Self Confidence Will Take Your Life to New Heights

Everybody wants to gain self-confidence. And for good reason, true confidence allows you to feel good about yourself and your abilities. You smile more and have an upbeat and pleasant demeanour because you genuinely love yourself and your life. As a result, you attract people (and opportunities) to you effortlessly because of the warm vibe of friendliness you exude to the rest of the world. I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t like being around warm hearted and friendly people.

Unfortunately, for much of our society, people are lacking the salutary quality of self-confidence. If you happen to feel like you’re one of the people who fall into this category, don’t sweat it. Because I am going to share 3 powerful ways for you to gain self-confidence in life.

1. Try New Things

It’s impossible for self-confidence to grow within the confines of your comfort zone. You must venture off into the unknown, step beyond where you currently are to expand your confidence. You do this by trying new things. When was the last time you broke out of your usual routine and tried something different? Do you even remember? We can get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that oftentimes we miss the forest for the trees.

It becomes so easy to fall into a rut once we land in a cozy and comfortable position in life. And that’s exactly when your self-confidence will begin to wane and wax. What is it that you’ve been thinking about trying, but have yet to take the plunge? Do you want to try your hand at stand up? Maybe take up a martial art? Or possibly enroll in dance lessons? It’s up to you – what do you want to do?

By trying things that excite, challenge, and even frighten you, you are forcing yourself beyond your current limits of comfortability. And being on the fringes of your comfort zone in this way forces you to adapt and develop traits within yourself that are lying dormant at the moment – and it’s in this “dance” that real growth takes place. And growth, of course, is a huge contributing factor not just to your self-confidence but your overall wellbeing as a person.

2. Get Your Finances In Order

On the surface, this may seem like an arbitrary thing when it comes to confidence. But money plays an inordinate role in all of our lives and can have a tremendous effect on your level of self-confidence. Having money gives you options and freedom. It makes you more confident in job interviews, business negotiations, and makes you feel more stable in life.

Not having money gives way to scarcity, frustration, and despair. And it makes sense, it’s hard to feel confident in yourself when you’re broke, in debt, and living paycheck to paycheck. But it doesn’t have to be this way because, with the right plan and a strong desire, anyone can turn their financial situation around, and as a result, strengthen their ability to stand on their own two feet – which is invaluable for gaining self-confidence.

Boost Self-Confidence Through Your Financial Situation Via These 4 Steps

  1. Get on a budget — keep track of all expenses. Every dollar that comes in and every dollar that goes out – make sure it is all accounted for.
  2. Live On Less Than You Make — This is simple, if you are constantly spending more money than you’re bringing in, then you’ll never get ahead.
  3. Clear All Debts – If you’re in debt, then every dollar above your basic living expenses should be going to pay off your creditors.
  4. Build An Emergency Fund – Most financial experts agree; you should have 3 to 6 months worth of expenses saved strictly for emergencies (car repairs, a job loss, illness in the family, etc). Just think of how confident and free you’d feel being debt-free, with $10,000+ in your bank account.

Now, of course, money is not the end-all, be-all for feeling good about yourself. However, there is something to be said about the self-assuredness it affords you. Get this component of your life under control and I promise you, your self-confidence will skyrocket as a result.

“Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” – Lucille Ball

3. Respect Yourself

There is no bigger confidence killer in life than viewing and treating yourself poorly. That is why it is absolutely essential to respect who you are. Now, I understand that may seem like a bit of a vague statement, what does it mean to “respect yourself” in practical terms?

It’s going to the gym and exercising regularly, it’s eating healthy, it’s following through on commitments you made to yourself (as well as others), it’s spending time with people who love and care about you, it’s working on passions and hobbies that bring you joy and happiness.

It’s setting and enforcing healthy boundaries when people cross the line, it’s not tolerating disrespectful behavior from anyone, without standing up for yourself. Simply put, respecting yourself means doing what’s in your best interest, and not putting up with low-quality behavior from yourself or others. This is how respecting yourself will allow you to gain self-confidence.

3 Ways To Gain Self-Confidence Through Self-Respect

  • Speak Your Mind – Say what you’re really thinking or feeling. Too many people censor themselves because they feel their thoughts are not “politically correct”, or they’re afraid they might offend someone. GOOD. By speaking your mind, you will see who really likes you for you, and who you should kick to the curb.
  • Stop Giving Up – When you say you will do something, do it. Stop giving up on yourself and your aspirations so easily. Developing persistence is one of the best ways to earn your own self-respect and as a natural byproduct – gain self-confidence.
  • Walk Away – Leave any situation (or person) that is not conducive to your growth and development. When you value yourself, you will not stay in an environment where your sense of wellbeing is compromised. This includes jobs, lovers, friends, business associates, etc. Leave them all behind if they are not serving and helping you on your journey.

