Here’s Why YOU Should Write

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 try 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.

Conclusion

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!

Here’s How You Can Ace Your Exams

Many of us fear exams and the risk of going “blank”. With so much to do in school, how do we deal with and prepare for exams? Is there any secret to acing your exams? Well, there isn’t a fixed formula, but this article will provide some tips which you can use for your exam preparation. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

Advertisements

#1: Start Revision Early

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

Time is of the essence and procrastination is not an option. Starting revision early is one of the best ways to do well for your exam. The reason for this is that your mind requires time to process the knowledge which it has absorbed. Furthermore, many exams such as that of Biology and Geography have enormous amounts of content, which are impossible to memorise in short periods of time. By spreading your revision time out over a longer period of time (I’m talking months), you will feel less stressed and have more time for other activities. This also gives more room for potential procrastination lapses and allows for more flexible planning. Take my advise and don’t cram. Cramming never works as your mind is not able to take large amounts of information in a single sitting. Information will just end up overwriting other information and you will not be able to remember anything. In fact, the forgetting curve, founded by Hermann Ebbinghaus, estimates that 70% of learned information is forgotten the next day. You might be able to remember everything the day before the exam, but you won’t be able to recall anything the next day.

Advertisements

#2: Don’t Memorise Blindly

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Of course, memory is important. However, memorising blindly can do more harm to your test scores than good. It’s like having the material to build a house, but not having the blueprints to do so. Likewise, before memorising any content, do ensure that you have a clear understanding of the concepts behind it. For example, you could first read your textbook one or two times and check if you are able to understand its concepts. In the event that you do not understand any part of the textbook or material, do seek help from your teacher or instructor as soon as possible. Only after you are able to understand the concepts should you start memorising the content. This helps to facilitate better memory and recall. As Warren Buffet once said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” Memory and understanding go hand in hand. You cannot memorise without understanding what you are memorising

Advertisements

#3: Use Flashcards

Source: https://www.chegg.com/play/life-hacks/productivity/flashcards-yay-nay/

Flashcards are a great tool for assessing how much you know and how much you don’t know. This helps you to identify your weaknesses and work on them. Using this strategy increases your efficiency manifold, as you spend less time working on what you already know and have memorised, and spend more time on what you don’t know and have forgotten. This is the exact reason why highlighting your notes and rereading your textbook is useless. This method, which uses passive recall, does none of the things flashcards can do. The danger of merely rereading your textbook lies in the illusion of understanding, where you might end up confusing fluency of the text with understanding. You simply have no idea of what you know and don’t know. Flashcards, on the other hand, use the concept of active recall, which prepares your mind for potential question-and-answer scenarios and strengthens retrieval pathways.

Advertisements

Conclusion

This post is a short one, but I hope that the tips were of help to your exam preparation. The key to acing your exams is not intelligence, but rather your study strategy. To learn is not enough. We need to learn how to learn.

If you did enjoy this post, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more articles!

Advertisements

The Importance Of Silence

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!

Advertisements

#1: Silence Promotes Concentration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

Advertisements

#2: Silence Allows You To See the Bigger Picture

Photo by Lex Photography on Pexels.com

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.

Advertisements

#3: Silence Promotes Relaxation And A Healthy Mind

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

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.

Advertisements

Conclusion

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.

Advertisements

Here’s Why You Should Listen To Classical Music

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

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Fillipe Gomes on Pexels.com

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.

Conclusion

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!

Here’s Why You Should Blog

To blog or not to blog, that is the question. Blogging is almost as old as the internet itself, but have you ever wondered why we bloggers do what we do? Some might envision and imagine blogging to be a mere habit, but it is more than that. In fact, some of us might say it is a way of life! Not only does blogging allow you to voice your ideas, it also allows you to learn more about the world! In this article, I will discuss the benefits blogging as for you and why you should try it out for yourself! Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Blogging Allows You to Voice Your Opinions

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you ever feel the need to share with others what you know? If you do, then blogging is for you! Blogs are where people from different countries, different races and different walks of life come together to discuss a chosen topic together! Here, you will be able to explore different perspectives of your chosen topic. This makes blogging a great learning experience for you and your readers alike.

#2: Blogging Allows You To Learn More About The World

Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

As mentioned in point 1, blogging is a great way to learn about others’ perspectives and different point of views regarding a certain matter. In fact, in the draft process of blogging, many of us are required to read up and research on our selective topic. And of course, we are required to process this information and communicate it effectively in words, pictures or sometimes videos. In fact, I think that blogging promotes the joy of learning, while at the same time cultivating the habits of reading and writing, which we don’t do quite often anymore once we leave school. This helps to enhance thinking, reading and writing skills, while allowing you to express your creativity in any way you like! If you would like to learn more about the benefits of reading, do visit my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/01/why-you-should-read/.

