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Stay Within the Silence Space (2012.W21)

Bucket Challenge: Spend a day in Silence or In the Silence Space You Have Within
(Ending Sunday 27th May 2012)

What is the Space Within? 

The Space Within is the space where you, your physical body and your thoughts becoming aware of and embracing each other. It’s in this space where allowing is taking place, allowing things, objects, events and the understanding of yourself, physically or mentally, just the way they are. It’s the space of letting go of ego, judgments and thoughts, voluntary or involuntary.

Let me explain this way: when an incident happens (for example: a +-35 years old prostitute takes a +-10 years old young girl along while trying to attract business on the road), the incident itself is neutral and as it is (what we be seeing without thoughts). However we, with a pair of tinted glasses (tinted by background, religious beliefs, personal experiences or beliefs, ethics…etc), we have different views than what we actually see (i.e. she is so shameless, she is polluting younger girls, she supposes to protect her …), we have different thoughts and judgments appearing in our brain (i.e. how could she does that.., how she ends up like this …). These thoughts bring emotions to us (i.e. may be anger, disappointed, feeling disgraceful, sad, empathetic …) and perhaps these thoughts also re-enforce your beliefs or actions (once again).

The pattern here is that (1) an incident happens –> (2) We SEE what we want or choose to see —> (3) We FEEL what we think we are feeling or want to feel —> (4) We CONCLUDE what we believe or want to believe, and continue the looping, merely guided by our subconscious mind (whatever suits us, believe or not). What the Space is referring to is that after we have becoming aware of our own pattern —> (1) —> (2) —> (3),

we become aware of our own patterns and take a step back; take the time to see the incident as it is, watch our own thoughts and judgments made instantly, flying in and out of our mind; just allowing the thought and judgment as it is, accept as it is, allowing this moments for – the incident, what you see, what you think and for you alone. This is then the moment the Space arises.

This new Space within is a stillness, a silence, a pause, a chance, an opening to new vision and an opportunity to make new decision (if you want to break your own patterns); it’s an awakening call to see other possibilities and alternatives available out there; it’s a disguised second chance!

From there, the (4) mentioned above will no longer be the same each single time. Because we will be heading into the Space with one question, but leaving the space with many solutions to choose from! :)

Let’s work together to find and explore this Silence Space within us!

Challenge: Spend a day in Silence or In the Silence Space You Have Within
Find the Space Within and spend time with your inner self (this doesn’t mean you stop doing everything; it’s more doing daily things with the awareness of what you, your body and your mind are doing!)

Extra Challenge:

Take 1 or 2 incidents in your life, take them to this space within and enjoy looking at them.

Goals:

To see own patterns, to create this space within, to learn to accept things as it is, to practice and to enjoy the space :)
Time required: 8 hours
Energy level: Medium to High
Preparation: (a) Try limit talking or make contacts with others. It’s a time spent with yourself;(b) Be aware of your own thoughts patterns and actions and allowing this SPACE to come in.

This post is inspired by the book “The Journey into Yourself” by Eckhart Tolle (the author of “Power of NOW“). In his book, there are more examples and insights into the relationship between oneself and NOW and this SPACE allowed for solutions, creativity, inspiration and stillness (peace) to appear.

Here you may find my book review on: The Journey into Yourself (to be published this week).

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Weekly

 

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Giving 7 Gifts Away (2012.W20)

Bucket Challenge: Give away 1 gift each day for 7 consecutive days
(Ending Sunday 20th May 2012)

Giving is a virtue; giving generously is a bonus.

To be able to give is a blessing; be able to give generously is an abundance of the heart!

Receiving is a form of giving; giving the opportunity to the giver and allowing ourselves to be humble (that we need other’s help).

If you have not yet opened your heart to GIVE or RECEIVE, this post brings the 1st GIFT to open your heart, if you let us!

People nowadays have more possessions than people 10 or 20 years ago and yet give or share with others much less than 10 or 20 years ago. People nowadays earn much more in monetary terms and yet hold tighter of what they have … Isn’t this contradicting?