When you respect and treat yourself as a person of value, you can’t help but gain self-confidence.


Perfect Cakes

cake ingredients

With every recipe I publish and tip I share, my goal is to help you become a better baker. As a home baker turned cookbook author and recipe publisher, I’ve made THOUSANDS of mistakes in the kitchen, especially when it comes to making the perfect cake. Let me share the cake baking tips I’ve learned over the years.

This sounds obvious, right? Following the recipe is the most important cake baking tip you’ll ever hear/read. It’s also the most ignored. We often substitute ingredients in recipes based on what we have. Subbing out eggs, reducing sugar, using liquid sweetener instead of dry, all-purpose instead of cake flour, baking soda for powder, egg whites instead of whole eggs, etc. I do not recommend doing this unless the recipe suggests alternatives. Don’t sabotage your time, effort, and money. I’m guilty of this, too! Sometimes I’m in a rush and just not paying attention or I’m making a substitution because I ran out of an ingredient. But ingredients are needed for a reason and, more often than not, a cake fail is because the recipe wasn’t properly followed. I always recommend following a recipe the first time you try it, then making changes as you see fit the next time.

cake baking tips with cake layers on white cake stand

With every recipe I publish and tip I share, my goal is to help you become a better baker. As a home baker turned cookbook author and recipe publisher, I’ve made THOUSANDS of mistakes in the kitchen, especially when it comes to making the perfect cake. Let me share the cake baking tips I’ve learned over the years.

This useful information will help guarantee your next cake is the perfect cake.


Tips for Starting a Video Game Development or Design Career

Tips for Starting a Video Game Development or Design Career

For many people, video games are a nostalgic reminder of their youth. For others, they offer an immersive storyline and plot or represent a piece of visual art with graphics that push the boundaries of reality. Video games can also be educational and functional, providing an interactive way for players to learn new concepts and ideas.

It’s an exciting industry, and many are taking notice. Increasingly, college students and professionals are pursuing careers in video game development and design.

But how exactly does a person break into video game development and design? What kind of education makes this pursuit easier? And how can an applicant stand out from the crowd in this competitive, yet growing field?

What’s the Difference Between a Game Designer and a Game Developer?

Though the terms “video game design” and “video game development” are often used interchangeably—especially by those outside the industry—they do, in fact, mean very different things. If you’re trying to establish a career in the video game industry, it’s important for you to have a clear understanding of what these differences are.

What is Video Game Design?

Video game design refers to the many creative aspects of building a video game. Video game designers typically work in teams to tackle elements such as setting, character, and object design; animation; and the overall mood, style, and mechanics of a game. Really, any work related to the visual or creative vision and design of a video game will come from a designer, typically in the form of sketches, concept art, animations, or storyboards.

What is Video Game Development?

Video game designers often have at least a basic understanding of what can and can’t be done from a technical standpoint, but the actual coding required to produce a video game is done by a video game developer—also called programmers. Developers work to convert the concepts created by a designer into a tangible, playable product through computer code. Just like video game designers, developers often work in teams that are responsible for different components of the game, like character development, setting, and gameplay.

Salary and Career Outlook

As with any other job, people choose to pursue a career in video game design or development for a number of reasons, ranging from a general interest in the industry and medium to a desire for a well-paying job in a growing field.

According to PayScale, video game developers in the U.S. earn an average salary of $64,744 and game designers an average salary of $65,042. Those with higher levels of experience and education often earn more—$72,000 and $73,000 for game developers and game designers, respectively, who have five to nine years of experience.

Though the video game industry is a competitive industry to break into, it has experienced consistent growth in the past few years and is projected to see continued growth, says Magy Seif El-Nasr, former associate professor at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer and Information Science and College of Art, Media and Design.

By 2016 the global video game market was a $100 billion business and is now expected to exceed $200 billion by the end of 2023. This growth has allowed the industry to attract greater and more diverse talent that may have, in the past, been drawn to other kinds of technology companies and startups.

