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The Blog

The Power Words Have In Your Life

Have you ever wondered how words can affect your perception of reality, let alone your emotions and self-image? Words don’t just express emotions or ideas — their function is not purely communicative — and words can in fact have an enduring and substantial influence on your self-esteem.

Limiting yourself to static, negative words and phrases harms your sense of self-worth. Confidence partly stems from how we perceive ourselves and partly from how we believe others perceive us. Therefore, by broadening your vocabulary, enriching it with affirmative phrases and words, you give yourself the vocabulary you need to describe yourself in the best possible light.

Urban lifestyles force us to use a limited vocabulary on our day to day activities. In fact, we try to communicate with the fewest possible words to save time and get things done faster.

What if we could do something more constructive instead?

What if we consciously chose meaningful and emotionally charged words to describe our feelings, intentions, and thoughts? Then we would get a more rewarding experience of ourselves and our reality, encouraging a more positive approach to life.

By improving your vocabulary you equip yourself with new concepts to describe and experience your identity. On the other hand, a limited vocabulary is limiting: it doesn’t let you fully explore the positive qualities and sensibilities that you have, it doesn’t let you acknowledge and articulate them and, by extension, appreciate your self-worth.

Therefore, consciously strive to enrich your vocabulary with affirmative, meaningful words that can uplift, motivate, and support you. Learn and express affirmative words that highlight your assets, your qualities, and your uniqueness.


even-tempered, solicitous, fair-minded, optimistic, unostentatious


zealous, sagacious, high-reaching, inspirational, joyful


organized, conscientious, autonomous, judicious, dedicated

Here are three more words that you can use to describe yourself:


It’s the synonym for shrewd and smart. You might consider yourself shrewd and intelligent, but these are words that have lost their momentum because they’re worn-out from daily use. Sagacious, on the other hand, has a different kind of power and vibe to it. It is a word that’s uncommon, and out of the ordinary, instantly giving you a more strong impression as to its capacity and reach.

Asserting that you are sagacious rather than clever, you visualize yourself in a much more flattering light. The same can be said for all of the other words in the lists above.


Using offbeat to describe your inclination to be peculiarly unique has an entirely different ring to it. By describing yourself as offbeat, instead of weird or strange, you assign an affirmative quality to your self-identity. This word helps emphasize your uniqueness and brings out your uncommon but fresh take on life.


Refers to people who are idealists, who are inclined to be romantic and at times excessively utopian. Asserting and endorsing your quixotic nature lets you take this quality and invest it in ways that can be practical and beneficial. Others might consider your starry-eyed stance unrealistic and immature, but if you embrace your quixoticism you take what’s considered a weakness and turn it into an asset.

By enriching your vocabulary with affirmative words like these you create a pool of dynamic and agreeable concepts you can use to improve your self-image and change the way you look at yourself and your life. Ultimate Vocabulary software can be your primary tool to taking this essential step.

Are Women Better Typists Than Men?

Is typing competency gender-specific? Do men have an inborn tendency to become great typists, or is it the other way around?

According to the US census back in 1910, 8 in 10 typists in the country were women. Women were just starting to enter the labor market and typing jobs were considered the perfect job for a woman — diligently typing away what their male bosses would dictate.

Typewriter manufacturers like Remington used to design their  first typewriter models with women in mind. In fact, typewriters would be adorned with flowers and other feminine décor to make women more comfortable working on them – or so the theory went.

Fast forward to the 21st century and everyone is today using keyboards and typing in one way or another. Who’s better at it?


It’s a matter of anatomy, many argue. Women often have slender wrists and dainty fingers and so their hands are more easily capable of efficiently and error-free typing away on a keyboard, which often has small, close-set keys.

In contrast to the more “manly” and often larger and more cumbersome hands, women’s anatomy seems to make them better at typing and other activities that require manual dexterity, like crocheting for instance.

However we shouldn’t forget that unless a man is in manual work that stresses and thickens knuckles and joints, men’s hands can be equally long and nimble, thus perfectly capable for touch-typing accurately and quickly.

Motor skills

Others in the scientific (and sometimes pseudo-scientific) fields seem to believe that women tend to have naturally better sensory-motor coordination than men.

A new study showed that young women have better visual-sensory motor skill coordination than their male counterparts, an argument many times confirmed. It is believed that women excel in fine motor skills while men are better at motor skills that necessitate more strength rather than accuracy.

A remnant stereotype

The stereotypical presentation of the subtly flirtatious secretary has also contributed in how we regard women as more naturally belonging in front of a typewriter/computer. It’s the aesthetically pleasing image of a hard-working, beautiful typist, elegantly and adeptly keystroking on her typewriter. A male secretary is, to this day, sadly an unusual sight in the professional world; something doesn’t seem quite right. What many people forget is that back in the 17th and 18th centuries, all “secretaries” were men!

