People are impressed with intelligence. Think about the most influential people you’ve ever met or looked up to. They were educated. Whether it be a PhD or experience within their field, they were educated. The key to education is that it shouldn’t start or end with school/college. You should continue to educate yourself on various subjects, explore new ideas, dangerous ideas, and expose yourself to new opinions that challenge yours. Many think that if you didn’t go to college, you’re not educated. Or that if you did go to college, you are educated. There are plenty of people out there who didn’t graduate from college that are intelligent and there of plenty of idiots who have graduated from college. Study new subjects and listen to new ideas.
Respect other people’s views and opinions. Even if you don’t agree with them, respect them. Even if they don’t respect yours. Be sure to do your OWN research as well. News outlets are known to push agendas and mislead the masses. Do not base your opinions on those of others’. Base your opinions and views on facts and experiences. Real evidence. Build your stances and arguments on rock, not sand. Base them on something you can prove.
Of the people I’ve met or have been influenced by, most were voracious readers. They loved knowledge and it was found in books. Not within any specific genre, but in books nonetheless. Reading gives you different perspectives and lenses to see things from. It enables you to walk in someone else’s shoes. It also allows you to escape the everyday monotony of life and experience new things. Even if you don’t like reading, you should read. Like exercising, whether or not you enjoy it, you should do it for your health and well being.