Showing posts with label Cognition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cognition. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 January 2023

Navigating Life’s Big Decisions


Things are always changing. One minute you think you have it all figured out, and the next, you are struggling to make big decisions that could change the course you are on. For some people, making these big decisions can seem like a breeze. They can take a look at the options and decide without even slowing down. For others, these big decisions can be enough to derail them and may leave them frozen in their tracks. 

 

Everyone needs help when it comes to navigating the big decisions in life. No matter what crossroad you find yourself at right now, there are a few easy things that you can do to make sure that you navigate these big decisions with grace and ease. These include:

 

Be Gentle with Yourself

 

Even if the change you plan to make is a good one, it is still hard to accept and allow change into your life. You like the status quo, the way things have always been, and any kind of change, whether it is good or bad, can be a little scary. As you make some of the adjustments in life and move forward with that change, remember to be gentle with yourself and allow time for you to get used to it. 

 

Know Your Why

 

As you make some big changes in your life, it is a good idea to know your why and remember it. There may come times when you make big decisions when you will need to return to that why remembering why the change or the decision was so important for you in the first place. For many people, this why is going to be like a big compass as they try to navigate the unknown. Remembering the why can help them stay organized and will lead them on the right path as they go. 

 

Keep Your Routines

 

According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, a good routine is going to be imperative when you are going through major changes. This routine will help give you something to fall back on, something you can rely on again, ensuring that you won’t feel completely lost or in uncharted territory. 

 

You can choose the type of routine that you would like to do. Maybe you have a special morning routine that includes waking up, doing some exercise, taking a shower, and enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch. You may have the routine in the evening. You can choose how to implement a routine that gives you a sense of security as you try to get a lot done. 

 

Do Journaling

 

Processing your complex emotions in your head can be a challenge. Taking the time to a journal can make a big difference. There is no judgment when you write down your thoughts and emotions and no one else has to see the information. 

 

You can then go back through the pages and see how you are feeling and watch your emotions and thoughts change as the events in your life unfold. And in the end, you may see that the thing that caused you anxiety or made you upset in the past no longer has a firm hold on you. 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Whether you are excited about a change that is coming your way or you feel a lot of apprehensions, just know that others around you are dealing with the same thing. There are a ton of life decisions that you need to think about, but when you have a plan in place and give yourself some grace as you navigate it all, you will find that these life changes no longer have to be as scary and can lead you to something amazing in the end. 

 


Friday, 30 December 2022

5 Steps to More Confident Decision-Making


How do you make a decision? Do you know the steps?

 

If you’re having trouble feeling confident in your actions and wish you had an unwavering self-belief in your decisions, maybe it's time to look at your decision-making process. Decisions made impulsively or without careful thought might not always turn out the way you hope they will.

 

Of course, there's something to be said for instinct and even dumb luck. But what if good decisions were inevitable rather than occasional? Imagine for a moment how it would feel to know you're right before you even act.

 

This is because there are steps you should be going through when making a decision. Let’s take a look at those now.

 

Start With an Open Mind


Do you automatically have all the answers? Probably not. Some of your beliefs might be biased, faulty, or illogical. Accepting you might have things to learn is the first and most crucial step to making decisions. Take a step back from everything but the raw facts regarding what you're trying to decide. 

 

Get the Facts

 

Do you have all the information you need to make an informed decision? Are there things you need to learn? What about examining the options? Have you considered multiple solutions? Take time to put the work in to gather what you need to proceed with confidence.

 

Predict the Future

 

Once you have some choices in mind, try to imagine how they're going to play out. Sometimes what looks good might be a great temporary solution, but you're going to need to do something different in the long run. If you make a certain decision right now, ask yourself if this will still be a good decision in the morning? What about next week? Or next year? 

 

Get Another Opinion

 

Do you have a mentor or someone you can trust whom you could talk to about this? While you might skip this step on the small stuff, it's worth having someone you trust weigh in with their opinion whenever you make a big decision. They might see something you're missing. 

