Chapter: 34 Improve Your Memory

Memory

Our brain is highly flexible and is made up of plastic like substance that changes on the basis of our experience, emotions and behaviours. So, the more we use our brain the more it will develop.

Some of the things you can do to improve the development of brain and memory are:

 

1. Avoid too much stress:

Stressing over positive things, personal development and things you can do is good for up to some extent. It helps to find new solutions and ideas. But stressing over things which is out of your control can destroy the brain cells and damage hippocampus.

 

2. To allow your brain to operate fully give priority to adequate sleep, exercise and meditation:

 

3. Try to breathe more deeply and stay in fresh environment as much as you can. This helps to increase blood oxygen saturation which can enhance memory function:

 

4. Eat well and eat right:

A healthy diet contributes a lot to make brain healthy and developed. Food containing antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids such as colourful fruits, milk, fish, green vegetables, broccoli, etc helps in brain development. Drinking enough water is also necessary for enough brain functioning.

 

5. The more we utilize our brain the more it activates and grow. So, keep on learning new things for whole life. Learn to play music, learn new language, read new book, etc:

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Chapter: 33 Improve Your Focus

Focus

Good focus can help your brain to grab something more easily and effectively in short-time. Some tips to improve focus are:

1. Avoid distraction:

Avoid watching TV, listening music or doing other tasks while studying. If you can’t control the noise coming from outside of your house then use the white sound to replace such noise. You can download white sound from internet. Sometimes clutter of your studying room can be distracting. So, try to make studying room clean and tidy.

 

2. Manage breaks:

Studying continuously for hours without break can decrease your efficiency and waste your effort. Try to have breaks of 2-5 minutes after studying for 20-30 minutes. During break-time drink water, do stretch or take a short walk. But during break time don’t watch TV, listen radio, use internet nor do chat or gossiping with friends because such activity generally attracts you for long time and waste your time. By having proper focus you not only can increase your efficiency but you can also remain fresh and alert. But if you think you can study continuously with same level or more efficiency for more than 20-30 minutes without having break then keep on studying beyond 20-30 minutes.

 

3. Be well rested and stay hydrated. For that, sleep about 7-8 hours daily and carry a water bottle with yourself while studying:

 

4. Set a separate time for worrying or thinking:

If you think that you worry or think too much while studying then set separate time of your day for worrying or thinking. For this, note down topic of thought that popped into your brain while studying and postpone it to the time separated for thinking and worrying. But if you are worrying about the thing that can be done within about 2 minutes, then do it.

 

5. Do meditation regularly and choose a comfortable position to study but not so comfortable that you may fell asleep. Always stay motivated and interested while studying:

 

6. Change your studying position or studying subjects periodically to prevent feeling of boredom and to stay alert:

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Chapter: 32 Get Motivated to Study

Motivation to study

Motivation is something that can push you to keep going and doing better.

Some of the ways to get motivated are:

1. Have a goal:

Having a goal not only motivate you but also help you to move in right direction.

Recite the target of your goal daily as much time as you can. The more you recite it the more motivation you will get.

It will be even more better if you publicize target of your goal to your relatives, friends and people around you. This will create pressure on you to achieve your goal and motivate you to keep going. But if you think you can’t handle such pressure then don’t publicize.

 

2. Imagine:

At least once a day especially in morning close your eyes and try to imagine you have already achieved your goal. Imagine about the pleasure you received after achieving your goal, imagine about opportunity you gained and so on. The more clearly you will imagine the more motivation you will get.

 

3. Think study as an investment in your future. The more better you study the more better opportunity and good future you will get. The more easier your life will be in the future if you study well:

You can do one thing, generally a wage worker can earn Rs 400 for about 8hrs i.e. Rs 50 for each hour. So while you study 1 hour, record that you have earned Rs 50. Like this, add as much money as you read.

 

4. Reward yourself:

Set a target or lists of work and rewards for each week or each day. Then after achieving the target give yourself a reward. Remember for bigger target, reward should also be bigger and for smaller target, the reward should also be smaller. But don’t give yourself a reward if you fail to achieve your target. It will be even more better if you give half reward for half accomplishment of target, 25% of reward for 25% accomplishment of target and so on.

 

5. Five minutes commitment:

Many students who want to study well feels very hard to begin studying. The main reason behind this is that they say, “I will study for 1 or 2 hours continuously”. This makes the studying to appear more boring and hard. To avoid this type of illusion say, “I will only study for 5 minutes”. This will make studying appears to be more easy and effortless. Once you get started to study keep studying as much as you can, don’t stop even after 5 minutes.

