10 Quora Threads to Follow in November

Happy November, superheroes! Want to get a head start on your holiday fitness? Need a little push to help you over the winter blues? We’ve got you covered with 10 Quora threads to follow this month.

1. How does one keep oneself motivated while in the gym?

Sample Answer:

I agree with Marc Bodnick, caffeine certainly helps to make us feel excited & energetic which can make you want to work out.

I’ve found the following to turn a burden [sic] of working out into a addictive drug.

  • Music is like morphine, listen to awesome music.  Keep a solid playlist, What are the best pump-up songs?
  • You only have 1 goal, be better than you were yesterday.  Figuratively speaking, just make small improvements, you have the rest of you life to work at it.
  • Change it up! Bike one day, run, yoga, etc whatever to keep it fresh and fun. Sounds so simple, but damn its [sic] true.  A change in physical stimulation does wonders and keeps your body guessing.
  • Make it a habit.  Developing a routine makes it psychologically easier (brushing your teeth requires next to zero brain power) to get over the hurdle of putting on work out clothes, which is half the battle.

– Mike Townsend

2. How can I improve my writing skills?

Sample Answer:

The best thing you can do is read in English everyday – read outside of your interests in particular.  Read newspapers and magazines that are known for their quality (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, among many others).  Reading well-written material is one of the best ways to improve your own writing because it exposes you to expressions and sentence constructions that are generally acceptable in written English.  It will develop your ear for the language so you can learn to distinguish between what sentence constructions work and what sounds awkward (even if it might be grammatically correct).

Depending on what you need to write, supplement generalist reading with readings in your field (or read items that are similar to the things you want to produce yourself) to see how people in the same field use written English. 

Finally make use of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style(http://books.google.com/books?id…).  It is an indispensable resource for any serious student of English and anyone looking to improve his or her written English.

– Rebecca Simon

3. What are good Black Friday shopping hacks?

Sample Answer:

1. Do Black Friday online. Lowers your odds of getting trampled and eliminates the need to wear pants while shopping.

2. Not really a hack, but be aware that some items’ prices actually go up on Black Friday. Stores know you’re going to come in ready to spend money because of all the sweet deals they’ve advertised, and they know the sense of urgency that Black Friday creates means you probably won’t be checking prices for things you haven’t researched in advance. This gives them the opportunity to raise prices on some smaller-ticket items that you may just throw in your cart since you’re there anyway. Ideally, just stick to your list, but if you feel compelled to buy something else, check out what it costs on Amazon on your phone.

3. Use sites like http://blackfriday.com/ to see all the deals before you actually go out.

– Alex Willen

4. What are the lessons people most often learn too late in life?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

Learn how to listen. So few people can really listen and so many people genuinely appreciate when you do.

Learn when it’s time to move on. From jobs, people and relationships. Not everything is fixable. Cut your losses and move on.

None of the best experiences of your life will happen staring a computer screen, a phone screen or a TV. If you want more of the best experiences of your life minimize the time you spend in front of these three.

Take great care of your body. It’s delicate and becomes more so as you get older, but if you treat it well, it will treat you well. Exercise regularly, stretch or do yoga, eat wholesome food.

Take great care of your mind. Foster curiosity, read, learn and grow. Learn to be quiet, meditate and spend time in nature regularly.

Take great care of your heart. When you hold onto harmful emotions like anger, hurt, pain, you really only hurt yourself. When you practice love, compassion and generosity, your heart expands and grows.

Evan Asano

5. What are some of the best moments of humanity?

Sample Answer:

This is a story very similar to the one told by Mr. Christopher Raynor and it happened in my hometown – Pune, India.

In August 2014, 2 boys who had stopped at a red light were run over by a Local Public transport bus (PMPML) due to the alleged failure of brakes on the bus.

The onlookers realized that due to its momentum the bus had climbed over the 2 boys and they were trapped beneath it. They clearly required urgent medical attention and the commuters, nearby shoppers and shop owners alike came to their rescue.

