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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Chapter: 27 Cultivate New Habit

Habit Aristotle

Do you want to change your life by cultivating new habits or breaking old bad habit? If your answer is ‘Yes’ then this chapter is for you.

Good habits can helps to become better and do more progress in life. You can cultivate a habit in 21 days if you repeat the activity which you want to make as a habit continuously for 21 days without leaving a single day. This is because it takes 21 days to form a complete new neuropathway. Isn’t this fact wonderful? But to cultivate new habit you need patience, persistence, and great desire. And if you leave even a single day to repeat the activity during 21 day period then you should again begin from day 1st.

After reading above fact if you are ready to cultivate new habit then here are some tips which can help you:

 

1. Do proper research:

Before trying to cultivate the habit, do research about that habit. Find out what motivates you to cultivate that habit? Predict about the obstacles which may come in your way while trying to cultivate the habit and find the solution to solve those obstacles.

 

2. One at a time:

During the teenage years, it is very easy to overestimate yourself. So you may have already thought to try to cultivate 4-5 habits at a same time. But remember that, it is very easy to think than to do. When you try to cultivate 4-5 habits at a same time then there is a high chance of failure and lack of motivation.

So, just try to cultivate one habit at a time. But, if you think you can do more than that, then also try to cultivate only up to 3 habits at a time.

 

3. Slow change is better than no change:

While trying to cultivate any new habit don’t become so impatience. Try to make slow and steady progress. For example, if you want to cultivate habit of brushing teeth after dinner, then in the beginning days don’t aim to brush for exact 2 minutes, but just try to brush for 30 seconds or less than that. And after few days increase that time e.g. make it about 50 seconds and again after few days try to increase little more time. Do like this until you reach your desired time period.

 

4. Find out what triggers you:

Especially while trying to break a bad habit, find out what triggers you. For example, if you are a smoker and if you want to break habit of smoking then, for you things like cigarettes, smoking friends, smoking scenes in movies, boredom etc can be triggering factors. After finding the things which trigger you, try to remove such triggering things, like you can cut off relation from your smoking friends, you can deal with boredom by getting involved in hobby or entertaining activity and so on.

So, find out triggering factors and try to solve or cut out those triggering factors.

 

5. Replace bad habit with good one:

While trying to break bad habit if you don’t replace the bad habit with good one, then what will you do in the time you have saved by cutting off bad habit?

“Empty mind is devils workshop.”

Due to that same saved time, you may get involved in another more severe type of bad habit. So, what you should do is replace that bad habit with good one. For example, if you want to break habit of watching excessive T.V, then you should replace the habit of watching T.V by other good habit like reading book you like, listening music, spending time with family etc.

6. Be positive:

By what kind of thought you surround yourself with: negative or positive? If negative, then replace that negative thought with positive one. Negative thought gives you nothing but only brings negative results. People who surround themselves with positive thought hold more chance to be successful.

While saying with yourself also don’t say, “I want to or I am going to….” but say, “I have already….” If you say, “I want to or I am going to” then your sub-conscious mind react like you haven’t done that task and you are just wanting to do it. But, if you say, “I have already….” then your sub–conscious mind reacts like you have already done that tasks and reinforces more to make it happen in real life easily. For example, if you want to cultivate habit of waking up at 5:00 AM then repeat the sentence, “I have already woke up at 5:00 AM” in your mind as much as you can.

 

7. Be imperfect:

I have already mentioned that there is no perfect thing in real world, in previous chapter. So, don’t expect yourself to cultivate a habit without any failure or mistake. Otherwise you will end up being frustrated and hopeless.

So, even if you get failed many times don’t stop to try again and again. Keep on learning from each failure and improve yourself. Because, those who keeps on trying only wins.

 

 

*How to deal with relapse?

Generally, relapse is the process of going back to previous condition after some time of improvement. For example, relapse for an alcoholic is the point at which he takes his first sip of alcohol after being alcohol free for some time. Relapse for a smoker is the point at which he takes his first puff of smoke of cigarette after being free from smoking for some time. Many people when faces relapse get involved in bad activity more intensely and at last feels hopeless and loser.

