6 Unique Habits Only Smart People Have

While not everyone possesses a high IQ like Albert Einstein, there are everyday actions that can help individuals inch closer to intellectual growth and achievement.

Smart People Habits

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Smart people have various careers, but it seems their habits remain somewhat similar when we narrow it down. So, what are these geniuses doing?

1. Daydreaming

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While daydreaming may have been deemed unintelligent or even inconvenient during school, it is a habit indicating intelligence.

1. Daydreaming

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A study posted by Frontiers in Psychology, researched by four separate professors, found that daydreaming has links to psychological well-being and present-moment awareness.

“These thoughts serve a purpose in terms of ongoing cognitive processes,” with some “planning and preparing for impending events.”

1. Daydreaming

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It goes on to say that daydreaming – or, as they address it, stimulus-independent and task-unrelated thoughts (SITUTs) – may “play an important role in processing personal goals and concerns.

SITUTs may allow us to manipulate and organize internal information, to solve problems that require computation over long periods of time, and to create effective plans governing our future behaviors in concordance with our personal aims and aspirations.”

1. Daydreaming

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In short, daydreaming helps your brain to tick over problems at hand while you are otherwise busy, indicating a large working memory and the ability to juggle multiple thoughts simultaneously. 

2. Talking To Yourself

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Another habit that may have been frowned upon is talking to yourself, which can actually show increased intelligence.

There are multiple papers written on the connection between speaking and memory.

2. Talking To Yourself

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Colin Macleod, Director of the Rutherford Memorial Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE) and one of Australia’s most highly cited psychologists, “found superior memory for reading aloud vs. hearing another person read aloud.”

Memory is the foundation of true intelligence, and if talking to yourself is the thing that will get you there, it may be time to start thinking out loud.

3. Reading

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A habit that has been shouted from the rooftops time and time again is reading. The absorption of new information will increase anyone’s intelligence exponentially.

3. Reading

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As Dr. Seuss so aptly wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Science has linked early reading skills to higher intelligence later in life, as well as the way reading can actually improve brain power, the same way exercising your physical muscles can increase cardiovascular health. 

4. Exercise, Specifically Walking

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It may seem obvious that your physical health will affect your brain health, but there are reams of research dedicated to proving how the human brain circuit connections will improve with moderately intense and regular exercise.

4. Exercise, Specifically Walking

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Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School, said, “Exercise boosts your memory and thinking skills both directly and indirectly…Many studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in volume in people who exercise than in people who don’t.”  

4. Exercise, Specifically Walking

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Dr. McGinnis also notes that regular exercise can improve mood and sleep, which in turn will assist your cognitive abilities.

Charles Darwin famously did his ‘hard thinking’ during walks, and other scientists followed suit over the years.

5. Having A Messy Desk

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Perhaps the strangest habit, scientists have likened a messy desk to a more creative brain.

The University of Minnesota conducted an experiment where they found that those with messier desks could produce more creative ideas.

5. Having A Messy Desk

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Jonathan Wai, PhD is a research scientist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP). He suggested that “it’s not messiness that helps creativity, but creativity which may create messiness.”

6. Enjoying Your Own Company

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Einstein was considered unusual from a very young age. He did not speak until the age of three, which would be a cause of concern for many parents.

He also did not enjoy spending time with other children. While this behavior is perhaps more extreme, he did have one thing right. Einstein enjoyed spending time with himself.

6. Enjoying Your Own Company

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Dr Sherrie Boug Carter, Psychologist, said on Psychology Today that “constantly being on doesn’t give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself.”

“Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It’s an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time.”

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Key Takeaways

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While the habits of the uber-intelligent may not deter so greatly from the rest of us, they certainly have one thing in common.

It appears that the best thing you can do for your own intelligence is to take care of your well-being. Physical, emotional, and mental health all seem to slot together to create the foundation in which intelligence is born.

Key Takeaways

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For Charles Darwin, it was walking; for Stephen Hawking, it was undeniable optimism despite his physical health failings. Voltaire, it’s said, enjoyed coffee.

Whatever the case, one thing can be agreed on. Intelligence is grown through learning, and with today’s technology, education is more accessible than ever before. 

This article was produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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