10 tips that will make everybody sleep better

sleep sheepIt’s estimated that an average 80 year old man sleeps 25 years, just under one third of his life. There is no satisfying answer to why the human organism needs to disconnect from reality during sleep, but one thing’s for sure: it’s one of the most important stages of our lives, often neglected, and responsable directly for your quality of life. Many people still don’t understand and appreciate the benefits of sleeping and ignore the hazards of losing sleep. If you want to find out more about it, read this. Here are some tips that if respected, will make you sleep better, rejuvenate and feel better every single day.

Do the same sleep ritual every time.

There is still much left to understand about the human brain, but scientists pointed out that it prefers working after the same general scheme. Any significant change in the scenario turns into a minor brain alarm that sends out stress signals throughout the body, possibly leading to insomnia. Do the same thing on weekends too.

Go to sleep and wake up at approximately the same time

Of course, the odds are life will put out obstacles in your way and it won’t allow you to stick to your program on some days. The point is not to lose your balance and keep going with your waking hour. Also, when you go to bed, don’t try to force yourself to sleep.

Make the right conditions in the bedroom.

Each of us have our own preferences when it comes to our room. If your a very tidy person having a cluttered room may be keeping you from going to sleep, despite the fact that you may not even realize this. But for most people, having your room clean is not a must. The colour of your walls does have a big impact on you. While having a bright orange will help your creativity, it won’t be so good when trying to sleep, so you really should use some soothing colours such as a light blue or sage green. Your bedroom should be anything but hot, and it should also be quiet and dark. Your bed and pillow should be very comfortable and large enough for you. Also, according to some recent studies, if you do errands on the bed (such as writing or studying), your brain associates it with something else than rest, and you may have problems going to sleep. The room has to be ventilated properly.

Don’t ignore the morning routine.

I’ve written a whole lot about this topic here, you really should check it out.

Don’t eat or drink large amounts before sleeping.

If you have a light dinner, it can be up to 2-3 hours before going to bed. However, if you eat more at dinner (which is not a good thing in itself) it should be 4 hours earlier. You should also be careful what you eat, don’t make it something that will upset your stomach.

Give up unhealthy habits.

Drinking coffee or soda or alcoholic beverages. The drinks are all stimulants (even alcohol) and they require quite a while to get out of your system; and about smoking… I’m not even gonna go into that. Quit smoking!! It’s really not that hard.

Exercise.

Exercising does wonders for you in a whole number of ways, and let’s be honest, it’s not that hard to do. Whether you go to your local gym, go out for a jog or a swim, a few hours a week is a small price to pay when it comes down to your health. It also makes your sleep more restful but you have to be careful not to exercise for three hours (some say six hours) before going to bed, otherwise it could mess with your body.

Short naps are good, long ones are not.

We did a more detailed post about napping here, so check out the details there, but keep in mind that if you sleep a lot during the day, you’ll find it harder and harder to sleep early at night.

Use pills only as a last resort.

Unfortunately, it’s getting easier and easier to get some sleeping pills, and many people abuse that. If you find it hard to sleep, you first need to think positive, and don’t get the ‘I have insomnia’ idea in your head, because it will be hard to take out from there. If you can’t sleep for more than half an hour, you become pretty stressed about not being able to sleep so it’s better if you do something relaxing, read or listen to some calm music. Think positive thoughts; you’ve worked for a whole day and still have energy and can’t go to sleep, I’ll just compensate tomorrow and stick to a schedule.

Let go of your stress and worries.

I have my own ritual: almost everytime I go to sleep, I ponder of the day that has passed, with the good and the bad, thinking what I could have done differently, understand how I can do better, but I don’t let it affect me. After I do that, it’s much easier to go to sleep, having found peace with myself and letting go of all the stress. Find your inner balance and let go of your thoughts after that.

I can’t stress the issue of proper sleep enough, but hopefully by now, you’re beginning to understand just what a big mistake neglecting it is and the major consequences it can have. Just following these small steps can have a huge benefic impact on you, and they require a minimum of effort, if any at all.

Photo credits: 1,2, 3, 4

How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 1, the why the what and the how

Due to the fact that modern life takes us so fast through so many different situations, it’s hard to even fully understand what’s even happening, let alone take into consideration all the information and sort it out to get to the right conclusion. Still, despite what you may think and despite it’s obvious utility, logic is not a friend of many, and really few understand just how much plain logic and objectivity can help you out in day to day life. It’s not a solution to all your problems, it’s not a magic ring, but it’s what should be done.

