10 things smart people never do (so you shouldn’t either!)

Smart people are often admired for their intelligence, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills.

But being smart isn’t just about having a high IQ or excelling in academics.

It also involves making smart choices and avoiding behaviors that can hinder personal and professional growth.

In this article, we’ll explore 10 things that smart people never do, based on research and expert opinions.

From procrastinating to engaging in toxic habits, these actions can prevent you from reaching your full potential and living a fulfilling life.

By understanding and avoiding these pitfalls, you can become a smarter and more successful individual.

1. Smart people never procrastinate.

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks, often due to a lack of motivation, fear of failure, or difficulty in decision-making.

While it’s normal to feel some hesitation or anxiety about tackling certain tasks, smart people know that procrastination can have serious consequences.

It can lead to increased stress, lower productivity, and missed opportunities.

Smart people understand that procrastination is a choice, and they make a conscious effort to overcome it.

They set clear goals, prioritize their tasks, and establish a plan of action to stay on track.

They also recognize that procrastination is often a symptom of underlying issues, such as perfectionism or low self-confidence, and they seek help to address these problems.

By developing good time management skills and overcoming procrastination, smart people are able to achieve more and reach their full potential.

2. Smart people never engage in toxic habits.

Toxic habits are behaviors that are harmful to ourselves or others, and they can have a negative impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Some examples of toxic habits include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, an unhealthy diet, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Smart people understand the importance of taking care of their physical and mental well-being, and they make a conscious effort to avoid toxic habits.

They adopt healthy habits, such as exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep.

They also recognize that toxic habits can have a ripple effect, impacting not only their own lives but also the lives of those around them.

By avoiding toxic habits and focusing on self-care, smart people are able to maintain a high level of physical and mental health, which is essential for success and happiness.

3. Smart people never engage in negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk is a form of inner dialogue that consists of negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself.

It can take many forms, such as self-doubt, self-blame, or self-criticism.

Negative self-talk can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being, as it can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.

Smart people realize the power of their thoughts and the impact they have on their lives.

They are aware of the negative effects of negative self-talk and make a conscious effort to cultivate a more positive inner dialogue.


Smart people practice self-compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness, and they challenge negative thoughts with evidence and logic.

The bottom line is this:

By replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations and self-encouragement, smart people are able to boost their self-confidence and resilience, and pursue their goals with a more positive and optimistic mindset.

4. Smart people never settle for mediocrity.

Mediocrity is the state of being average or ordinary, and it can be tempting to settle for it when faced with challenges or uncertainty.

However, smart people know that mediocrity is a self-imposed limitation, and they strive for excellence and growth.

This is why smart people have a growth mindset, meaning that they believe that their abilities and potential are not fixed, but can be developed through effort and learning.

They set high standards for themselves and are willing to put in the work to achieve them.

They also realize that perfection is unattainable, and they focus on continuous improvement rather than trying to be perfect.

In the end, by embracing a growth mindset and striving for excellence, smart people are able to achieve their full potential and make a positive impact in the world.

5. Smart people never ignore their own needs and boundaries.

It’s important for everyone, including smart people, to take care of their own needs and set healthy boundaries in their personal and professional relationships.

Ignoring your own needs and boundaries can lead to burnout, resentment, and a lack of fulfillment.

This is why smart people understand the importance of self-care and make it a priority in their lives.

They recognize their own limits and set boundaries to protect their time, energy, and well-being.


They communicate their needs and boundaries clearly and assertively, without compromising their values or the well-being of others.

By taking care of their own needs and setting healthy boundaries, smart people are able to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, which is essential for personal and professional success.

6. Smart people never make decisions based on emotions alone.

Emotions are an important part of the human experience, and they can play a role in decision-making.

However, relying solely on emotions can lead to impulsive, irrational, or short-sighted decisions.

Smart people recognize the importance of considering both their emotions and their reason when making decisions.

They take the time to gather and evaluate relevant information, and they consider the pros and cons of different options.

They also seek input and advice from others when appropriate.

By using a logical and thoughtful approach to decision-making, smart people are able to make well-informed and sound decisions that align with their values and goals.

7. Smart people never engage in gossip or negative talk about others.

Gossip is the act of sharing information or rumors about someone, often with the intention of spreading drama or causing harm.

It can have serious consequences, including damaging relationships, reputation, and trust.

Smart people understand that treating others with respect and kindness,, and avoiding engaging in gossip or negative talk about others, is crucial to maintain their integrity. 

They recognize that spreading negative information about someone else does not reflect well on themselves and can damage their own reputation and credibility.

They also understand that gossip is often based on incomplete or unverified information, and they seek to communicate with others directly and openly rather than relying on hearsay.

The bottom line is this:

By avoiding gossip and negative talk, smart people are able to build and maintain positive and respectful relationships.

8. Smart people never ignore new information or other people’s opinions

Ignoring new information or alternative viewpoints is something that many smart people may avoid because it can lead to a narrow-minded or biased perspective.

It’s important to consider new ideas and perspectives, even if you disagree with them, as this can help to broaden your understanding of the world and make you more open-minded.

Ignoring new information or alternative viewpoints can also limit your ability to learn and grow.

By only considering information that aligns with your existing beliefs, you may miss out on new insights or ideas that could be valuable.

Smart people often recognize the importance of being open to new ideas and are willing to consider different perspectives, even if they initially disagree with them.

This can help them to make more informed decisions, as they have considered a range of viewpoints and have a more complete understanding of the situation.

9. Smart people never refuse to seek help

Refusing to seek help when needed is something that many smart people may avoid because it can be a barrier to progress and success.

Seeking help when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness, and it can be an important way to overcome challenges and achieve your goals.

Smart people understand that it’s important to recognize your own limitations and be willing to seek help when needed in order to achieve success.

10. Smart people never remain inflexible 

Being inflexible is something that many smart people may avoid because it can limit their ability to adapt to changing circumstances and make progress.

Being inflexible can involve being resistant to change, unwilling to consider alternative approaches, or stuck in rigid thinking patterns.

Smart people often understand the importance of being able to adapt to changing circumstances, and are willing to be flexible in order to achieve their goals.

Also, they are often open to considering new ideas and approaches and are willing to be flexible in order to incorporate them.


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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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