How many hours have you wasted in front of your computer watching video after video on YouTube? Chances are, if you’re like most people, you’re probably spending a couple hours of the day at your screen clicking endlessly.
This isn’t good for your personal development, is it? Isn’t it time that you begin to use your little grey cells and take advantage of one of life’s most powerful creations, the human brain?
Knowing how to become a genius is not that difficult. The hardest part is instituting the many different ways it takes to boost your intelligence levels. Indeed, it takes more than just memorising facts and figures. You need insight, introspection and imperturbability to elevate your intellect.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 13 easy tips on how to become a genius.
1. Sit down and think
When was the last time you had a good thinking session? Indeed, we think all the time, trying to decide what we want for dinner or solving a Rubik’s cube during a Monday morning meeting. But we’re talking about lying on your sofa, staring at the ceiling and thinking about various concepts, ideas and solutions, from the trivial to the complex. You wouldn’t believe how many of us don’t have deep thinking sessions, since we routinely distract ourselves with mobile games and YouTube videos about cats.
2. Test your ideas
Do you have an idea to solve the world’s energy problems with giant rubber balls? What about a plastic bottle that squeezes ketchup, mustard and relish? Or, if your team has slammed into a giant wall at the office, do you have a proposal that could succeed? Whatever the case, you should consider testing your ideas to see if they work. If they do, you can take them to the next level. If not, you can head back to the blueprints and utilise different methods.
3. Train your memory
How good is your memory? As we get older, we become less sharp; scientists say we typically reach our peak in our early 20s. It’s all downhill from there. But does it have to be? Nope – as long as you train your memory, which allows you to be the smarty pants that you want to be. So, the $64,000 question is: how do you train your memory in the first place? Here are a few suggestions:
- Take notes about a speech, lecture or book you read after because it forces you to remember what was said or done
- Do everything manual so you don’t need to rely on automation, whether it’s speed dial on your phone or autocorrect for your spelling
- Make time for meditation, as this centuries-old practice clears your mind
- Use the four-details exercise, which consists of remembering four things about a person
- Recall and repeat in your mind what someone said to you
Improving your memory is critical to not only helping you become a genius but to also ensure your cognitive fitness lasts longer than just your 20s.
4. Read more
Let’s be honest: there are so many things that are competing for our attention. An audiobook, Netflix, a new mobile game and Facebook stalking – err, browsing. But what about books? Unfortunately, reading has become a lost artform, since many of us don’t peruse books as much as we should. It should be time to make reading great again.
It’s one of the most enjoyable experiences on this planet, and it’s great for your cognitive health. Plus, by reading, you’re automatically learning something, whether it’s a new word or a new concept. So, pick up that book of Seneca on stoicism, read that crime noir story or catch up on Medieval poetry.
5. Create a morning routine
Sure, you’re not a morning person, but that doesn’t mean anything in today’s world. Unless our world turned into a version of the cheesy 1970s motion picture The Omega Man, most of us are going to operate during daytime business hours. Therefore, if you’re not a morning person by now, then what have you been doing all this time?
On your journey to becoming a genius, it may begin by waking up early and cracking an egg. Seriously. Here are some suggestions on how to create a morning routine:
- Wake up the same time every day (even on weekends!)
- Drink ice-cold water
- Eat a wholesome breakfast without a distraction
- Start a to-do list for the day and get all the tasks done
- Head outside, even if it's only for a few moments
- Stretch your body for a few minutes
- Listen to a morning podcast
- Read (yes, we’re back to that tip) for 10 minutes
It’s these little things to begin your day that can enhance the power of your brain without realising it.
6. Study opposing views
What makes someone an academic? You may believe that it’s possessing several degrees, writing peer-reviewed papers and pontificating five-dollar words. An authentic academic is thoroughly learning opposing views to make ourselves exposed to other thoughts and ideas. Of course, it’s more comfortable to be adept at spaghetti monster orthodoxy, but it’s critical to develop intelligence by exploring and becoming an expert on concepts contradictory to your belief system.
