Jul 26

4 Ways for You to Become an Effective Communicator

Obviously, because we are social beings, communication will always be a part of our daily lives. Even so, there are still many people who cannot communicate effectively in different settings and situations. One can be extremely good at livening up the mood during leisure time but won’t be able to present a business proposal successfully. Fortunately for everyone, there are always ways to improve!

1.  Listen well

A lot of people nowadays like to talk and talk and go on about anything without listening to what others have to say. This can be unhealthy for relationships and may even add stress whether you’re at home or at work. Listening well is important for effective communication clearly because you get to know what other people think instead of rambling about your own thoughts and plans. This means that the conversation is not one-sided and the other person does not have to feel overwhelmed.

2.  Be prepared

Whether you’re going to make a business presentation, do a speech or have an interview, you obviously have to be well-prepared. You’ll never be able to arrange all your thoughts and have them connect to your main idea on the fly. To be able to communicate effectively, you need to think of the things that you have to say well before you even say them. Then arrange your points accordingly so as to make your whole presentation smooth and understandable. Being prepared not only helps you organize everything ahead of time but also makes you more confident in the things you are saying.

3.  Use your body language

In small meetings or conversations, it should be a good idea to pay more attention to how everyone communicates nonverbally. Many Singaporeans tend to nod a lot too, that can be one thing to consider. You’ll know that a person is either listening to you attentively or maybe it’s just something he normally does. Another example is if you keep your arms crossed when talking to someone. Usually, this can give off an “uninterested” or “defensive” vibe from you. By using and identifying body language, you’ll be able to adjust the things you’re saying to improve the interaction.

4.  Remember to make eye contact

Even in our simple, day to day interactions, we always make eye contact. This basically shows that we are paying attention to what’s being said in front of us. Can you imagine if you were on a date and the other person keeps looking elsewhere? At the same time, we, as the ones who speak should also remember to hold eye contact. You are able to communicate the message to your audience if you look them in the eye, not when you’re looking at the floor!

   Jul 26

Understanding and Appreciating Your Partner Better

Okay, as a couple, you can’t help but experience ups and downs altogether. We all know the cycle, first of all it starts all magical and adventurous but later on little hiccups start to appear. These hiccups turn into bumps and later on turn into real heavy obstacles. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. Each couple has their ups and downs.

Young couple on a sofa watching a movie

Compromise is the Key

If you ask old couples how they were able to survive, well, they learned how to live and compromise around each other. Isn’t that beautiful? Well, compromise isn’t really a beautiful word but then again, compromise is very important in any kind of relationship. Whether it be your relationship with your parents, friends, or even your partner. Compromise is one of the keys to a successful relationship.

Now, when a couple is experiencing their low point where they don’t even remember the reason they stay together, it’s easy to forget the things your partner has done for you. In fact, it’s easier to remember the things you have done for your partner rather than the sacrifices they’ve done for you. You may even be irritated by the little things like being 5 minutes late or maybe even forgetting to close the door.

Accepting Each Other’s Small Faults

These little things might tick you off. Now, let’s set aside the whole situation and go back to the beginning. What was the last thing you did that made you say to yourself “I’m really lucky to be with this person”? Hmmm. Think harder. Something’s sure to pop up. Have you thought of something yet?

Well, manifest on that feeling. Forget about everything else. Remember all the reasons you are still staying and compare them to worse situations that could have happened but didn’t. Feeling pretty thankful yet? Thankfulness is not something a lot of us share as when we’ve experienced the best, we usually aren’t contented when someone does something that doesn’t even come close to the best. Hey.

Good Intentions Matter a Lot

Remember that it’s not about how much they reach your expectation, it’s about how much effort they’ve put in trying. Each of us have different love languages and this usually makes it hard for us to measure the efforts of one another since we are reading their efforts through a different love language. Try to understand your partner through their love language instead of just yours.

The longer you and your partner get, the more you get to know your partner and the easier it will be to think through the perspective of your partner. It is very important to be able to think through the goggles of your partner if you want the relationship to work. Understand the ways they see things and you’ll see how much your partner has invested in you.

   Jul 01

How to enter the Flow State to be More Productive in Your Work

In this day and age, being more productive and focusing your attention on your work can be difficult when you’re constantly bombarded with stimuli from your computer and mobile devices.

However, there are those rare times when you give your complete attention to something, whether it’s a job or a hobby, and before you know it, you’ve already made a great amount of progress, if not finished it.

This is what’s known as the “flow” state.

What’s the Flow State?

