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?

    7 Simple Habits To Decluttering Your Life

    Clutter
    Photo by the other Martin Taylor

    Say what u will
    Say what u mean
    No, you could never offend
    Your dirty words come out clean

    ~Incubus~

    Simplicity is something we all strive for in these busy times we live in. However, one of the biggest impediments most of us face, in life, is clutter. Clutter can manifest itself in a myriad of forms, but home clutter is definitely the most devastating for our individual productivity. Trust me, when you’ve got a pile of cloths, left over cereal and after party beer cans keeping you from entering a room you know you’ve got a problem.

    Clutter can hold a lot of things back from you. First thing that comes to mind is the psychological factor; you’ll get far less things done, especially if the clutter is at your work desk. Then there’s the organizational factor; it’s really easy to get things lost when you’ve got piles of junk hanging around. Some people even raise the issue of clutter being damaging to our health. And of course let’s not forget the aesthetics factor. Indeed clutter is bad for you, but let’s take a quick look on a few tips and pointers you can apply to help declutter your household and life. c

    1. Start a general household cleanse. Get all the members of your family together so that you can work faster and at the same time do a fun activity together. Ok it may not be fun, but at least you’ll be close to each other.

    2. Start off small. Once you’ve get everybody together, make sure everybody starts cleaning at the same place, together. This helps keep things fast and organized. By decluttering your household one room at a time, you can not only spare a lot of time and by having all the members of the family in one place, you can all decide which items to keep or throw away from the clutter.

    Continue reading

    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.

    8 tips to help you think like a genius!

    Everybody wants to be a showman
    Yeah they all got another one
    Everybody thinks they got a genius
    Everybody got me on the run
    ~Kings of Leon~

    Not everyone can be a genius like Einstein or Thomas Edison, but certainly all of us can use their methods to train our minds and to create the best plans for our future. The following 8 simple strategies will help you increase your productivity and to find better solutions to problems faster as they are similar to the ones used by geniuses in art, industry and science throughout history.

    1. Try to see a problem in more than just one way!

    Find new perspectives no one else thought about before. Leonardo da Vinci used this method as he thought that the first perspective is always subjective. So be original! Don’t be afraid to find new solutions and to have a different vision about something. Different is not similar to wrong!

    2. Visualize!

    Photo by Seeding-Chaos

    Einstein used diagrams to solve problems as he didn’t think words and numbers were relevant in the process of thinking. So grab a pencil or just close your eyes and use your imagination. The answer might be just there.

    3. Be productive!

    Thomas Edison is known to have created more than 1000 inventions most of them useless. In fact, most great inventors did the same thing; however, they were not afraid of failure or mediocrity and this helped them succeed. So why not doing the same thing? There is nothing to lose!

    4. Combine ideas and solutions!

    As Gregor Mendel discovered the laws of heredity by combining Maths and Biology you can also improve your work by using all your knowledge and even the most unlikely solutions!

    5. Create connections!

    Photo by schaaflicht

    Da Vinci made a connection between the sound of a bell and a stone hitting the water. This way he discovered the existence of sound waves. You may not discover a groundbreaking invention, but even the smallest discoveries can bring great rewards…so why not give it a try?

    6. Use opposition!

    Photo by niznoz

    The physician Niels Bohr would bring together mentally opposing elements and then he would cancel his reason, thus discovering new perspectives. By using this method, your mind will go to another level of understanding.

    7. Think metaphorically! Aristotle thought that someone who could perceive the similarities between two separate areas of existence and bring the together is someone special. So save some time and look at the world around you with in a different way. Who knows what can come up?

    8. Manage your failure! Don’t let everything disappoint you, but try to analyze the situation and to understand what went wrong in order to improve your future attempts. This will help you be successful and more mature.

    The thing is you have to understand that you must become the change you want to see. So why not change the way you work and think about problems? It will make your life better, it will make you feel better, so go for it. Bring out the genius in you!

    Photo by pyza

    4 things to do when it’s raining

    Sunny days
    Where have you gone?
    I get the strangest feeling when you belong.
    Why does it always rain on me?

