Your Plan Isn’t The Plan

Your Plan Isn’t The Plan:

Some quotes:

Not knowing how things are going to work out drives us crazy even though none us know the finer details of how our future is going to unfold. We want it yesterday and so we expend a lot of energy trying to control things and stressing about when and if things are going to happen. We find it hard to have faith in ourselves or in life in general.

‘Should’ is rigid. It’s ‘rules’ that aren’t actual rules, and yeah, it’s ego. We forget who we are and we forget where we’ve been, our values, needs, desires etc., and we say things about us that either feed a sense of inadequacy or falsely bolster us by making out that we’re being wronged and thwarted by others that we feel that we should be the same as or better than. This veering between inferiority and superiority effectively cuts us off from our true selves and causes us to self-sabotage.

Your schedule is not life’s schedule. There isn’t a timetable and sometimes, we don’t get something as we pictured it but it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen at all or that it won’t show up in some way. Of course, if we’re beating ourselves up and living in the past, we do indeed ‘miss out’.

The desire to control is about what you think won’t happen if you’re not in control, but that’s fear talking. You don’t always know best, or at least certainly not in anything that’s fear-based. If you attempt to micromanage your life and rest your happiness on one specific outcome with one specific person, it will feel as if you’re getting screwed by life.

Surrendering doesn’t mean giving up; it means not being twisted up in fear trying to control the uncontrollable. It means being vulnerable enough to keep being you and seeing what life has to offer. It means confronting those fears and being kind to you anyway. It means recognising that there are alternatives to the way you see things. It means having an open palm instead of clenched fist attitude to life.

Your plan isn’t necessarily the plan and sometimes, your plan represents your limitations not your highest potential for your truest, most loving self.


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Advice: Why Do I Have A Pattern of Valuing People Who Don’t Value Me?

Advice: Why Do I Have A Pattern of Valuing People Who Don’t Value Me?:

Great article on whether you’re continuously choosing friends who are not valuing you; and if you are not opening up sufficiently to others but expecting them to read your needs.
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Studyblr post: Time management tips


If you can manage your time properly, you can have time for school, work, friends, and sleep – seems fake, right? But I promise! With the right planner and a little bit of discipline, you can be a social not-zombie with good grades (most days, at least – I’m not a miracle worker).

your planner, aka best friend

This is the most important piece of the puzzle (besides keeping up with it, of course.)

  • I prefer daily planners, so that you can have every hour of your day laid out.

Day Designer (my top pick)
Target’s daily planners

  • Weekly planners work well if you don’t have many commitments. I prefer Moleskine for this if your schedules not too busy, or Day Designer’s line at Target has a bit more room.
  • You could also go the bullet journal route if you prefer!
  • Monthly planners/calendars are a good supplement to one of the above, but I would discourage you from using one on it’s own.

Once you have a planner, it’s no use unless you actually keep up with it. Enter in assignments as you get them. Enter both the due date, and the date you should start working on it. Give yourself more time than you need!

how to plan your day

I start every morning by checking my planner (okay, I actually check Instagram first). Look at what’s due soon, and make a quick to do list to start. Give yourself plenty of wiggle-room when you schedule, so that when things don’t go as planned it doesn’t send you into panic mode. You can either schedule your day hour for hour, or you can just make a general outline of what needs to get done that day. It all depends on your personality and how busy your schedule is; for me, some days are planned in detail and others I just have a simple to do list.

managing study time

  • The pomodoro technique is my favorite strategy for managing time while studying. If you’re not familiar with the method, you set a timer for 25 minutes and work; at the end of the 25 minutes you take a 5 minute break and then start again. It keeps me on track, but still reminds me to take a short break to stretch or get a snack. The chrome extension Strict Workflow is my favorite timer, because it cuts off access to distracting websites until your break.
  • Don’t waste your time staring at a blank Word doc! If you can’t seem to motivate yourself to do something, move onto a different project and try again later. You’ll feel motivated after knocking out an easy task and be able to write that paper even easier.
  • If you have a lot of projects to work on, like during finals week, know when you’re spending too much time on one thing and need to walk away. I’m a total perfectionist, so it’s easy for me to get caught up in making one thing perfect and run out of time to do the rest. Keep an eye on the clock and remember if you have more things to do.