 

6. Try to enjoy:

Try to enjoy while studying. Make studying tasks more interesting. For this don’t think studying as a task but think studying as a thing to get better. You might have heard about Spiderman, superman, ironman etc, like this think yourself as studying man. I know this sounds little funny but even though try to do it. Think exam and obstacles as a villain and think studying as a practice to get better and stronger to defeat such villains. Think the more you study the more better and stronger you will get. In this way, try to enjoy and make studying more interesting.

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Chapter: 31 Way to Study Effectively

Study effectively

Do you think only studying can give you good marks? But, I don’t think so. In past people used to say, “Practice makes man perfect”. But time has changed a lot and competition has increased a lot. So, what should be said is, “Perfect practice makes man perfect”.

Some of the ways to study effectively are:

1. Create a time table:

By creating time table you can increase your efficiency. Time table helps to reduce the gap of time between two tasks and helps in the time management. And it is also not so hard to create a time table.

If you are reading this then you might have already created time table but might have failed to apply it. Some major things to remember in order to make time table effective and applicable are:

  1. Don’t underestimate yourself and try to balance the things like recreation, sleep, etc. Treat yourself like human not as a machine.
  2. Be imperfect. Don’t get stressed about past activity which you failed to complete. But, try to accomplish and focus on the current and upcoming tasks.
  3. Be slow and steady. Don’t expect yourself to accomplish all the activity of time table within a single day or week. It needs a lot of practice and patience.
  4. Treat your time table as a reference point. So, ignore the small mistakes or errors but try to avoid such mistakes next time.
  5. Be prepared ahead for the things which you can’t control like load-shedding, delay of bus, illness etc. Even if you weren’t prepared ahead then, try to find the solution to deal with such situation and don’t forget to apply it later also.

 

2. Take a note:

Many teachers tell the student to write the note. And note taking also helps a lot in learning. You can have all the necessary studying material packed inside a note-copy which can make very easy to study. Even though, if teacher don’t make you to write note, try to write it by yourself. It will be even more easier to study if you create your note in your own writing style. If you get confused what to include in note copy then ask to subject related teacher or look at the past exam’s questions papers.

 

3. Listen carefully in class and don’t get afraid or hesitate to

    ask the questions if you don’t understand:

 

4. Don’t procrastinate:

As far as you can, study daily. This will prevent your work to be piled up for exam and gives you enough time to get prepared. It will be even more better if you study the studied material in the same day at home. If you do so, then you will have better understanding and studied material get stored for long time in your brain.

 

5. Review:

You can’t stay alive by eating only one time, can you? No, you can’t. Like that you also can’t remember the studied material after a long time by studying only once. So, set separate time to periodically review the studied material. The more you review the more you will remember.

 

6. Write down:

Some studying materials can be very hard to memorize by just reciting. In such case, write it down in a separate copy until you memorize it. As far as you can try to memorize everything by writing down because it will not only helps you to get good practice for exam but also helps you to memorize for longer time.

 

7. Use the mnemonic devices:

 

a. Visual image:

Associate a visual image with word or name to remember better. It can be used especially for remembering the process of something.

For example, in biology if you want to remember blood circulation process then you can do this easily by making well labeled diagram of heart and describing it. Or you can create images of heart and different organs related to blood circulation inside your brain and try to describe it.

b. Acrostic (or sentence):

Make up a sentence in which the first letter of each word is part of or represents the initial of what you want to remember.

For example, for remembering, Sin=P/H, Cos=B/H and Tan=P/B, you can prepare a sentence like this, “Some People Have Curly Brown Hair Turned Permanently Black.”

c. Acronym:

Acronym is a word that is made up of by taking the first letters of all the key words or ideas you need to remember.

For example, the word “HOMES” can be used to remember the names of Great Lakes like: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

d. Chunking:

Chunking helps to break a long list of numbers or other types of information into smaller and more manageable chunks.

For example, to remember a long number make it more manageable by dividing into small chunks like this 555-867-5309 (as opposed to 5558675309)

e. Make a story:

You can also remember the facts that are to be listed serially by making interesting story.

 

8. Create a clear plan and try to learn from others:

Create a clear plan and set a goal for yourself. Try to create your own way to study which suits you more.

Ask the senior students or teachers about how to study effectively. Convince them to share their method of study and ask for their suggestion.

Always remember that,

Studying is 99% perspiration. So in order to achieve good knowledge and good marks, study hard.

