Monday, August 14, 2017

How To Go Through College

Staying Sane 

Now: You'll know the dangers of stress, what it does to you, and how to work it out

College Students this is especially for you

(I'm there for you)

This was a post I made on life hack. It helps us keep track of what we are doing in college and the steps we can do to lead a more relaxing and less stressful time in college. I thought this would be important in this motivational class hence I am providing this late. I just wanted to say that you are not alone when you have work to do and it seems like all hell is loose. You can and do have the resources indefinitely to help you stay sane and able to cope with the stresses and challenges of life.

A picture of stress: 
At its' highest 

College does have to be a completely terrible place. If we choose we can make the best time of it. We are definitely able to challenge them and fight off the bad. I know I too struggle with the challenges and demands of life. Sometimes I feel like I work my butt off only to be left with absolutely nothing. Many times it seems like all my hard work has not paid and I have wasted my hard work, time, and effort on something futile and which doesn't pay. But know this: you are so much stronger than you put yourself out to be. You are so much worthy than you think. You have everything you need. All you need to do is challenge that and make yourself all the more stronger and resilient, and hence your bravery will indeed shine through. 

Do you remember this? Do you recall being in this exact fetal position during your time spent in university? Well - I do. 

I have the most hardest and toughest time dealing with stress. Especially when it comes to school work, I find that I begin losing my mind quite easily. I notice the symptoms of being angry at everyone around me, wanting to hit my head on the wall, or even pulling my own sensitive hair out of place. At times this works. Other times it leaves me feeling bad about doing stuff ridiculously harmful to my body, emotional and physical well-being. 

Another very accurate depiction of the harm of stress:

But, remember this- you are absolutely and positively brilliantly able to perform at your greatest 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Word of wisdom

A little word of wisdom

Why giving it your all is the best thing you can do!

Have you had moments where you felt as if no matter how hard of an effort you put, things don't come out as expected? I get this feeling all the time but the most important thing is to not let it go to your head. Yes, we are going to make mistakes. Yes, we will fail. But, the best thing is to get up on your feet because when a person doesn't fail, he or she doesn't know how it feels to fall and then get back up. It is that spontaneity, and that spur in the moment, that helps us bounce back and act resilient. 

I think being an individual is important in today's age. Instead of joining the bandwagon, a person should not conform to anybody's expectations and instead, should embrace his or her quirks and be proud regardless of the end results.

There are going to be places where you falter. There are going to be times when you excel. The most important thing is that you try your best. Even if you try your best, and nothing substantial comes, the obvious and prudent thing is to feel that feeling of satisfaction as that is incomparable.

:) I know things may not seem easy. I know all things may make you mad, sad, or angry at times, especially during times where people expect you to be upright, happy, and jovial. But know this. No one is perfect and no one can claim to be.
Find pleasure in the small things. Life will throw hurdles at you, but you never give up! 

Resilience is the key to everything. You are not perfect and don't try to be. It is the beauty in the imperfections that keeps life all the more interesting and all the more enjoyable and innovative. 

Don't let that spark dry out. Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss

(Ramanpreet Kaur)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Report: The Honest Truth About Dishonesty

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely is basically a book about how, why, and how much, people will cheat on any given task or situation. Well, what he found was that it does not matter how much the reward is, it does not even matter if the likelihood of being caught is raised. The only thing that matters is a person's psychological distance from the act of cheating. Ariely suggests that though we think that we think about cheating rationally and weigh the consequences of our possible actions, no one actually does. He thinks that no one really cares about the consequences, no one really cares about the size of the payout, what really matters is how much guilt will your conscious be able to carry.

I had a few favorite parts of the book, the first being the "guest speaker" that Ariely brings into his class to talk about how to get rich. The second was the studies that Ariely did to come to his conclusoins. First, the guest speaker. The speaker comes to the class and essentially tells that that the best and easiest way to get rich is to cheat. He names a bunch of people who've cheated and been successful, then names a few people who got caught and what defenses they used to get out of their crimes. The speech is basically telling the class that they can be rich, by cheating, as long as they do not let any silly "feelings" get in the way. Throughout his extensive research Ariely has done numerous experiments, but some of the ones in this book are actually entertaining. The first major experiment is when he has students do matrices and offers to pay them up to $10 for 10 minutes. He does so many variations of this experiment and at one point introduces not only a paper shredder, but also a blind person. He uses as many different combinations of variables as possible to entice as much cheating as possible, but the crazy thing is that whenever a group cheated, they cheated the exact same as any other cheating group. No matter what the circumstances the groups always added 2 correct answers to whatever they felt the "average" number of answers were.

