Want To Be Smarter? Develop These 10 Habits (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 363)
“Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.”
— Jim Rohn
Some people are born smart, but most people who are smart trained themselves to be that way. If you think you can’t be smart because you weren’t born that way, try developing some daily rituals that will help you to learn and improve.
Being smart isn’t just about book knowledge from sitting in a classroom or attending a seminar. Being smart is also pushing yourself to be better, challenging yourself to do better, and putting in the effort and time to improve.
Here are 10 habits you can consider developing to be a smarter person:
1. Discover what inspires you. We are inspired partly by what we read, watch and hear. Find a topic that interests you and aim to learn more about it. Stay engaged with the world around you. Expand your mind with stimulating and interesting content.
2. Share what you know. One of the best ways to learn more is to share what you already know. Whether it is in a classroom, business meeting, or just in everyday conversation with friends, when you share your knowledge with others, they are more likely to share their knowledge back, and this often results in an AHA! moment. This is even easier to do with social media.
3. Push yourself to be productive. Smart people don’t wait for special times to be productive. They know that busyness and productivity are not the same thing and this idea pushes them to make the most of every minute of every day.
4. Be mindful of the information you are taking in. Everything you allow into your mind influences your life in some way. The information is either good or bad, is negative or positive, will help you make progress or cause you to regress. It is important to pay attention to the external voices we hear so that we can take an active role in shaping our mindsets which in turn guide our behavior and actions.
5. Read or listen to something outside of your field. Look for information either online or otherwise that is outside of your normal reading or listening range. For example, if you’re not a science buff, try to read an article in a science journal. When you do this, you open yourself up to absorb insight and knowledge that you would not have otherwise learned.
6. Be selective. Some people tend to think that the more friends or connections you have, the smarter you are. Not so in large part because the smarter you are, the more selective you become in picking your friendships and other relationships. Who you surround yourself with says a lot about who you are. So you may have fewer friends but they are the people in your life you influence you the most.
7. Take action. There is no point in learning new information if you’re not going to use it in some way at least to improve even if it is a small area of your life. Read, listen, watch, and then apply what you have heard to your life. This is not to become a successful person or the one with all the new knowledge, but to become a person of value, someone who can add to the universal conversation of life.
8. Hold on to your ideas. We all have ideas at one time or another but many people let their ideas go, brushing it off as something not worth thinking about. Don’t do this to your thoughts. When you come up with an idea in the daily discourse of life, pay attention to the idea and take time to write it down so you can look at it and then work on it as time goes on.
9. Use down time as an opportunity to learn. After college, we tend to think we don’t have any time to learn because our learning days are over. Life is a continuous process of learning. Take some of the time you spend watching hours of Netflix shows on the weekends to go online and nourish your brain. Perhaps, take a new class to advance your career or just for fun. It’s a small habit that could pay off in the end.
10. Ask questions. This often goes against the usual conventional wisdom of assuming anything and subscribing to everything but nothing can ruin your life more than accepting everything as is without critical thought. Nothing is more dangerous than the illusion of truth or knowledge. Keep your mind open to gaps in literature, news, books, and social life and be curious about information you obtain.
“Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge, and its nature is sinned against when it is doomed to ignorance.”
— William Ellery Channing