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Thursday, 16 June 2016

FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC

Music is a "vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion."

Funny how music explains the feelings we have but cannot explain. It gives meaning to those feelings, it gives you butterflies that even another human would normally not be able to give you, it gives you complete peace of mind. You forget reality, the hustle, the hassle, the pain, the hurt, the lies, the hardship of reality and you get lost and so engrossed in a life you have built in your head with the aid of the lyrics, voice and the beat of the song. You could be wherever, whenever, whoever and whatever you want. You live in fairy tail and life all seems so simple.

In your saddest moments, there is always a song that gives comfort to your very soul, in time of your hurt, music is there to heal you right from your soul. In times of your happiness, music again is there to celebrate with you. You feel the beat, you hear the words,  the voice passing through your body like a current with great force and you could literally feel your heart melt.

Reading for an exam or a test, you realise that you remember better when you turn it into a song. Or say you were listening to a particular song whilst you were studying and after a while, you find trouble remembering. Just remembering the song you were listening to at that time, helps you remember what you were studying.

Everyday, I bless the day music was invented and most importantly, those who sing it to us with voices that are so magical.

When you can relate to the lyrics in a song so much its sometimes terrifying . Its as if the singer literally went in your head and wrote everything you've bottled up. But after you pass the shock phase, you start to smile and accept that not only you go through certain situations other people do as well. And that is their special way of passing strength to others and letting them know that sorrow may come in the night but joy will always come in the morning. If they survived, so can you.

"Music does bring people together.
It allows us to experience the same emotions.
People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit.
No matter what language we speak, what color we are,
the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith,
music proves: We are the same."
                              ~ John Denver ~

I call music the most effective therapy.

It brings smiles to you even in your most down times when no one else can. Whatever mood you are in, there is always a song that compliments it. The joy music gives you is undeniable. A simple song can make you cry or laugh. It has the ability to make an unemotional person emotional.

The best part comes along when most of the songs you listen to has an event that has happened in your life attached to it. when the song comes on, you remember that day and every detail of it like it was just yesterday and this makes the song all the more special. even when you cant really remember, deep down you know that you know that song from somewhere and you feel very attached to the song and in some cases, you remember eventually.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how I keep smiling through it all. So no, I'm not crazy, I'm just music struck ;)



"A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation;it either wakens or soothes the nervous system. It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace. According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance. This shows that the same energy which goes into the form of sound before being visible is absorbed by the physical body. In that way the physical body recuperates and becomes charged with new magnetism." 
                                 ~ from 'Mysticism of Sound' by Hazrat Inayat Khan ~


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

A SUCCESS HINDERING HABIT WE ALL NEED TO STOP

This is something students do a whole lot. You know what, it not just students its every one. We all are guilty of this act. This may be because its the easiest decision or because we apparently, work better under pressure. Yeah, with that last statement, I am guessing you all know what this article is about. And yes, you guessed right. Its PROCRASTINATION.  Procrastinating is "putting off intentionally the doing of something that should be done".

WHY PEOPLE PROCRASTINATE

People procrastinate for different reasons. But I am only going to be elaborating on the common ones. So read on to find out why we procrastinate, the effects it has on us and how to stop this success tapping act.

Lack of Interest



A lack of interest plays a vital role on procrastination. Say there is an assignment or a task at the office assigned to you to be delivered on a specific day and it so happens that you have got little or zero interest in that module or task, the lack of interest would cause you to fish out for all the reasons as to why that assignment/task cannot be done "at the moment". At the end, we find ourselves in a last minute .com situation. 

Lack of Motivation




It so happens that some people are not self motivated. They actually need that extra push from someone before they can get something done. This category of people would leave things until the last minute as well as saying "there is time, there is time". And result, no time at all. Again, find themselves in a last minute .com situation

And the most common excuse:






I WORK BEST UNDER PRESSURE! Yeah don't we all hear that a lot, especially from students? These group of people have convinced themselves so much that they now even believe that they actually do their best work under pressure. I personally call that pure laziness. And no, students cannot possibly get a 3000 words assignment done in the span of two days. Remember there is research involved. Research that has to be from credible sources (newspapers, journals, textbooks, etc). This is a lot for a student to get done in just two days. By the time these are all left till the last minute, the work tends to be rushed with little time to do an in debt research or deliver the best work that they could have. So yeah, you might work faster under pressure but certainly not better.

THE EFFECTS PROCRASTINATION HAS ON US. 

