My UKCAT Experience

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I figured this post may help a few people out as it is UKCAT season.  This is the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test which is used for Medicine and Dentistry courses.  I wasn't proud of my score and hence didn't want to post a blog about my experience and study tips but finally plucked up the courage.  Although I didn't do amazing, I did fare well in a few sections and learnt a lot from the mistakes I made so wanted to share any tips and tricks that could prove useful.   

Resources

I used three main resources: 

  • The Medic Portal: This has a free question bank (I do believe they will start charging soon) which enables you to get a feel for the type of questions you will be asked.  I found that it was, overall, a lot easier than the real thing so start with this very early on.  The website enables your progress to be tracked over time and in comparison to other users.  Is it worth paying for? Personally, I do not believe so.  
  • Medify: This is a classic.  I found Medify to be easier compared to the real exam with regards to verbal reasoning and abstract reasoning but much more difficult for decision making and quantitative reasoning. 
  • The UKCAT Official Resources: I completed their practice question sets as well as the mocks.  Overall, I found that the UKCAT resources were harder for quantitative reasoning and decision making, but much easier for verbal reasoning (shorter passages and simpler questions) and abstract reasoning is about the same compared to the actual exam.   
A major tip is to opt towards using online platforms on a laptop or desktop computer to get a feel for the actual test which will be on a desktop.  Getting use to the platform of the exam is a huge part in succeeding in this test.  I made the mistake, when I took the UKCAT five years ago, of using strictly book resources which tend to be a lot harder and do not give you a feel for the actual test at all. 

Preparation Time 

I prepared for this exam over a period of two and a half months.  I booked my exam for July 5th and started prepping mid-March.  The reason I started early was because I was juggling final exams and my dissertation at the same time.  This ensured that I wouldn't compromise my academics alongside prepping for this test.  

Mid-March to End of April: Finished The Medic Portal question banks. 

May-July: Used Medify throughout this preparation period as there are thousands of questions to complete.  

Two weeks before Exam: Took one mock a day using the Medify mocks (7), The Medic Portal Mocks (3), and the UKCAT official mocks (3).  

Taking a mock a day, preferably at the time at which you would take the real test, really helps you familiarise with the test format, timing, and mental endurance.  It also washed away a lot of nerves on test day as I knew what to expect. 

Verbal Reasoning 

My Score: 550 

This was my worst section and brought my average down.  In mocks, I was scoring around 650+ and was horrifically surprised when I churned out a 550.  The questions required much more inference and were less focused on true/false questions.  I found that mocks were significantly easier and though the length of the text was not as dense compared to practice questions.  My mistake was not practicing this section enough and relying too much on my own opinion or thoughts.  However, I do not believe any online platforms really reflect the difficulty of the exam and the question-types which is something to bare in mind.   Therefore, practice this section and also try to improve your reading speed by using online sources such as Spreeder.  I did not utilise this as much as I should.  

Decision Making 

My Score: 720 

On The Medic Portal, I would consistently be scoring 900's and then come Medify, I was getting 400's and I was stunned.  Such a drop should not occur when you are practicing more and more.  Luckily enough, the actual exam was a lot simpler and time consuming than Medify.  This section requires practice and time management.  Personally, I would flag, guess, and skip any super lengthy questions because there are more straightforward probability or 'best argument' questions available that can score you easy marks.  Do not be afraid to draw on the non-dry erase board that is provided.  I found that visualising what is written really improved my understanding of the question.  Practicing this question will significantly improve your score and quicken your speed.  My tactic was, if I didn't have to write it down, don't waste time doing so but if there is a lot of information, putting it into tables really helped.  Medify will over-prepare you which is beneficial. 