Within minutes, more than 50 onlookers succeeded in lifting the bus off the youngsters and were able to rush then to the hospital.

 The prompt action of these 50 strangers saved the lives of the 2 boys. Sometimes a mob has many heads and the presence of a united, beautiful mind!

If this doesn’t restore or reinforce your faith in humanity then what does?

Ninad Kanetkar 

6. How do we achieve world peace?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

Let go of all the things you identify yourself with and are emotionally attached to; accepting the possibility that there are ill and destructive aspects to them and that they can or may even be totally and utterly evil and/or destructive. That means your dad, mom, grand dad, country, economic system, political system, your ethnic “in group,” economic “in group”, religious institution… etc. Detach and take a step back from all of it permanently. 

Let go of all the fixed notions you have about how the world works, how economics work, how politics work, how those people you’ve been raised to have contempt for are/think/work, how your “in-groups” work (i.e. “we worked hard for everything and earned it all on our merit:”), how you as a person work, etc. Let go of everything you’ve been taught and haven’t been allowed to question, all of it.

Seek truth and understanding through observation and as an outside detached observer and analyst (that’s why you have to let everything go, or else you’ll only look for things to confirm your beliefs and protect yourself… All those attachments and notions block your view of the truth).

Gary Payton

7. How can I make my life simpler?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

1. Mix things up. Try the opposite. Have the vegetarian dish if you always go for the meat. Walk away from a stupid conflict instead of making it worse. Let one thing go if you often cling to things. Make a habit of mixing things up to grow your life in small or bigger ways. And to make it easier and simpler to step out of your comfort zone in general when you really need to.
2. Get up 20 minutes earlier. This will help you to reduce stress in the morning and during the rest of the day. (10 Alarm Clocks for Heavy Sleepers)
3. Be 10 minutes early for meetings and appointments. This will help you to make your time of travel a time of rest and relaxation instead of stressful. And you will not be late.
4. Single-task. You be more focused, less stressed and get to done more quickly. So do one thing at a time and do it with your full attention.
5. Ask yourself: am I keeping things extremely simple? If not, figure out how you can do that in the situation you are in.
6. Ask yourself: will this matter 5 years from now? Or even 5 weeks from now? Do this to avoid making mountains out of molehills.
7. Buy things with the money you have earned and saved. Avoid getting into debt.
8. Learn a few recipes and cook. You’ll save money and probably eat healthier. (Cooking with the New York Times)
9. When you cook, cook more than you’ll eat. This will help you to spend less time on cooking and washing dishes. And you’ll have an extra dinner or two to just reheat when you don’t have time or energy to cook.
10. Write things down. Pretty much everyone’s memory is leaky. So help yourself. Write down what you need to do or shop for today. Write down what your top 4 priorities in life are and post that note where you can see it every day.

Olivia Skumps

8. How can someone learn how to draw?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

Draw light, not objects.
Squint your eyes at the scene until all you can see are big blobs of light and dark. Draw those. Try to ignore boundaries of objects; let those emerge out the natural boundaries of light and shadows.

Draw repetitively.
Get a stack of 3×5 index cards. Set up a simple still-life, a bowl of fruit or whatever, and draw it on every single index card. Do it from different angles, distances, etc. Use simple lines and don’t spend more than two minutes on each one.

Draw fast.
Give yourself thirty seconds to do an entire scene. Use big newsprint and a Sharpie. Ignore details. Use wide, loopy gestures. This is an especially important exercise when you get started drawing people, where it’s easy to obsess about faces or hands or feet without ever getting to the overall pose. One out of ten 30-second drawings you do will be amazingly good.

Ethan Hein

9. How can I use my smartphone to increase my productivity?

Sample Answer: 

Here are a few ways you can use your smartphone to really get valuable things done.

1. Coursera – Take a free online course from a major University.

2. Acceleread – Given how much time you probably spend reading, doubling or tripling your reading speed is a massive productivity booster.

