Category Archives: Lifehack

Here’s Why You Should Take Notes By Hand (Instead Of With A Laptop)

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If you walk into any lecture these days, you see a majority of students staring at their screens. You hear a never-ending chorus of pounding keys. Yes, we live in digital age and I bet you can’t imagine not using your laptop for studying. Yes, laptops enable you to do more academic work and do it more efficiently. You can collaborate more easily on presentations and papers, get instant access to numerous libraries and sources online and take a huge amount of notes as you probably belong to the majority that types faster than they write.

The truth is, those who type do take more notes compared to those who use good old pen and paper. However, according to the new study published by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer (from Princeton University and University of California respectively) students who take notes on paper learn significantly more compared to their laptop-addicted peers. Here are the main reasons why:

Writing takes time and digestion is necessary

Our brain uses two different types of cognitive processing when doing these two operations: typing and writing. As tested on a group of undergrads, the research proved that laptop users type almost everything they hear without processing the meaning or devoting much thought to what it is they’re taking notes on. Basically, when you type, all you’re doing is mindlessly transcribing, and that does not require much cognitive activity.

When you take notes by hand, however, you obviously can’t write down every single word your professor utters. So you listen, summarize, and list only the key points. Your brain is more engaged in the process of comprehension and so the information processed this way is remembered better.

Longer notes does not equal better notes

You may object to the point above by saying that transcribing everything will help you later on when studying for the test. Nope! Wrong again. Students who participated in the study were assessed within a week, and longhand note takers significantly out-performed those who took notes on their laptop. Oppenheimer states that handwriting provides more effective memory cues by recreating:

  • context, as you remember the original process of writing, the emotion, and the conclusions made in your own words, and–
  • content, e.g. some individual facts written and summarized.

When comparing test scores, researchers noted that laptop users and longhand note takers performed similarly on factual questions with slightly better results from the typers. However, laptop users did significantly worse on conceptual questions.

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Laptops are overwhelmingly distracting

Now this may sound like a no-brainier, but still, the facts are staggering. Students on average spend 40% of class time using all sorts of productivity killers, from instant chat messages to answering emails to simply browsing around the web. What may surprise you is that according to this research, undergrad and law students rated themselves less satisfied with their college education in general and were more likely to fail classes due to constant temptation to switch to unrelated tasks and the higher risks of academic dishonesty. Just think for a second, are you paying tens thousands of dollars per year to watch funny YouTube videos?

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Have I convinced you? Great! Here are some tips for how to take notes by hand more effectively:

Master shorthand

There are numerous methods and shorthand systems for writing words and long letters faster by turning them into special symbols. One of the most popular ones is Teeline, commonly used for training journalists in the UK. You remove unnecessary letters (like silent letters or vowels, unless they come first or last) and twist them into simpler alphabet symbols that are faster to write.

If you find it hard to convert to shorthand entirely, try adopting a your own translation system for the most commonly used words in your writing – for example, “cld” for “could” or “w/” for “with.” Just make sure you don’t lose your cheat-sheet!

Use the right formatting

If you have just switched from laptop note taking to writing notes by hand, imagine the way you used to put down everything in Microsoft Word or any other writing app you’ve used. Make big titles, use bullet points and underline important phrases. Plus, leave enough white space between your notes so you can add extra information later on when studding for the test.

Get a stress ball

After a few hours of writing by hand your fingers, palm and wrist may be extremely exhausted. Get yourself a stress ball to squeeze once in a while to build up finger and hand strength. Also, do not forget to stretch out your writing hand to avoid elbow injuries and unpleasant muscle pains.

Try the Cornell Notes method

An old, yet still incredibly effective method, to take excellent study notes is the Cornell Notes method. Divide your page into two columns. The right one should be larger – that’s where you write down all the ideas, include tables, charts and pretty much everything else you do as you usually write notes. It can be messy. The left column is where you put big bulletin points and short statements, generalizing corresponding ideas from the right column.

Also, you can leave the end of each page blank and later write down a brief summary of the page in a couple sentences. Down the line, when studying for an exam or paper, it will help you find the necessary topics easily.

Lefties: get a felt-tipped pen

Ink stains, smudged letters and thus absolutely unreadable handwriting – sound familiar to you? Get a good felt-tipped pen that won’t smudge that bad when you drag your hand behind the pen while writing.

Featured photo credit: Eric Jusino via flickr.com

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What Babies Would Say if They Had Twitter Accounts

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What if babies could tweet? You’ve read some hilarious tweets from parents about the joys and tribulations of parenthood. Maybe you’ve even written some yourself.

How about the flip side? It’s funny to think about what babies would say if they had Twitter accounts. How might they feel about nap time, breakfast, and strangers? Here are some tweets inspired by friends and my own quirky personal observations. From Christmas to birthdays, feeding time to diaper changes, and technology to being in the buff, here are some fun ideas of what babies would say about the big world!  Baby ornaments

I’m exploring my world, Mom!  I like to put some things in my mouth. . . Ok, all things in my mouth. Gotta use all five senses, you know? Taste is one of them. Plus, gnawing on things feels good on my gums and my new teeth.  PLUS, I’m hungry.

Baby cheeseI’m exploring what I like and don’t like. I’m learning about choices and how to make decisions. I hope my parents can be patient with me—they change their minds, too!

baby peeRemembering the look on daddy’s face makes me giggle! But. . .  I don’t think he was really too happy. This might keep it from happening again: Holding the unfastened diaper over me and keeping me covered for a little longer before clean up would help. And then keeping the clean-up quick!

baby board booksIt’s never too early to introduce books! I’ve gotta have as many books as I have toys. Board books are hardy and can withstand my throwing and chewing! I can’t read yet, so I need someone to read to me until I’m able to do it myself. Kindergarteners are already reading these days!

baby shoesEvery Mama wants to dress up her little man, but I’ll outgrow my clothes really fast! Shoes are really uncomfortable, so I don’t want to wear them until I actually need them, like for walking outdoors.

new babysitter

There is no substitute for my parents’ time and attention! I know sometimes they’re tired, but they’re the ones I really want and need the most, not the iPad or a kids’ show/movie. I need limits with technology, at home and with my babysitter/day care caregiver, too.

baby heaven 2Gotta pay attention to that baby talk. (Even record it. Woooo! Famous!) Some of this is gold, y’all. Half of it wonderful, imaginative talk that needs to be encouraged. And some of it is a special wisdom that I may forget as I get older.baby music

