Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: AP Lang Articles

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Public speaking is perhaps one of the most difficult things that we will have to do as human beings in a modern day society. At one point or another, we’ve all had to either do a presentation of some sort in our classes or with coworkers but at one point or another, we’ve all had to speak in front of a group. It is a very frightening thing for us to experience, but why? Why is it so hard for us to talk in front of people? What makes it so difficult? Is it the fear of humiliation in front of one’s peers? Or is it perhaps one does not wished to be judged by every single one of the faces in the crowd? How can we overcome it? All of these and more are all questions that we all have (or at least I have) asked in the past, and hopefully, this article will help clear some of those questions.

According to the article “Why Do We Fear Public Speaking?” public speaking as a fear comes from evolution, and is a subconscious fear we have from our ancestors. This fear comes from the fact that we as human beings would face off against larger threats by living in clusters and groups. Consequently, being accepted in groups was a huge survival factor that is taken into consideration, and can easily show one why the fear of public speaking would come from this. Not being accepted means no survival for a given individual, henceforth the fear. No better words could be used to summarize from this article: “On a deep level, people are afraid their audience will reject them.” However, this fear is not always shown in ways one might expect, as we all know that even if we do terribly, our lives are not at stake. So one will most likely not put their hands up in defense as if they are going to be attacked. Instead, one might show other body signs to show that they are scared instead.

One of the biggest signs that one can look for is how many “…collaborative words and personal pronouns to help the audience feel more involved in the message.” Not only does this bring in the attention of the audience, but helps bring a more overall relaxed tone to the speech being given. This is a strong indicator that shows if one is comfortable in what he or she is saying. Although this is not the only thing that one should look for when analyzing if someone (or perhaps oneself) is nervous or fearful of public speaking. There are other signs that one should look for when understanding if one may be fearful of public speaking.

When one is speaking to a larger audience, one should look for how much more passion or how much one may care about the message he or she is saying to the intended audience. According to the given article, “The most confident speakers demonstrate 22.6 percent more passion  than nervous speakers, meaning their deliver exhibits the kind of energy and engagement that indicates they’re really invested in their topic.” This means if one is really confident in what he or she may be saying about a given subject, there will be a lot more ups and downs in terms of tone in one’s speech, their language will include more words with specific connotations to them, and the speaker will speed up and slow down at certain parts. One of the biggest indicators (and personal pet peeves of mine when people speak) that shows if one is fearful or not is if one is more monotone in the voice and language that they use. One will sound like a robot or one of those text to speech modules we all have on smartphones. This is a sure-thing to look for when trying to find out if one is fearful of public speaking or not.

So now that a couple ideas have already been discussed about why public speaking is so feared and what to look for in a public speaker to see if he or she is nervous, the next logical thing would be to understand how one can become a better public speaker, or at least learn a few tactics that may help with overcoming this congenital fear we all have.

Fortunately, within the very same article, a couple tactics are discussed as to how one can best overcome these fears. My favorite thing about the article is actually in what it says about how one can best overcome this fear of public speaking. The article states “If you’re nervous about an upcoming speech, most coaches will offer general tips like ‘be prepared,’ or ‘breathe and stretch to calm your nerves,’ or ‘remember the audience is on your side.’…If you’re nervous, one should channel that nervous energy into demonstrating your passion for the topic at hand as you share your best insights with your audience…” which is something that I have done for a while. Although I do enjoy to do public speaking, I still often get nervous about whatever it is that I am presenting, no matter what it is. However, more often than not, I will use the nervous energy I have and use it as a source of energy to speak to my audience. It has even helped me get my part-time job. It is a very useful skill that I believe will help many others as well if they were to attempt it. However, this may not be the perfect strategy for everyone, as we all are different peoples with different strategies that may work, so do whatever is most comfortable for you! Though these are all wonderful strategies that should be tried if you haven’t already.

-Stay positive!

Excellence: Ways it can be Achieved and how Happiness can help

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: AP Lang Articles

(First off, I would like to take the time to apologize for not uploading here in a while. Many issues have come up for me in the past but hopefully, I will be able to upload a bit more often.)