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The modern man who gets what he wants pretty much all the time without cheating, lying and stealing is by definition a critical thinker, even though he may not realize it; your mind is working at all times, even when you sleep (actually, it’s believed that finding the answer to some problems which seem unsolvable could just arrive in your sleep). Life is all about the decisions you make, and when you make decisions what you basically do is look at what you should do, why you should do it and how you should do it; these are the steps to take if you want to become a critical thinker as well.

So what is critical thinking?? It’s the process of verifying the accuracy of the information you have and using it using your own effective personal set of criteria to get to the result which you want to achieve. It should be used in virtually all of the circumstances you will encounter in your life.

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Still, what makes taking decisions so hard, at least most of the time, and especially the important ones ?? The main disadvantage is that it’s really tempting to think about your problem from the inside. This way you can’t really see the big picture, and you tend to neglect the negative aspects hoping they won’t happen. But closing your eyes doesn’t mean the others can you, it just means that you can’t see the others. You have to analyze your situation from many (if not all) perspectives, and only after that, by a process of deduction, get to the right conclusion and avoid the distractions.

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Also, another thing that has to be understood is that thinking logically doesn’t limit your creativity, on the contrary. Many things you find unbearable could be turned into something really easy with a minimum effort and consideration of the things involved. It’s really hard if you can’t do it naturally, but it’s really easy once you see how to do it. That’s what the point of this series is, to help you find the critical objective thinker within you, and let him lead you towards solving your problems. It’s going to be in three parts: the why, the how and the what.

This is part 1 of Becoming a Remarkable Thinker
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4

How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 2, the why

As I said in the prologue of this series, using your analytic critical abilities is very important for a man, no matter what he does and how he thinks; it’s something required by more than our society, it’s something required by our inner nature. But some people might find it hard to believe that, so here’s just some of the reasons why you should think and use logic to solve your problems.

You can’t estimate your position without being objective; sometimes it’s hard to understand exactly where you really are, whether it’s your job, your relationship or something else. It’s in the human nature to think about the best and put the bad things aside, but it’s important to really understand where you are, so you can prepare yourself for any obstacles which might appear in your way; and if it’s all good, than it’s all good.

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Objectivity is a must for long term success; you can reach success on a whim, or by pure luck, but it’s the staying up that’s hard. It’s really hard to lose yourself once you achieve your goal, whether it’s your dream job or just the pretty girl that lives next door. One of the big secrets of life is to take nothing for granted and to understand that anything could go bad at any moment. For example, they might have hired you because they just didn’t have anybody else, or the girl might have been drunk that evening. That doesn’t mean that you can’t keep them; if you work hard and smart and treat the girl just right, you might keep both of them, but not without understanding where you stand.

Credits: that probably won’t be the girl next door

A critical mind can eliminate the unneeded, leaving just what you need for a great life; the process here is simple, you analyze your options and step by step reach the best one. How?? That’s easy. Let’s say you’ve got to decide where to go on your vacation (it is summer time, after all). You look at your options, and see if there’s anyone that just stands out, somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go and have the chance to do at this point. If so, that’s the choice for you. If not, you should eliminate those which are less apealing, by taking into consideration the factors which might influence your decision. Try to think about as many of these as possible, as this will greatly increase the accuracy of your decision making process. After you do this, repeat these steps again, until you reach the great vacation you’ve been dreaming of all year; somebody who would’ve decided on a whim without even thinking the least bit critical has every chance of getting a lousy vacation.

When the odds are against you, logic is what could tip the balance in your favor; this one’s easy too. If you see for example that you’re working on something and you can in no way finish in time, what do you do?? If it’s not done on time it’s worthless. Working continuously and hoping it will be enough will probably be not enough. Now is the time to stop and ponder your options; perhaps you’re not doing something right, perhaps there’s somebody that could help you, or perhaps you could cancel other projects. Find the right way so you can finish on time instead of brainlessly working ahead.

It’s a very good exercise for your mind; have you wondered why people solve logic problems, or just think about certain issues ?? Have you ever wondered why a student that has been seriously learning for several months for his tests uses his mind more effectively than usually?? Critical thinking is an essential process that cultivates and educates your mind, increasing your sense of reality and effectively making you smarter. It opens new doors in what concerns your understanding, as well as the circumstance and situation of your life.

