7 Easy Ways to Be Smarter ...

There are countless ways to be smarter if that is something that interests you. In fact, the smarter you become, the more ways you intuitively find to gain knowledge and information. When I was a child my mother instilled in me the importance of exercising my brain as much as my body. She told me that it wasn't enough to be attractive in this world and that truly dynamic women know that. I'm grateful for her wisdom and have never stopped seeking ways to be smarter, even as an adult.

1. Read More

One of the easiest ways to be smarter is to read more. Even if your schedule doesn't permit you to read chapters from a new book each week, you can find ways to read. How about taking some time each morning to read the headlines from several news sources? This way you can at least show interest in conversations around world events. If you can make the time, dig a little deeper and actually read several articles per day. Some people seem to know everything and their trick is that they have accumulated knowledge through their lifetime of reading. There is always more to learn!

2. Listen

Do you actually listen to others when they speak or are you waiting for your turn to jump in and say what you want to say? One way to appear (and be) smarter is to listen to what the other person is saying and process the information. If you need to, take a moment to build on what they have said by adding information you can contribute to move the conversation forward. If you don't have anything to add, you can add an intelligent question that will spark further dialogue. The key is to walk away knowing more than you knew before, because this makes you smarter.

3. Focus

Even if you have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD by a medical doctor you can find ways to focus. The most obvious way is to put your smart phone away and give your full attention to what or who is in front of you. It took me a while to figure this point out but once I intentionally started to focus, my productivity soared and I was able to retain more information than I previously thought possible.

4. Group Activity

Group activity just means you make it a point to engage in group conversations. It's a great exercise in learning to process information from various personality types and be able to share with these people as well. I used to be intimidated with people I thought were know-it-alls and I would choose to not engage with them because I didn't want to waste my breath. But the more I pushed myself to engage with all people, the more I grew in my people skills. I was able to learn things from some of these seeming know-it-alls too.

5. Get Healthy

I recently read that an increased heart rate pumps more oxygen to the brain and stimulates growth of new neuronal connection and brain cells, as well as increasing cognitive functions and improving moods. This means that regular exercise can make us smarter. Have you ever noticed that when you slow down physical activity, your whole mood can spiral downward? I know that personally I get really lethargic. If you don't exercise regularly, take a long walk to get started and you will notice that you'll begin to have more energy, better moods and more motivation to be productive. This can only make you smarter.

6. Creativity

Creativity can make you smarter because it stretches your brain in ways that can only cause growth. Some could argue that it doesn't just make you smarter but helps develop the personal genius in you. We all have a creative side to us whether we are conscious of it or not. If you don't know what your preference is, consider what interests you. It could greatly benefit you and your beautiful brain to sign up for a painting class, Acting 101, or even a cooking class. You will find that your brain will begin to connect dots in new and innovative ways.

7. Language Acquisition

This is something I want to tackle personally in 2014. If you learn an additional language you won't just appear smarter and more intelligent, you actually will grow in intelligence. Similar to stretching your brain creatively, if you learn another language (especially as an adult), your brain is in for some strenuous work. Is there another language that sounds like music to your years? Maybe you know that you want to live in another country long term? If so, it could be a good idea to sign up for language classes at your local college or language center.

Do you have any other tips you would add to this list of ways to be smarter? I'd love to read about it in the comments. Happy learning, ladies!

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