Does Sudoku make you Smarter?

Mom: “Playing Sudoku makes you smart. I bought a book for you.”
Kid (with a sad face): “Okay Mom!”
 
What is sudoku?
 
It is a 9*9 grid where each 3*3 grid, row and column should be filled with all 9 digits.(1-9).
 
Where can you find them?
 
They are available in daily newspapers, magazines, websites, applications, books. Just everywhere.
 
 

Does sudoku make you really smart?

 
I first came across Sudoku in 2006 when they started featuring it in ‘The Hindu’ newspaper. I was always inquisitive about new things, so was I about Sudoku. I started solving them daily.
 
One day, my class teacher, who I thought was a very intelligent person, expressed her concern in the class that she was not able to solve Sudoku. I felt a childish accomplishment that I achieved something great.
 
Was it actually great?
 
Before I answer that, let us see what sudoku tests you in.
 
 

Sudoku is useful in :

 
1.Logical intelligence:
 
Sudoku is a logic puzzle. Any person who does not even know numbers but can think logically can do it. So it tests just the logical part of the brain. There are nine types of intelligence and logic is just one of them. So you become logically intelligent as that part of your brain is getting trained daily.
 
2.Competitive exams:
 
When I was preparing for competitive exams, I found arranging questions come intuitively to me. My friend who used to compare her speed with mine in that area used to think that I was blessed with logical intelligence. But the truth was I just spent more time in training that area of my brain.
 
3.Keeps mind occupied:
 
When I was in college, a few classes were really boring. I used to cut the Sudoku from the Hindu paper and put in on the notebook. I was happily solving it while my Professor thought that I was jotting down points and solving problems. Solving Sudoku was better than mindless chatter or day-dreaming or worrying about imaginary problems.
 
 

Overall Sudoku is a good training for the brain.But it is not the best.

Because

  1. It trains only one part of the brain.
  2. You need to establish connections in your brain to leverage this intelligence to solve other logical problems
  3. It is not the ultimate. If you don’t enjoy it, you can always find other puzzles which will provide similar training to your brain.

And most importantly, Sudoku does not talk about your intelligence. X, who cleared one of the toughest exams in India, can’t solve a Sudoku of level beyond 2 of ‘The Hindu paper’ while I who could not clear the same exam can solve level 5 of Sudoku.
 
So it is all about where you want to apply the intelligence you have in life.
 
Happy solving Sudoku!

How to improve your thought process

Sometimes, I find my life stagnant. I wonder what I can do to improve my situation. Only to realize that solution is simple.
 
We are the product of our thoughts. We need to improve our thought process to see a difference in the way we live.
 
How to improve the thought process?
 
This can be done in two ways:
 

1.Reorder the existing thoughts

 
Today you have close to 60,000 thoughts. Tomorrow you have the same 50,000 thoughts of yesterday and 10,000 different thoughts. The 50,000 thoughts which run in common daily are the ones you need to encash on. Even though the 50,000 thoughts keep occurring at random times and in random order if you can find a pattern and bring them into a structure, there you took an opportunity to improve your thought process.
 
I write down the various thoughts I get during the day in my journal. When I do my review, I understand how I can improve my thought process.
 
The biggest challenge with this method is, you need to revise the thought process multiple times in your head so that the improved thought process becomes the new normal. Otherwise, you know what should be the order but you will never see the improvement in thought process.
 

2.Feed new thoughts

 
On a Sunday, when you go into the kitchen, you realise that you could have made a wonderful lunch if only you had bell-peppers or onions.
 
Improving the thinking process is also the same. At times, even though you bring order to the chaos in your head, there will be some element missing. That is when you have to feed it with new thoughts. There are multiple ways to do this:
 
A) Question the existing thoughts
 
Sometimes you need not require additional items. But you need to change the perspective of existing items. Why should a carrot be used only as a vegetable? Why can’t it be used as a fruit?
 
B) Copy the thought process
 
Think like your ideals. Put your ideal into your shoes and then ask what would he have done if he were in my place?
 
C) Expand your mind
 
Read books and do courses which will challenge your thinking.
 
D) Expose yourself to new surroundings
 
Once in a while go on a trip. If you can’t do that, change your cabin in office. If that also can’t be done, exchange your bedroom with that of your roommate. Or the simplest, change the direction of your sofa or table. Move the apps in your phone. Change your wallpaper daily. Any small change will also help in improving the thought process.
 
How do you improve your thought process? Have you tried any of the above before?
Let us know in the comments section.
 
Happy improving the thought process!