The purpose of our entire learning process and education, revolves around emerging out as intelligent beings with the smartness that shields us against deception.
Along with the things learnt through books, at various stages of our schooling, higher education and so on, we also emphasize on acquiring and refining various skills.
The significance given to being smart and capable of dealing with predictable as well as unanticipated circumstances in life, can not be underestimated. From the lessons imparted in the primary school to the ones shared with the management scholars, the fundamental principle of everything we learn at different stages of life, aims at making us smart.
While the battle between street smartness and book smartness happens to be an old one, the debate has not lost its relevance with time. In fact, it has gained more importance than ever before.
With the name not leaving a lot of room for guesses, as a book smart one gains knowledge through education within an academic environment. The information gained is dependent upon the things already experienced and experimented upon. In a way, it aims at learning from the experiences of others.
The ones emphasizing on being book smarts are analytical and take into consideration every possible aspect of the matter at hand, before taking an important step. They tend to be more organized and prepared for different types of situations. They analyze every little thing and usually have back-up plans to come to their rescue if the things don’t turn out as per their initial plan.
Book smarts are detailed oriented and their dedication towards preparation, makes them good at taking tests. Their thought process involves a very careful understanding of everything, followed by efficient formulation of the strategies.
As a school student, our lessons, regardless of the subject, are a lot about the ability to be able to differentiate between right and wrong. From the aftermath of good and bad things done by influential people of history to the laws of nature, the in-depth understanding of everything, ultimately points out at how choosing the path that is correct, makes all the difference in life. Book smartness, therefore focuses on leading a life as per the rule book. Walking on this path, opens the gateway to many opportunities because of one’s discipline and the ability to plan ahead.
Street smart individuals give importance to learning things from everything, without limiting themselves to a particular source. The most important conclusions they draw in life, are the outcomes of the things they learn from their surroundings and their own experiences. They prefer practical, experimental knowledge over academic knowledge and they learn by falling down, getting up, succeeding, failing and rising.
Their situational awareness allows them to be able to solve unanticipated problems on spot. Along with being spontaneous problem solvers, they are also gutsy risk takers because their thought process focuses on choosing the path that leads them to discovering, exploring and adding more meaning to life through their enriching experiences.
They assess the situation from various angles. Irrespective of how critical the situation becomes, their judgement of it, belief in their potential and the skill to deal with the crisis in a practical way, is their armor against falling prey to demotivation in the testing times. This skill, regardless of where they develop it, is of great value everywhere in life.
It is believed that mere school education doesn’t shape one’s personality in a way that is complete. A degree is just a piece of paper if one lacks the skill to deal with the problems, challenges and inevitable struggles of life and is unable to effectively implement the knowledge gained through various channels.
Being street smart therefore, strengthens your inner self, prepares you better for the challenges which are unavoidable and teaches the importance of adding more chapters to the book of one’s experiences.
Difference between street smart and book smart
The main difference between book smartness and street smartness is the preferred source of knowledge. As a book smart one relies on others’ experiences like theories and stories however, a street smart individual takes risks and initiative of their own and that allows them to evolve emotionally, grow as humans and professionals in so many incredible ways.
The way book smart and street smart individuals function, is different in nature because of the variation in opinions and how they look at the world.
The one who consciously chooses the path of becoming book smart, cannot resist the temptation to organize things, plan everything important and even unimportant, well in advance and live their life by the rules based on the conclusions drawn after having studied the course taken by others. They work in the direction that enables them to fit everything in the plan, strategically designed to achieve the targets. Following the rule book is a great way to systematically reach the desired destination because a well planned approach involves a step wise breakdown of the whole thing and also incorporates back up plans in case there is a deviation due to something unfavorable.
A street smart individual on the other hand, is not afraid of the curve balls life throws when least expected because their understanding of life goes deeper than the things taught by others. Street smart individuals look at life as an opportunity to discover and rediscover themselves, explore things and combat everything in a street smart style, implementing the skills acquired through real life experiences. There is no dearth of circumstances in life that no book, chapter and mentor can prepare you for. Such situations naturally are less challenging to deal with people who don’t confine their understanding of life to a fixed pattern, a definite set of rules and the opinions of the people of who have experienced life in larger, more intense and significantly impacting ways. They instead have more courage to initiate a change and introduce the world to a revolution.
There are circumstances in life that demand planning and preparation to avoid preventable repercussions of lack of a disciplined approach. Effective and efficient execution of carefully planned ideas, can indeed promise great returns. But it is also important to ensure that life is unpredictable and can’t wait for you to turn the pages of a rule book guiding the usual course of life. In order to grow in every possible way and become a better version of yourself, despite an overwhelming range of emotions and events you are subjected to, it becomes necessary to look at life in the ways not taught in an academic institutions because no classroom promises to prepare you for every challenge you come across in life.