For some people, GIVING is natural and it’s not a difficult act. However for some people, they just don’t give, let along giving to total strangers. When you ask them, it’s either the act of giving just never appears in their mind or the act is not a part of their habits, or simply they just don’t feel or want to give.

Everyone takes RECEIVING differently. Some do not really like it, their ego see it as they are being pity on. Some are very fond of it as they take advantages of others via receiving from them. And some see it as the opportunities to connect and sustain the two ways interactions, thus the relationship.

With GIVING or RECEIVING, the action is not merely a DO, but a sincere GIVING or RECEIVING involves our hearts, genuine caring, open mind and careful execution. So both the giver and the receiver are content and fulfilled in the process. They both experience what they want to experience and will promote this GIVING and RECEIVING further with people around them. There was a movie, Pay It Forward also promoting similar concept! Have a look in YouTube video :)

So, our challenge for this week is to GIVE and to RECEIVE with your heart! It’s not so much about giving the tangibles, i.e. money, car, clothes, books away to others, but more about to offer what you have that are intangibles, the elements that make up the YOU today, i.e. your kindness, wisdom, helpful hands…etc. And as to RECEIVE, our challenge is to be aware of how open we are to receive from others and how we receive from others.

Start with giving a gift after you have read this post and experience yourself the feeling of GIVING!

Our first gift to give away is this POST to our readers :) Hope this 7 days gifting and receiving experience impacts and influences your life! Come join us!

Challenge: Give away 1 gift each day for consecutive 7 days!
Share your abundance with others

Extra Challenge:

Increase to 14 days!

Goals:

To experience via giving, how life around us may be changed ~ (and notice how valuable you are!)
Time required: x hour(s) each day for 7 days (depending on what you offer to others)
Energy level: Medium to High
Preparation: (a) Set your mind to give without expecting any returns;(b) Focus more on the intangibles (i.e. help, advice, words of comforts, actions) that you may offer to others than the tangibles (i.e. money, food…etc).

This post is inspired by the book “29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life” by Cami Walker.

Here you may find my book review on: 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life.

* Encourage and support us by sharing this post with your friends or clicking “LIKE” if you like our post:)

Don’t forget to share with us your experiences and how your life has changed because of the challenge!!

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Weekly

 

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Perito Moreno Glacier Walking 4 Hours!

BIG ICE: 4 hours hiking tour on Glacier Perito Moreno (see the red circle in the map below)

Perito Moreno Walk

The Perito Moreno Glacier is a glacier located in the Los glaciers National Park in the south west of Santa Cruz province, Argentina; and is one of the most important tourist attractions in the Argentine Patagonia. It is one of only three Patagonian glaciers with 5 kilometers wide, with an average height of 74 meters (+-20 floors building) above the surface of the water of Lake Argentino (in Argentina) and a total ice depth of 170 meters (+-55 floors). It’s a 250 km2 ice formation and one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field located in the Andes system shared with Chile…” ~ information extracted from Wikipedia.

During our 4D3N trip to Patagonia, lodging at nearby town, El Calafate (about +1 hour car drive from Glacier Perito Moreno), we joined a day trip BIG ICE which requiring us walking 4 hours on the glacier. Even though the tour will provide crampons to us, I was still a little concerned due to the physical requirements and my own condition. On the contrary, Loic was ready, very excited and eager about the walk.

The red circle in the map on the right is where we walked. The gradient was about +300m above sea level and the walk was intensive for the first 1 hour uphill, then the rest were flat and down hill. The tricky part was walking with the crampons; this required a bit techniques!