“>Credits for this great pic: Nothing better than a workout

You could check for further info on adam sicinski’s blog; the man has absolutely great advice. So hopefully I’ve convinced you (at least a bit) that thinking is a really useful (no, really), but often underestimated method of solving your problems. But you have to think the right way, objective and critical, cause otherwise you would just do some more work in vain.

This is part 2 of Becoming a remarkable thinker
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4

How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 3, the characteristics

Here’s the bad side; nobody can make you a critical thinker. There’s nobody else that can do it for you, you have to learn how to do it and do it. It’s as easy as that. Still, there are some guidelines that are very useful to an ascending analytic mind. First of all, here are the most important characteristics of the objective thinker.

Credits: elephants are wonderful creatures, and we can learn much from them

Their mind and process of thinking seems complex and very hard to understand at first, but it follows some very simple guidelines and expands them to a whole web of subtler ideas. It’s this massive web of information and the repeted exercise of thinking that makes it easier for him to get to the right conclusion; this also means of course that he has the ability to analyze information.

He has the ability to adapt to new situations and uses his flexible mind to sort out order into even the most complicated things. Using simple guidelines and principles should by no means discourage you to be creative, or even more dangerous, encourage you to have a fixed mind. A rigid mind is an enemy you have to avoid.

He identifies facts and figures that don’t come out at a first glance. The quantity of the information processed is really important too, but what really makes the difference is quality. Knowing how to interpret a smile, the voice behind a statement or even knowing how to read between the lines is the difference between the right price and a buck short. Also, the one who asks just the right question and underlines the single most important aspect of something, is the best critical thinker.

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He’s confident and has faith in succeeding by himself; you should really be careful here, because confidence comes as a result of critical thinking, not the other way around. Things won’t go your way just because you think they will go your way. But if you see them going right, your confidence will be given a significant boost and this will make things even better for the future.

He has a good memory and has knowledge on many issues; once you tap into your inner critical thinker, you’ll understand the importance of it and I pretty much doubt you’ll want to give it up. You’ll learn more and more things, and by exercising your memory you’ll make it better; once you have a better memory, you’ll have more information to filter and so on. If you want to achieve this, you have to tune into your past memories and find similar experiences to which you are living. Another good exercise is thinking what would you do in a certain situation if you had the chance to do it again. Has your opinion changed?? Do you feel that you have a better understanding of the situation you’re in?? Those are just two of the questions you should answer affirmative to.

Credits: savoir vivre

He’s calm, and thinks about the future; of course panic and anxiety are enemies of the mind, and you should eliminate them wherever you can, as they bring nothing good. They’re only distractions. He’s very calculated and thinks about things in the long run as well.

He pretty much succeeds in everything he wants; this is the main objective, this is why it’s worth to be an objective thinker. It’s hard to believe, but you have to try it to believe it; you’ll probably find it hard to believe just how much the quality of your life can improve.

This is part 3 of Becoming a remarkable thinker
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4

How to become a remarkable objective critical thinker, part 4, starting and improving

Now that you know why you should why it’s important to think clearly and what a critical thinker shows, it’s important to know how you can start to develop this ability and how you can improve it. No subtle and crowning exercises here, just some basic tips to get you started.

Credits: “A man is not an orange. You can’t eat the fruit and throw the peel away”

The first thing you should do is refrain from acting by your first impulse

  • Why?? It’s simple: you’ll do things you’ll probably come to regret later. How many times haven’t you said or done something than regretted it, just because you were nervous?? Probably many times. It’s the first step in overcoming your instinctive atavic reactions.
  • How?? This is where it gets a bit more complicated, because first you have to be sure you’ve fully released yourself from whatever emotions you may feel, and then start thinking about what you have to do. If you can’t do that at first, try counting in your mind (no limit), drink a glass of water, or just take a short walk.
  • After that, it’s really important to synthetize the facts, eliminate what’s irrelevant and keep only what is useful as information, so you can analyze it. You could find this difficult, because sometimes it’s hard to draw the line as to what’s useful and what should be neglected, so don’t be discouraged if you make some mistakes at first. You’ll improve in time.

