Wednesday, February 22, 2012

5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Intelligence

Your brain needs exercise just like a muscle. If you use it often and in the right ways, you will become a more skilled thinker and increase your ability to focus. But if you never use your brain, or abuse it with harmful chemicals, your ability to think and learn will deteriorate. Here are 5 simple ways anyone can squeeze a bit more productivity out of the old gray matter.
1. Minimize Television Watching – This is a hard sell. People love vegetating in front of the television, myself included more often than I’d like. The problem is watching television doesn’t use your mental capacity OR allow it to recharge. It’s like having the energy sapped out of a muscle without the health benefits of exercise.
Don’t you feel drained after a couple hours of TV? Your eyes are sore and tired from being focused on the light box for so long. You don’t even have the energy to read a book.
When you feel like relaxing, try reading a book instead. If you’re too tired, listen to some music. When you’re with your friends or family, leave the tube off and have a conversation. All of these things use your mind more than television and allow you to relax.
2. Exercise – I used to think that I’d learn more by not exercising and using the time to read a book instead. But I realized that time spent exercising always leads to greater learning because it improves productivity during the time afterwards. Using your body clears your head and creates a wave of energy. Afterwards, you feel invigorated and can concentrate more easily.
read self help books
3. Read Challenging Books – Many people like to read popular suspense fiction, but generally these books aren’t mentally stimulating. If you want to improve your thinking and writing ability you should read books that make you focus. Reading a classic novel can change your view of the world and will make you think in more precise, elegant English. Don’t be afraid to look up a word if you don’t know it, and don’t be afraid of dense passages. Take your time, re-read when necessary and you’ll soon grow accustomed to the author’s style.
Once you get used to reading challenging books, I think you’ll find that you aren’t tempted to go back to page-turners. The challenge of learning new ideas is far more exciting than any tacky suspense-thriller.
4. Early to Bed, Early to Rise – Nothing makes it harder to concentrate than sleep deprivation. You’ll be most rejuvenated if you go to bed early and don’t sleep more than 8 hours. If you stay up late and compensate by sleeping late, you’ll wake up lethargic and have trouble focusing. In my experience the early morning hours are the most tranquil and productive. Waking up early gives you more productive hours and maximizes your mental acuity all day.
If you have the opportunity, take 10-20 minute naps when you are hit with a wave of drowsiness. Anything longer will make you lethargic, but a short nap will refresh you.
5. Take Time to Reflect – Often our lives get so hectic that we become overwhelmed without even realizing it. It becomes difficult to concentrate because nagging thoughts keep interrupting. Spending some time alone in reflection gives you a chance organize your thoughts and prioritize your responsibilities. Afterwards, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s important and what isn’t. The unimportant stuff won’t bother you anymore and your mind will feel less encumbered.
I’m not saying you need to sit on the floor cross-legged and chant ‘ommm’. Anything that allows a bit of prolonged solitude will do. One of my personal favorites is taking a solitary walk. Someone famous said, “All the best ideas occur while walking.” I think he was on to something. Experiment to find the activity that works best for you.
I hope you aren’t disappointed that none of the techniques I’ve proposed are revolutionary. But simple, unexciting answers are often the most valid. The challenge is having the will to adhere to them. If you succeed in following these 5 tips, you’ll be rewarded with increased mental acuity and retention of knowledge.