#3: You Can Make Money Doing It!

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Firstly, I would like to emphasise that this point is not as important as the previous 2. This is because blogging can be frustrating at times, and if money is your only motivation, I can assure you that you would have failed before you even started. This is simply because, as with all things in life, true success comes when you do what you love. Therefore, if you find that you do not enjoy blogging, don’t blog, as doing what you don’t like will not generate you any positive results. So, let us begin this point with this understanding in mind.


Many of us reduce blogging to a mere hobby which is unable of generating any long term profits. However, this isn’t true! Blogging is like painting on an empty canvas; the possibilities are endless! It is up to you to be creative, the way you like it. For example, you could offer your audience the option to subscribe to your paid newsletter, which provides weekly reads of your written stories and narratives. Not sure what to do? Fret not! All you have to do is blog first and worry about the money later. Yes, I’m not kidding. As you consistently blog and garner an audience, you will start to earn money from ad-revenue and perhaps even paid collaborations with other fellow bloggers! Of course, you could also earn money from the good, old fashioned donations.

Conclusion

As a fellow blogger myself, I have enjoyed my blogging journey very much. Along the way, I was able to pick up bits and pieces of knowledge, connect with my audience and perhaps also improve my writing skills. This post is for anyone who feels the passion for sharing, learning and connecting with others. If you did enjoy this article, do consider giving it a like! Remember to follow me and subscribe to my newsletter before you go! Stay tuned for my next articles!

Should Everyone Learn Music?

It’s common to see parents send their children to all sorts of classes, including music classes. Obviously, parents want the best for their children. They want them to excel in everything they can and be better than their peers. But is what they are doing correct? Today, we will discuss whether everyone should learn music and analyse the topic from the perspective of parents. Before you continue reading, remember to follow me and subscribe to the newsletter on my website.

Why Parents Force Their Children To Learn Music

Source: https://www.sso.org.sg/bravissimo/bravissimo-june-2019/dont-shoot-the-piano-tuner

There are many reasons as to why parents force their children to learn music. Some of them include better intelligence and creativity. Or it could just be because “It’s a nice skill to learn!”, as most parents proclaim. Indeed, there are many benefits learning music can bring, such as better hearing, coordination and dexterity. Research has shown that music enhances cognitive development in children and builds new neural connections, thereby improving brain structure. Furthermore, it enhances memory and concentration. But is it worth it?

Why It Doesn’t Work

Source: https://www.azcentral.com/story/all-the-moms/2017/03/23/text-anxiety-a-5-step-plan-for-parents-to-help-their-stressed-out-kid/109564854/

Sure, there are many ways that learning music can benefit your child. However, it is all useless if your child is not happy learning it. All of us have our own strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. One child might enjoy playing the piano while another might find it torturous. Naturally, your child might resent you and all that he/she has learnt. Without the necessary motivation, your child will not benefit from learning music. Rather, more damage is done. The key is to find out what your child likes to do, be it drawing, cooking or playing the violin. Only when your child loves what he/she does, can he/she have the potential to be the best at it.

Conclusion

The answer to this question is a resounding no. While learning music has many benefits, everyone should have the freedom to decide whether or not they want to do so. It should not be imposed on everyone. This applies to any other skill and choices in life. A person’s happiness is more important than the skills he/she possesses.

Why You Should Read

Reason #1: It Improves Your Mind

Photo by meo on Pexels.com

The brain works like a muscle. Use it often and it grows. Don’t use it and it rots away. Reading stimulates your mind and improves memory, concentration and focus. When you read, your mind does more than just reading the words on the page. As you read, different parts of your mind work together. For example, you may be required to recall past events of the book, decipher hidden meanings in texts and also at times imagine what is currently happening in the book. In the long run, reading can help improve your vocabulary, memory, overall intelligence and prevent mental diseases like dementia. In fact, research has shown that reading helps to reduce the rate of mental deterioration as we age and the decline of other faculties of the mind.

Reason #2: It Alleviates Stress

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In this hectic world of the present, we are constantly bombarded by distractions, stress and worrying thoughts. Under such conditions, a book would be a great remedy to your stress! Reading a book you enjoy or losing yourself in a novel is a great way to relax. A novel can transport you to different worlds and keep you entertained, letting tensions drain away. In fact, research has shown the reading can relax your body by lowering your heart rate and reducing the tension in your muscles. So, when you feel stressed, feel free to get a book for yourself! It could be any book and it could be about anything. Try reading for 5 minutes and you’ll see what I mean!