The simplest way to describe it is that you’re in a state of complete focus, or super-focus, towards your work. When you’re in a state of flow, everything else falls away. Your thoughts and actions follow one after another, and you’re using all your skills to the fullest.

You’ll know that you’re experiencing flow when you experience the following factors towards what you’re doing:

  • You’re able to judge your own progress right away and give instant feedback on your own performance
  • You lose track of time
  • You know your skills match exactly that which your task needs
  • You feel you have complete control over the outcome

Not all of these have to be there when you do achieve flow. What does matter is your concentration. Once you’re immersed in the task, you can really feel that nothing stands between you and your task, and you’re fully committed to seeing it through to the end.

Other than full immersion, flow has other benefits, such as a better learning experience and a more improved sense of self-confidence.

How to Achieve Flow

Achieving a state of flow is difficult at first, especially when you find that you’re not too happy with the task that you’re doing. But there are a few ways that will help you get into it and get things done:

  • Eliminate all distractions. Unless your work really calls for it, turn off your screens. Stop looking at your phone to check your emails or your inbox. Set aside anything (and everything) that could make you look up or look away.
  • Don’t be afraid of failure. In fact, it might even be better if you do away with every expectation you have. It’s much better for you to not think too much of what the end result should be, and just focus on the task for the sake of the task itself.
  • Match your skills to the task. It helps that you prepare for it in advance if you’re just starting out. Start small, but be sure to stretch your skills each time you practice. Putting yourself in unfamiliar terrain means your brain is constantly adapting, and you’re taking everything in.

   Jul 01

Get to Know the Different Learning Styles (and Why They Matter)

Even though you think you’ve graduated college, learning doesn’t stop in the four walls of the classroom.

In fact, you constantly use your brain to learn new things all the time, whether you’re new at a job and still trying to be familiar with how everything works, picking up a skill or hobby for the first time, or re-learning something you dropped along the way because of time constraints.

How Learning Happens

Though the very process itself is complicated, learning essentially happens by memory. When you do or experience something for the first time, different neurons in different sections of the brain light up. The more you do or experience that thing, the more those same neurons light up.  

The Different Learning Styles

Everyone has a different way of learning, and knowing these different learning styles will help you round out your experience and approach anything much better and more easily.

These are some of the ways people both process information and pick up skills:

  • Visual – Visual learners prefer to use images, pictures, and color-coding, hence the need for these types of cues.
  • Auditory – These people learn best by their hearing, and can be split into aural (rhythms, music, mnemonics, etc.) and verbal (word-based techniques, i.e. scripting, speech, and reading aloud).
  • Kinesthetic – Kinesthetic or physical learners learn by doing, and are more likely to use muscle memory to their advantage.

Keep in mind that no one person uses one learning style exclusively – there are people who take to varying levels of the three, but may use one method as a “default” way to learn – and that there are certain skills that lend themselves more to not just one type of learning.

What’s Your Learning Style?

You can try figuring out your style based on whether you identify with the categories mentioned above. For instance, if you find that you like to use visual aids and color-coding a lot, you might find yourself to be a visual learner. The same can be said for the other two categories.

However, while there’s a good chance that you would use one learning method predominantly, you can also lend yourself to other methods in varying degrees.

Learning how you learn is the first step to figuring out the best way you take in new information, and a mix of styles that you like a lot and the ones you like less can actually help you get through your learning experience better.

The best way you learn is when you’re unfamiliar and haven’t settled in a familiar way of doing things. When you’re constantly adapting, you’re constantly taking in everything and learning, and your brain is constantly making new memories for you to draw from.

   Jun 11

6 Simple Lifestyle Hacks to Help You Become Rich

Growing your savings isn’t just about saving a big portion of your monthly income. Those small practices regarding your everyday finances can easily snowball and benefit you in the future. Consider these small lifestyle tips to help save more for the rainy days.

  1. Lessen Unneeded Everyday Purchases

This means limiting Starbucks coffee runs and walking short distance instead of booking an Uber. If there’s a less-pricey option, go for it as much as you can. Just make sure to prioritize your safety first.

  • Make a Grocery List and Stick to It

We know how tempting those chocolates are, but it they are something you can do without and are not on your list, then it would be best to leave them for the pampering days (Yes, you can still reward yourself with treats, as long as you stay within budget). Additional tip: Don’t go grocery shopping when hungry. Everything looks good, and you’re more likely to pick up junk foods instead of the more nutritious ones.

