by Eleanor Halls: Behold, some of the world’s best brains on their everyday secrets for staying smart…
Paul G Allen
Tip: “The best way to stay sharp and engaged is to keep asking hard questions and think out of the box. I regularly seek out people who know much more than I do on a given subject, and this helps me stay abreast of new developments in a wide range of fields. Sometimes I bring together leaders from diverse areas to talk with each other. Inevitably, this reveals unexpected connections and new ideas to pursue. And finally, saturate your brain with everything you can find and learn about diverse fields, and a new idea will emerge!”
For more words of wisdom: @PaulGAllen
Intelligence: Pinker is a professor at Harvard, an award-winning experimental cognitive psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature.
Tip: “No one is smart enough to come up with a truly brilliant idea out of the blue: we’re all aggregators, combiners, greatest-hits collectors. I read widely, and not just in my own field, nor just people who agree with me. I also hoard my time and concentration: no meetings or phone calls when a quick email will do; no electronic alerts while I’m working.”
For more words of wisdom: @sapinker
Robert J Shiller
Intelligence: Shiller is one of the world’s most influential economists and a Nobel Laureate. He currently serves as a Sterling Professor of economics at Yale University.
Tip: “I tend to be distractible, so I try to surround myself with good reading material and avoid watching television or listening to the radio, which can suck my attention in. It is not just the quality of the books; I try to seek out less popular reading material. I don’t believe in celebrities, generally, and watching or reading about celebrities is generally a mistake, since one winds up reading the same thing as everyone else. To be useful one has to be different.”
For more words of wisdom: @RobertJShiller
Intelligence: Jamaican-born American Ashley was the first black chess grandmaster and is an author, commentator, app designer, puzzle inventor and motivational speaker.
Tip: “To stay hyper-motivated and productive, I always try to have a large long-term vision to accomplish. Thinking and dreaming big stretches my mind to try to resolve challenges that would never appear if I simply focused on knocking off the mundane day-to-day tasks of everyday life. As for kicking my brain into gear, I find that adding new and interesting words to my vocabulary – whether through learning a new language, reading constantly or playing word games such as Scrabble – keeps my brain sharp, fresh and in a mode to learn and expand.”
For more words of wisdom: @MauriceAshley
Marilyn vos Savant
Intelligence: Vos Savant is known for having the highest recorded IQ (228) according to the Guinness Book Of Records and, since 1986, she has written “Ask Marilyn”, a Parade magazine Sunday column where she solves puzzles and answers questions on various subjects.
Tip: “A great way to stay in peak form is to do novel things often, the way you did when you were a kid. To a kid, everything is novel: there’s no choice. This keeps your cognitive skills sharp and prevents boredom at the same time.”
For more words of wisdom: @VirtualMvS
Intelligence: Commonly known as a “father” of the internet, Emeagwali created the world’s fastest computer and has an estimated IQ of 190.
Tip: “I’m more productive when I do my intellectual work early in the morning. My bandwidth is limited and I avoid ‘internet noise’ – so I don’t read emails or social media and I don’t answer telephone calls. I don’t even hold a conversation with my wife in the mornings. I drink a cup of green tea, wear my pyjamas and multitask by listening to interviews and lectures.”
For more words of wisdom: emeagwali.com
Dr Robert F Spetzler
Intelligence: Spetzler is an award-winning neurosurgeon and is director of Barrow Neurological Institute. He has written more than 300 articles on cerebrovascular and neurological topics.
Tip: “In part, I credit challenging physical activity to my success as a brain surgeon. I am an avid biker, swimmer, extreme skier and marathoner. Every year, I lead a group of colleagues at Barrow Neurological Institute on a gruelling 23-mile hike across the Grand Canyon. Not only do the physical adventures fulfil the desire to be fit, but they also clear my mind to be ready for my next large surgical case.”
For more words of wisdom: @BarrowNeuro