8 habits to adopt to become a little wiser every day

You’re looking to become wiser — obviously, since you’re on the Ideapod website!

And by now, you know that this is not about overnight transformation, but rather a continuous process of learning and growth.

I love the feeling I have at the end of the day, knowing I did something to move my personal development and wisdom a little more forward.

Want to know how I do it? It’s through these 8 simple habits I adopted.

1) Read, read, and read some more!

One of the first things that we think of with “wisdom” and “intelligence” is books.

And there’s a really good reason for this!

Books are an excellent repository of knowledge, that can take you all around the world, into someone else’s thoughts, and beyond.

But of course, we live in the digital age and books are not the only way you can gain wisdom these days.

You can also “read” audiobooks, podcasts, videos (especially educational ones like TED Talks), and also text in digital form such as ebooks, blogs, and even social media.

So congratulations, by reading this article right now, you’ve already completed your habits to become a little wiser today!

Make this into a daily habit and read a little bit every day — even if it’s just a few pages or even paragraphs. 

2) Swap mindless scrolling for meaningful content

Let’s be honest: social media is addictive. The people at Meta and Instagram sure know what they’re doing!

I’ll admit I have also opened up one of the apps, to look up 2 hours later and wonder where all the time went.

And to be completely honest, it’s not a good feeling at all.

So I went on an unfollowing rampage. I unfollowed every account that wasn’t adding something to my life — tips, inspiration, or new perspectives on topics that truly interested me.

Of course, we need to relax and live a little from time to time, so I did keep some accounts that don’t necessarily make me “smarter” but give me a good laugh.

Cause at the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to work on your self-development if you’re serious all the time!

Now every time I open Instagram or another app, I learn something interesting, and have fun while I do it too.

And that’s how I turned social media into a great habit to become a little wiser every day.  

3) Stay curious and ask questions

I’ve always been a curious person. But when I went all into transforming myself into the best person I could be, I put all my intention into becoming even more curious.

Why? Because this too is a great habit to become a little wiser every day.

It’s not as concrete as the ones above, in the sense that it’s not an action you can do like pulling out a book or opening an app.

Rather, it’s an attitude that you can carry with you throughout your entire day and everything you do in it. 

I found myself being curious about things I never even wondered before:

  • What are all the tubes for in my coffee machine?
  • What’s the process for self-publishing a book?
  • What exactly do my friends *do* at work?

When you get a spark of curiosity, the next step is to of course follow up and ask questions! 

4) Take some time to think

things a strong woman would never do for a man 8 habits to adopt to become a little wiser every day

Here’s a habit for gaining wisdom you probably wouldn’t have thought of: taking some time alone to do nothing but think.

You don’t even need to squeeze your brain over complicated topics like math or physics. Just let your mind wander.

This lets your brain process, analyze, and sort all the information you work so hard to absorb. 

I found it’s during these moments of quiet that I discover new insights.

And honestly, if I don’t take time to follow this habit, my body forces me to do it. A few weeks ago, I was working tirelessly listening to podcasts, writing articles, reading books, taking online courses, and coming up with new ideas.

I never stopped to take a break. Until one night I couldn’t sleep at all, and had to just lay in bed letting my mind consolidate everything that had been going through it.

The next day I was obviously completely exhausted and took the day off. 

I was a bit frustrated at the time, but I also understood the message my body and mind were sending me. And I was able to come back a couple days later re-energized and with an even stronger drive

Of course, don’t follow my example — instead, take a walk through nature, listen to some music, or just take some time to unwind and rest. 

5) Cultivate self-awareness

Being truly wise starts with understanding yourself, and that’s where self-awareness comes in.

I’ve learned that being aware of my thoughts, emotions, and actions helps me make better choices and navigate life’s challenges with more clarity.

To cultivate self-awareness, I take a few moments each day to check in with myself. I pay attention to my thoughts and take note of things like: 

  • Are any patterns or recurring beliefs that may be influencing my decisions?
  • What can I learn from my mistakes and negative feelings?
  • What helped me achieve my wins and positive feelings, and how can I replicate it again?

I also practice mindfulness, which involves being fully present in the moment and non-judgmentally aware of my experiences. 

This allows me to understand how external factors affect my internal state and helps me respond rather than react impulsively.

To gain self-awareness, you need to practice self-reflection. My favorite method of doing this is journaling.

Just be careful that you don’t slip into rumination. Make sure that your journaling has a constructive goal, such as processing what happened or learning a valuable lesson if you’re writing about a negative situation.

6) Have meaningful conversations

Have you ever had a conversation that left you feeling inspired, enlightened, or even challenged? Those are the conversations that can truly contribute to your wisdom.

Not every conversation will turn into one of these — for every 20 conversations I have, maybe 2 or 3 of them would fit into this category.

But you should always be open to it happening, because you never know what could turn into a meaningful interaction.

Once I was at the airport waiting for my last flight and the guy sitting next to me started some small talk. I was tired from my long trip and wasn’t particularly in the mood to talk, but I humored him.

We ended up having an incredibly fascinating talk about life ambitions, starting a business, and trying again after setbacks. He let me learn new perspectives and challenge my own assumptions.

If you want to get better at having meaningful conversations to become wiser, focus on asking open-ended questions and then actively listening to the other person. 

In other words, try to understand their point of view, even if you disagree with it! If you do, I guarantee you’ll learn some very interesting things. 

7) Share what you already know

While you’re having meaningful conversations with people, another habit to become a little wiser everyday is to share the wisdom you already have with them. 

Why? Well because one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to others.

I never realized the gaps I had in my own areas of expertise until I started trying to explain it to my friends.

It also makes you stretch your mind as different people will require different ways of explaining things.

Someone might need a very structured, logical, technical explanation.

And someone else might respond better to a storytelling approach.

This does wonders to help you organize your own thoughts and uncover new insights.

If you’re not in the mood for a chat, you can also share your knowledge through blog posts, podcasts, videos, or social media. 

8) Play devil’s advocate

behaviors secretly a deep thinker 8 habits to adopt to become a little wiser every day

Another habit that will make you wiser every day is to play devil’s advocate — but unlike sharing your wisdom, I wouldn’t recommend doing this in conversations with other people.

(Unless you have friends who love to argue and take it in their stride!)

Rather, this is something you can do for yourself, as you learn and think about what you’ve learned. 

What you do is this: take something you learned recently. Now think about a unique, unpopular, or controversial opinion or approach to it. 

Try to find evidence to support that. If you’re having trouble opening up your mind to the idea, think, why would a rational person believe this? 

The point of this exercise is not to make yourself change your mind. You’re more than welcome to keep your original point of view.

But doing this often will definitely help you think outside the box and be open to learning new things

Welcome to the club of the wise

Are you already following at least one of these 8 habits?

Congratulations — you’re becoming a little wiser every day!

If you adopt a couple more, or even all the rest, you’ll be sure to fast-track your progress like you can’t even imagine.

But don’t overwhelm yourself! Take one habit at a time until you feel comfortable with them, and soon enough you’ll be a master at gaining wisdom. 

 

 

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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