Quantitative Reasoning 

My Score: 760 

This was my best section.  The Medic Portal is more similar to the actual test (though slightly easier) compared to Medify which had very dense tables and information.  As someone who use to fear math, I really practiced my math skills and found the tactic that worked for me: do not even attempt the question types I do not like.  Flag, skip, and bag the points I knew I could.  Personally, I could never accurately and efficiently answer questions regarding areas of obscure 3D shapes or gardens.  Therefore, I would skip it and be greeted with delightful percentage change questions.  As a result, when you are practicing, be sure to know your strengths and weaknesses.  This is the best tip I can offer alongside memorising popular equations such as percentage change, speed = distance x time, and even basic areas.  You can write down the equations during your 1 minute break between sections to look back to, which I did.  Be sure to write down numbers as you may need them later but if you can do them in your head like simple mental maths, do that to save time as every second counts.  Because I do not have a desktop and couldn't justify purchasing a keyboard I would only use once, I used the online calculator instead of the number pad which many say helps decrease time spent on calculations.  Therefore, if you can, try to use the num pad if possible.  

Abstract Reasoning 

My Score: 710 

This one can only be improved with practice.  The more abstract reasoning questions you do, the more you familiarise yourself with possible patterns.  The Medic Portal and the Medify are both mixed, in my opinion.  The Medic Portal would have some questions very similar to the real test, or much more difficult.  The same with Medify. Therefore, practice is key for success here.  The acronym I used was SCONSAS (Shape, Color, Orientation, Number, Size, Angle, Symmetry).  I did find that over time, I would begin to answer all the questions with time to spare but in the real exam that wasn't the case.  

Situational Judgement

My Score: Band 1

This section requires common sense.  It is recommended to skim through the GMC rules to understand ethical and moral approaches to certain situations.  I do believe that the more questions you do the better your judgement.  A majority of this section is common sense although some answers may not be your first choice solution to a problem.  Always look back as to why you got questions right as well as wrong because more often than not, you may get questions right for the wrong reasons.  

Test Day

On test day, I had to travel so I ensured that I gave myself plenty of time to get to the test centre and calm myself before I took the exam.  More often than not, if you are early you can take your test early too if a computer is available.  I did not get 'plenty' of sleep the night before in all honesty.  I probably slept about 6 hours and woke up around 7.  I looked at a couple questions to wake up my brain but I didn't want to butcher my confidence if I got any wrong so I kept the practice minimal to non-existent in the morning.  Before I started my exam I ensured I slowed my heart rate right down.  I took many deep breaths before commencing so that I could think straight.  It helps to just talk to yourself like: I've done this plenty of times before.  This is just another mock.  And no matter what the score, it's not the end.  Whenever you are stuck, be sure to just guess an answer, flag, and move on.  Do not dwell too much and the moment you move on to the next question or section, completely forget about the questions before hand.  Keep moving forward.  Don't try to work out how much you may have gotten right or wrong because you do not need that mental aggravation.  Be kind to yourself and give yourself pats on the back.  

In essence, I hope that this post has helped you all out and instilled some confidence into some of you.  The UKCAT is not the end of your dreams but hard work will pay off.  
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Insanity Work Out | Week 1 Review

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I remember watching the advert on TV for Insanity which showed jaw-dropping before and afters.  I completely forgot about the workout regime made by Shaun T himself until my best friend recently mentioned it to me again.  Out of determination (and desperation), I decided to give it a go because if I can get a year's worth of working out progress within the span of 60 days then why not?  Thus, to hold myself accountable, I wanted to post a weekly update or roundup for the duration of this schedule.  

At the start of the programme, you undergo a 'fit test' to see whether or not you can actually do insanity at a level that will get you results.  This fit test is taken every two weeks and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Here are my results:  

Switch Kicks: 110
Power Jacks: 60
Power Knees: 104
Power Jumps: 45
Globe Jumps: 8
Suicide Jumps: 25
Push up Jacks: 10
Low Plank Oblique: 60

*You have 1 minute per exercise*

Obviously they're not the most impressive - especially in comparison to the individuals in the video.  However, I felt that these were a good foundation and starting point for me to continue on with the programme. 

Each week for the first month (30 days) is the same, with Sunday being the rest day. A majority of the exercises comprise of jumping and plyometric movement to help with cardio and strength.  For the most part, each exercise is about 30-45 minutes long with a 9-12 minute warm up at the start.  The warm up proved very difficult for me initially because, although it is low intensity, it is 9-12 minutes straight with no breaks.  In addition, after each warm up you have a 6-7 minute stretching session which I am too grateful for. 

