Life lessons, Lifestyle, 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?

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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/

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Goals, Life lessons, Lifestyle, 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.

exchange, Lifestyle, personal development

Growing up while on your own

Hi, I am back. It has been a pretty crazy month here in exchange in France so haven’t had the energy to write here. I have had time. But always felt like I was so drained that I couldn’t write anything. I wanted to write something good and not just an apology that I haven’t been writing.

During this month I have learned a lot of things and all of them relate to growing up or “adulting” if you will. So here are couple of things I am trying to learn here.

  1. Knowing how to speak a “foreign” language on the daily doesn’t mean you know it. It requires to read and work on the language also with the subjects that might not even be the most interesting for you. That is the only way to learn the language properly and “deeply” if you will.
  2. You have to do all the administrative/boring stuff as soon as possible. It really isn’t that horrible in the end. And the more you wait the more you end up making the thing out to be hard and horrible, and to be honest it rarely is horrible. Its annoying maybe boring but its fine. You will survive
  3. Buying food for only you, making it cheap and not eating just pasta day in and out is hard and I am quite frankly still not sure how to do it. But one great way is to A) make a budget and B) make a shopping list.
  4. The best way to adult is to be on your own. That doesn’t mean you can’t have  friends, you don’t spend time with your family or partner. It means that when you have the chance you live alone. It can be with exchange or working in another country or just living alone in the country you are in. It will work out in the end. But by living alone you learn things you might never learn with someone always living with you.

As always thanks for reading and until next time!

-Alisa

Lifestyle

New Year and the BS

I love you New Year, the kick you get for the first time in a while that you know you will become the super version of you for the next year. Sadly it lasts for 2 weeks…. one month max, and then you are back to square one, if not even further away.

Let me be very clear here, goals are great and motivation is fabulous and being ambitious, is a life goal for many. But there is absolutely no point to Bull Shit yourself. You are not going to do those 50 new things now. Even hardcore goal achievers always say only one goal at the time, or maybe 3 goals that are different from each other. For example exercise twice a week and write blog posts weekly and maybe read a book a month. I think those are still reachable goals. It kind of depends on where you start and how far you want to reach.

My point here is, there is no rush nor is there a competition. You should compete only with the person you were yesterday. That is it. Being competitive isn’t bad, but always comparing yourself to 300 people before you, who are in a totally different life situation than you is just not going to serve you.

We are all on a journey through life. We have daily obstacles, some more and some less. Sometimes it is really good to be kind of stuck and not rushing with your process. A body builder can’t achieve a #goals body in a week. It requires a lot of work, many years of work even. But the process of achieving your goals is also a very big part of your life. Don’t undermine its significance.

-Alisa

Life lessons

What should I do?

Endless questions day in and day out.  Should I travel to Thailand for a much needed stress free vacation? Should I go on that date? Do I even like this job? And so on and so on. I am sure you catch my train of thought. Well, what are you supposed to do when your mind is going 100 miles an hour and your body is stuck? There  was a great post on Psychology Today on this topic, and I will add some of my own ideas to it.

  1. Think of how you want to feel.  Sometimes a job seems like too true to be true but there is just this voice at the back of your head that is like: ” Ummmmm I am not so sure this is a good idea.” Don’t disregard that voice. Think about how you want to feel if you take that job. Is it that you want to feel like you are financial stable? Or is it that you want to feel like you job has purpose? If the job environment seems shit and you know you will lose your will to loose? Well no amount of money, is going to make you feel happy doing that job. (Do remember that no job is always fun. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made)
  2. What do you value the most? Look everyone has different ideas of what is fun and great. You might be ok working just for money because your side hustle keeps your soul happy.  And just because your parents or friends would like something doesn’t mean you have to.
  3. #Just do itLame, yes but yet so very true. I swear to you, not making a choice and being in this limbo of to do or not to do, is so much worse than a wrong choice. You have to accept this fact, that you do not always make the right choice. And that is okay. Look if you do the wrong choice, next time you will know better. At least with a wrong decision you have a change of taking an action to damage control. If you do nothing, you will notice that in the end, you have sailed with the current somewhere far far away from where you want to be. A wrong decision might be a step back, but it doesn’t stop you from taking steps forward after.
  4. Talk it out…notice it says OUT. Look yes you have a lot of thoughts and yes you may want to think everything through and think about all the options from A to Z… the thing is, most of the time if you just talk and talk and talk about the same issue with the people you ask advice from…. well it is because you want them to give the advice you want to hear. That way you don’t have to take the responsibility for what you are doing. And I am hear to give you a reality check (also known as a figurative bitch slap). No matter what someone tells you to do, it is YOU who makes the choice and thus it is YOU who is fully the blame. (Unless someone holds you at gun point, but that is black mail, and that’s just something totally different)
  5. Sleep on it and then trust your gut. Just because something looks good on paper doesn’t meen that it is actually good. Research everything and figure out if what the paper says is actually true. After sleeping on it, with all the information you have how does this thing feel? Does it feel right? Is it something you want to do? If yes go for it. If no, say no. But do not be a “no man” just because you are scared. Learn to differentiate between fear that is just because of your limiting believes and fear that is so crippling that, you know, if you do what you are thinking of doing will kill you.

