There’s this scene from the movie “Now You See Me,” in which one of the characters, J. Daniel Atlas, (on the left) thinks he is the smartest person in the room and has outwitted the bumbling FBI agent, Dylan Rhodes (on the right). He gloats, “First rule of magic: always be the smartest person in the room.”

You as the viewer, not knowing what you don’t know, think he is arrogant but correct. He did trick Dylan and locked him in handcuffs. Appearances lead you to believe that Atlas is the smartest person in that room.

*** Do not read further if you have not seen the movie and want to see it. (A spoiler follows) Later in the movie, however, it turns out that Rhodes is no bumbling, FBI agent, after all. In fact, we learn that he is the mastermind behind it all.  Atlas then tries to make amends:

Atlas: Remember what I said about the first rule of magic? Well..

Rhodes (interjects) : We were in agreement.

So who is the smartest person in the room? The one who learns what is required for a situation and then acts on that information.The smartest person in the room, then,  is not necessarily the loudest, nor is he or she the most talented. Sometimes, smart people blend in and we don’t recognize them at all.

A smart person is one who learns what is required for any given situation and then acts on that knowledge — Christine Jeffrey

Why spend all this time on smartness?

Because in our society, smartness is one of the qualities that we tend to think matters most when it comes to success. I would challenge that assumption and change the question.

I would contend that the question isn’t whether you are smart? I would contend the question is how you are smart?

As the example above showed, Atlas was super smart at slights of hand, but Rhodes was super smart about the master plan.

5 Ways to be the Smartest Person in Your Life

These five ways will help you to create a life that not only feels smart, but is also super effective at getting you the experience you want in any given moment.

  1. All you need is within you now That is a quote from Tony Robbins, and isn’t it so true? When you look inward, and believe that statement, you find the strength and resolve to do what needs to be done.
  2. Don’t talk observe and listen The less you talk, the more space you have in your brain to process information and to assess your environment more accurately. That leads to better decision-making.
  3. Have a vision Know your end game. If you have a vision for your life, you are able to choose the right path and the right answer a lot more easily. You’ll also save a heck of a lot of time, because you won’t be going down the wrong road very often.
  4. Trust yourself The universe (God) created you for a reason. I do not believe in the randomness of birth. You exist, therefore all you need to be successful is within your ability. Trust your birth, people.
  5. Do what works This one jams people up, because they get tied to habits as if they are old friends and then want to remain loyal to that friend. Make the habit of being aligned with your vision and if something is not working, no-big-deal! Change it and keep changing it until you find what does work. Your loyalty belongs to you and your vision and not to your habits!


If you practice the five ways above, you will be the smartest and most effective person in your world. That’s a tall order, but I think the universe gave you what you need to pull it off.

Dylan Rhodes knew his master plan and that was why he didn’t get caught up in Atlas’s arrogance of the moment. He didn’t care if he looked foolish or inept. He cared about results. He looked past it and Atlas toward his endgame. Hence, he was the smartest person in the room and in his world.

What would your life be like if you practiced those 5 ways for the next year?

Leave a comment. Ask a question. I’m here to help.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

Remember it’s about your life!

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