Monday, March 30, 2009

How to Love

1. Say it. When you say the words "I Love You", they should carry with them the desire to show someone that you love them, not what you simply want to feel. When you say it make sure you really mean it and are willing to do anything for that special person.
2. Empathize. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Rather than impose your own expectations or attempt to control them, try to understand how they feel, where they come from, and who they are. Realize how they could also love you back just as well.
3. Love unconditionally. If you cannot love another person without attaching stipulations, then it is not love at all, but deep-seated opportunism (one who makes the most of an advantage, often unmindful of others). If your interest is not in the other person as such, but rather in how that person can enhance your experience of life, then it is not unconditional. If you have no intention of improving that person’s life, or allowing that person to be themselves and accepting them as they are, and not who you want them to be, then you are not striving to love them unconditionally.
4. Expect nothing in return. That doesn't mean you should allow someone to mistreat or undervalue you. It means that giving love does not guarantee receiving love. Try loving just for the sake of love. Realize that someone may have a different way of showing his or her love for you, do not expect to be loved back in exactly the same way.
5. Realize it can be lost. If you realize that you can lose the one you love, then you have a greater appreciation of what you have. Think how lucky you are to have someone to love. Don't make an idol of the person you love. This will place them under undue pressure and will likely result in you losing them.

How to Have a Good Family Life

1. Respect your parents. Do this not just by giving them respect, but by listening to what they say and trying your best to make them happy. Realize that you may be able to choose your friends, but you're born to your family. If there's nothing you can do to please your parents, you'll be happier if you just accept it for now and focus on pleasing yourself. Making others happy is secondary to being happy yourself. And things do change over time.
2. Realize that life is not always going to go smoothly. Try to face the "ups and downs" in your family life with positive thinking and a cool mind. But your family doesn't have the right to make you miserable just because they're family. Try to get along, but if it doesn't work, let it go.
3. Try to compromise whenever and wherever it's possible. When you see that the people who you love most are happy, you will have a feeling of great happiness. You will have to compromise a lot in life; family is the first environment to begin learning this important skill, amongst people who know you best and can guide you with their reactions, thoughts and suggestions. Even the things they don't tell you become a learning experience.
4. Give occasional gifts to your family members. Surprise gifts can be great because most people love them. The best gifts tend to be the ones you make yourself, or put a lot of thought into. Also appreciated are gifts of your time; doing tasks around the house that haven't been done for a while such as painting touch-ups, restoring missing door handles etc. and clearing away clutter.
5. Be honest with your parents, but bear in mind that they don't always need to know everything. If you get along well, you can open up, but if you don't, avoiding tender subjects can keep the peace. Sometimes saying nothing can be better for a family relationship than saying everything. Family is forever. Why fight about the little things?
6. Feel free to communicate with each and every person in your family. Listen to them when they want to say something; try to be with them when they need you. Bear in mind that the needs of your family don't outweigh your own. Give them your time and love, not your life.
7. Dedicate a slot, it may be once a week or once a month in which you have a 'Family Time'. This could be anything, watching a movie together, playing a game, going out on a trip, but make sure it is something everyone will enjoy.
8. Eat together. Modern-day life makes this virtually impossible to do, however, it really does change your family life dramatically -- for the better.
9. Make time for siblings. They know you best, and they will tell you the whole truth, even when you don't want to hear it. As we grow up, our relationships with siblings may not be as strong as we think, but when you're older you may find yourself grateful for the work you put in now. Be supportive, encouraging and honest.
10. Accept that your relationship with your family depends on both you and them. If they can't meet you halfway, you will be happier if you don't spend all of your energy making all the effort.