Remember that I learn from my environment. I love to explore all types of sounds. I don’t want to drive my parents crazy, but my “drumming” may turn into an actual gig someday!

baby sleep hoursI’m new to this environment, and I don’t mean to drive my parents crazy and wake them up at night! With a regular sleep and nap routine, I’ll get the hang of things eventually. And I hate when they compare me to my brother or sister. Every baby is different!baby say no to strangers

It’s normal for us to cling to our mamas! But I hope that doesn’t keep my mommy from introducing me to others! I know that it’s possible to get over attached to mama. And I’m looking forward to starting play dates soon!baby aunt Tina

Please give me a little space, people! Sometimes they put their face right in mine, and then they’re all blurry and scary! Stand back a bit, and we’re all good.baby mama tweet

Hey, Mama, I wish you would just be in the moment with me! It’s so tempting to keep checking email and to play just one more game with friends, but maybe put a timer on that thing? A few minutes can turn into an hour or more—and I can’t take care of myself yet!baby Cheerios

I don’t like when Mommy yells at me. This is another way that I explore my world—by learning about cause and effect. I’m beginning to understand what’s ok and not ok, and I’m grateful when my parents let me express my feelings by crying about it!baby storeActually, I understand why they won’t take me to the store yet. I will want explore too many things that don’t belong to me! And I know I’m starting to have some wicked tantrums. . .  Mom and Dad will bring me when they feel they and I all are ready.

baby teethIt’s been a long time since you adults were babies, so let me tell you—teething is incredibly painful. I gotta have plenty of teethers and pacifiers and comfort through this difficult time.baby crib

I don’t really understand the “crib” yet, but I will. A regular routine with where I sleep helps, too.

baby artist

I know I’ve gotta learn limits. I’m trying! I just gotta know where it’s ok to express my creativity, you know? And as soon as I’m old enough, I’ll help you clean up my own messes.baby itchy clothesI know they are just so concerned with my health and don’t want to let me get sick, but putting layers of clothes on me all the time makes me suffer…

baby scientistI hope Mom and Dad understand that I’m not just testing boundaries—I’m also participating in my first lab experiments!

baby gibberishI like when my parents actually talk with me, even though I can’t respond yet. They have no idea how much vocabulary I’m picking up already!

baby milk

Yes, I get need to eat. A lot. I hope Mommy’s not worried about my weight. I am growing so much and need plenty of fuel!

baby catI’m actually glad that Mom and Dad are keeping me safe. I’ve noticed that they’ve changed around some furniture, too, to protect me from sharp corners, and they’ve put some covers over the outlets.baby toyStimulation is good, but I think sometimes adults go crazy with all of the toys. I like the ones that stimulate my brain. I also need some freedom to use my imagination.

baby favorite things

If adults wear earrings, I grab them. If I see long hair . . .  I grab it. And baby swings are awesome. The rocking is so, so . . .  soothing. . .baby love mama

Always remember, Mama, through good times and tough times that I love you very, very much. You are my world, and the most important thing you can give me is your love and understanding.

Which of these made you smile or giggle? Which of these sound like your own little one? Please comment on your favorites below and share your own baby tweet inspirations!

Featured photo credit: PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

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7 Common Misconceptions About Africa

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Have you ever questioned what you know about Africa?  Chances are, you buy into at least one stereotype of this hauntingly beautiful but misunderstood continent.

1. We all live in huts

Johannesburg_Sunrise,_City_of_Gold by dylan harbour 2008

This is a variation of the question that gets asked more often than you think. People who have never visited our decidedly un-mud-hutted cities frequently ask this.  Fueled by a visual diet of the rolling plains of the Savannah, it can become hard to believe that this massive continent is home to some of the world’s fastest growing cities. Granted, in rural districts mud huts are a common form of housing, but rapid economic growth has led to migration towards thronging urban cities. Yes, that means cities, with brick houses, electricity, internet and running water.

 2. ‘African’ is a language all on ts own

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“Do you speak American?” is usually the good-humored retort to the question of whether or not I “speak African.”. Sure, there are plenty of languages that spill over national boundaries, but African is just not one of the approximately 2,000 languages spoken. Colonisation of the continent has led to the adoption of English, French, German and Portuguese as well.

3. Everyone owns a pet antelope/lion/insert Savannah-dwelling animal

The carefully cultivated perception of Africa as a safari haven has irreparable implications on common sense. Your average Mulenga will answer, “ Yes, I have a pet lion, I ride it to the office everyday, except when I don’t get parking – then I take the gazelle…”  Sure, you may find a stray chicken and some cattle wandering around in villages on the outskirts of the cities, but our city centers are big game free. Any animal that you would not be inclined to pet is found in a controlled game area. If you do happen to find yourself face to face with a lion though, here’s what you should do.

4. Africa is lacking in advanced technology


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According to CNN, Africa “has become the world’s second most connected region by mobile subscriptions.” The continent has seen sky rocketing rates in the number of mobile phone owners, as there are more than 754 million connections in Africa. And Tunisia has 10.8 million more phone subscriptions than people. It is true that internet access is somewhat limited to urban and industrial aggregations, but as of 2015, a total of 297 million people have access. That number is growing thanks to initiatives such as Facebook’s to increase access to 5 billion more people.

Renewable energy is also a focus for a lot of Africa countries. Hydroelectric power and solar panels are used as alternative solutions to energy problems. Egypt, Ghana, Madagascar, and South Africa have aimed to obtain 20%, 10%, 75%, and 13% of their electricity by 2020 through renewable sources.

5. Everyone’s nationality is African

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Africa is a continent. There are 54 countries spread across this vast land mass. There can be significant cultural differences between countries that result in a multitude of different beliefs, practices and lifestyles. A well known example is South Africa, dubbed the “ rainbow nation.” It is a melting pot of different ethnicities that shows just how diverse one country can be, to say nothing of the whole continent.

6. You must be darker-skinned to be African

This is usually announced with the air of one gifted with extraordinary powers of perception. This stereotype is just not true. There is a shocking array of diversity interspersed all over the continent. Every skin pigment known to man is present. Immigrants from other continents arrived generations ago and their descendants have settled in Africa ever since.

