The Decision Filter

On average, we make about 40 000 decisions every day. These decisions include both conscious and subconscious decisions, most of them being subconscious. What makes things much more complicated for us is the incredible amount of influences that affect us throughout this decision-making process. For instance, deciding whether to buy a coffee from Starbucks or to save money on that one purchase could be quite troublesome. How come? Because we are quite easily influenced by factors like social media, visual adds on the streets or simply our friends who buy their coffee on daily bases, thus presenting it to us as a common action to take. Without realising that buying a coffee for 5$ on a daily bases leads to an expense a little over 1,800$ in a year, we follow the “standard” and suffer the consequences with everyone else. What I want to talk about today is a very simple decision filter you can use pretty much every time you’re making a decision. This will help you evaluate your decisions based on your own values and principles.

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Step #1 Define Your Values & Priorities

To structure your filter effectively, you first need to define its functions. You need to define the variables that will affect whether our decision passes through the filter or whether it gets stuck inside it. The two core variables that we’ll focus on are your values/principles and your priorities.

Values/principles

To define your values, take a piece of paper, sit down in a quiet place and think about what kind of person you would like to be. I’d suggest focusing on 10-20 core values that can range from honesty, respect to others all the way to being responsible and professional. All these values and hundreds of others will help you define one of the layers of your filter.

Priorities

As Warren Buffet said, the best way to define your priorities is to think of 20 goals or achievements you’d like to reach within your lifetime. List them down, rank them from the most important one as number 1 to the least important one as number 20. Once you’ve ranked them, take the 3 from the top and disregard the rest.

Step #2 Three Core Questions

Now that you have defined your variables in your filter, you can structure the filter itself. The filter is constructed from 3-5 check-in questions that allow you to make it clear to your mind whether the decision should pass through into the action taking stage or whether it should be stopped.

Question #1

This question should involve your priorities. The question should look somewhat like this – Does this decision bring me closer to becoming…./reaching….. or does it keep me where I am or take me further away from it? For instance, if your #1 priority was to become financially free, you could ask yourself – Does buying a coffee every day in Starbucks get me closer to my financial freedom or does it keep me at the same spot, or even worse, away from it?

Question #2

Question #2 should focus on your principles and values. You should ask yourself something like – Does this action violate my values and principles? For instance, if you wanted to be very honest and you were facing a decision whether you want to tell your partner that you’ve cracked her favourite vase, what do you think you should do? Ask – Does not telling my partner about cracking her vase make me a dishonest person? The answer to that would be – yes, so it follows that the action you should take is telling her about it.

Question #3

Question number 3 is a little reassurance after the first 2 questions. If you buying a coffee in Starbucks doesn’t pass one of the first 2 questions, question 3 could help you find a “middle way.” The question should look somehow like this – Since this action violates my values/priorities, how can I do it so that it wouldn’t? For instance, If you really want to buy coffee, maybe you should buy a cheaper one, or maybe you should brew your own. If there is an appointment that hasn’t passed your filter due to the prioritisation of different tasks, can you reschedule it? Can you leave earlier? Can you make it shorter?

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Overall, this filter serves as a tool to make your life simpler. Using this will allow you to make decisions based on your own view, based on your own values, principles and priorities. It is also very customisable, so take it, play with it and exploit it as much as you can! Much love!

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Mastermind Learning Technique​

Many of you reading this are students and if not, I strongly stand behind the saying that we all should be life-long learners. We should always be striving to learn more, to educate ourselves not only in terms of academic education but also in terms of life education, which includes concepts ranging from the subconscious mind to financial literacy. Thus I believe that people like Robert Kiyosaki or books like The Secret or The Power of Subconscious Mind should have a place in the lives of all of you. In this article, I want to reveal one of the most effective methods to learn quickly and easily with minimum effort but maximum result. I have been using this technique for a very long time and I can say that it works perfectly. I strongly recommend that you give it a try!

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Learning/forgetting Curve

The human brain is an exceptional memory tool, more complex but also more effective than the most modern computers of the present. It is the most effective computer on Earth. However, even the smartest computer has no use if we don’t know how to use it. Our brains work in a specific way, which we can take great advantage of. I’ll share a curve that represents the way our brain retains information. On the Y axis, you have the amount and the quality of information retained and on the X axis, you have time. You can see that we always forget the info we put in, but the more often and the more regularly we repeat learning the same information, the longer it takes for us to forget it (which is represented by the lower and lower steepness of the curve as it proceeds with time). If you keep repeating this process, you’ll eventually retain the information for years, if not a lifetime. Imagine moving to a new city. When you see the streets once, you will not remember where to go next time. But after passing through these streets for the hundredth time, you will have no problem with the directions there.

