Smiles Are Worth While

“Smiles are precious… Smiles are a gift” are two very important phrases that my friend, Ally, mentioned because the words “precious” and “gift” are the main values that a smile carries. Smiles are precious not because they are expensive but because of the values they can contain. For example, a smile can carry a warm reassuring feeling to show your support for other people. They are a gift because people appreciate them and feel that you are really thoughtful and actually a true friend, it also makes people sense accomplishment because you usually get a prize when you do something good; something that can change someone’s day or maybe the whole world. A smile!! So smile today and keep troubles away 🙂

Ally's Wonderland

Something very precious to both ourselves and to this world is that little thing we often take for granted. We do it without realizing it, we think but we don’t realize that meaning behind it, the amazingness of the idea of what it is we are doing.

The action itself is universal all around the world no matter where you go. You don’t need to know a different language or how to say something right, all it takes is a little twitch of your muscles and bam.

What is this amazing, life changing thing?

Why, it’s a smile of course.

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Smiling is such a huge part of our lives. It conveys messages, feelings, hidden thoughts and wishes, secrets, smiles express our greatest joys to our bravest triumphs. They help show our emotions and our feelings, and they us express ourselves in a way unlike any other.

Can you imagine…

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Purpose of Life: The Spotlight

I have a goal, you have a goal everyone SHOULD have at least one goal in this life. You might fall, stumble and get out of track like I did for a long time but then you have that goal that you are trying to focus the spotlight on. It is hard! It is not easy to avoid distraction when it is surrounding you. “I felt extremely uncomfortable as the focal point, in the spotlight,” confessed Brian Eno, “. I really like the behind the scenes role, because all my freedom is there.” This is why it is hard to focus on staying in that one small spotlight when there is all that dark, gloomy free space around it. The small things are almost always the most valuable. 

The spotlight should be your goal that you are planning on reaching. For instance, if you say that you are helpful but there is no spotlight on the stage people are not going to believe you because they didn’t see anything yet so your goal might be to help with charity, treat people in a good manner and help them solve real problems then people are going to go to that spotlight you have to see if you can help them too. The spotlight is an area where it is time to shine so why not stand in it if you can. We usually like to hide our talents, goals, wishes, etc. from others but it is always a good idea to share whatever is going on in your mind so that they can support you since without the support you wouldn’t be able to reach the spotlight. Share what you know and watch your success grow.

We like the dark area because we have freedom in it while in the spotlight your space is limited to a certain area. It is always hard to reach a goal that is why it is hard to find the small spotlight in the wide stage. However, when you successfully  achieve your goal the spotlight is full of energy and excitement that it blocks out all the background noises on the dark stage. According to Syvester Stallone, “I am not the richest, smartest or most talented person in the world, but I succeed because I keep going and going and going.” But what does that mean? Not because you achieved one goal you just stop NO! because if you stop then you didn’t gain or learn anything from the spotlight. The spotlight teaches you how to be courageous and advance in life so that you can fill the whole stage with light not only that one spot. The audience will still like you in the spot but when you add more effects and talent each time you are going to advance in your career and the people will never get bored of you. 

If you search for the spotlight, you will find it waiting for you. Even though you might stumble and fall you pick yourself up and keep marching because if you stop time will not stop. Have a great day!!

Maybe life is easy

This is a suggestion that maybe life is easy but we are complicating it so much because we are stressed and we are unorganized these two factors cause life to be harder than it is supposed to be. For example when you are a student in High School and you are extremely stressed out and taking life as a very heavy boulder over your shoulder then you are going to go to college and the stress is going to increase. It is just going to keep elevating to a point where you can’t handle it any more and you just give up. That shouldn’t happen. You shouldn’t waste years of your life just giving up on everything. Fail, then try, then fail and then try again until you have a certain lifestyle where you are less stressed since stress can never totally go away.

