If you want to grow in life, increasing your mental capacity is a must. By increasing your mental capacity, you will be able to handle more things and assume larger responsibilities.
It’s just like your physical capability to lift heavier and heavier weight in weight training. People with greater physical capability will be able to lift heavier weight effortlessly while those with less capability will tire themselves out or even not be able to lift it at all. So just like you should train your muscles to increase your physical capability, you should also train your “mental muscles” to increase your mental capacity.
But how should you do that? How should you train your mental muscles to increase your mental capacity? I believe the answer is similar to the way you increase your physical capability in weight training.
To increase your physical capability in weight training, you should train yourself by lifting weight which is just outside your current capability. If your current capability is 100 pounds for example, you can increase your capability by training yourself with 110 pounds. Though it may feel a bit hard in the beginning, you will find it effortless after some days or weeks of training. You can then add a little more weight, and by doing so again and again, after 1 or 2 years you will see your physical capability increase significantly.
The way to increase your mental capacity is similar:
Do things which are just outside your comfort zone.
This – I believe – is the best thing you can do. It introduces some inconvenience in your life, but only in a bearable way. As a result, your mental muscles will grow stronger and your mental capacity will increase.
To help you put it into practice, here are 30 ways to do things which are just outside your comfort zone to increase your mental capacity:
- When someone asks you to do something, make your default answer “yes” (but don’t forget to say “no” when appropriate).
- In a gathering (class, conference, etc.), sit next to someone you do not know.
- Visit a place you normally wouldn’t (museum, monument, national park, etc.).
- Eat at a new place.
- Try a new kind of food.
- Go to a conference or seminar in a topic you are not familiar with.
- Email or call an old friend you haven’t met for a long time.
- Initiate conversation with someone you don’t know.
- Find the most unpleasant task in your to-do list and do it first.
- Email or message someone you don’t know to initiate a friendship.
- Learn a new hobby.
- Learn a foreign language.
- Join a new club and interact with the people there.
- Practice an art you normally wouldn’t (painting, music, etc.).
- Learn a new musical instrument.
- Be dare to ask. This is to familiarize yourself with rejection.
- Read fiction if you normally read non-fiction, and vice versa.
- Read a new author.
- Read an old book.
- Visit a new genre of blogs.
- Find friends from a new country (i.e. a country from which you haven’t had any friend before).
- Find friends from different professions.
- Volunteer for activities conducted by your social or business group.
- Do your groceries at a different store.
- Take a different route to work.
- Attend an art festival.
- Listen to a new genre of music.
- In a bookstore or library, browse books in a section you wouldn’t normally visit.
- Watch a new genre of movies.
- Read history more than news.
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