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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 October 16, 2018

                      How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

                      How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

                      She could hear her beautiful baby crying but was frozen in the doorway unable to move. The crying got worse and she knew that unless she comforted the infant soon the baby would be inconsolable, and yet her feet wouldn’t move. She didn’t look at the cot but the floor in front, where the venomous hairy monster sat before her…. .okay it was a UK spider so not likely to kill her at all, and yet still her body was frozen as the tears fell down her face. “What a useless mother you are” she berated herself.

                      That awful mother was me 14 years ago. My fear of spiders had not been controlled for years and I was at the stage where I wouldn’t open a newspaper until my husband had read it and removed the images of spiders. I hated houses that had wooden floors or skirting boards because every knot in the wood could be a spider about to crawl across me.

                      At the height of my fear, I tried to get out of a moving car. Clearly this harmless 8-legged creature had massive levels of power over me but now that fear is gone, I’m never going to love spiders but I’m not going to leave the room because of one and I can read the word without freaking out and sobbing.

                      If you think that fear is irrational, what about the fear of going to airports? Or the fear of not asking for help?

                      Today I want to look at how our irrational fears impact on us, how they can destroy (and I don’t use that word lightly) our success. They can damage our health and even stop us from living our lives. And then I’ll share the benefits of fighting that fear and most importantly how you can fight your fears too.

                      How irrational fears impact your life

                      The thing about irrational fears is that we are not keen to look at them. It makes us feel inadequate, weak and daft because we can’t do things that it seems everyone else can. That gives the fear power.

                      Fear loves negative emotions and saps up yours making your fear bigger and uglier and even more powerful. Not ideal to say the least. Fears can cause us to:

                      • Avoid situations where that fear may have to be faced. Dodging parties, new jobs, new experiences where we aren’t sure we will be able to protect ourselves.
                      • Stop us from sleeping for fear the thing we fear will “get us in the night.” For me this was massive, and I stopped sleeping which had massive implications when my job was to look after a toddler and a baby. I felt half dead most of the time!
                      • Feel ill with the stress. Stress can be the cause of wrong decisions. Drinking alcohol when we shouldn’t, eating chocolate because it makes us feel better, the list of excuses is long that we hold on to so that we can avoid the cause of our stress.
                      • Cause more distress as our minds overload us with negative thoughts of inadequacy. This can damage our confidence. Having coached thousands, I know that a lack of confidence is usually the underlining impactor on most people’s success across all areas of their lives.
                      • Risk looking aloof or arrogant because we won’t participate like other people. Our fears can even isolate us in our personal and professional lives too.
                      • Feel debilitated. Needless to say, these fears may look irrational and shouldn’t exist to the outside world but to the sufferer they are debilitating. Even impacting on their earning potential, love life, hobbies, travels and personal and professional success.

                      Why bother to fight the fear

                      Couldn’t you just ensure you live your life in way that you don’t have to deal with your fear?

                      I had a client that was so scared of flying that they couldn’t even take their partner to the airport, another who had avoided public speaking for over 20 years and yet now at the height of their profession they had no choice, what were they going to do? Quit? There was another who could never ask for help and another who feared people finding out who they really were.

                      All these fears and many more can be fixed but only if we can appreciate the benefits of fighting the fear.

                      Let’s look at the benefits of fighting your fears:

                      If you’re going to change the way you do something, something that has impacted on your life, thoughts and actions for years, it can be hard to believe change is possible.

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                      The first thing you must do is give yourself a big enough reason why. Go back through your life and remember all the occasions that this fear was there.

                      I can still see the spider trapped in my hair because it had obviously been on my hairdryer. I also remember that I probably looked ludicrous in the South of France in my underwear running down the lane screaming and flinging my hair everywhere. The poor spider had not only been flung a long way from my head but was probably destroyed in the flight.

                      Remember the feelings, the actions, the negative feelings you felt afterwards, for me it meant that every time I picked up a hairdryer I could see a spider crawling towards my ear in my hair. Guess how helpful that was for reinforcing my reactions and irrational fear?

                      Really experience the fear. Make it so painful that you probably notice your heart racing, your shoulders drawing up and your breath changing. That fear is causing physical change in your body, doesn’t feel good does it?