(Up hill – place feet like an open V, to avoid slide down; down hill – knee slightly bend, body leans backwards and step really hard into the ice, so the crampons will grab into the ice…)

This was an experience where I’d say my Mind Power Dictates Physical Strength; few times when I faced fear, fatigue and out of breath, my body signaled it would collapse soon if I don’t take a break. My mind kept on telling myself cannot stop now, just walk a bit more, just a step more and more…. and finally I completed the walk. Not to mention the recovery process straight after returning to the hotel… lots of pain on the knees and soreness on the legs …

Worth it? YES! TOTALLY!
First time seeing glacier and walking on it; it was absolutely amazing!! (see the below pictures)

Will I do it again? PERHAPS … (heard moon light walk is nice and romantic …)

Below photos were taken during the walk:

Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk Eagal
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk Guide
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk
Perito Moreno Walk End

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Weekly

 

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Mind Power dictates Physical Strength!(2012.W16)

Bucket Challenge: Mind Power dictates Physical Strength!
(Ending Sunday 20th May 2012 – Catch up post for W16)

Ever have the moments of facing fear, physical difficulties and fatigue, and you are so out of breath, your body starts to signal collapse and all you can think of is having a break?? And your mind is keeping on saying, “don’t stop, you cannot stop now, just walk a bit more, just a step more and almost there…”. Your hands, legs and body continue forward like an invincible robot, because your mind commands so; all of a sudden, you feel you are out of your body, this is not your body anymore…

This is the trans, the transition where your physical body is not controlled by you, but instead by your mind power. It’s like the mind has pre-set your body to achieve certain goals (in this case, to finish the 4 hours walk) and despite all the fatigue, out of breath experienced and in the head conversations, thoughts to quit and stop, the body just will not fret, because the body is programmed to ignore all any others, but to reach the goals (to finish the walk)!

” Mind Power is directing your thoughts toward a desired outcome. Put simply, what you focus on you attract. “ By J. Kehoe, Mind Power Basics.

The week is to challenge ourselves to explore and exercise our mind power. If you are not familiar about the ‘mind power’, google it and read up about it (which I have started searching while preparing this post and still learning and checking out). Just give it a try! If you are exercising mind power and have some stories to share, please share with us in the comment section. It’s an pretty abstract subject and it’s an experience you will truly know and accept only when you have experienced it yourself.

Are you ready to explore and exercise your mind power with us this week?

Challenge: Mind Power dictates Physical Strength!
Set a goal, challenge and go beyond what you think your physical ability can achieve.

Extra Challenge:

Goals:

Aware of your mind power, use and exercise your mind power!!
Time required: 1-hour, 1-night or 1-day
Energy level: Medium to High
Preparation: Brain storm on your physical limitation and prepare yourself to go beyond (ask others’ help if needed).

Take few minutes to enjoy the below video (music and graphics):

Some readings on Mind Power:

Mind Power

Subconscious Mind Power

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Weekly

 

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Writing Your Thoughts Out (2012.W19)

Bucket Challenge: Start Sharing Your Thoughts via Writing!
(Ending Sunday 13th May 2012)

This week is the first week back after our long working and travelling 5 weeks in Argentina! We have lots to share and lots to catch up, especially our weekly challenges!! For us, our this week challenge is to (a) catch up the missing three challenges in the past weeks, W16, W17, W18 and (b) publish at least 4 posts sharing our trips in Argentina! Whhooo….

And as for your challenge this week -> share your thoughts via writing!!

If you are already a blogger, like us, set yourself a daring target which exceeds all the targets you had before, i.e. write and publish more posts than you had before within a week or set up another blog, website and share more of your thoughts or hobbies.

If you don’t have a blog, why not visit a couple of blogs with topics that you are interested and share your view about what other people said? Or send your shared thoughts as a guest post? Or even more daring, start your own blog this week!! With the help of Word Press, setting up a blog has becoming lots easier nowadays!!

The main purpose of this week challenge is about letting your voice heard!! No matter if you are an open, confident in sharing own thoughts type of person and when you start talking, everyone listens; or in the contrary, you are a shy, slower to open up type and always waiting for someone to give you the chance to speak up; it is NOW that you give yourself the opportunity to share, to speak up by writing your thoughts out TO THE WORLD!!

I am already in actions as you may see in the picture above! Come join us!