    ~Travis – Why does it always rain on me?~

    You casually look out the window and when you see the beautiful weather outside you feel like going outside and enjoying yourself. If it’s sunny out you get in a ‘sunny’ mood. If it’s windy then you’re probably going to be a bit agitated and anxious. But it’s by far the worst when it’s raining. If you’re like most people, you’ll feel apathetic, always tired and you could just sleep forever. The weather has a strong impact on people’s moods and you should keep that in mind whenever you organize your schedule.

    Credits photo

    Let’s say it’s raining for 2 days now. You’re already very tired, you miss your bed even though you’ve got up 5 minutes ago and you are so bored … What can you do? Continue reading

    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.

    3 easy ways to make boring activities fun or useful

    ‘Cause we were never being boring
    We had too much time to find for ourselves
    And we were never being boring
    We dressed up and fought, then thought: “Make amends”
    Pet Shop Boys ~Being Boring~

    In life, you do things you don’t want to; things you may find useless, unpleasant, or just boring. You may also waste a lot of time when you’re say, taking the bus to school or work, or when you’re cooking or just don’t have what to do at work; and you probably sometimes feel like you just don’t have enough time to finish your work and really need to relax and unwind. The thing is that you have two problems which could solve each other! Sounds really weird, but filling these ‘gaps’ in your day to day time is really important, but mostly underestimated. Here’s what you can do.

    1. Take an mp3 player (ipod) or a good book with you.
    book
    Photo by D T Photo
    Or both! Put them in a small backpack or even in your pocket, it won’t really bother you. This way, whenever you’re don’t have anything really important to do, like cooking or just typing you can start listening to music. Whenever you’re in the bus, you can start reading, or during the lunch break after you’ve eaten. Continue reading

    6 Habits To Avoiding And Overcoming Procrastination

    Procrastination
    Photo by j.lee43

    Try to put me in a room
    Distraction less
    (Everything is everything)
    Spare me from worse
    In the studio, I would finally burn
    (All the time is all you got)
    Tempted to work
    ~Amy Winehouse~

    In short procrastination is a habit if you will, a very bad habit, that consists in putting off something for the next day. Procrastination is to blame for most of our productivity problems and yet it seems that very few people actually do something about it. And this doesn’t solely apply to your personal life either, it just as well happens in your career as well, because chances have it you’ll behave the same way at work as well. Missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt are just a few consequences.

    I’m pretty sure most of you’ve told yourselves at least once in your life I’ll do it tomorrow, I have the time or tomorrow’s another day. Ok, that’s true, but to paraphrase a common proverb, why put put for tomorrow, what you can do today? It’s safe to say that everybody knows that procrastination is hazardous, but what compels people, like you or myself, to do it? There’s a few reasons why people result to postponements like fear of the unknown, fear of change, perfectionism, fear of failure, disorganization and so on, but probably the most common reason is … laziness. That’s right folks laziness can really be a bugger, some go as far as saying it’s a terrible sickness, I personally think it’s all just a psychological issue.

    Continue reading

    Flowers – simple way to make your life more beautiful

    So when I’m crying alone
    Yeah, when I’m cold as a dying stone
    Grow me a garden of roses
    Paint me the colors of sky and rain

    ~Poets of the fall – Roses~

    roses.jpg
    Credits photo

    Many of our male readers know that flowers are useful – best present someone could give ( flowers never get old fashion) and they are Continue reading

    3 ways to experience art therapy

    This is all so beautiful
    But how much of this will really be
    Enough to keep me on my feet
    ~Rachael Lampa – The Art~

    Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, combining traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with a subtler, more modern way of getting rid of your psychological and even physical problems. Also it’s a favorite of more and more people because you can do it at home, with your friends or family or alone, it’s fun and you train certain skills. It’s especially good for teenagers, people in their 40s, junkies and really stressed out people, but it has shown incredible results for just about everybody who tried it.

  • Painting
  • painting

    Image by Petra
    The point of it is not directly to paint, but rather to know yourself better and to understand your most inner feelings, in a liberating and fun gesture. It doesn’t matter if you can’t paint or never painted at all, the only important thing is to be yourself and to try to express what you feel through lines, shapes and colours. You don’t need words to express yourself, and this is a great example. After you’ve finished a painting, take a look at it and say out loud what you think it means; then take a small break and think if it actually means that in your case. Continue reading