In the world of entrepreneurship, brains are an asset. Whether book smarts or life smarts, the capacity to think well speaks a lot to the ability to run a successful business. Anything that we can do to enhance that capacity can be considered a business investment as well as a personal one.
Do a Puzzle
Within the context of becoming smarter, what you are really trying to do is increase the number of pathways made by nerve cells in the brain. Research into brain function reveals that puzzles increase the number of neuropathways that connect different areas of the brain. Specifically, math puzzles like Sudoku create paths between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions like decision making and planning. The creation of these pathways can allow you to make higher order decisions quicker.
Read a Book
Find a book that is enjoyable but a little above your reading level. The act of reading will increase your vocabulary which, because we are programmed toward language skills, will translate to better memory. When you were a child, the act of reading trained your brain to do computational skills when you sounded out words. These changed to redundancy skills as you committed the look and meaning of a word to memory. Just because you have gotten older does not mean that this has changed.
Research out of Ruhr University in Germany showed that six months of dance increased the cognitive performance of the elderly. It also helped with motor skills and core muscle strength. Dancing may create unused neuro-pathways that can be coopted when the person needs the extra brain power. Or it may be that the shear act of learning something new is sparking up the old noggin, which leads to the next activity.
Take a Class
At the very least, try to learn something new every day. Increasing intelligence is all about creating those pathways in the brain. By definition, learning does just that. Every time that you expose your brain to something new, it needs to respond. Brain cells push themselves together so that the pathway that it takes to get to the right answer is as short as possible. Once these paths are created, they tend to stay with you because they are used for other thought processes as well.
Caffeine, found in coffee, is a stimulant. As the word implies, caffeine stimulates the processing speed of the brain. It does not truly bring up your IQ but it will help with decision making processes. In the long run, caffeine has been found to reduce the risk of dementia as you get old. This is a huge perk for the entrepreneur who wants to stay at the head of the table for a long time.
Before you can plant a seed, you need to prepare the soil. Meditation is you preparing your brain for new ideas. Where things like taking a class help with working memory, meditation changes the state that your brain is in. Fifteen minutes of meditation can make it easier for your brain to do the things that you need it to do throughout the day.
Research has showed over and over that a tired brain does not work at full power. If you want to demonstrate your intellect, get a good night’s sleep.