To me this book closely relates to self-handicapping, a topic that not only we covered in class, but also something that I have come to realize that I have done my entire life. Though on the surface they may not relate, if you look deeper you'll see that these people in the experiments that Ariely did were not only cheating for the monetary reward, they were also cheating for their own person esteem. Much like with self-handicapping the people are giving themselves something to save face, instead of pushing things off and giving themselves an out though, they are preserving their belief of being above average by saying they did above average work on the matrices. These two things are very different in how they are done, but can achieve the same result if someone is seeking the same goal.

All in all, the book can be used by all people to find their own reasons for why they would cheat, and find ways to be honest with others and themselves. It can be used to help the world rid itself of cheaters or, of course it can be used as a guide for cheating, once someone understands that if they distance their conscious from the act of cheating that it becomes easier, then they will become a more effective cheater.

Food neophobia

Food neophobia is generally viewed as the unwillingness to eat, or the prevention of, new foods. Food neophobia is often shown in children.  The important thing for parents to do is to be supportive as they try new foods. Reassuring them that they don’t have to like it could help as well. The child’s opinion about the food has to be respected maybe they truly just don’t like it. Pressuring them to like it can cause them to not want to try different types of food. Food neophobia is different than finicky eaters. Children of all ages know what they like and don’t like but that’s because they are will to try them. Children with food neophobia do not even want o try the food. I know a young boy who only eats chicken nuggets and buttered pasta. His mom has tried to encourage him to try different foods but he refuses them and gets upset. He would  not be considered a finicky eater because he will not even try the different foods.

Coffee Addiction

People do not view caffeine as a drug, however caffeine is probably the most commonly used drug in the world. Caffeine can be found in many products like tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, but coffee is the source of caffeine. Caffeine can cause a mild physical dependence and some people depend on caffeine to get through their day. Caffeine withdrawal can make for a few bad days. Some symptoms caused by the lack of caffeine include headaches, constipation, depression or sleepiness. The difference between caffeine and other drugs is caffeine is legal. Caffeine does not have an intoxicating effect on a person. People do not have behavioral changes, or lose of motor skills, while people who use cocaine or methamphetamines might experience.

Book Report: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Book Report: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Is True Happiness Possible?

General Overview
Many people search their entire life for happiness without understanding what it means therefore have difficulty being able to keep it. Csikszentmihalyi spent 20 years researching the state of mind of artists, mountain climbers, workers and athletes about their feelings when engaging in their activities which created the book Flow. This was written to help people people with the process of obtaining happiness through control over one's inner self.

According to Csikszentmihalyi, considering how consciousness works, and how it is controlled will help individuals understand the way subjective states are shaped and therefore can be mastered. The optimal experience of flow is based upon individuals ability to control his or her consciousness to the point of the highest degree and well being. People will go through good and bad times. However, after being able to experience flow,  one will no longer stay stuck in the problem that is beyond their control. On the Antithesis end, joyful experience will escalate drastically and pleasure will increase to new level.

Favorite Part- Chapter 8 Enjoying Solitude And Other People

As chapter 8 explains, to keep our flow of energy continual and beneficial to self- we have to be aware and conscious where we place our time and energy. By engaging with others I find a sense of purpose and embrace moments of solitude. By doing this I am aware of what's acceptable and unacceptable in my relationships. Self-reflecting increases my mindfulness which enables me walk away from relationships that are under-serving of me. This is my favorite part because for several years I ran on automatic pilot and didn't take the time to sit with self which caused emotionally, mentally and physical pain. After several years of being exhausted I began to search new ideas of ways to quiet the mind and that's when I begin to practice mindfulness which took several months before I was able to quiet the mind. Since, taking on this practice I have felt happiness at times. 

This relates to the lecture slide Ted Talks youtube video about Flow, what contributes to a life worth living? The video mentioned how people believe materialistic items will increase happiness. "People keep hoping that changing the external conditions of their lives will provide a solution. If only they could earn more money, be in better physical shape, or have a more understanding partner, they would really have it made. Even though we recognize that material success may not bring happiness, we engage in an endless struggle to reach external goals, expecting that they will improve life."

Since reading this book, I have been thinking about how much time I spend engaging in external goals such as work, school, interpersonal relationships, social activities thinking that's happiness. When in reality I am chasing the next dollar, highest grade and validation. I've experienced happiness at times however tend to get caught up in the daily grind of life without being present.

