I’m a big believer in continuous self-improvement and hence I read a lot of articles like You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximise your cognitive potential which appeared in Scientific American yesterday. This is a great one. It’s reasonably accessible whilst also containing enough science to be convincing, and I love that scientists are now concluding that intelligence is teachable. Moreover the way to improvement isn’t playing brain training games, but doing many of the things that make life interesting:
1. Seek Novelty
2. Challenge Yourself
3. Think Creatively
4. Do Things The Hard Way
If this topic is of interest you should really go read the whole article (warning: it’s quite long), but for those wanting a brief summary, the key to maximising your cognitive potential is to seek out new and challenging situations. To deal with these situations the brain forms new synaptic connections which build on each other leading to an increase in cognitive activity. Moreover, as I keep telling my kids, the brain is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. Regularly dealing with new situations keeps the brain in a prime state for learning, or more scientifically keeps it in a prime state for forming those new synaptic connections.
If you’re an entrepreneur or an investor these activities are what you should be doing anyway (with the possible exception of doing things the hard way). I know I do. That makes extra intelligence a side effect of the day job! Perfect.