How to Grow Intellectually

Who doesn't want to be smarter? We all have certain intellectual abilities that we have honed over years of study and work, but why not look for ways to grow intellectually? You'll find that your brain can grow, though it will take work.

More Than One Way to Grow

Grow your:

  • Verbal intellect -- Talk to intelligent people about interesting topics. Stand up in front of others and try public speaking. Improve your vocabulary and stop using verbal crutches. Find out which of your speaking habits stop you from becoming smart. Learn a new language.  Express yourself in complete, coherent sentences.
  • Spatial intellect -- Start drawing, painting, and designing. Take up sculpting. Look for patterns in the world around you, and sharpen your observation skills. Solve mazes and puzzles, or play video games that improve your spatial awareness. Practice the Special Forces trick of recalling what you saw when you stepped out of your house first thing in the morning.
  • Logical intellect -- Take up Sudoku, Tetris, Minesweeper, and any other games that promote logical thinking. Start putting together jigsaw puzzles. Play number and sequence games.
  • Social intellect -- Look beyond just the words people say, but try to read their body language and the subtleties that communicate what they truly think and feel. Don't be so immersed in your own life that you fail to notice what's going on in the lives of those around you. Reach out and form new connections.
  • Emotional intellect -- Keep a journal, and write down the way you truly think and feel. Read books that help you understand yourself and your emotions better. Take up poetry and prose-writing, and use it as a creative outlet for your emotions. Open yourself up to new emotions, especially the ones that scare you.
  • Creative intellect -- Find something creative to do every day, be it art, writing, drawing, sculpting, creating music, snapping photos, or taking videos. Take up dance.

Tips to Help You Grow Intellectually

  • Challenge yourself -- The harder something is, the more you'll have to work to accomplish it. Once you overcome the challenge, however, you'll find yourself able to handle larger and tougher problems more easily.
  • Do It the Hard Way -- Instead of taking the easy route, try and do things the hard way. You'll find that forcing your brain to solve problems instead of relying on modern technology can sharpen your mind.
  • Think creatively -- Find ways to get more creative in your life, and look for creative links between unrelated objects. How can a small dog at the park and a T-rex statue in the Smithsonian be connected? Get creative, and expand your mind by creating that link.
  • Look for novelty -- If you only ever stayed in your comfort zone, you'd never make any progress. The only way that you're going to grow is if you find new things to do--things that pushed you well outside of your comfort zone. Actively search for novelty in your life!
  • Read more -- The key to growing intellectually is spending a lot more time reading. It doesn't matter what you read, so long as you find a takeaway from that book.

Yes, growing intellectually is possible for everyone, but it takes time. Put in the effort, and you'll find that your mind grows and becomes sharper every day.