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9 Killer Tips to Become a Winner in Life

How and why you should become a winner in life!

Since ancient times, society has always praised  winners. Winning is and has become the central core of society , and everything that we do revolves around this one dynamic. And I just want to add a favorite quote “Winners never quit and quitters never win”.

The benefits of winning

Victory tastes very sweet and there are many advantages to winning, as the harder the win was, the sweeter the taste of victory is.  You start feeling better about yourself and you improve your confidence, you boost up your morale and your desire to win, becomes greater than the fear of losing.

 

So you ask how to become a winner?
Here you go – 9 killer tips to become a winner in life.

1. Set up specific goals, you need to know where you are going.

Imagine you are in a race, but you don’t know where is the finishing line, would you be able to win? No, you wouldn’t. That’s why you need a specific target, you need to know exactly what direction are you going in, and where  the finishing line is.  And learn to work towards something rather than working aimlessly.

2. You need to learn to take responsibility for your actions

You can’t blame others for your mistakes, and you can’t use excusesWinners are people that are self aware about their own mistakes, they understand that it’s their choices and decisions that brought them there. Winners don’t use excuses, they find solutions.

 3. Form a winning habit

Strange right? But that’s what you have to do. You have to form a winning habit, and habits are hard to develop. To form a winning habit, you need to start looking things at a different perspective, you have to look at them like challenges. You should try to challenge yourself daily, form a habit of doing every day something you couldn’t do before.

Winning is a habit, become a winner in life, vince lombardi quote

 4. Don’t be afraid to fail

You shouldn’t be afraid to fail, what you should do is learn to accept your failures as a lesson. You shouldn’t let failing demotivate you, you should get the best out if it, and that’s the lesson and you should use that lesson as a guide to help you win next time.

5.  Be eager to learn every day

Try to learn something new every day, read a book or meet new people or do something different. Because when it comes to winning, having more knowledge is basically power.

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The Importance of Maintaining Structure and Routine

The importance of keeping a routine in stressful times

Some people love to have a solid daily routine, while others shudder at the thought of having a predictable schedule. During times of great stress, however, maintaining structure and routine can help you feel more organized and in control.

Having a routine can be helpful at any time, particularly if you are trying to establish healthy habits, but these routines can be particularly important when aspects of your life feel uncertain.

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically altered many people’s normal routines, which makes it that much harder to cope with the stress that people are feeling.

A Sudden Lack of Structure

Many people are either working from home or faced with the prospect of an unknown period of unemployment. Those working at home may quickly discover that the constant isolation and lack of a normal schedule can be mentally taxing.

When people don’t have a routine or structure to their day it can cause increased stress and anxiety, as well as overwhelming feelings, lack of concentration, and focus.

— RACHEL GOLDMAN, PHD

A lack of structure and routine can actually exacerbate feelings of distress and make you pay more attention to the source of your problems. As Rachel Goldman, PhD, a psychologist and clinical assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine, explains: “If people don’t have structure and are sitting around with less to focus on, then they also probably will find themselves thinking about the stressful situation more, which can also lead to additional stress and anxiety.”

One way to get out of this cycle that promotes ruminating over the source of your stress is to maintain some structure and routine throughout your day.

The Benefits of Having a Routine

Research has consistently shown that routines can play an important role in mental health.1 One study, for example, found that routines could help people better manage stress and anxiety.2

Having a regular routine can help you:

  • Lower stress levels
  • Form good daily habits
  • Take better care of your health
  • Feel more productive
  • Feel more focused

Getting necessary tasks out of the way can also help you find more time for healthy behaviors like exercise and leave you more time to enjoy fun activities and hobbies.

Focus on Things You Can Control

Managing your own behaviors can help you feel more in control of the situation. Goldman recommends focusing on the things that are within your power to control.

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How to Be Happy

Behavioral scientists have spent a lot of time studying what makes us happy (and what doesn’t). We know happiness can predict health and longevity, and happiness scales can be used to measure social progress and the success of public policies. But happiness isn’t something that just happens to you. Everyone has the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships that can help set us on course for a happier life.

Read all of our Guides for Living Smarter.

Mind

Happiness often comes from within. Learn how to tame negative thoughts and approach every day with optimism.

Conquer Negative Thinking

All humans have a tendency to be a bit more like Eeyore than Tigger, to ruminate more on bad experiences than positive ones. It’s an evolutionary adaptation — over-learning from the dangerous or hurtful situations we encounter through life (bullying, trauma, betrayal) helps us avoid them in the future and react quickly in a crisis.

