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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.

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Best Things in Life That Are Totally Free

Flower, Flowering plant, Pink, Cut flowers, Petal, Plant, Bouquet, common peony, Flower Arranging, Floral design,

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Smelling fresh flowers

It’s a cliche for a reason. Because it’s the best thing ever! Taking a moment to soak up nature (even if it’s in a vase in your house) does wonders for the soul. Studies suggest that sniffing flowers can help improve memory, anxiety, and insomnia.

Macaroon, Food, Cuisine, Dish, Meringue, Ricciarelli, Powdered sugar, Sweetness, Dessert, Biscuit,

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Or smelling something baking

study in the Journal of Positive Psychology says baking boosts your wellbeing, which is all the more reason to make a few extra cookies for Santa — or yourself.

Child, Reading, Hand, Leg, Learning, Sitting, Finger, Baby, Foot, Play,

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Reading old children’s books

Revisiting the books you loved as a kid will surely put a smile on your fa

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Martial art

Martial art, any of various fighting sports or skills, mainly of East Asian origin, such as kung fu (Pinyin gongfu), judokarate, and kendō.

Martial arts can be divided into the armed and unarmed arts. The former include archery, spearmanship, and swordsmanship; the latter, which originated in China, emphasize striking with the feet and hands or grappling. In Japan, traditionally a warrior’s training emphasized archery, swordsmanship, unarmed combat, and swimming in armour. Members of other classes interested in combat concentrated on arts using the staff, everyday work implements (such as thrashing flails, sickles, and knives), and unarmed combat. Perhaps the most versatile practice was ninjutsu, which was developed for military spies in feudal Japan and also included training in disguise, escape, concealment, geography, meteorology, medicine, and explosives. In modern times, derivatives of some of the armed martial arts, such as kendō (fencing) and kyūdō (archery), are practiced as sports. Derivatives of the unarmed forms of combat, such as judo, sumo, karate, and tae kwon do, are practiced, as are self-defense forms, such as aikidohapkido, and kung fu. Simplified forms of tai chi chuan (taijiquan), a Chinese form of unarmed combat, are popular as healthful exercise, quite divorced from martial origins. Derivatives of many of the armed and unarmed forms are practiced as a means of spiritual development.

People in a gym in martial arts training exercising Taekwondo, the trainer has a black belt.
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Martial Arts: Fact or Fiction?
Earn your black belt in martial arts knowledge with this fact or fiction quiz!

The primary unifying aspect of the East Asian martial arts, which sets them apart from other martial arts, is the influence of Daoism and Zen Buddhism. This influence has resulted in a strong emphasis on the mental and spiritual state of the practitioner, a state in which the rationalizing and calculating functions of the mind are suspended so that the mind and body can react immediately as a unit, reflecting the changing situation around the combatant. When this state is perfected, the everyday experience of the dualism of subject and object vanishes. Since this mental and physical state is also central to Daoism and Zen, and must be experienced to be grasped, many of their adherents practice the martial arts as a part of their philosophical and spiritual training. Conversely, numerous practitioners of the martial arts take up the practice of these philosophies.

The 20th century witnessed a significant growth in the popularity of East Asian martial arts in the West, and both judo (1964) and tae kwon do (2000) were added to the Olympic Games as full medal sports. By the early 21st century a syncretic discipline known as mixed martial arts, which incorporated fighting techniques from various cultural traditions, had also achieved prominence.
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Top 10 Reasons to Learn Martial Arts

Learn Martial Arts

Top 10 Reasons to Learn Martial Arts

In the United States, martial arts are more popular than ever. In fact, did you know that it’s a 4 billion dollar industry?

If you’re considering martial arts either for yourself or your child, it’s a great choice! There are so many benefits to both your physical and mental health. But it can be tough to commit to something new.

That’s why we put together this guide with 10 reasons you should learn martial arts. Check it out below.

1. INCREASED CONFIDENCE

Increased confidence is something that martial artists of all ages enjoy. Whether it’s for you or your child, martial arts can help you improve your confidence.

Practicing, improving, and succeeding at a skill improves self-image and gives participants confidence that they can succeed in other areas and ventures.

In fact children who participate in karate or a similar martial art show improved confidence and even better performance in school. So, if you’re looking to improve your child’s self-confidence or yours, martial arts are a great activity to do so.

