No matter what your age or educational attainment, there is always room to grow, more things to learn, people to meet and places to explore. You realize that as much as you are already smart, there is always room to become smarter. So here are 7 ways on how to get smarter:

  1. Read a lot. Read newspapers, magazines, web sites and books on different topics. Do not just read things that interest you but try to explore other stuff, even stuff that you think will bore you. "Think" is the key word. You do not know for sure if it will bore you unless you give it a try. If you have never ventured outside the topics of fashion, relationship and food, for the next seven days, read up on the current business news, computer and health. You do not even have to spend extra. Your local papers or the Internet can be your source of new information. Do not ever think any topic is beyond your metal capability.

  2. Memorize. You tend to stop memorizing after graduation but this is one good way to sharpen your mental skills. In fact, you tend to feel good about your mental health when you can still remember things. You feel you are not yet going rusty. So what should you put into memory? Well, anything. You can memorize bible verses, phone numbers, birthdays of all your relatives and friends, anything. Stop relying so much on your PDA or planner to help you remember. Trivial stuff like minor appointments or unimportant to-do things can be relegated to memory.

  3. Surround yourself with smart people. Better yet, surround yourself with smarter people. If you hang around with those who are not smart or not interested in improving themselves, you will fall into a false lull. You will either deteriorate with them or you will feel comfortable in thinking that you are already smart enough. By surrounding yourself with smart and smarter people, you will constantly be challenged to strive harder.

  4. Learn a new craft. Not only will you have additional skills but you get to learn the principles of the craft and see things in a different way. You will feel you can do and learn anything as long as you put your mind into it.

  5. Enroll in short-term courses. The courses can be vocational, academic or about personal development. If you have more time to spare, you may want to enroll in a diploma course.

  6. Travel. Nothing beats personally seeing and observing how others live life. Traveling broadens our mind and perspective.

  7. Befriend people from other cultures or backgrounds. If you really can't afford to travel, you can join chat groups on the Internet or you can start with you r local Chinese neighbor.