“The market and the industry have begun to mature, which has stabilized the industry,” Seif El-Nasr says. “New technologies like virtual and augmented reality have opened new mediums for experimentation, and new outlets like web and mobile have opened the market to more players. All of these have spurred hiring.”

It’s a given that salary and job prospects likely play at least some role for individuals who become video game designers and developers. But the primary motivation for seeking one of these careers is, according to Seif El-Nasr, simply a passion for the industry.

“The people who are most successful in creating a career for themselves in the video game industry are those who pursue it out of a passion for the industry and medium,” Seif El-Nasr says. “They likely grew up playing video games. They relate to the stories and the artwork and the gameplay on a personal level. It’s the same reason many book lovers want to go into publishing.”

Tips for Starting Your Game Development or Design Career

There are a number of ways individuals interested in game design or development can increase the likelihood of landing one of these coveted jobs.

1. Lay the groundwork with a related degree.

According to Seif El-Nasr, most employers in the video game industry do not place a lot of weight on specific college degrees. What’s more important is that you can demonstrate you’re able to do the work.

But while it may be possible for you to teach yourself the basics of design or coding, these things are certainly easier to learn in the structured setting of a degree program, where you can lean on professors, peers, and coursework to help you grow your skills.

For that reason, video game developers and designers often earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in computer science. Degrees that offer specializations or concentrations specific to video game design can also help give future applicants a leg up on the competition by allowing them to develop skills specific to the career they’re pursuing.

2. Build a portfolio of projects you can show prospective employers.

More important than a specific degree, Seif El-Nasr says, is that applicants can demonstrate proficiency in programming or design. The best way to do this, she says, is to build a portfolio of projects that prospective employers can evaluate.

Whether your portfolio consists of projects done out of personal interest, as a part of degree coursework, or for commercial gain doesn’t really matter. What matters is the quality of the product, and also the diversity in the portfolio. For example, demonstrating the ability to code, troubleshoot, and debug in different languages, or design in multiple mediums and artistic styles may help to differentiate job applicants.

Of course, students will often use their undergraduate and graduate studies as a means to an end in creating a portfolio of finished projects that can be shown to future employers. Degrees like those offered by Northeastern University, which prioritize experiential, hands-on learning, can be especially helpful in this regard.

3. Leverage industry connections to get your foot in the door.

As with any career, the best way to break into an industry is to leverage your network and connections. Knowing someone who works at, or has worked at, a specific company means that you may be able to land an interview or earn a well-respected recommendation.

Because professional networks usually grow out of work experience, this can be difficult for many recent college graduates who have not yet worked in the industry. For this reason, choosing a degree program with experiential learning opportunities specifically tailored to video game development or design can open many doors for graduates. In addition to allowing students to build experience and a portfolio of projects, it comes with a built-in network of faculty and peers.

These degree programs are typically staffed by faculty who have worked in the industry, meaning that they have industry contacts that students can leverage when they are applying for jobs. Classmates who go on to work at various companies may also become important contacts later in your career.

4. Consider entering video game design or development competitions.

Taking part in industry competitions focused on video game design or development is another way that applicants can stand out from the crowd, Seif El-Nasr says.

The first is that competing gives applicants the incentive to finish and fine-tune the projects in their portfolio; after all, you can’t compete without a finished project to submit. But beyond this, participating in competitions offers applicants a way of getting in front of potential future employers and is an important part of building a professional network.

“In addition to demonstrating passion and initiative, participating in a competition will also allow you to show the ability to take criticism and hopefully incorporate it into a stronger end project,” Seif El-Nasr says. “This is an important part of working on a team, and a skill that hiring managers look for.”

Leveraging Education to Advance Your Career

The video game industry can be a challenging one to break into for designers and developers. But by choosing the right degree program, preferably one focused on experiential learning, you can build the skills you’ll need to kickstart your career.

For aspiring video game developers or programmers, a computer science degree can be a great way to gain advanced knowledge of computing and programming. Some universities, like Northeastern, also offer specializations in game design that allow students to tailor their learning to their career aspirations.

Those interested in becoming game designers may also choose to pursue a degree specifically in game design. These specialized programs focus on the science of game development and provide students the skills to launch successful products in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Depending on your goals, earning a degree like a Master of Science in Computer Science or Game Science and Design,  can help you lay a solid educational foundation, build a portfolio demonstrable of your skills, and begin establishing a professional network that can be leveraged throughout your career.


