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Expanding Your Potential: Easy Pills to Swallow

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In recent years, a recurring entertainment theme has been to imagine ways to enhance a person’s potential in mental and physical ways.  As I viewed a recent ad for a new show in which a magic pill gives the character superintelligence, I had the thought that there are safe and simple ways of helping us fulfill our potential now, while we wait for science to catch up with science fiction. Granted, many people believe, and are providing evidence, that they can enhance their intelligence by ingesting various substances (glutamic acid, Ritalin, various vitamin and nootropics, and, yes, even dark chocolate!). In gifted education programs, we have long provided our students with strategies that are intended to enhance blod6their cognitive abilities and lead them to self-actualization. These virtual “pills” are easy, require no doctor’s approval, and can be taken in whatever amount you need.

Try swallowing these strategies as your smart pills for the day and see if you can increase your ability to be all you want to be:

  1. Strive to do something that scares you every day, meaning challenge yourself to do something you normally would consider too difficult. Learn something about yourself by doing that scary thing.
  2. Appreciate failures and mistakes for what they can teach you. Allow yourself the luxury of re-doing failed tasks and mistakes for the purpose of improving them and discovering something else new.
  3. Learn new information every day about a topic you know nothing about. Analyze how this new information relates to something you do know about.
  4. Spend a few minutes in self-reflection, meditation, or daydreaming every day. Notice what ideas pop into your mind when it is free-flowing. Consider whether these new ideas or topics are indicative of your true passions and pursue them in more depth to ascertain their significance to you.
  5. Imagine! Imagine the future; imagine solutions to real problems; imagine your deepest goal fulfilled; imagine yourself with all the attributes you desire!
  6. Get sufficient physical exercise, maintain good nutrition, and minimize stress to give your body all the physical and emotional support your optimally functioning brain needs.

These are just a few ideas to jump start your brain today. Doubtless you can think of hundreds of others. Do feel free to share with us your virtual “pills” for expanding your potential as well as the potential of gifted students. Easy to swallow—great side effects!

All the best,

Dr. Barbara Swicord, Ed.D.
Executive Director, National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT)
President, Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG)

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