“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” — Henry Ford
As children, we just couldn’t stop showering our parents, our teachers, and our friends with streams of questions. Curiosity seems to be instilled in us right from birth. However, as we grow older, this inherent sense of inquisition starts to fade away. This is most evident in students who have just graduated from college.
We are curious by nature and there is a little voracious child within us which thrives on as much knowledge as we can get. College is an important place in the knowledge cycle and not the end of it. You can still do many things to keep your journey for knowledge on track.
Below are five effective ways to keep learning after you complete your college education.Advertising
1. Learning A Foreign Language
You always wished to learn another language but something was holding you back. The completion of college studies opens the right doorway for learning the language you’ve always desired.
Learning a second language has social, economic, and mental benefits. It helps to improve memory and make our minds keener.
Try out apps and websites like Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Busuu, etc. These are fun ways to study and you can earn points for new phrases you learn. You also can race against your friends. Of course, this requires practice, patience, and perseverance.
2. Building Your Vocabulary
According to recent research, people who have superior vocabularies have superior IQs. And, why not? In fact, words are mere representation of ideas. The more words you have on your side, the more ideas you can express with ease.Advertising
Vocabulary building is not easy at the beginning but if you keep practicing, your word arsenal will certainly become lethal with time. There are plenty of powerful tools available on the Internet to help you learn for free.
Vocabinuse is one of these tools. It features an advanced flashcard-based learning system driven by example sentences taken from world’s top newspapers to help people remember new words in context. It is a must-use tool for those who are prepping for standardized tests like GRE, SAT, ACT, and TOEFL.
Furthermore, there’s a morphology section which breaks down words into root, prefix, and suffix helping you learn the meanings of a lot of similar words in no time.
3. Taking Free Online Courses
Ever wondered what’s going on in the mind of the person sitting next to you on the bus? Take a psychology crash course. Always wanted to improve your public speaking? There’s a course for you. Online courses provide you with a more comfortable learning environment and flexibility in planning your study time. In this regard, online courses can be better than a traditional face-to-face education.Advertising
Coursera and edX are among many sites that offer online courses for free, anytime, anywhere. Topics range from social sciences, arts, and writing to artificial intelligence, data science, and programming. You can even earn verified IT certificates from such sites if you complete all of the assignments given to you.
4. Starting A Business
“The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup-how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere-and grow a business with maximum acceleration.” — Eric Ries
Entrepreneurship is a life skill. When college is over, you can create a lot of time for yourself and make a business around an idea you’ve always thought would work.
Being an entrepreneur helps you learn a lot of things, like team management, time management, public speaking, and so on.Advertising
Start a business around what you’ve always loved to do, whether it be freelance writing or a tech startup or painting, and you’ll never be devoid of new things to learn. However, blindly quitting your job because you can’t stand your boss and would rather start a business does not always work.
Eric Ries’ book The Lean Startup teaches how to get products and services into customers’ hands faster. He explains a scientific approach and a Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop, citing how quickly reacting to customers’ feedback can make a business boom.
5. Learning To Play An Instrument
Playing an instrument is a productive way to unplug yourself from your hectic daily life. Whether you strum a guitar or play keys, it has significant mental, emotional, social, and physical benefits.
There are lots of channels on YouTube dedicated to helping you learn to play an instrument. What’s your favorite genre? Classical, Blues, Rock, Jazz — you name it. You can choose from thousands of videos. If you ask me, my personal favorite are Justin Sandercoe’s free Blues Lessons.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com
Last Updated on February 19, 2019
How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months
The cycle of bad habits is what keeps us living small and stops us from reaching our true potential. Breaking a bad habit isn’t as hard as it seems; despite being a CEO of a company and raising two children, I still managed to break 3 bad habits I had within 2 months. Yes, that’s quitting one habit in less than 21 days.
I took steps to eliminate them one at a time. Habits such as drinking Coke every day, slouching when sitting and not having a consistent exercise routine.
So how did I break these habits? I used the Control Alternate Delete Method (Ctrl Alt Del).
What is this method and why is it so effective? Read on to find out how to break bad habits with this unique method.
How to break bad habits with the Control Alternate Delete Method
We all notice on some level what our bad habits are. A lot of the time we choose to ignore the negative ways these impact us.
For me, I was sitting most of the day in front of my computer at work in a slouching position. I drank Coke every single day in an attempt to stay awake. I put off any kind of exercise regime because I felt that it was better to just relax and have fun after a whole day of work. As a result, I was leading a really unhealthy lifestyle suffering from weight gain and back pain.
I needed to make a change.
