Category Archives: Life

How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

howtolearnShortcuts and brain hacks for learning new skills fast by Tansel Ali (2015) 

The author list out a 7 step guide to learn anything in 48 hours.

1. Gather materials and resources to learn (3 hours)

2. Develop memorization strategy (2 hours)

3. Organize / prioritize materials (1 hour)

4. Create accountability (Up to 1 hour)

5. Memorize (30 hours)

6. Review (spaced repetition) (1 hour)

7. Practice and apply (10 hours)

Imagination is the key to making anything more memorable. Build on foundation memory principles with SMASHIN SCOPE and bring your story to life. You can practise on anything you can visualize.


S : Senses / Sensation
M : Movement
A : Association
S : Sexuality / Self
H : Humor
I : Imagination
N : Numbers

S: Symbolism
C : Color
O : Order
P : Positive images / negative images
E : Exaggeration

The Yellow Elephant Memory Model will help you when you are not sure how to remember something. Break it down by looking at how you can create memorable mental images and link the story. There is a 4 step guide to make something memorable.

  1. Abstract – identify abstract thing.
  2. Image – Need to convert abstract to image example the word “creativity” is abstract, but we can use the image of a light bulb or even Albert Einstein to convert the abstract nature of the word to an image we recognize and understand.
  3. Association  – use physical connectivity to make a strong association.
  4. Communication -consider ways to craft info that others can understand.

When reading, use your finger as a guide by running it under the words. Doing this will not only help you read faster but also improve your comprehension.

When linking numbers, make sure you don’t mix up the order of the numbers you are trying to remember. If you make an incorrect story, you will recall wrong numbers.

When using the Method of Loci to remember numbers, always attach the story deeply into the location. Remember, physical connection makes for stronger memorisation. The Method of Loci is the fastest way to memorise playing cards. Create as many loci as you can so you don’t get your stories mixed up by repeatedly using the same location.

Create a spreadsheet listing people and their actions is super helping when using the Dominic system.

Make time to learn things you want to, not just need to, to free your mind from everyday routine. Don’t ever stop learning. It provides fuel for the soul and changes in the world.

Use mind maps or illustrations to help encode big blocks of data.

For languages, make sure you memorize the pronunciations before memorizing the phrases. It will make learning much more effective.

The best way to promote 21st century skills is to embrace Art of Memory techniques.

Real life examples of high speed learning exist. One competitor at first World Memory championships, Bruse Balmer taught himself 2000 foreign words in a single day. Another competitor from the 1999 World Memory championships famously taught himself Icelandic in only one week and then went on a talk show in that language.  These individuals have nothing special about them. Rather, they all employ a small set of simple techniques, known collectively as the Art of Memory. The Art of Memory originated in Ancient Greece. They were almost universally practiced by the thinkers of the ancient world.



breakthrough.pngHow one teen innovator is changing the world (2015)

I think it is pretty impressive for a teenage at 15 years old in his high school years to win on several science competitions and garnered international attention for his fast and easy way to detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers using a 4 cent strip of paper.

Although he is openly gay, but I guess with lesser distraction, that’s why he is able to focus on science and creativity matters.

He even wrote his own book, which I find that at a young age, he has achieved much more things than many people in their lives.

After reading this book, it occurred to me that going forward, science and creativity will be more important than ever.







The Achievement Habit


achievementhabit.pngBy Bernard Roth (2015)

This book gives ideas in area of design thinking to control our intentions to create habits that make our lives better.

Idea of design thinking principle :
1. Empathize : Whether you design, you are not primarily doing it for yourself. You are doing it with other people’s needs and desires in mind. Figure out the user’s experience and how to help.

2. Define the problem. Narrow down which problem you are going to solve or question you want to answer.

3. Ideate. Generate possible solutions using any means you like – brainstorming, mind mapping, sketching on napkins… however you work best.

4. Prototype. Without going crazy to make anything perfect (or even close to it), build your project in physical form, or develop the plans for what you’re going to enact.

5. Test and feedback.

Some other areas of thinking :
1. Nothing is what you think it is . You give everything its meaning.

2. Reasons are bullshit. You need to have bias towards action.

3. Getting unstuck. If you get stuck, try putting it aside for a while. Or take the time to explain exactly why you can’t solve the problem. The author’s friend created a handout, listing 22 things to try if you find yourself hitting the lamp post.





4. Find assistance. If you want people to assist you, you should ask them and be a decent human being.

5. Doing is everything. Notice the difference between intention and attention, between trying to do something and actually building it.


6. Watch your language. Successful communication takes both intention and attention. It requires the explicit intention that the meaning be shared and also it takes the explicit attention to be sure it has been shared. Acknowledge other people’s issues. People want to know you heard them.


7. Group Habits. An effective group icebreaker is to divide class into pairs in which each tells the other what type of person she is; this provides good experience in both talking and listening. The more you reveal about yourself, the more people like you. It is ironic that we hide aspects of ourselves because we fear rejection. It is the hiding, not the revealing, that leads to rejection.