The art of giving and learning to give back

Money is not the only commodity that is fun to give. We can give time, we can give our expertise, we can give our love or simply give a smile. What does that cost? The point is, none of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give.

Steve Goodier

If you were to look around you and take inventory of the moments that gave you the most satisfaction in your day, the moments that made you smile and feel good inside, what would they be? You might draw on the experiences of Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, Zappos’ Delivering Happiness, Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage, or Bob Burg’s The Go Giver to connect with the fact that we feel wonderful during the times when we’re able to give. Truly global living can really be called global giving.

What is it to truly give?

Giving comes in many shapes and forms, the ones we know best are usually presents.

Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.

Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Shadow of the Wind

It is one of life’s paradoxes that we limit the power of your giving by having an expectation of getting something in return. The wonderful surprise is that when we give without any thought or desire for something back, our returns can be truly limitless. How often do we expect to get something back — of equal or greater value — from the person we gave something to? Is this the true meaning of giving or is it merely an unvoiced expectation of an exchange of similar goods or favors?

Before you feel like this is becoming too fluffy to keep reading, let me share a personal story.

My Father, the epitome of giving

My father spent his whole working life in government services — the majority as an electrician, taking care of public networks. He had always been good with his hands and although not highly educated, very smart in his way. When he served for 40 years he was entitled to an early retirement.

During his years of service he gave thousands of people the security of having electricity at home and the opportunity to quickly and permanently resolve problems in the networks.

When he retired he found great joy in helping out anybody in the neighborhood, both with electricity issues as well as anything that involved doing something with his hands. You just had to call him, he grabbed his bag of tools and was on his way.

He always had, found or made time to help somebody out whether it was by giving a hand, giving a bit of his time or giving some of his talent, these things made him happy and he never asked for anything in return.
To me, my father was the personification of ‘the art of giving’.

Five steps to get in the right mindset for generous giving

These are adapted from the fantastically simply WikiHow on being generous.

  1. Give from the heart. If we truly want to be generous, then we have to give just because we want to give, not because we have ulterior motives and want something in return.
  2. Know that being generous will make us happier. Being generous helps us feel more compassionate towards others, gives a stronger sense of community, and to establishes a higher self-image.
  3. Notice what would make someone’s life easier. When we talk to someone, start wondering about how we could help them instead of always thinking about how they can help us.
  4. Be grateful for what you have. Being more grateful will put us in the mindset to be a more generous person. If we are able to appreciate all that we have, we’ll be more likely to share some of those great things with others, to help them appreciate life as well
  5. Don’t forget to be generous to yourself. Though volunteering, caring for others, and giving our time is a great way to be generous, we shouldn’t forget about our self completely in the process.

How to be a Winner

1. Tired of being a loser? 

Let’s talk about personal transformation.

The transformation from loser to winner.

At your core you’re a sum total of your habitual thoughts and behaviours.

You weren’t born a loser.

Maybe you just got lazy and let your standards fall. 

Maybe you’ve had nothing worth improving for.

If you’re not doing anything with your life and you have no goals, your being a loser. 

You’re the only person who can decide to be a loser or a winner.

You’re always capable of more than you think.

I’ve been a student of personal transformation for over 10 years.

I discovered what I’ve found to be the most effective and direct path to becoming a winner.

I’ll share with you what I found.

Let’s dive in…

tired of being a loser? heres how to be a winner

2. Rebuild your self image

A positive self image is the first part of any change.

Feeling like a loser weighs heavily on your self esteem.

If you want to change that you need to change how you see yourself.

See yourself as a winner.

When you think like a winner and act like a winner, you eventually become one.

Your self image and personal standards determine the direction your life takes.

When you see yourself as a loser you think and act like one.

You limit yourself to the confines of a loser.

The same is true when you see yourself as a winner, but there’s more upside.

Your mind does whatever it takes to stay consistent with your self-identity.

If it needs to self sabotage, it will. 

You’ll be on a roll then do something so incredibly stupid all your progress will be wiped out.

The best way to rebuild your self-identity is to take action.

Start new behaviours that make you feel good about yourself.

Set new goals and find a purpose worth working for.

Create a vision in your mind of yourself as a winner.

Keep that image in your mind. Adjust your behaviour to be inline with that image. 

Identify exactly what is making you feel like a loser and stop doing it.

Then you’re ready for the next step…

3. Develop self-confidence

Self-confidence and self-belief are the building blocks for your success. 

Without them you won’t travel far.

When you have them the world is yours.

You’re more proactive and resourceful. 


