There are three basic intelligence types, analytical, creative and practical intelligence. For now, we shall focus on practical knowledge.
Practical intelligence, also known as “hands-on” learning is the most comprehensive way of picking up new talents and gifts. Although analytical thinking gives your brain a workout, and creative thinking can be therapeutic, practical intelligence solves real-world problems in our daily surroundings.
Activities to improve your practical thinking
Although all 3 intelligence types, analytical, creative, and practical, are important and highly useful, practical intelligence proves to be a lifelong learning process. As environments change, practical thinking changes with it to accommodate.
For instance, as cars change, so do ways of repairing them. Mechanics can be seen using practical intelligence and knowledge. There are needs and practical knowledge providing a solution.
You can improve your practical intelligence as well. A few activities can sharpen your survival instincts in this area.
1. Play games
Improving practical intelligence can be done by playing various games, including some video games. Games stimulate your thinking, especially the ability to multi-task.
Making decisions are easier and solving problems seem to come naturally as well. There are many games that help improve hand/eye coordination, which also improves thinking overall.
2. Learn to code
I have several friends who have learned how to code. They say it’s stimulating for their brain. Not only does coding help you understand how a computer works, but it also helps you analyze and tear down problems by creating brain synapses.
3. Physical activity
Practical intelligence can be improved by staying active. Just as physical health benefits, so can the ability to work through simple problems and come to a sound plan. A healthy body and brain provide you the ability to put real-world situations into focus.
When I say write, I don’t mean type on the computer. Get out paper and pen and write an old-fashioned letter. You can also write an outline or even a poem.
A really good activity to help you improve your practical intelligence is to write with your non-dominant hand. This pushes you to use your non-dominant side of the brain as well.
Hands-on activities actually mean actually using your hands sometimes. Sometimes you have to learn how to solve problems and make decisions without the aid of technology.
5. Build something
Even if you have no previous knowledge of building things, you can still try it out. There are so many videos which guide you through making small crafts or wooden projects.
It doesn’t take analytical thinking or creativity to build a simple object or useful tool. If you fail or if you create something less than perfect, it doesn’t matter. You’re still exercising your practical knowledge and activities.
6. Tear something apart
Just as you can build, you can also take things apart. Practical thinking helps you go through steps of deconstructing and reconstructing certain objects.
Just recently, I tried my hand at taking apart a small carburetor on a mower and cleaning the parts. I hoped it would repair the machine, but it did not. I could have been frustrated, but instead, I was proud that I had tried something new.
7. Draw something
You don’t have to know how to draw or paint. You don’t even need a few art lessons or a history of any creative endeavors. All you need to do is sketch something.
Unlike drawing with a huge purpose, sketching freely helps you learn how to make angles and curves, and even shadows. This exercise trains your brain to notice more details. With practical intelligence, details are important when solving real-world problems.
8. The escape room experience
If you’re not familiar with the “escape room”, then it’s simple to explain. An escape room is an immersive experience where you’re locked in a room, and the only way you can get out is by solving puzzles or riddles within the room.
These things are timed as well. This experience helps you develop problem-solving skills, make decisions and do so in a timely manner. There’s an added pressure as there is no preparation for the experience. It’s usually spontaneous.
9. Read books
To improve your practical intelligence, you should read. Not only does reading improve your IQ, but it also broadens your views on many things. Also, you should read more than just books. Read newspapers, magazines and anything you can get your hands on.
Reading develops simple skills and greatly improves the skills you already have by allowing you to see through the eyes of millions of people – not just through the eyes of the authors and the characters they create.
One tip: read something close to your reading level. If it’s too easy, you won’t learn that much, and if you’re constantly having to turn to a dictionary, you will waste smooth reading time.
Practical intelligence – a successful life
While you should remember to stay creative and analyze certain aspects of your life, practical intelligence should always be remembered as a lifelong learning process. Some of the most important decisions in life are made by practical thinking mindsets.
So, when working through situations in your life, make sure to keep your practical intelligence primed and ready. You never know when you will need a simple and precise decision to change the course of your life.
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