Sexual Motivation

Sexual motivation is one of the most important things to our world because without it we probably wouldn't be here or continue to carry on what we need to do-reproduce. Unlike hunger, sexual drive does not motivate people to fulfill a basic biological need. A lack of food leads to death; whereas, a lack of sex does not. However, biological and psychological influences both drive sexual motivation. Sexual Motivation can be driven by several things, which even differ by gender, but either way it eventually leads to the Sexual Response Cycle.

Book Report: Why We Do What We Do

General Overview:
            Why We Do What We Do by Edward Deci is a book that gets you thinking out of the box about your behaviors and the factors that may manipulate your behaviors. Deci seamlessly incorporates scientific data and clinically tried experiments, while conveying his quintessential message of the text, to be authentic/autonomous in your actions and behaviors. Deci defines behaving authentically and autonomously as, “being the author of one’s actions-acting in accord with one’s true inner self.” Although he later argues in the book that many people never have a chance of discovering their true self, as they are too pre-occupied existing under extrinsic pressures or intrinsic manipulations that guides their daily life to find out. Furthermore, Deci delves into the processes of extrinsic rewards and their negative effects on the psyche, as he illustrates through multiple case studies that people do better and are happier performing a task if they are doing it for themselves, versus for some external pressure or extrinsic reward. There are also some amazing tidbits on teaching, managing, and leading, as well as great insight on how to be authentic/autonomous supportive of your peers, colleagues, and students. In summation, if you are interested in becoming autonomous/authentic in your everyday actions and behaviors, as well as learn more effective ways to motivate people, then this is the book for you.

Favorite Part:

            My favorite part of the book was the first chapter, Authority and It's Discontents. The exposition to Deci's thought processes and feelings on people's true motives behind their actions, behaviors, and motivators is mind blowing. However, my favorite part of this chapter was his breakdown of our actions as being autonomous/authentic rather than pressured or forced. Deci accentuates the need for people to act volitionally in their behaviors and actions, as they may harbor feelings of disdain or rebellion if they are externally pressured to do the everyday actions that entail their lives. Deci, further breaks down the concept of authentic behaviors in this chapter as the art of having behaviors integrated versus interpolated into people's lives, with the key finding that people perform better at tasks/designated behaviors that they volitionally integrate into their lives. Deci cites an example of a person attempting to diet in this chapter to detail his finding, as he states that the person intrinsically motivated to diet will have far better success and rewards from the process than the person that is dieting to please a pressure that they are externally facing. 


         I relate a lot of the principles that were found in this book to the slides on drugs, as I question how many people that use are acting authentically rather than rebelling against an external force that they are facing. I have mentioned several times before that Deci's key finding in the book is the power of intrinsic motivation, and I often wonder how many of these poor souls that are strung out on narcotics are wasting away the talents that they possess because of the external pressures they are facing. After reading this book, I have become so thankful that I have always had a keen belief in myself and my abilities, as I have found out multiple times over my college/life career the power of intrinsic belief. I feel like Why We Do What We Do would be a great book to make mandatory reading for patients in detox or drug therapy, as I feel it will provide a lot of relief of their internal pain and highlight the reasons that caused them to start using in the first place. Essentially, I feel as if we all have something unique to contribute to this planet, and I hate to see young souls taken by narcotics before they share their gift. Therefore, I feel like this book could stop a lot of people that abuse narcotics from jumping off the ledge so to say, and again affirm in them their belief that they lost, the belief they should have in themselves.



                To transfer the learning and knowledge that I gained from this book to other elements in my life I will keep the teachings that I have learned from Deci near and dear. For example, for every task or activity I assign myself in the future, I will try to hone in on what brought me there in the first place, being that somewhere, subconsciously I thought this was an event worth doing. Another way that I will use the teachings in this book to help me in life is to intrinsically motivate me to do my schoolwork, as I will tap into the reasons that I started school and reflect on how far I have come to get to this point to push me through the hurdles that we all face come semester time. In all, I could talk about the teachings in this book forever, but I encourage you to read it yourself to find out some of the underlying secrets of success!

Food and mood

It's not a secret that food can affect how you feel. Even though you might think that eating an entire quart of ice cream when you're feeling sad helps, it does not in the long run. Food is our fuel. Certain foods, like foods that contain vitamin D are good for your mood because they help produce dopamine, which is essential to your mood. But just because you eat the right things, doesn't mean you're in the clear. While eating the right things is important, eating enough is just as important. Eating three meals a day is important...which means you can't skip breakfast. As well as three healthy meals, we should be eating two snacks a day as well to keep our energy levels up in between the meals and ensuring that our blood sugar does not go down which can effect mood too. Pair these with a good daily workout and your mood will be increasingly better.


