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!
First of all, I would like to thank all my readers for their continued support throughout my blogging journey so far. The fact that many of you enjoy my articles gives me an incomparable sense of joy and accomplishment. While I was not confident that my blog would be successful or appreciated from the outset, you have proven me wrong. Throughout this blogging journey, I was able to learn how I could express my ideas with a higher degree of clarity and in such a way that readers will find my articles enjoyable. Moreover, I was able to learn valuable knowledge while conducting research for my articles. Once again, I would like to thank all those who have followed me from the very beginning. Your appreciation and support means the world to me. Thank you! Do follow me if you haven’t done so!
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.
Ironically, let’s start off with the boring meaning of “bored”. According to Google, it is “feeling weary and impatient because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity.” There you have it. Boredom comes from a lack of interest or enjoyment. It certainly feels dreadful when we’re doing something we don’t like or when we have nothing fun to do. Sometimes, boredom can even give birth to a form of laziness. By far, boredom is the worst enemy of productivity. So how do we address this void? In this article, we will discuss how we can solve boredom and bring purpose to whatever we do. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: Take A Break
Most often, we find ourselves focused on something for long periods of time because we tell ourselves we must complete a certain objective as soon as possible. The problem is that the mind will get bored of something pretty quickly when it is not given a break. When you were a kid, did you find yourself munching on chocolates only to find yourself absolutely tired of it after a couple of chocolate bars? It’s the same logic. The brain craves variety and excitement. For that reason, it is extremely beneficial to take breaks from time to time. If you have already read for an hour, reward yourself with a television show. Yes, you could read on for hours to come, but doing so would be counterproductive as your mind would get tired and gradually lose interest in the subject matter at hand. However, if breaks are not an option, you can also choose to alternate between tasks. For example, you may want to read for 1 hour, then do household chores for 30 minutes, before going back to reading again.
#2: Find Something You Enjoy
This step requires some reflection on your part. There is no definitive answer to this. Say, perhaps you like jogging in the park. You could choose to go jogging whenever you feel bored. The key is to find something that would lighten your heart and mind and allow you to relax. Just remember not to go overboard with this. Often, many spend too much time “relaxing” and less time on necessary tasks. For this reason, I recommend that you create a timetable to organise your day to day schedules. However, it is even better if you can integrate it with your work. In other words, this means that you can do that thing you enjoy at the same time as you work. For instance, you could listen to music while you complete your homework or sip some coffee while cleaning up your email.
#3: Make Boring Stuff Fun!
Sometimes, all it takes is some little tweaks to the way we do or view something. To make something more interesting and engaging, you could either choose to “gamify” the activity or make it visually appealing. These are just some suggestions – there are no rules to dictate how you should go about doing this! Since the brain gets bored of something relatively quickly, you can change the way in which something is presented every session. For instance, you could create mind-maps for your school notes today and utilise flashcards tomorrow! This mix and match creates something new for your mind every session, thus removing the element of predictability and monotony. Likewise, if you find running boring, you can motivate yourself by buying a smart watch (don’t splurge on this) which tracks your calorie burn count and distance travelled. In fact, some apps award you points for running a certain distance or burning a certain amount of calories. Meanwhile, if you would like to know how you can create habits effectively, check out my article here: https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/
Boredom is something that we experience quite regularly, and I hope that this article will be useful in your quest to eradicate it. If you have not followed me yet, do consider doing so now and subscribe to my newsletter too! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more articles!
Having an attitude of gratitude sounds easier than it really is. Being thankful requires you to place your grudges, resentments and biases aside. Often, we become blinded by the so-called “negatives” of the people around us and our environment, and thus fail to notice all the goodness within them. Indeed, gratitude requires a change in perspective. Focusing solely on the negative events of your life will only bring you constant unhappiness. On the other hand, being grateful, even when the current situation may look bleak, can bring us an unparalleled feeling of contentment and joy. So, do you practice an attitude of gratitude? If so, why? Leave your comments down below! In this article, we will discuss why you should cultivate an attitude of gratitude and how you should go about doing so. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: Gratitude Grants Peace
A glass is filled with water to half its maximum capacity. Is it half empty or half full? Different individuals would describe this differently, and their answers are but a reflection of their inner selves. Of course, there is nothing wrong with each answer. However, they do reveal much about our perspectives of the world – to focus on what is missing, or what is present? Gratitude calls us to focus on what is already in our grasp, and to cherish it. Exercising this gratitude helps us to count our blessings, and be thankful for all the good that we have had in our lives, be it our loved ones, our possessions or skills. On the other hand, if we focus strictly on what we are lacking in, we will never be fulfilled. Traces of this pessimistic attitude can be found in many forms of human behaviour and emotion, such as jealousy and feelings of low-self esteem. In other words, the human mind is most likely to lose itself in the void, thus giving birth to endless cycles of greed and desire.
