3 Daily Habits Of Highly Intelligent People

Matt Lillywhite

Do these things every day and watch your life change.


Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

It’s incredibly difficult to become more intelligent.

At least, that’s what I used to think while watching Netflix and eating nachos until the early hours of the morning. But as I found out over the past few years, I was wrong.

If you’re anything like me, you’re naturally curious about the world. You want to learn new things, expand your perspective, and fulfill your potential in every aspect of your life. But for one reason or another, you have no idea how to start.

I know exactly how you feel. But I’ve learned that the best way to become smarter is by implementing habits that encourage you to enjoy the process of learning. Darren Hardy said it best:

“A daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separates the most successful among us from everyone else. A routine is exceptionally powerful.”

So below are several habits of extremely intelligent people. Each of these insights changed my life for the better, and I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.

1. They Surround Themselves With People They Admire.

We all know the cliche that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you want to become more intelligent, surround yourself with people that inspire you to think differently and help you realize what you’re capable of achieving.

I grew up on the poverty line in a small British town. Each day, I’d overhear conversations about how “life is unfair” and that “things will always be like this forever.”

You’ve probably heard similar stories. But unfortunately, this common way of thinking is a great way to remain stagnant and complacent in every aspect of life. I know that’s a hard pill to swallow. But it’s true.

I’ve learned that the people you surround yourself with can have a massive influence on your perspective of the world. After all, optimism attracts optimistic people. Likewise, negativity attracts negative people.

So, if you want to improve your mindset and intelligence, it’s a good idea to spend less time with extremely pessimistic people. In other words, you need to find people that inspire you to be a better person, so you can begin creating a better future.

Take a moment to come up with a list of several people that inspire you. If you don’t know them personally, spend more time consuming their content to gain a deeper understanding of their mindset.

For example, I’m currently in lockdown, so I’m unable to go to lectures or events. But every day, I’m listening to podcasts from psychology professors, investors, and many other people that enhance my perspective of the world.

As a result of surrounding myself with inspirational people, I’m a lot more optimistic each day, so I continually feel inspired to become my best self.

You get the idea. Once you start surrounding yourself with people you admire, every aspect of your mindset and life will improve for the better. In the words of Epictetus:

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”

2. They Maintain Their Intellectual Curiosity.

There’s nothing wrong with watching a movie on Netflix or scrolling through social media for a while. But it’s important to remember that if you’re not learning, you’re not growing.

It’s as simple as that. I’ve discovered that it’s difficult to improve your intelligence if you’re sitting on the sofa, eating nachos, and being unproductive for the entire day.

Instead, you need to find ways to maintain your intellectual curiosity that keep you inspired to learn new things. For example:

  • Learn a musical instrument. Research shows that being a musician can strengthen your memory and improve your ability to solve new problems.
  • Read more books. If you’re continually exploring new concepts, you can improve your knowledge and significantly expand your vocabulary.
  • Learn a new language. Speaking a foreign language can improve your ability to multitask, and help you to appreciate different cultures from around the world.

If you struggle to read physical books, consider downloading an audiobook, and listening to it while walking around your local area. Likewise, there are loads of great podcasts that can help you to learn a new language.

You don’t need to write essays, listen to complicated lectures, or force yourself to do any other things that you might expect an intelligent person to do. Instead, experiment with a variety of ways to stimulate your intellectual curiosity, and continue with whatever works for you.

3. They Practice Mindfulness.

If you know how to gain mental clarity over your thoughts, I’ve discovered that it’s much easier to focus on the aspects of life that genuinely matter.Perhaps that’s what Naval Ravikant meant when he said:

“True happiness comes out of peace. Peace comes out of many things, but it comes from fundamentally understanding yourself.”

Each morning, I spend 45 minutes practicing mindfulness to understand myself and my way of thinking. At first, I thought that meditation was pointless. I thought the chatter in my head would never stop, and that it would be difficult to eliminate negative thoughts from my mind.

But after a few weeks of practicing meditation, I learned something incredible. When you take a moment to confront your negative thoughts each day, it’s much easier to prevent them from affecting you in the future.David Goggins said it best:

“The most important conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself.”

Because when you don’t run from negative thoughts, you can deal with them in the present moment, and immediately move on with your life. In other words, they won’t distract you while you’re reading, learning, or doing anything else that can help you to create a better future.

Since I began implementing these habits, every aspect of my life changed for the better. For example, I’m able to have conversations in multiple languages, and have mental clarity over my thoughts.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to become extremely intelligent overnight. But if you can surround yourself with inspirational people, and maintain your intellectual curiosity, you’ll find it much easier to improve every aspect of your life. So what are you waiting for?

Start now.

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