Even though alcohol can be addictive,  addictions can be broken with motivation and will power. However, because alcohol has become such a social crutch for a lot of people, breaking those habits can be hard. Just like any other substance, we grow a tolerance to alcohol. This is a part of the addiction and can make these patterns hard to break. While setting goals and remembering what motivates you, celebrating achieving these goals, and having support, it's possible to break habits and addictions to anything, including alcohol.

Book Report: The Willpower Instinct

The Willpower Instinct

                  The Willpower Instinct is a book written by Dr. Kelly McGonigal, who is a health psychologist and also a teacher at The Stanford School of Medicine's Health Improvement program. Her job is to help people make healthy choices in life and to also help them manage stress. Through many years of watching so many people struggle to create a better lifestyle she realized that many of these people believe that the word "Willpower" was basically like sabotaging their success and creating unnecessary stress. This led her to create a class called "The Science of Willpower" which is a class offered to anyone that talked about how to break old habits and how to create healthy habits. It also talked about how to find a focus and to manage stress. In this book she presents test and experiments after each chapter mainly for the reader to put his or her own habits into effect after a certain situation.
                        My favorite part of the book was in chapter six when Dr. McGonigal discusses how feeling bad leads into giving in. The main topic that stuck out to me the most was when she said that stress leads us into the wrong direction, away from our clear-headed wisdom and towards our least helpful instinct. This made me think about a friend I once had whose life was perfect until he got a girl pregnant that he was not with. She put him on child support, told him he could not see the child and that she wanted him to sign his rights away. Instead of listening to myself and others about taking things the legal way such as joint custody or visitation but he ignored everyone. He started to think in stupid ways as if his situation would disappear and found himself leaning towards drugs as if it was going to take pain away. I told him to try some stress-relief strategies such as taking a walk, going to church, go out on family trips, rehab and etc. At first it was not working but I told him what was more important loosing his child forever or being on drugs?  So the strategies started to work a little  but he still needs more help and positive vibes around him. Dr. McGonigal said to try stress relief strategies that works. I told to stop stressing over a situation that could of changed because all your doing is creating unnecessary issues within yourself. I asked him what is he so afraid of that made you lean towards drugs and then he told me about his childhood when his mother abandoned him at 13.  I also asked him why don't you pay your child support and he gives answers like i'm not paying for a child that she won't allow me to see. This points me towards the what the hell effect which describes a cycle of indulgence, regret and greater indulgence.
                  This book relates to the course on the self control slides. Although it is not a willpower issue it leads to conflicting outcomes such as doing the wrong thing because of no self control. Without self control we start to break down and stress because that willpower is not there to help you think clear. This book also relates to procrastination as well and it help tell us how procrastination leads to more stress. Dr. McGonigal wrote this book well detailed and yes it will help not just me but everyone. If your going through something or see a person going through something just do me a favor and please don't judge because each and everyone of us is going through something. I loved this book. 

Book Report "Why We Do What We Do"

I chose the book “Why We Do What We Do”, by Edward L. Deci.  The book is about the motivations of people along with their goals and success. When I first started reading the book I found it to be hard to read because there was so much information. However I thought it was a great book. In the book I learned about encouraging people at their homes, schools, or workplaces.  The book helps the readers explore what is known about the deference of essential motivation and extrinsic motivation, the importance of autonomy and the need for authenticity. To prove this, Edward Deci conducted studies proving that when people are encouraged to follow a task at their own discretion, they do it better and faster. People who were told they would be rewarded, or learned that they would be punished if they don't do it correctly, did not do as good of a job.

My favorite chapter of the book was chapter 5, engaging the World with a Sense of Competence. My favorite part in chapter 5 was when it explains that people work better when there is positive feedback. Positive feedback can have a possibly adverse effect on motivation and performance. In the book it also explains what negative feedback could do and it is far worse than positive feedback. Experts have presented, when people were told that they did not perform well, they felt unskilled, hopeless and controlled.

This book was very much related to this class. Chapter 5 of “Why We Do What We Do” is related to the Reward lecture slides in the slides we learned about reinforcements. The book is also related to self-control from the lecture slides. This book could also relate to Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. When the Endurance ship became immobilized by ice, Shackleton motivated his men by keeping their spirits up, by keeping them busy with their duties. All of the members of the team survived months of waiting in the bitter cold and the elements because they were motivated to live and be rescued.

I am 25 and have been in college since 2010. I received my Associates degree in 2014. I thought I would stop after that but I motivated myself to go and get my Bachelors degree. It has taken me some time but I just left my job August 4th to go back to school full time to graduate. It was very scary leaving my job and knowing I will not be making money, but my parents are very supportive and have also motivated me to go back full time so I can finish school.