The Art Of Learning And Unlearning

The covid pandemic of 2020 has hit the world in a way we have not seen in recent decades. Our world has always been evolving, but COVID has only accelerated this. In this new age, the only way you are going to keep up is by learning, unlearning, and relearning. There is a very beautiful quote written by Alvin Toffler that explains this just so well. He said “The illiterate of the world will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Learning is what allows us to build ourselves in both a professional and personal setting. But it is our ability to unlearn that allows us to adapt in this ever changing world. We are all human, and are prone to negative habits and bad behaviours. Yet it is up to us to change these for the better. This can often be easier said than done. That is why I wrote a little bit about how you are able to keep ahead of the game in the 21st century!

Why Should We Unlearn?

When I started university as an engineering student, one of my professors said “Whatever you will learn here, by the time you graduate, over 75% of that information will have become outdated”. He went on to say that if you cannot adapt, the engineering world is not for you, in fact, the world is not for you.

We all have dreams and hopes, but we also have negative habits and behaviours that are holding us back from achieving these dreams. If you want to become successful, you need to be able to unlearn old and useless information. Here is how!

How To Unlearn

Unlearning is becoming a more and more important skill to master in the modern world. Your ability to unlearn bad behaviour and negative habits is just as important as being able to learn new ones.

Unlearning can oftentimes be difficult for people, especially if they have exhibited those behaviours and habits for as long as they can remember. That being said, it is definitely not impossible for anyone to unlearn those behaviours and habits. There exists a structured way to unlearn habits, and there are several methods you can employ to unlearn negative behaviours.

Let’s start by talking about our behaviours.

2 Ways To Unlearn Toxic Behaviours

Unlearning behaviour differs from that of habits in the sense that they are not triggered by certain events. Your behaviour is a part of your personality, and it will always exist within you. Often times it is very hard for someone to recognize the negatives of their own behaviour, while for habits this is generally not really an issue.

Once we have discovered what behaviours we would rather get rid of than keep, there are several methods we can employ to get rid of them. I will go over 2 ways to unlearn toxic behaviours here, but I wrote a much more in-depth article on unlearning already! So make sure you check that out if you are interested in diving deeper into this topic!

Talk to your friends and family

As mentioned before, it can be hard for someone to discover their own behavioral faults. But it can oftentimes be quite obvious for the people around you to tell you your flaws. Ask a close family member or a trusted friend for advice and help. Not only will they be able to tell you exactly what negative behavioural traits you have, they will also play a crucial role in your ability to unlearn them.

If you let your family and friends know that you are trying to unlearn a certain behaviour, they will be able to let you know where you need to make changes and as well call you out whenever you are repeating that bad behaviour.

It is an overall great feedback loop that will lead you to success!

Do a reflective journal

Reflection on our behaviours is a great way to truly understand them. We are able to learn when they manifest, how they affect the people around us and how they affect ourselves. Once we truly understand the scope of our toxic behaviour, we can come up with a proper plan to unlearn it.

If you find it hard to recall the moment in which your behaviour acted up, try something like this simple mental exercise. Apply it to your behaviour, and then you can come up with the main cause!

Unlearning Negative Habits

For unlearning negative habit, there is a more structured path you can follow. All habit exist in the same form. A habit is always started when you are exposed to a trigger of some kind. Then the habit is activated and a reward is received at the end.

A typical example of a negative habit is a student being distracted by social media during their studying time. They will be sitting at their desk studying when suddenly their phone vibrate and a notification pops up on the screen. Without even thinking, they reach for their phone to check on the notification. All this took space in just a few seconds, but it derailed them completely from their studies.

The trigger here was the vibrating of the phone and the notification pop-up. The habit was reading the message, and the reward was the dopamine rush your brain got after reading the message. Habits don’t have to be complicated to be destructive. No matter the complexity of the habit, the following method will work if applied correctly.

  • Accept your negative habit
  • Know what triggers your negative habits
  • Replace your negative habits with positive ones
  • Stay committed
  • Keep track of your progress

If you are curious for a more detailed explanation with examples of the method to unlearn habits, then make sure to read my more in-depth article regarding unlearning here!

How To Become A More Effective Learner

Once we have unlearned our bad behaviours and negative habits, we have to learn new ones to replace those we unlearned. Your ability to learn, and your willingness to continue to learn will determine the heights you are able to reach in life.

There are 2 main aspects to learning. Both the speed at which you learn and your ability to remember that what was learned. It is great if you are able to learn how to cook, but if it took you 4 years to get there, you have been very inefficient in your time! If you do not progress fast enough, you risk being left behind. If you are able to learn twice as fast as your competition, then you are at a serious advantage in the game of life!

That being said, speed reading a book in 1 hour but not being able to remember the most important details is just as wasteful. In the next part I will go a little bit more in-depth on how to put yourself in situations that will not only allow you to learn quicker, but also allow you to remember that which you learned.

4 Ways To Become A More Effective Learner

1. Become Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The comfort zone is a space in life where you feel relaxed and at easy. There are no risks and challenges for you here. As the name implies, it is a very comfortable place to be. Unfortunately, it is not a very stimulating and success oriented zone. Classic examples of the comfort zone would be your couch, or doing activities that you have been doing for years, which now have become 2nd nature to you.

Studies have shown that our brain likes certainty, hence why it is so hard for us to leave the comfort zone! That being said, the same studies reported that when we face ourselfs in new and stressful scenarios, our brain quickly tries to adapt to the new situation. It actually encourages our brain to learn!

Regularly stepping out of your comfort zone is actually a trait exhibited by many successful people. It is what separates them from everyone else, simply because it brings them so many more skills. By continuously putting yourself in new situations, you are bound to learn something new!

Lets go over some ways you can step out of your comfort zone!

Know when you’re out of your comfort zone

The first step is actually figuring out whether or not you are in your comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone means you are nervous and slightly stressed at the thought of doing it. One of the methods I like to use is simply asking myself a question. For example, I will ask myself “Am I struggling, is this a challenge for me, or am I getting through this task with relative ease?”.

If you are not struggling, and getting through your day without breaking a sweat, you are stuck in your comfort zone.

Push yourself in your normal life

Even though we step out of comfort zone, these activities will become stress free for us over time. Hence we find ourselves back where we started. One easy solution for this is to try and make them more challenging. I’ll take a personal example.

I have been doing mixed-martial arts for a while now, but I have never truly sparred with anyone. In case you are unfamiliar, sparring is when you fight someone else, albeit with protective gear not found in a professional fight. That being said, it was still a scary experience, because the guy I fought was an amateur boxer.

Since training MMA was becoming the norm for me, I had to find a way to challenge myself, hence I decided to step in a ring and test my skills. Since then I have been training harder than ever. I would really suggest you try something similar to whatever goals you are working on!

2. Practice What You Know

Learning new information is crucial in 2022. However, having only theoretical knowledge of something just isn’t going to cut it. To truly understand anything in life, we must practice that which we are trying to learn. You cannot learn to play football by sitting in a classroom and learning the rules or watching others play. You simply have to walk onto the pitch and start playing!

The same goes for anything in life. If you are struggling with math as a student, you just have to make more exercises. Practical experience is severely underrated! Whenever you plan to learn something new, make sure you find a clear way to gain practical experience. It will not only make you learn that new skill much quicker, you’ll also learn it in much more detail!

3. Be Willing To Teach What You Know

Albert Einstein, arguably one of the the greatest physicists ever, once said that “if you can’t explain something simply, then you do not understand it well enough”. Being able to explain a certain thing to someone else is the perfect way to gage your understanding of the subject. We will get into a little bit more detail in the next section.

On top of that, teaching what you know to others is a great way to reinforce the information that you have already learned. It is a simple yet brutally effective way to better remember information. It will also help you with your social life as well!

When you spend time teaching others, often you are able to learn something new as well. I recently helped a friend with an idea, and they asked a few questions in return. These were questions that looked at the subject in a way I hadn’t considered before. So we spend sometime figuring it out, and my knowledge about the subject expanded as a result! With this kind of feedback, we keep the informed and we are even able to expand that knowledge.

I am still a student at the time of writing this article, and this is one of the things I always try and do to understand my courses better. It is brutally effective!

4. Test Your Knowledge

Learning is great, but your time is limited! Knowing when you have truly mastered a skill is a skill in itself. One of the easiest ways to know if all your learning has payed off, is to test yourself. I have found that testing oneself oftentimes shows gaps in our knowledge. Knowing this, you can work to close to gaps and become better at that skill. On top of that, research has also shown that testing yourself is also a great way of remembering information better. You will be able to strengthen your long term memory this way.

