Category Archives: Personal & Professional Development

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’s 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’s 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 ~ “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you” Proverbs 4:25 and “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” 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 “disappointment.” 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 av

oid 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, “sorry for not turning out the way we wanted them to.” 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 “why me?” 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’d realize that the situation does not control you, it is the other way around. We’d 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.

3 Valuable Lessons We Can Learn From The Little Red Hen

 

3 Valuable Lessons We Can Learn From The Little Red Hen

How many of us have developed the habit of reading? In this day and age where technology has made almost everything readily available, some of us have become very lazy to read. Many of the things available in writing are also available in videos. We no longer need to read the news because we now have access to news clips which tells us the basic details.

Technology has helped us in many ways; however, I personally hold on to some of the traditional things I did. For example, instead of just listening to the video in a post, I still have the habit of reading, as long as the alternative is available. I find that by reading I retain and listening to the videos helped me retain more of the message than just listening to the video. Also, some things which are missing in the video are often in the written message.

Check out this Video on my Facebook page where you can hear more insights of the lessons learned from Little Red Hen.

In today’s post, I reflect on how much reading has helped me. In my reading as a child I went to more places than I have ever traveled. And those that I have visited, I knew about them because I read about many of these places first. Not only did reading take me to places I have never been, but also most of the books I read helped build my character. One such book is the Little Red Hen.

Even after all these years I still recall the story of The Little Red Hen, and every now and again when things get difficult I remind myself of this story. My daughter, who is nine years old, becomes curious whenever I mention the little red hen. And then, once I mentioned that name, she makes me tell her the story…over and over again

Today, I want to share three lessons I learned from the little red hen while going through these challenging periods of my lives.

  1. The Only Approval You Need Is Your Own

Many times, we listen to what others have to say and if what they say contradicts our own thoughts we often become discourage. When we are pursuing our goals, some of are so accustomed to seeking approval that when we do not get it we fall into the frame of mind that if it is not approved it is not good. If you are seeking anyone else’s approval and not getting it from them, remember this one thing:

Do not depend on anyone’s approval to live your life. If you have a goal, idea, or a plan for your life, and you share it someone and that someone rejects your idea, this does not mean that you have to reject it. It is your idea, your vision. Keep your vision and work towards materializing it. Many times, we listen to what others have to say and if what they say contradicts our own thoughts and feelings we become discourage and give up.

 

  1. If You Are Waiting For Perfection You Will Wait In vain

Are there seed in your life that you want to sow but is hesitant about starting? More specifically, do you have an idea for something you want to do that you have been thinking about for some time but have not developed the courage to start?

Or do you have a fear that you do not have what it takes to do something you’ve always wanted to do?

You can visit this link for more practical lessons that can be learned from the Little Red Hen

You do not have to be perfect to start. Start anyway. The little redhead was not a professional farmer. But through sheer determination and a willingness to help herself, she was able to sow and reap from the grains she planted.

I had no clue what I was doing when I set out to do this blog. I was told by one so called friend that I was rushing things. I felt lonely. I felt overwhelmed, and those words of condemnation made me feel hopeless for a while. But, I was never one to give up. And so, despite my fears and feelings of inadequacy I started on this journey over one year ago. I am still learning but I give myself a little pat on my back for not succumbing to my fears and what others thought about me.

 

  1. Have A Plan For Your Life

If you want to live a fulfilling life you must have a plan for your life. The plan does not have to be perfect, but you must be able to say “this is what I want in my life.”

Your life may not be going too smoothly now but that does not mean that things will always remain the same. However, to ensure a better future you must make decisions and work towards carrying them out.  Like the little red hen, make it a priority to capitalize on your ideas, and plans, so that one day, the things you did will be of benefit to you.

Regardless to your circumstances now, it is never too late to develop healthy habits. And, one such habit is reading and encouraging others around you to read. You just never know where your next creative idea might spring from.

Please, I invite you to share your thoughts. Are there any character building stories that you have learned from?

