Life is all about making the right decision at the right time


Quote 'distance between dreams and reality is called actionHello Folks, my name is M.Usman Aqeel, a Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), SAP Financials Associate Certified, and recently enrolled on the MSc in Professional Accountancy programme with the University of London. I am currently working in the construction industry as an Asst. Finance Manager with a group of companies in Dubai, UAE.

Before enrolling on the MSc programme, I discussed this with my seniors and colleagues, and some of my colleagues were concerned that I would not gain any immediate benefits from studying this programme, but others were encouraging. And I thought what will I lose if I started? I had nothing in my mind, and thank GOD I took this decision and got the opportunity to pursue my masters from one of the world’s top universities. I met with amazing people from different parts of the world on this platform where we share different ideas and work as a team. I also got the opportunity to connect with professionals in my field with different schools of thought.

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How I Plan to Have a Productive Year


Three R's revisit, recover, renewHere are my three Rs for 2017: revisit, recover and renew; created so that a systematic approach would help me in meeting my resolutions for 2017.

Another year has passed, and whether 2016 was a productive year or not, (what has passed is the past) I am ready to leave it where it is. However, there is a thin line between forward-looking and denial of past mistakes: the forgiving and understanding self in us could easily be the excessively lenient and doting self, who will readily take a look-over instead of examining the root cause of our unproductivity. The latter continues to encourage us to sit on tasks, therefore hindering us from completing at least one percent more work than the year before. Another year would go by, with nothing done.

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Choose your Own Adventure: formative assessment


Book Cover for 'Choose your own adventure booksI remember having one of those books of Choose your Own Adventure when I was a little girl. If you also like reading, these books offered an exciting new possibility over the universe of just one closed end. As I was uploading the formative assessment essays of Renaissance and Restoration, it just occurred to me that formative assessments are a bit like these books. As the date for uploading essays for level 4 draws near, I thought I might share with you my thoughts and try to give you an insight in this crucial process of our studies.

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Film Industry: A profitable industry or another political institution?


 Film camera“Do I have to be cruel to be kind?” Shakespeare had once written in Hamlet. Now, time has passed and things have changed. People are entertained by almost the same things as in the past. Theatre gave way to the movie industry and cinemas are now one of the most common ways to escape from the hustle and bustle of modern times. What is more fun than watching people like you, living a completely different life than yours and maybe having achieved what you want while you still haven’t? Have we ever thought of what is happening in the shadows? Let’s try to investigate some of the key economic and political goals of movies.

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The Personal Growth Model


List of Personal growth attributesBy my definition, personal growth describes the process after which higher personal life quality has been reached. In economic theory, we assume that individuals behave in such a way as to maximize their own utility. By this, society benefits as common wealth enhances. Common wealth is measured as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But the “World Happiness Index”, a survey measuring peoples happiness and its sources, clearly indicates that GDP is not the only factor that matters to people.

The freedom to take actions to evolve personally is one of those factors. You might have read my previous article “How I plan two full-time degrees at once”. The incentive for studying two degrees was personal development by knowledge and a rather unusual study experience. And it is also the reason for most of you, whether you want a new study experience, to broaden your horizons or advance your career while having a full-time commitment to your family. In the following, I will establish some underlying principles which affect personal growth.

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How exercise benefits cognitive ability


Woman running‘No pain, no gain’ a few of my friends at the gym tell me. Some people like to train with weights, others with gymnastic machines, while others are simply training with aerobic exercises. But they all want to feel healthier and definitely look better after some months of exercising. We all know some of the benefits exercise can provide us. One is the significant reduction of the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes and so on. Exercise can also reduce insulin resistance and some researchers have shown that regular exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Are You a Superhuman Studying for a Degree?


Image of a man dressed in a capeI felt like a superhuman. I could be in multiple places at one time, engaged in various activities, and converse with more than one person at the same time. I felt that I was invincible.

Wouldn’t this make me the smartest person? Getting distinctions for my exams shouldn’t be difficult, right? Well, not quite. Recently, I noticed some significant changes in me. I had difficulty sustaining attention. When being spoken to, I often found my mind drifting away. You could be telling me about an unpleasant episode you had at work, with your neighbour or with your family, all in the hope that I, the listener, could empathise with you. Alas, I had a problem even remembering your antagonist’s name, much less the way he had caused you to be so upset.

This, without a doubt, was utterly disappointing. I wasn’t a superhuman after all.

It is no big secret what this “thing” is. I am quite sure that every one of you owns at least one, two, probably more.

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A desk of one’s own


Desk with computer and books on topI am one of those people sensitive to the amount of chaos around. If things are tidy and clean I find myself in good humor, but if things get out of hand, I turn into a grumpy, muttering Grinch. I know life can be messy: clothes running around, wrestling my dear dog into taking a bath, guests coming to visit, the garden getting out of hand now that all the leaves are off the trees… You tell me. However, I try not to let Chaos desecrate my haven of mental peace: my desk.

Having my own desk with an organized system is one of my non-negotiable needs. This space allows me to switch on to “study time”. When I sit there, my goal is to get in a mindset of focused mental activity, and knowing myself, if there are things scattered around I will not be able to concentrate on the task. Even if I am not distracted by the mess itself, my mind wanders more easily to issues unrelated to my studies.

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Legal Reasoning: Learning to Think Like a Lawyer


Image showing blackboard with writing saying 'learn to think'Attending law school has been in the back of my mind for quite some time. Now that I am a law student, every time I sit down to study I tend to react like someone opening a surprise gift from a loved one. It is a wonderful feeling. It helps me keep track of my goals and how I want to use this education. One of my chief goals is learning to think like a lawyer.

I work in nonprofit management with an international NGO.  It’s a good match for me. After years of trying I caught on that I really don’t have a corporate soul, so to speak. But I do have a somewhat corporate way of thinking, meaning I like a methodical way of approaching issues and having a plan. It helps to approach things like a lawyer, to apply this particular structure to my critical thinking process.

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Returning to study at 24 and 7 tips that are helping me cope


booksI am excited. I have always wanted to learn creative writing. The English programme has a complete course on creative writing; I can learn how to write poetry, prose and stage plays. The reading list has Antigone, Waiting for Godot and The Odyssey (which I tried reading when I was younger, but gave up after a few pages). I have fellow students from China, Spain and Guyana. It was thrilling to meet them on the VLE and WhatsApp.

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