As I mentioned above, explaining a subject to someone else is a perfect way to gage your skill level. You will very quickly find out if you lack in any areas. If you are able to explain everything in perfect detail, then you know you have mastered this skill. You might even get a motivation boost out of it too!

If you want more tips to become a more efficient learner, I have written a more in-depth article on the art of learning here!

Final Thoughts

Learning, unlearning and relearning is a continuous process. You should be following it until the day you die. If you are able to manage, you will stay ahead of the competition and will no doubt see the success you have dreamt of in life. I hope you were able to learn something from this article and that I was able to positively influence you in some way. See you next time!

5 Smart Goals For Students

Your years in college are all about building a skillset that will last you a lifetime in the real world. It is the most important time period of your lives! Whether you focus on specializing in a field you dreamt of as a child, or you choose to make the world a better place for others, college is a time to put in the work!

With a new year underway, it has only gotten more challenging for students. The whole pandemic situation hasn’t made it any easier. Going through my first engineering masters year at the time of writing this article, I know all about the struggles of these times. That being said, despite the shape of our classrooms changing from lecture halls to our very own homes, the fundamentals of what it means to be a student haven’t changed that much.

This is still a time where we build our character and our knowledge. Just some of the methods to get there have changed! In this article I will go over a few of the goals that I have set for 2022 that have yielded me great results in the past. So let’s get right into it!

1. Time Management

One of the most crucial tips I can give to new students is to learn how to manage your time! Time is one of the few things in life that you simply wish you had more of in your student years, so make sure you are able to get the most out of it!

Proper time management skills are not only important for getting good grades in school, they will allow you to have the successful career later on in life that you dream of! On top of that, good time management skills induce more confidence, better organization skills as well as decreased levels of stress. All of which can be incredibly beneficial in life, let alone during your extremely busy student days!

So how exactly can we better manage our time?

Create an overview schedule

An overview schedule is simply a week by week plan where you dedicate specific times for certain tasks. For example, if you don’t have class tuesday afternoon, they you can most effectively spend that time working on all your courses.

Using an overview schedule also allows you to time your social and sports activities. You can block off your monday and thursday evenings because that is when you will go for a run.

This is an excellent way to prioritize your tasks. In the times of the pandemic, it also gives us structure to follow, which because an increasingly important concept as your studies get harder!

Keep a journal

As a student, we are always confronted with new tasks and deadlines to complete. It can often times be an absolute nightmare to keep track of! Keeping a personalized journal, you can write down all the homework and upcoming test dates down. Then when you get home, you are able to dedicate time slots in your overview schedule to get them done!

A journal can also be used for many other things, such as mindfulness journaling or setting goals. In the future I will write a more detailed article about all the productive things you can use an agenda for, so keep an eye out on my recent posts as well as my archived topics!

Plan your projects

Whatever study choice you make when you get to university, you will be working in teams quite often. When working on large projects, make sure you plan these out properly. I have wasted hours and hours of my time on poorly planned projects. You will be working tirelessly on a certain topic, only to then have someone else say we are not required to talk about it. Plan ahead who is going to do what, I promise you it will save your life!

One of the best ways to plan for such projects is to make use of a Gantt chart. I have used them all throughout my engineering studies and they have been a great aid in saving time! Learn how to use them and apply them to your planning as soon as possible!

I have written a more in-depth article about general time management skills. If you feel like you want/need some more information, then you are more than welcoming by checking it out here!

2. Budgeting

Learning how to budget your money is a must know skill for both students and non-students alike! Budgeting is arguably one of the most important financial habits that you need to develop. Budgeting is so important because it teaches you to control your money. People with good budgeting skills will track their expenses in detail, have a list of how much they can spend on what area of their life, and are thus able to make smarter financial decisions.

On top of that, it also ensures that you do not spend money that you don’t have. Credit card debt is skyrocketing in the developed world, and it really sets people back. It can often be difficult to realize that you are overspending. That won’t be the case when you budget your monthly allowance!

Budgeting however is only a small part of financial planning, as we will discuss in the next point. For now however, let’s go into some ways that you can budget better!

Assign amounts to your needs

The most basic needs everyone has is to pay rent, and to buy groceries. These are expenses that you can easily assign an amount too. your dorm rent might be $400, and you might spend $350 on food every month. Now you can take your allowance and subtract those values. All the money you have left you can then further subdivide into other categories of your choosing. You might say you want to invest 40% of the remaining money. This is not a financial blog, so I won’t go too in-depth on this.

Don’t worry about others

Comparing yourself to others who might have a bigger budget than you is one surefire way of going into debt. Comparison is not only the thief of joy, it will also steal your hard earned money. Do not worry how others spend their money, make smart investments and don’t spend your money trying to impress other people.

In the social media society this becomes even more difficult. We are continuously confronted with people on Instagram and Snapchat showing off their “amazing” lifestyles. Do not be fooled by this aesthetic life! Focus on you!

3. Reading

Getting into the habit of reading, even for just 30 minutes to an hour per day, is one of the best habits you can adopt into your character! I always suggest you spend time reading books about topics that you are not currently studying in your university, but that will teach you important life school. For example, I am an engineering student, but I spend a lot of my time reading both philosophy as well as financial books. They teach me a great deal about aspects of life I have had no educational exposure too. I feel that it makes me a more complete person.

There are many other reasons why you should start reading, here are just a few:

Fits into a balanced life

If you want to live a balanced life, a daily reading habit is an absolute must! Reading can be an incredible way to decrease your stress levels. Students are constantly put under stress, whether its before project deadlines or examinations. Spending just 30 minutes a day reading will put your mind of your stressful life, which can be a real mental health boost.

One of the best times to read is right before bed, not only is this great to reduce stress before you sleep, it is also a great way to limit your exposure to blue light before sleep. I will talk more about sleeping routines in the next point, so make sure you keep reading!

Makes you smarter

As I mentioned in before, reading about topics that you have little exposure too can really open a world of opportunities for you. It doesn’t matter if you read fiction or non-fiction books, you can learn a great deal from books.

Another great alternative to reading is audio books. Especially if you have to commute to and from your classes everyday. Driving while listening to an audio book can be a very efficient way to acquire new knowledge. My personal preference is to still read the books yourself, but we must all play the cards in life we are dealt!

4. Create Sleep Routine

Most, if not all students will at one time in their study career complain about the lack of sleep they have been experiencing. There are stressful moments, where we simply have no other option but to grind out the work, at the cost of our sleep. That being said, there are plenty of ways we can reduce the amount of sleep we lose over these stressful moments in your life.

If you create a proper sleeping routine, you will get the most out of your nighttime sleep. I personally need around 8 hours of sleep to be able to efficiently study for a day. This includes a 20 minute nap after lunch. When I go to bed, I am someone that when my head hits the pillow I am already asleep. I then promptly wake up about 5 minutes before my alarm goes off. It won’t take you long to achieve this kind of a sleeping routine! If you follow a plan, i’d say maybe 2-3 weeks!

Lets go over some of the most important aspects of a good sleep routine!

Be consistent in your bed time

The one tip that has helped me the most, is that you have to go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day. If you are someone that expects to sleep in on the weekend, then you will never have a truly good sleeping schedule! You have to stay consistent, else your body will never fully understand your sleeping pattern.

Note that it doesn’t matter when you go to sleep and when you get out of bed, as long as they are at the same time everyday! So if you study well in the late evening and early morning and want to go to bed at 3 am and wake up at 12 the next day, then in terms of your sleep you are golden! Just don’t miss too many classes :D!

Limit daytime naps

As i mentioned before, a quick 20 minute power naps does wonders for me in terms of my productivity! Without that, I will almost fall asleep over my books, and am just not efficient at all. That being said, sleeping for more than 20 minutes will affect you night time sleep quality by some margin!

On top of that, make sure you do not take any naps in the evening, especially not as a routine! I take my naps after lunch, which means there is plenty of time between my nap and my bed time at night!

I wrote a much more dedicated article on ways to improve your sleep. If this is something that you are struggling with, then make sure to give that article a look here!

5. Focus On YOU

University is a time where you create a skillet for life. It might sound self-centered, but it really is a time to focus on you! Of course I am not saying you shouldn’t make or have any friends. In fact, your social life can have massive consequences for your mental health! All I am saying is that you should never sacrifice your ability to build your character and your skills to go and waste time with others.

There are many benefits that come with focusing on yourself that a lot of people will never really discover in their lives!

You’ll realize your purpose in life

There is no one out there that can straight up tell you what your true passion or purpose in life is. If you want to discover that, you are going to have to look inward and dig deep. Focusing on yourself means spending a lot of time doing different things. You are bound to come across something you like, and delving deeper into this will often times bring our what you want to do with the rest of your life!

