When You Feel Smart

I am feeling so smart this morning.

I don’t usually do the Easy puzzles of Sudoku because they are, well, too easy.

But lately, I’ve been struggling with completing the Medium and Hard puzzles of Sudoku in a short amount of time. Am I losing my edge? Are my brain cells slipping?

Until this morning! I’m flying through this puzzle. The numbers are coming quickly. I must be at the top of my game.

I glance at the timer at the top of the page. It’s only been 2 minutes? Yet I’ve already filled in so many squares.

But then . . . also at the top of the page, I notice the level of expertise for this puzzle. I thought I was doing a Hard puzzle. Instead, I’m on an Easy one!

No wonder I was doing so well. I’m working in the beginner’s category.

It’s a wake-up call. Back to humility. I’m always a beginner there.

I pull up this quote I’d saved of a Tibetan prayer by the Dalai Lama:

“Whenever I see someone, may I never feel superior.”

Because the word humility comes from the word humus or earth, I also think of this verse in Genesis 3 in the Hebrew scriptures when God tells Adam:

“For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Humility reminds me of the fundamental sameness of human to human.

Many of you can work Sudoku puzzles faster than I can. And maybe a few of you might be slower. But in the end, we’re all mostly the same.

There’s no need to be prideful about it, nor need to feel shame.

We’re all human, here doing the best we can, in the life we’ve been given, with the brain that we have.

With that realization, I feel just smart enough, exactly as I am.

And once again I’m reminded: always stay humble. 

Share your thoughts in the comments.

9 thoughts on “When You Feel Smart

  1. Michele Morin

    My exercise in building brain cells and humility is Spanish lessons on Duolingo. I sail along making all kinds of progress until I get a new verb conjugation—and then it’s back to Kindergarten!

  2. Ashley Rowland | HISsparrowBlog

    This is such a wonderful reminder, Lisa! It seems like there’s always this struggle to know that we’re smarter. I love the quote about never feeling superior to others. After all, even our intelligence is a gift from God. My husband and I have been discussing this topic lately, too. My conclusion is that, like the verse that says give me neither riches nor poverty, I am thankful that I don’t have an IQ that makes it difficult to rely on God instead of my own intellect.

  3. Lory @ Entering the Enchanted Castle

    This reminds me of one time when I thought I had been so deep in meditation that the time had flown by (usually I’m distracted by innumerable thoughts), but then I realized I had set my timer for 5 minutes instead of 20! I had to laugh at my lack of awareness just when I thought I was being so mindful.

  4. Corinne Rodrigues

    A great reminder, Lisa. My problem sometimes is that I don’t feel smart enough. I guess, both apply. Trying not to compare ourselves with others is what works best.
    I’m currently addicted to a word puzzle called Waffle!

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