Challenge: Sharing Your Thoughts via Writing!
Share your experiences and thoughts with the world.

Extra Challenge:

You tell us…

Goals:

Let your voice heard!!
Time required: 1-hour, 1-night or 1-day
Energy level: Medium to High
Preparation: Set yourself some time aside + sharing heart!

* Encourage and support us by sharing this post with your friends or clicking “LIKE” if you like our post:)

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Weekly

 

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Experience a live show (2012.W15)

Bucket Challenge: Go to a live match, concert or exhibition etc.
(Ending Sunday 15th April 2012)

This weekly challenge will be quite easy and just enjoy the experience! We also like easy challenge!

We watch a lot of videos through TV, cinema or online streaming. Comparatively we watch very few live events. So, as time passes we tend to forget how impactful is to watch something in live! For example, the feeling of being with a crazy crowd of people cheering, screaming and jumping up and down after a goal is not the same as alone by yourself in front of the TV at home.

Furthermore, a lot of shows are not well adapted to TV, like many magic shows. The “magical” effects of these shows just kind of disappear when they are on screen. So does the spirit within us to experience something in live setting. We need to constantly re-stimulate and remind ourselves to watch, experience and enjoy something vividly alive!

So in this week, let’s take a ticket to a live experience. It may be a live soccer game, a live concert, a theater performance or as simple as a street performance.

Here is what we are going to watch:

And you, what will you watch or experience?

Challenge: Go to a live show!
Feel the liveliness, emotions and unspoken spirit!

Extra Challenge:

Invite more people to join you the better

Goals:

To remember how it feel when enjoying something in live!
Time required: 1-hour, 1-night or 1-day
Energy level: Low
Preparation: Get yourself moving or buy a ticket to a show


* Encourage and support us by sharing this post with your friends or clicking “LIKE” if you like our post:)

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Weekly

 

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1-2-3 Should We Dance? (2012.W14)

Bucket Challenge: Experiencing new dancing steps and the philosophy behind!

(Ending Sunday 8th April 2012)

Whether you have two left feet or perfect left and right feet, this week we invite you to explore and try new dancing steps and the cultures embedded within the dance. You may take a one-time only dancing lesson or enroll a short-term program; it is entirely your call! The spirit is to challenge ourselves to (a) learn some new dancing moves; (b) to experience the emotions and techniques of the new dance chosen; and to (c) understand, as well as to appreciate the essences and the sophistication of the new dance.

“It’s only when you start to swift around your feet, you may start to feel the lightness of life.”
~ Author Unknown

There are so many different categories of dances which you may choose one or two to give it a try. For examples :

1. Concert or performance dances like Acro dance, Ballet, Contemporary dance, Flamenco, Modern dance, Contact improvisation, Tap dance…etc.
2. Street dances, Hip-hop & Funk dances, Punk dances, House dances and Rave dances.
3. Traditional Jazz / African-American vernacular dance like Boogie-woogie, Moonwalk, Swing.
4. Passionate Latin dances like Mambo, Rumba, Bolero,Samba (ballroom or Brazilian or Gafieira styles), Jive, Reggaeton, Salsa, Argentine tango, Cha Cha and so on.
5. Historical/Classical dances: Medieval dance, Renaissance dance, Masque, English country dance, Baroque dance, Regency dance and Vintage dance
6. Exotic dances: Bollywood dance, Belly dance and Pole dance…etc.
7. Group dances: Line dance, Folk festival dance.
8. Sacred dances: Ghost dance, Ecstatic dance.

If you have already tried quite a few type of dances and mastered in them, why not try something completely new?! If you just start exploring, then keep on exploring. We are here together to explore and encourage each other! If you are still just thinking about exploring, a word of encouragement, just take actions and go ahead to give a try! There is nothing to lose, but only to gain. To gain insight on one’s own abilities to learn and to adapt to a new skill which requires body co-ordination, leading and be-led qualities, compromising with different partners, as well as enriching and cultivating one’s emotions, aesthetic sophistication.

