When we’re being picture smart, we think with pictures. These pictures may be in our mind, created on paper, and/or seen in books, on websites, in videos, and the like. They’re important to us.

If you’ve read my book, 8 Great Smarts,  or heard me speak about the multiple intelligences, you know that this is a weaker smart for me. This sure proved true yesterday.

After landing at the Minneapolis airport, I made my way to the car rental counter. After dealing with the necessary paperwork, I drove out of the garage and headed east toward Ladysmith, WI.

Once I was out of major Minneapolis traffic, I decided using cruise control made sense. This is when I became frustrated. Now, get ready. If picture smart is one of your strengths, you may think this is crazy, but this is how my mind works.

I looked at the picture above and knew the buttons had to be related to the cruise control. Using my word-smart strengths and experiences with cruise control, it wasn’t hard for me to figure out that “res” meant resume. And, of course, setting and resuming speed is something you do when using the cruise control. I just couldn’t figure out how to turn it on so I could use these functions.

After a good number of miles and some frustration, it dawned on me what the pictures meant. They might have been obvious to you, but I don’t think in pictures. Now I’m thinking, “They used the word ‘set’ and the abbreviation ‘res.’ How hard would it have been for them to just use the word ‘cruise’?????” But, then I think, maybe they’re trying to use pictures for non-English speakers. Then my brain began thinking about whether I want them driving where all the highway signs are only in English. If you’re word smart like me, you can probably imagine the conversation I had by myself inside of my mind about this. It was loud and fast.

Why blog about my being confused? Because maybe this illustration will come back to your mind when you’re looking over your son’s shoulder, thinking what’s frustrating him is really easy. Just before you speak, maybe you’ll remember this and change your words and your tone. That would make this blog worth it.

[callout]If you enjoyed this post about my smarts and driving, you’ll enjoy last Wednesday’s post, too.[/callout]