Your Brainpower Can Be Your Superpower
As the generations continue to change, now more than ever there’s been a massive shift in the standard; school, high school, college, office. Life sorted. Your parents have done their job, and you are never going to have to worry about not being smart enough. Ever. Because you’ve been to college.
It’s not like this anymore. With more options than ever, college has shifted to the bottom of the preference lists for many young adults and for so many reasons. Application processes, competitiveness and costs are all deterrents which come into play, on top of actually wanting to go. Besides, going to college does not come with a lifelong smartness guarantee.
“Never confuse education with intelligence, you can have a PhD and still be an idiot.”Richard P. Feynman
There’s no denying the additional years of education will make anyone smarter. This doesn’t mean you can’t be just as smart if you missed the boat. No one is destined to the same level of intellect for the rest of their life. You might think you were never smart enough for college but have you ever considered you were just smart enough to know it wasn’t for you?
With the skipped years of education, you might find yourself looking back your achievements and wondering what more you can do, or how else you can contribute whether it’s for yourself, your family, your career or your future. And suddenly you’ve developed this insatiable urge to increase your intelligence and get further in life.
The good news is you are more responsible for your level of intellect then you may think. And if you thought you weren’t smart enough for something and never will be, think again!
Regardless of where your intelligence sits today, you have the power to boost it whenever you like. We all have easy access to all kinds of information and experiences and the only way to stay ahead in life is to get smarter and keep learning. Cognitive decline is a nearly universal feature of aging. Intelligence is not fixed and the more motivated you are, the smarter you can be.
Have You Got A Growth Mindset?
Are you running on a growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset?
The mindset concept was initiated over 30 years ago, when Stanford professor Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students’ attitudes surrounding failure. Some students were quick to rebound, while others became devastated by the smallest setbacks. Through studying these behaviours, Dr Dweck came up with the fixed mindset and growth mindset which described the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.
Those with a growth mindset who believed their abilities could be developed, consistently outperformed those with a fixed mindset who believed their abilities were fixed. Dweck went on to conclude intelligence is not fixed when you have a growth mindset. Phew!
To increase your intelligence, you need to apply effort, and this is only going to happen if you have a growth mindset. You need to believe you can actually become smarter by trying new things. High intelligence is nothing more than a great ability for pattern recognition and problem solving which is further applied to all areas of life. And definitely trainable.
Why You Should Boost Your Intelligence
Fancy winning Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Ok, back to reality. Smart people attract attention for the right reasons. They are admired, respected and iconic. Boosting your intelligence will boost several areas of your life when you’re consistently demonstrating your newfound logic to every situation. You’ll become more valued as an employee when your productivity increases within your own work as well as your entire teams and eventually across the business. You’ll be first in with solutions and this also puts you at the front of the line for promotions and salary increases, while you gain respect and job satisfaction.
When you’re smarter, you develop more resistance towards stress and more awareness of the dangers associated in everyday life. If there’s an unexpected event you’ll address it calmly with a rational mindset, and more capability to cope with the circumstances.
Smart people find solutions for everything regardless of their knowledge within that field. You’ll know where to look and gather the information necessary to solve any problem. This process will include consideration of all parties involved, and what resources you have to solve the problem before you’ve reached a conclusion.
Also, we hate to say it but the smarter you are, the more consistently you’ll succeed at well, everything! Your success will also boost your mental health as your confidence remains high in everything you do.
What Does Being Smart Actually Mean?
There are different variations and expectations when it comes to labelling someone ‘smart.’ Most of us turn to high grades, ace scores on tests, specific occupations or qualifications, and even how much money someone has. Some people see trivia winners as smart, others think a smart person is someone who can fix an IT issue.
And then there’s the career assumptions. Lawyers, accountants and doctors mush be intelligent to do what they do. A lawyer may have spent eight years studying, and then cheat on a spouse. Is that smart? Many of us have different levels of intellect in different areas of our lives. Acing a test is one form of smartness, and then there’s knowing when to end a relationship.
You can see now, how ‘smart’ is a vague term and depends on your perspective. One thing which remains consistent is that a smart person is a person who recognises that while they may already know a lot, there is still far more out there left for them to learn. So bravo, because that could be you!
There is always going to be a higher level for you to aspire to when it comes to being smart. This is why above all, to increase your intellect you need to be curious and have the desire to continuously evolve. You must always continue to learn more, take the knowledge you have, be willing to make it your own, and be able to communicate what you see with your unique set of cognition and experiences to others.
Time To Smarten Up
We’ve come up with some great activities to up your intelligence, which are easy to start right away. If you’re serious about getting smart, there’s no harm in trying them all. The right ones will stick and the wrong ones will just become another experience, which will still boost your intelligence as it diverts your brain power to a whole new concept.
This is how you can get smarter without college:
1. Unleash Your Creative
You might not consider yourself to be artistic but, believe it or not we all have some creative abilities within us. The reasons they can remain dormant for years vary from just being great at other things, to never having the opportunities to pursue something which is usually just for fun. It’s easy to feel guilty about doing something which isn’t going to be productive. The good news is, whatever it is you thought was a waste of time is going to make you smarter.
You can choose what you like to pursue knowing you’ll open up the mind to new possibilities and ways of solving problems. You don’t have to come up with the next Monet! This is so you can nurture basic hand-eye coordination. Not for an art gallery, someone’s wall or a competition.