Three Mistakes To Avoid During Times Of Adversity

 Three Mistakes To Avoid During Times Of Adversity

 

How do you deal with stress, challenges, or adversity?  There is no way we would and could go through life without experiencing adversity. So what do we do? Do we run each time we encounter a difficulty?  Alternatively, do we find a way to cope and to do so positively? Whether the source of our stress results from a relationship, work, social, or environmental issue, life is going to throw us challenges.

Five Things To Consider When Facing Life’s Challenges

Some of the challenges we encounter would be small, whereas some would be of a nature that threaten to overwhelm us and sap the energy out of us. When adversity comes knocking, we need to hold on to a few beliefs that will help sustain us through the process. In this post, I discuss some of the mistakes that people make when experiencing adversity. If you do not feel like reading you can always listen to the video  below for some valuable tips on dealing with adversity.

 

  1. Trying to Control The Issue

I think by now every adult, with soundness of mind, know that we are not always able to control what happens to us. Sometimes we create our own storms, and sometimes, things happen when someone outside of us failed to take responsibility.

Regardless of the cause of your situation, there is no point trying to control a situation that has gone beyond your control. You will find that the more you fight with the problem is the more pain it causes.

When things are not the way you want, you should be able to decide if it is worth fighting for, holding on, or letting go. I say, if you have done all in your power and the situation has not changed for the better, it is time to try something new. Sometimes, the something new is taking time to reflect, giving the problem a break, or seeking an alternative where possible.

Here’s a beautiful ariticle that suggests ways in whcih you can overcome adversities.

If you cannot change your environment, you can change the way you view adversity. In addition, as you change the way you look at adversity, you will find new ways of dealing with your situation.

 

  1. Looking at Your Life Based on Your Current Circumstances

Yeah, I know everything seem hopeless right now. You are looking at your circumstances and there seems to be no end in sight. You may have been in the situation for months or even years and nothing seemed to have changed.

Think of your situation as a cloudy sky. Imagine that you woke up one morning to find it was raining and the sky covered with clouds. Nevertheless, as you go through the day, the rain stops and the cloud passes to reveal a beautiful blue sky… this is how life is. This is how your circumstances operate. If you keep the faith long enough and do what you know in our heart to be right, you will make it through whatever adversity you are facing. Moreover, you will grow through your situation.

Is there something in your life that is causing you discomfort? Is there something in your life you know you need to change? Do not wait for things to magically change, instead create a vision of what you want your life to be like and work towards that vision. Always remember, you are more than your circumstances and once you change your mindset, your circumstances will change.

  1. Letting Your Circumstances Dictate How You Treat Others

Sometimes, if we are not careful, periods of adversity can cause us to become bitter. However, you must always be cognizant that there is no room for bitterness if you want a fulfilling life. Besides, bitterness  only adds to your already challenging situation, if you let those feelings consume you.

I have found that whenever I am facing adversity it brings me more peace when I extend a helping hand to someone less fortunate. Always remember, that there are people who are in situations far worse. Today I challenge you to keep your heart soft and in a good place. Practice helping others through your pain. When you focus on helping others, you have less time to dwell on your circumstances. In addition, there is much joy to be experienced from making someone else’s day than sitting at home in the victim mode.

Please share this video to help inspire someone.

7 Things To Consider For Successful Online Group Experiences

7 Things To Consider For Successful Online Group Experiences

 

 

If you are just starting out in online learning, you may be thinking what I thought some years ago when I was in your position. I secretly hoped there would never come a time when I will have to do group assignments, because I thought being in a group was very challenging. Do not be discouraged; being in an online group has its challenges, but it can also be fulfilling if you and your team approach the group in a positive manner. In this article, I discuss 7 things to consider for successful online group experiences.

1. Do Not Be Afraid To Take The Leadership Role

As an online learner, you might find yourself in a group where no one wants to be the leader, because being the leader is automatically associated with having the majority of the workload. This latter thought was proven wrong when I entered my first online group assignment. For, as much as I was not the leader, I ended up taking over the majority of the work because the leader was happy to delegate.