 

Act

 

Sometimes the hardest part of making decisions lies in making the actual decision. It’s tempting to go back over the research a few more times or keep looking for other alternatives. At some point, you’re going to need to act. Take your best solution and move forward with it with confidence. You’ve done all the work. Now comes the part where you put this newfound trust in yourself into action. 

 

The best part? The more you run through this process, the more confident you’ll feel about making decisions in the first place.

 


Decision Making Skills


Are you good at making decisions? The skill is natural for some people while others struggle to make even the most basic decisions. While personality types can play a role in one’s ability to make decisions, it’s also a skill that can be learned.

 

One reason people don’t like to make decisions is they don’t want to be held responsible for the outcomes. This reluctance is a defense mechanism as others may criticize you if you don’t choose wisely. It could erode the confidence others have in you regarding your ability to make decisions. However, you can take steps to reduce it from happening.

 

One of the main factors in decision making is confidence. Therefore, building confidence will help you make decisions. Others will also follow your lead as they will respect your confidence. When you make decisions with confidence, they have no choice but to recognize your authority.

 

Decision making requires finding out the right information. You won’t get far if you start making decisions without information to back them. You need to be informed when making your decisions which means you have a bit of detective work to do. You have to get as many of the facts as you can before making most decisions. 

 

Often, you won’t get all the facts you need for one reason or another. In this case, you will need to take a leap of faith and rely on your confidence when making decisions. That’s an unfortunate part of the process and one that makes people choose wrong directions sometimes. But, as long as you decide using the information you have available, you can defend your choice.

 

As part of the decision-making process, consider coming up with alternatives. List out all possible alternatives based on the current information. You can rate the alternatives on a scale of your choosing. This rating can help you when making the decision. You can choose a star-rating system or a percentage system (0-100), etc.

 

Another technique people like to use is to list out the pros and the cons. To do this, take out a blank piece of paper and write a dividing line in the center. Create the heading “Pros” on the left, and “Cons” on the right. Then, list out the pros and the cons. You can use this to guide you with your decision. Try not to make this process too mechanical as the list may contain several subjective items.



How to Overcome Bad Decisions


There is nobody on earth who can lay claim to never making a bad decision. People make too many decisions for them not to make bad decisions once-in-a-while. Hopefully, those decisions have little impact. However, there will be occasions where you make some that have big consequences.

 

It’s going to happen. You try to do everything in your power to avoid these bad decisions. Perhaps, the information you needed was not available at the time you made the decision. Or, someone gave you the wrong data, whether intentionally or not. It’s possible you made a rash decision without giving much thought to the consequences of the decision. Whatever the case, the result may turn into an unpleasant and stressful situation.

 

You need to face up to the consequences. Take ownership of the decision and don’t pass the blame. It’s possible you will have to deal with someone if they didn’t give you the right information or they deceived you in some manner. Their action may be the cause of the wrong decision, and you have to choose if you should let that person go as a result. However, if you were the one that was responsible for making the final decision, then the consequences of that decision rests with you.

 

Stay confident and don’t panic. Learn about what happened and why. Then, try to find ways to reduce the impact of your decision. If it is a business decision that costs your company some money, make sure you let your management know about it right away. Don’t try to ignore the problem thinking that management may not notice. They will be upset when a mistake costs the company money. But they will be even more upset if you don’t make it known in a timely fashion.

 

Don’t be afraid to talk to someone who may be able to help with the situation. It could be your boss or a mentor. They may be able to shed some insight into the situation. In fact, you could be blowing the situation out of proportion, and they will know how to get you out of it. But, they can only help if you give them timely information about it.

 

If the situation requires presenting your case to higher-level management, try to prepare alternatives on how to reverse the situation or reduce the impact. If these managers see that you have taken control of the situation, they may decide to let you run with the alternatives, although probably with a watchful eye of your manager.

 


What Is A Decision?


