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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Where Have My Ideas Gone?


Ever wondered why sometimes you are filled with creative ideas and at other times, you feel like you are pretty brain-dead? Are you constantly looking for new and innovative ideas for your business or your projects? Here, I have complied ways you can get fresh and new ideas everyday.
Everybody loves ideas. Whether you implement it or not is another story. Sometimes we feel like we have a great idea. But when we try to recall it, it seems like it is gone. Some of us may have been out of new ideas for a long time. All we are merely doing is building upon past ideas we have had.
Being out of ideas is also known as having the Writer's Block. The fact is, we need to embrace and think of new ideas every time. Here are some ways where you can get new and fresh ideas.

1. Books
As simple as it sounds, reading a book can give you the idea you want or need. You may think you are using the author's idea. However, if the idea brings forth benefits and incentives, it is all that matters.Be it the fiction or non-fiction genre, you can craft out some great and innovative ideas out of it.
Unfortunately, some books can be detrimental as it constrains your thinking. I have read some books which I feel personally, is total rubbish. I barely made it through the first 2 chapters. I feel the authors are merely writing the books to earn money instead of doing it for their passion or to share their knowledge. In short, you know a great book when you read one and you will know a terrible book when you see one.

2. Breaking From Regularity
Everyday, we do things unconsciously. From brushing your teeth to taking a bus to work. From buying lunch to doing the laundry. All these things we do, we do it on a habitual basis. Fresh ideas can't flow in because we are basically using very little of our brain.
Next time you are performing the stuffs you do everyday, try doing it a little differently. If you have always brush your teeth with your left hand, try using the right for a change. If you have always ate the same few dishes during lunch time, try some new dish for a change. In that way, you will use more of your brain and tap into your creativity more easily.

3. Away From The Desk
Are you always trying to think of new or fresh ideas on your working desk? With all those piles of work waiting to be done, it is no wonder new ideas can't get in. Take the time off to go for a walk or stroll. It doesn't need to be in a fancy park. Just take about 10-15 minutes away from your work and explore your office building or around its premises.
Some of the greatest entrepreneurs and world leaders get fresh ideas every time. Wonder how they do it? Sometimes the greatest ideas strike them when they are in the air. Because when you are so many miles above ground, you feel like you are disconnected from the working world and environment. All personal communication devices are switched off and you can really have all the time to yourself.

4. Meeting New People
When you meet new people, you being to see things in the way they do. You being to have another view or perspective towards things whereas originally, you only had one view. Mingling with new souls is a great way to get fresh and new ideas because you begin to embrace things in life in a different way.
But also be extremely cautious of certain types of people. I am sure you heard of the pessimists or the energy-vampires. They could be out there with an ulterior motive. Just make sure you feel comfortable around the people you mingle with. Go with your gut feeling on how you feel about them. More often than not, your instinct will be right about them. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

5. New Pastime / Hobby
When was the last time you have tried on a new hobby or sport? Do you remember the first time you tried your favourite pastime or hobby? You probably didn't like it initially as you kept failing. However, relentless efforts to master it make you cherish the particular sport or hobby even more.
Embark on a new hobby or pastime. Struggle through the initial phase like you did before. Only then you will be able to tap into your creativity. Enhanced creativity is another way for you to get fresh and new out of the box ideas.
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Improving Your Memory for the Real-World Applications


Can a better memory improve your performance in an intellectual endeavor? The most obvious need for good memory is for absorbing large amounts of information, individual items of which are not always logically connected to one another. The syntax of a programming language may be a logical thing, but you still have to memorize hundreds of operators, attributes and many other things, with the same applying to the other exact sciences and even more so to the descriptive ones.

We also have to rely on memory during an early stage of a learning curve, when our [somewhat] limited knowledge of the subject-matter is still insufficient to see the logical connections.
There are great many offerings in the area of improving memory; the authors promise almost unreal things - "Never forget anything again!". But some people somehow have the concept of memory, which is removed from the needs of the real life; they think in terms of artificial tests and situations, which are of no use to the most of us. For example, I heard of a memory test, in which one listens to a sequence of numbers and then tries to repeat it in a reverse order.