Men can be better typists than women – or not

Many men tend to be seriously goal-driven and competitive and thus they learn to touch type efficiently to advance their career. Women may not be so concerned with career-ladder climbing, and they make do with an average word per minute score – or so some people say.

In fact, touch typing is a manual dexterity skill that’s gender-blind. Anyone with the willingness to devote adequate practice time to the process can learn to type efficiently and well. Touch typing is a skill that is equally available to men and women alike, and is decidedly a matter of practice, exposure, and expert learning.

Motor skills and visual-sensory coordination are skills anyone can improve on irrespective of their gender. Men and women alike can learn to touch type efficiently thanks to typing classes or with the use of typing software like Ultimate Typing.

Apparently, factors such as profession and lifestyle affect a person’s typing efficiency more than gender ever will. A programmer or data entry employee, for instance, is someone who is expected to have lightning fast typing efficiency, which is something they learn and improve on with practice.

To say men are better typists than women or the other way around is to lose sight of how touch typing is ultimately a skill that anyone can excel at.

Learn English With These Books Without Making a Hole on Your Pocket

Learning English is now made easy with the wide range of resources available over the internet. Initially, the valuable resources that taught the necessary English grammar and spelling knowledge tended to be priced fairly high, making it impossible for people on a budget (such as students) to easily purchase them. However, with the passage of time, the rising level competition in the market, and the availability of e-reading material means that books have become more competitively priced, making it easier for individuals to learn English without straining their budget. Here is a list of five books that provide the necessary English spelling and grammar knowledge while being cost effective.

Essential Grammar in Use with Answers: A Self-Study Reference and Practice Book for Elementary Students of English

Raymond Murphy (Author)

This grammar book is highly recommended by teachers and professionals and is described as a complete guide towards learning the basics of English grammar. The latest third edition has been updated and now offers more exercises and learning material for readers. The book is also known for its clarity and easy language that allows students and learners to absorb the information quickly. The book also contains answers to exercises, which mean that learners that wish to study on their own will find no difficulty. Lastly, a summary is also included within the book that highlights all the key grammar rules, making it ideal for a quick revision and review.

Advanced Grammar in Use with Answers [Paperback]

Martin Hewings (Author)

This book is specifically designed for students that are at an advanced stage of learning English. The latest version focuses on the technicalities present within the English language and allows advanced learners to grasp the underlying concepts with greater clarity. A section of the book also focuses on basic grammar thereby allowing students to review previous concepts before studying any further. The book is an ideal resource for self studying as the clarity of language and availability of answers mean that little or no help is required.

Improve Your Spelling in English: Materials for Learning and Teaching – Students’ Workbook

Meryl Wilkins (Author)

This comprehensive guide is ideal for students and teachers that are seeking to discover strategies that can significantly accelerate the spelling learning process. The book includes a range of exercises that focuses on various areas within English vocabulary and allows learners to focus on learning strategies that target different aspects of spelling.

Basic Spelling

Michael Temple (Author)

This book is specifically designed for learners that are at the “beginner” stage of learning spelling. The book highlights a range of words and letter combinations that are frequently misspelled and focuses upon words that are commonly used in communication. The book is highly recommended for anyone that initially wishes to target their personal area of weakness and practice from an array of exercises that focuses on an extensive range of words in common use.

Do You Know If You’re An Autodidact?

Have you heard of the word “autodidacticism”? It’s a compound word made from the roots auto- (Greek for self, same) and didacticism (education, learning). Autodidacticism therefore means “self-education” – the process of willingly immersing yourself in a body of knowledge in order to obtain new insights, skills, or information.

In other words, whenever you are teaching yourself something you’re considered a self-teacher, an autodidact.

An autodidact is someone who critically and willingly seeks out knowledge. Autodidacticism is by definition the informal, private, self-teaching process during which the self-educator gathers, processes, absorbs, and uses new knowledge.

Who’s an autodidact then?

Anyone can be an autodidact! An 8-year old girl who, led by curiosity, flicks through “Vanity Fair” (either the book or the magazine) is exhibiting an autodidactic tendency, for instance.

At any time when a person is making a focused attempt to acquire new knowledge in a private setting, this is considered autodidacticism. So, by and large, when a person expresses a motivation or willingness to learn something, he or she is an autodidact.