managing your other responsibilities

This is where it gets hard – balancing school and work and friends and maybe even sleeping at some point in there. A few tips:

  • Your to do list isn’t just for projects: if you need to put “take a shower” on there for it to happen, do it.
  • Take some time before you go to bed to tidy up.
  • If it takes less than two minutes, do it when you see it.
  • Have a study free day: work ahead so that you can have one full day off to spend time with friends, get caught up on other things, etc.
  • Work ahead so that if something fun comes up, you won’t be stuck at home studying.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes you just can’t take on another responsibility, and that’s fine.
  • Go straight back to pre-K and give yourself a bedtime. Apple’s new bedtime feature will even give you an hour’s heads up, so you can start wrapping things up and get some sleep.

Once you get the hang of planning and sticking to it, you’ll be amazed by how much free time you actually have!

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Psychology: Top 10 Biggest Brain Damaging Habits




Top 10 Biggest Brain Damaging Habits

1. No Breakfast

People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level.This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.

2. Overreacting

It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.

3. Smoking

It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.

4. High Sugar consumption

Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.

5. Air Pollution

The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.

6. Sleep Deprivation

Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain

7. Head covered while sleeping

Sleeping with the head covered, increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.

8. Working your brain during illness

Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.

9. Talking Rarely

Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain.

10. Lacking in stimulating thoughts

Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.

#why aren’t i dead yet

Guilty in 1 and 6

Interesting stuff
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Quote of the Day

“It’s that time of year when a lot of people think about goals and change. The key is not to beat you up for what has gone before and instead to take the positive insights you stand to gain and to consider how you want to feel and the things that matter to you. Once you consider these, you realise that there’s a number of ways to achieve this but also, when you can be more conscious, aware and present with your choices so that you do things that take you towards those feelings and the things that matter, not away from. Don’t treat a goal like a final destination; instead use goals to help guide you on your journey to living and loving happily and authentically.”

Natalie Lue, Baggage Reclaim
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How to live your life better


  • Wake up and open your curtains. Your windows too.
  • Drink some tea or coffee, whatever pleases you. Notice every sip.
  • Have some fresh fruit and finish breakfast feeling full.
  • Stand outside and feel the air. Cool or warm, it will make you feel real.
  • Get some exercise. Yoga to soothe, running to breathe, lifting for strength.
  • Take care of your body. Have a nice shower and pamper as much as you want afterward.
  • If you’re going to work, remember you have the chance to make anyone’s day or to ruin it. Act accordingly.
  • Weed out the bad language. It’s only creating tension in your body and mind. Kind words are infinitely more appreciated.
  • Take some time each day to improve your mind. Keep reading that great book. Listen to an incredible piece of music. Practice an instrument or a skill. The progress is its own reward.
  • Pictures will help you remember how wonderful life is. But spend less time on your phone and more time seeing the world face to face.
  • Go to sleep knowing that you have done well. Tomorrow is there with room to become even better.

-Notes to myself on how to become a better person this summer.

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How Bullshitters Not Just Survive But Thrive, Until…

At 7:30 pm, three hours after the office closing
time, it was finally our turn to go home. As we were about to leave the
premises, my boss made a phone call to his boss. And this was our
routine on almost all days: We often stayed back, and he always called
his boss while leaving. Not only that, we also sometimes worked on
public holidays when everyone else was enjoying with their families.
After all, my immediate boss was one of the rising stars in the
organisation and was well-known for “going the extra miles (not just a

As a young graduate engineer, almost 30 years ago, this was my first
foray into the corporate world, and little did I know that I was
encountering the first specimen of what would turn out to be a special
corporate species: Corporate Bullshitters or CBs in short.