  • Pick-Up Discarded Coins

It may seem insignificant, but try not to take your stray coins for granted. When cleaning around the house, pick up every cent you see; you’ll be surprised at how much they would amount to. Plus, you will have something to use when you need to use a payphone or when the cashier asks for a change.

  • Always Go For Zero-Interest

If planning to purchase an item on instalment, look for one with zero-interest promo so you won’t be charged with high interest that’s a real pain to pay. While you’re at it, call your bank and try asking to waive your credit card annual fee.

  • Make It a Habit to Do Price Comparisons

This goes for all purchases—from grocery to gadgets. Are you sure you’re getting your money’s worth or are you just paying for the brand of the product? Set your priorities before buying something that requires you to shell out a few hundred dollars.

  • Quality Over Quantity

Instead of buying cheaper items that can easily break, use your money and buy things that may be initially expensive but are long-lasting. Genuine leather, instead of the faux one, actually makes an excellent long-term investment.

Building wealth is not just about saving big every time; it is also about doing small adjustments, which later on accumulates into bigger savings.

   Jun 11

Common Health Issues Women Should Look Out for in Their 30s

If you are in your 30s, it’s likely that you’re seeing and feeling major changes in your body compared to when you’re in your 20s. Your busy schedule and added responsibilities might make it difficult for you to take care of yourself and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Make your health a priority to continue living a healthy and happy life, and make sure to watch out for these fie common health issues that might get in the way

  1. Varicose Veins

This is a common problem in women, where the veins in their legs swell and can become extremely painful. Older women are more likely to suffer from this issue, making it difficult for them to sit, walk or even stand comfortably in long period of time. So, make sure to get checked regularly and live healthy, especially by the time you reach 30.

  • High Blood Pressure

This is a medical condition common in mature women where the higher pressure of the blood puts extra strain on your blood vessels. Over time, it can damage your blood vessels, heart and your brain. Wrong diet and stress can cause this health problem, especially in women aging 30 and up. So, as much as possible, avoid working after work hours and squeeze in some exercise into your daily routine.

  • Osteoporosis

As we age, our bones age as well and begin absorb old tissues faster without creating new ones, making our bones weak. This can happen because of lack of calcium, and can happen sooner if you do not have steady calcium intake. While you’re still young, feed your body with enough calcium everyday by taking calcium-rich food and supplements.

  • Breast Cancer

After 30, women are more prone to developing lumps in their breast. While some lumps aren’t harmful, there are some that are cancerous. Perform a breast self-exam regularly and be mindful of any physical changes. After all, early detection can cure the cancer and save your life.

  • Thyroid Disease

There are three different thyroid problems: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and goiter. Every function in your body relies on your thyroid hormone, including the growth of your nails, function of your body organs and your digestion. Even your heart and brain are especially dependent on your thyroid hormone to properly function. To avoid thyroid problem, make sure to maintain a balanced diet that’s low in salt and sugar.

If you’ve had your annual check-up, make sure to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for screenings and preventive health care. If you’ve never had one, now is the perfect time to visit a physician and start a regular health examination.

   May 21

5 Books that Teach You to Manage Money and Get Rich

A lot of people would say that money can’t buy happiness, but if you really think about it, money is power. The thing is, so little of us know how to manage our own money.

So, here are 5 books that can help with that:

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

If you’re thinking of which book in this list to read first, you should definitely start with this one. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” introduces us to a reality that we don’t often realize early enough, financial skills are not taught well at home and even at school. Kiyosaki states that because of this, we have trouble managing the financial aspect of our lives. He draws different perspectives on money from his father and his best friend’s father to provide valuable lessons about making money.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This book is one of those “old but gold” books about money management and financial literacy. Though it was originally published in 1937, the teachings and the insight you can get from “Think and Grow Rich” is timeless. Hill has written this book thoroughly giving his analysis of the lives of millionaires and how you can draw financial success based on these.

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

This book is a great read for the hard workers of Singapore. “Your Money or Your Life” highlights that though you spend most of your time and energy earning money, having more money is not necessarily better if you’re compromising your own well-being. Robin and Dominguez teach that learning to manage your money can be better than aspiring and working for more. That by detaching yourself from money, you won’t need to put your health on the line to be wealthy.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

This book is basically a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon that teaches saving and financial management. It shows how you can be healthy by learning to save money, not spending on useless things, and not getting in debt. The book also highlights the mindset of “paying yourself first” which is basically saving 10% of your income. This is actually a great read because of how you can reflect on the parables and apply the lessons in real life.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

So far, all the books mentioned focus on financial management, so let’s segue a bit. Although “The Power of Habit” does not directly talk about money, it has a lot of valuable lessons. It explains why habits exist and how bad habits can be changed for better ones. The book tells of people who struggle to change their habits in years, while there are others who can easily change overnight. The main point is, our habits can affect our health and wealth significantly and how these habits can transform our lives as we know it.

