Ideas serve as your gasoline to growing and innovating in life and business. But when the tank is empty and there doesn't seem to be a gas station nor anyone in sight to give you a lift, times can become worrisome.

While some may think that intelligence and creativity is a natural gift handed to the select few, high-achievers understand is far from the truth.

High-achievers understand that increasing your intelligence and creativity lies within the habits you do on a daily and weekly basis. It's not magic, it's a systematic approach that anyone can develop immediately.

If you want to become smarter and more creative, apply these seven habits that high-achievers do on a regular basis to become better versions of themselves.

1. Start an idea journal.

I initially heard about this through James Altucher. Your goal is to write ten daily ideas about anything you want. Give yourself permission to write ideas without allowing judgment to creep into your mind.

To help the process, I usually theme my ideas for the day. Some days, it's ideas for future articles and books. On other days, I'm thinking about how to start the very first superhero-themed coffee shop (if you use this, just give me credit and espresso).

Just as our muscles require frequent stimulation to grow and become stronger, our creativity and intelligence require the same.

2. Unleash your inner explorer.

Make it a goal to become a tourist in your own city by taking the scenic route on a drive or walking along an uncommon path while challenging yourself to look deeper into the everyday objects you normally glance over.

Another way to unleash your inner explorer is to start taking yourself on a weekly artist date. This fantastic idea comes from Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way.

The goal is to schedule a weekly solo activity that takes you away from your work while allowing your creative tanks to naturally replenish.

3. Become a voracious reader.

As writers, speakers, and great business minds, we hit roadblocks and run into invisible walls that leave us stuck in neutral. That's where the life-changing magic of books arrive on the scene to help.

Reading exposes you to various perspectives and serves as an ignition to personal growth and expansion.

4. Step outside your creative comfort zone.

I'm in the health and wellness industry, but my best ideas come from fields outside of fitness.

Searching for new inspiration and creative challenges, I decided to start salsa dancing. The benefits, besides not having two left feet anymore, are my exposure to a new set of perspectives, which allows me to draw new experiences into my work.

Expose yourself to new possibilities and experiences by participating in unfamiliar forms of creative expression and hobbies. Another way to do this is through listening to podcasts on unfamiliar topics to bring a new set of lens into your work.

5. Exercise.

A healthy body leads to a healthy brain, which results in higher quality work. Exercising allows you to clear your mind and release pent up stress from the day.

The type of fitness you find enjoyment in doesn't matter. What matters is that you commit to moving your body every day.

6. Walk away and go enjoy life.

Forcing creativity causes unneeded stress and pressure, which doesn't equate to producing your best work. Give your work some time to breathe, then return to it.

While you're giving your work some time to breathe, take a break and indulge in your favorite hobbies or just have a one-person dance party for a boost in happiness (a highly underrated activity).

7. Take a break from the noise.

Between social media, friends, and family, all of our mental bandwidth can get consumed by distractions and others' agendas.

Without making a conscious decision to place your work as a priority--your work won't reach its potential. Here are a couple of ways to reduce the chatter in your life.

  • Reduce your consumption of news and social media. If you're constantly consuming news and information, that leaves your brain with no time to process your own thoughts.
  • Participate in a digital detox and take a break from the internet once a week to clear your mind.
Published on: Jul 20, 2017