You find a way to make it happen.

When you start something you finish it. When hard times hit you keep pushing through.

Losers don’t even start. If they do they quit at the first sign of difficulty to go and do something else.

You develop your self-confidence by acting as if you already have it. 

The fastest way to be more confident is to change how you think and what you believe. 

Which takes us to the next step… 


How Gaming Can Benefit Your Mental Health

How Gaming Can Benefit Your Mental Health

Some people believe that playing video games and online gaming, in general, can be detrimental to your emotional and mental health. However, there are many reasons why playing games can also benefit your cognitive abilities; from improving dexterity to developing problem-solving skills, gaming skills can be put to good use in the outside world.

Cognitive Skills Development

When you play any types of games, such as video games, board games, poker or online bingo games, you need to concentrate and work out your gaming strategy. This level of concentration develops your mental agility and problem-solving skills, as you are forced to think about your next move and work to improve your chances of winning.

You’ll also improve your dexterity and reaction times from playing video games and other games that require a fast response, such as bingo. For example, when playing bingo you need to listen for the bingo caller and mark the numbers off on your card quickly, ready for the next call. You need to keep mentally alert so you know when you have won the game. Similarly, when playing video games, you need fast responses to deal with new situations.

Gaming also improves the memory because when we are playing games, we have to hold lots of pieces of information in our minds at once. For example, when playing a video game, we will often have to remember locations in the game, items to pick up, where we need to go and various other useful points about the game.
When playing online casino or bingo games, it can be helpful to remember numbers revealed, cards already dealt, which slot machine symbol combinations result in which payout and so on. There are many ways in which the memory is stimulated while playing games and this can have a beneficial effect on our ability to recall important information in other areas of life.

Health Benefits of Socialising

In addition to the cognitive benefits, gaming can also improve other areas of mental health. Online gaming can be a highly social activity and social interaction has been shown to improve self-esteem and emotional contentment.

While playing online, players can interact with other gamers in chat boxes, collaborate in gaming missions and generally socialise. In online casino and bingo games, players can chat with others in the game, while playing collaborative video games allows you to bond with others and complete levels together.

It might seem less beneficial to socialise online than in real life, but chatting with friends over games or using an online messenger to communicate can still be very helpful in combating social isolation. People playing video games and bingo games can feel close to other gamers, as they share a major interest and often have similar drives. People also chat about things other than the games, so deeper friendships can be forged that can spill into other areas and even lead to real life meetings.

Attention Span and Strategy

Games can also have an interesting benefit in terms of improving a players attention span. By playing games, you develop the ability to notice lots of small details at once and learn to combat impulsiveness. When concentrating on a video game, the player must quickly assimilate lots of conflicting information and learn to focus on the most important things, blocking out the irrelevant information.

The players must also know when to act and when to wait, in order to maximise the success of their interactions with the game. For example, when playing blackjack online, a player needs to consider when to take another card and when to stick with their current hand. In a video game, the player needs to think about the next course of action and consider the long-term benefits over short-term gain, keeping in mind the overall objective of the game as a whole. This is a beneficial approach for entrepreneurs looking to build a lasting company.

Gaming can benefit your mental health in many ways. By improving the physical function of the brain with the many cognitive benefits, to developing better social skills, gaming can have a positive impact on real-life situations. In addition to this, the strategies employed by successful gamers can also be used in the business world to focus on long-term growth.

How do you feel gaming enhances your mental health?


Become a Winner in Life

Being a winner in life really just means learning how to grow as a person while creating healthy, happy relationships. The best way to do this is to create a fulfilling lifestyle filled with love and positivity. Make sure to cultivate healthy thoughts, relationships, and practices in your daily life.

