46/52: Podcasts I listen to

I have been into podcasts lately at work while doing mindless data stuff, the podcasts I mostly listen to are mainly about true crime, cults, conspiracy and occasional interviews. Here are the 3 I am listening:

pod1

 

Unobscured – Currently into this podcast about the Salem witch trials, it goes into a lot of details about what happened during those years. I won’t go into much details but if you are bored or are interested in it, give this a listen. Its now on episode 6 and its getting more intriguing.

 

 

 

 

pod2

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know – From how stuff works, this podcast delve into anything that you might be interested in modern times, from cult, UFOs to the voter fraud. It is informative with factual opinions, I got into it while looking up Elisa Lam incident, the girl who was found dead in the water tank while travelling solo across California. It goes on how it could have happened, who was involved and the CCTV footage found. You might be able to gain more insights on what happened and come to your own conclusions if you can.

 

 

 

pod3

 

The Generation Why – One of the podcast by Wondery, if you are into true crime then this is the one you’ll need to get into. It started in 2012 so there are loads to catch up to, they go into details of the crime, how it unfolded and any conspiracies and mysteries behind it.

43/52: Book Review – Self Help Books

I have lately been into self help books, so here are two of them that I learned something to use everyday.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

book1

This was recommended to me by my friend, Mika and its a guide to be fully present, tuning out the past and present and being at inner peace with yourself. The process of being fully present is an ongoing learning experience as our brain is wired nowadays to think ahead or self reflect on the past. I am an over thinker by nature and tuning out those unnecessary thoughts are hard but I try to get about 30 minutes everyday to be fully present. There are tips in the book on how to do it, how to be fully present in body and mind and so far my practice sometimes can be fulfilling and other times the mind takes over and it wanders to day dreaming but as the book states, you need to control the mind and not the other way round and this takes time. I can’t say it has fully transformed my life as some reviews on this book have said but when you realise that your time is limited, being present and enjoying things as it comes by is the most fulfilling way to live. Give the book a read if you are feeling incomplete, coz right now at this very moment, everybody out there can feel complete and at peace.

The Art of Happiness by His Holiness Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler

book2

I read this after the Power of Now and they both complement each other as this book generally talks about how to be happy and being present is one of them.  The book is a conversation between Howard and His Holiness, and they discuss variety of topics ranging from the source of happiness, facing suffering and overcoming obstacles. The lesson I learned from this book was the patience and tolerance we need to generate with other beings as well as with yourself. Self love is important so that you can convey it to others. It does go on to more of a Buddhism way of life but I think people can put that into their own spiritual practice whether you are religious or not.

Let me know if you have read any of above books or if you have any to recommend, I currently am looking for a Tao book but have yet to get it.

10/52: 3 Sites I Use to Learn Online

Entering the workplace doesn’t mean that you stop learning. Everyday is a learning experience but as time goes by, the thing you do everyday becomes second nature and you have to challenge yourself with new skills. I have been using quite a few sites in recent years to learn something new for work or for personal use and most of them are free (you have to pay for the certificate). Here are the three sites I use regularly, I’ll do a pro(o) and con(x) for each, let me know if you have used them or use something else as its great to know.

A little career background about me, I work in e-commerce so I mostly look for digital or retail skills that I can use at work but I do veer towards something personal like learning about nutrition or languages. My advice is to learn something you have an interest because all this online course have to be done on your own time and if you have no passion for it, then you are unlikely to continue it.

Future Learn

10_1

This is a great site to learn from top universities and specialist organisation, there are about 250 courses to choose from loads of categories such as business & management, digital, language, social, arts, history and so on.

(o) They have different courses to suit anyone whether you are improving your skills or learning a new one.
(o) Courses are given through videos or articles and its a community based learning, so you can comment and get feedback from other people learning with you or course mentor.
(o) Note that the courses have specified start date but you can choose to start right away or register for later ones – they will send you an email reminder to say that your course is starting
(o) I have only used this to learn certain courses but there are programs where you can complete a set of courses but this does cost a fair amount, you can even get a degree but please research this.
(o) You can track your progress week by week as seen below for my managing the money course.

10_2

(x) Some courses are available for limited time only so you should time manage properly if you want to learn everything on it
(x) It is free but you do have to pay for the test to get an online certificate (usually about £42). Certificates are good as you can show that you are learning consistently to potential employers- this can be added to your LinkedIn profile but you can forgo this if you are on a tight budget.
(x) To earn a certificate, you have to get about 70% or above on all the tests – the test is fairly easy if you go through the lessons thoroughly.

Alison

10_3
Alison is similar to FutureLearn but there are a lot of courses offered which you can get an Alison diploma or a certificate.

(o) There are plenty of courses to choose from, it all depends on what you want to learn.
(o) All the courses are self-paced so you can learn at your own time, there is progress tracking.

10_4
(x) As with most learning sites, you do have to pay for the certificate after you complete a course and this would vary depending on the course or the certificate you choose. Please go to the pricing here.
(x) There are ads dotted around the website, which some might find it annoying but its how the site can earn revenue, you can also pay to have it removed but the ads are not much of a hindrance.

Google Digital Academy

10_6
Google Digital Academy is a great place to learn about how things work online- there are loads of topic to learn from on how to use google analytics to creating an online strategy. I have only used it to learn Google Analytics for work but I am currently working towards gaining a certificate – so will update this on how it goes.

(o) I love the interface, all the topics are presented through videos.
(o) You can track your progress visually and there are quizzes throughout to test your knowledge.

10_7

Along with these sites, there are plenty of sites where you can subscribe for a fixed monthly amount such as udemy, lynda or on LinkedIn. Some people would prefer to pay coz this would give them the drive to keep on learning but overall, you should know that you are doing this for yourself and learning should be fun.