Thursday, June 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017

Reading 200 Books a Year Is Possible If You Master These Two Skills

Some of the most influential people in the world have said that reading is the key to knowledge, expanding your mind and understanding and gaining true success. But as an average Joe, how many books can we conceivably read? You might get through a few books a year if your attention span lasts that long, or more if you’re really an avid reader.

But what if I told you that it’s possible to read 200 books a year? And in doing so opening your mind and creating a better path to success?

Why Do We Find it So Hard to Read Quickly?

So now you’re probably thinking 200 books a year is a ridiculous feat and in no way, shape or form do you have that kind of time!

According to the maths, it will take 417 hours to read 200 books when reading at 400 wpm [1]. If you think you don’t have 417 hours to spare then consider that the average person spends 2250 hours a year watching TV and checking social media combined. So when you think of it like that, you realize a bit of prioritizing can make it possible.

But reading at 400 wpm is a considerable speed and many of us aren’t used to reading at that kind of pace. When it comes to reading for pleasure, taking your time can be relaxing but if you’re wanting to read for self-growth and expanding your mind, the more books the better.

So why do we find it hard to speed read? The answer is most likely because we unconsciously use vocalisation while we read which will slow down our speed to about 200 wpm. And our fear of missing out makes us read everything which doesn’t benefit us much actually.

Stop Vocalisation: Just Read with Your Eyes

Why do we vocalize? When we learn to read we are taught to read out loud and this habit stays with us although we internalize the narration instead. In other words, we imagine speaking the words.

This means our talking speed is also our reading speed so how can we stop this habit?

It’s all about understanding that the words aren’t important but rather the ideas, concepts and information behind them. We do actually do this for a number of words, for example when we see the date 1981 we may not vocalize the words nineteen-eighty-one in our head but by just looking at the year we understand its concept.

There are several ways to minimise vocalization:

  • Force Yourself to Read Faster. When you speed up your reading you naturally take in the concepts behind the words rather than thinking about every word. With a bit of practice your brain can eliminate the need to vocalize the words and you gradually get better at it.
  • Guide Your Eyes With Your Fingers. It seems like a child-like thing to do but guiding your eyes through each sentence with your fingers is a good speed-reading technique. It minimizes vocalization and allows you to focus on groups of words rather than individual ones. It stops you from fixating and naturally speeds you up.
  • Listen to Music. This only works if you listen to neutral music that doesn’t elicit memories or has a strong beat. Listening to music while you read helps you concentrate and eliminates the habit of vocalization.

Overcome the Fear of Missing out and You’ll Gain More

Another habit that slows down our reading is the concept of missing out. Our brain tends to believe that if we don’t read every word then we may miss out on understanding an important part of the chapter or story. However, this is rarely the case.

The importance is more in understanding the concept and we can do this without absorbing every word and sentence. Of course, this mainly applies to a book where we’re obtaining information.

  • Get Over the Fear. It really is about getting over the fear that not taking in every word is going to hinder your understanding. Let go of this need.
  • It’s About Getting The Main Concept. If you believe you’ve understood the main concept without reading every word or every chapter then you probably have. Trust yourself more and remember that you can always go back later on.

Speeding up our reading doesn’t have to mean cutting down on the quality of our reading. Understanding these two key skills will help you towards reading much quicker and therefore exposing yourself to more information. Reading 200 books a year is possible so why not try it out and challenge yourself? Try these techniques and get speed reading.

Reference

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90% of People Chase for What Others Want, but Not What They Really Want

What do you think the main purposes in life are? Some people would say that the main goal is to have a happy family, while others may say a successful career. Some people may prioritize traveling and seeing the world, while others want to spend as much time as possible with their friends.

In reality the main purposes are different for everyone, but sadly lots of people are heavily influenced by other people. This can mean that they have the wrong purpose for their life as instead of following something that they feel passionately about, they are following something someone else feels passionately about.

One of the main problems with this is that most people who are easily influenced don’t realize how easily they can be influenced! They think that they are following their own goals, and they don’t realize that they are actually prioritizing the approval of others above their own dreams.

Ask yourself these questions; do you think that your purpose in life is great? Do you think you would still do it if others disapproved?

Our Purpose of Life Is Often Subtly Influenced by People Around Us

Do you ever find that you are agreeing with people, even though in your head you don’t actually agree with what they are saying? This can indicate that you value the opinions of others over your own opinions.