But that means you have to work a little harder to train your brain to conquer negative thoughts. Here’s how:

Don’t try to stop negative thoughts. Telling yourself “I have to stop thinking about this,” only makes you think about it more. Instead, own your worries. When you are in a negative cycle, acknowledge it. “I’m worrying about money.” “I’m obsessing about problems at work.”

Treat yourself like a friend. When you are feeling negative about yourself, ask yourself what advice would you give a friend who was down on herself. Now try to apply that advice to you.

Challenge your negative thoughts. Socratic questioning is the process of challenging and changing irrational thoughts. Studies show that this method can reduce depression symptoms. The goal is to get you from a negative mindset (“I’m a failure.”) to a more positive one (“I’ve had a lot of success in my career. This is just one setback that doesn’t reflect on me. I can learn from it and be better.”) Here are some examples of questions you can ask yourself to challenge negative thinking.

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Top 10 tips on how to study smarter, not longer

As a teen, Faria Sana often highlighted books with markers. “The colors were supposed to tell me different things.” Later, she recalls, “I had no idea what those highlighted texts were supposed to mean.”

She also took lots of notes as she read. But often she was “just copying words or changing the words around.” That work didn’t help much either, she says now. In effect, “it was just to practice my handwriting skills.”

“No one ever taught me how to study,” Sana says. College got harder, so she worked to find better study skills. She’s now a psychologist at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada. There she studies how students can learn better.

Having good study skills is always helpful. But it’s even more important now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students worry about family or friends who may get sick, Sana notes. Others feel more general stress. Beyond that, students in many countries are facing different formats for learning. Some schools are holding in-person classes again, with rules for spacing and masks. Others schools have staggered classes, with students at school part-time. Still others have all online classes, at least for a while.

These conditions can distract from your lessons. Plus, students are likely to have to do more without a teacher or parent looking over their shoulders. They will have to manage their time and study more on their own. Yet many students never learned those skills. To them, Sana says, it may be like telling students to learn to swim by “just swimming.”

The good news: Science can help.

For more than 100 years, psychologists have done research on which study habits work best. Some tips help for almost every subject. For example, don’t just cram! And test yourself, instead of just rereading the material. Other tactics work best for certain types of classes. This includes things like using graphs or mixing up what you study. Here are 10 tips to tweak your study habits.

1. Space out your studying

Nate Kornell “definitely did cram” before big tests when he was a student. He’s a psychologist at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He still thinks it’s a good idea to study the day before a big test. But research shows it’s a bad idea to cram all your studying into that day. Instead, space out those study sessions.

a kid sitting at a table studying and looking really stressed out
Cramming before a big test can leave you exhausted. But you’ll learn and remember material better if you space your study sessions over the course of several days.SOUTH_AGENCY/E+/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

In one 2009 experiment, college students studied vocabulary words with flash cards. Some students studied all the words in spaced-apart sessions throughout four days. Others studied smaller batches of the words in crammed, or massed, sessions, each over a single day. Both groups spent the same amount of time overall. But testing showed that the first group learned the words better.

Kornell compares our memory to water in a bucket that has a small leak. Try to refill the bucket while it’s still full, and you can’t add much more water. Allow time between study sessions, and some of the material may drip out of your memory. But then you’ll be able to relearn it and learn more in your next study session. And you’ll remember it better, next time, he notes.

2. Practice, practice, practice!

Musicians practice their instruments. Athletes practice sports skills. The same should go for learning.

“If you want to be able to remember information, the best thing you can do is practice,” says Katherine Rawson. She’s a psychologist at Kent State University in Ohio. In one 2013 study, students took practice tests over several weeks. On the final test, they scored more than a full letter grade better, on average, than did students who studied the way they normally had.

In a study done a few years earlier, college students read material and then took recall tests. Some took just one test. Others took several tests with short breaks of several minutes in between. The second group recalled the material better a week later.

3. Don’t just reread books and notes

As a teen, Cynthia Nebel studied by reading her textbooks, worksheets and notebooks. “Over and over and over again,” recalls this psychologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Now, she adds, “we know that’s one of the most common bad study skills that students have.”

In one 2009 study, some college students read a text twice. Others read a text just once. Both groups took a test right after the reading. Test results differed little between these groups, Aimee Callender and Mark McDaniel found. She is now at Wheaton College in Illinois. He works at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

Too often, when students reread material, it’s superficial, says McDaniel, who also co-wrote the 2014 book, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Rereading is like looking at the answer to a puzzle, rather than doing it yourself, he says. It looks like it makes sense. But until you try it yourself, you don’t really know if you understand it.