2. FULL BODY WORKOUT

Are you looking for a new form of exercise? Martial arts is your answer.

That’s because martial arts truly provide a full body workout. The consistent practice has shown to increase overall mobility, improve your body’s pressure response, and increase muscle.

Because so many martial arts involve repeat muscular actions over time you’ll build strength and burn fat. Who doesn’t want that?

Looking for a way to increase strength and build muscle quickly and intensely? Kempo can do it for you. It’s a full-body martial art that combines the athletic abilities of Karate, Judo, Kung-Fu, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is an ideal martial arts system to accomplish those goals.

3. INCREASED FLEXIBILITY

Repetitive movements like high kicks, low stances, fancy footwork, and ground maneuvering improve flexibility and mobility which will benefit your overall health.

Did you know that flexibility has many health benefits? Some of them include:

  • Improved posture

  • Better freedom of movement

  • Reduced muscle soreness and tension

  • Improved relaxation of mind and body

  • Reduced risk of injury

The multi-directional movement of Kempo makes it a perfect martial art for those who want to improve flexibility. If flexibility is your goal, try it out!

4. BETTER COORDINATION

All martial arts require spacial awareness and coordinating movement with another person. Some martial arts even include the use of props and tools.

All of these factors improve the coordination and awareness of the participant’s body as well as the people and objects around them.

Practices like Kempo encourage the lower part of the body to act as a base from which the upper body can maneuver and operate – this idea has been borrowed by many martial art systems including Krav Maga.

5. SELF DEFENSE SKILLS

One obvious benefit to learning martial arts is an improved ability to perform self-defense maneuvers in situations where there is a real threat.

According to recent data, an aggravated assault occurs every 43 seconds in the United States. Martial arts can prepare practitioners to defend themselves in life-threatening and dangerous situations.

This is great for you but also really great for your children as well.

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Top 10 Benefits of Chess

1. Chess has the power to bring people together.

Chess is one of the oldest games in the world dating back over 1500 years. The game of chess has evolved as it spread around the globe to the game we play today. As a result, this journey has brought people together from different cultures, ages, and backgrounds over a common bond and passion for the game.

chess brings ages together

Chess brings all ages together!

2. Chess teaches you how to win and lose.

Of course everyone likes to win, but it is just important to learn how to accept losing. As the saying goes—sometimes you give the lesson, and sometimes you receive the lesson! Most important, try to learn from those losses and come back a better player. Just as in life, we need to get back up when confronted with failure and come back stronger and wiser. Winning with grace is an important character trait that chess can teach a person.

chess mistakes

If you lose a game of chess go back and learn from your mistakes.

3. Chess helps children realize the consequence of their actions. 

The scholastic chess boom around the world has been on a steady rise over the last decade. More important than these children becoming great chess players or getting high ratings is that chess teaches children from an early age that their choices have consequences both good and bad. Thinking your moves through and trying to play the best move that you can is rewarding, while playing too quickly, and rushing your decisions can have negative repercussions.

chess for children

Chess can help children develop important character traits.

4. Chess helps you focus.

As Bobby Fischer said, “Chess demands total concentration.” A chess player can make moves like a grandmaster for 30 moves and then get distracted on move 31 and make an elementary blunder that loses the game! This intense focus is useful in everyday life when confronted with school assignments, daily tasks, and deadlines.

chess helps discipline and focus

Chess can help a person develop discipline and focus.

5. Chess is a great educational tool for schools.

Before, during, and after-school programs are extremely popular and for good reason. Chess is a low cost activity for children to become involved with right at their own school. Children of different ages, backgrounds, and special needs can all take part in a chess class or club.

chess and education

School chess programs create great opportunities for students socially, emotionally, and academically.

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Alone Vs. Lonely: How to Be Alone Without Feeling Lonely

Alone Without Feeling Lonely

Inevitably, there will be moments when you find yourself spending time alone, even if you’re part of an extensive social circle.

There are many different types of loneliness, but when it emerges from solitude, the experience can feel incredibly isolating; the line between being alone and being lonely can become blurred surprisingly quickly.

After all, no one wants to be alone 100% of the time.

Studies have shown that humans are inherently social beings. We need to interact with other people in order to thrive.

That said, studies have also found that there are benefits to spending time by yourself, even if you’re the world’s biggest extrovert.