                      When the irrational fear is challenged and destroyed, it can’t have power over you. So new opportunities can come your way and instead of fearing them and what people will think of you for your choices, you can be open to;

                      • New hobbies
                      • New travels
                      • New opportunities
                      • More success
                      • Financially more secure
                      • Happier
                      • Healthier
                      • Confident

                      The list is long so what can you do to get rid of your fears?

                      How to fight your irrational fears

                      In my book Fight the Fear: How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life, I cover 12 of the biggest fears that I see impact on success and happiness. Not all of these are obvious but they all have far reaching impacts on our lives.

                      Here are some of those ideas to help you fight your fear and get more of what you want out of life:

                      Why did this happen?

                      For some people they really need to know why the fear started, for others all they want is to get rid of it. If you need to understand yours then don’t skip this tip. Learn how your fears are made and appreciate where yours came from. If you don’t care how it arrived, you can jump to top tip 2.

                      I’ve seen some clients who are not prepared to look at how to get rid of the fear until they’ve understood how it got here in the first place. It’s not my place to tell them that is right or wrong, just to help them find the right steps to lead them to a happy path.

                      When a fear first starts, we don’t acknowledge a fear has entered our lives. It is only after a few occasions that we begin to notice that there’s a strong negative emotion connected to this “thing”. That’s how fear is allowed to grow because as humans we have in-built responses that have kept us safe for our entire existence. This means we are meant to perceive fear and either run or fight, either way our bodies jump into action creating physical responses to the perceived threat.

                      Look for when you first noticed the fast heart beat, the shallow breathing, the shaking hands, the redness. You have created an automatic way of dealing with this fear. It could be that it felt sensible to fear this because you had an unhappy outcome, although it is usually the case that your head has the facts and your heart is not prepared to hear them as it creates a version of the event that is far scarier than it actually was.

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                      Learning how to remove the emotions and feelings will help you to change your body’s response. The first time I fixed someone’s fear of public speaking, they told me that it physically closed their throat, I worried that was it possible with words to change our physicality? The answer was yes! With the tools and techniques I share below.

                      The tool kit

                      From the many people that have contacted me after reading Fight the Fear to my clients, I know for even myself creating a tool kit is a must. This is not a bag that you physically must haul everywhere. This is about learning tools that really resonate with you so that when you can feel the fear start to impact on you, you’ve got your kit ready to take it on.

                      I don’t have the space in one article to share all of those tools so let’s visit a few:

                      1. Why I’m awesome

                      Creating a 2-page handwritten document of why you are awesome can help. This document will be packed with achievements, successes, overcoming adversity and all of those will be full of positive emotions, actions and feelings. It is not easy to write, and I get many messages telling me so however it is a powerful reminder that you can stand up and accomplish.

                      2. Draw out your emotions

                      Earlier we looked at how irrational fears can damage every aspect of our lives. If you were to follow the negative spiral down you can follow the positive spiral up again.

                      I draw these individually for clients and with each action, thought or feeling we put an arrow between them. Each arrow is an opportunity to do something different. If we know that irrational fear is an automatic thought process, then we can start to see that we need to think, do or feel something different. Top tip 3 will help with that.

                      3. Acknowledge that you need to change

                      It’s not easy to change, and that is a belief that many hold. Top tip 4 could assist further, however for this tip, remember that when you want to do, think or feel differently, you’ve already achieved the first step and that is recognizing something must change (you don’t need to know what). But if you aren’t sure yet if there’s really something different you want to do, this story about Nancy may help you to figure it out.

                      Then it’s about acknowledging it. That means not only accepting it but feeling that it is yours to take on and change.

                      Then for 2 weeks, decide that you won’t allow the thought to be in your head. There are usually some negative thoughts allowed to fester in your head. At this stage, just say “No I’d like you to stop.” After 2 weeks choose a new thought that you would prefer to hear in your head, maybe “I can cope with situations that scare me” or “I am stronger than I know”.

                      There will be times when you fail. Don’t berate yourself because that is another negative thought you are allowing your head to process. Just start again and at times like that have a read of your “Why I’m awesome list”.