#2: Gratitude Improves Relationships
No relationship is one-sided. Each party involved has to appreciate the other, and vice versa. But how many of us do bother to reciprocate the love that the other party gives? Do we take it for granted? If you find yourself in this category, it’s time for you to show a little gratitude! Gratitude can be expressed in simple ways – it doesn’t require a full-scale party. It could be as simple as “I’m thankful for your company all these years”. While these may look insignificant, they help to season the relationship and keep the bond strong. However, there are many who do not understand this and inadvertently end up destroying their relationships, as a lack of gratitude results in the other party feeling disposable, expendable and unappreciated.
#3: Gratitude Helps You Stay Afloat In Life’s Challenges
How often in life have we felt crushed by failure, not because of the failure itself but because we could have done better? Again, we are focusing on what we lack, and not what we have at the moment. Instead of focusing on the failure, it helps to be grateful of the fact that you have tried and done your best. Likewise, we should also be thankful for the opportunity to fail. “Say what now?” Yes, you read that right. Failure is a chance to learn and to improve. It’s these lessons that make us who we are and who we will be in the future. View it as a curse, and you’ll never learn. View it as a blessing in disguise and you will be handsomely rewarded. It is the wise who, even in humiliating moments of defeat, are thankful that they have a chance to try again and do better. This essential lesson is especially important in the path to mastery, where mistakes are inevitable. Learn more about how you can attain success for yourself here: https://bestofwrite.com/2021/04/25/keys-to-attaining-success/
It has been a long time since I have posted. (At least it feels that way for me) I hope that you did enjoy this post. Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so!
Perhaps one of the greatest joys of blogging is to see that your article made it to the top of the list. It’s a great feeling and I’m proud to share it with you. Remember when I first started blogging last December? Then, my blog wasn’t anything much and my articles weren’t read by many. Nonetheless, I remained consistent and persistent, and I am proud to say that my hard work is slowly paying off! Today, I would like to share with you 2 of my articles that have successfully made it to the top of the list. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
Article 1: Why Exams Are Useless
I wrote this article a while back in December. It details the reasons as to why exams are not useful in promoting learning or the joy of learning, for that matter. So far, the article has been granted the honour of becoming a featured snippet, thus allowing you to find the article quite easily. If, for some reason, you have not checked out this article, you can find it by searching “Why Exams Are Useless” on Google and I believe it should pop up. Alternatively, you can click on this link: https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/10/why-exams-are-useless/
Article 2: Rich People: Expectations Vs Reality
The ranking of this article is not as impressive as the previous one, but it is worth mentioning as well. This article details the differences between our perceptions of the rich and who they really are. I believe this article will give you a better insight into the lifestyles and mindsets of the rich. You can find this article on Google by simply searching the article’s title, or “rich people expectations”. Likewise, you can also click on this link to access the article: https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/23/rich-people-expectations-vs-reality/
This article, although short, serves as a quick update to the state of my blog and its articles. What do you think about the articles above? Do comment down below! Thanks for reading and come back some time again!
As the famous contemporary author John C. Maxwell states, “The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda.” Our everyday choices and actions determine whether or not we will attain success in the future. Success is not something that falls from the sky, nor is it something that we can merely purchase with money. Success is a journey and it requires sacrifice – the sacrifice of one’s time, energy and mind to a cause. It requires consistency, motivation and most importantly, hard work. However, many give up in the middle of their journeys to success, citing numerous reasons and excuses such as “I don’t have time!” or “It’s too difficult! I simply lack the talent to succeed.” With this in mind, is it possible for us, mere mortals from different walks of life, to ever obtain success? The answer is a resounding “YES!!” In this article, I will discuss how each and everyone one of us can achieve success, even though it may seem impossible for many of us. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!