Whatever are the merits of that test, an average person does not encounter such problems in real life.

Circus-like memory tricks are certainly entertaining to watch, competitors memorize "impossible" combinations of cards, as well as perform other feats. But can you get a good job with such memory? And the simple reality is that this type of memory has no practical value for those who hold normal jobs!
In the real world you need the type of memory, which is good for practical applications; and the memorization tasks in the real world can be made very manageable through organization, diligence, attention to detail, mental discipline, ability to maintain concentration, ability to merge with a productive process, as well as other aptitudes.

Imagine an engineering meeting, every member of the engineering team gets a specific task, but one engineer was thinking about something else and he missed a part of what was being said. If he starts bugging the project leader for information, that would produce a perfectly natural reaction - "Everything has been presented, how is it possible you did not get it? How can I entrust you with a part of this project if your ability to absorb information is at this level?"

The engineer, who has not been following the presentation, was unable to concentrate; maybe he was overwhelmed with some temporary problems and his mind was someplace else as a result; and even though this situation had manifested itself as a memory issue, its origins may be completely different, it could be lack of mental discipline, inability to maintain concentration, to name just two.
Demands for memory performance are different in various situations; in a static setting, something similar to when you have to remember product locations in a warehouse, the demands on performance may not be as strict, as in a dynamic one, such as monitoring an instrument panel and making decisions on the basis of readings.

A situation, where you interact with others in the process of gathering and sharing information, poses still another set of requirements on your "memory performance".

But the ability to maintain concentration is a universal aptitude, which is required for all kinds of tasks.

 It can be developed with the help of certain exercises and you will see the effect of improved memory, as well as the overall productivity of your mind.
There were a few professors in our university who had no problem with making a case if a student would present the material on an exam differently as compared to how the professor was presenting it.
What is involved here?

You can memorize how it was written in your lecture notes or you can learn the methodology of that particular formal method and produce this or that derivation by applying the process of logical reasoning.

The more "comprehension" is added to the process of learning, the more reliable that knowledge becomes.

Memorization by rote is the lowest-grade learning process, which is used by those who have difficulties understanding the subject-matter. It can be compared to the task of converting inches, yards, pounds, miles, degrees Fahrenheit into the metric values; you can try to memorize which factor to use for this or that "direction of conversion", or you can calculate it by using logical reasoning. Clear thinking here would produce much better results than blind memorization.

And overall, the only memory issues, that are worth considering are those, which are connected to the demands of the real world.

Below are a few examples, you can see for yourself if "memory-improvement" courses would be of any use to tackle those situations.

I have a permanent list of things I may need for a trip, I only need to adjust it for each occasion; without that list I would be trying to think frantically at the last moment if I took everything I need. And, of course, I always have a list of groceries with me when going to a supermarket. If I forget only one item out of ten, it is very good in terms of memory performance, but unacceptable in terms of organization.
Any productive activity requires that we take care of many things, and if we would be relying on memory to keep track of ISOLATED things, this would be planting the seeds of doubt and adding strain on the brain resources.

When I have to perform operations in logical sequence, I see no need in using "memory props", but the isolated items are a completely different story!

And overall, with bad organization, when we rely exclusively on our memory, we would be creating a situation when memorization process competes with the thought process for the brain resources. If I work on something that requires concentration and mental effort, I do not want anything allocated to my active memory, except what is related to the task on hand.

When I was working as a field service engineer, I forgot an item once, which I needed for repair; I had to come back from the customer location to the office, almost two hours out of life.
After that incident I have prepared several lists of what I need to take on a field service trip to various customers; there were no more "memory issues" on that job.
Organization is everything in such cases, that is why I am very skeptical about various schemes of memory improvement for the real-world problems.

Obviously, it is much better to have a good genetic memory, just as it is great to have high genetic intelligence, but whether or not it is worth the trouble of training your memory for the circus-like competitions, is another story.

For example, at one job I was spending about an hour on an average week putting things back to stock. It was not often enough for me to be able to memorize all those locations "naturally", and it was not worth the trouble to apply an extra effort to memorize them, it was much easier to resolve this situation through organization, to compile a list.