How to Relieve Stress

1. Take a deep breath. This is your first, most immediate defense against stress. If you can get in the habit of pausing and taking a nice, deep breath every time you feel stress beginning to take hold, you'll have won half the battle just by preventing it from taking over. The other half is won by addressing the causes of your stress.
2. Communicate. Whether you talk to a friend or talk to your cat, getting it off your chest will help a lot. If you don't feel like talking about it, write it down. Keep a journal and write down whatever it is that's bothering you. Writing is a therapy of its own.
3. Laugh. Rediscover your sense of humor by making fun of your situation. View it from your future self's perspective, telling this story to a bunch of your friends over pizza and soda. Crack some jokes. Do your goofiest impression. Tickle a child that you love.
4. Get fit. Perhaps your health and appearance are stressing you out, but even if they're not an issue, being physically fit can directly help relieve stress, which exists on both a mental and a physical level. Sometimes there's nothing like a long run, an intense yoga session, or a fresh swim after a stressful day to help you feel relaxed and stress-free again. Also, exercise releases endorphins; a feel good hormone.
5. Be organized. For the most part, stress arises from feeling overwhelmed. There's just too much to do, and not enough time to do it. Being organized and getting your priorities straight can help you break responsibilities down into manageable pieces and focus on the things that really matter to you, rather than getting caught up in details and creating extra work for yourself--all of which leads to more stress.
6. Soothe the senses. Light a scented candle that has a calming fragrance like lavender. Listen to your favorite, most relaxing music or, better yet, go somewhere that you can listen to wind rustle through trees or waves crash on the beach. Enjoy the scenery, whether you're outdoors or viewing an art exhibit. Drink some warm tea or taste--really taste--some dark chocolate.
7. Do nothing. That's right, folks, do nothing at all. Close the door, open the window, have a seat, and take a little break from life. If your mind is racing, learn to meditate and just let that stress go.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to Use Your Whole Brain While Studying

1. By the time someone reaches adulthood they mostly only use the left side of their brain while studying, that's the mathematical side - where you think in black and white. Kids use the whole thing, probably why they do better in their minor tests! Use both sides, its the only true reliable way.
2. Clear your desk - if you think you can do just as well with a messy desk as you can with a neat orderly one. Have a folder for each subject and make your bed - all three oddly make you remember more.
3. Relax.
4. Start studying as soon as you can after school. The minute you come in the door, slam your bag on the ground, run upstairs, take a shower (if you need it), and start studying straight after.
5. Listen in class. Believe it or not, those who do well in any subject listen in class, even if they don't appear to be.
6. Pick out the important words in bold and look them up on the net or get it from the textbook and write your own definition for them - this helps greatly.
7. Paraphrase. By paraphrasing you can make the information easier to handle, making it better to remember what you've learned.
8. For your homework, use the resources available to you - the main ones being the text book and class notes. More or less rewrite it in your own words. Sounds kind of "duh!" but you'd be surprised by the amount of people who do badly because they don't read the book.
9. Get cheat notes and read them. This will make you seem and feel more clever when you're reading the textbook.
10. Take an interest in the subject, but don't be too focused on being interested. Let yourself say "Oh my God, really?" every once in a while, even if you feel like an idiot. Then make a note of what you did not know and say "Wow, that's amazing."
11. Have the ability to relax with your textbooks. The tests aren't the end of the world so take a deep breath and relax.
12. Spend approximately 3 deep hours a day studying.

How to Study for an Approaching Exam

1. Calm down. The last thing to do at this point is panic. But you are smart enough to realize you need to study days in advance. Some people always study this way.(Although it's not the ideal way to study.) Remember, if you have had decent attendance, did a halfway reasonable job doing your assignments, you actually have a lot of knowledge already. This main knowledge will help you throughout your test.
Don't freak, as you will end up focusing on the horror and surprise, and not what you should be focusing on-the test.
Don't freak, as you will end up focusing on the horror and surprise, and not what you should be focusing on-the test.
2. Determine the Material that Needs Covering.Ask your teacher if you are unclear.
Studying together can be helpful---just make sure you're not goofing off.