 

9. Be happy and enjoy while studying:

The more you become happy and excited while studying the more you will learn easily and efficiently. For this imagine how studying will help you to make your life better.

That’s why you remember more from watching T.V, listening songs or story because you become more excited and happy at that time.

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Chapter: 30 Get Motivated

Do you think yourself as the most unlucky person in the world? Do you think that you lack talent or back support to progress in life? Do you think your life is surrounded with problem?

If your answer to these questions is ‘Yes’ then this chapter is for you. In this chapter I am going to share story about struggle of some great people.

Before that I will like to give you an example, there are millions of houses in this world which fears and are vulnerable to wind. But, some houses have modified themselves to utilize that wind i.e. windmill. In this way great people have modified themselves to utilize their lacks and problems to become better and greater. Instead of blaming their bad fortune, blaming other people and doing nothing, they struggled hard to defeat their problem, they remained hopeful with life, they ignored naysayers and they tried to be better and better. So, are you ready to modify yourself?

 

1. Abraham Lincoln:

Abraham lincoln

“Some achieve great success is proof to all that others can achieve it as well”

-Abraham Lincoln

As his family was poor he received formal education for only five years throughout his life. He used to lend book from his friend to study. Later, when he grew up and joined politics, he had 12 major failures before he was elected as the 16th president of the United States of America.

 

2. Albert Einstein:

We all know Albert Einstein, he was a theoretical physicist widely regarded as the most important scientist of 20th century and was awarded Nobel Prize for his work.

However, when he was young his parents thought he was mentally retarded. He didn’t speak till he was four and didn’t read till he was seven. His grades in school were so poor that a teacher asked him to quit, saying “Einstein you will never amount to anything.”

 

3. Colonel Stander:

It is never late to progress and get better. Colonel Stander is one of its examples. At age 64 he was retired from his job and received a 105$ retirement cheque. At that age, he made decision to set out to sell his chicken recipe. He was turned down about 1000 times before he found a restaurant to use his recipe. He never gave up, and he always kept the mindset of winner, regardless of the opinions of others. The rest of the story is KFC history.

 

4. Isaac Newton:

Many thinks, that Newton was born with talent and great brain. But it isn’t true, when he was young he did very poor that his teacher became clueless in improving his grade.

But later, he became greatest English Mathematician of his generation. His works on optics and gravitation made him one of the greatest scientists.

“Success is 99% attitude and 1% aptitude.”

–       Gray Players

 

5. Jhamak Kumari Ghimire:

She was born in an average family in a village in Nepal and had suffered with cerebral palsy from birth. But she has done such a great thing which most of the fit and healthy people haven’t done. Without formal education and by writing with her leg, she has written a book, “Jiwan Kanda Ki Phul”. For this book, she was even awarded ‘Madan Puraskar’. She is also a columnist in the Kantipur Newspaper, a national newspaper of Nepal.

 

6. Nick Vujicic:

Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic is a Serbian Australian evangelist and motivational speaker born with Tetra Amelia Syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs.

As a child he struggled mentally and emotionally as well as physically but eventually came to terms with his disability and at the age of seventeen, started his own non-profit organization “Life Without Limbs”

Even though he lacks limbs he can do almost all daily tasks, can also swim, play golf and do fishing. He presents motivational speech worldwide and has addressed 3 million people in over 24 countries on 5 continents through his speeches.

 

7. J.K Rowling:

J.K Rowling is the writer of Harry Potter and is one of the richest women with net worth US$ 1 billion.

But during her early days, her life wasn’t like what is now. She was married which lasted for only 1 year, she was left poor, unemployed with one daughter. During that time she wrote Harry Potter. But that book was rejected by 12 publishers. At last one publisher agreed to publish it and within five years she turned into millionaire from poor.

 

8. Soichiro Honda:

At present Honda owns one of the world’s largest motorcycle companies. But during his early days he was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation during a job interview as ‘engineer’. And he continued to be jobless until his neighbours started to buy his “home made scooters”. In this way, he started his own company.

 

9. Thomas Alva Edison:

Thomas Alva Edison developed many devices in his lifetime and he holds 1093 U.S patents to his name. But when he was a boy his teacher told him, he was too stupid to learn anything. He was also not well off and had to struggle a lot to stay alive. One interesting fact is that; he failed 1000s times before he created the successful commercial bulb. But he told, “I didn’t failed 1000s times but I learnt 1000s ways that can cause failure”.

