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Intellectual Pillar - what do you think..........

If someone asked if you were an intellectual person what would you respond?



Intellect is defined as a persons "mental powers" "the power or knowing rather than feeling" "the faculty of reasoning and understanding".

Intellect, however, doesn't just refer to your ability to understand complex algorithms for instance - at its core it's about your ability to understand a vast array of matters including culture, learning new skills, the arts, creative endeavours and mentally stretching activities. It is all about continually learning.


Baking a cake that you have never tried before? Congratulations you are engaging in Intellectual Wellness! Signed yourself up for pottery classes? High five, you are engaging in Intellectual Wellness! Completing University papers? Yeah you guessed it - you're engaging in Intellectual Wellness.


Intellectual Wellness is all about expanding your knowledge. Our brains need to be stimulated just like any other part of our body - and it rewards us when we do. Yep there really is a joy to learning - our amazing brains reward us when we do something new with a dose of dopamine - that feel good chemical. One of the best things about dopamine is that when its released it reinforces that what we are doing is a reward and in the future will help us take action to get more of it! (Highly simplified explanation here for a very complex process!!)


Another benefit of continually learning is we create a growth mindset for ourselves. We know that "we will get better" as we are learning another skill. We realise it's the effort, practice and perseverance that provides the result and not "they were born with it". If you allow the fear of failure to hold you back you'll probably say "I can't do that, I'm useless" or "I'm no good at that". This is a fixed mindset and will hold you trapped, unmotivated and lacking those dopamine shots that the brain is giving out to everyone else learning something new!


This Weeks Challenge

Can't remember the last time you tried something new and didn't stick to the same old, same old? Improving your Intellectual Wellness is one of the best pillars to have fun with. Choose something from below or use them as motivation to figure something unique for you. Share in comments below what you get up to and help inspire others.

  • Learn a new skill - learn to make soap, try knitting, physics, pottery, global politics, sign up for a night class, learn some Te Reo and use it (or another language that interests you), yoga (if you do this one check out Adriene she is amazing!!!) change a tyre, back a trailer, learn to throw a ball - properly!!

  • Watch the news or read an article and try and see an item from the opposite side of what is natural to you. Not a fan of the current government? - put yourself in the shoes of the party faithful so consider another opinion.

  • Read - read, read, read. Sign up at your local library if you aren't already and spend some time there - reading. Take a book home about a subject that you know nothing about but has piqued your interest - read. Really, really dislike reading? Try listening to podcasts. (if it is due to ability please seek help at an organisation that can support you like Literacy Aotearoa)

  • Take an outing to a museum, art gallery or show.

  • Get a group of friends together and use learning as the excuse for regular catch ups. Each friend takes turns to teach others something new once a month - over a year you will have learnt 12 new things!! (and yes wine tasting is a skill).

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