Except for the 'pure cardio' work out, each workout consists of 2-4 minute circuits with a 30 second water break which does not last long enough.  The pure cardio work out is an intense 15 minute straight without a break.  However, during all of the exercises, you are advised to take breaks whenever necessary for yourself and go at a pace that is comfortable for you.  Despite this, never pause the video (unless you need to use the bathroom) because the work outs were not designed in that manner.  

Here are a few things I realised after completing the first week of Insanity. 

1. You get more flexible.  Stretching for 6-7 minutes a day will really help stretch out your legs, arms, and back.  I am always super lazy when it comes to doing my stretches before and after exercising because I think it's boring.  Therefore, I could never imagine yoga as being 'relaxing'.  The moves seem to be inspired by typical yoga movements and alongside improving flexibility, it aids in balance and strength.  Hopefully by the end of this programme I'll be able to do the splits! 

2. It takes a while to cool down afterwards.  I didn't believe this to be true because usually it takes me about 5-10 minutes post-exercise to catch my breath and cool down.  Nonetheless, I end up looking flushed and feeling battered for 30 minutes plus after finishing one Insanity work out.  The minimal breaks really takes a toll because I usually do circuits and wait to catch my breath before starting the next one (with regards to the Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines).  

3. Do not skip the 'cardio recovery' day.  I was tempted initially but wanted to give this programme a fair shot. The cardio recovery consists of a 30 minute stretching session with some muscle activating movements such as squats and leg raises.  This really helps with flexibility and muscle soreness from the work out days before hand.  It's also a great break from the jumping. 

4. Stay hydrated during the work out.  This will help with the exercise but be sure to take baby sips during the break instead of large gulps.  

5. Your body can do much more than you think.  During the work out, it is so easy for me to want to take a break every time I feel discomfort.  But the mind really is the biggest obstacle.  I always give myself motivating chants when it's getting too tiresome to keep pushing forward.  I am far from an athletic or fit individual.  I don't have a toned body and am literally your average joe.  Nevertheless, determination to make the 30-45 minutes worth every second is enough for me to finish each circuit without a break.  Granted I may not go at high-speed but I can feel myself gradually gaining more confidence in my body's ability.  

6. The work outs may feel harder as you go along but that's not the case.  This is actually just due to your muscles getting sore-er as time progresses.  I don't think I feel particularly fitter after this one week but I have pushed the limits of my body.  Other workouts now seem like a piece of cake.  Therefore, do not get bogged down on the feeling of regressing throughout the week.  Go as hard as you can each work out without extreme discomfort and take breaks as you require but if you can push for longer, go for it.  

7. It's okay to miss one work out.  If you missed a work out, don't worry too much.   You can substitute that day as your rest day and carry on as normal so your next rest day would be after completing your allocated Friday work out instead.  If you do skip more than one consider re-doing the week but there are more helpful articles available discussing what one should do in these situations.  Personally, I do not think these work outs are too hard to adhere to because it's all planned out for you.  It is a fixed amount of time and it can be done in the comfort of your home.  Like I mentioned earlier, the mind is the biggest obstacle.  Getting the motivation to get up and do an intense work out requires more strength and time.

That's my week one summary!  I hope this is of use to you guys and although I haven't seen any drastic changes in my body, I do feel like I have more appreciation for what it is able to do.  Hopefully I have more exciting news for the next Insanity work out review as I will be doing the fit test. 
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Tag | Questions No One Asks 2018 Edition

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There's a new tag out and I can't help but do it, especially because I am struggling with writers block.  I'm sorry this isn't very unique but they are usually quite fun posts so enjoy!

Are you named after anyone?
I was not named after anyone but my middle name was given to me in honor of the woman who actually got my mom to the hospital in time; sparing a birth in the middle of the road. 

When was the last time you cried?

Yesterday.  

Do you have kids? If no, how many do you want?
I do not but I would really like 2 or 3 as I am an only child so a big family is the ideal. 

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
I would! I hope I am a good friend although, I would despise myself when I go MIA. 
 
Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Not really because I'm not very good at it. 