(Belly Dancer)

I had tried belly dancing once before. To my horror surprise, I learnt the fact that some of the body parts could move individually, i.e. moving the bum without moving the waist, right hip and left hip may be rotated in and outwards separately, abdominal muscles may be divided into four quadrants and each may be moving one after another, what is even more crazy is that the left and right breasts may shake at the different time!! See Sadie Belly Dance 2008, Sadie Belly Dance 1. I tried and found it very interestingly funny and technical. It has made me realize that there are so many muscles which I have, but not using or exploring them at all. What will I be, if I get to use them all?

With different dancing styles, certainly there are different abstract outfits, i.e. emotions, gestures, attitudes and so on, attaching to the dance. For more graceful dances, gestures will be more sophisticated, smooth and elegant; for more passionate dances, a tint of sexual and seduction are inevitable; for street dances and contemporary dances, spontaneity and sense of free spirit are the major traits. Not to mention, for religious worship sacred dances, sincerity, holiness is heavily portrayed.

So, joining us this week challenge and exploring a new dancing experience and find out what is in the dance for you!!

Challenge: Try out a new dance moves
Select a new dance which will challenge your ability

Extra Challenge:

Try out the new dance with your partner or friend

Goals:

To explore and find the emotions within
Time required: 1 hour or more (encourage to do at least 4 lessons x 1 hour)
Energy level: Low to High
Preparation: Just enjoy and have fun!! Be open-minded.

* Currently we are learning Tango as a couple together. So far, it has been quite a challenge for both of us! Not just on self-exploration, but also as a couple! We learn more about each other and how we need to work together as a team. This is definitely a nice exercise for a couple to get to know each other. Try it out yourselves!!


* Encourage and support us by sharing this post with your friends or clicking “LIKE” if you like our post:)

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Weekly

 

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Use your body to communicate (2012.W13)

Bucket Challenge: Use Your Body to Communicate

(Ending Sunday 1st April 2012)

In this week bucket challenge, we will focus on how well your body talks, your body language.

By Wikipedia definition: “Body language is a form of mental and physical ability of human non-verbal communication, which consists of body postures, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. Humans send and interpret such signals almost entirely subconsciously.”

By crossing their arms, people look less accessible.

In our first week of travel in Argentina, we make a broad use of body language. As we both don’t speak Spanish, so we were expecting to have some communication difficulties. We were wrong! With some wild imagination and bold demonstrations, we manage to communicate pretty well.

Here is a video example of how we use our body language to communicate. Can you understand what we are saying?


Scenario 1: Bargaining to have cheaper price
Scenario 2: Meeting a new friend and telling him his zipper is unclosed
Scenario 3: Asking for direction


A typical tourist taking pictures everywhere has arrived to the information desk and asked for:
1. place to eat
2. place to cut hairs
3. place to buy long dresses and shoes
4. place to learn how to dance; after knowing it is 50 per lesson, she decides not to go.

Did you get what we were trying to communicate??

We broadly use our body language not only when we try to communicate with Spanish speakers, but we also come to use it and practise it in a whole new context, dancing.


Buenos Aires is the city where tango is born. We couldn’t resist taking tango lessons here. At first, I was seeing tango as a very technical dance. But after a one to one dancing experience with a professional tango teacher, I have realized that tango is much more. Through tango, our personality, mood and characters are projected in the ways we dance.


It’s really surprising how much we need to constantly communicate with each other non-verbally, in order to move together smoothly with good timing, rhyme and expression. At the beginning, we were both (especially me) quite terrible in term of dance moves, timing and synchronisation. With some practices, we manage to communicate much better via a gentle push with the hands, a synchronized shoulder twisting, a look or just a slight move from the torso. Tango is like a language; through this non-verbal communication, we are able to open up a complete different views about us as a couple and how we cooperate together as a team. Now it’s time for practice!