Throughout my life, I have always done my best to strive for excellence in one way or another (most of the time I strive for excellence in others, though I’ve been working on myself as well lately).  We all have our little tricks and such that help with getting ourselves to be the best we can. In the article being discussed today, many great points are made about how one is able to do their best and strive for his or her excellence. There are a few points made in particular that make good points of emphasis for others to look at.

The very first topic made that I personally feel is important is item number 10 on this list, which is to smile. This article states to “Light up your face and the heart of another person with a smile.” In this day and age, it can sometimes be very difficult to remember to smile, especially considering how much stress most carry on in his or her daily life. Smiling is the key to dealing with the toughest of times as I have found from personal experience.

Personally, I have a lot of stress that comes from my school life and my AP classes. It’s not just that, of course. There’s also what issues my friends have dealt with, whether it’s academically related or it’s personal. Sometimes I find it difficult to manage stress especially with these two factors in mind. Sometimes it’s just easiest to smile. Smile if one is to see their friends, or when he or she is talking with them. Just a smile can easily be a good way to relieve stress not only with oneself but with those around oneself.

Another aspect that is important to emphasize from this article would be section would be something that I personally love doing: teaching. Teaching is a great way not only to help others learn something or a subject of some sort but to also “…learn your language, share a craft that you master…” as a teacher on the side as well, I find that teaching another is a great way to learn people skills, patience, and even allows one to learn a bit about oneself and how they interact with others in given situations. If one is able to get the chance, one should definitely take the opportunity and teach. So many life skills can be gained just from teaching. It also is able to give oneself a different perspective on a subject, which is never a bad thing to have.

One last aspect that I believe is good to emphasize from this article would be method number 18, which is to forgive. The article states in the ver first sentence to “Forget past transgressions and forgive yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else. ” which I personally couldn’t agree more with. Perhaps it is just because I am a high school student, and perhaps I am just uneducated. However, from what I have seen, many people find it worth their time to hold on to these grudges, when perhaps it is easier to simply forgive one another. I have had many conflicts with friends as well as family members, and most of the time I simply forget because in the end, it’s not fair to either them or myself. I feel that more people need to take on this concept in order to better improve one’s lifestyle as well as bring out one’s greater potential. I also believe that by forgiving, it will make one become happier, and as a result, make it easier to do what one needs to do in his or her daily life, and even beyond. Overall, I believe this article is giving many different types of methods to become happier, which I have consistently believed is the best way to most effectively achieve one’s greatest excellence. The overall underlying message of the entire list is to find a way to become happy in one way or another. If one is to achieve happiness, greatness is sure to pursue, no matter the obstacle ahead, however challenging it may be.

-Don’t forget to do something that makes you happy today! Bring a smile to someone’s face too if you can!

 

 

 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: Quotes of the day

-Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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“Be the change that you want to see in the world”

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: Quotes of the day

-Ghandi

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The Life of Charley

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: AP Lang Articles

Find out the life of Charley and his not so awesome day that he has in this short pick your own path story right here!

Rules all Human Beings Must Follow

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: AP Lang Articles

There are many rules we are taught even when we are young: sharing is caring, don’t hit anyone, say “please” and “thank you.” Many rules are established from region to region, but there are 12 rules in general (or at least according to this article) that all human beings must follow in order to not only better themselves but to better those around him or herself. What is important to note is that modern society forgets to tell us these and as a result may not always be followed, so do not blame yourself or feel bad if you did not know these, for you did not know any better.

