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Published on November 14, 2017

If I Am Living a Good Life, Why Should I Bother Learning New Stuff?

If I Am Living a Good Life, Why Should I Bother Learning New Stuff?

A person might have a great job, a nice house, and a great group of friends. They might feel they have everything they need, and so, they just settle, stop moving and pushing themselves. After all, their life seems to be going fine. You might have seen this with friends or acquaintances.

This is fine for a time; but the problem is, while a person stops moving or stops pushing themselves, the world keeps spinning. Time moves forward. Staying in the same place and not seeking self-improvement has the exact same effect as moving backwards.

We are living in a period of technological and social advancement never before seen. Technology has moved and developed more over the past one hundred years, than it had in the previous thousand. With this speed of advancement, it is easy to fall behind. Even if a person’s life seems to be going well now, and they don’t seek improvement, several years down the line, they may find that their lack of advancement, the lack of development in important skills may cause big problems in their lives.

From Evolving to Settling

Human beings, homo sapiens have been on this planet for roughly one million years. At the beginning, humans had nothing to protect themselves in order to survive in the world.

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    So humans started to invent basic tools and formed basic languages in order to survive.

      After some time, humans were satisfied with the things they developed because that was enough for basic survival. They could simply stop learning and creating new stuff.

        It was okay to stop learning new stuff in order to survive until the 19th century, where the rate of technological advancement increased at a rapid pace. In just over sixty years, we went from the first flight by the Wright Brothers to men walking on the moon.

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        A few years later, with the widespread popularity of personal computers, the rate of human progress exploded. This is of course, an over simplification. But think about it, for the first time in history, not seeking self improvement, not moving forward with the rate of human progress, can be extremely dangerous. It’s perfectly possible for someone to fall behind the rate of technological and human progress.

        This isn’t just a vague possibility either. In the UK, it has been estimated that one in five is under threat of being automatized.[1] A person today who is comfortable in their job may find themselves replaced by a machine tomorrow. Many, many people might soon find themselves out of a job.

        Even outside of the job market, technology has changed our lives in countless ways. The average, most basic smartphone is a camera, a diary, a computer, a gaming device, a store, a library, a web browser, a clock, a telephone, a TV…and can be far more with extra apps.

        Not long at all ago, each of these things would have been a separate (and potentially very expensive) device, some would be impossible to carry around with you. It’s easy to take for granted. But imagine if you never got a smartphone and was happy with what you had before. You’d have missed out on a great deal of convenience.

        How to Stay Ahead

        Ultimately, no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to predict how things will change over the next few years. We don’t know what skills will or won’t be needed. Nor do we know how our lives may change over the next few years. Something as simple as a new piece of technology can have an incredible impact on our lives (just think about the smartphone example from before). Because of this, you need to be ready to adapt and not fall into the trap of brief contentment.

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        Keep testing what you know

        We all know how important it is to learn new skills, but again, it is easy to become quickly content with what you have, and with it, stop seeking improvement.  This is illogical. If you stop trying to improve your skills, you’ll find that your skill level doesn’t stay on the same level, but instead decreases. In addition, the market for that skill is ever changing.

        It’s like when you test a tool or device you have, to examine its functionality. Is it wind-proof or water-proof? There is no point keeping a tool that can’t do its job after all.

          It can be useful to pick one of your skills or an area of your life, then critically evaluate it. Ask yourself, how useful is it going to remain? How is it going to adapt or change to changing circumstances?

          Lets relate this example to writing skill. The standards and styles expected of a writer are constantly changing. The internet has had a big impact on the way people read and interact with a piece of text. A writer today needs to be aware of this. Were a writer to stop paying attention to the changing marketplace, and the things expected of them, then they’ll be less useful as a writer.

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          Ditch the outdated and equip with the better

          After reviewing your skills and knowledge, you’ll be able to decide which should be ditched and which should be improved. It’s like throwing away old tools and devices that don’t work or are no longer useful, and replacing them with new, better ones.

            A careful evaluation of things in your life and your skills can be extremely useful. With it, you’ll be better able to see what might need changing or adapting, and what might be worth forgetting about.