So, whenever relapse occurs, get out of the situation or that environment as soon as possible. Because staying in that same environment or situation and getting involved in bad activity more intensely won’t solve your problem but only make it more severe. For example, after long time of being away from T.V, even if you watch T.V again, then also don’t continue to watch T.V and quickly get out of the room where T.V is kept and try to calm yourself down. Find out what has caused you to relapse? After finding the cause, find out the solution to avoid that same cause again. At last again try to be away from T.V.

In this way try to deal with relapse and remember:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”

-Confucius.

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Chapter: 26 Avoid Procrastination

Avoid procrastination

Procrastination is the habit of putting off tasks even that task is important.

Many of you have certainly procrastinated in some point of your life. You may have put off your studying tasks to the last day before exam. You may have put off your homework to the last minute. These are just few examples of procrastination. Procrastinating habit not only wastes your time but also makes you less productive, lazy, unsuccessful and causes feeling of regret.

So, without wasting anytime I would like to show you two major causes of procrastination, which are:

1. Lack of desire to do the task.

2. Fear of doing something.

1. Lack of desire to do the task:

To complete any task easily you need stronger desire to do that task. But if desire to do any task is less, then procrastination occurs. Have you ever noticed why you procrastinate to study, to do your work, exercise etc? But why don’t you procrastinate to play games, watch T.V., do chatting etc? This is because to do hard-work you lack desire but to get entertained and recreated you have great desire.

2. Fear of doing something:

Due to fear also many people procrastinate. For example, you are procrastinating to participate in speech contest because you think you don’t know how to prepare and present speech. But when you dig deep down to find the reason, the reason may be that you fear public speaking or fear of making mistake.

Well, every problem has its own solution, so procrastination also has its own solutions which are:

i. Avoid being perfectionist:

Perfection is the thing which we all want. But you should be clear that perfection shouldn’t be taken as thing to be achieved but it should act as a direction to be better and better. There is no perfect thing. Human beings are also imperfect, so we have such a large space to improve ourselves, which makes life exciting.

Perfection is the enemy of good.

But what mistake people do is, they regard perfection as a thing to be achieved and wants to achieve it. Being perfectionist is the major reason why daily routine of many students won’t work. For example, whenever a student makes his routine, he tries to manage all his activity in a best way possible. And next day, when he makes mistake, even small mistake he starts to feel regret and disappointed for not being able to follow the routine perfectly. After sometime he will says, “From tomorrow I will follow the routine perfectly.” Then he put off all of his remaining scheduled tasks and ends up watching T.V or doing something useless. And again when next day comes, then again he makes mistake somewhere and again he put off all his scheduled tasks for tomorrow. In this way, this type of cycle continues for few days and at the end, he throws that routine into dustbin.

If this above mentioned story resembles to your daily life then what you should do is ignore all the past mistakes and forgive yourself. At such condition, instead of wasting your precious time by putting off your remaining tasks, if you had tried to complete such remaining tasks then you could have done far better.

Like this, you might have put off various tasks because of fear of not being able to finish those tasks in a perfect way. For example, you might have put off to participate in quiz, speech, sports etc. because you think that you are not perfect enough to win or perfect time hasn’t come yet.

Always remember,

“Winning means being not afraid to lose”

-Frank Tarkenton

Don’t wait for being perfect, don’t wait for perfect time. Because there is no perfect thing nor there is perfect time.

“Don’t wait for iron to get hot but make it hot by striking.”

If you wait for perfect time or being perfect, then you will have to wait for whole life. Remember,

“It’s now or never.”

ii. How to deal when things don’t go your way?

Life is not a self made dream. So, things always don’t happen as our wish. Sometimes situation may get extremely irritating or out of our control. For example, sometimes you may oversleep, you may miss your bus, lose your keys, books and so on. In such condition, you become extremely angry, anxious and you may even feel like not doing anything. Such situation can be self degrading.

