Science Says You’re Smarter Than You Think
Reminders worth hearing over and over.
If there’s a way that this year has changed us, it’s that it has made us uncertain. Unsure of what lies in the future, what we’re capable of, and our ability to move our lives forward.
As has been the case this year, with your plans thwarted, it’s easy to lose faith in yourself and your wisdom to make sound decisions. It’s easy to think you can’t get your life back on track.
Fortunately, that’s not the case. You’re smart and capable of overcoming whatever life throws at you. Here are 15 reasons why science says you’re smarter than you think.
You don’t waste your pain.
You understand that every nasty experience was meant to teach you something. So you sift through them to discover the wisdom tucked underneath. You don’t cram yourself into what you used to be; instead, you lean into the lessons, mistakes, and insights to improve yourself. Through these lessons, you’ve become self-aware, which has subsequently improved your ability to think critically and make sound decisions.
You see vulnerability as a strength.
Because you’re not fearful of dipping your feet in the murky waters of vulnerability, you’ve learned how to manage your emotions. You’ve devised strategies such as journaling and meditation. Doing this has enhanced your creative thinking and made you smarter.
Because you’re not afraid to show your broken parts and reveal your struggles if it means helping someone else deal with their own. As such, you’re able to uplift and encourage others to find meaning in their lives. You create long-lasting bonds just by being a broken human. These words of Brene Brown ring true to you:
“People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.” Brene Brown
You’ve honed your intuition.
Being hurt in the past has enabled you to master the delicate skill of honing your intuition. Now, using your gut, you know who in your life is legit and who isn’t. Research has shown that your intuition is much more than a dumb response to someone or something.
It becomes sharper the more your brain processes incoming information and compares it with your past experiences. Based on this, your brain then predicts the highest likely outcome. That tight knot in the stomach now makes so much sense, right?
You crave to be alone.
You enjoy spending time alone. Every day, you pull yourself away from the noise of the world and retreat in your cocoon of tranquility. To be alone with your thoughts and see yourself through clear lenses.
Spending time alone creates a positivity space that fosters your creativity and inspires you to find great solutions to your problems. You’re guided by the words of the famous French mathematician Blaise Pascal:
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Wise people are curious. Albert Einstein, one of the most intelligent humans to set footprints of the earth, attributed his smart brain to nothing but curiosity. His words: “I am not a genius, I am just curious.” Studies show that a part of your mid-brain responsible for learning and memory becomes activated when you’re curious.
As you learn new things, the more your memory perfects and retains more information better. Because you’re wise, you know people are always teaching you something. Sometimes the wisdom is tucked in their words, and other times, you learn from their actions.
Your character is always evolving.
Although you understand that we all glide into the world as flawed and imperfect humans, you don’t allow imperfections to keep you stuck in a life that’s less than what you’re capable of. You embrace the power you have to change yourself.
You strive to eliminate negative habits, beliefs, and mindsets. You’re able to see yourself outside yourself. You can clearly envision your best version, which ignites a spark for you to upgrade yourself continuously.
You practice humility.
You recognize that the lens you use to see yourself can sometimes be blurry, so you surround yourself with people who tell you the truth. You focus your gaze on people who, when you get to their age, you’ll be proud that you did.
So you seek out mentors, teachers, and instructors because, being aware of your limitations, you desire to offset them. Your humility makes you hungry to learn, which in turn makes you wiser. And although some truths are painful to bear, you know you can’t be better if you don’t know what you need to change.
You listen more than you talk.
You focus on listening more than talking because you’re aware that your responses aren’t always necessary. However, you don’t merely listen; you actually concentrate on the meaning behind the words. This indicates that you’re smart.
Psychologists have demonstrated that you can grasp, learn, and recall more information this way. Because you’re an open-minded listener, other people’s opinions don’t make you feel insecure or inferior. You know that being open to their views doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with them. It only means you’re sensible and respectful.
You live by the adage that health is wealth.
Knowing that nothing is worth having if you’re not of good health, you treat your body with utmost care. You nourish yourself with healthy fresh food and plenty of water. Some days you put in a good 5K run, a solid hour of yoga, or a kickass workout at the gym. Other times a walk serves you just fine.
Here’s what you may not know; other than health benefits, exercise makes you incredibly smart. Physical training increases your heart rate and pumps blood to your brain. More specifically, to the part associated with your ability to remember, according to scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center.
You say no repeatedly.
You say no to people who drain you and activities that don’t fulfill you. You say no toxic people and Facebook groups that don’t enrich your life. You leave WhatsApp groups that are demeaning and don’t elevate the standard of your life. You unfollow Instagram accounts that are whitewashed with fakeness and show off.
When you remove yourself from this stifling and crippling environment, you eliminate the poison of negativity. Meaning you become free to engage in activities that fuel you to succeed. When you stay away from things that don’t matter, you’re able to focus on what truly matters. This is what being wise looks like.
You level up continually.
You hold yourself to a higher standard and therefore refuse to settle for a mediocre life. You’re re-creating yourself and taking the upward climb. You’re always looking for creative ways to improve your life. Whether it’s starting a business, learning a new skill, pursuing a new hobby, or even moving to a new city.
Being creative shows you’re smart because you’re flexible and think outside the box. You’re required to exercise self-control and adapt to new situations and ventures. And you can only do this if your executive functions are strong.
You put yourself first.
Not in a selfish, narcissistic way, but in a way that allows you to fill your cup and pour into others. You practice meditation, which elevates you to a higher and peaceful state. This peace gives you control over distractions and enables you to think, learn, and organize your thoughts.
Not only do you enhance your quality of life through meditation, but you also develop your intelligence, imagination, and creativity. Being intelligent means you know the light within you is too bright, and you’re too exceptional to stand in another person’s shadow.
You stay in your lane.
You don’t poke your nose in other people’s affairs because you’re too busy minding your business and creating your life. When you mind your business, it signals a high level of self-control — a trait that researchers claim stems from intelligence. The more self-controlled you are, the wiser you are.
You also realize that life happens slowly, and then it’s suddenly over, so you live for today because tomorrow isn’t promised. However, you also know that today has a way of casting its shadow on tomorrow. So you live right in the sweet spot of balance.
You’ve got your eye firmly fixed on the price.
You’re aware that your life is far bigger and much greater than you. That the true mark of a life well-lived is determined by how many hearts you touch and not the figures in your bank account. Because you help others, you’re less prone to stress. Studies show that stress shrinks your brain, making it difficult to remember information. Which is why helping others is good for your brain.
You know that love is everything.
You and I know that warm and know that warm and fuzzy feeling of love, right? It’s incredible, but this is the exciting part; When you love someone, your thinking shifts because your perspective gravitates towards the long-term. Because you’re focused on the bigger picture, your brain becomes creative.
After all, you want that person to be around for a long, long time, right? Which is why you prioritize people over possessions. You share your time and resources. You know that authentic, meaningful relationships are the epitome of happiness and fulfillment.
You’re genuinely interested in other people’s lives- their joys and sorrows alike. You’re sincerely jubilant when they have big breaks. And you’re the first to offer a shoulder to lean on when their world comes crumbling to dust.
From today, remind yourself how far you’ve come because you’re wise enough to navigate the variable winds of life. Believe in yourself and keep moving your life forward no matter what. Choose to see yourself in a new light every time you sense that you’re losing direction.