True Love is Scary

Featured photo credit: Getty Images

By Azugbene Solomon

Falling in love with someone is one of the most beautiful things in the world, but what fairy-tales don’t reveal is that it is S C A R Y!

It’s actually one of the scariest emotions I have ever felt and all it takes is one person to make you feel it.

Just ONE person. The right person. YOUR person.

I believe that we all have a soulmate in this world and fate will lead you to them no matter what. Once you reach each other, nothing can stop you. Every couple has their rough patches but when you find your other half, nothing can come between you. It’s you and them against the world.

Nothing is scary than falling in love. You learn to depend on this person more than you can depend on yourself. Your happiness relies on them and vice-versa. You can’t imagine your life without them in it and they become your favorite part of every day. Your best self has it’s arms around them. You’re happiest when you’re with them and the feelings the give you are indescribable. They’re overwhelming.

When you feel yourself beginning to fall for a person, it’s the scariest thing in the world. You want to make sure that they know you love them with every fiber of your being. At the same time, you don’t want to become so obsessed that you scare them away. You don’t want to express how your feeling if it’s not 100% mutual.

Why we are Scared to Fall in Love

1. Why Fear Love?

With all the pop culture shenanigans pushing us to believe that love is the answer to everything in life, we have been victimised. The love songs, the romantic movies, the poems that praise her beauty, the novels that promise you eternal rain, and the changing of seasons. Everyone and everything seem to be playing the fool with our poor hearts. But what you really need to understand is that love besides being an idea, is also a very scary idea. How on earth are you to devote your life to that one person, and then again be an ardent devotee, one who never fails.

2. Being Vulnerable

Letting ourselves fall in true love is an act of letting ourselves go lose. This means we are at our vulnerable best, and all that matters is the feeling of being wanted and the feeling of being safe in each others arms. There is a great amount of trust that we put in our better half, and we completely depend on them. There is the fear of getting hurt and it is believed that the more you care, the more are the possibilities of getting hurt.

3. Past Hurts

We are in the fear of getting hurt and this is because we get reminded of past relationships. We look at our relationship and get scared when there is any sign of a past relationship. We get paranoid and start to over think, and this then leads to doubt in our heart. All this can be really stressful.

4. Sense of Insecurity

There is a constant fear that the love of your life would be with someone else. This fear of insecurity can drive one crazy, and can lead to problems. No one wants to get hurt at the end of it, and there are so many fish in the sea that one cannot possibly be that his or her lover would reamain would be forever their own.

5. Level of Feeling

Often we have seen how the level of feeling differs between a man and a woman. It so happens that when you love someone you tend to keep that person by your side and care for him or her the most, but that level of feeling and intimacy may not be shared by him or her. Therefore, we again get scared regarding the outcome of giving our heart, mind and soul to a person completely.

6. An Impending Doom

Love makes us feel so nice, it makes us feel wonderful. Everything else looks futile and we are at the top of the world when we are in love. It is sheer joy. This also has a flip side. If things do not turn out the way we want it to then we can be in for a real shock. It would be as good as the end of days for us, and it is definitely a horrible feeling. We are scared that things may not turn out all that great in the end.

7. Breaking an Old Connection

When we get into a relationship we tend to break away from our family, this happens in an emotional level and not physical level. We become autonomous individuals who are starting to live our own lives and are working to make our own family, and this could mean detachment from the initial family. It is breaking away from an old identity and creating a new one. But wise individuals would know how to strike a balance.

8. Being Consumed

If your love is true and deep then you would probably have consumed each other emotionally. This fear is one of the most important ones to look out for. At times you may feel so much love that it can amount to craziness and you would then want to set free, you would want to run away and be all by yourself.

9. Scared of Losing

The most common fear is the fear of losing this person whom you have decided to love so dearly. There is every chance that things will change and will not be as great as it once was or now is. Therefore, one thing that every one fears is the fear of losing in love.

10. Scared of being Trapped

Love often makes us feel like we are trapped with this one person, and the only job we have left to do is to love this person. Everything else seems to be null and void, the only ambition we have in life is to be with this person, each day of our lives. This could feel like a trap and could keep you under wraps, never really opening your life up.

Reference
1. Falling In Love Is Scary theodysseyonline.com
2. The Fear of Love m.onlymyhealth.com

Mentoring The Youth Matters

Adolescents Mentoring Program

By Azugbene Solomon

We understand the benefits of mentoring young people when we hear the powerful stories of teens whose lives have been changed by a single, caring adult. If you listen, those stories are everywhere. Like me, you likely have a story of a mentor from your own youth.

What we know about mentoring is that it matters to positive youth development. Now, one of the largest mentoring studies ever conducted continues to support this thinking and links mentoring to a reduction in bullying.Mentoring creates positive impact in youth’s lives. Youth with mentors have higher rates of high school graduation and are less likely to drop out of school. They find more self-confidence, self esteem, and are able to create big goals for themselves. Additionally, studies show that behavior, attitudes, and relationships improve when a youth has a mentor. Mentors help children grow and close the social and/or economic opportunity gap.

According to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, children at risk who had a mentor were:

  • 55% more likely to enroll in college

  • 52% less likely to skip school

  • 37% less likely to skip class

  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly

  • 90% interested in become a mentor themselves

  • 130% more likely to hold leadership positions

Youth who had a mentor also showed a better attitude towards school.

Regular meetings between mentor and student saw that youth were:

  • 46% less likely to use drugs

  • 27% less likely to drink

  • 81% more likely to participate in extracurricular activities

Youth also showed less depressive symptoms when they met regularly with their mentor.

While meeting a student or child once or twice a month may not seem like a huge impact, mentors are creating positive change in the lives of their students. Mentors become someone that youth look up to and trust; and youth may see their own dreams in their mentor. Being a mentor is a rewarding experience that allows us to be the person our younger selves needed.

A five year study sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada found that children with mentors were more confident and had fewer behavioral problems. Girls in the study were four times less likely to become bullies than those without a mentor and boys were two times less likely. In general, young people showed increased belief in their abilities to succeed in school and felt less anxiety related to peer pressure.

Mentoring relationships with youth are complex and there is more to be learned about what makes them succeed, particularly when mentors are matched through organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and other kinds of nonprofits. In my own research with teens who became engaged citizens, all of the young people in the study had naturally developed mentee-mentor relationships with adults sometime during their middle and high school years. None were matched by organizations. Nonparent mentors – teachers, clergy, and civic leaders – were highly instrumental in how these teens learned to believe in themselves and tackle challenging goals – much like those in the Big Brothers Big Sisters study.

Six Qualities that Make You a Good Mentor for Youth

Most studies have focused more on the effects of mentorship on youth and less on what adults actually do in their role as mentors. But in my interviews with more than 40 young people who were mentored by adults, some common and important themes emerged.

Young people agreed that you are more likely to influence their life path if you possess the following six qualities:

1. You are Supportive

By far, the most important role of a mentor is to support and encourage young people, particularly as they struggle to overcome obstacles and solve problems. When young people feel down, upset with their families, or unhappy in their life situations, mentors are beside them, letting them talk about anything and reminding them of their innate value.

2. You are an Active Listener

Mentors listen first and speak last. Many teens mentioned how little they feel listened to by most adults. Often, they feel inferior even when they have good ideas. But mentors are different. They always listen, even when they are not obligated to do so.

3. You Push — Just Enough

As parents can attest, most teens don’t respond well to being pushed out of their comfort zones, particularly within families. But teens really like to have high expectations set for them – both academically and personally. They appreciate when mentors push them beyond what they may have imagined they could accomplish. In fact, this is likely the reason why mentored youth from disadvantaged backgrounds are twice as likely to attend college.

4. You Have Authentic Interest in Youth as Individual

Teens can tell the difference between adults who are authentically interested in them as individuals and those who are just playing a role. Mentors engage youth to understand all aspects of their lives and interests. They value young people’s ideas and honor their changing feelings and moods.

