Since the economy is now in recession, the current state of affairs is causing many people rethink how they view their job security. Those life-long jobs we hear our grandparents speak of, unfortunately, do not exist in the numbers they once did. For most people, their best option is to make themselves one of the employees that stands out from the others in terms of willingness to work, enthusiasm and dedication to the business. Here are a few suggestions to help "recession-proof" your job. 1. Keep a positive attitude I once heard a story about a person in nursing school that was considered for a job over others, simply because of their good attitude. While many other students were … [Read more...] about Making Yourself Indispensable
In a recent conversation, I had a friend explain how he was trying to talk someone out of going to college. The young man he was referring to was going to a community college to appease his mother who wanted him to go to a university. He was talented at computer repair and my friend thought he should drop out and focus on acquiring more computer troubleshooting skills. I disagree with my friend's assessment, but it made me wonder why I value college education so much. Surely there is something to be said for someone who enters the workforce and learns everything then need to know through on the job experience. Is my belief that getting a degree is better rational or is it just … [Read more...] about Should he drop out of college?
Pop quiz! Are you becoming an idiot? Wouldn't you hate to wake up one day and suddenly realize,"Oh my! Over the past 10 years, I've become an idiot!" It would be better to know now and take corrective action before you reach the point of no return. This is a ten question quiz to determine whether or not you are becoming an idiot. Have you read at least two non-fiction books during the last 12 months? Do you spend more than 2 hours a week channel surfing? Have you taken any formal college training in the last five years? Has it been more than 5 years since you did a long division problem by hand? Have you been to at least one cultural event in the last year? (Museum, opera, … [Read more...] about Are You Becoming An Idiot?
Failure gives you a chance to learn. When you make a mistake you can learn from that mistake and not make it again. Right? Well, yes, in theory. The problem with this approach is that failure triggers strong emotions and makes it very difficult to focus on the cause of the failure. For example, let's say that you were fired from a job. (Feel free to substitute your own big failure for this scenario.) When you think about being fired, your mind will focus on the emotional part of it--the being fired part, cleaning out your desk, walking out of the building, looking for a new job, etc. These are the things that are strongly branded in your brain because they contained the most emotion. … [Read more...] about It’s Hard to Learn From Your Own Mistakes
Imagine that your memory was only good for two years. Anything that you learned over two years ago was forgotten. The only education you had at your disposal was the things you had learned in the past 24 months. This should be a pretty terrifying prospect for anyone. However, some people would find themselves unable to function at all, while others would find themselves merely handicapped. It all depends on how much effort each individual has put into learning new things in the last two years. Some people graduate from college with the idea that they can stop learning. They pick up some additional education in the form of on-the job-training, but the amount they learn each year … [Read more...] about Learning to Stay Current
I was reading a biography of Albert Einstein and was struck by his determination and persistence. It wasn't the way that he developed his theory of relativity that was impressive. I was impressed with the way he approached difficult reading materials when he was young. Einstein had been given a book by Maxwell about electromagnetic. He started reading and made it about 10 pages into the book before he was confused. So he started over. The second time he made it 15 pages before he stopped understanding the text. So he started over again. Gradually he made his way through the entire book. I was very impressed with his determination and the willingness to start over if … [Read more...] about Dealing with Difficulties
Everyone is familiar with traditional education. You sit in a class and a teacher teaches. This is an important part of development. But at some point, every individual has to take charge of their own education. To do this, one must look at the root of learning. What is it that makes some experiences add tremendous value to our lives while other experiences do not? On a very basic level, experiences that are unfamiliar usually add more value than experiences that are familiar. This is because unfamiliar experiences require much more of our attention, which means we are in a better state to learn something new. Obviously, this concept must be used in moderation. Someone who … [Read more...] about Experienced-Based Education
Great success in life is usually the result of taking advantage of rare opportunities. So success is most likely to come to those who are prepared to take advantage of opportunities. One of the most important aspects of being prepared for any opportunity is making an intentional effort to avoid becoming dumb. I know that sounds silly, but it is very easy to find people around you who haven't kept themselves in mental shape. When opportunities come their way, they miss out because they lacked the right knowledge, frame of mind, or mental stamina. Just like a muscle, your brain needs exercise. Far too many people get stuck in a rut of old habits and never really exercise their … [Read more...] about 11 Steps Toward Developing a Superior Mind
When you need to remember something you've learned, one of the best things you can do is explain your new knowledge to someone else. When I was studying music theory, I thought I had a firm grasp on the subject. However, when I went back and taught it to incoming freshmen, I discovered how much better I understood once I had to explain it to others. I still use this technique today. When there is something that I think I understand, I'll try to explain it to my wife to help me remember and to see if I understand things as well as I think I do. My mother teaches grade school and uses this principle all the time. When her sister and her sister's 5 year old grandson were coming to … [Read more...] about The Deadly Well – Teaching to Learn
Imagine you are interviewing someone for a job and one of the questions you are going to ask them is "How much time do you spend reading and what do you read?" Now imagine the answer you get back exactly describes your own reading habits. What would your opinion be of the person you are interviewing based solely on that answer? In other words, are you impressed with your own reading habits? Most people aren't. With the Internet, the average person reads a much wider range of content with much less depth than 20 years ago. And while there are some definite advantages to knowing a little about a lot of things, much of the content adds very little value to people's lives. Making … [Read more...] about Do You Read Enough?
