97 Quotes On Smartness To Elevate Your Thinking

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In today’s fast paced world, smartness is not about memorization and test scores. It’s about critical thinking, problem-solving, and a willingness to learn.

Revolutionary thinkers have a knack for solving complex problems, being open to new information, and avoiding the cognitive biases that prevent many people from learning.

So in this article, we’re going to dive into some of the best quotes on smartness from some of the greatest minds that have ever lived.

These quotes will offer insight into the minds of great thinkers, and also highlight the importance of acquiring the wisdom and life experience necessary to achieve great things.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!


Inspirational Quotes On Smartness


  • “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.” ~ Seth Godin


  • “Large groups are no place for smart people.” ~ Naval Ravikant


  • “Smart people do stupid things, stupid people don’t learn from them.” ~ Frank Sonnenberg


  • “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you rather would have talked.” ~ Mark Twain


  • “Patience is not the ability to wait but how you act while you’re waiting.” ~ Joyce Meyer


  • “What you desire is placed deliberately out of reach so that you can become the person it takes to obtain it.”


  • “I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.” ~ John D. Rockefeller


  • “Who is wise? He that learns from everyone.” ~ Benjamin Franklin


  • “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.” ~ Marissa Meyer


  • “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is a strength; mastering yourself is the true power.” ~ Lao Tzu quote


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  • “Intelligent individuals learn from everything and everyone. Average people learn from their experiences. The stupid already have all the answers.” ~ Socrates


  • “If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum.” ~ Holly Near


  • “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” ~ Nelson Mandela


  • “A smart person knows when to speak; a wise person knows when to listen.”


  • “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ~ Albert Einstein


  • “A truly intelligent mind is neither influenced by memory nor deluded by imagination.” ~ Sadhguru


  • “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” ~ Naguib Mahfouz


Quotes On Smartness And Attitude

Here’s some quotes about smartness and the power that your attitude has on your ability to think clearly.


  • “Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” ~ Tim Fargo


  • “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” ~ Socrates


  • “Being smart means you learned it well; being stupid means you haven’t learned it yet; but true genius means you know it when no one taught it to you.” ~ Sneha Abraham


  • “What separates stupidity and smartness is just a tittle of pride and overconfidence.” ~ Sinario Vesta


  • “Memories make you sentimental, experiences make you smart.” ~ Amit Kalantri


  • “Genius is when an idea and the execution of that idea are simultaneous.”


  • “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ~ Mark Twain


  • “The world we have created is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ~ Albert Einstein


  • “Nobody is born with a brain full of knowledge and wisdom. All you can be born with is an intention for learning.” ~ Abhijit Naskar


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  • “Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.”


  • “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” ~ Bill Gates


  • “The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people.” ~ Stephen Hawking


  • “Your problem isn’t the problem. Your reaction is the problem.”


  • “Experience fails to teach where there is no desire to learn.” ~ George Bernard Shaw


  • “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change their future merely by changing their attitude.” ~ Oprah Winfrey


  • “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” ~ Albert Einstein


  • “A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions – as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


  • “Asking for help to reach your goals isn’t weakness, it’s intelligence.”


  • “Compassion enhances our self-confidence because a calm mind allows our marvelous human intelligence to bloom. When we’re angry, our thinking is distorted and we don’t see the different aspects of reality.” ~ Dalai Lama


  • “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” ~ Salvador Dali


  • “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used to create them.” ~ Albert Einstein


Intelligent Quotes About Smartness In Life

Enjoying this list of quotes on smartness so far? Then you’d probably also enjoy these quotes on mental toughness or this list of Monday motivation quotes.

If you’d just prefer to keep reading, then here’s some more intelligent quotes about the nature of life and learning.


  • “Never treat somebody’s cleverness as his life’s smartness. Cleverness is to hide the weakness and smartness is to project the strength of his weakness.” ~ Anuj


  • “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” ~ Albert Einstein


  • “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” ~ Socrates


  • “Life is not the discovery of fate; it is the continuous creation of the future, through choices of thoughts, feelings, and actions in the present.” ~ Sanjay Sahay


  • “Wise is he who collects the wisdom of others.” ~ Juan Guerra Caceras


  • “Anti-social behavior is a trait of intelligence in a world of conformists.” ~ Nikola Tesla


  • “I don’t care that they stole my idea. I care that they don’t have any of their own.” ~ Nikolas Tesla


  • “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is the power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor Frankl


