Category Archives: Personal & Professional Development

Six Habits To Adapt For A Less Complicated Life

 

A short video of Fort James Anitgua . Enjoy ūüôā

Six Habits To Adapt For A Less Complicated Life

 

Life is not easy. However, it is up to each of us to make it as simple as possible.  I for one have a habit of thinking too much and imagining things even though they are not real. I guess my whole intention is to control everything so that I do not get hurt or disappointed. Well, for the past year, I have been working on this tendency to overthink. Here are three things that I do to help myself stay grounded

 

  1. Do not waste time engaging in pointless arguments. Accept that people are always going to have their opinions about a situation and you may not necessarily have similar views. While arguments can be healthy and lead to different levels of productivity and creativity, you have to pick your arguments carefully.

Not everything people say or do warrants a response. If the argument is going to drain you of energy and is pointless, then let it be. One such argument is a situation in which someone says something offensive to you. Even though their words might affect you, it does not mean that you need to retaliate. Sometimes, we need to look at a person’s attitude and realize that the person is the one with the problem.

 

See 28 Ways to Stop Complicationg Your Life at this link

  1. Know when to let go. Sometimes we encounter people and situations that cause us pain, but rather than letting go and moving on, we keep holding on for that which is not good for us. Some battles are just not yours to fight; as soon as you realize there is nothing you can do learn to let it go. Let go of past wrongs, forgive others of their wrongs and most of all forgive yourself and move on. Life is too short to live in misery. Seek a peaceful alternative, always.

 

12 Ways To Live Blisfully At Forty & Beyond

  1. Practice gratitude and daily prayer. Prayer takes care of your spiritual needs and helps to keep you grounded. Once your spiritual needs are met then everything else becomes secondary. Be grateful for what you have. It is easy to feel as though you lack certain things in your life and you need them in order to be happy.

 

habits for a less complicated life

However, once you learn not to attach happiness to material things, but rather to a state of inner well-being, your life will be easier. Do not focus on what you do not have; this will only intensify the feelings of unhappiness. Instead, learn to appreciate the little you have while taking steps improve your situation. The happiest people do not necessarily have material riches. The happiest people are those with a peace of mind.

 

4. Live in the moment. Worrying about tomorrow will rob you of the joy you can feel today. When tomorrow comes then you take care of tomorrow. Life is already challenging. Why waste your time worrying about what has not even occurred. Yes, it is good to have plans and to put measures in place in case of emergencies; however, you should not let this stop you from enjoying the here and now. You are not even sure you will live to see the morrow, so why worry about it.

 

  1. Be kind and loving to yourself and others. One of the things we have a difficult time doing is being kind when we are going through difficult times. However, as I have found, being kind actually helps increase your feelings of happiness. When you are less critical of yourself and others, your life becomes more relaxed. Relax. It is okay not to be perfect and to make mistakes.

 

  1. Learn how to help others without feeling burdened by their stress. As human beings, we feel for others when they are experiencing hardships. However, just because we empathize with their situation does not mean that we should allow their situation to make us feel overwhelmed. If we allow their situation to burden us then we would never be able to be of assistance. There are times when we may cry with others, but we need to remind ourselves that the only way we can be of help is to remain focused and separate our feelings from the situation.

 

 

Twelve Things To Enhance Your Facebook Experience

Twelve Things To Enhance Your Facebook Experience

Are you tired of social media, specifically Facebook? Then you might just want to read this. I could sit here and think of all the things that can make using Facebook a positive experience; however, I just decided I would only do a minimum of 12 things to enhance your Facebook experience.

  1. If you think someone is throwing words at you on Facebook, that person probably is. However, you have a choice to or not to respond. If they did not call names then you had better learn to reply without calling names. Chances are you will get the message across if the initial word were for you.

 

  1. Learn to let your silence speak. Not everything you need to have a response for; if someone replies to your comment and it affects you, let it slide. Your silence will definitely speak more than your words. Besides, if you chose to respond there is a high possibility that the person will respond. If you have energy to use up, feel free to entertain them, otherwise save your energy, it is not worth it.

 

  1. Treat Facebook like you would your home. Lock your doors, open your windows and keep the curtains down. That way you can get to observe while at the same time pretending that you have no clue what is going on. In addition, just in case some unwelcomed visitor stops by, you can always pretend that you are not there.