Finding purpose can often times be difficult. I am planning to write more in-depth about this topic in the future. So make sure you keep an eye on my most recent posts, as well as the list of all my topics here!

You’ll master life

If you make yourself your number 1 priority, you will learn one crucial life lesson. You will learn exactly what you need, and what you don’t need in life. Your views on friendships, family and relationships will change. You won’t spend time around others if the relationships is not beneficial in a mutual way. You won’t put up with BS anymore.

You also come to understand that you are in control of your life. Many people play the blame game, but you will learn ways to discover that most of the time the only person to blame is you. To get you to this point faster, check out this mental exercise!

Final Thoughts

Being a student will be one of the most wonderful times of your life, despite many not realizing this until much later on in your life. You are young and are therefore able to take many risks. Study what you are passionate about, and if you fail exams and have to redo a year, don’t stress it. You have plenty of time in your life to build a good career!

If you adopt all of the smart goals in this article, I am sure you will have a wonderful 2022! I hope you learned something and enjoyed the read! Until next time!

4 Mental Hacks To Be More Confident

Whatever you are trying to achieve in life, having a high level of confidence will surely make your journey easier. Confidence is a crucial character trait that you must adopt into your own personality if you want to succeed in life.

When we feel confident, we are likely to pursue new opportunities, which will lead to even more opportunities in the future. Whenever we fail at something, it is our confidence that gets us back up to try again! This skill to be able to cope with setbacks will set you apart from the rest of the world. If you can be a confident person, you will be a successful person!

Often times it is hard to come across content that will go in-depth on ways that we can use to increase our self-esteem. I hope to be able to give a little bit more detailed explanation of some ways that I have found to be incredibly useful in gaining more confidence. Let’s get right into it!

1. Give Yourself A Break For Making Mistakes

We are all humans, and are therefore prone to make mistakes. We all make them, and making a mistake often times are just a learning experience for us, but it has been pushed on us since childhood that mistakes are bad. Children all the time get some kind of punishment for making mistakes. It has been drilled into us so much that we now go hard on ourselves for making mistakes, and this just isn’t right.

Often times we are our own harshest critic. When we see another person mess up, we are quick to come to their aid and tell them “it doesn’t matter” or “don’t worry about it”. But if we were to mess up in the same way, we wouldn’t be anywhere near so lenient on ourselves.

This self-depreciating behaviour has a more negative effect than the criticism of others! Studies have found a clear link between this kind of negative self-talk and lack of confidence levels.

So what are some ways that we can use to stop being so hard on ourselves and become more lenient when making mistakes?

Don’t compare yourself to others

When we make mistakes, we tend to think of people who were in the same situation as us, but did not mess up. Often times things like “I wish I was more like her/him” is what we think. You have to understand that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses in life. On top of that, we are all in different stages of our life, so there is no reason to compare yourself with another person.

You are you, there is no way around it. Simply accept who you are and move on. Do not waste your time and energy comparing yourself to others, because what do you hope to achieve doing that anyways? It is better to spend that time and energy getting better at whatever you just messed up!

Understand the importance of failure

Failure plays a crucial role in the life of anyone that wants to become successful in life. It is the ladder we all have to climb to reach our lifetime goals. Many of us are scared to fail, but it is a necessary step to succeed! Society often unfairly judges us for failing. No one wants to be called a failure!

Did you know that Walt Disney was fired from his job because he ‘lacked creativity’? Society would deem him a failure, yet he turned out to become the most successful animator of our times! If you find yourself failing a lot in life, then you are on the right track. Sooner or later you will succeed in whatever you are working towards, I can promise you that!

Surround yourself by people who want the best for you

Being too hard on ourselves can oftentimes be very visible, especially in the moment when we have realized we made a mistake. If you surround yourself with a positive crowd of people, they will surely notice this, and try their best to care for you.

If they truly want what’s best for you, they will be supportive. Now I don’t mean that they will tell you niceties such as “it will be alright”, or “I do the same thing all the time”. I mean that they will sit down with you and try to analyze the situation. If you have been slacking on your work and that’s why you failed an exam, your most supportive friends should call you out on that! If your mess up was for a reason outside of your control, they should try and help you get back on top.

Remember that actions speak louder than words!

2. Stop Dreaming And Get To Work

What exactly does confidence stem from? Most of our confidence comes from being comfortable with whatever it is we are doing. Your first time in the gym will be a scary one. But if you have been going for the past 4 months, you won’t think much of it. Are you scared talking to new people? If you go up to random people at parties every week, do you think you will still be scared in 4 months time? Most likely you will not.

Confidence comes from the fact that we know we are capable of doing what is expected of us. So many people will just dream about the day they ask out their crush, or that they will take up the courage to join the sports team. Stop dreaming and get to work. Go and ask out your crush, go and join that sports team.

In 4 months time you will feel very confident in your ability to play that sport. You gain an immense confidence booster, because you have proven to yourself that you are capable of doing challenging things.

3. Face Your Fears

We all have fears and we are all scared of something. A personal example I can give would be giving a presentation or speech in front of a large audience. So having a natural fear of presenting in front of big crowds, I lacked a lot of confidence during presentations in school.

This fear however, was holding me back, and I wanted to change it. So I took a course on presentation skills, and I was able to conquer my fear of giving a presentation. My more recent experiences of giving presentations and talks have been very positive. I have proven to my self that I am capable of doing something that I feared.

This has given me an incredible confidence boost, since I know I have the strength within me to conquer any fear that might arise in my life. So exposing yourself to your fear is a great way to face your fears, but there are many others. Lets talk about a few more ways you can face your fears!

Look at the future

As I mentioned above, we are all afraid of something in life. This can be asking out your crush, going to join a sports team or even having a difficult conversation with a loved one. One great tactic is to look at the future using 2 scenarios. Where would you be in a years time if you did what you are scared to do, and where would you be if you gave into your fears.

More often than not, the future where you did do what you feared will be nicer! This way of reasoning can be a great way to gain some confidence for those difficult life moments!

There is no need for perfection

When I gave the example of my fear of presenting in front of a large crowd, a lot of that had to do with my need to give a perfect presentation. When you set such high expectation for yourself, in combination of being scared of something, you are setting yourself up for disaster.

One of the first things I learned is that as long as you are confident in your presentation, just go and deliver it. Do not worry how you come across, just focus on the content. Once I was able to feel confident with the content I was presenting, then and only then could I begin to work on myself as a presenter.

Just try and get better with time, there is no need to give a perfect first performance!

Give it time

If there is one thing that is very challenging to accomplish, it is overcoming your fears. No difficult achievement is made in a short amount of time. You have to give yourself time and work on yourself. If you are putting in focused effort, you will overcome those fears.

My presentation skills classes took over 6 months. It took me half a year to truly overcome that fear. Give it time, don’t give up, and you will get there. I can promise you that!

4. Set Small Goals

Setting goals is a major confidence booster. It is undeniable that finishing goals makes you feel great. Just think back to that time when you finished your last workout, you felt great! When we tasks ourselves to doing something, completing it gives us an endorphin rush. So how can we maximise the things we accomplish each day? Because there are only so many hours in a day.

Well one of the best ways to do so is to break your small goals down even further. I’ll show you what I mean with a small example.

Instead of setting a goal to go to the gym today, we can set successive goals. You can structure it like this:

  • 1. Put on my gym clothes
  • 2. Pack all the stuff I need
  • 3. Get to the gym
  • 4. Now start your workout

Even small goals such as going for a workout can seem quite daunting, especially if we feel uncomfortable there or are just tired after a long day. Breaking them down will not only make it easier to complete them, and therefore have a workout, they will also give us a confidence boost throughout the day!

Final Thoughts

Gaining confidence can be easier said than done. Some methods simply work better than others depending on what type of person you are. If you are a very rational person, point 2 might be of much use to you. If you are more emotional, then make sure you understand and take care of the first point!

All in all if you put in some time and effort at trying to get better, you will make it. I wish you all the best on your journey to become more confident, and I hope this article was able to play some part in your success story!

5 MORE Successful Character Traits You Should Have In 2022

With Christmas spirit in full swing, the new year is also quickly approaching. It is the time of year where we look at how well the last 12 months have been for us. For most of us, myself included, we see that there is always room for improvement. However it can be easier said than done to have a more successful 2022!

That being said, no matter how difficult it might be, we will always try and better ourselves here at SimplyLifestyle! One of the goals I think everybody should set for themselves is to adopt specific character traits of the most successful people into their own personality. I have already made a list of 5 successful character traits you should adopt, and you can find this article here!

