Category Archives: Work

How To Blast A Job Interview

Photo 25-01-2015 10 08 53Job interviews are one of those frustrating facts of life that, unless we’re either really lucky or really unlucky, will experience a number of times in life. They’re stressful, judgy and generally a (useful) nuisance. They CAN be fun sometimes, but I think both the interviewees and the interviewers out there can agree that there are probably hundreds of other things they’d rather be doing.

I’m lucky in a way that, at 21, that I have seen interviews from both sides and know both what it’s like to go to a job interview and also what I have in the past looked for in people I have interviewed. Now, I have just done a couple of job interviews and have another one coming up in a couple of days, so I figured now is as good a time as any to share with you my tips for job interviews (or, if you really want to bomb your interview, do the opposite of what I say next).

Presentation

Now, it is important in life that you never change yourself for something else, whether is be a job, relationship or… well, anything really! That still applies, but in some circumstances a kind of blending in technique can help you.
If I have a job interview at a chill looking pub, I’m not going to go in stressed like I want to work on Wall Street. If I want to work at a top class restaurant, I don’t want to rock up in jeans and a tshirt. It’s important to a degree to look at what role you’re aiming to fit into and doing what subtle things you can to look like exactly the jigsaw piece they need to fit the puzzle – make yourself the picture of the candidate they need.
I recently went for an interview at a pub and, knowing it’s a nice place with a good opinion of itself, I aimed to look clean and respectable. However, I also knew the manager to be somewhat of a big personality who likes to test people a little, so I aimed for a slightly less cutesy feminine look. And I also heard that the place could be one to get rough at times, so I made sure to ensure I looked capable of taking care of myself and tried to get across a “takes no shit” attitude.
At the interview coming up I know that it’s a very fancy place, therefore I will want to look clean and respectable, but also take into account it’s a busy place that requires an athletic and energetic nature to keep up.

Fun

11696527_850932034991471_1306743554_nI know job interviews can be a bit of a drag and, trust me, the person interviewing you is having even less fun than you most of the time! Interviewing person after person is beyond boring – it is frustrating! So, for your sake and theirs, you want to make sure you bring something fresh and new to the table and that will not only make the interview more fun, but it will set you apart from all the uninteresting interviews the other person has had to sit through that day.
Try your best to let your personality show, ask questions, try to have a laugh where you can. Don’t go overboard and start going off like a hyena and punching them in the arm, but show that you can have a sensible good time and could be nice to work with.
Being someone who the other person looks at and thinks “I could like working with you” is going to score way more points than “I could tolerate you”
Try to make the interview more relaxed and enjoyable by trying to keep your body language polite but relaxed, try to look at them as if you were looking at a respected friend rather than someone to fear and just try to genuinely connect with them. As someone who has worked in management, there is not much worse than that feeling of being treated like a monster as opposed to a human being just because of your job.

That’s a person

Following on from the last point, it’s so important to remember that the person interviewing you is a human being. They have hopes, dreams, fears, problems and have experienced some form of pain that you will never fully understand. We all have a life of our own completely separate from anyone else and they are just the same in that regard.
I don’t like using the “picture them naked” method as that just makes me uncomfortable looking at them – I personally like keeping seeing people naked fairly private! However, I do like to think about the fact that they aren’t always the person sat in front of you. Who are they when they are at home? Do they like to go play board games with their family? Do they sit in a onsie eating ice cream? What’s their favourite show on Netflix? Inside their head is a whole other universe and they are so much more than the role they are playing when they’re running your job interview.

Learning is okay

If you’re going in for an interview in a job you aren’t confidently practiced in, make sure you are clear that you are willing and ready to learn, but don’t make out that you know exactly what you are doing. I know people want to hire competent staff, but it’s better to say “I’m good at what I apply myself too, but I do need to learn more for you” than to tell them you know it all inside and out and to find yourself in over your head. TRUST me on that!
I was always way more likely to trust someone who went “I really want to do this, I will learn, will you help me be what you need?” than someone who was like “I can walk into this today and be exactly what you’re looking for”
Requiring training doesn’t make you any less able to do a job – if fact it can ensure that you are trained properly for the job you are going into! Working in a restaurant, I had a big issue with new staff thinking they could walk into the job, not really realising how a lot of places operate differently to each other. Yep, good work, you know where to keep the glasses in your old job! But we do kind of like them in the cupboard here.

Be yourself

I know, a fairly typical answer, but it’s important to remember that there’s no point being anything but who you are. However you behave when you get the job is how you’ll be expected to behave in the job, otherwise you have a lot of work ahead keeping up a facade that you’ll quickly get tired of!
Go in as yourself, offer the package that is your abilities, your work ethic and personality and then it’s genuinely you who has the job and you who has to continue it.
Of course, if you don’t really WANT the job but need the money, it probably isn’t a good idea to say that, but that’s in the realm of TOO honest!

Be on time and as they asked

Obvious again, I know, but you wouldn’t BELIEVE how many people I interviewed in my time who would roll in 5-20 minutes late for their interviews for no good reason, which really isn’t a way to make a good impression.
If you’re running late for whatever reason, call up and let them know and apologise and they will, more than likely, understand. If you’re going to be late, you may as well use it as an opportunity to show that you are courteous – could even add a couple points in your favour!
Also, if you have been asked to dress in a certain way for an interview or trial shift, then make sure you do! Obviously, if they have been inappropriate in their requests, then don’t bother with them, but do your absolute best to follow reasonable instructions.
I once gave a trial shift to someone and gave them very specific details of what to wear and also where to cheaply get anything to wear that they didn’t have as I really wanted them to have a good shot at the job and, as well as showing up late, they came wearing completely inappropriate clothes. I wish I could say it got better from there, but sadly that was just the start.

