Take courage, fortune favours the brave!
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!
As the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” This timeless piece of advice is the heart of mastery and success. It is the path of all masters. Even after mastery is reached, practice still retains its importance as it sharpens and maintains the skills of the practitioner. Practice is harder than it sounds. It requires fortitude, consistency and fortitude on the individual’s part. However, I assure you that you will find the pain well worth it many years later. It’s similar to going to the gym. Most of us don’t like going to the gym, but we’ll be glad later that we went. The hardest part of practice is getting yourself to do it. In this article, we will discuss the importance of practice and how you should go about doing it. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
The Importance of Practice
#1: Practice Sharpens Your Existing Skills
If there is one thing that your brain is good at, it’s forgetting. The mind, an efficient machine as it is, gradually deletes memories that have been unused for a certain period of time. On the other hand, the brain strengthens retrieval pathways that have been used repeatedly. When retrieval pathways are triggered repeatedly, they become more efficient and stable. These neural pathways can become so efficient that they can be triggered without thought. In other words, these memories become part of your subconscious mind. This is exactly how famous chess masters like Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen are able to execute perfect moves with blinding speed while staying calm. This is the end goal of practice – to develop the ability to execute a series of specified actions perfectly and with minimal effort. This also prevents you from forgetting what you have learned.
#2: Practice Is An Unavoidable Part Of Learning
It is in my humble opinion that not a single human being was and will be able to ride a bike fluently on the very first try. In fact, many of us actually fell down. This is similar to learning other skills. We may not get it on the very first attempt, but with repeated practice we gradually become familiar with the subject matter at hand. We may even be able to spot and learn from our mistakes in the process. Gradually the neural pathways involved are slowly refined and performance increases.
Failure is inevitable during the process of practice. There will be times when you feel completely demotivated due to a temporary setback. Here, it is of paramount importance that you push through. There is no other way. When faced with failure, keep going. Of course, if you feel tired, do take a break. Just remember to continue practicing the next day. However, if you feel that the skill you are currently learning is not for you, you have the option to drop it. It’s better to learn something that makes you happy. Below are some tips to keep yourself motivated.
- Give yourself a break if you feel tired! After all, humans are not machines. Practicing for too long will lead to burnout and fatigue.
- Practice mindfulness and be aware of your thoughts. When faced with setbacks, try to avoid grumbling or throwing tantrums. Instead, think rationally and find out what went wrong. Then figure out how you can stop making the same mistakes.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day. Many professionals of different arts and fields had to go through years and years of practice to attain the level of mastery they possess today. You will not see improvement overnight. Instead of focusing on the short term, focus on the big picture. Ask yourself what you want to achieve in the end and draw up a plan to work on it.
- Stay consistent. Memories will fade if not utilised. Come up with a plan to practice in regular intervals. Always make sure that you make it for each and every practice session, regardless of how you are feeling on that particular day. It may not feel great now, but you will be rewarded handsomely in the future.
While practice is hard, its rewards are plenty and bountiful. I hope that this short article gave you an idea of why you should practice and how you should go about doing so. If you did enjoy this article, do consider giving it a like! Comment your thoughts down below! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more articles.
