I didn’t grow up knowing I was smart
I grew up measuring my abilities by my grades, I wasn’t the smartest kid in the class and I only made it to the top 5 in some classes. My parents divorced when I was six, so the following years were filled with confusion and those grades continued to slip.
But, I am smart. I was born smart and so were you. The CDC says that the first 8 years can build a foundation for future learning, health and life success.
Children are born ready to learn, and have many skills to learn over many years. They depend on parents, family members, and other caregivers as their first teachers to develop the right skills to become independent and lead healthy and successful lives. How the brain grows is strongly affected by the child’s experiences with other people and the world. Nurturing care for the mind is critical for brain growth. Children grow and learn best in a safe environment where they are protected from neglect and from extreme or chronic stress with plenty of opportunities to play and explore.
Well, I didn’t have that insight and neither did my parents at that time or I’m sure they would have made better choices for my growth.
It’s not too late. While we might have missed our opportunities at Harvard (or the like), it’s not too late to start to sharpen that noggin. It’s actually imperative.
- Keep learning — see something new at work, or in life that you want to learn. Go learn it. There are limitless platforms online that will teach you anything from “How to play the Ukelele” to “How to code in C”. Also, learn things that use your senses. Have you noticed how babies have to touch everything and put everything in their mouths? That’s how they learn! When you learn, use all your senses. If you’re gardening.. get out and actually smell the earth, watch your plants grow. The more senses you use in learning something, the more of your brain that will be involved in retaining the memory.
- Learn relevant things — Learn things that will move you on in life, create promotion opportunities, build new things, open new doors! We are being that crave rewards. When you learn something new and it results in recognition from your boss or you can show something you built because of it, it will encourage more learning! You’re never too old or slow to learn anything. NEVER.
- Eat well — there is such a thing as feeding your brain. I could talk about this in depth but there are many resources on Brain food. Eat a diet that feeds your brain the nutrients it needs to make it stronger. This means leaving out the stuff that makes it slower :P
- Prioritize your brain use. It’s a muscle and just like the muscles in our body, if you don’t use them, they will get weak. Try remembering things, reading books, practice memorization skills, take walks!
You are smart… I am too.