Click this link to check out this post: Why Do We Blame Facebook

 

  1. Do not make it a habit of texting people on Facebook unless it is necessary. Every now and again, it is a good thing to check in, privately; however, your best experience on Facebook might be to take part in non-private conversations. That way people do not feel so edgy and skeptical about responding to you.

 

  1. If the person accepted your friendship request on Facebook, they are not doing so for you to run straight to their inbox and say thank you. While we value good manners, this may not be the best thing. Please beware that some people do not believe in instant contact. Rather, some people prefer to take things slow in getting to know others. With all that is happening around us, please respect th
    e individual‚Äės right not to engage with you, especially if you are a stranger.

 

  1. Do not get offended when someone does not respond to your message. The person may not have responded for whatever reason, but it is not about you, it is about them. Outside of Facebook, we all have a life. We also have those with whom we enjoy a good conversation, but there is also timing and the type of conversation.

Five Tips For Keeping Your Social Media Habits Healthy

  1. Realize that people lead other lives outside of social media. Unless it is an emergency, keep conversations short. If the person wishes to have an extended conversation, they will let you know. Some people, like me, do not enjoy long conversations on social media, hence in order to avoid a long conversation I would prefer not to answer in the first place (if I know you habitually love long chats).

 

  1. Do not let your sole purpose be to find a woman or a man on Facebook. Instead of searching desperately for love, why not join the conversation. Take part in the discussions that resonate with you and share stuff that you love so others can engage with you. Remember, Facebook is whatever you make it.

 

  1. Learn to entertain yourself on Facebook. Some people complain of boredom or of people ignoring them on social media. My suggestion to anyone who feels bored on social media is to find and share interesting and positive things. Chances are, the people who resonate with what you share will comment and join the conversation.

 

  1. If you are a woman, avoid men whose sole intention is to question you about your personal life. Relationships take time to grow. And, while we have heard of people meeting on Facebook and having great relationships, it is important to take things slowly. Get to know the person before getting too involved.

 

  1. Avoid unnecessary drama. I recall a man who messaged me on Facebook and seeing that he was born on the same date as me I responded to him. We chatted for a while then I said goodbye. Within the same day, the man was messaging me again. After I did not answer him, he proceeded to call me on Facebook messenger, to which I ignored. Then he preceded to text me to inform me that he is not a little boy. I very amazed by the way this man acted. In order to prevent future confrontations such as this I blocked him.

 

  1. Do not share people’s pictures on Facebook unless the person has some encouraging words attached to the photo. I have seen people who make it a habit to share other people’s photos. I for one feel offended when a man shares my photo, unless I have some positive words attached to the photo. Just last night I saw one Facebook user asking how they could delete her photo that one of her friends had shared. There are two things you can do, either make sure that you set your share settings to friends only, or report the photo to Facebook who will then give you further instructions as to if you want to ask the person to remove the photo, if you want to block the person…etc.

Four Things To Remember After A Storm

Four Things To Remember After A Storm

Life is one complicated heap of mess, or so it would seem for some of us who are experiencing overwhelming challenges. As I looked at the many videos on the various social media forums and news websites, I imagined how it is for those who are in the situation. A series of hurricanes including Harvey and Irma have done more destruction than I have ever seen in my time on this earth. My heart grieved for the people in the recent disaster that was Irma, who destroyed the beautiful Caribbean in a few days.

I looked in awe at the pictures of buildings that were completely destroyed passage of hurricane Irma. Most of the photos I have seen so far are from the islands of St. Martin, Barbuda, and the British Virgin Islands; however, I have listened to reports of damage from Anguilla, St. Thomas and a few other Caribbean countries. I have seen flooding in parts of the United States as Irma traveled across the land.

I was not there, but it did not stop the tears and the heartbreak  as I listened to the stories of people and what they did to survive. The sadness I felt as I watched thousands being evacuated from a place they have called home. The fear I felt for those in areas where looting and crime is alleged to have occurred. The concern I felt for those who did not have food to eat. Neither did it stop me from empathizing with persons who were in a state of worry as they tried desperately to get information about their loved ones.

