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9 Myths of the 21st Century We Should Get Rid Of

9  Myths of the 21st Century We Should Get Rid Of

Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, said that a lie repeated often enough becomes truth. And it is the only thing anyone in their right mind would agree with him about. It is amazing the crazy things that people are ready to believe in simply because they heard them many times; in this article we will take a look at 9 such myths.

1.     Humans Only Use 10% of Their Brains

Beliefs tend to persist based on how interesting rather than how correct they are. And in this respect, this one is a champion. No one knows who started it, but it probably originates from the fact that parts of the brain can be removed without causing any significant harm. However, different areas of the brain are specialized. You use one to discern faces, another to keep you upright and so on. There is actually no way to use the entire brain for a single task.

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2.     Thomas Edison Invented the Light Bulb

We are used to thinking about Edison as a lone creator who made 10,000 attempts before succeeding in creating a light bulb. In reality, he had a 14-man team behind him who created several hundred patents, one of which was the light bulb. Edison’s name was more of a trademark than the name of the inventor.

3.     The Great Wall of China is the Only Man-Made Structure Visible from Space

It is wrong in several ways. Firstly, the Great Wall is not seen all that well – at least to an unaided eye from low-Earth orbit. Secondly, there is a number of other man-made structures that are, in fact, seen better, for example, the pyramids of Giza.

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4.     Hair Grows Quicker in Zero Gravity

It is hard to say anything meaningful about this weird idea – it is just not true. Gravity doesn’t play any role in hair growth, so it continues to grow with the same speed in space.

5.     Sport Supplements Make You Pimply and Stupid

Name a horrible teenage problem, and it will be attributed to steroids. Decreased mental capacity, pimples, stunted growth – whatever you like. In reality, the truth about steroids is much more complicated. Some of these statements are completely false; others are greatly exaggerated. In a word, there is no proved connection between sport supplements and any of these consequences.

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6.     You Can Kill a Virus

No you can’t, for the simple reason that virus isn’t alive per se. You can disrupt its reproduction cycle, you can put it to sleep, but  you can’t kill it.

7.     Seasons Caused by the Distance from the Sun

Distance from the Sun has very little effect on seasonal changes. In fact, the Earth is somewhat warmer when furthest from the Sun. This should be pretty obvious, really, for there is summer in northern hemisphere when there is winter in southern one and vice versa.

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8.     One False Move and a Particle Accelerator Will Kill Us All

This was a big one back in 2008 when the Large Hadron Collider was about to be launched and doomsayers were sure that a black hole would destroy the Earth as a result. Just tell it to a physicist and listen to him laugh.

9.     Smoking Will Definitely Cause Cancer

We all know that smoking can cause cancer and have been told this from early childhood. But if it were 100% true that smoking always causes cancer, there wouldn’t be as many old people who have been smoking like chimneys for their entire life but don’t suffer any ill effects from it. Why is cancer so selective? Nobody knows.  In addition to that, one can greatly decrease even the proved health risks by using alternative variants of smoking, such as vaporizers.

Knowledge is the best vaccine against myths. Next time you hear one of these, you will know them for what they are.

Featured photo credit: Myths of the Norsemen/Simon Crubellier via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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