 

Související obrázek

Utilise What You’ve Just Learned About

Knowing all this, we can derive many useful learning techniques. In this article, I want to talk about 2 of the techniques I personally use. The first one is the utilisation of smart apps that account for the learning and forgetting curves and the second one is the utilisation of our sleep and the functioning of our subconscious mind during that time.

Anki

This app is excellent for the retention of any information ranging from graphical, economic or business information to language information such as words or idioms. I personally use this app to practice and learn Chinese vocab. I find it very useful because it works on the bases of flashcards. It involves many combinations and many options that allow you to personally customise its functions according to your needs. As I mentioned above, it accounts for the ways our brain retains information. Thus you don’t have to worry about working out your own intervals, as these are already included in the app. Of course, if you want to customise those, you can.

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Utilise Your Sleep!

The way our conscious and subconscious minds work is indeed tremendously interesting. This technique is something that has helped me learn Chinese and go through IB with a very good result. In essence, you utilise the fact that your subconscious mind works during your sleep. The way this works is that before you go to sleep, you take 10-15 minutes to go over what you want to learn. Then you go to sleep and when you wake up you do the same thing. Your brain consumes and retains the information during your sleep. When you wake up and review the information, you’ll realise that you actually know it as if you’ve just read it. This is something that people from many areas of life utilise. For instances, there are many great examples of people learning how to play an instrument, struggling to play a song in the evening and playing it almost perfectly after waking up. The way our subconscious mind works is truly amazing. Utilise it!

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Escape stagnation in 10 minutes

Why am I not growing anymore?!

I reckon we’ve all been there before. Maybe you are in this situation right now. To be fair, everyone reaches this point and has to deal with the same issue. You are in the process of learning something and you feel like you’ve been stuck at the same level for age. In other words you’ve hit the plateau. You don’t feel like you are progressing well. You are frustrated because you’ve suddenly stopped growing. Your stagnation makes it much harder for you to actually get up and work towards your dreams every single day. Don’t worry, I’ve successfully gone through many similar situations.

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“What great performers have achieved is the ability to avoid doing it automatically.”

Geoff Colvin

I have stopped making progress… why?

The progreess curve is very steep at the beginning of each learning process. We make great strides straight to the brightest future and march towards excellence with no doubts in our minds. At least that is how it feels. However, after some time our progress slows down, stops and what is more, very often our curve of progress falls into negative levels. Why is that? And what to do to overcome this state? Let’s look at it together…

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Knowing about the learning curve is essential

This is the classical learning curve of adopting any skill. If you were afraid that you are not growing as much, you are stagnating or even degrading, looking at this graph should calm you down. As you can see above, when learning anything new you must stay persistent at all times! Especially in the third phase. That’s when the biggest crises hits you. Now that you’re aware that if you feel like your progress has stopped you might be actually getting closer to your goals, you need to stop where you are, think and figure out a way to get back on the track! Dedicate your time, energy and willpower to get yourself to the top again. Support it with your passion and don’t ever doubt your abilities again.

Understanding this curve helps you cultivate your patience and understand what it really takes to become better. Use it!

What to focus on?

The key to bringing yourself significantly more success in the future is to focus your mind not on your following year, not on the upcoming weeks, neither on the next few days days, but only on the present. You can not achieve great success without making the necessary small steps towards it. Do not ever try to be revolutionary by risking 100% on something you have not fully understood. That is not bravery, that’s madness. You need to work on the details. You need to be able to fully concentrate on the small particles of your great and fulfilling path. That is the way every single genius is made. Your goals need to be focused on working on every minor thing, which has to be executed in a perfect way. You are able to work hard, but giving it everything  is manageable for a very short time. At least in the beginning. After a while, you will become used to the hard work and struggle it takes to get what you want. You will become comfortable giving it your all. That is called progress.

What does it take to be a master?

Stay present. I do not want to repeat myself, but it’s very important. Be fully concentrated on the moment! If you want to follow this path of reaching your final destination, this is the way to go. Have you ever wondered why does the beautiful word present also have its second meaning as the synonym term to a word gift? Coincidence? Not at all. At least, I believe so. To be present means to be gifted. You are in possession of that magical thing. Use your present time wisely. You never know how much time you have.

Stop looking around, stop looking in the past or trying to predict the future. Be present. You’ll see a big difference. Have you ever seen any of the horse races? Try to recall the horses having their blinkers on their heads forcing them to focus on what is actually important – the very next step! Imagine that you’ve got one and focus only on the activity you are engaged in right now. Employ the so called “Tunnel Vision”.

“If you focus yourself 100% on your minutes, the hours will take care of them.”

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Now you know about  the magic of the so-called deliberate practice!