Sleeping early. These 2 words somehow elude many students, employees and professionals alike. Sleep deprivation has worsened to the point that some of us might be asking ourselves, “What is sleep?” I’ll do you one better – “Why is sleep?” Seriously, many of us now find the concept of sleeping early foreign. We actively forgo it for work, study and commitments, even though we knew all this while the consequences of doing so. Forgoing sleep has adverse impacts on our health in the long term and would reduce our ability to concentrate in the short term. Without the ability to function at peak performance, we are less able to learn and chase after success. Thus, I can safely say, to sleep or not to sleep early is to sleep early. In this article, we will be detailing why this is the case. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: Sleeping Early Keeps Your Mind Healthy
As you slumber, your body parts are working hard to regenerate themselves. New cells are regenerated and dead cells are removed, while your brain and other organs work hard to detox themselves. All in all, your body slowly recharges itself and prepares for a new day. This is especially important for the brain. During sleep, neurones decrease in size by up to 60%, increasing the space between them for waste and toxic materials to be washed away easily. In fact, the brain removes significant amounts of a toxic protein known as amyloid-beta, which is involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, science has shown that sleep and learning are closely linked. Here, new memories are processed and consolidated in the brain, as neurones in the hippocampus repeat the activation patterns that took place while the individual was conscious. This helps to transfer short-term memories held in the hippocampus to other parts of the brain, so as to facilitate the formation of long-term memories. Thus, missing out on sleep could cause one’s learning ability to decline by as much as 40%. That is something that you clearly want to avoid!
#2: Detoxification Of Body Parts
The brain is not the only that needs to clean itself. Sleep affects almost all tissues and organs in the body, from your heart to your skin. As mentioned above, your brain has something called a Glymphatic system which involves the shrinking of neurones so as to create room for toxins to be flushed out. Meanwhile, the body also secretes hormones, which decreases one’s breathing rate and promotes muscle relaxation. On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases inflammation levels, which restricts the body from effectively cleansing itself. The removal of toxic materials allows the unrestricted movement of essential substances and oxygen, which ultimately aids in the regenerative processes of the body. Missing out on sleep impedes the aforementioned processes, which may even cause the stunting of growth in children.
#3: Sleep Improves Immunity
Since sleep affects nearly every part of the body, it is no surprise that it also has a tremendous impact on our immune systems. Consistent sleep increases one’s immunity, while a lack of sleep increases the risks of diseases. When T cells detect an infected cell, they activate integrins, which allow them to adhere to and destroy the latter cells. The T cells of consistent sleepers have been shown to have higher levels of integrin activation than those of sleep-deprived individuals. Moreover, stress hormones may even restrict the functions of T cells in poor sleepers. High concentrations of these hormones may in turn decrease the ability of T cells to kill pathogens, thus weakening the body’s immune system. Another example is the fact that the body releases cytokines, in the presence of infection and inflammation, which help to fight diseases. Without adequate sleep, the body will not be able to produce as much of these cytokines and antibodies. During periods of sickness, the body utilises more energy so as to battle infections and eradicate diseases. This means that the body will have less energy on hand for other processes. During these times, sleep is of paramount importance as it helps to conserve energy and resources.
After reading this article, were you surprised by how important sleep is? Why or why not? Will you be sleeping earlier now? Jot down your comments in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more.
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!
Comic reading has become a favourite pastime for many people around the world. Due to the fact that comics utilise graphics to convey different stories and messages, it has become a popular and attractive form of entertainment for children, the youth and the elderly. There’s always something for everyone. Love espionage and the world of spies? You have James Bond comics. Love science fiction and Star Wars? Star Wars comics can be bought online and even found in your local library. But is there a good reason as to why you should even read comics in the first place? In this post, I will discuss why you should read comics and how it benefits your health. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: They Are Exciting
After a long day at work or school, many of us just don’t have the motivation to read anything anymore. Well, don’t worry. Comics are easy to read, as you no longer have to imagine the environment or situation the character(s) is/are in, as in normal books. Comics give you a visual understanding of what is taking place in the story and thus, the number of words you actually have to read decreases. This subsequently requires less brain power. This is the main reason as to why many children prefer comics to normal books during childhoods. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you abandon text-based books totally! Furthermore, the vivid visualisation of story events may evoke a sense of wonderment and excitement, which in comparison to good, old and plain text, may seem 100% less boring.
#2: They Foster Deeper Connections With The Story
As mentioned before, comics specialise in presenting stories and events in a graphical manner. This helps readers to connect much more deeply with the story as compared to a normal text based book. For example, rather than stating “He was frustrated.”, a comic drawing would probably depict the character with a frown. As humans, we tend to relate more to what we see, such as facial expressions and colour. As such, not only are we able to remember the story and the associated comic drawings much effectively, but we may also find ourselves having a higher degree of appreciation for the story. For those who love colour and pictures, comics are for you!