3. Procaster – Integrates a Pomodoro Timer with task and project management so you can track how much time you spend on all your work.

Kyle Pearce

10. What are some lifestyle changes that save money?

Sample Answer Excerpt: 

Don’t look at it as deprivation. Instead, look for all the amazing things you can do with little or no money. Or, see it as a game to save money, and have fun doing it. If it’s a chore, either you’ll never get there, or you’ll hate where you’re going, every step of the way.

You’ve read those other answers about not eating out, so you total up all the money you’re spending eating out and come up with some appalling figure. Why didn’t you see this before? No good. Just one little detail: you can’t cook.

You don’t have to figure out everything all at once. Start with the easy stuff. You can make coffee at home or start carrying your own water in a container you probably already have around. Instant savings, no skill required. And you don’t have to know much of anything about cooking to go get some sandwich fixings from the supermarket. (You can try baking your own bread later, when you’re already accustomed to doing instead of spending.)

Use abundant, free information for all it’s worth. If you asked this question, you’re online. With any luck, you also have a good public library near your home. There’s almost nothing that can’t be done with a little determination and one or both of these tickets to free access to the world’s knowledge. Need beginning cooking instruction? I’ll bet you 10,000 credits you can find something in under 10 minutes, and that it will even match your interests better than you might have imagined (I’ve seen them for engineers, busy people, vegetarians, and more).

I make extensive use of a couple local library cards and a home Internet connection. I’d have a tough time putting a value on either. Certainly I’ve saved the cost of hundreds of books over the years, some better than others, and saved on entertainment (see below). I’ve also learned a ton about subjects ranging from managing my personal finances and buying a house, to maintaining my house, bike, car, etc. I’ve learned productivity and creativity hacks, discovered my interests, upgraded my professional skills, applied for jobs and raises, dealt with a range of personal business, and even met the person I intend to marry.

Betsy Megas

Liked this? Check out the Quora threads we suggested in October!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: striatic via Compfight cc

Happy November, superheroes! Want to get a head start on your holiday fitness? Need a little push to help you over the winter blues? We’ve got you covered with 10 Quora threads to follow this month.

1. How does one keep oneself motivated while in the gym?

Sample Answer:

I agree with Marc Bodnick, caffeine certainly helps to make us feel excited & energetic which can make you want to work out.

I’ve found the following to turn a burden [sic] of working out into a addictive drug.

  • Music is like morphine, listen to awesome music.  Keep a solid playlist, What are the best pump-up songs?
  • You only have 1 goal, be better than you were yesterday.  Figuratively speaking, just make small improvements, you have the rest of you life to work at it.
  • Change it up! Bike one day, run, yoga, etc whatever to keep it fresh and fun. Sounds so simple, but damn its [sic] true.  A change in physical stimulation does wonders and keeps your body guessing.
  • Make it a habit.  Developing a routine makes it psychologically easier (brushing your teeth requires next to zero brain power) to get over the hurdle of putting on work out clothes, which is half the battle.

– Mike Townsend

2. How can I improve my writing skills?

Sample Answer:

The best thing you can do is read in English everyday – read outside of your interests in particular.  Read newspapers and magazines that are known for their quality (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, among many others).  Reading well-written material is one of the best ways to improve your own writing because it exposes you to expressions and sentence constructions that are generally acceptable in written English.  It will develop your ear for the language so you can learn to distinguish between what sentence constructions work and what sounds awkward (even if it might be grammatically correct).

Depending on what you need to write, supplement generalist reading with readings in your field (or read items that are similar to the things you want to produce yourself) to see how people in the same field use written English. 

Finally make use of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style(http://books.google.com/books?id…).  It is an indispensable resource for any serious student of English and anyone looking to improve his or her written English.