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    After you’ve synthetized the facts, it’s time to analyze. It’s the step which will lead you towards the decision and definitely the most complex one, so in order to employ some help for yourself and ask some questions, such as:

  • Are there any more facts I can aknowledge before I start analyzing?
  • Is there something that I’m missing?
  • How is this related to that?
  • What are the causes that led to this situation?
  • What’s most possible of happening and how can I prepare myself for that?
  • What other ideas back that other idea up?
  • What would happen if I did that?
  • Suppose this happens, what would happen after that?
  • What’s the best possible solution for this problem?
  • How would I test the possible outcome and make it better?
  • Of course these are just small samples, and you could think of some questions yourself, that would perhaps apply better to your situation.

    Upon analyzing, you have to think about the short, medium and long term implications. There’s a big chance you will be put into a situation which has short term benefits, but affects the long term progress, or the other way around. You have to try to anticipate what will happen and again think realistically about what the situation is and how you can adapt to it. There’s no reason for being optimist here, because it’s hard to say what will happen and how things will evolve, so it can’t hurt to be prepared for something.

    Another thing that you can do is ask some other people who could give you a different perspective. But that doesn’t mean that they are right, you should still rely on yourself and your judgements, but it’s sometimes refreshing to hear things from a different perspective. It’s why brainstorming relies on too.

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    After you’ve made the decision, you’re still not done yet. You have to prepare in case things don’t go your way; prepare for the bad things, because there’s no need to prepare for the good ones, is it?? That way if things go wrong, at least you’ll be prepared. All you’ve got to lose is some times, and you’ve got a lot to win.

    This is part 4 of Becoming a Remarkable Thinker
    Parts 1, 2, 3, 4.

    The DO’s and DON’Ts of summer alimentation

    First of all, this goes out mostly to people who live in places with 4 seasons, but also to those who live in very a warm climate. The Russian summer, for example, is very different from the Australian summer. These may seem as no brainers (I have to admit, most of them seem so to me), but I decided to write this after I noticed that really many people don’t really know what’s good for them when “things get hot”. The fast food culture has spread its long dark wings and whether we want to admit a lot, not that many of us eat healthy.

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    Summer is the favorite season of most; whether this love is caused by great weather, vacation or mini skirts, one thing’s for sure: nobody wants to have a summer spoiled. A lousy summer alimentation is a top candidate at ruining your summer and also your health. Here are just a few things you should look for and look out in this wonderful season.

    The DOs

    Natural liquids

    The first thing which summer requires from you is drinking more liquids than you would do in the rest of the year. This is caused by the heat which causes dehydration. Having enough fluids means you can work at full capacity and find pleasure in almost everything you do. In general, you should drink at least 2-3 l of liquids, but not everything works so you should really be careful what you drink. Here’s where this liquid could come from:

  • Natural juices;
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    summer is the natural time for many fruits (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, oranges, bananas, etc), and this juice not only is great for hydration, but it’s also very healthy, containing numerous vitamins your body needs to feel good. It’s the healthiest thing you can drink and the biggest step you can make towards a better summer and a better health.
  • Fruits;

    if you can’t or won’t make juices, there’s still something you can do, just as good: eat fruits. They also contain the same liquids and vitamins and just as the juices are, they’re really tasty. What you should do is resist the temptation of eating them really cold. It may seem good, but what you’re really doing is applying big termic variations to your body, which is not helping you at all.
  • Tea;
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    it’s a miracle maker since the dawn of manking. Every civilisation used it, and for good reason. Mint and green tea could be helpful as they have a soothing action, but any tea is good. Also, especially in extreme heat, people used to drink warm black tea, because it prevented sweating, thus the body remained hydrated for a longer period of time.
  • Water; tap water is great when you don’t have any of the above, but it’s recommended that you have a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Just be careful where you put it (especially in the car) as it could get really hot.
  • Light food

    Now more than ever is the right time to think about what you eat; you have quite a lot of alternatives and it’s time to give up the barbeques and stakes, and instead go for salads and other lighter food, especially because your appetite is mostly lower in the summer. Here’s what you could eat:

  • Vegetable salads;
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    if you’re thinking they’re not tasty, now more than ever is the time to change your mind. Tomatoes, salad, cucumbers, potatoes, everything is at its best now; and you don’t have to use just veggies, actually it’s great to add something else. Some olive oil (no pun intented), pepper, cheese (any kind), they all do wonders both for the taste and the nutritional qualities.
  • Cakes;
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    especially fruit cakes are a must in this time of the year. We all want something sweet once in a while, and this is the best way to suit our needs. Also, learning how to do this will almost definitely be a skill that will help you further along
  • The DONT’s

    Now that we took a look at the good things, let’s browse the “enemies”, which can really ruin what could be a fantastic summer, and could have a big impact on your health and mood too.

