How do people become smarter?
- By learning!
- Those who are able to focus on self-education and learning have the potential to become self-taught geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci and Einstein!
This instructable shows you how reading boosts your intelligence and improves your concentration! Reading sets you on a very positive path to intellectual curiousity helping you see the world from multiple perspectives...
My backstory: I used to hate reading but changed my mind after 26 years of "ignorance". I want to help you find a love for reading/learning today. Reading and learning can help you "stand on the shoulders of giants" allowing you to see the world with a fresh set of eyes!
In his book, Extraordinary Minds, Howard Gardner discusses a few noteable features of "exceptionally bright" individuals.
On page 39, He says, "They exhibit notable energy, curiosity, and focus with reference to domains that interest them...they have a 'rage to learn'. They are persistent learners; it is often difficult to tear them away from their areas of passion."
In the same book, on page 138 Gardner quotes Nietzsche, "We must love and honor great individuals, and the tasks of scholars of the past is to bring such people constantly to the forefront of our minds."
I have a full list of the books I have read and cover pictures on my website at
In my opinion, this quote informs us we can learn by reading about the famous intellectuals that came before us. I made it a point to get to "know" Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Michael Faraday, Ben Franklin and many other bright minds through reading: All of which have NOTHING to do with my background as a fitness professional! I think it could help you to do the same! These geniuses share many common personality traits. We can all aquire them....
How do people learn?
There are many ways to learn; hands-on, visual, audio, etc. But for sake of this Instructable, I will be speaking to you about reading and why it is important. I believe, as Howard Gardner mentioned above, once you find a rage to read you will be set for a very fulfilling intellectual life!
Why talk about books?
Books are great! I am the first person to tell you, for the first 26 years of my life I read very little. I was the guy who said verbatim, "Why would I ever waste time sitting behind a piece of paper reading when I can get it from the TV or movie in 2 hours." Ouch! I eat those words now!
After losing my mother to Ovarian cancer in September 2009 I needed something. The death of my mom left a huge hole in my heart. I chose to fill it by reading, learning, and trying to find more about this thing we call life. Obviously this has not replaced her, but it gives me something to focus on; something positive. My goal for learning more each day is to use what I learn; relate it to fitness, and help people learn how to exercise with my unique multi-genre perspective!
I realize after losing a family member at such a young age that I need to help people. I need to help people appreciate life and everything they have today. Reading has helped me focus, calm my mind, educate myself, and above all else, it has helped me LEARN!
I always have a book with me in my car (often times 2 or 3 books!). I MAKE time for reading every week, at least 4 days of the week. I realize having come from an athletic background I should develop my brain more. In my opinion; Just as you exercise your body to become healthy or fit, you can exercise your brain to "become smarter".
I have read over 25,000 pages (see image) of intellectually stimulating material over the past 4 years. Why? Because I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. I want to pass this passion for wisdom to you. I want you to understand you can become as smart as you want. The only person holding you back (from reading and learning) is YOU!
How should you start?
Just like exercise, start slow and work into it!
Curious about a topic? READ about it! Take out a book, sit down, concentrate, and read a few pages! (not wikipedia, a good book)
I am partial to non-fiction because I feel it teaches you "facts" or what appears to be facts. If anything, it sets you on the course for wanting to learn more!
Why is reading helpful?
Self-education is one of the best things I think we can do for ourselves. Once you develop a curiosity you will be unstoppable. The next step is to take that knowledge and apply it to your life, to other people's lives, or to the world.
Books help you find your intellectual path. Books also help you develop a laser-sharp attention span.
I read Ben Franklin's autobiography. It is a small and quick read, roughly 130 pages. This would be a great start.
Look what he said about learning: "If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
Pick a book. Open your mind. Find your way out of Plato's Cave.
Enlightenment comes from within :)
*Funny side note* I am 5'10" and the stacks of books in the picture measure up to about 8 feet! I am worth my "height" in books? hehe... I am a personal trainer by trade but love reading and teaching. Feel free to visit my exercise education website at www.FitnessPatterns.com Workout your brain AND your body!
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