#1: Discover and Follow Your Passion
What is it that brings you the most joy and satisfaction? Solving problems? Playing Chess? Writing? The point is, you must discover this passion and feed it. Of course, life is not as simple as it seems. For many adults and teenagers, with so many responsibilities and little time, chasing this passion may seem a rather daunting task. As a result, they will find their passions waning with time and eventually, these inner flames will die out, never to be found again. Meanwhile, many are not willing to give up their current jobs and careers, which they have taken up solely for the sake of financial sustenance, clinging to the belief that their passions will never be profitable or appreciated. The truth is, if you do not find and pursue your passion, you are doomed to suffer all your life. You will find life meaningless and find yourself bombarded by perpetual boredom, and when you finally realise, in hindsight, that you should have followed your passion from the beginning, it would be too late. So, I implore you, unearth your passion and follow it to the end. Learn to give up the limiting beliefs that plaque your mind day and night. Success and money will come in due time, as long as you dedicate your time and effort consistently. However, do note that this necessitates a degree of sacrifice. To illustrate this, let us study what Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, did to pursue his passion and achieve success. When Bill was a teenager, he found himself to love software and programming. He dreamt of a future where every home would have a computer and wanted to be at the forefront of this revolution. When he was 18 years old, he enrolled in Harvard University. However, he realised that it would only hold him back – he wanted very much to start a company of his own. Consequently, he made the most remarkable and astonishing decision of his life, and that was to drop out of Harvard, which in retrospect, would be the pivotal moment of Bill’s life. Now at this point you might be thinking, “Is Bill crazy or something? Harvard is so hard to get in and he’s just throwing it away like that?” First things first, this isn’t telling you to drop out randomly and spontaneously from university. In Bill’s case, he considered and concluded that his passion had to take precedence and that enrolling at Harvard would only hinder his path to success. What I am trying to say is that, you must be ready to make the bold decision to give up everything you have planned to make way for your inner calling. Do not let external factors and fear dictate what you should or should not do. Remember, the willingness to sacrifice anything and everything for one’s passion is what sets successful people apart. I assure you, only by doing so will you be free and contented.
#2: Work Hard And Be Consistent
Once you have identified and locked on to your passion, you must work on it day and night. There is simply no other way. This part of the journey is the hardest and many give up in the middle of this phase. Here, you might not see big improvements and every practice session may feel mundane. You must be careful not to think that you aren’t getting anywhere. The truth is, you are improving everyday, it’s just that you can’t see it! Let’s say everyday you improve by 1%. 1% might not feel a lot, but after 365 days, you would have improved 365%! Of course, your improvements cannot be calculated and even estimated by such crude numbers and percentages, but you get the idea. Everything will seem slow at first, but after much consistent practice, the law of accelerating returns kick in and you will soon find yourself improving much faster. Let me explain what this “law of accelerating returns” means here. In the early stages of learning a skill, your skill level is, of course, low. Due to a lack of knowledge and familiarity with the field, more time is spent on trying to understand the subject at hand and the durations of your practice sessions are limited. At this point in time, trying to practice for a few hours at a time will only result in you becoming burnt out and more confused. However, with daily practice and learning, your knowledge and skill increases and thus you are able to practice for longer durations and with much more focus. With this increased practice, your skill level and knowledge increases much further, and the quality of your practice sessions increases as well. This in turn gives birth to a never ending, exponential cycle of learning and improvement. Now, the aim of this phase is to reach the point where even hours of practice would seem inadequate and effortless. Reaching this sweet spot will allow your creativity to flow in ways you’ve never seen before and it is at this point that you will find mastery. (If you would like to know why you should never give up easily, check out my article here: https://bestofwrite.com/2021/01/14/never-give-up-easily/)
#3: Replacing Negative Perspectives With Positive Ones
Yes, hard work is important and all, but how do you sustain yourself through this journey? How do you control your emotions? It’s all about your perspective. Ask yourself what failure means to you. Is it the end? Does it mean that you are incapable? The answer to all these questions is a stark NO. Failure just means that you have to work harder. All you have to do is to switch your perspective. Robots and machines do not whine when they experience failure. Failure to them is just a sign that their database is not wide enough and that much more data is needed to increase their success rate. Even machines experience failure on a daily basis, let alone human beings. The only difference is that machines do not attach any emotional significance to failure – they just move on and become better with time. The cycle of learning and failure is the very foundation of learning, even in artificial intelligence. But of course, we are not machines and we are vulnerable to the negative thoughts that come from our very own minds. To overcome this, you have to change your mentality towards the field you are working on. For instance, instead of seeing a Chess match as a battle between two parties, a better way to view it is that Chess is a puzzle battle – the player which solves it the most accurately wins. Failure would not mean that you are better or worse than the other player. It just means that you did not solve the “puzzle” accurately enough! Whether it is you are a Chess player, an athlete, a writer or mathematician, it is essential to learn to work like a machine, celebrate like a human.
Success is no doubt a long journey that requires much sacrifice, hard work and grit. However, it is not impossible to attain. Whenever you experience failure, just be like a clock. Just keep moving.
Meanwhile, are there any other factors of success that I have not mentioned in this article? Do comment your thoughts below!
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!