Alright, so before we directly jump into the cold waters of how to increase your intelligence, we must first grasp what ‘intelligence’ actually is. There has been a lot of talks about the stereotypical intelligence and that’s what we all keep ranting about, but there’s more than it meets the eye, and consequently, I feel that the definition of ‘intelligence’ must be polished a tad.
Is scoring good marks in school or college the real sign of intelligence? Does being the topper actually make one intelligent in life? Perhaps being all geeky or nerdy about something makes one an intelligent fella? Is thinking intelligence? If a person just keeps on thinking all day, then does it make him intelligent? Doing something without thinking at all is sheer stupidity, no doubt about it there. But even just thinking about something and forming a belief and acting on it the real intelligence?
The First Step to Increase Intelligence
The first step to increase your intelligence is to fathom the real meaning of intelligence which is not merely memorizing a bunch of facts and spewing it out to boost your ego or to impress your friends and family. You read something in a book or a blog, and you start applying it in your life without questioning is again not the real intelligence. That’s what a mechanical robot does—intaking a bunch of information and acting accordingly.
Real intelligence is your ability to grasp and understand new concepts. Intelligence is your ability to carve your own path best suited for you according to your own circumstances and situations. Real intelligence is when you are completely ready to adapt yourself to the only constant in the world: change.
The way you increase your intelligence is by screwing what your BELIEFS are and putting your energy into KNOWING what the truth is. There is a difference between the two. You have to believe in something when you are not crystal clear with the facts. Fire burns. You don’t have to believe in it because you know it for a fact.
If we can understand the real meaning of intelligence and start acting in life intelligently then our whole life can become truly magnificent.
Is Intelligence Learning?
By learning, most of us again think about whatever field you are in, taking in a ton of information about that field and acting according to it is learning. Can that really help us increase our intelligence?
Some people are of the opinion that when we make a mistake and if we learn from it in the future, that’s learning. But can we call that intelligence, or is not making such a blunder in the first place the real intelligence—because sometimes mistakes can be pretty costly, so much so it can cost you your whole life or career1. (This doesn’t mean that one stops innovating and starts playing it too safe.)
Is doing what you think is right for you the real intelligence, or doing what your idols, family members, and friends think is right for you the real intelligence? Or is the real intelligence doing what’s actually good for you?
Did you notice the subtle difference between the two? One is where you think something is good for you, and the other is what’s actually good for you. Now the obvious question is how can we know the difference between what we think is good for us and what’s actually good?
Well, if you’re serious about this question, then that itself is the beginning of real intelligence. This questioning is how you increase your intelligence.
Comparison AND Competition (C&C)
Comparison and competition are injurious to your intelligence. It’s a hindrance—probably the biggest roadblock—which is not letting you increase your intelligence. And the unfortunate part is that, right from our childhood, we are made to live in the kind of environment where we are compared to others and are instilled with a sense of competition, which breeds hate and jealousy and at times undermine our position in our own eyes.
Right from our schools to even our homes, we are always judged and critiqued for our abilities and our interests. A sense of inferiority is injected into us when our family members pitch us against our own siblings. This constant charade of competition and comparison on the basis of looks, skills, talents, abilities are somewhat rewiring our brain paths.
Now, it’s become almost next to impossible to see this world without a constant nag of competition and comparing yourself with others. Either we will put our competitors on a pedestal or will throw them in a gutter, both of which aren’t gonna help us in any way. If you keep on going down this path, you are gonna find yourself in a shittier position than before and you wouldn’t even know what’s the reason for the shit you are in.
The Vicious Effect of C&C
Let’s say you and your friend both work at the same company and are colleagues. You have a small old car, and your friend just bought a brand new luxurious car. Now thanks to your conditioning, whenever you look at his car, you will subconsciously compare it with yours and feel insecure about it. And before you know it, you will also have this desire to become bigger than him to satisfy your ego.
The more you pay attention to his car, the stronger will the desire become and it will ultimately start overcoming your intelligence to make you do insane things. Your mind will start figuring out ways to get the car of your choice. These desires become so vicious that it controls your mind completely. Your intelligence knows that affording a brand new car is out of your budget, but because your desire is so strong that it subdues your intelligence.
You ultimately got the car through an EMI scheme and now your savings and a big chunk of salary go into fulfilling your monthly installments. This is where all the problems start popping up. Now your boss has leverage. He can make you do extra work because he knows how badly you are dependent on your salary. You are fearful of losing that car and are afraid that you will become a laughing stock if you move back to your old car. This is making you take shit from your boss because now your back’s against the wall and your boss is taking advantage of your position.
The car you owned is ultimately owning you. Your own attachment with your car is caging you into a rather big trap. You won’t even understand how big of a mess you are in until it’s too late. All because of your own petty desire that grew out of you comparing yourself with someone else. And then all the financial pressure will convert into anger that you will release among your family and friends, taking a toll on your relationships. All it took was just one measle desire to create all the ruckus and turn your life upside down.