  • Alcohol; perhaps the biggest enemy of summer, alcohol can have a series of detrimental effects on you; and since summer is all about partying, alcohol is often in the center of attention, and people tend to forget the dark side of the coin. First of all, it was made by a process of boiling (or something similar), which makes it penetrant and makes it “dry out” your inside, without you even feeling it. Also, we tend to be less resistant to its effects in the summer, especially because dehydration.
  • Cigarettes; quitting smoking is not really as hard as you’d imagine. Every moment is a good time to start quitting (because it’s recommended that the quitting process is not done at once, but in steps), but summer could give you the mental boost your need. Ever felt that you just can’t get enough air because of all the heat?? Cigarettes amplify all that, because one of their first effects is to reduce lung efficiency and your ability to make effort and resist in harsh conditions.
  • Stakes and other “heavy” foods (fast food included); do I really need to say anything else here ?? Eating pork, sausages, stakes, and any other such food is virtually a mood killer, making you feel tired and sweaty. They’re really bad for your health too, as I’m sure you already know.


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    So after we draw the line, it’s obvious that what we’re supposed to be eating and what we are eating are definitely not the same thing; as a matter a fact in most cases they’re not even in the same league. What you need to understand is that you have to keep a balance, meaning that even if you can’t eat all healthy all the time you really should at least avoid succumbing to unhealthy foods, as it the one you are doing harm to is yourself. So without further ado, go and have the best summer you can possibly have, you’ve probably earned it.

    5 Lessons for a Happy Life

    A guest post by Shilpan Patel, from success soul

    If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a month — get married. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
    – Chinese Proverb

    While driving on the highway, I stumbled upon a billboard that read, “Be happy now”. I, for a moment, felt jolt of happiness in my body. It was inexplicable but the feeling was real.
    I pondered along the way about happiness and its sources. Where it comes from? I started feeling nostalgic. My mind started wandering into the past in an intense search for the traces of happiness. It was exhilarating thought to find the roots of happiness that lie nowhere but in my own thoughts and the ability to react to different circumstances.
    I have a habit of writing a journal. The journal tracks my life. It tracks my setbacks, it tracks my success and it certainly tracks my happy days. I went through the journal to capture the lessons of happiness that I can share with you.

    Lesson # 1: Make someone happy:
    A successful surgeon practices surgery daily; a successful lawyer practices law daily. To become happy, you need to make someone happy. Engage in random acts of kindness. Try to serve others with your time and money. Making someone happy makes you selfless. I have always felt happy when I do not expect any return for the service I rendered. It always makes my day fulfilling.

    Lesson # 2: Become debt free:
    Debt is an imprisonment to our happiness. It shackles our ability to think and pursue true happiness. Imagine if you are living by paycheck to paycheck, it is hard to have anytime for things that bring happiness when you have to work to make money to pay debt without any relief. You can cut out fat from your spending to work towards paying off your debt. If you start living life of simplicity, you will accentuate your freedom from the debt-ridden life.

    Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have, it depends solely upon what you think.
    – Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) American writer.

    Lesson # 3: Choose to be positive:
    Our ability to choose our thoughts allows us to think positively. If we learn how to replace self-limiting thoughts with affirmations, we develop habit of positive thinking. For instance, replace self-limiting thought of – “I do not have enough time to enjoy time with my family.” with “I have plenty of time to spend time with my family”.

    Lesson # 4: Be transparent:
    I constantly remind myself that to earn trust from friends and family, I have to remain transparent about my actions. I have to show honesty and sincerity in the pursuit of happiness to get support from my alter ego. I have to show her that I’m committed to her pursuit of happiness as much as I’m to mine. Develop transparency with the attitude of showing all your cards to others involved in your life. They will in turn show you their cards; together everyone wins.