I started to read books about building habits such as The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan, and The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. After reading all these books, I’ve come up with my own method to quit bad habits — The Ctrl Alt Del Method.
I started by focusing on just one bad habit, the first one being the sheer amount of Coke I was consuming each day.
Every day I applied the Ctrl Alt Del Method and after two weeks, not only did I stop drinking Coke every day (I only drank one can in 2 weeks), but I started the better habit of drinking 8 glasses of water every day instead.
After eliminating one bad habit, I moved on to the other two with this same method and a month later I was:
- Hitting the gym twice a week.
- Improving my sitting posture, not only at the office but also at home and everywhere else, improving my back pain.
- Gaining core muscle which improved my back pain as well.
- Losing fat around my waist which went from 36″ (considered obese level) to 32″ (normal level).
If I can improve my life using this method, then so can you. Using this structure to eliminate your bad habits will increase your success and replace your bad habits with more positive ones.
Control: Master your desire
Identify your triggers
Bad habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking and snacking too much trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the brain. Although you might not like the end result, they give you a positive outcome in the moment. This is pure psychology.
It’s important to identify what is triggering you to continually act out your bad habit. This isn’t always an easy step because our habits have been built up over a long period of time.
If you need help in identifying your triggers, here’s a list of common bad habits and their triggers: 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away
To help you work out your triggers, do a bit of self-reflection. Ask yourself questions such as:
- What comfort are you getting from this habit?
- Why do you need comfort?
For example, I chose to drink coke because it tasted good and it made me feel good when I was stressed. I slouched only when I sat for too long working on my desk and started to feel tired. I skipped exercises because every day after work I felt I already did enough works and didn’t want to work out.
If you choose to eat fast food every night, you’re probably telling yourself you’re too busy to cook. But ask yourself why? What are your priorities?
Maybe you have a lack of self-worth that means you don’t have the self-love to want to look after your health. Perhaps it’s a sign you’re not making enough time for important routines like shopping and creating a healthy meal yourself. Maybe you’ve always had a belief that you’re a bad cook.
Write a diary
Write down your thoughts and feelings around this bad habit. Writing things down forces the brain to think harder. This helps you to find the source to your stress or limiting negative beliefs.
Alternate: Find a replacement
Find a positive alternative habit
Once you think you’ve discovered your trigger, try to find a similar but healthy option. This is where I replaced Coke with lemon water; slouching with simply taking a walk and stretching my back every hour; and chilling at home after work with workout exercises that I actually found fun.
You could decide to walk to the office instead of driving or getting off the bus earlier to walk. You could switch to a healthier breakfast cereal instead of grabbing a sugary snack when you head out of the door.
By doing this, you aren’t getting rid of the act altogether like you would if you completely gave something up with nothing to fill that void. This helps your brain accept the improved habit more.
Create a defence plan
Everyone has moments of weakness and that want to revert back to the bad habit will rear its ugly head. This is where a plan can help counteract these moments.
Think of things you can do when the temptations come. For example, if you want to check your phone less, ask your friend or partner to keep it for you or switch it off and read a book. If you’re a starter for an exercise routine, like me, get someone to do it with you to keep you accountable.
Decide on something you will do once you feel triggered to go back to your old habit. Repeating these positive alternative habits consistently will help wire your brain to see them as your normal new habit over time.
Delete: Remove temptations
Remove stuff that reminds you of the bad habit
Getting rid of anything that reminds you of your bad habit is essential. For example, I got rid of coke in my office and at home and replaced my usual office chair with an exercise ball. It makes it much easier to stop slipping back in a weak moment.
Avoid all kinds of temptations
In the same vein, avoid places or people that you know will tempt you back into that bad habit. Don’t go to the supermarket on an empty stomach to avoid the temptation to buy trashy snacks, don’t drive past that fast food joint but find an alternative route instead, say no more often to the friend you know will get you drunk again this weekend.
It’s all about not putting yourself in the situation where you’re in danger of relapsing.
The Control Alternate Delete Method uses the right steps you need to overcome your need to indulge in your bad habits. Working with your core psychology, emotions and feelings behind your actions is what makes this method effective and easy to apply to all bad habits you have.
Bad habits are easy to form and making changes can seem difficult but remember that it’s all about consistency and repetition.
Start using the Control Alternate Delete Method today and you can stop a bad habit permanently.
What bad habit do you want to put a stop to once and for all? You must set aside time and pick one bad habit to focus on. Start using the steps to increase and maintain more positivity in your life moving forward.
More Resources About Changing Habits
- Do You Really Understand What a Habit Is?
- How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop
- How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit? Science Will Tell You
- 24 Best Habit Tracking Apps
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