If you are one of those persons who think that being the leader of a group means you will get the majority of the assignment workload to handle, I hope my experience has placed another twist on things. I hope that the next group assignment you are involved in you will not back down from being the leader just because of the workload. Whether or not you are the leader, as long as you are a person who takes the initiative, is serious about maintaining a high GPA, and is serious about learning what each assignment is intended to teach you, I assure you that taking the leadership role might be in your own best interest. For not only will you develop some courage as an aspiring leader, but also you will learn more about the assignment that a person who just contributes their share of the work and does nothing else.

2. Organize Online Group Meeting Times Ahead Of  Time

You might be scared of taking on the role of the leader; however, if you are a person who loves to meet deadlines and worries when there is lack of progress in the group, then you have another reason to be the leader. As the leader, you will have the opportunity to show your strong points in terms of organizing things. For example, one of the challenges of online learning is that almost everyone works full time, has a family, and other obligations.

There is also another challenge of living in different time zones. For these two reasons, it should be a priority to set the date and time for meetings so that everyone who can be there can have enough time in which to organize around their other commitments. At the same time, because of the time zones, it may not be possible for every member to be present: The group members should give consideration to these members. On the other hand; these members should not take their time zones difference as an excuse not to do their share of the assignment.

3. Set Goals For The Group Meeting /Discussion

When the meeting is set, members should begin sourcing resources for the assignment so that each member brings some useful information to the discussion. Each group member should become familiar with the criteria and instruction for the assignment. The goals for the meeting should be about what the group hopes to accomplish in terms of the number of questions on the assignment. This preparation will save time when the meeting day comes, as everyone would have already become familiar with the objectives of the assignment.

Goal setting prior to meeting times also saves the time that is often lost during the communication process during online meetings. While there are times when a group chat will occur without any glitches, there are other times when time is lost because the chat room malfunctions. In the event that this happens, the group should not suffer too badly if they had their goals sorted out prior to the meeting.

4. Be Punctual And Encourage Punctuality Among Members

This point ties in somewhat with the point above. Punctuality should be exercised whether or not it is online or traditionally classroom. Oftentimes group members have other things taking place, and if someone shows up late, this could upset the plans of another member who is on a tight schedule. Respect your time and expect others to respect your time.

If you are in an online learning group meeting and more than one member is present, do not cancel the meeting for that reason. As long as you had prepared prior to the meeting, you and anyone else present can go through the resources and start the meeting/objectives. Those who show up late will fill in and read the chat to get an idea as to what was going on.

5. Set A Date For Submission Of Information From Each Person

One of the things online learners should keep in mind is that successful online group experiences go hand in hand with the overall performance of the group. If one member fails to deliver, it affects the entire group’s performance. Failure for members to submit their portions of the work, within reasonable time, can result in conflict within the group.

In addition, imagine how you would feel nearing the due date for an assignment and having no idea if the group will be able to submit the assignment on time. Therefore, setting a date for everyone to submit their portion of the assignment will relay those fears and force everyone to commit to the deadline.

6. Assign The Final Organization Of The Paper To A Group Member With Great Organizational Skills

Whether or not you are the online group leader, it is each person’s responsibility to ensure that the person who gets to put the assignment together is able to do so. In addition, if that person fails to deliver, there should be another person willing to finish and change accordingly.

I can recall my experience in a group where one other person volunteered to put the assignment together. However, when the person submitted the assignment for the group to review I felt a few conflicting emotions. I looked at the assignment, looked at the objectives and criteria, and looked at number of pages in the document. The final document was many pages above the stipulated pages. The assignment was due for submission the following day and there was very little time in which to make the corrections. I submitted my recommendations and after a few hours and no one responded, I went ahead and edited the document.