Apply these same ideas in a private conversation. Next time you are having a leisurely conversation, tell your acquaintance what type of person you think you are and then ask her to tell you about herself. Then go on to share the last time you could not sleep all night and ask your partner when that happened to her. From there start trading stories about the last time you had a good laugh, the last time you made a bad mistake, and so on. At the end notice how your relationship with the other person has been altered by the details you shared.

8. Self image by design. Make a list of your attributes. Ask yourself “Who are you”
Who am I in terms of what I have?
Who am I in terms of what I do?
Who am I in terms of my being?

You can use guided fantasy to assist you in examining who you are really are. Imagine getting off the plane and making your way to a bus. Take a short bus ride, and then imagine getting off the bus. Now, imagine a house in the distance, and walk towards that house. When you get to the house, explore the outside and then the inside, examining the details carefully. In speaking for the house and its possessions, you are describing yourself. This is an excellent way to look at yourself, because it is nonthreatening. It produces candid insights that might otherwise not be available from examination of one’s own self image.


9. Big picture – Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.


10. Make achievement your habit – The next time you are asked to do something, don’t spend too much time thinking. Simply charge ahead. Do this by taking the first idea that comes into your head and make a quick prototype.






Bite-Size Einstein


‌einsteinBite-Size Einstein : Quotations on Just About Everything from the Greatest Mind of the Twentieth Century (1996)

This is an interesting book of which Einstein expresses his thoughts on various topics.

On Art and Music :

  1. 1.True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist. I can feel this urge in Ernst Bloch’s work as in few later musicians.

2. One flower is beautiful, a surfeit of flowers is vulgar.

3. Music does not influence research work, but both are nourished by the same source of longing, and they complement one another in the release they offer.


On Ethics and Morality :

  1. The foundation of all human values is morality. To have recognized this is the unique greatness of our Moses. In contrast, look at the people today!
  2. Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty ; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.
  3. Nothing will benefit human health and increases the chances of survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.


On himself :

1. With fame, I became more and more stupid, which, of course, is a very common phenomenon. There is far too great a disproportion between what one is and what others think one is, or at least what they say they think one is. But one has to take it all with good humor.

2. Yesterday idolized, today hated and spit upon, tomorrow forgotten, and the day after tomorrow promoted to Sainthood. The only salvation is a sense of humor, and we will keep that as long as we draw breath.

On life :

  1. Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
  2. Make friends with a few animals. Then you will become a cheerful man once more and nothing will be able to trouble you.
  3. People are like the ocean; sometimes smooth and friendly, at others stormy and full of malice. The important thing to remember is that they too are mostly made of water.

On Philosophy :

1. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

2. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

3. Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.




The Seed


TheSeed.jpg By Jon Gordon (2011)

Josh lost his passion at work. Challenged by his boss to take two weeks and decide if he really wants to work there, Josh takes off for the country, where he meets a wise farmer who gives him some sources of wisdom and encouragement in his work and life.


“Where do I start?” Josh asked curiously.


Begin where all knowing exists. Begin with your heart. And be careful of your mind. It will often play tricks on you and deceive you on your quest. But your heart never lies. It knows your why. It knows where you are meant to go and what are you meant to do. You just have to listen to it. And while you are following your heart, also look for the signs.


“What signs?” Josh asked, knowing his heart certainly wasn’t forthcoming with information lately.


The signs of grace that guide you through life. These signs help you decide which roads to take. They come in many forms : advice from a stranger, dreams, eureka moments, songs, television shows, books, and even big signs on the side of the road. God uses all means to communicate with us to guide us on our journey.


In life, your past leads to your future, and your future is connected to your past. Think about your past and you’ll find clues to create your future.


It’s not the job you do that matters. It’s the energy and mind-set that you bring to your job that truly matters. Burnout is more often caused by purpose deficiency.


In making your decision, don’t choose where you will be happiest – choose where you will learn the most. Choose where you can grow into your full potential. If you’ve grown all you can grow where you are and it’s time to grow higher somewhere else, then leave. But don’t leave because of challenges.


When you experience resistance, you find the lessons that you are meant to learn. People often run where they face resistance, but to grow you must face it and learn from it. We often have to go through things at work and in life that don’t make us happy, but they teach us lessons that lead to our happiness in the future.


Every job, good or bad, trains us for the work we are meant to do in the future. Challenges only make you stronger.

The $100 Startup


startup By Chris Guillebeau (2012)
In this book, Chris shares a blueprint to freedom through his research and account of people who found a way to live their dreams and make a good living from something they cared deeply about.

He talks about micro-entrepreneurship.

Lesson 1 : Convergence


Not everything you are passionate about or skilled in is interesting to the rest of the world, and not everything is marketable. But in the overlap between the two circles, where passion or skill meets usefulness, a microbusiness built on freedom and value can thrive.

Lesson 2 : Skill Transformation

Many of the projects were started by people with related skills, not necessarily the skill most used in the project. To succeed in a business project, it helps to think carefully about all the skills that you have that could be helpful to others.