Some people contend, that in its simplest form, life is a series of choices. This is, in some sense, true. Except that it's not that simple, because life itself is not that simple. The complexity of life or, rather, living a life, means that the choices the average individual faces over the course of a lifetime are equally complex. These choices range from simple survival decisions (Should I eat that mushroom?), to difficult moral personal choices (Should I speak out against this injustice and incur increased personal risk?) Obviously, the one thing that all these decisions have in common are the option of choosing action and outcome. However, because the nature of these various actions, and their potential outcomes, vary wildly, no one strategy can encompass the process of deciding between them This is where an understanding of what a decision is becomes important.

 

A decision is, of course, the action of deciding something. A person faced with a choice, makes a choice. The most basic example of this is the proverbial fork in the road. When facing a fork in the road, you have the choice of going left or going right. You stop for a period of time while you think, then you decide to go either left or right. Once the decision has been made you take the path you've chosen. 

 

That's straightforward and obvious, right? To some extent, the answer to that question is yes. To a greater extent, however, the answer is no. To become a more efficient and more focused decision maker, you need to understand all the processes that went into making the simple decision above.

 

First, there was a problem. The path you were walking on divided into two. Second, there was the nature of the problem. Because the path divided, you were forced to go either left or right to reach your destination. Third, you needed to choose between these two options in order to continue. Fourth, you utilized your experience, knowledge and intuition to decide which option was best suited to your needs. Fifth, you actually made the decision. Finally, you, once again, began moving forward towards your destination based on that decision.

 

As you can see, the simplest of decisions entails a number of steps. In most cases, we handle these steps subconsciously, without really being aware of what it is we are doing. When the decision we are faced with is simple, this "autopilot" method of choosing isn't a problem. However, when more complex decisions need to be made, not understanding the process can give rise to difficulties.

 


How to Make Daring Career Decisions


People head to work each day and complete the tasks required of them. They do this day in and day out, even though it isn’t rewarding for most. So why do they do it? They like the security of having a steady paycheck.

 

There is more to life than a paycheck and many are starting to realize this. It could be that it’s easier than ever to start a business. Before the internet, the only real choices were a brick-and-mortar type of business. That is still viable for some. But, for others, an online business is the way to go.

 

Still, it can be quite scary to throw your entire career away to start up something new. Just because it’s easy to start a business today, doesn’t mean business is easy. The competition is growing daily. And, the competition is from people all over the world. Giving up the security of that paycheck is not a decision to be made lightly. 

 

One push for people to start something new is they are finding that their jobs are not as secure as they once thought. Layoffs and downsizing happen at regular intervals. Even people who survive the cuts will be expected to work harder and longer hours. Often, their salaries are reduced and bonuses are something for the history books.

 

People get to the point where they don’t feel secure and they resent having to do more work for the same (or even less) pay. This can give them the motivation they need to branch out on their own. The good news is many people can start these businesses on the side and continue to earn paychecks until their new business earns money. When this happens, they take on a new mental outlook of hope knowing that a better life is possible.

 

They also learn they can charge to coach others to do the same. This movement feeds off of itself as more dare to realize their dreams of owning their own business. It can be related to their field or they can branch off into something entirely different. Imagine getting paid for something you love! The possibilities are endless.

 

Don’t quit your job until you know what kind of business you are going to start and come up with a business plan. Also, seek out help from qualified people. You may have to pay some money upfront for their expertise, but it may be well worth the effort later.



Sunday, 12 June 2022

Tips To Study Better (Infographic)



6 Tips To Make Fear Your Friend


What makes you afraid? Is it losing someone you love? Or is it having to see your dentist? Maybe you fear thunderstorms or heights or elevators.

 

Whatever it is, fear is normal. It’s how our body warns us of dangerous situations and that we should be careful.

 

Yet, sometimes, our fears can become so great that they hold us back from living up to our full potential. They fill us with dread and uncertainty that we soon become constantly stressed and anxious over the smallest things.

 

Although surprisingly, fear, in its positive form, can actually be good for us. It can inspire innovative ideas and motivate us to reach new heights.

 

So, we’re here today to help you make fear your friend. Follow the six tips below, and you’ll know how to turn what was once your foe into an ally.

 

Let’s get started.

 

Identify the Source

 

This is probably the hardest step, but it’s absolutely worth it. But first, you need to come to terms with the source of your fear in order to overcome it.