Friday, February 17, 2012

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Watch Ghanaian Movies

agya koo Salamatu
At the close of work each week; taking a stroll on the principal street of Kumasi, I can’t help but take notice of the numerous posters plastered on every corner of the city. Interesting enough, most of these posters display Ghanaian movies that are designed to whet the appetite of every Tom, Dick and Harry. From titles such as All Die be Die, Agya Koo Salamatu, Bonsam kukukoo,Asem aba Ghana, Ampe Bre,Ataa Mortuary man and the latest Gargantuan 1 and 2 ; these posters find their way to the living rooms of most Ghanaians not as posters, but as CD ready to provided entertainment to many a household. After being in the ever increasing traffic situation in Kumasi popularly known as “go slow”, what do I see when I switch on my TV? The same movies being advertised but this time, in motion pictures. So which people have been patronizing such movies and what do they get from it? These are but questions I have been seeking answers to. In this article I would love to share with you five reasons why I think you should not watch Ghanaian movies. If you are set, then let’s enter:
  • Not intellectually stimulating
Most of the Ghanaian movies are not intellectually stimulating; you can easily predict the end of the movie from the beginning. Just look at this concept: Agya Koo (Ghana's finest movie star) who grew up in a small village is not making head way in life. His childhood friend who moved to the city some years ago came back to the village and is driving the latest sports car. Agya Koo desires to be like his friend; he envies his friend and seeks for alternative to be at par with him. He seeks for advice from another colleague who prescribes sacrificing his 11 year old son as an alternative. He followed the advice, the wealth and fame starts to pour on him. Suddenly, the ghost of his daughter appears and keeps hunting him. Agya Koo is given three days to confess his sins or gets mad. What would agya koo do? Grab your Copy now! That is a typical storyline of most Ghanaian movies. With such kind of movies parading on the street of Accra and Kumasi, even a class three student from my basic school, stands a higher chance of predicting the end and even writing the other parts of the story if given the chance. Why should you spend two hours of your valuable time on such movies? Unless of course, you do not see the monetary value of time or have no dream to accomplish. 
  • Use of Foul or abusive language
About 90% of the local movies shown on Ghanaian television contain very abusive and foul languages. It is not uncommon to hear one person shout out such words such as “Wu ye aboa”,”wu a gyi mi” etc which when translated into English means “You are an animal” and “you are a fool”. These words are said in the typical Ashanti way that makes you feel the punch even behind your television. Because we can exercise little control over the words we hear, these verbally abusive words sink into our hearts, our kids learn them and they reproduce the same kind of words in their dealing with friends and even parents. Now, I don’t think this is the kind of values you want your kids to learn from watching local movies.Do you?
  • It Makes you Poor
It’s amazing, you find the ordinary Ghanaian go to a movie store to purchase the latest Ghanaian movies and later that same person complains of poverty in Ghana. They have at least 5 cedis to buy a movie to watch but lack the same discipline to invest ₡ 5 on a regular interval in a chosen investment package. On the average, you can count not less than ten CDs in the living room of every Ghanaian, assuming each CD cost₡ 5, then you have ₡50 or more lying waste on the shelves of the average Ghanaian room. If that same 5 cedis was channeled into an investment package that provide a minimum of 10% return per annum. In three years you would probably have ₡66.55p in your account. This is reasonable considering the fact that there is no return on investment on your CDs, they are liabilities.
  • You watch others get Rich:
Closely related to the fact that watching movies (i.e. buying them) makes you poor, you watch others become rich. I bird whispered to me that on the average an accomplish actor or actress gets about ₡ 4000 per movie. So what is in it for you? Why spend time and resources watching someone make money whilst you do not get a dime from it? The only benefit I can point out is, the joy you get laughing your heart outs. Why don’t you channel your time and resources in productive activities? An activity that would translate into monetary equivalent if done well and with perseverance. What do you think?
  • Exposure to intense Nudity
For those who would not go for the Agya koo kind of movie, they are served with intense nudity. The so called elite Ghanaian movies have nothing to offer but nudity. Sex sells, you know, so let’s put more sexually stimulating contents in it, and we would get our money back, this has being the slogan of the producers of such movies. What a shame. So can’t the producers and directors of Ghanaian movies bring as more educative movies. Movies that teach the moral lessons of life and help solve the numerous situations facing the ordinary Ghanaian, i.e.  Divorce, unemployment, suicide, financial crisis?
Till Ghanaian movie producers realize they can change the world with their movies, Ghana would not move forward and we would be just marking time.
What Next?
If you think of watching any Ghanaian movie over the weekend, just pause and ask yourself this question. What is in it for me?  Drop me your comment if you find an answer and let’s keep sharing.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Top 5 Ways to have a Fulfilling 2012

