Jul 21

How Are You Smarter than a Rocket Scientist?

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

This blog isn’t about health and fitness, but it is about mindset. It’s a reminder that YOU are amazing, and intelligent. In fact, you are smarter than a rocket scientist!! I reminded myself of that just this afternoon.

Today, I taught a full auditorium (57 people) of aerospace scientists and engineers about Federal benefit programs, retirement, Social Security, a variety of insurance plans, and other things.

These people are very smart!!! The work they do is fascinating. We’re talking actual rocket scientist level stuff. While I love hearing their stories, and looking at their experiments, which they are always more than willing to share with me, much of it is beyond my level of comprehension.


I’m going to make some broad-brush statements about the group. Because they are so smart, they can be challenging to work with. They sometimes have difficulty understanding simple concepts. Many take things very literally. As a group, they have a very dry sense of humor. They don’t want answers – they want to know every step leading up to the answer, and the “why” behind everything. What takes me 15 minutes to explain in any other class can take 50 minutes with these folks.


I’ve had a few spend hours in my office filling up pages and pages of notebook paper with computations because they were trying to get to the bottom of a formula I told them we had to use.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 6.16.18 PM

“Why are you using that number?” “Because that is the mandated formula.” “But, why?” “I don’t know.” They sat in my office and did not quit until they had the answer as to why. They shared it with me. I never understood it. I never needed to. It didn’t change the fact that I had to use this specific formula, and it wasn’t anything I cared to take the time to figure out. I kept that piece of paper in my desk for years, though, and every time another scientist came in and asked me why, I showed them the calculations. They were always happy to see the work…

For them, the why is more than idle curiosity; it’s compulsion!


We work very well together. They appreciate me because I am very methodical and I keep them on point. I appreciate them because they keep me on my toes.


We were talking about something in class today – I don’t remember what specifically – when one of them cut me off. “Wow. That is a big deal. Thanks for sharing that with us, Debbie. Why don’t we know this already? I mean, we are a group of intelligent people…..”

(I’m going to defend him here. He’s not being arrogant. They really are intelligent. He wasn’t trying to say they were better than anyone else; he was just saying, “How could we not possibly understand such a thing? It’s an incredibly relevant piece of information you’ve shared with us.” He was amazed.


My immediate response was,

Yes, you are intelligent but you only know the things you know about. That’s true for all of us. Just because you didn’t know this, doesn’t mean you’re not intelligent. You’re not intelligent about brain surgery either. You probably don’t know much about early childhood development, cosmetology, or the latest physical fitness protocols and programs.”


At the risk of sounding pompous in quoting myself, I have to say that I think this is a great answer!!!


It applies to so many things!


In fact, this very thing has cropped up from time to time in my health and fitness business too. Some people have felt “stupid” asking for help.

  • If you were raised eating a whole bunch of garbage, not learning how to properly fuel your body, how would you know?
  • If you were raised in a society that has always told you to eat less, and workout more in order to lose weight, how would you know that is not correct?
  • If you’ve been taught that carbohydrates (or fat) should be avoided (and some of those preaching this information are “experts”) why wouldn’t you believe it?


We all have our area of expertise.

You can know a lot about a lot of different things but none of us knows everything about everything.  Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 6.17.48 PM


So here’s my question to you:

How are YOU smarter than a rocket scientist?

What is the one thing you’re really into? So much that you have read, and studied, and researched?


For me it would definitely be health and fitness.  I’ve been interested in this since I was a teenager.  I remember my mother always saying, “Debbie will be out there running, even it it’s 100 degrees.  She will never stop exercising.”  It would also be scuba diving, and the classes that I teach in benefits/retirement.

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