Over the past year, I’ve learned how to communicate in Spanish. After 2 years of high school Spanish 10 years ago, I didn’t have much of a base of knowledge, but through dedication, studying and practice, I’m now able to discuss many topics in Spanish comfortably. I’m not perfect, but my Spanish is very good for a non-native speaker.
How to Become a SMARTER Person: 18 Habits to Be More Intelligent
There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.
Many people are under the general misconception that intelligence is a fixed value that’s set when they are young, and that it has no chance of changing as they grow older.
Research shows that improving our intelligence is possible at any age. The things we do and our outlook in life, such as possessing a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset, can contribute greatly to improving our cognitive abilities.
There are simple habits that you can apply in your daily life that can help make you smarter. In today’s post, we feature 18 habits that are guaranteed to make you smarter.
Become a bookworm
There’s a reason why some of the brightest minds in the universe are bookworms. Reading is not only a relaxing activity that helps you fight stress, it’s also an activity that increases your brain capacity. Stretching this mental capacity makes it possible for you to learn more. Additionally, reading can help improve your vocabulary by exposing you to words with which you may not already be familiar. Some of the best writers maintained their skills by reading a book a week.
In addition to stretching your brain capacity and introducing you to new vocabulary, reading is the best way to gain knowledge. For example, how would we be able to learn about historical events if we didn’t have books to read? Sure, there are primary accounts of the tales, but those are few and far between.
Regularly reading is one of the easiest ways that you can boost your intelligence, and the best news is that it doesn’t matter what type of reading you do. So, grab your favorite book or the newspaper and get to reading away!
Ways to Become More Intelligent in Life
Through this mindset shift, you will start to change as a person, change your daily habits, and grow – not only your brain, but also as a person in many ways.
Below are 15 ways to become more intelligent in life. If you want, you can click on a link below to go directly to the section with that step, or you can scroll down to read them in order.
1. Stand on the Shoulders of Giants
The quote above from Isaac Newton refers to the fact that when we are just growing up and becoming more knowledgeable, we are like dwarfs – we aren’t very tall and we cannot see very far. This is similar to when we are kids – we don’t know much and have much to learn.
However, if you stand on the shoulder of a giant, you can see for miles. If we read from those who were successful, we can gain insight into how we can become more successful in our lives.
2. Redefine Learning
What is learning? Is it something you do at school? Is it something that stops after college? Is learning something that needs a textbook, or is it anything that stimulates our brains?
The most successful people in the world are continuously learning – they are constantly reading, coming up with new ideas, talking with other successful people, and growing.
Rather, learning is the process of going from not knowing a lot to becoming knowledgeable and proficient in a certain area. Learning takes time, but, through experimentation, you can become more intelligent in a subject.
3. Become Curious in Everyday Life and Ask Questions
One of the first steps to becoming smarter is to realize that their are gaps in your knowledge and improving your understanding of various things will be beneficial for you in the future.
Realize that in each interaction you have, you can learn something or pick up a new tip. If you stay doing the same thing everyday, that’s all you are going to get.
Even if these questions are just clarifying a situation, they can make all the difference in your understanding and lead to becoming more intelligent as you now know of more of the full picture.
Education Through Reading and Experience
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”— Charlie Tremendous Jones
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
“Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” — T.S. Elliot
In a powerful lecture on how our brains change through experience, Neuroscientist Dr. Dafna Shohamy explains that our brains assimilate information for the purpose of prediction.
Being able to predict how our behavior will lead to outcomes is one of the most important goals of our brains. For example, when you touch the stove as a child, you experience what is known as a “prediction error” — which according to Dr. Shohamy is a learning signal to update your expectations for the next time.
This is why failure is such a key part of success. Failure is what occurs when you incorrectly predict how things will go based on your limited knowledge. Because you experience failure or prediction error, you can then update your expectations and strategies for the next attempt.
This is what growth and innovation are all about. Thomas Edison embraced prediction error. He embraced his own mental and experiential boundaries. He was willing to fail over and over and over because for him — failure was about learning. It was about changing and expanding himself. To quote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Thomas Edison had to update and refine himself constantly to become the man he became. His failures and experiences transformed to wisdom and understanding. Intelligence is applied understanding. It’s far more powerful than base knowledge. There are lots of people who have information in their heads. But wisdom and intelligence is the proper application of knowledge.
Maintain a Nutritious Diet
Children and adults interested in boosting brain activity should begin by transforming their diet. Research from the University of Bristol in England points to a strong connection between unhealthy diet and low I.Q. scores in children.  To begin reversing unhealthy tendencies, try cutting out excess fat, sugar, and fast foods, and start adding more vegetables, fruit, and lean meats. These 12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health are good for you too.
There are also a number of unusual drinks proven to help brain function. Matcha green tea, raw cacao hot chocolate, and ginkgo biloba tea all show benefits for the brain. Some scientist claim ginkgo biloba helps pump more blood to the brain, improving circulation.