Growing as a PersonUpgrade to wikiHow Pro and go ad free
Image titled Win at Life Step 9
Practice thinking confident thoughts. Confidence, like many things, is a skill that can be learned. Even if you don’t start off feeling confident, the more you practice, the better you’ll get and the happier you’ll feel. Think positively about your life. When faced with an obstacle, tell yourself that you can overcome it.[1]
Even if you’re not feeling confident, try acting confident with body language. Stand up straight while you’re walking or sitting. Avoid standing with your arms crossed. Instead, put your hands on your hips.
Just smiling, even if you force it, can help you feel instantly happier and more confident, as your brain releases endorphins.[2]
Stop negative thinking. It’s normal to have self-doubts, but you can overcome them. Every time you start having negative thoughts about yourself, stop yourself and re-frame the thought into a positive or neutral one. For example, if you find yourself thinking “I am so worthless,” think instead, “I am really valuable to myself and others.”[3]
Image titled Win at Life Step 10
Encourage yourself to keep learning. Never stop educating yourself throughout your life. It will keep your brain sharp, lower your risk for diseases like Alzheimer’s, and give you interesting things to discuss with other people. Start with subjects that are interesting to you, such as video game design or historical costuming.[4]
Educate yourself about what is happening in the world: advances in science, medicine, politics, art, and current events. This keeps you in touch with what is going on.
Try to learn a new skill, such as knitting, speaking a foreign language, or understanding astrophysics.
Reading books and articles, watching the news and documentaries, or doing online tutorials are all great ways to keep learning.
Image titled Win at Life Step 11
Learn from your mistakes. No matter how successful you are, no matter how healthy you are, no matter what you do or don’t do, you’re going to make mistakes and experience failure. Sometimes these incidents will be your fault, sometimes they won’t. It’s how you respond to them that will determine your ability to be successful at life.[5]
Your attitude toward life shapes how you experience things. Let go of your expectations and accept life as it is. This will empower you to handle whatever comes your way.[6]
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you do make a mistake, ask yourself how did things go wrong, what did you learn from it, and what will you do differently next time?
To learn from your mistakes, you must first take accountability for them. Acknowledge where you went wrong so that you can fix it.
Image titled Win at Life Step 12
Step outside of your comfort zone. Although it can be a little nerve-racking at first, these experiences will help you gain confidence and the resources to deal with the uncertainties of life. You might try something as intense as sky-diving or rock-climbing or something more mundane like meeting new people or speaking in front of a crowd.[7]
Take small steps to get better. If you have social anxiety, for example, your small step could be talking to 1 unknown person a week or making 1 phone call per week. You can eventually work up to going to an event by yourself or dealing with people on a regular basis.
Try to do something that pushes you each day. Even small shifts can end up making a big difference in your life.[8]
Image titled Win at Life Step 14
Use your passion and interests to find a fulfilling vocation. Your vocation is your calling in life that gives you meaning. Sometimes, this is your profession, but it can also be a hobby, a passion, or a side project. Study your interests, passions, and hobbies. Use those to guide you towards a vocation that is meaningful to you.[9]
Think about your values—what really lights you up and gets you excited? What do you want to be remembered for? Then, try to figure out what you can do that aligns with that.[10]
If your job isn’t your passion in life, try to think of all the positive benefits of it. Make a list of all the good things about your job, such as having coworkers you like, making a difference in people’s lives, or making enough money to buy a house.
Don’t feel like you necessarily have to make big changes all at once. You can still incorporate your passion into your daily life. For instance, if you love acting, you might not be able to quit your job and move to Hollywood, but you might find that you enjoy acting in a local community theater.[11]



For many people, especially those who are not familiar with martial arts, the question often arises on what the difference between karate and kung fu is. Upon watching somebody doing martial arts, the untrained eye will find it hard to tell whether that person is doing karate or kung fu. Even those who are beginning martial arts may sometimes be confused about the different styles until further exposure to them will reveal just how different they really are.

Historically, the people living in the islands of Okinawa just south of Japan got exposed to Chinese kung fu martial arts due to the close proximity to China. Over time, the Okinawan’s and Japanese developed their own styles of martial arts now known as karate from the original influence of Chinese kung fu. Although both karate and kung fu utilize many similar martial arts techniques, most kung fu styles will usually have more variety of techniques compared to karate systems. It’s almost like the Japanese streamlined the number of techniques from Chinese systems to develop karate. The Japanese also modified the way techniques are executed in karate as they became more linear compared to kung fu. This is especially evident in the forms or katas (traditional sequence of set moves) where karate techniques are performed with crisp movements that have distinct stop and go motions.

In kung fu forms, movements involve the use of more circular techniques, particularly with the hands. These circular motions give kung fu forms a more visually graceful look as techniques seem to flow from one to another. There is less stop and go with most kung fu styles. This is why some martial artists, especially in North America, often refer to Chinese kung fu as ‘soft’ styles while karate and tae kwon do are ‘hard’ styles. This is not to say that hard styles such as karate or tae kwon do are more powerful martial arts than kung fu and other soft styles. The term ‘soft’ is a bit misleading because the power from circular kung fu moves is often hidden. Circular moves can generate just as much power as linear ones found in hard styles. Most kung fu forms are also usually more complex and longer in duration than most karate forms. To most martial artists, a kung fu form will look much more exotic while a karate form will look more straight forward in terms of martial arts techniques. Interestingly enough, there are karate styles such as goju which do have quite a lot of circular techniques similar to kung fu. Kempo styles are considered a hybrid of Chinese kung fu and Okinawan karate techniques with both circular as well as linear techniques. There are also many more different styles of kung fu compared to karate.

