“There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks himself, ‘Do trousers matter?”
“The moment will pass, Sir” – The Code of the Woosters, Sir P.G Wodehouse.
Sometimes, I wonder if ‘intellect’ was a work of invention and if Sir P.G Wodehouse was behind this epic behavioural trait that separates humans from apes.
So, why am I even writing this article?
It all happened by a beautiful twist of fate when I bumped into the perfect embodiment of a masterful blend of the Oxford dictionary + encyclopedia of civilization, art and culture since the beginning of time + chivalry, courtesy and wit of a knight + the innate desire to ‘vegetate’ at his own space where no lesser mortal could disturb his celestial frequency.
Had I nudged him enough, maybe, just maybe, he could have accurately mapped my pet pigeon’s ancestry using the Fibonacci sequence.
And there I was, dipping bits of broken biscuits into a cup of tea while separating the yellow jelly beans from a mixed bag of jelly beans because the yellow ones didn’t taste as good.
At a point when his intellectual charm superseded my pro-level expertise in jellybeans and the art of rescuing drowning biscuits from hot cups of tea, I realized it was time to stop being Patrick Star of Bikini Bottom and focus on how to improve intellectual wellness.
Table of Contents
Why Intellectual Wellness Matters?
‘Ich bin kein Klugscheiser… Ich weis es wirklich besser’ (I’m not a smartass; I actually know better’)
Before learning how to improve intellectual wellness, it helps to understand why being a part of the intellectual fraternity always works in your favour.
People often perceive intellectuals, and rightfully so, as gentlemen and the gentlemen of the gentlemen with precariously fancy vocabulary, wisecracks, mastery in art and history, curiosity over all things esoteric, apathy for the prosaic and, of course, they are the dudes that actually know the difference between a pair of oxfords and derby, and where and how to wear them.
While these are good enough reasons to see yourself in intellectual boots, here is a concise list of other arresting reasons why you should put some real effort to up your intellectual wellness.
- Intellectual wellness encourages learning and skill development which gives you an instant edge in your professional domain.
- It helps develop perspective and out-of-the-box thinking which augments your leadership qualities.
- Intellectual wellness expands your knowledge horizon, thus, making you more suitable for holding offices of higher authority and, of course, making effortless small talk in social gatherings.
- It makes you a prominent agent of change with unchained unapologetic thinking and reasoning.
- You can kill with wit, and this is perhaps the best benefit of being an intellectual. Wit works where fists fail. 😊
- Needless to say, buffed intellect wins you trust and respect in your personal, social and professional circle.
That’s not all. What’s most remarkable is the X-factor in the aura of a hard-core intellectual that magnetically attracts the attention of the opposite gender.
If you aren’t a puddle on the floor already, get up, get set and start improving your intellectual wellness now.
How To Improve Intellectual Wellness
Seek Intellectual Company
You often become the company you seek. Therefore, if you feel that your level of intellect is rather crowd-funded, it’s time to start mingling with the highbrowed cerebral fraternity.
Look around in your social circle. You are sure to find the intellectually superior and get along with them.
In the beginning, it may feel like Stephen Hawking discussing the space-time continuum with a cow; you being the cow; but be assured, you will instinctually feel less bovine with time.
Stop Random Scrolling
Mindless scrolling impairs your ability to think. You may start with topics that feed your hobbies and interests, but soon enough, you find yourself scrolling addictively, digesting ‘suggested’ content that eventually takes you off-road while keeping you hooked on it without you even realizing it.
Days down the line, you find yourself struggling with lowered attention span, loss of brain power, lowered cognitive abilities and a host of mental/psychological issues like anxiety, depression, ADHD etc., all of which take an epic toll on your IQ.
Stop when there’s time. Consciously take at least 2 hours off all things digital and, perhaps, engage with your inherent talents like music, gardening, dancing, art, carpentry, pottery etc.
The more you engage with your talents, the more you develop intellectually.
Converse With Yourself In Your Head
Conversations with the self are a lost art. If you really want to learn how to improve your intellectual wellness, try and converse with yourself in your head on various topics that transcend the prosaic.
It does not necessarily have to be anything certified esoteric. It could be something simple and in trend.
The benefits of conversing with yourself are multifaceted. It helps you:
- organize your thoughts
- gain clarity on subjects and situations
- understand different perspectives and angles of a situation you may be caught up in
- learn to debate rationally
- understand your thought patterns
Conversing with self in perfect solitude may be your hidden key to the eureka moment you’ve been aspiring for a while. Try it; it works!
Tease Your Brain
Intellectuals are masters of reason, logic and critical thinking. They are people that have the right amount of grey matter in pristine conditions to support deep discernment, map the best routes for goal achievement and understand the short- and long-term consequences of decisions almost perfectly.
Most of us, who are not innately born with such outstanding mental prowess, brain teasers can help. Engage about an hour, if not more, in brain games, IQ testing etc. You will see the difference in your thinking and reasoning patterns within a few weeks.
Develop Interest In Cultures, Music, Languages, History And Art
Let me throw a question; which among the following topics do you think will give you greater, rather distinctive weightage in your social circle?
The works of Mozart, Jackson Pollock, Tchaikovsky, Plato, Tolstoy and why Deutsch is one of the most phonetically accurate languages in the world, OR, Lady Kardashian’s rear end, who stole who’s click in Instagram, how your tonsils are playing up and ASMR videos on cats eating their breakfast.
The answer, I assume, is obvious.
To be an intellectual, you need to act, speak and behave like one. And you cannot possibly do so without working on the left side of the brain. So, pick your topic of interest that will tickle your intellect, and get going.
You must have come across those perfectly dressed, overtly charming squawk boxes in formal / informal gatherings that have a sort of mini crowd of mesmerized cattle dancing around them like how satellites dance around planets. Intellectuals are not one of them.
Intellectuals are the contained individuals that are often spotted nestled in a cosy corner with small like-minded company, sipping on fine single malt and taking absolutely no notice of the racket in the vicinity.
Practising silence is a powerful trait of intellectuals. The lesser you speak, the more weightage your words gain.
How to improve your intellectual wellness by practising silence:
- Speak when it is necessary and speak where it matters
- Be an observer; be a listener; don’t judge
- Think before you speak
- Smile away at arrogance and ignorance… know that every nonsense doesn’t deserve your time
Read And Read Some More
Reading is manna for your intellect. Pick classics, pick contemporary, pick coffee table books, and any prose that enhances your knowledge, gives you perspective, gives you something to mull about in silence, tickles your imagination and leads you to dig deeper into the topic is your map to intellectual wellness.
Not all are born intellectuals. Some of us start scouring details on improving intellectual wellness after coming across idols and everyday role models that shake up the ape in us and slap the inner intellectual awake.
Given that the means and methods of improving intellectual wellness are rather simple, progress in basic behavioural traits after following the aforementioned methods is almost guaranteed.
On the flip side, though, remember, the more you grow intellectually, the harder it will be to converse with those that are not vibrating at your intellectual frequency. However, your magnetic personality will keep attracting people and opportunities to you.
Also read: 10 Signs Of Gaslighting