What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Their facial expressions and tone of voice.  Sometimes you can sense if someone is willingly speaking to you or not.  I would also like to say their general 'aura' or 'vibe' but I've gotten that wrong on countless events or simply cannot read my own intuition really well.

What is your eye color?
Dark brown- almost black. 

Scary movie or happy endings?
Scary movie! 

Favorite smells?
Naga pickle because I know the meal will be delicious if I smell it.  In addition, I love jasmine because it reminds me of my beautiful grandmothers so perfumes with a jasmine base note are generally my favorite. 

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

I think when my parents were in India or America and I was in England.  

Do you have any special talents?
Perhaps dance and the ability to remember and pick up dance moves quite quickly even by watching the routine without practicing it.  I also love drawing and doing henna and I play the violin but haven't picked it up in a year.

Where were you born?
I was born in India. 

What’s your zodiac sign? Do you believe in it?
I am a Taurus and no I do not believe in zodiac signs too much since the horoscopes are manufactured to be vague and general enough to encompass anyone and everyone. 

What are your hobbies?
Dancing, drawing, and writing for the most part.  I'm sadly not very interesting.  

Do you have any pets?
No but I would love a holland lop mini bunny. 

Do you have any siblings?
I'm an only child but my bestest friends and closest cousins are my siblings. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I just want to be at a point where I am extremely proud and happy with who I am, inside and out.  I am still working to get there.  

Who was your first best friend?
In third grade, I met a girl named Traci and we would get told off a lot in school for always making each other laugh and cracking jokes.  I even got sent outside the classroom once! We would hang out in her backyard and swing on her home-made tire swing until we felt like throwing up.  I would call her my first true best friend but sadly I moved to India after a year of knowing her so not sure what she's up to now.  

How tall are you?
5'1'' and a 1/3.  That third is important for the ego.

What is the least favourite thing about yourself?
My self confidence.  It's the source of a lot of negativity.  

Funniest moment throughout School?
Once when I was drinking water, my best friend cracked a joke and I spat my water all over them.  I felt very bad but carried on laughing. 

How many countries have you visited?
I think 10? 

What was your favorite/worst subject in High School?
My favorite subject was English Literature and Biology and least favorite was Mathematics but now math is actually one of my favorite subjects.  How times have changed. 

What is your Favorite drink? Animal? Perfume?
Favorite drink: coffee or pink lemonade
Favorite animal: Giraffes, Bunnies, Otters, Koala Bears 
Favorite perfume: Miss Dior Cherie

What would you (or have you) name your children?
This one is a toughie. I can't really answer this.

What Sports do you play/Have you played?
In school I was on the basketball team and netball team but I did take tennis lessons for a very long time so I'm semi-good at that. Does Chess count as a mental sport at least? I was on the chess team too. 

Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?
I would have to say Trisha Patel, America Revere, Deepica Mutyala, Niveda108, LimitlessBWL, ClickForTaz and iiSuperwomanii are the ones I get excited for when they post a new video.

How many Girlfriends/Boyfriends have you had?
None because I'm south asian and we don't believe in the concept of dating. :P 

Favorite memory from childhood?
I have three.  One is when my grandmother would pluck all the jasmines from her jasmine tree and braid them to be worn into hair.  Another is of my grandfather who would, without fail, always go out of his way to make me feel like a princess, and finally is one of my entire family sat around just playing cards with candle-lights when the electricity would go out. 

How would you describe your fashion sense?
Modest, minimalist, and a dash of pink. 

What phone do you have? (iOS v Android?)
iPhone! 

Tell us one of your bad habits!
I always itch my skin to the point where I am bleeding due to my ezcema which obviously makes the situation worse.  In addition, I will occasionally scrunch up my nose because it's itchy like a bunny.

3 things that upset you?
Dishonesty, disloyalty, and disrespect. 

3 things that make you happy?
My loved ones, reaching my goals, and yummy food. 

How is your relationship with parents?
My mom is my best friend. 

What’s on your mind?
My dissertation, which I am procrastinating in order to do this tag. 

What’s your talent?
I guess I mentioned this earlier but dancing and drawing. 

One word that describes you?
Child-like. 