So that’s it? Is that the thing? Is it that simple? You probably all know that old saying which proclaims that in simplicity there is beauty. It is very true. Deliberate practice is a term denoting the whole process of mastering your skill through the method of consciously concentrating on the smallest details when acquiring a new skill. The method I mentioned above. The term comes from the great American writer Geoff Colvin and is used as the main topic in his best selling book called Talent Is Overrated. I definitely recommend reading it. It will teach you a lot about your big potential to grow in any area. It will also teach you plenty of useful things about the most successful people (like Tiger Woods or W.A. Mozart) using the method of deliberate practice. I just cannot stress enough how great the message of the book is.

“You can not always be doing what you love, but you can always love what you do!”

This is the very last point worth mentioning in this informative article. When you’re going to train anything with the deliberate practice method, you’ll need to stay very patient. You will have to find a lot of willpower, at least at the beginning of your progress. I’m sure you know that even though you might be doing something you really love, constant repetition does get quiet tiring after some time. You might fight it for a long time owing to the fun you’re having. Nevertheless, you’ll get tired. And that’s completely natural. However, life is also about managing to do stuff that you don’t love. Sometimes you even hate it. And these things are the most important in terms of your progress. What exactly? Your attitude towards anything you really don’t enjoy doing. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. If you cannot do what you love, try to love what you do instead. You will feel the difference almost immediately after persuading yourself that you’re absolutely fine doing that!

The lecture of the day…

If you want to master any skill you need to take advantage of your present state. You’ve been gifted with the opportunity to live at the moment, use it wisely. Evenly important is to use it effectively as well. Because the time we can work at our maximum is very limited. And if you want to grow effectively, you need to maximize that time. You need to focus on the small details, small habits. They should be done almost perfectly. Through repeating that process you’ll begin to make an impact. You will be growing more than ever. Concentrate on your present self – doing that, the future is taken care of.

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How to read a book a day (Speed reading)

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times in your life. You have to read as much as you can! Books will widen your perspective and expand your language bank. You need to read to become successful! But what if reading really bores you? What if there’s no time forreading in your life? If you’re dealing with issues like this, you came to the right place! We’ve got an excellent tip for you that will help you read not effortlessly, but very, very effectively! This will not only enormously support your knowledge obtainment process, but also save your butt if you’re a college student who needs to read very quickly and, as mentioned above, effectively. Let’s get into it!

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The luxurious reading method. Not everyone knows about it, but once you discover it, you will never want to come back to normal. Speed reading is the ultimate way of textual knowledge obtainment. Why is it so special?

 

It teaches you that a text is only a set of ideas you need to navigate through and familiarize yourself with it in the shortest amount of time possible without losing the understanding of the idea.

 

Now what do we mean by navigating through a text? Every text has a certain structure. Since we started talking about books, let’s stick to them. Chapters in books are structured in a very specific way. That being: Introduction, body, conclusion. You can go even further. Every single paragraph has a little introductory line and a little conclusionary line. Take a book and try focusing only on the structure of one single chapter. Once you see this, go to the next step.

 

Familiarising yourself with the text. There is a reason we talked about the structure of the text first. You already discovered that every chapter has a little introduction and a little conclusion. Now it is important to realise why are these two important? They’re crucial because the whole argument is introduced and summarised in them. To understand what argument the author is making in the chapter, you only have to read the introduction and the conclusion of your chapter. Why is that people also read the body paragraphs? That is where the authors put there arguments into context and provide their readers with more specific examples. Don’t get us wrong, you need to read the body, it’s just that the body should be the last part you read.

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The process of you reading through the chapter should be as follows: Read the introductory part, read the conclusionary part (understand the argument) and then skim through the body. This way, you’ll get the idea and you’ll also have an example in the back of your mind to put the idea into practice!

 

Now the third and the most revolutionary part of the speed reading strategy. You need to change the way you actually read! Thus accomplishing the third point, finishing the text in the shortest possible time without any losses in your understanding of the text. To understand this, we need to go to the roots of the way we read. When you normally read, you read every single word of every single line of every single paragraph of every single page. However, the speed reading strategy comes in with an amazing idea. The use of peripheral vision. What is peripheral vision? It’s why you can see the person on your right slapping you and dodge his arm. You’re not focusing your eyesight on that person’s hand, but we have a pretty wide angle of vision which allows us to see things we don’t necessarily focus on, but could cause any harm to us (naturally).

 
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Now how do we make any use of this? Let’s focus on a single page for the sake of this guide. Try to fold the page into four parts (fold into half and then again). After folding it, you get three columns separating your page into four columns. Now focus on one single line. When you read it, read only the first and the last word and the three words that are on the lines (folds). This means that your eyesight will begin at the start of the line, bounce from the first word to the second, then to the third, fourth and to the last. If you do this steadily enough, you will also read the words you haven’t put your focus on, peripherally. Now do this with the next line and the next line and so on. You will quickly realise that you’re going really fast and you’re still getting the idea about what the author is talking about. It is obvious that each speed reader has his own way of speed reading. Some use three words as their “bounce points”, some use four.