That was written quite a while ago, and I thought for 2022, I would make a new list. So lets see what these character traits are and why you should adopt them into your personality!

1. Proper goal setting

First on the list is proper goal setting, and it is first for a good reason. If you are not able to translate your goals from thoughts to actions, you will be lost for your entire life. No successful individual has gotten to where they are today without a structured goal plan.

Learning how to set a goal really is not that difficult, but it might take some time and self searching before you can accurately determine where you want your goals to lead to. I am of the opinion that everyone should set big, and I mean really big lifetime goals! We only get one chance in life, and I firmly believe that we should try and get the most out of it!

When you start to set goals with yourself, you have to start off with setting your lifetime goals. These are the kind of goals you will spend your whole life working towards. Once these are reached, you should be able to say to yourself “I have made it!”.

Next you should set your milestone goals. These are the goals you have to reach before you can start going after your lifetime goals. If you are a little confused by this, I explain it with an example in a lot more detail here!

2. Be Flexible

The corona pandemic has highlighted several important character traits in people, and I find one of them is to be a flexible person. Now what exactly do I mean when I say flexible. I certainly don’t mean that you should start to follow a yoga class or anything. I am talking about mental and emotional flexibility.

Mental flexibility is all about being able to switch up your routine. If you have a lot of different deadlines coming up, you should have the mental flexibility to work a little bit on all your different projects in the same day. A lot of us tend to really focus their day on just one item on their to do list, and end up neglecting all the others, which will negatively impact your results on them. Make sure you are able to set time limits when you work. If you are more curious about proper time management, check out my article on it here!

For emotional flexibility, I mean being able to better deal with various emotions that you might experience during a day. When we have had a really good day, and all of a sudden something goes wrong, we tend to let these small things get us down. Be flexible enough to accompany this emotion, and just continue having a great day!

3. High emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to control and express one’s emotions. Furthermore, it is your ability to handle relationships empathically and with justice. Having a high emotional intelligence therefore means you are able to control your emotions better, and are less likely to fall victim to losing control of your emotions. It also makes you a more emphatic person, which is a great skill to have for building meaningful and long lasting relationships!

Building up your emotional intelligence can give you a major boost in both your personal and professional life. Many modern organizations are investing a lot of time and resources in better understanding emotional intelligence. Partly because studies have shown that individuals with a higher emotional intelligence have larger amounts of productivity than those with a low EQ.

So what are some ways we can build up our emotional intelligence? I will write a more detailed article about emotional intelligence in the future, so make sure you keep an eye on the most recent posts and the overall topics page! But for now, lets address a few key points in increasing your emotional intelligence!

Be approachable

Being more approachable will give you a greater opportunity to interact with people. Often times a lack of social contact can really hold back your emotional intelligence development, simply because you lack the experience of making and keeping relationships going. By becoming more approachable this issue dissapears.

One of the easiest ways to become more approachable is alter your body language. If people do not know who you are, they will judge your personality based on your body language. If your body language is not very welcoming, chances are very few people will come and have a chat with you. The biggest change in your body language is actually a very small gesture, which is to just smile!

Give approving eye contact and smile gently when coming across people you would like a chat with. By smiling and making proper eye contact, it is like you are inviting them in for a conversation. This is when you can start creating and maintaining friendships, which will develop your emotional intelligence as time goes on.

Be self-motivated

A big character trait of people with a high emotional intelligence is that they are often self-motivated. Self motivation for those who are unaware is the ability to drive yourself to put in effort and work towards a goal, no outside reward needed. It is very similar to intrinsic motivation!

If you wish to learn more about how to self motivate yourself, make sure you check out my detailed article on it here!

Learn to communicate your emotions

Bottling up your emotions is simply not healthy! Whenever you are feeling sad, angry, disappointed, or even happy and grateful, make it a habit to communicate those emotions to the people around you. Not only will this help develop your emotional intelligence, it can also increase self confidence and decrease emotional stress!

Find a trusted family member of friend, and ask them to do the same to you. This way you will both learning to communicate your emotions while making it easier for both of you to do so. It is a great exercise!

4. Self-Confidence

Having a healthy level of self confidence on its own will carry you very far in life. It makes you a more likable person, and will allow greater opportunities to come into your life. Not only that, being more confident will allow us to move forward with these opportunities!

We have all heard that you should increase your confidence, but how exactly do we accomplish this? Lets go over three main points that I believe will get you started on trying to increase your confidence levels!

Work towards your passion

If you are working and making progress towards whatever you are really passionate about, you will feel like your life is one track. That is a feeling that gives a lot of confidence in yourself, simply because you are in life where you need to be. You won’t have this feeling like you are lost, like you are behind compared to everyone else.

Finding your passion can often times be quite difficult if you don’t know how. The best way that I have seen is to just remember the dreams you had as a child. Often times if you spend enough time dissecting what your dreams were as a kid, you will re-discover your passion!

Be comfortable being uncomfortable

A lack of self confidence often times arises from uncomfortable situations. Think of examples like asking out a crush, giving a presentation in front of a big audience or joining a new sports team. Lets be real, you will find yourself in a lot more uncomfortable situations in the future, especially if you are trying to get somewhere in life!

The best way to be comfortable being uncomfortable, is to simply put yourself into uncomfortable situations more. Scared of giving presentations, go and give more presentations. Follow a workshop where you have to present in front of 200+ people. I can guarantee that presenting in front of 20 people will seem like peanuts then!

All it takes to cultivate more self discipline is to simply expose yourself to the extremes of something that makes you lack confidence. Just like the presentation example!

Create a routine

If you have a stable daily routine, it will not only be much easier to work on your confidence levels, the routine in itself will also give you confidence. Since you will be getting familiar with doing certain tasks over and over again, you will get more secure and sure of yourself over time.

On top of that, it also ties in well with the previous point! Life is uncertain, and often times your routine will be washed away. This can end up putting you in uncomfortable situations. You should know what that is important :).

5. Gratitude

These last two years, so many people have suffered because of the pandemic. That is why now is a better time than any to be grateful for all the postie things and people that we have in our lives and that surround us.

People nowadays tend to mainly focus on what they don’t have and what they want for their future self. a slight few of us might also focus on the present, but unfortunately most do not yet appreciate the past. Very few of us understand the high value of our histories correctly. 

Gratitude is a crucial aspect we should use when we look back on our past. It is sure to positively influence our present and future. It can be understood as a duty and as a commitment, but also as an action in which we get to focus on our self and on our life path.

A proper look at the past is a crucial aspect. We should look at the past as a source of experiences and answers much like a source of wisdom. Looking at it in a balanced way, observing the positive and negative experiences helps to understand life as a trial and error process. And in that sense, to understand every experience as an opportunity to learn.

Final Thoughts

No matter what the new year will bring us, if you adopt these 5 character traits, you will sure see success in 2022. I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

4 Types Of Goals

I have recently written an article about 5 goals you should have to succeed in 2022, and it seems pretty popular. Therefore I decided to write a little bit more in depth about what types of goals you can set for yourself.

Instead of just listing the 4 different types of goals and giving a brief description of them, I will demonstrate their usefulness through an example of a friend of mine. I think he has set excellent goals, with proper use of time frames. So lets get into the example and see what types of goals he has set for himself!

Lets name this person David. Now David is a master engineering student, but he aspires to become an entrepreneur. Except he has a few problems. One of them being he has no product or problem to solve and create a a business for. Secondly, being a student with 0 professional experience, he also has very limited understanding of any industry out there. So how does David set goals to solve this problem, well lets find out!

Goals In Terms Of Time

1. Lifetime Goals

As the name suggests, a lifetime goal is a goal that all your hard work builds towards, it is the last goal you hope to accomplish. It is a type of goal that I never really see people around me define. However, most successful people have all had some sort of a life time goal. Think about Gary Vee for example, who is an entrepreneur with a goal to buy the New York Jets, an American football team.

Setting lifetime goals is a consistent character trait you see when analyzing the personality of the most successful individuals in the world. So how does this type of goal fit into Davids example?

Well as we mentioned David wants to become an entrepreneur, except he does not really know what niche and industry he plans to go in. So in order for him to set a lifetime goal, he has simply put a dollar value to it. His goal is to create a business empire worth $3.6 billion.

That is an astoundingly large number, and where it comes from can be anyone guess. But it is very good to set big goals like that. It is a number so big, that you will spend every hour of your day working tirelessly to reach that. Even if he only manages to get 10% of the way there, he has still made a $360 million dollar business!

All the work and effort that David puts into his life is geared for the sole purpose of achieving a business with a worth of that number. He doesn’t waste his time on activities that don’t get him a step closer to that goal.