            So although it is impossible to predict exactly how the world will change, with consideration of your skills and a desire to adapt, you’ll be able to find that you’re able to stay ahead of a changing world.

            I know it can be easy to become content, at the same time, pushing yourself and seeking change can be tough. But ultimately, this is something that can’t be sustained.

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            Brian Lee

            Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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            Published on June 18, 2018

            What Foods Have the Most Brain Vitamins for Enhanced Mental Strength

            What Foods Have the Most Brain Vitamins for Enhanced Mental Strength

            Your brain is the house your mind lives in. The brain is the most high-powered organ we have and requires the right amount and type of fuel to work properly. When we don’t give our brain the right fuel, it slows us down, dampers our focus, makes us more unhappy and unmotivated.

            If you want to maximize your brain power so as to increase your focus, think more clearly and live a happier and longer life, then pay attention because this article will give you the top nutrients you need to maximize your brain power and what foods to include in your diet in order to get them.

            Here are what your brain needs and where to get them:

            1. Omega-3’s

            Your brain is made up of 60% fat so if you want a healthy and optimally performing brain, you need to ensure you’re giving your brain the right building blocks and fat is one of the most important. Fat has been vilified over the years as being the big villain of health, but in reality, high-quality fat is not only good for you, it’s essential for your brain power and health.

            Some of the most important fat to give your brain are Omega-3’s. Omega-3’s such as DHA are the essential nutrients that form the outer layer our brain cells. In fact, not getting enough omega-3’s in your diet can affect normal brain development and cognition. It has also been shown to be implicated in premature brain aging and cognitive decline.[1]

            Getting healthy sources of omega-3’s from your diet is critical for optimal brain power.

            Best sources:

            Walnuts, chia seeds, sardines, salmon, flaxseed, eggs, fish oil

            2. Magnesium

            Magnesium is an essential mineral that is critical for brain activity and has been known to calm the brain and nervous system to the point it has been called “Nature’s Natural Valium.” Magnesium is essential for hundreds of metabolic processes within the body and brain yet it is still the second most common nutritional deficiency in the world.

            Magnesium helps the brain by:

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            • Providing antI-inflammatory benefits
            • Lowering stress hormones
            • Increasing neuroplasticity
            • Relaxing the nervous system
            • Helping to lift depression
            • Reducing anxiety

            Best sources:

            Almonds, spinach, cashews, avocado, black beans

            3. Vitamin B1: Thiamine

            Many B vitamins are known to be beneficial for brain health and well-being but for this article, let’s focus on some of the critical B vitamins.

            B1, also known as thiamine, is needed for a large number of metabolic processes in the body including the processes that manage your energy. Your brain uses tremendous amounts of energy throughout the day. Having low levels of thiamine can rob your brain of the vital energy that it needs.

            Thiamine can boost your mood, energy, and alertness by providing the energy your brain cells need to work effectively and keep their strength up.

            Low levels of thiamine have been associated with:

            • Nerve damage
            • Nerve inflammation
            • Fatigue
            • Loss of short-term memory
            • Confusion
            • Irritability

            Having enough vitamin B1 (thiamine) is essential for optimal brain performance and health by providing your brain the energy is needs to get through the day.

            Best sources:

            Seaweed, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, lentils, black beans

            4. Vitamin B6

            Vitamin B6 is critical for helping to improve your mood to make you feel happier but is also important to combat mental fatigue. B6 is a critical component of building the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

            Serotonin is known as your happy neurotransmitter and is vitally important for improving your mood. Norepinephrine helps your brain stay focused and alert.

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            Symptoms of B6 deficiency include:

            • Irritability
            • Loss of focus and concentration
            • Fatigue
            • Memory trouble
            • Muscle pains

            Best sources:

            Grassfed beef, pistachios, tuna, turkey breast, avocado

            5. Vitamin B9

            Vitamin B9 is known as folate. Folate is especially important for normal brain development. Folate is an important component in creating many neurotransmitters that the brain uses to communicate and regulate our immune system. Folate is also a natural antioxidant and studies have shown that it can help preserve brain function and memory.[2]

            Low levels of folate can be detrimental to the brain. Low levels of folate have shown to lead to increased degeneration in the cerebral cortex as well as cognitive impairment and decline.[3]

            Symptoms of low levels of folate include:

            • Lowered immune function
            • Chronic fatigue
            • Increased irritability or anxiety
            • Brain fog

            Best sources:

            Spinach, beef liver, broccoli, asparagus, romaine lettuce.

