The street smart versus the nerd

The term “nerd” has its origins in the writings of Doctor Seuss. He however did not refer to the nerd we know today. In fact he actually used the term to refer to an imaginary animal to be collected in an imaginary zoo!

To be “street smart” is to make practical and quick decisions and choices that though not intellectual are of immense wisdom. It is generally thought the phrase has its roots in the notion that a person who has lived by his or her wits on city streets gets an unconventional education for life.

Some of the greatest minds of our century have been called nerds and have gone on to create the companies and products that literally dictate our lives.

  • Mark Zuckerberg the creator and now CEO of Facebook the internet social networking phenomenon still calls himself a nerd. However he is a Nerd who has changed our worldview.
  • Apple founder Steve Jobs was famously called nerdy by many of the press and media outfits. His legacy is one few can ever hope to match
  • Bill Gates, once the richest man on earth, and the founder of Microsoft was also called a nerd during his time in school.

Yet others have risen to greatness by just being street smart

  • Warren Buffet, sometimes referred to as the most successful investor in the world, is constantly called “street smart”
  • Donald Trump, The real estate magnate is known for saying he couldn’t wait to get out of college. The media is often claiming his street smartness as the reason for his success
  • Chris Gardener, the entrepreneur, author stockbroker, motivational speaker, investor and philanthropist on whose life the movie “The pursuit of Happiness” starring Will Smith was made, is a multimillionaire who has definitely been street smart in his life to reach the pinnacle of success.

So we see that both types of people can make a huge impact on the world and themselves. The goal should really be to balance a little nerdy attitude with some street smart behavior to get that ideal blend of both. That sounds like a good recipe for success.

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