 

Being aware of the root cause will be difficult in the beginning, but it’ll make you stronger. You’ll no longer live in the shadow of that big, insurmountable fear.

 

Embrace It

 

You’ve come face-to-face with your fear. Now, it’s time to embrace it.

 

But before you do that, you have to actually admit that such-and-such scares you. There are several ways to do this. First, you can either say it aloud, preferably to someone else in a natural setting.

 

You can also write it down in a journal or diary. The point is to get it out of your head and into real life. That’s when your fear loses its control over you.

 

It also feels better to get it off your chest and share it with the world. You’ll be surprised to know just how many people are just as afraid as you are.

 

Think Rationally

 

Fear makes us panic, and panic makes us do stupid things. In fact, studies show that when we panic, our prefrontal cortex shuts down. This is the region of our brain responsible for rational thinking.

 

So, case in point, learn how to think rationally despite your worries and panic. Make fear your friend, and you’ll be able to go a lot farther in life.

 

Take Stock

 

People deal with fear, stress, and anxiety in different ways. Some people like to be challenged and are great under pressure. Others find it better to work at their own pace without any tight deadlines looming overhead.

 

Whichever way you prefer, the important thing is not to let fear get the better of you. For example, say you’re afraid to speak in public. But then a colleague suddenly got sick and asked you to take over the presentation you’ve been preparing for weeks.

 

In this scenario, you have to pick whether you’ll let your fear overpower you or whether you’ll rise to the challenge.

 

The latter won’t be easy, but it’ll definitely be worth it in the long run. Be objective and tell yourself that others have held presentations before and have lived to tell about it. So, what’s the big deal?

 

Remember, your mind tends to blow things out of proportion. So, find a way to deal with the stress and take stock. It’s the only way you’ll be able to harness your fear and get the job done.

 

Find Support

 

No one ever failed by having a strong support system. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to do better. These are the people who listen to you when you’re venting about your fears and anxiety, and they still choose to love you unconditionally.

 

A lot of research has been carried out on the benefits of having a support system. It empowers you with good coping skills while boosting your self-esteem and overall well-being.

 

Moreover, a sound support system can lower stress, anxiety, and depression rates. 

 

Be Positive

 

Whenever you’re afraid, you’ll tend to focus on negative thoughts and emotions. But then, they fester in your mind and transform into this big, ugly thing that you can no longer control.

 

Why not try some positivity for a change? Remember, the mind is quite powerful; it just needs a small push in the right direction.

 

By thinking positively, you can overcome your fears and actually live to tell the tale! All you have to do is believe it, and everything else will fall into place.

 


5 Steps To Calm Your Mind And Increase Creativity (Infographic)



What Do Stress And Anxiety Look Like In The Brain? (Infographic)



Keeping Calm In Times Of Trouble (Infographic)



Hobbies That Help Calm Your Mind (infographic)



Monday, 6 June 2022

Avoid These 4 Creativity Killers


When you are trying to boost your creative intelligence there are things that you need to avoid to give yourself the best chance of success. If you don’t do this, it doesn’t matter how much time and effort you spend on using different creativity techniques you are not going to get the optimal results.

 

We call these 4 things creativity killers. You need to know what they are and you must avoid them. In this article, we will explain what these are and what you can do to avoid them. Some of them are easy to avoid and others not so easy.

 

1. Being in a Creativity Stifling Job

 

This is one of those that is not so easy to avoid. A lot of jobs do not require you to use any of your creative talents. The boss shows you how to do the job and then you need to follow these instructions forever until someone changes them. That someone is not going to be you.

 

In a lot of jobs, you will be actively discouraged from trying to come up with creative ideas and new ways of doing things. This is a pretty short-sighted thing for a business to do but it does happen a lot. So, what can you do if you have a creativity stifling job?

 

The most obvious answer is to get another job where you can use your creativity. We appreciate that this is easier said than done. If this is not an option for you then change your routine at work. Go out for lunch and find an area where you can be creative. Spend time with different people every day to get a fresh perspective.