Listen, don’t panic

It’s very common, in my experience, for people to be focusing so much on how nervous they are and how much they want to impress that they forget to listen entirely. There’s a literal sinking feeling in your heart when you’re talking to an interviewee or new staff member and they are so panicky that they don’t hear a word you say, as much as you are trying to help them.
Take slow breaths, remember that you are going to do your best, everything will be okay and you don’t need to freak out. A little bit of nerves is great, letting it get out of hand can harm your chances. Take a moment to centre yourself and be in the moment and go at normal speed – no need to fly off at a hundred miles an hour!

I really hope this is of help to you and, if you’re going for jobs right now, good luck!
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Do I have An Ugly Voice?!?!?! The truth about what you hear

"Is THAT my voice?!"
“Is THAT my voice?!”

As I’m expanding Learn With Amy onto YouTube, I have discovered one big problem that has slowed my progress: I hate the sound of my voice on recordings. And not just video! I hate my voice on the phone, when singing, but just particularly badly when recording video. But why is that?

Well, what affects me is the same thing that most people experience when they hear themselves recorded. I hate my voice because it isn’t the same voice that I hear in my head when I speak! it just isn’t! It is so far removed from the voice I have had for as long as I can remember.
But can it really be the case that my voice sounds smooth, rich and buttery until I’m placed in front of a microphone? Do my vocal chords decide to have a dance party in there? Nope!
I have done some research and it turns out that the voice that we hear isn’t actually the voice anyone else hears! We hear a very different and unique “version” of our own voices that no-one else in the world hears.
When we speak, a lot of what we are hearing isn’t the sound that comes out of our mouths and bounces around the room until it reaches our ears, but more the vibrations that come from speaking resonating in the bones of our skull. That’s why we often hear our own voice as fuller than our own.
BUT! It isn’t necessarily a case of your real voice sounding BAD, but more a case of you not being used to hearing it! Anytime that we speak without a microphone, we hear one voice that we have grown to accept as ours, and when something challenges that we are going to label it as “weird”.

Want to hear your own voice for real? Then get two large pieces of cardboard (about A4 size) and place them against your jaw, in front of your ears, then speak out loud. The voice you hear is your “true voice”, the voice everyone else knows and loves!

So, like me, you are probably going to jump to the conclusion that your voice is ugly, horribly annoying and too bad to ever be heard on a microphone again! But, fear not, because it is not as bad as you imagine. Go easy on yourself because it isn’t all that bad. How many people do you know with really “ugly” voices? Not many, I’m guessing.

So accept that, while your voice doesn’t sound just like you imagine, it isn’t as bad as you think it is either.

So, what do you think of your voice? Is there anything you want to improve upon? I’ll be doing some research and asking some people for their advice on what to do to strengthen your voice and get you the pipes you really want to hear!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article! Make sure you join us over on Facebook and Twitter! Xx

Kim Woo Bin Is Sharing The Secrets Of His Talent Now?!

 ©SBS
©SBS

South Korean acting sensation Kim Woo Bin has revealed one of his secrets for how he chooses and develops his acting roles, and his system goes to show how doing your homework really pays off.

Known for his roles in School 2013, Heirs and his most recent film The Technicians, Kim Woo Bin doesn’t fail to deliver on his committment to his roles. While some actors can sometimes let their masks slip whilst they are on camera, Kim Woo Bin’s seamless embodiment of his characters has audiences dazzled by his authenticity and has managed to become hot property in the acting industry as a result.

In a recent interview with Chosun, he shared one of his practices of when he is preparing for a new role and how he can so well understand his character’s feelings and motivations.
In the interview, he shared his important method, “No matter how small or big a role, I always make a list of 100 questions about the character I have to play. The questionnaire starts with simple questions, such as the character’s name,” he said about his method “By creating a list and filling in the answers, I often get a real feel for the character.”

Kim Woo Bin can certainly play tough, but is this method a bit hard on the roles? “I wouldn’t say that I’m picky,” Kim said “I just don’t want to be complacent. I want to make progress steadily, little by little.” It would seem that his method works as he has taken on some cracking roles before, and it’s a good way to ensure that he won’t play a role that he doesn’t believe in or find challenging or interesting.
About his progress, he said “If I continue to work this way, maybe I will be at the top one day.”

 © Vogue Girl
© Vogue Girl

He very clearly shows that has a dedication to skill over just popularity- a strong morale discipline that will certainly come in handy in his climb to the top of his craft and ensuring a long and happy career.

About his stardom, the heartthrob did not see himself as a star and understands the fragile position of fame. He said “It could come overnight, but go quickly. It would only be natural if the popularity I’m enjoying disappears the way it came.”

As a man very aware of the situation is in and how he got there, he added “I try to be grateful and not take what I have now for granted. I want to replay what I received. I don’t want to disappoint those who supported me”.

So, what is next for Kim Wo Bin? Who knows, but we can all rest assured that his next roles will have to pass his rigouous 100 question screening.

Want to see Kim Woo Bin at work? Watch him in The Heirs over on Viki.com!
Viki has a wide and ever expanding range of dramas and movies from Korea, Japan, Thailand and more and I would highly recommend it! Their community of subbers and translators all work really fast to bring you the shows you want in your language.
(Source: Chosun)

I hope you have enjoyed this article. As ever, if you have any comments or questions (or just gush about how great Kim Woo Bin is), please share them in the comments or join us over on Facebook and Twitter. See you there! Xx

Respect (And How to Give It)

10432552_1013181298695894_8304708746044163524_nSo I think we have all been told that we don’t respect enough. Whether it is your elders, your peers, your parents, your boss or the people who play important roles in your life that you may forget (like the barista that makes your coffee every day or the teller at the bank).