Although this isn’t considered one of the rules in the article given, but I believe this is something that many more people need to take into consideration in their daily lives, which is “Don’t try to be perfect. Just be an excellent example of being human.” This personally spoke to me because as a student in high school with teachers for parents (one of them being an AP teacher), complete and total perfection is something that I constantly sought for and eventually I harmed myself not only emotionally or spiritually, but physically as well. I got less and less sleep from trying to be perfect, and as a result, when I went to play sports, I would end up harming my body by trying to push it to the extents that I did on what little sleep that I had. Not being perfect is something I am still trying to learn to this very day, and I’m sure many adults out there struggle with the same thing. Not everything you do has to be perfect, you don’t have to be perfect, and that’s okay. Society may seem to enforce that perfection must be mandatory, but we are not machines. We cannot work day and night with no rest or with no self-reflection; for it will drive us to total insanity.

 

Now that this is out of my system, time for some of the actual rules!

 

One of the rules of being a human being stated in this article is that “negativity poisons the soul.” which i think is a wonderful thing to say regardless of who you are or where you come from. Although this may seem to be a cliché that many have probably already heard at this point, but negativity is one of the biggest problems with people in modern day society. Most of the time, we think about the worst that is to come and sometimes even make up worse scenarios in our heads which add unnecessary anxieties and stress to our lives. We don’t need to be negative all the time, there is already too much of it in the world as it is. Why not look at the brighter side of things? Had a bad day at work/school? Don’t be upset about it, be glad that you were able to conquer that day as well as you did. No one else could have done it for you. Girlfriend/Boyfriend break up with you? Oh well! Things like this will happen, but hey, at least you got a bit of extra cash to spend on yourself, right? You have more time for yourself to reflect as well! Especially after breakups, I find that it is an opportune time to self-reflect so that you can better yourself and become a happier person overall. Either way I personally love this rule because it’s a rule that is so hard to follow (I will admit that I am hypocritical to say that others are always negative, as I will definitely forget to do this myself every once in awhile), but I believe everyone’s lives would be so much better if they smiled a bit more.

One of the other rules that is in this article that I also really like is the very first rule stated in this article, which is “Growth requires pain.” The article goes on to states that one should “Be patient and tough, someday this pain will be useful to you.” Once again another cliché, but as the old saying goes “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” this is essentially what the first rule is saying in this article. It is saying how all pain may suck and not be all that fun at first, but you with pain you can do one of two things, either run away from it or learn from it. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because you watched Disney’s “ Lion King” at some point and remember the wise words of Rafiki, in which he states that “oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.” Both this article and the lion king are in agreement with the idea that pain is essential to being human, and in the end will make you a greater you in every single possible way.

There are many rules that we come across in our life. From those belonging to science to the ones we are taught in preschool, they all have some sort of meaning behind them. However, the rules to being a human being are never quite taught to us, and for some reason, we mostly have to figure these out on our own. But in the end, these rules are not enforced enough and can only be enforced by you and you alone. You deserve the best of yourself, we all do, and these rules will help with that.

-Make sure to smile today! Sometimes we all forget to!

Questions to Ask Yourself and What They can do for you

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: AP Lang Articles

Busy busy busy, we’re all very busy nowadays and sometimes we all forget about ourselves in the process. Modern society seems to be so intent on “getting things done,” that there’s no room for the people getting said things done. Many do meditation or even go to therapy to find the answers that they are looking for, but sometimes just a couple questions are all you need to better know yourself. Some may ask: why even get to know myself? Even if I did want to know myself any better, where would I even start? The first question is very hard to answer due to how much this answer may vary from person to person, but the second question is a bit easier, since there are many ways to do this. One of the easier ways to do this (not only that, but it’s cheaper since no therapy required, though it may be good to discuss these if you have a therapist) is simply by asking questions. There is no right answer nor is there a wrong answer; the only thing that matters is that you must be truthful in your answers, no matter how much you want to think it’s one or the other. It helps to justify why you think this as well.

The first question asked in this article (and personally I find to be very powerful as well) is “What would people say about you at your funeral?” Although it may seem a very daunting question to ask oneself, it’s no mindblowing fact that everyone dies at one point. But then ask yourself, how would you want to be remembered?  One of the reasons why I find this to be so powerful of a self discovery question is because as it is a funeral, people say their goodbyes. What would you want them to say? Would you want to be remembered as a leader? A hero? A friend? Or as just another man in another grave? Another question that I think is always good to ask afterwards is “why?” Why would you want to be remembered like this? What are you doing and/or not doing to get this done? This question starts to sort out priorities in one’s life. It lets one know that putting something off might eventually mean that he or she might not ever get to whatever it is at all. In the famous words of one of my teachers, “why put off to tomorrow what can be done today,” so why not have everyone else follow behind this saying?

