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How To Discover Your ‘WOW Factor’

How To Discover Your ‘WOW Factor’

Do you remember how your first crush made you feel? How butterflies appeared in your stomach every time you thought of him/her? How his/her presence seemed to take your breath away?

Your ‘WOW factor’ evokes that same magical feeling.

Your ‘WOW factor’ distinguishes you from the other 7.4+ billion human beings on planet Earth. Your ‘WOW factor’ makes you unique, special, and one-of-a-kind. Your WOW ‘factor’ commands attention and makes people stop and say: “WOW, that person (enter your ‘WOW factor’ here!)”

I have good and bad news for you. Since I always save the best for last, the bad news is that too many individuals don’t bother to discover what their ‘WOW factor’ is. The good news: every single one of us possess it.

You can either choose to ignore it even if it exists, OR you can choose to discover, craft and hone your special ability.

As opposed to conforming like others, wouldn’t you rather WOW people you meet? Wouldn’t you rather figure out what makes you special, then capitalize on it? Wouldn’t you rather turn your desires and dreams into your reality?

That’s the effect your ‘WOW factor’ can have for you.

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It took me a lot of failure, disappointment, discomfort, resiliency, love, understanding, experimentation, and change to help me discover my ‘WOW factor’. Since Lifehack.org is the premiere destination for life hacks, I figured this site is the perfect location to share my wisdom and have this article call home.

To be honest with you, it’s going to take a lot of thinking, analyzing, and gut-checking to uncover your extraordinary gift. But once you’ve uncovered your special talent, your life will become more purposeful and fulfilling!

It All Begins With Self-Awareness

 

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
– Aristotle

Self-awareness is the concept in which we, as humans, become more aware and conscious of our thoughts, needs, desires, habits, strengths, weaknesses, emotions, motivations, and everything in between.

Essentially, self-awareness is a complete and honest understanding of yourself.

To gain a complete and honest understand of yourself, you must be willing to objectively examine and acknowledge literally everything about yourself – both good and bad. Introspection, self-discovery, and meditation are useful practices to help you discover you.

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Unfortunately, some may not be able to assess themselves in such a manner. Sometimes ego gets in the way. Sometimes perceptions may be skewed or bias.

Whatever the case may be, if you cannot properly evaluate yourself, discovering your ‘WOW factor’ will not be possible.

Be candid with yourself. Be completely and brutally honest. Most importantly, identify your strengths and qualities that distinguish you from the rest of your peers.

Once you have a strong grasp on who you are, ask for feedback and opinions from those whom you trust, respect, and know are willing to give you the truth – no matter how harsh it may be.

As soon as you have mastered yourself and identified what makes you distinguishable, taking the next steps to discovering what your ‘WOW factor’ will be a breeze.

As a matter of fact, mastery of self-awareness will make literally everything you do easier.

Time To Dig For Some Passion

 

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“Without passion, you don’t have energy; without energy, you don’t have nothing. Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”
– Donald Trump

According to merriam-webster dictionary, passion is your strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.

Since we’re already tackled the self-awareness part, let’s figure out what your passion is.

You can literally be passionate about anything. There is no right or wrong answer. Think about what you love doing. Think about what touches your heart.

It doesn’t have to earn you money, you don’t have to spend eight hours a day doing it, it doesn’t even have to fit in your busy schedule! The only requirement for your passion is that you have to truly care about it.

Regardless of whatever it may be, clearly define what it is.

When you are truly passionate about something, time becomes an illusion. No matter what your circumstances may be, your passions will eventually emerge. Your passion will help you navigate through this journey we call life.

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Passion lights the fire under our heinies.

Finding The WOW Balance

 

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance, you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein

Now that you have sufficiently identified your distinguishable qualities and passions, the next step is to find that sweet spot where your distinguishability meets gratifying your passion. This delicate balance is also known as your ‘WOW factor.’

It’s a fact that things change and people change. When the inevitable occurs, all that is required to discover your new ‘WOW factor’ is the striking of a new balance between your new strengths, new distinguishable attributes and your new passion.

Maintaining your ‘WOW factor’ is as fun and easy as being authentic and true to yourself.

Since the ‘WOW factor’ is so readily available and accessible to anyone, let’s all do humanity a big favor. Let’s continuously WOW one another.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

“Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

“The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

“The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

    Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

    1. Build a Memory Palace

      What is it?

      The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

      How to use it?

      Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

      “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

      Example

      An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

      • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
      • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
      • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
      • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
      • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

      You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

      2. Mnemonic

        What is it?

        A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

        How to use it?

        Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

        Example

        I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

        I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

        Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

        Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

        Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

        Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

        C

        J

        H

        D

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        P

        Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

        Cubs

        Just

        Hate

        Doing

        Push-ups

        Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

        3. Mnemonic Peg System

          What is it?

          According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

          How to use it?

          The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

          Example

          Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

          0 = hero

          1 = gun

          2 = shoe

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          3 = tree

          4 = door

          5 = hive

          6 = sticks

          7 = heaven

          8 = gate

          9 = line

          Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

          4. Chunking

            What is it?

            Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

            How to use it?

            In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

            Example

            Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

            Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

            081127882

            Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

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            081 – 127 – 882

            Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

            “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

            5. Transfer of Learning

              What is it?

              Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

              “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

              How to use it?

              There are two specific ways to use it:

              1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
              2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

              Example

              I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

              Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

              The Bottom Line

              The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

              We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

              Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

              “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

              More About Enhancing Memories

              Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
              [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
              [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
              [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
              [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

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