5. You Foster Self Decision-Making

Good mentors don’t judge young people or impose their own beliefs on them. Instead they remind teens who they are and help them believe they have the insights to make good choices. Knowing they are not being judged helps young people think through decisions critically, sifting through the deeper values that will inform the adults they become.

6. You Lend Perspective

Adult mentors provide perspective to young people from their additional years of life experience. When obstacles seem overwhelming, mentors help put those challenges in perspective. They also help young people see both sides of a situation, helping model the skills of positive skepticism.

What other qualities make good mentors for young people? How can we provide mentoring relationships to all teens? Please share your insights and experiences.

Reference
1. Bu Community Service Center: The Importance of Youth Mentorship

2. Psychology Today: Mentoring Youth Matters by Marilyn Price-Mitchell Ph.D

Are You In a Verbally Abusive Relationship? (And What to Do About It)


By Carol Morgan


“Shut up!!”“Don’t be so lazy!!”“What’s wrong with you?”

These types of phrases frequently come out of people’s mouths every day. So, is there really anything wrong with saying them? I mean, we have all said some of these things ourselves – or at very least had these thoughts.

But is it verbal abuse?

It depends.

You might think it’s obvious if you’re being a victim of a verbally abusive relationship. It may be to some people, but others may not recognize it.

For example, if you grew up with parents who talked to you (and each other) respectfully, then you will probably be able to spot verbal abuse a mile away. I’m like that. I don’t even like if someone slightly raises their voice to me. I will politely call them out on it and ask them to calm down.

However, if you grew up in a family where there was a lot of yelling, fighting, and screaming, then you might not be able to recognize verbal abuse when you see it.

Why would that be? It’s because that pattern of communication is “normal” to you. It’s your comfort zone. It’s what you grew up with, so it’s all you know.

But just because it’s familiar to you, that doesn’t make it right. Verbal abuse is NEVER justified in any situation.

Let’s start off by looking at some general characteristics of verbal abuse.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. What is a verbal abuse?
  2. Examples of verbal abuse
  3. What you can do if you’re being verbally abused
  4. Final thoughts

What is a verbal abuse?

Verbal abuse can basically be described as any communication event that causes emotional damage to at least one person. If this pattern continues, it has the power to seriously damage the victim’s self-esteem and self-worth. They may even begin to believe that what the abuser says about them is true.

While verbal abuse is always hurtful, it’s not always overt – like angry outbursts. Sometimes it is covert such as making very subtle negative comments here and there.

Above all else, verbal abuse is meant to manipulate and control the victim.

Now that you know the definition of verbal abuse, let’s take a look at some examples so you can recognize it if it happens to you or someone else you know.

Examples of verbal abuse

Verbal abuse comes in many forms, and these are just a few examples.

1. “Teasing” and “joking”

This is one of the more covert tactics used by verbal abusers. It’s meant to confuse the victim.

For example, a man might call his wife his “big butterball” and say it with a smile on his face and a somewhat endearing tone – or perhaps even chuckling. What he’s really saying is that he thinks she’s fat. It’s a criticism disguised as a joke or teasing… but it’s not funny.

2. Trivializing

Let’s say you come home from work and tell the abuser that you had a bad day, and that your boss is being mean to you. They would tell you to get over it or call you a cry baby. They don’t take your feelings into account because they don’t find them important.

3. Diverting

Let’s say that you want to talk to someone about how to improve your relationship.

Normal people would sit and hear you out and respond appropriately. But a verbal abuser will divert the conversation to a topic that they want to talk about – not what you want to talk about. They are avoiding giving you the power to talk about what you want.

4. Judging and criticizing

If someone is always saying what you say or do is wrong, then that’s verbal abuse.

For example, maybe you just cleaned the whole house and you’re proud of yourself. An abuser would come home and find something you missed, like dusting or a spot on the floor. Or perhaps they criticize how you look or how you act. This is meant to tear down your self-esteem so they can control you.

5. Degrading

If you hear things like, “You should be grateful you found me, because you’re unlovable. No one would ever put up with your crap but me!” then that is degrading.

It’s making you think that you are lower than low – and that they are better than you.

6. Accusing

An abuser will accuse others of anything and everything. Maybe they are constantly suspecting you of cheating on them. Or that you told a lie. Or anything else for that matter.

They’re always finding ways to accuse other people of doing things that they might not even have done.

7. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a purposeful tactic that is done to manipulate and brainwash someone into doubting their own sanity. When this occurs over time, it affects their self-identity and perception.

For example, they might say things like, “Why are you making this up?” or “It’s all in your head” or “You never said that.” They make you question yourself so they can gain the power and the upper hand.

8. Name-calling

If you hear someone call you bad names such as “loser,” “lazy,” “sloppy,” or even the “b” or “c” word, then that’s not okay.

Even if someone is lazy, that doesn’t mean you have to call them lazy. Calling someone bad names is NEVER acceptable.

9. Disregards your opinions and ideas

When you share an idea or an opinion, a verbal abuser will just shoot it down and disregard it.

Even if it’s something like “Hey I’d like to go to McDonald’s for lunch because I’ve been craving a Big Mac.” An abuser would tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t go there and have it. They’ll make your ideas seem ludicrous and make you second-guess yourself.

10. Swearing at you

Sure, most people use swear words. But normal people don’t make a habit out of slewing a ton of profanities your way on a regular basis.

If someone is constantly using swear words with you, especially when combined with anger, then that is verbal abuse.

11. Pointing out your flaws and mistakes constantly

Maybe they say you’re too fat, or too skinny, or too dumb or too… well, anything.

If someone is constantly pointing out what is wrong with you, or what mistakes you have made in your life, then that is verbal abuse.

We all have flaws and have made mistakes, but no one needs to point them out on a regular basis.

12. Threats

Threats can come in all shapes and forms. It could be a threat to harm or hurt you – or even kill you. Or it could be a threat that they might harm or hurt themselves in order to manipulate you.

Threatening some undesirable action is an attempt to guilt, manipulate, and scare you into behaving how they want you to behave.

13. Blaming

An abuser NEVER takes personal responsibility for anything. Instead, he or she places the blame on everyone and anyone other than themselves.

Even when it’s obvious that the abuser did something wrong, they will fight to the death to “prove” someone else it to blame, not themselves.

14. Ordering you around

Abusers need to have total control. Therefore, they typically are bossy and order their victims around.

They might limit how often you leave the house, or how many showers you can take per week. Or even something simple like what they want to have for dinner that night. If they are acting more like a parent to you, then this is verbal abuse.

What you can do if you’re being verbally abused

Your first instinct is probably to get the abuser to reason with you or to calm down. Unfortunately, this rarely works, so eventually you will have to stop trying to reason with them because they are just incapable of rational thought when they are abusing you.

Instead, you need to do the following things:

1. Call them out on their abusive behavior

For example, if they call you a “loser,” you need to respond with something like, “Calling me negative names is not helping this situation, so please stop. Besides I know I’m not a loser, so you can never convince me that I am.”

Here’s another example:

If you’re late getting home because of traffic, they might yell at you and call you names. In a situation like that, you should say, “Stop blaming me for something that I had no control over.”

Calling them out on their bad behavior takes away their power. Suddenly, they know you are on to them and recognize their manipulative tactics.

You see, verbal abusers like easy targets. So, if you just sit there and take the abuse, it will continue.

But if you tell them to stop, they won’t like it and will either have to try to change their behavior or go find someone else that they can verbally abuse – because you will no longer allow it.

2. Remove yourself from the situation

If you can leave, then leave. Go into your bedroom. Go for a drive. Go for a walk.

Just get out of the situation and tell them that you won’t talk to them until they can talk calmly and respectfully to you.

3. Remove yourself from the relationship if at all possible

If all else fails, you might have to do this.