    Lesson # 5: Live a simple life:
    The modern day life is an entangled web of complexity. We live with cell phones, laptops, and pagers. These devices are convenient and they definitely add flexibility to work anywhere in the world. However, we pay steep price for these conveniences. We clutter our minds with information overload. We tend to ignore our inner voice of simplicity to feel true happiness. We tend to ignore the pristine value of our time with family; we definitely ignore the pearls of joy in sharing our laughter with our children. I’m not advocating that we give up on our pursuit of the burning desire, I’m suggesting that we shall always be mindful about de-cluttering our physical as well as mental space to live for a happy, fulfilling life.

    Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
    – Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Preeminent leader of Indian nationalism.

    Photo Courtesy of Smugmug

    Taking chances vs not taking chances

    Photo by Giorgio Tomassetti

    He deals the cards to find the answer
    The sacred geometry of chance
    The hidden law of probable outcome
    The numbers lead a dance
    ~Sting – Shape of My Heart~

    Whether you believe in fate or that you totally make your life, you have to agree that what decisions you make decide who you are. It’s paradoxical in a way, but sometimes your decisions decide for you. There’s no magic recipe for making the right decisions or something like that; the huge (or not so huge) amount of things you have to take into consideration when making a decision has to be analyzed, and most of the time there’s no right decision, and usually two appear: one that’s more daring, and the other one that’s more conservative.

    Photo by Eduardo Cavasotti

    Making the right call every time is not possible; making the right call as most of the times as possible… that’s the point. Have you ever watched House MD ? If not, you really should. A significant part of the show is aimed at finding the right diagnosis of a certain patient, through more or less orthodox means. House (the main character) almost always takes chances; but the chances he takes are always (or almost always) less riskier than not taking a chance would be.

    House MD. Photo by mabe85

    These days you see a lot of people who haven’t become as good as they could have, simply because they were afraid to follow their dream. On the other hand, you see a lot of waitresses who wanted to be actresses. So where do you stand? Myself, I’m a believer in taking chances. But not crazy 1 in a million chances – I’m talking about calculated, logical risks where the positive outcome has realistic chances of happening. Taking a chance just for the sake of it… may make you feel good for a while, but it won’t last and the odds are you’ll regret it. If you really believe you can win based on logical arguments, then you should go for it. There are some things that could help you remove obstacles from achieving that:

  • Don’t think about what others think. It’s always good to listen to other opinions, but if they come from strangers you can’t trust them, and if they come from people you trust they’re biased, which makes them useless. So listen carefully whenever somebody tells you something that could influence your decision – rely on somebody other than yourself only when you’re 100% sure it’s the right thing to do.
  • Put the good and the bad in balance. Even when you’re sure you’re going to make the right call and things will come out your way, think about something to do even if it doesn’t go how you estimated.
  • Have a backup plan. This is extremely useful when you’re going to take risks. The more risks you fail, the more you will win; or lose. Or both ! When you lose, it’s better to have a backup plan so you can rebound and take a risk another day.
  • Nobody wants mediocrity; if you don’t live your life to the fullest, you’ve practically wasted it. So get your priorities straight and whatever it is you want to get… go get it! There’s no tomorrow, there’s no next time.
  • Photo by AksZindagi

    Still… the coin has two sides. For example, for every aspiring actor that actually got to the carreer he wanted, there’s 19 others that didn’t. Number don’t lie. Also, even when you’re sure you can achieve your goal, your senses could be deceived and the fall from a dream is really painful. Also, when in pursuit of a dream, breaking away from reality is quite possible, and it should be avoided… because most of the times it will only mean a harder fall.

    Whenever you choose to take or not to take a risk, you define yourself, because you’re not making a singulary decision, but you’re going towards the same decision you’re always going to make in this sort of situation.This depends on your personality and your case, but you shouldn’t be influenced by something else other than that. Again, a calculated risk is definitely the way to go, at least that’s how it seems for me. What about you?

    4 really basic tips to increase your online productivity

    Photo by br3nda

    The internet has grown incredibly much in the past years especially because it appeals to people in a way that nothing else has appealed. There’s always something new to do, new people to meet, news to read, all sorts of stuff to do. But what do you do when you have work to do, and all these attractions (for others) become distractions (for you)? You have to know where to draw the line and when to say no. Otherwise you’ll just enter a vicious circle and tons of unfinished work will just clutter up.

  • Turn the TV off!
  • Photo by Wesley Yendrys

    The TV could be the biggest distraction; you’ll probably just end up checking the latest news or results, or watching some show. Listening to music is OK, but do it from your computer or mp3 player, music videos tend to distract your attention. Actually, for some (including me) listening to music is a productivity booster.