 As you read this post, we would probably be in the second month of 2012. What has happened to your Goals? I mean those New Year resolutions you set? I just hope it has not vanished into thin airs and that you are holding strong those dreams. So, if I was supposed to give you some advice for the year 2012,what would it be?
In this post, I share with you top five 5 ways to have a fulfilling 2012, remember time flies and you need to fly with it if you want to have a wonderful 2012. Most people allow the years to pass by without taking stocks of the year, would you allow this year to also pass by? What should you do if you are looking forward to a fulfilling 2012? These are some of  the paths you can take to a fulfilling year:
  • Live Below your Means
live below your means
I have notice overtime that, there is always the temptation of forsaking the future for instant gratification. We all want to own the latest technology gadget; I do; especially if you consider it an asset. We love to treat ourselves to an expensive night on the town, or take out a loan for the flashy car we can’t afford. It might feel great at the time but rash spending hurts a lot later on.
Enjoy life’s simple pleasures and save as much as you can. Expensive things don’t create lasting happiness and security. Careful spending will bring you greater leisure and enjoyment in the long run. If I have one advice for you in 2012 it would be this: Spend money on only what you would need and trash all expenses as gratifications that goes unsatisfied.
  • Educate Yourself
The very moment we stop learning we stop living. To be happy in the world, we need continuous growth. The best way to grow is lifelong education. This doesn’t mean you need to pursue a doctorate or spend another 2 years studying for a master’s degree. Real education is self education and it means learning new things that takes you out of your comfort zone. It is your ability to seek for fresh ideas and apply those ideas in your everyday living. Education builds over time. It might feel like the bits of wisdom you acquire don’t mean much, but over the years they add up to form a wiser, kinder, more interesting person. A great philosopher once said, the best educated people are those who are always learning, always absorbing new things at every given opportunity.
  • Work towards Your Dream
To have a more fulfilling 2012, find out what you would love to do and work towards it. Even if your life isn’t perfect, you can always build towards a goal you’re passionate about. It just takes one piece of block at a time to complete a magnificent house. Start now, and with what you have.All traffic lights cannot turn green. Keep moving and if the light turns red,stop,take stock and keep moving. If you aren’t building towards something, you’re probably stagnating. We can’t control everything about our lives, but working towards a goal gives us something positive to focus on and lays the foundation for future success. No matter what your passion is, get out there and start doing something. As Lao Tzu said, even a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

  • Build Lasting Relationship
No man is an island. Sometimes you need someone to show you the way. If you want to experience a wonderful life at the end of 2012, start building and maintain lasting relationship. Develop a list of professionals you would love to meet and start taking steps to network with them. You are what you were five years ago, expect for the people you meet and the books you read. People have strong ability to accelerate our progress in life, find them out and build lasting relationship with them.
  • Take time off and Pray
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood”, the Bible says. Prayer is the key to unlock the unknown and the light that shines on our path. When we pray, we acknowledge our limitation and invite the Supreme Being to take charge.It is our soul pouring out its needs, expectations and uncertainty to the Creator. God know what you need. Ask and you shall Receive.Seek and you Shall Find.Knock and the door would be opened on to you. For anyone who asked Receives (MATTHEW 7:7-8)
 What Next?
Don’t live your life to chance, you are the architect of your life. Draw out what you want to achieve before the year end and start moving. Life is too short to be wasted on unproductive ventures.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

30 Questions You Should Get Answers to Before the Year Ends

What questions do you ask yourself on a daily basis?
When you wake up what is the first question that keeps ringing in your mind,and desperately need answers to?
Believe it or not, the kind of questions you ask determine the kind of life you lead. That’s because your questions trigger its own set of answers, which lead to certain emotions, which then lead to certain actions (or inactions), followed by results. If you ask yourself limiting questions, you’ll get limited results. If you ask yourself mind-opening, forwarding questions, you’ll gain a lot more out of them.
Some people like to ask questions like “Why am I so unlucky?”, “What if I had done this earlier?” and “Why am I always in such a situation?”Because these questions are backward looking, the answers you get with them are naturally dis-empowering. On the other hand, questions like “What can I learn from this experience?”, “What can I do differently to move forward?” and “What am I grateful for?” are empowering. They provoke you and get you thinking, putting you on the path to a better life.
I have come to believe questions are keys to self awareness and personal growth, anyone who does not question situations in life rarely get answers and live in a life of low self esteem. Questions are intriguing; imagine being met by a mad man on your way to work; only to ask you what the time is. Won’t it set you thinking? As I enter the world of work and begin to make right choices for myself. I have a lot of question staring me on the face that definitely needs answers to. Such as, is it the right job for me? What career path am I creating for myself? Where would I be five years from now?
In this month of February, I want to challenge you to ask intriguing questions. Questions that would not make you  rest until you find the  answers. In this post, I intend to share with you 30 question you should ask yourself before the year ends. Answers to these question would definitely provide the impetus to have a more fulfilling 2012. So if you are ready, here goes the question:

  1. Who are You? 
  2. Why are you here on Earth? 
  3. What are you passionate about? 
  4. What has been your greatest achievement in life? 
  5. What do you love to do? 
  6. What are your values?
  7.  How would you describe yourself? 
  8. If you had one month to live what would you do? 
  9. Do you love yourself? 
  10. What is your vision? 
  11. Where would you be five years from now? 
  12. What would you do today if there is no more tomorrow? 
  13. Are you living your dreams? 
  14. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in life? 
  15. What advice would you have given yourself 3 years ago? 
  16. What motivates you?
  17.  Who are your friends? 
  18. Do my friends add to me or take away from me? 
  19. What opportunities are you looking for? 
  20. How can you create these opportunities? 
  21. What would you do if you had 1 million dollars?
  22. How would you live your mark on the shores of this Earth? 
  23. What is the biggest lesson life has taught you till date? 
  24. What one thing would you do, if you are sure you would not fail? 
  25. What are your biggest goals and dreams? 
  26. If you were to be the President for a day what would you do differently? 
  27. What has been your worst experience in life? 
  28. At what age do you want to die? 
  29. Who would you love to die with? 
  30. How would you live your life if you know there is no Heaven or Earth?
I think I have been able to set you thinking, so what Next? Send me your comments
Credit: For more intriguing questions click Here

Monday, February 6, 2012

Which Age are You In?

 Which age are you in? The Information age or the industrial age? Today, I see so many people celebrating their birthday on every single day that still lives in a very old age. Although we live in the 21st century, most people actually live in the 15th century. Their thoughts, way of doing things is likely to be compared with Thomas Edison who failed a thousand times before inventing the light bulb. Thomas Edison was a genius but today if  you follow the principles of Thomas Edison by failing a thousand time before fulfilling your dream; you would probably have to wait for year 2100.We now live in a new age, where things could be done much faster  and do not require much sweat. But let me still ask you, which of the ages are you living in? 
The information age or the industrial age?
  • What is the Industrial Age?
The industrial age was the age of my great great grand parents. It was the ages were people who own the land the buildings are on are considered the wealthiest. In the industrial age, you work hard and exude much sweat before you can put food on the table. It involved using your physical strength were only the strong survive. The industrial age can be coined in one word, the survival of the fittest.
  •  What about the Information Age?
The Information Age, also commonly known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, is an idea that the current age is characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to information that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously. In this age, you can be in small corner of your room and get access to resources that would have taken a year in the industrial age. This age bridges the gap between the poor and the rich, the haves and the have not. However, not everyone lives in this age as it has been made to believe.
In this post, I intend to draw a comparison between the two ages, for you to determine which age you are in and if possible make a change.
Comparison between Industrial and Information age
  • In the industrial age, you would probably land your first job at age 25, stay in the same job and undertake a monotonous task until you finally retire at age 60 or at most 65. 
  • In the information age, you retire early. This entails choosing a job you love or starting you own business, work smart to build an asset from the business, retire and get someone to manage the business for you whilst you spend valuable time with family and friends.
  • The industrial age focuses on the number of degrees you have and the parade of certificates in your bed room. A person without good grades in the industrial age is considered unintelligent
  • In the information age, grades don’t count. Those with the ability to adapt learn new technology and offer fresh ideas survive. Much emphasis is placed on your skills and talents. It is the skills you have that makes you stand out from the crowd. In the information age, when you have a talent you don’t bury it, you use it. It is that talent or skills that open great door for you and make you a success. Just look at these great men: Bill Gate, Steve Jobs, Mark Zukerberg, do they have something in common? What about late Michael Jackson, Mohammed Ali or lil Wayne? Which of the ages do you think they belong to?
  • In the industrial age you have only one job, but in the information age you use the power of leverage to your advantage. You use the same set of skills to do so many things at a time. You become one man with many professions: A blogger, web developer, a personal development expert, motivation speaker and the list goes on and on. All you need is a set of skills and the right packaging.
  • In the industrial age you think of Government retirement plan: the Government takes the responsibility of looking after you when your working days are over. They pay your medical expenses and other social security packages. 
  • In the information age you have a self directed portfolio, you are in charge: You make your own choices and accept the consequences that come with it. You don’t go begging on the door of the Government to pay for your medical expenses or cry aloud to the Government when the economy is not doing well and the prices of goods are rising. You take control of your destiny and teach others to do the same
  • Lastly, in the information age, we go to school and stay in school for ever
  • But I love the industrial age, you spend few time in school and go to seminars. The seminars you attend become your new school, you learn from people who have made it in the real world and adopt lessons from their practical experiences that would make you better. In the industrial age, you buy books- business and self improvement books and the lessons contained in them are like honey to your lips.
What next?
I love the information age, because I can sit behind my desk in a small room in Kumasi, Ghana.Just with my laptop and an internet connection and voila, I am communicating with the rest of the world. Would you love to join me, drop me your comment?