I can’t live, I can’t die
After birth, he lived and died.
In case you missed me, I am doing well and I hope you are too! As stated earlier, I will officially continue blogging in mid-October. I thought that posting a six-word story would be a fun thing to do, so here you go. Well, it was in my opinion brutally simple and straightforward, but it was worth a shot. What do you think about it? Post your comments down below. If you enjoyed this post, do consider giving it a like! Follow me for more articles and stay tuned for more!
When we were young, many of our parents exhorted us to study hard and find a good job. For most common people, the goal of life is to obtain a respectable income, work hard and then retire. For this plan to work – if it even works, that is – one has to obtain certification of the highest calibre possible. Failure to do so would mean a lower income and consequently a less comfortable life. However, industries are no longer looking for individuals with extraordinary academic qualifications. In fact, unemployment numbers are going up and it is common to be retrenched at middle age – commonly known as mid-life crisis. Clearly, relying solely on a high-paying job is not sustainable in the long run. This brings us back to the question: Is certification that important? Is it a crucial part of success? My answer to this is a resounding NO. In this article, I will the discuss the reasons for this viewpoint and attempt to convince my readers that a person’s learning attitude is of higher importance. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: A Person’s Learning Attitude Matters More
Knowledge without wisdom is inherently useless. Without the desire to learn, to improve and to explore, your mind will be the prison in which you will rot. The world is advancing rapidly even as we speak. Those who do not embrace change will be swept and blindsided by it. In life, we will inevitably face many crises that threaten to turn our lives upside down, the most recent being the COVID-19 pandemic that threatened job security around the world. It is of paramount importance that we learn to adapt to our surroundings and learn a little of everything. Learning a little of everything refers to exploring all sorts of skills and industries with an open heart, regardless of your current biases. Thus, you will be better prepared to move from industry to industry. Those who master this skill will often fare better than those who have loads and loads of qualifications for a certain skill but know nothing about everything else. Those who are overspecialised face higher risks of becoming obsolete. For instance, a world-class pianist who loses control of his hands due to paralysis will not be able to earn as much as he used to. Furthermore, he has no skills that are valuable in other industries. In other words, placing all your eggs in one basket is not a wise decision.
#2: Certification Is Nothing If You Lack Financial Intelligence
Why is it that there are highly educated individuals who face money problems or bankruptcy? How is it that individuals such as Warren Buffett and Donald Trump, who may seem less educated and qualified, are able to build their wealth while others struggle? The difference between the upper and middle classes is financial intelligence. In other words, those who do not know how to control their finances will eventually find themselves controlled by money. How is this so? See, the difference is that the rich let money work for them, while the poor work all their lives for money. The poor work incessantly – our parents once told us to “work hard and get a secure, high paying job” – in hopes of a pay raise. Even after these individuals obtain their beloved pay raises, they still have no idea how to use their hard-earned cash. Often, they lose their hard-earned cash due to taxes and high expenses, which threaten to devour them alive. And when they find themselves without a job, they realise they have nothing left – assets – to rely on. Those who believe that the government care for them will also find themselves disappointed – there has been cases, not only in the US, where governments are unable to provide the money for citizens’ retirement. The rich on the other hand, spend their lives buying assets – stocks, bonds and real estate. Moreover, the rich lead frugal lifestyles so as to reduce their expenses and set aside more towards assets. Initially, time and effort is required in managing and growing these assets. However, after a period of time, the assets no longer need the care of their owners – these assets have become so extensive and self-sustaining that they are paying for themselves over and over. This is much like growing a tree – at first, extensive and regular watering is needed. However, after a while, the tree’s roots become so deep and extensive that they no longer need the support of their owners. In other words, the rich no longer have to work for money, as money works for them now. In conclusion, certification will not help you, in any way, to effectively survive the conditions of this world. You need to have the attitude to learn and diligently build up your financial intelligence.
#3: Social Intelligence Plays A Bigger Part In Success Than Certification
Every human brain consists of the left hemisphere, which is responsible for technical knowledge such as mathematics, and the right hemisphere, which is responsible for more abstract subjects like emotions and visualisation. Often, we focus on cultivating our left brains so much that we forget about the right. A scientist can make amazing discoveries, but without the skill to present it to others, his work inevitably ends up lost in time. No one is an island. Each and every one of us has to work with others one way or another. As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Without the help of others, we will struggle on the path to success – some of us may even die trying. On the other hand, with the support of our friends, associates and loved ones, attaining success becomes easier. That being said, developing one’s social intelligence is easier said than done. Cultivating it requires self-reflection and empathy. Furthermore, the building of trust between 2 or more parties requires time. While it is difficult, mastering the art of social intelligence will pay dividends down the road and make life easier.
