Too clever is dumb.


Intelligence is not a science.
Belief is the death of intelligence.


A great mind becomes a great fortune.


Every true genius is bound to be naive.


Action is the real measure of intelligence.


There is no method but to be very intelligent.
Always be smarter than the people who hire you.

career consultants office

The higher the voice, the smaller the intellect.
One good head is better than a hundred strong hands.
Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun.


Wit makes its own welcome and levels all distinctions.


Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.


Intelligence is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas.


The desire to seem clever often keeps us from being so.

human nature

Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are.
The height of cleverness is to conceal one's cleverness.
We pay a high price for being intelligent. Wisdom hurts.
He's very clever, but sometimes his brains go to his head.
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.


Intelligence ... is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas.
Man is the most intelligent of the animals—and the most silly.

man the animal

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.


Unless one is a genius, it is best to aim at being intelligible.
It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.
We are an intelligent species because we defined ourselves that way.


Intelligence in chains loses in lucidity what it gains in intensity.
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
No man is content with his fortune, nor discontent with his intellect.

human nature

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.


A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition.
It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.


There are only two races on this planet—the intelligent and the stupid.
Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his fellows.
Man becomes man only by his intelligence, but he is man only by his heart.
The opinion of the intelligent is better than the certainty of the ignorant.
— African proverb

African proverbs proverbs

Intelligence is the wife, imagination is the mistress, memory is the servant.

imagination memory

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.
Intelligence is a measure of how well you function within your level of awareness.
When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.


Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.


To repeat what others have said requires education, to challenge it, requires brains.


Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.

hard work

The intelligent man does not feel his intelligence or the introvert his introversion.
There is no greater evidence of superior intelligence than to be surprised at nothing.
Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.


Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.


There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.

other people

The true, strong, and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.
The voice of the intelligence is soft and weak, said Freud.  It is drowned out by the roar of fear.

hate ignorance

The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.

emotion reason

The difference between intelligence and education is this: Intelligence will make you a good living.
We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

the human condition

While intelligent people can often simplify the complex, a fool is more likely to complicate the simple.


To a dull mind all of nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.
The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.
The intelligent man who is proud of that intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.
When you are educated, you'll believe only half of what you hear. When you're intelligent, you know which half.


There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.


Aptitude is found in the understanding and is often inherited. Genius coming from reason and imagination, rarely.


The intelligent man is one who has successfully fulfilled many accomplishments, and is yet willing to learn more.


I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb ... and I also know that I'm not blonde.


Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.


One of the functions of intelligence is to take account of the dangers that come from trusting solely to the intelligence.
It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.
What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.


I add this, that rational ability without education has oftener raised man to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability.


Intelligence, then, is the ability to attain goals in the face of obstacles by means of decisions based on rational (truth-obeying) rules.


The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing, to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

hopelessness ideas


As things so
very often are
won't get you far.
So be glad
you've got more sense
than you've got

common sense


Which of us doesn't
accept as a rule
that anyone dumber than us
is a fool?
But how many of us
can wholly subdue
the feeling
that manyone smarter is, too?

You'll probably find
that it suits your book
to be a bit cleverer
than you look.
Observe that the easiest
method by far
is to look a bit stupider
than you are.


He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.
There is no greater excitement than to support an intellectual wife and have her support you. Marriage is a partnership in which each inspires the other, and brings fruition to both of you.


I happen to feel that the degree of a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes she can bring to bear on the same topic, I announced, resolutely parroting Miss Head.
If you have enough sense to become a mental adult yourself, you can run rings around people smarter than you. Just pick up key ideas from all the disciplines, not just a few, and you're immensely wiser than they are.


The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.