January 29, 2008
January 28, 2008
Owners like to pretend that their Hummers are tough by running things over…
Wow, good job, your Hummer can run over a 30-year-old, broken-down car.
Is this really fair?
Deceleration is hard enough on the body without a bounce in the opposite direction.
Take note of how the much smaller truck in the background is in about the same shape.
First impressions can be quite important.
Everyone stereotypes everyone on first impression, even if we are reluctant to do it.
We all get a first impression of a new person that creates a mental image of his or her personality in our minds.
That image of you often lasts and can affect the relationship that follows.
Another thing is that we often play different roles in relationships. With our parents we play one role, with friends another, with someone we are interested in/in love with a third, when shopping for clothes in a store a fourth. And so on.
A good or great first impression can create a positive role in the minds of the new people we meet. When we meet them again, we are often drawn back into this role. Sometimes it happens almost unconsciously until you after a few minutes notice that you have fallen into your old role - like when you meet friends you haven´t seen in years - in that dynamic once again. You may not always be drawn into that role. But if you do it sure is better to have a positive than a negative role saved for you.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned about improving first impressions. Of course, different environments like business meetings with suits and ties or parties with umbrella-drinks come with different goals and expectations so figure out what´s appropriate and useful in each meeting.
Act as if you are meeting a good friend
If you just imagine that the person you have just met and are talking to is one of your best friends you’ll probably adjust unconsciously and start to smile, open up your body-language to a very friendly and warm position and reduce any nervousness or weirdness in your tone of voice and body-language. Don´t overdo it though, you might not want to hug and kiss right away.
The nice thing about this is that you may also start to feel positive feelings towards this new person, just as you do with your friend when you meet him/her. This is a pretty good starting-point for getting them to reciprocate and for developing a good relationship.
Keep you body language open
Smile. Don’t cross your arms or legs. Turn your body towards the people you’re are shaking hands with or talking to so that your body language is friendly and open. Make relaxed eye contact – don´t stare – when talking or listening. Don´t look the person in the eye all the time. When you break eye-contact try to do it kinda slow, don´t let your eyes just dart away. Making eye-contact can be a bit hard or scary but if you work at it you´ll get used to it.
For more tips, you may want to have a look at 18 Ways to Improve Your Body Language.
Stand up straight
Keeping a good posture certainly improves on the impression one makes. Don´t slouch. Sit or stand up straight.
Sometimes you can go in all positive in a first meeting. Sometimes it may not be the best approach to go in too positive as it can be seen as bit abrasive or inappropriate. A better way to convey a positive attitude in a first meeting can then be to read the mood of person(s) before you start talking – by just watching them - and then match it for a short while. Then - when you have an emotional connection and the other person feels you are similar to him/her - you can let your positivity arise a bit more.
Regardless if you start out positive from the get-go or a short, short while into the meeting, be sure to positive. If you, for instance, start a first meeting by complaining, there´s a big chance the people you meet will mentally label you as a complainer or a negative person.
Don’t think too much
Try, as much as possible, to stay outside of your head and focus on the people you are talking to rather than focusing on yourself.
Mentally rehearse before you even enter the room
Visualize how great the events will unfold - see and hear it - and also how great will you feel at this meeting.
See yourself smiling, being positive, open and having a great time. See the excellent outcome in your mind. Then release by visualizing that it has already happened, that the meeting is over with the desired result. This is surprisingly effective and will get you into a great and relaxed mood before even stepping into the first, second or twentieth meeting.
You may also want to check out the ever-popular Do you make these 10 mistakes in conversation? for more information on stuff like listening, hogging the spot-light, what to talk about (and not to talk about) and the very common need to be right.
What you say isn´t that important
I´d say that mental rehearsal followed by acting as if you´re meeting a friend are the most important parts of all of this. They often solve the rest of pointers in this article unconsciously and automatically and keeps your thoughts focused outwards instead of inwards.
