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I am coming off one of the worst illnesses I’ve experienced in a while. I missed almost a whole week’s worth of work, which is definitely not a common occurrence for me. Nyquil quickly became by best friend. Worse, I got everyone in my family sick.
Last Friday, I started to feel sick but thought it was a small cough that I could knock out with some rest. Boy was I wrong. On Saturday, my wife went to a women’s brunch, so I volunteered to watch my son.
I don’t think I won any awards doing so, as I was passed out on the floor while my son repeatedly jumped on top of me like a trampoline. It wasn’t until my wife came back four hours later that I learned that I had a 102 degree temperature. Needless to say, taking care of a child while you are sick is miserable.
My wife unfortunately caught the virus on Monday, and my son on Tuesday. We were all so sick that we could barely move. It was a painful, exhausting time, but also a great reminder how important our health really is to us. I realized that I take my typically good health for granted.
Increased IQ or Healthy Body?
Which brings me to a conversation that I was having with my wife last week. I told her about a debate that we were having at work. Would you rather add 40 points to your IQ, hypothetically making you a genius, or would you rather optimize your health so that you would never get sick again?
In the scenario, you wouldn’t be smart enough to cure your sicknesses in the future, and your perfect body couldn’t keep you from death.
I found that the older workers in the office were gung-ho on receiving healthy bodies. Meanwhile, the younger employees were adamant that they’d take the brainpower to solve all of the world’s problems, plus enjoy the money that would come along with it.
I decided that I would definitely go for the brain power. I would be so much more efficient and productive if I was smarter. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be the next Elon Musk and make tons of money?
My wife, in turn, decided that she would much rather never get sick again. She felt like she was sufficiently smart and would much rather be healthy the rest of her life than increase her IQ.
Studies have shown that for each point increase in your IQ, that an individual earns yearly between $200 to $600 more per year. So let’s say that I went from having an average IQ of 100 to 140. I could expect to increase my yearly pay by $8,000 to $24,000 a year.
This sounds really great, until I look closer at the stats. Even though those with higher IQs make more money, they have same net worth as individuals with lesser IQs. According to a study, that $200 increase per IQ point in pay is barely negligible when it comes to overall net-worth.
While studies haven’t teased out why, it was found that people with an IQ of 140 go bankrupt at a rate of 14.1%, which is very close to the rate of bankruptcy of those with an IQ of 80 (15.2%). You can deduce that a high IQ doesn’t necessarily safeguard against squandering one’s wealth.
“People don’t become rich just because they are smart,” said Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research. “Your IQ has really no relationship to your wealth. And being very smart does not protect you from getting into financial difficulty,” Zagorsky said.
Change of Heart
Now after this past week, I have to agree with my wife. I never want to get that sick again. Being out of commission for a week was not easy. I hope to make healthier decisions so that I don’t fall ill like that again. I can’t help but wonder if all the chocolate chip cookies that I consume may not be bolstering my immune system the way other foods might.