8 Ways to Be Smarter
Intelligence isn't simply a fixed quantity, a learning expert explained in a talk recently. How smart we are is powerfully affected by our situation, and that's something we can control.
Notes the seminar delivered by learning expert Annie Murphy Paul, who claims that humans have multiple intelligences, pointing to current theories of measuring intellect. Human intelligence has a huge number of variables that must be taken into account.
Murphy Paul outlines methods to maximize the efficiency of the brain you were born with:
- Context: the physical situation of the individual influences intelligence. So, factors are always present that change how our brains perform such as stress levels, physical exercise, mental conditions, and quantity of sleep. Further, motivation and expertise in areas affect performance in a testing situation. The atmosphere of the place you are thinking in can improve or diminish clarity of thought. All intelligence is affected by context which means that you can control the variables to maximize your intelligence.
- Beliefs: Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist, suggests two types of mindsets or belief systems. The fixed mindset believes that our mental abilities are permanent and unchanging, and the growth mindset believes that our capabilities can evolve, develop, and grow through learning and practice. You can intensify your ability to learn simply by believing that growth is possible.
- Expertise: experts posses more knowledge in a certain domain, and they think and act differently because of this. You can increase your mastery of a domain of knowledge and change they way you think and act. This expertise can be acquired and developed at any age.
- Attention: physical limitations in the brain make it difficult to focus intently on more than one task. You can increase your intelligence by focusing specifically on single tasks, rather than trying to multitask. While this is counterintuitive, science has solidly proven it is true for 98% of the population.
- Emotion: positive emotions produce higher levels of thinking, increasing creativity and opening the mind. By taking control of your emotions, through practice, you increase your ability to innovate and think creatively. Negative emotions (anxiety, anger, sadness) limit your thinking potential.
- Technology: our electronic devices can make us smarter or dumber, depending on how and when we use them. You can increase your intelligence by using technology when it augments your thinking and working, and by putting devices away when they are merely distractions.
- Physical state: healthy conditions increase our intellectual abilities. You can maximize your intelligence through exercise, nutrition, sleep, and stress control. These conditions help the brain to work most efficiently.
- Social relationships: humans are social animals, and think better in groups, collaborating rather than competing. This is referred to as transactive memory, and if you use close relationships to help you, thinking and remembering become easier.
Darin's note: The foundation principles underlying these methods of increasing intelligence are important to remember.
- Humans have multiple intelligences rather than one, as IQ tests suggest.
- The human mind is plastic, which means that it can change, grow, and become more efficient regardless of age.
- You have the power to control the circumstances in which your brain thinks best. You are empowered with control over your intelligence, and it is not fixed or permanent.
Interested? Click the title or image to read on.
Source is Inc.com
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