A lot of people think that being smart means getting good grades and having that degree.
However, to be smart is to be able to think critically and make decisions that benefit you. It’s not just about memorizing information or being able to recite facts; it’s about understanding how the world works and using that knowledge to your advantage.
You don’t have to be a genius or spend hours in the library to get smarter! Regardless of your age or level of education, you can become smarter by following some simple habits. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Question, Don’t Just Assume
This is a habit that applies to every aspect of your life from the way you take in new information to how you approach interpersonal relationships.
Many people tend to take things at face value. They don’t question things; they just assume that if something is presented as fact in the media or by a source they trust, then it must be true.
Unfortunately, this can lead to bad decision-making because you can miss out on information that could help you make better choices.
Don’t just assume that something is true because someone told you so. Always clarify and look at all sides of everything before making up your mind.
2. Read Something You Normally Wouldn’t
Reading is a great way to expand your knowledge (and your vocabulary), and if you want to be smarter, you should definitely read every day.
You should also consider reading something that you normally wouldn’t even if it directly opposes your own perspective!
Whether it’s an article or book, reading something that differs from what you would normally read can potentially be an eye-opening experience as you will likely be forced to consider another point of view.
It can certainly help expand your mind and challenge some of your ideas!
3. Diversify Your Day
While a routine can be great and beneficial, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. To be both happy and productive, you need to mix things up – so that you are constantly doing new things and keeping your brain active.
Get yourself off of autopilot.
Take a different route home from work, try a new recipe for dinner, or go for a walk outside instead of walking on a treadmill. Inviting a little novelty into your daily life will not only help keep things fresh and interesting, but it can actually help make you smarter and more creative!
4. Expose Yourself to Different World Views
Smart people are curious. They interact with different people and expose themselves to as many cultures, places, and perspectives as possible.
It’s a great way to get your mind working. Of course, it’s also important that you are open-minded about the information you receive from these sources.
You may not agree with everything you hear and see, but if you keep an open mind, it will help broaden your understanding of the world around you.
5. Make A Point of Learning Something New Each Day
Learning something new every day (no matter how small or seemingly insignificant), can have a big impact on your brain.
Watch educational shows, listen to audiobooks or podcasts, or subscribe to thought-provoking newsletters. You can even use a word-of-the-day app and have fun learning new words.
6. Apply New Knowledge
When you learn something new, don’t let it go to waste. If you don’t apply what you’ve learned, then what’s the point? Don’t just learn for the sake of learning; make sure it betters your life somehow!
Whether it’s learning about nutrition or technology, if you take the time to learn something, put that knowledge into practice.
7. Think of New Ways to Do Old Things
Another way you can challenge your brain is to look at things you do every day – and think about how you could do them slightly differently.
Finding new ways to do things will fend off boredom and help your brain stay sharp and focused, as well as make life more interesting and fun.
You could also use this habit to find better, more efficient ways of doing something you do often, such as packing lunches or folding clothes.
8. Play Games That Make You Think
To keep your brain sharp and engaged, do something that requires you to think. Board games, card games, video games, and puzzles are all good options.
As a matter of fact, studies show that playing strategy-based games helps improve memory function. That’s because they require you to think on the spot. And by giving your brain practice with this type of thinking process over time, you also improve your ability to deal with different scenarios in everyday life.
9. Increase Mental Intensity
The more you challenge yourself, the smarter you become. The key to doing this is to push yourself beyond what you think are your limits.
Try picking up a new skill or studying a subject that you’re unfamiliar with for at least 30 minutes a day.
You could also try entertaining a different thought pattern by reading self-help books or listening to podcasts about personal development.
By doing these things on a regular basis, you will continue building neural pathways in your brain, which will ultimately increase your capacity for learning.
10. Take Up A Productive Hobby
It’s important to have interests outside of work, even if you’re a busy professional. Hobbies are more than merely a way to fill your free time; they’re creative outlets that keep your brain engaged and they can even improve cognitive function.
Whether it’s writing, playing a musical instrument, painting, knitting, woodworking, or gardening, hobbies are essential for your mental health and can help you learn skills that will make you a more well-rounded person.
They can also serve as a great way to meet people with similar interests, which can be helpful if you’re looking to make new friends.
11. Hang Out with People Who Are Smarter Than You
This is a big one! It’s easy to surround yourself with those that agree with your views or offer the same level of intelligence as yours.
But if you want your brain to evolve into something greater and more complex, you need to learn from those who can teach you new things or show you another way of looking at an issue.
When you surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, they’ll challenge and inspire you. They will make you think critically about your own beliefs and actions, which can help you become more effective.
12. Get Some Physical Exercise
You already know that exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body and brain, which is why it’s so important to make physical activity a habit in your life.
In addition to helping improve your overall health and well-being, exercise helps improve blood flow to the brain.
Consistent exercise also produces BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which helps with memory, learning, focus, concentration, and comprehension. As an added bonus, it also promotes better sleep!
13. Set Aside Some Quiet Time
If you want to be smarter, it’s important to take time to reflect on your days.
Smart people learn from their experiences so they don’t make the same mistakes again and again. And by reflecting on your days, you can also start seeing patterns that might contribute to unhealthy habits or behaviors.
This will help you become more self-aware and mindful of the way you think, act, and live.
So, there you have it. If you want to get smarter, try adding these habits into your life. If you already do some of these things, keep up the good work! And remember: It’s not about being perfect all the time, it’s about making progress.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if something doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped. Just keep learning and moving forward.
If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends, so we can keep making them. Thanks for reading!