Personal development, Reading and Books, Student Life

How to successfully study (even if you aren’t at school)

The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice”

Brian Herbert

So; I had a blog post poll and twitter and 2 post ideas got the same votes; the one I am writing about right now and “How to have conversations”. So I will make the post about conversations for next Monday. But today we will talk about how to study. While the title mentions that it isn’t for school, it can be applied to school as well. I just feel like even after we are done with school, we should still continue learning and this we need to know how to study; so here we go! (I will link bellow my own posts on similar topics and other resources to help you learn! )

Tip N.1; Choose one thing (Maybe two if they are different enough)

I feel like the most important part is to figure out what you want to study. I don’t think there is a good thing and a mad thing to study. You can study languages, math, culture, history, self development. What ever feels like your own.

However this poses a problem. You aren’t at school, so no one is going to give you a limit to what to study. It isn’t realistic to study all sub parts of all of the topics listed about (plus there is like 1000’s of more of them, that I just don’t have time to list). So as my tip suggest don’t choose too many things to study. Even if it seems very tempting.

You could study a language and history. That way they are different enough. If you study Spanish you might want to learn about Spanish history, because you might understand the culture better. But don’t choose too many things, just so you don’t feel overwhelmed. I am sure we all remember how stressful it was to learn everything for our finals, why would you do that to yourself on purpose, right?

Once you stop learning you start dying.

Albert Einstein

Tip 2; How do you learn best?

Now that teachers aren’t thrusting a book into your had and telling you to read and learn 500 pages by heart. You can actually listen to yourself and figure out how you learn best. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use multiple methods, it means you should see what works the best and after that using the other methods to bring variety into your studies. Just because you like pasta the most doesn’t mean you can never eat anything else…right? So Figure out your tastes and start planning

Tip 3; Plan your learning

Learning can be a great way to pass time and relaxing without having to check your phone
Learning can be fun!

This doesn’t have to be as hardcore as at schools. You don’t have to know that by the end of tomorrow you have read chapters 1-5 from a book. But making sure you have some kind of a picture is important. If you work, are a stay at home mother or go to school and want to learn things outside of school, you should make sure you have time for the thing you want to study.

So check your calendar. Is 30 minutes a day realistic? How about 1 hour every other day? Maybe study what you want for couple of hours during the weekend. Or make it a part of your morning routine. You can easily wake up 15 minutes earlier and decide to study a little bit of vocabulary before getting up. Or do that during night time, this way your brain will process the info while you sleep. Either way, make sure you have time for what you want to learn. Trust me when I say it doesn’t work if you just plan on studying “when you feel like it” it didn’t work in school and it sure as hell won’t work now, because you won’t even have you finals to force you to study…

Tip 4; Figure out a why

Just being curious is a good thing, but it won’t last you for a long time and it won’t be something constant. Obviously there is nothing wrong about once in a while reading a fascinating article. However, if you want to seriously learn something, you should have a strong why. For example; I want to learn Spanish, because I have studied it for ages and I like the sound of it. The idea that I could one day have a conversation with a Spanish person seems fantastic and I think it will help me understand their culture. Since culture and languages are often closely linked. A while a go I learned, because I had family members in France. Just thinking the languages if fun, isn’t a bad reason. But it rarely is strong enough. However if it is good enough for you, great!


Here were my 4 tips for studying even if you aren’t at school. All of these however work even if you are. Leave a comment if I forgot something and I hope this helps! Bellow I linked my own posts on similar topics and other resources to help you learn!

My posts; Growth VS. Fixed mindset , Be taught and teach, 5 life changing challenges

Other helpful sources; AsapSCIENCE, Charisma On Command, Fastcompany, How to learn books

Xoxo, Alisa

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Goals, Personal development

5 mindsets that will make you successful

I am sure if you follow certain successful people, you have noticed certain aspects. Now there are exceptions to these rules and the reason they work, is exactly because of that, they are exceptions. So once you learn this receipt, you are free to try and get out of the box. I actually implore that you do. But first; let’s find out the clear ones:

  1. Be nice. Don’t over do it. Don’t let others walk over you. But while being nice and sweet is usually seen as a personality trait. It can totally be your mindset. You can choose to be nice. If someone steps on your shoes, and you want to bark at them, instead just smile and say it isn’t an issue. If a customer is being rude, just apologize for the inconvenience and wish them a good rest of a day. Not in a sarcastic voice ( tho you might want to, trust me I’ve been there….) but honestly. Most of the time it makes the customer get a bit flustered and makes them regret being rude.
  2. Be a problem solver.Sometimes you will get questions you don’t know an answer to. Instead of just saying: “Sorry, I have no idea”. Figure it out. Make a call, google it anything. It might not even be something relating to your job. A great attention from someone who isn’t even your customer can reach to someone who is a potential customer. And the chance is that if they already are a customer they will stay that way and tell about you to others. So, you don’t lose anything.
  3. Everything is figureoutable. Ties in a lot with the one before: This is something that Marie Forleo preaches and if I am not mistaken she was the one to coin the term. But having this mindset will help you with building a business, figuring out a homework, figuring out how to help a customer. Anything and everything. There is something supper powerful in a person who finds a solution.
  4. Be charming: There is nothing more amazing than a person who is great at achieving things, being nice and on top of all that a charmer. It can be simple like helping someone carry things you see them struggling with. It can be your boss, co-worker, customer. Comment on someones outfit. Smile when ever possible. People often tell that saying good morning to your co-workers does amazing things and I absolutely agree to that. However you can say hi even if you are on the phone and both hands are busy, just smile, or blink at them. Problem solving, remember?
  5. Have a humor: This has its risks. Obviously. Everyone will find different things fun. I happen to be sarcastic. But I don’t have to use sarcasm if I sense that the “audience” isn’t on the same page on that. It can be a dad joke, or even just laughing at someone else’s joke. It can be laughing at being clumsy. The more you smile and laugh (in a professional way)

So in short; be someone with an entrepreneurial mindset. Get shit done and be fun, nice and charming about it!

Success is a long ass road. So don’t come barking at me for not becoming a millionaire yesterday just because you have these mindsets. You need to do so much more than just these. BUT these mindsets will make you go extremely far. You might not become successful just having these mindsets but without these you definitely won’t be. Trust me.

Which of these have worked for you in the past? Or which do you need to implement for the future?

Xoxo, Alisa

P.S Don’t forget to follow me on the socials seen on the left ๐Ÿ˜‰

Goals, Personal development

The perfect little lie

Tomorrow, I will start my new life. I will get 25 things done (half of which take 5h each) I will learn 20 languages and I will never, ever put things off ever again. And what happens the next morning at 5 am? Snooooooooooze.

So what what is the act of putting things of called? Procrasitnation.

Why do we procrastinate? If we are talking from a human experience point of view I would say we procrastinate for couple of reasons. Some more acceptable than others.

  1. Fear of Failure We as humans need to succeed. Failing has often this humiliating affect on us. Instead of accepting that we learned how not to do something, we think we just failed for the rest of our lives. So the next time we don’t even try (and lets be honest. That is the real failure)
  2. Bad health habits. Now there is a lot of research done on how to optimize your brain and one of those ways is to be healthy. So eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising and sleeping enough. It is quite simple … how ever sometimes we seem to procrastinate on becoming healthy… what a vicious cycle it is.
  3. Being addicted to something; in today’s age it is increasingly easy to boast about how you don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. BUT do you perhaps touch your phone every 6 minutes? Because that is an addiction. If someone would alcohol every 6 minutes or smoke a cigarette that often, you wouldn’t question that they have an addiction but somehow with phones it isn’t the same?

If we discuss why we procrastinate from a biological/ physical point of view its due to our brains being structured to not want to do things that are difficult or that we are afraid of. So if our brain senses a danger (aka we dread a project) it automatically puts us into a mode of resistance to the hard thing, and we reach for the phone or what ever it is that we rather do. (Even though we are more adapted to resist difficult things do not make this your excuse, you’ll just live a miserable life.) Read more here: Science Behind Procrastination

How do we make sure that we leave procrastination to the minimal? (sometimes we are allowed to stumble)

  1. Place in routines that help you. Start your morning smartly. Instead of procrastinating getting up, make your alarm ring across your room (and don’t let it be your phone) Do maybe a couple of jumping jacks so you don’t feel like going back into bed. Wash your face with cold water …or take a cold shower. (it suck to take it btw.) But when you do difficult things right in the morning, when you are somehow still able to resist temptation it makes your rest of the day less resistance based.
  2. Figure out the issues you have: Is the project too large to conceptualize right away? Well make it into small sections, e.g. research, take notes, write paragraph 1-3 and 4-6 and lastly 6-10, proof read, come up with a good title, write down the resources you used and send it. Often times people get into this head space of the end goal. If you are obese and your eventual goal is to be a body builder, you will have to find small wins along the way. It can’t count as a failure if you don’t wake up next morning with six pack abs after eating healthy once or going to the gym once. With this logic it can’t be counted as a failure to take smaller steps in completing a project either.
  3. Figure out what motivates you. Not on a short term. But on a bigger scale. Is it being proud of doing the things you promised yourself you would do. Maybe you want to feel beautiful and healthy. Maybe you don’t like being stressed all the time. What ever it is for you, link your goals to feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction and joy. Things won’t bring joy on a longer time line. So don’t count yourself to deserve a coffee if you get done with a project. It is very easy to talk yourself into having a coffee because your need a pick me up. Trying to believe that you will be proud of yourself even if you fail in an exam, isn’t that easy.

