Why is it so hard to study consistently, exercise regularly, stop using Facebook so much, stop (insert your bad habit here), (insert a good habit you'd like to have) frequently?
Why is it then to some people they seem so motivated and can study, work, exercise so much as if they have 60 hours a day?
The answer lies in habits. For better or worse, our lives are dominated and driven by habits, hence it is critically to take a good look at our habits, learn how they work, and how can we change them.
Before I give you the hows on changing habits, lets take a minute and have a look how habits works. This is from the book The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg, definitely recommend it if you like to learn more about habits!
It’s finally here! Introducing the Mastering VCE & Beyond series on Physics Unit 3: Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism based on the new syllabus!
It is on Early Release Sale currently so don’t miss the chance to get your copy and get ahead before school starts!
I've set out to write the Mastering VCE & Beyond notes series as I've noticed many textbooks and study notes never really explained clearly the concepts and how they are all connected. They just present them as facts and formulas, and throw in many of the same repeated questions.
In writing this notes I make sure all the concepts are explained clearly, where do all the formulas come from and how they are related, plus a wide of problem ranging from easy to difficult giving you ample practice to apply the concepts!
Mastering VCE & Beyond note series is written to excellent quality; I have been using these notes for my tutoring, and have constantly tested them out and refined them over a long time.
I can guarantee you'll really enjoy learning from them as much as I wrote them.
Let's be real here, mathematics have very poor reputation at being pointless and useless.
Pretty much any rant I've came across about learning useless things in school, math invariably is always the first one to be blamed; "Why should we learn math?", "What's the point of solving equations?", "When are we ever going to use the quadratic formula in life?".
However if you ask me, is learning math useful? I'll say "Oh yes! Math is one of the most useful subjects I've learned." Maybe I'm biased because I use math every single day of my life doing physics, and to a physics student, math is a tool (and a toy) that I use all the time.
Apart from using maths in my technical study of physics, I have also found math a very potent tool in real life. Knowing math sometimes feels like a superpower, where I'm able to see numbers everywhere, work with them, and listen to the stories behind the numbers.
For this article, I'll discuss why learning math is much more useful than we think, and how everyone of us can harness the power of math.
Some time ago I stumpled upon a question on Quora 'What is your best study tip?'. I've written a lot about study tips and giving advises, but this question really got me thinking.
Of course everyone have their own best study tip; the one trump card they have up their sleeves that gives them the excellent results.
With that said, after thinking about it for a while, here's my best tip:
Feel like times spent sitting in trains and buses are time wasted? Does long travelling time put you off? Then this article is for you!
Long travel times very often feel like time wasted, just sitting in a train, staring at your phone and mindlessly playing games or scrolling through the internet just to kill some time.
Fortunately that's not the case, as travel times can be made invigorating and productive. For this article I'll share some things you can do while traveling to make good use of it.
1) Reading Time
Time spent sitting on or waiting for trains is a great opportunity for reading. Very often when I have to go somewhere, I'll always carry a book with me. It's actually surprising most of my reading time comes from traveling in trains, and how many books I've read on buses and trains.
Naturally being on a public transport is not an ideal conducive environment to get any studying done. So keep reading light and informal.
This is why I usually reserve light reading on public transport, and save the deeper studying session that requires full concentration when I get home.
Not too sure what to read? Then check out The Nerd's Bookshelf for some awesome book recommendations!
Alternatively, audiobooks are a great way to spend your time travelling, as they require less concentration and easier to do.
Simply download an audiobook app on your phone, plug in headphones and you're good to go. Contrast this to reading a book, where you have to find a spot to sit down and try to concentrate.
Another thing I love about audiobooks is that you can listen to them while walking and doing other chores, which will be highly impractical for reading a book.
For audiobooks, I find that listening to them, as I usually listen to non-fiction, it's hard to retain the information, so don't expect 100% retention for it. I usually listen to an audiobook to get a rough idea of the book's content, then get the actual physical copy and read it in more detail.
Travelling times can also be a used to do reflection, a highly underrated study technique. Reflection can be done by simply thinking about the things we've learned, which is a very powerful way to solidly learning and deepen understanding.
How do we do reflection? There's no one rigid way to do it, as reflection is simply looking back and thinking through the things you've learned. Some helpful questions to ask when reflecting are 'Why is the concept I've learned the way it is?', 'Seeing the bigger picture, how is this concept related to other concepts?', 'How can I relate to the real world and apply it to the real world?' and 'Is there other ways to understand it?'.
By sitting in buses or walking, we can use the time to reflect on the things we've learned, to think about them, to gain a deeper understanding of the things we have learned, and to see the bigger picture.