We’ve all done it, we’ve all heard it and I’m pretty sure we’ve all thought the same thing.
“What do you mean by ‘respect’?”
It’s a pretty good question, but it’s not really one that we are able to ask outright. We have to try little methods and test the water to find the best way to go without being inadvertantly disrespectful. It can be grueling to find that sweet spot.

One thing I noticed today what another dimention to respect that somehow managed to forget.
When I think of respect, I think of an apprentice who has watched the skill, discipline and restraint of his master as he has grown and taken that as a find example of how to be. The master is a master of himself as well as his art and practices all that he preaches. That feeling of awe and admiration the apprentice has towards his master is what I define as respect.
But, there was something I forgot:

There are two definitions to the term ‘respect’!

You have the sagely master-apprentice one:

“a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.”

And then you have:

“due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.”

Starting to make a little more sense now? Eh? Yeah…

There is a big difference between the two definitions and it ca be the deal-breaker. When someone is asking for respect, that is the due regard for feelings and rights. You may owe them that due to something they have given you, perhaps by raising you, homing you, paying for your college, having been there for you for a long time.
There is a fairly easy way to define the two of the meanings:
One is a feeling towards a person
The other is an attitude and consideration

So, this begs the question, how do you BE respectful? What is it that people need when they ask for respect?
Rather than thinking “What do you mean by ‘respect’?” you can turn the question around to “What do you need that I am not supplying you with?”

Consider their role in your life –

if you upset these people, how are you disprespecting the things they have done for you. Do they feed you, pay for the home you live in, pay for your wifi or support you? Have they supported you through university or helped to pay off your car.
I mean, oweing someone respect doesn’t mean that they can’t do any wrong, but it does mean that you owe them the benifit of respectable behaviour and coonsideration for them having done those things for you.
So, if someone has done something good or kind for you, either occasionally or over a long space of time, it is especially important to consider their feelings. They have done good by you or supported you and so you owe them a return of consideration, occasionaly a ‘get out of jail free’ card to let a few problems slide and to do your best to show your appreciation for them.

When someone is demanding your respect, the thing they are really asking for is your consideration for them. They have done something, or numerous things, for you and they want you to trust their judgement, respect their values or just to let them do their thing without interference.
Let them have it and there won’t be a problem.
So here are a few situations where respect comes into play and how you should try to approach it.

Parents

This is probably the most common one because when we are growing up we see our parents as these powerful, almost divine, figures in our lives who have the power to raise you, but you also believe they have the power to END you too. It’s amazing how we can have such high expectaitons of them. Now, for some parents cannot be respected. Perhaps they were abusive or uncaring or they just don’t have any relationship with them, but for most of us, we have a relationship with our parents where they have raised us, fed us, clothed us and done their best.
When you grow up, there comes a time when you start to realise that your parents are just people. Everyone is a little bit messed up and they are no exception. We all have flaws, have problems, get irritated, get emotional or over aggressive sometimes. Normally it is okay, but it is profoundly difficult for kids to accept the same of their parents.
Sadly, this is very difficult to overcome as you spend most, if not all, of your childhood seeing your parents as these amazing, almost super-human, creatures who are supposed to be perfect, but can’t possibly be so. However, you CAN find a way around it.

Everyone makes mistakes – When you are dealing with your parents, remember that they are people and, just like everyone else, they can be touchy, rash, harsh, flawed, have poor judgement and make bad choices sometimes- and it’s okay!
Remember that it is their life that they are living and, just like you want for yourself, everyone should have the right to behave as they want in life. There are always consequences to how you behave, but you have every right to do it anyway.
Their house, their rules – If something in your house is unfair, then you have a right to feel offended by it but, as long as that unfairness isn’t infringing on your health or safety, then there isn’t a lot you can do about it. Sometimes, you have to understand that people have reasons for stuff and you also can’t have everything. Here are a few examples of times when you might hit tension:
Staying out late – Do your parents ever get mad because you stay out too late? If they do, before you get mad, try to consider WHY they are like that. There could be a whole number of reasons why:
they are worried about your safety. They may fully trust you to take care of yourself and make good choices, but sometimes in life that isn’t enough to keep yourself safe. Remember that bad stuff can happen and it’s the scariest thing in the world for them to think that it could happen to you. Cut them some slack, they love you!
There could also be the fear of problems. If they go to bed and you get home after them, they may be concerned that the door might get left unlocked or you locked out. They might want to go to sleep, but don’t want to go before they know you are back safely.
Arguments – This is a tough scenario because everyone is entitled to their feelings, but it can sometimes be taken as a disrespect when you voice them.

What I would recommend, after years and years of stupidly just blurting out my feelings, is to try and avoid the argument stage if you can. Try to be understanding and compassionate with your parent’s wishes and try to make it so that you can, instead of getting heated, changing things so that you can have a calm and reasonable conversation. Try to avoid slipping into a childish state and try to keep a level head.

Also, be open to having your mind changed! Maybe that party miles away from home with people you don’t know well isn’t the best idea. Maybe going out all the time isn’t good for you. Why are they argueing their point?? I’m pretty sure that they don’t set out with the intention to have a blazing row because those aren’t enjoyable for ANYBODY. I doubt they’d contradict you or say no purely so they can have the pleasure of an arguement.

