Photo Credit: Kamil Porembi?ski

Intelligence is your capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding and mastery. It's your aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts and meanings.

Knowing a great deal is not the same as being intelligent; intelligence is not information alone, but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used. -Dr. Carl Sagan

This article will offer you five ways to increase your intelligence by showing you how to enhance your capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding and mastery.

5 Ways to Become More Intelligent

  1. Read Often
    Do you realize that through reading you can learn in a few hours what took someone decades to learn? Reading not only informs, but it also increases your capacity for learning, thereby increasing your intelligence.

    Although knowledge is not the summation of intelligence, it is the foundation of intelligence, so it's crucial that we cultivate the joy of reading.

    It's an amazing thing, people who become successful write down how they did it, and then sell that information for a few dollars. For a few dollars and a few hours you can literally pick someone's brain; you can buy a piece of their intelligence.

    Reading gives you insight into great minds and sharpens your intellect. This allows you the ability to make greater logical connections because reading gives you more pieces of life's puzzle. By reading from a multiplicity of sources, you gain the wisdom of many.

    Reading (blogs like this one) is a great way to increase your intelligence. Remember, readers are leaders, and leaders are usually intelligent.

  2. Teach Others

    Those that understand, teach.- Aristotle

    Teaching increases your capacity for reasoning, a critical aspect of intelligence.
    Anyone who's ever successfully taught anything realizes that teaching increases your capacity to reason. When you teach, you're often required to view what you're teaching from a variety of perspectives.

    I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.-Abigail Adams

  3. When you teach, it's often essential that you question what you believe in order to deal with objections and oppositions that are sure to arise. Teaching is often more beneficial to the teacher than the student.
  4. Get Into Action
    Action increases your capacity to understand a subject. As the old proverb goes, In all thy getting, get understanding.

    You can have information, and you can teach what you know, but you will never fully understand a subject until you put it into practice. If you want to significantlyincrease your intelligence related to cooking, don't just watch the Cooking Channel and don't just tell someone how to cook; you must master cooking yourself by trying, failing, and perfecting the act of cooking.

    You will always understand things better when you do them yourself. Knowledge gives you the pieces of the puzzle; understanding helps you put the puzzle together.

    A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.-Henry David Thoreau

  5. Master One Subject
    Mastery is a sign of intelligence. Mastery comes from focusing on one subject until you fully understand it. If you can fully understand one subject, it will help you to better understand other subjects. In other words, mastery willincrease your aptitude for grasping truths. If you can master playing the piano, you will better understand music in general.

    Additionally, if you can master any subject, you will understand what it takes to succeed.

  6. Bonus: Watch More Television
    You probably didn't see this one coming.

    By watching more television, you can become more well-rounded. Of course I'm not referring to watching more of the The Simpsons, I'm talking about watching television shows that offer an educational message such as political shows or shows on The Discovery Channel or The History Channel. These shows can increase your capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding as long as you don't choose educational shows that also stress you out.

By putting these principles into practice on a consistent basis, you will begin to take on the characteristics of an intellectual. Your capacity to learn will be stretched, your reasoning skills will be utilized, your understanding will increase, and you will master at least one subject.