7. Take a culture day
Here’s something everybody should do once a month: take an arts and culture day to yourself, even if it’s for a morning or an entire day. What is it? This is when you spend your free time reading (again!), writing a poem, attending an art gallery, practising an instrument, learning a new skill or watching a foreign film. It might be hard to achieve, considering our busy schedules, but it’s quite important for your quest to personal development. Interested? In the words of legendary American philosopher Shia LaBeouf, ‘Just do it!’.
8. Get more sleep
We tend to undervalue our sleep. Or, at the very least, we don’t sleep the right way. Wait a minute. There is a proper procedure for shutting your eyes and drifting off into dream land? Yes!
The first thing is to get more sleep, which has plenty of health benefits. The mandatory minimum is seven to nine hours. After that, you need to incorporate various ways to ensure you are sleeping correctly. Here are some of them:
- Reduce blue light exposure in the evening, such as from your smartphone
- Avoid caffeine or snack later in the day
- Optimise your bedroom environment (reduce external noise, keep it dark and make the temperature comfortable)
- Introduce a pre-sleep routine, like reading a book (not again!) or listening to relaxing classical music
- Invest in a good mattress, pillow and comforter
Sleep is essential to becoming smarter and more focused. Without a sufficient amount of time spent in dream land, you’re going to impact your cognitive performance as well as your physical health.
9. Remove unnecessary distractions
Let’s be honest: you have a treasure trove of distractions in your life that aren’t doing much for your intelligence. Believe it or not, these distractions don't have to be related to your smartphone or a social network. Instead, they can be the regret of yesterday, the promise of tomorrow and the pursuit of perfection.
Some philosophical minds might even contend that apathy is the worst distraction of them all. This can sound like the insight from the stoic school of philosophy, but it’s hard to dispute that we waste time on things that are out of our control. Put simply: instead of waiting for the weekend to do something, why not do it right now?
10. Get the basics right
How can you change the world if you can’t boil a pot of water, organise your house or pay your bills on time? You may want to be a professional at solving the world’s most intricate mathematical problems or devising a perpetual motion machine, but how can that happen when you can’t get the basics done? Once you know how to complete the minuscule and inconsequential things in your life done, you can move on to taking over the world with Elon Musk.
11. Answer questions you’ve always had
What is the event horizon? Should human organs be bought and sold in the marketplace? Why don't we travel up in space from Earth? Why does time only flow in one direction? Is a hot dog a sandwich? How come we can travel to the moon but can’t make our shoes smell good?
Many of us have questions that we say out loud or think in our minds, but we never get around to answering some of life’s greatest mysteries. It might be about time that you scheduled a short amount of time out of your day to find the answer to your quandaries. It starts by visiting one of the many unique educational websites.
12. Surround yourself with the best
You’ve probably heard the expression ‘you are the company you keep’. One of the best ways to enhance your intelligence is by continuing to have your smarts challenged by your peers. It might feel good to have some of your friends say ‘Dang. Why you so smart, bruh?’, but it won’t do much for your personal development. By having other smart people in your social circle, you can discuss a diverse array of subjects, from Greek tragedy plays to Scandinavian literature to string theory.
13. Add exercise to your schedule
Exercise is critical for your physical and cognitive health. Sure, some of the world’s smartest men and women are not ripped like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, but many do have some type of regimen to stay in shape. By being physically active, you increase your blood flow and memory, stimulate chemical changes in the brain that enhance learning, and facilitate adjustments in the brain that protect memory and thinking.
If you don’t want to run 10 minutes or lift weights to grate cheese with your abs, perhaps you can do it to become the next famous genius, like Albert Einstein or Michio Kaku.
It doesn’t take a genius to become, well, a genius. By adding a few of these tips into your daily routine, you can improve your brain power, enhance your memory and ensure that you are effectively using your little grey cells. Your brain is a vessel that is as powerful as the universe. You should not let this extraordinary creation to go to waste. It’s never too late to tap into your potential, even if it means waking up at the ungodly hour of 7am on weekends!
Do you have any other tips on improving your intelligence that you’d like to share? Join the conversation down below and let us know!