CBs are that special breed of people who don’t do any solid work, but
they create an undetectable illusion of superior performance and
capabilities through a range of perception management strategies. And as
a result, they miraculously rise in the corporate hierarchy like helium

This article is dedicate to the art of bullshitting and how it goes undetected in typically hazy corporate environment.

Corporate population: Three-basket distribution

Over the last 30 years, I have had the privilege of working with wide
variety of people, and overall, the corporate population can be packed
into three baskets:

  • W-S
  • S-W
  • W+S

W-S (Excellent work but not smart)

People falling in W-S basket are highly competent and do excellent
work, but unfortunately they lack the crucial ingredient required for
corporate growth: Smartness. By smartness, I mean they are not fluent
communicators and lack quick thinking on the feet. They may not dress as
smartly as others and often project lack of self-confidence in

W-S are often overlooked for promotions, thanks to getting labelled
as “not managerial or leadership” type. Being the weakest in the power
pyramid, these people often take up the most difficult and challenging
tasks—and also get blamed first when things go wrong.

Overall, W-S form the backbone of an organisation. (When they apply for leave, everyone worries about “Who will do the work?”)

Finally, on the backs of W-S crowd, the people in the second basket (S-W) thrive.

S-W (Smart but no work)

S-W characters are incompetent and care a damn about actual work or
team’s or organisational interests, and simply stay clear of any direct
responsibilities. While personally not doing solid work, they
relentlessly and ruthlessly delegate, and use the characters in the
first basket (W-S) to get the things done. And when it comes to credit,
they don’t mind gobbling it all.

But S-W have one great strength, which enables them to sail smoothly:
Smartness. They are master communicators and manipulators, and their
body language is forceful. Projecting high self-confidence outside (even
if they suffer from deep insecurities inside), they always give an
impression of being a “driver” or “leader”.

S-W are often labelled as “leadership or managerial material” and enjoy steady growth in corporate hierarchy.

W+S (Excellent work & also smart)

Few people are both great at work and smart to the optimum level.
Deservedly, they rise to the very top of the corporate hierarchy. If S-W
people feel shaky ever, it is in front of W+S characters.

So, which basket Corporate Bullshitters belong to? No guesses here!
Obviously, CBs are the highly distilled version of the second basket
(S-W) characters. I am sure you’ve come across a few exceptional
characters in your career who are incompetent and irresponsible, but by
the sheer power of their “talking talent”, they end up becoming bosses
of more competent people. How does it happen?

Deception of perception

Ideally, in an organisation anyone not performing and contributing to
the hard results should not survive, leave alone thrive. So how do CBs

The answer lies in one word: Perception.

What we perceive is often not the whole reality. (Look at the picture again at the top of the article: Can you see a cow?)

Unlike others, CBs know a little secret, which is their ticket to comfortable ride: There is performance and then there is perception of performance. Their game plan comprises two simple steps:

  • Step 1: Surround yourself with the best performers and dump the real work on them.
  • Step 2: While work is taken care of by someone
    else, focus squarely on managing bosses’ perceptions, which means fluent
    communications, forceful presence in meetings and projection of
    “managerial/leadership” traits.

This two-step strategy works well in typically hazy corporate
environments where how you look, talk and walk often obscures what you
actually do when you sit in the chair.

So can you spot a CB in the crowd?

Bullshitting: Classic symptoms

To spot Bullshitters around you, look at the “managerial” type of characters around you and ask the following questions:

Work-related symptoms

  • Teflon character: Who is like teflon with nothing
    sticking to them? Who invariably stays clear of any direct
    responsibility for difficult, challenging work? (Classic CBs act like
    postman; any difficult stuff coming their way simply gets posted to
    others in the team.)
  • Busybody: Who stays busy with trivial stuff like
    attending useless meetings, touring here and there, emailing, shuffling
    some useless papers, etc. instead of doing solid work that requires
    focused attention? (CBs typically act busier than others.)
  • Exploiter: Who surrounds himself/herself with best
    of the people available in the office–and exploits them? (CBs are like
    islands of incompetence in the sea of competence.)
  • Resource sucker: Who wants more and more resources
    and always remains on look out to corner more people into the
    department? (Highly insecure, CBs keep sucking organisational resources
    in their direction.)

