When we were kids we could absorb information and new habits far quicker than we can as adults. Unfortunately, as we grow up we pick up bad habits and bad thought patterns that pose as obstacles to optimal learning.
The process of learning effectively is a skill that can be learnt.
As we learn more we give ourselves a better chance of reaching the heights we dream of. There are a number of habits and thought patterns that smart people have which put them in a better position to achieve their goals and reach those heights.
Here are five things really smart people do that allows them to evolve into the best version of themselves.
1. Always Question Authority And The Status Quo
The herd mentality destroys original thinking.
A lot of people blindly accept what they read in the mainstream media. They allow their world view to be influenced easily and accept whatever seems to be ‘normal’ to them.
Smart people, on the other hand, never accept the status quo. They’re endlessly curious and ask questions. They understand that majority opinion doesn’t equal correct opinion. They understand that reality is perception and the world is full of varied perceptions.
Constructively question the status quo as there’s always a void that needs filling.
The Status Quo require us to maintain mediocrity. However, smart people know we can always do things better.
2. Think Before They Act
Shall I have one more drink? Should I watch Netflix tonight or start that assignment? Will these new shiny shoes make people like me?
Yes, that’s right, we’re all a bit bonkers.
Our internal lives are a tug-of-war between conflicting desires and thoughts. Some set to destroy us. Some set to lift us.
Smart people are not slaves to their impulses. Their rational minds are in the driving seat. They’re able to assess how a decision either way aligns or doesn’t align with their long-term goals.
Smart people make smart choices.
Don’t let your impulses govern you; let your life goals be the authority.
3. Are Endlessly Curious
“I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious” Albert Einstein
A 2016 study establishes a link between adolescent intelligence and openness to experience. This early adoption of openness translates into intellectual curiosity in adulthood.
Smart people seek the meaning of everything around them. When there are questions, finding out answers is a natural conclusion. To them, the world is full of wonder.
When your curiosity is endless, reality becomes boundless.
4. Adapt To Their Environment
What was life like before the iPhone? How on earth did we survive before the internet?
Well, humans adapt and smart people especially so.
Recent psychological research suggests that people show intelligence when they’re able to change their own behaviours to cope more effectively with the environment or change their environment to align with their behaviours.
Smart people can adapt no matter the situation.
The situation maybe learning new materials as part of an MBA or offering a convincing excuse for not handing in homework on time. Highly adaptable people work out a solution.
Next time you’re in an unfamiliar situation, engage with your environment to see what you can do to adapt.
Any small adaptation is a step towards conquering the fear of the unknown.
5. Are Comfortably Wrong
Even Stephen Hawking is wrong sometimes.
He admitted that his early belief that nothing escapes a black hole was wrong. Whilst everything plus light doesn’t escape, radiation does.
Everyone is wrong at some point. It’s about admitting your errors and making improvements in the way you approach similar problems the next time around.
The more willing you are to admit your mistakes, the more authentic you’ll be.
It’s the authenticity that will set you apart. You’ll be more at peace with yourself. People will respect you more. You will earn respect rather than having to demand it.