Always exercise your intellectual muscles!

Posted: Sunday, September 21, 2008 by Rom in Labels: , ,

The way you project yourself intellectually comes from how well you develop what is inside your head and this is your intellectual persona. This is how deep your knowledge is and how fit you are mentally. All of us have the intelligence and it is really all up to us on how we will use it to the most of our ability, or else it will be as stagnant as ever if not in use.

You always need to practice to exercise your mind and brain in order for you to take on more difficult tasks ahead. Simple reading will enable you to answer questions like “Can your mind lift abstract concepts from any business journal related to your field?” or “Can you foresee some issue from a certain perspective that is totally different from your own gut and feelings?”

Further, can you look through a concern from your perspective that entirely contradicts your own thoughts and feelings? And can you see ideas from different cultures or from people that you dislike? As you read through some articles in the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal or any journals in your field, can your mind be able to understand at once such concepts? Or can you get the ins and outs of a problem as described by someone in an entirely different field from your own?

Training your mind to undertake more difficult and longer-term tasks will practice your mind especially when the mental race comes up. Different ways for mind strengthening may include the following:

• Learn to play a musical instrument or even learn to scuba dive depending on your preference.
• Join an investment club or reading club or even a foreign affairs organization where new speakers and different issues are tackled.
• Take some classes in a subject you’ve always like ever since like acting, geology, painting, art history, etc. but never got the opportunity to study it.
• A commitment to teach yourself a new and difficult skill like gourmet cooking or winemaking or even origami.
• Subscribing to an expensive series of books or musical performance. If you pay so much, you will be obliged to get the worth of your money.

An intellectual exercise that you can do is to get used to the habit of avoiding assigning labels to others. For instance, if you are in a gathering and a guest is introduced to you as an accountant. You may brand him as having a boring profession or if he is a professor, you may brand him as very reserved and professional. Try to maximize your intellectual impression in avoiding the label assignment to a person. It will take the strength of your intellect to evade the trap of mystifying the specific for the general. An ordinary clerk should not be overlooked and a consultant should not be overvalued.

If you get into the habit of appreciating a person in its human side and not judging them in a generic way, you will be able to win the respect that you deserve and you will learn something also.