Author Archives: Diego

Sleep Cycles

As a new college students I feel myself in the situation where my sleep cycle that I used to have before coming here to Penn State, isn’t anymore. A very big portion link of freshmen dramatically extended back and forth with there sleeping schedule during the first semester in particular. This happens for several reasons such as being unprepared, having bad study habits, feeling unmovitated, involved in the non-stop party marathon of the freshmen people, and/or terribling time management or organization skills. Like Andrew told me..

“Organization is the key to happiness, well at least some happiness…”

Now that I am at the very end of the semester I can see this a clear as water. If I had listen or really understood the circumstances I was being involved with, I could have avoided myself a lot of stress during this fall semester.

Why procrastinate?

Procrastination is putting tasks that we should be doing on hold by getting ourselves distracted.

But maybe a more technical definition would be: Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we’ll feel tomorrow, or the next day.

Most of us would agree to have experienced the stress that comes out of not having enough time to complete an assignment, at least once in our lives.

procrastination_illo_300And our distracting factor doesn’t have to be twitter in particular. We may be more easily distracted by other things such as watching t.v. or funny YouTube videos about cats falling down or being scared to death…

There is science behind everything, and procrastination might be one of the human behaviors we might have thought to be much more simple than thinking of it as a scientific inquire. It is actually more of a deep and complex explanation than just being lazy.

The Neuropsychology of Procrastination

Recently the behavioral research into procrastination has ventured beyond cognition, emotion, and personality, into the realm of neuropsychology. The frontal systems of the brain are known to be involved in a number of processes that overlap with self-regulation. These behaviors — problem-solving, planning, self-control, and the like — fall under the domain of executive functioning. Oddly enough, no one had ever examined a connection between this part of the brain and procrastination, says Laura Rabin of Brooklyn College.

BBC Magazine had this article about procrastination a while ago where it showed many real-life procrastination tales from people around UK and America. These are some examples of the cases BBC published:

•”I bought a book called 52 Steps To Defeating Procrastination. I’ve still never read it- it was over 10 years ago, and I’m not even sure where it is now.” -Craig, Bedfordshire, UK

•”A client sent me a cheque for £6,000. I lost it. I always intended to ask them to issue another but never got round to it.” -Ian Bain, Edinburgh

•”A friend of mine, who I’ll call “Dave” (because that was his name) said he would do anything to avoid A-level revision. At one point he infamously found himself weighing the cat, convinced that he would only be able to settle down to work if he had that data to hand. As a result, some 25 years later, the act of procrastination is referred to by my family as “weighing the cat”. -Ian Whitten, Sittingbourne, Kent

So as we see, procrastination can seem pretty harmless at first-hand, but as time goes on this simple tasks can become embarrassing stories.

If we want to keep our lives straight and achieve goals we set for ourselves we might want to seriously consider getting rid of our procrastination habit. But for breaking this habit, we must first understand some of the psychological reasons why people procrastinate.

Why do we procrastinate?

  1. Lack of motivation
  2. Fear of failure
  3. Fear of success
  4. Unskilled
  5. Being a perfectionist
  6. Lack of self-control

Lack of motivation:

To believe that you must feel motivated in order to begin a task has the order of events in reverse. People often have this pattern of doing things only when they are feeling at least a little motivated in doing them.

A way to overcome this issue is by simply starting the task, don’t matter how small the progress is, motivation can begin to build, therefore making the task at hand feel easier to accomplish.

Fear of failure

Fear of failing can be also a very common reason why people tend to put things off for later. Many people who identify with this reason might have found themselves saying this: If I really try hard and fail, that is worse than if I don’t try and end up failing.”

A way to change this around is by tackling the kind of attitude and approach towards failing the standard set. Instead we could be thinking that it is not in our control to perfectly accomplish the unrealistic standards set for us to fulfill without any flaw.

Fear of success

Some of us may feel that if we do succeed, it may be to overwhelming to keep up with that standard. Or perhaps you are more comfortable being in the back, cause success tends to put you on the spotlight.

Procrastination of this kind may indicate an internal identity conflict. If your self worth is tied to your level of achievement. If your self worth is tied to family acceptance, then how much more does it take for them to be satisfied? We may try to first understand were we stand, and what our real identity demands from us. We should be thinking of doing this for ourselves and not to bring about the satisfaction of our family’s expectative of us.

