Do You Have Naturalistic Intelligence? 3 Ways to Develop the Pathfinder in You

3 min read -
Shannon Terrell
Written by
Do You Have Naturalistic Intelligence? 3 Ways to Develop the Pathfinder in You
Table of Contents
Highlights: Naturalistic intelligence is one of the most powerful skills out there. Here are three ways you can learn to develop yours.

Have you ever known someone with a green thumb? No matter what plant, flower, or blossom they care for, their gardens seem in be in perpetual full bloom.

How about someone that can navigate the outdoors without a map or compass? They’re top-notch hikers, navigators, and wayfinders, identifying local flora and fauna with effortless ease.

These people possess naturalistic intelligence. And believe it or not, it’s the intelligence we all share.

Here’s why naturalistic intelligence is one of the most powerful skills out there. And how you can learn to develop yours.

In this article we will answer the following questions:

  1. What is a naturalistic person?
  2. What is naturalistic learning style?
  3. How do you develop naturalistic intelligence?

Let’s begin!

naturalistic people

What Is a Naturalistic Person?

A naturalistic person is someone who possesses naturalistic intelligence.

Naturalistic intelligence is one of Gardner’s nine types of intelligence. In the 1980s, American psychologist Howard Gardner developed his theory of multiple intelligences. And naturalistic intelligence was one of the forms of intelligence he identified.

What is naturalistic intelligence?

Naturalistic intelligence is the intelligence of the natural world. People with this form of intelligence feel most at home when they’re outdoors in nature.

They have a knack for identifying plants and animals and are expert pathfinders and navigators. People with this form of intelligence make excellent mountain guides, park rangers, geologists, botanists, and agriculturalists.

Which famous people have naturalistic intelligence?

Can you think of anyone you know that has naturalistic intelligence? It’s one of the rarer forms of intelligence, but there are a few famous celebs you might recognize that have a well developed green thumb:

  • Charles Darwin
  • David Suzuki
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Steve Irwin
  • Jane Goodall

Many famous explorers, mountain climbers, and naturalists would make the cut. Who would you add to the list?

What Is Naturalistic Learning Style?

If you’ve got naturalistic intelligence, chances are you also possess a naturalistic learning style.

This means that you learn best when you’re able to interact with your environment in a tangible, concrete way.

Like kinesthetic learners, naturalistic learners like to be able to see, feel, and touch what they’re learning about. Hands-on learning (preferably outdoors) is the best way for naturalistic learners to absorb information.

a man walking in the woods

How Do You Develop Naturalistic Intelligence?

The absolute best way to develop naturalistic intelligence is by getting outside. Naturalistic intelligence is very much a hands-on experience.

Learning is not a spectator sport.

– Jim Kwik, trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest

So, how can you develop your naturalistic intelligence? Here are three ways to bring out your inner wayfinder.

1. Go on a nature walk

The undisputed best way to develop naturalistic intelligence is by going outside. So — go outside! Even if it’s just to take your dog for a walk around the block.

Take time to notice the natural environment that surrounds you, especially if you live in an urban neighborhood. Nature always finds a way to remind us of its presence.

Admire the trees, the grass, the flowers, the birds. Take note of what you see and appreciate the natural beauty.

2. Visit an unfamiliar environment

If you live near the forest, try to visit a river, lake, or ocean. If you live in a mountainous area, find a valley or lowland to visit.

You may need to spend an hour or two on the road. But visiting unfamiliar biomes is a fantastic way to shake us awake and help us pay attention to the world that surrounds us.

3. Start a garden

Here’s something you can do without ever having to leave your home: start a garden!

You can plant an herb garden on the windowsill, or dig up some earth at the back of your house to plant some perennials.

Exercise your
naturalistic skill and see what comes about. You may just discover you’ve got a green thumb after all!

Recommended Free Masterclass For You

Discover Powerful Hacks to Unlock Your Superbrain to Learn Faster, Comprehend More and Forget Less

Join the foremost expert in memory improvement and brain performance, Jim Kwik, in a free masterclass that will dive into the one skill you will ever need — learning how to learnReserve My Free Spot Now

Shannon Terrell

Shannon Terrell

Asset 1

Fact-Checking: Our Process

Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.