Employers give a premium to intelligence when hiring and promoting professionals. Smarter employees mean better output, fewer errors, and reduced monitoring without risking the quality of work. This means that if you want to gain the favor of your boss and climb up the professional ladder, you have to start investing in your mental capital. While there’s no way to escape reading books, listening to podcasts, and getting formal education to sharpen your wit, you can engage in less mentally strenuous activities that have a similar effect.
Whichever combination works for you depends on your personality and goals. Still, one thing’s for sure: when you engage your mind in new experiences, you’re better able to absorb fresh information and generate insights crucial to your career. Remember that it’s by exposing yourself to challenges and developing a healthy curiosity that you feed your intelligence without being always aware of it, and that’s what you should be after.
The benefits of dancing know no age limit. The more you do it, the greater the positive impact on your brain. Study after study confirms that the complexity of dancing taps several brain functions, including emotional, rational, musical, and kinesthetic. This develops the neuronal synapses and enables a person to be mentally sharp.
In fact, compared to other exercises such as swimming, dancing proved to be the superior choice in brain health. While there are still numerous studies that need to be done to verify just how it produces the results it does, there’s no doubt about its ability to help you build a more well-rounded intelligence.
Perhaps one of the key advantages of dancing is that anybody can do it anywhere. You can do a 15-minute Zumba workout from the comfort of your home, or you can take dance classes in Mady‘s Dance Factory to get formal instruction. Either way, it’s a fun and affordable means to get your brain in better shape without having to look up definitions in the dictionary.
Drum It Out
Playing an instrument in itself is known to improve a person’s cognitive functions. The different ways musical instruments engage the brain gives it benefits that are unique to it. Playing the drums is one of them. Brain and Behavior published research conducted on the impact that drumming has on brain structure. The experiment involved the MRI scans of 20 professional drummers, which were then compared to the scans of non-drummers.
A contrast was discovered in their corpus callosum, the nerve fiber responsible for influencing people’s motor skills. The thicker fibers observed in drummers’ brains boost their efficiency in disseminating information throughout the brain and developing motor skills. There’s also the higher gray matter volume in musicians’ brains, meaning that drumming makes it bigger and healthier.
Master a New Language
The cognitive functions necessary in mastering a new language makes for a more organized brain. Bilinguals and multilinguals are shown to be better in problem-solving, planning, and decision-making. There’s less “noise” in their brains compared to those of monolinguals, allowing them to come to process information better and draw conclusions from them. One factor contributing to this is how bilinguals are generally more aware of their environment due to the need to adjust their language use to the situation’s needs.
Like dancing, learning a new language is something you can do on your own. You can also enroll in online classes for cheaper fees and lesser time on the road. Unless you have the time and the capacity to learn another language in a year, expect that this will take a lot of time and effort. Still, it’s not a 300-page book on engineering or economics, and it won’t require numerous espresso shots to keep you awake.
Do Some Networking
It’s not only by exposing yourself to challenges that you enhance your intelligence. You also benefit from exposing yourself to different people through networking. Reaching out to strangers and broadening your social and professional circle is one of the simplest ways to get new ideas, examine your assumptions, and open your mind to perspectives that can change the course of your life and career.
Of course, you have to choose wisely when forming new relations. You’ll want to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and have accomplished more. The conversations you’ll have with these people will force you to focus and make split-second decisions that can make or break your reputation. Apart from that, they’re likely to inspire you to read more and learn about things you never thought you’d care about. Networking accomplishes so much in brain function, motivation, and career growth that consciously adding it to your weekly activities will surely reap loads of opportunities.
Smart Moves, Fun Moves
Investing in your mental capital shouldn’t be boring or difficult. Learning how to play the drums, mastering a new language, trying your dance skills, and expanding your social network have other benefits that will ultimately improve your quality of life. When you feel like you’ve had your quota of seminars for this month, go ahead and put on your tap-dancing shoes and dance your way to the top.