Stop and Take a Pause
‘Car’ here is just a metaphor. Take a minute and think if you too are dreaming of having a bigger car just because your neighbor, friend, colleague, or relative got one.
In order to break this programming, we need to bring intelligence into the picture. The second that desire of having a bigger car popped up, you have to ask yourself, “DO I really need it?”, “Will my life become better off if I get that car?”, “Is there something so special about the car that I am ready to take on the extra stress?”, “Is it worth it?”
Only when you increase your intelligence and let it do its job, can you make the smarter and more prudent decisions in your life—the kind of decisions that keep you from falling into such deep and vicious worldly traps.
So often we take on unnecessary pressure just for the sake of comparison and to be able to show off. The minute you stop and take a pause and ask the question, the minute you let your intelligence handle things, you come out of that trap just like that. Only intelligence can overpower your futile and baseless desires because make no mistake, desires are a very powerful tool, which, if shown the right direction can make wonders happen. All the more reasons to increase your intelligence.
Mind VS Intelligence
Only your intelligence can explain to you that the minute you attach yourself to materialistic things, that’s when everything starts going downhill. But as of now, most of the people have subsided their intelligence. They are more inclined towards what their mind tells them to do.
“I feel like smoking because it looks cool”, “I feel like rash driving because of the thrill”, “I feel like quitting because I can’t take the pain anymore”. This is your mind controlling you which is the biggest problem to tackle today. It is this “feel like” attitude, manifested by the mind, which is killing us and we don’t have the faintest idea about it.
People are trying to gratify their mind hunger which is impossible. Mind hunger is a pit infinitely deep, which can never be satisfied or fulfilled. The more you feed your mind hunger, the more you pay heed towards it, the hungrier it will grow and the more control it will have over you. Our mind, i.e. desires and attachments, needs to be put in check, and we are gonna need a rather powerful tool to control something so robust like a mind.
This tool is, yeah you guessed it, none other than our friendly neighborhood Intelligence.
As long as your desire is to be a better version of something(internal), that’s all well and good. For instance,“ I wanna be a better dancer, a better painter, a better businessman, a better family man.” But the desire of having more of everything(external) is a pretty toxic trap. “I want more cars, more money, more girls, more offices.” Such desires entrap us in a cage. Now even if the cage is made up of gold, it is ultimately a cage only.
Only your intelligence can make you choose the right kind of desires pursuant which, you will automatically get everything you so desire. If your desire is to become better at your job, then you no longer have to desire for a promotion, you will automatically be handed one if you follow your former desire.
It’s never too late to start questioning. Science is all about questioning. Questioning is how you increase your intelligence, the best way. Without questioning science wouldn’t exist today. Questioning is also a type of desire—a desire of wanting to know something—a desire to increase your current knowledge—a desire to increase your intelligence.
Just imagine, if Issac Newton hadn’t questioned “why did the apple fall down?”, how would the world be? The person who knows how to question can excel in any and every field there is. Because the fundamentals, the basics, the nuts and bolts of any subject can be understood only by questioning diligently.
Even Albert Einstein understood the importance of questioning and which is why he said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning, curiosity has its own reason for existing. It is not that I am so smart. But I stay with the question for much longer.”
So, are you ready to put a question mark on all your beliefs? The day you actually start putting a question on all your beliefs that you formed from your friends, families, books, even my blog—then that’s the beginning of real intelligence. Only now you are capable of knowing the actual truth—what’s really good for you as opposed to what you think is good.
And don’t stop yet just after getting a conclusion the minute you start questioning. Once you question, you will get an answer, then again put the question mark on that particular answer. One undoubtedly needs the patience to get to the endpoint, but this is the only way of actually increasing your intelligence. One needs to keep on questioning until there’s nothing left to question anything at all. Only those who can understand the importance of this nuance can actually put this to practice.
Experiences can be Deceptive
Some people are of the opinion that they don’t trust anything until they experience it themselves. But the thing to note here is that we can increase our intelligence by questioning our experiences?
Whenever we try something new we feel uncomfortable at first because it is out of our comfort zone. Can you trust your experience here? You can’t, and you shouldn’t. Maybe that thing is really good for your future, but since you never questioned your experience, you outrightly dismayed it saying that your experience wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
On the flip hand, there are many temporary pleasures that give you a tingling experience and leave you wanting for more. Now, since you were too smart to question your own experience, you are completely blindsided by the harm it can bring to your life.
It’s because people don’t question their experience that they indulge in activities like smoking, drinking, drugs, and so on as they feel good about it. Their experience says that they enjoy indulging in such activities but experiences can be so deceptive at times, we gotta be cautious. Intelligence is the one-stop solution for all such trivialities. The bottom line is to question your experiences, your knowledge, your beliefs, your ideologies, and everything in order to increase your intelligence. I just can’t emphasize it enough.
Intelligence is not merely collecting lemons all your life. Intelligence is your ability to convert lemons into lemonades in the best possible way.