Unskilled

There are tasks were we are great at doing, but there are always others we can’t do as well. This is nothing to be embarrassed about, because at the end skills comes after practice and we might just have been handed a task to carry out which we’ve never done before. This goes from practicing a new sport to learning a new concept in your math class.

Putting off this type of tasks for later, which we are not very familiar with, will not make you better at them thereafter than when you first encounter them. So begin now, on building that new skill.

Being a perfectionist

Being a perfectionist can have its perks the moments when you are actually doing stuff, however it is more often than not that perfectionists are tempted to put things off, or delay completing tasks simply because you’re worried about the outcome being less than perfect.

Best argument against having this kind of approach is quite simple: a completed, albeit imperfect, task is better than an uncompleted task.

Lack of self-control

Self-control is a skill that varies from person to person. Often insufficient self-control might make a person procrastinate. This type of procrastination comes more often to people who do not have a discipline towards doing tasks in a organized and timely manner.

However this issue can be tackled by building up your discipline towards approaching the tasks handed out to you with a better attitude. As discipline is built by repetition, by committing to perform each of the next tasks given to us in this way, will help of get over this lack of self-control problem.

song-chart-memes-procrastination-homework

If you don’t want your life to continue to be as stressful as the chart above portrays, take some of the advice on this blog to know how to overcome some aspects of procrastinating you might identify with, and START TODAY…

Citations

  • “9 Common Reasons Why We Procrastinate.” Lifehack RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/9-common-reasons-why-procrastinate.html>.
  • “Six Reasons People Procrastinate.”  Academic Success Center, OSU. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://success.oregonstate.edu/six-reasons-people-procrastinate>.
  • “Procrastination.” – Academic Skills Center: Study Skills Library. Student Academic Services, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://sas.calpoly.edu/asc/ssl/procrastination.html>.
  • Jaffe, Eric. “Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination.” Association for Psychological Science RSS. Observer, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/april-13/why-wait-the-science-behind-procrastination.html>.
  • Spencer, Amy. “The Science Behind Procrastination.” Real Simple. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/procrastination>.
  • “Following the Thought Paths of My Mind.” : Procrastination Distraction. N.p., 6 Apr. 2011. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://thoughtpaths.blogspot.com/2011/04/procrastination-distraction.html>.

Horoscopes True or Scam?

Astrology dates back about 10,500 B.C. the real age of sphinx… I’ve wondered way many things and concept involving our own horoscopes seem to be so true for us. For me there was no logical mechanism that could involve planets or astrology with the way I am. How can that even be possible? Depending on the day of the year you’re born you automatically belong to one of the 12 zodiac signs of the year. What exactly makes horoscopes get so close to absolute precision? Or Is it a Texas Sharpshooter fallacy overall? Guess we’ll find out..

These researches imply that the theory behind horoscopes still is unanswered and has many holes. It seems to be natural symmetry and not causal.

a0e6411f-95b0-4414-839b-7c9574470970Astrology can be generalized as the study of celestial bodies but is there a different meaning? The argument that astrology is intuitive needs to be abolished. It needs to be looked at as a symmetry, cosmic symmetry instead. The examples of this could be an individual’s behaviors or the environment around a person. Cosmic symmetry is what makes astrology real rather than fictitious. This symmetry that was talked about exists between a macro and micro world. In astrology, there are five different ideas but I would like to focus on nativity. According to Ken McRitchie, “All things are born from one thing by adaptation”. Each individual, whether it is a person, thing, or an event, is a microcosm born at the center of its own macrocosmic universe. Each individual has its own planets, identifies with its native circumstances, and has a sensitive dependence on its initial configuration within the world of experience that it known and shared among other individuals.” I have said before when you are born you are automatically a part of one of the twelve signs. This idea of nativism means someone is born to the sign. It will affect who they are from the start because it is a native foundation from the start. Adjustments are being made to this idea still because we don’t know if it is completely accurate being that star constellations have no symmetry and are simply just imaginary. THis is why boxes are developed to relate traits and similarities between different signs. We utilize the planets to gain an understanding of the individual meanings of the signs. It is just a beginning to try and connect behaviors with astrology. These ideas become more believable because of the social sciences. THere have been theories developed in this field that we correlate with personality types and can apply it to astrology. For instance, the quantifiable types of “intelligence”, this is a trait a person is presumed to have according to Ken McRItchie. THis is why we can take the astrological references and try to make sense of them by realting them to real theories. The symmetry of an environemt and the person’s trait correlate. Astrology is not a hoax and has real theory behind it. A theory is principles or ideas trying to explain something and that is science.

