Yesterday, as part of a grown series of articles, I introduced the idea that achieving what we want in life requires the intelligence to make a realistic plan. Today as promised we’ll examine how it is we can become more intelligent.

“Excessive routine is the enemy of intelligence.”

– Steve Pavlina

Embrace Novelty
Firstly, if you wish to become more intelligent, it is important that you embrace novelty. I found this idea in Steve Pavlina’s book Personal Development for Smart People. The moment I read it I knew it was a fantastic idea. This is because your level of intelligence has to do with your ability to understand, learn from and adapt to your environment. By environment I don’t mean just the outward physical environment. I also mean things like the people you interact with.

Every day we have many experiences. Many of them are mundane in nature because we have had very similar experiences before. An easy example is preparing breakfast each morning. There are general patterns to our experiences that our brains retain. We use these patterns every single day to make predictions about what will happen. This all happens without beyond conscious thought.

“Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.”

By embracing novelty you will get out into the world in search of new experiences that are unlike anything you have ever encountered. When I went to China to spend a month traveling all over the country it was an amazing learning experience. The culture in China is 6,000 years old. The way they do things, the way they view time and the world, and social interaction is very different to here in Australia.

During my time in China I literally became more intelligent. I spent a month constantly bombarded by novel experiences beyond the current ability of my mind’s predictive powers. The patterns were different. When this happens our minds shift into learning mode. It’s almost like we are children again where we are constantly learning from everything. We then expand our existing store of patters and add new ones. We become more intelligent.

Use the Law of Entrainment
I’ve written a number of times about what I call the Law of Entrainment. Entrainment is an observable part of the nature of this world. Examples that illustrate with Entrainment is include the fact that dissected frogs hearts all beat in time. Women living together in a dorm will eventually all have the same menstrual cycle. Hang around with a depressed person long enough and you’ll start to become depressed yourself.

What does the Law of Entrainment have to do with becoming more intelligent? Simple. If you want to become more intelligent you need to immerse yourself in an environment that consists of phenomena that are more intelligent then you are. Do this consistently and long enough and you will entrain to a higher level of intelligence.

Read intelligent books written by intelligent people. Watch intelligent films and documentaries made by intelligent people. Socialize and have long conversations with people more intelligent then you. Expand your social circle to include a diverse group of highly intelligent people.

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

– Albert Einstein

This sort of effort, particularly when it comes to immersing yourself in a group of people who are more intelligent then you may require you to drop your ego. Admit to yourself that there are plenty of people out there far smarter then you are and take on the perspective of a learner. Then every experience will become a learning experience and you will continually grow.

Now that we know what intelligence is and how to become more intelligent coming up next we’ll examine how it is we can go about making a realistic plan. While you’re here why not share some of the things you feel increase intelligence by leaving a comment.

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