Vision

For work-smarter-not-harder slackers, discriminating students, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Wondering what to do at this site?

Self education, articles on learning, how to perform at your highest: Right thought, Right speech, Right Action. Setting and attaining goals, taking purposeful action.

1. Find what you’re looking for. How? First, by knowing what it is you’re looking for. Know what you are doing and why; have a purpose to guide your thought and writing process. This seems an obvious first step, yet many people neglect to actually clarify their direction in their writing and in their lives.

2. Make a plan of action (purpose-oriented outline) and stick to it. Once you know what your goal is, explain why your goal is worthy of your and others’ attention. Support your points with evidence and remind the reader (and yourself) of your argument’s relevance by relating each point back to your main goal.

3. Keep the end in mind. Pay attention to the task at hand. Your task is often a means to a certain goal, yes; but the practice of excellence in performing the task itself is also the goal. Conserve your energy for the critical pithy heart of your subject: devote 80 percent of your time on the few tasks/activities/ideas essential to your chosen subject. Always hold a clear intention in your mind of what you aim to accomplish through the effective use of each word/argument/directive/suggestion/activity/etc. Ask yourself, “How does the [achievement of this task, use of this word, consequence of this thought etc.] help me to reach my goal by being the person who _____ ?

Choose It. Make the Best Decision.

Effective Study and Test-Taking Tips

The Journey Begins…

Choose a quiet study spot, cover small portions at a time, break often and go outside (exercise gets the blood flowing; blood delivers nutrients to your brain; you function more efficiently; everyone is happy). Also, sleeping after a study session helps to organize and encode the new information into your stimulated brain.

After you’ve studied a chapter or section, reward yourself with some enjoyable activity ( –only in the rare case that reviewing your illegible Physics 101 diagrams doesn’t make your heart sing irrepressible hymns to the heavens on its own). Of course, if you feel in the flow and want to continue investing in yourself (i.e. learning) for the greatest ROI, (gotta love those investment savvy French Kings), then by all means, continue onto the next related chapter. The key is to see the value in doing what you’re doing so that you’re naturally motived to continue, and you derive pleasure from the physical experience of learning physics. Well, something close to pleasure; whatever you can muster.

Mnemonics (memory devices):

Use songs, jingles, acronyms, weird (word) associations — anything to make the material stick. Unusual associations are more easily remembered, but don’t make your connection too far out in left field, or you won’t trigger what you were supposed to remember in the first place.

If you want to see some examples of well-known mnemonic phrases, try this mnemonics page for students in the health sciences, or this reference for Memory Techniques and Mnemonics from Mind ToolsTM.

These techniques are especially useful for cramming a lot of material into your short-term memory, but don’t just memorize; understand — synthesize your existing knowledge and the new. Make new synaptic connections. If you’re not sure whether or not you really understand the material, try the following:

Try explaining/teaching the material to someone else.

Answer “why?” or “for what function or purpose?” (if applicable)

Study in a relaxed atmosphere; your brain can process amazing amounts of information when it is cycling at the optimal frequency (7-12 Hz) for information input.

Tips for Multiple-Choice Tests:

1. Read the question and try to anticipate the answer before looking at the options below.
2. Read each question completely. There may be a more complete answer farther down on the list of options. Remember that you are not necessarily looking for the right answer, but for the answer that best satisfies the question. (That may sound confusing, but it’s not.)
3. Quickly eliminate the obviously wrong answers.
4. Be aware that answers to one question are often contained in another question or section of the test.
5. Options that contain sweeping generalizations (with words such as always, never, must, totally) are more likely to be incorrect.
6. Options that contain carefully qualified statements (with words such as often, perhaps, sometimes, generally, may) tend to be correct.

Tips for Essay Exams:

1. Plan. Read over the whole exam, decide which questions are easiest for you to answer, which carry the most weight, and how much time you will spend on each question.

2. Organize and make your points explicit (but not R-rated, unless your prof wants that sort of thing…). Write an outline of your main points, underline headings, and help the exam-marker understand your argument’s direction. If the prof isn’t sure why you’re mentioning J.S. Mill in your masterpiece on swimsuit design, you’re not going to get the marks.

3. Be relevent, and use jargon specific to the course. This involves walking the fine line between b.s. and the kind of b.s. that baffles brains. Don’t go overboard, but using a few technical phrases where appropriate demonstrates that your brain has been successfully indoctrinated into the hegemonic paradigm of university life. Well done!

Articles:

Is America dumbing down?

Here’s a slacker cure.

Growth Mindset is Key

What Smart Students Know
What Smart Students Know: Maximum…

How to Figure Out What You Want in Life

“Happiness is a natural byproduct of living one’s passion. So, live your passion.”
See more books by Ernie Zelinski

What Do You Really Want in Life?

One of life’s most difficult processes is discovering what we really want as individuals. Notice that most of us don’t know what we really want because we haven’t taken the time to find out. The problem is we define our personal wants and successes according to the expectations of others. Societal standards have become more important than our own unique needs.

To further complicate matters, wants have a habit of shifting with the winds. Desires are shaped by hidden needs and reshaped by mysterious forces. Too often when we get what we want, we don’t want it anymore.

If there is anything that will keep you from getting what you want, it is not knowing exactly what you want. Reaching the best destination is highly unlikely if you don’t know what the destination is. You must do some soul-searching and really understand yourself before you can determine what your wants and needs are.

Challenging Your Wants (or figuring out what you really want in the first place)

Many of us have lost touch with what life is all about. We have sacrificed the child in us, which knew what turned us on for our own satisfaction and pleasure. Having given up our personal desires and wishes has dulled us so much that we are not stimulated by anything.

Ensure that you aren’t chasing after what your mother or your best friend or Madison Avenue wants you to want. To discover what you really want, you must (well, this is an effective method I suggest) first write down what you think you want. Recording your wants is a way to make them more visible so you can challenge them.

Reveal your perceived wants and assumptions of why you think you must have them, by writing them down on paper or a blackboard or by entering them on a computer. You have to dwell on what you think you want and find the origin of that want. Finding out whether you are the source of your wants, or whether it is something you were told you wanted, is important.

As you become aware of which wants are your own and which you were conditioned to accept, you will be better prepared to pursue your genuine interests. Perhaps you will find all of your wants were there because you were told you wanted them, or you thought you should want them, but really didn’t. Then you have to look harder to discover your true wants. Don’t shy away from this task, or you may waste the rest of your life doing what someone else wants you to do; this is not something which will contribute to a fulfulling and happy life. It’s your life!

Action

Write down all your wants, needs and goals in terms of what you want to do and what you want to be. As you discover what you want, you can select those activities which truly turn you on. Next, look at your list and then live what you think you want. You’ll either quickly have and be the life and person you desire, or you’ll do some more fine-tuning. Welcome to the process of living.

Keep your focus on what you want. Your actions will naturally follow in stride. Your thoughts prepave the way!