Autodidacticism fact sheet

  • An autodidact is a self-educator, someone who is a teacher and a learner at the same time
  • Autodidacticism is often carried out informally and privately, although an autodidact might consult and discuss with others to elaborate or challenge what he/she learns
  • Autodidacticism can start at any point in a person’s life and end (or not) when desired
  • Autodidacticism is not limited to using books; from craftsmanship skills to history and astronomy, virtually any material is considered an appropriate body of knowledge
  • Autodidacticism stems from a person’s need to acquire more knowledge than other settings (school, family, friends) are capable of providing
  • Autodidacticism is the result of human inquisitiveness, the urge to engage with lifelong learning on a discipline or matter you are passionate about

Key features of autodidacticism

  • The self-learner has full control over their learning (from topic to knowledge depth, to study hours and learning approach)
  • Autodidacticism is often spurred by the individual’s passion and thirst for knowledge
  • Unlike conventional educational settings, autodidacticism is a conscious, self-imposed activity the learner takes great pleasure in

How do you become an autodidact?

Everyone at one point or another has  engaged with autodidacticism. Reading a poem at school and then going to the public library to read more of that talented artist’s work, being inspired by a friend’s soap-making talent and then watching YouTube videos to learn how to make soap yourself, even trying out a new recipe – these are all examples of autodidacticism.

Find a hobby, craft, discipline, art, or sport you’re passionate about. The first step to mastering it is immersing yourself in the existing literature and documentation around it. This could be anything from books and online articles, to videos and discussions with experts about it.

Autodidacticism is greatly advanced when you have a fit, strong memory. A good memory helps you process and understand new knowledge at your own pace by recalling it often for deeper, critical processing.

Autodidacticism is a completely beneficial habit to acquire. It ensures you learn things of true interest that help you become a better qualified person in what you love and are passionate about. Being a self-taught individual gives you a discerning edge over those who don’t engage with lifelong self-directed learning. If there’s a good time to become an autodidact, it’s now!

10 Things You Can Do Today to Become More Creative

Creativity, the ability to “think outside the box,” is a trait that is sought by employers in both their potential and current employees. Any individual who is creative, the thinking goes, will be able to design solutions that are innovative and yet still compatible in the existing business environment. However, many individuals struggle to tap their inner creativity. This usually results in lack of productivity and the inability to be innovative and combat change effectively. Here is a list of ten methods that you can apply in your daily life in order to become more creative.


Reading fiction that is far from reality, such as “Alice in Wonderland,” can significantly enhance the power of your subconscious to be creative. Reading is an activity can be performed before beginning or before completing a difficult task, as absurdity or unrealistic stories can allow you to unleash your creativity.

Understanding the Problem

Rather than dwelling on the complexities present within the solution to a problem, experts recommend higher focus on the problem itself. Re-conceptualizing the problem can allow you to think of creative solutions and design a solution that offers the greatest benefit.

Projecting in Time

Studies reveal that individuals are able to design more creative solutions to the task at hand by projecting the task into the future. This means that rather than thinking about the problems that you will encounter tomorrow, think about a year or a decade from now, and design solutions to your existing and potential future problems at the same time.

Letting Your Imagination Run Wild

Using counterfactuals – statements that express conditions that are contrary to existing known facts – can significantly boost creativity, a recent study revealed. Imagining the opposite of what has happened can allow individuals to tackle problems from a different perspective. Counterfactuals can involve either removing barriers that create a hindrance or adding resources that can significantly accelerate the achievement process.

Design Solutions to All Your Problems at Once

Rather than tackling one problem at a time, psychologists recommend thinking about a variety of problems simultaneously. This will allow you to enhance your creativity while also recalling similar problems that you have solved before. Memory training will help increase your ability to remember problems that you faced in the past, and the solutions you came up with.


Writing can significantly boost your creativity, and this exercise can be done on a daily basis (preferably in early morning hours before you tackle the work for the day). Writing down your problems and listing a range of solutions can allow you to be innovative and design appropriate solutions.

Avoiding Daydreams

Although many people believe that daydreaming results in the unconscious mind wandering into a creative mode, recent studies suggest that daydreaming has little or no impact on creativity. Rather than daydreaming it is advised to think and act on a problem in real time.

Argue Out Loud

In case you are working in a team and have a range of solutions on how to tackle a problem, experts advise you to argue with your colleagues out loud. Arguing out loud will allow you to understand the real-life complexities of a solution and get the team motivated to focus on the problem at hand.

Using Your Mood

A study revealed that people are usually able to tap their inner creativity when they are in a very positive or very negative mood. This suggests that anger and happiness can both be used to think of creative solutions to problems.