7. Africa is always at war and plagued by poverty

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Contrary to popular belief, not all African countries have descended into political and economic turmoil. Zambia, for example, is a shining example of a country that has maintained peace and has seen a peaceful handover of power from each of the country’s six presidents since its independence in 1964. It has 70+ different ethnic groups and has never had any civil war or serious tumult.

Corruption is not rampant all over the continent either. Botswana is number 31 on the Corruption Perception Index, indicating that corruption is minimal. Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana are economic powerhouses that have registered increasing growth in recent years as well as a rising middle class.

Featured photo credit: Dylan Harbour via commons.wikimedia.org

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This List of Exotic Teas From Around the World Will Amaze You

exotic tea, healthy teas, green teas, black tea, oolong, red tea

For thousands of years the Eastern world has deemed tea a crucial part of their culture, believing that consuming tea would bring happiness, health and wisdom. Only recently though, has the West begun waking up to the great benefits of tea!

Recent studies have concluded that some teas may encourage weight loss and lower cholesterol, help prevent illnesses, such as some cancers, heart disease, and diabetes, and bring about improved mental alertness. However, for me, it is simply the relaxing benefits of a nightly cup of tea that is the real pleasure. The author Lin Yutang, of The Importance Of Living, concluded that “there is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life,” and the 19th century British Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, once concluded something similar, saying that “If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.” So, due to these wonderful benefits I wanted to list 8 teas so exotic that you may not yet have heard of them.

1. Peach Cobbler Guayusa

Peach Cobbler, Tea, Health Guayusa (pronounce gwhy-you-sa) is a rare tea native to the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador and is produced from the leaves of a holly tree (ilex guayusa). Due to it being heavily caffeinated it has an awakening effect similar to coffee. (Guayusa contains 90 mg of caffeine/cup making it the second most caffeinated plant on earth next to coffee).

It is available pure, or infused with a number of different flavor such as mint, chocolate or chai, however my favorite is Peach Cobbler.  It has a scrumptious aroma of juicy peaches and spice. Guayusa tea contains 50% more anti-oxidants than green tea, and has been found to balance the bodies pH and blood sugar levels, improve the functioning of the kidneys, improve digestion and lower blood pressure. Many people find drinking Guayusa both relaxing and stimulating at the same time!

2. Black Forest Cake Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh tea, tea, black tea, green tea, oolong tea, health Enjoy the taste of Black Forest Cake without the guilt. Black Forest Cake tea, like Peach Cobbler, is a tea for those who like tea and dessert, and even won second place in its category at the 2013 North American Tea Championship! This tea however is a pu-erh based tea. Pu-erh tea comes from China and is from the same plant used in making green, oolong and black teas. It is considered a healthy beverage with benefits that include help in losing weight, preventing cancer and anti-aging benefits. In one study – albeit on laboratory animal – pu-erh tea was the only kind of tea that actually lowers the bad and raises the good level of cholesterol.

3. Mate Teas

yerba mate, mate, health, tea, mate tea Mate teas come from the South American yerba mate plant, which is mainly found in Argentina. Yerna mate is more nutritious than green tea and has been used as a base for herbal medicines in South America for centuries. It contains vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex, and minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc. It is rich in antioxidants too – it’s got about 90% more antioxidants than green tea, enhances your ability to focus, and the chemical compounds and nutrients in mate tea affect your metabolism to make your body use carbohydrates more efficiently.

4. White Pearls White Tea

White tea, antioxidants, health

This white tea is comprised of 100% newly sprouted buds, hand-rolled into small pearls, that then gently unfurl when infused. White tea comes from a special strain of the tea plant and is harvested only a few days of the year and produced solely in China, mainly in the Fujian province. It is difficult to obtain as production is extremely limited and therefore it is a very expensive and rare tea.. Its health benefits include reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disorders, and it contains anti-aging properties which help in maintaining good health and healthy skin.

5. Insect Poop Tea

insect poop tea, exotic teaInsect Poop Tea is probably not familiar to you! It is one of the most expensive teas in the world actually, priced between $250 – $1000 per pound. It is made by bugs digestesting tea leaves, and then their ‘poop’ dropping is sifted together and dried into a tea-like substance. The drink itself is safe and nutritional, and is considered quite the delicacy!

6. Matcha Tea

Matcha Tea Matcha – literally meaning “powdered tea” – is getting a lot of attention in 2015! It is associated with Japanese tea drinking and the Zen movement and is a type of green tea. It is a richly flavorful drink, and drinking it gives many people a sense of well-being and it’s also well know for its high antioxidant content. One cup of matcha green tea actually has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea!

7. Rooibos Tea

Rooibos, red tea, health Rooibos tea is an African tea made out of an herb that is fermented. It is a red tea that carries a malty and slightly grassy flavor. It has absolutely no caffeine and the health benefits of red rooibos tea includes its use as a cure for insomnia, asthma, headaches, eczema and hypertension.

8. Yellow Gold Tea

yellow gold tea The final exotic tea in this list is Yellow Gold Tea. It is considered to be the most expensive tea in the world and was once a favorite of Chinese Emperors! Today it is mainly found in Singapore. Each tea bud is lavished in 24ct gold, which once infused, yields a delicately metallic and floral aftertaste. Enjoy! These are some of the top exotic teas from across the globe, but irrespective of whether you prefer to indulge in a nice cup of insect poop tea or a more simple Chamomile, I encourage you to adopt tea into your daily diet. The benefits of tea have been known in the East for a very long time, whereas in the West drinking tea – like yoga and meditation – is only just beginning to become recognized for its benefits. So drink up!

Featured photo credit: Dollar Photo Club via dollarphotoclub.com

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15 Creative Tips and Resources to Efficiently Memorize Vocab

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There are many different ways to learning vocabulary, whether it be for a test in science, business or politics, learning the vocab of a new language or even the small details within your speech that you want to memorize. The way that you memorize vocab is very important – it needs to be powerful, smart and efficient in order for you to progress with speed. Luckily, there are some helpful tools and resources out there to help you unlock your potential in memorizing key vocab.

Let’s start:

Creating associations is a very clever tactic to developing memory strength for specific information that you are learning – in this case, vocabulary.

1. Mnemonics

These are very simple ways to remember a large sentence of words. Below is an example. This has helped millions learn the solar system, the north, east, south and west directions, and the colors in the rainbow, among other important things.

tclef_mnemonic2. Environment

This is an opportunity to expand your association to physical objects and real life things. Associating your vocab or information with a physical object has been very useful in helping to learn and relate to the original piece of information. People have been doing it with their hands, equipment and resources around them for years.