Moral of the story: Certification is not a one-way ticket to success. To achieve success, one must cultivate one’s financial and social intelligence, and possess the passion to learn continuously. The world is changing rapidly. We should embrace change rather than go against it. I hope that you found some enlightenment from my article. If you did find this article helpful, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Thanks for reading!
Writing is something we have been doing ever since our childhoods. All we had to do was pick up a pen or pencil and scribble away. Back in our younger days, writing seemed fun, even transcendent. Now, many of us find it a boring to do, even worse so when we don’t have the option to type. Technology has rewired our minds to prefer things that are more efficient, simple and elegant. We hate apps that have an obnoxious design. Meanwhile, tech companies are trying to make their devices and appliances thinner and lighter. Many of us fail to see the value of writing and dismiss it as a mere hobby or an ancient relic of the past. At most, we only write down what we need to get at the supermarket. What’s even funnier is that our vocabulary has gradually degraded overtime. In fact, I encounter many people who know no substitute for the word “happy” when chatting on WhatsApp. So why should we write then, given that technological advances have basically eroded the need for writing? In this article, I shall discuss this topic in greater detail. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: Writing Helps You To Express Your Feelings
Writing is a great way to release stress – a feeling we all know too well. We have become increasingly absorbed with our jobs and commitments, leaving us with little time for reflection. Many of us have become mindless robots, following a set routine – wake up, work, sleep, repeat. To many, the word “tomorrow” is no different to the word “today”. It’s all the same to them. Writing gives you a sense of time, a sense of what you have done in the present day and what you look forward for the next. This helps to break the monotony between days and allows us to better understand our deepest emotions. Often, we ignore these emotions, hiding them. And when they finally explode, our lives take a big hit. In summary, writing is a great way to understand your thoughts, thoughts that disappear and appear throughout the day. By penning them down on paper, you will be able to capture and study them.
#2: It Lets Your Creativity Run Wild
Much like drawing or painting, writing is a way to express your innate creativity. You can write anything you want. Love science fiction? Go ahead and describe the world of your dreams. It could even be something as simple as planning for your team project tomorrow. Point is, your paper (or text file, if you are using a computer or device) is an open canvas awaiting your ideas. Armed with ideas, a vivid imagination and your amazing brain, anything is possible. Meanwhile, writing activates both your left and right brain hemispheres. According to research, students who read and write extensively show greater creative performance than those who do not.
#3: It Improves Your Communication Skills
Those who write regularly are better able to understand their emotions and those of others. In fact, the ability to empathise is an essential skill in the social world. Furthermore, writing enhances your ability to organise and express your thoughts. This also leads to an increased fluency of speech. This will be useful in team projects of any kind, as you will be able to bring your messages across much more easily, thus allowing your subordinates and superiors alike to understand your ideas at a much deeper level.
Writing is something I would encourage all of my readers to try. Perhaps you could try to write a few lines or keep a personal diary. I hope that you did enjoy this article, and if you did, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading!
Argh! I can’t remember what I’ve read yesterday! Ridiculous!” Ever experienced this? Sometimes we just find ourselves forgetting what we think we will never forget. Isn’t it annoying? So, what we can do about this? Is there anything that we can do to mitigate the process of forgetting? Or are we all destined to forget everything we have learnt? Well, both yes and no. In this post, I will show you how YOU (yes, you) can improve your memory. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter so you’ll never ever miss any new articles!
In my previous articles, I touched on the fact that the brain is simply unable to multitask and that trying to do so will only kill your productivity. This applies to memory as well. Doing more than two things at once affects how your mind encodes information. Often, we find ourselves forgetting what we have learnt or read and we blame it on our mind’s inability to recall information. Let me ask you this question. How can your mind forget something that was not even stored in your brain in the first place? Well, stop blaming your poor brain. Instead, amend your bad habits. Let’s say that you want to study a chapter of Chemistry today. To facilitate a conducive learning environment, you should place all your electronic devices somewhere inaccessible, perhaps in a locked drawer. Furthermore, practice mindfulness when you study. This means staying focused and motivated with your work at hand. (No daydreaming!) This allows your mind to absorb information much more readily.
#2: Method of Association – Using Mnemonics and Acronyms
The mind is an efficient machine. In other words, your mind will instantly delete anything it deems useless so as to ensure the healthy functioning of the brain. This also effectively prevents information overload as it allows the individual to only remember what he/she needs for survival. This can be both good and bad. Sometimes, your mind interprets what you think is useful as trash and the vice versa is true as well. Why is it that we can remember the embarrassing moments of the past without flaw, while we struggle to remember what we have read as recently as a day ago? This is because your mind places different degrees of importance on different memories. Let’s say you tripped and fell due to a plastic bag on the ground a year ago. I bet you will most likely recall this event today! In this case, this is because your brain has judged this memory as essential to your survival, thus effectively preventing you from making the same mistake again. Do you remember the times when people laughed at you? I can confidently say that you do as well! So why is it that your brain still retains such humiliating memories? In the early history of mankind, being part of a group was a matter of life and death. Being alone only increases one’s chances of being lost and being hunted by predatory animals. As a result, our minds have evolved to prioritise social cohesion and that aforementioned memory (the one about you being laughed to death by others) helps you to understand the minds of others and spurs you to fit in. Meanwhile, our minds have developed to appreciate humour, with the same purpose of helping one build friendships and social connections with other fellow humans.