7. Be Prepared To Deal With Conflicts And To Do So Professionally

I was not going to add this final point, but I realized not doing so would not complete these tips at all. I can recall an incident where one group member became upset and unkind in words to me, because I took the initiative and edited the final document that this group member submitted. The online group member created more pages in the document than was allowed for the assignment: Had we submitted the document as it was, we would have lost marks. Everyone saw that the changes were necessary; unfortunately, this group member could not see past her personal feelings.

The lesson I wish for you to take away from this scenario is that, within online groups, there will be conflicts even without you intending to cause such. Sometimes you will need to act regardless of how someone else feels. What you do or do not do may result in an unpleasant situation, but the choice will be yours to make. Whatever you do, always remember that you do not always have to respond in kind to someone who behaves unkind towards you. Maintain your professionalism at all times.

Final Word

I first published this article on elearningindustry.com. Do not let this article scare you. It is possible for you to have positive online group experiences despite the many challenges. Every group experience is different: From each of the experience that you have you will learn something new. We all have our differences, and once we come together for a common goal we must take certain things such as mentioned above into consideration so that everyone comes out better than they were in the beginning of the online group experience.

Helpful resource: Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment

Why Seeking Revenge Is Not A Good Idea

 

 Why Seeking Revenge Is Not A Good Idea

At some point in our life, someone is going to hurt us. Sometimes, this hurt may not be of a physical nature, it might be mental or emotional pain. Nevertheless, hurt is hurt, regardless to the form in which it comes. Whenever someone hurt us, we have a natural tendency to want to seek revenge. This is especially so for someone who has experienced mental or emotional pain at the hands of another person. For example, let us say you are in a relationship and your partner cheats on you, instead of walking away or perhaps trying to salvage the relationship you decide to get even. However, this does not have to be if you look at the long-term effects of seeking revenge. I urge you to consider these three things before going down the path of seeking revenge.

 

Seeking Revenge Holds You Back

A person intent on seeking revenge has little room for self-growth. The time you should spend doing something productive you waste it by thinking up what you want to do to the other person.  You go to bed at nights, wake up in the mornings and all you can think about is how you can get back that person for what they have done to you. As a result, you never seem to move forward as you are stuck in a constant emotional or even physical battle with the other person.

Think about it… do you think it really benefits you to be wasting so much time on something that does not add value to your life? Is it worth it to keep fighting?

Seeking Revenge Prevents You From Healing

Sometimes we see people who constantly battle and we wonder why they do so, even when neither seems to get any positive results. For example, it is common to see people seeking revenge in a relationship that has ended or is on the verge of ending. One partner does something wrong and the other constantly seek ways of retaliating in order to get even.

 

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green” Francis Bacon 

 

If you engage in constant battle with the person who wronged you, you will never heal. Instead of seeking revenge, take the time to reflect on the mistakes you have made; figure out the lessons, and how you can take what you learned to improve yourself. Do not waste time obsessing over how you can hurt the other person. In your quest to get even with the other person, you will keep your emotional wounds open.

 

There Is A Chance That You Might Get Hurt

When someone does you something wrong, that person is likely to be on the alert because he or she expects you to seek revenge. Because the person is expecting you to retaliate, he/she will be ready for whatever you are planning.

Beware, not everyone responds the same to an act of revenge. Some people may strike back, even if they did you wrong in the first instance. Thus, plotting revenge actually increases the likelihood that you will get hurt physically.

 

Final Word: learn to let go Instead of seeking to hurt the other person

Seeking revenge does not have any advantages. Even if you think there is an advantage, the consequences of revenge far exceed any advantage that there might be. The biggest problem in personal retaliation is that you not only hurt the other person, but you can also hurt yourself by exposing yourself to danger, if the other person decides to respond. You can deal with a situation in which you felt you the other person treated you unfairly by letting it go and moving on. I know this will hurt, but I can guarantee you that it would be better hurting now, for a short period, than to continually live in conflict with another person. Here is an article, Why We Should Leave Revenge To Karma, that has some helpful insights on seeking revenge and the consequences of doing so; click this link to follow.