What’s your favorite quotes?
"Sail away from the Safe Harbour." 
"God put dreams in your heart for a reason." 
"Do not expect your blessings."
"Love is selflessness.  Self is lovelessness"

These are the four I try to remember and live by but of course I'm not perfect and falter. 

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Ambivert.  Sometimes in a social setting or meeting new people I am very shy and kept to myself.  Other times I can be an absolute chatterbox. 

Are you left or right handed?
Right handed (and left footed). 

Do you consider yourself a good cook?
Not at all.  But I would give myself some credit for baking.

Does your name have a special meaning?
My first name means Silver Moonlight and my middle name means Purity.  

If money were no object what would you get for your next birthday?
A freehold flat in London and a closet full of Ted Baker.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would have to say Paris.

What’s your favourite thing to have for breakfast?
I rarely eat breakfast due to my horrid sleeping patterns but I love palak dosa or idly with sambhar, tomato chutney, chilli chutney, and coconut chutney.  

What’s your favourite gadget?
I would have to say my laptop and phone. 
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Dissertation Diaries | Entry 3

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As you grow up, your hand is held less.  It's vital to be assertive, adaptable, and utilize whatever guidance is given to you.  What I learnt in my recent meetings was, discouraging in some ways but also very empowering. 

No one is brilliant at everything. 

I am very slow when it comes to technology and, specifically, coding.  It's not my strength and it's difficult for someone who hasn't had to venture in such a field before.  I was determined to go through all the courses online, which I did, and make lavish notes.  None proved useful when it came to application. It's tough to digest the fact that, despite my initial willpower to produce high quality work, it unfortunately fell through the cracks to an extent.  Therefore, we re-aligned the project to have less code and more qualitative analysis and literature reviews. 

But one thing my supervisor told me which stuck: Research involves bringing in new ideas and theories.  It may be difficult initially but it would be more interesting to the reader. 

Despite the quantitative analysis being cut short, I have a chance to play to my strengths and discuss ideas and theories that I've been brewing throughout my degree.  There is still a chance to carry out more in-dept quantitative analysis should I be able to, but nevertheless, I am very grateful I can put more time and effort into my strengths. 

In essence, the main lesson I learnt is that sometimes, no matter how much hard work I put into something, it may not actually work out for me.  And that's okay. 

Sorry for the short post but hopefully can jump into more regular posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays!  
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The Truth about Specialising

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“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
Many misquote this common phrase.  The saying actually suggests that having various skillsets could prove more advantageous than being an expert of one.  Individuals begin to specialise too early instead of exploring various opportunities.  We are conditioned at a young age to find our strength and chase it at great lengths.  This inevitably leaves behind many other potential skills.  Verticalization and conformation of society causes us to give up hobbies, interests, or even desires.  Such mentality could prove limiting in the long run.  In actuality, we should be encouraging people to follow all of their dreams, no matter how diverse they are from one another. 
Not convinced? Look at Elon Musk.  Not only is he the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, he also founded Paypal and Neurolink which is a start up aiming to merge human brain activity with artificial intelligence.   This consciously stresses the power of learning about different fields because anything can spark a fire within.  The key to success is consistency, drive, and courage.  Specialisation is not a necessity.  You can carry your focus to contrasting sectors.  
It has been suggested that to master one skill, it takes 10,000 hours. This legitimises the ability of pursuing more than one passion at a time.  However, do not stretch yourself thin.  Be sure to avoid being at risk of not giving your 100% to an activity.  This post is to demonstrate that, more often than not, there is good in dedicating your time to more than one interest if your desire is strong enough. 
You have the ability to turn all your aspirations into reality.  
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Tag | The British Tag By an American

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I've haven't done a tag in awhile and thought that now would be the best time considering I'm slightly busy with school. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy this quick post!

1. How many cups of tea do you have a day? + How many sugars?


When I do have tea, I like to have it with one sweetener tablet. However, I don't usually have tea because I am much more of a coffee-drinker but who can refuse a chai?


2. Favourite part of your roast



I don't think I have ever had a roast before but I really like the ASDA vegetarian glamorgan sausages so I'd add them to my roast! But a yummy Yorkshire pudding with gravy is something I had in school before and absolutely loved.