Co-workers

Everyone needs to feel repsected at times. We all have egos and most of us have ones that bruise like a banana in a game of dodgeball. More often than not, people feel they are not respected because their egos are not getting what they need.
Everyone likes to feel important at times, so it is vital that you listen to what the people around you have to say. Do you always shoot down their ideas the moment they’ve said them? How willing are you to trust their instinct or follow their lead?
Even if you are in a position of authority, it doesn’t mean that no-one below you has good ideas and it doesn’t make you any less of a good leader to listen to what others have to say.
Try to remember how far a little caring and support goes. Ask how your co-workers are doing, listen to them when they talk and have consideration for them as a person, not a working machine.
If you are in a workplace and feeling disrespected, try to tell that to someone in a considerate and non-aggressive way. Maybe ask if they have any suggestions for how to garner more respect or have your ideas and opinions listened to a little more.
If you work with someone who is getting aggressive or disruptive from feeling disrespected, try to have a talk with them about how they are viewed and give them gentle suggestions for how to change their situation. Maybe have a friendly work with other co-workers of higher-ups about making sure that employee is treated with a little more care and consideration. A happy team is a thriving team, so making people feel good can only benifit everyone.

Bosses

You’re boss is the godfather of all respect. They decide that they are going to give you work in return for the money that we all need in life. No money makes life very difficult, so we owe a lot to our bosses that have chosen to employ us.
Remember with your boss to always keep in mind how hard it is running or managing a business – especially a smaller or independant business.
They have so much to keep in mind and so many problems to face and solve that sometimes they are not as friendly, talkative or open as others may want them to be. Having compassion is the best way forward and understanding the pressure that your boss is under.
Either position a boss is in is difficult. If they are the owner of a small business, they have a lot of competition and have to fight the battle of staying afloat in a difficult climate as well as the affect of huge corporations and taxes. If you work for a small business, understand the pressure that your boss is under.
If you work for a huge corporation, then your boss most certainly has a lot of pressure (and responcibility of a LOT of money) hanging over their head. Imagine being put in charge of a branch of a corporation where one mistake could lose you millions. It happens and no boss wants it to happen to them. They’re under extreme pressure to make sure that they keep everyone on the ladder above, as well as below, them happy too.
So, compassion is a must have when dealing with a boss, but you also need to ensure that you are communicating with them in the right way.
What sort of boss do you have? Are they someone who you can be friendly with? Do they like humour and banter or do they require a bit more formality than a group trip to the pub?
For me, I am lucky because my boss at the restaurant I work for is great! She works hard, spends time with the staff, cares about every one of us and is a lot of fun to be around! I respect her in every way as a person and a leader.
When you are with your boss, remember that they have that position for a reason, whether they were employed in it or started their own business, they deserve to be there and so they are WELL WORTH listening to. If they ask you to do something, listen. If they have a problem, listen.
Remember that no boss wants to feel like their staff don’t like them. I work in management and that’s the thing I fear the most of all. Remember that your boss is a human being, so don’t be afraid to ask them if they are okay if they look sad or tell them you’re there for them if they seem like they’ve got a lot on their plate.
SO, compassion, listening, knowing what formality is okay and not okay and remember their humanity.
If you ever feel abused by a boss or seriously neglected, don’t feel you have to respect that kind of behaviour and take action. Abuse, whether physical, verbal or mental, is never okay.

Family

Ah family, a group of people who love each other, care and get on each other’s nerves on a regular basis!
Family is tricky because, while there is quite a standard hirachy, everyone has their own needs for respect. The youngest member of the family should the the bottom of the “Food chain”, but that won’t stop them yelling about the fact they never get listened to.
You grandparents want respect, your parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins and eventually your kids, nephews, neices, grandkids and so on ALL need their respect tanks filled and don’t like it any less than nice and full.
Like with most of these examples, a lot of respect comes down to compassion. The grandparents raised the parents that raised you, so they want respect for that and your understanding that they are, escentially, the reason you’re here!
Siblings, whether older or younger than you, want your respect because you grew up together (or at least grew up one after the other in the same family) and you are peers. You know each other’s best and worst traits, you’ve heard them cry and cheer about stuff and they want to know that you, one of the people who know most about them, respects them, trusts their opinions and decisions and believes in their capabilities.
Most siblings also want support but without you trying to decide stuff for them. Telling your sibling that the guy they like is an idiot won’t usually go down very well. They want you to support them and be there for them without feeing like they can’t make their own decisions or mistakes.
Let them fly as they please, but catch them if they fall.
Non-direct family, such as uncles, aunts, etc should be treated with respect because of what they mean to your immediate family. They are your parent’s siblings, were there with them growing up and are important to them, so you should treat them with respect.
I think the best attitude in general is to be respectful to the people around you who are important to you (and the people important to them). If you value their presence, input and positive impact on your life, then show them the respect they need in return to keep up what they are doing.
I hope you enjoyed this piece and found it helpful. If you have any comments or questions on respect, let share them in the comments below or join us over on Facebook and Twitter. Xx

Ringing In The Resolutions – Making (And Keeping) Your New Year Resolutions

So, Christmas is almost upon us, and that means that 2014 is in its last few days. And what a year it has been! Whether this year has been good or bad, it is coming to an end and that means that it is time to clean the slate and prepare for a new year.

