Today we are bombarded with information from every direction. Recent research studies estimate that in 2015, the average American will consume 15.5 hours of information from various sources a day. With so much information at our fingertips, how do we navigate it all and prevent ourselves from becoming overwhelmed? How do we know the information we are processing is even worth it? And how can I use this information to find success in my own life?
Bryan Banville, president & co-founder of Institute for Mastering Success, shares 10 Big Ideas on how to take information and turn it into action!
1. Welcome to the Age of Information
Since the 1980s, technology has drastically changed the way in which we receive information on a daily basis. By 2015, Americans will consume 6.9 million gigabytes and 500,000 words of information in a single day, meaning you could finish all 7 Harry Potter books in just 2 days (total word count = 1,084,170 words). The Information Age has also affected the workforce by creating new measurements of skills and intelligence making it more difficult for some workers to remain “relevant”.
2. Not All Information is Created Equal
With all of the data and information flying at us, how do we know we are processing useful information? Try to think of the way you process information as your digestive system. Everything you consume is processed through your digestive tract and is separated into nutritional “data points” or waste. Most of the time, we are in full control of what we consume, but when our digestive system becomes overwhelmed with what we feed it, breakdown starts to occur and we get results like stomach aches, gas, or even worse. The information our brain consumes is processed in the same way except when we are overloaded with information breakdown occurs more regularly and we are left overwhelmed, stressed, and burnt out.
3. Access ≠ Success
You know the old adage “Knowledge is Power”? I invite you to challenge its simplicity. Access to information and knowledge is a necessity in achieving success, but simply having access does not guarantee it. I present to you that the true key to success is how we process the information we access. Power is in the processing, not in the access.
4. Process, Process, Process!
One thing that sets highly successful people apart from others is their awareness of how they process information. Our brain is demanded to process a variety of information in various forms, which each requires certain areas of our brain to be stimulated. Some of us are better at processing certain forms of information than others. In the end, what we do with the information becomes more critical than how much information we can consume.
5. Everyone is Smart…Right?
The standard definition of intelligence was derived from a Western European stereotype that stated that those who were well-learned, well read, and could communicate at a higher academic level were considered to be the most intelligent. We are taught this definition from a very early age. We have it tested in school and it often determines the jobs we are eligible for once we enter the workforce. However, when we arrive at the doorstep of the real world, we face new challenges and demands that require a different skill set than “traditional intelligence” uses.
Many of these areas are where we find our biggest complaints in the workforce such as poor communication skills, inability to work as a part of a team, lack of innovation/creativity, and being unable to complete every day tasks requiring developed motor skills. And yet, as a society we still buy into the idea that regardless of those other skills that are necessary to function in today’s society/workforce, intelligence is simply a measure of the cognitive or mental capacity of an individual related to knowledge base, linguistic prowess, and the ability to complete complex math problems on a standardized test.
6. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory
Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence presents a unique way of defining the word intelligence. Gardner’s definition of intelligence focuses on having a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in their life. The Multiple Intelligence theory builds a much stronger case for leveraging each other’s strengths especially in the work environment. By knowing how others learn and process information we can increase communication, productivity, focus, and overall satisfaction on the job!
7. Identify the 8 intelligences
Gardner identified 8 unique intelligences that all humans possess. Gardner’s research concluded that the average human reaches expert level in only 3-4 intelligences during their lifetime, but can be proficient in all 8. The 8 intelligences are:
• Linguistic Learning or Word Smart – The usage of language and words
• Logical/Mathematical Learning or Numbers/Logic Smart – Strong reasoning, computation, and pattern identification skills
• Visual/Spatial Learning or Picture Smart – How individuals see the world and the things in front of them
• Kinesthetic Learning or Body Smart – Hands-on approach to learning and being able to apply those skills through your life
• Interpersonal Learning or People Smart – How people interact with other people
• Intrapersonal Learning or Self Smart – How in tuned we are with our emotions and ourselves
• Musical Learning or Music Smart – Relationship with music specific to rhythm, tone, and melody
• Naturalistic Learning or Nature Smart – How we interact with all other living things
8. Identify Your Primary Intelligences
Now that we can identify each of the 8 intelligences I am sure you are asking yourself, “how do I find out what my primary intelligences are!?” Thomas Armstrong provides the following advice and I agree: “The best way to assess your top intelligences and how you process information best is to take an honest appraisal of how you function in the course of every day life.” However, in order to get you started I have the following online resource I would like to share with you. The link below will bring you to an assessment that should take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete. At the end of the assessment, you will be provided with a chart that showcases your intelligence levels and identify your primary intelligences.
9. Develop All Your Intelligences
There are many ways to strengthen your intelligences! The first great resource is to check out Thomas Armstrong’s book 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying & Developing Your Multiple Intelligences. His book gives some great exercises that you can put into practice to build up areas you want to strengthen or improve. Additional recommendations include:
1. Plan at least two activities each week outside of work related to your intelligence you want to strengthen
2. Find daily tasks that “feed” your intelligences
3. Jump Out-of-the-Box and explore another intelligence you might be weaker in (Give Yourself a Challenge)
10. Use Primary Intelligences to Change the Way You Work/Function
Once you become aware of your intelligences and begin to strengthen them, you will be amazed at all the areas in your life you can start to apply this theory/strategy to find clarity, reengagement, and much more! By bringing multiple intelligences into the work place, we have the opportunity to reengage our employees and ourselves in the work we do by feeding our intelligences through our work responsibilities! Just as every person has aspects of all 8 intelligences, no job uses only one intelligence. It is possible to utilize our strengths in any position including the one we are in now and reach the next levels of success!
Interested in finding out more? Check out President, Bryan Banville, at en*theos Academy teaching this course live! Follow the link below: https://www.entheos.com/academy/classes/my-kind-of-smart-how-to-turn-information-into-success?c=6844
by Bryan Banville, President & Co-founder for Institute for Mastering Success
(c) 2014, Institute for Mastering Success