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Smart. It’s probably a word you’ve heard before. What is it that makes someone mentally smart? Is it having a high IQ, being able to change a tire, or simply having a brain with firing synapses?

The answer is maybe, but being mentally smart is also all of these other things listed below! Check out the following signs to see how you stack up amongst those who are truly mentally smart.

1. You put yourself first. You are the key to your own happiness, so you don’t worry about the petty opinions of others. You know to prioritize yourself at all moments of your life you are always in tune with what you want and need and deserve, so it doesn’t matter if other people think you’re a jackass. Why are they so worried about you? If they were mentally smart, they’d be thinking of themselves.

2. You are constantly thinking of others. No man is an island. How is that even possible? People are not land masses. But people, the collective, can be called “masses”, and not in the scientific sense. You know that it is important to consider others at every point in your life. As a mentally smart person, you reach out to all of them equally and constantly adapt yourself to meet their expectations.

3. You live with no regrets. There is no moment like the present, so you make the most of it at all times. You don’t want to look back on your life thinking “What if?” You grab the bull by the horns and chase the tail of the dragon and drink the hair of the dog and dance like nobody’s watching because you’re mentally smart enough to know that life is fleeting and you only live once.

4. You plan for the future. You are careful, methodical, and cautious. As a mentally smart person, you know that the future is inevitable, so you prepare. Whether it’s stocking up on canned beans and building a bunker in the event of total nuclear fallout, or making regular contributions of roughly 20% of your paycheck to your employer-matching 401K, you realize that the future is coming.

5. You don’t fear the reaper. As Braveheart once said, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” He was extremely mentally smart, just like you. So instead of quietly worrying about your family history of heart disease and wondering if you should exercise more, you know that death is an unavoidable part of life, and it’s all an endless circle, just as the intro song in “The Lion King” confirms.

6. You are an unquestioning realist. You don’t see the glass as half empty or half full; you just know there’s a glass. You realize that “optimism” and “pessimism” are ultimately just human constructs through which people try to make sense of the world, but at the end of the day, they’re just labels, and while reading labels at the supermarket is good, it is also a boring waste of time, so why bother?

7. You don’t read and share internet lists for validation. You realize that validation can only come from the recesses of your incredibly mentally smart brain, so you don’t continue to read and share the same internet list over and over again.

Because you’re not one of those mentally dumb people quietly distracting yourself from your mind-numbingly stupid job with internet listicles, desperately seeking a COPING MECHANISM to deal with a life that is fast slipping away from you, searching for SOME RELIEF from the inescapable fear that you are a weak, shallow, stupid person who should be stabbed through a curtain like that guy in that one Shakespeare play.

No, you are mentally smart, so you are awesome!

Nicole Vespa is an improviser in Chicago who can play the fiddle, sew, and probably has other 19th century hobbies not listed here. She has been described by random street hecklers as “hot from behind”. You can follow her on Twitter @scootergoesbeep.

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