Putting It to Work

Move over IQ, here comes AQ.

Type in "information overload" in Google, and that's exactly what you get: 2,790,000 results in 0.31 seconds. Anything we want to know, we can find out, in a third of a blink.

Even things we don't want to know force their way into our skulls. Avalanches of information thunder down on our senses. Snowballs of social network and media distraction in the form of what seems like a billion twitter updates, a million facebook posts, a thousand texts, a hundred emails, and a dozen TMZ and CNN rss feeds pepper our airspace to the point where we have to duck and run for cover. Blustering white storms of endless choices and options swirl around us, jamming our sensors and blocking out precious clarity.

We know a lot about knowing, and..."Hey! Look at that guy on YouTube!"...a lot about attention-deficit disorder.

IQ, short for intelligence quotient, was the mark of twentieth century supremacy, as we goaded ourselves and our children headlong into the information age. But now that we're spammed up to our eyeballs in information, we need something I'll call AQ, or Action Quotient. The focused, faithful application of principles is our new ideal. Now more than ever it's not about right information, but using information right. It's about right action in the form of right choices and diligent follow-through, because that's where the transformation really is. What IQ was to twentieth century supremacy, AQ will be for the twenty-first.

High AQ is the more successful, older sibling of high IQ. People with high AQ have the ability to cut through the clutter and the clamor and put first things first. They schedule their priorities, and put them into motion. They have a deep connection with what matters most, and manage their lives well. They are Doers as much or more than Knowers.

We celebrate knowledge and high IQ as if that alone were a guarantee of success. But not in this era. Many a philosophy major will tell you - knowledge alone doesn't get you the good job or the good life. It reminds me of the joke about college majors. The engineering major asks, How does it work? The accounting major asks, How much does it cost? And the philosophy major asks, Do you want fries with that?

We need AQ a whole lot more than IQ.

about erik van alstine

Erik is a change expert and author of the personal finance discipleship system, Breaking Free: Financial Strategies that Transform Debt into Wealth. Breaking Free is like driver's ed in your financial life, a powerful video curriculum that offers experiential learning, assessment, and transformation! Take our free MoneyFinder Quiz to see just how much payoff Breaking Free can create for you!