O level results have just been released, and different people are feeling different kinds of emotions right now. If you have done well, congratulations! Do not rest on your laurels but keep up the good work. If you did not do well, read on.

Sometimes, people around you may look at your results and automatically assume that you are lazy. Or even worse, assume that you are stupid. But you yourself know that you are neither. Einstein (the all-knowing man) knows too.

Einstein once said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

A monkey may be able to climb a tree much faster than a fish. But so what? Maybe you are not cut out for studying. But so what? In 1983, development psychologist Howard Gardner suggested the theory of multiple intelligence, which rocked the worlds of education and psychology. The theory posits that rather than one single type of intelligence, humans actually possess several – most of which are neglected by exams such as O levels.

Here are the different types of intelligence mankind have. Look through and see which are the ones that you have a natural affinity for.

Visual-Spatial: think in terms of physical space. They like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles and read maps. E.g. architect, sailor.

Bodily-kinaesthetic: use the body effectively. They like movements and making things. E.g. athlete, surgeon.

Musical: show sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music and are sensitive to sounds in their environments. E.g. dancers, musicians.

Interpersonal: understand and interact well with others. They have many friends, show empathy for others and are street smart. E.g. salesman, counsellor.

Intrapersonal: reflect deeply and understand one's own interests and goals. They are in tune with their inner feelings. E.g. blogger, writer.

Linguistic: use words effectively and often think in words. They like reading, playing word games and making up poetry or stories. E.g. interpreter, writer.

Logical -Mathematical: able to reason, calculate, think conceptually, and explore patterns and relationships. They like to experiment, solve puzzles, ask cosmic questions. E.g. scientists.

What is your main intelligence type? Once you have figured that out, develop your potential to the fullest. If a fish tried its hardest to climb a tree, sure, it might evolve into a mudskipper and slowly hop up the tree; but if instead, it devoted all its efforts into swimming, it just might become a sailfish— the fastest fish in the world—capable of out-swimming a great white shark and a blue whale. At 110km/h, it is the cheetah of the ocean.

And similarly, society needs all types of talent in order to function. If everyone is a doctor, who will create beautiful music and art pieces to help us achieve work life balance? If everyone is a lawyer, who will go into the Olympic stadium and fight for our glory, fight for our pride? And if everyone is an accountant, who will earn the money for them to count in the first place?

Remember, you are indispensable. You are unique. And you are not any less just because you did not do well in the O levels. And should any monkey tell you otherwise, challenge them to a race of a lifetime. Let the monkeys eat your dust when you have become a swordfish. Or should I say, bubbles.