Reason #3: It Allows You to View the World in Different Perspectives

Photo by Aline Viana Prado on Pexels.com

It is easy to just stick to one way of viewing the world. It may be because of our upbringing, the environment we live in and our experiences. Reading allows you to be open to the perspectives of people from different walks of life. Indeed, reading lets us find wonder in the world and imparts useful knowledge to us. When you experience life through the eyes of another person, you encounter different angles on life’s most common problems. The reason why I want to point this out is that most of us are holed up in our own worlds. Due to our busy lifestyles, our busy work schedules and stressful deadlines, we forget the world around us. We end up locked in the boredom and drab of the modern world, where we follow pre-prepared routines. Reading regularly helps us to see more of the world, albeit through a book. An eloquent way to put it would be that reading frees us from our current state of thinking and encourages us to see the world differently.

Reason #4: It Improves Your Knowledge

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

If knowledge is power, then reading is your superpower. Learning never stops and reading helps you to do just that. Indeed, reading is one of the primary ways to gain knowledge. There are many books of different genres you can read and learn from. Let’s say you are interested in Astrophysics. You could choose a wide array of books, such as those of Stephen Hawking and Neil Degrasse Tyson. Also, there is a huge selection of ebooks available on platforms like Amazon to cater to your learn needs. (Check out my review of the Kindle Oasis at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/28/kindle-oasis-a-review/) Therefore, there is absolutely no excuse not to read! In fact, reading is one of the very things that separates successful people from the majority of people. It could even be the reason why you are still not successful today! In this volatile world of the present, reading can help keep you up to date about what’s happening in this world and ensure that you keep a step ahead of others. If you are looking to develop the habit of reading, check out my my article on how to develop habits effectively at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/. Thank you for reading!

Why You Should Play Chess

The Benefits of Chess

Chess, as many of you know, is an age-old game where two players go head to head which each other, with the aim of checkmating the other party. Both players may employ certain tactics, such as forks, pins and double-checks, to achieve victory. While the game can be challenging and frustrating, it also has many positive benefits for those who play it. Below is a list of some of these benefits and I hope that you will understand why Chess is respected and played frequently around the world.

Benefit #1: Cognitive Development

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As stated above, players of either side have to employ certain tactics, such as forks, pins, double checks and decoys to gain an advantage over the other player. As such, players are required to think of all the possible combinations and moves possible to achieve this. In finding the best move, players learn to utilise and exercise their problem solving skills. Furthermore, players may be required to recall past games and similar positions so as to better decide the best move. This helps to improve memory and concentration. It has also been proven to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. On a side note, the beauty of chess is that the board is an open canvas. You are able to develop your pieces to positions of your choosing and shape the game via your actions. While textbooks and doctrine may dictate that Chess be played in a certain manner, it is completely up to you as to how you want to play the game. You may be a cautious person at heart, or a person who likes to strike hard and fast. There is room on the board for everyone’s style and personalities.

Benefit #2: It Brings People Together

Photo by C Technical on Pexels.com

I’m sure that most of you have played a game of Chess with your relatives or friends. It’s a great recreational game where both players can learn more about each other and perhaps laugh at each other’s mistakes. Obviously, Chess is not a game meant to be played alone. So drag along a friend, a relative, your parents or someone to play a game of Chess sometime. You’ll be surprised at how much you will be able to learn about them through your games with them and perhaps forge a friendship with them. You can also play Chess with people online, on sites like Chess.com and Lichess.com. As shown, Chess is able to bring people of different cultures and walks of life together over a shared passion for the game.

Benefit #3: It Helps to Develop Resilience

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

There are times when you have a bad game in Chess. You feel like giving up, you feel stressed and most of all you feel distressed. However, Chess teaches you to continue pushing on, no matter how bad your current position is. Perhaps, with a twist of fate, you will be able to turn a completely losing position into a draw or even a completely winning position. Chess is a game which therefore teaches you to persevere and push on even when your position seems unplayable. It also teaches you to learn from defeat, about what went wrong and what can be improved upon. Indeed, success in life is not attained just in one try but after a succession of failures and disappointments. It is only when you learn from your mistakes and continue to persevere that success will be yours.

Benefit #4: Chess Teaches You to Control Your Emotions

We may have felt like this during one of our games. You may have felt like flipping the table and giving up. Many times we may feel besieged from all corners, unable to manoeuvre and think. It’s a common feeling in Chess. But then, Chess teaches its players not to give up easily, to push through even when you don’t feel like it. It teaches you to quiet your mind and silence the thoughts in your mind so as to focus on the game. Therefore, the game teaches you to see things for what it is and plan accordingly. This skill is most important in life as we may face situations where we feel fearful, overwhelmed and helpless. At times like these, you will be able to place your feelings and feelings aside and see the situation for what it truly is.