When this happens you are not expressing your personality; you are shoving it down and trying to disguise it with a new personality that isn’t really you. This is okay on a low level; humans are social creatures and so it is normal to want to get along with your peers. However it shouldn’t be affecting your life in a major way – and it definitely shouldn’t be affecting big choices such as career moves and your life purpose.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with having a different opinion to other people. Just because you disagree, it doesn’t mean that you are wrong! It may not be easy to express your feelings, but it is important if you want to live a happy and genuine life.

How to Find Your Real Purpose of Life

While others can still provide a positive influence in your life, it is important to make sure that no-one is influencing how you think completely. If you feel like you are easily influenced by others, try these tips to solve the problem.

Imagine this: All your loved ones disappear, and no one will comment on what you do. Will you still go for what you’re doing now?

Imagine a world where you can do exactly what you want without jugdgment. Your family and friends won’t comment on your choices, and you will never know if they approve or disapprove of your decisions. Would you still be living the life that you are living right now? What you still be making the same decisions, or would you be a totally different person?

If you imagine a totally different life, start making moves to change your current life. It may seem scary, but try and be grateful that you realized at an age when you can still change your life.

Communicate with yourself more. You shouldn’t just seek advice

Try to be very aware of your feelings so that you are less likely to just agree with other people. Think about what you care about and what bothers you, and make sure that you can articulate your feelings so that you know what to say if the subject comes up.

Practise saying “no” every day

Lots of people who are easily influenced struggle to say no, as they perceive that the other person will be upset or offended. In reality you should avoid people who get offended by your differing opinion, as it means that they don’t really like you for who you are – they just want you to act like a reflection of themselves, which is cruel and narcissistic.

Practise saying no in the mirror every day, as this will help to build up your confidence and it will make it easier for you to stand your ground in the future.

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The Lost Art of Serious Relationships: It's Too Easy to Meet New People in Today's World

Let’s face it, the dating world today isn’t what it used to be. With all of the social networking and online dating sites out there, finding a partner has become too easy. So instead of taking the time to really get to know somebody, everyone is too busy expecting the next, better option to come along. It’s part of the instant gratification culture – put in little to no effort and the perfect partner will just fall into your lap.

Dating apps give us the illusion of choice.

You probably have more access to dating websites and apps than social networking sites. In fact, the last relationship advice you received was probably to open an account with an online dating site. When you wake up in the morning, you check your calendar, check your messages, and check your dating account.

This easy access to potential romantic partners is a problem. Why? Because it gives you the illusion of choice. How many potential dating matches do you see in a day, or even in an hour? Hundreds! And how easy is it to swipe right on by their picture and keep looking for another, better option?

Finding a significant other is not supposed to be easy.

Too many times I hear people criticize potential romantic partners that they’ve found on a dating app. “He has no motivation.” “I don’t like her personality.” “He seems too immature.” You can’t decide these things about somebody you have never met.

Take this relationship advice: you will never find someone who is a 100% match for you. That person doesn’t exist and finding them is not what falling in love and having a long-term relationship is about. It’s about finding somebody who is not exactly like you, loving them anyway, and learning to grow with them. Finding a life partner is not supposed to be a simple task; it takes effort and dedication.

You cannot just be yourself.

Being confident in who you are and what you want in life is a good thing. Deciding that everything about you is enough for a relationship and that you don’t need to change for everything to go well is not a good thing. The worst relationship advice you could ever listen to is to “just be yourself”.

It’s true to a certain degree that you should just be who you are with no dishonesty and pretending. Too often, however, people think this relationship advice means they never have to change and that simply isn’t true.

It takes compromise.

Long term relationships are all about change. You can’t expect to be with somebody for the rest of your life and that neither one of you will ever change. Each person in a relationship has to put in some effort. Effort to get to know each other, effort to understand each other’s likes and dislikes, and effort to make compromises.

Unwillingness to compromise means you won’t find a lifelong partner. If you want to share your life with another person, you have to be ready and willing to accept change. Making a lifelong commitment to another person isn’t about giving up when things seem difficult or when you have to change something about yourself. It isn’t taking a chance on the next best person to come across your computer or phone screen, either.

You don’t have to lower your standards.