                      4. Choose your words carefully.

                      I’ve heard many clients tell me that “It’s going to be hard to change” “I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t petrified” or “This is a lot to ask”. Any thought that gives power to your fear takes away power from you to fight it. Therefore, choose how you word your goal to overcome your fear carefully.

                      Think thoughts like “I remember when I achieved xxxx and that reminds me I’m far tougher and more capable than I give myself credit for”. (Take the xxx from your why I’m awesome document.)

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                      5. Believe that you have the control power

                      The only person that can control what we think and feel is us. I know it can feel like other people are impacting on us, however they can only do that if we give them permission to do so.

                      If you really think about that for a moment, can you see that you have the right to think and feel anything you want right now? I’m certain you wouldn’t choose pain, fear or anxiety. So, what would you choose to think about your fear?

                      6. Put up physical reminders

                      Working one to one, I can find the fear, work through it and create a tool kit of thoughts, feelings and actions that will help them fight that fear and get rid of it. For some, they don’t need physical things to help them; others do.

                      For example, the CEO who was petrified of public speaking but could handle a conference call with 300 without a second thought, imagined the microphone was a phone when they spoke in front of 400 people to help reinforce the positive thoughts and ideas we’d created.

                      Or the client that always worried that they were an imposter and “someone else can do this better” pinned on their office wall a tag cloud of all the words that made up their “Why I’m awesome document”.

                      So they had a daily reminder. They were the right one for the job and they could do it. These daily reminders all come down to one key point — help you to Hack the Habit Loop.

                      What would be your visual clues to remind you that you can overcome this?

                      7. Physical supports

                      Music, environment and even smells can impact on us. Know the music that makes you feel alive and ready for anything. Try aromatherapy oils to feel positive and energised. Even choose your work environment or clothing to empower you.

                      Changing these things is physical and giving yourself physical ideas to action can help power up your emotional state too.

                      8. Don’t go it alone

                      The fear to ask for help is very real (and has a whole chapter in my book) so I know people really struggle with this. The fact is we all need people. We are not insular by design and as such it can be tough to admit that you have a fear impacting on you.

                      However, by sharing your fear with a trusted friend, colleague or loved one can mean that when you are feeling the fear. you can talk to someone. It could be that you share with them the contents of your tool kit and ask their permission to be added to it. That way they know what works for you and how to best support you.

                      It’s not a sign of weakness to tell people about your fear. It takes massive levels of strength to say, “I have this fear, and I want to get rid of it.”

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                      9. Get physical

                      One of the reasons that a fear can escalate is because we have come to accept that response. Our body reacted in a certain way, once repeated the behaviour and it became a formed habit that was accepted.

                      Challenging a fear can be done using our body too when we appreciate that fear is actually a reaction inside our bodies. We don’t need to understand where in our brains or what chemicals are racing through us to use our physicality to help us challenge our fears.

                      When I was writing my book, the Cuddy Superhero pose was proved and disproved by various researchers around the world 3 times. Whether it’s real or not, the fact is the way we stand, the way we breathe and even the speed at which we speak can impact on us as well as those around us.

                      If you have a fear of public speaking or a fear of people thinking you are stupid or a fear of what people are thinking you can look at how you speak, stand and move. If you compare these with people you deem confident and happy in these situations, how do you look? What can you learn?

                      The research around placebo’s reinforces us that if it feels like it is working, then keep doing it! What could you use to help reinforce your power and fearlessness?

                      A little fear can be good

                      As someone famous once says:

                      “It is not fear, it is performance energy.”

                      Despite having an absolute hatred of public speaking 10 years ago, I now love an audience and yet I have a healthy level of fear. That level of fear says “Are you well prepared?” “Do you know your audience?” “Have you rested your voice?” “You really want to deliver to this audience what they need” And those thoughts are sensible.

                      And just remember, it’s never ever too late to face your fear and do what you desire most! It’s even possible to start over your life no matter what stage of life you’re at. Here’s the proof:

                      How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                      So as you reduce your fear, be aware of a good level of fear.

                      Featured photo credit: Isaiah Rustad via unsplash.com

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