 

10. Walter Disney:

Walter Disney is the founder of Walt Disney Company which makes average revenue of US$ 30 billion annually.

In the early days, his life wasn’t so successful. He was fired from newspaper due to lack of imagination. Later he started his own business from his home garage and his very first cartoon production went bankrupt. He was turned down 302 times in his career. But he continually struggled hard to make the company where it is now at present.

 

These are the short list of story of great people. But there are also 1000s of other great people who have struggled hard to achieve greatness.

Great people don’t run away from problem they face it. When they lose something they look for what they have gained. But we normal people only look at our lacks and problems

“When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we donot see the one which has opened for us.”

-Alexander Graham Bell

Isn’t this quote truthful? So, stop watching and regretting over the thing which you lack and stop watching what have you lost, ignore your limitations. And look at the thing you already have, look at the opportunity you have gained and find the ways to utilize your opportunities and resources.

Remember everyone’s life contains almost equal amount of positive and negative quality. And some people remain hopeful and struggle hard to increase positive quality and hence reduce negative quality. Thus, they become able to achieve greatness. But, rest of the people remain too busy in blaming other and being hopeless, thus they attracts more negative quality i.e. sadness, grief, envy, dissatisfaction etc.

Always remember that,

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions”

-Albert Einstein

So, always remain hopeful and dream big to attract positive things.

If you think your past is not so good, then you are only trying to limit yourself. What you are at present is the result of your past activity. So, if you want to have good future then work hard from today.

“We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architecture of your future.”

-Robin Sharma

Don’t even limit yourself. Always dream big because the only limits in your life are those which you set yourself.

“What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.”

-Napolean Hill

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Chapter: 29 Spend Your Time With Good People

JIm rohn quote

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

-Jim Rohn

This is a quote made by Jim Rohn, motivational speaker and self help guru. It is true that our attitudes and consciousness are the major factors in order to make us good or bad person. But also our thoughts and attitude are influenced up to large extent by the people around us.

Your social environment can affect you a lot. For example, when you go to funeral ritual where everyone would be crying or being sad. In such environment you yourself will also be sad. But if people in your group start to laugh loudly, then you also start to laugh even without having any clear reason. From these examples you can see how people around you can influence your emotions and moods even by very short time of contact.

Let’s take another example, if your friend with whom you spend your most time with, are addicts to substances like cigarette, alcohol or drugs then you also hold a higher chance of getting addicted. After getting addicted even if you want to be addiction free but without reducing the contact with your such addicted friends, it will be very very hard to be addiction free. Because attitudes, saying and behaviours of your such friends will negatively influence your thoughts of being addiction free. And at last, you finally dump your thoughts of being addiction free from your mind.

In this way, if people in your group with whom you spend your most time are hopeless towards life, lazy, who think life sucks, who just spend time by wandering or doing useless tasks then you will also be like those people. That’s why generally rich people move with other rich people. They don’t want to be influenced by hopelessness and small dream of economically weak people. When they spend time with other rich people then they get motivated to do better progress by thoughts and ideas of their other rich fellow.

So, if you want progress in life and to do better then try to spend your most time with good people who are progressing.

For this follow these simple steps:

  1. Find out top 5 people with whom you spend your most time with? (It can be your family, friends or teacher.)
  2. Find out what kind of attitude they hold with life? Do their attitude, hope and behavior match with your ideal self which you want to become?

 

Now if the answer of 2nd question is no then cut out contact with that kind of friends. You don’t need to completely remove such friends but try to reduce contact with them as much as you can. It is true that leaving the old friend is very hard and not good also. So, if you can, then try to aware your friend about this chapter and convince him/her to move together with you. But, if he/she ignores then leave him/her.

 

“Because to grab better thing you should free up your hand by leaving good thing.”

 

Now to find people who meet your ideal self, go through these below mentioned steps:

  1. List out the ideal friends who are successful in the field which you are interested. If possible keep direct contact with such friends or people. But in the beginning it won’t be so easy to be friend with such people. In the beginning you may be treated little rudely or scolded due to your mistakes. Use such treatment or comment as a guide for learning, improving yourself and doing better. But if you don’t like such treatment or comment, then ignore such friend. There is always better ways to do everything. In this type of condition, books can be your very good friend, so read self help books, biography of other people, newspaper, magazine and guidance book. Remember books can also guide you as much as a good friend can guide you to improve.
  2. You can also list the great people like Albert Einstein, Barack Obama, Lionel Messi, Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare etc. You may think how can I keep contact with such great people? In this type of condition, you can read books about or by such great people, you can read journal and interviews about their experience, views, beliefs etc. from various sources. Their attitudes, ideas, beliefs and struggle story are shared in such books and medium, you can take maximum benefit from such sources. You can also imagine of being directly contacted with such great people, ask them and share them your thoughts and imagine what can be their reply for your thoughts and questions.