Procrastination has more damaging effect on us than we care to realise. If you are a procrastinator I would advise that you be careful. Procrastinating is a success sucking habit, makes you lose loads of opportunities and denies you the ability of being your best self. When we procrastinate, the quality of the task done is usually poor. This is because we have accumulated a lot of work and chosen to rush through it at the very last minute and overwork the brain. So we end up not caring about the content but the finish product.


"Procrastinators earned lower grades than other students and reported higher cumulative amounts of stress and illness. True procrastinators didn’t just finish their work later — the quality of it suffered, as did their own well-being."
 Eric Jaffe 

When you procrastinate, you think you are saving time but in reality, you are actually wasting more time. I bet you can imagine how much time have been wasted every time you put off doing something. The saying, "time waits for no man" is word. When we as students procrastinate, we end up "over-learning" because we have wasted and misused the time we had. "Over-learning" is when we just learn the facts of things just because we have to know them for an exam and forget everything the week after. In secondary school, my teachers referred to it as "La cram, La pour, La forget". Which is not exactly the best way to study or go through school.

Not only does this habit cause you to "over-learn", it also encourages plagiarism. You know, copying and pasting from other sources and not acknowledging the writers. You can easily see how procrastinating can make you do this. I have a couple of friends at uni who usually leave their work till last minute with the illusion of "I work best under pressure" and they usually end up with not so great grades and a high percentage of plagiarism. This is obviously due to the fact that they had less time to review the materials, make sense of what the authors are saying, make their own notes, paraphrase and reference properly.

HOW I OVERCOME PROCRASTINATING. 

One and the most important step of overcoming procrastinating is to accept the fact that you procrastinate. Being in denial is the worst thing that could ever happen because you fail to see that you procrastinate which leads to you not trying to overcome or sort out solutions on how to stop the habit.

Secondly, I give myself a deadline for everything I do. Normally, assignments have their own deadlines but I set my own deadline for about a week or so before the actual deadline and just train my brain to believe that is the actual deadline (sounds farcical but it works). By doing this, I don't keep telling myself "I have enough time" and then just leave the work. Instead, I do the work because in my head, the deadline is closer. 

Third and lastly, I reward myself for every task I finish. I put off watching movies, going out with friends to the movies or to eat until I actually meet my target. So when I meet the deadline I had set for myself, I reward myself by watching a new episode of a series I love, a new movie, go cinema, or go eat with my friends. Knowing that I get to do all of these or one of these when I get something done in time, I get motivated to do things now rather than later because the later I put off reaching my target, the later I get to do any of those things. So say a new episode of Games Of Throne is released, and the only way you can see it is if you get your assignment done right or meet a target. Would you rather start the assignment immediately or put it off till whenever? Yeah I thought so.

So yeah, a reward system is an amazing way to overcome procrastinating but you have to be true to yourself to get the most out of this technique.  



References
Procrastination: (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/procrastinate).
Image Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lack-interest-studies-sajjad-ali
Image Source: http://www.halogensoftware.com/blog/how-lack-of-motivation-is-killing-your-company
image source: https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/t/under-pressure-deadlines-workload-37904618.jpg

















Friday, 25 March 2016

YOUR SITUATION TODAY DOES NOT DEFINE YOUR TOMORROW

Every now and then I look at myself and cannot help but thank God for where I am. Events in my life has made me really and truly believe the saying "every disappointment is a blessing". We as human sets directions for ourselves, we see where we want to go and usually know how we are going to get there. But sometimes, life does not happen the way we plan and that does not mean our life is over. Instead, in every situation you find yourself, give thanks! Because even though we fail to see it at the time, it just might open doors to new opportunities we never even dreamt of.


 In my final year in high school, my friends and I had already planned on going to the same university and staying in the same accommodation off campus. We went to the library to study together for the entrance exams we had to write to get into the university. Basically I had my life planned out and was all focused on everything falling into place just as I had planned it.


Just as life would have it, it did not go quite as well as I had planned. The day of the exam came, I went on to write it and felt quite confident afterwards. But lo and behold, two weeks after, the results were out and I did not make it. I was few marks away from the pass mark for the university I had chosen. I felt so disappointed, felt like my life was crumbling down and I could do nothing to help it. The feeling was overwhelming that I disassociated myself from everyone at the time. I started thinking of other universities I could go to that would accept my grades. I found one, although I didn't really like it, I was ready to accept it. it was either that or staying home for a whole year and take those exams again.


