If You’re Not Natural In A Skill You Can Learn It

Learning a new skill is on everyone’s agenda. Whether it’s becoming fluent in a foreign language or simply having something as an asset, skills are undeniably valuable. While being able to teach yourself something instantly is the Facebook community’s most desired superpower, it isn’t all that easy. However, it’s definitely possible.

Firstly, find a skill you are passionate about. What is something you’ve always wanted to learn to do? Forget difficulty levels for now, and go beyond a “just for fun” mindset. Consider the skill as something that will be vital to your life (and anyway, it may be).

Things may be easier if you consider your own skills. Some activities require good memory retention or an ability to accurately follow instructions. If you can already check certain “pre-requisites” off a list, your chances at becoming an expert at your new skill are significantly higher.

Once you’ve picked your skill, set realistic goals. Figure out what your primary motivation is. Do you want to learn to draw because a university elective requires it? Or do you want to impress a colleague? Whatever the case, make these goals meaningful to you, however shallow they may seem. Your bar should be at a defined level of expertise. If you want to become knowledgeable in a language, are you seeking full comprehension or get-by conversation? Gauge your own strengths and weaknesses in regards to this particular skill.

If you’re training yourself to become proficient in something you’ve never done before, chances are, you want to learn fast. If you can’t, don’t let your pace discourage you. On the ground, sloths move 2 meters a minute. It’s a stretch, but they get the job done. Manage your expectations and also set a deadline. When will this skill be most useful to you? Figure things out far in advance. If your chosen skill is writing fiction and you’re keen on entering a short story contest, don’t hesitate. Dive in!

Break down the skill. If you’re into photography, you’re going to have to learn the ropes of using cameras and editing tools. Skills can be two or even three-fold — making a list of what you have to tackle will come in handy. It’s kind of like throwing together a deconstructed meal. Be visual about it. Build graphs and brain maps (they may sound pretty juvenile, but they are useful — I promise!).

Remember, practice makes perfect. Make it your mantra and remember: consistency is your friend. You can learn a perfect Pachelbel Canon on the piano but fail to retain certain strokes because you don’t practice enough. On that note, don’t overwork yourself. It’s the same principle as studying too hard for an exam. While it’s great for your short-term memory, the stress will tire your mind.

Every now and then, you’ll feel like giving up. “It’s too difficult,” is a phrase that nobody is alien to. Identify your pain points. What do you know you’ll struggle with? If it’s hand-eye coordination or remembering sequences, figure out the best way to overcome these struggles. Most importantly, remember your motivation.

Maybe there is a charm that comes with being a natural at something. However, it doesn’t mean making the effort is any less attractive!

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The Future of Selfies: Wefies and Beepies!

Almost everyone in the world probably knows what selfies are. In the period between 2015 to 2016, around 24 billion selfies have been posted on the Internet, according to Google’s servers. 24 billion! Sounds unbelievable, right? Even though we get to see our friends’ faces each day on social media — as they cook breakfast, walk their dog, sip a latte, try their hand at yoga, host a baby shower, dress up for a fancy date, dress in sweaters and a comfy hoodie, go to the bathroom, stay in bed, and every other human thing to do, really —  I’m sure it’s still an astounding fact.

The activity of taking a selfie sometimes strikes other people who dislike it as vain and unnecessary. However, history says it has long been a human fascination to look at and have oneself immortalized. Supposedly, the first photographic self-portrait ever has been taken in the 19th century by a chemist and photography enthusiast named Robert Cornelius. And long before that, hundreds and hundreds of people have already had themselves painted by artists or even by themselves throughout the centuries. Just visit an art museum, and you’ll quickly realize we are not so different from many generations before us.

Of course, the function of selfies has already evolved, especially now that we live in the digital era. Some people take selfies so that they can keep their friends updated, maybe about a significant event in their lives or just any usual day, like one that says “good morning” in the caption. Some do it to boost their confidence, especially as they have control over how they appear in the image that they’re going to show the world; they can make sure they look good so that they can feel good. Others do it to remember a moment with their family or friends, whether they’re just hanging out on a regular Saturday afternoon or meeting up for the first time in five years.

There are many reasons to take selfies, but I guess one thing that’s common among them is that they all have to do with memories. As humans, we have an urge to preserve our memories so that we can look back on them any time we want. We want a memory of that time we looked so poised, graceful and ready to take on the world with a little black dress. We want a memory of that time we finished a great hike. We want a memory of that time we made funny faces with our cute nephews. We already know this as we make our online presence felt. But I wonder, is this all there is to selfies? What other purpose could it have?