Spending some alone time doesn’t have to be miserable, and it can actually lead to much-needed growth and reflection.

If you’re not sure how to make the most of your alone time, however, you’re not the only one.

We’ll explain the ways you can benefit from solitude and share the warning signs associated with spending too much time alone.

The Pros of Solitude

No matter who you are or what you do, solitude can be beneficial!

You can make the most of your solitude and stave off loneliness by appreciating the advantages of alone time, which include:

1. Time to Self-Reflect

It seems like there’s always something that needs to get done.

Between your career, personal life, and mundane activities that are just a part of daily living, finding time to take a step back and think about the things that really matter can feel impossible.

Self-reflection isn’t something that everyone necessarily enjoys or looks forward to.

Still, thinking about your life – without being influenced by anyone else’s thoughts or opinions – is important, especially if you want to implement changes or reach new goals.

Thinking critically about your own life will help you to determine what is and isn’t working for you.

It’s hard to make a change when you’re constantly moving. When you take a breath and realize that you’ve been feeling tired lately or you haven’t been able to pursue the things you love, you may be spurred to act.

Whether you’re someone who enjoys the process or not, there’s immense value to be found through self-reflection, and there’s no better time to do this than when you’re alone.

2. Opportunities to Explore Hobbies

Let’s be real – all work and no play makes you tired, cranky, and leads to burnout.

We all wish we had more time for our personal hobbies, but scheduling alone time is one of the best ways to ensure you actually get to participate in those pursuits – whatever they may be.

While there are some activities that are best done in the company of others, there are many hobbies that you’ll enjoy most when you’re by yourself.

For example, if you love watching certain movies that others don’t enjoy, you probably won’t want them sitting beside you – or constantly telling you how boring they find the film.

And if you want to try out a new hobby, you might prefer to do this alone, without the judgment of others.

Whether you love to read, go to the gym, or kick back and watch TV, doing what you love is fulfilling, and it’s important to participate in hobbies you genuinely care about – even if you’re by yourself.

3. Potential Health Benefits

Regardless of how you spend your alone time, solitude has the potential to affect your health in a positive way.

According to a 2006 study, adolescents who voluntarily spent time in solitude experienced a boost in their emotional state.

For adolescents, this can be particularly important since emotional regulation can be difficult at times due to puberty and the daily chaos of teenage life.

No matter your age, however, you could also benefit from some time spent alone, too.

By taking a break from outside stimulation, you’re able to press the “reset” button in your mind and calm your senses.

Taking just a little time for yourself every day is worth it for your emotional well-being!

The Cons of Solitude

Just as there are advantages of solitude, there are also some disadvantages. The cons of solitude can include:

1. Feelings of Isolation

One of the most obvious and common disadvantages of solitude is that being alone too often – or for long periods of time – can make you feel disconnected from others and the world around you.

As someone who has a tendency to isolate myself from others, especially when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I’ve realized that being by myself all the time isn’t helpful.

Sometimes I think I shouldn’t burden others with my “issues,” but logically, I know that there is give and take in every relationship.

My close friends and family are usually happy to talk with me and if they can’t do so right in that moment, they’ll likely be able to connect with me sometime later.

Instead of spending too much time in solitude, I’ve realized that there are instances when I need to turn to my friends and family instead of sitting alone by myself.

I’ve often found that spending time with my loved ones boosts my mood, particularly if I was feeling down to begin with.

2. Too Much Solitude Can Lead to Overthinking

Although there’s definitely a difference between solitude and loneliness, too much solitude can lead to over-thinking.

Self-reflection isn’t inherently a bad thing, as we’ve discussed, but when the majority of your time is being spent alone, it’s not uncommon for your thoughts to wander.

For those who are prone to anxiety, overthinking can lead to a spiral of stress-inducing thoughts. This can result in individuals avoiding alone time altogether.

Even people who aren’t frequently anxious may overanalyze the smallest facets of their lives if they’re spending time by themselves too often.

Picking apart every aspect of your life isn’t beneficial, but it can be hard to stop once you start, especially when you’re alone.

In Conclusion

Figuring out how to enjoy solitude isn’t always easy, but it is possible!

With time, you can learn to enjoy being alone every now and again, and you can take advantage of all the good things a bit of quiet time has to offer.