I was not thinking straight I just wanted a quick solution that will help me avoid everyone’s judging comments. I was so caught up in the pressure of starting university with my friends that I was willing to settle for less. I was letting the situation define me and take control of me.


“In fact, your circumstances will generate an excuse factory in your mind which will produce a thousand reasons why you can’t make the progress you were hoping to make. They will convince you that you can’t change, that you can’t solve the problems you’re facing, that you need surrender to an inevitable fatalism.”


At a point I got tired. I just got tired of the stressing, I got tired of the thought of what people would say. I got tired of pushing valuable advises, I got tired of being ruled by the situation. So I stopped. I stopped all of the stressing and stopped allowing the situation rule my decision. I decided to accept the situation and be open minded. I decided to involve the one person who has promised to provide all my needs according to His riches (which I had forgotten to do before).  So I stopped dwelling in what had happened and involved God.

When I started to think things were not going to look up, they did. I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel! I got the opportunity to school in the United Kingdom which would not have happened if I had passed that exam. I would not have had this opportunity if things had gone my way. So yeah, man proposes but God disposes. And when He does, He goes all in for you! 


You might be going through tough times, you might be in a situation where a solution seems farfetched, it might seem like your world is crumbling right before your eyes and you are left feeling helpless. But always remember, you are not in it alone. You have got God at your side who is waiting on you to reach out to him, for you to ask him and receive abundantly way beyond your imagination. 


“We should always pray for help, but we should always listen for inspiration and impression to proceed in ways different from those we may have thought of.”
– John H. Groberg







Friday, 11 March 2016

PUT THOSE PRESENTATION NERVES TO GOOD USE!

The one thing I have come to realise that students fear the most, is presentation. I know right! Basically, I started to give loads of presentation when I got into the university. I did get to give presentations in secondary school but not quite as much. A freshman at the time and the first week of uni, i found out that we were supposed to give a presentation the following week. i got so nervous not sure if i would be able to stand in front of all those people to deliver my work. I even went into class sometimes trying to picture everyone naked (as some people say it does work for them) but that did not work. The images popping up in my head were just wrong on so many different levels it would even make me forget my words during the actual presentation. So I came up with something else that could actually work for me and I have been using this technique ever since that first presentation and the results are amazing (my grades does the talking).  
To address this fear of presentation, I thought it would be nice to share with you all the few tips on how I get through it. 

1) Preparation



Ever heard the saying, "preparation is key"? Well yes it is. the only way you can gain the confidence to stand in front of a crowd to give a presentation is if you know exactly what you are going to be talking about. So practice your materials! I recommend that you practice with a friend(s). this way, you can get constructive criticism and then you would know what you are doing right and where improvement is needed.

2) Time yourself!


It can be quite daunting when you are asked by the lecturer to stop in the middle of your presentation because you have gone over the assigned time. It will be very helpful if you use a stopwatch (can easily be found in you phone) while practicing your presentation. 

3) Make sure PowerPoint is on point!

(boundless.com, 2015)

May seem weird but, having a great PowerPoint can help boost your confidence. When you stand in front of the class and you realise people are admiring your PowerPoint, you would be more confident saying what you need to say because you have gotten their attention. But note, it is easy to get carried away whilst designing the PowerPoint. So keep it simple (not too simple). Do not make it look too cluttered with words and pictures. And keep the colours down! you do not want it looking like a child's art work.

4) Arrive early! 

Yes, you read right! be early. This would help you have time to settle in before your presentation begins. Also, you would have enough time to double check your USB, plug it in and figure out how to set everything up. This will definitely put you at ease and calm those nerves.

5) Know you are the boss!

As you stand on that podium, tell yourself you are the boss, you hold the knowledge that they are all seeking and without you talking, they would never know.  
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I am not saying you would not feel nervous anymore. You will but the difference is that you would have control over the nervousness and know deep down that you are going to nail the presentation! I hope this helps you as it has helped me. And please share in the comment box bellow on your experience with these steps. If you have any other tips to contribute, please don't be shy to share them using the comment box bellow.

References 
image source: http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/sites/teens/files/styles/article/public/istock_000017356076small.jpg?itok=renqm4vC
image source: https://static-ssl.businessinsider.com/image/567ad04ce6183e55008b48a7-960-720/6-time-yourself.jpg
image source: https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--NkI0WuSp--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/jsutqh6ctvszpynj1uqc.jpg
image source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oufH-tSunKE/UnMAAQpY9fI/AAAAAAAAAYk/qN-sfe5dTSI/s1600/im-the-boss-f.png