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Following The Eccentric Habits Of These 10 Geniuses Can Make You Smarter

Following The Eccentric Habits Of These 10 Geniuses Can Make You Smarter

Geniuses are different for a reason. They think and act differently and create some of the most amazing, life changing inventions.

Come with me as we explore the eccentric habits of 10 geniuses and see how their habits can make you smarter.

1) Shigeru Miyamoto: Analyze your world

Shigeru_Miyamoto

    Shigeru Miyamoto is the video game director for Nintendo. He is credited with creating games such as Donkey Kong and Mario. Miyamoto is reported to carry a measuring tape with him and enjoys measuring things at every opportunity, as well as guessing people’s weight.

    How This Can Make You Smarter

    This habit demonstrates Miyamoto’s thirst to learn and understand the environment around him. If you apply a similar habit and better understand your environment, not only will you become smarter in the process, you become more aware of the world around you.

    2) Nikola Tesla: Stimulate your brain cells

    Tesla

      According to Wikipedia, Tesla is best known for “his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.” This genius, who also held over 100 patents, including the electric motor, had a habit of squishing his toes every night. According to Marc Seifer’s book, Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla, toe exercises helped to stimulate his brain cells.

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      How This Can Make You Smarter

      While there is no known scientific evidence that shows that the squishing of your toes will stimulate your brain cells, there is evidence within the reflexology community that your big toe has a direct line to your brain. According to this system of belief, the rubbing of your big can help relax your brain and increase concentration. Perhaps Tesla habit was performed while wearing shoes, causing his big toe to rub against the bottom of his shoes and thus stimulating his brain cells?

      3) Amadeus Mozart: Be structured

      Mozart

        This genius composer was reported to have ADD-like symptoms. In order to overcome this he had a habit of doing things in a very structured manner. His daily routine was broken into time composing, giving lessons, time with friends, and sleep.

        How This Can Make You Smarter

        Structure and routine can help you become smarter by creating strong healthy habits. For example, if you structure your day to read an article that helps you learn something new, over the course of a year you will have learned 365 new things. Imagine what this equates to over a lifetime. Add more books, articles or podcasts to your day and your knowledge and intellect will grow exponentially.

        4) Thomas Edison: Change your relationship to failure

        Edison

          Where would we be today without the inventions of Thomas Edison. With over 2000 patents and having reported to have failed on 10,000 experiments, Edison stated “I have not failed, I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” What was his habit? Always trying new things and never giving up. Without his relentless efforts, you may not be reading this article in electronic form.

          How This Can Make You Smarter

          Failure is a fact of life, but it is not who you are, nor is it permanent. You can follow Edison’s lead by not being afraid to try new things. Many don’t try because they fear failure. The only way you can fail is if you give up. If things don’t work out the way you expect, you have just learned a way of not doing it correctly – thus making you that much smarter. Keep trying and never give up.

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          5) Sir Isaac Newton: Get a different point of view

          Newton

            It is well known that this genius authored the laws of motion and gravity. What is less well known is the habit he had for coming up with his discoveries. Newton believed in looking at a problem from many different angles and he had a habit of taking a problem and restructuring it. This gave him every opportunity to see the many different ways in which to solve the problem.

            How This Can Make You Smarter

            If you are presented with a problem, take the time to see how many ways there are to solve the issue. Sometimes the most obvious answer is not the best answer. By restructuring the problem you will increase your problem solving skills and in the process, become smarter.

            6) Mark Zuckerberg: Limit daily choices

            450px-MarkZuckerberg

              With over 1 Billion users, Facebook is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has created a way for people to connect and build relationships from all over the world. Zuckerberg takes his responsibility to serve his community very seriously, so much so, that one of his habits allows him to better serve them. What is this habit? If you google pictures of him you will likely see him wearing a grey t-shirt. He wears the same version of that grey t-shirt every day. Why, you ask? According to Zuckerberg, he wants to clear his life to make as few decisions as possible to best serve his Facebook community. He feels he is not doing his job if he spends his time and energy on any small, frivolous, or silly decisions, such as choosing what to wear.

              How This Can Make You Smarter

              We are distracted by so many things during the day- ironically, for many Facebook is one of them- that our minds get cluttered and can render us less effective. Simplifying your life, like Zuckerberg has done, can give your brain room to grow and focus on things that can increase your intellect and add value to your life. See what you can do to limit your distractions and make your life simpler.

              7) Leonardo Da Vinci: Study widely

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              Da Vinci

                Da Vinci is best known as an artist. However, this “Renaissance Man” had a habit you will do well do follow. He had a child-like curiosity and was in the habit of learning everything he could whenever he could. His curiosity led him beyond art. He studied mechanics, aeronautics, and anatomy – all things scientific.