I may not have been in a hurricane like Irma, but the struggle I have been through has been a personal storm of another type. The feelings of despair and hopelessness I had to deal with are like those resulting from any storm. Not to mention the discomfort and not having the resources you need to carry out the activities of daily living. The reality that I had to pick up the pieces and move on is similar to what has happened to those affected by this storm. As the reality of your situation sinks in, I urge you to consider these things:

  1. Your greatest gift is life. As long as you are alive and healthy, everything else is possible. Material things can always be replaced (I know, I had to start all over when I returned home without a job). Give thanks to the Almighty for life always. Amidst all of this destruction, I remain hopeful. Thousands of homes and the countries’ infrastructure are in complete ruins after this hurricane, yet I remain hopeful. For the persons who are very fortunate to have survived a category 5 Hurricane and lived to tell the story, I say to you that there is hope. You have life, which is the most important gift.

Managing Stress After A Hurricane

  1. In times like these, your true strength will be tested. When things are going smoothly in your lives, you might tend to feel strong and positive. However, when things happen and turn your world upside down this is when you need to have those feelings of positivity and hopefulness. In such situations as Irma has created, it is crucial that you change the way you see things. It is not what is happening or has happened to you, but rather how you respond to what is happening or has happened.

How To Rise Above Hopeless Situations

  1. As you struggle to find the meaning of this destruction, I urge you to take one day at a time. The Almighty did not build the world in one day, therefore, you will not meet the level of comfort that you once had in a day. Each day you arise, be thankful for the little you have, while taking small steps to improve the situation. Remember, some people did not make it through the storm. You have life, all else is secondary.

 

4. In all you do be kind to yourself and others. It is easy to become bitter or angry,  but do not be caught up in those feelings of selfishness.  It is okay to grieve about what has happened, however, do not get sucked in by your situation to the point where you are unable to cope.  Instead of grieving by yourself,  find ways of helping out around you.

People unite and help each other are more prosperous than people  who fight against each other. Let those of us who can, help those who are in need at this difficult time.

 

In life, so many things can happen to you, but one thing is sure…how you deal with these challenges will decide the quality of the life you live. It is either you choose to look at your circumstances and complain, or look at what is happening, accept your situation, and decide to take on the challenges before you.

One Surprising Use of Baking Soda

One Surprising Use of Baking Soda

Have you ever had a piece of clothing that whenever you washed it there was still a funny odor on it. Yes, some materials are like that; you would wash them, rinse them until the water is clear, and when they are dried, they will have a smell. For example, there are some underwear and bras which tend to retain the smell of sweat, even after you’ve washed them. Often times, these garments are made of other materials besides cotton.

Sometimes, fabric (clothes) softener such as downy and snuggle might hide the scent; however, this is not always the case. Whenever you have a situation, where fabric softener does not do the trick then you switch to baking soda!

Here are 51 uses of for using baking soda: Click here

Baking soda? Yes, you read correctly. Baking soda is one of those household agents that have many uses. Some of the uses of baking soda include baking, putting in foods such as peas and meat that is hard to cook, soaking your feet to remove dead cells and dirt, to mixing it with honey and olive oil for a nice lip, to get rid of unpleasant odor ¬†(shoes, clothes, refrigerator), for cleaning/mopping surfaces, scrubbing the toilet/bathroom…

Cracked Heels: The Secret Remedy is Found in Your Kitchen

Today, we look at baking soda‚Äôs use in removing stubborn odor from clothing and under garments such as bra and panties, boxers, shorts…

How to Use The Baking Soda To Freshen Your Clothes

  1. Full a basin/tub/bucket of water. The water can be warm or straight from the tap. For me, I use the water from the tap.
  2. Measure baking soda according to how many pieces of clothes and the amount of water. For me, a quarter cup of baking soda is good in a liter of water.
  3. Add the baking soda to the water and stir until most have dissolved
  4. Add clothes to water, making sure that the water is sufficient to cover the clothes.
  5. Soak for half to one hour
  6. Remove, then wash as normal, then rinse and hang in the sun to dry.
  7. If you are accustomed to using fabric softener, do not use in this instance. You want to make sure that the baking soda has gotten rid of the scent.
  8. Usually, the first wash removes the unpleasant odor. However, I recommend using this formula the next time you wear the garment.

How to Get Softer and Silkier Lps in Minutes

Please leave a comment in the comment section below when you have tried this formula. I would love to hear your feedback.

How To Get Over The Fear Of  Other People’s Opinion

 

How To Get Over The Fear Of  Other People’s Opinion

One of the things that keep us back in life is fear of other people’s opinion of us. In today‚Äôs society, when one does not follow the norm, they are often the target of much criticism and scorn. As a result, many of us are afraid of being our genuine selves. Instead of doing the things we dream of doing, we become paralyze with fear of what others will think if we act on our dreams. Sadly, some of us will rather conform to the norms and go to our graves full of regret. Today, I encourage you to break free of the shackles of other people‚Äôs opinion.

