All of us want to get smarter, no matter who we are and what we do. That eternal drive to get better, to know more, and to be a more well rounded human being is something that pushes us through each day of our lives. We want to do better at work, to get promoted, and to feel satisfied when we get home. We want to be good partners, daughters, parents – but if you want to get smarter for your own benefit in your own time, what exactly should you do? Here are some tips to help:
Keep Reading: One of the best ways to get more informed and to develop more views about the world in which you live is to read more. It’s a good idea to read the newspaper every day – but you need to remember that what you read in the media and what you see on TV is not necessarily the absolute truth. Everything is written through the lens of the writer and through what they want to put across – nothing is completely neutral. In order to be a critical and intelligent reader, you should make sure that you take your information from more than one source. Aside from the media, you should also start reading more books, whether they’re fiction, non fiction, commercial literature, or far more highbrow. They make you a much more emotionally intelligent person as you understand how to empathize with lots of different people.
Get Online: One way to get smarter is to get online. Using social media like Twitter, you can follow a lot of different people and news outlets so that you can read stories and articles from a number of different sources with a lot of different opinions. Whether you’re reading the New York Times or Variety, the point is that you’re reading, learning, and interacting with people. You could also start to do some research into subjects that you’re interested in. Playing art history games will quiz you and keep you sharp, while you could spend days and days learning about things like the fall of the Roman Empire or the colonization of India and understanding how they’re relevant to your life today.
Start Talking: Finally, the best way to open your mind to the world around you is to start talking to people that you encounter throughout the day. There are some perspectives that are definitely not worth listening to – let’s face it, anyone who’s racist, sexist, or homophobic isn’t worth a single second of your precious time unless you’re the one educating them – but it is important to get out of the house, to go to talks, lectures, debates, and start listening to other people. Communication is about more than talking yourself – learning to hear others and to respond to what they’re saying is the keystone of how to understand other people much more effectively. The best way to get smarter and more knowledgeable about the world around you is to listen to other people’s experiences and learn from them. And remember to really try and tune into everything your conversation partner is saying – even if it is boring!
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