Lessons in life, Personal development

How to have great conversations?

You might be thinking; you are a personal development blogger. How does this relate.?Everyone can talk. First things first; no, not everyone knows how to talk effectively. And secondly, if you want to learn more, become successful or connect with people you MUST know how to effectively communicate with others. Also in this society where shock value of a conversation is way more important than actually getting forward with topics that might have multiple view; I feel it is essential to learn how to communicate effectively and to learn from one another!

Let’s define terms

What does a conversation mean. A dictionary definition is: ” a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.” How would I define a great conversations? A great conversation, is where both participants get a voice, both state their opinions/experiences and are able to; despite potentially disagreeing with other, be civil. In a great conversation, even if it ends with people “agreeing to disagreeing”, both participants feel listened and respected. This conversation, despite it being emotional, political or tied to ones identity, remains civil and no slurs, raising of the voice or argument( heated one) is anywhere to be seen.

Very short a sweet things to consider when having a conversation;

  1. How emotionally stable am I right now, to have this conversation?
  2. Do I actually have the facts, to base my opinions on?
  3. Am I capable of being an adult in this situation, since I am so emotionally invested in the topic?
  4. If I know someone wants to criticize me, can I without referring to childish ways of “You started it”, have it or should I ask them to come back to the topic later?
  5. This is the right time, place and am I in the right mindset right now, to start this conversation.

Very great change starts from very small conversations held among people who care

Margaret J. Wheatley

Here are the 5 short tips in a longer form:

1. Don’t yell/cry/ have a tantrum

You want to seems intelligent and level headed. This doesn’t mean you can’t show feelings, just make sure that those feelings don’t come out as a protection mechanism. It often does goes like this to me, and trust me when I say that it has never helped me to get my point across… other way around. I am extremely emotional. And often I start crying if I am angry/frustrated. This just makes me seem younger and not as mature in the conversation, meaning that even the points that are valid, that I would make are disregarded… because I am crying.

2. Do not make statements that sound like you know what you are talking about, but are actually bs.

For example; “billions of women are mistreated everyday. I read about it just yesterday”. A) If you read about something yesterday, you probably remember the source. B) Unless the number is actually billion(s) you shouldn’t use that word for shock value. Stay to the facts, or make sure to make clear that that point is your understanding of the situation, not 100% fact.

3. Don’t get personal with someone just because you feel strongly about the subject.

If someone is being sexist, you should say things like “Well you were probably abused as a kid, and this is why you are being so fucked up right now.” There is no reason to assume that, and just because someone’s opinion hurts you, doesn’t mean you should hurt them back. Most of the time it is more healthy to rather not have a conversation with someone than to become verbally abusive in the situation. Even if the person is actually wrong in that case.

A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue, that’s why there are so few conversations; due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”

Truman Capote

4. If someone is giving you criticism, responding back with criticism.

It is selfish, childish and it won’t take the conversation forward. There are two ways to react to criticism. 1) Note that this sound actually truthful and you should probably take this into consideration. If this thing you are criticized for hurts others, apologize. 2) Realize this doesn’t apply to you and try to explain why you disagree. If you can’t come up with an understanding, let the conversation die out and live your life

5.When starting a conversation doing it in an attacking kind of way.

We all know with extremes that it is probably not the greatest time to break up with someone if their parent just died. You shouldn’t point out someone’s problems when they are down. Having a conversation, especially where you are planning on criticizing someone, is important that you do it, when they are in a receptive mode. (This doesn’t mean you should break up with someone on their b-day or something like that either….)

If some topics interest you, say racism, feminism, religion etc etc. You should research before trying to have a debate/conversation with someone. If this conversation is totally spontaneous, explain your points clearly, or if you notice that you can’t verbalize yourself in a way you want to. Tell that to the other person. There is no shame, in saying that you don’t feel comfortable talking about something due to lack of knowledge or because you are uncomfortable.

So shortly;

Don’t be too emotional, don’t get on a high horse, don’t be a bitch, don’t get defensive and don’t attack. It is very simple… very very simple. And people seem to just decide to muck it all up, because of feelings and because of EGO….. Also I am noooooot on a high horse right now. I have made pretty much every single one of these mistakes in some type of fashion.

Here are some great resources in order to be more educated, be a better communicator and also just how to keep a conversation up, so that it doesn’t become awkward. I will also link some posts on similar topics written by me 🙂

Ted Talk – Celeste Headlee: How to have a good conversation

Practical Psychology on YouTube. They have a great vault of new ideas, information and tips and trick, not only for communicating more “fluently” but also to just learn more things and having more interesting topics to discuss.

How to not be that polarizing in conversations

Charisma on Command : I must admit, I have binge watched these videos more than on one occasion. He has a great way to analyze a persons actions (positive and negative) and show through very clear example of how to command respect, how to be funny and how to despite not always being correct, being able to have a proper and respectful conversation. If you want to become a public speaker, a good writer or a likable person in general, you should totally check this channel out !

Now to the posts I have written that I think you will benefit from: Not everyone listens; do you? , Learning and age, 10 simple things I do for a positivity boost

As always thank you for reading. Please don’t hesitate to comment and let’s start conversations.

Advertisements
Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development

5 Ways to combat laziness

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired

-Jules Renard

1st some science: Science shows that there are people who are more likely to be lazy and those who are less likely and it is a lot to do with our genes. So there is such a thing as “couch potato gene”. Essentially what it does makes us have fewer dopamine receptors, that means that we aren’t going to be awarded as easily for the activities we do by our brains. (And while this is usually related with sports, it is just as accurate with other daily tasks) And really we don’t have many idiots who do things without awards. So when does this become a problem?

Video by AsapSCIENCE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd7wAithl7Ii

When is laziness a problem? 

It becomes a problem when instead of living your life you just exist. At least for me, that is an issue. I have realized that I am bored with life. I just go through the motions. I go to school see my friends once in a while and other than that I just watch YouTube. Don’t get me wrong. Having a pause and go through social media is great, sometimes. It can’t be your life. And really, you watching dog videos or insta pics is something that makes our brains even lazier. Why should you do anything when you get a dopamine hit right from the comfort of your bed. And this is how the vicious cycle starts. So what to do?

What are my 5 tips?

  1. Force yourself to do more things. Put yourself into projects and situations from which you can’t back out of easily. I am doing to projects now where there is quite a bit on my shoulders and me backing out of them would just seem pathetic. Of course, if it would be a life or death thing, it’d be different. I wouldn’t go there if I’d be in a car crash. BUT I am not comfortable just letting them hear an excuse, you know?
  2. This is related to the last tip but: Add things to your calendar so you just don’t have time to lazy around for 5 hours. Look it’s easier to be lazy when you have only like 4 lessons a week and you seem to have so much free time. But what if you work, have a couple of extra projects and then also some of your own goals? This is not to say that you should work yourself to death. But when you don’t have too much extra time you are forced to organize your time. There is no; “I’ll do this later” because you literally don’t have any time later. Or you don’t want to risk it in case of something coming up. And I mean I am sure all of us also want to see our friends right?
  3. Do not sleep in. I know half of you hate me right now because you love to sleep and the other half because you have heard this so many times. But at least for me if I sleep more than 7 -8 hours I feel very sluggish. And sometimes it’s fine. But if you want to stop being lazy becoming sluggish and having a heavy head is not doing you any favors. Most people are at their best when they sleep 6 to 8 hours (depends on your age) and this is something I have found to be true.
  4. If you, however, sleep in, start your day slow, that doesn’t mean all your hope is gone and you have an excuse to be lazy all day. (Sorry old me and anyone who uses this as an excuse) Look just this weekend both days I slept in. I gave myself permission, to be honest, because I have been a bit sick and don’t want to make it worse and after sleeping in I got this sluggish feeling like I often do. Saturday I only started working after 4pm. I went for a walk before that and took a cool shower to wake me up. Then I just got paper and wrote the things that are on the top of my head (those things usually are the ones that bother you the most thus very likely to be a high priority) I didn’t do all on that list but I can honestly say I was productive for at least 4 hours. And that is way more than nothing  I could have done because I didn’t wake up at 5 like I would have liked to)
  5. If you don’t do the little things don’t expect yourself to have the energy to do the big things. If you are too lazy to brush your teeth, wash your face, make your bed, get dressed properly; why the f*** would you have the energy to finish a project or go for a run? All the small things count. You give yourself momentum when you finish the small tasks. And if you start your day by choosing that those things aren’t important why would anything else be? Just be a smelly blob for a day and wonder why you can’t make yourself do anything… I’ve been there and done that and you know what. It isn’t a very positive space to be in. This is why so many highly efficient people are obsessed with routines. If they can finish up a good routine be it in the morning, gym or evening. It builds momentum for the day or the next day.

Bonus tip:  Do not burn yourself up. I don’t want you to faint one day and say it was because I told you to keep yourself so busy you can’t ever be lazy, because that is not my goal at all. Quite frankly once I have perfected my calendar I want to cross out Sunday totally and make it just a funday. It doesn’t matter if it’s for friends or for me to just be in bed and watch a movie. The main point is just for it to be free for whatever I want it to be. Also, this isn’t the only day you have a right to be lazy or to have fun. If your steps for your goals have been met on a Monday by say 4pm you have a right to go out with friends or whatever you want. Don’t have to form an army routine. BUT at first, an army routine might be helpful so that the “couch potato gene” doesn’t get you.

Thanks for reading and good luck with battling laziness!

More posts by me: 

5 things I’ve learned while trying to change my life

Stars sentenced to death

-Alisa

Personal development

Are you addicted to internet? I am

While researching this topic  I found an article written by Billi Gordon: “How social media is harmful to your brain and relationships”.  (PsychologyToday)

The phrase that stood out the most was  “Right place, wrong brain” What he meant by this, is that our brain isn’t up to date with the new technology. Our brain still lives in the society where we have to be afraid of bears and wolves. Our brain really needs an update, but it seems our brain evolves very slowly, last change has been about 6 000 (Correct me if I am wrong) years ago, and major changes were probably 10 000 years ago if not more.

According to Gordon’s article, there have been negative impacts to our health from overuse of the internet. Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) in our brain, that monitors our social needs, doesn’t see the difference between social behavior online and in real life. This means that we get as much dopamine, the feel-good hormone, from a successful picture post to Instagram as we would if we would have an actual conversation with a person.

This also means if we don’t get “enough” likes our pleasure hormone levels go into deficits. This experience could be compared to being banished from a tribe for our ancestors, as Gordon states. The problem with VTA in regards to social media is that is can’t control its reactions. It is too primitive.

Social media encounters are seen as a threat by our brain, and internet trolls and death threats aren’t helping our brain with that. These experiences are stored in the hippocampus that works as the memory center in our brain.  It then compares what it sees on the outside with the information that it has already obtained. Technically every time we are on social media, we are reinforcing some sort of a version of the reality into our hippocampus, whether it’s negative or positive.

Due to the perceived threat, our Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis initiates the stress response. The same as in the old times would have made us run from wild animals. The issue with is is that stress in small doses is perfectly normal, healthy even. But stress on the daily, many times a day can lead to elevated blood pressure, which is meant to help us in a fight or flight situation.

Too much stress can lead to cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity plus many other health issues, whether physical or mental. Stress makes us reactive, as we stop thinking logically and think with the animal part of the brain “Survive now, ask questions later” as Gordon put in his article.

It also makes us more awkward in actual social situations, online we are way more comfortable just saying what we think and being ourselves (or assholes sometimes). A YouTube video by Asapscience mentioned 5 ways that social media is changing our brains and behavior. First of all due to the fast dopamine release when we use social media 5-10% of internet users are not fully in control of when they use it. Have you sometimes noticed that you reach for your phone because you swear you heard a bling or it “vibrated”? This phenomenon is called Phantom vibration syndrome and it is fairly new, but the idea of it is terrifying. Can you imagine, that your brain is so addicted to the social media, it will imagine a sound just to get to check it again?

Dopamine releases are so addictive, that actual brain scans reveal that people with drug addiction have similar impairment in their brains as internet addicts.

What else are we all addicted to? Talking about ourselves, in a normal face to face conversation we talk about ourselves 30-40% but online it is up to 80%. And imagine how much dopamine is released when you are celebrated by hundreds of people? Or how horrible it feels if no one likes that one super cute picture of you?

Social media is giving us the same dopamine boosts as love, motivation, and orgasms give. Imagine the generation that would rather just sit on the computer than find love or have the satisfaction of finishing a demanding task. Or that likes to pretend that we achieved something just because the picture of our dog got up to 100 likes (or more, if you are really famous online), oh wait that generation sounds a bit like the current one… oh shit…

What is the harm in being addicted to social media/internet?  Spending hours in front of the computer for work, plus social media? Not going out with real friends because Friends are airing their 6000000th episode? (Or you have to watch all the previous ones) Not being satisfied with anything because it doesn’t happen in 1.5 seconds? All of these things are going to affect your life and how fulfilled you feel in it. I have often felt and still feel like I am unmotivated and “shit” at something because it doesn’t happen fast enough. Or I start looking at social media or my email in the morning and I feel like I don’t even want to get up because that girl is so pretty and I am not and also I have to answer to 5 emails.

Schedule social media and emails in, if you lose people with taking care of yourself? Well, then those people weren’t supposed to follow or be your friends anyway. Adios to them!

It has been a while since I have written, how this post makes up for it a bit. I should be back with full vengeance again. Please tell me what you thought about this blog and what you would like to learn next. Until next time 

– Alisa
Sources:

Social Media Is Harmful to Your Brain and Relationships, Billi Gordon, Ph.D. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/obesely-speaking/201710/social-media-is-harmful-your-brain-and-relationships)

5 Crazy ways Social Media is changing your brain right now, AsapScience, Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HffWFd_6bJ0

Is the human brain still evolving?

https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/brain-evolution1.htm

 

 

 

Health, Lessons in life

Everything wrong with school (My POV)

Education is great, teaching all the subjects that our society is prepared to teach kids (if you are born at a right time, to the right family with a right financial situation in the right country…) But there are many problems within teaching itself.  I would like to remind everyone reading that these issues I mention are purely my own experience and something I have noticed with friends or for example from YouTube videos.

One amazing YouTube video that is going to introduce you the issues with today’s schools, is this talk/rap by Prince EA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTTojTija8 (The video state that Finland’s educational system is so ahead, and that may be the case, but it has been going down quite  a lot and even when it has been at its best it has had some issues. This coming from a Finnish student.)

So, what do I think that are the issues with schools; standardized tests, having a school class that looks the same as 150 years before, teachers not paid enough? What else?

We aren’t taught how to write good notes when we are young. Now, of course, everyone has their own way of making notes the best of the best for them. But while a lot of teachers assume we write notes for their classes no one teaches how to take them. This is not only something I find extremely frustrating. Sometimes teachers do lectures so very fast but never has bothered to explain how to make concise, smart notes that make sense after the lecture as well.

And people not knowing how to write good notes is very easy to notice on all the study tumblers, note taking videos on YouTube and so on. Students want answers, and who is better to push them in the right direction than schools and teachers who should know the most effective ways, right?

Science is against the way schools are now… but still, nothing changes? School starts early when science has proved that not everyone’s brain is functioning up to par in the mornings. Many very influential writers have a totally different schedule, they write when they are the most effective. Yet students are forced to wake up early and study very late.

Some lectures can last up to 3 hours if not more, sometimes pushing through with no breaks, so we get home earlier, but again studies indicate that people can’t concentrate more than 45 minutes at a time and that is on a good day.

Science proves chewing gum, doodling and fiddling with something during studying/listening can help concentrate, yet many teachers and parents tell the kids to stop being restless and “misbehaved”.

Speaking of being restless. If we go back to when I was in preschool or during my first years of “real” school, things weren’t that much better. We were assumed to sit through a class and concentrate, listen to the teacher and answer questions and not really get any reward for it per se.

Now let’s think about this realistically. Tell someone who can sit calmly and concentrate when they are under 10? When older than 10 years old’s have issues too. And WHY would we even make students study like this? I mean again studies prove that the brain goes into a standby mode when we are sitting for a long time and that is when the mind starts to wander or daydream. I am not saying that students shouldn’t learn how to concentrate for more than 5 minutes at a time. But the kid’s age should be considered and making studying active rather than passive, would probably help students learn more anyway.

So, not only do we take away the excitement from learning by making too many rules, but we also make those students learn less because physical movement literally helps walk the information into the brain.

Making us compete for a grade, instead of making us learn information. An A* or 5/5 if you study where I do, doesn’t mean anything, if after the exam you remember nothing. What if that same test would be held a couple of weeks later again, would we have anyone getting A’s then? Studying isn’t about the grade. It is about processing the information, making it part of us for the long-term and then, in a couple of weeks when we are taught something new, we get the moment of the light bulb going BLING – “This is relating to that thing A we learned 2 weeks ago.” This is what learning is about. Not if you know how to answer to A, B, C questions correctly after you learned your textbook by heart.

And one might argue that it is on the students to learn for themselves, and partly that is the case, but I would argue that the way we are taught, and the way society makes letters and numbers and GPA’s such a big deal, we are making studying off-putting. It makes students judge themselves by a number or a grade instead of how much they worked and how many BLING moments they had. And I can say that those BLING moments are satisfying af.

Look education is a right that every child is supposed to have, but not at the price of their identity. The right doesn’t include them feeling like shit because they aren’t as good as the math geek (total respect to that math geek) in their class and because the way they understand sciences isn’t the conventional way. All great breakthroughs in science, biology and even art were made by people who had the audacity to look outside the box. Einstein is told to have been quite bad at school, but he is one of the most known scientists in the world.

Changing the way schools are isn’t easy. But maybe we should start actually asking what do the students need. Even a simple question like, what did I miss when I was a student, is a great start. It would improve our student’s mental health a lot too. Making them see that their opinions matter.

In my humble opinion schools need to teach students to think for themselves. Not teach them to read everything by heart from the book. But make them analyze different information and come to a conclusion. Like playing Sherlock Holmes.  That is only the start though.

What do you guys think? What should we do to improve the schooling system, or do you think that I am totally wrong and schools are doing an amazing job with teaching today’s generation?

Thanks for reading,

-Alisa

Lessons in life, Reading and Books

Learning and age?

In march I will be celebrating my 22nd birthday, and while I am not old by any means, I must admit that hearing that age makes it more difficult to learn starts to nag at my mind.  But is it really harder to learn?

While science  has shown us that brain loses some of its neurons in the process of aging, we also know that an active mind helps with keeping Alzheimers at bay. So what does this actually tell us?

Quotefancy-167913-3840x2160
Just keep learning

The quote above, by John C. Maxwell is spot on. Also think about it like this:

As much as we know about the brains today, we hardly know anything; and I find that fact is very important to remember. If we know almost nothing, why give the “knowledge” of losing some neurons over time so much power? I would say that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if we just become stagnant because “learning becomes harder and slower etc.”

I would almost argue that it is easier to learn new things. Why, you ask?

Because while it might take longer to make the new information to stick, but it is easier to connect the new information to the older.

If you are 50 you probably have more information than me who is in their early twenties, thus you can make connections more easily between A, B and C. But in order for that to be the case, we have to keep learning, studying and being curious on the daily.

Sometimes the things that we “have” to learn aren’t interesting, but they help us evolve as learners, as they give us the possibility to make connections between new and old information. Plus it makes our brains work harder to keep up with the synaptic connections.

What is the most efficient way to learn? The article on Forbes (Originally on Quora)  states that learning is easiest if we chunk the information. What does this mean? You take a confusing mix of information and form it into a clear “chunk” of information. The article gives you an example of a undone puzzle is mixed information and a chunked information is a finished puzzle.

The articles used for this post:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/07/08/science-says-this-is-the-best-way-to-learn-and-remember-new-things/#224f73033ea2

Article about aging and brain:  https://www.canyonranch.com/blog/health/how-your-brain-changes-with-age/

Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development

Bye bye bye comfort zone

Have you ever had the feeling of butterflies fluttering in your stomach? Feeling like you will burst at the seams from excitement? And what if I tell you that this feeling is possible to achieve even without having a crush on someone, or being in love?

I am sure that that feeling has been achieved by those who are adrenaline junkies, those who love performing for big crowds. What makes you feel this way?

For me it seems to be abroad and getting out of my comfort zone. That doesn’t mean jumping from a plane with a parachute. For me it’s just learning new things. And I want to give you couple of tips in order to make you achieve the same feeling of excitement towards you life.

I would first like to mention that you being afraid of being out of your comfort zone is natural. It is caused by two things. Our routines become very easy over time for our brains, due to the neurological paths in our brains. The other thing is, that brain makes us feel like we are in danger when we  try to change those pathways. (To read more: https://medium.com/the-mission/the-science-backed-guide-for-destroying-your-comfort-zone-and-optimizing-your-success-7ce0b12a1275 )

So what to do when our brain is the one working against us?  Stop thinking and just do it.

I don’t mean this as a motivational phrase because quite frankly it isn’t for me. But it is a fact. The more you think about whether or not you should do something, the more likely you are to reason why you shouldn’t and thus you don’t.

  1. Don’t plan ahead what you should do. Rather just take your chances when something comes up. What I mean by this, that sometimes goals are just us wanting to feel like we are doing something “smart”. And some goals are great; like stopping smoking. But to get out of our comfort zone, we shouldn’t have time to think about how horrible it can be. So why prepare yourself for a failure by actually writing a goal on a paper (or thinking about it) giving yourself time to overthink it? Just take sudden chances, like friends asking you to go hiking or a job opportunity online that you weren’t expecting.
  2. If at all possible say yes before thinking. I say if possible because sometimes we have things happening at the same time like school , work or similar. But if someone asks you to go for a hike next saturday and you know you have nothing then, say yes right away. You saying you will come, will make you accountable for the promise.
  3. Spend time with people who are more daring and ready to do a lot of different things. You wouldn’t want to be a party pooper. So spend time with those who will make you want to do new things. By being with interesting people, who do other things than just watch youtube, will make you more interesting.

Why should you get out of your comfort zone one might ask?  There are many reasons. Not getting stuck in your old routines helps fighting of Alzheimer’s. It makes your life interesting, no-one wants to lie on their deathbed and remember their life as : “Wake up, eat, work, eat, come home, sleep–> and again” The more you do new things, the better you will get at it, the less anxious you will be, when life forces you out of that zone without your permission.

Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development, Reading and Books

Be taught and teach

For couple of days now I have been watching people from TOTALLY different specks of life tell their story, their vision on Tom Bilyeu’s show Impact Theory. And not only is all that I have watched been so extremely inspirational, I understood, that we ALL learn all the time AND that we all teach all the time. Let’s get deeper in my idea and what I think this could or should mean.

So my idea as a whole is that we suck information from our surroundings, people, books, online sources and so on. And this information can be true or untrue, wrong or right. That doesn’t matter because in order to learn something it doesn’t matter if it is true or not. It is enough that we believe that it is.

As we learn new things, we right away start teaching other. As kids, we are often told to say sorry if we do something wrong, right? So if someone does wrong to us and they don’t say sorry, we end up telling them about it. “Hey, my mommy says you have to says sorry if you do XYZ” And obviously this an VERY early on example, but I think you get the point.

I strongly believe, that realizing this fact, and absorbing this idea, could be a tremendous help. Imagine what the world would be like, if those people who write books, blogs, make youtube videos or hold long speeches, wouldn’t exist? No Aristotle, no Platon, no DaVinci, Voltaire, Oprah no Tom Bilyeu or anyone else you find has in a way or another influenced today’s world. If they wouldn’t exist or their works wouldn’t, there wouldn’t be knowledge.

Einstein could have written all his theories and said F*** this S*** and burned all that he figured out. Same goes to all the others. And that would just make our world of knowledge very very empty. Obviously this is just what if’s, but I swear I have a point here.

We learned all the things we have from other, normal people. So why is it that when we want to influence, our first reaction is that “I’m alone I can’t make impact”? I mean all the other people were alone with their thoughts, I mean especially the Philosophes, “normal” people rarely understood what they ment, because talk about meta philosophy sometimes.

What if all the influencer also would have thought that they can’t make an impact. And really do they even care? I mean if you think you have something worth spreading, it might now win a nobel price, BUT I am sure someone will read it. And if you work hard enough and long enough, I am sure you will gain the platform that will help you shoot the message you have to the wide audience.

And even if it doesn’t have this snowball effect where everyone will be cheering you onto a stage in front of thousands of attendees. It can be small things that, if a lot of people separately do, it will affect the masses.

For example, if  you want to lessen sexism, why wait for “influential ” people to make a difference. Teach the people around you, your kids, your friends, write blogs etc. Or you want someone  to be excited about math? Teach them that.

Attention, nothing can be force fed, or the person might choke on it. But by giving them an example, telling your opinion, in the end it might just be that your actions have made an impact to the world.

There is this paradox in everything, every one who ever became an influencer, was first all alone in their spreading of their belief. Many of them are dead, and got a following of thousands only after their death, BUT  no one can say that they didn’t make an impact.

Just choose your words and thoughts wisely, and let us all, work as individuals, to make our togetherness on this planet the  best it can be.

Thank you for reading

-Alisa

Lessons in life

More questions less answers

We go to school, we learn daily new things. We answer thousands of questions. We read for exams that ask us factual questions. Questions we can answer with a date, a vocabulary word, or explaining chain of events in a way or another.  And that is great. It is important to learn how to answer straight forward questions with straight answers. But is that enough?

I do not think so. I believe that it would be so very important for people to analyse more philosophical questions. Questions that like of “What makes you happy, in day to day life?”. Or ” What do you think the world would need to make it a better place?” And these are hard questions. And chances are if you as this from a 7 year old the answer will be candy or more toys, or maybe nowadays it’d be WI-FI. But it doesn’t hurt to ask those things. Because even if one of 10 students actually gives something worthy of using in our day to day life, isn’t worth a shot? And sure, it is possible that no one else would get any value out of their answers. But it would make the students think. Like oh yeah, going on a walk with my dog makes me  happy, or hmmm my moms apple pie is to die for. And isn’t that just as important to teach about or if not teach make them think about it?

And this thinking about bigger questions could be added to actual subjects as well. For example in History. “What little things in this chain of events could have changed everything?” And then people would have to analyse History deeper, and maybe actually understand that history is not just dates and chains of events. It is people, feelings, pains and joys. And I believe in order to actually know history, you must understand the people the thoughts and actions not just the dates and names.

What I am trying to say here is that factual questions are great, but they do not do much on their own. We people question everything. And in order to remember somethings we have to be able to empathise with the situation. The feelings and thoughts we have are like the bones that add the meat to; which is the dates and names that otherwise mean nothing to us. That way we can somehow make these situations, questions and ideas important to us, and maybe even remember them better. For example in maths; “What should your monthly pay be in order to pay for rent that is X for water and electricity that is Y and for other stuff that is Z, remember to add taxes to your payments.”

What do you guys think, should we be asking more complex, feeling induced questions at school as well as in our personal life?

As always thanks for reading

-Alisa

Health, Personal development, Spirituality

Why is meditation hyped? Should it be?

Here we are again my friends. Talking about meditation. Well why is it hyped? Meditation is an simple yet effective way to shut that monkey in our brain. It makes easier for us to focus on the tasks we should, but still gives us a possibility to go through out thoughts, without judgment of course.

A study done in Harvard University has scientific proof that not only is meditation good psychologicaly it enhances our brains physical performance, by building more gray matter. In as short time as 8 weeks MRI scans showed a increase in grey matter. This is something that explains why many people say that the benefits they reap from meditation aren’t plainly psychological or emotional, but also cognitive.

(Find the article here http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/12/11/harvard-study-unveils-what-meditation-literally-does-to-the-brain/ )

This is great information. I am sure there are studies that show how meditation decreses risk for heart failure and for different forms of dementia. But is all the hype really necessary?

Yes and no. Look for me to tell that meditation is just bogus and stop waisting your time, would be hilarious considering I try to do it as much as possible. It helps me in so many ways, (all listed above) and I just want to make it a daily habit. So what is the down side of meditation?

It isn’t the act of meditating itself. It is the hype culture around it. Everyone in the personal development world makes it some kind of a super drug that will solve all your problem. Look mate, I am sorry to break it for you, but it isn’t. It really really isn’t.

First of all let us talk about the basic idea for mediation: Sit down in a lotus position, back straight and relax. Okay, let’s stop right there. My back hurts like hell in that position. Albeit it is my own fault because my back is just super weak, but I am not gonna get any relaxing done in that position. Try to make sure you aren’t thinking about anything. If a thought comes by, just let if float past.  What kind of a witch do you think I am. If I could just let it fly away I wouldn’t need meditation in the first place. Catch my drift here?

Get this misconception of meditation being this easy hack, out of your head. It is simple. It isn’t rocket science but it isn’t easy. You won’t even maybe feel the benefits of it, until you do it for a week. If you aren’t consistent then it might take you longer. So it isn’t a magic pill. It is a habit that you have to grow, in order to become better.

Then the second part why I think meditation is overrated, at least online, is how it is marketed. Sit, breath, ommm, relax. But the thing is that isn’t the only way to meditate. For someone it could be a walk. For some drinking coffee and listening to birds chirp. For someone its going riding on a horse etc etc.  There is no right way to mediate. Now I am sure that different ways affect us differently but in my opinion, the most important thing, is that you enjoy the process ( you are more likely to do it more often) and that your mind gets some peace and calm.

Personally I love to lay down and listen to a guided meditation. That way I can concentrate on the voice that guides me and breathing as told. Thus I am not as tempted to get sucked into my thoughts and worries.

How do you like to meditate?  Comment below what you think!

-Alisa