#3: They Help To Foster A Reading Habit
For many teenagers and adults alike, starting a reading habit can be difficult and many of us might end up complaining that we have no motivation to read. We’ve become so used to modern forms of entertainment, like television and video gaming, which not only leaves us with little to read, but also results in us becoming more and more dependent on visual forms of entertainment. We then begin to find reading a chore. So, is this a dead end? No! Comics are a great starting point for those looking to pick up a reading habit. This is because comics are easy to read, as they usually utilise less complicated terms and vocabulary. Likewise, the word count is drastically reduced, as all the focus is placed on the comic drawings. Well you might ask, “Hey! But if I keep reading comics, won’t I be learning nothing?” This is, firstly, a temporary measure (you can continue to read comics if you want). Secondly, the main reason as to why you should first read comics before moving on to harder text-based books, is that it helps to install the habit of picking up a piece of reading material every day. Later, when you have gotten used to doing this, you may eventually find that picking up an autobiography or even a textbook requires less willpower. This is because you have already trained your mind to do so earlier.
Smoking has become one of the most dangerous habits in the world. In fact, tobacco use has been shown to kill more than 5.4 million people a year! What’s even more shocking is that approximately 1 billion people in the world are smokers! But what can account for this ridiculously high fatality rate? In this post, we shall discuss the negative health effects of smoking. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: It’s Addictive
One of the top reasons as to why many people are addicted to smoking is the prospect of stress release. Nicotine, which is one of the many components of a cigarette, is an addictive stimulant drug that causes adrenaline release. Thus, a smoker may experience a sudden release of stress and may feel temporarily relaxed. This keeps them coming back for more and many smokers may begin to experience uncontrollable urges to relapse. If left unchecked for a prolonged period of time, this bad habit gradually becomes an addiction, as your mind comes to rely heavily on the stress-releasing effects of cigarettes for pleasure. At this point, kicking the habit becomes insanely difficult and therapy is advised.
#2: It Destroys Your Health
Many smokers and members of the population are unaware of the toxic ingredients that make up a cigarette. Let’s do a quick check. Do you know that tar is present in the cigarette? Well, if you don’t know, you’d better continue reading. Tar is basically carcinogenic. In other words, it increases the risk of lung cancer. Furthermore, it paralyses cilia (the hair like structures on the surface of ciliated cells) lining air passages, thereby increasing risks of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Likewise, smoking causes you to take in unhealthy amounts of carbon monoxide, which combines permanently with haemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin. This means the ability of your blood to carry oxygen is reduced. Well, you get the picture here. Smoking is extremely bad for your health and if you don’t quit, death is at your doorstep, for real.
#3: It’s A Waste of Money
Think about it. Isn’t spending money on useless and meaningless things which serve no purpose just a waste of money? Well this applies to smoking as well. What’s even worse that you are driving yourself closer to death with every new cigarette box you buy. Its health effects notwithstanding, smoking is a habit which will wash your money down the drain. Think about how much money you would have saved if you were to stop buying cigarettes for a year. According to the National Cancer Institute, the average cost of a pack of smokes is $6.28. Now let us do some simple calculations. Buying a pack of smokes a day would cost you $188 per month. This would in turn cost you $2,292 a year! Likewise, a ten year smoking habit will cost you $22,920! Well, this is assuming that you only buy 1 cigarette box a day, which is highly unlikely as your mind becomes more and more addicted to and reliant on smoking. Think about what you could do with all that money. Think about how you could use it to provide a better life for your family. Think about how many skills and knowledge you could have learnt using all that money.
I hope that you did enjoy this post, and if you did, do consider giving it a like! Follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so. Stay tuned for my next articles!