                How This Can Make You Smarter

                It’s probably quite obvious that the more you learn the smarter you’ll get. However, what many don’t think about is how learning a variety of subjects opens up insights into the inter-workings and relationships different subjects have. For instance, if you are an artist and also study chemistry, you can understand how chemical compounds work together and perhaps create mastery because of your knowledge of how oils can be blended together. This type of study can give you the opportunity to look beyond the obvious and enter a world that only few dare to venture into.

                8) Wayne Gretzky: Become a student to become a master

                wayne gretsky

                  Gretzky, The Great One, is one of the best, if not the best hockey player of all time. How did he get there? It wasn’t because of his size or his natural athletic ability. He became great, and a genius on the ice, because of his work ethic. From a young age, Gretzky would watch hockey games and trace the path of the puck. He’d then study where the puck would go the most and it’s movement throughout a game. His study of the game, and on and off the ice physical training, created a combination that would put him in the Hall of Fame with records that are yet to be broken. It is fair to say that he is one of the most intelligent hockey players that ever lived.

                  How This Can Make You Smarter

                  You don’t have to be the best or the greatest to benefit from Gretzky’s example. Pick one area of your life you’d like to improve and become a student. Learn everything you can about the subject – and related subjects. Then make a plan and work as hard as you can to become the best you can at that subject or talent. Oh, and don’t worry about failing. Like you learned from Edison, if you don’t succeed the first time you will have grown smarter because you’ll now know how not to do something the next time.

                  9) Benjamin Franklin: Utilize cold temperatures

                  Franklin

                    Nothing says relaxation like soaking in a hot tub or warm bath. However, Benjamin Franklin chose to take a daily swim in frigid waters of the river Thames in London. Why would he do such an act when he could find a warm local pool to get his morning workout in? The reason is that subjecting your body to extreme cold temperatures, for short periods of time, will cause your blood to be drawn to your core to keep you alive. As you warm your body temperature back to normal, your body will be replenished with fresh blood. I don’t suggested jumping in a freezing lake due to risk of hypothermia, but you can take a cold shower or have a go at Cryotherapy.

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                    How This Can Make You Smarter

                    When your body, and brain, are flushed with fresh blood there is a mental and physical acuity that is gained for a short period of time that is like no other. Personally, I experienced this after trying a session of Cryotherapy. I entered a chamber for 3 min at extreme freezing temperatures. When I emerged, the physical energy and mental sharpness I experience was amazing. You might want to trade in that comfortable warm bed for a cold awakening and see where your limits can take you.

                    10) Dr. Maya Angelou: Find the best place to work

                    Maya_angelou

                      Dr. Angelou was an award winning writer, poet, and civil rights activist. She made a significant contribution to our world in a masterful way. In order to create her inspiring musings, Dr. Angelou would go to a local hotel/motel in order to write in solitude. She could have chosen to write in the peace and quiet of her own home. In Mason Currey’s book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, he documents a 1983 interview where Dr. Angelou states, “I keep a hotel room in which I do my work—a tiny, mean room with just a bed, and sometimes, if I can find it, a face basin. I keep a dictionary, a Bible, a deck of cards and a bottle of sherry in the room. I try to get there around 7, and I work until 2 in the afternoon. If the work is going badly, I stay until 12:30. If it’s going well, I’ll stay as long as it’s going well. It’s lonely, and it’s marvelous.”

                      How This Can Make You Smarter

                      Many geniuses have their one place where they think and work best. It may be a room or it could be an outside bench with a beautiful mountain or ocean view. By doing this, you give your mind an opportunity to reach levels you otherwise would not reach. Find that place that inspires you and allows your mind to grow and expand beyond its current capabilities.

                      Conclusion

                      This is just a small sampling of the many habits that geniuses throughout history have used to achieve extraordinary feats and make their mark on society. If you take just one of these habits and apply them to your life, you may just be on your way to becoming the next Great One or famous inventor.

                      What is your favorite habit from the list above and how do you think you can apply it to your life? I look forward to hearing from you.

                      Featured photo credit: right brain/Allan Ajifo via media.lifehack.org

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                      Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                      Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                      I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                      I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                      Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                      How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                      Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                      Create a Positive Experience

                      Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                      When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                      What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                      Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                      As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                      Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                      Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                      Help Leadership Skills

                      It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                      Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                      As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                      Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                      If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                      Build Better Teams

                      Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                      In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                      If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                      When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                      Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                      There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                      Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                      1. Listen

                      Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                      Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                      People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                      Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                      Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                      2. Know Your Audience

                      Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                      Here is a good way to think about it:

                      Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                      You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                      3. Minimize

                      I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                      He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                      Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                      State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                      The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                      4. Over Communicate

                      So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                      What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                      Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                      Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                      Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                      There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                      5. Body Language

                      The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                      When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                      In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                      When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                      Conclusion

                      Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                      Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                      There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                      Now go communicate your way to success.

                      More Resources About Effective Communication

                      Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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