 

  1. Realize That You Are Not Perfect

As an imperfect human being, you will always make mistakes. But that does not mean you should continue to live in your safe shell. The more you hide from yourself is the unhappier you would be. Are you willing to live a life of unfulfilled dreams because of how you will look if, and when you make a mistake?

People: From Whence I Came,”That was Then, This is Now”

  1. Build Your Self-Esteem

People are always going to have something to say about you. For some, this will be positive, but for others, it may be negative. Regardless to what people think of you, it does not mean you have to let what they say affect you. And even if it did, you don’t need to show them that their opinions have power over you.

One thing I have learned is that the more people realize that their opinions of you affect you is the more they would attack you. Focus on building your self-esteem/self-confindence. Be very selective in what you respond to; so that when they spew their words of hate ,you would be able to laugh it off and continue about your day. There are some comments that do not deserve a response, when you respond you are more likely to show your emotions and give them the ammunition to continue attacking you.

suggested reading: Fear of Opinions Phobia ~ it is a very insigtful article

  1. Focus Your Eyes Ahead

In pursuit of your dreams, some people will try to distract you, but pay no attention to them. Solomon in the book of Proverbs gave the instructions to ~ ‚ÄúLet your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you‚ÄĚ Proverbs 4:25 and ‚ÄúGive careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.‚ÄĚ Proverbs 4:26. For me this verse is applicable applied to daily life. You are not in competition with anyone, but yourself. Never mind what others are saying. Use your energy to focus on yourself and your purpose. Keep pushing forward and do not let what they say distract you.

 

  1. Let Criticism Be Your Motivation

It is not an easy feeling when someone criticizes us. While some people are okay with criticism, most of us feel bad when we hear our shortcomings. We may even feel demotivated by criticism and make it prevent us from going forward.  In order to get past this, learn to take others’ criticism with a grain of salt. Reflect on what they have said and see where you can improve based on what you want to achieve.

“Don’t let the fear of other’s opinion drown out your inner voice”~ Steve Jobs

Always remember that not every criticism is well meaning. Some criticism are based on envy, and even when you are good at something there are some people who will still try to pull you down. In the end, you will have to be able to use your wisdom to determine the truth of the criticism and make improvements where necessary.

Three Positive Ways to Look at Disappoinment

 

Three Positive Ways to Look at Disappoinment

Disappointment is sometimes for the better
Disappointment is sometimes for the better

If you have lived long enough to be reading this blog, then I am certain that like me, you have also experienced some form of disappointment. Indeed, as long as we live, disappointments are bound to happen, but we should always remind ourselves not to take disappointments so disappointingly. Whether it is feeling disappointed about the outcome of a job, a relationship, an event, something we did or something someone else did, we can all relate to the word ‚Äúdisappointment.‚ÄĚ If it were possible, I am certain some of us would have removed this word from the dictionary and replace it with excitement, joy, fun, and every pleasant word which comes to mind.

Since there is no way to avoid feeling disappointed, have you thought about seeing disappointment in a new light? Will you consider making a mental effort not to feel completely devastated when something you were expecting turns out different from what you wanted it to be? When the moment happens, instead of immediately reacting and feeling like a victim , are you willing to take the time to process the situation and tell yourself it can only mean something bigger is in store for you? Today I share with you three reasons why you should not take disappointments so disappointingly.

Here is an article at  Psychcentral.com that is helpful in dealing with disappointments

  1. Disappointments Lead to Self-reflection

One of the greatest challenges for some of us is that of self-reflection. We are so busy living our lives and doing what seems normal to us that we often do not take the time to look at ourselves from a new perspective. In fact, some of us may be blind to our true selves because we never really take the time to get to know who we really are and who we want to be. We live daily without reflecting on the decisions we have made and the end results of those decisions. But, alas! Here comes big bad Disappointment! It comes like a monster, breathes down our throat and telling us, ‚Äúsorry for not turning out the way we wanted them to.‚ÄĚ Disappointment forces us to take stock of life! It helps us to be more realistic in our expectations, because not everything is going to turn out the way we want.