Physical and Psychological Distance

Individuals are usually able to design a better solution if they physically and psychologically distance themselves from the problem. This means that rather than imagining yourself in the current location, you can imagine yourself in a different location and time and work from that perspective.

Mindful Meditation: The New Way To Pass Your Exams

How do you study for exams? Are you a dead-silence type of person or do you concentrate better while classical music plays in the background? A new study published in the Psychological Science Journal confirmed a long-standing hypothesis that mindfulness helps improve your working memory capacity and significantly reduce the tendency of your mind to wander.

The Three Ms of Studying: Memory, Mindfulness, Minimum Mind Wandering

Studying is one of the most challenging intellectual tasks children and young adults face throughout their school and university years. In order to develop an efficient study routine, with long-term storage of the information studied, you need mindfulness, minimum mind wandering, and a well-functioning memory capacity.

The study conducted by University of California researchers looked into how mindfulness affects studying, and the subsequent exam scores. While the study focused on participants taking GRE exams, its findings are applicable to a wide range of other student exams, including IELTS, SAT, and GMAT exams.

The Exciting Findings: Mindfulness Improves Test Scores

It has been long known that a wandering mind, prone to distraction, is frequently the reason why we underperform on mentally challenging tasks such as exams. Our helplessness to stop ourselves drifting into thoughts and dreams unrelated to the task at hand severely compromises productivity, performance, and efficiency in many aspects of our lives. What starts out as an issue in school can lead to even more impact on our future professional lives.

The researchers at Santa Barbara found that after a two-week mindfulness intensive training program, those participating saw their memory capacity and their mindfulness improve. The experiment succeeded because it shows that practicing mindfulness substantially reduces the tendency of the mind to wander, making it easier for people to focus on the present moment and on what requires their full attention at that instant.

The proof of the positive outcome of the training program are found in the 48 university undergraduates’ GRE scores. The students were able to perform better in the reading comprehension section of the GRE exams they were asked to take. While prior to the mindfulness training program the undergraduate students’ average GRE score was 460, post training this score increased by 60 points, becoming 520.

The study confirms that mindfulness can help improve concentration and ultimately performance at any intellectually challenging task, as it helps eliminate mind wandering and improves working memory capacity. This is obviously very useful for students who are required to frequently take all sorts of exams.

Practicing Mindful Meditation

Mindfulness is a skill. It’s the ability to suppress the urge to let your mind wander to unrelated thoughts, and instead focus entirely on a given task. It’s a skill that can be learned through practice.

Sitting meditation is a popular practice that improves mindfulness. In this practice, you focus on slowly becoming aware of your present state of being, excluding all unrelated thoughts and feelings.

Find a quiet, relaxing environment and sit cross-legged (or in a position that is comfortable for a longer period of time). Close your eyes and slowly start paying attention to your body, your breath, how your hands touch your knees, the sound of your lungs breathing air in and out. Gradually, let every thought and task blur into the background, while you become entirely aware of how your body feels in the present moment.

For mindfulness to be successful, body, thoughts and breath need to be synced with the present moment. Start with breathing to anchor yourself into the present, introduce your body to the experience by inviting each sense in one by one, and lastly, clear your mind of anything related to either the future or the past.

With daily mindfulness practice you can gradually increase your overall mindfulness capacity and reap all the benefits this brings, from improved working memory to better performance for mentally challenging tasks.

3 Best Ways To Remember What You Read

We consume a lot of information daily, from print material to online blogs and sites. Our lives revolve around the ability to access and use these ever-increasing information sources. However, the information cannot stand by itself unless accurately processed and applied. In other words, how does information (ideas and concepts) become knowledge (useful resources)?Continue Reading…

Skills to Learn Today So You Still Have A Job Tomorrow

The cut-throat market competition due to globalization, the move towards outsourcing, and the need to maintain profitability in times of recession and spiking inflation means that many organizations have adopted cost-cutting measures. This simply means that employers are no longer interested in potential employees that are unable to add value to the organization. Having outdated skills and not being technologically updated can result in losing your job.Continue Reading…

Why Language Learners Should Be Interested in Nebraska

Nebraska is said to be the linguistic center of North America. Not because there’s some prestigious linguistics scholar residing there, but because linguistically this state is the very point where east, west, north and south collide.Continue Reading…

Tools and Tips to Keep Your Life Clutter Free

One of the basic reasons for a lack of productivity is the inability to focus on the task at hand. Lack of focus can come about due to many different reasons, but most have in common an unorganized system that does not allow you to think clearly. Just like you are unable to find the right pair of socks in a room that has not been cleaned for days, you are unlikely to find a way to work unless you have organized your personal and official issues systematically.Continue Reading…