In order to become smarter we must either learn to explore our inner reality or we must learn from books and the exterior world around us. In whatever way you wish to, you need to always try and develop your intellectual capabilities. It is truly the case that the quality of your life is directly related to your intelligence and to the quality of your thinking. You don’t need to have schooling or some kind of higher learning education certificate. But you do need to constantly strive to increase your intelligence by reading and studying those things that are important to you.

It is the case with me that I did not really begin to increase my intellectual capabilities until I left school. I was never very good at studying those things that others told me I had to study and I could never follow their study methods as they just seemed forced and rather mechanical. It could be that this is the case for you, that you are still in school either studying something that you love or continuing your education in order to get to a place that you desire. It could also be the case, as it is with me, that you are just studying things that interest you and as a result are developing your intellect in whatever way you choose. Whatever the case might be, these are some points to consider when you are studying something, they will help you to better internalize the ideas that you have just read or discovered.

  • If you’re reading something, it is always a good idea to take notes. This can seem rather tedious at the time but it’s a wonderful way to review the things that you have read and to also allow your mind to contemplate these ideas on a deeper level. Taking notes forces you to make a more concise statement so that you don’t have to write as much; in other words you are trying to not copy the book Word for Word. In this way you are forced to intellectualize what you have just read so that you can take clear and concise notes that you can go back to whenever you want to refresh your memory.
  • You should try and reread these notes every evening and focus on those ideas that you have studied earlier in the day. Contemplate these ideas and try to internalize them, you can do this by rereading your notes until you can create a silent dialogue of these words for yourself and in this way begin to contemplate them at an even deeper level.
  • If it is at all possible, try to explain the ideas that you have read to someone else. The more that you are able to articulate the ideas that you are learning, the better an understanding of them that you will have. If you are by yourself, it is even possible to just speak out loud to yourself or to a pretend audience that you are trying to explain the concepts to.
  • As you contemplate these new ideas, try to find the best place to practice these new ideas. Try to figure out where these ideas are most applicable and how you would go about using them in different situations such as work, with your family, or with your peers.
  • As you contemplate these new ideas and how they are applicable, run through certain possible scenarios in your mind. In other words try to conceptualize possible outcomes to you using these new ideas and possible solutions to any problems that you might face. In this way your ideas become even more entrenched into your mental processes and you can begin to see every angle of the new idea and how it might relate to you personally. If these ideas are of a grander nature where you cannot apply them directly into your life in one way or another, try to see how these ideas might fit into a greater scheme, and how they might change world perspectives if they were either applied in one form or another or if they were taken into consideration by the world at large.
  • Try to keep the ideas that you are considering and contemplating in front of your mind. A good way to do this is to use sticky notes and to write down certain statements that allow you to better conceptualize and remember when you are trying to learn. You can stick these notes anywhere such as; your car, your refrigerator, or your desk at work. Little sticky notes like this will allow you to focus your thinking on the key ideas that you have learned and this will naturally get your mind churning in the proper direction.

These are simple little points you can use in order to develop good study strategies for yourself. The key concept here is to not just read a book and put it away, or go through some material and then forget about it only to engage in something else. The idea is to begin to really internalize those things that you are studying. By doing this you will actually create new neural patterns that will become stronger the more you conceptualize your new ideas. You memories and ideas will become stronger in your mind and will not be so easily forgotten. This data will go from being random information to actual and actionable material that you can apply to your life or that you can use as a base to increase your intellectual understanding. Learn to truly internalize the ideas that you find most important so that these ideas begin to make a real difference in your life.