  1. Disappointments Are Guides to Different Paths

When disappointment rears its ugly head, our natural response is to get all worked up and rant and rave about how life sucks and to ask the question ‚Äúwhy me?‚ÄĚ But if we have not started before, today can be the day we change how we respond to disappointments. Instead of getting all worked up, we can take some deep breaths, just like the ones women in labor are encouraged to take. These deep breathing exercises will allow our bodies a good supply of much needed oxygen and enough time to slowly relax. Afterwards, when we are in a better frame of mind, we‚Äôd realize that the situation does not control you, it is the other way around. We‚Äôd see that somethings are just not in our control, but how we choose to respond is more important. Experiencing a challenging situation, read Think Twice Before Taking the Path of Least Resistance for some genuine insights.

 

In my early twenties, I can recall how disappointed I felt. Every job I applied for, I was turned down. I was 5 years out of high school, one child, and no job experience.  I was turned down for every job I applied for, because they needed people with job experience or of a certain height. At five feet and a half inch, I was not even qualified to be a police officer. But rather than take it disappointingly, I laughed my head off when they measured me in my three inch heels and told me I was still too short.

 

I really needed to be employed. But as I reflect on these experiences, I realized that had they not occurred I would never have been where I am today. Had they not turned me down, I would never have taken the path which lead me to a career which helped me discover my true purpose in life and what I really enjoy doing. I took a different path and enrolled in the registered nursing program. Later I pursued further studies in a field that I love so dearly…nursing education. Throughout my life I always try not to take disappointments so disappointingly.

 

  1. Disappointments Help Build Your Sense of Appreciation

Disappointment, though difficult to bear, in the moment we are experiencing it, can help us appreciate people and situations even more when we all is said and done. Imagine yourself in the fruits and vegetables’ market. You are desperate for some firm oranges to make a fruit salad. Each orange you pick up is over-ripe. The vendor is looking at you. You are trying to be pleasant, but you can’t help but feel disappointed. And it shows. Unfortunately, you have been picking up oranges after oranges without finding any firm ones. But, as you are about to give up your fingers came in contact with unbelievably firm oranges. You began to smile; you have finally found what you were looking for and are all set to make your fruit salad!

 

Sometimes, life can be compared to the orange scenario. Every attempt you make to improve yourself, you are met with some resistance.  Your relationships may start out wonderful then they go sour. After a while, you become sick and tired of being sick and tired. Just when you think that things will not get better, here comes your break through. Because you were so tired of all the disappointments, you appreciate when something great happens in your life. Sometimes, we ought to be thankful for the disappointments in our lives, because, had they not occurred, we would not really appreciate when something good happens to us. As we go forward, we should remind ourselves not to take disappointments so disappointingly.

Can you recall a time when you felt disappointed? What was the situation? How did things turn out later down the road? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section below.

 

12 Ways To Live Blissfully At Forty & Beyond


12 Ways To Live Blissfully At Forty & Beyond

Welcome to forty! That is what I intend to tell myself when I get there in another couple of months. Unlike some people who do not want to die, but dread the thought of aging, I am truly looking forward to embracing my forty.
This feeling of anticipation was not always there because when I was much younger I dreaded the thought of aging. In my 20s, I dreaded turning thirty and for a few years into my 30s, I dreaded turning 40 years old.
I think it was the physical and mental signs associated with old age that got me feeling anxious about the prospect of getting old. Almost everyone I know had this fear of aging. Therefore, I guess I inherited it. Then something happened. I realized that we wear our age better when we embrace it rather than denying it. Here are 12 ways that can help you live blissfully past forty.

1. Do Realize That Aging Is A Blessing Not A Curse

I realized that getting older is a blessing and not a curse. After all, if you did not get old it therefore means that you will die young. In addition, who wants to die before completing his or her purpose on earth? I for one was not going to wish aging away, because doing so may take me faster to meet the grim reaper. All the more reason to look forward to forty

2. Do Not Focus On The Aging Process

Instead of thinking about how old you are getting, concentrate on doing things with your life. One who is busy living surely does not have time to watch the appearance of gray hairs and wrinkles. Instead, one focuses on finding and doing things that makes oneself and others happy. Besides, the activity keeps you mentally sharp. Be curious, be adventurous and try doing something you have never done before. Read books, find new hobbies, simply explore! Make forty and beyond amzing!

3. Do Not Focus On Others

Make a decision that you are not going to care about how young other people are, because, your age does not determine how well you live nor how your life is going to be. Life is more about your ability to live, laugh, and embrace whatever comes your way. With your past experiences, being forty opens up a whole new world of opportunities.

