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Health Life Lessons

Besides IQ What Else Determines How Smart We Are?

What Else Determines How Smart We Are Besides IQ?


Generally IQ is thought of as your ability to absorb (learn), retain and manipulate information, but the word smart can also commonly refer to how much knowledge someone knows and can recite.

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The smart kid in your class might have been someone who spent a lot of their time studying and working hard to learn, or perhaps, if their IQ was high, learned much more easily – both might still come across as “smart”.


very smartHard work can be a great substitute for not having a slightly higher IQ. I know a lot of people with good IQ’s that sit around and do little. Sadly, a lot of them have done little with their lives. Use what you have and make our world a better place.


Much of your IQ is genetic – it’s inherited – and some of it is influenced by external factors. IQ’s can and do rise and decline over our lifetimes.


In a previous article I discussed some of the external factors that allow a baby’s brain to grow toward its full potential. How long a mother breast feeds her baby has a very positive effect -the longer the better.


Basically, many different things can affect your cognitive ability some positive, some negative – the amount of sleep you get, the things you eat, whether you exercise, the environment in which you learn, whether you drink alcohol, or smoke marijuana.


Doing challenging puzzles, playing chess, reading, doing math, engaging in brain stimulating activities all exercise your brain. Do more and stay sharp.


Scientists used to concentrate on mental development from childhood to early adulthood. There are a lot of changes that take place in that short span of time. Now, most have adopted something referred to as a “life-span perspective” – how all of us change over our entire lives.


Your brain development, for example, is “multidimensional” – it changes and grows as you gain life experience from friendships and relationships, from your education, and from your changing perspective on life as you mature.


Your brain is also “multidirectional” – it goes where you direct it to go. If you decide to concentrate on something – say music- to the exclusion of other things that changes you. Maybe you’ll spend less time playing computer games and more time trying to compose something thereby using your creative abilities.


Some of us have built our whole identities around some of our activities and are afraid to try new things because we fear we might not like doing those old activities anymore, and hence change (I prefer the word evolve) into a different person.


What’s to fear? If you’ve changed and don’t like them you won’t miss them. That is growth.  There are often a lot of factors in our lives beyond our control; many of them might seem unfair.


You, and hence your “smarts” can also be affected by the circumstances in which you grew up. A good home, encouraging parents, a good place to study, great teachers, and a safe environment are all conducive to learning. Many people do not have an ideal environment. Perhaps you didn’t have an ideal place to grow and learn. Whatever the case, simply always do your best, and help others in need.


What thoughts do you have on what smart means?





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