Have you ever felt like your intelligence does not suffice for you to make a sound argument, judgement or decision? Have you felt that others constantly produce better ideas and communicate with more ease than you? Do you want to stand out as a wise and integral person in the eyes of your peers? Yes, – well, listen then!
- Collect diverse information. Obvious as it could be, being clever means operating with large amounts of data. This takes significant time and effort. What is more, one should not gather just any data; the information must be versatile and complex, stemming from different areas of social, technical, cultural, and interpersonal spheres of knowledge. Do not emphasize on only one skill or area of development. The secret to cleverness is to master a selection of abilities where you are best but also to accumulate knowledge for all other aspects of life.
- Organize the gathered information systematically. That is a very important aspect of collecting not just fragments of data but amassing personal intelligence. The latter is an integral state of the mind, so one needs to grasp everything learnt from outside into an internal coherent base of knowledge. A person may know of art, science, sports and yet the most challenging task is to systematically relate these data and produce more elaborate conclusions thanks to the their synergetic inter connection in our way of thinking.
- Think critically. Everything you learn is somebody else’s thought. That means it is not the final truth. You have to hear the broadest range of opinions and theories on a subject and evaluate them, according to your personal mindset and ethical system. This is when you learn how to optimize information and turn it into knowledge. Not every data is worthy of trust and recollection and thinking critically will help tremendously in selecting what sources and theories correspond to your intellectual build.
- Be solid and ready to change. These are two contradictory qualities, yet they are vital for any intelligent being. Solidness implies that you have mastered an integrity of the mind and spirit which would make you an example of intellectual prowess and trusted source of information. The second aspect means that solidness does not stand for rigidity and narrow-mindedness. On the contrary – the mind should always be open to innovations, novel ideas and exiting theories. That is how mindfulness grows. Development is the constant and natural state of the intelligent mind.
- Observe and listen. That is what the ancient word theory means – observation. Any sound vision of the world needs time and patient consideration to be properly formulated. Do not rush with conclusions and judgments. Listen, read, doubt, check, verify, over and over again, until your conclusion meets your highest standard of credibility. And remember, no truth is final, so we always have to change in order to follow the pace of life.
- Be respectful. It is true that most intelligent people are highly argumentative and assertive of their knowledge. Though this is an important aspect of critical communication, one should always respect the ideas of others and try to find the truth inside them, too. Chances are the other party spent the same amount and effort as we did on the subject only to reach a different conclusion. Listen to them carefully, if you recognize the depth in their words, for they may show you different approaches to a topic, untought solutions and even, the possible mistakes in your thinking. Being clever means learning from everything – including others, opinions and our own errors.
- Make the world a better place! A clever person knows intelligence is nothing if not effectuated to produce a greater outcome – a visible result that can change the lives of many. Cleverness is not found in words and declarations. Many mistake it for exquisite word-joggling while in fact it is just the opposite. The measurement for the effective mind is the practical effect its solutions have on the lives of others.
Think, observe, listen, collect, systemize, optimize, integrate, change, respect and develop! That is how to be a clever person!