Once you become an adult, you work towards self-actualisation. You have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish in your career or your personal life. But you still need to develop skills to self-actualise. Once you’ve met all your basic needs, you’ll want to start creating your dream life. Sometimes this can happen concurrently. As you settle into adulthood and handle your responsibilities, you also want to achieve the most of what you can. To do that you’ll need to build your intellectual capacity.
This is the ability to think, learn, plan, and execute effectively. It’s a way to achieve more in less time, with less energy and discipline. You will need to analyse your life and figure out what you need to cut out and improve to be the best of yourself. To build your intellectual capacity, you’ll need to set clear goals and figure out how to learn, adapt, judge, and become more creative. Here are practical ways to achieve that.
1. Use your imagination
One of the cornerstones of intellectual capacity is creativity. To build it, you need to engage your imagination more. Relying on logic and memory can be limiting. When you engage your mind more, you get a more holistic experience. Using your imagination also helps you reduce the risk of memory and cognitive problems. According to TEDx, you can improve your imagination by seeking adventures you’ve never done before, drawing from memory, daydreaming, expressing yourself, playing, working in an environment that encourages creativity, and going stargazing. 10 Hobbies That Are Easy To Learn
2. Diversify your experiences
Engaging with things outside your lived experience helps you grow empathy, consideration, and intellectual capacity. People from different backgrounds can help you grow, learn, and appreciate more. When you engage with different people, you’re exposed to different ideas and ways of dealing with things. In addition, getting to know people of different cultures or identities opens your eyes to how so many things can be accomplished variedly. For example, if you work in an office in a corporate job, you can find a way to learn from people who work as farmers or craftsmen. Become curious about others and appreciate how they contribute to their lives. Don’t live within an echo chamber. This can apply to something as simple as a hobby. If you love reading only romance novels, join a book club that reads contemporary literature.
3. Read fiction
One of the most profound ways to improve intellectual capacity is to read fiction. While reading is a commonplace hobby, many people only place value in nonfiction like self-help or memoirs. However, fiction carries a lot more value. It improves people’s skills. When you read books from diverse experiences, you improve your empathy and can understand where others are coming from, and their motivations. While it’s important to read what you enjoy to maintain a healthy reading habit, it’s important to read diversely.
Read from authors who are marginalised, from different countries, from an identity you don’t belong it. Use mystery novels to improve your critical thinking, fantasy novels to boost your imagination, literary fiction to grow human understanding, sci-fi to grasp possibilities, and horror to conquer fear. According to the Harvard Business Review, reading fiction is one of the most effective ways to improve your emotional intelligence, cognitive thinking, memory, and decision-making. Books: 6 Practical Tips To Help You Cultivate A Reading Habit
4. Keep your mind sharp
The intellectual part of intellectual capacity requires building the mind. There are many games you can play during your downtime that can help train your brain. Brain games increase concentration, focus, and memory, and delay cognitive decline. The most popular ones are word games. Crosswords are a great way to help relieve stress and increase cognition, and they’re a great way to learn a new language. Scrabble is also a great way to improve your vocabulary and focus on one task.
Jigsaw puzzles help improve short-term memory. They also help with logic, intuition, and creativity. They’re also great to play alone or compete with your loved ones to see who can complete it faster. Number puzzles like sudoku are great for logic and quick thinking. Sudoku is also great for short-term memory and recognising patterns and gaps.
Card games are great for improving concentration, short-term memory, strategy, and risk-taking. They range from poker, and canasta to solitaire. Some of them require partners and being quick-thinking like poker. However, solitaire is great for relaxing and strategy. It also doesn’t require any great skill compared to poker. Solitaire needs you to react to new circumstances, think fast, and adapt.
Dice games are also great for strategy, focus, and imagination. Games like Monopoly or role-playing board games like Dungeons and Dragons help you use creativity and forethought. It also helps with risk analysis, and trains you how to trust your instincts. The Rubik’s cube is a great puzzle game because it allows many permutations. It helps with logic, speed, and short-term memory. Tile games like Azul and Mahjong are great strategy games. They help with calculations, concentration, short-term memory, cognition, and intelligence.
Perhaps the greatest game to train your brain is chess. It’s a strategy-based board game that relies on memory, imagination, creativity, strategy, calculation, and intelligence. It improves brain function and helps you become a lot more strategic, better at risk analysis, and increasing concentration spans. Chess is a great game if you have a partner to play with but you can play against yourself or online. It also helps you learn how to study people and see how you can cooperate better, or where needed, outsmart others. It’s great for learning planning, and improving perspective.
5. Stay curious
Learning is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. Any chance you can get to learn anew, take it. It doesn’t have to be functional knowledge that can boost your CV. Being curious about the world around you helps boost your intellectual capacity by keeping you open to discovery. Understanding how the world around you works makes you a better friend, worker, or partner. You can grow your confidence and talent. Different Types Of Curiosity And How You Can Nurture It In Children And Yourself
Going to places you haven’t been to before helps boost your appreciation for diverse cultures. In addition, you improve your palette. The more you explore, the more your tastes expand. You get to enjoy a wider variety of views, food, and memories. You are also to grow more tolerance for different people and experiences. This is a great way to improve intellectual capacity. Mental Wellness: Why You Should Pursue Wonder Not Happiness
Getting regular physical exercise helps improve physical and mental health. Ensuring that you are active and engaging your muscles for at least 25 minutes a day 5 days a week is enough to improve intellectual capacity. Exercise helps boost brain sensitivity and makes it easier to learn new things, focus, and use your memory. It also reduces fatigue, improves endurance, and helps you relax better during your downtime. Health & Fitness: 8 Benefits Of Walking
Sleep is one of the most important parts of your day. When you get enough sleep, your brain can remove waste from the day. In addition, sleep ensures your brain remains at optimal capacity. When you’re sleep deprived, you have trouble focusing, are irritable, get drowsy, easily tired, and damage your health long-term. Adults have to get 6-8 hours of sleep each day. But not all sleep is equal. To ensure that you’re completely healthy, make sure you get the full cycles of sleep. This ensures you’re better able to handle stress and adapt to any challenges in your day more successfully. The Four Sleep Chronotypes: How To Use Yours To Boost Your Productivity
When you drink enough water, you ensure that your body can function properly. Water helps maintain brain function. When you’re dehydrated, you can struggle with focusing, memory, and computation. Prolonged dehydration can lead to your brain cells decreasing in size. It can also lead to dizziness, light-headedness, headaches, nausea, and fatigue. This isn’t ideal for intellectual capacity. Health Benefits Of Drinking Hot Water
In addition to water, what you eat also matters to your mind. There are specific foods you need to eat more of but according to Harvard Health, the most important brain foods are leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, berries, green tea, black coffee, and nuts. These foods contain micronutrients like flavonoids and omega-3s which help boost memory, cognition, and focus, lower anxiety, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Brain Food: 8 Foods That Promote Mental Health
It may sound shallow but the way you dress affects the way you perform. According to Scientific American, wearing formal business attire can increase thinking power. Wearing lab coats makes it easier to focus. Winning Olympics athletes wear red more often. Wearing dupes or fakes can make you more likely to seek shortcuts. While these aren’t ironclad personality traits, how you present yourself can have an impact on your intellectual capacity. 4 Reasons Why You Should Dress Up To Stay At Home
Do you stoop or do you sit up straight, neck held high while paying attention? Do you dress just because you need to or because you want to feel comfortable and command the room? Having a fashionable style, that suits your personality and workplace with a little personal flare can be more helpful in the long run.
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