 

In this way, you can surround yourself with good and great people and do progress in life which can make you better person.

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Chapter: 28 Start Meditation

Buddha meditating

Even though meditation is linked to our culture and tradition, we hesitate to meditate. But, at present time even the Western society are trying to adopt meditating habit and it is getting popular all over the modern world. This is because of various benefits, which meditation provides. Recent study has shown that our brain is made up of plastic like substance which means the more we use our brain the more it grows. And meditation is one of the ways to increase the brain power. Another study shows us that, by doing at least 10-15 minutes of daily meditation for 8 weeks we can dramatically change the working and capacity of our brain.

Meditation helps to get control over our stress more efficiently. It brings a lasting peace and calmness. Many great people have also described the benefit of meditation. Meditation helps to see the world in different attitude and view.

Many of the benefits of meditation cannot be described it can only be experienced so start to meditate everyday from today.

In this chapter, I have described the way to do a common type of meditation for beginners like you. But if you want to learn more about it then read books about meditation or do Google search about meditation.

Some tips to meditate are:

1. Select a meditating spot:

It is not possible to meditate in the place where there is disturbance and clutter. So, at first select the place for meditation. It should be free from noise, disturbance and clutter. If there is too much sound outside and if you can’t control it, then download the meditating music or white sound. If you can, then find the meditating spot that is enriched with fresh air.

 

2. Find out effective position:

After finding the meditating spot, find out the position which favors you or which you like. You can do meditation by standing, walking, sitting in chair or sitting with crossed leg. But, the most important and basic thing which you should bear in mind is that you should straighten up your back and look ahead while meditating. Don’t try to lean on something to get back support otherwise you may fall asleep.

 

3. Begin to meditate:

After being in right position start to meditate. For this close your eyes gently and focus on your breathe. Feel, how you are taking air in and throwing out. In the beginning it is very hard to focus on breathing. So, to make it easier, try to count your each breath (complete inhalation and exhalation) for up to 10 inside your mind. For example, when you take air in and throw out, then count it as 1; again when you take air in and throw out, count it as 2; do like this until you reach 10. And after reaching 10 again begin from 1. But, if your mind gets diverted somewhere in the middle, then start to count from 1 and try to focus better than previous time and break your own record.

 

4. During meditation:

In the beginning days there is high chance of diverting of your mind. Various thoughts and ideas may pop into your mind. But also don’t force yourself to remove those thoughts, just focus on your breathing gently. And ignore about such thoughts, stay passive and regard them as unwelcomed guests. Remember the more you try to remove such thoughts the more it pops into your mind. So, just try to focus on your breathing gently.

During meditation you may also feel pains in back and discomfort, which are normal in the beginning days. With the passage of time and more practice your body will adopt the meditating position. But if certain position don’t make you feel easy like sitting in cross legged position can cause tingling in some people, then in such case you can switch to the position which suits for you but in all position your back should be straight.

 

5. In the end:

In the end of each meditation session, open your eyes gently. Don’t get active instantly. Stay in the same meditating position for few seconds (about 5 seconds) and after that try to move slowly and get in your normal speed.

 

These above mentioned steps are the basic things which you should follow while doing simple meditation. To make your meditation more better try to follow these things:

  1. It is true that to gain proper benefit of meditation you should at least meditate for 10 minutes each time daily. But if you are beginner or if you want to cultivate habit of meditation, then in the beginning you should try to meditate for short time, perhaps about 2-3 minutes or less than that. And slowly increase the meditating session with the passage of time until you reach desired meditating session. This helps to form meditating habit more easily.
  2. Stretching of body can be done before doing meditation, in order to be more relaxed during meditation.
  3. Don’t think about what other will say, don’t get too much stressed about your position and don’t try to be perfect in beginning days.
  4. Meditating with empty or full stomach is distracting. So, try to avoid such meditation.
  5. Meditating in the morning is generally more effective because in morning your body will be well rested. Morning environment is more fresh, quiet and peaceful than other time of day. And meditation in morning is a great way to start your day.

 

This chapter represents ways to do a simple meditation. If you can, then do Google search or read books about meditation to get more information about it.

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