You know it’s time to really let to and move on when you experience these 21 things.

I know that’s not possible with certain relationships (such as a parent/child scenario), but it is with some. Sometimes that’s the only thing left to do. And then get help.

Final thoughts

As Dr. Phil always says:

“We teach people how to treat us.”

In other words, what we allow from other people will continue. If we allow them to treat us with disrespect, they will continue to do so.

But if we only tolerate respectful and peaceful treatment, then you won’t settle for anything less.

It all starts with self-love. You have to love and respect yourself enough to now allow abuse from another person. Here you can learn what to do to love yourself.

So, take a good look in the mirror, and promise yourself that you are better than this. You deserve to be happy.

Featured photo credit: Aliyah Jamous via unsplash.com


This article was first published at Lifehack


Why Education is Important?


By Azugbene Solomon

President & CEO All Africa Youths Platform

Education is not just to read and write. It is about using education for their own advantages and to utilize the knowledge for their growth.

Also one can lead their own life without depending on others. It is not about making people literate, literacy is entirely different education.

Literacy is meant for ability to read and write, whereas education is finding out the reason behind everything and using the reading writing skills to improve their lives. It helps the countries to grow economically and cherish with prosperity.

To live flawless life, education is very important for every individual. Lets discuss what is education and the importance of education.

What is Education:

Education is nothing but studying different kinds of subjects to gain knowledge and understanding and trying to apply it in daily life.

Education is not only the book knowledge also learning something practically. Education doesn’t mean to just go schools and colleges daily and attend exams, it is meant for gathering knowledge relating it to our lives.

Even a robot can read and write, but human being uses the knowledge wisely. It makes a human being, something more than actually he was provided with. Education is not only for utilizing ourselves, but also it can be used to improve other peoples’ lives.

1. Other definitions on educations:

Education is knowing about the facts of life. In every part of our life we learn in different forms.

Education is not to mug up, but just to understand how to create the world around us and how to sustain it for future generations and how to develop relations for existence.

The role of education is meant for developing something new rather than relying on the old innovations. One should be able to identify what he knows and what he doesn’t know.

Education is the only way to win the world. It is to think deeply about something till its roots and understand the intention behind it.

2. Great people define education as:

Education is the ability to think, apply it in the world and to know the value of life. It doesn’t limit with self education, but also to spread it to every human around us. There is no end for education in each and every stage of human life we learn something.

It is not about learning life, but education itself is a life. It is the key to finding great characters hidden in every individual.

It will help us to know what harm we are doing to the world and guide us to protect the world from all dangers which are caused by human beings. This is the wealth which can be transformed from ages to ages.

Importance of Education in our Lives:

To gain respect from the society one should be educated. To lead a happy and prosperous life one need to study and can obtain a great job to be successful in life.

It helps in earning money and fulfilling the basic needs of life. Also education will help to gain reputation by being in a great position. One can grow in their career and fulfill their dreams.

Education is irrespective of cast, creed and gender, by gaining knowledge people can stand out as equal with all the other persons from different caste and creed. It is a platform to prove the equity by defeating all barriers.

1. Other advantages:

The importance of education for every person is to live independently and to gain freedom. In any way education will protect a person both financially and also to live their life on their foot.

It allows to set standards of life. It will provide wise knowledge to understand the results of wrong decisions and help to find alternative ways.

It will rule the uneducated persons and protect the world from the dangers caused by them and help them to improve the life style by implementing laws to control them in case of any misbehavior. It will help to understand each and every individual roles and responsibility to build the society.

Why Education is Important for Children?

Education is important for children because they are the future of the world and they should be updated with current affairs. They are the pillars of the nation, to develop a country and the world the future should be secure and the children are the weapons to build the nation with all their knowledge and education.

We should inculcate the past generation’s values and carry them with huge current innovations. It helps to break the social evils like racism and poverty line, so each and every child must be educated.

The children will stand out as future leaders to develop the nation from all the issues, the hurdles stopping to grow.

1. Education at childhood:

Education is necessary at childhood stage, this is the period where it provides them a chance to develop mentally, physically and develop social awareness in them.

It gives them experience to start facing the world. It is a stage to explore themselves. The importance of education for children are many. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide them the right education at the right level of age.

Also, they have to find out children’s interests and accordingly have to provide education. This is a crucial stage, which will impact them very effectively either in a positive way or in a negative way, it is dangerous if they went in a wrong path. So it is the responsibility of parents and children to take care of them.

2. Play an important role:

The role of education in our life doesn’t only mean to give bookish knowledge to students, but also to provide different kinds of knowledge in different kinds of skills like painting, drawing, singing morals.

The mental status of children before joining the school will be different, once they step in they will try to grab more knowledge of lifestyle, it is the stage to motivate themselves into a new human being, they will start identifying what is good and what is bad for them.

They will start analyzing, questioning and reasoning for every task. They will understand to learn something from mistakes. They will start fixing themselves in the competitive world.

3. Children start building goals:

If a child is joined in a school, he will start learning, playing and enjoy with friends. While learning he will understand what position he is in acquiring knowledge and he will learn slowly to grab the top position.

While playing he will understand what is the logic to win it, this way they start building goals at an early stage. But parents should understand whether their children are working only for ranks and grades or acquiring some wisdom or not.

It is important that they are aware of the purpose of education and how it works in real life. They start maintaining a structured life.

Why Education is Important to Life:

Education imparts benefits like:

1. Ability to read & write:

Education helps a person to be able to read and write. Most of the information is communicated by writing. Hence, it is the key to many daily activities. A man who has this ability to read is literate.

Reading:

He can read books, newspapers and signs and symbols. He can understand others views and experiences to add to his knowledge.

It also helps read signboards in the street, at shops, bus, train and air stations. It also helps in day to day activities like banking, shopping and money transaction. Without primary education, one has to rely on others for all the above basic needs.

2. Opportunity to make a decent livelihood:

Education provides a platform for a decent livelihood. One can take up a job in industry or another professional service if he is educated.

Education vs income statistics

Many people of middle and lower income groups have a better lifestyle through proper education. They can meet the technical skills required to land a high pay job.

Some of the professional education courses include healthcare, engineering, law etc.

Hence, education can guarantee a better lifestyle.

3. Helps to communicate better:

A good education helps one communicate better. Communication includes speech, signs, gestures and even body language. A person with better education has refined speech and other ways of communication. Even his body language sounds confident and optimistic due to education.

Without basic education, it would be difficult to write an email, letter or even use a smartphone.

Even if a person travels to a foreign country, he can live there by learning that countries language. He can do it with ease as there are books available to learn that language.

Also, it helps us to communicate better. By speaking in a proper language like the use of correct grammar, pronunciation, etc.

4. Express views and opinions:

Education helps a person to express his opinions in a better manner. He can communicate with the large audience by writing in newspapers, letters and video recordings.

Many poets, authors are renowned and famous worldwide due to their ability to influence people. This ability though is an inherent talent and education enhances their skill.

One can even communicate professional and personal issues in written form. They can do by email, letters, books, etc. Many people write novels, poems, stories due to their education.

5. Ability to serve the society:

Education also helped in the rise in the number of medical experts, engineers, teachers, etc. To provide services to such a vast population of the world we need many medical and other experts. Through education, we can generate the skilled personnel. This has lead to better health and also an improvement in lifestyle.

6. Use of technology:

The food production, medicine, electronic gadgets, automobiles and other luxury items were developed due to the spread of science and technology among the professionals through studies.

So, without basic education, it would be difficult for one to use gadgets of modern technology.

Even use of social networking sites requires minimal basic education. So education helps us use technology in the better way.

7. Support to the economy:

The means of economy and money making have changed with education. It is the primary cause of rising in the employment opportunities all over the world. Without education, a person can only perform lay jobs using his hands and legs. But due to education, he can work using his brain.

The advent of the internet, software and other technology could perform well due to education. This makes us generate colossal income and employment opportunities.