  • “The sign of an intelligent person is their ability to control their emotions by application of reason.” ~ Marya Mannes


  • “A smart man makes a mistake and learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him to avoid the mistake altogether.” ~ Roy H. Williams


  • “Never confuse education with intelligence. You can have a PhD and still be an idiot.” ~ Richard Feynman


  • “Intelligence essentially means that your intellect is sharp enough to see life the way it is.” ~ Sodhguru


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  • “Intelligence and education aren’t the same, you can have intelligence without education, but you can’t have education without intelligence.” ~ Trish McArm


  • “Most people think that intelligence is about brain, where it’s really about focus. Genius is just attention to a subject until it becomes specific.” ~ Esther Hicks


  • “Teachers won’t make you smart. Gurus won’t make you calm. Mentors won’t make you rich. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility, save yourself.” ~ Naval Ravikant


  • “If you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you’re not going to get very far.” ~ Daniel Goleman


Inspirational Quotes About Being Smart

Let’s keep this list rolling with more eye-opening quotes about smartness from some highly intelligent people.


  • “The highest form of intelligence is to view yourself without judgment.” ~ Krishnamurti


  • “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ~ Carl Jung


  • “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” ~ Isaac Asimov


  • “An intelligent person is never afraid or ashamed to find errors in his understanding of things.” ~ Bryant H. McGill


  • “The intelligent man is one who has successfully fulfilled many accomplishments, and is yet willing to learn more.” ~ Ed Parker


  • “The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything that should be said.” ~ Edgar Allen Poe


  • “Complaining shrinks the area of the brain critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Love grows it.”


  • “Never underestimate the power of thought; it is the greatest path to discovery.” ~ Idowu Koyenikan


  • “Whatever begins in anger, ends in shame.” ~ Benjamin Franklin


  • “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” ~ E.F. Schumacher


  • “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts and the stupid ones are full of confidence.” ~ Charles Bukowski


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  • “To rely on your mind is to overlook the intelligence of your body and the wisdom of your spirit.”


  • “There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” ~ Ronald Reagan


  • “It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence. It is not the triumph of the heart over the head – it is the unique intersection of both.” ~ David Caruso


  • “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. You simply must do things.” ~ Ray Bradbury


  • “Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of intelligence.” ~ Edgar Allen Poe


  • “It is not worth an intelligent man’s time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.” ~ G.H. Hardy


  • “Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are.” ~ George Santayana


  • “If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair, never have a friendship, never build a business. We’d be too cynical. Well that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” ~ Ray Bradbury


More Quotes About Smartness


  • “It’s not that I am smart. It’s that I stay with the questions much longer.” ~ Albert Einstein


  • “The smartest students are those who continue to learn long after they’ve left school.”


  • “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” ~ Thomas Paine


  • “The great person is ahead of their time, the smart make something out of it, and the blockhead sets themselves against it.” ~ Jean Baudrillard


  • “My brain gets stronger every day because I exercise it. The stronger it gets, the more money I can make.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki


  • “Any damn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.” ~ Pete Seeger


  • “Reacting in anger or avoidance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.” ~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg


  • “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein


  • “If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” ~ Benjamin Franklin


  • “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein


  • “He knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.” ~ Confucius


  • “Genius tries to conquer the world with art, with songs, with words; stupid tries to conquer it with sword, with guns, with arrows!” ~ Mehmet Murat Ildan


  • “Clear and independent thinkers are far rarer than those who are “smart” or “educated.” ~ Naval Ravikant


  • “Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom; faith in oneself is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm.” ~ Mike Norton


  • “As creatures that are compelled to test and surpass our own creative abilities, we must always strive for that originality in everything we do in order to move the world forward.” ~ Jessica Lave


Final Thoughts

Hopefully the quotes about smartness that we’ve covered highlight the importance of a well-rounded and dynamic approach to intelligence. 

Intelligence is about thinking logically and being able to solve problems, but wisdom is about the ability to grasp human nature and understand the world.

If you weren’t born with a high IQ, then you’re always going to be at a disadvantage in certain situations compared to the geniuses who were.

However, there’s no limit to the level of wisdom you can acquire. Life is full of opportunities for learning, and it’s up to you to embrace those opportunities in order to optimize your intelligence.

Because intelligence isn’t about test scoresit’s about understanding the nature of the world and people, and using that to your advantage.

So as you continue on your life journey, embrace new challenges and situations with enthusiasm.

You’ll be rewarded with wisdom that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

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