 

4. Find Your Purpose

Life is finding that purpose for which you are on the earth and being busy in its fulfillment. Life is also about making that purpose a blessing to others. You also have a responsibility to show your successors that forty is not scary.

“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.”¬†~¬†C.S.Lewis

5. Embrace Your Spirituality

The material things in life will make you happy, but only for a while. However, if you embrace the spiritual side of life, this will bring you peace, comfort, joy and blend nicely with the good things around you. I think life is most definitely about embracing our spiritual being and living in a manner that is pleasing to the Almighty God and as such influencing others to emulate your actions.

6. Think About Your Legacy

What legacy would you like to leave behind? How would you like the people that knew you to remember you? At the end of the day, your age would not matter. How you lived your life is what really counts in the end.

7. Be Thankful For Your Life

What are the things you have done so far that you feel thankful? Think about those and if you do not like what you found, start making the necessary changes. It is never too late to start over.
As I near forty, I am thankful for every experience I have had. The good experiences have brought joy to my life and those around me, dear to me. Moreover, the bad experiences have made me much stronger than I have ever thought I would be.

Want To Age Gracefully? Avoid These 7 Things

8. Have A Small Circle Of Friends

There is no aging gracefully without having friends. Imagine how boring it would be if you had no one to have genuine conversations with…How would you feel hanging by yourself all of the time?
I am also thankful for the few friendships and people who have been a part of my life. For those who have stayed and for those who moved on.

Three Essentials For Living And Aging Gracefully

9. Think about You Greatest Achievement

What are your greatest achievements? What are the things you did that makes you feel most pride when you reflect on your life thus far? I have accomplished some material things. My greatest achievement was my ability to be a mother to my children and to help others; it is in these two things that I have found the most joy. The two things that have influenced my desire to be a better person are the love for my children and for people in general. I desire to be a better person and as forty gets closer, I have no problems saying good-bye to 39.

10. Take Care Of Yourself

No matter how much you try, eventually the signs of aging will appear. However, this should not stop you from taking care of yourself. Eat healthy as much as possible, pay attention to your grooming, and get some activity in your daily life. Change your style of dressing to suit your age and personality. Be elegant and graceful!

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”¬†~¬†Eleanor Roosevelt

11. Prepare For Retirement

If you have not been doing so, you seriously should consider saving for retirement. There is nothing like getting older and having to depend on others for a living. Studies claim that stress contributes to aging and diseases; as you get older, the threat of becoming ill will is even greater without adding money worries to the table.

Is Turning 40 Something To Celebrate?

12. Stop Thinking About What Others Will Think

As you age, you should get more confident and brave. You should not have to be walking on eggshells trying to please everyone else but yourself. As long as you are living with integrity and not doing anything illegal, you should not have to pretend to be someone else.

Have any suggestions for embracing and living blissfully past forty? If so, please share in the comments section below.

How To Rise Above Hopeless Situations

How To Rise Above Hopeless Situations

I was reflecting on something I heard in a video today and it resonated with my experiences and beliefs so much I had to write this blog. Often times, it is difficult for people in seemingly hopeless situations to see themselves as anything but what is currently happening in their lives. Whether it is family, relationship, financial, spiritual, or any other issue, there is always hope. Today I share with you my views regarding getting out of a hopeless situation

As someone with the hope of encouraging others to rise above their circumstances and hopeless situations, I realize that simply telling you what you need to do or not to do is not enough. If I want to help people, to get out of hopeless circumstances, I have to understand where they are coming from.

The Role Of An Encourager

As someone with the hope of encouraging others to rise above their circumstances and hopeless situations, I realize that simply telling you what you need to do or not to do is not enough. If I want to help people, to get out of hopeless circumstances, I have to understand where they are coming from.

I need to understand that if you were born in to poverty for instance, that it might be difficult for you to see past your current situation.

The great news is that many people have risen above their hopeless circumstances and have achieved more than even they could have imagined. In addition, because of the many stories that I have heard or witnessed, I know that it is possible for you or anyone to rise above a hopeless situation.

So, what do we do as people who want to help others? We take time to understand where the person is coming from and we use our lives as examples to let them see that even if it seems impossible they can do it too.  Sometimes, all someone need is a glimmer of hope in order to try.

