Published by Time Inc. Books “The Bible. Unlock the Bible’s Secrets. All the way it can transform your life.”
The brain is part of your body. It benefits from exercise in much the same way the muscles of your body do. The brain can be trained to perform extraordinary tasks, from solving complex mathematical puzzles to memorizing entire books of the Bible. Yet even those who don’t aspire to feats of genius can benefit from stretching their brainpower every day.
Fix your thoughts. Be purposeful in the way you use your mind. Now there’s a challenge worthy of a New Year’s resolution! As you seek to improve your health, don’t overlook your intellectual well-being.
Here are four suggestions for increasing your intellectual capacity in the coming year.
- READ, READ, READ
Most of the world’s recorded knowledge, accomplishments, and creativity is at your fingertips, between the pages of books. The question is, how much of it can you absorb in one year?
The reading path you take is up to you. You may opt for a genre-hopping approach: a biography followed by a self-improvement title, followed by a work of historical fiction of a New York best seller, then perhaps followed by something you found tucked away on a library shelf. You may play “classics catch-up”, reading (or rereading) some of the great books of literature you may (or may not) have read in school. You could work your way through the works of a certain author or choose a specific topic to study (the Civil War, for instance).
If you prefer to add a social component to your intellectual pursuits, consider joining a book club. The opportunity to spend time with other people and trade thoughts, opinions, and reactions to the same book can greatly enhance your reading experience.
- START A NEW HOBBY
From cross-stitch to crossword puzzles, the options for brain-stimulating pastimes are limited only by your imagination. Whatever you choose, make sure it challenges your mental coordination, helps activate dormant synapses, and challenges you to use your intellect in ways you’re not used to. Try your hand at poetry. Learn to play the ukulele. Teach yourself to juggle. Become conversant in a second (or third) language. Enter trivia contests. Master a subject that gave you trouble in school. Find a new passion.
- SEEK OUT PEOPLE WHO CHALLENGE YOU
How many “iron” friends do you have in your life? Consider the people in your circle of acquaintances who do some or all of the following:
- Challenge you when they disagree with you
- Confront you when you’re wrong
- Cause you to rethink long-held opinions
- Inspire you to aim higher
- Motivate you when you need a kick in the pants
- Acknowledge you when you make a good point
How many more people like this can you add to your circle of friends in a year? Now that’s a challenge worth pursuing.
- EMBRACE TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES
If you are knowledgeable about a particular subject or in a certain skill, make it your goal in the coming year to find ways to pass your knowledge to others who might benefit. Become a teacher, a mentor, or an instructor. Volunteer your services at your local library, YMCA, mentoring organization, or Sunday school ministry. You’ll find the challenges of teaching sharpen your intellect as much as those you teach.