Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Pursuit of Perfecting Intelligence

So, as I said in the last blog, last month, I stumbled on a video about the world's smartest people on YouTube. Out of curiosity, I decided to try an IQ tests to see where I stand myself. While I certainly didn't score badly (top 13% of world average), I was suprised to find out that I was just 9 points short of the 130 minimum requirement to be accepted into Mensa  (an organization for the top 2% of the world's smartest people). Again, out of intellectual curiosity, I decided to create a mental "strength training" regimen and committed myself to doing it every day to see if I could increase my score high enough to pass their entrance exam. (The theory being that the mind would be every bit as responsive to strength training as the body). This regimen consisted of six parts: 

The Mental Strength Training Regiment

1) Turning off the spell check on my phone and PC, so I would have to remember how to spell difficult and complex words from memory. 

2) Never using a calculator, pen, or paper to do calculations; instead doing it all in my head. 

3) Using Luminosity (which I have had on my phone for forever) on a daily basis. 

4) Studying multiple languages daily, back-to-back, WITHOUT FAIL, toggling between them as I study, and focusing on learning and writing as many Chinese characters as possible to build pattern recognition strength. 

5) Reading the book "Intent to Live" by Larry Moss. This may seem like an odd choice...but in general, actors are always searching for means of effective self expression; and as such, I've found that great acting coaches usually have ridiculously huge vocabularies. (For example, words I learned just from chapter 1 are: soliliquy, somnambulistic, prescient, entreat, supplicate, and letch). 

6) Eating more "brain-foods", (in particular, vitamin C, nuts, tomatoes, and broccoli) and napping a lot (particularly after training) to give my mind maximum time to rest, recharge, and re-organize. 

The Results of the Training

Thus far, the results have been far better than I ever could have hoped for.

On the very first IQ test I took, I scored 121, and it took me about 45 minutes to complete. After one month of 3 hours a day of training (approx. 90 hours), I went back and re-took the same test, hoping to see signs that I could increase my score by 4-9 points over a few months. This time I scored 155, and I completed it in 8 minutes flat. It was so much easier, it felt like I was cheating.

IQ Test
The results of my first IQ test after 90
hours of intensive brain training.

As 155 just seems crazy (that's only 5 points short of Einstein), I thought there's probably a good chance that I just intuitively remembered the answers to a lot of the questions. As such, I thought it best to try again on a test (and system) I hadn't done before. Instead, I went to which claims to have the most scientifically valid, objective, and legitimate IQ test on the internet, testing you on a range of 13 different types of intelligence that relate to IQ. On that test, I scored a more modest 138... But that still puts me in the top 00.66% of people on the planet, qualifies me as "gifted", and means I'm "capable of mastering virtually anything". Wish I knew I was this smart when I was in high school. Probably would have tried harder. 

Interestingly enough, I outscored 99% of all test-takers on 12 out of 13 of the intelligences tested, but scored far below average on the 13th intelligence: computational speed. In short, I think and process information way way slower than normal people. Intuitively, this seems to make sense for a myriad of reasons:

1) It might explain why I always sucked at avoiding head kicks as a fighter, lol. 

2) It also might have explained the test score of 155. Insomuch as I know, that test wasn't timed, (although it might have been without explicitly saying so). If not, computational speed wasn't factored into the equation, and that could be why I could score so much higher. 

3) From what I have seen, pretty much no one has a "perfect intelligence". Greatness in one aspect often means a deficiency somewhere else. (Such was the case with Muhammed Ali- he was thought to have one of the greatest athletic intelligences of all time, but also had an unusually low IQ).

What I learned

1) Intellectually, I have the capacity to get into MENSA as I had hoped. As such, it's time to try.

2) As I figured it was, the mind is responsive to a regular training regiment. The scores I got before were when my mind was "out of shape". Much like with the body, regular training is necessary to keep it "in shape". Ya don't use it, ya lose it, as they say. Coincidentally, this also tells me that technology makes us stupid. We were a lot smarter when we simply had to do and remember everything in our heads.

3) Having found and isolated out my principle weakness, (at least on the range of things that relate to IQ), now I know what I need to focus my training on...Furthermore, if this process can work with IQ, it can work with EQ as well, and as such, discovering, isolating and attacking my weaknesses in EQ needs to be the next logical step as well. 

Other Observations

After working through this process for a month or so, I'm at the point that mentally I'm constantly "hungry". If I don't push myself till my head hurts everyday I start to feel ansy. I used to be that way in college... but it was a trait that has seriously wained since graduation. As annoying as it is, having it back makes me feel really alive. I feel a lot younger. I guess that's why most gifted people are all focused into academics and sciences... You need to be constantly studying and learning to "stave off the hunger".

Like a lot of things in life, I guess, once you get started, it's self-perpetuating. Just like with the physical exercise, the better the shape you get into, the harder you wanna push yourself. Conversely, when you stop trying, the harder it becomes to get back into it. Positivity perpetuates positivity, and negativity perpetuates negativity.

In any event, whether I pass the Mensa entrance exam or not, I don't see myself slowing down the training routine any time soon. The theatre show is truly a blessing in that it gives me hours of downtime to train every day, but even after it's done, I have every intention of making the time for training, just like I do with physical exercise. If for no other reason, than because, as I said in the last blog, I'm really curious as to how deep this rabbit hole goes. If I can go from 121 to 138 with training, I see no reason why I can't go from 138 to 160... and if it can be done with the body, and with IQ, it can be done with EQ. In short, I see no reason to shoot for anything less than the pursuit of perfection. YOSH. 


Brooke Higgins said...

I also want to watch the video of world's smartest people. it would have of great interest for you. Thanks for sharing this information. luton meet and greet parking

Ruth George said...

The theatre show is truly a blessing in that it gives me hours of downtime to train every day, but even after it's done, I have every intention of making the time for training, just like I do with physical exercise. Valet parking at Luton airport

Ruth George said...

The theatre show is truly a blessing in that it gives me hours of downtime to train every day, but even after it's done, I have every intention of making the time for training, just like I do with physical exercise. Valet parking at Luton airport

Ethan Bryan said...

Watching the videos of world's smartest people grab the interest of the viewers. I really like after reading this information. meet & greet luton airport

Patricia Carter said...

It wont be easy to do it but still the pursuit does have a potential. Good Luck.... tickets

Bukunmi Adewumi said...

I dont think free online IQ testing is reliable at all. I scored 124 on an online IQ test. This is questionable, to me.