Maybe if people are not educated, these technologies would be of no use to anyone. So such vast income generation is possible due to educated humans.

8. Safe and secure transactions:

Nowadays all the money related transactions happen through bank cheques, credit cards, etc. Without education, it would be difficult to understand the terms and processes and depend on others. This can give a chance for misuse to others. Having education would help one rely on to himself and make safer transactions.

9.Mind maturity:

The mind gets matured by proper education and training. A person can judge what is right and what is not. Education makes a person independent and helps him abide by the rules of the land.

He can earn his bread anywhere in the world without being dependent on family or his native state.

It also helps us to improve our discipline, self-control and even a sense of responsibility. Proper education of masses can cut the crime rate and other sorts of social violence.

Why Education is Important to Society:

For a modern society, education is very important. The old values of education and ethics have been sweeping slowly so it is the right time to get educated with inculcating the history to the students.

There is nowhere one can teach culture, education in the right process to transform the culture to modern society. It is the perfect stage to mold a person into a complete leader with all the human emotions, values and heritage.

These days students are influenced by some of the bad events that are happening around the world, so it is necessary to develop them in a perfect path.

1. Propagation of knowledge:

Transfer of knowledge from one generation to other or from country to other is possible through education.

For example, Newton’s laws which first came to the scientific world in 1700. These are still taught in schools and colleges through books and teachers. These essential laws can be spread to masses to a complete extent with education.

Similarly, the history of countries and the world can be explained to the current society. This helps them learn from the previous mistakes and experiences.

Thus education is a crucial method to pass knowledge of the past to the people of the present.

2.Improvement of technology:

Advances in medicine, war equipment, technology were possible due to constant exploration and research. People of current age carry this exploration. They could do so due to their education and knowledge about the past technology. Since they knew how the previous methods work, they could explore more. People with higher education in science, mathematics, and technology can do this.

Even findings and discoveries are published in magazines and journals to reach the masses. This spread is possible because masses are educated. Without education, they could not read or understand the technological improvements. Once followed, they can try for more betterment.

3. Better Social harmony:

Education is a way by which people of different cultures, religions; sects come together during schooling, college, etc. Thus it helps them understand each other better and stay in mutual harmony. Therefore education can improve social harmony.

Why Education is Important for a Country:

1. People will become better citizens with education

2. You will see the importance if voting only through education.

3. It will help you to get a job.

4. Education will support mother who are single or alone.

Why Education is Important Quotes:

1. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela

2. Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Malcolm X

3. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

4. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. John Dewey

5. Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. Anthony J. D’Angelo

6. The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. Aristotle

7. Change is the end result of all true learning. Leo Buscaglia

8. Education is the movement from darkness to light. Allan Bloom

9. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. Albert Einstein

10. The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values. William S. Burroughs

11. Education is the foundation upon which we build our future. Christine Gregoire.

Reasons Why Education is Important:

It gives an opportunity to learn different languages other than the mother tongue and the ability to survive anywhere in the entire world.

It makes us to develop as good citizens of the society. It helps to protect ourselves from the other harmful events and helps you keep educating of current dangers, diseases and how to face or prevent them.

Also, it will make us know what may cause danger to others and make us aware of not causing trouble to others. We are provided with a beautiful resources naturally so education will help how to reserve them, how to sustain them and gives ideas for creating alternatives.

1. Comfortable and stable life:

It is expected by most of everyone that they need to live a life of comfort and luxury, but to make that happen either the person need to be stable or educated.

To earn a better life and live a comfortable life, a person needs to understand the value of education. Most of the people think education is a waste of time, as they are just a material fact with no relative connection practically.

But if a person has even a small portion of knowledge, then it is possible that they can handle such situation better than uneducated people.

2. Improvement in standard of living:

Most of people think education can lead a person to a position where he / she can fulfill all of their dreams and expectations. But most of them doesn’t believe in such thinking that education creates such difference in one’s life.

And it is true that just education can’t get one a successful position unless he / she work really hard to get that position. If a person starts dedicating himself / herself for a quality of education then it is possible that the result of such dedication will be fruitful.

3. Provides safety and security:

If a person needs a life with safety and security, then he / she need to understand the value of education in our daily life.

To lead a life of safety and security the person need to take active participation in educational activities. These educational activities will provide them the knowledge which can help them live a better life. These kind of drastic change can be initiated with the help of education in one’s life.

4. Equality:

This is the only way where a person of any caste and region will maintain a respectable position with the help of an education. There are different kinds of personalities who have different opinions but still acquire the success holding their respect.

All these can take place with the help of an education. It maintains an equality between people even if they are holders of different sets of opinions.

5. Provides confidence:

An education is only a matter of thinking which can provide change in one’s level of confidence. Sometimes it happens that people experience embarrassment because of lack of education.

And to overcome such embarrassment people need to come forward and accept the benefits of education which can change their life with full of confidence. Eventually, it changes the opinions among people’s work and their stability.

6. Prevents unlikely events:

Sometimes when we are unaware of things it can create a certain level of change in our life.

Therefore, it would be advisable that a person need to educate himself / herself about the things which they are unaware of. And eventually, education can make us self reliant and confident enough to face such unlikely situations.

Living in a society, one should have knowledge of their rights, laws and regulations. This knowledge will help to build boundaries around us to follow the rules so that we have a peaceful life. Education will help to interact with different kinds of persons and exchange knowledge and ideas and live in harmony. To be a active participant in society and to gain respect from the world one should always learn new things.


Featured photo credit: Aga Khan via AKDN


Reference

1. Wise Step
2. Study Read

What Is Self-Awareness? And 8 Ways to Become More Self Aware of Yourself


By Azugbene Solomon

President & CEO All Africa Youths Platform

Self-awareness is one of the key components of emotional intelligence (EI).

Daniel Goleman, the guru of emotional intelligence, identified self-awareness as being made up of emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment, and self-confidence. In other words, it is all about knowing your emotions, your personal strengths and weaknesses, and having a strong sense of your own worth.

People who lack self-awareness find living a truly happy and productive life difficult. This can be difficult to overcome, as many societies and cultures encourage us to ignore our feelings and emotions – ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.

Examples of this include people who stay in jobs that they find unfulfilling or make them unhappy, or in relationships in which they are not comfortable.

Emotional Awareness

Emotional awareness is an ability to recognise your own emotions, and their effects. People who have this ability will:

  • Know what emotions they are feeling at any given time, and why;
  • Understand the links between their emotions and their thoughts and actions, including what they say;
  • Understand how their feelings will therefore affect their performance; and
  • Be guided in how they feel by their personal values.

Being aware of your own emotions, and how they affect your behaviour, is crucial to effective interaction with others. But it can also be crucial to your personal health and well-being.

Having self-awareness means that you have a sharp realization of your personality, including your strengths and weaknesses, your thoughts and beliefs, your emotions, and your motivations.

If you are self-aware, it is easier for you to understand other people and detect how they perceive you in return.

Many people assume that they have a healthy sense of self-awareness, but it is best to look at a relative scale to see where you fall on it compared to others. Being aware creates an opportunity to make changes in one’s behavior and beliefs.

While you develop self-awareness, your own personal thoughts and interpretations will begin to change. This change in mental state will also alter your emotions and increase your emotional intelligence, which is an important factor in achieving overall success.

Becoming self-aware is an early step in the creation of the life that you want. It helps you pinpoint what your passions and emotions are, and how your personality can help you in life.

You can recognize where your thoughts and emotions are leading you, and make any necessary changes. Once you are aware of your thoughts, words, emotions, and behavior, you will be able to make changes in the direction of your future.

The Importance of Self – Awareness?

Self awareness is important because when we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. We are then empowered to make changes and to build on our areas of strength as well as identify areas where we would like to make improvements. Self-awareness is often a first step to goal setting. Self-awareness is being conscious of what you’re good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn. This includes admitting when you don’t have the answer and owning up to mistakes.