Lesson 3 : The Magic Formula

Passion or skill + usefulness = success

The basis of starting a business is simple, which can be broken down as follows :

1. Product or service : what you sell.

2. People willing to pay for it : your customers.

3. A way to get paid : how you’ll exchange a product or service for money

The initial work can be a challenge, but after the typical business gets going, you can usually take a number of steps to ramp up sales and income – if you want to. It helps to have a strategy of building interest and attracting attention, described here as hustling. Instead of just popping up one day with an offer, it helps to craft a launch event to get buyers excited ahead of time.

The lessons and case studies illustrate a business creation method that has worked many times over : Build something that people want and give it to them.

Key Points

1. Value means “helping people. When you focused on providing value above all else, their businesses were successful.

2. Give people what they really want.

3. The more you can market a core benefit, the easier it will be to profit from your idea. Core benefits usually relate to emotional needs more than physical needs.

4. Always focus on what you can add or take away to improve someone’s life .. and then prepare to get paid.

5. Use surveys to understand customers and prospects. The more specific, the better.

6. What people want and what they say they want are not always the same thing : your job is to figure out the difference.

7. Provide a nudge to customers by getting them to make a decision. The difference is urgency : Why should people act now?

8. Offer reassurance and acknowledgement immediately after someone buys something or hires you. Then find a small but meaningful way to go above and beyond their expectations.

9. “Moving on up” by increasing income in an existing business is usually easier than initially starting the business.

10. Easy growth options include adding a service to a product-based business (or vice versa), deploying a creative series of upsells, cross-sells, and making a few key tweaks.

11. Horizontal expansion involves going broader by serving more customers with different (usually related) interests, vertical expansion involves going deeper by serving the same customers with different levels of need.

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs


By Carmine Gallo (2011)

Based on this book, there are 7 principles from Steve Jobs that will force a person to “think differently”.
1. Principle 1 : Do what you love

Study people who have followed their passion. Talk to them. You may get some insights  on how they made a transition from working at something that didn’t engage them to doing what they love.

Do you have interests outside of what you do for a living? If so, explore them. You may be surprised at how you can translate those passions into financial success. Try something new this year. Take a course, read a book or attend a conference that has nothing to do with your job.

Do what you love. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking . Don’t settle.


2. Principle 2 : Put a dent in the universe

Never underestimate the power of a bold vision to move society forward. Give yourself permission to dream big. Create a vision for your brand that inspires you to get up each morning. Put your vision to the test. Make sure your vision fits easily in a Twitter post of 140 characters or fewer.

See yourself having already accomplished your vision, regardless of how far it is in the future. Passion is the fuel that gives you energy to reach your dreams, but vision provides the road map.


3. Principle 3 : Kick-Start your brain

According to Steve jobs, “Creativity is just connecting things”. Use analogies or metaphors to think about a problem. By finding similarities between two very different things, your brain makes new and sometimes profound connections. Leave your comfort zone from time to time.

Don’t live in fear of the new. Embrace change. Embrace diversity of opinions and experiences.

Spend 15 minutes a day, asking questions that challenge status quo. Instead of asking “How”, ask “Why” and “What if”.

Seek out new experiences. If you typically read nonfiction texts, read a fiction book. If you usually choose business publications from the magazine stand, visit another category once in a while. Take every opportunity to travel. Researchers have documented that the more countries  person has lived in, the more likely the person is to leverage that experience to create innovative ideas, processes, or methods.

Hire outside of conventional norms. Most creative teams are diverse, composed of people with vastly different, but complementary talents, skills, and experiences.


4. Principle 4 : Sell Dreams, Not Products.

Commit yourself to excellence in every aspect of your business. Demand excellence in others. When it comes to your customer, it’s not about you; it’s about them. Your customers don’t care about you; they care about their dreams. They are asking themselves, “How will this product or service make my life better?” Help them fulfil their dreams and watch your sales soar.

Be your own focus group. Listening to your customer is not as valuable as knowing your customer.


5. Principle 5 : Say “No” to 1000 things

Ask yourself ” What is the deepest reason that people buy my product?” The answer should become your product’s focus. Anything that detracts from that focus should be eliminated. As a new year’s resolution, create a “stop doing” list. Cut down on the time your spend on projects or tasks that does not advance your core purpose and fulfil your passion.

Review everything about your product or service from the perspective of your customer. Ask a new year’s resolution. Create a “Stop doing” list. Cut down on the time you spend on projects or tasks that do not advance your core purpose and fulfil your passion.


6. Principle 6 : Create Insanely Great Experiences

Don’t move products. Enrich lives instead. Carefully review each customer touch point with your brand.  Look outside your industry for ideas on how to stand out from your competitors. Hire for cultural fit. Have fun. Passion is contagious.


7. Master the Message

Have a story t tell before opening Powerpoint or Keynote. Tell your story early and often. Make your brand story consistent across all platforms, presentations, website, advertising, marketing materials, social media.