I have always wondered what happens when we do in fact achieve our life goal, and I think the answer is quite simple. We set an even bigger goal. This will keep us going forever!

2. Milestone Goals

A milestone goal is a goal that needs to be reached, in order to be on track to achieve your lifetime goal. They are just like classic milestones. If you want to pass your 3 chapter math quiz, your milestone goals would be to study chapter 1, to study chapter 2, and to study chapter 3. Having completed those milestone goals means you are on track to potentially achieve your lifetime goal.

Note that I stress potentially, since there can be many reasons you never reach your lifetime goal. The math test may have been unfairly hard, as life can be unfairly hard. You might not have studied the chapters well enough, and the list goes on.

Knowing that David wants to create a multi-billion dollar, he will have to set some milestones, to make sure he is on the right track. One of his milestone goals is to actually figure out a problem, that he can create a solution to. Then he will be able to build a business around this solution, and sell it for a profit.

Another milestone he aims for is to get knowledge of the different industries and sectors. These can include the pharmaceutical, agricultural, aerospace sector and many many more. So how will David be able to discover these sectors?

Well after graduation, he hopes to be able to land a job at a major consultancy firm, like Mckinsey & Co, BCG, Bain, PWC etc. Working as a consultant means that he will spend working on a wide variety of projects in different sectors. It is an excellent opportunity to get to know the different industries. At the same time it allows him to gain an excellent perspective on the troubles that these sectors face. If he finds a generalized solution to those, he might have also solved his business product issue.

These are all examples of milestone goals, because no matter in what time frame they are achieved, they are required to be completed before we can start chasing that lifetime goal!

3. Long Term Goals

I am sure we are all familiar with long term goals. When you search on google, the typical time frame a long term goal needs to be is between 3-5 years. I generally follow this rule, but will also set long term goals with a shorter time frame. I do this if the goal I set means that I change a massive part of my life. So an example of my long term goals is to acquire my degree, which I hope to do in just about 8 months from writing this article.

It is a much shorter time frame than 3-5 years, but its such a big change in my life that still requires so much work that I have decided to make it a long term goal.

For David, his long term goals are looking quite similar. He is hoping to graduate next summer, then do another business related degree, and then to apply for a consultancy job.

His longest term goal is to apply to be a consultant, because what happens after he works as one is still relatively unclear as he has no experience in that field.

You might be wondering how this long term goal differs from the consultancy milestone goal, and that is definitely a good question. The long term goal is to get the job as consultant. The milestone goal is to use the consultancy job as a way to discover different sectors and to stay on the lookout for entrepreneurial opportunities! Massive difference between the 2!

4. Short Term Goals

Like long term goals, you have most likely heard of them. short term goals are the goals you set with a time frame that does not exceed 6 months. They can even last just a couple of hours. You might set a goal to go to the gym today.

David has many different kinds of short term goals, way to many to list in this article. The most common goals all students have is to finish all their projects, study all the necessary material to pass their exams etc.

Why You Should Set Big Lifetime Goals

I wanted to add a small section in here to once again stress the importance of setting incredibly large goals. I think this is a concept that very few people understand. It can be such a powerful tool that will really motivate you to grind it out until you are in life where you want to be.

1. The higher the pressure, the more you will work

When we set an incredibly large goal, such as aiming to create a $3.6 billion company, we set massive expectations of ourselves. No one likes to let themselves down, so if you believe that you are capable of achieving that goal, you will do no matter what to get there, I promise you that!

2. You learn when you fail

I have written countless time why failing is learning here on this website. When you fail at something, you found out why you failed. Make sure you are honest and use this one exercise to figure out the truth. Once you know what went wrong, fix your mistake and try again. You keep trying until you succeed, never give up!

3. You will exceed what you thought was possible

Whenever you are working at your limits, and seeing yourself succeed, you will undergo a massive amount of self discovery. Often times people never expected to be capable of such dedicated and efficient work. You will truly stretch your believe of what you are capable!

4. It changes the way you think

When you set almost unattainable goals, you will have to get creative if you want to reach them. This will often push you out of your comfort zone, through which you will learn new strategies and methods of working. You will become a more creative person with the ability to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to almost any problem.

Final Thoughts

I have written a more in-depth article on the reasons why setting goals is important. I also used an example style of writing for that article, so if you like that kind of reading you can find that article here! I hope this post inspired you all to have a look at the goals you have set, and maybe I have been able to encourage you to set some larger goals in life.

I wish you all the best of luck and hope you enjoyed the read, till next time!

5 Goals You Should Have To Succeed In 2022

In a little over a month, we will go into a new year. We are all hoping that 2022 brings more joy and happiness into our lives than the last 2 years. However, I do not like to let things be up to fate, and want to be in full control of how my life looks like.

That is the main reason that I decided to compile a list of achievable goals that we can all set and achieve in the new year. If you are able to succeed for some of them, I am sure your 2022 will prove to be a better year than this one.

So lets delve right into 10 goals that you can set for yourself to achieve in 2022!

1. Read 1 Book Per Month

If you want to advance your knowledge in a certain field, there really is nothing better than just reading about it. One of the things that has brought me the most value for my time in life has been reading. I have always tried to read 1 book per week, and withing just a few months I have already seen my knowledge expand to astonishing degrees.

I suggest you focus more on non-fiction books. My personal interests are economic and finance books, as well as biographies and auto-biographies of the most successful people on earth. Whatever your interest in life maybe, reading will take you further into that than anything else!

2. Create And Stick To A Monthly Budget

Most of us struggle with our finances a lot, and we have to find a solution for that. Money also seems to be one of the biggest stressors for people, in their on life but also in their relationships. So if we are able to save a little bit more, we should be able to relieve some of that stress.

Learning to create a monthly budget is really not that difficult. I will outline the general steps below:

  • Write down your income
  • List your fixed expenses
  • Figure out what you really need to and what can go
  • Make sure to save at least 40% of your income
  • Make sure all debt is payed off
  • Continue to keep track of your spending

I know that a lot of these points might sound arbitrary, but I will soon write an article on how to create a monthly budget, so make sure to keep an eye on our most recent posts, or try and find the article in our topic list!

3. Create A Bedtime Routine

I have written about the importance of sleep is so many articles. Yet I have to stress the importance of sleep once more here. If you do no rest well at night, then you will suffer during the day. This will simply cause you to live a very inefficient life. It takes you longer to learn new skills, you make more necessary mistakes, and your relationships with other people will suffer as a consequence.

On of the main important aspects in creating a bedtime routine is that you must ensure that you go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday, including weekends! So if you want to game all night and go to bed at 4 am and wake up 11 am, then that is perfectly fine. Just make sure you do it every day!

Of course it is better for your circadian rhythm that you sleep according to sunset and sunrise, but it is not necessary. I wrote a more detailed article on how to sleep better, so if you are interested in that you can find it here!

4. Learn Mindfulness Meditation And Journaling

As we have seen with the past 2 years, life can be rough and full of uncertain surprises. Since life is continuously in an unpredictable swirl, how can we best prepare for it? One of the most famous modern techniques is to practice mindfulness. Being able to live with that kind of uncertainty is exactly why mindfulness meditation and journaling has gained so much popularity worldwide.

Mindfulness is all about appreciating the present moment, and it will teach that skill of being present wherever you go.

One of the easiest ways of practicing mindfulness is through meditations. You simply have to sit on a chair or lay on your bed. All you have to do is to just feel the present moment. Try and feel the touch of the bed on your arms and legs, feel the sensation of your skin. Do this for 10-15 minutes before you go to bed, or after you wake up in the morning. Now it is inevitable that your mind will wander off to another place, and this is where the mindfulness technique comes into play.

Whenever you notice that your mind has drifted off into another thought, bring yourself back to the present moment. One of my favorite ways to do this is to focus on my breath. When you start out with this kind of meditation, you will have to bring yourself back to the present for what feels like an infinite amount of times. And that is alright!

Training your brain to live in the moment works exactly like the mechanism that makes our muscles grow. repeated effort will make that connection stronger.

Another excellent way to practice mindfulness is through journaling. Every morning I write down 3 things I am grateful for, 3 things I expect to get done during the day, and 1 daily affirmation. Then in the evening I will journal about how my day turned out, relative to the expectations I had in the morning.

This teaches me to reflect on the day. With experience, I know live more in the moment, because I want my evening reflection to be as successful as possible!

The meditation allows you to bring your mind to the present, while the journaling will strengthen your ability to enjoy and understand the feelings you have.