Here are few ideas about how you can explore the non-verbal communication. It is listed sequentially in the level of difficulty:
• Watch the TV series “Lie to me
• Watch TV with sound off or in a total different unknown language to you
• Watch opera, comedy show, ballet dancing or other dancing performance
• Try to communicate with friends like we did in the video
• Take some dance classes

Let’s go!

Challenge: Explore your body language
Learn and master your body language!

Extra Challenge:

Post your video like we did

Goals:

Be aware of the messages your body send consciously or unconsciously
Time required: Depending of how you chose to explore body language.
Energy level: Low to high
Preparation: A mirror might be helpful



* Encourage and support us by sharing this post with your friends or clicking “LIKED” if you like our post:)

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Weekly

 

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2012 Week 12 – Buenos Aires, Argentina, Special Bucket Challenges!

Bucket Challenge: 5 Challenges to accomplish while visiting Argentina
(Ending 6th May 2012)

With a new job opportunity, we are going to stay in Buenos Aires Argentina for a month!! It is a great opportunity graced upon us :) It is a new experience for both us, as we have not been to Argentina before, nor any countries located in South America.

We did some homework about the country, places to go, things to do and food to eat! Some information to share below (extracted from Lonely Planet)

Iguazu Falls

Argentina has gorgeous landscapes, cosmopolitan cities and lively culture. It is a traveler’s paradise. It stretches almost 3500km from Bolivia to the tip of South America. It is almost the size of India. There are mountains, waterfalls, glacier and shopping malls! Many opportunities to learn Spanish, tango and get to know the locals. Not to mention delicious steaks and busy night life.

So while we are there in Argentina for a month, we have come up specific bucket challenges for Argentina :) (Actually the fact of being there is already a completion of one long-term bucket challenge of ours!!)

1. Take tango lessons and spend good quality fun time as a couple together!
2. Learn how to speak basic Spanish (at least 200 words)
3. Visit IGUAZU FALLS

Saltenas

4. Take cooking lesson and learn how to make local food (Saltenas)
5. Visit EL CALAFATE and THE PERITO MORENO GLACIER in Patagonia

Patagonia

Want to join us?


 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Long term, Weekly

 

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2012 Week 11 – Keep acquiring new knowledge

Bucket Challenge: Keep learning

(Ending Sunday 18th March 2012)

A lot of people stop learning when they finish their study. It’s understandable that after years of learning, most people are fed up with learning. But there is so much to win if we continue to learn and acquiring new knowledge.

Memory is like a muscle; if you stop learning, your ability to remember things will weaken. However this also works the other way around. The more you learn, the better is your memory. With time, you develop better strategy at learning and integrating knowledge. Learning is incremental, so don’t give up.

Put your money into learning is probably the best investment you can ever make.

Bellow is an extract from an interview with Warren Buffett:

`At a time when many college graduates face uncertain futures and are struggling to find jobs, Buffett said he still believes that “investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents. And I always advise students to do that, high school students, college students and obviously investing in your children is, in some ways, investing in yourself.” No matter what happens in the economy, “if you have true talent yourself, and you have maximized your talent, you have a terrific asset” ´ [source]

Learning new knowledge brings new possibilities and opportunities. 

Many prestigious universities like the MIT, Stanford offer free resources and lessons (pdf, recording of lessons) to everyone to download. Recently some universities offer interactive courses made to be given online. 

In these interactive courses, there are not only pdf and recording of lessons, but also quizzes, forum, exercises, study group, videos, reading material, exams and even more. All courses are given by teachers among the best in the world and for free.

So why not take classes with the most eminent teachers in the world? There are lot of courses for any subjects and any levels.


Let’s go!

Challenge: Keep acquiring new knowledge
It can be anything.

Extra Challenge:

Master this field of interest

Goals:

Continue learning and improving yourself
Time required: A lot :p
Energy level: Medium to high
Preparation: Find out what you want to learn.

Some links of free online courses:

Coursera
Academic Earth
Udacity
Khan Academy


 
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Weekly

 

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