 

Now put all of the three steps together and here you go! Use this strategy to boost your knowledge obtainment! Also, one little tip for the end. We suggest you do make notes. You might not get back to them, but it is proven that you’re more likely to remember things when you write them down compared to only reading them!

If you want another source regarding this technique, we suggest you watch this.

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Should you really go to university? How to spend your uni-time the right way?

What is your purpose?

 

First things first. What do you expect from life? And what are you willing to sacrifice? When deciding about anything you should try to predict the outcomes of your final decision. That could help you with making your final decision, support your arguments and boost your confidence. Deciding whether to go on a university, or not, is probably going to be a key life decision. What is also worth mentioning is the fact that it represents a huge financial decision. The prices of fees have literally escalated, especially during the last 20 years.

In the present, more and more young people do not even ask themselves whether they should go to the university and get their degree, start some business or try to get employed somewhere. The biggest problem is that the society is pushing students to get those degrees. The students are being pressured immensely from their families, friends their peers, government or many other social groups that are represented by many entrepreneurs and basically all the sorts of employers. It has become a dogma that you need your degree to become successful. However, does that mean you shouldn’t even go to the university? Absolutely not.

In case you’re also unsure how to decide, don’t not panic, the only thing you need to do is to read the rest of this text.

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The mainstream mindset about education is obsolete now

 

The scheme that getting your degree will make your life easy is very, very outdated and doesn’t work at all. Having a degree does not guarantee you getting a solid job anymore. I admit that getting a degree in some scientific industries (for instance medicine, law, natural scientist, etc.) is undoubtedly necessary, but in almost any other branch you might be absolutely fine not having any.

Despite the high number of many famous successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs or Richard Branson who didn’t even get a degree, I would still recommend you to go and get one! But not because of the degree itself.

 

Why to choose studying at uni?

 

It does not matter whether you want to become an entrepreneur or an employee of a company. If you want to become a better person you need to meet a lot of new people, surround yourself with coaches and mentors and always try to learn a lot. Isn’t that what university is actually for? Yes it is! Interesting is that in reality, almost nobody does these activities. The problem is that vast majority of students are too concerned only about their degrees and do not learn anything. If you want to be different and get the most of your student time, you have to use it wisely! The best thing is that it is only up to you.

 

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So how should you use your uni-time?

 

A university is there to help you to prepare yourself for the adulthood. It should help you. That means you need to be proactive and responsible enough to realize it before starting your course. It is only up to you how well you will manage to prepare yourself during those years full of opportunities. The key though is that being a university student does not provide you with any service that will magically make you successful.

Worth mentioning is also the mindset concerning studying. Well, if you are going to study, you are probably not going to actually learn anything. Your objective must be to learn. It is a huge difference in between those two commonly used words. You study a subject, not a life. When you want to get better at something, you need to access a lot of brand new knowledge, new activities and unknown processes connected to your current topic. Can you imagine an athlete studying only the theory regarding running faster? Hardly. All you need to know is the difference between those two words. Believe it or not, knowing about this difference will help you a lot!

 

What opportunities do you have when studying at a university?

 

You’ve got an enormous opportunity to grow! Just realize it, you’ve got a minimum of three years full of time you can potentially use for your self-realization. You have a genuine chance to surround yourself with very inspirational people, you can find long-lasting relationships, you can start businesses or you can just develop numbers of skills, abilities and most importantly habits that will lead your growing personality towards a better life.

 

But you must be proactive!

 

If you still think that you only need your degree and once you have one you are educated enough, read this. Imagine that you will be going to the gym for 4 years. You’ve got yourself into a good looking shape and everyone tells you how awesome your body looks! So you think there is no point in working hard because you’ve done it! You stop going to the gym and stop focusing on a proper diet. This way, you will end up very early with an obese body. And that’s very similar to thinking that school will prepare you for life. No, it won’t. It can help you, like the gym membership could. But if you don’t go to the gym and don’t work hard on your body and mind, why should you be successful? Imagine your university as the ultimate gym for your future career. After getting a degree you should want to stay in shape, that’s what it’s all about!

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And if you don’t have a degree and don’t even want one, here’s a bonus for you!

 

According to our information, companies Google and Apple will no longer ask for your degree. This might be a big opportunity for you, if you don’t plan to get one.

 

The lecture of the day

 

When trying to decide what is the best way for you, it is absolutely necessary to set your goals first. We think that your main goal for university should be actually learning something, not merely getting your degree which will magically save your life. We recommend you to focus on learning actual skills that will help you to become more employable and potentially support you when building your own business. Instead of just studying subjects, try to learn something practical, helpful and effective. Imagine that your university is the ultimate gym for your life. Build your habits, winning mentality and will to learn new stuff. Work hard on getting better in every area you desire to improve and most importantly, realise your dreams!

 

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