The problem with an inward-focused meeting - where you focus on what you just said, how you look and what the other person thinks of you right now - can reduce anyone to a bumbling, second-guessing, fidgeting shadow of their former self as the self-consciousness becomes almost paralyzing.
Also, as long as you try to use the first and the last point it doesn’t really matter too much what word or phrase you use to start the conversation. The words are only 7 percent of your communication. 93 percent is in your tone of voice and your body-language.
So, a simple “Hi!” may do just fine.
January 21, 2008
On the first day, God created the dog and said: "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said: "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
So God agreed.
On the second day, God created the monkey and said: "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said: "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"
And God agreed.
On the third day, God created the cow and said:"You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family For this, I will give you a life span of sixty Years."
The cow said: "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed again.
On the fourth day, God created man and said: "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."
But man said: "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"
"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."
So that i s why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
January 14, 2008
Now that school is starting back up, it’s time to give your brain everything it needs to stay sharp and attentive in class.
So here are 5 foods to help you improve your memory and supercharge your brain:
Fish is not only high in good protein, but also filled with essential vitamins and minerals for your brain; including: phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and vitamins A and D. And fish oil is a great source of Omega-3 fat, which can improve your brain’s chemistry and development. We recommend: tuna, sardine, anchovy, salmon and bluefish.
The Journal of Neuroscience published some research from Tufts University that suggested that blueberries can improve memory loss. Blueberries are also filled with antioxidants and have been reported to inhibit colon cancer and Ovarian cancer.
Wholegrain foods are a great way to get folic acid and B vitamins into your body. You see, B vitamins like Thiamine, Pantothenic Acid, and Pridoxine have been shown to reduce memory loss. If you’re not eating enough wholegrain foods, we recommend taking a good B vitamin that has B1, B5, B6, and B12.
Buy a bag of roasted pumpkin seeds and chew on them throughout the day. Pumpkin seeds are filled with zinc, which has been known to help improve thinking skills.
Broccoli is filled with vitamin K, and can help improve your brain chemistry and overall brainpower.
Eating all the right foods won’t guarantee that you’re brain is at its best performance. You need to balance healthy eating along with good sleep, cardiovascular activity, and plenty of water.
That’s why we’re in love with this tutorial on taking perfect lecture notes. Here are some of our favorite tips:
- Summarize your notes in your own words, not the instructor’s. Remember: your goal is to understand what the professor is saying, not to try to record, exactly, everything he or she says.
- Mark ideas which the lecturer emphasizes with an arrow or some special symbol.
- When the teacher looks at his/her notes, pay attention to what they say next.
- Make your notes your notes. Take advantage of how you learn (visually, orally, or actively) and write/draw your notes according to that style.
- Consider splitting your notes into two columns — keep lecture notes on one side, and write questions that come up during the lecture on the other side. This will ensure that you don’t forget any unclear points or questions that come up during the lecture, and will enable you to associate the answer with the relevant material when you find it later. Also, if you go to office hours, your professor will notice that you were paying attention in class, which will pay off in the long run.
- Copy what’s written on the blackboard and transparencies, especially the outline. To make sure that you get everything, get in the habit of skipping words like “the” and “a” and make use of shorthand and abbreviations.
January 13, 2008
How often do we find ourselves in a bad mood, seemingly for no reason? How many times do we have a pretty decent day, but then one little thing ruins the whole thing? The problems we face in this day and age seem more complicated, but in reality, it has more to do with the pace in which we travel through our day.
Here are five tried and true methods of getting out of a bad mood and getting back into the groove.
That’s right, smile! The simple act of smiling has been shown in scientific studies to literally change a person’s mood. We obviously smile when we ARE in a good mood, and it appears that our brain responds in kind to the physical act of changing your facial expression. Try it…it’s pretty amazing!