How are we going to make this next year even better than the last? That’s all we really need, right? Improvement makes the world go around, and we have to find the ways in which we are going to improve ourselves and our lives in this next calendar year.
One of the most common ways of attempting change is through the writing of New Year Resolutions, where you resign yourself to a goal that you want to achieve as soon as possible.
In my opinion, there are many flaws with the way resolutions are often approached, and I myself use a slightly different tact which has helped me to achieve more of my goals in the last couple years than ever before.
Attitude

dancing photo

As I firmly believe, attitude is 60% of the work. With a good attitude, 60% of your workload is covered, you’ve got a strong foundation and source of energy in yourself in the healthy and balanced way you think. It’s the same in writing your resolutions – How does your attitude affect your writing???

Paying careful attention to your attitude, and how it comes across in your writing, can be really useful in checking yourself and finding optimal phrasing.
I know how easy it is to write a goal like “Get of a** and actually do some acting” (I believe I actually used that one in the past) but it’s not making it any easier or any more likely to be achieved. Try to find a way of phrasing that can emphasise your determination, energy and passion for the goal (even if you have to play it up as more than it is — Better to over do it than under do it)
So, instead of using the previous phrase before, I might say “I will pursue roles that fascinate me and do my best to be cast in them” which is both realistic and positive.
Timing

diaries

So many resolutions go something like this “Lose 12lb”, “pass driving test”, “Be more happy” or “Quit drinking” All very blunt, all very lifeless, all very ‘off at some point in the future I’m not really sure of’. None of which are very helpful for being an achiever.
The way I write my resolutions is from the prospective on looking back at the end of the coming year.
I begin my resolution with “By the end of 2015, I…” and then follow it with retrospective goals that I wish to have fulfilled by the date I read it later, not some vague time in the future after I have written and forgotten about my resolutions.
For example, “[By the end of 2014, I] want to have been consistently happy” or “[By the end of 2014, I] want to have made mostly decisions that I felt confident and assured in” or “[By the end of 2014, I] Want to have my website up and running”
All of those are goals that I am very proud to say I have acheived. Notice how they aren’t too fixed, they are positively phrases and focus on the retrospective evaluation as a guide, not the “I’m gonna do this later” attitude of the other example.
Keep a diary

diary

This year, I tried an experiment and decided to keep a resolution journal. A diary in which I kept my year’s resolutions and could write journal entries at points where I felt I wanted/needed to document. This idea, even if I didn’t do it an awful lot, went very well and I now have something to look back on as I work through next year’s resolutions.
Another purpose of this journal was to give me a little boost when I needed reminding of WHY I was working towards these goals.
We all have weak times and those days where we just feel like “What’s the point? Why am I doing this again?” and that time is when you need your ‘full self’ to step up and remind you of your mission.
Keeping a detailed record of your journey can help to keep you powering on thought those times where you want to give up, just because the horizon’s a little too far away sometimes.
Remember that it’s your thing

your thing drawing

I know how tempting it is when people ask “So, what are your resolutions this year?” to just spill every detail until you feel like they aren’t even your goals anymore. It’s tough and can really take the steam out of your engine.
Try to think up a short little outline of your goals what doesn’t give up everything, but gives just enough so people are satisfied as well as knowing that it’s your thing, your business and not really THAT open for discussion.
I am always reminded of the phrase “Mind your mind, for it will surely spoil” when I think of telling people my plans. It’s a risk and sometimes it’s best to have an educated and rehearsed response for when times are tricky.
In my whole life, I cannot think of even one occasion where I got caught up in trouble by be careful about my words.
Also remember that you reserve the right to change! maybe later on you DON’T want to convert that attic or you DON’T want to shed that extra KG. Life changes, nothing is constant and your goals, in no way, have to be fixed. You’re allowed to change your mind.
Believe in yourself

happy hedgehog

This is often the hardest step for people because, sadly, in modern society is very common for people to be subconsciously trained to feel bad for wanting something or believing they are capable of what they want or being better than they are supposed to think they are. Society teaches us that it is bad to be selfish, bad to want and terrible to have the cheek to go after something purely because we want it.
Well, I have news for you! Life’s too short to put up with that bovine waste for one minute, let alone your whole life.
Do you know what I believe? I believe that we are all here for only a certain time. Whether we live just one life, many lives or have an afterlife awaiting us. Our time in the here and now is precious and we owe it to ourselves, our loved ones and those beautiful results of fate, luck and serendipity that got us here today! We are lucky and we are alive right now – so we can achieve.
I believe that you can do it I believe that there is a power in you to do great things and I just KNOW it’s just down to you to use it.
Check yourself

Now, having goals is all well and good at the start, but the problem is often recalling them. I can tell myself that I’m no longer going to drink energy drinks after 5pm, but the question is whether I will REMEMBER that rule at 5:15 the next day when I’m cracking open a can of Relentless!
Try to come up with some method of regularly reminding yourself of your goals and resolutions so there is less chance of them just slipping from your mind.
Give yourself an incentive

balloons

This also feeds into remembering that it’s your thing, checking yourself and self belief as giving yourself and incentive, whether it be intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, it means that you are on a mission for yourself, you’re striving for something which has some form of physical or emotional reward at the end and that you have a reminder to achieve the goals, especially if the ‘prize’ is something you want a lot.
Next year, I have decided that if I achieve 3/4 of my resolutions, I am going to get myself an iPhone or macbook and if I achieve ALL of them, I’m going to go on a trip somewhere awesome (Maybe America, Japan, Australia or Italy)
Now, believe me, next year’s resolutions aren’t going to be easy – but I’m already hyped up!
Wanting to achieve your goals for the sake of achieving your goals is fantastic, but it does sometimes help to have that little extra motivation that can keep you going when your actual goals are p***ing you off.
Do good

free hugs

They say that doing good by others does good by your soul and I really agree with that. Very little feels better than that moment you realise that you have done something that has made someone feel truly happy or loved.
At the beginning of the year, my sister and best friend went out on Valentine’s Day to spread some love and caring to all, thinking both of those who were happy and those who would be sad. We wanted to do something to really brighten people’s Valentine’s Days and so we decided to do a Free Hugs and Free Balloons stand so we could give people a balloon and a hug
This event was so lovely as so many people were surprised that 1) We weren’t asking for money for the balloons and 2) that young people in the community would think to do such a thing! It wasn’t our first Random Acts of Kindness event (and won’t be our last) and nothing beats seeing that look in people’s eyes where they feel cared for purely because we are both human, with no other obligation or reason than love and humanity.
So, in your resolutions try to think of some ways or set some goals that can help others around you. And make sure you tell those you help “Don’t pay it back, pay it forward”
Good ol’ pen and paper