Another question that one may want to ask his or herself would be “If you were at heaven’s gates, and God asked you ‘why should I let you in?’ , what would you say?” Even if one doesn’t believe in God, one should ask themselves why does one deserve to go on to his or her version of the afterlife, whatever that reason maybe? Even if one believes that they do not deserve to go to the afterlife (in whatever form he or she believes it to be), why does one believe that they don’t deserve to be granted this access? Is this answer valid, or is it based off of one’s insecurities or lack of self confidence? It may be good to avoid the consolation of others, as one’s value in the world is not based off of the beliefs and thoughts of others. This question is a bit similar to the previous action asked in the sense that both require a sense of honest answers; So don’t expect any less of a response from oneself when trying to get to better understand oneself period.

One more question that I believe that is a good question to ask in particular of the 24 questions stated in this article is the question that states “If you lost everything tomorrow, whose arms would you want to run into? Does that person know how much they mean to you?” I find this question to be so interesting because it begs the question that does that someone you care about know that you feel this way? Why or why not? Perhaps they may not feel the same way, and that is up for you to decide if this is okay, but one does have to ask the question that “do the people I care about know that I care about them?” Once again, be honest with yourself when answering these questions, and if the answer is not what you wish for it to be, why is it not the way you wish for it to be and what do you need to do to make this so? Another reason that I find this such a good question to ask is because who does one find important and what would they tell them if they only had one day left before they lost everything? It’s a very scary scenario to imagine, but it does bring up interesting thoughts that I believe would bring a lot of thought provoking ideas for one to ponder on for a while, which can be fun or interesting to say the least. However, what’s the reason for asking all of these questions anyways? Why find out more about yourself and what would this be good for anyways?

There are many benefits to better knowing oneself, but it’s hard to give a definitive answer, since the benefits may vary from person to person. One might find it beneficial to understanding one’s limits. Another might find it beneficial to keeping one’s temper under control. Overall, there is no wrong answer to why you should do this, because there are so many benefits to it. It makes one feel happier about themselves as well, which, as I have stated in a different article, many people aren’t.So it might be worth just taking a couple hours to yourself and skipping a day of exercise every once in awhile to find out a bit more about oneself. It may make you a bit happier in the end, and we all deserve that, don’t we?

-Stay positive, the world already has enough negativity in it.

“You will not be punished for you anger, you will be punished by your anger”

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: Quotes of the day

-Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama)

 

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The Anxiety and Depression of High School

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: AP Lang Articles

 

We’ve all heard it before: Our high school years are probably going to be the most difficult yet most enjoyable years. Being in 11th Grade, I can confirm that about half of this is true. Although there are moments where we all have a blast, but workloads do not come any more difficult (save for maybe college workloads) in terms of academics than it does in high school. Especially for the dreaded AP classes that it seem to drain away every bit of child in us along with whatever part of our soul that’s still intact. It’s clearly not an easy part of our lives, especially with the million things everyone wants us to do or remember. You get the pressure and harshness of your parents telling you about how your GPA isn’t a 4.0 like it used to be back in middle school or even elementary. There’s also the concern of friends are friends. Oh how friends can change so much of our lives whether we intend to have it that way or not. I’m sure that at one point or another one of your friends has come to you about something going on in their lives that is bothering them. Hopefully, it isn’t any worse than stress, but other times it’s as scary as a friend thinking they aren’t worth being on this earth. And let’s not forget about the other adults that tell us to stay up doing packets of work every day to keep up with the curriculum (aka teachers). Although it isn’t their intention to try and make us sleep deprived or stressed, the expectations school districts have started to put on us (or at least American society) has gone up at an insane pace. And as a result, therapists have been becoming busy with the extremely large amounts of students that are having stress or anxiety issues. However, it’s so hard to tell which friends have this, especially when some friends are so good at hiding it. Luckily there are many signs given for when someone is depressed discussed in this article.

