Becoming more intelligent seems daunting, but an internet article from Vista College, “Top 10 easy daily habits to become more intelligent,” lists steps that you can take to be smarter.
1. Do a variety of tasks each day. Spend 30 minutes at a task and move on to something else. This keeps boredom away.
2. Set priorities for tasks and stick to the list. When you run into problems, take a relaxing break and then get back to it.
3. As a library staffer, I can tell you that this next one is the most important: Read every day. According to the Vista College article, "fiction increases your capacity for understanding the human condition … Reading also jam-packs your brain with tons of knowledge and vocabulary.”
4. Review information you already know. Repetition helps your brain retain information. So it is perfectly okay to read Einstein’s Theory of Relativity over and over again.
5. Learning another language is one of the best ways to become smarter because it pushes your brain into overdrive. The article states, “The more your brain struggles to deal with and respond to information, the stronger it becomes.” You may feel a brain strain, but this is good. It means you are exercising your mind.
6. Brain games, like apps and console games, can be a fun way to pump some iron in your cranium.
7. Exercise. While you exercise, listen to a podcast or audiobook and learn while you burn calories.
8. Learning to play a musical instrument uses “tons of cognitive processes simultaneously.” In my personal experience, learning a new song or a cool riff gives me a sense that I’ve achieved something pretty awesome. So not only am I becoming smarter, I’m also happy while doing it.
9. Brains thrive on fat. In fact, “the human brain consists of 60% fat.” So the next time someone calls you a fathead, say thank you. The fats that you should avoid are trans-fat. Foods like fish and nuts are rich in the fats that keep your brain healthy.
10. Meditation has gotten a bad rap. At a library conference last year, I went to a session on meditating. Since then, I’ve used the techniques explained in the session. Meditation absolutely works. Even 3 minutes a day was enough to make me feel less like Godzilla.
The library can help with all of these tips through books on organizing, exercising, healthy eating and language learning. We have a display of books in the "For Dummies" series. These books present non-intimidating guides for readers on topics ranging from Catholicism to football. We have books on meditation, math, physics and philosophy. Amazon non habent esse nisi in nobis. That’s Google’s Latin translation of “Amazon ain’t got nothin’ on us.” I’ve always wanted to learn Latin, but I think I’ll probably need to eat more fish and nuts to tackle that.
Besides, I’d rather wail on my guitar. I’m also learning how to play a jSax, which plays like a recorder but sounds like a sax. Right now, my playing sounds more like a sick cow. Sadly, no one in my family will let me play it around them. But with the help of tip 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9, listed above, they’ll be begging me to play one day.