One nice idea for a resolution is to include with it a letter addressed to yourself at the end of next year, from your present self to talk about the goals, the plans and where you were that will lead to where you end up next year. It can be a great way of seeing how far you have come in the year and could also be a good pick-me-up for those times where failure feels like it’s creeping up on you and you need a good dose of motivation.
So, I hope that this piece has helped you in some ways with the writing and keeping of your resolutions. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please share them in the comments below, on Facebook or Twitter or using the contact form below! Good luck with those resolutions! Xx


All images copyright of original owners, No infringement intended.

Reclaiming your space: Beating messiness

I’ve promised to always be honest on here and, in all painful honesty, I am a messy person. I have a habit of being rather lazy and also to pass up tidying and cleaning in favour of more “productive” jobs. It isn’t good, it isn’t fun and it’s got to change.

I am slowly starting to change this (on my days off work) and I wanted to share my ways of clearing some space.

Ask yourself what you want from your space.
Do you want your space to be a bedroom, an office, a dressing room, a wardrobe, a guest room? begin by asking yourself what kind of room you want it to be and think hard about what features that kind of room has.
Do you want it to have a lot of open space and clear walls? Then maybe you don’t want lots of stuff and shelves all over the walls.

Tough love
This may be the worst part of the whole experience. Where you have to bite the bullet and be painfully honest with yourself about the stuff you need to throw out.
Do you need the big prop sword you never use? Do you need ALL those bottles of perfume you never wear? Is it actually possible that you own too many storage boxes?!
It’s not easy to be 100% straight with yourself at this point, but force yourself through it. Gather up a load of your stuff and put it into two piles, being totally honest. One pile is for stuff you need and actually use, the other is for the charity or junk shop.

Spend a little money
it doesn’t have to be a lot of money, just invest a little into some good cleaning products, the right kind of storage for yourself and maybe a couple DVD folders for the thousands of movies you own.

One of the best things I bought for organising my space was this storage ottoman:

 

It can be folded flat, but when set up (and with some stuff inside) it also makes a fantastic seat! When I got it, I filled it with stuff and jumped on top of it to see if it would break and (while I WOULD NOT RECOMMENT doing this) it didn’t give way!

Make a list
For messy folks like me, we sometimes need a challenge to make sure we stick to our guns. Maybe keep a list of jobs you have to do, or keep a record of the jobs you to each day.
I own a little red notebook called my ‘task book’ in which I write all the jobs I did that day and how much money I earned that day.

Don’t get mad, get even
You wanted this. You want a tidy room/house and it’ll be worth it in the end. Chores and cleaning can be a pain, but suck it up and make your room perfect, one step at a time.

Slaying the beast
The biggest challenge we’ll face in this process is most likely the “sentimental monster” that creeps up behind you as you look at that Cow Keyring in your hand and whispers “That was an awesome day when you bought that. If you throw that away, you throw the memories away with it”
This voice is a liar and sentimentality should, one, be saved for REALLY special memories, and shouldn’t be on stuff like a cow keyring, unless it holds a LOT of emotional value to you.

Stay on top of it
Like with any war, it’s not just about the one battle. You have to keep winning each battle, and that means staying on top of things and not winning one and then just stepping down. If you do that, your space will go back to just as bad as before. Control your space, keep your stuff in check and don’t just let it slide.

To get my idea, here are a list of Keepers Vs Leavers

Staying                                                                                Going

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This keyring has very strong personal value    VS.        A cow keyring that won’t actually clip

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A box I made myself by hand                               VS.  Some random jewellery boxes I collected

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A scarf my best friend bought in Italy                VS.  A random brown square I knitted

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My favourite perfumes                                            VS. Perfumes I never use (Check out that dust!)

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My precious Batman and Maneki Neko             VS.    Some random “cool looking” bottles

I’m staying true to my word and the “Goers” are going in the recycling or the charity shop.

Good luck! X

Lack of performance: What’s blocking you?  

So that title wasn’t intended to sound so sexual. Anyway, it’s there now!  But, that is genuinely the topic of today’s post: What areas of your life are you failing to perform in and why? (That still sounds so dirty….)

key4I suppose the title could have been ‘how to succeed’ or ‘how to get everything you want in life’, but the purpose of this isn’t to just hand you advice for what to do to get what you want, but to also teach you what to look out for so you know when you aren’t quite on track. Otherwise it would be like giving you a fishing rod when you’re at a river with no fish – pointless and not very helpful.

Hopefully this information will help you to avoid reaching standstills in your life that consume your time and waste your precious energy. This is all stuff that I am currently having to do in my life and so we are all in this together. And remember that there is no shame in your life being a little out of order. There was never an instruction manual for life, so there’s no need for you to feel bad for not having it all worked out.

 

Together, we can work out what’s in our way and collectively work together to break those blocks like we’re an 80s gamer!