Accepting this relationship advice doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards. It just means you have to be open to making changes in life and adapting to the wants and needs of another person. Because in a relationship, it’s about the happiness of two people.

Compromise, change, and adaptation means giving up that weekend spa getaway to go see the movie they’re really excited about. It means picking up the shoes they forgot to put away for the millionth time because they’re really exhausted from work. It means staying in for the night when your partner is sick.

You do these things because you are concerned for the happiness, well-being, and growth of your partner. And they do the same for you.

Don’t be tricked by the seemingly endless supply of available partners. Finding and keeping a serious relationship isn’t as easy as scrolling through a list of pictures. It takes much more effort than that.

Featured photo credit: Burst via pexels.com

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How to Win More by Giving up for the Right Reason

One of the core practices in Buddhism is non attachment. Buddhists believe that forming emotional attachments to things, will inevitably lead to suffering. Whilst this notion has been taken to extremes, with people not forming attachments to anything, abandoning all possessions and forsaking friendship. I believe that non attachment can be beneficial in certain ways, especially when it is applied to our ideas and goals.

It is perfectly natural to cling to our ideas. To want to work day and night to see them through. This is commendable. However, it could be said, that in some contexts, the idea of never giving up on something, no matter the costs, is well…inefficient.[1]

Instead of seeing it as giving up, see it as retreating.

What is Steve Jobs famous for?

I’d bet almost all of you answered “The founder and late CEO of Apple”. I’d again bet that none of you said, the founder of NeXt.[2] This was a company similar to apple that Jobs Founded during the few years he left Apple.

The reason for this is that the company was ultimately a failure, and was later brought up by Apple once Steve Jobs returned to the company. Though Jobs spent time, energy (and $7 million) on the company, he gave it up as it was not a success. He didn’t spend years after, losing his money and the rest of his credibility on NeXt as it sank, and Apple rose in strength and influence.

Walt Disney once founded Laugh-O-Gram, an animation studio he hoped would be the launching ground for his ideas.[3] Laugh-O-Gram soon went bankrupt and crashed, undeterred, he founded another studio. Walt Disney Studios. You’ve probably seen some of their work.

What these stories teach us, is that, ultimately not all ideas are created equally. NeXt wasn’t the next Apple, and Jobs came to know this. For whatever reason Laugh-O-Gram, didn’t have that magic X factor that Walt Disney Studios came to have, and again, Walt Disney came to know this.

Of course, it’s good to be passionate about our ideas, but that passion can leave us blind to real faults. If we take a step back at our ideas and look at them objectively, we may see things that should be changed or perhaps the idea could be abandoned entirely in favor of a better one to come along.

Ultimately, if instead of seeing our ideas as things to fight for whatever the cost, but investments of time, effort, and money. We may come to see our ideas and projects differently.

In military history, there are countless stories of armies retreating from battles in order to win more important, larger battles. There are also stories (think Napoleon’s catastrophic invasion of Russia) of armies heading into battles or campaigns which ended in disaster (Napoleon never recovered from the loss). Its the same thing.

It’s difficult to let go because we fear that we waste the effort we’ve spent.

We like to think that our value of things such as projects or goals comes from our wish to see them through, or perhaps a prediction of their later worth. However our ultimate attachment actually comes from a complex web of emotional attachments created not by our views of its worth, but the time and effort already put into it.

In many ways, one of the most powerful aspects of our attachment to things is based on fear of our loss of that thing, as much as our liking or enjoyment of it. This false attachment based on loss is the sunk cost fallacy.[4]

How many times have you heard of a gambler putting everything they have into a bet, for that gamble to work out and they win big and are forever successful…Maybe that has only happened a few times. There are countless stories of gamblers putting everything into a bet, ending in them losing everything. Or if they win with the first bet, they lose it all in the second. Once again, the gambler’s commitment to win whatever the cost, is the sunk cost fallacy in point of fact.

It’s the same thing. If you put a significant amount of money into something, only for it to end in failure, that money is gone forever. That loss is greater still when you see time and effort spend on something as currency too.

Who else is supportive?

When you consider the sunk cost fallacy, its easy to see why you might be biased, why your thinking is too subjectively bent towards an idea. In this way, getting the thoughts of others can be a better idea. There is no point asking friends, because as friends they are almost honor bound to tell you its a good idea and act supportive. But ask yourself how many people are clearly and visibly supportive and enthusiastic about your project or goal.