To move ahead from this type of situation you can go through below mentioned steps:

      1. At first, realize what has happened? If it is your mistake then admit it. If you think it isn’t your mistake then find out who has caused it? Realize situation could have been more worse. For example, instead of losing Rs 10, you could have lost your whole purse or something more expensive.
      2. Find out what kind of impact it has created? Find out the solution to reduce the impact? If you can’t find the solution then let it go. But realize one thing that being angry, irritated and inactive will only affect you and make situation more worse.“For every minute you get angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
      3. Find out the reasons that have caused it? Find out how can you prevent such things in future? Try to just relax and find out what to do next. Don’t get frustrated.

 

iii. Think in a long term way:

When you watch T.V or get involved in useless task then you start to put off your important tasks like doing homework, studying etc to the last hour. This is because you regard homework as only small task. Research has proved that if you link any activity with long term reward or gain then you will try more to achieve that activity. So, instead of thinking homework as small task, if you regard it as more important task then you will get more desire to do it. So, think about your homework in this way: ”If I don’t do my homework then my teacher will punish me, my grade will go down, I will be regarded as negligence student, I may even be beaten publicly…..” And if possible try to link in this way also, “If I do my homework then I will be able to learn more and get better, I will be regarded as good student…….”

 

iv. Increase the desire:

Do you think you have a strong desire to do an activity which you want to do? If you have, then there is less chance of putting off that task. But if you lack the desire then you can go through below mentioned steps:

        1. Find out why you want to do that task.
        2. What kind of change will occur in your life by doing that task?
        3. Remember, the situation or thing what motivate you to do that activity? For example, may be you want to study because your teacher had scolded you, your friends had teased you for your low grades etc… And try to remember how you had felt at that situation.

Repeat this process whenever you lack desire to do any activity you want.

 

 

Other quick and short term methods which you can use to end procrastination are:

i. Focus on starting:

Many times people procrastinate because they focus on finishing the task. When one focuses on finishing the task, then the task appears to be more difficult than it actually is. For example, imagine your teacher has given you 10 pages homework. If you say I am going to do 10 pages homework then you will feel less motivated and more bored to do your homework. But if you say, I am only going to do 1 page homework, then it appears to be easier and less boring to do. And once you get started, keep on doing it as much as you can and don’t stop even after finishing 1 page.

In this way, if you just focus on starting rather than finishing then there will be less chance of procrastination.

 

ii. Give yourself reward:

If you work hard then you will ultimately get rewarded. But sometimes we have to wait little more time for getting reward. For example, imagine you are preparing for exam which is 3 months ahead. In the beginning you may feel motivated to study hard. But after few days your motivation will start to go down and you start to procrastinate. To avoid this kind of situation you can create a reward system. Give yourself reward whenever you finish certain tasks. Reward must be according to the difficulty level of tasks, that means harder the work, greater the reward should be. But don’t give yourself reward when you don’t accomplish the task.

By creating reward system your mind will start to relate “hard work=more reward”. With the passage of time when doing of the tasks becomes habit then you don’t need reward to do tasks.

 

iii. Do nothing:

How many times you have put off your homework tasks to watch T.V., to have fun or to get involved in short term pleasuring tasks? Perhaps, many times. Remember short term gain is long term pain. In such case do nothing, don’t watch T.V. neither do other pleasuring tasks, just sit down. And observe your breathing. If you can, then think of consequences of not doing your important tasks and rewards of doing your important tasks.

After sometime, you will automatically get motivated to do your tasks.

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Chapter: 25 Be Productive

Meeting

Being productive refers to being able to get more done with comparatively less effort. Every human being in this earth is gifted with equal amount of time. But some people progress too much faster than other. This is all due to his/her productiveness.

So, here are two major things which you can do to become productive:

1. Prioritize the task:

Have you ever felt like you have wasted your time in those works which have less benefit? This usually happens when you don’t prioritize your work and do the task which comes first, in a random way.

For example, if your friend asks you to do his homework, which he himself can do and furthermore if you do that, just to make him happy then does this helps you to reach your personal goal? Probably not. Even though that task was urgent but wasn’t important. At last you start to think that instead of doing his homework, I could have done other important tasks of mine.