Just be careful when reflecting too deeply not to miss your stop and walk into poles.
Had a rough and stressful day? Feeling really stressed out and overwhelmed?
Then travelling time can be used to just relax and calm yourself down. There are many ways to relax, and different people will do it different, but the two main ways I relax while sitting in trains are:
5) Mindfulness Practice
While travelling, it can also be great time to practice a bit of mindfulness by simply being clearing your thoughts and being present to the moment.
To be present to the moment; stop thinking about the past and the future, and just focus on the things around you. Take a minute and enjoy the scenery out the window, listen mindfully without judgement to the sound of the engine, embrace the emotions you're feeling, and be aware of the surrounding. This is a form of mindful meditation that can be done anywhere, anytime.
Practicing mindful meditation is a great way to relax and energise yourself. Usually being self-absorbed into our own thoughts and dwelling too much in the past and future can be draining to our mental energy. Not only is doing so tiring, it can be detrimental to our health.
There are numerous benefits in practicing mindfulness frequently, some of them includes:
If you're interested in mindfulness, I'd highly recommend reading more into it, and I'll be writing about mindfulness in the blog from time to time so stay tuned!
So there you have it, 5 ways to make good use of travel time, start doing them and you'll be pleasantly surprise that sitting on trains aren't such a bad thing after all!
Before we know it, the year 2016 just went by and it's 2017. I'm just going to say it have been one hell of a year!
For this blog post I'll be reflecting in the year 2016 and lay out some future plans for 2017.
Why is it that some people seem so confident at what they do even clearly their abilities aren't that great? For examples, simply look at failed auditions at talents shows for some cringe-worthy examples:
Likewise, why is that some people who clearly have the ability to do great things, but their confidence is clearly holding him back? For those anime fans, the character Armin Arlert from the anime Attack on Titan is a perfect example.
Confidence is the feeling of competency, the belief that one can tackle challenges based on their skill level. Confidence of course is skill specific; I'm highly confident in my physics knowledge, but totally unconfident in making art and designing buildings.
Ideally how confident a person should accurately match with their skill level. However very often in life, we often see such a mismatch. Over-confidence leads to frustration and disappointment; while under-confidence holds us back to achieve our best.
Why is this so and how can we improve our true confidence without going overboard?
I just finished the book Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and I got to say, it's a really profound and deep read. However this is also a challenging read which reflects Goleman 'a academic writing style.
In this book, Goleman explains the importance of social intelligence, and how it is often overlooked in society that places an utmost importance on IQ. Emotional and social intelligence are more important predicators of success and well-bing.
In an ever increasingly disconnected world, there is an increasing need for people with emotional and social intelligence, so it pays off greatly to cultivate it.
Social intelligence to put it simply, is our ability to understand other people's words and emotions. Empathy and compassion plays a vital role in social intelligence, and are important traits to cultivate to have healthy relationships.
Our social relationships has a much closer link to our biology than we think. Toxic relationships are as detrimental to our health as smoking or drinking, and healthy relationships are highly nourishing.
Hence Goleman urges us all to take social responsibility, to have compassion and look out for others, as we are all interconnected for better or worse.
In this book, social intelligence is shown to apply to virtually every setting; from relationships, work, teaching a much more. Making this book an invaluable read for everyone.
This book is definitely going into the Nerd's Bookshelf, and a highly recommended read!
Tomorrow's a big day for 2016 Year 12 students, with the ATAR official release.
Pretty sure emotions are running high; for some excitement and hope, while for some dread and apprehension. I went through the same emotional roller coaster back then, so I know the mix of excitement and dread before the big day.
Understandably completing high school and VCE is a very big milestone in life, as now you're step closer to adulthood, and hopefully a step up in your education.
Whatever your result may be, don't forget that you've done your best in the most intense year in high school, and don't forget the life and study skills cultivated in this hectic year. These skills cultivated will be highly valuable in your future endeavours, and never stop working on them.
Remember, just being to get past Year 12 and finish high school is a very big accomplishment, so feel proud of yourself!
No matter what your results are, don't let your results determine who you are, as it just a feedback in your performance this year. Ultimately it is the knowledge, skills, lessons learned this year that matters, and no matter what number you're going to receive tomorrow, always look into the future and strive to achieve the best you can ever be!
To those receiving your ATAR tomorrow, I wish everyone of you the best of luck!
There are plenty of really good study advises out there; ranging from structuring your study session, to how to take good notes.
I'm pretty sure you've heard a lot of that already (if you haven't, look them up! Here's one on how to remember quotes), so for this article I'd like to share 3 highly unconventional study tips that will bring your study game to a whole new level. I hope you're ready!