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

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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 July 20, 2021

                      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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                      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                      You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                      Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                      Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                      1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                      According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                      “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                      Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                      Warming up

                      If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                      If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                      Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                      1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                      2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                      3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                      Stay hydrated

                      Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                      To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                      Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                      Meditate

                      Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                      Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                      Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                      Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                      2. Focus on your goal

                      One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                      Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                      Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                      Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                      If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                      3. Convert negativity to positivity

                      There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                      ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                      It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                      Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                      Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                      Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                      4. Understand your content

                      Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                      However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                      “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                      Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                      Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                      One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                      5. Practice makes perfect

                      Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                      In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                      Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                      6. Be authentic

                      There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                      Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                      Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                      To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                      With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                      Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                      7. Post speech evaluation

                      Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                      Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                      We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                      You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                      Improve your next speech

                      As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                      Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                      • How did I do?
                      • Are there any areas for improvement?
                      • Did I sound or look stressed?
                      • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                      • Was I saying “um” too often?
                      • How was the flow of the speech?

                      Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                      If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                      Reference

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