5. Practice Gratitude daily

Practicing gratitude on a daily basis is of incredible importance, and has helped me to develop several key areas in my life. We are all trying to improve ourselves, and I believe that one of the best methods is to practice gratitude. It is the key to studying our pass in a complete way.

Gratitude is about recognizing all the positive aspects in your life, and understanding that we should not take them from granted. We have made it to wherever we are in life thanks to the help of a lot of other people. You should appreciate their input into your life.

gratitude is one of the most effective tools in our arsenal that allows us to notice all the positives in our lives. It is a key instrument in knowing where we come from, and where we are currently heading.

One of my personal favorite ways of practicing gratitude is to simply stand in from of a mirror, look at myself, and say a few gratitude phrases. Some examples include:

  • ‘I am grateful that my loved ones and I are in good health’
  • ‘I am grateful of all the opportunities that I have been given, whether I deserved them or not’

I wrote a much more detailed article on the importance of gratitude and 5 ways you can practice gratitude on a daily basis here! So if you are interested make sure you have a read through that!

Final Thoughts

The coming year will not be easy, no new year every will be. But if we are able to follow the goals on this article, I am sure you will have a very successful 2022. Keep working on yourself, keep growing, and I hope you enjoyed the read!

6 Ways To Sharpen Your Focus

In order for us to progress in life, we have to keep developing our skills, and learn new ones as well. If you have found your way here, you are most likely looking at ways to improve yourself, and I am happy to say that you have come to the right address. One of the stables of effective learning is proper focus.

It is impossible to learn a new skill if you don’t focus on the work and apply yourself. Your ability to concentrate on tasks that get you closer to your goals is a direct measure of how successful you will become in your life.

Luckily for you, focus is very similar to your muscles. There are certain methods and exercises you can employ to strengthen your focus. However, just as real muscle development, it will take time and consistent effort to sharpen your focus skills. Having a focused personality is a great character trait to have and well worth the effort.

So let’s delve into 6 ways that you can use that will sharpen your focus!

1. Improve Your Sleep

Before you even think about sharpening your focus, you need a proper sleeping routine! Lack of sleep is one of the main factors that destroys our ability to focus. If I don’t get my 8 hours of sleep, my ability to focus and work productively decreases by as much as 50% during the afternoon hours!

It is important to have a consistent sleeping schedule. It is irrelevant at what time you go to bed and at what time you wake up. It just has to be consistent. So if you want to go to bed at 3 am and wake up at 11 o’clock, then that is perfectly fine. Just make sure you are doing this everyday!

Having the occasional lapse in sleep schedule will not pose many problems, as long as you catch up on your sleep the next night.

Absorbing information and developing new skills takes a lot of energy from our brain. If we don’t allow our mind to recover, you will never remember or be able to utilize that which you have learned.

Here are some ways you can use to improve your sleep:

  • Stop using electronic devices 1 hour before you sleep
  • Don’t eat anything anymore 2 hours before you sleep
  • Ensure that your room is at a comfortable temperature
  • Make sure to decrease your emotional stress
  • Exercise regularly and watch your diet

2. Exercise & Diet

We have all heard that physical exercise is also mental exercise, and it is certainly true. Studies have shown that daily physical exercise can increase your concentration and attention span. On top of that, the same study was able to prove that memory loss was less likely to occur in those why employed a regular exercise routine into their daily schedule.

By daily exercise I don’t mean that you have to go all out everyday in the gym. A simple 30 minute to 1 hour walk in your local park is just as effective in providing you with these mental boosts. The time at which you do the exercise can also influence your productivity levels.

It is always a good idea to take breaks when you are working on difficult tasks, mainly because they aid your productivity. During these breaks is the best time for you to go out on a walk. If you take 4 15 minute breaks and go out for a walk, it is equivalent to 1 hour of daily physical exercise.

Having a healthy diet is also crucial for your focus. Not only will it help you get the most out of your exercise, it will also allow you to properly sleep. As I mentioned before your brain uses a lot of energy to absorb knowledge and gain skills. It will do that much more effectively if it is fueled by healthy foods!

3. Get An Idea On Your Current Levels Of Focus

Before you decide to work on anything in life, it is always a smart idea to to understand where you currently are in that particular area. Trying to sharpen your focus is no different. There are several questions you can ask your self that will determine your levels of focus. These mental exercises really help you dig deep and find the truth that you are looking for.

If your focus levels are really bad, you will often:

  • Daydream on a regular basis
  • Inability to commit to a long term goal, as you get side tracked by other interests
  • You get distracted easily and hence always lose track of progress.

Good levels of focus are of course opposite to the above points, but may also include things like you taking a small break from work but not finding it difficult to get back to work.

4. Mindfulness Meditation And Journaling

Mindfulness is the art that teaches us to live in the moment. Mindfulness meditation is an especially powerful tool that allows us to really develop our focusing skills. Let me explain exactly how mindfulness meditation works and why it is so effective.

15 minutes before you go to bed, you should do this meditation. All you will do is set a 15 minute timer on your phone, and sit or lay down on your bed. All you have to do is just sit or lay there. Now during these 15 minutes, you have to be in the moment. Focus on your breathing, or notice the feelings you have on your skin. I guarantee you that at some point your mind will start to wander and daydream about whatever.

The real key from mindfulness mediation is that whenever you realize that your mind is astray and no longer focusing on the moment, that you have to bring your mind back to the now. In the span of 15 minutes, you might have to do this 50 times. Don’t worry if your mind wanders off a lot, it is very normal for beginners.

The act of bringing your mind back to the presence strengthens your ability to focus. As I mentioned before, your focus is like a muscle and mindfulness mediation is the best exercise to get that muscle to grow stronger.

Mindfulness journalism can also be equally effective. This is when you write down about what you are feeling in the moment. It strengthens your minds connection with the present. Often times people will write about all the things they are grateful for, and it can be easily combined with the mindfulness meditations!

5. Eliminate Distractions

One of the main things that causes us to lose focus when working on tasks is distractions within our environment. A big example I used to encounter all day when I was studying at the library was with people who studied with their phone on the table. They would be working on their course material, and as soon as their phone would light up with a message, they would drop their pen and start playing with their phone.

Often times when we are on our phones to check a simple message, we lose another 30 minutes on Instagram of Facebook videos. It is a very inefficient use of our time. So why not just put the phone in your backpack. If you use the 50/10 method to study, you can check your phone for important or urgent messages in your break. But make sure you limit all your distractions when you are working on achieving your goals.

6. Practice Makes perfect

All of the above methods are great if you want to become a more focused individual. However, you won’t see any changes if you don’t actively practice all them on a daily basis. If you find all this information too overwhelming, then I understand. I suggest you then take one of the above methods and start focusing just on that one for about a month.

Keep a journal so that you are able to track your progress. Make sure you set a proper goal, and you will sharpen your focus without a doubt. Like everything worth achieving in life, this will take time. So allow yourself some before you worry that it is not working.

I hope you enjoyed the read and wish you all the best on your journey to success!

How To Become A More Efficient Learner

Learning is the bread and butter of anything in life. Without our ability to learn we would have gotten nowhere, and if we stop learning we will be left behind by those who don’t. Learning is a lifelong process and is a vital skill to master if you want to realize your dreams!

There are 2 main aspects of learning that we will tackle in this article. The speed at which we learn is of incredible importance. There are only so many hours in a day, and if you can learn twice as quick as your competition, you are at a serious advantage. Furthermore, the accuracy with which you remember that which has been learned, is also crucial. It is useless to learn something at incredible speed, if you cannot remember it 3 days later.

Become a more efficient learner doesn’t happen overnight. The methods below will have to be practiced daily until they become habits before you truly master the art of learning. So without further-ado, let’s get into X ways to become more efficient at learning.

1. Ask Questions

No one in this world knows the answers to everything. It is very normal to have doubts about certain topics and concepts. Often times the only way forward is to ask more knowledgeable individuals for help, and there is no shame in doing so!

Furthermore, engaging in debates and discussions with others will also allow your perspective on certain issues to change, granted you ask the right kind of questions geared towards the answers you need.

2. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you always do the same activities, you will never learn anything new. New skills are learned by doing things that you have never done before.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is one of many traits of the most successful individuals. It is what sets them apart from everyone else. If you become comfortable being uncomfortable, you will achieve whatever you want. The most common way to know whether you are doing this, is to ask yourself a simple question: “Am I having a hard time, am i struggling, or am I getting through my day quite easily?” If you find that you rarely have days where you really struggles, then you have to step out of your comfort zone more.

This can mean anything, from going to train a new sport, to finally building up the courage to ask your crush out on a date. Just do something that scares you, and you will reap the benefits sooner rather than later.

