The 9 Types of Intelligence and the Importance of Continued Learning

We all know the saying “you learn something new every day” but how many of us actually go out of our way to make this happen?

Some of us associate learning with pleasant experiences, usually those of us who performed well in school and received good marks and positive praise for our achievements. Many more of us have unpleasant feelings associated with learning. From being told you were not smart enough, to being put in the bottom classes and told you were “not academic” and that school (and therefore learning and education) were just “not for you”.

A great majority of our society has come to associate learning and education with being the academic kind of smart, reinforced over and over during those all important school years.

The other prevailing and problematic opinion (read excuse) of learning is that it is boring, tedious and generally unpleasant.

The importance of continued learning is evident in many ways.
Learning is an amazing confidence booster. Challenging yourself and proving you can achieve something you previously didn’t know you could does wonderful things for your self-confidence. Continued learning also allows you to understand and comprehend things on a new level or in a new area of interest. It helps you to participant in more varied conversations and to contribute original thoughts and ideas. Through continue learning you can become more valuable in your career, even increasing your enjoyment in the role through improved understanding of your responsibilities. It is also incredibly interesting learning about subjects that you are curious to know more about, and on top of it all, you are working your brain muscle which has been shown to delay and possibly even prevent the onset of various diseases including Alzheimers and Parkinson’s.

Now, I can already hear some of you saying “I’m no good at learning” or “I’m not smart enough”. That’s rubbish. And don’t get me started on the “I’m too old” excuse.

Learning comes in many forms, shapes and sizes and can be done in just as many forms, shapes and sizes, irrespective of smarts or age. Learning does not have to mean academic. It does not have to mean studying for hours on end, day after day and having no life. It does not have to be boring, tedious or unpleasant.

In fact, here it is… Learning can be absolutely painless – pleasant even – and so hidden in enjoyable activities that you don’t even know you’re learning.

Learning can add value to your life in ways you never imagined possible, probably because you never learned it was possible due to not pushing yourself past the “I’m not smart enough” and the “I’m too old” excuses.

So, let’s get down to business. You are not academic you say? Not smart enough to learn? Well despite the obvious point here (that if you are “not smart enough”, then learning is how you fix this…), there are actually 9 types of intelligence. That means there are 7 other measures of intellect other than Maths and English. In other words, just because we do not consider ourselves smart in the academic arena, this does not mean that we are not blowing the fish out of the water in another area altogether.

According to Howard Gardner, author of the book ‘Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, there are a total of 9 types of intelligence, all of which come with their very own preferred styles and methods of learning.

You will most likely know which one, two or even three intelligence types resonate with you as soon as you read through the list. According to Gardner, the 9 intelligences are:

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
You excel at coordinating your mind and body
You have an intelligence that allows you to discern sounds, their pitch, tone, rhythm, and timbre
You have an intelligence that allows you to understand living things and read their nature
You have an intelligence that allows you to sense people’s feelings and motives
You have an intelligence that allows you to understand yourself, what you feel and what you want
You have an intelligence that allows you to visualise the world in 3D
You enjoy tackling the questions of why we live, and why we die – the meaning of life
You have an intelligence that allows you to find the right words to express what you mean
Logistical / Mathematical
You have an intelligence that allows you to quantify things, make hypotheses and prove them


Depending on which intelligence type you resonate with, there are ideal subject areas and methods to studying that best suit each type. For example, if you are feel you lean towards the Musical intelligence type, use music, rhythm and rhyme to help you study. Turn your study notes into lyrics, put a melody to the words to help you remember them!



It could be a simple as allowing yourself to acknowledge that the instruments you already play, the music you already perform, are an achievement in their own right. You are musically smart.

Focus your learning in the areas you feel are where your strengths lie. Utilise methods of learning that play to your strengths and you will be surprised at how easy it is for you to learn. You may even come to realise that you have been learning every day and for a long time but now you can give yourself credit, acknowledge the achievements you have made, and realise that you are, after all, smart enough.

What is your intelligence type and how do you use it to help you learn? Share your tips and tricks for learning for your intelligence type in the comments below.

Happy Learning!


Albert Einstein

“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid” – Albert Einstein.




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June 23rd, 2015 at 11:55 pm

Well said Jess. Great read.

June 30th, 2015 at 7:15 am

Thanks Mel! 🙂


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