In our highly competitive culture, this can seem counterintuitive. In fact, many of us operate on the belief that we must appear as though we know everything all the time or else people will question our abilities, and then perhaps judge us. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that really the opposite is true. Because whether you acknowledge your weaknesses or not, everyone still sees them. So rather than conceal them, the person who tries to hide weaknesses actually highlights them, creating the perception of a lack of integrity and self-awareness.

Who originally came up with the idea of self-awareness?

Self-awareness was first theorized in 1972 by Duval and Wicklund in their book A Theory of Objective Self-Awareness. This book argues that if we focus our attention inwardly on ourselves, we tend to compare our behavior in the current moment to our general standards and values. This triggers a state of impartial self-awareness.

How does this concept/question relate to building positive habits?
Self-awareness is a vital first step in taking control of your life, creating what you want, and mastering your future. Where you choose to focus your energy, emotions, personality, and reactions determines where you will end up in life.

When you are self-aware, you can see where your thoughts and emotions are guiding you. It also allows you to take control of your actions so you can make the necessary changes to get the outcomes you desire.

This may include changes to your emotions, your behavior, or your personality. Until you achieve this, you will have a hard time making changes in the direction your life is taking you.

How can self-awareness be important in different fields?

Leadership

You can’t be an effective leader without being able to answer the “what is self-awareness?” question.

It provides the necessary base for having strong character, creating the ability to lead with purpose, trust, authenticity, and openness. Self-awareness explains our successes and our failures while giving us a clear understanding of who we are and what we need most from other people to have a successful team.

It also gives leaders the opportunity to identify any gaps that they might have in their management skills, and reveals the areas in which they are effective and where they might need additional work.

Knowing these things can help leaders make discerning decisions and increase their effectiveness in positively motivating their employees. Learning to be self-aware is not a simple process, but doing so can improve one’s leadership skills and lead to a more supportive business culture.

Social Work

As a social worker, having self-awareness is an important part of preparing to encounter clients in their specific situations. Much of the process of becoming an effective social worker is made up of becoming self-aware. This can happen with encounters with professors, classmates, and clients that work to continuously challenge us to be aware of our feelings. While this is not an easy thing to do, it is a worthwhile achievement.

Social workers have to be aware of their own biases when they are dealing with clients so they can make sure they are treating every client equally.

Counseling

Self-awareness interplays with the therapeutic process of counseling. When one is able to gain a greater understanding of themselves through the input of a therapist, it leads to self-discovery.

Counseling is a journey of self-discovery, as one observes their own thought patterns and how they affect their mood and behavior. Observing one’s own thoughts and feelings builds self-knowledge, and doing this with a counselor provides an objective opinion during the observation.

Education

Self-awareness plays a large role in education because it helps students become focused on what they need to learn. The ability of students to think about their thinking increases with age. When teachers work with students to teach them to reflect, monitor, and evaluate themselves, students are able to become more self-reliant, productive, and flexible.

Students improve their ability to weigh their choices and think about their options, especially when the correct answer is not obvious. When students have a hard time understanding a concept or idea, they use reflective strategies to acknowledge their difficulties and try to fix them. This also gives students tools to self-reflect and grow in their emotional and social lives.

Nursing

Self-awareness is used as a therapeutic tool for nurse-client relationships. A nurse who is self-aware can provide a therapeutic environment to care for their patient. Because of this, it is recommended that nursing schools should teach students about development and self-understanding.

It would also be beneficial for professional nurses to be able to get help and guidance to continue the growth process throughout their careers.

How to develop and increase self-awareness

1. Look at yourself objectively.

Trying to see yourself as you really are can be a very difficult process, but if you make the right efforts, getting to know your real self can be extremely rewarding. When you are able to see yourself objectively, you can learn how to accept yourself and find ways to improve yourself in the future.

So, what is an easy way to get started with this?

  • Try to identify your current understanding by writing out your perceptions. This may be things that you think you are good at doing, or that you need to improve.
  • Think about things you are proud of, or any accomplishments that really stand out throughout your life.
  • Think about your childhood and what made you happy back then. What has changed and what has remained the same? What are the reasons for the changes?
  • Encourage others to be honest with you about how they feel about you, and take what they say to heart.

In the end, you will come out with a fresh new perspective on yourself and your life.

2. Keep a journal.

You can write about anything in your journal, even if it is not related to your goals. Recording your thoughts on paper helps to relieve your mind of those ideas, and clears it up to make space for new information and ideas.

Take some time each night to write in your journal about your thoughts and feelings, and your successes and failures for the day. This will help you grow and move forward in your achievements.

As you self-reflect, take some time to think about how you are a leader, and how people working under you likely view you. Think about what you do to help other people, and if you could possibly do more. What are your values, and what is most important to you right now?

All of these self-reflection questions will help you get a better idea of who you are and what you want out of life right now.

3. Write down your goals, plans, and priorities.

Plan out your goals in a worksheet so they turn from ideas into a step-by-step process. Break down your larger goal into mini-goals so it seems less overwhelming, and tackle it head on.

4. Perform daily self-reflection.

In order to have self-awareness, you must do self-reflection. This requires setting aside some time, hopefully every day, to honestly look at yourself as a person and a leader. Committing to this practice can help you improve.

In our demanding business world, daily self-reflection is easier said than done. There is always pressure to do more with less, and an endless flow of information through our portable technology.

Because it takes time to self-reflect, start by setting aside just 15 minutes each day. Self-reflection is most effective when you use a journal and write down your thoughts. It’s also best to find a quiet place to think.

5. Practice meditation and other mindfulness habits.

Meditation is the practice of improving your mindful awareness. Most types of meditation focus on the breath, but not all meditation has to be formal. You can also find greater clarity from regular moments of reflection.

During your meditations, you may stop to think about some specific questions.

  • What is your goal?
  • What are you doing that is working?
  • What are you doing that is acting as a hindrance to your success?
  • How can you change your process to improve it?

One of the most frequent forms of meditation you may practice comes from carrying out everyday tasks that give you a sense of therapeutic serenity, such as washing dishes, going for a run, and going to church.

6. Take personality and psychometric tests.

Take these personality and psychometric tests to help understand what traits you have. Some popular tests that are aimed at increasing self-awareness include the Myers-Briggs test and the Predictive Index.

There are no right or wrong answers to these tests. Instead, they compel respondents to think about a set of traits or characteristics that closely describe them relative to other people.

7. Ask trusted friends to describe you.

How are we supposed to know what other people think of us? We have to listen to the feedback of our peers and mentors, and let them play the role of an honest mirror. Tell your friends when you are looking for open, honest, critical, and objective perspectives. Allow your friends to feel safe while they are giving you an informal yet honest view.

Make sure your friends know that they are doing this to help you, not to hurt you. Also, feel free to ask questions of your friends about topics they bring up if you feel like you need some more clarity to completely understand.

You can also ask friends to bring it to your attention when you are doing something that you know you want to change. For example, if you know you tend to “one-up” people when they are telling stories, have your friends discreetly let you know that is happening so you can learn to stop.

8. Ask for feedback at work.

In addition to consulting friends and family, use a more formal process at work to get some feedback. If your company does not provide a structured way to do this, try to implement one. Provided it is constructive and well done, having an option for formalized feedback allows us to self-reflect on our own strengths and weaknesses.

To have an effective formal feedback system at work, you need a proper process and an effective manager. Once the feedback process is finished, it is important to reflect on it by writing down your main takeaways. Write down any surprising strengths and weaknesses that you did not realize you had before.

It will take quite some time to increase your self-awareness and get to know yourself better. It can even take years and input from many people around you. Building the necessary habits to help you become more self-aware can positively impact other aspects of your life, especially your interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.

In Conclusion

Self-awareness is a crucial part of emotional intelligence.

