(Based on Carol Dweck’s book, MINDSET)
Intelligence is the ability to perceive information, retain it and apply it in various environments and contexts. It reflects one’s capacity for logical reasoning, understanding, thinking abstractly, comprehending complex ideas, learning (extending one’s existing knowledge) quickly, planning, creativity and problem solving. Many people think that their intelligence is ‘fixed’ and that they cannot become more intelligent. Wrong. You can become smarter by developing yourself. The best ‘process’ I found was from mindset.com in the form of a poster. To make it more readily available, I broke down the 5 steps they have enumerated and provided additional commentary. If you are into visuals, they have a poster that they sell with the 5 steps.
- You set a goal, become motivated and begin to explore a new concept or skill. A new neuron is formed through a process called neurogenesis.
- You see, hear, think, and talk about the new concept, and make connections to things you already know.
- You practice over and over, and pay attention to your mistakes. You think deeply about this new concept, focus on the parts that are hard for you, and don’t take any shortcuts. Dendrites grow like branches and reach out for other neurons.
- You test yourself on the new concept and apply your knowledge to unique situations. You push yourself to see how much you can learn, and explain the concept to other people. The dendrites continue to grow more branches, and the signals between them fire more quickly to other dendrites.
- You find that some parts that once seemed hard are a little easier, but you continue to push yourself on to the next challenge and learn from your mistakes. With more practice, your dendrites continue to grow. The network of neurons becomes more efficient and powerful, making the brain denser and smarter than it was before.
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