5476104359_888650767c_bRome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to become smarter, start by developing daily small habits that will help you in the long run.

In a Quora thread titled “What are some of the easy things that anyone can do to keep improving their intelligence?”, readers pitched in and shared their daily habits that help them get smarter.

Here are the things you should do:

 

1. Start by reading the newspapers daily

Newspapers will increase your worldly knowledge. It also introduces you to unfamiliar cultures and events that you don’t normally hear about. After a while, you start to connect the dots between unrelated things that no one else can see. Plus, you’ll have an endless supply of topics to talk about at dinner parties. – Manas Saloi

 

2. Get lost and find your way back

Wandering around and finding your way will develop your spatial intelligence. The average person takes the same route every day to work or school. Overtime, the brain’s capacity to navigate deteriorates. To “reset” and train the brain’s spatial intelligence, start by taking a new, unfamiliar route home. Plus, you might see interesting people you may have never run into. – Janne Piiroinen

 

3. Write 400 words a day

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 11.40.29 PM

There’s a reason why so many successful people write everyday – whether it’s a diary they keep or a blog they write. Writing things down forces you to clarify your thoughts into more concrete representations. It takes a lot of effort. But over time, it’ll become easier, and you start to notice that your thoughts become more crispy. You’ll also have fewer doubts about your own thoughts. – Claudia Azula Altucher

 

4. Observe things happening around you

When you’re busy all the time throwing yourself into action, you don’t have the time to think. Take a few moments everyday to just sit there, think, and observe all the things around you as they happen. Sit at a coffee shop or a library, and just watch the cars drive by or people walking by. You’ll start to notice trends in people’s behaviors. – Quah Xin Ze

 

5. Exercise. Eat healthy. Laugh often.

A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. When you exercise, you increase your blood flow to your brain and keeps it in top-notch shape. Laughing has also been shown to increase your intelligence and make your brain sharper. – Mike Xie

 

6. Try something different every day

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 11.42.12 PM

If you talk with the same people everyday, sit down at the same place everyday, and do the same things everyday, then by definition you aren’t learning anything. Start changing around your routine. Instead of taking showers in the morning, take them at night. Instead of talking to your friends all the time, make a new friend. It doesn’t mean you have to ditch your old habits completely, but don’t be afraid to try new things. – Tamer Duruakan

 

7. Meditate for a few minutes

Meditation isn’t just a stress reliever. It can help increase your intelligence. Monks who meditate regularly show a sizable increase in gray matter in their brain. This is because meditation trains the brain to focus and clamp down its chattering thoughts. You don’t need to become a monk and meditate hours a day to reap the benefits. A quick 5 minute meditation daily will increase your intelligence and attentiveness in everyday life. – Vinu Cherian

 

8. Check the source

Don’t trust everything you read (even Bit of News!). If you hear something doubtful, double check it from another source. Chances are, there are multiple sides to a story. If you get in the habit of checking sources, you’ll be less likely to be duped by the media, politicians, or advertisements. – Phil Maguire

 

9. Read more fiction

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 11.42.52 PM

Reading has been one of the top recommendations on how to become more intelligent, but fiction is quite different from any other genre. Reading fiction books increases your creativity because they take you to fantasy worlds that exist only in the minds of the author and the readers. As you read more and more fiction, you’ll start to notice patterns, and your thinking will become more creative as a result. – Jaâfar Bendriss

 

10. Stop watching TV


TV has been said to be one of the biggest time drainers. The way most programs are designed is for maximum impact and minimum effort. If you ever laid on the couch and watched TV for an entire afternoon, you’ll know that numb feeling. If you do this regularly, your brain will become less capable of thinking intelligent thoughts, just as an unexercised body will become less capable of running. – De Shan Baptiste

 

11. Watch TED: Ideas worth spreading

The TED.com website contains some of the best videos to help you learn about new things. Whether it’s learning about how the human mind works, or learning about how cheetahs run so fast, TED has it all. If you’re taking a lunch break, squeeze in a 5-10 minutes of TED videos. They’re entertaining and informative. – Hendrik Sleeckx

 

12. Figure out your fears

5593940638_45923a0283_b

One of the biggest roadblocks to personal growth is your fears. We don’t live in the primitive age anymore, so many of our fears aren’t backed by reality. Do one thing a day that scares you. Even if it’s small. There’s a reason why older folks are much more confident and care less about what people think. It’s because they’ve had decades of experience realizing there aren’t many things in the world to be afraid of. You can accelerate that wisdom by consciously reminding your ego to do the things that you fear. – Mayank Rajput

 

13. Study archetypes and symbolism

Understanding how and why your brain thinks a certain way is the key to improving it. Study the archetypes and symbolism of your unconscious mind and figure out where your motivations and thoughts come from.– David Marini

As famous psychologist Carl Jung once said:

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

Read this next: