Though there are many qualities that contribute to a person’s success, one thing that stands out is that successful people are always hungry for new and deeper knowledge. And to this end, they will always make time to learn, whether it is a new skill, discovery, ideology, or anything that satiates their never-ending curiosity.
In contrast, unsuccessful people can be characterized by a general apathy towards knowledge. Such people essentially have no interest in learning new things or improving themselves. And if you are a dreamer who wants to succeed, then you should definitely consider spending about five hours a week to absorb new knowledge.
Why Spend Five Hours Per Week Learning New Things?
You know what is common between Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffet? In addition to being very successful, all three have a shared quality – they spend at least five hours per week to learn new things. So, why 5 hours a week?
Firstly, everyone is busy with their lives and they hardly find enough time to sit and read. But 5 hours per week is something that is doable and practical. In fact, we can bet that most people will easily be able to assign 5 hours of their life each week to learning something new.
Secondly, 5 hours per week is considered sufficient enough for you to acquire knowledge and skills. In fact, Josh Kauffman, the author of the famous book ‘The Personal MBA’ estimates that it takes about 20 hours for an average person to learn something new.
So, considering 5 hours per week for a month that consists of four weeks, you can theoretically learn a new skill every month. Not on the deep end, but certainly something workable.
Tips For Mastering New Knowledge and Achieving Success
Once you decide to implement the five hours per week learning plan, you can follow the below tips to make it effective and achieve the best possible result from your learning process.
Plan The Timings
The first thing to do will be to plan out the learning schedule. Without setting a clear goal as to when you will learn, you are likely to fall prey to procrastination. As a result, you might keep postponing your learning, and may end up never making time for it.
To avoid such possibilities you should set a clear time schedule. And the time you select must be the most appropriate of times when your mind is ready to absorb new ideas – knowing when your mind is at its sharpest is the key here.
For example, suppose that you are busy with work and are only free Saturday evenings and Sundays. You might think of cranking an hour a day from Monday to Friday as your learning time.
But if you are always mentally exhausted from work, then the hour you spend on learning may not be effective since your mind may not absorb the new information completely. Do not do for the sake of doing. Focus, improve, and get it right.
As such, it is better to schedule a five-hour session on Saturday evening, or split it into two sessions for Saturday and Sunday. This will ensure you only learn new things when your mind is fresh and ready to absorb ideas. And if you are troubled with procrastination, make sure you get rid of that habit for good.
If you have a tendency to put off things and not commit even though you wish you could, there is a tried-and-tested method to incorporate new habits. Suppose you want to start reading every day, then you need to combine this with an existing routine. Like, do this after a regular routine habit like breakfast or lunch or work – the first thing after an everyday activity. This way, it is difficult to forget about this, and you’ll be able to cultivate a new habit in no time. This is basically Habit Stacking.
Decide What To Learn
The next thing to do is to have a clear plan as to what it is you wish to learn. Ideally, it should relate to something that can help you acquire a new skill and develop your professional as well as personal life. However, you should not shy away from trying to learn things that are completely unrelated.
Draw up a list of subjects you wish to explore, find out the best sources of information for the subjects, and then come up with a learning plan that details how you will go about learning according to the time schedule.
For example, imagine you work as a sales consultant at a stock market trading company. For a particular month, you can focus on learning about human psychology – especially topics that cover a person’s psyche when evaluating a profitable opportunity.
Find good resources on the topic, arrange those resources, and divide them into weekly portions that you can finish in 5 hours each week. In addition, you can also throw in a two hour documentary about Japanese Jujitsu, if you find it interesting.
Think About What You Learned
Once you have learned a subject matter, take a few hours to reflect on what you just learned. Just mugging up information won’t make you smart. Only when you understand what you learn can you truly claim to have learned about something. And a good way to do this will be to associate what you have learned to real-life situations.
For example, suppose that you spent your entire learning time for the week reading up on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now, think about the possibilities of what you have learned. If you are a teacher, look at how the AI development is going to affect the future of education.
And while thinking about it, you might come to realize that children are currently taught in an inefficient way. And by using AI, the children can be taught the same subject matter in a way that makes them comprehend it much better.
Practice What You Learn
Once you have acquired knowledge and reflected upon it, it is time to put it into practice. Otherwise, the knowledge will be of no use to you (or others). If you wish to achieve success, then knowledge alone is insufficient. You will have to act on that knowledge at opportune times.
Teach Others The Things You Learn
Finally, don’t keep your knowledge to yourself. If anyone is interested in learning from you, consider teaching them everything you know. This has two benefits. Firstly, the people who learn from you will respect you. Secondly, the more you share your knowledge, the better your understanding of it will be.
So, be sure to never remain cooped up in your own world. Instead, learn as much as you can about the things you find interesting. And slowly but surely, you will find that your life’s on a sure-shot path to success.
Why Talking To Yourself Is The Fastest Way To Build Self-confidence
The idea of talking to yourself in a mirror might seem downright silly. And chances are, if you struggle with self-confidence, you want to be spending as little time in front of the mirror as possible. But if you can get past the initial awkwardness, you can benefit from the fastest results from spending time with yourself and actively engaging in conversation.
The wrong way of building self-confidence
When a person is under-confident, it generally means that they crave validation, appreciation, or some kind of proof that they’re worthy of love and recognition. We can all think of at least one person in our life who can be called ‘attention-seeking.’ But in reality, a vast majority of people are underconfident, even if it isn’t blatantly visible.
Trying to seek approval from other people can manifest in indirect forms. You might find yourself working extra hours to get approval from your boss or going out of your way to do favors for people who wouldn’t do the same for you! We can really make ourselves suffer all for the quest of a few words of praise.
The sad part is — the praise never really feels that great! Like an ice cream that got over way too quickly, praise and approval taste sweet for a few moments; before we fall right back into feeling lousy about ourselves.
There has to be something that makes us feel better, for longer.
Why we listen to ourselves the most
Most of the time, the main reason why people are underconfident in the first place is that they have spent years thinking about self-derogatory and unkind thoughts about themselves.
When you think that you’re not good enough for so many years, the conscious brain forms a habit out of these thoughts and keeps re-visiting them with every new situation. That’s why it’s so tricky to build self-confidence. There are numerous incidents of overweight people who had low self-esteem but found that losing weight didn’t improve their mental health. They still had low self-esteem, probably even more than they did earlier.
The only way to get out of the rut of negative self-thoughts is to change your neural pathways. The only way you forget a previous habit is by forming a new one.
Continually talking to yourself in the mirror and saying good, positive things about yourself really works. And you might find it easier to say “I love you” in the mirror than saying “I love myself,” and that’s because we have a habit of being nicer to other people, not ourselves. Try to talk in the first person. “I am so smart.” “I am worthy of all the good things in life.”
“Every thought is either an investment or a cost.” T. Harv Eker
It will seem silly for the first few days. You will forget to do it sometimes, or even when you remember, you might get irritated with the entire process. It’s very hard to stay motivated. But try to stick with it! Give it 21 days of talking to yourself in the mirror every morning before you brush your teeth.
(I found it easier to do it when I brush my teeth in the morning and night because that’s something I never forget to do.)
Focus on starting with complimenting yourself, listing out the things you admire in yourself.
“I like that I have a good work ethic.” or “I’m a good person, and I always value the truth”. After that, you can spend a few moments chatting with yourself. Talk about how much you like the weather today or anything else positive that you can think of.
The key is to look right into your own eyes in the mirror. Try not to get distracted by that pimple that’s popped up on your chin or being critical of something else. You wouldn’t stare at your best friend’s pimple while they’re talking to you, would you? Treat your reflection with respect and talk to it directly without being mean.
After some time, you will notice results. They will be almost imperceptible initially, but you’ll end up looking forward to the time you spend looking into your own eyes.
It takes a bit of time to rework the way your brain thinks, but this is the only direct way to get your mind to start giving you the approval you need.
Once you spend time with yourself in the mirror, it creates distance. You’ll be less mean to yourself because you don’t want to hurt the person in the mirror. You’ll have started a long journey of self-love, one we must all undertake.
There is so much more to human potential than we give ourselves credit for. The mind is powerful, and if you’re planning to do something for self-improvement — you’re already on the right path.
Remember to stick with the process, and don’t expect instant results. In a month, your self-confidence will have improved because you’re finally getting the approval you always wanted: approval from yourself!
Ways to set up a Home Office
Day 1: ‘I am feeling lethargic today, maybe I’ll take rest for a while and resume after a few hours’
Day 2: ‘Don’t feel like working today’
Day 3: ‘Work from home is not productive at all! It was better when we could function in office’
Have you been experiencing this for the last few months?
Work from home can get boring and unproductive real quick and with changing times, this could be something companies resort to permanently.
So what’s the solution to not lose your work drive and keep working to your contentment?
Why not change your home workspace into a professional setting that gives you somewhat similar vibes as your in-office environment!
Well, read on!
To transform a small part of your house can be tedious but if the thought of strategically, can complement it well enough.
First things first – visualize how office spaces are built, most importantly the area where you used to sit in for hours and hours.
Got an idea? Now all you have to do is structure that into a smaller carpet area.
Decide on a location thereafter – where in the house do you want to set up your office. Make sure to be very particular when considering this because this has a major role in determining work focus and concentration. A corner, an entire room or just dividing the room into workspace and home is all to you and your comfort.
Usually, it is recommended to be in a remote area (like away from the kitchen) so to block any unnecessary noise.
Another thing to be cautious about is the amount of light that your chosen location has. With no proper lighting, the strain will increase and you might find it difficult to keep going.
What do companies do after building the space?