3. Weird associations

Another useful method is using weird associations to already existing objects or names of certain things. An example of this is when one of my friends in my class remembered “mandare”, which is “to send” in Italian, by associating it to her other friend’s name Mandy, who would mail her presents at Christmas. These kind of associations won’t let you forget the information of the word and its meanings.

Tool for Associations:

4. FlashSticks – For Language Learning

FlashSticks are foreign language Post-it Notes, each printed with a unique, commonly used word, translation, icon and phonetic.They are designed to help you memorise vocabulary by using association. The main benefit to using FlashSticks is the opportunity to stick them in the areas that help you remember more easily. For example, if someone wanted to learn Spanish and they had a pack of FlashSticks, they would place each note over the object of relevance.

This helps the brain create association and build on its memory strength. You can also strengthen this by taking out your smartphone and scanning the note, and from here you can get a language coach to show you the correct pronunciation.

JBP_0945

The next step:

Creating an environment – This is developing things around you to learn a specific thing.

5. Different Sources

You need to explore different sources of taking in new vocabulary that tests what kind of person you are, whether you are more visual, audio or physical.

6. Learning from friends

Your friends can be an environment, and they can be of huge use when it comes to engaging with another one on one about something that they know and you are trying to learn. Whether it s a language, computer problem or training, learning the right vocab from another will help you build association and learn more effectively.

7. Using Technologies

Using new technology, wearable technology, and podcasts are resources that you need to be taking advantage of.

8. StudyBlue

Revise and memorize anything online. This is targeted towards students and other learners, as StudyBlue is an online flashcards website that allows you to learn online and on the go. This website is amazing for collaborating with others on notes and improving student’s revision. Perfect for memorizing vocab.

studyblue_large9. Duolgingo – Android Wear application

This is, again, targeted toward language learners, but on the go you need to have something at your fingertips. StudyBlue has an app, but Duolingo has an Android wear application that allows you to learn vocab on languages on the go. This is based off of a card app that allows you to choose whether you’ve gotten something correct or incorrect. You get 10 new words a day to learn and it is available in multiple languages,

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Reviewing your memory – Using a review system is useful in build up a much stronger ability to memorize vocab. For this process I take my time to discover some new technologies out there to meet the needs of my vocabulary

10. Evernote & Get Reflect – For reviewing on your notes

If you are using Evernote for the collection of notes, images and documents throughout your day, then you’ll love this application on the web. Get Reflect is designed to help you recover notes, review notes, and remains perfect for learning vocabulary from notes – just use a tag in your Evernote and you’ll master this vocab revision opportunity.

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11. Drink lots

When learning new things, it is important that your brain knows what you are doing and keeps working to its top capacity. Drink lots of water throughout your day for that vocab to be retained.

12. SoundCloud

From experience, some of the best ways to memorize vocab is audio and SoundCloud has a massive library of vocabulary-based content, especially in the language area. This is such a great source to check out!

13. Mono-tasking

Focus on one task, don’t get distracted. When learning something like vocab, you need all of your attention. Find a quiet place and focus on just one thing.

14. Chewing gum

Apparently if you are chewing gum while studying, then gum of the same flavor will help you make the association when reviewing the material later. Very powerful – grab some gum and try it out over time.

15. Mind-mapping

Get a big piece of A3, and hit into spreading your vocab across the page. This will help you discover and learn the words in a more visual way.

Featured photo credit: Flashsticks via flashsticks.com

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10 Quality Traits All Introverts Have, Even If They Don’t Know It

traits of introverts

Some people assume introverts are socially anxious, but that’s not the case. Introverts just don’t handle social stimulation as well as extroverts do. If you’re an introvert and you feel down about it, this article will make you feel better. Check out these ten quality traits of introverts that you didn’t even know you have.

1. Introverts are good listeners.

Introverts listen before they speak. They watch from the sidelines and take some mental notes before they insert themselves into any social situation. This preparation allows them to enter a conversation confidently, without stumbling over their words or doubting the accuracy of what they say.

2. Introverts are self-sufficient.

Introverts are not dependent people. They believe it is foolish to depend on another person to take care of their material needs. This freedom makes them feel empowered, because they know they can manage any curve ball that life might throw at them.

3. Introverts are super focused.

Introverts concentrate with everything they’ve got. They make a point of paying attention to nonverbal cues that might reveal hidden meanings, because they know words are only half of the story. This ability helps them avoid potential misunderstandings.

4. Introverts are easy to please.

Introverts don’t need much to feel happy and content. They would rather stay home and enjoy a good book or bubble bath than go to a loud bar and buy expensive drinks. This distinction helps them save money and relax after stressful days.

5. Introverts are very observant.

Introverts identify changes in their environment very quickly. They will probably be the first person to notice a new haircut. This often causes their friends and coworkers to thank them for being so thoughtful.

6. Introverts are good at studying.

Introverts believe knowledge is power. They are intensely interested in the things that they care about and want to learn everything they can. This eagerness helps them become experts in their fields.

7. Introverts are trustworthy people.

Introverts can keep secrets. They know how hard it can be to trust somebody, so they won’t share a personal detail if you don’t want them to. This is exactly why introverts are excellent best friends.

8. Introverts are committed to their goals.

Introverts tend to be driven and disciplined. They don’t need approval from external sources, so they direct their energy to the pursuit of an ambitious goal instead. This ambition often turns introverts into highly successful people.

9. Introverts are in touch with their feelings.

Introverts are masters of their emotions. They reflect until they are able to understand the triggers that are responsible for their negative thoughts. This retrospection helps them dig deep enough to deal with entrenched self-defeating beliefs that limit their potential.

10. Introverts are thought-provoking when you get them talking.

Introverts have interesting things to say. They might not be fans of small talk, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be engaging in a deep discussion. This distinction is a common source of confusion. Introverts are often considered to be “quiet,” but that’s not because they don’t like people. They just don’t like to talk about trivial things. Introverts are passionate people who want to make the most of their days, so they’d rather not waste their time with a shallow conversation. If you want to find out how fascinating an introvert can be, simply ask them an intelligent question about a topic that they care about.

Do you see any of these ten traits of introverts in yourself? If so, tally up how many of these traits are true for you and tell us your score in the comments and share this article with your friends so they can join the fun, too.

