Can you make yourself smarter?

You know that kid you grew up with that was just a natural at art? They would sit and draw in class and their drawing was so good it looked REAL. They came from a parent that was also good at drawing and seemed to have been born with it. Then there are the other kids in art class that have no talent, they draw and it always looks like a 3 year old created it regardless of what grade they were in. Is that poor untalented kid you? 🙂 If so definitely keep reading……

When I was teaching art I dealt with kids from both sides each day. They would say “I’m not good at this”or that the other kid was “born with it” and that art class was unfair.

Then I discovered a drawing instructor that was teaching intense drawing courses over just one week. Her name is Betty Edwards and she has an awesome book called Drawing on the Right aside of the Brain. What really makes her class memorable are seeing the before and after drawings.

She taught adults. People that had no talent or skills at drawing. They would complete a self portrait on Monday, then again on Friday. Take a look at their drawings only 5 days apart:

drawman

drawwoman

She proved that drawing IS teachable and that anyone can draw when they practice certain skills that focus on visual perception. I love her stuff. Even better….she did it in only a week.

I started showing her examples to my high schoolers every year to break their assumption that drawing was a skill to be born with.

And of course, teaching those skills every day for 5 years had an impact on me. I always remembered how I emphasized to those students that each day they were improving their math skills, English skills, knowledge of history, and the same ability to learn applied in Art class.

And it applied to me. If a grown adult could learn a new way to see the world using new parts of their brain and then draw that world realistically, then I could learn and grow and become whatever kind of person I wanted to be.

So when I realized I wasn’t fulfilled at my job, I knew I could learn ANY new skill that I wanted.
When I realized I was not a Type A personality I told myself it didn’t matter, I could learn the traits that make people successful.
When I realized how slow I am at work, I created an organized plan this month to increase my speed and efficiency.
When I feel insecure about how smart I am, I commit to learning about life and reading more books to speed up my brain and increase my knowledge base.

This applies to our health too.
You don’t know what foods are good for you? You can watch food documentaries and read nutrition articles and get a meal plan.
Not good at cooking? Start small and begin practicing new recipes.
Do you have horrible form at exercise? Get a mirror or recorder and make adjustments over time.
Addicted to drinking soda? Learn the most helpful ways to break a soda addiction and begin implementing them.

But the point I REALLY want to make is that everything is doable. People so often stop improving themselves because they don’t believe in their abilities.
And the truth is that you CAN.

So, I’ll leave you with this:
Knowing that you can learn, do, and be like whatever person you want to be, WILL YOU?

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