One of McDaniel’s coauthors of Make it Stick is Henry Roediger. He, too, works at Washington University. In one 2010 study, Roediger and two other colleagues compared test results of students who reread material to two other groups. One group wrote questions about the material. The other group answered questions from someone else. Those who answered the questions did best. Those who just reread the material did worst.

4. Test yourself

That 2010 study backs up one of Nebel’s preferred study habits. Before big tests, her mom quizzed her on the material. “Now I know that was retrieval practice,” she says. “It’s one of the best ways you can study.” As Nebel got older, she quizzed herself. For example, she might cover up the definitions in her notebook. Then she tried to recall what each term meant.

a girl explaining something to her mom
You’ll understand and remember information better if you can explain it to someone else. And if you can’t explain it, you probably don’t understand it well enough yet.KATE_SEPT2004/E+/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Such retrieval practice can help nearly everyone, Rawson and others showed in an August 2020 study in Learning and Instruction. This research included college students with an attention problem known as ADHD. It stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Overall, retrieval helped students with ADHD and those without the disorder equally well.

“Create a deck of flash cards every time you learn new information,” Sana suggests. “Put questions on one side and the answers on the other side.” Friends can even quiz each other on the phone, she says.

“Try to quiz yourself the way the teacher asks questions,” Nebel adds.

But really grill yourself and your friends, she says. And here’s why. She was part of a team that asked students to write one quiz question for each class period. Students would then answer a question from another classmate. Preliminary data show that students did worse on tests afterward than when the daily quiz questions came from the teacher. Nebel’s team is still analyzing the data. She suspects the students’ questions may have been too simple.

Teachers often dig deeper, she notes. They don’t just ask for definitions. Often, teachers ask students to compare and contrast ideas. That takes some critical thinking.

5. Mistakes are okay — as long as you learn from them

It’s crucial to test your memory. But it doesn’t really matter how many seconds you spend on each try. That finding comes from a 2016 study by Kornell and others. But it’s important to go the next step, Kornell adds: Check to see if you were right. Then focus on what you got wrong.

“If you don’t find out what the answer is, you’re kind of wasting your time,” he says. On the flip side, checking the answers can make your study time more efficient. You can then focus on where you need the most help.

In fact, making mistakes can be a good thing, argues Stuart Firestein. A Columbia University biologist in New York City, he actually wrote the book on it. It’s called Failure: Why Science is So Successful. Mistakes, he argues, are actually a primary key to learning.

6. Mix it up

In many cases, it helps to mix up your self-testing. Don’t just focus on one thing. Drill yourself on different concepts. Psychologists call this interleaving.

a photo of a young asian man studying his notes while lying in bed
Try to solve problems and recall information on your own. Then check to see if you’re right. Retrieval practice boosts your learning and memory, say psychologists.SOLSTOCK/E+/GETTY IMAGES

Actually, your tests usually will have questions mixed up, too. More importantly, interleaving can help you learn better. If you practice one concept over and over “your attention decreases because you know what’s coming up next,” Sana explains. Mix up your practice, and you now space the concepts apart. You can also see how concepts differ, form trends or fit together in some other way.

Suppose, for instance, you’re learning about the volume of different shapes in math. You could do lots of problems on the volume of a wedge. Then you could answer more batches of questions, with each set dealing with just one shape. Or, you could figure out the volume of a cone, followed by a wedge. Next you might find the volume for a half-cone or a spheroid. Then you can mix them up some more. You might even mix in some practice on addition or division.

Rawson and others had groups of college students try each of those approaches. Those who interleaved their practice questions did better than the group that did single-batch practice, the researchers reported last year in Memory & Cognition.

A year earlier, Sana and others showed that interleaving can help students with both strong and weak working memory. Working memory lets you remember where you are in an activity, such as following a recipe.

7. Use pictures

Pay attention to diagrams and graphs in your class materials, says Nebel. “Those pictures can really boost your memory of this material. And if there aren’t pictures, creating them can be really, really useful.”

 a diagram of a neuron
Pay attention to drawings, graphics, chart and other visual aids. Psychologist Mark McDaniel at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., says a diagram of a nerve cell helped when he studied neuroscience in college.COLEMATT/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

“I think these visual representations help you create more complete mental models,” McDaniel says. He and Dung Bui, then also at Washington University, had students listen to a lecture on car brakes and pumps. One group got diagrams and was told to add notes as needed to the diagrams. Another group got an outline for writing notes. The third group just took notes. The outlines helped students if they were otherwise good at building mental models of what they were reading. But in these tests, they found, visual aids helped students across the board.

