In the book, “Element,” by Ken Robinson,* he argues finding your passion leads to a more fulfilled life. Children that are allowed to foster interests, both academic and otherwise, are in an advantageous environment to discover what makes them curious. This curiosity sparks a creativity and desire which, for many, begins a lifelong journey.
Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist, believes there are multiple intelligences. Linguistic, spatial, musical, mathematical, kinesthetic, interpersonal (relationships with others), and interpersonal (relationship with self), are examples of different types of intelligence. Many of these can’t be captured on an SAT test.
Carol Dweck’s work on mindset indicates our intelligence is not necessarily inherent, unless we believe it to be so. If we adopt a growth mindset, focusing on our ability to improve with practice, we can acquire new skills and knowledge, growing our intelligence.
We can’t all be olympic athletes. Genetics certainly plays a role in height and build. But if we view fitness as a type of kinesthetic intelligence that can be learned, we can become stronger, more agile, and more physically capable. And maybe, if we let go of the idea exercise needs to look a certain way, we might even find the spark of curiosity that leads to a new passion when we least expect it.
*If you haven’t watched Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk on schools and creativity, you really should: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity?language=en