The New Intelligence Test for Finding Your Mission

TLDR; Grit + Imagination + Skills = The new measure of intelligence, what the baby from The Labyrinth is up to now, an analysis of “the real fake cameras” from Toy Story 4, and a little #WednesdayWisdom.

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” — Stephen Hawking

Dear Reader,

If the old measurements of ability are fading, what does the new intelligence test look like?

Grit + Imagination + Skills = The new measure of intelligence

This test or formula isn’t just to gain access to the new economy. It also gauges our propensity to create value for ourselves and others. Plus, this new intelligence test is practically a formula for meaning. If you have had a challenging life, you’ll likely have grit. If you have an active imagination (as most readers do), you’ll be able to come up with good ideas. And if you have marketable skills, you’ll always be able to provide value wherever you go. If you’re going to find meaning, it’s important to understand that you already possess high marks on the new intelligence test.

For the first time in history, many of the world’s most innovative companies are finding that mission-driven employees are the key to building a company that thrives. But let’s examine some of the other skills and traits necessary to continually find meaning.


Wikipedia defines grit as:

“A positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment, and serves as a driving force in achievement realization. Commonly associated concepts within the field of psychology include ‘perseverance,’ ‘hardiness,’ ‘resilience,’ ‘ambition,’ ‘need for achievement’ and ‘conscientiousness.’⁠”

Other ways to gauge and build grit are to think about our patience and attitude. As Rudyard Kipling said, can we “wait and not be tired by waiting?” Or consider the ultimate perspective on attitude from Victor Frankl, Holocaust survivor, founder of logotherapy, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning. He said:

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

If we can become patient, maintain our attitude, and endure what life throws at us, we’re well on our way to building grit.


Harnessed imagination and creativity are now two of the most in-demand talents in the world. As technology continues to grow, evolve, and commoditize many services, imagination is the last great bastion of human expertise to perfect and master. Building it is as easy (and difficult) as writing down ideas every day. Harnessing it is about practicing, developing, selling, and implementing our good ideas.

Lateral thinking ability also blends in with creativity and imagination. How can we blend ideas and concepts to create solutions to problems? Can we make everything around us a bit better by the way we blend ideas and resources? Do people know us as people who find solutions or identify problems?


The most important high-level skill may be thought of as becoming masters of our emotions. We’ll cover this in-depth in future articles. For now, just think of emotional mastery as the practice of observing our thoughts and feelings as they arise. Choose the ones that serve you, and discard the ones that cause pain or frustration.

To be mission-driven, we must have enough to take care of our needs and (some) wants. This means we must develop marketable skills. We know we have marketable skills when we receive job offers, or can create or help build value where none previously existed. The marketable skills of the future fall into four broad categories which fit the acronym BEDS, or: Business, Engineering, Design, and Science. We’ll cover examples of these future-proof skills in a future article. If we have marketable skills in any of these categories, we can go out and make money very easily.

After we build marketable skills, it’s important that we are able to show proof of our skills. Do we have a body of work which can be cited wherever we go? This might be an online portfolio, or an app in the App Store that we created. Do we have an online presence which can work and source opportunity for us while we don’t work? This might be a LinkedIn profile, our own website, an app, article, book, or anything we’ve created.

The beauty of these three components of the new intelligence test is that they’re all self-reinforcing. That means that if you’re willing to build grit by operating in uncertainty, you naturally start to develop ideas to solve your challenges. This leads to a boost in imagination. As our imagination increases, we’ll have to find an outlet. Searching for an outlet to channel our energies will lead us towards wanting to build our skills. These three areas begin to strengthen each other, and the process of increasing this new type of intelligence becomes seamless. Once we are self-taught in one skill or field of study, we can repeat the process again and again. When we’re growing and improving, it becomes easier for meaning to manifest in our lives. 🤗

This is an edited version of a longer-form article published by Mission CEO Chad Grills. Full version here.

Mission News 🗞

This section features the best of what the team at Mission HQ is reading, watching, listening to, playing, doing, and meditating on.

Reading 📖

Fun Fact: The puppet designer for the Netflix Dark Crystal series is the son of the original designers from the first Dark Crystal (they met onset)… and also played the baby on The Labyrinth.

#WednesdayWisdom: “Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” ― Alexis Carrel

Listening 🎧

To this Recode Media episode with Kickstarter’s Perry Chen.

“Kickstarter is now synonymous with crowdfunding, but for years it was just an idea in founder Perry Chen’s mind: ‘This is something that should exist.’ Chen talks to Peter Kafka about building and funding the site, the challenges of running a for-profit, mission-driven business — and why he hates ads.”

Watching 📺

This video about the “real fake cameras” of Toy Story 4There are so many filming techniques that influence your viewing experience. Taking these into the animated world (as Pixar has done in Toy Story 4) has entirely revolutionized the look and feel of animation.

Survey Says… 👂

We would love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve your listening experience for Mission Daily. That’s why we’ve created this survey! When you submit the survey, you will be entered to win one of ten swag gifts!

Sign Off 👋

Thoughts, questions, comments? Let us know by responding to the email or hitting us up on socials @TheMissionHQ.

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