 

1. Begin first by having a think about what it is that you want. Make a list and try to be as specific and clear as you can be. Write down as much as you can about that particular subject or area, everything about it that you want to do or learn.

Clearly knowing what you want helps you to lock onto the paths to attaining or achieving it by putting into words that your problem-solving mind is best at working out.

 

2. Look at other people succeeding in that area. Now, don’t look at them and think “Why are they so great, while I suck?!” as that will just set you back. Look at what they do which helps them succeed. What habits do they have? Are there any special behaviours they have that help them get what they want?

If you can, try to talk to these people so you can get first-hand advice from the people in the positions you want to be in. Some people may not necessarily want to help someone to become successful in the same area as them (some people feel easily threatened) so ask around until you find someone willing to honestly share what they know – there’ll be someone!

 

3. Take a day or two to examine yourself. Don’t do anything any differently to usual, except pay attention to what you are doing and take note.

What are you doing when you should be doing ‘X’? What side-tracks you? Are there any blatant causes of distraction or procrastination?

Don’t do anything at this point to ‘fix’ it. Just observe and take note.

 

4. What are the biggest blocks? Tiredness? Work? Absentmindedness? Socialising? The internet? Commitments?

Look at all the things that stop you or steer you off course for your goals?

 

5 How do these affect your progress? Currently, my bedroom is an absolute mess. There are boxes everywhere, laundry on the floor, bags of clothes I keep forgetting to donate, half finished organising jobs to do and too much random garbage surrounding me. That means that I cannot sit down at my desk (or even see my desk) to do any work. Thus I have to work in a different room where there are other sounds to distract me, I’m not in my office space and I feel more idle than I would if I had my office space (and bedroom) in a tidy manner.

I also want to film Youtube videos for Learn With Amy, but my bedroom is waaaay to messy to film in.

I also work a LOT, so that means I am out of the house most of the day and come home late at night. After a long day at work, I am too tired to tidy, so that is left until my days off, which means they can’t be spent working—it’s a vicious cycle!

Be honest with yourself about your progress is being affected. Don’t shy away from admitting it – embrace it and turn it around on itself!

 

6. Think about simple and realistic ways that you can solve your problem. Try to avoid intricate and detailed MacGyver solutions. Just stay simple and find out what you need to do. You may even need to try a few solutions before you find the right one(s) for you.

For example, tomorrow I am going to give myself the morning, and not a minute past 12, to get my room and office space sorted and ready for me to work so that I can use all of the rest of my day to get my work done.

 

7. Remember why you are here. Don’t let yourself forget your goal. The worst thing is when you forget that you are supposed to be focusing on a goal and you just trail off. That’s when the work gets forgotten and how you end up staring at your screen like ‘How did I get here?!’

Stay sharp and keep your eye on the prize!

 

8. Be strict but fair. Like a good leader, be understanding and kind to yourself, but don’t coddle yourself.

In life, we don’t get the luxury of being lead, so we have to lead ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need leadership skills. You can’t just treat yourself badly and expect good results. Respect breeds respect, especially with the self!

 

9. It’s okay to ask for help. Asking for help can be so powerful. It can instantly unlock key answers that you didn’t know were right there, simply by putting out that request for help.

Whether you are asking help from a friend, a co-worker, someone in the industry of your choice, a family member, me, a teacher or even just the universe, asking for help very clearly says “I could use a hand here” and can be exactly the key to getting you rolling again.

What pursuits have you felt blocked in recently? Let us know in the comments, or send me a message using the message box below, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. X

 

Cure your cold/flu

It is now the worst time of year for cold and flu. Thousands and thousands of people are suffering from the viruses that do the rounds every year—and it’s never fun…

As well as knowing a LOT of people sick with colds and flu, I also happened to get struck down with it too for a few days. But, being a busy lady with a lot of stuff to get on with, I had to get it beat FAST!

Here are some tips I have learnt for helping to kick your cold quickly!

Rest

flu maskNow, I didn’t have a lot of time for resting, but I did my best to make sure that the time I spent resting was efficient and comfortable.

Make sure you are warm enough, this will prevent your symptoms worsening by getting chilled. You don’t need to keep run up your gas bill by doing this – instead you can use a fluffy blanket, a hot water bottle, a microwaveable wheat heat pack or a disposable hot pack.

(Please take care when using any of these products. Don’t get hurt)

My favourite way to sleep when ill is curled around a hot wheat pack while wrapped in a warm and soft blanket.

Try to make sure that the room you are sleeping in is as dark and quiet as you can possible make it. Unnecessary noise and light will disturb your sleep and not help your condition.

 

Pace yourself

Regardless of how much work you have to do, try to go easy on yourself. Don’t rush where you can afford to take it carefully and try not to overwork yourself. That business is only going to slow you down more and extend your recovery time.

Try to go that little easier and it’ll go a long way.

Try to find a couple minutes every so often just let yourself slow down, take a breather, stop moving so fast and just find your feet.

 

Caffeine

I’m not really comfortable with RECOMMENDING caffeine to anyone, but I personally find taking the caffeine pills ‘Pro Plus’ really help me feel better, as well as boosting my energy enough to make it through work.

If you do decide you use caffeine, please only do so if safe for yourself and always in moderation.

 

Hot drinks

Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, green tea, jasmine tea – all of them are magic for me when fighting a cold. I don’t drink a lot of hot drinks from day-to-day, but I can’t get enough of them when battling a bug.

As well as keeping you warm, hot drinks are also so soothing and are fantastic relief for blocked noses, sore throats and headaches.

