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Defeating the striver's curse with two intelligences

Defeating the striver's curse with two intelligences

People possess two types of intelligence.

  • Fluid intelligence is the ability to reason, think flexibly, and solve problems. You learn quickly, focus on what matters and create solutions but can't maintain this as you age.
  • Crystallised intelligence relies on a stock of knowledge. It increases through middle adulthood and does not diminish until very late in life.

If your career relies only on fluid intelligence, it will peak and decline early. But a career that requires crystallised intelligence will find that decline happens much later. If you can go from one to the other, you will thrive.

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The decline is not all past 40. Certain abilities grow during middle age that favour wisdom, teaching, and sharing ideas. Language skills tend to increase.

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