It is no accident that Daniel Goleman, the author of the book Emotional Intelligence, identified it as the first of the five competences that make up emotional intelligence.

Without awareness and understanding of ourselves, and a sense of self rooted in our own values, it is hard, if not impossible, to be aware of and respond to the emotions of others.


Featured photo credit: Develop Good Habits


Reference

1. Develop Good Habits
2. Skills You Need
3. Warwick

How to Recognize a Controlling Relationship and What to Do About It


By Kevin Thompson


A controlling relationship is not pleasant to be a part of. But the tricky part is that most people don’t realize when they are in a controlling relationship. The controlling behavior of a partner is often confused with “caring”, “protective”, “jealous” or “old fashioned”.

In this article, we will discuss what to look out for when a partner is controlling and when he/she just “cares” about you. We will also discuss what you can do if your partner is controlling.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Signs Your Partner Is Controlling
  2. What Should You Do If Your Partner Is Controlling?
  3. Final Thoughts

Signs Your Partner Is Controlling
They try to keep tabs on you all the time.

You need to understand the difference between a controlling partner and someone who just really misses you and wants to interact with you throughout the day.

Someone who genuinely misses you and wants to speak with you throughout the day will text you often and get on a phone call whenever they can. They will text you the first thing in the morning (if you are not staying together) and share the day with you. They will take time from their busy day to reach out to you and ask you how you are. They will be excited to meet you at the end of the day.

On the contrast, a controlling partner will ACT like they want to share every living moment with you. But they will be acting out of fear and insecurity instead of the desire to interact with you. An interaction with you is a drug to them that constantly reassures them that they still have you.

A caring partner will give you space when you are busy or out with friends. But a controlling partner will text you more when he/she feels like you are in a situation that threatens the relationship; situations such as going to a bar with friends or at a social gathering.

The controlling partner will reach out under the disguise of missing you. But an easy way to find out if they are controlling is to tell them something like,

“I miss you too. I am busy right now and can’t talk. Can we speak later?”

They will most likely agree. But if they are controlling, they will be upset later when you speak. A caring partner will understand and just be cool about it.

Essentially, a controlling partner will try to affect your behavior by negative reinforcement. Every time you are not giving them full attention, they will get upset and it will most likely lead to a fight or argument. A caring partner will most likely be honest about their concerns instead of doing it indirectly with negative reinforcement.

You will slowly start alienating your friends and family.
This negative reinforcement usually takes a toll on you mostly because it is followed by positive reinforcement when you give them attention. They give you the love and attention you crave in a relationship. You feel intimacy and you get approval from the person you love. What more could you ask for?

Slowly, after being in this negative and positive reinforcement cycle for months (or years), you start craving the positive reinforcement and avoiding the negative reinforcement.

Every time you go meet your friends and can’t give him/her your full attention, there is a fight later. So, you slowly start avoiding your friends. You only do it when it’s convenient for your partner. And you make sure that they have something to do while you are busy with your friends or family.

You will soon realize that you are walking on eggshells. And that’s really no way to live a healthy life.

They criticize you – a lot.

A controlling partner will criticize you a lot. It can be something as little as the way you drink coffee or as big as your career choice. They will criticize you in a way that hurts.

If the partner is controlling, this criticism will usually start after you have been together for a while, well after the honeymoon phase is over and after they are sure you love them and can’t leave them easily.

The criticism can also come in the form of backhanded comments or playful jokes about things they know you are sensitive about.

In contrast, healthy criticism is often said in an attempt to improve your partner’s life and self-esteem. For example, if your partner wants to criticize your career, they will sit down and have a real conversation with you. They will try to understand your aspiration and goals and tell you where they think you are going wrong.

A controlling partner will try to brush it off in a sentence to put you down: “What are you worried about? Playing guitar is not even a real career.”

You may end up in a codependent relationship without even knowing it.
If your partner is controlling and you don’t end the relationship in the initial stages, it’s likely that you will end up in a co-dependent relationship. Whereas before, you were an independent and well-rounded individual who was going through each day with pride and gusto.

Now, you are reduced to someone who often fights with their partner, is constantly stressed and is always walking on eggshells. You are no longer the person who was growing in life. Now you need your partner’s permission to grow.

Co-dependent relationships can range from extreme to mild depending on how severe the codependent dynamics is and how long you have been together. If you think you are in one, you should watch out for these signs of an unhealthy co-dependent relationship .

What Should You Do If Your Partner Is Controlling?

1. Watch out for early signs and take things slow.

The best way to deal with a controlling partner is to find out about it early. As discussed before, controlling behavior does not always how up until the later stages of a relationship.

A lot of people hide their true nature until they feel a bit secure in the relationship. This is why it’s important to take things slow whenever you start a new relationship.

Take your time to get to know the person before making any huge commitments. If there are signs of controlling behavior, take your time to decide if it’s something you can live with and how severe it.

2. Figure out the severity of the controlling behavior and if it can be fixed.

Like everything else in life and relationships, controlling behavior is not just black and white. Someone with a controlling behavior can still become a good life partner if they are willing to learn and are compatible with you. Don’t immediately reject someone just because they have some controlling behaviors.

It’s important to know what’s important to you in a relationship. In my opinion, most problems in a relationship, including controlling behavior, can be solved with proper communication and understanding. Even if your partner shows some signs of controlling behavior, you can learn to deal with it if they are willing to communicate and understand.

For example, your partner may have some left-over from a past relationship or a bad breakup. One such common issue is when they went through betrayal or when an ex cheated on them. The scars from that betrayal can be the reason they are trying to control you. It might be the reason they get insecure every time you go out with friends.

It’s not necessarily a good reason to breakup with them. Not if it can be fixed. If you speak to them about it, you can come to a reasonable conclusion where you can live your life freely and don’t press any triggers that cause them to panic and become controlling.

If you can’t figure it out yourself, get help. Learn communication skills in relationships or consider getting couples therapy.

3. Be willing to walk away no matter how you have invested in them.

It’s easy to leave a relationship if it’s only been a few months. But what if you have been with your partner for years? What if you just realized how controlling they have been all these years? You were blinded by love before, but you just can’t take it anymore. At the same time, you can’t get yourself to leave them because you are so attached to them. What do you do then?

Again, it’s not always black and white. But you need to figure out your boundaries and what you need in a romantic relationship. It may be a good idea to take a break for a short while to think things through.

Once you understand yourself, your boundaries, your needs, your expectations and your goals, you should get back in touch with your partner and try to speak to them. Explain to them how their controlling behavior has been toxic and what you need from them to make the relationship work.

If they think they can do it, if they are willing to learn and grow, then try again. But take things slow this time.

Just like you are starting a new relationship. Watch out for red flags and try to figure out if they are sincerely making an attempt to improve or are just faking it.

Someone who sincerely wants to learn and improve will be open to listening and understanding. They will try to make serious changes in life like going to therapy or reading self-improvement books. They will not agree with you about everything and won’t act like a doormat.

On the contrary, someone who is just faking it will most likely do things that they think you want to see. They will agree with what you see and, in some cases, let you walk all over them.

Final Thoughts
A controlling partner is not always a deal breaker. In many cases, the controlling behavior can be the result of a past trauma or childhood issues. And in most cases, it is fixable if the controlling person is willing to accept it and work on themselves.

Learning these behaviors and communicating with your partner can help you avoid a toxic codependent relationship and a lifetime of misery.

But if they are not the type of person who want to learn and grow, you should most definitely leave them and move on.

Featured photo credit: S A R A H ✗ S H A R P via unsplash.com


This article was first published at Lifehack


How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life


By David Carpenter


Have you ever heard the phrase “He had so much potential, it’s a shame he wasted it.” In our culture, not living up to your full potential is frowned upon, but why?

In this article, we will look into the factors that influence a person’s potential and the ways to help you live up to your full potential for a successful life.

What Determines a Person’s Potential?