When I was working as a field service engineer, I was diligently making sketches of every printed circuit board (PCB) and other important parts of all instruments I was working on, there was simply too much to rely on memory.

If I replace a PCB, I have to reproduce all jumpers, positions of miniature switches, plug all connectors where they should go. I was not even trying to memorize it! What is the point? My priority is not to exercise my memory skills, but to finish the job as fast as possible and go to another customer.
By the same token, when I was taking apart the units that were coming for repair, I would put all screws and parts into a separate tray, and I check it before the final assembly. This way I could be sure I did not forget anything.

I often had to take over additional repair items from my supervisor when he was going away; he would tell me the status of various items, which were "on hold", and I was writing it all down; what is the point in relying on memory if you can make a quick note? This unit needs an approval from the customer to replace an expensive part, these ones are waiting for spare parts, another one is also waiting for a part, but we can take it from a used unit in our surplus stock.
These information items are isolated, why relying on memory if you can apply some diligence and write everything down?

I used to work for a CNC company, they use a standard procedure for checking whether or not any tools were broken during the machining cycle (six parts on a machining table). You take the LAST part and check ALL holes and ALL threads on it. If any one is not there or is not full depth, this means that the corresponding tool was broken. (obviously, the tool might break when machining the very first part, then you would have to keep checking from the last part towards the first to identify the rejects or the parts to be reworked). You then replace the broken tool(s) and continue.
And unless the operator is very disciplined about such things, he will be producing more scrap than the company needs to tolerate.
Is this a memory issue?

That CNC company was dealing with an outside consultant during the process of preparing for the ISO certification, but then he has forgotten to renew his license; (he did not fail the exams, he forgot to initiate the re-certification process with the regulatory body)
Is this a memory issue? I would call it a poor organization and a lack of responsibility.
I need two bus tokens every day, but I take five. I put them into different locations - pocket, backpack, wallet, all in small plastic bags to make sure I do not lose them. When I strictly follow this procedure, it relieves stress from my mind, leaving more brain resources for other things. If I forget tokens even once on a thousand trips, this is unacceptable performance from the point of view of organization, but very good if I would be relying on memory. I also keep one token at work, just in case.

Good organization does the trick, no memory-improvement courses are required!
When I was doing my nursing practice in a hospital, I had a patient who had to undergo a second operation to remove a surgical towel, which was left behind from the previous operation. There is a special nurse in the operating room whose only job is to count surgical towels and other items, which are temporarily placed into the operating site. That is her only responsibility, and yet she somehow managed to lose the count!
Is this a problem of memory or inability to maintain concentration?
And overall, learning the art of concentration, as well as other aptitudes, is a much better way of improving your memory.

Oleg Chmelev is the webmaster of
That site deals with the issues of intellectual performance and how to improve it
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Friday, June 7, 2013

7 Reasons Why People Succeed


Some people fail, and some people succeed. This is a fact of life. But why is it that some people seem to always hit their goals, while others work hard but can never quite get over the top? what is it that makes people successful?

There can be a lot of factors that can help to lead to success, and there are many paths to get to the top. However, there are some traits that successful people from a variety of fields always seem to possess. Here are 7 things that successful people seem to do different from those who can never quite make it.

They have the desire.

Motivational speaker Eric Thomas says, "If you want to be successful, you have to want it as bad as you want to breathe. Only then will you accomplish big things."
There are too many people out there who simply dream of success, but don't have what it takes to fully commit to achieving it. No matter what you want in life, you have to devote yourself fully to it in order to become successful. People who have already achieved great things know this, and devote themselves fully to what they do.

They have a plan.

Successful people know that it's not just enough to have the desire to do it, you have to also have a plan. Successful people don't let the day just happen, they happen to the day. They put together a plan and outline of what they need to do in order to move forward, prioritize their actions, and then carry it out.

The have a winning attitude.

If you're ever going to do big things, you have to be your own biggest cheerleader. Great people know that they need to find opportunity in every challenge, know they are capable of anything, and realize that no matter how daunting a task may be, success is always within reach. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will either.