Even goofy pictures might help. Nikol Rummel is a psychologist at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. In one study back in 2003, she and others gave cartoon drawings to college students along with information about five scientists who studied intelligence. For example, the text about Alfred Binet came with a drawing of a race car driver. The driver wore a bonnet to protect his brain. Students who saw the drawings did better on a test than did those who got only the text information.

8. Find examples

Abstract concepts can be hard to understand. It tends to be far easier to form a mental image if you have a concrete example of something, Nebel says.

For instance, sour foods usually taste that way because they contain an acid. On its own, that concept might be hard to remember. But if you think about a lemon or vinegar, it’s easier to understand and remember that acids and sour go together. And the examples might help you to identify other foods’ taste as being due to acids.

Indeed, it helps to have at least two examples if you want to apply information to new situations. Nebel and others reviewed studies on this in July 2019. Their Journal of Food Science Education report describes how students can improve their study skills.

9. Dig deeper

It’s hard to remember a string of facts and figures if you don’t push further. Ask why things are a certain way. How did they come about? Why do they matter? Psychologists call this elaboration. It’s taking class material and “asking a lot of how and why questions about it,” Nebel says. In other words, don’t just accept facts at face value.

Elaboration helps you combine new information with other things you know. And it creates a bigger network in your brain of things that relate to one another, she says. That larger network makes it easier to learn and remember things.

an illustration of a man driving a blue car
You’ll remember facts if you ask questions about why they’re so and how they fit with other things. For example, suppose a hungry man drove a car. Why might he do that?CENKERDEM/DIGITALVISIONVECTORS/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Suppose you’re asked to remember a string of facts about different men, says McDaniel. For example, “The hungry man got into the car. The strong man helped the woman. The brave man ran into the house.” And so on. In one of his studies back in the ‘80s, college students had trouble remembering the bare statements. They did better when researchers gave them explanations for each man’s action. And the students remembered a whole lot better when they had to answer questions about why each man did something.

“Good understanding produces really good memory,” McDaniel says. “And that’s key for a lot of students.” If information just seems sort of random, ask more questions. Make sure you can explain the material. Better yet, he says, see if you can explain it to someone else. Some of his college students do this by calling home to explain what they’re learning to their parents.

10. Make a plan — and stick to it

Many students know they should space out study periods, quiz themselves and practice other good skills. Yet many don’t actually do those things. Often, they fail to plan ahead.

Back when Rawson was a student, she used a paper calendar for her planning. She wrote in the date for each exam. “And then for four or five other days,” she recalls, “I wrote in time to study.”

a photo of a person running away from the viewer on a leafy path, zoomed in on the feet and lower legs
Build breaks for exercise into your study schedule too. Even a few minutes outside can help you perk up for more studying.HALFPOINT/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Try to stick to a routine, too. Have a set time and place where you do schoolwork and studying. It may seem odd at first. But, Kornell assures you, “by the time week two rolls around, it becomes a normal thing.” And put your phone somewhere else while you work, adds Nebel.

Allow yourself short breaks. Set a timer for 25 minutes or so, suggests Sana. Study during that time, with no distractions. When the timer goes off, take a five or 10 minute break. Exercise. Check your phone. Maybe drink some water — whatever. Afterward, set the timer again.

“If you have a study plan, stick to it!” adds McDaniel. Recently, he and psychologist Gilles Einstein at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., looked at why students don’t use good study skills. Many students know what those skills are, they report. But often they don’t plan when they intend to put them in action. Even when students do make plans, something more enticing may come up. Studying has to become a priority, they say. The team published its report in Perspectives on Psychological Science on July 23.

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WAYS TO FEEL CONTENT WITH YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW

Live your values

Have you been feeling restless, bored, or unfulfilled with your life lately? It happens to us all! Here are a few simple things to do when you want to feel calmer and more content with your life!

When your actions and thoughts are in line with your values, you are able to be your authentic self more easily. Being your authentic self is ultimately going to provide you with a greater sense of contentment.

What do I mean by values? Values are essentially what we care about most in life. They provide us with motivation, they give us energy and/or calm us down, and they give us a sense of fulfillment. Values are what drive you toward what it is you want out of life.

If you find that you are dissatisfied with life or constantly thinking about the future, ask yourself if you’re honoring your values in your daily life. If not, make a plan to honor them every day.

Not sure what your values are? Here’s an extensive list of values to choose from. Go down the list and write down any that pop out at you. The goal is to narrow the list down to about five values that are the most important to you. If you’re having trouble identifying your values, think about the things that make you feel motivated, passionate, fulfilled, and rewarded.