Action is the best way to figure things out. It doesn’t matter if it is about a life path, job, family  or choices that are smaller. It is rare that people do such huge mistakes that they can’t turn their life around later on. I for one rather go to the wrong direction than just stay always where I am and wither like a plant after a while.

Hope you liked this post and please don’t hesitate to comment, it’d be much appreciated.

-Alisa

Goals, Life lessons, Lifestyle, 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

Health, Lifestyle, Positivity

10 simple things I do for positivity boost

Negativity is a productivity/inspiration killer. But what to do when you are in the cycle? I mean it’s not like we can just buy a ticket to Bora Bora right now and leave. I, at least have school, no money and other obligations. Can’t just up and leave. What to do then, to make your day brighter in a simple way? Here are ten things that work for me, with a bit of an explanation if you feel like trying them out as well.

  1. Cleaning. This isn’t something that makes me happy while I do it (Unless I am procrastinating doing an essay or reading for an exam). But I feel better after it. I can concentrate better and I feel good about myself. Happy that I could be productive. As a side note. Cleaning doesn’t mean the whole house. Just washing the dishes. Or putting my clothes away etc. Can sometimes be enough to clear my mind and make me feel better.
  2. Going on a walk. Fresh air (cold in Finland right no) always wakes me up. Even if the weather isn’t the best it makes a world of a difference for me. I always come back with more energy and a lot more awake. Don’t over do it. 15-30 minutes can do wonders.
  3. Taking a shower. A warm shower, washing away the stress and negativity. Smelling clean and fresh. It is almost like I wash away the believe that I can’t do something. If you haven’t done this before let me suggest you a exercise called shower meditation. Imagine that the water that cascades over you washes away the bad things. It doesn’t matter what it really is. Stress, bad memories, negativity about others or yourself. Just imagine you are cleaning all that junk away.  Check for another shower meditation idea here:  https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-26626/heres-a-5minute-meditation-you-can-do-in-the-shower.html
  4. Meditation in general. Just five minutes pause. Breathing and being. Trying not to think about anything, or if you think about something (which is more than common) try to make it something positive. And after the thought “passes” go back to thinking about you breathing. I have a post about meditation here. 
  5. Reading (Audio books work as well). Reading gives you a chance to be ANYWHERE you want to be. If you want the book to be about dragons, you will find it. If you feel like jumping into a world of magic and excitement… Harry Potter here I come. Or it can be a book on something you want to learn or that just interests you. I myself prefer reading books that are not about the reality or if they are, it has to have a twist. Because when I read to relax I want it to have nothing to do with the world that is causing me to stress/be negative in the first place.
  6. Make a cup of tea/coffee. This personally helps me even if I am doing some school work while I drink it. Making the tea/coffee gives me exactly the small pause I need to get my head back on my shoulders. And having that cup of a hot beverage just makes me feel somehow very business like and efficient. Like I am in a office so productive that I don’t even have time for a coffee break.  I know it might seem a bit silly but that idea helps me often if I’m stuck.
  7. Stretch. Again gives you a pause and it is good for your joints and body in general. And you also must admit that when you stretch and you reach that sweet spot ( I am sure you know what I mean) it is very satisfying.
  8. Dance like like no one is watching (cos they aren’t you are in your room alone.) Put a silly song on for example Girls just want to have fun by Cyndi Or if you want something more masculine(Hehehe) YMCA. Seriously tho I don’t care what songs  you like or want to dance to. It shouldn’t matter as long as you are having fun. Heck I have danced to AQUA- Barbie Girl. It’s all about the fun.
  9. Sleep/power nap. Look working hard is good. Studying for them A* is great. But not at the expense of your health. Sleep is such easy way to get back on track. And imagine. One bad nigh can effect you for 4 days. So think twice before pulling an all nighter.
  10. Write/draw/paint. Write the good stuff, the bad stuff, just because you enjoy writing and any other reason in between. Draw or paint circles, do something creative with your hands while your brain is almost turned off. This just gives you time to process things and not over analyse and makes you free to relax. Just don’t make this about some kind of goal of writing a book this year or to paint a master piece. This thing is just for you. As an outlet.

Thanks again for reading. Sorry if this post got a bit longer than usually. Hope you guys find it still interesting and helpful. Tell in the comments below what helps you.

-Alisa