They show enthusiasm.

Extraordinarily successful people almost always love what they do. Whether it's the competition, the ability to potentially change their niche, or just the love of building a business, the passion they show for what they do is often contagious. They not only love what they do, but they show the world this through their actions, and get others involved in the process.

They are continually learning.

The only thing constant in life, is change. The world is always changing and evolving, so people need to be able to adapt to those changes or get left behind. Successful people know they need to be on top of their game at all times, so self education is always a high priority for them.

They are efficient.

Successful people don't just work hard, they work hard AND smart. They know that certain actions they take are more important that others, so they either prioritize the order things get done, or they outsource the smaller less important tasks to free up their time to work on the big picture.

They give themselves time.

Nobody achieves greatness overnight. There are years of schooling and training to be the best at anything in this world. Successful people understand that great things take time, and they are willing to put in the work even if they aren't hitting their goals as fast as they'd like. They are willing to do this because they have faith in themselves, and faith in their plan.
Braydon McCarville is the chief storyteller at This website is dedicated to achieving success, making money online, staying motivated, and learning from those who've already reached the pinnacle.

Don't let the grind define you, define your grind!
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Monday, June 3, 2013

5 Easy Steps to Stimulate Your Creativity


Creativity is closely related with the critical thinking skills. It is commonly known as the tendency to recognize or generate ideas, possibilities or alternatives that may be beneficial in communicating with other people, solving problems, and cheering ourselves. This kind of thinking skill will let you process information more effectively and fruitfully.

Creativity is something enclosed inside every individual. It is a precious thing as it can lead to new solution and innovation. The advantages of being more creative will through all of your quests, giving you inspiration for new insights, new ways of doing things, and lightening your everyday tasks.
Our creativity can become easily dormant under a bunch of routine or it can be wearied by criticism or neglect. Fortunately, dormant creativity can be revived. Although creativity can never be quantified, while all of have various aspects of creativity, there are a number of ways to crank up your creativity. You can try these 5 easy steps to stimulate your creativity and see which work best for you:
  1. Accept that you are creative. This is based on the fact that everyone is creative and scientists have found that creativity is a good way to understand yourself better and to give balance in your life. If you do not allow yourself to be creative, then it is like denying part of yourself. The fact shows that being creative is good for you as it brings therapeutic and calm focus.

  2. Find your comfortable zone. Choose a spot that you can temporarily stake as yours such as a certain corner in the library, a quiet site in the garden, a certain desk in your house, or a rock close to the sea. Use the place as your thinking spot where you can have distance from the crowd. It is a place where you can freely sit, contemplate, and let the fires of your imagination on.

  3. Think differently and heighten your courage to be different. It is fine to be different from the average. Do not be afraid to ask and share your ideas. You will never know which of your ideas that can be rewarded as the creative ones by others. Just speak your mind and try not to prematurely judge your thought right or wrong. You can start this by sharing something that you are interested in the most.

  4. Welcome your imagination. Just allow your imagination to run wild by taking an idea, a problem, a hint, or a suggestion to all extremes. When outcomes arrive in your mind, exaggerate them either by magnifying or minimizing them. Just sitting around without using mind exercise will not make new ideas or inspiration appear. Instead, if you do the brainstorming, there will be some ideas that you can truly run with, which can bring you lots of lateral solutions that you had not have thought before.

  5. Encourage Fun. Creativity is less likely to grow in a rigid, pressured, overly-formatted condition. Encourage fun is a good way to give yourself outlets that can stimulate your creativity. For example, you can put a basketball hoop or hang a free-writing pad in your office. Do not appease informal discussion with friends or colleagues. Instead, it is recommended that you courage occasional surprise for yourself.
In order to foster your creativity, you should not limit yourself and should not be afraid to make mistake. Try to make changes as it will stimulate you to think outside of the box. However, since creativity aspect of every person is different, it is advisable that you can identify your area of strength and begin your attempts from there.
Stalis Ethica is an experienced article writer and a writer manager with science background. She specializes in writing informative articles in various niches.
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