I really appreciate the guy in the TED talk because he found something that maybe the wealthiest or the smartest person wouldn’t find he found calamity and peace. He isolated himself from all the stress he was overwhelmed with, he successfully did it. Although he might not have a diploma hanging in his living room or any money at all, he discovered the one easy thing available for all of us to discover, simplicity of life.

We are complicating it so much. Sometimes we know that we are stressed and we know why but we don’t seek ways to reduce it. As a high school student you should enjoy life, do all kinds of crazy stuff, and have fun (P.S without injuring people). Even when you finish high school and you have a lot to study for, you shouldn’t just sit studying the whole day, you need to have fun every now and then because sometimes the daily routine becomes too boring to bear. You can take hard classes if you know you will be able to handle them that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. It is good to challenge yourself to  a certain level but the important thing is to have optimism and keep pushing yourself beyond your limits.

There is nothing such as pushing yourself harder, but we need to like what we learn because most of the time we are doing stuff that we don’t feel like doing but we still need to do anyways. I’ll take High School as an example, as High School students, we take a lot of hard classes and classes that we don’t like just to have a high GPA and even if you don’t like your classes you are still going to try your very best for the future not for the present. I’m reading a great book right now, What’s Math Got To Do With It? by Jo Boaler, it is mainly about better ways to understand mathematics but what I like the most about it is that is teaches teachers how to teach the subject in a way that would be useful to the students in their daily life. According to Boaler, this is what we should see in every classroom, “As the students shared ideas, others listened carefully and built upon them” This should not be applied only in math classes but other classes as well.

School might not be the only cause that leads to stress as a lot of people think because maybe you are stressed about an interview, a game or a competition. However, I would say that school would be the cause of at least 80% of stress everyday because school’s stress is permanent unlike the other minor stresses that glance at us and then leave. For instance, as a student, you wake up stressed about the two tests you have this morning that you didn’t study enough for because you had tons of homework and even though you didn’t rest at all except for having lunch and dinner, you still slept at 2 am . That is too much stress, more than we could bear as students. Students shouldn’t be expected to stay up studying for that long since they need enough sleep to perform well the next day in school.

What should we do in this case? Stress can be reduced by time management because if you keep procrastinating you are going to be stressed more, Procrastination is the main factor leading to stress. Laughing and trying to avoid thinking of the huge load of work you need to do also reduces stress. Doing what you love for half an hour a day might also reduce stress because apparently studying is not what you love so do something that helps have fun and quit thinking for a while. Not because you are in a competitive school you need to struggle because I know a lot of friends that went to competitive school, did their best, got good grades but still didn’t go to the college/university of their choice. Is that fair?

Schools should help students do what they love and not love what they do because we don’t always love what we do. The major lesson student learn in schools in my opinion is how to hate learning. We learn a huge amount of content every year and then we forget it in no time so what is the idea of learning like that. Each person has an ability to do something special and it is the teacher’s role to search for and find this ability because if we keep jamming the enormous information in our heads we will lose our special abilities instead of trying to improve them by learning. I think that teaching might be simple but it is the way you teach that matters the most. I think that everyone has the right to learn equally it is not because someone doesn’t understand a concept we leave him stressed out and struggling and go ask one of the smart students. That is not the way education works but unfortunately that is what a lot of teachers do because they only do their job without helping us for our future jobs.

The Shadow of Life

We need to relate everything in life to something that we can learn of because that is how the process of learning takes place. A shadow appears only once in the same spot a day and this is interesting because a shadow is where we seek for shady, cool weather as we are sweating immensely and drinking a cold, fresh cup of lemonade. The shadow is something that is very necessary because it is of a use and nothing in this whole world was created by the God without a use. But how does this apply to real life? i know audience are always interested in real life associations and never in fake fantasies that don’t make any sense. As the shadow is the place where we seek for rest, daily life is a routine in which we seek for rest as well. It is very bad to keep studying the whole time or working or even playing. I know it is confusing so let me clarify.