A person’s potential is determined by several factors: Physical Security, Emotional Security, Environment and Mindset.

Physical Security

Before we can even strive to fulfill our potential, our basic physical needs must be met. Without adequate food, water and shelter, our days must be spent acquiring these basic needs in order to survive.

You can think of it this way, the person with the potential to become the most brilliant computer programmer ever could be living right now with a nomadic tribe in sub-Saharan Africa. But because they must spend their days meeting these basic physical needs, that potential will remain untapped.

Emotional Security

Humans are social animals, we don’t do well in isolation. Studies have shown that forming intimate bonds with others is incredibly important for our mental health. These bonds start to develop in infancy, babies rely on this bond with a parent or caretaker to fulfill their needs, and if the bond is missing for some reason it can have lifelong psychological consequences.

Environment

Your environment is another important factor that shapes how you achieve your full potential.

Just like the computer programmer in the previous example. You could have the potential to be the greatest composer since Beethoven, but if you had no access to music or you came from a family that didn’t value that skill set, it’s unlikely that you would fulfill your potential in that area.

Mindset

For most of us, we don’t have to worry about getting enough food, water or shelter. Both our physical and emotional needs have been met (to a large extent anyway). And any limits that our environment has imposed are minimal (especially with the availability of the internet).

So for most of us, the main thing that is limiting us from reaching our full potential is our mindset. Our mindset is the story we carry around with us in our head. It starts to develop in childhood and can be with us our entire life.

Your Mindset Is the Key

The problem with most people’s mindset is that it’s negative and limiting. The good news is that you can change your mindset. Author Carol Dweck in her best selling book Mindset points out that there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth.

A Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is one where you have concrete beliefs about yourself. Someone with a fixed mindset came up with “their story” in childhood and it hasn’t changes much over the years. They may believe that they aren’t good at public speaking, math or writing just because they struggled with those subjects in school.

So when something goes wrong, a common thought for someone with a fixed mindset is “What an idiot, I knew I wasn’t any good at that.” Or “Well that just confirmed what I already knew, I won’t be doing that again”. Having a fixed mindset just reinforces negative thoughts and attitudes, making it harder to reach your full potential.

A Growth Mindset

A growth mindset, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. With a growth mindset, you believe anything is possible (but don’t confuse this with being delusional! As a 5’10” 54 year old I’m not going to play in the NBA!). It’s more of the way you think about and approach problems.

Let’s go back to the issue of not being good at public speaking, when things go wrong, instead of telling yourself that you have never been good at public speaking and never will be. A person with a growth mindset will analyze what went wrong and come up with solutions to make it better next time.

For instance, they may take a class on public speaking at their local community college, or join the Toastmaster’s organization. Whatever it is, they don’t look at failure as an insurmountable roadblock, rather a minor detour on the road to their destination.

How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life

1. Develop a goal

When setting goals, it’s important to keep in mind three things:

First, they should be specific and not vague. So instead of saying “I want to live up to my full potential in life”, a more specific goal would be “I want to become the best (salesman, artist, internet marketer) that I can be.” This is a much more specific goal.

Second, your goal should be measurable. In other words, you should be able to measure your progress towards the goal. Again, it’s much easier to measure your progress to becoming the best artist you can be than it is trying to measure your progress at living up to your “full potential”.

Finally, a goal must be written down. This takes the goal out of the realm of wishful thinking and makes it more real. It also can serve as motivation if you post your goal where you will see it. Put it on your desk, or next to your computer just to remind yourself to keep moving forward. In short, a goal that isn’t written down is just a wish.

2. Understand that achieving your goal is often times a by-product of what you are doing

Let’s say that your goal is to become the best writer you can be. You may want to measure your success by your ability to get published or in the case of blogging, how widely read your articles are.

Instead of constantly worrying about reaching your goal to be the best, your time is much better spent just writing. As with anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

It’s the same with any goal, it’s important to set them, but achieving your goal of becoming the best salesperson is really just the by-product of you getting out there and selling!

3. Don’t let popular opinion dissuade you

Have you ever heard of the Bannister Effect? For years it was considered a law of nature that the human body was incapable of running a mile in less than 4 minutes. That was until May 6, 1954 when Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. He did what was long considered impossible, but it turned out that it was only impossible because people believed it was impossible.

Roger Bannister didn’t let popular opinion stand in his way, and after he proved that the 4 minute mile was only a psychological barrier, others have continued to break records. Today the current record holder is Hicham El Guerrouj with a time of 3 minutes 43.13 seconds!

4. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope

Almost by definition, living up to your full potential requires you to step outside your comfort zone and expand your boundaries.

Average people do average things, get average results and live average lives. Extraordinary people do extraordinary things, get extraordinary results and live extraordinary lives.

You’ll only live your best life once you step out. Here’s how.

5. Practice discipline

Admittedly, this comes easier for some people than others, but it’s a skill that you can develop and will serve you well in all aspects of your life.

Another way of thinking about discipline is just delayed gratification. How many times have you been on a diet, but there’s a piece of cheese cake in the refrigerator calling out your name!

Having discipline is not a matter of not wanting the cheese cake, discipline is acknowledging your desire for the cheese cake but realizing that this craving is only temporary, and once it passes, you will be much happier that we didn’t succumb to a temporary urge.

The bottom line here is that while you may want to stop working at 5pm sharp, or watch the game on Saturday, but by developing the discipline to delay satisfaction you will be pushing your boundaries and reaping the rewards that come from that extra effort.

6. Be confident

Have you ever dealt with someone who was new at their job and lacked confidence? Maybe it was a salesperson who couldn’t answer basic questions about a product or just gave you flat out wrong information. Did you end up buying from that salesperson?

My guess is no, I sure wouldn’t.

Confidence comes with knowledge, discipline and experience. But how do you develop confidence if you are just starting out like our intrepid salesperson? While experience comes with time, knowledge can be acquired fairly quickly, especially if you have already mastered the art of self discipline!

A good rule of thumb is to always start with knowledge. Learn as much as you can, take classes, get a mentor or just do research. If you are disciplined enough to develop the knowledge it will make getting the experience much easier.

7. Accept that you will fail

There is no such thing as an overnight success. Failure is a part of life and it happens to everyone. In fact, there is a whole body of thinking that failure is actually better than success!

While most of us would agree that success is better than failure, when it does happen, here are some thing to keep in mind:

Don’t take it personally. A failure in a job, career, business or marriage is just that. It is not reflection on you as a person. I had a friend who lost his entire fortune (over 20 million dollars) in a business deal. I called him shortly after and as expected he was very depressed. My only advice to him was to:

“Never confuse your self worth with your net worth”.

Move on, failures can be heartbreaking, embarrassing and demoralizing. Take the time needed to go through those feelings and process the emotions. Then, let it go, holding on to negative emotions keeps you stuck in a fixed mindset. Remember that your goal here is to live up to your full potential and succeed in life. Dwelling on past mistakes and failures is the surest way to derail your progress.

Let failure be a learning opportunity. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason, it’s true! When I first started internet marketing, I started using Facebook ads for practically everything I did. Pretty soon I found that I was spending about $1,000 on ads that were generating about $200 in income, not a very good business model! I took that failure and redesigned my marketing efforts. I was able to both reduced my costs and increased my sales so that now for every $1,000 in advertising I am generating around $5,000 in income.

8. Learn to embrace uncomfortable situations

Succeeding in life by living up to your full potential means embracing uncomfortable situations. Chris and Heidi Powell, well known personal trainers and hosts of the show Extreme Weight Loss use this technique with their clients. It works like this:

They set a goal for their client that the client thinks is just out of reach. Then through encouragement and motivation, they help the client work though the uncomfortableness and pain to achieve the goal.

This technique works for both physical and psychological challenges. Both our bodies and minds are capable of much more that we think they are.