Even if you can find something you want to watch, television is generally a waste of time. Approximately 20 minutes out of every hour is commercials, so when you watch 3 hours of television, you actually are watching 2 hours of your show and 1 hour of commercials. Here are a few ideas to make watching television more productive. (It sounds funny reading that.) Don't Channel Surf If there is a show you want to watch, then watch that show. Jumping from channel to channel can eat up huge amounts of time without actually watching anything. Think in terms of having a complete experience: a start, a middle, and an end. If you simply jump from channel to channel you aren't really having … [Read more...] about 9 Alternatives to Mindless Television
We interviewed a number of bloggers and asked: How do you learn a new piece of technology? (968) Here are their answers. I play with it! If my mind doesn't start flooding with lots of ways it will save me a ton of time, I abandon it. If it's not intuitive to learn, forget it. In today's world there is no excuse for any technology to be difficult to learn. Ariane Benefit from Neat & Simple Living (rss) Giving yourself plenty of time to just "play" is important. You shouldn't buy a complicated new digital camera 30 minutes before you want to use it to capture a once in a lifetime event. I unpack, fire it up and start using it. I toss the manual in the corner and … [Read more...] about Interview: Learning New Technology
I attended a very small school where most coursework was done at your own pace. To make sure you could graduate on time, the yearly work was broken down into 4 quarters of 9 weeks each. The quarters were broken down into weeks and what you needed to accomplish each week was divided into each day. Each student had a "goal card" in front of their work area showing their planned progress for the next day. There was also another chart that showed their quarterly and yearly progress. As I sat at my desk, directly in front of me was all the information about my goals. I could see a chart of my progress for the year, for the week, and for the day. There was no escaping the focus on … [Read more...] about Setting Goals
That's a rather provocative title, I suppose. Surely if you can avoid failure that is better, right? Not necessarily. There are two ways to avoid failure. Working so hard and doing such a good job that you succeed. Only taking on projects that are so far below your capabilities that failure is never a realistic possibility. If you want to succeed--really succeed, you have to be willing to take on things that have a high chance of failing. If you only attempt things that you know you can do, you aren't challenging yourself properly. If you never have any failures, it is a pretty good indication that you aren't taking on things that are true challenges for you. You are … [Read more...] about Why You Need to Fail to Succeed
Most people are not suffering from a lack of things to read. For many people the difficulty is deciding what not to read as there are so many choices available. To get some ideas how people prioritize and choose reading materials, we asked a number of bloggers the following question: What are your reading habits and how do you choose reading material when there are so many options? Here are their answers. (4005) I come across a website through some means or another, and if I like it, it goes in my feed reader. If it hasn't got a feed, I'll probably never come back. But the bulk of my reading is books, and my choices are usually informed by recommendations from friends or … [Read more...] about Personal Development: Reading Habits
John Kennedy said we were going to go to the moon "Not because it is easy, but because it is hard." The Apollo 11 mission was a huge success and really brought the nation, and to some extent, the whole world together around a scientific adventure. Choosing to do something because it is difficult is a great way to grow. If you truly want to extend your capabilities, you have to do things that are hard. You have to do things where you might fail. If you only attempt to do the things you've done before, you might have some level of growth but nothing compared to what you are capable of. The problem comes when people fail. Most individuals don't know how to handle failure. It knocks … [Read more...] about Not Because it is Easy
Many people will be going back to school this semester, and we thought that a list of study tips would be helpful to students as they start out a new set of classes. Study your notes after each class period, not just before tests. Start reviewing a week ahead of time if you can. That way you'll have a margin for error. Find a good, quiet place with few distractions to study in. Study in sections. For example: one hour of studying, 20 minute break, and so on... Study during the day if you can, rather than leaving it for the evening. Take a look at your classwork and determine early on which one needs the most time devoted to it. That way, you know which one you might need to … [Read more...] about Study Tips
We asked a number of bloggers: "How do you make sure that you are continually growing and learning new things?" There answers provide some great starting points for creating your own personal improvement plan. (3638) I try to remain curious. I constantly challenge my own thinking ... even when I don't want to. Take blogging for example. I thought it was a fad and refused to get involved. But after a while I wondered why I was adamantly against it ... and I opened up my sense of curiosity and jumped in. Being curious opens you to the world of new ideas and challenges your own sense of the status quo. Feeding your curiosity ensures you are always learning. Gavin Heaton from … [Read more...] about Personal Development: Continual Improvement
Take the time to do something hard. Take the time to do something new. Your biggest surges of growth will come from stretching yourself. You can stretch yourself in small ways by trying a new type of food, talking with a stranger, or watching a movie that is different than your norm. You can stretch yourself in big ways by quitting your job and going into business for yourself. Regardless of how you go about it, you will grow more by stretching yourself on a consistent basis than by reading every self-help book you can find. When you are looking for things to stretch your capabilities, here are a few things to keep in mind. What are the risks? You need to understand the impact of … [Read more...] about Stretching Yourself
Studies suggest that your memories are solidified while you sleep. Your brain does a lot of work during your rest--almost like it is busy filing and making sense of everything you've discovered while you were awake. When you've learned a new concept or information that you want to retain, consider taking a nap or reviewing it right before going to bed. This will give your brain the best chance to assimilate the new information. … [Read more...] about Take a Nap for Memory