 Reaching Out To Someone Who Feels Hopeless

I encourage you, if you are facing a seemingly hopeless situation, not to limit your vision to what is happening presently. Instead of focusing on what your situation is, look to the life of someone else who has experienced similar situations as you are experiencing. Look and see that they have risen above their challenges, despite everything that said they could not.

If you must, read as many success stories as you can. This will help to give you hope as you take the first step in transforming your life.

You Have A Choice

Always remember that life is not contained in a box. Even though you may have been born or is in a difficult situation, you have the power to turn things around. Tell yourself that if someone else can do what he or she did despite all the odds you can too. Remember, it is all in your mind. If you can see it then it is possible to achieve.

Here is an interesting article with great insight on How to Overcome Your Feelings of Hopelessness.

Are You Willing To Try?

Success at anything in life is not because of luck as some may think. Instead, your ability to achieve depends on your willingness to try, even when you do not see any signs that what you are doing will work. Anything thing you do, think of it as a seed that you have planted. Each day, concentrate on attending the seed. When you plant a seed, you expect that it would grow. In addition, your faith in its ability to become fruitful is what keeps you nurturing it each day.

You Are Not Alone

If you are a believer in the Almighty God, then know that you are not alone. Sometimes, you have to have a little faith and believe that God is with you. Even when you feel as if there is no hope, do not lose the belief that he will give you the tools you need to come out of your situation. Keep the faith even when you cannot see any physical means of overcoming your situation.

Nurture Your Dreams

Similarly, you must attend to the things you set out to achieve. At first, it will be all in your head, but you must develop the courage to take action. Moreover, each day, instead of sitting and wishing, you take action by doing the best you can to make that vision become a reality. Like the seed, a goal that you act upon and approach every day will eventually lead to success.

It may not be a big bang, but you will surely reap the benefits of what you planted. Keep working on the things that help you achieve your goal and if you do them long enough and approach each day with purpose and flexibility, your hopeless situation will slowly become hopeful. Remember, you have no choice in the circumstances you were born in, but you sure do have a choice as to whether you stay in it or create something better for yourself.

 

I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential.

Vandana Shiva

If you are reading this post and would like to share how you came out of a hopeless situation, I would love to hear from you. Please do so by leaving your comments below.

 

All the best in your future!

3 Tips To Overcome Anxiety About The e-Learning Environment

How To Overcome Anxiety About The eLearning Environment

I remember the first time I entered the online environment. As I surfed around the different forums, I felt anxiety building inside of me. All I could see were links leading to more links and everything seemed complicated. It was three days before the start of my first class and I felt totally out of place. I was 33 years old, had little experience with computers, and even less experience surfing the world-wide-web. In that moment of panic, I told myself, there was no way that I could go through this; this online learning environment was totally out of my comfort zone. As I sat there staring at the computer, I realized that I could not back out. It was too late. I had already paid for my first course and my books had already arrived.

If this sounds familiar to you, I urge you not to panic. You are not alone. I am here to help you. In this article, I give you 3 things you can do to help overcome your initial feelings of anxiety about the eLearning environment.

1. Reach Out To Someone Familiar With The eLearning Environment

From experience, I can tell you that there is nothing scarier than visiting the eLearning environment for the first time. This fear is further incited when you have very little or no experiences in technology. As you look around, you realize that you do not feel as prepared as you felt when you applied for the program.

Before you change your mind and quit: You are not alone, other people feel this same sense of anxiety in the initial stages of online learning. Instead, I urge you to reach out to someone who is familiar with the eLearning environment. It takes an individual who has eLearning experience to stave the anxiety of one who does not know anything about the eLearning environment and is feeling fearful or anxious.

I can recall my reactions back then, in my moment of anxiety, the first person I reached out to was the instructor for the class. I emailed the instructor and told him I felt lost, as if I was in the wrong place. He must have sensed my fear because he responded almost immediately. Even today, I still recall his words to me. He quoted a scene from the play Ophelia and Hamlet and encouraged me to be brave as Ophelia was in one of that specific scene, when she responded to her brother and father who had forbidden her not to see Hamlet.

This way of dealing with anxiety was very effective. My anxiety subsided as I went in search of the characters and the scene he quoted.

In another instance, a year later, I was the one calming down my work colleague who had called me for help. She had just started the exact online program that I was enrolled in, and she did not know where to start. I responded to her plea and showed her the basics. Soon enough, she was ready for her journey in online learning.