            6. Vitamin B12

            B12 is essential for many aspects of our health and wellbeing including building strong bones, hair, skin, nails, immune system and heart health. B12 is also extremely important for your brain and mental wellbeing.[4]

            B12 is necessary for many aspects of mental performance including being able to memorize and stay focused. It also plays an important role in producing serotonin and dopamine. Dopamine is your motivation and reward neurotransmitter.

            Having low levels of B12 can have some serious consequences including:[5]

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            • Brain fog
            • Memory loss
            • Depression[6]
            • Anxiety
            • Confusion
            • Depression
            • Hallucinations and Schizophrenia (severe cases)

            B12 is commonly found in many animal products and meats, so vegetarians and vegans should pay special attention to their B12 to make sure they are getting enough of it in their diet from plant sources or supplementation.

            Best sources:

            Beef liver, sardines, wild salmon, eggs, nutritional yeast

            7. Vitamin C

            Vitamin C is a very powerful and important antioxidant for your brain. Your brain consumes a lot of energy and oxygen in order to do its job. Antioxidants like Vitamin C protect the brain from the wear and tear of doing its job.

            Vitamin C is also needed to produce important neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are important regulators of your mood, so without Vitamin C to produce these important neurotransmitters, your mood may suffer.[7]

            Best sources:

            BroccolI, citrus fruits, bell peppers, watermelon, spinach

            8. Vitamin D

            The “sunshine” vitamin is arguably one of the most important vitamins that many people miss out on. Vitamin D is usually associated with bone health and heart health but it’s been shown in research that Vitamin D may play a critical role in your brain performance. Several studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D can impair cognitive function and performance.[8]

            Fewer people are getting outside in the natural sunlight leading to more cases of vitamin D deficiency than ever before. The best part about Vitamin D is that you can get it for free or extremely cheap. Just a few minutes a day of natural sunlight can make a big difference in your Vitamin D levels.

            Best sources:

            Natural sunlight or find a Vitamin D supplement.

            9. Vitamin E

            Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are critical to help our bodies fight off oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a metabolic process that occurs in the body that wears and tears on our cells. Antioxidants fight against this wear and tear to keep our cells youthful and optimally functioning.

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            Vitamin E is an often overlooked vitamin for brain health. It prevents oxidative stress from damaging an important component of our brain cells, DHA. DHA forms the outer membrane of our brain cells and Vitamin E works to prevents oxidative stress from damaging our brain cells to keep our brain young, energetic and high-performing.[9]

            Symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency include:

            • Cognitive impairment
            • Diarrhea
            • Muscle weakness
            • Balance issues

            Best sources:

            Almonds, kale, Swiss chard, parsley, olives

            10. Zinc

            Zinc is essential for neuron growth and performance. The highest concentration of zinc is located in your brain, particularly in your hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in regulating your limbic system, the region that regulates emotions. Neurons require zinc in order to communicate effectively to one another.[10]

            Low levels of zinc are associated with:

            • Attention and focus problems
            • Lowered immune system
            • Acne or rashes
            • Diarrhea

            Best sources:

            Pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, cashews, mushrooms, spinach

            Keep your brain sharp with brain power foods

            Your brain works hard and it takes plenty of nutrients and fuel to keep it working well. Getting the amount and type of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can make the difference in feeling energized or feeling sluggish throughout the day.

            How would you fuel a Ferrari? You wouldn’t put the cheap gas in a Ferrari. It’s a high-performance machine, so you need to put in high-octane fuel to ensure optimal performance.

            Eat a wide variety of foods that include a vast array of the top brain nutrients to ensure your brain is getting plenty of the resources it needs to work efficiently. If you want more brain power, make sure you give it brain power foods.

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

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