I grew up with the adage “ There is no substitute for hard work”. If this is the only mantra for success then, the hardworking Donkeys would have been ruling the world. Unless there is a “Tadaka”(seasoning) of smart work in your efforts your efforts will only provide you mere “Daal Chawal” and not “ Biryani and Kababs”.
I always give my students the analogy of Two Porcupines. There were two porcupines Hardy and Smarty who were going on a morning walk in an orchard. They come across an apple tree. Being on a fitness regime they wanted to eat the apples. Hardy climbed the apple tree plucked some apples ,ate one sitting in the tree and also carried a few to the ground. All this exercise had exhausted him and so he slept sitting under the tree. But before sleeping he advised Smarty to do the same as he had done.
Smarty was an independent thinker. He never liked following what others did. He thought for a while and then………. – He vigorously shook the apple tree, resulting in lots of apples falling on to the ground. Then he collected all the apples in to a heap. After that he climbed the tree and fell on to the heap of apples. All the apples got struck to his quills. Victoriously, he walked back carrying apples on his back.
Smarty had put in less effort but he worked smartly and he could collect lot more apples than Hardy. So, just working hard blindly does not pay you returns. What is required is Smart Work.
Successful people do the things differently
Now, the stumbling blocks for many are the myths
• You are as smart as you are born to be.
• You are born with a particular IQ which sticks to you throughout your life.
• Your mind’s ability doesn’t change
• Your brain capacity is static.
When we believe in these myths , we become our own enemies.
Its high time we come out of this trap and face the reality that today, we are not competing with only humans. Thank you AI.
Things to Remember:
• Remember that 99% of extremely smart people were not born extremely smart , they became smart because of their dedication and commitment to be a life long learner.
• High Intelligence is nothing but great ability to recognize a pattern and problem solving which is trainable. It’s like training your muscles by exercising.
• A high IQ is like height in a basket ball player. But to play well the basket ball player requires many more skills.
Here are some insanely simple tips which can help you in living a smart life.
1. Be in the company of smart people: Make a rule that you surround yourself with smarter friends. Its better to have 2-3 smarter friends rather than having ten who are otherwise. This will increase your baseline intelligence level. The intellectual discussions and the knowledge sharing will certainly work positive on your brain functioning.
2. Read: Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. The more you read, the more your brain reaches its optimal health. History proves that all the famous personalities were certified bibliophiles. Read self-help books and also the books on various contemporary developments in the fields of science and technology. Carry a book with you always. Instead of falling pray to social media distractions unfold the secrets of various books and discuss with the book lovers. There are books which will change your life. One such book is “The Secret by Rhonda Byrne”. My life did not remain the same after reading this book. I am planning to write an exclusive blog on Life changing books very soon.
3. Intelligent use of online time: Online addiction has become a necessary evil. None can be without it. But use this time productively. Listen to educative podcasts, TED talks, self help videos. Watching inspirational videos keeps me motivated. My recent favorite are Mind Valley videos. Use online resources for work out, meditation and relaxation.
4. Make a “Did List”: Making a work done list will give you great happiness and satisfaction. Majority of the people make “To Do” list. Give a twist and make Did List. When you see that you have done number of tasks in a day, you will feel confident and happy. Try it out. It works.
5. Be grateful: I am a great fan of Rhonda Byrne. Recently we were at a workshop conducted based on her book “ Magic”. This book stresses on the life changing magic i.e GRATITTUDE. Everyday,make a list of ten blessing of your life and read it You can be grateful to GOD, to parents ,to spouse, to children, to the air, to your breaths, to your heart. After writing and reading those blessings ,you will be overwhelmed. The more overwhelmed you are, the more refined you will be. The more purity of mind and heart the more blissful you will be. The happier you are, the smarter you will be.
6. Break your comfort zone: Your brain is at rest, no stress, everything going on smoothly, life is going on well. You are in your comfort zone. Why to break it? Your brain doesn’t want any change. No change, rigidity , stagnation and then deterioration. Change is must, new challenges necessary and so, breaking out of comfort zone is essential. Learn some new language, pursue a new hobby ,take up new challenging tasks. Being in comfort zone for a long time will stiffle your brain. It will stop functioning. A little stress of facing something new will bounce back your creativity, decision-making and problem – solving ability to the front.
7. Commit to healthy lifestyle: Change in lifestyle includes healthy eating, regular exercise, stress management and proper rest. A tired, unhealthy and stressed body can not host a healthy mind. There are many smart apps which you can use as your personal lifestyle trainers. I am a fan of smart watches and meditational apps. They smartly monitor you and remind you that you have been inactive for a long time, so its time to move or its time to relax. Market is flooded with fitness programmes and gyms. Make use of them and be fit. A smart mind in a smart body.
8. Travel: The world is a travel book and if you don’t travel you are stuck on the first page of the book. Travelling to new places gives you new experiences, new perspectives. This experiential knowledge will improve your cognitive skills. Get bitten by the wanderlust before your life journey ends.See some unique places. Some places in my bucket list are-
TURQUOISE LAGOON,BORA BORA
My bucket list is very long. I have ticked off a few and a few more I am going to visit soon. Travelling will make you more enriched, enlightened and enchanted.
9. Learn to say No:
Saying NO is a great and important art.Being social animals we tend to say Yes for most of the things which are unimportant and harmful to us.We try to be people pleasers.But the fact is YES MEN never do anything great.We are not born to please everyone.BY saying Yes to something unimportant we are saying NO to something very very important.Use your discretion and decide what to reject and whom to say NO.Our inability to say NO lands us into situations which cause lot of stress resulting in increased cortisol levels in our body.This turns us down into an IDIOT.
10.Shun Negative People: The negative and toxic people leave an oversized impact on your life.They totally drain out your energy and leave you overwhelmed.They are malicious malware ,if left unattended ,completely paralyse your system and you will start functioning weirdly .The only way to heal yourself is by throwing them out of your lives.