If I tried to say something clever on this blog every day, I wouldn’t have lasted a week. After thousands of articles, I can still count my smartest insights on two hands.
I can, however, show up every day and tell you something true. I can tell you that I believe in making the more expensive but higher-quality, longer-lasting purchase because the pain of the cost will quickly fade, but the joy of having a solid tool you can rely on stays. I can tell you that I rarely fall for jump scares, but my girlfriend does, and since I never know whether she will or not, I’m still tense when watching a horror movie — and that makes it more fun, not less.
Whether it’s in working, talking, or making art, true beats clever because clever has both limited availability and application, but true is always true, and honesty is its own end, not just a means.
You can’t be the smartest person in every meeting, but you can work hard every day. You can’t shine with your wits at every first date, but you can always let yourself be seen. You can’t crank out masterpieces on a daily basis, but you can pick up a brush every morning.
Authenticity is self-sufficient. The pride of having done your best, shared your real opinion, or made an honest effort is all the reward you’ll need — and if that’s not a mighty clever way of ensuring you’ll sleep peacefully at night, then intelligence really isn’t all it’s cooked up to be.