Even if you are actively pursuing habits that generally contribute to success, some of your habits may be preventing you from truly excelling in your field. Over the last month, we’ve been studying the common traits that are shared by the world’s smartest people. Today, we’re going to look at some of the habits that those highly intelligent people share that actually hurt their success.
As we’ve discussed before, brilliant people usually have habits such as reading, self-discipline, goal-setting, and metacognition. Often, harmful tendencies such as drinking too much, using drugs, losing sleep, and being prone to anxiety accompany those positive habits.
1. Drinking Excessively
The health risks associated with alcohol are no secret, which makes it even more surprising that smart people are often more prone to binge drinking. One study found that children with high IQ scores are much more likely to binge drink frequently as adults. This behavior seems all the more bizarre considering that these intelligent individuals are more likely to be incredibly aware of the risks associated with alcohol consumption.
Even though this habit is linked to highly intelligent people, it’s important to get help if you are struggling with alcoholism. Begin by identifying situations that trigger your urge to drink and make a conscious decision to start avoiding those types of situations. If you have a serious problem, take action now by joining an AA group.
2. Using Drugs
A massive British Cohort Study discovered that children with high IQ scores were also much more prone to drug use as adults. Smart boys were found to be twice as likely to use illicit drugs as adults, while intelligent girls were actually 3 times likelier to abuse drugs as adults. It’s crucial to get rid of a habit like drug use in order to fulfill your full potential in your field. Begin by making a decision to initiate change in your life and then seek professional help.
3. Losing Sleep
Several different studies have reported that children with high IQ’s generally go to bed later as adults. Unfortunately, unless they are also able to sleep late the next day, those intelligent individuals are losing sleep. Without a regular sleep pattern that allows you to get enough rest each night, you may suffer from health problems such as impaired memory and increased stress levels. In order to ensure that you are functioning to the extent of your abilities, make sure to develop habits that allow you to get full nights of sleep.
4. Being Anxious
A recent study found that people with higher IQ scores often suffered from generalized anxiety disorder. Although this study also suggests that anxiety could actually be a natural by-product of high intelligence, it is important to learn how to control your anxiety in order to enjoy a more positive and fulfilling life. Take control of your anxiety by sorting out things that you can deal with and then letting go of your worries about issues that are beyond your control.