To be more clear about important and urgent tasks look at the time management matrix given below:

Urgent Not urgent
Important Q1

  1. Studying for tomorrow’s test.
  2. Visiting your best friend who is sick.
  3. Attending in the class regularly and listening carefully.
Q2

  1. Studying for exam.
  2. Working on your goal or purpose.
  3. Exercising regularly.
Not important Q3

  1. Doing friend’s homework.
  2. Attending tuition class but not listening carefully and not paying attention.
  3. Doing things which you don’t enjoy and which is not important to you. But doing it in order to fulfill other’s request.
Q4

  1. Watching  TV
  2. Unnecessary chatting.
  3. Randomly surfing over Internet.

In the given time management matrix your daily tasks can be divided into four quadrants in this way:

a. Q1 Task:

These types of tasks are both urgent and important. But, not too much important like Q2 tasks. This types of tasks helps to fulfill present needs.

b. Q2 Tasks:

These types of tasks are not so urgent but are very much important. For example, it is not so urgent to study for exam which is three months ahead but it is very much important because if you don’t study from now then you have to face various problem and stress later. Same goes for exercising, because if you don’t exercise now, then you will be unhealthy later.

c. Q3 Tasks:

These types of tasks are urgent but not effective to do. If you can then it is better to delegate this types of tasks to the person who can do it in better way. For example, imagine you are a businessman, so it will be very ineffective and less efficient to get involved in the tasks like washing clothes, cooking food, etc. So, it will be better to hire a person to do such types of tasks. By doing so, you will be able to save extra time to get involved in other productive tasks which you can do effectively. Perhaps you might have already started to delegate many of your tasks: like you don’t sew your dress, you don’t prepare your pencil, pen etc.

d. Q4 Tasks:

These types of tasks are neither important nor urgent. So, it is better to eliminate these types of tasks.

*Now how to prioritize:

For prioritizing create a To Do List. Make a list of tasks that you need to do tomorrow in notebook before sleeping. But don’t write the tasks that you do regularly like brushing teeth, making your bed etc, after you finish writing your To Do List, start to prioritize your tasks by using above mentioned time management matrix. While prioritizing, give your major priority to Q2 tasks because these types of tasks are not urgent, so they may get postponed. After Q2 tasks give second priority to Q1 tasks and delegate Q3 tasks as far as possible. And try to eliminate all the Q4 tasks as far as possible.

2. Practice 80/20 principle:

I think this term is completely new for you. But, effect of it is lying everywhere. It is also known as Pareto’s Principle. In 1906, Pareto, a Italian economist found that 20% of people owns 80% of wealth. At present also only 10% of people owns 85% of global assets. About 20% of staff in a office provides 80% of result. In forest also you can see 20% kind of tree occupies majority of forest. Just look around in your environment you will see this principle being applied in many things.

You also should be able to apply this principle in your daily tasks to be productive. For this, try to identify and focus on those 20% tasks which bring 80% of desired result. But this doesn’t means that you should ignore rest of 80% tasks but just give them less priority than those 20% tasks.

And next thing is, it won’t be always 80/20 but it can also be 70/30, 85/10, 60/40, 70/40, etc. here 80/20 is just a reference point.

You can apply this 80/20 principle on various conditions, in this way:

a. Study:

Instead of studying all the contents of book, give your major focus on studying important contents of book after discussing about such important contents with your teacher. Give your major focus on studying the matter which have already came in question paper of past exam. And observe the past trend of question setting. But this doesn’t mean you should ignore rest of the contents, try to study them also.

b. Business:

If you are a businessman then you can see majority of your products being consumed by few people. So, you should give major focus to such kind of customer who buys your majority of products. For example, in Indian TV channel, the majority advertisements are of IT products, luxurious vehicles and expensive products. Because manufacturers of such products know that majority of their products are sold in India than in Nepal. And they want to achieve more with less.

These are just two examples of applying  80/20  rule. There are various other sectors in which you can apply this 80/20  princple.

