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12 Websites That Can Make You Incredibly Smarter

12 Websites That Can Make You Incredibly Smarter

Self-learning has been more popular as the amount of information available online is increasing, allowing us to broaden our views with any topics that interest us. As you can find almost any course you wish to attend online, on popular websites such as Coursera and Khan Academy, you can easily change your career and start learning about something that really inspires you.

We present you with a list of 12 websites that you can use to expand your knowledge base and seize new opportunities.

1. CreativeLive

creative_live

    If you strive to nurture your creativity, you can join live online workshops by CreativeLive about photography, video, design, music, crafting and so on. If you feel like a creative soul, this is the place where you can unlock your potential and be surprised with how much you can learn.

    2. Code School

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    code_school

      With entertaining content and experience instructors, Code School offers you over 60 courses on various programming languages. Every course is designed so as to feel like you are playing a game rather than boring you with a lot of information.

      3. Brain Pump

      brain_pump

        With Brain Pump, you can learn something new and interesting every day. You can learn about topics such as technology, chemistry, history, casual science, food, game design and much more.

        4. Guides

        guides

          Guides is a free publishing platform where different authors, teachers, bloggers and researchers can share their knowledge. With many different “How To” guides, you can learn everything about marketing, entrepreneurship, fitness, health, design and so on.

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          5. Chalk Street

          chalk_street

            Chalk Street presents you with more than 60,000 lessons on technology, business, arts and lifestyle, such as yoga, languages, smartphone photography, everything about Excel and many others.

            6. Psychology Today

            psychology_today

              If you want to work on yourself and improve your mental health, Psychology Today is the right website for you. This site gathers a group of psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and writers, thus you can educate yourself on a number of topics, such as anxiety, cognition, creativity, parenting, memory, and so on.

              7. MIT OpenCourseWare

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              mit_ocw

                MIT OCW is a place where you can find course content of more than 2,000 MIT courses that can help individual learners enrich their knowledge base. Some of the most popular courses include: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, Artificial Intelligence, Linear Algebra, Introduction to Algorithms, Introduction to Programming in Java, and so on.

                8. Investopedia

                investopedia

                  If you are looking for a website to improve your knowledge on finances, Investopedia is the right place for you. You can learn everything about investing and personal finance from a team of data scientists and financial experts.

                  9. Makezine

                  makezine

                    For those of you who like to play with technology and craft their own invention, step-by-step articles on Makezine will become your favorite pieces of writing.

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                    10. Quora

                    quora

                      Quora’s mission is to connect people who have knowledge with the people who need it. You can ask almost any question and people will give you useful pieces of advice and their insights, or you can look at previous discussions and find the answers you are looking for.

                      11. Udacity

                      udacity

                        Udacity focuses on active learning and its mission is to bring higher education to people around the world so as to help them with improving their careers. It has a long list of available courses from the field of programming, business studies, web design, marketing and so on.

                        12. Highbrow

                        high_brow

                          You can always spare 5 minutes per day to learn something new, and 5 minutes is all Highbrow asks from you. You can have 5-minute lessons delivered to your inbox daily, and learn how to improve your brain health, boost your emotional intelligence, about body language, SEO, HTML, CSS and many other topics.

                          How to make the most of self-learning

                          In order to get the maximum from self-learning process, you first need to set goals, and ask yourself why you want to know more about a certain topic. First set mini goals, and after you meet each goal, cross it off your goal list and that’s how you can track your progress. This is also a great motivational tool since it creates the sense of accomplishment. The next step is to make a schedule – how much time you want to spend each week learning and when do you plan to finish a course, and stick to it.

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                          Last Updated on March 21, 2019

                          11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                          11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                          Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

                          You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

                          But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

                          To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

                          It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

                          “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

                          The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

                          In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

                          Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

                          1. Start Small

                          The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

                          Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

                          Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

                          Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

                          Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

                          Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

                          It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

                          Do less today to do more in a year.

                          2. Stay Small

                          There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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                          But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

                          If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

                          When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

                          I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

                          Why?

                          Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

                          The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

                          Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

                          3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

                          No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

                          There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

                          What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

                          Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

                          This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

                          This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

                          4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

                          When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

                          There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

                          Peter Drucker said,

                          “What you track is what you do.”

                          So track it to do it — it really helps.

                          But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

                          5. Measure Once, Do Twice

                          Peter Drucker also said,

                          “What you measure is what you improve.”

                          So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

                          For reading, it’s 20 pages.
                          For writing, it’s 500 words.
                          For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
                          For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

                          Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

                          6. All Days Make a Difference

                          Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

                          Will two? They won’t.

                          Will three? They won’t.

                          Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

                          What happened? Which one made you fit?

                          The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

                          No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

                          7. They Are Never Fully Automated

                          Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

                          But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

                          What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

                          It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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                          The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

                          It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

                          It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

                          8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

                          Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

                          Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

                          When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

                          The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

                          Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

                          9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

                          The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

                          Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

                          You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

                          But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

                          So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

                          If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

                          This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

                          The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

                          Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

                          10. Punish Yourself

                          Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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                          I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

                          It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

                          You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

                          No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

                          The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

                          But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

                          11. Reward Yourself

                          When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

                          Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

                          The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

                          After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

                          If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

                          Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

                          If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

                          In the End, It Matters

                          What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

                          When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

                          And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

                          “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

                          Keep going.

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                          More Resources to Help You Build Habits

                          Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
                          [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
                          [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
                          [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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