Perception-related symptoms

  • Master communicator: Who are the most fluent communicators with answers for anything, anytime?
  • Confident: Who projects dominant presence in the office?
  • Informant: Who excels in “keeping the boss informed”?
  • Chameleon: Who behaves nicely with bosses and clients, but ruthlessly with own subordinates?
  • Extra miler: Who does nothing solid during the
    normal working hours, but can’t stop “going the extra mile” by staying
    late, working on weekends–and even plugging in from vacation?

CBs thrive until…

So is the rise of Corporate Bullshitters unstoppable in an organisation? Yes, until…

Performance becomes more important than perception of performance

Is bullshitting possible in sports or art or music? Can you hide your
performance in a football match or swimming competition or stage
performance? No! In all situations where a person’s individual
performance is on display for everyone to see in black and white, CBs
have no chance of survival. I have seen the bottom of S-W basket falling
off for some CBs when they suddenly meet a boss who squarely focuses on
“performance”–and is too smart to be swayed by “smart talk” alone.

To conclude, nothing much has changed since I first entered the
corporate world 30 years ago: Even today, in most organisations, despite
elaborate appraisal systems, perception of performance (staying late,
talking smartly, acting confident, etc.) is mistaken as performance.

In the garden you pass by every day, if someone planted a few plastic
flowers among with the real ones, would you be able to spot them? From a
distance, you may not be able to see the difference unless you go real
close. Same is the situation in many organisations where Bullshitters
intermingle among real performers–and bloom. And typically, like
plastic flowers, they go undetected and outlast the real flowers.

In the words of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (remember Sherlock Holmes?): “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

The reality of a person’s character, competence and contribution often lies behind the smoke screen of our quick perceptions. Ignore the smoke!

(Note: If you still can’t see the cow, please search “visual
intelligence cow” in Google images. You should be able to meet the cow

Source: LinkedIn, Atul Mathur

How to spot a Bullshitter at work and how never to be one!
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PSA for everyone writing term research papers right now




Mendeley is the greatest program ever

I want to weep with joy every time I use it

Just click a button when you pull up an article and it will automatically save it to your library

And cite it for you

And you can use it on your mobile devices

And it’s free

Just download it and you won’t have so many urges to kill everyone in sight while writing a research paper


Thank you so much!

Guys, I cannot stress how amazing this program is.

You can use it to highlight, write notes, mark up, etc. What I do is I highlight all the important jazz, use the comments to write notes on the document, and on the side bar, I write an annotated bib for it for future me. It save everything you write on it forever for you and you can put the articles in folders and organize it.

But that’s not the best part, the best part is that you can access your articles ANYWHERE. Literally anywhere. Forgot your laptop and at a public library? No worries! You can go to the Mendeley website and ACCESS ALL YOUR ARTICLES WITH YOUR NOTES ONLINE. You don’t even have to download the program to access it! It is a life saver and I suggest everyone in academia use it!

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Laura Vanderkam knows how we can have it all – A Life of Productivity

Laura Vanderkam knows how we can have it all – A Life of Productivity:

Biggest takeaway: keep a time log of your daily activities. Then you’ll know how you’re spending your time, and on what exactly. And then tweak it so that you spend it better.
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You’re not as busy as you think – A Life of Productivity

You’re not as busy as you think – A Life of Productivity:

Some takeaways:

  • On average, people overestimated the time they worked by more than 18 hours. 
  • Keep a time log/time tracker to track the amount of time you spend doing things, in blocks of 30 mins (or less, if you prefer)***

You’ll probably be amazed by how inefficiently you spend your time; how frequently you procrastinate and work on things that aren’t important. Maybe you’ll also discover that you work fewer hours than you originally thought.

The takeaway here is a vital one: despite how busy you may feel, you’re probably not as busy as you think. You may have more free hours in the day than you originally thought—it’s just that you’re spending that time on work that’s less important and meaningful than what you ought to be doing.

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