The bittersweet truth is that you are smart before you have experience. Experience is merely a measurement of how long you can dedicate yourself to a single manner of performing. Intelligence is how you approach a problem. You do not need a PhD in psychology to know yourself. You do not need to read a lot of books to gain knowledge. And neither do you need practice to exceed expectations.
There are simple ways of learning which are interactive, such as creating a dialogue where questions, answers, and ideas are bounced back and forth. Even if you are first introduced to a new concept through someone else’s opinion, you can still consider what is being said and come to your own conclusion based on previous knowledge.
Possibly the most important aspect of learning is how much of an impact a new subject has on you when you first attempt to learn about it. If you are introduced to a new topic that is presented without much enthusiasm or a chance to experiment, you may feel uninterested in the subject as a whole.
Sometimes the best way to approach a problem is by having no previous knowledge and jumping straight into it with an open mind. At first this can be daunting as you may come to question every step you take not knowing what is right or wrong. The best approach is akin to “shocking the system”. How you adapt to your new environment – in this case how you tackle a new topic/subject – is what will define how much knowledge you can accrue during this phase of learning.
Everybody has intelligence in different aspects of life and those talents show themselves at different stages of our lives. Some individuals intuitively draw better, calculate equations more quickly, move with elegance, or maybe excel in a smaller category that cannot be seen as easily.
If you go over the same task repeatedly, overtime you will become more efficient and seemingly “more talented”. The best example of this is when you look at an upperclassmen who seems to be on the same track as you career wise. Intellectually you both may not be as different as it would seem, but your senior may have more experience in your field than you do at this time.
To compare yourself to someone higher up on the ladder is to essentially look up and think you cannot climb any higher despite having the steps to succeed at your feet. How you get there is up to you, but it is best to remember that you are fully capable of reaching new heights.