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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 March 30, 2020

                      What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                      What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                      Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                      You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                      This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                      What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                      According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                      Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                      There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                      How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                      When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                      Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                      1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                      One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                      The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                      Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                      2. Be Honest

                      A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                      If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                      On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                      Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                      3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                      Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                      If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                      4. Succeed at Something

                      When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                      Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                      5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                      Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                      Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                      If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                      If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                      Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                      6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                      Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                      You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                      On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                      You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                      7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                      Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                      Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                      Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                      When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                      Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                      In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                      Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                      It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                      Final Thoughts

                      When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                      The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                      Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                      Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                      Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                      More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                      Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                      [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                      [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                      [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                      [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                      [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                      [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                      [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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