4 Highly Sophisticated Strategies To Become The Most Intelligent Person In Any Room

Improving your smarts begins with small changes.

Last updated on May 29, 2024

intelligent woman smiling PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock

Intelligence is to many what muscle is to Arnold Schwarzenegger. For some people, becoming more intelligent is a lifelong passion to grow their brain power and think in ways other people cannot, solving problems no one else can.

Of course, part of that involves performing certain actions to grow one's intelligence. And while it may feel like you're nowhere near close to where you want to be, you're always still moving towards that goal.


Here are four strategies to become the most intelligent person in a room

1. Deliberately solve problems every single day

It's hard to define intelligence. But a simplified definition that would suffice the purposes of this article would be: "Intelligence is the ability to solve a problem."

When you hear it, the definition pretty sounds obvious, but in practical life, it isn't to most people. Think about it. To grow their muscles, people go to the gym and try to lift weights beyond their muscular ability. In response to that attempt, their muscles grow so that, come next time, they can lift that weight better.


RELATED: 5 Tiny Signs You Have Impressively Powerful Discipline

Such is the case with problems. To be more intelligent, you have to solve problems. However, most people unintentionally run away from problems.

For example, if an employee arrives at a problem, they immediately Google a solution for it. Or they run to their boss and ask them for it. In such cases, no cognitive effort has been put in. Consequently, no growth of brain power occurs.

intelligent woman solving problems Christina Morillo / Pexels


To counter this, an effective strategy can be to simply solve more problems.

For instance, if you encounter problems in your office, don't run to your superior; try to solve the problem yourself (especially if it's not an emergency). And if no problem is currently presenting itself to you, seek problems for yourself. That means picking a problem from your life and trying to think of a solution.

Maybe you spend 15 minutes each day trying to solve problems, ranging from smaller issues like "How do I wake up earlier?" or "How do I find time for this hobby?" to big problems that the world is facing, like "How can we reverse climate change?" or "How can we reduce tobacco consumption?"

The purpose here is not to set out to actually solve these problems, although you may do that too. Rather, the goal is to simply force yourself to spend some cognitive effort — and, in turn, recognize generalized frameworks — that can help you learn how to solve problems.


Your goal in life should be to progressively solve bigger and bigger problems, just like you try to lift heavier and heavier in the gym.

RELATED: Psychologist Shares Her Theory About People Who Have An Extremely High IQ

2. Read more than one book on a subject

Many book readers read just one book on a topic and are done with it. But it's important to change that approach. Another strategy is to pick a topic and read several books on that same topic. For instance, maybe you read four books on dopamine and three books on cryptocurrency.

And there's a rationale behind this. All the different subjects that exist in the world have different primary frameworks in place. However, they're in no way exclusive to those subjects. These frameworks can be borrowed and used to solve problems in other fields as well.


Let's take an example. A few years ago, NASA engineers wanted to install solar panels in space so they can harvest solar energy to run space equipment instead of batteries. But the problem was that it wasn't possible to send solar panels with large surface areas into space using rockets shaped like pencils.

Then, a guy named Brian Tease had a brilliant idea. He realized that they could use the principles of origami to fold the solar panels such that they would fit into the thin rockets. And it worked!

However, it was in no way a coincidence that he was able to come up with this idea. Brian Tease actually practiced origami as a kid, so his mind was able to borrow a framework from that area of his life onto this one.

That's precisely why you should explore certain subjects and find depth by reading multiple books on them. This way, you'll have a lot of knowledge and, at the same time, gain different perspectives on the same subject. This will get you acquainted with the many frameworks of those subjects, improving your intelligence in the process.


Over a long time — with enough subjects explored and with enough frameworks collected — you'll be a better problem-solver and, consequently, be more intelligent.

RELATED: 13 Captivating Traits Shared By The Most Successful People

3. Play a musical instrument

To be more intelligent, you must take out time to think. Because people don't really think anymore. They're always doing something. And when they have nothing to do, they're consumed by their screens.

That's why scheduling dedicated time to think is a good way to be more intelligent. Once you've developed a habit of thinking every day, a great add-on to that habit would be to boost your cognition by playing a musical instrument.


In recent years, neuroscientists have been able to read people's brains by hooking them up to fMRI and PET scan machines. This enables them to figure out which parts of people's brains light up during different activities.

Activities like math and speaking have specific regions in the brain that light up, just like they predicted. But when scientists had their participants play musical instruments, they were stunned to see the results.

They witnessed fireworks inside the musicians' brains. Practically all parts of their brain lit up. Various other studies also show that playing musical instruments helps improve people's cognition significantly. Owing to all these observations, TedEd went so far as to call playing a musical instrument the equivalent of a full-body workout for the brain.

And there's a fun accessory to those scientific facts. According to "Einstein: His Life and Universe," by Walter Isaacson, while working on difficult problems, whenever Einstein faced a roadblock, his solution was always to play his violin. And he noted that the answers would come to him mysteriously while playing the violin, as if the very act of creating melodies inevitably led to the answers being unleashed to him.


Perhaps before delving into writing or coming up with ideas for a project, pick up a musical instrument, even something as basic as a ukulele. Sure enough, the ideas will start flowing.

RELATED: 6 Clever Ways To Get People To Like You, According To An FBI Expert

4. Read biographies of geniuses

Most people might think that intelligence is independent of a person's character. But perhaps it's not. Your character determines your choices and your approach toward life, and that generates your intelligence.


For instance, in Einstein's biography, Isaacson makes it evident that Einstein was highly individualistic and hated herd mentality. He didn't like to assign himself to any particular community — so much so that he even renounced his German citizenship at one point in time.

Einstein was also highly skeptical in nature and his nonconformist attitude led to him having an utter disdain for authority. But these character traits are exactly what led to Einstein being the smartest man in history, because being who he was enabled him to think how he did. Paradoxically, he once stated, "To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself."

intelligent woman reading books in a library Nicole Berro / Pexels


Another example is Steve Jobs. As a person, Steve Jobs was quite adamant. He wanted things a certain way and would not settle for anything less than what he envisioned. Sure, he was a pain to the people he worked with, but it was his adamant nature that forced him and his team to think beyond their perceived abilities and come up with innovative ideas to achieve their envisioned products.

These people were able to do what they did because of who they were. Their legacy was a product of their intelligence. And their intelligence was a product of their character.

That's why it's important to read autobiographies and biographies of the people you consider highly intellectual. By reading about their life, getting a close look at stories from their day-to-day lives, you know their character, and maybe that character will rub off on you and boost your intelligence.

RELATED: 7 Signs You Have A Charming Personality That Makes People Want To Know You


Akshad Singi, M.D. is a writer whose work has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, Medium, and more.