3. Favourite dunking biscuit


Has to be chocolate digestives or McVites without a doubt. Also a custard cream when I'm feeling naughty.


4. Favourite quintessentially British pastime?


I don't know how 'quintessential' this is it's so much easier to go on walks in Britain compared to America in my opinion and experience. Therefore, I love walks.


5. Favourite word?


'Indubitably' is one of my favorites, and this isn't a word but a phrase and it's 'Pish Posh Tea and Crumpets'.


6. Cockney rhyme slang?


The classic 'apples and pears' for stairs and 'raspberry tarts' for farts.


7. Favourite sweet?


I absolutely love Cola Bottle Gummies and Flying Saucers make my mouth water.  


8. What would your pub be called?


I have absolutely no idea. I can't even think of something remotely creative to answer this question. Maybe 'The Treehouse' and have it fairy-tale themed but that's more of a cafe than a pub. It would be super instragrammable though.  


9. No.1 British person?


I'm more into British south-asian Youtubers and artists like Inkquisitive, Trisha Patel, Kishen, and Raxstar.


10. Favourite shop / restaurant?


I would have to give it to Zaza Bazaar, Zizzi's, Pizza Express, and I do like Nandos but it isn't worth the price tag.


11. What british song pops into your head?


The National Anthem.


12. Marmite?


No thank you.
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Lead with Self-Awareness

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“When we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves.”— Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklund 1972.
Being a great leader is an art. Management degrees provide the framework to consulting, project development, or organisation but the most critical component that allows efficient utilisation of these skills is not taught. It comes to no surprise that leading institutions, such as Harvard Business School, believe that self-awareness is more fruitful than qualifications.
Self-awareness is exactly as it sounds. It is a higher consciousness about whyone feels, thinks, or acts the way they do: a method of critically analysing one’s self. It stems from emotional intelligence and can be argued as being consciously aware of your subconscious being. When people say they need to ‘find themselves’ — they don’t need to go far. Whatever answers you’re looking for lie within you.
How will self awareness help in the work place? Cornell University and Green Peak Partners carried out a study and found that ‘A high self awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success’. Therefore, to be successful in leadership, it doesn’t start with your team or colleagues, but you. This will harness more sustainability in whatever project you decide to pursue.
  1. Self-awareness will increase emotional intelligence. This is key to being able to engage with your members and provide morale effectively. If you understand what motivates you to complete mundane tasks, that will in-turn increase your ability to drive your team appropriately. This could also increase the likelihood of encouraging your team to reach the flow state.
  2. Pay attention to how people approach you and what they say. Hear them the way you want to be heard by actively listening. Communication skills is far more than just stating the point you want to get across. It encompasses listening as well. Furthermore, respond how you would like to be spoken to. It is not what you say, it is how you say it. Objectively critiquing your colleagues is vital for favourable results. However, if you come off superior, negative, and demeaning, your colleagues are less likely to perform at their best and approach you in the future.
  3. Know your team. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your team before administrating tasks to the individuals. Expecting unrealistic outcomes from members who clearly will prevail in other departments is unfair and will eliminate any chance of them entering the flow state. In addition, a poor leader will be quick shift the blame onto their peers, usually due to being very reactive to situations. Anger rarely motivates people to do better in all situations, even outside the workplace. This is where it is important to self-reflect and understand why something truly upsets you and healthier ways of managing those emotions. Always remember your colleagues are on your side- they are working for and with you. A positive outcome for you is a positive outcome for everyone.
  4. Better relationships. Strong relationships are the backbone to a high-performing team. As much as it is vital for colleagues to grow into their best form, rewarding them after reaching certain milestones is essential. It can be as simple as bringing donuts into the workplace, a pat on the back, or going out for a dinner. Allowing emotional bonds to form and showing the empathetic side of a leader is crucial to ensure that individuals are comfortable, heard, and validated. It brings authenticity and purpose into the workplace which many poor-performing institutions lack.
Leadership stretches far beyond professional experience and qualifications. It is realisation that even a leader is human.
Thank you for reading.
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Don't fear Loneliness

