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7 Signs You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are

7 Signs You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are

Stop for a moment and ask yourself if there was ever a time (or times) you’ve arrogantly said or thought: “I’m too smart for this.” If you’re someone who always believed that you’re Mr. Smarty Pants, you may want to take a step back and contemplate. That kind of thinking can work against you in life and in work.

So while it’s difficult to face the truth, let’s entertain the possibility that you may not be as smart as you think you are.

Read on and check if you have the following signs:

1. You’re more of a talker than a listener.

And that’s putting it nicely.

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You like the sound of your own voice, with or without you knowing it. People don’t come to you to talk about their problems or even celebrate their successes because you always end up talking about your own problems and successes.

If this sounds like you, consciously decide to listen and focus on the what the person is saying the next time you’re in a conversation with someone.  Don’t try to upstage them, just listen.

2. You show off only the good stuff and make some up.

You hide your true personality. You fake it. Big time. While it’s good to always be at your best when meeting important people, you take it to a whole other level: You lie so that people have a better impression of you.

Smart people value truth and know better than to hide for the sake of looking good. Showing only your good side and adding some special effects will tire you in the long run.

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3. You’re always in the middle of a storm.

You always find yourself in the middle of conflict. And when you think back on it, you either caused that conflict or you added fuel to the flames.

Smart people, on the other hand, either don’t get involved when there’s nothing they can do or do their best to help end the conflict. Try to do the same.

4. You discourage people instead of lifting them up.

You discourage people, not just by saying so outright but also by not giving them the time of day. In a way, you’re telling them that their ideas or their problems are not worth your time or your (perceived) intelligence.

Smart people help encourage others by actually paying attention. They listen (note the first sign) and share what they know. If big shots like Richard Branson and Adm. William McRaven, commander in the U.S. special forces, can take the time to answer letters from kids, you can spend a few minutes encouraging people.

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5. You prefer lowbrow entertainment.

You don’t challenge yourself with difficult subjects and are content to stick to entertaining yet hardly thought-provoking reading material. You also spend hours watching bad reality TV.

Real smart people thrive on reading books and watching films that spark their creativity and make them think and question. A few hours of intellectual reading could open up your horizons so give it a shot. You can start by listening to audiobooks if the thought of reading thick books is daunting to you.

6. You’re always so busy.

Your work life consists of you running around like a headless chicken. There always seems to be a problem that takes up most of your work day. You also find yourself doing all the work, all the time.

Learn how to delegate and ask for help. It’s a little arrogant of you to think that you can do everything for everyone. Make it a point to rest and spend time on things that matter in life, not just work.

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7. You’re a guy who sleeps around.

Let’s be honest, cheating on your partner isn’t exactly a smart thing to do. And science backs that up!

A study suggests that male sexual exclusivity is a sign of higher intelligence. Yep. Fighting your biological urge to “spread your oats” shows that you’re not just smart, but smarter than most because you don’t let your primal instincts get the best of you.

You may have been praised a lot when you were a child, a teen, or a college student because of your high grades and other academic achievements. That’s great. Ego boosts now and then are healthy and needed. But strive for more than just accolades.

If you truly want to be smart but find yourself guilty of the signs above, now’s the chance to make a change. Be a smarter, better version of you. Listen, be honest, prevent conflict, encourage, read, delegate, and keep it in your pants.

More by this author

7 Positives Only Introverts Would Understand signs of a doer 10 Signs of a Doer (and How to be a Good One) 7 Signs You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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