Are you envious of people who are stylish, well connected, prepared for anything, and execute any task effortlessly? You know the ones – smart people. If you’ve ever wondered how to be smarter, this blog post is for you, my friend!
It’s a big fat myth that some people are born smart and others are just not. Yes, indeed, some people are fortuitously born into successful families. However, that does not automatically make them genetically astute.
Of course, children from intelligent parents are born with exceptional genes which make them more likely to be brainy. But the truth is, anyone can teach themselves to be smarter. All it takes, willingness and lots of practice, just like learning any new skill.
Practice a little each day, and over time you will become an unstoppable smarty pants! It doesn’t matter what age you start, you just need to keep feeding your brain a little more each day. Before long, you will find yourself learning new skills and acquiring habits will make you a well rounded wondrous person! Just imagine how good that would feel?
Can You Really Become Smarter?
Not convinced that you can increase your intelligence to get more out of life? Many successful people have come from unprivileged backgrounds.
Take Oprah Winfrey, for example. She was so poor growing up that she didn’t have running water or electricity. But that didn’t stop her from becoming a successful talk show host, actress, writer or producer.
Or how about J.K Rowling? As a single parent, she was forced to choose between feeding herself or her daughter. Nonetheless, she went on to become one of the most famous writers of all time.
In fact, the number of successful people who taught themselves how to be smart after having a rough start in life is surprising. Ed Sheeran, Leonardo Di Caprio, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs and Halle Berry to name but a few.
Where Do You Start If You Want To Get Smart?
So you’ve decided you want to get smart? That’s fantastic! So now what do you do? Well, it won’t happen on its own. To become smarter, start introducing a few new habits into your daily routine. Here are ten intelligence boosting suggestions that will help you get more out of life:
1 – Try New Things
If you want to become successful at anything, you need to have something to aim for. But how can you know what to aim for if you don’t understand what interests you in the first place? It’s impossible to know what will enjoy doing until we experience things for ourselves.
We might think we would enjoy horse riding. Although, once we’ve tried it, we might not find it as enjoyable as we thought it would be. Which is why our previous work experience is so important to hiring managers. If we have prior experience doing something and we’ve enjoyed it, chances are we’re more likely to stick at it.
So get stuck in, try new things, work out what you like and what you don’t like. Learning from these experiences will help you better understand the things you want to experience again. Of course, it will also help you identify those you’d rather leave behind.
2 – Be Inquisitive
Being inquisitive is a new habit that you can incorporate into your daily life without even setting aside time for.
For example, make conversation with smart people you know. As you converse with them, try focusing on them more than yourself. Ask lots of questions. Furthermore, pay attention to their responses if the subject piques your interest further, try asking why they have that opinion. Finding out what other people are interested in opens your mind to new ideas and points of view.
3 – Read Books
Reading, fiction novels in particular, for just a few minutes each day has so many benefits for the mind. Not only can reading increase emotional intelligence and empathy, but it also reduces stress and the risk of getting Alzheimer’s.
Reading can also help us to understand ourselves better. When we read a novel, we go on a journey with the characters we experience things through their eyes. In doing so, makes us more aware of how we would behave in the situations they encounter.
4 – Get Things Done
We live in such a fast-paced world that we rarely find time to do the things we want to do. Therefore, doesn’t it seem a total waste of time to spend time planning? Couldn’t we just as easily go ahead and do them? Well yes, you can. But the thing is, spending time planning, frees up more spare time in the long run. This extra free time you’ve magically created is then free for you to so things you really want to do.
This is because if we don’t plan our time, it gets filled up naturally with the admin of life. For example, scrolling through social media is one of those things that many of us spend hours a day doing. But how unproductive is that?
Instead of using your smart-phone to waste time online, why not use it to manage your time better? Schedule blocks of time in your calendar app will remind you to complete the tasks you need to get done. When you’ve done this, fill in the gaps with things you want to get done.
5 – Make Mistakes – Lots of Them!
Don’t you sometimes wish you had a time machine? If I did, I would go back and give my teenage self this one stellar piece of advice… Go out and deliberately make as many mistakes as possible! When I was younger I was super scared of getting anything wrong. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that screwing things up, assessing the outcome and learning from experience is key to becoming a smarter person. The faster we make mistakes, the quicker we learn!
6 – Play Games
Playing games is fun, but game playing also increases our problem-solving ability, increases brain function, and improves memory. It doesn’t matter what kind of games you play either. The brain works more effectively when it’s performing tasks it finds enjoyable.
Of course, there are brain training games which are designed to increase brain power. Regularly playing board games like chess can also improve your intelligence. Even playing computer games involves a certain amount of problem-solving and sharpens your reflexes.
7 – Unleash Your Creativity
Drawing, painting, photography, or even writing are all excellent ways to can get creative. Practising a little creativity every day can lead to producing high-quality works of art too. Not only can this do wonders for your self-esteem, but it can also improve your home decor. Not to mention giving your friends something to talk about.
Creative thinking speeds up decision-making processes and encourages us to think outside the box in other areas of daily life. This makes perfect sense if you think about it; Every mark an artist makes on a blank canvas is the result of a decision they make.
When put like that, it’s incredible that artists ever get anything done! But that’s precisely why drawing and painting are so tricky for beginners. And also explains why practising creative skills have such mega brain-enhancing properties!
8 – Eat Healthily
Eating a healthy diet ensures your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals to function at its best. In particular, fatty fish, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables are particularly useful for boosting brainpower. So make sure you eat lots of them!
Equally, refined trans fats and highly processed foods, including sugars and carbohydrates, are bad for your mind. Avoiding these foods can keep your mind alert, stave off depression and reduce the risk of dementia later on.
9 – Sleep
It goes without saying that getting enough sleep is vital if you want to be smart. When we are tired, our brains don’t function as well, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions.
Every hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth two hours of sleep after midnight. Therefore, early nights enable you to wake up earlier and cross a few items off your to-do list before breakfast!
10 – Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol certainly has the effect of getting us off to sleep super fast. However, the quality of alcohol-induced sleep is not the same. Additionally, waking up in the middle of the night suffering from insomnia is more common after a few drinks. This can leave us feeling exhausted and stressed out the next day, which affects our productivity levels.
Waking up feeling hungover will find you wasting a day on the couch feeling sorry for yourself. This is counterproductive to all the effort you may have put into creating a smart life!
Living a Smart Life In Practice
The above may look like an overwhelming list that no human being could possibly incorporate into everyday life. Although breaking things down into chunks can make them seem much more manageable.
For example, reading a whole book at once is a mammoth task which even an avid reader could not manage. However, reading a chapter a day might only take about half an hour. Commit to this and you would finish an average novel in less than a fortnight.
I hope reading this article, has given you a few ideas on how to live a smarter and more productive life. If you know anyone who may find it useful, please share it on your favourite social media channel. They are bound to thank you for it!