So what does this have to do with improving our memory? To retain information much more effectively, we can learn to take full advantage of the evolutionary features of our brains. We can do this by using acronyms to represent lists or sentences. The funnier and weirder the acronym, the better the recall effectiveness. You could also utilise rhymes to remember certain information. For instance, “A knight on the rim is grim.” helps chess players remember that a knight is most powerful in the centre of the board.
#3: Taking Omega-3 Supplements
Our brains are about 60% fat. The architecture of our minds are such that we require an adequate amount of fatty acids to sustain its performance. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in this. Research has shown that consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, which include Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), help to build cell membranes and prevent inflammation in the body. Meanwhile, Omega-3 fatty acids are key components in the myelin sheaths of neurones, which insulates nerve fibres and increases transmission speed of nerve impulses. This boosts memory formation and increases the processing speed of the mind. In fact, the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to prevent certain psychotic disorders such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
I hope that this article gave you insights into the inner machinations of the brain and how you can improve your memory. If you did enjoy this article or have found it useful, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more articles and thanks for reading!
Noise is everywhere. Noise doesn’t just refer to its physical form, but it also refers to its non-physical form, which can be our anxiety, worries, burdens and other negative thoughts. We are pummelled by both physical and non-physical noise as we go about our daily lives. We have decreasingly less time to think for ourselves, to ponder and to reflect. We become too attached to the world and the mind fog that accompanies it. We notice less of the little things of life and become mindless machines. This is why silence is important. Shutting out distractions, taking a break and reflecting are just some of the things you can do to introduce some healthy silence into your life. You might be surprised, but many supposedly beneficial things in the world, such as friendship and money, can take away our capacity for happiness and drain our energy away. In this article, we shall discuss why silence matters in our lives and some ways we can harness its power. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: Silence Promotes Concentration
Silence allows us to give our full attention to a certain task, event or objective. Our brains are not designed to multi-task and we become easily distracted by background noise or certain types of music. Have you ever found yourself unable to focus on a single matter at hand and switching between tasks? A good way to improve your concentration would be to shut out all possible sources of distraction, such as your mobile devices and computer. For those of you who have read my previous articles, you might have read that listening to music can help to increase concentration. Some of you might say, “Hey, that’s contradictory! You just said silence improves focus!” The truth is both are able to improve concentration. However, be careful to music which are not distracting in nature. For example, listening to classical music can help to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. More details can be found at https://bestofwrite.com/2021/01/15/heres-why-you-should-listen-to-classical-music/. These two methods, help to remove mental noise – distracting thoughts which seek to pull our attention away.
#2: Silence Allows You To See the Bigger Picture
In the 21st century, we find ourselves moving from one event to another in rapid succession. We become so entrenched in the world’s events and our daily lives that we virtually have no time to step back and reflect. Reflection is a powerful tool in our path towards success and life in general. Every time you get a period of silence, do take the opportunity to think about what you have done for the day. Are you moving towards your goal? What could you do to be more productive? What were the setbacks I faced today? What can I do more for my loved ones? This thinking process helps us to plan forward and improve ourselves daily. This is how you and I can obtain success, step by step, only if we are ready to learn and reflect on what we can do better each day.
#3: Silence Promotes Relaxation And A Healthy Mind
Initially, some of us might find silence to be especially grating. This is indeed because we are so used to feeding our minds with countless distractions and overloading it with information. Consequently, we find ourselves craving for them and become unable to focus for long periods of time. Many of us suffer from short attention spans, as many of us have the bad habit of scrolling through social media and task switching. Silence gives our brain a chance to detox and get a hard restart. In fact, silence has been shown to promote neurogenesis, the production of neurones and improve sleep quality. For those of you who have trouble sleeping, you could try to meditate and take deep breaths at the same time. This should help you to feel calmer and better able to sleep.
Sometimes, all of us need a break from the outside world. Silence is something that almost always eludes us. We must learn to understand its power and how we can utilise it. I hope that this article was a refreshing one and managed to convince you of the power of silence. If you did enjoy this article, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe newsletter if you haven’t done so.
So, many of you might have noticed that is the 3rd post for this week. You might ask, “What? I thought you said that you would be only blogging once every two weeks or sometimes maybe once a week?” (check out my blogging plans for 2021 at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/28/my-blogging-plan-for-2021/) Well, I figured that since I have some free time, why not blog? After all, it’s my passion!
