60 inspirational quotes about intelligence to motivate you

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Intelligence refers to the ability to gain and apply knowledge and skills. Using your intelligence helps you learn new things quickly and excel at work. If you love reading about other people's experiences to boost your creativity and motivation, you may find inspiration in quotes focusing on intelligence. In this article, we list 60 quotes about intelligence to motivate you and inspire you to learn quickly and be intelligent in your work environment.

Related: Important workplace social skills

Inspirational quotes about intelligence

These quotes about intelligence may inspire you to think creatively in the workplace:

  1. 'Belief is the death of intelligence.' ― Robert Anton Wilson

  2. 'True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.' ― Eckhart Tolle

  3. 'Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.' ― Henry Ford

  4. 'It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.' ― Albert Einstein

  5. 'Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.' ― Walter Cronkite

  6. 'The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.' ― Albert Einstein

  7. 'You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.' ― Harlan Ellison

  8. 'It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.' ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  9. 'It is one thing to be clever and another to be wise.' ― George R.R. Martin

  10. 'If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.'― Ralph Waldo Emerson

  11. 'The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.' ― J. Krishnamurti

  12. 'Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.' ― Marie Curie

  13. 'The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.' ― Terry Pratchett

  14. 'I don't know what good it is to know so much and be smart as whips and all if it doesn't make you happy.' ― J.D. Salinger

  15. 'Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.' ― Walter H. Cottingham

  16. 'Education is no substitute for intelligence.' ― Frank Herbert

  17. 'Crazy people are considered mad by the rest of the society only because their intelligence isn't understood.' ― Wei Hui

  18. 'The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.' ― Frank Harris

  19. 'Action is the real measure of intelligence.' ― Napoleon Hill

  20. 'A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.' ― Saul Bellow

  21. 'An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.' ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

Related: 70 powerful quotes about teamwork to inspire success

Quotes focusing on intelligence and beauty

The following quotes focus on intelligence and its link to beauty:

  1. 'The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.' ― Marya Mannes

  2. 'The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.' ― James Madison

  3. 'Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.' ― Salvador Dali

  4. 'Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul like you.' ― Shannon L. Alder

  5. 'If you lack emotional maturity, your ability to go far in your journey to success in leadership is very limited.' ― Dele Ola

  6. 'People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.' ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  7. '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

  8. 'No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.' ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Related: 60 inspirational quotes for employees

Clever and wise quotes

These quotes focus on being clever and wise:

  1. 'If I can't picture it, I can't understand it.' ― Albert Einstein

  2. 'You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.' ― Naguib Mahfouz

  3. 'When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.' ― Abraham Joshua Heschel

  4. 'Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.' ― Rumi

  5. 'Common sense is not so common.' ― Voltaire

  6. 'Passion makes idiots of the cleverest men, and makes the biggest idiots clever.' ― Francois de La Rochefoucauld

  7. 'A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.' ― Roy H. Williams

  8. 'Intelligence is more important than strength, that is why earth is ruled by men and not by animals.' ― Amit Kalantri

  9. 'Being clever was when you looked at how things were and used the evidence to work out something new.' ― Mark Haddon

  10. 'Cleverness is serviceable for everything, sufficient for nothing.' ― Henri Frederic Amiel

  11. 'An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.' ― Albert Camus

Related: 40 quotes about loving your job that can inspire you

Quotes about the complexity of human intelligence

The following quotes capture the complexity of human intelligence:

  1. 'The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.' ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

  2. 'Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.' ― Tao Te Ching

  3. 'Knowledge cuts up the world. Wisdom makes it whole.' ― Brazilian proverb

  4. 'The senses are what activate our intelligence. If we had no senses, our intelligence would literally remain asleep.' ― Philip Shepherd

  5. 'I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.' ― Woodrow Wilson

  6. 'It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting.' ― Millard Fuller

  7. 'Mental models are deeply held internal images of how the world works, images that limit us to familiar ways of thinking and acting. Very often, we are not consciously aware of our mental models or the effects they have on our behaviour.' ― Peter Senge

  8. 'The endpoint of rationality is to demonstrate the limits of rationality.' ― Blaise Pascal

  9. 'The ability to think past either/or situations is the foundation of critical thinking, but still, it requires courage. Getting curious & asking questions happens outside our bunkers of certainty.' ― Brene Brown

  10. 'The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.' ― Carl Sagan

Related: What's the importance of cognitive ability in your career?

Quotes about emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence can be powerful and help to improve self-control, motivation and empathy. It also helps create better leaders: These quotes focus on emotional intelligence:

  1. 'I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.' ― Socrates

  2. 'No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.' ― Theodore Roosevelt

  3. 'In a high-IQ job pool, soft skills like discipline, drive, and empathy mark those who emerge as outstanding.' ― Daniel Goleman

  4. 'Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.' ― Robert K. Cooper

  5. 'We define emotional intelligence as the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions.' ― Salovey and Mayer

  6. 'Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.' ― Roger Ebert

  7. 'I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.' ― Antonio Gramsci

  8. 'Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance.' ― Anthony de Mello

  9. 'Emotional intelligence is a way of recognising, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it determines the majority of our daily actions. Research suggests it is responsible for as much as 80 per cent of the "success" in our lives.' ― J. Freedman

  10. 'Emotional self-awareness is the building block of the next fundamental emotional intelligence: being able to shake off a bad mood.' ― Daniel Goleman

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