The Shadow is the period of rest that we need to take everyday. We are all humans. You can’t say i’m just going to work all day long and then I will rest tomorrow because that is not going to happen. By the end of the day you will say i’ll rest tomorrow and the day after you say the same and so on to a point that when you reach the weekend you are so exhausted that you need to sleep and can’t have fun anymore. This should change. You should change this by taking short rests that are consisted of short naps, some play time, practicing a hobby or a talent, etc. These are things that we usually forget because of the daily rush Rush RUSH that we are in, we think that we don’t have time to do all these useless stuff but they are actually stuff that will help you in several ways where you will: gain new experiences, have fun and help you study because you will be happy you got to release some energy in a positive way.

In the introduction paragraph I stated that the shadow only comes in the same spot once a day and our breaks should also be once a day because if they were more than that it will be excessive. If you argue and decide to study straight without any breaks it will be nearly impossible to not distract yourself with all the social media, noises, boredom that is surrounding you. Therefore, breaks are like shadows in a sense, maybe that is not the best connection but for me it is pretty memorable!

The Photoshop Bummer

A new renting system is replacing buying the products of Adobe and that is totally pissing me off right now. Photoshop is a popular and well known among people photo-editing program by Adobe. It is a very good program that you can use for retouching skin, changing background, cleaning up images, adding text effects and a lot more. Despite all these advantages people don’t purchase the program either because they believe it is difficult to use or is too expensive, and both reasons are true. The difficulty issue can be easily resolved by taking Photoshop courses which can be found all over the internet and on YouTube where there several awesome Photoshop tutorials for beginners and if you don’t have enough time there are quick Photoshop tutorials. Photoshop Lightroom is another good program used for photo-editing.

And this takes us to the next issue the money, for the last couple of years Photoshop cost about $600 to install the program on your computer which is very expensive so lately Adobe released a new system for selling their products called Creative Cloud. Instead of purchasing Photoshop, Lightroom and all the other Adobe programs separately they made a leasing system where you pay $50 a month for all products or $20 a month for only one product. The total number of products is thirteen products. People reacted differently to these news.

Some people saw advantages to this decision while others found disadvantages to upgrading Photoshop. The great advantage was absolutely for adobe because before applying this system their products were being pirated all over the internet which of course led to some loss in money because if you see something available for free, you would never think about buying it for $600 or above. However, some people paid money and didn’t know it was piracy, that is how much adobe Photoshop is widely spread all over the internet. There are many ways to avoid Photoshop piracy, but people don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on only one product.

What are other alternatives to using Photoshop? There are a lot of many other companies that are developing easy to use softwares for photo-editing like picmonkey, retrica, and several photo-editing apps that are available on the Google Play Store or App Store. These programs are helpful if you are in a rush but personally I believe that Photoshop is better if you are trying to do perfect work because you can do more with it. Every photographer knows how important Adobe program are for daily use and I bet that no photographer works and publish his picture without using Photoshop or Lightroom. I’m currently using Photoshop CS4 and it is working good for me and i’m not planning on upgrading it anytime soon.

That is a list of photography apps that are available for iphone and android, these can be used as quick alternatives to Photoshop to download on your mobile devices on the go.

The Language World

C’est incroyable. It is amazing how we can learn several languages and use them easily although they are not our mother languages. Learning languages is very important. I can imagine myself now standing in front of someone whom I don’t understand because he is speaking a foreign language. My first impression would be laughing at him and at myself. At him, because what he is saying sounds funny in my ear and at myself because of the shame realizing that I don’t understand him. I just don’t want to be like that guy in the picture and have people tricking me because I don’t understand them.

What really makes me sad is when people lose their home language because they could have worked hard to keep it and they didn’t. It is their fault and their parents fault that they didn’t try as much as they can to keep their home language. People think that if they migrate to another country then they don’t need their own language but it is your roots, it is your identity and where you came from you just leave it behind carelessly instead of being proud of where you came from. For me i’m very proud of where I came from and I would never deny it like other people that I met. I always like it when people ask me about where I came from because I get to tell them about my country, our traditions and our awesome language. It is great.