 

2. Being too Connected

 

What we mean here is that you are so involved with everyone and everything you never have time for creativity. Every minute of every day you are busy doing something. If this is you then you need to change this right now.

 

Everyone seems to have a smartphone these days and they just spend too much time with it. It really is not necessary for you to respond to every notification you receive immediately. Look at different ways that you can disconnect yourself so that you can free up some creative time.

 

3. Copying others

 

You have been asked by your boss to come up with some new ideas for the company website. Most people in this situation will look at what their competitor is doing and suggest that this is copied. It is OK to look at the work of other creative people for inspiration but it is not a good idea just to copy them.

 

Anyone can copy someone else. It is the easy way out and you do not need to use any creativity to do this. Don’t just follow what others do – find inspiration elsewhere and come up with your own ideas.

 

4. Ignoring what others are telling you

 

This is something that a lot of entrepreneurs do because they are so focused on their own ideas. Not listening enough to others can happen elsewhere of course. When you listen to others you will gain a different perspective on things and be able to learn from their ideas. Don’t deprive yourself of this opportunity.

 


Using Mind Mapping To Develop Your Creativity


There are quite a number of tools available that will help you to develop your creativity but mind mapping is one of the easiest to learn and use. You will find that a lot of people with high levels of creative intelligence use mind maps all of the time because it really helps them to come up with those precious creative ideas.

 

One of the reasons that mind mapping works so well for the stimulation of creative ideas is because it is a visual tool. Your mind is able to process things a lot better with visuals so you need to take advantage of this.

 

Mind Mapping is easy

 

There is nothing difficult about mind mapping. All that you are doing is creating a picture with the thoughts that are in your head about a problem that you want to solve. You will find a lot of resources online that explain the concept of mind mapping and how to do it.

 

One of the best ways to learn mind mapping is through watching videos. YouTube is your friend here as there are many videos available on the subject of mind mapping. With these videos you can watch someone create a mind map from scratch and easily pick up on what they are doing.

 


You can Draw or use Software

 

In its simplest form, you can create a mind map with a pencil and a piece of paper. We recommend that you use a large sheet of paper as it is very easy to run out of space when you are drawing your mind map. You also need to leave some room for expanding your mind map as new thoughts come to mind.

 

There are many software tools that you can use to create mind maps if you prefer to use a computer to create one. Some of the premium mind mapping tools are very expensive as they have many bells and whistles. You do not need this to get started with mind mapping. Go for a free program such as Free Mind as it will do everything that you need.

 

How does Mind Mapping Work?

 

When you create a mind map you record your thoughts in one place. It is different to writing them all down as you want to use keywords or short phrases to represent your thoughts rather than long sentences.

 

You will start a mind map by adding your main goal to the center of the map. Always have a goal such as a problem that you need to solve. Then you create different branches from this which contain the different aspects of the problem or goal.

 

These branches are all linked to the central goal and you can have different tiers of branches. Anything that connects directly to the central goal is a tier one branch. Each tier one branch can have tier two branches and so on. 

 

Main Advantage of Mind Mapping

 

After you have added all of your initial thoughts about a problem that you want to solve to a mind map you have a very powerful visual aid that will help you to generate more thoughts. It is easy to see the “big picture” with a mind map as it is all there in one drawing. If you try to remember all of these thoughts you are very likely to forget some of them.

 


Sunday, 5 June 2022

What Really Is Creative Intelligence?


You may have heard the term “creative intelligence” before and never really knew what it meant. Well, in this article we will answer this and tell you about the 5 most common traits that people with creative intelligence have.

 

Creative Intelligence Definition

 

The truth is that there are a number of definitions about creative intelligence. It is vital that you understand that it is really about the mindset that you have and it is not some kind of method that you employ. When a person has creative intelligence, they see things in a different way to others.

 

Creative people are able to come up with new ideas and new ways of thinking. They are not constrained to mainstream thinking as most of the population are. A creative person will look at a situation and interpret it in a different way. 

 

Creativity is not just Imagination

 

While it is true to say that people with creative intelligence have a more powerful imagination than those that don’t, it is not all about being imaginative. A creative individual will have a different perception on things and will trust their intuition to come up with solutions to problems.