Related post: Are you a high-value person? Here’s how to tell.


Nourish your mind, body, and soul

Have you been feeling restless, bored, or unfulfilled with your life lately? It happens to us all! Here are a few simple things to do when you want to feel calmer and more content with your life!

I talk about this a lot on my blog, but it’s only because I legitimately believe it’s so important. If you want to feel more content with the way you are now, start taking care of yourself inside and out. Sometimes we stay focused on the future because we imagine ourselves healthier, slimmer, happier, etc., but the only way to get to that state is to take action right now. There are plenty of ways to take care of yourself, but here are some ideas:

  • 30 ideas to nourish your mind, body, and soul
  • 5 mindset shifts that make healthy living easier
  • 10-minute chair yoga for stress relief
  • How to start a self-care routine

Play up your strengths

Have you been feeling restless, bored, or unfulfilled with your life lately? It happens to us all! Here are a few simple things to do when you want to feel calmer and more content with your life!

We spend a lot of our lives trying to change what we don’t like about ourselves. If we aren’t changing them, we’re complaining about them. It’s hard to shake off the mentality that we have to be good at everything, but the reality is that everyone will have their weaknesses.

Rather than focusing on what I’m not good at, I’ve learned that it can be so much more beneficial and productive to continue developing my current skills and strengths. A great resource for discovering your strengths is this Character Strengths Survey (you have to make an account, but it’s free). Once you’ve pinpointed your strengths, think about how you can use them to the best of your ability. This way you can spend less time dwelling on the things you don’t like about yourself and more time living a fulfilling life by emphasizing the parts that you do like.

P.S. In case you’re nosy, my strengths are humor, love of learning, good judgment, social intelligence, and creativity.


Embrace your curiosity

Have you been feeling restless, bored, or unfulfilled with your life lately? It happens to us all! Here are a few simple things to do when you want to feel calmer and more content with your life!

We often repress our curiosity because we can’t see the value it might add to our lives. I know I’m always curious about other people, but I tend to shy away from asking questions because I’m afraid of coming across as nosy. There are also certain activities I’m curious to try like kayaking and paragliding, but something always holds me back from signing up for sessions.

If you’re feeling bored with your life, never downplay the power of curiosity. Asking questions and learning about new things can give us so many answers, even to questions we never knew we had. We can either embrace our curiosity or spend our whole lives wondering what it might have been like to talk to so-and-so or do this-and-that. Be curious about everything, and you’ll never be bored.


Start a mindfulness practice

Have you been feeling restless, bored, or unfulfilled with your life lately? It happens to us all! Here are a few simple things to do when you want to feel calmer and more content with your life!

A mindfulness practice is one of the best ways to cultivate inner peace and reduce stress. The definition of mindfulness is being present in the moment without judgment aka the ultimate way to find contentment wherever you may be. Mindfulness is about appreciating where you are without striving to change anything or make something happen. If you want to start enjoying your life more, try doing something three days a week that will help you to stop living in the past/future, whether it’s meditation, yoga, or a nature walk.

Related post: 5 ways to practice mindfulness when you don’t want to meditate


Reverse the negativity bias

Have you been feeling restless, bored, or unfulfilled with your life lately? It happens to us all! Here are a few simple things to do when you want to feel calmer and more content with your life!

We as humans have a knack for focusing on the negative. We make a huge deal about the things that go wrong in our lives, yet when something good happens, it has less of an impact on us. There’s actually something called the negativity bias which says we react to and learn from negative stimuli more intensely than positive stimuli.

To reverse this negativity bias, we need to focus on fully experiencing the positive experiences in our lives. When something good happens to you, try to really savor the moment. Write it down, take a picture or video, tell somebody about it – anything to keep it alive as long as you can. Feel it becoming a part of you. This doesn’t mean you need to suppress the negative things that happen, but rather give the positive things more attention.

Related post: 5 quotes to inspire a positive mindset


Keep a gratitude log

Have you been feeling restless, bored, or unfulfilled with your life lately? It happens to us all! Here are a few simple things to do when you want to feel calmer and more content with your life!

Often when we hear about expressing gratitude, we think of the people and things that we’re grateful for. Our friends, family, partners, home, car, food, etc. Of course it really does help put things into perspective when you think of your life without those things, but I would say to go even deeper when it comes to gratitude.

Think about your accomplishments, how you handled your day, how your own values came into play, which strengths you’re grateful for, what you’re proud of, what you’re excited about, and what’s good in your life right now. Most of the time we forget to be grateful for ourselves, so start giving yourself a little more daily self-love through a gratitude log.