Depression is becoming more and more abundant in teenagers especially with the ridiculous amounts of workloads that are now being put on us from teachers and our AP classes. There doesn’t seem to be any time for anything that life may throw at you, which makes some of us have our anxiety or depression skyrocket. As a result of this high depression or anxiety, one’s grades might start to fall, which is one of the signs for depression/anxiety in students. Now, if your friend is just struggling, don’t jump to the conclusion that they are depressed and give them the suicide hotline number (877-727-4747), but it might be good to take that into consideration if they’re breaking down after you merely state that they don’t look too well (another symptom that comes with depression is being overly sensitive as stated in the article given). It’s always a good thing to keep an eye on friends and know what the signs are. However, what’s probably an even better thing is knowing how to help the friend with depression.

One of the first ways discussed in how to help a friend with depression is to introduce them to new friends. This is because chances are having new friends gives one a form of a social outlet, which is very significant in teens as our friends do affect a lot of our lives. I highly agree with making friends being a great way to help with depression. Even if you can’t make new friends, it might also be a good idea to strengthen the bonds with friends you already have. I think it’s a great thing to open up to friends. Not only does it show a sign of trust with each other, but you get to see a side to one of your friends that not everyone gets to see with your friends. It’s one of the greatest feelings not only to have someone open up to you but also feels great to get something off your chest to a friend. It leads to a friendship that might have never developed had you or them not directly opened up to you. However, this is not the only way to help a friend with their emotional issues.

Another amazing point made in this article is to get outside and participate in school activities, or simply just exercise. Exercise is one of the biggest fighters for depression or anxiety for many many reasons: One of which is because  exercise can give you a  “natural high” afterward. Over time you start to build confidence in your body and will soon see progress in your body. Although somewhat silly but very true, one of the other reasons why exercise is so good for fighting depression or anxiety is because, after a good workout, there isn’t any energy left to be anxious or depressed. The only thing that’s on your mind after a long, hard workout is getting home and lying down in bed or just sitting on the couch watching a couple episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix. This also coincides with the previous statement being made of making new friends. By putting yourself out there by doing sports or going out of your way to do things in your community is that you get introduced to new people that you’re probably going to have to work with. Because of this, new friendships will be made, and friendship always wins haha! Okay in all seriousness it introduces you to new people and as a result, will give you new friends that you might have never made if you didn’t join the whatever it’s called  club. However, if it gets very serious, such as parental abuse or something like that, these may not always be the best way to deal with things.

If family issues or concerns start to become a reality in one’s life, the best way to deal with it would be going to seek professional help, aka psychotherapy. As kind or as helpful your friends may seem, they might not always have the time to help you like a professional might be able to help. Therapists entire job is making sure that you feel that you can talk to them about anything no matter what or when the time you have an issue. Not only that but they have many, many more tools under their belts through their practice  and their life experiences. As embarrassing as it may seem or “stupid” it may be, it’s completely acceptable and understandable to do so if you feel that your life isn’t worth living for whatever reason that it may be. Either way,  the smart thing to do is to get professional help.

There are many times where life seems to throw a million different things at us while our parents yell at us for our grades. There will be times where you think that maybe this is all a joke, some stupid thought in your head that you can do it, or that maybe it’s easier if you were just gone and the very ground beneath you were to just swallow you whole. But when this happens, you have to take up the challenge, and move forward, or at least know that you do have the power to seek help or help someone else. What’s the harm in making someone smile anyways?

-Stay positive!

Confidence: A Push on Building the Steps Towards your Happiness.

