Want to boost your IQ by 10 points?

Give that brain a challenge

When friends in my age bracket get together, the conversation usually begins with a discussion of, “What ails you and what are you doing about it?” Some call it an “organ recital.” Everyone gets five or 10 minutes to bring the rest up to date. More than a few lame jokes are made about what one or the other can or cannot remember. Then somebody will mention someone who can’t remember anything, and the group moves on to other topics.

But beneath the jibes and jokes there is a real concern about what our future might be and how to avoid problems of aging and loss of mental acuity while we are experiencing minor effects of getting older and not knowing what might be the future.

At age 65, one in 10 people will have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. By age 85, more than 30 percent will have developed the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association believes a healthy diet and exercise along with maintaining social connections and intellectual activity will help reduce the effects of the disease.

So recently I was having a conversation with my wife and bragging to her that an app that I had been using for the past two months had made my IQ go up 10 points since I started it. Of course, that started quite a conversation. What was it? How did it work? How much was it? How could I make a statement like that? Impossible!

Well I didn’t mean it literally. What I meant was that this app energized me like no other I had ever tried. It pushed me to learn something new, but in a way so that I couldn’t get enough of it. I was using it whenever I had a few minutes. In the morning before starting the day, in the evening instead of the TV and in various places during the day, like while waiting in the dentist’s office.

I have told a number of people about it since I downloaded it. I use it every day multiple times; the app is free, and never tries to sell you an upgrade or anything!

I’m not serious about the IQ claim. In fact, saying what I did probably set up the case for me not having a high one to begin with.

But why do I like this tool so much? Because it makes me think, it makes me use my head and it forces me to think faster. It rewards me a hundred times a day; it is teaching me something I value, and it is a never-ending solution that keeps getting better.

I will tell you about my discovery but I urge you to find something that encourages you to love learning, too.

The app that I think has helped me a lot is a language learning tool called Duolingo. Download it at the App Store or at duolingo.com. I was told that after it first came out it was voted one of the 10 best apps ever. It has a unique approach to language learning. You can learn up to 20 languages! I am presently learning both Spanish and Italian at the same time. Can you imagine?

Now, go find your own hill to climb.

Categories: Business Insights, Human Resources