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.


  • Credits for this great pic

    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.

    What should I do to succeed, part 1: fixing goals

    Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
    So tell me what you want, what you really really want

    ~Spice Girls – Wannabe ~

    Apart from tones of hours of work and a little bit of luck, one important ingredient in the success’ recipe is organization – fix your objectives, divide your project on steps and work hard. I’m the adept of planing stuff – how to spend my money, what to visit in holiday, how to get the job I want? I admit, I prefer to organize the most pleasant activities (but I’m working at that) and I’m working in the last minute for the assignments I don’t like, but if I want to change that I strongly believe that only a good schedule can save me.

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    But what’s a good schedule, what are its characteristics? Many projects, interesting in idea, fail in the end because of the organization. Maybe you think that an enterprise’s strategy is completely different from the home management, but both are governed by the same rules – only the context is different.

    And so I arrive at the first point in setting goals – evaluate your situation. In order to obtain something in future it’s very important to know exactly your position. What are your advantages and what are your disadvantages? What can you use? There are people you can count on? What kind of resources you have and how many? Be honest when you answer at all these questions, if you don’t evaluate right the context you have less chances in achieving your goals. This and knowing as accurate as you can what do you want are the main two qualities of purposes.

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    So the next step after you know your situation is to question yourself about what do you really want? What’s really important for you and what you can give up to? Set your priorities! The science of economy considers that the needs of humanity are unlimited whereas the resources are limited. You know your resources, how will you spend them? What are you willing to renounce to in order to get what you want? Don’t forget to answer sincere to not be disappointed afterwards. Here is good to fix some limits too. Don’t renounce at all your free time for your job, don’t sacrifice all your economies for a trip, even if it’s around the world, don’t forget about your friends for a girl/boy you’ve just met!

    Now you know what you want and what’s your situation. How should you get where you want? There is short term and long term and you have already an image of your long term. Divide your idea on steps. Fix an amount of time and money for each step. Leave yourself the possibility of error but try to do a realistic estimation. Work a lot if you want to make your dreams come true. Motivate yourself from once in a while – take short breaks (1-2 days) from your activity or relax a bit and admire your realizations. Your goals must be reachable. Everyone wants to fly but they don’t make a goal out of this simply because … it’s not possible. Concentrate on realistic purposes.

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    Another think I should talk about is the schedule’s trap – if it’s written down it doesn’t mean it has to be that way. You have set your goals and you can reset them. Leave some space for innovation and for improvisation. Enjoy the moment and … good luck in living your dreams!

    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!
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    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!
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  • 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.

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    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

    Shyness? no longer a problem!

    “Talk to me, show some pity
    You touch me in many, many ways
    But I’m shy can’t you see”

    ~Sonata arctica “Shy”~

    Have you given up many times because of your shyness? Have you ever lost opportunities because you were simply afraid to ask? About 80% of us would probably answer “yes” as a study shows. However, this fear of attracting attention can be healed by having a strong will and by understanding that it is impossible to succeed without the other’s help.
    A shy person can be seen by others as boring, unfriendly or weak so why not change your attitude to prove them that you can be a great friend and a valuable workmate? Get out of your shell!
    1. It might be hard at first but try to change your way of thinking into a positive one. Be relaxed and even if someone makes you feel uncomfortable try to start a conversation. Continue reading