Try painting, drawing, scrapbooking or anything else which comes with the freedom to create and go! You’ll awaken your artistic mindset, cultivating brain activity in a unique way. Your newfound awareness creates new opportunities to find new solutions, fresh inspiration and peaceful confidence.
2. Learn A Second Language
We didn’t say it was going to be easy. It is going to be worth it however. If it helps, you can choose the language. For some people, learning a new language is something they’ve always wanted to achieve. It’s definitely something to be proud of which is just one of the reasons we’re recommending it.
Learning a language represents one of the top things which can make someone smarter. While it can take years to become fluent, it’s the process of the learning in which you acquire a full brain workout. You gain strength through the task when you read, hear and converse in the language and your senses hurl into hyperdrive. You experience a multi-sensory explosion which triggers processes to flex crucial areas of your brain. The more your brain struggles to deal with and respond to information, the stronger it becomes. Imagine how tough it will be after years of discovering foreign words, phrases and sentences?
As this is a slow process, the effects are likely to last as they are gradually implemented at a manageable pace, as well built on each time you practice your new language. The key is to practice consistently. Set a realistic goal and stick to it so you don’t fall behind or affect the learning process. You’ll feel your intellect grow after each session and at the end of it all, you can take yourself to the country and talk to whoever you like!
3. Do Different Things
If you’re doing the same thing all day, every day, how is your brain going to learn anything else or use it’s other functions? Having a routine is a safe place for many people, however the repetition means you are missing out on a lot of new experiences which will boost your intelligence.
It’s never too late to flex the other areas of your brain by inviting a few changes into your life. Try as many new things as you can at every opportunity, finding new ways to do your everyday tasks.
These can be small adjustments such as a new café or walking route, to more intense activities such as joining a sporting team or taking on an additional part-time job. Volunteering and hobbies are other great things to pursue, as well as new recipes or short getaways. During work, start a conversation with a colleague you’ve never met, on the weekends join a walking group, and in the evenings take yourself out for a new cuisine.
The more the better because you’ll use parts of your brain differently each day. Your intelligence increases, forcing you to flex your brainpower in different ways so it becomes an overall workout each time.
It also fends off boredom, helping your mind remain sharp and focused more consistently.
4. Read. Every. Day.
Your mind is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger and healthier it gets. It sounds simple, because it is. The more you read, the smarter you’ll become. It’s the most basic way you’ll learn and gain knowledge while increasing your intellect. When everything you read is new, you are continually educating yourself on various topics. Your creative side is also used as curiosity will engage your imagination with every page.
When you read, you’ll also find yourself reflecting and analysing everything you’ve taken in. This demands your attention, which forces you to concentrate and stimulate the mind, increasing brainpower.
It doesn’t have to be a hard-hitting non-fiction novel on how the earth was created. Anything you read will make you smarter in its own unique way. Harder reads will put a healthy strain on the mind, and books which cover topical or socially relevant subjects will force you to think critically. Light-hearted fiction increases your capacity for understanding human condition and in turn, boosts emotional intelligence.
Regardless of what book has your attention, your guaranteed to grasp a whole lot more knowledge and vocabulary to boost your mindpower for good. And as an added bonus, reading is relaxing and can be done anywhere.
Just when you thought meditation couldn’t come with any more benefits. Turns out it does. This mindfulness practice can physically change the brain. Everyday, we are using some parts of brain more than others as routine is unconsciously followed. This creates an imbalance which can be reversed by meditation as it strengthens the connections between all areas of the brain. The result is better creative thinking, problem solving, memory and more.
It doesn’t end there. Over time, meditation increases brain size and pushes us into optimal brainwave patterns which cause a significant increase in IQ. As meditation is a resting exercise, you’re also controlling and calming the brain which is as powerful as an enhancing activity through instruments and puzzles. One short practice each day can increase your concentration, alertness, creativity and intelligence.
6. Fatten Up Your Brain
You are what you eat, and so is your intellect apparently as high nutrition foods power up your mind.
Our brains are made up of 60 per cent fat. Because they are so fatty, they need fat in order to function well and this has to come from our nutritional intake. Yes, fats, but the good stuff only. The brain soaks up about 20 per cent of our energy so we need to be consuming the right fats for it to run as best as it can. Walnuts, fish, avocados and vegetable oils are all going to help neurons function when eaten regularly.
A diet high in monounsaturated fats can also increase production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in learning and memory.
In Summary: It’s Your Time To Shine
So, College is out but that’s ok! Just like genes only influence a part of who we are, the intelligence level we are born with does not dictate our intelligence for life. If you want to be smarter, you’re already on your way having read this article. All you have to do next is take the information and apply it to your life.
Jump on a bike, and head to your nearest art store, pick up a book on the way, download a Spanish language app, pack some nuts for the road and stop at a park to meditate. Then round up the troops for a quiz night your bound to take out with your boosted intellect raring to be flaunted. Or go into life decisions with more confidence as your brainpower remains super charged.
Ok, it won’t be that simple, but you get the gist. Start with one new thing today and you’ll be intrigued to continue these new activities to unleash the smartest version of yourself – and tackle the remainder of your life with a higher intellect. And keep raising the bar.
Because when it comes down to it, what makes someone smart is their desire to learn more, and their desire to use what they’ve learned to solve problems moving forward.