What do you guys struggle with the most when it comes to procrastination? Leave it down in the comments. Would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and until next time.

Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development

How to change your life: Challenge 3/5

Do you suffer from that pesky little nagging 5-year old voice in your head that says; “But I don’t feel like it” Buy these pills to shut that little brat up….

Well not quite. But let’s try get some perspective shall we. Why is that voice even bad to have?

Let us go way way back. If our ancestors would have lived their lives with the “I don’t feel like it” mentality we would literally be instinct. Imagine how that would work with a wolf running after you and your family or with needing to harvest the crop but “I can totally do it tomorrow” And then tomorrow comes and you realize that the frost killed off the crop… Well, that went well…

And I know that this idea doesn’t work in today’s society because you can literally ask food to be sent to you by uber… but is that really the life you want to live. The issue that I noticed with this idea for myself was that my life was so so so boring. Go to class, check the phone for most of that class, get home be on the computer for most of that time, eat and go to sleep. If you have a due date then just work for 1h like crazy and send a meh text to the teacher… And then the same next day and next week and so on.

But what if you don’t do it that way? What if you actually do everything on time and when you do things you do them with energy?  I haven’t mastered this. BUT I did start doing more things this fall. I seriously worked on forcing myself to participate in things and got to meet new people and gained some serious opportunities. It didn’t really take that much. I mean sure we had to work for example with the volunteer project we had making the event and all but what I gained out of it was so much more valuable than the work I put in.

If you want to check more about this idea of just killing of the phrase “I don’t feel like it” you should check Mel Robbins. She also has a great TED talk on how to stop screwing yourself over:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

The thing is also that even if you just decide to not do something, you will have it on your mind all the time. Even if just a little. You can’t relax properly. And sometimes you can get away with it. Like if you are sick or if you really have so much to do but if you don’t have that 30 min bath for yourself then you’ll literally hang yourself (Please never let yourself get that far into a burnout)  then you can actually justify having a pause. But if the pause 24/7 just because you don’t feel like doing something, it won’t do you any good.

Let’s see if this way of thinking about it helps;  If you would give yourself a stress grade of 50 on writing that essay right? That would be if you’d just do it right now. This is without waiting at all.

  • Let’s give each day that you don’t do it, but it’s on your mind a stress grade of 5.
  • After ten days that ends up already being 50.
  • Then if you write that essay under time pressure because you have to give it in tomorrow as you waited way too long. That means you have a stress level of 90 because you have to write it NOW. So 50 + 90= 140. That is 90 stress levels more than necessary.
  • Add into that the stress of after because you know you didn’t do a good job so each day you wait if you failed the essay you have a stress level of 20. Waiting for a week would give you 140 extra stress points.
  • All together 280…. instead of the 50 that you would have otherwise had. That is a LOT of stress, that you just don’t need.

So write into your calendar a block of time when you will do it. I will talk about calendar blocking more in the future. But in short, the idea is this. You choose a block of time. Say, from 10 to 12 you do a task. Let’s keep the essay as an example. One block could be research then the next day the block could be making an essay plan and then the day after that actually writing the essay. If you cut the process of writing an essay into manageable pieces you might even lower the stress grade of 50 to way less because you realize the task isn’t as daunting and horrible as you thought.

One last thing, (I swear I will stop bothering you with this soon) if you keep just postponing it and then do it all under pressure and stress, you will be able to tell yourself “See I knew it this would be horrible, I never want to do it again. I will always leave it for the last second so I don’t have to think about it”. That idea is stupid of course because you just made it horrible for yourself because you left it for the last minute. But that doesn’t register and then you are in a vicious cycle.

So just go and do it!  Whatever it is you have right now.

Leave a comment to let me know if I made any sense and like if you like. Don’t forget to follow and see you in my next post ๐Ÿ™‚

xoxo, Alisa

Goals

How to change your life? Challenge 1/5

I have been on a journey to change my life for a while now. I have been conscious that I have to change this to be happy when I was 18ish. I have been trying to do it on and off. Now I am 22. And I still haven’t really achieved the change in me that I would like to see. BUT I have learned a thing or two.  I believe there are many reasons why you don’t reach your fullest potential and here is a list of 5. I will first explain what the issue is and then how to solve it.  I’ll write a blog post separately for each. 

Here is why you don’t succeed:  1) Not believing in myself 2) Not surrounding myself with motivated people 3) Falling into the trap of I don’t feel like it. 4) Trying to change too many things at the same time and thus failing at all of those things, and lastly 5) Thinking about how to/ planning to do things instead of taking action.

Reason 1 – You do not believe in yourself: 

How is this an issue? When we don’t believe that we are capable we often make excuses not to do things. “Well, it won’t work anyway”. Or we try a bit and then get tired and then feel like we aren’t “up for it”. But did we actually try our hardest? Or are trying to live up to our own expectations of imminent failure?

How we communicate with our selves is a huge part of how we act as well.  But how do you begin to believe in yourself? Especially if your goal is big and you’ve “failed”  at it before?

Tip 1: Celebrate small victories. Notice when you make progress, even if it small progress. Let’s say you want to lose weight. And today you didn’t eat anything unhealthy? Give a pat on the back. Maybe even write it down. After that maybe 21-60 days if you repeat that you are actually forming a new habit thus changing your life.

Tip 2: Keep a list of things you have actually done in that day. Make sure that at least 2 things on that list are something to do with your goal. Let’s stay with losing weight example. Those two things could be; not eating junk and going for a walk. If you have done those two things on the list; then you are absolutely on the right track.

Tip 3: If you fail on one day, do not dwell on it. Write a note to yourself saying something nice. Don’t make any excuses though. You failed and that is fine don’t sugar coat it but also don’t beat yourself over it. If within 60 days you slip up once or twice it’s all fine, but if you stop trying totally that means you have given up.

Tip 4: Keep a diary/write a journal prompt of all the things you have achieved, even the small things. Feel good about those achievements and after that make sure you use that joy to fuel your future goals.

In concultion, you have to build trust within yourself that you can do it. One or two small steps at a time. It isn’t something that you will always succeed at. That is why even when you fail you have to be kind (but firm) with yourself. At some point when you look at the list of things you have achieved (including the things you didn’t even remember because you never looked back), you will realize that you have actually done quite a bit.

Lessons in life, Personal development

Why can’t you find happiness?

There are obviously so many different things that make us unhappy in life. But I think that the biggest reason, honestly is that we define happiness in a fundamentally wrong way.

Let’s make a very very clear point here: Happiness is NOT the total 100% rainbow and unicorn existence with rainbows and sprinkles!ย The only way you will achieve that kind of happiness is by using drugs and even then it won’t last forever and if you try to make it last forever you will die of an overdose (that is not today’s topic though)

So how does this relate anything to the reason why we can’t find the happiness you may ask? Very simply put, I think people say I am not happy, and I want to find happiness because they don’t realize that they will never be happy all the time. I am not talking for all people here of course. My point is probably best described by Jay Shetty. He is a rebel turned monk, turned influencer and you should really check him out. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoErccq0vw)

What he has said is that we should look at life from the perspective of aย  lifeline. If your life is going up and down it means that your heart is beating, the only way you can have a constant happiness (or sadness) is when you have a flat line. Essentially that means that you are dead. In the interview, I linked this is explained at about 16min 22s.

My point is that we don’t want to accept that we will never be constantly happy. It is normal to feel sad once in a while. Anger as well. This is one of the reasons I like the French language. There are 2 different words to use for the English word happy. Meaning different things…

Joyeux means happy. You would say it to a person having a birthday party (Joyeux Anniversaire) but heureuse, that is beyond happiness. It is being contented. It would be something someone would say about getting married to the love of their life or giving birth to a child. It isn’t as if the marriage never has any issues or that raising a kid will always be fun. But is about the feeling of contentment and peace that you know you wouldn’t have it any other way.ย  (Obviously, these things can be achieved by more than just having kids or getting married they are just the most common examples I can come up with. )

So think beyond just the bursts of feelings you have on the daily basis. If you aren’t laughing all the time doesn’t mean you aren’tย heureuse. But if you all the time feel like nothing matters, nothing brings joy then you can safely say you aren’t happy(heureuse)ย  and you should search for answers. But on avergage, I think that we just assume life is supposed to be easy, and we are supposed to laugh and never have a shitty day at work. And that is just not the case.

As always I thank you for reading. I hope you found the post interesting and helpful and I would love to have a conversation about this in the comment section below.

xoxo

-Alisa