– Rebecca Simon

3. What are good Black Friday shopping hacks?

Sample Answer:

1. Do Black Friday online. Lowers your odds of getting trampled and eliminates the need to wear pants while shopping.

2. Not really a hack, but be aware that some items’ prices actually go up on Black Friday. Stores know you’re going to come in ready to spend money because of all the sweet deals they’ve advertised, and they know the sense of urgency that Black Friday creates means you probably won’t be checking prices for things you haven’t researched in advance. This gives them the opportunity to raise prices on some smaller-ticket items that you may just throw in your cart since you’re there anyway. Ideally, just stick to your list, but if you feel compelled to buy something else, check out what it costs on Amazon on your phone.

3. Use sites like http://blackfriday.com/ to see all the deals before you actually go out.

– Alex Willen

4. What are the lessons people most often learn too late in life?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

Learn how to listen. So few people can really listen and so many people genuinely appreciate when you do.

Learn when it’s time to move on. From jobs, people and relationships. Not everything is fixable. Cut your losses and move on.

None of the best experiences of your life will happen staring a computer screen, a phone screen or a TV. If you want more of the best experiences of your life minimize the time you spend in front of these three.

Take great care of your body. It’s delicate and becomes more so as you get older, but if you treat it well, it will treat you well. Exercise regularly, stretch or do yoga, eat wholesome food.

Take great care of your mind. Foster curiosity, read, learn and grow. Learn to be quiet, meditate and spend time in nature regularly.

Take great care of your heart. When you hold onto harmful emotions like anger, hurt, pain, you really only hurt yourself. When you practice love, compassion and generosity, your heart expands and grows.

Evan Asano

5. What are some of the best moments of humanity?

Sample Answer:

This is a story very similar to the one told by Mr. Christopher Raynor and it happened in my hometown – Pune, India.

In August 2014, 2 boys who had stopped at a red light were run over by a Local Public transport bus (PMPML) due to the alleged failure of brakes on the bus.

The onlookers realized that due to its momentum the bus had climbed over the 2 boys and they were trapped beneath it. They clearly required urgent medical attention and the commuters, nearby shoppers and shop owners alike came to their rescue.

Within minutes, more than 50 onlookers succeeded in lifting the bus off the youngsters and were able to rush then to the hospital.

 The prompt action of these 50 strangers saved the lives of the 2 boys. Sometimes a mob has many heads and the presence of a united, beautiful mind!

If this doesn’t restore or reinforce your faith in humanity then what does?

Ninad Kanetkar 

6. How do we achieve world peace?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

Let go of all the things you identify yourself with and are emotionally attached to; accepting the possibility that there are ill and destructive aspects to them and that they can or may even be totally and utterly evil and/or destructive. That means your dad, mom, grand dad, country, economic system, political system, your ethnic “in group,” economic “in group”, religious institution… etc. Detach and take a step back from all of it permanently. 

Let go of all the fixed notions you have about how the world works, how economics work, how politics work, how those people you’ve been raised to have contempt for are/think/work, how your “in-groups” work (i.e. “we worked hard for everything and earned it all on our merit:”), how you as a person work, etc. Let go of everything you’ve been taught and haven’t been allowed to question, all of it.

Seek truth and understanding through observation and as an outside detached observer and analyst (that’s why you have to let everything go, or else you’ll only look for things to confirm your beliefs and protect yourself… All those attachments and notions block your view of the truth).