9. Set small goals to achieve big results

When you are first setting goals, don’t be afraid to make them big! “I want to be the #1 salesperson in the company” or “I want to be a successful artist”. But once you have those goals set, you then need an action plan to get there. It’s in this action plan that you should set many small, easily attainable goals.

For the salesperson, it might be to increase the number of sales they make by one a week in the next quarter, two a week for the 2nd quarter etc… For the artist, it might be to master a technique before the next art show, or produce X number of works to sell at the art show.

Whatever the goals are, they need to get you closer to your ultimate goal while at the same time be attainable. Success builds on success, so achieving these small goals helps to motivate you to continue on to your bigger goals.

10. Take time to recharge

Everyone needs “down time”, trying to do everything yourself, all at once is a recipe for disaster.

We talked a lot about being motivated and disciplined in this article; while they are essential to living up to your full potential and succeeding in life, having adequate down time is just as important.

Any personal trainer will tell you that to get the most out of your workouts, you need to take 1 to 2 days off a week. This gives your body a chance to recover and actually get stronger.

The same is true when we are trying to expand our boundaries and fulfill our potential. Making sure we have adequate down time prevents fatigue anxiety and poor decision making.

Final Thoughts

The success you’ll find from living life to your full potential is its own reward. One day, we all will look back on our lives and and think “I wish I would have done …”, “I had a chance to to be a … but I was to scared”, “I could have been a great … if I had put the time in.”

I hope that in this article, we have given you both the motivation and tools to push yourself to your full potential in life, so that when you look back one day your regrets will be few.


Featured photo credit: A L L E F . V I N I C I U S Δ via unsplash.com


This article was first published at Lifehack


10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever


By Kathryn Sandford


The one constant thing in our life is change. We cannot avoid it and the more we resist change the tougher our life becomes.

Trust me, I know this because I was very skilled at deflecting change in my life.

We are surrounded by change and it is the one thing that has the most dramatic impact on our lives. Change has the ability to catch up with you at some point in your life. There is no avoiding it because it will find you, challenge you, and force you to reconsider how you live your life.

Change can come into our lives as a result of a crisis, as a result of choice or by chance. In either situation we are all faced with having to make a choice – do we make the change or not? I believe it is always better to make changes in your life when you choose to rather than being forced to.

We however cannot avoid the unexpected events (crisis) in our lives because it is these events that challenge our complacency in life. What we can control when we are experiencing these challenging events, is how we choose to respond to them. It is our power of choice that enables us to activate positive change in our lives.

Acting on our power of choice provides us with more opportunity to change our lives for the better. The more opportunities we create to change our lives the more fulfilled and happier our lives become.

So, how to change your life? Here are 10 things that you can do to make changes in life for the good, forever:

1. Find meaning in life

Spend some time trying to sort out what is important in your life and why it is important.

What is it that you want to achieve in your life? What are your dreams? What makes your happy?

Nancy’s story will remind you the importance of finding your purpose in life, or else you may live a miserable life.

Your meaning in life gives you purpose and sets the direction of how you want to live your life. Without meaning you will spend the rest of your life wandering through life aimlessly with no direction, focus, or purpose.

2. Create a dream board

When we were children we would daydream all the time. We were skilled at dreaming and visualizing what we would be when we grew up. We believed that anything was possible.

As we grew into adults, we lost our ability to dream. Our dreams became hidden and once we started to feel like achieving our dreams was impossible.

A dream board is a great way for us to start believing in your own dreams again. Seeing our dreams every day on a dream board brings our dreams to life. Our dreams become real and we start to have believe in the possibility of achieving these dreams.

3. Set goals to achieve your dreams

Once you know what is important in your life and what your dream life looks like for you, you need to take action and set your long-term, medium, and short-term goals. It is acting on these goals that enable you to achieve your dreams

Remember your goals may change. Always be flexible with setting and achieving your goals as things in life change and your goals need to reflect these changes. It’s the small steps that you take that create the momentum for change to happen in your life.

4. Let go of your regrets

Regrets will only hold you back in life. Regrets are events of the past and if you spend all your time thinking about the past you will miss the present and the future.

You cannot change what you did or did not do in the past, so let it go. The only thing you have control over now is how you choose to live your present and future life.

I had a heap of regrets that were holding me back in my life. I came across the “Balloon Exercise” and got rid of my regrets for good.

What is it? It’s simple — blow up as many balloons as you need. On each balloon write a regret and then let the balloon go. As the balloon drifts off into the sky say goodbye to that regret forever.

A simple and powerful exercise that works and can change how you live your life.

5. Try to do the really scary things

This is all about you choosing to step out of your comfort zone.

Public speaking is one of the most frightening things anyone can do. I was petrified of public speaking, however, I knew that I wanted to be a motivational speaker. So I joined Toast Masters to overcome my fear of public speaking.

My first speech was terrible, my knees were knocking, I broke out in a sweat and I couldn’t stop shaking. But I did it and the feeling of completing this speech, even though it was terrible was great.

I chose to keep going and now I earn a living as a motivational speaker. I am still nervous when I get up to speak however it is an excited nervous and I love it.

Make a list of scary things that you would kind of like to do but are too afraid to. Put a plan in place and then go do them. Never stop doing scary things because if you do your life will become one of complacency and comfort.

6. Start living a well-balanced life

Our health does not remain the same. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual state changes, as we get older. What we can control however is how we feed our minds and our bodies.

Living a balanced and healthy life builds our resilience to the physical changes of our body. Exercise is the best way in which we can attain a positive and optimistic attitude toward life.

Living a healthy, well-balanced life with lots of exercise is a lifestyle choice that without a doubt will give you a happier more satisfied and fulfilled life.

7. Face your fears

It’s easy to ignore our fears and hope that they will go away. Unfortunately, it does not work like that.

If you want to change your life, learn to master your fears so they can’t control you any longer. Our fears are only thoughts in our minds that are not real but over time we have become to believe that they are true.

It is our fears in life that stop us from living our life to the fullest. We know when our fears are controlling our lives because we feel discontent, dissatisfied and unfulfilled.

Once we face our fears we take back our power to choose how we want to live our lives and when we do this we change our lives forever.

8. Accept yourself

The only person who is going to create change in your life is you! And to create that change you have to like yourself.

There will be times in your life where you will face rejection and there will be people who will not like you that much. Accepting who you are and loving yourself helps you to move forward in your life.

Putting yourself down all the time and wishing you could be better will only lead you to a life of unhappiness and discontent.

Find your courage, love yourself and step out and do something crazy. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks or whether it is the right thing to do. In your heart if it feels right, act on it and go create the life you love.

9. Live in the moment

Many of us tend to think that the grass is greener on the other side. Often, we get to the other side of the fence we find that this is not so.

The motivation to change our lives comes from our desire to be happy. We are often so busy focusing on our pursuit of happiness that we miss the joy of actually living in the moment.

Our desire to have happiness in our lives is a desire of a future state not of the present. We become so consumed with all our problems and discontent in the present we miss the precious beauty of the moment.

Sitting on the beach eating an ice-cream with your best friend or partner is a moment of happiness. Appreciating and showing gratitude on a daily basis is experiencing happiness in the moment. Helping those in need brings joy and happiness to us.

This is what living our life in the moment is all about – don’t miss these moments because you are too busy focusing on your pursuit of happiness.

10. Experience the joy of learning

Each time you learn something new, you gain more knowledge and with more knowledge comes more confidence.

Learning helps us to be more adaptable and flexible to new situations. Learning encourages us to be more creative and innovative in our thinking and we are therefor more comfortable with the unknown.

Reading books is a great way for us to learn. To fully embrace the joy of learning, never stop reading nor searching for more knowledge.

Learning gives our life meaning and this is what makes our life worthwhile.

You have a choice to make as to how you want to change your life. Choosing to act on these 10 things will, without a doubt change your life forever.

So what are you waiting for? Go do these 10 things now!


Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com


This article was first published at Lifehack