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10 Truths That Smart People Often Forget About

10 Truths That Smart People Often Forget About

As intelligent as many people are, there will always be moments when the most blatantly obvious concepts completely elude them. Here are a few basic truths that even the wisest folks out there can lose sight of on occasion.

1. It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

None of us are completely error-free, although we’d like to wish we were. Perfectionists in particular don’t like the idea of messing up, but screw-ups are inevitable; the key is to acknowledge them with grace, and move forward from them.

It’s also to remember your own mistakes when you feel frustration with someone else: that barista who accidentally made you a regular venti-mocha-frappa-whippy drink when you asked for a low-fat one might still be in training, so be patient and gracious, and don’t be a dick. There was once a time when you weren’t an expert at what you do, so give someone else a break, as others undoubtedly gave you in turn way back when.

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2. Showing Appreciation to Others is Important

Think about how happy you feel when someone tells you that they appreciate something that you’ve done for them, or even just that they cherish your friendship. It’s a pretty spectacular feeling, isn’t it? Now, consider that others feel the exact same way when you say such things to them in turn. It doesn’t take long to let another person know that you really appreciate X thing that they’ve said/done, and you can be certain that your words will be remembered forever.

3. No-one is an Island

We all need support on occasion, and that’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. Grief, illness, and a myriad other issues will touch all of our lives, and it’s when these hardships arise that it’s vital to ask for—and accept—help. Whether you have a strong support network of friends and acquaintances, or if you’re very close to members of your family, it’s absolutely okay to lean on them when you need to. You wouldn’t begrudge help to someone you care about, right? Consider the fact that others feel the exact same way about you.

4. You Need to Take Care of Yourself Before You Can Take Care of Others

Many people seem to martyr themselves in their eagerness to care for others, but they generally end up feeling drained, sick, or otherwise utterly depleted as a result. As much as you want to be there for those you care about, remember that you’re no good to anyone if you’re a tired, weak, emotional wreck. Take time to rest and rejuvenate so you can have the strength and energy needed to help those you love.

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5. It’s Never Too Late to Learn Something New

You might think that it’s “too late” to embark on a new career path, learn a new language, or start watercolour painting, but do you have a good reason as to why that may be? Is it because you have the misconception that a pursuit is only valid if you’ve mastered it by a certain age? Consider the idea that the journey and the process are what’s important, rather than milestone achievements, and enjoy delving into a topic that intrigues you. Not only will it help you grow and evolve, but it’ll keep your mind active and healthy as well.

6. Health Isn’t Measured by a Clothing Size or Tape Measurement

It’s important to eat well, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also important to remember that every single body on earth is different, and your individual health can’t be measured by mean standards. Someone can be very thin and extremely unhealthy, or on the heavier side and in spectacular health (and this goes for people of all genders!). Determine what state is the healthiest and happiest for you, and strive to maintain it.

7. No-one is More or Less Important Than Anyone Else

We’ve all been in situations where some jerk has tried to make it known that they were terribly important, and their time was more valuable than that of others, etc., as they belittled those around them. Guess what? No-one on earth is any greater or lesser than anyone else; we’re all just different flavours of human, period.
Wealth, status, degrees, possessions—all are completely irrelevant, and everyone should be treated with equal respect, courtesy, and dignity. The bottom line here is that those who point out their inferiors don’t have any.

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8. Children and the Elderly Are Worth Listening To

It’s often easy to dismiss the thoughts and observations of the very young and very old alike because we assume they’re either too little to have any real insight, or already in their dotage, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A child will have a unique perspective of the world because his/her observations haven’t yet been tainted by external influence, and an elder will have a lifetime of experience to draw upon. You don’t have to heed all of their advice or believe everything they say, but it’s important to listen anyway; you never know what you may learn.

9. You Cannot Change Others, Nor Should You Try to Do So

Living authentically, in a manner that feels right and true to yourself, is of rather high importance, right? Well, how would you feel if someone you cared about tried to change aspects about your lifestyle to better suit their own whims and preferences? You’d likely feel hurt, disrespected, and annoyed, and would probably start to feel as though you were doing something wrong, even if you were absolutely happy as you were. None of us have the right to try to change someone else to make them into what we deem to be “better” versions, so it’s important to learn to accept and care for people exactly as they are.

This is especially important to remember if you’re searching for a romantic partner: If you find yourself thinking that X person would be “perfect” for you if only they changed this and that, then they’re not perfect for you at all, and you’ll both end up feeling awful if you try to make them into something they’re not. They’ll get frustrated because you can’t accept them for who they are, you’ll be disappointed that they’re not willing to change themselves to make you happy, and it’ll spiral into greater ugliness down the line. If it’s your child whom you want to change, remember that this person is an individual with their own leanings, wants, and sense of self—they don’t exist so you can live vicariously through their experiences.

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10. “Success” and Money Don’t Equal Happiness

What is “success”, really? Achieving something that someone else expected of you? As for money, well… it can let you stuff your face with caviar and champagne now and then, but it can’t buy you emotional stability, spiritual fulfilment, or true friendship. Consider that the most beautiful experiences in life aren’t those that can be purchased, and determine for yourself what makes you truly happy. Pursue that which makes your soul shine, and never mind how much money others are making, or what labels they have on their business cards.

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

Here are some study tips to help get you started:

1. Use Flashcards

Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

As Tony Robbins says,

“Repetition is the mother of skill”.

2. Create the Right Environment

Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

4. Listen to Music

Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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5. Rewrite Your Notes

This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

6. Engage Your Emotions

Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

7. Make Associations

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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