Do not be afraid to reach out and find someone who is willing to provide you the initial support that many learners new to online learning requires.

2. Take One Day At A Time

I know this point seems obvious. However, I cannot emphasize how critical it is to take one day at a time. The eLearning environment can feel like a roller coaster in the beginning. You have all these assignments coming at you along with the fact that you have not learned the basics of how everything works.

At first, you are going to worry about how you will make it through your program. Moreover, if you think too far ahead, this could keep you in a constant state of anxiety, which is counter-productive.

Instead, take the time to plan your schedule. You can use my 4 Tips To Help You Complete Online Assignments On Time as a guide. I promise you that after a couple of weeks in the program, you will start getting the feel of the eLearning environment and your worry will reduce.

3. Become Familiar With The eLearning Environment

Practice does make perfect. This is especially true for the eLearning environment. Because of your fear and anxiety, you may be tempted to visit the classroom only when necessary; however, if you really want to be successful, you will need to become familiar with the physical structure of the classroom as well as the structure of the assignments.

Take every opportunity you have to familiarize yourself with how everything works. Do not be afraid to click the endless links. Ensure that you know where the main links are. For example, make sure you can navigate the links that lead to the discussion forum, contact the instructor, course outline and materials, group forums, grading, assignments and criteria, as well as learning tools such as Grammarly and Turnitin.  As you continue to navigate these links, you will find your anxiety abating.

Final Word

If you follow these 3 steps, I have no doubt that you will have a smooth transition into the eLearning environment. If you have any questions regarding any aspect of this post please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below and I will do my best to respond as soon as possible.  As a former student or online learning, I am always willing to assist students. You can check this link for more articles on online learning.

Please note that I first published this article on elearningindustry.com

Other resources that can help you overcome your anxiety:

3 Ways To Maximize Your Learning As An Online Student

How To Maximize Your Learning As An Online Student

I too had my reservations when I started on my journey as an online student. I was so accustomed to being in a traditional class setting that I could not imagine how I could learn in an environment where I was basically responsible for my learning. If you are new to online learning or you are thinking of becoming an online student in the near future, this article is for you. As a former online student, I think online learning environment is just as effective being in a traditional classroom; however, you must take responsibility for your own learning. Let us have a look at 3 tips that can help you maximize your learning as an online student.

1. Make A Commitment To Read As Much As Possible

Read, read, read, as much as you can…because communication is done via writing you must develop a love for reading. Do not just read the required coursework; take the time to do some supplemental reading as well. As an online student, you want to make sure that you understand each topic so that you will not feel lost as the course and program goes on.

Always remember that as an online student, you are responsible for your learning. While there is a guide for each course and lesson, to make sure the basics are covered, how much you really learn is dependent on you.  Once you make a commitment and develop a study routine, you will find that reading comes naturally.

Utilize the classroom library when doing assignments and even for discussions. I have found that some of the studies are very helpful when searching for evidence to support your writing. Also, take time to read from the list of articles which can be found beneath the course materials. These articles are often marked as supplemental or suggested readings. While these are not compulsory, they are often helpful providing information that can help you further understand a topic.

2. Do More Than The Minimum Requirement

Where possible, do more than the minimum requirements for each assignment. From the very start of your program, develop a habit of frequently engaging with instructors and other students during the discussion periods. For example, if the basic requirement for weekly discussions is to respond to two student’s discussion posts, do not just do the basics, go the extra mile and read more of what is written by other students.

Often times, it is through the experiences of others that we get ideas and are better able to relate a given topic. On the days for discussion, set adequate time to engage in the topic being discussed. If you skim through the discussion posts you will lessen your chances of learning something new.

3. Where Possible Do Each Course Consecutively

If you can avoid it, do not skip your courses. Instead of skipping, delaying, or even rushing courses, do each course in the sequence in which it comes. Delaying a course might affect your learning because each course is normally a step up from the previous course. If significant time has lapsed between end of one course and commencing the next, you might need to review the previous course material in order to understand what the current course is all about. Doing courses consecutively also saves time because your knowledge would be fresh going into the next course.

Final Word

Online learning is just as effective as traditional learning once you the student is fully committed. Do not get in to the habit of idling because once developed, procrastination becomes a pattern. Develop healthy study habits and keep the momentum going. You will find 10 Ways to Engage Students in an Online Course helpful in helping you find ways of succeeding as an online student.

NB: this article was first published at elearningindustry.com.