Let’s be real – it’s kinda fun being the most informed person in the room. You can answer people’s questions, offer more solutions at work, and most importantly, not feel like an idiot when people start talking about something intelligent. It’s a win-win for everyone.
But in today’s nonstop culture, it can be hard to sit down and educate yourself, especially if you aren’t at school taking classes every day. So to help out the busy bees of our society, I’ve written down my three favorite convenient ways to get smarter without wasting any time.
When I began listening to podcasts about 6 months ago, I literally smacked myself upside the head. How had I not been doing this earlier?!?
My two favorite things about podcasts are 1.) their versatility and 2.) their convenience. There is literally a podcast on every single topic out there, so whether you want to learn more about a specific subject, get more motivated, or simply be entertained, there is a podcast for you. Secondly, you can listen to them anywhere. I’ve started listening to podcasts while running errands, walking to class, or cleaning my apartment, and I love being able to go about my day while simultaneously becoming smarter and more inspired. I’m telling you, it’s a major life hack.
Some of my favorites are Feel Better Live More, the RISE Podcast, Goal Digger, and Better For It.
2. Curate your news mindfully
I know I’m not the only one who prefers news to be delivered to me rather than seeking it out myself. Whether it’s with Twitter notifications, Apple News updates, Flipboard or weekly/ daily subscriptions to email blasts, electronic news consumption is a convenient way to stay up to date without spending time reading an entire newspaper. Because let’s be real, ain’t nobody got time for that.
However – and this is a big however – it is extremely important to curate the news you consume in a mindful way. With social media especially, it’s very easy to only follow the accounts that confirm your preconceptions and to ignore the news that bothers you or goes against your beliefs. This leads to a narrow view of the world and contributes to the intensely polarized political sphere that we see in the U.S. today.
Following just one news outlet or person that challenges your beliefs may make you uncomfortable, but it will begin an understanding and even acceptance of new perspectives. And even better? You’ll become smarter. I’ve won SO many debates simply because I’ve researched both sides of an issue and can craft more convincing argument.
3. Ask “WHY” more
Perhaps the easiest tool of all is to simply ask questions. If someone says something that is either completely foreign to you or seems opposite to what you’ve learned, then INQUIRE. Seek to understand the other side. Be curious about why people have certain opinions. Rather than scoffing in disgust or remaining indifferent, I challenge you to dig a little deeper. Approaching a topic with respect and genuine interest will usually result in a productive conversation that leaves you a smarter person than before. So be bold and ask questions. It will pay off.
There you have it! Podcasts, curated news, and asking questions – three tools you can implement TODAY to become a more informed and well-rounded person. Being “too busy” is no longer an excuse; these are things everyone can do, starting now!