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Why is it that ‘loneliness’ exists amongst many negative connotations? Society has conditioned us to assume that, if an individual is alone, it is a forced hand and situation.  More often than not, it is perceived that they are incapable of engaging or are unwanted in social settings.  This is an incredibly intense and unjust assumption. Loneliness can be powerful.  It may feel like one is buried ten feet deep but they are a seed that’s about to bloom.  As with anything, the strength of  a mindset and change in perception can make what society deems as ‘unacceptable’ to a blessing.  It should be noted that loneliness could exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions in which case talking to others could help.  This post aims to address why loneliness or being alone can be endearing and vital in development but knows this doesn’t apply in every single case.  If this helps just one individual then it’s worth posting.
  1. Inner peace.  It’s vital to be comfortable being alone.  Life opens and closes doors for many people where there are rarely any constants.  The moment we become depend on others, their company is a ‘need’ for personal security and happiness.  ‘Want’ is always stronger than ‘need’ and many relationships tend to break as a result of this misconception that ‘need’ is a compliment.  Once we find inner peace, we invariantly increase our standards of company.  No one wants an individual in their life that disrupts their inner peace.  The moment personal satisfaction, security, and happiness is attained when being alone, you will begin to attract individuals who are nothing bar a positive influence and addition to your well-being. 
  2. Learning.  When alone, you learn about your true self.  No one is around to judge your thoughts, actions, or character.  Although it is terribly frightening to know about what you carry in your heart, it is enlightening.  It provides the foundation for personal development once we begin to understand how and why we think a particular way.  There may be qualities of yourself you’d despite in another person which would ring alarm bells that something should change.  Similarly, it can provide room for confidence.  We being to appreciate our own company; amidst all the silly quirks and attributes.  Thus, not only can one better themselves, but they will grow to love their personality more. 
  3. Passion.  Utilise time alone to achieve.  Whatever it may be: exercising, studying, entrepreneurship, or self-care.  Invested time in ones self will benefit their future, mental and physical health, and overall well-being.  You will never regret using a day alone to get closer to your dreams or best self. 
Being alone is an opportunity.
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A Minimalist's Wardrobe

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This post is going to be slightly shorter than usual but is a topic I take interest in.  I'm in the process of revamping my wardrobe as, over the past couple of years, I've been very scatter-brained in choosing garments.  My pieces were not cohesive by any means so I've decided to explore my personal style.  Although I do not have a set style, I like to think of my preference in clothing to be minimalist.  

Conventionally, minimalism is usually associated with monochrome pieces.  When you walk into a minimalist's closet, we tend to expect black, white, and grey shades only.  However, I have a different take on this common practice. 

When searching or conjuring up potential outfits, I lean towards very simple pieces.  This doesn't mean the absence of patterns, cuts, or textures but involves choosing garments which can act on their own without layering up or requiring extensive accessorising.    This is usually driven by my personal preference towards modest clothing.  Hence, why it is very important for me to evaluate pieces before purchasing them.  

For example, when you're wearing a broderie anglaise (English embroidery) tank top and do not like to bare all arms out, it comes to no surprise that layering up with a cardigan can mask the initial effect of the top.  On the other hand, I cannot buy a pair of shorts and justify wearing leggings or tights underneath as it is not a look that I gravitate towards.  In addition, black tights can demolish and ruin the vibes that one was trying to achieve.   

Therefore, I have to be very hasty when shopping for clothes.  I want to avoid the need of over-layering, pinning, and adjusting of a piece to the point where the original silhouette is completely lost.  This leads me to become very picky in what I can wear; causing me to opt for sweats and a hoodie.   In my heart, I am quite a girly girl.  I love bows, pink, ruffles, and sparkle.  Thus, although I feel comfortable in streetwear, it isn't an accurate reflection of my likes but it's proven difficult for me to find elegant yet girly pieces that held a level of modesty because I wouldn't feel confident baring too much skin.

In essence, I decided to start this new series about my journey to re-vamping my wardrobe to reflect who I truly am to illustrate that it is possible to be girly, sophisticated, and also modest all at once and achieving that through a minimalist wardrobe.  Expect more outfit of the days!



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