Featured photo credit: Gratisography/Ryan McGuire via gratisography.com

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9 Steps To Stop Dreaming and Start Doing

9 steps to stop dreaming and start doing (3)

Having a dream and being a dreamer are two different mindsets. Dreamers are drifters just floating through life with no real plans. One who has a dream, is a doer on the path towards achieving their goal.

Once you decide to remove your head from the clouds, tackle the obstacles that face you, and organize a plan of attack, you become a doer. If you are ready to put in the work, here are 9 steps to stop dreaming and start doing.

1. Accept responsibility for your own actions

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe

It is the most unattractive thing to hear someone constantly wine and complain about their life. Especially when they blame the world for their problems. The whole universe is probably against you, does not care about you, and will deceive you. This does not make any actions, or lack there of, on your behalf their fault. Say this statement out loud, “I am in control of my behavior and choose how to react to circumstances.” Say it everyday. Nothing is more true than that statement.

You can, and need, to start actively controlling your thoughts and emotions. Learn to control your rage when you are angry. When a negative thought slips in, push it right back out. This takes practice because we have been programmed by our environment to behave and think in certain ways. Fight to change your negativity, or you will remain a bitter and miserable person. Use your aggression in a positive way by working out, or put it into your work.

2. Give and receive love and forgiveness

“Learn how to fill your day with POSITIVITY. Think of how your ideas CAN work, not how it won’t work.” -Steve Harvey

Once you harness your inner power of controlling your thoughts and emotions, it is time to start focusing on positivity. The best way to start is by accepting others and forgiving the people who have caused you pain. Giving love and forgiveness really isn’t about giving at all. It is about you healing by letting go of negative relationships. If these people really love and care about you, they will fight for you. If you walk away and never hear from them again, you know they never cared, so why should you? Your grudges make you focus on people who do not deserve your time or attention. Anger leaves you feeling irrational, depressed, deceived, sad, regretful, and lonely. Learning to truly forgive those who hurt you will lift a thousand pounds of burden off your shoulders. You will free your mind and be able to start working on your dream.

3. Accept yourself

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Now that you are focusing on living a positive life, it is time to look in the mirror and love what you see. Physically and mentally. No one is perfect. It is time to accept that you will never be what society expects you to be. Follow your intuitions. Do not let someone else dictate your life. That only leads to a boring, predictable, miserable, and mediocre life. Do what makes you happy instead of just dreaming about it. Love yourself flaws and all.

4. Choose who you surround yourself with wisely

“We met for a reason, either you’re a blessing or a lesson.” LoveQuotesPlus.com

This journey will end many relationships in your life. The people who are not supportive, who are negative, and who use you, need to go! At first you may feel lonely and insecure. If you focus on you instead of them, these feelings will go away. It is time to move on. It is time to let go. The ones who truly care about you, respect you, and accept you for who you really are will stay. They will support you throughout your journey. These relationships will become more valuable to you than ever before. If you have given your all to a relationship, and they do not give back, stop chasing after them the next time they leave. You will thank yourself in the long run.

5. Learn to ignore the negativity from others

“I don’t know what the key to success is, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” -Bill Cosby

Now that you are starting on your journey, you will have people who will try their best to pull you down. That’s why the steps above are necessary to complete before starting. If you have prepared yourself for the haters, you will be able to rise above. It is easier to criticize others than work on yourself. Knowing this gives you peace about where you are in life and where they are. You are obviously ahead, even if it doesn’t look like it to others. Keep moving on and let them talk.

6. Carefully layout your plans

“Failure is not the opposite of success, inaction is.” -Rois Liano

Freeing your mind from your emotional baggage gives you room to focus on your dreams. Now that you have a clear picture, it is time to take action. To be a doer, you need a game plan. Write your end goal at the top of a sheet of paper. Below, write out the steps you plan to take to get there in an organized, realistic fashion. Say your goal is to become a nurse.  Your first step should probably be volunteering at your local hospital to see if you would really enjoy it. Next maybe list the schools you are interested in applying to. The third step could be to gather your necessary paperwork to apply to colleges. See what I am doing here? The sum of all the little tasks you do equals your goal. Lay it out in daily, weekly, monthly tasks that will get you closer to your dream.

7. Do SOMETHING, ANYTHING

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” -Henry David Thoreau

Many people will get to step 6 and stop. Your plan does not come to fruition magically. You have to now take action to get yourself there. So start researching, traveling, volunteering, writing, calling, interviewing, working out, or whatever opportunity you can find to get you moving forward. You may have to take on many different hats to get you there. Start where you can, do whatever you can, this is where the physical work begins.

8. Embrace failures and detours along the way

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Edison

We all have epic failures in life. It is time to stop viewing these failures as an end all. Failure is an inevitable part of success. Ask any highly successful person if they’ve ever failed, and they will tell you they have 100 times. Failure only means to try a different way. Start viewing failures as a positive experience. How can we learn without failing? Failures result from trying. People who avoid failures at all costs are content with a mediocre life. We are not these people. We want true happiness and inner peace. I remember going to work in a past career and absolutely dreading it. I now think about work and feel peaceful and happy. It’s still hard work, it’s just work that I am passionate about.

As you begin the journey of pursuing your dream, it may change a little, or a lot, along the way. Your passion is already programmed inside you. Uncover your God-given gift through this process and keep moving forward no matter what may come.

9. Network and use resources to your advantage

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” -Chris Grosser

You will realize, eventually, that you need others to help you get to your goal. Whether it is in absorbing information and experience from them, or getting recognized for your talent. Look online for good informative websites, look for classes or lectures where you can learn and connect with others. Drop the pride and shamelessly promote yourself with your work and/or knowledge. Whatever you can find, whoever will help, take it seriously. Opening one door can lead to many more opportunities.

Start at step one. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. If you commit to these 9 steps to stop dreaming and start doing, you are facing your fears head on and taking a leap of faith. Congratulations, your life will now truly begin. Please note this will be hard and sometimes not fun. Stay focused, but don’t forget to take time to clear your mind and relax along the way. I hope you now feel inspired to step out of your comfort zone, and risk being happy.