 

Insanity

 

Insanity-1Insanity is one of the most known exercising programs in the world. It was a paradigm shifter because it completely inverted the conventional exercising programs and techniques. The reason why nobody had ever really created a fitness plan so effective as these one is because the difficulty involved in performing this program is by far harder than any other long-term fitness program created before it. The majority of people creating a new habit of exercising, or even leveling up on the intensity of their training, when committing to this program wouldn’t have persisted to continue with it simply because it is very hard for beginners or people not accustomed to this level of activity. At first no-one really sees big results that motivate us to keep going further into something we’re unskilled at. But very efficient advertisement techniques and a smart use of the media created a trend on the consumption of its products. People that managed to abide to this heightened routine later on went creating influential testimonies and so the trend began to gain more strength. People generally get their motivation regarding exercising the body in two ways: by experiencing their own results or by subjects having performed the activity desired and showing results wanted by potential participants. A genius marketing strategy created this appeal by rewarding insane practitioners if they posted before and after the program pictures of themselves. Reward like small monetary reward or gray t-shirts were given away by the beach body company that sell the whole Insanity program. Another thing this company did was offer a 60-day 100% money back guaranteed. So with the before-and-after pictures, the money back guarantee, and a pure motivation of getting healthier or a better body abetted with the constantly uprise in sales and amount of people using there product.

 

Talent vs. Skill

Always as a young boy and ever since I can remember I’ve heard repeatedly and from many different people, mostly grown-ups, about how just some kids had the talent and others instead had to develop the skill playing a sport, an instrument, or performing any other task. messi-has-been-playing-soccer-since-he-was-a-little-boyPersonally I’d prefer if someone said I had talent instead of skill because I thought that if I had talent and at the same time worked as hard a pure-skill-delevoped player, I would still be excel a little more. However one day while having dinner with the team I came up into a debate with one of my teammates claiming how practice was everything and there was no such thing as talent. Evidently, he was the only one in the table with that point of view, everyone else including me knew the concept talent truly existed. However, my friend was so determined and went on saying how he read a book about it particularly, therefore creating that strong held belief for him. He pointed out how everybody firmly believes Messi is incredibly talented and Cristiano Ronaldo is purely skilled, developed by hours and hours of work.  Yet he claimed that Messi might have put just as much hours in training as Cristiano, thus making a doubt that Messi might also be only skilled. So it created in me a small doubt that he might be on to something. This claim is definitely intriguing for me so I looked into it. Does the concept of talent exist or are everyone that are called talented became practiced to the point there were as skillful that people might’ve just mistaken it for talent?

Null hypothesis: Practice creates skill, or talent

Alternative hypothesis: Practice only creates skill, not talent

According to the article “What is talent?” published by David Ulrich and Norm Smallwood, talent=competence x commitment x contribution. Competence is referred to as the knowledge, skills and value which are needed for today’s jobs. Commitment is also highly important in this formula because an employee that is competent but not committed will be prepared for the job but wouldn’t work as hard as a committed employee, and companies definitely prefer employees whom will work hard, do what they are asked for, and go out of there way to get better skilled and perform better at their jobs. While contribution means that employees are feeling that the time that they are investing in their work is meaningful not only to them but to the organization or their co-workers as well. Briefly, talent constitutes of skills, wills and purposes, because it turns oneself someone capable, committed and contributing. While this article doesn’t necessarily answer the hypothesis, it support the idea that talent isn’t just something magical or esoteric only few people have or are born with.

The take away message is that talent is something people can work toward for. Purpose is something that keeps individuals thoroughly engaged in activities where one day someone might call them out for having talent. The formula by David ulrich and Norm Smallwood seem to make sense out of how talent is formed. Therefore, the null hypothesis was unable to be rejected.