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5 Things That Really Smart People Do

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5 Things That Really Smart People Do

Post by Sam on Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:50 am

Most people don't really think much about how they
learn. Generally you assume learning comes
naturally. You listen to someone speak either in
conversation or in a lecture and you simply absorb
what they are saying, right? Not really. In fact, I find
as I get older that real learning takes more work. The more I fill my brain with facts, figures, and
experience, the less room I have for new ideas and
new thoughts. Plus, now I have all sorts of opinions
that may refute the ideas being pushed at me. Like
many people I consider myself a lifelong learner, but
more and more I have to work hard to stay open minded. But the need for learning never ends, so your desire
to do so should always outweigh your desire to be
right. The world is changing and new ideas pop up
everyday; incorporating them into your life will keep
you engaged and relevant. The following are the
methods I use to stay open and impressionable. They'll work for you too. No matter how old you get. 1. Quiet Your Inner Voice You know the one I am talking about. It's the little
voice that offers a running commentary when you
are listening to someone. It's the voice that brings up
your own opinion about the information being
provided. It is too easy to pay more attention to the
inner voice than the actual speaker. That voice often keeps you from listening openly for good information
and can often make you shut down before you have
heard the entire premise. Focus less on what your
brain has to say and more on the speaker. You may
be surprised at what you hear. 2. Argue With Yourself If you can't quiet the inner voice, then at least use it
to your advantage. Every time you hear yourself
contradicting the speaker, stop and take the other
point of view. Suggest to your brain all the reasons
why the speaker may be correct and you may be
wrong. In the best case you may open yourself to the information being provided. Failing that, you will at
least strengthen your own argument. 3. Act Like You Are Curious Some people are naturally curious and others are
not. No matter which category you are in you can
benefit from behaving like a curious person. Next time you are listening to information, make up and
write down three to five relevant questions. If you
are in a lecture, Google them after for answers. If
you are in a conversation you can ask the other
person. Either way you'll likely learn more, and the
action of thinking up questions will help encode the concepts in your brain. As long as you're not a cat you should benefit from these actions of curiosity. 4. Find the Kernel of Truth No concept or theory comes out of thin air.
Somewhere in the elaborate concept that sounds like
complete malarkey there is some aspect that is based upon fact. Even if you don't buy into the idea,
you should at least identify the little bit of truth from
whence it came. Play like a detective and build your
own extrapolation. You'll enhance your skills of
deduction and may even improve the concept beyond
the speaker's original idea. 5. Focus on the Message Not the Messenger Often people shut out learning due to the person
delivering the material. Whether it's a boring
lecturer, someone physically unappealing, or a
member of the opposite political party, the
communicator can impact your learning. Even friends
can disrupt the learning process since there may be too much history and familiarity to see them as an
authority on a topic. Separate the material from the
provider. Pretend you don't know the person or their
beliefs so you can hear the information objectively.
As for the boring person, focus on tip two, three, or
four as if it were a game, thereby creating your own entertainment.

Sam
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