4 Powerful Habits of Mind That Anyone Can Learn 61

powerful habits of mind

Developing the right habits of mind is where we need to start, before we move onto setting and achieving big life goals.

Change is a powerful process. But it only works if you give it enough time and let your mind get used to it without feeling overwhelmed.That’s why it happens on a mental level first, before we see any actual outcome in real life.

Habits are the things we repeatedly do that let us transform our behavior and who we are in the long-term. They let us build willpower in the process, and move gradually from old patterns to new, successful ones.

But too many people start big and rush into changing things like the time they wake up, what they eat, what they do daily, etc.
They do it at once, without any mental or physical preparation. And soon fail.

That’s because there’s a certain set of steps we need to follow if we truly want to build better habits. But most of all, we need to pay attention to our mind first and make it stronger and adaptive to change.

And, in fact, that’s easy. It too is a matter of choosing the right habits and sticking to them. It’s just that everything happens in your head. So others have nothing to do with it and no outer factors will have any influence on your mindset change if you’re serious about this.

By the way, you may find my book on mental habits useful. It covers 10 such behaviors.

But if you just want to take action mentally right away, here I’ve summarized four of them. They are easy but quite powerful if turned into a habit.

1. Always keeping your why in mind.

First, comes the importance of having a direction in life. That’s your purpose, the reason you wake up every morning and what will give meaning to your days.

It’s also what will make you happy and without regrets over time. But for now, you just need to figure it out and always keep it in mind.

Know that there’s a why behind everything we do, no matter how mundane.

And if our why isn’t defined by us and strong enough, it will be something ordinary. Then, it’s no wonder that we’re living an average life.

To find it, see what moves you, what you’re passionate about, what you can talk about for hours without getting bored, or what you can do for the whole day without feeling exhausted.

It doesn’t need to be a hobby. It can be something that’s not so visible. Like your love for teaching people, or for books, or for meeting new people.

All that must be analyzed as it’s obviously what you love doing the most. And then, be sure that with today’s opportunities there’s a way to make it a permanent part of your life and turn it into your career.

But even if that doesn’t happen, you’ll have defined yourself more clearly, will make sure your life goals and daily actions resonate with that why, and will take decisions more confidently having it in mind.

2. Learning how to focus.

The benefits of finding focus in daily life go beyond just doing productive work.

First, make sure you’re aware of all the distractions around us and how they are preventing us from getting things done. But what’s worse is that they are also leading us astray from our goals and dreams if we let them.

So we need to stay focused.

A goal can only be achieved if we keep our mind concentrated on it long enough and don’t let other people and outer factors get in the way.

Focus is the ability to choose to pay your undivided attention to just one thing, while many others will be fighting for that attention.

But here comes the moment to realize how precious our limited time is. And that we need to be selective.
So do only what’s essential. There’s no point and time for anything else.

3. Being present.

In this chapter of the book on the mind habits that lead us to success, I talk about letting go – leaving behind any thoughts connected to the past and future – and experiencing the present moment instead.

This moment is all we have control over. It’s where life happens and the only place we can do something about our future.

It’s also a great additional habit to focusing. They go together and form a state close to meditation, or when someone’s in the zone, when we feel super inspired and are more concentrated and productive than ever.

Only when we’re present and have ignored distractions, can we work on an important project, communicate with a person on a deeper level, breathe, work out, write, read, etc. Because then we’ll be one with the activity and thus be able to make the most of it.

Just imagine making this your lifestyle by doing it daily. It can be your approach to anything.

4. Forgiving.

Forgiveness too happens on the inside. And must be turned into a habit if you want to make sure your life is peaceful and contented.

When I say forgiveness, I mean forgiving any other human being that’s done anything to you, forgiving life for the times it didn’t answer your expectations, and – most importantly – forgiving yourself for all your mistakes and the things you didn’t do but wish you had done.

If forgiveness becomes our habit, we’ll live simply, freely and happily.

There won’t be any burden from past relationships or unpleasant moments to carry with us, no blame as we’ll know life and other people aren’t responsible for what happens to us, and no regrets and disappointment as we’ll just accept ourselves for who we are.

Think about these four powerful habits of mind, make sure you understand their purpose and why they are good for you. Then make a plan on how to build them gradually. And take the very first step today.

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How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 4

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

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In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

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Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.