Author: gabrielmo  //  Category: AP Lang Articles

Both Self Confidence and Self Esteem are two things that are very hard to attain in modern day society while also usually not given much time for. Many times this is due to the lack of time found in our busy lives or simply just not giving ourselves the free time to build confidence (which is often looked down upon in modern day society). The article being reflected on (which can be found here) is a great way to build confidence in ways one might not normally expect.

The one that stuck out to me the most would have to be being wrong and be okay with it. Many times people will feel ashamed or embarrassed when he or she is wrong and usually starts to shell up and become scared of expressing his or her opinion. By learning to be okay with being wrong, one is able to make steady learning and quick process in the path to gaining confidence. One may not even have to learn from past mistakes. As long as one is able to be okay with making mistakes, confidence will naturally ensue. The possible main reason for this being able to build confidence is the natural tendency for humans to make mistakes. Being okay with this natural human process in turn would lead to feeling confident in oneself as a result.

Not all of the subjects listed are as shocking as one might think, however. Some might seem rather obvious on how to build self confidence. For example: the very first way that is listed in this article would be to put yourself in situations that make you feel a bit silly or a bit uncomfortable. For those that are a bit confused or are having a bit of trouble following me as to why this makes a load of sense, here’s why: by putting yourself in situations that make you feel embarrassed, you will feel less concerned about your self image. One will start to learn that one’s self image should no longer be the point of concern for themselves, rather that they should be more concerned with what can be learned. There are many ways that one can do this as well, even in school. Extra curricular activities such as drama or band or stage crew will get students out of their comfort zone and force them to ask questions or perhaps make them question the teacher’s perspective on something (such as asking why he or she believes a character or a part in a song goes the way it does when you feel it should go a different way). This will lead to a natural growth in self confidence.

There are other points made in this article that may seem obvious as to how to build confidence. For example: The fourth paragraph in this document that states how to build confidence in oneself would be to make others smile and compliment them. By making others smile, one naturally feels better about themselves, and usually brightens your day. In the short run, it helps get rid of any bad mood that you’re in. Although you don’t have to run up to someone and just yell “HEY YOU HAVE NICE HAIR” and then run away, it helps to just bring up something nice about them in conversations every once in awhile when it is appropriate. A few others may seem a bit noticeable (such as the two previously stated), but some I feel that not enough people work on themselves. Personally I feel that people take what other people say way too much and have it affect them, which is also stated by Marc Chernoff in this article.

Many people take what others say way too personally, especially in this modern day and age where the world is at our fingertips. With this also comes a sense of obscurity and no face to what one says. However, with this “faceless” web, there comes a lot of mean people that go out of there way to say mean things about others. A main issue with something like this is that many people take the opinions of people that they don’t even know far too seriously and start to consider changing everything about them in order to appeal to those that don’t even really matter all that much to you in actuality.Grant you shouldn’t ignore EVERYONE’S opinion about you (mainly those that are important to you, such as family or friends), but if the user account on the internet named “XX_snipermaster420_XX”  (just a random name I made up. If there actually is an “XX_snipermaster420_XX out there then I apologize) is saying how your hair looks stupid and you should change it, than perhaps it shouldn’t be taken like it’s being said like a family figure such as a father. Many people you meet (especially online) will all have their opinions about what you do or what you say. Unfortunately not everyone you meet is going to like you. However, these are people that you are going to meet maybe for a couple minutes before going onto the next video or looking up another article on how to build self confidence. It’s not worth hours of your life thinking about what one random person on the internet said about your hair or whatever it maybe. Take any popular youtuber such as Markiplier, and notice how every single one of his videos has dislikes. Albeit that the dislikes are profoundly drowned out by the amount of positive support and likes he gets, there are those that will not like what you do no matter what. As previously stated, it isn’t worth wasting your time on something because of the opinion of someone that isn’t important to you.

Confidence is one of the hardest things in many people’s lives to build up. Some don’t have this issue, while others do. Whoever you are, and whatever your reason is for this being read, know that there are many ways to build confidence, and probably some ways that you practice but don’t even realize. Hopefully this opens your eyes a bit to the possibilities.

Stay positive!