 

Beside those two major ways, there are other ways which you can use to increase your productivity. They are:

i. Allocate break strategically:

Many people believe that more they work continuously, then more better it will be. But it isn’t true. When one work continuously, then after sometime his productiveness starts to decrease. This is called ‘Law of Diminishing Return’, in this type of condition one’s outcome starts to decrease in spite of giving much effort. For example, when you start to study you may feel enthusiastic or productive in the beginning but after prolong period of study you will feel bored and becomes less productive. This is because of ‘Law of Diminishing Return’.

To avoid this kind of condition you should take short recreating break. To find when to take break try to answer these question:

  1. Are you feeling bore?
  2. Do you feel your output is getting less than input?
  3. Do you feel you can’t take anymore?

If your answer is “Yes” to these questions then you should take break. But during break don’t watch T.V or use internet because these type tasks can increase the time of your break. So, during break just do little stretch, walk, get motivated or do small tasks like making bed, sweeping flour etc. But if you are doing physical work then get some rest. And again return to your work.

ii. Stay healthy:

Can you imagine of being productive in spite of being unhealthy? Probably not, it will be very hard to be productive in such condition. So, to be productive you should try to reach your optimum health condition. Drink about 4 litre of water, eat healthy diet, get proper exercise and never forget to sleep between 7-8 hour (but amount of sleeping time required is different for different person).

Remember “Health is Wealth”.

iii. Increase your skill and efficiency:

Increasing of skill and efficiency helps to save time and get things done in better way. For example, when you were in nursery your handwriting used to be very bad and slow. But with time due to practice and learning of various skills, now your handwriting is faster and better than previous handwriting.

So, improve your skill and learn better way to do your work.

iv. Use your productive period:

What is your productive period (the time in which you are most productive)? You can be an early bird, night owl or one who prefer daytime to work. So, find out your productive period and try to use that period properly.

v. Set deadline:

You should set deadline to complete each tasks. Otherwise, that same task will takes more time to complete than it really requires. For example, if you set deadline of one week to complete a work then you will complete it fully or almost complete that task within the same one week period. But if you don’t set deadline then you will take more time to complete perhaps 2 weeks or 3 weeks.

So, for each tasks try to set deadline as it helps to increase your speed and action.

vi. Avoid multitasking and distractions:

Multitasking and distractions can reduce effectiveness and efficiency. Doing multitask especially while doing mental work can cause more errors and may cause loss of more time to correct such errors. So, while doing mental work try to focus on single task to get better result.

Distractions such as noise from crowd of people, vehicles, television and speaking of people can reduce the efficiency while doing mental work. To avoid such distractions move away to silent place or use white sound which you can download from internet. Furthermore, try to remove things like TV, cell phones, internet etc away from your work place or while you are working as far as possible.

vii. Organize your environment and tasks:

It is better to organize and de-clutter your room and the things which you need, than to waste your time daily searching things you need. A well organized and clean room not only helps you to get everything easily but also helps to remain fresh and feel good.

By organizing tasks you can do many things within the same time without reducing effectiveness. For example, while going to market to buy book, you can also buy copy, pen or other things which you may need within few days. Also try to create to do list as it helps to reduce your time being wasted for unnecessary things and prevent gap between two tasks.

viii. Get motivated:

There is great difference between the work being done with and without motivation. When you become motivated then you will do any task in more better and efficient way. So, while doing each task try to get motivated. For this find out why you want to do that task, think your task as a way to get stronger and better and you can also do few stretch or hopping.

ix. Learn from others:

It is not sufficient to trying to learn everything from your own mistakes. You should also try to learn from mistakes of others. For this, ask for suggestions and guidance to the adult or seniors who have already done the task that you are doing now. Share the ideas with friends who are working on the same task. Furthermore, you can use internet, various books and guides to learn more.

Learning from other’s mistakes and guidance is the best and shortest way to learn and progress.

x. Wake up early:

Early bird catches the worms.

Waking up early can give you tremendous benefit and opportunity to be better. It is easier to concentrate and become effective in the morning. Waking up early also gives you more time to work.

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