3. What Will the Exam Look Like? Find out what is covered by the test, and types of questions will be on it (multiple choice, essay, word problem, etc.) Find out how much each section is worth. If you do not know, ask the teacher. This will help you know what will be the most important sections, and how it will be presented.
4. Take notes and ask questions. It's never too late, and the sessions before the exam usually are review; just what you need. If you are studying and happen to come across a part you can't understand, write it down. Ask your teacher either during class or during office hours.
5. Find Your Resources. Your textbook, notes, online sources, classmates, teachers, and possibly your family members can all be of use. Old assignments are especially good, as some exams have questions directly off homework.
6. Ask for Help. You don't get bonus points for going it alone. Classmates can be helpful in studying, but choose someone who will help you--not the friend who you goof off with. Ask help from your parents or siblings; they may really appreciate being asked. Younger siblings especially like "quizzing" older brother or sisters!
7. Plan your time. It's tempting to put everything off until the night before the test. Instead, figure out how much time you will put aside each day for study. Remember to account for breaks. A good rule is: study for a half-hour, break for ten minutes.
8. Study the Most Important Topics First. Exams usually cover a few core ideas, concepts, or skills. When pinched for time, focus your energies on the very important bits you will be tested on, rather than scattering your studies everywhere. Review sheets, the highlighted topics in textbooks, and parts your teacher stressed repeatedly are all clues to what is important topics.
9. Sneak in Study Time. Short, repeated periods of study are often more effective than long periods of study. Go over your flash cards while waiting for the bus. Look over a diagram of the spleen while waiting for your breakfast. Review the information during study halls or extra time at lunch.
10. Use Tools That Will Help You Study. Tools like flashcards may be boring, but really help memorize important things.
11. Organize yourself for the test. Be sure you have what you need for the test the night before. If you need a No.2 pencil, a calculator, a German dictionary, or whatever, have it. The more put together you are, the calmer you will be, and the more likely you will do well. Be sure your alarm clock is set, so you won't over-sleep.
12. Get some sleep before the big day. This step is extremely important and cannot be skipped. Without sleep, your chances of doing well on the test fall extremely, because your brain can't focus on what it needs to.
13. Eat a good breakfast. It will keep you mind alert and ready to answer anything that comes its way. An example of a good breakfast is a glass of juice, an egg, toast, and cheese. If you do have to eat a bowl of cold cereal, make sure it's wholesome and whole-grain, not a sugary insubstantial brand or you may experience a 'crash' during the test.
14. Take the Test. Set your alarm clock in the morning; be on time or a few minutes early. If it's a test that requires registration, fees, identification and the like, schedule extra time for that.

How to Work and Study at the Same Time

1. Have good time management. Set up a daily or weekly plan for yourself and ensure that you set aside time for your studies daily. Vary the study times to fit in with other commitments such as family, sports etc. Be aware, and accept, that your weekends are likely to be eaten into by at least some regular study. Depending on your commitments and need for sleep, early Saturday or Sunday mornings can be a good choice to allow you free time later on both days for family, religious observation, sport, friends, other activities etc.
2. Get yourself motivated by staying in contact with your classmates. Use the e-mail to share ideas and brainstorm responses to assignments. Try to catch up before or after classes occasionally to put faces to the names.
3. Set goals and reward yourself when you attain them - this is a great self-motivating habit. One great goal is time off from studying!
4. Set up a quiet place for study away from home life distractions, such as the television, phone calls or other family members. Always keep your textbooks, notes, computer etc., in this one place for easy access and retrieval when needed. It saves worrying where things are after a long day at the office, store or workshop when you're feeling tired!
5. Make room for play. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a dull girl. Play rejuvenates our soul and gives us greater purpose in life. Get out there and enjoy yourself; continue a hobby, go hiking, see a movie, spend an afternoon lying with the kids playing Lego martians on the floor. These are moments as precious as anything and while you are playing, your mind is resting but subconsciously computing the study you've learned and is also rejuvenating your working self. Always put down recreation time in your timetable.
6. Enjoy the crossover between work and study. Full-time students may appear enviable to you but they are missing out on the key ingredient that is pushing you - work experience. Already working provides added value to your study, by providing real-life insights and examples that can help you better understand your studies. Even if your work and studies are completely unrelated, work is still providing you with the skills of prioritizing, managing, balancing tasks, time-management, dealing with colleagues and customers etc. All of this is invaluable when compared to the inexperience of a full-time student.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Always be honest, would you want THEM to lie to you?
Be there when they need you, or you may wind up alone.
Cheer them on, we all need encouragement now and then.
Don't look for their faults, even if you have none.
Encourage their dreams, what would we be without them?
Forgive them, you just MAY do something wrong sometime.
Get together often, misery loves company, so does glee.
Have faith in them, the human animal is remarkable.
Include them, you may need to be included sometime.
Just be there when they need you.
Know when they need a hug, and couldn't you use one?
Love them unconditionally, that is the ONLY condition.
Make them feel special, because aren't we ALL special?
Never forget them, who wants to feel forgotten?
Offer to help, and know when "No thanks" is just politeness.
Praise them honestly and openly.
Quietly disagree, noisy NO's make enemies.
Really listen, a friendly ear is a soothing balm.
Say you're sorry, don't let them assume it.
Talk frequently, communication is important.
Use good judgment.
Verbalize your feelings!
Wish them luck, hopefully good!
Xamine your motives before you "help" out.
Your words count, use them wisely.
Zip your lips when told a secret.

By following these ABC's as often as you are able, you SHOULD live a LONG and friend-filled life.