Gary Payton

7. How can I make my life simpler?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

1. Mix things up. Try the opposite. Have the vegetarian dish if you always go for the meat. Walk away from a stupid conflict instead of making it worse. Let one thing go if you often cling to things. Make a habit of mixing things up to grow your life in small or bigger ways. And to make it easier and simpler to step out of your comfort zone in general when you really need to.
2. Get up 20 minutes earlier. This will help you to reduce stress in the morning and during the rest of the day. (10 Alarm Clocks for Heavy Sleepers)
3. Be 10 minutes early for meetings and appointments. This will help you to make your time of travel a time of rest and relaxation instead of stressful. And you will not be late.
4. Single-task. You be more focused, less stressed and get to done more quickly. So do one thing at a time and do it with your full attention.
5. Ask yourself: am I keeping things extremely simple? If not, figure out how you can do that in the situation you are in.
6. Ask yourself: will this matter 5 years from now? Or even 5 weeks from now? Do this to avoid making mountains out of molehills.
7. Buy things with the money you have earned and saved. Avoid getting into debt.
8. Learn a few recipes and cook. You’ll save money and probably eat healthier. (Cooking with the New York Times)
9. When you cook, cook more than you’ll eat. This will help you to spend less time on cooking and washing dishes. And you’ll have an extra dinner or two to just reheat when you don’t have time or energy to cook.
10. Write things down. Pretty much everyone’s memory is leaky. So help yourself. Write down what you need to do or shop for today. Write down what your top 4 priorities in life are and post that note where you can see it every day.

Olivia Skumps

8. How can someone learn how to draw?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

Draw light, not objects.
Squint your eyes at the scene until all you can see are big blobs of light and dark. Draw those. Try to ignore boundaries of objects; let those emerge out the natural boundaries of light and shadows.

Draw repetitively.
Get a stack of 3×5 index cards. Set up a simple still-life, a bowl of fruit or whatever, and draw it on every single index card. Do it from different angles, distances, etc. Use simple lines and don’t spend more than two minutes on each one.

Draw fast.
Give yourself thirty seconds to do an entire scene. Use big newsprint and a Sharpie. Ignore details. Use wide, loopy gestures. This is an especially important exercise when you get started drawing people, where it’s easy to obsess about faces or hands or feet without ever getting to the overall pose. One out of ten 30-second drawings you do will be amazingly good.

Ethan Hein

9. How can I use my smartphone to increase my productivity?

Sample Answer: 

Here are a few ways you can use your smartphone to really get valuable things done.

1. Coursera – Take a free online course from a major University.

2. Acceleread – Given how much time you probably spend reading, doubling or tripling your reading speed is a massive productivity booster.

3. Procaster – Integrates a Pomodoro Timer with task and project management so you can track how much time you spend on all your work.

Kyle Pearce

10. What are some lifestyle changes that save money?

Sample Answer Excerpt: 

Don’t look at it as deprivation. Instead, look for all the amazing things you can do with little or no money. Or, see it as a game to save money, and have fun doing it. If it’s a chore, either you’ll never get there, or you’ll hate where you’re going, every step of the way.

You’ve read those other answers about not eating out, so you total up all the money you’re spending eating out and come up with some appalling figure. Why didn’t you see this before? No good. Just one little detail: you can’t cook.

You don’t have to figure out everything all at once. Start with the easy stuff. You can make coffee at home or start carrying your own water in a container you probably already have around. Instant savings, no skill required. And you don’t have to know much of anything about cooking to go get some sandwich fixings from the supermarket. (You can try baking your own bread later, when you’re already accustomed to doing instead of spending.)

Use abundant, free information for all it’s worth. If you asked this question, you’re online. With any luck, you also have a good public library near your home. There’s almost nothing that can’t be done with a little determination and one or both of these tickets to free access to the world’s knowledge. Need beginning cooking instruction? I’ll bet you 10,000 credits you can find something in under 10 minutes, and that it will even match your interests better than you might have imagined (I’ve seen them for engineers, busy people, vegetarians, and more).

I make extensive use of a couple local library cards and a home Internet connection. I’d have a tough time putting a value on either. Certainly I’ve saved the cost of hundreds of books over the years, some better than others, and saved on entertainment (see below). I’ve also learned a ton about subjects ranging from managing my personal finances and buying a house, to maintaining my house, bike, car, etc. I’ve learned productivity and creativity hacks, discovered my interests, upgraded my professional skills, applied for jobs and raises, dealt with a range of personal business, and even met the person I intend to marry.

Betsy Megas

Liked this? Check out the Quora threads we suggested in October!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: striatic via Compfight cc

  • Comments