  • Sign out from Instant Messaging!
  • Photo by dontodd

    Yeah sure your friends wanna chat with you and tell you the latest gossip, but it will totally screw up your work plan. Twitter can also become a pain.

  • Acknowledge the fact that you have to finish the job!
  • Photo by fjny
  • Otherwise you’re just going to find excuses for yourself and find other “better” things to do. Finish your job, even if it may seem that you’re on a really long and winding road.

  • No youtube for you! Funny videos, bizarre, lol cats, that kind of stuff is a productivity killer, and you’ll get nowhere this way. Of course they’re fun, but it’s just about timing; work is work, and fun is fun. Nobody says you have to be all work and no fun, just that you have to know where to draw the line
  • The distractions are various, and vary from case to case, but these are the major ones which pretty much apply to everybody. The thing is that you have to understand that although it may seem like you’re just wasting a few minutes or even just seconds, these things gather up and disturb your own natural way of working.

    5 natural, non-nerdy steps for learning… anything

    study

    Photo by carloseduravier

    Get ur freak on
    Headbanger.. hit me, hit me, hit me, hit me

    Missy Elliot ~ Get ur freak on ~

    Nobody (or almost nobody) likes to study; I know I don’t. But it’s something we have to do, it’s a natural and necessary part of our development as human beings, not just for your school or carreer. But just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it has to become a drag; no way! You can make it acceptable at least, perhaps even rewarding. Studying should become a decent activity, here’s what you should do.

    1. Understand studying!
    learn

    Picture by sosarem

    Learning is an unpleasant activity not just because it feels like you’re wasting your time or stuff like that; in most cases, it’s a subconscious response. That’s just a clever way of saying that your brain thinks studying is bad. Why? Well because of our society; when parents punish their kids, they often make them study. Also, the feeling that it’s too hard or pointless can actually make it pointless. If you want to learn something, you have to make yourself understand that first. Once you understand that you have to finish this and you stop kidding yourself, you’re half way there.

    2. Learn the right things!
    study

    Photo by sidereal
    So you’ve motivated yourself, you want to do this, you’ve got the right attitude… what now? Make sure you have the right books, reference, whatever, and put them in the right order. Learning things in the correct order will actually speed things up. Sounds like a paradox? Not really. It’s just common sense; do it the wrong way and nothing will catch, and you’ll just waste a lot of time. Go back to 1. if that’s the case. Also, if you’re using the Internet, be careful, cause there’s a lot of wrong or partial information. Use the big boys (Wikipedia, Britannica, etc)for a bit more safety, but even there you’ll find some small mistakes. So be careful with the learning material.

    3. Learn the right way!
    study

    Photo by chotda

    So you have the attitude, you have the learning material and still not learning? Well if the TV’s on and the dog’s barking there and that kind of stuff… it’s really understandable. You need to find that learning place, that is different for different people. Whether it’s quiet or filled with music, bright or darker, there should be no distractions (window, TV, pet, etc). Also, try to estimate your time – a realistic approach. If you don’t have enough time…

    4. Turn useless time into productive time!
    study

    Photo by un4gtableann

    Useless time can actually be… useful. Good all around tips here, but for studying, it’s a bit different. You should especially pay attention to time used for transportation and bath time. When you’re on the bus or other ways of transportation, try and do a quick recap (which by the way is really important) or read something new. When you’re taking a bath, do a light read or something; nothing too big, because this way it won’t spoil your relaxation. Also if you want to gain more time, you should know yourself. Know what’s good for you, how you can focus, things like that. It’s important that you find your own way of studying. Make notes, write down the most important ideas, listen to music, whatever gets you going. Also, it’s really important to know if your auditive memory is better than your visual memory. If it is, it’s definetly a good idea to read the stuff out loud, record it, and then listen to it. This can be a good idea even if it’s not (you can apply it on the bus).

    5. Finish things up!
    study

    Photo by Fort Photo

    Even when you feel like you’re making progress, you have to do things all the way, otherwise it’s your loss. Even if it feels like you know bits and pieces and you can put them together when needed, you shouldn’t rely on that. Also, don’t delay everything until the last moment, that won’t get you very far. Start things right, work your way to the top, and be careful at the finish. That’s what the champions do.