Today, being smart is not only a nice bonus. It’s a necessity.
The demanding modern world is not going to let you achieve outstanding results unless you are ready to consistently improve your knowledge, skills, and expertise.
Smart people – those who make smarter decisions and prove to have great problem-solving skills and analytical mindset – have more chances to achieve success than their mediocre counterparts.
However, it’s not possible to get smarter overnight. There is no 1-2-3 solution to becoming smart. It’s all about a process. It’s all about hard work.
It should be perceived as a general goal that requires discipline, dedication, time, and effort.
The good news is that it’s totally feasible to improve your intellectual skills if you stay consistent and follow the easy steps every single day.
Here’s how to become smarter every day in 9 simple steps:
Step 1: Produce more than you consume.
Most people never produce anything. They keep doing one thing – they consume the goods and services as well as the information from TV, newspapers or social media sites (Facebook, Twitter etc).
However, the most efficient and fast way to train your brain is via producing things.
Start writing instead of only reading. Start experimenting instead of only researching. Start applying your knowledge instead of just storing it in your head.
Stop learning by consuming. Start learning by creating.
Step 2: Stay curious.
We are living in a wonderful world full of incredible things. Hundreds of new things are discovered or invented every day. There is always something new to learn and explore.
Therefore don’t think you already know enough and there is nothing you should ask a question about.
Keep absorbing new information by asking smart questions and claiming great answers.
Set a goal to ask one question a day. And aspire to make the experts answer that question.
Step 3: Generate ideas.
While generating new ideas, you make your brain use its full potential and produce the creative results. Pay attention to small details and notice the things that surround you. There might be something that could excite you, spark an interest or lead you to a nice idea.
Exercise your brain and flex the idea muscle on a daily basis.
Write down new ideas in your notebook. With time you’ll realize that coming up with the ideas becomes easier for you. Whereas the quality and maturity of the ideas grow every day.
Step 4: Stop following the news you can’t benefit from.
For some reason, most people think they must be up-to-date with all the latest news. In most cases just “to know it all”. The problem is that the knowledge acquired via chaotic consumption of news rarely adds any value.
Stop wasting your time on consuming information just to be able to maintain yet another political discussion. Filter out what’s unimportant and focus on the things that matter.
Be picky when it comes to the news. Most of the times, it’s meaningless and doesn’t help you become better.
Make sure there is always a way you can apply and benefit from the learned information.
Step 5: Surround yourself with the best.
Environment plays a significant role in your self-improvement. Chances are you won’t be able to improve yourself if you get around people who hold you back.
Hang out with people smarter, stronger, and better than you. Establish connections with the successful, ambitious, and inspiring people. Spend more time with them. And stop surrounding yourself with those who make you feel depressed, demotivated, and demoralized.
Get around the smartest to become smarter.
Step 6: Have a rest.
It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Make sure you are not going to burn out. Otherwise, your mental abilities may fade out really quickly.
Like any digital device, your brain and body need to be recharged. Make sure your brain gets enough rest.
Multiple studies show that every year more and more people suffer from stress and insomnia. These might be caused by our ever-faster pace of life. Unfortunately, this harms your cognitive abilities in the long run.
After an intense day, try to do the things that involve less stress and help you maintain a healthy brain much better.
Do one thing less in the evening: one page less, one episode less, one minute less. Go to bed on time and have a sleep.
Step 7: Run a blog.
One of the best ways to get better at certain things and learn something is to teach someone else. Teaching helps you process, digest, and reflect on the information you’ve learned.
Launch a blog. Publish interesting articles and discuss exciting topics.
Provide valuable insights and share your knowledge with other people who are interested in the same things. Try to teach others the things you know the best. Educate the readers and share your perspective with them.
In its turn, this will help you become an expert in your field.
Step 8: Cut back on TV time.
Video games and TV are not the keys to getting smarter. They won’t ever help you improve intelligence.
Spend your time more wisely. Learn new language, answer questions on Quora, take online courses, master a musical instrument or follow the great blogs that cover interesting topics you’re interested in.
And finally, read books. Start to read a lot. Challenge yourself to read for at least 20–30 minutes a day.
Adjust your habits and make sure every choice you make is a perfect fit for a person you’d like to become.
Step 9: Listen to podcasts.
Podcasts are a really good way to improve your knowledge in different spheres because they let you combine some routine things with the efficient learning.
Turn your commute to work or dog walking into a simple and exciting learning process.
Listen to great interviews and success stories of the most prominent leaders and influencers. Get incredible insights from people who “made it”. Analyze their experiences and apply that knowledge in your life.
Dedicate at least 30 minutes a week to listening to podcasts and make it your habit.
If you take these steps every day for a few weeks or months, you’ll be able to expand your mind and improve your emotional intelligence very fast.
Often, the consistent self-improvement requires you to leave your comfort zone, because all the opportunities for personal growth are beyond it. Don’t be afraid of doing it. Slay your fears and expand the comfort zone to become better.
Despite it all may seem difficult to do every day, it’s feasible.
All you need to do is get started. Now.