 

Stay Hydrated

Keeping yourself hydrated is perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give you. Hydration is so important for detoxing and helping to bring you immune system back to scratch.

I recommend keeping a bottle of water handy at all times so you always have a quick source of water so you aren’t tempted to go without.

Echinacea

Echinacea might seem like one of those hokey pokey cures that your grandma might insist upon, but I’ve personally found that is does actually help.

A couple of these a day seem to help keep my head clear and keep me on the path to recovery. Whether they work scientifically or just mentally, I’m fine as long as I’m not staying sick!

I hope you guys are all well as the seasons turn. If you have had the misfortune of catching a cold or flu, I hope you’re back feeling your normal self very soon!

If you guys have any suggestions, comments or questions, send me a message or a comment below!

Take care and see you later. X

 

All of these are just gathered through my own personal experience. They are purely guidelines. Please take care and use your own sense when following these steps.

Over Fire and Glass– Fear, danger and learning what we don’t need

I recently took a trip down to London Ealing for training to work as a volunteer at the London Screenwriters’ Festival.

Initially I assumed that the training day would involve just meeting the others involved, assigning lists, learning times, names and titles, but it was in fact nothing like that.

The training day, as it turned out, wasn’t training to know exactly what we will need for the festival, but it was in fact training to BE exactly what we will need for the festival.

Chris Jones, our leader and Creative Director of the whole event, lead us in becoming the best team and individuals possible—as much for our personal gain as for that of the festival.

Chris shared with us the truths about life that are so easily overlooked, breaking myths about looking good, fear and the ‘stories’ we all carry with us.

What do we fear? Attention, social interaction, failure, loss, danger, hurt, success, disappointment, the unknown, snakes, spiders, bananas, ghosts—you name it!

But what in this life do we really have to be afraid of? Physical danger is perhaps the only major fear that should be taken seriously – it is what stops us walking in front of cars, attempting to cuddle crocodiles and standing in fire.

But we discovered that, if you give up your limitations (including your negative beliefs, your pointless fears and your self-doubt), you really can do a lot. You can even walk on fire!

If you can walk across fire and not get hurt or face your fears down and walk across broken glass, then what can’t you do?

It was those experiences that really put my thoughts into perspective.

I have wasted time afraid of so many things when, it turns out, I could even face and survive the fears of things that COULD hurt me.

I walked barefoot over glass and fire… so why was I afraid of pursing my goals/asking for that opportunity/joining in/having fun?

 

During the course of that training day we also realised the incredible strength of vulnerability. We openly and honestly told each other the things we wanted, the things we feared and shared, as a team, our stories and experiences that had shaped us into who we are.

It was a beautiful, touching and eye-opening experience to watch as, with each person’s ‘confession’, we grew more in awe of the courage and diversity that surrounded us. I was blown away to see the souls of the people who minutes earlier had been strangers I was too shy to talk to, and I was so grateful that they embraced me just the same when it came to my turn to speak.

I wish that I could share and replicate the feeling of that day for you all. What Chris shared with us was the gift of ourselves. He opened our eyes to the truth that was in us all along.

We are all good enough.

We are all strong enough.

We will not be unloved for being ourselves.

There is no danger in being human.

There is strength in weakness.

We can do anything—including walking on fire!

 

I don’t want to discuss too much about the day, but I want to share with you all a promise I made while I was there.

I promised to encourage everyone around me in the same ways that I was encouraged that day. To look people in the eye, honestly and openly and to not let that imagined fear taint the human interactions I will have.

And that promise is extended to all of my readers here. That’s why I run this site. I wanted to make a place where I could share my growth and help other people to grow and learn with me.

So let’s keep learning, keep growing and keep giving it our all!

I’ll share more about the stuff I learnt in smaller posts over the next days and weeks. Catch you later Xx

My first Korean restaurant experience!


littlek1web
Restaurant: Little Korea

Location: London’s China Town

Rating: **

Wow! So…. Not a great start to my first ever restaurant review!

Okay, so I ate at Little Korea while on a recent trip to good ol’ London. I went in super excited, ready to discover a new place, eat some good food and speak some Korean. Everything was looking good to begin with… Then things went down hill.

I must say now – the food was just fine. Everything tasted spot on, prices were very reasonable for central London and I didn’t get food poisoning (Always a delight). The only thing that soured things was the service.

Now, I am an understanding lady, I’m a waitress myself and I occasionally know what it feels like not to want to go to work and face a lot of people… but the staff at this place were honestly the rudest that I’ve ever met.

As well as outright ignoring people and being generally sharp toned and careless, when not doing anything, the staff would glare at the customers and try to do their best to rush them out of the place. The service was way too hasty for such a small place (which by the looks of it seats less than 30 people anyway) and they kept pestering customers to finish their meals, despite there still being plenty of free tables and no real demand for the space. They were so rushing, that they actually tried clearing plates that customers were still eating from!

I know people go out to eat for the food, but a big part of it is also the experience and it can really ruin it to be intimidated by rude and careless staff.

I’d eaten breakfast quite late, so all I ordered was seaweed soup (미역국), kimchii (김치) and rice (밥). The food itself was just fine and I couldn’t fault it and in total the whole lot (soup, kimchi, rice and 1 coke) only came to about £11.30 (including the automatic 10% service charge) so it was a very cheap lunch.

I would have been so happy if the service quality had matched the food (which would’ve won an easy 4*) and I would love to want to go back there, but I think the way the staff were towards me and the other customers ensures that, regardless of how good and cheap the food is, I won’t be going back there again.

I’m sorry to say that Little Korea was a big disappointment!