If there are many people, then, well you may be onto a winner. But if there are few, or even nobody, then ask yourself why that is, you might think its because they don’t care. But this isn’t the case. The biggest reason they may not be super supportive as they don’t want to see you fail and are trying to hint that what you are working on, may not be worth your time.

Letting go of what doesn’t serve you returns to you your best feature, your unique selling point.

When you put all your effort into something, there is always a risk of losing your most important feature. You risk losing that one thing that is the secret behind all your successes. If you quit something and that thing is truly returned to you and is ready to work for you again.

But what is it?

Well, the secret behind all your successes is yourself. If you put everything in an ultimately bad idea then you aren’t working with your best, but are working with the sunk cost fallacy. By quitting and working on something else, you gain all your passion and ability back.

It is difficult to consider quitting. I know that this is hard to hear. Again, only you should take the leap in giving up on something. If you are truly passionate about something, and others support you and think it a good idea. If you are happiest thinking about it and enjoy working on it, then fight for it with all its worth. If no part of you accepts this article and thinks I’m right in any way, then please, don’t pay attention to me.

I don’t know you, I don’t know your goals or ambitions. If I knew what you were working on its possible I’d think it a great idea.

But if somewhere this article connects, and deep down quitting seems like a good idea. Then maybe it is. Sometimes, giving up on one thing can lead to success in another.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] 99U: The Merits of Giving Up on Your Ideas
[2] Web Archive: Apple Computer, Inc. Finalizes Acquisition of NeXT Software Inc.
[3] Wanderlust Worker: 12 Famous People Who Failed Before Succeeding
[4] You Are Not Smart: The Sunk Cost Fallacy))

For example: have you ever played a video game for a while, rebooted it up one day only to discover that the save file has been corrupted. Our frustration here doesn’t come from our the way it’ll take much longer to see how the game’s story progresses, or even the fact that we have to re-play it again, instead our frustration comes from the time we have spent on the game to amount to nothing.

The pain and frustration we feel when we lose out, is the same reason why Buddhists avoid forming attachments at all, as they feel this suffering is inevitable. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

When the sunk cost fallacy is applied to our goals and projects, its easy to see how we can become attached to things that deep down we know might not work. Again, we don’t stick with them because we know their worth, we stick with them as we can’t bear to see the loss of it, or specifically we can’t bear to see the time spent on it amount to nothing.
In this way, abandoning the idea early on in favor of a better one can be the better option.

In the end, only you will know if or when to give up on something, but here is a short list of things to think about when in consideration.

How excited are you about it?

It could be a good idea to deeply examine how exactly you feel about your idea, project, or even current job that you may give up on. Does thinking about it stress you out? When you talk about it does you mood deflate and you try to change the subject, speaking enthusiastically about other things?

If its causing you stress and unhappiness, then perhaps its a good idea to truly consider how much it is worth to you. No idea is worth you health and happiness.

Plus, if you decide to stick with it, this unhappiness is only going to grow and expand, as deep down you know the thing you are spending your time on isn’t right for you
Listen to yourself and you’ll know the answer.

“What if?”

By now you’re probably thinking or saying those immortal words.

“What if this idea proves to be a great success”

“What if I am losing out massively?”

We can never be sure of the answer to these questions, that’s why they are so powerful. But one thing we can be sure about, is that it is impossible to know the future.

“What if my book idea is the next bestseller?”

“What if its the next Harry Potter?”

Consider how truly realistic this is. There are many successful and published writers who only earn a decent living from their books. Every failed book ever written was written by someone who fought hard for it and didn’t give up on it. What if they spent that time on a better book? What if that better book was successful? They never found this out as they spent all their time and effort on a bad idea.

Can quitting leave you financially better off?

This is best explained with a gambling metaphor.((Oprah: Know When to Fold ‘Em

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crossconnectmag: Psychedelic Art by Jen Stark Jen Stark was born... crss





















crossconnectmag:

Psychedelic Art by Jen Stark

Jen Stark was born in Miami, Florida in 1983 and received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, majoring in fibers with a minor in animation. Her artwork mimics intricate patterns and colors found in nature while exploring ideas of replication and infinity. Although Stark is most recognized for her paper sculptures, she has explored a variety of media including wood, metal, paint, plexi and animation. Stark lives and works in Los Angeles. Her Facebook and Twitter.


