S:0462 Distinction: Intelligent vs. Intellectual

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


An intellectual is a person who makes his or her living by dealing in serious mental processes. They are learned people who have made learning their profession. They may also be incapable of the simplest daily tasks. There is no guarantee that an intellectual is intelligent.

On the other hand, there are people who are amazingly intelligent, but who are not at all intellectual. They may not be learned men and women and spend their days dealing with ideas. But they have the ability to see reality more clearly than someone who has stacked up ideas so high they can’t see over them.

This is not an indictment against intellectuals. Rather it is a reminder to trust your intelligence and take action, instead of substituting a continual search for ideas in place of action.


Coaching Point: Are you intelligent or intellectual? Or both?


Copyright 2004 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.