“Dreams are like floating down a lazy river. The path to success is like riding a roller coaster. Find the courage to get on the roller coaster, and stay on the ride until you puke.” -Margaux Daughtry

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10 Signs You Are A Creative Person (Though You Don’t Feel You Are)

Signs You Are Creative

Paint covered hands, the clickity clack of the typewriter, or the soft strumming of a guitar aren’t necessarily signs of a creative person. You don’t need a stylish combover, nonprescription glasses, or staunch arrogance to consider yourself an artist, either. In fact, people who embody the characteristics previously listed are sometimes some of the most non-creative pretend creatives on the face of the earth.

The misconception that “creativity” is a term only deserving for those who can draw, write, or make music is more inaccurate than the “earth is flat” truthers of yesteryear.

Here’s why you’re more of a creative genius than you realize.

1. You’re responsibly irresponsible.

It’s not smart to act immature, but you take chances when you need to. You don’t live a life shackled to “should be’s”, “would be’s”, and “coulda beens”. This can be expressed in buying your first home or car, sending in a job application for a position you’re under qualified for but really want, or treating your friends to a dinner on you when you don’t have a ton of money. Creativity takes guts.

2. You understand the important difference between imagination and reality.

Edgar Allen Poe once famously said, “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.” Edgar was on to something then that you’re probably doing each day – imagining the ideal world you want. You’re able to take those fantasies, evaluate them, and put them into action taking the necessary steps to get there. But, as always, balance between these two is absolutely vital.

3. Your heart’s on your sleeve and your soul’s on your forehead.

Creatives are very open with their emotions, which leaves them susceptible to both tremendous pain and euphoric bliss. You are not unlike this. When you’re frustrated with your children, your best friend can tell when you get tea that afternoon. You just received your 15th rejection letter on your masterpiece manuscript and your wife knows it the second you put down the letter. Creative people are not afraid of their emotions, no matter if they are negative or positive.

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

4. You can admit it’s not your best work, but you’ll never say it “sucks.”

I belong to an artistic collective who’s mantra is, “There’s no such thing as bad art.” Though we strongly believe that, each of us are able to recognize when our output or the outcome of our vision is not exactly intended. However, you, like us, are able to accept and appreciate the fact that whatever you just created was not in the world before you made it. And sometimes that’s more than adequate. Eleanor Roosevelt put it best, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

5. You observe everything. Eve-ry-thing.

The world is a huge dinner party, buzzing with gossip, eccentric characters, and the perfect fodder for creation of all kinds. Though many creatives carry around a pocket, purse, or backpack sized notebook, this is not necessary. Your brain is a steel trap and your conscious is a straightjacket. Mental note it, and get busy.

6. You don’t wait for opportunities, you create it.

Stagnation is something that all creative people hate, and you are no different. The “routine,” the “grind,” and the “day to day” is never the same for too long in your world. If you feel it becoming that, you quickly seek out new sensations, feelings, people, and experiences to keep it fresh. If you don’t know where to look start wandering. Eventually, you’ll find and create the opportunities you’re looking for.

7. You “fail forward.”

Eric Thomas has encouraged his millions of YouTube listeners to do exactly what’s in the title quotations. When you succumb to failure, you don’t stay down for long. Instead you look for ways to learn, grow, and continue forward. Creative people don’t let their downfalls get the best of them.

8. Your risk is worth your rewards.

Creative people are by definition extremely bold. Your actions and plans are easily justifiable because they are normally in accordance to what you believe in. Any time you’re confronted with something that has a somewhat likelihood of backfiring, you don’t run away. You run towards it. Creation, the act of making something from absolutely nothing, is one gigantic risk. Nothing more, nothing less. Forbes contributor Steven Kotler adds,”This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent – these are all by-products of creativity gone awry.”

9. You immerse yourself in beauty and talent.

A lot of creatives have a knack for beauty, even if it’s peculiar and unique to their style. You’re no different. From your writing group to your children and the way you decorate your house, you blanket yourself in the things you love. No matter who thinks what about your space and choices, you stay true to what you’re about. One of the most successful basketball coaches of all time John Wooden once said:

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.”

10. You chase dreams and live your passions. Period.

No two ways about it, creatives are generally happy and content with nothing but producing quality work. Definitions and standards of brilliance are self defined, and you realize that. You’re the graceful angel taking tango lessons. You’re the old man at the gym dropping NBA caliber dimes and hitting 35 foot three pointers. You’re that really cute old lady posted at the coffee shop piano who I really want to give my number to for convorsational purposes only. Your drive to perform, compete, and produce is intrinsic. So is the true reward. No matter how many or little fans, accolades, or appreciation you have, only one thing matters:

You’re doing it.

Featured photo credit: Closeup of young hipster man with digital camera outdoors. Young male photographer photographing nature via shutterstock.com

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30 Life Lessons From Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma

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Have you ever felt discouraged when you consider your professional progress or financial state? Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has a few tokens of advice for you.

Ma is a Chinese internet entrepreneur who launched his first big endeavor, and many since, in the face of adversity or criticism. He was named Financial Times’ “2013 Person of the Year,” and is widely held as a symbol of the Chinese entrepreneurial spirit. While some of his insight may constitute a new approach more focused on the bottom line than others, there is no denying that his perspective is one that has proven staggeringly successful.

Ready to incorporate Ma’s approach into your management of professional and financial life? Copy those that resonate most with you on a notecard and post them on your computer, in your wallet, or at another location where you will see them regularly. You’re about to go on a wildly successful ride with Jack Ma.

1. Look far and wide for opportunity.

Ma categorizes those who fail as often being myopic to opportunity. Look across the professional and financial landscape with a broad lens first, considering all possibilities. Then, bend down to dig under every rock and in every nook and cranny for potential opportunities.

2. Treat every opportunity as an open door.

No chance is too small, too menial, or beneath you. When something lies before you, seize it. Grasp it with all of your strength, work this opportunity with all of your heart. Bring everything that you are to bear on this task. Do not treat anything as small if you want large results.

3. Seek understanding.

Work to understand both your current position and the position to which you aspire. What, exactly, are you working for? Why? What will it take to get you to where you want to go?

4. Act quickly.

Sometimes, the race does go to the swift. What most folks miss, however, is that being “swift” means bouncing back from failure, not necessarily running most quickly at all times. Acting swiftly can also mean being the first one out of the blocks when the gun goes off. When an opportunity presents itself, act.

5. See beyond your circumstances.

No matter what your current condition, how or where you grew up, or what education or training you feel you lack, you can be successful in your chosen endeavor. It is spirit, fortitude, and hardiness that matter more than where you start.

