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Here's my top three:
I guess, reading as a hobby goes without saying. However, despite reading is named among the top hobbies that foster your personal development, writing is likely to outperform it. Here is why.
Every single page, article, book read by you provides you with additional valuable piece of information. But all you do is consume.
Meanwhile writing requires creativity, persistence and commitment. This is what actually makes your brain work. Writing teaches you to think, develop, and compose. It is not about consumption. It is about creation.
From the first sight it might seem that physical exercises have nothing to do with smartness. However, besides great direct effect on your body, workouts influence positively your creativity, mood, and confidence.
Your gym can become a so-called temple where you can free your mind from other thoughts and get down to work. Workouts can help you shift your focus from minor concerns to firm concentration on your primary goals.
With every single repetition of an exercise, you will feel how negative thoughts vanish while your brain is filled with new pure and positive energy.
Probably it might be weird to call obsession a hobby. Nevertheless, this is what definitely can make one smarter.
Once you get obsessed with an idea, the concept you would like to realize, you are ready to do whatever it takes with the only aim — to fulfill the idea.
Your dedication and commitment make you stay focused and concentrated all the time. This state does really help you pick up new skills and absorb knowledge as fast as never before. You read, listen, and invest all the time in getting everything right. You can enter constant learning mode and stay there till the very moment you finish your project.
Then you find a new passion and start your journey again.