Martial arts weaponry is found in both kung fu and karate styles but different sets of weapons are utilized in each martial arts system. Much like the empty hand forms, the kata with karate weapons are also more linear compared to those with kung fu weapons which have more circular movements. As expected, there is a lot more variety of different Chinese kung fu weapons than found in the Japanese karate styles.

Traditionally, practitioners of karate wear a white uniform called a gi which features the overlapping kimono-like top. Less traditional schools will allow coloured uniforms. A coloured belt will be the finishing touch to the gi with of course the black belt for those at instructor level ranking. Most of the time and especially inside a dojo, karate stylists will not wear any shoes while training. Most kung fu stylists will wear a very different looking uniform. Kung fu uniforms usually consist of tops with Chinese ‘frog-style’ buttons rather than overlapping fronts like the karate gi top. The uniforms can be black or a variety of colours with often lighter fabrics such as satin and shoes are commonly worn. The modern acrobatic Chinese martial arts of wushu can feature satin uniforms with many different bright colours. Many kung fu schools simply utilize t-shirts and baggy pants as uniforms. Satin coloured sashes are often worn to signify rank of students but this is actually more of a Western style as most kung fu schools in Asia do not show rankings in uniforms.

Overall, there’s more variety of techniques, styles, weapons and uniforms found in the Chinese kung fu systems compared to karate. However, that is not to say that one system or style of martial art is superior to another. They are just different and to the observer, it could come down to personal preference. Some prefer kung fu and some prefer karate. Some ambitious martial artists who desire a full well rounded education practice both kung fu and karate.


Commentary: Driving a Grab full-time right after graduation. Should you do it

Is taking a job that’s irrelevant to your years of acquired qualifications worth it, even if it pays handsomely? Human resources expert Adrian Tan tackles the issue of why some turn to driving Grab full-time straight out of school.

A Grab taxi drives on a street in Hanoi, Vietnam on Oct 29, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Kham)

SINGAPORE: There is a reason why cab drivers are often referred to as taxi uncles.

Most are of an older generation and a huge proportion remain men. There is no data to back this but, anecdotally, in my last 10 taxi rides, all of them fit this category.

You don’t hear of any taxi youngsters. That’s because the Land Transport Authority stipulates a minimum age of 30 before you can get a Taxi Driver’s Vocational License.

But when it comes to who’s driving your Grab, it’s still more likely to be someone younger than your average taxi driver.


Prior to the introduction of the Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational License (PDVL), the entry barrier to becoming a driver with ride-hailing companies was pretty low. You just needed a driver license with at least two years of experience.

Don’t have a car? No issue. Just rent one and your rental can be deducted daily from your Grab Driver app’s wallet, which will be topped up as you earn more income driving.

In 2017, Grab claimed that between 20 to 30 per cent of its drivers in Singapore are younger than 30. There were 56,300 private-hire car drivers as of June last year, but this number may have halved after the PDVL came into effect, and with the Grab-Uber merger resulting in fewer incentives for drivers.

Outside of the ride-hailing industry, youths dominate other sectors in the growing gig economy made possible by the likes of HonestBee, Deliveroo and Zomwork, just to name a few.


(Photo: Facebook/Deliveroo Riders Singapore)


With all the skilled expertise that young graduates are acquiring these days, it makes one wonder why some gravitate towards gigs that don’t utilise skills relevant to years of tertiary education.


After National Service I worked as a member of an airline cabin crew. Besides the travelling perks, the income was attractive, and with only an O-level certification at that point in time, I was earning more than my peers.

So I understand why some youths rather drive Grab after graduation than grind their teeth at an entry-level job. Going by Grab’s income calculator, driving from 9am to 6pm on Monday to Friday would yield about S$1,015 per week. That’s S$4,060 per month.

The median salary in 2017 for a fresh polytechnic graduate stands at S$2,235 a month. Financially, it is a no-brainer to pick the job that pays more.


Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!