"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Getting smarter takes time and genuine commitment. You need to work hard at it. Knowledge builds up, like compound interest says Warren Buffett. And he couldn't have said that any better. You get to cash in when the time is right. All of us can build our knowledge but most of us won't put in the effort.
We all differ in our abilities to solve problems, learn, think logically, understand and acquire new knowledge, integrate ideas, attain goals, and so on. But when you put your mind to it, you will work better, smarter and faster.
Intelligence is always a work in progress, so you are never too late to add to what you already know.
The good news is, you don't have to learn everything in hours, days or even months. The focus should always be on progress.
The simplest, most direct way to be smart is to build deep knowledge about things you care about. Building knowledge of an area improves your memory, thinking, and decisions about that topic. You can gain knowledge faster about a topic you care deeply about than a random topic.
But if they are not really the kinds of things you are interested in, then you will be hard pressed to devote time and effort to learn much. One thing that most people seem to agree on is that reading is near the core of how to be smart. Don't get in the way of your own learning. Most people don't really think much about how they learn.
The world is changing fast and new ideas pop up everyday; incorporating them into your life will keep you engaged and relevant. It pays to crave and keep an open mind. Incredibly smart people aren't always born that way, but rather are constantly working to improve their intelligence.
You have every opportunity to improve and enhance your way of thinking. Choose smart and stay curious.