In my personal opinion, this is the most powerful method on this list, and if you only employ one of these methods into your routine, I suggest you chose this one!

3. Learn To Listen Attentively

Other people have vastly different perspectives on how the world works. If you rarely listen to what others think and say, you are limiting yourself from receiving a lot of potentially very valuable information.

Whenever you find yourself in a deep conversation with another person, try talking less about yourself, and instead ask them more questions about their beliefs on that topic. Make sure that these questions target an aspect of the discussion that you are not so knowledgeable about. This will give you a lot more insight into the topic, and can be an easy source of learning throughout your day!

I will soon be writing an article detailing several ways you can become a better listener. So keep an eye on our recent posts!

4. Get In The Habit Of Reading Books Regularly

One of the best sources of information are non-fiction books. These can be about history, the present, or what we we expect the future to be. A great habit to form is reading the news and understanding current affairs in the world. You can learn a lot about the world around you by simply observing the news. Make sure to not blindly believe everything that is on the news. Fact check if you have any doubts via other independent sources.

Try and set a reading goal for yourself. Start out by trying to read 1 book every month. If you are not an experienced reader, it might take awhile for you to find the books which you are truly interested about. Once you do however, reading can become seriously addicting!

5. Teach What You Know To Others

Have you ever heard of the saying “If you can’t explain something to another person, then you don’t understand it.” Explaining a concept or idea to someone else, solidifies that knowledge into your brain. This is one of the reasons why in high school and university we have to write so many papers and make a multitude of presentations. They are a way in which we explain what we have learned to another person, your teachers and professors in this case.

Furthermore, I have had instances where I explained an idea to someone, and they in return asked a question about that topic that I simply couldn’t answer. Other people can often expose gaps in our knowledge about a certain task, even if that person knows less about it than you do! With this feedback we can ensure that we are well informed and eliminate any gaps in our knowledge.

6. Gain Practical Experience

Whenever we read books, listen to other people, or step out of our comfort zone, the information we learn always tends to be very theoretical. Of course theoretical knowledge is very important if we want to learn something new, but do you really get better at playing basketball by sitting in a classroom and learning about all the rules? Not really right? You have to get out on the court and start playing.

Sometimes theoretical knowledge can only get you so far. It will be the practical experience that will really solidify your learning, because it gives you the ability to repeatedly practice a certain skill. And we all know that practice makes perfect!

7. Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is where you perform multiple activities at a time. While it is a great productivity tool, it can seriously impede your learning! During the learning process, switching to and from different task is very time inefficient.

Another way in which it has a negative impact is how your brain stores information. Your brain will learn something, and store all that information in one place. If you are learning 2 things at once, this information can get mixed up, making you less efficient and more prone to making errors.

To maximise your learning, prioritize the skills that directly impact your most important and urgent goals. Then learn that task first, and by itself.

8. Test Yourself

The only way to truly know if you have mastered a certain skills, is to test yourself. Often times testing yourself will show you the gaps in your knowledge. This feedback can then be used to improve yourself! Not only that, but research has shown that testing yourself can actually help you remember the content better. You will strengthen your long term memory of the things you have tested yourself on.

Performing well on these tests might also improve your intrinsic motivation, causing you to want to learn more and advance yourself even further. It is an overall great method to learn more efficiently and to become more motivated to keep on learning!

9. Have An Open Mind

As humans we tend to stick to what we know, and not venture outside our known realm. Similar to point 2 “stepping out of your comfort zone”, having an open mind and being open to new ideas is a surefire way to get access to new information, and consequently learn from it.

If you are stuck in your ways as a close minded individual, you hinder the opportunity to learn new ways to get to a solution. The world is ever changing, so it is of the utmost importance that you advance with it. Always sticking to your old know-how is a guaranteed way of falling behind. Be open minded!

Developing these efficient learning skills will take time, as does anything that is worth achieving. It is crucial that you try to make a habit of at least a few of the above mentioned points. They will certainly help you gain and store knowledge much more efficiently. I wish you all the best and I hope you enjoyed the read!

5 Ways To Get Better At Managing Your Time

We have all had experiences with bad time management. We have days where we are full of motivation. We tell ourselves that we will meet all our deadlines, that we are going to eat healthy for every meal of the day, and even go for a run in the evening. However in the evening, you find that you weren’t able to do half the things you said you would do. You feel like you just didn’t have enough time to do what you wanted to do.

If you have an honest look at the past 24 hours, you would likely discover an enormous amount of inefficiencies during your day. You’ll quickly realize that you manage your time very poorly. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to improve that skill. This means that you will have time to do all the things you want to do in a day, and even more.

So lets delve right into the 5 methods you can use that will improve how you manage your time.

1. Prioritize Wisely And Plan

Ever heard the saying that 10 minutes of planning will save you an hour of doing? If not, you have now, and it is really true. If you wake up in the morning and just start working on whatever comes to mind without a structured plan, you are doomed to be wasting a lot of time. But how exactly do we plan and prioritize properly?

The way I like to plan my day, is to write all the tasks I have to do in a simple to-do list. You can do this in the morning to plan your day, but I prefer to do it the evening before hand. Then I will start to prioritize them and put them in a list composed of four categories. These categories are as follows:

  • Important and urgent
  • Important but not urgent
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important and not urgent

If you have tasks in the “important and urgent” section, it is best you prioritize them. They are the tasks you should start with and finish no matter what. For the tasks in the “important but not urgent section”, you have to schedule a time to do them. You shouldn’t focus on them just yet, but you should know when their deadlines are and make sure they are completed before that.

For tasks in the “not important but urgent” section, I suggest you try and delegate them. When I say delegate, I am for example talking about a teamwork environment. They are tasks that need to get done, but they provide no real benefit for you, hence they are not important to you. If you are able to find someone else to do that task instead, you have more time to focus on the tasks that are important to you.

If you find yourself writing down tasks in the “not important and not urgent” section, you have to ask yourself what the purpose of those tasks really are. Are they really worth pursuing then? If you still find some relevance, I would set these tasks aside and complete them when all the other sections are finished.

Now that you have been able to separate all your tasks, how do you prioritize them within each section. Say that you have put 5 tasks in the section “important and urgent”, how do you know which one to do first? I prefer to start with the easiest one of them, simply because I know that I will complete them faster. Having successfully completed an important and urgent task will give you a big motivational boost to keep on working on the next ones.

2. Set Time Limits And Deadlines For Your Tasks

Setting time limits and deadlines is very closely related to the previous section because they make it very easy to properly plan your day. They will help you determine whether or not a task is urgent or not!

I am of the opinion that you should always set a personal deadline of a few days before the actual deadline. For example when I was working on projects during my engineering bachelor, I would always tell myself that I had to finish the work 3 days before I had to hand in the work to my professor. I simply knew from experience that I always had some sort of question at the moment I finished.

Giving myself 3 more days allowed me to ask for feedback and improve my work. I always saw my friends stress a lot just hours before the deadline, while I already finished a long time ago. It is also a great way to decrease your stress levels!

Setting time limits for tasks is not something I have had a lot of experience in, but is something that I have recently adopted in my study regime. I will give an example from my personal life to demonstrate the usefulness of setting time limits for certain tasks.

At the time of writing this article I had many other projects for university to complete. I simply told myself that I had to work on this article, and gave myself 2 hours to work on it. Now I know I won’t be able to finish it in 2 hours, but that is all the time I allowed myself to work on it. So after 2 hours I simply stopped, and continued to work on another task. This way I was able to make a lot of progress in many different areas of my life in a day.

The problem that I sometimes encounter when working on one task for an entire day, is that I see my productivity decrease significantly in the afternoon. So limiting myself to a couple of hours per activity actually allows me to get more work done in a day, simply because I work more efficiently.

3. Take Enough Breaks

It is crucial that you also plan enough breaks into you schedule! If you are constantly running around from tasks to task, you will sooner or later burn out and lose all motivation to keep working. Remember life should be about enjoyment as well. I can guarantee you that if you you don’t plan for spending time with friends, relaxing by yourself, or any other form of relaxment that your time management skills will be used in vain. You will likely see your productivity plummet and won’t be able to get much work done at all. Resting is crucial for your productivity!

For example, after lunch I plan a small 20-minute nap. Instead of going straight back to work after I finish eating lunch, I take 20 minutes for myself and have a short nap. Sure, I miss out on 20 minutes of work. But I know that I will be working much more efficiently for the entire afternoon and evening. Overall I get a lot more work done, even though I spend less time working!

This is just a personal example! Some people don’t respond well to 20 minute naps, but will for example benefit more from a 20 minute walk listing to music. Find out what works best for you!