Right, so let’s focus on the subject matter at hand. For this post, let us discuss the reasons as to why you should try listening to classical music. For instance, classical music has been shown to stimulate the mind and improve sleep quality. I personally listen to classical and orchestral music whenever I read or complete a task. You might say, “Hey! Classical music is boring and old! How could I possibly enjoy it?” While it is true that classical music might be considered old, they are gems of the past and are worth listening to. This article will show you why. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. (Do fill in your email in the newsletter registration section of the website) Without further ado, let’s begin.
#1: It Improves Sleep
Studies have shown that listening to classical music helps to improve sleep. It helps to relax the mind and remove anxiety, thereby making sleeping easier. Research has shown that listening to classical music reduces nervous system activity, decreases anxiety and blood pressure. It helps to distract you from your thoughts and relaxes your muscles, getting you in the mood to sleep. This effect is corroborated and confirmed by the fact that children of all ages, including infants and school-going children, sleep better after listening to relaxing, classical music. Below is a list containing some of the best pieces of relaxing classical music to help you sleep.
- Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy
- Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt
- Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie
- Nocturne No.2, Op.9 by Chopin
- Moonlight Sonata, 1st movement by Beethoven
#2: It Improves Memory
As mentioned above, the relaxing effect of classical music not only helps to improve sleep, but also improves memory. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to memorise or learn something when you feel stressed? You’re not alone. Anxiety makes memory formation and retrieval more difficult, and stress has been shown to be one of the prominent causes of neurone death. Yes, you saw it correctly. Stress has been shown to kill brain cells and reduce their ability to function properly. On the other hand, listening to classical music has been shown to enhance memory retrieval and helps to trigger and strengthen neural pathways, thereby strengthening synapses between the respective neurones.
“Neurones that fire together, wire together.”Donald Hebb
#3: They Are Precious Relics Of History
There is a reason to why classical music was able to stand the test of time. Some of the greatest classics still continue to be played and enjoyed by many. The classical period has produced some of the most legendary pieces of all time, which never fail to captivate audiences and listeners of every age. In fact, many of these pieces are used as background music in movies and musicians of all kinds are required to study them, with good reason.
Classical music still plays an important role in the evolution of culture and heritage. For many, it has become an integral part of their lives, something they can’t live without. For musicians, the classical period is an essential part of musical history that has helped to shape our overall understanding of music and its associated cultures. This is exactly why classical music is something you and I should listen to. If you did enjoy this post, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe my newsletter if you haven’t done so. Stay tuned for my next articles!
It’s easy to get distracted. A notification alert from your mobile phone is enough to throw you off course. We end up procrastinating and we never get our tasks done. So, how do we increase our productivity? This article will show you exactly how to. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without further ado, let’s hop right in!
#1: Clear Your Surroundings
By getting rid of potential causes of distraction, you are better able to focus on your task at hand. Can’t stand that mobile phone? Put it in a separate room. Can’t stop fiddling with markers? Chuck them away. It’s that simple. Still find that you can’t focus at home? Find an environment that suits you. It could be the local Starbucks, a public sitting area or even the park.
#2: Download Apps That Lock Your Phone Temporarily
For this, I recommend Forest. Forest is an excellent productivity that locks your phone for a selected time. While your device is locked, the app will “grow” a virtual tree, which will be added to your garden. However, using your phone before the timer ends kills the tree. This app provides you with additional incentive to complete your tasks and stay off your phone. At first, this might seem hard to accomplish. However, seeing your trees in your garden will provide you with an unrivalled sense of satisfaction and achievement.
#3: Listen To Music
You might have thought that steps #1 and #2 were enough. However, the silence of your surroundings can be incredibly unbearable. Music helps to fill this void and quietens your mind, thereby providing you with concentration. Of course, the choice of your music matters too. Take care not to choose music that would distract you. For example, listening to rock music makes some people tap to its rhythm. I personally recommend listening to classical or orchestral music.
#4: Avoid Multitasking
Believe it or not, when you multitask, you actually aren’t multitasking. Mind blown? What you really are doing is switch-tasking. By nature, the mind is unable to focus on two or more items at once. So, by “multitasking”, you are shifting your attention constantly from one item to another. Naturally, the quality of your work diminishes. The solution to this problem is completing your tasks in a straight line. In fact, this is a tactic used by Samurai warriors when they are outnumbered. They will position themselves in such a way that their opponents would move in a straight line towards them. This allows the Samurai to focus on one opponent at a time. This concept can also be applied to our daily lives. Instead of overwhelming ourselves, let us focus on one task at once.
So that wraps up 4 ways you can increase your productivity. We all know staying focused isn’t easy sometimes and that our distractions can get the better of us. I hope that this article was helpful to you and if it was so, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!