One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about over the past week is how to expand my mental capacity. It’s unfair that some people are innately more intelligent than others and that some people are born with higher intelligence quotients (IQs) than others. What does IQ matter anyways? It’s just a number. There are a myriad of scholars who are against IQ testing, which could be why IQ has never been used as a standard or test. Then I started to read some studies done with IQs. At first, all the studies seemed to be pedantic, boring, and obvious. Then I took a deeper look within. In communities where the general population is of lower-class, the average IQ tends to be much lower than the average IQ of the higher-class. Well, duh! More money means more education! But then, I got to thinking that maybe IQ is not something someone is born with, but something you could train. Some studies have even shown that playing brain training games actually helps your cognitive memory. I mean, yeah it’s highly unlikely that one could train their IQ and increase it 20-50 points, but maybe one can increase it slightly and pass it along from generation to generation. Well, how do we train our brains? Let’s take a lot of what intelligent people can do. One thing that they can do with ease is to think outside of the box. Let’s start with that.
How to practice thinking outside of the box:
- Experience a new culture. Travel to another country and immerse yourself in an unfamiliar culture. You would have to learn everything from the beginning. The way the people think, the manner their community operates, and the feelings people have will be completely different than that of your own. Learn to think why they feel that. When you’re able to do this, you gain perspective and train your brain to think in ways you would never have before.
- Can’t travel? Then do something way out of the ordinary. Find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Read a book in a genre that you’ve never read from before. Spend time where you would have never spent otherwise. If you like to stay at home during the week, find an opportunity to go out to somewhere new. It could be anything from a bar to a dance club or a library or a gym. Step outside of your comfort zone. When we do something uncomfortable, we’re confusing our brain and teaching it in a way to think differently.
- Learn to play an instrument! Already know how? Then learn to draw! Or learn to dance, to sing, or to write. Exercise that creativity, nurture it, develop it!
- Walk backwards all day (if you can). I’m not too sure about this one, but I think it might help! Ha ha. Can you jump rope? Can you jump rope backwards? Learn to do both. By training your brain and body things that may feel awkward or abnormal, we’re actually training our brain.
- Most importantly, be open to new ideas. The more close-minded you are, the less you’ll ever think outside of the box. This doesn’t mean you have to agree and adopt another person’s idea. Yes, that idea could be pointless. But, try to follow their thought process and why they would think they way they do.