10 Habits That Will Make You Smarter
To be smart is great, but it doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to become smarter, you have to create habits that will groom your intelligence and nourish your mind.
Some people are born smart, but most smart people do daily rituals to maintain their smartness. Whether they do it in leadership, business, the arts, or a different field, they push and challenge themselves daily.
Here are 10 habits that can help you become your smartest self:
1. Question everything.
Don’t assume anything or subscribe unthinkingly to conventional wisdom. Keep your eyes and mind wide open. The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge–and questioning and curiosity is the key to overcoming it.
2. Read as much as you can.
Many years ago, I started the habit of reading a book a day, and the wealth of knowledge I accumulate every week is priceless. Make reading a habit–serious reading, not celebrity gossip and lists on the web. Even if it’s just part of a chapter each day, stick to your reading schedule and your intellect will be enriched.
3. Discover what motivates you.
Find a topic that keeps you interested and dive in. It’s easier to stay engaged with a topic you find stimulating. Find a format that stimulates your mind, too, whether it’s a podcast or a newspaper. Feed your mind well with things it will enjoy.
4. Think of new ways to do old things.
To be innovative means making creativity more important than the fear of being wrong. Even in the things you do every day, you can be inventive and experimental. When you take risks, make mistakes, and have fun instead of slogging through the same routine. You’ll have a daily reminder that imagination and creativity can change the world.
5. Hang out with people who are smarter than you.
Smart people have interesting things to talk about. They know how to expand their mind and feed their brain, so spending time with them is good for you on multiple levels. Seek them out at work, in service organizations, and socially.
6. Remember that every expert was once a beginner.
When you have an opportunity to learn something new, you become smarter. Make a point of continuously and consistently acquiring new skills, because life will never stop teaching if you’re willing to learn.
7. Make time to reflect.
We’re all so distracted, it’s easy to dash from one thing to another without pausing to consider what it means. Make time to pause and reflect–reflection is an important part of the learning process.
8. Exercise your body.
As you’re caring for your mind don’t neglect your body. Build discipline in doing what you need to do in terms of diet, exercise, and sleep.
9. Push yourself to become more productive.
Being busy and being productive are two different things. The future you want is created by what you do. Smart people make the most of today.
10. Come up with new ideas daily.
Carry a journal to jot down ideas when they come to you. Push yourself to be creative and to think in new ways. Review your ideas weekly and edit them as you go.
Start building smart habits today and see what happens to your thinking tomorrow.