6. Channel your ambition.

It is your job as a visionary to become single-minded in your ambition. Focus on your goal, work toward it, and never let it go.

7. Be courageous.

When Ma launched Alibaba Group, a highly successful group of internet businesses, he did so in the face of cautionary feedback from potential backers. There is a time for boldness, and in pursuit of your chosen ambition is that time.

8. Take chances in your youth.

If you are not rich by the time you are 35, says Ma, then you have wasted the opportunities of youth. Capitalize upon these young years, with their energy and imagination, by giving in to your ambition and the pursuit of it.

9. Unify your team toward a common goal.

You will never succeed in unifying every member of your team behind a single person. Ma estimates that 30% of people will always disagree with you.  Unite them behind an idea, cause, or mission, however, and you can harness the power of the team.

10. Make yourself replaceable.

Part of unifying behind an idea or mission is reducing dependency upon any particular individual, including the founder or lead boss. Cultivate the ideas, skills, and approach that you value in individuals you trust. When you move on, their leadership will ensure the continued success of that mission or idea.

11. Hire those with better technical skills than you possess.

If the boss has better technical skills than the employees, then they hired the wrong people. Workers should always be technical experts. Hire them, empower them, and let them do their jobs. They’re better at it than you are.

12. Lead with vision, tenacity, and grit.

There are skills that are vital to successful leadership of any company or endeavor — vision, tenacity, and grit. A leader must be a visionary, able to see opportunity where others do not and acknowledge challenges before they come. A leader must be tenacious, be able to “hang in there” when a less determined individual would have long since given up. A leader must have grit, that ability to buckle down and do what is required in order to get the job before them, done.

13. Persevere.

Hard times will come. Challenges may be everywhere even at launch. Keep that founding vision in mind, and cling to it in rough waters as a lighthouse and guide. Your actions will inspire others to do the same.

14. Attitude is more important than capability.

It is your attitude that determines your altitude. Whether in smooth times or rough, successful leaders remain calm, confident in their mission, and focused on their desired outcome.

15. Savvy decision-making is more important than capability.

The most successful leaders are not always the smartest or the most qualified on paper. They do, however, surround themselves with extremely capable experts, turn to them for input, and make clear decisions. It is the decisions you make that will advance you and your endeavor forward one step at a time, not how qualified you are to move from square to square.

16. Money and political power cannot exist together.

Money and political power are mutually exclusive. One is the powder keg, the other, the match. Where both exist, an explosion will occur. If you are interested in both, pursue them consecutively, not concurrently.

17. Resilience is only understood after you have gone through hardship.

An intellectual understanding of resilience means nothing.  The capacity to be resilient means nothing.  It is only after having gone through hardships and having been tested, that an individual can be deemed “resilient.”

18. Your job is to be more diligent, hardworking, and ambitious than others.

There is a simple formula for success, every time. Be diligent. Work hard. Never lose sight of your ambition. Whatever form your endeavor takes, these principles hold true.

19. Compete with grace.

If you treat your competitors as enemies, you will be seen as an enemy yourself. You will soon be surrounded. Instead, enter professional competition with grace, honoring your competitor and remembering that next time, the tide may turn another way.

20. Take all competitors seriously.

No competitor is a giant unless you make them one in your perspective. Treat all competitors with respect; treat your own business with respect. All have an equal chance of success when the competition begins. The one you overlook may be the one that beats you.

21. Behold yourself a giant.

Every large business started somewhere. Your business started somewhere. All deserve a seat at the table. Behold yourself equal to those you are competing with, and conduct yourself accordingly.

22. Winners do not whine.

While occasional poor spirits are to be expected, with the accompanying utterances of annoyance or dejection, regular whining is a sure sign of failure. All endeavors will bring hardships and challenges. How you deal with them will indicate the success of your business. Winners do not whine.

23. Customers are first; employees, second; shareholders, third.

As a leader, you only have a certain amount of time and energy. Give yours to those who enable your business, first — your customers. Those who make your business run come second — your employees. The shareholders are given attention and resources only after the first two have been satisfied. Many business owners spend all day, every day, catering to the shareholders. This resource allocation is not sustainable.

24. Forget about the money.

You did not launch your business or project solely for the money. You went down this path to build a particular lifestyle, or to meet a need of your soul and mind. If you focus on the money, you will make different decisions than if you focus on the journey. Walk the path you started down diligently, with ambition; the money will come.

25. Find the right people, not necessarily the best or most skilled people.

The most skilled people on paper are not necessarily the ones who fit best into your culture, or work best with you. The most efficient people on paper may not be those you trust most. Sparkling resumes do not mean that an individual can grow and evolve with your company. Find the right people, now. They are the best people. Their skills can be developed, as will yours.

26. “Free” is a very expensive word.

When you give something away for “free,” you give away profits, as well as resources of manpower spent during development, implementation, and follow-up, and possibly intellectual property in the form of a great idea. Think carefully before you run such a promotion. Nothing is truly free.

27. A smart man uses his brain to “speak”…

The words that come from another’s mouth are not meaningful. Engage your mind. Utilize your intellect. Make decisions from an informed, grounded perspective.

28. … a wise man uses his heart.

Likewise, trust your intuition and your knowing. Making decisions from a place of faith can serve you exceptionally well, particularly with regard to personnel and when identifying strategic objectives.

29. We are born to enjoy life, not to spend it working.

The point of life is not to simply work, work, work, grinding away our bodies and our minds until we die. The focus should be on enjoyment, not only of your work but by creating time to play, relax, and enjoy those around you. If you work your life away, you will regret it — this is guaranteed.

30. Giving up is the greatest failure.

You will never know what you can achieve and accomplish, unless you try it. You will never know if your idea will “work” or if the business will produce, unless you stick with it. Adapt your ideas, change your strategies if you must, but never give up.

Craving more guidance? Check out these 5 Things The Richest Man in Asia Wants Young Entrepreneurs to Know.

Featured photo credit: epSos.de via flickr.com

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25 Words That Have Different Meanings Across the United States

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Even though the United States are united (thanks Abraham Lincoln!), there are still regional differences in the way they speak. Some of the differences come from pronunciations, while some come from a regional dialect. This list gives a glimpse into 25 Words That Have Different Meanings Across the United States.

1. Mini river crustaceans

In the North: referred to as “crawdads” and “crayfish.”

In the South: “crawfish.”

These mini river crustaceans make delicious local dishes, though the word to describe them is still under debate.

