Perhaps you think your intelligence is static, that it’s plateaued. Science says differently. The brain has far more capacity to change its intelligence than you may know, and taking counter-intuitive steps like doing things the hard way may actually increase your intelligence on a daily basis.
Who doesn’t want to be brighter, learn better, and adapt more easily to new situations? Scientists are discovering that people not only can increase their own intelligence, but that doing so will have far-reaching and long-lasting results. Fluid intelligence examines how a person can learn new information. In a rapidly changing world, the ability to learn and grasp new concepts will never lose its relevance.
A Scientific American story recently pointed out how fluid intelligence can actually be trained. Other key findings:
- The more focus and time you place on training your brain, the more your fluid intelligence increases
- The ability to improve cognitive ability is available to everyone on the planet – regardless of the starting point
The Scientific American article was penned by guest contributor Andrea Kuszewski, a behavior therapist and consultant for children with autism. She outlined five steps that can boost cognitive outcomes, none of which involve sitting in a laboratory with a scientist. Try the following ideas to get those smart pathways energized, all of which can be practiced at home:
- Seek Novelty
- Challenge Yourself
- Think Creatively
- Do Things the Hard Way
To start with, seeking novelty is always going to be good for the brain. New is nourishing to brain cells.
Challenging yourself may not be so easy. Many people walk through life with routine patterns of behavior, but challenge can come in many unexpected forms. Seek out an everyday challenge and take it on as a methodology to reach greater fluid intelligence.
Creative problem-solving is another step that may or may not come naturally. Some people are creative without a lot of effort, while others need to put time and energy into uncovering creative solutions for situations and problems in their lives.
Doing things the hard way is counter-intuitive. But according to Kuszewski, efficiency is not always good for mental acuity. Take time to solve a problem the hard way and watch for the results.
Finally, networking with other people actually leads to brain development. Other people can teach you concepts you may not have considered. Look for ways to invite networking into your life. And watch your brain grow.