4. Make Sure That Your Tasks Are Attainable And Useful

A lot of times we plan to complete very big tasks by the end of the day. It all seems very doable, but once we actually get started and are working, we quickly come to realize that we might have bitten off more than we can chew. I always try and break up my tasks in 30 minutes to 1 hour chunks. Lets say I have to do 100 questions before I am done studying for an exam. From experience I know that it might take me roughly 1 hour to get through 20 questions. I will simply plan to do 3 hours of that course today, and another 2 hours tomorrow. That means I should get through all the questions by tomorrow.

I don’t plan to try and finish everything today, because it might become too overwhelming. That is why I prefer to break large tasks into hourly attainable sections. It also keeps my daily schedule more realistic, and prevents me from feeling stressed that I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to do.

I am also a firm believer that we should pursue task that provide us some future benefit, and to avoid living an aesthetic lifestyle. I am incredibly grateful for all the hard work that I have put in 5 years ago. Because without that effort, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Using the same reasoning, I know in 5 years time I will be just as grateful for all the work that I am putting in today. That is what drives me to keep pushing hard. Make sure you are working for your future self, and not your present self. You will not regret it I promise you that!

5. Increase Your Productivity When Working

You can have amazing time management, but if you have low productivity, you will see no results. If you are very productive when working on your tasks, you will likely finish your work before deadlines. As you continue to manage your time, you will get more experienced and knowledgeable about just how much you can get done in the time you allow yourself to work.

Being productive allows you plan your days better. You won’t have to abandon your schedule or re-plan work because you were being unproductive and didn’t work on the tasks when you planned to be working on them. We have many articles here on SimplyLifestyle that will help you to increase your productivity!

Productivity is the final personality trait that will set your time management skills apart from the rest of the world. If you are able to adopt all of the above methods into your daily routine, you are setting yourself up for success!

Good luck on your Journey, I wish you all the best!

5 Ways To Get Back On Track When You Feel Lost

There is not a single person on this earth that has walked a perfect path to success. Sooner or later, everyone will lose their bearing. It is only natural that when you discover new things, you will inevitably lose focus on goals you have set far in the past. If you realized that you have strayed off the path, you’re 50% of the way there to get back on track and take control of your life once again.

For me personally, I have found that losing your way has a large emotional component to it. I strongly believe that we lose focus on our goals and purpose in life by getting caught up in the negative dealings of life. This can range from comparing your position in life to that of others, all the way to focusing too much on your own shortcomings and failures in life.

Eckhart Tolle once said “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.” No matter the situation, your levels of happiness ultimately stem from how you let yourself react. If you let people or other things in life get to you, you will inevitable lose your way. Make sure that doesn’t happen!

You have to realize that you will continue to have low moments throughout your life. But if you master the next 5 steps, you will never stay there for long. They will give you the skills necessary to get back on track whenever you have lost your way.

1. Analyze Your Routine

Before you ask yourself how to get back on track, a more interesting question you should ask yourself is “What does an average day look like for me and what am I currently doing to reach my goals?”

Doing a thorough analysis of your current daily routine will allow you to pinpoint all the areas that require improvement. A common struggle for most people is getting out of bed on time for example. They will set their alarms for 8:00 AM, but will only really get out of bed at 9:30 AM. Teaching yourself to get out of bed when your alarm goes off will save you a lot of time, which can be spend much more productively.

When doing this analysis, it is important that you are 100% honest with yourself. Call yourself out on all your lazy habits! Lying to yourself will never get you anywhere in life and hurts only one person, you!

If you feel that planning your entire day routine is too complicated or too overwhelming for you, it is always possible to start with just your morning routine for example. Plan a productive and healthy morning routine, and then next week try and do the same for your evening routine. Whatever works best for you!

If you are unsure whether you even have a routine or are not entirely sure what a routine looks like, check out my article on routines here. Within that article I also provide an example of what a success oriented routine looks like. Try and model yours after that one!

2. Focus On The Three Main Aspects Of Your Health

Maybe you have lost interest in a certain aspect of your life simply because of an unbalance in your three main aspects of life. In order to get back on track, it is vital that you pay attention to all of these aspects of your being. If you know that you struggle with one or more of these, I would suggest prioritizing your focus on this point before trying any of the other points in this article.

That being said, the methods and strategies that I write about here can also be used to great effect in bettering your physical, mental or social health. What I mean is that you better spend your time fixing your health issues rather than trying to pursue arbitrary goal in your life. I can assure you that you have plenty of time for goal chasing. Make sure you are functioning at 100% first!

Physical Health

I’m sure you know that our physical health has a major impact on our overall well-being, be that our mental or social health. A proper exercise regime has the ability to let you release stress and tension. If you are not doing any exercise, you have to start making a proper regime and sticking to it. If you are physically not healthy, it will be infinitely harder to get your life back on track and to achieve your goals.

Mental Health

What often happens with individuals who suffer from mental health problems, is that they are in a constant swing of “its going good and it’s going bad”. You might feel like you are back on track for one week, and then lose that completely the next. Mental health stability is instrumental in getting back on track. There are many articles on this website that will teach you some methods to live a more balanced life and to become the master of your emotions. However, if these don’t work and you see it worsen over time, make sure to seek professional help! These professionals will be able to guide you using a unique plan catered exactly to your needs. Don’t be afraid to seek them out!

Social Health

Social health is your ability to form meaningful and healthy relationships with others. Connection with other people is vital if you want your life back on track! No one can do everything alone, and you need good contact with people that you trust to allow them to help you when the going gets tough. Struggling to be social is very normal for introverted people, but you can learn to enjoy it!

3. Revitalize Your Goals And Your Purpose

Losing track of your life’s goals doesn’t mean you failed at them. There is a good chance you just lost interest, that you lost sight of the bigger picture. It is possible that you found new interests that simply didn’t work out, and now you feel that you should have never abandoned your old dreams. Whatever the reason may be, a lot can be gained from looking back on our past goals and to delve deep into them.

When we take a proper look at our childhood dreams, we are often energized by powerful nostalgic feelings. Children are big dreamers, I am sure that you were no different. The plans that we made for ourselves during childhood and adolescence will still be within you. Thinking about them and writing them down on a piece of paper is a good way of revitalizing your goals and re-discovering your purpose in life.

If you are unsure about what your purpose in life is, then do some self-discovery and exploration. Do some research by buying books or reading articles on the lives of successful individuals. Just make sure you don’t start to live an aesthetic lifestyle!

4. Proper Time Management

When you start planning to get your life back on track, you will inevitably come to the conclusion that there aren’t enough hours in a day to do all the things you want to do. There are 2 solutions for this. Either you give up on some of your goals, or you learn proper time management. I am going out on a limb here and say that you likely will not want to give up on any of your goals. So lets see how we can acquire some proper time management skills!

The most important time management skills in my eyes is to plan your day in advance. There is no bigger waste of time than starting to work, only to realize you have no idea what you have to work on or what you are even working towards. Make sure you plan your tomorrow tonight. Spend some time in your evening to gather your thoughts and figure out what work you would like to get accomplished tomorrow. That way you can plan your day as efficiently as possible!

Another tip that I can give you might sound counter-intuitive, but will see you become much more productive, and hence get more done during the time you do spent working. That tip is to take many breaks during your work sessions, and to not spend hours in front of your books or computer screen. If you are interested in knowing how to implement this into your schedule and why it is so effective, make sure you read my article on it here!

Time management is such a broad topic that I cannot even cover 10% of all the information about it here. So make sure to check all my posts on SimplyLifestyle for more potential articles on proper time management!

5. Practice Gratitude On A Daily Basis

Often times, we are so focused on our future, that we forget our past. We have all learned from our past mistakes, and yet if you look closely at your life, you will find that you have repeated many of them as well. But what about all the success we had in our lives. What about all the blessed moments?

If you are stuck in life, it can often be because you see people around you that are more successful. They might have a better job, a successful marriage, have children etc. When you practice gratitude, you learn to let go of these feelings of jealousy and resentment. Gratitude is recognizing all the positives in your life and having conscious and intentional thoughts about how and why you take them for granted. It is about appreciating your life and realizing that not everyone in the world is given the same chances and opportunities as you are.

When you wake up, write down three things you are grateful for. It should be the first thing you do in the morning. It can be as simple as this:

  • I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have a great education
  • I am grateful that my boss has seen my potential and given me a promotion
  • I am grateful that I have a supportive wife/husband/father/mother etc…

Practicing gratitude will make you realize that your life actually isn’t that bad, and that there are many opportunities for you to make improvements if you so desire. Make sure to keep an eye on our recent posts, as I will be writing more about the art of practicing gratitude.

I wish you the best on your journey!

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