Increase your IQ challenge
I think it is very amusing that some people think human brain (the most intelligent/important organ) is not capable of optimizing it's capabilities while other simpler tissues like muscles can! And, it is even more amusing that almost no one does anything about it -- just like the way only a tiny fraction of people go to gym to get buff. It's also crazy how universities are focused in teaching people specific, mostly useless stuff rather than teaching them how to increase their IQ. I think it's because they believe that being smart is something you are born with -- just an anomaly. Besides, they don't even know how to. Sure, they are quick to respond that reading/thinking can make you smarter, but that is not enough (not any kind of workout helps you build more muscle).
I believe that you can increase your intelligence in the same way you can increase your body's muscle mass. I have found a technique that worked for me and could also work for others.
In the past 7 years I have become more intelligent than I could ever imagine. I have transformed from someone with little talents to someone who is working on a product that competes with Amazon and Google on virtualization technologies and serverless computing in the cloud by creating my own platform and programming language. I only say this to prove a point -- anyone can increase their IQ. If only you knew me before 2013 and could compare my progress you would be very excited about the method I have found on accident.
Back in 2012 I started to form a habit… I started reading challenging programming books before going to sleep (more on the kind of books later). Most of the time I wake up in the morning finding my lovely eReader (yes I absolutely love my Sony eReader) on the floor. These days, before going to bed, I put multiple pillows on the ground next to my bed because I know that my eReader will probably end up on the ground (did I mention that I love my eReader?).
After a while of doing this…
I started to have vivid and sometimes lucid dreams (where I had control over my dream). Every dream is like a movie. Not just any-kind of movie! if they were real movies, people would give them a 8+ rating on IMDB, I promise!
Some of the interesting aspects of my dreams:
- Control over situations (called lucid dream).
- Most of the time knowing that I'm dreaming
- Laughing in the my dreams knowing that I'm asleep then waking up from my own laughter.
- Solving problems in my dream.
- Finding interesting twists in the endings -- almost like a movie! as if someone else planned the twist from the beginning without my knowledge. (very complex stories)
- Waking up from one dream into another -- this by far is the most interesting experience I ever had.
- Switching characters in a dream -- I have been a mouse, horse, villains, superheros and even switched characters in the same dream, from humans to animals and even buildings!
- Flying -- it's one of the most interesting ones.
- Continuing a dream where I left off last night… sometimes even 3 nights in a row.
- many more… you get the idea.
Funny story: a couple of nights ago, a character in my dream asked me (completely out of blue, in the middle of chasing bad guys) if I want to wake up go pee and then come back! I said, yes and then woke up as if it was a switch. However, I did not see the same dream when I came back, he lied to me! :)
Anyway, at first I thought falling asleep while reading has nothing to do with these dreams, but whenever I stop it, I see no dreams! I also see no dream when I change the book subject to something like a novel or a self improvement book.
By the way, I call them vivid-dreams because they are completely different than normal dreams that I used to see before this practice or even see occasionally when I stop reading. Vivid-dreams are amazing, fun and also when I wake up I almost remember everything!
My most favorite book that gave me the most vivid dreams is On Lisp by Paul Graham or any other book on Lisp.
A Challenge to Increase Your IQ
For 30 days:
- Start reading a book before going to sleep. This should a challenging book to read that requires you to think in order to understand and learn the subject. You most certainly don't want to memorize anything but to learn how to solve a specific problem. Examples: Math, learning to program, learn regular expressions, learn about different programming paradigms and different ways to solve the same problem. -- sorry, I can only think of programming related subjects.
- You must love the subject so much that you fight sleep to read another sentence. I usually go in and out of sleep, trying to fight it… it is an amazing feeling. Just like a child trying to sleep and eat at the same time because… why not? they are both awesome!
- Love what you are learning! Find an interesting but challenging subject that you love to learn because I believe that our brain only learns stuff that it loves and discards everything else!
If you try this challenge I would love to know your experience. Just tweet me @sed_seyedi.