So remember that before learning a new language your home language should be safe and well known by you because why would you learn a how to write in a different language when you can’t write in your own? It just doesn’t make sense. Back to learning a new language a lot of people don’t want to learn languages because they think it is not important since they are not going to use these languages,and because they don’t have enough commitment to sit and learn for long time (maybe about 1 year of daily practice to master a language) so my advice to everyone who wants to learn a new language is to make a schedule which is easy and follow it which is harder and practice daily or at least weekly because if you forget a language that you have YOU FORGOT IT and it would be nearly impossible to learn it again.

There are a lot of reasons and benefits for why you might want to learn a language and I find this source very helpful because it has detailed reasons about why you might want to learn a language. For me as a high school student, I currently have three languages which are Arabic, English and French. I really enjoy that experience of having these languages and when I went to high school in the United States, I was able to skip two french levels out of four and go directly to the third level. This was a great advantage for me because I was required to learn french when I was young in my school and I’m glad I was. You are not going to lose anything when you learn new languages but you might not benefit at the moment as well. This or these extra languages you have are going to be useful later in your life not immediately but I’m pretty sure you will get to use them one day.

I don’t understand why they don’t teach children foreign languages in the United States and other countries from a young age because the language should stick with you the most and stay with you when you love it which is very important to love what you are learning and when you learn it from a younger age. I think public schools should start taking this step of teaching an extra language because as you grow older your tongue grows heavier and it becomes harder to pronounce some vowels or even whole words in different languages so start now when you are young. My last and final advice is please, please, please if you are a foreigner never lose your home language. Your language is your IDENTITY.


What I learned from watching every TED-Ed Lesson

TED Blog

TED-Ed lessonsBy Noah Tavlin

As a Production Intern at TED-Ed, a big part of my job has been to make sure none of our video files have any glitches. So for the past two months, I’ve watched every single TED-Ed Lesson — nearly 500 of them — at least twice. If TED-Ed were a menu, I’d have tried everything on it. If TED-Ed were a foreign country, I would be a fluent speaker of TED-Ed-ese. If TED-Ed were a network of highways, I could drive anywhere with my eyes closed. Not that I would ever do that, of course. 

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How to Avoid Procrastination

I know procrastination is something that everyone experience, specially me because I’ve been procrastinating on posting for a while and I’ve been working on creating two new pages that I’ll add soon to my blog so that distracted me from posting for a while but i’m back. Procrastination is something that is very hard to overcome because by time it becomes a habit which is really bad so if you are a procrastinator like me or just want to organize your life a little bit these tips are simple but they might save you time by practicing them:

  1. Prioritization: Think which task is more important to do at the moment. Make sure to focus on due dates and the amount of time required to perform each task. Priority Image
  2. Urgent vs. Important: You might think that these two terms are exactly the same but they are very different. Urgent is something that you need to do now because it can’t wait like something is due in the next hour and you need to turn it in quickly while important is something that is due today also but after 10 hours so you still have some time but you need to do it soon. There are four types of Urgent-Important intersections.Urgent vs important image
  3. Organization: It is hard to follow a schedule and I agree with that because you don’t know what is going to happen next, however, it is an excellent idea to always have a to do list so that you don’t procrastinate without realizing it. But remember to always aim for simplicity never be so complicated with your list.

There is a lot more than that to avoiding procrastination but at first try to keep it simple because if you trouble yourself too much with that you are going to feel that you have a lot to do and therefore procrastinate more. You always want to know which is more important since you think that if you do the easy task that is due next week and leave the task due tomorrow you are going to achieve a lot and that is what I used to think but now I realized how bad this way of thinking was. Same idea for urgent vs important and with the to-do-list which I consider very important. Do it a simple task that sounds easy but is actually hard. I have a lot of information about time management so if anyone is interested please comment below. Hope that helped.