View similar posts  | selected by Margaret

crss

crossconnectmag: Psychedelic Art by Jen Stark Jen Stark was born...





















crossconnectmag:

Psychedelic Art by Jen Stark

Jen Stark was born in Miami, Florida in 1983 and received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, majoring in fibers with a minor in animation. Her artwork mimics intricate patterns and colors found in nature while exploring ideas of replication and infinity. Although Stark is most recognized for her paper sculptures, she has explored a variety of media including wood, metal, paint, plexi and animation. Stark lives and works in Los Angeles. Her Facebook and Twitter.


View similar posts  | selected by Margaret

You Never Really Lose a Friend, You Only Cut Meaningless Connections

Do you ever sit back and think about your old high school friends or that kid you used to play with next door? Maybe you remember how much fun you had together and wonder what became of their lives or why you lost touch with each other.

Losing a friend is difficult. But are you sure it’s a loss?

Feeling nostalgic for an old friendship often makes us feel like we’ve lost an important part of our lives. Even the thought of losing contact with somebody we know makes us think twice. There’s just a certain sadness we feel when remembering a lost friendship. Have you ever looked at it a different way, though? Is it really a loss?

Your life and the people in it are constantly changing.

As the direction of your life changes, the people in your life also change. Not all of them, however. Some relationships, like with your family or your significant other don’t come and go easily. It’s your friendships that tend to change over time. You see, a friendship is a voluntary relationship that you choose to enter, not one that’s bound by formalities and rules.

So as the demands of your life start changing, like when you’re suddenly slammed with a full course load at the university while working a part-time job, or you work tons of overtime while trying to raise a family – it’s your friendship that will take less priority in your life.[1]

Some people just aren’t friends (or aren’t friends any more).

Growing up doesn’t only mean changing demands to your personal time, you also start to realize what you want out of life and the kind of people you want in it. Your old high school friend suddenly doesn’t fit your friendship needs anymore, and that’s okay.

Ending a friendship can happen for a number of reasons, and it’s not always a bad thing. Here are some of the types of friends we learn to let go of:

They have no compassion or empathy.

Maybe you’re feeling really upset about a recent disaster you’ve seen in the news, so you try to strike up a conversation with your friend about it. Their response? A slight shrug followed by a question about the latest celebrity scandal or what they should wear on their next date. You’ve tried and tried to find a deeper connection with this person, but you can’t. This is a shallow friendship, and it wouldn’t be a loss to cut this meaningless connection out of your life.

They never return the favor.

Are you constantly dropping everything to do a favor for your friend? Whether it’s take them to a doctor’s appointment, help them move out of their apartment, or just offer a listening ear after a terrible breakup – you are always there. Now, ask yourself a question: do they return the favor? Seems like they’re always busy when you need them, right? This isn’t a friendship.

They want to be the center of attention.

Constantly being interrupted so they can tell you about their terrible weekend or the fight they got in with their partner? It doesn’t matter what you have going on in your life, this person always has something more urgent or difficult to deal with. You either find yourself doubting the majority of their stories or constantly worried for their well-being. When you spend 90% of your friendship dealing with their issues and trying to calm them down or stop worrying, you don’t have a real friendship. It’s okay to admit that.

Letting go of a meaningless connection is healthy.

The first step toward coming closer to focus on what you want and need in life is realizing that friendship with these people is toxic. What you have with these types of people is not a true friendship, so letting go means you are only losing an unhealthy relationship. That isn’t a loss, but rather a gain.

Once you let go of a meaningless connection, you can focus on the important things in life. How can you cut ties with someone you once thought was a friend?

  1. Admit to yourself that it’s okay and healthy to stop hanging out with this person.
  2. Give yourself time away from them and gradually lengthen your time apart if you find it difficult to end the relationship.
  3. Try creating the friendship you want to have. Find a friend who appreciates you and helps you become the person you hope to be.

You don’t really lose a friendship because true friendship always stays.

Cutting unnecessary ties allows you to focus on one of the most important things in life: true friendship. Worry more about developing this relationship than the possibility of losing a friend.

Remember, you can never lose a true friend. You can, however, get rid of meaningless relationships. You get one life, live it surrounded by love and happiness.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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