 

A creative person is always more curious than other people and they use their curiosity to innovate. They have resources at the subconscious level that they can call upon when they want to generate creative ideas and be innovative. Most people that have a high level of creative intelligence have the following five traits:

 

They Look beyond the Norm

 

Society tries to mold us into thinking in a certain way. A person that is creative refuses to be drawn in to this kind of thinking and will look for alternatives. They are not satisfied with the answers provided by the “status quo” and prefer to generate more diverse ideas.

 

Being more creative means moving away from the norm and this can be difficult as other people find this difficult to accept. You must get past this if you want to be more creative and learn to go your own way.

 

They Look beyond their own Knowledge

 

If someone has been doing something the same way for years it doesn’t mean that this is the only way, or indeed the best way, to do it. Creative individuals are prepared to look beyond the knowledge that they have and use their powers of curiosity here. They will never accept the adage of if something is not broken it doesn’t need fixing.

 

They Thrive on Ambiguity

 

Most people will do all that they can to avoid an ambiguous situation because it can be very stressful for them. The creative person deliberately looks for ambiguity because they know that it will provide them with a chance to be innovative. They are comfortable dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity.

 

They are willing to Experiment

 

Not every new creative idea is going to stack up so the person with high creative intelligence is willing to take more risks and experiment. Their intuition tells them that an idea is good but they will still test it through experimentation.

 

They are prepared to Mix it Up

 

Creative people know that they can generate the best ideas when they are not faced with the same routines all of the time. They are very willing to immerse themselves in situations which they are not at all familiar with. 

 


Make Brainstorming And Lateral Thinking Your Creative Friends


Once you have mastered the basics it is time for you to use more advanced creativity tools. Two of the best tools that you can use are brainstorming and lateral thinking. Brainstorming is definitely the easier of the two, but we encourage you to explore both of these tools to really give your creativity a boost.

 

What is Brainstorming?

 

It is likely that you have heard of brainstorming before. Many creative people use brainstorming as it helps them to collate all of their ideas for solving a problem and generate new ones that are creative. The concept of brainstorming is really simple to grasp.

 

You can use the brainstorming technique on your own or in collaboration with others. It is a good idea to do both. What you will do is to write down every single idea that you come up with without passing any judgment on any of the ideas.

 

The easiest way to perform brainstorming is to use large sheets of paper. You can then capture all of the ideas that you come up with on paper. After you have finished brainstorming, you can then evaluate all of the ideas and look to group them together if this is possible.

 

Like you do with mind mapping, you need to start off by writing your goal or defining the problem that you want to solve in the most succinct way. Then you just let your mind run free and just write down every idea you can think of.

 

Brainstorming in teams has always been a good bay to generate creative ideas. It is always good for you to get the perspective of other people and listen to the ideas that they have. Nowadays, a lot of brainstorming sessions are happening through video conferencing which is fine. As long as someone is responsible for recording the ideas and displaying them it will work.

 

There is a load of information about brainstorming online so you have no excuse. Be sure to use this excellent technique to help you generate more creative ideas.

 


How about Lateral Thinking?

 

Lateral thinking is tougher to master than brainstorming but it can be a lot more powerful when it comes to generating great creative thoughts. With lateral thinking you will be challenging the obvious. You will look at the perception behind the current way of thinking and come up with different approaches.

 

We all tend to think about things based on logic or our experience. This causes us to generate automatic responses when we are thinking about a problem. Lateral thinking forces you to break these automatic responses so that you can come up with different ideas.

 

There are four processes with lateral thinking that you need to learn and practice. The first of these is idea generation which is designed to help you break away from traditional thinking. Process number two is called “focus” and the concept here is that you will open up your mind to various other possibilities.

 

The third process in lateral thinking is harvesting and you use this to evaluate all of your ideas so far. Finally, there is the “treatment” process where you look to see if any of your ideas will be a good fit for the real world.

 

Take the time to learn and master brainstorming and lateral thinking as these are great tools which will help you to generate a lot of creative ideas.