7 Types of Intelligences (And The One That Can Help You Be Rich)

Dear Reader,

Every one of us is different. 

We all have different strengths and weaknesses. This is why I do not recommend that everyone do what I do. Even though it is pretty easy to be an entrepreneur, I know that being a rich entrepreneur is not easy. The world is filled with entrepreneurs who are average. The same is true with real estate. The world is filled with real estate investors who do not make much money.

We all have a unique talent or genius. If people want to become rich, maybe even super-rich, they need to find an environment that allows them to develop and apply their genius. 

Through my research I discovered the book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner. His work was mind-expanding and validating. His book validated what I intrinsically knew; I simply didn’t have the intelligences recognized by the school system, which are predominantly linguistic and logical-mathematical. This is one of the reasons I failed English twice in high school. I could not write, spell, or punctuate. I am not linguistic, and I am not logical.

Rather than look at intelligence in a narrow way like school or IQ does, Gardner proposed that people had different intelligences in which they excelled. People didn’t usually excel in just one intelligence but instead had multiple intelligences that they were strong in but also multiple intelligences that they weren’t strong in.

The following are brief descriptions of Gardner’s Seven Intelligences:

  1. Verbal-linguistic:  People gifted in verbal-linguistic intelligence tend to be good at reading, writing, and memorizing words and dates. They learn best by reading, taking notes, and listening to lectures. These people are left-brain dominant. School is relatively easy if you are strong in this intelligence. Most “A” students are strong in verbal-linguistic intelligence. Many go on to become journalists, lawyers, authors, and doctors.
  2. Logical-mathematical:  Those gifted with this intelligence do well in math. They are comfortable with numbers, numerical problems, logic, and abstractions. These people are often left-brain dominant. Students with this intelligence also do very well in traditional education environments and often become “A” students. Many go on to be engineers, scientists, doctors, accountants, and financial analysts.
  3. Body-kinesthetic:  These students are often gifted physically. They tend to learn better by moving around and by doing. This intelligence comes out through the gym, football field, dance studio, acting studio, woodshop, or auto shop. Professional athletes, dancers, actors, models, surgeons, fire fighters, soldiers, police, pilots, racecar drivers, and mechanics are often gifted with this intelligence.
  4. Spatial:  This intelligence is strong in art, visualization, design, and solving puzzles. These people are generally considered right-brain dominant. Students gifted with this intelligence tend not to do well in traditional education environments. They do better in schools that focus on art, design, color, and architecture. These students go on to become artists, interior designers, fashion designers, and architects.
  5. Musical:  This intelligence is sensitive to music, rhythm, pitch, melody, and timbre. This person often sings and plays musical instruments well. This intelligence does not do well in a traditional education setting. A person with this gift is better off in musical environments of learning, such as schools for the performing arts.
  6. Interpersonal:  These people are communicators. They are usually popular and extroverts, displaying sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments, and motivations. A person gifted with this intelligence often does well in school, especially in popularity contests such as running for student government. These people tend to go into sales, politics, teaching, and social work.
  7. Intrapersonal:  This intelligence is often called emotional intelligence. This intelligence deals with self-reflection and introspection. Emotional intelligence refers to having a 
deep understanding of yourself, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, and what makes you unique, with the ability to handle reactions and emotions. Intrapersonal intelligence is crucial for high-stress environments. In fact, intrapersonal intelligence is critical for success in almost any field or profession.

Building Networks Of Multiple Intelligences

While it is important to understand what types of intelligence you are strong and weak in, it is even more important to rely on other people’s strengths to supplement your weaknesses. I call this building a network of multiple intelligences.

For instance, as I stated, I was not a good student. You might find this odd since I am a best-selling writer and teach on finance, but the key to my success is to surround myself with people who are smarter than me.

As I’ve always said, I’m a best-selling author…not writer. I’ve worked for years with other writers and editors to help shape my ideas for my books and articles. They help me shape my thoughts with their verbal-linguistic intelligence.

Likewise, while I understand the mechanics of finance, you do not want me actually running the numbers. That is why I have great advisors who help me with my accounting, taxes, and more. They use their logical-mathematical intelligence to help me get richer.

Rich dad always said, “Business and life are team sports,” and one of the keys to success is building a team or network with multiple intelligences to help supplement where you are weak.

The One Intelligence Of Success Everyone Must Have

This is not to say that I could not learn how to be a better writer or to do my own accounting. I could, but it is not my natural intelligence. I believe it is much better to outsource to others who have those intelligences than to try and develop them myself.

That being said, there is one of Gardner’s types of intelligence that everyone must cultivate if they want to be successful. And that is Intrapersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal intelligence means communicating within yourself—being able to talk to yourself and control your emotions. For example, when someone who is angry says to himself, “Count to ten before you speak,” that person is exercising intrapersonal intelligence. In other words, he speaks to himself before he opens his mouth and lets his emotions speak. This is, unfortunately, not something you can outsource. Therefore it is something you must cultivate.

It was my intrapersonal intelligence that kept me alive. Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to control your emotions and get the job done, even if the job is life-threatening. Many people are not successful financially because their intrapersonal intelligence is weak. Warren Buffett, the world’s richest investor, says, “If you cannot control your emotions, you cannot control your money.”

People with limited intrapersonal intelligences often say, “I need job security,” or “That sounds risky.” These are examples of emotions doing the thinking, not intrapersonal intelligence. In fact, many people going through the present coronavirus crisis will be successful precisely because they have cultivated intrapersonal intelligence. They are finding ways to not only survive but also thrive in the present circumstances. Those who are having a hard time most likely lack such intelligence and are giving in to fear.

We all know people who are highly emotional. Rather than think logically, highly emotional people tend to let their emotions run their lives, often saying or doing something they may later regret. I’ve seen many people do this on social media, getting in arguments with loved ones over the coronavirus because they might have a different opinion…I’ve certainly seen people do it to me!

This inability to master the self leads to many struggles and heartaches for people, while those who put intrapersonal intelligence to work are some of the most successful people you know.

Emotional intelligence does not mean being void of emotions. Emotional intelligence means you know it is okay to be angry, just not out-of-control angry. You know it’s okay to feel hurt, but it is not okay to do something stupid in the name of revenge.

Many of us know a person who is very intelligent, let’s say in math, but allows their emotions to damage other parts of their lives. Addiction is another example. Addictions are often caused by a lack of emotional intelligence. When frustrated, angry, or fearful, a person may eat, drink, have sex, or do drugs to numb the emotional pain. Some people go shopping when bored, spending money they do not have.

Managing Emotions Is Key To Success

At this time, you may want to ask yourself: of the seven intelligences, which are your strongest? You may want to list them in order, one being the highest and seven being the lowest. 

Today, take stock in how you manage your emotions. Are you smart in the way you express what you’re feeling, especially when the pressure is on? Or do you let your emotions continually handicap your ability to succeed?

If you want to be successful in life, you must have strong emotional intelligence, which means strong intrapersonal intelligence, because successful people are successful at managing their emotions, especially in stressful situations.


Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily

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Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki, author of bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as 25 others financial guide books, has spent his career working as a financial educator, entrepreneur, successful investor, real estate mogul, and motivational speaker, all while running the Rich Dad Company.

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