BeepBeep Nation is an app that seeks to create a more meaningful world by enhancing face-to-face human interaction, albeit facilitating it digitally. It provides a platform for people who need help to seek it among others and then other people to reach out and offer a hand. Aside from enabling people to exercise kindness, it also encourages them to broaden their network of peers and share their lives with more people.

Amazingly, the BeepBeep Nation app has an answer to my question about the future of selfies: wefies and Beepies. The term “wefie” has already been used to refer to a selfie taken with a group of people. Meanwhile, a Beepie is a group picture taken through the BeepBeep Nation app between people who request for help (requestors) and people who provided the help (helpers) during their friendly meetup. By simply clicking on the camera icon in the app, you can easily initiate the process of taking a Beepie with your requestor or helper.

Through the Beepie, BeepBeep Nation redefines what selfies could be in the world of kindness that it seeks to create.

Not only can this feature ensure your personal safety when meeting someone unfamiliar through the app and thus build trust in the BeepBeep Nation community, it can also serve the usual functions of a selfie, but better. Because what greater moment to preserve in our memories than when we choose to help others and share our kindness with them? We never know, we might end up creating a good and lasting friendship with our requestor or helper, and your Beepie will always be a significant first in your relationship. Exciting, I know.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge of sharing your kindness, making the world a better place, and creating exciting friendships (plus taking fantastic selfies with your new friends!), the BeepBeep Nation app is set to launch soon. Its fuel, the EMINENT token, is now available for sale! To get started on BeepBeep Nation, make sure to check it out now.

 

 

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So You Want To Start A Blog?

Now that we’ve established anyone can write a book, starting a blog might be on your radar. While it’s a great way to express yourself and share opinions with netizens, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Casual or professional, blogging isn’t for the idle writer. But if you’re brimming with ideas, it may be the perfect platform for you.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a computer wiz to start a blog. All you need is a vision and lots of commitment. But before jumping ahead, decide what you want to blog about. A sensible place to start would be where your passion lies. Don’t dwell on how your potential readers might respond — we’ll get to that later. Think of a topic you can go on about for hours, or even days. You can also try brain-mapping. 

Once you have outlined your content, pick out a blogging platform. For most, WordPress is more or less a go-to site for its user-friendly interface. However, the freedom is yours. If you are hoping to reach a wide audience (which, I assume, would be anyone’s intent), select a host for your blog. Most web hosts provide inexpensive plans that will suit your needs. This will get your site circulating.

It may seem the least of your worries, but choosing a domain is essential to your online identity. Remember that your title will come with a fee, so be thoughtful! Figure out what best represents you and what is easiest to remember. If you are keen on using your own name, consider dropping anything that is hard to spell. Using a suggested title isn’t out of the question, but keep it unique.

Another important step (and no, you needn’t be an HTML expert) is to establish a themeFree options are perfectly fine but a few tweaks and accents may help your aesthetic stand out. Tinker with various layouts that best suit your style. Are you a photographer? A journalist? What would catch your eye? Be meticulous. Don’t teeter between formats — it may confuse your followers!

After getting the technical tasks out of the way, it’s time to begin your journey! While it’s important to make sure your first piece is gripping, make sure you consistently put out quality content. Nobody wants to read a boring blog! If, at some point, you’re stumped for topics, draft your ideas in advance. It always helps to know what you’ll be writing about in a few weeks’ time. Better yet, schedule your posts. Are you willing to publish once, twice, or three times a week? Decide how great of a load you can carry to avoid missing out on a post. Remember — nothing beats being honest with yourself regarding how much you can handle.

In a (now) predominantly virtual world, blogging is the most efficient way to have meaningful conversations. Though the most successful writers are undoubtedly very opinionated, don’t forget your online etiquette. A smart blogger may end up popular, but a firm and respectful one is also highly esteemed.

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Algorithm Edits Phone Photos Before You Take Them

Since the birth of the smartphone, Google, Apple, and Android have been working to make newer models appropriate for… well, everything. Not only are they a source of entertainment — they are becoming equally health-centered. But smartphones cater to everyone, including amateur and professional photographers. This new algorithm edits phone photos before you even take them.

Machine learning networks were set to work on a database of 5,000 sample images improved by five professional photographers, teaching the software how to tweak a picture to get it looking its best.

Because of resolution issues, the algorithm processes in low-quality, later scaling up results without ruining the image. Using this mechanism, the app uses only a hundredth of the phone’s memory. Like most sterling apps, it also comes with additional features.

As well as brightening dark spots and balancing contrast, for example, the algorithms could even mimic the style of a particular photographer.

Does this mean my work has the potential to exhibit at the MET? While the app makes photography seem easy, let’s not forget that snapping a great picture also takes a level of skill.

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