2. A carbonated sweetened beverage

In the North: ask for “pop.”

In the South: “soda,” or generalized as “Coke.”

In the North you order your favorite pop, say Mountain Dew. In the South it is a Soda, or you might even order a Mountain Dew by saying, “I’d like a Coke,” after which you’d be asked: “What kind?”

3. A group of people

In the North: Hey, “you guys!”

In the South: Hi “ya’ll!”

This phrase is the great divider between North and South, and how you address a group of people determines your geographical heritage.

4. Pastie

In the North: a “pastie” is a hot pocket, filled with vegetables and a choice of meat.

In the South: a “pastie” is a covering women put over their nipples in order to be modest.

This one is a bit interesting, because although the word is spelled the same, pronunciation is what matters. In the north (especially Michigan) you say “past” with an “ie” on the end. The nipple covering is pronounced “paste” with a “y” on the end. I’ve made this mistake when ordering food in the North before, and the locals thought I was an idiot.

5. Sugar

In the North: sugar comes in 5- or 10-pound bags and is normally used for baking.

In the South: “sugar” can mean a kiss.

If you ask for some sugar in the South, you might be surprised when you get a big peck on the lips! If you ask for sugar in the North, people will assume you are doing a lot of baking.

6. Bet

In the North: a bet is something that you place on a game of poker.

In the South: “bet” is a way to say that you agree.

The word “bet” in the south comes form the saying, “you bet you” or “you betcha”, which is shortened to “bet” as a way to say that you agree. In the North, if someone says bet, it’s generally in reference to gaming.

7. Pitcher

In the North: a photograph.

In the South:  a container for a beverage.

The word picture, especially is rural areas in the North, sounds more like “pitcher” when pronounced. In the South, this almost always refers to a big pitcher of sweet tea.

8. Dressing

In the North: something that goes on salad, ie. ranch.

In the South: a bread based side dish.

In the North, there is basically one salad dressing: ranch. In the South, if you asked for dressing on your salad you would probably get croutons –”dressing” is that tasty bread concoction that is normally stuffed in a turkey for Thanksgiving.

9. Tea

In the North: black tea.

In the South: This is a cold drink consisting of sugar and an aftertaste of tea.

Another divider between the North and South is how we like to drink our tea. The South is legendary for their sweet teas. If you go far south enough, tea at a restaurant is always sweetened, and if you ask for it unsweetened they instantly know you are an out-of-towner.

10. “The Lake”

In the North: this can mean any of the Great Lakes, if you’re close to one.

In the South: the local swimming hole.

If you are a Midwesterner, when someone references “the Lake” it generally means one of the Great Lakes. In the South if someone references the lake, it usually means a local pond or quarry.

11. Fixing

In the North: something you do when your car is broken down.

In the South: getting prepared to do something, ie. “I’m fixing to eat some crayfish.”

Another great divivder of the Norther and Southern dialect is “fixing”. When my boyfriend says he is a fixing, it usually means he is working on a car. If someone in the South says this, it means they are getting prepared to do something.

12. Buggy

In the North: if you live near the Amish, a horse-drawn cart.

In the South: a shopping cart.*

*A “horse and buggy” has an entirely different meaning in the South.

13. Greens

In the North: a salad.

In the South: cooked collard greens.

If you ask for greens in the north, you will get a house salad. If you ask for greens in the south, you will undoubtedly get piping hot collard greens.

14. Shredded cabbage served with a milk-based cream

In the North: ask for “coleslaw.”

In the South: “slaw” will suffice.

The different between these words is minor, but again, Southerners seem to have a way with getting to the point when it comes to food.

15. When it is sunny while raining

In the North: this weather phenomenon is commonly referred to as a “sun shower.”

In the South: they say, “The devil is beating his wife.”

This saying speaks for itself, and for the vivid imagination that Southerners have.

16. Dope

In the North: generally a slang term for drugs, or to say something is “cool.”

In the South: toppings that you put on your ice cream sundae.

Again, Southerners have a great way of getting to the point when describing food. I will make sure to ask for dope on my sundae in the future.

17. BBQ

In the North: a sweet sauce made from tomatoes, garlic, and Worcestershire that you slather on ribs.

In the South: a process of cooking meat slowly over fragrant wood.

The different in BBQ between the north and south is rather significant — one is a marinade and the other is a form of cooking.

18. Peninsula

In the North: this either means Upper Michigan, or the Mitten of Michigan that is covered on all three sides by lakes.

In the South: Florida.

Geographical heritage plays a major role in where the peninsula is located. Northerners will unanimously say Michigan, once you get south of the Ohio River, it is always Florida.

20. Butter

In the North: the condiment you put on bread.

In the South: the basis of all cooking.

Southerners (Paula Dean for example) use an excessive amount of butter to cook, well, everything. In the North, butter is more often a condiment.

21. Football

In the North: this means “the Big Ten” or, more specifically, Ohio State.

In the South: The Sec or, more specifically, ‘Bama.

This played out perfectly in the 2015 Sugar Bowl.

22. Shorts

In the North: a garment that is worn as soon as it 40 degrees.

In the South: a garment that is worn as soon as it is 70 degrees.

A big difference between the North and South is our wardrobe. In the North the first day that is warmer than 40 degrees, girls are wearing hot pants. In the South, the girls are a bit classier and hold off until it’s at least 70 to put on the daisy dukes.

23. Rustbelt

In the North: the area of cities along the lakes that were part of the industrial boom and bust, now populated with mostly hipsters.

In the South: a belt that is rusty.

Midwesterners fondly call the old industry areas the Rust Belt. In the south, a rust belt would probably be something on a chain saw that has sat out the whole rainy season..

24. “Bless your heart”

In the North: a way of showing sincerity and appreciation.

In the South: a way of telling someone they are an idiot.

I have heard plenty of northerners say “bless your heart” and generally it came off as a way of saying “thank you,” but in the South it basically means the opposite.

25. Snow

In the North: white precipitation that comes in increments of feet and might cause schools to close when there is a wind chill of -40.

In the South: white precipitation that causes entire states to close down with a total snowfall of 2 inches.

Another example of geographic differences — the winter of 2013/14, the South was shut down several times when they received 1-2 inches of snow. In the North, I drove 20 miles to work in -40 degree weather, with close to a foot of snow on the ground.

Featured photo credit: Leo Reynolds via flickr.com

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