2. Take a Breather
Deep breathing is stressed in virtually everything, from exercise to meditation. Taking five or six slow, deep breaths, inhaling through the nose, and exhaling slowly through the mouth, is the most common technique taught. Studies have shown a marked increase in Alpha waves (relaxation) and decrease in Beta waves (stress) in the brain when this simple technique is employed. Additionally, deep breathing slows our heart rate and rids the body of excess waste gases.
3. Get Stressed
You read it correct! The proper use of stressing ourselves can actually HELP us relax. Whether you’re sitting at a desk, at home, or in the car, purposefully tighten ALL the muscles in your body for 10 seconds, then release. You’ll be amazed to find your state of relaxation is dramatically increased, while your stress is relieved.
4. Take a Vacation
Not time off, but a “mini-mind” vacation. Here’s how. Close your eyes and place yourself in a setting you find relaxing, such as lying in the sun on a beach. Imagine feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of the waves on the beach, the salt smell of the ocean. In other words, immerse your senses in whatever setting you find has been a relaxing place for you in the past. Even 30 seconds of this technique will work wonders on your mood.
5. Tune In
Music is one of the most powerful stimuli known to humanity. Make a CD of songs you’ve found to be relaxing, positively stimulating, or that otherwise has put you in a good mood, then use it whenever you find yourself stressed out, angry, or down.
The bottom line is this. All of these techniques have been scientifically shown to change our brain function and chemistry. Additionally, the more you practice one, two, or all of the above, the faster the response. In other words, we can literally train our body and mind to respond instantaneously and literally change our mood in a matter of seconds. Give these a try and see what works best for you… you’ll be glad you did!
2. On windy days, brush wayward strands of hair from her eyes and mouth.
3. When she’s coming down the street, across the room, or up the stairs to meet you, walk towards her as soon as you see her.
4. Kiss her between her shoulder blades when she turns her back to you to go to sleep.
5. Put your arm around her when you introduce her to your friends and family.
6. Grasp her hand when a scantily dressed, beautiful woman walks by.
7. Call her when you’re feeling sad.
8. Kiss her eyelids.
9. Ask to see a picture of her when she was a child.
10. Wash her from head to toe in the shower.
11. If she’s crying on the phone, go over to her place. Immediately.
12. Stand her naked on a sturdy chair and lick between her legs.
13. Occasionally call her by her first and middle names.
14. Buy her your favourite rock album of all time on vinyl.
15. Order coffee for her, remembering exactly how she likes it.
16. Undress her and put her to bed when she falls asleep in the car.
17. Mention your upcoming anniversary before she does.
18. Send her something in the mail. Anything.
19. When she’s feeling insecure, stare into her eyes and tell her there is no-one in the world who could be as right for you as she is.
20. Call her just before you get on the plane.
21. Pick her clothes up off the floor.
22. Try desperately to make her laugh when she’s feeling down.
23. Take her to see your favourite sport live. Pay more attention to her than to the game.
24. Touch her arm when you leave the table to go to the bathroom. Touch her again when you come back.
25. Shave just before you see her. She’ll notice.
26. Hug her when she gets jealous. Hug her hard.
27. Worship her breasts.
28. Give her jewellery.
29. Hand her two towels when she gets out of the shower. (The second one is for her hair.)
30. Ask her specific questions about her work.
31. Keep her favourite cereal on hand.
32. In the middle of a conversation, tell her you love her.
33. Send her very expensive flowers when you screw up.
34. Take her to a cabin with a fireplace. Build her a fire.
35. Moan her name when she goes down on you.
36. Read her a story when it’s her turn to drive during a long road trip.
37. Offer to fix something at her place that you realise is broken.
38. Notice when she’s wearing something new.
39. Make love to her standing up, against a wall.
40. Kiss her hand in front of your most die-hard bachelor buddies.
41. If she’s too stressed to want sex...
a. Run a bath for her.
b. Give her a full-body massage.
c. Ask if she wants to wrestle.