   May 21

Where to Find the Best Bak Kut Teh in Singapore

Bak Kut Teh is a pork rib dish that’s cooked in either a peppery or a herbal-based broth. It is typically a Chinese (specifically Teochew) soup that is commonly found in Singapore and Malaysia. This is one of the most enjoyed and desired dishes in Singapore, especially during the rainy season. With that, here are some of the best places to get bak kut teh!

1. Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh s

Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh is one of the oldest establishments selling bak kut teh having started operations in 1978. They have set themselves apart from others by solidifying their signature flavor of a rather peppery broth. This has earned them a lot of loyal customers who can easily distinguish the taste of their bak kut teh above anyone else’s. If you prefer broth that’s hearty and almost spicy, this is the place to be.

2. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh

Another “old but gold” establishment is Song Fa Bak Kut Teh. In the late 1960’s, owner Yeo Eng Song served bowls of bak kut teh with a pushcart stall. Today, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh is already a big name in Singapore. A lot of their success comes from their humble beginnings and their willingness to deliver the genuine flavors of bak kut teh.

3. Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh

Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh is known to serve bowls of bak kut teh that gives you a taste of authentic Teochew tradition and heritage. It’s kind of hard to describe their bak kut teh (in a good way). The broth is sweet and tasty but also quite peppery with just the right kick to it. Take small sips while the broth is still hot, you’ll get a certain warmth and savory taste that way.

4. Legendary Bak Kut Teh

Legendary Bak Kut The, formerly known as Founder Bak Kut Teh, is another household name in Singapore. Their walls are adorned with pictures of local and international celebrities who have dined in the establishment. Nonetheless, Legendary Bak Kut Teh has many loyal customers, celebrity or not. The main reason should be that they serve fresh and meaty pork ribs in a clear, yet flavorful and mildly spicy broth.

5. Leon Kee Claypot

From the all those mentioned above, what set Leon Kee Claypot’s bak kut teh apart is that the broth is herbal based. Don’t get us wrong, there are still many stalls that have herbal-based bak kut the, but this one is hard to miss. Because they serve it in claypot style, you can expect the soup to still be very hot as it is served. Plus, don’t get misled by the dark broth, it actually has a vivid sweetness to it.

   Apr 25

How to Make Your Own Bookmarks in 3 Easy Steps

Do you often have trouble picking up where you left off after putting down a book? Do you hate having to fold the pages or make dog ears to mark your progress? If your answer to either of these questions is “yes”, then making a bookmark is what you should do.

Bookmarks not only make it easier for you to keep track of where you left, but they also make a great opportunity for you to let your creativity loose.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how you can make your very own bookmarks:

1. Choose the right paper

You can’t just choose any old sheet of paper when you’re making your own bookmarks – you need something that draws attention and is sturdy enough for you to use repeatedly without just slipping or tearing.

The best material you can perhaps use for your bookmark is cardstock, which is sturdy and thick enough but can still be cut and drawn on easily.

2. Cut the paper

Once you have the cardstock of your choice, it’s time to cut it according to size. Most bookmark sizes range between 2” x 6” and 2” x 7”, though some bookmarks are 2” x 8.5”.

You can also choose to punch a hole in your bookmark to add the tuft of your choice, which allows you to keep better track of your progress when reading.

3. Add the details

Personalizing your own bookmark is the best thing about making it, and what makes it something different rather than being just another scrap of paper you jam in between pages.

Whether you want to add a certain marker to keep track of your progress to the exact line, or simply add an inspirational quote to look at, this is your chance to go nuts on the colors and drawings!

Alternatively, you can also use other materials as bookmarks, such as plastic paper clips (metal ones have a greater chance of ruining the paper), postcards that you cut to size, or even photographs. 

However, there are some materials in particular that you shouldn’t use as bookmarks for your books, such as the following:

  • Money – It should go without saying that you shouldn’t use money as a bookmark, since there are obviously better uses for it than simply being a marker for your reading progress.
  • Metal objects – Metal paper clips can tear out the page when you’re not careful – if you have to use paper clips, try using ones made of plastic instead.
  • Toilet paper – Not only do these slip out, but they also give the impression that the book has been used in a bathroom.
  • Handwritten letters – These are personally addressed to people, which means they shouldn’t be left lying around.