They settle on what furniture and equipment will be required to commence the activity.
Similarly, select your desk and chair wisely. You will want to need a chair that isn’t too hard nor is it too soft.
Too hard could make your back hurt and too soft can cause you to sit in a wrong position that’ll ultimately result in a backache. Ideally, a rolling chair is recommended because it’ll give you movement and comfort at the same time.
Coming to the size of your desk, it depends on if you want a longer one or a short desk would suffice. However, make sure that the workplace doesn’t look and feel too clustered because then your efficiency is what can be affected. Along with the size of the desk, it’s shaping also is equally significant. L-shaped, T-shaped or U-shaped or any other shape, that will look chic and be the perfect match to your location – judge appropriately.
While you are at it, keep in mind to place your desk in front of some view that will soothe your eyes. A pleasant scenery to look at acts as a relaxing tool for the mind and the eyes, giving you the refreshment you need during the job hours.
Have you noticed how your in-office cabin looked hassle-free and clean? That’s what exactly you want in your home office too, trust me. Wires tangled and plug loosely attached will definitely distract you and come in the way of smooth operation. So to avoid this, make sure you’ve proper connection and sockets for keeping your wires and plugs out of the way.
Moving continuously to fetch files and other important things can turn out to be time-wasting. To not lose out on productivity, you could have cabinets and drawers made around your desk or within the same area as is your workspace.
The office is not about just desk-work. There are visits and meetings and conferences too. Therefore, having an area dedicated to client meetings is necessary. Though if you feel that this is something that can be done without, it’s entirely your call.
Sitting in one place for about 8-9 hours every day can be monotonous. What can be worse is when the same to you sit in is bland and plain – just like a hospital ward. I am sure you don’t like that and certainly wouldn’t want your workplace to emulate the same!
Hence, decorate and paint!
Make your room look green to calm you or fill it with colors to keep you fresh, bright, and awake the entire day. If you didn’t know, colors very much influence your emotions.
Like I had mentioned before, changing interiors can be tedious but if strategically done, it can complement your home well enough. Considering that, you could design and decorate your home office according to your house and it’s color combinations. This will not only not erupt your interior but also make you feel safe and congenial making it easier for you to work.
In the end, whatever you read or see, go by what you feel is right and appropriate for your house and your surroundings. Do not place anything that isn’t required or is unnecessary and just keeps adding up your budget.
In an attempt to make your home office beautiful and classy, remember to not walk off the money line. Setting a workplace at home can be expensive but if done well within the monetary limit, you are sure to get elegant and reasonable decor.
Are you still reading?
Go! It’s time you start planning because you never know when offices might open up and you may be required to step out of your lazy workdays.
How Reading can impact your Day to Day Life?
Reading is a healthy habit, which, if practiced daily, can change your entire life around. Do you want to know why? Through Reading, one can not only gain knowledge but also stay acquainted with the outside as well as the inside world. The best thing about reading daily is to have an isolated place for yourself in your mind, where you can run off to. Most people don’t have the patience or intention to read, and that too, daily. Though this is a habit that takes time to settle in but trust me, once it does, you would never regret it. So, here is a list of reasons why you should read daily?
Why should you read daily?
- To gain knowledge
Once you start reading daily, and by Reading, it can be anything – you can read few pages of a novel, or a magazine, or newspaper, or even poetry – you would notice within weeks how much your knowledge regarding the outer world has improved. Through Reading, one can have clear information regarding the current affairs, and hence, stay updated.
- To improve your vocabulary
Through Reading, you can definitely learn new words and hence, improve your vocabulary. Most people make it a habit to learn a new word from the dictionary every day, but if you read daily, you are bound to get new words and make a list of them on a notebook with their meanings, which is definitely going to be helpful for you.
- To have a make-believe world
The most beautiful consequence of Reading is having one’s own imaginary world, where one can live a life full of magic. This is the extraordinary superpower one acquires while reading. In this busy daily life of ours, we all look for a secluded place where we can feel the essence of peace. Reading can fly you off to the imaginary land of sunflowers, daisies, and cats who can indeed talk.
- To become more attentive
Most people lack patience nowadays. Being impatient and restless has become a severe problem in today’s world. Here, Reading can help you calm your mind and improve your observation skills. It works like meditation. In no time, you would find your mind focusing on details and becoming more attentive to events, which used to go unnoticed.
- To reduce stress
Reading is similar to meditation, and hence, it definitely helps to reduce your stress. Books always have a calming effect on one’s mind. It takes you away from daily problems and stressful situations and helps your mind to gain stability. Not only it helps in reducing stress, but it also helps to decrease the anxiety levels of a person.
Everyone should make reading a daily habit. One should switch off the mobile phones, turn off the television and take some time out to read. It works wonders on one’s day-to-day life and changes one person’s entire personality. Though it can be hard at first, with time, you would cherish the moments alone, reading in a corner while your mind is flying off to Narnia.
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