Essay Topics + Model Essay

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  1.  What are your three favorite flavors of ice cream? 10/16/18 (See Model Essay below)
  2.  What are your three favorite days of the year? 10/22/18
  3.  In your opinion, what are the three best parts of life? 10/24/18
  4.  What classes in high school have you disliked the most? 10/25/18
  5.  Why do you think doctors push medication rather than meditation and exercise?
  6.  Practice Writing a hook.  Click this link to watch the video: Click Here to Watch 10/29/18
  7.  What do you think is better for students, big schools or small schools, and why?
  8.   Do you think social media is a good thing or bad thing for teenagers? 10/31/18
  9.  Do you think the age limit to drive should be Sixteen, eighteen, or twenty-one? 11/5/18
  10. Why is it so hard to be patient? 11/7/18
  11. Do you think Marijuana should be legal or illegal? 11/13/18
  12. What are the benefits of exercise? 11/26/18
  13. Why do you love your cell phone? 12/3/18
  14. Can happiness make you smarter, get sick less, and make you more successful? 12/5/18
  15. What do you wish could happen RIGHT NOW?! 12/10/18
  16. You can actually become addicted to your cell phone?  Explain how to your classmates in this essay. 12/12/18
  17. What does your ideal lifestyle look like in 10 years? Discuss where you’ll live, what you’re house or apartment will look like, and where your house will be, in an ideal situation.  12/17/18
  18. What did you learn in this class? 12/18/18

Model Essay

The Secret to Happiness is Helping Others

Give, Donate, Charity

By JENNY SANTI Time.com

August 4, 2017

There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” For centuries, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing: Happiness is found in helping others.

For it is in giving that we receive — Saint Francis of Assisi

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity — Leo Tolstoy

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give — Winston Churchill

Making money is a happiness; making other people happy is a superhappiness — Nobel Peace Prize receipient Muhammad Yunus

Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person — Goldie Hawn

And so we learn early: It is better to give than to receive. The venerable aphorism is drummed into our heads from our first slice of a shared birthday cake. But is there a deeper truth behind the truism?

The resounding answer is yes. Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Through fMRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it’s pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful.

But it’s important to remember that giving doesn’t always feel great. The opposite could very well be true: Giving can make us feel depleted and taken advantage of. Here are some tips to that will help you give not until it hurts, but until it feels great:

1. Find your passion

Our passion should be the foundation for our giving. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. It’s only natural that we will care about this and not so much about that, and that’s OK. It should not be simply a matter of choosing the right thing, but also a matter of choosing what is right for us.

2. Give your time

The gift of time is often more valuable to the receiver and more satisfying for the giver than the gift of money. We don’t all have the same amount of money, but we all do have time on our hands, and can give some of this time to help others—whether that means we devote our lifetimes to service, or just give a few hours each day or a few days a year.

3. Give to organizations with transparent aims and results

According to Harvard scientist Michael Norton, “Giving to a cause that specifies what they’re going to do with your money leads to more happiness than giving to an umbrella cause where you’re not so sure where your money is going.”

4. Find ways to integrate your interests and skills with the needs of others

“Selfless giving, in the absence of self-preservation instincts, easily becomes overwhelming,” says Adam Grant, author of Give & Take. It is important to be “otherish,” which he defines as being willing to give more than you receive, but still keeping your own interests in sight.

5. Be proactive, not reactive

We have all felt the dread that comes from being cajoled into giving, such as when friends ask us to donate to their fundraisers. In these cases, we are more likely to give to avoid humiliation rather than out of generosity and concern. This type of giving doesn’t lead to a warm glow feeling; more likely it will lead to resentment. Instead we should set aside time, think about our options, and find the best charity for our values.

6. Don’t be guilt-tripped into giving

I don’t want to discourage people from giving to good causes just because that doesn’t always cheer us up. If we gave only to get something back each time we gave, what a dreadful, opportunistic world this would be! Yet if we are feeling guilt-tripped into giving, chances are we will not be very committed over time to the cause.

The key is to find the approach that fits us. When we do, then the more we give, the more we stand to gain purpose, meaning and happiness—all of the things that we look for in life but are so hard to find.

Jenny Santi is a philanthropy advisor and author of The Giving Way to Happiness: Stories & Science Behind the Life-Changing Power of Giving

Giving thanks can make you happier

This article is from:

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Healthbeat

November kicks off the holiday season with high expectations for a cozy and festive time of year. However, for many this time of year is tinged with sadness, anxiety, or depression. Certainly, major depression or a severe anxiety disorder benefits most from professional help. But what about those who just feel lost or overwhelmed or down at this time of year? Research (and common sense) suggests that one aspect of the Thanksgiving season can actually lift the spirits, and it’s built right into the holiday — expressing gratitude.

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.

Research on gratitude

Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.

One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Another leading researcher in this field, Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, tested the impact of various positive psychology interventions on 411 people, each compared with a control assignment of writing about early memories. When their week’s assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month.

Of course, studies such as this one cannot prove cause and effect. But most of the studies published on this topic support an association between gratitude and an individual’s well-being.

Other studies have looked at how gratitude can improve relationships. For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.

Managers who remember to say “thank you” to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group — assigned to work on a different day — received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.

There are some notable exceptions to the generally positive results in research on gratitude. One study found that middle-aged divorced women who kept gratitude journals were no more satisfied with their lives than those who did not. Another study found that children and adolescents who wrote and delivered a thank-you letter to someone who made a difference in their lives may have made the other person happier — but did not improve their own well-being. This finding suggests that gratitude is an attainment associated with emotional maturity.

Ways to cultivate gratitude

Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis.

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

Why Passion is Good for Your Health

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It’s been pretty well documented by now that passion is good for your business. Especially when it’s properly understood and not just used as a synonym for something you enjoy doing. Simon Sinek explains how passion can be translated into your company’s core values in his TED Talk, “Finding Your Why.” And how knowing their reason for being is the key differentiator between companies that excel and ones that merely turn profit.

Thus, if passion is good for (or arguably) essential to your business, it should come as a pleasant surprise that it’s also good for your health. The average American works 47 hours a week, which is 25 percent more than our European counterparts. And to be honest, something about that statistic feels a little wonky. With email on our smartphones and high speed internet at home, it often feels like we never leave the office.

So, it stands to reason that loving what you do will make your day more pleasant, or at the very least, not loathing what you do. Workplace stress is responsible for as much as $190 billion in healthcare costs every year. Your job can literally make you sick! Deadlines, extra hours, and pressure from an overbearing boss, can all have a profound effect on your mental and physical health, provoking extreme stress, anxiety, and even heart disease.

Amy Ching, Senior Data Analyst at CarVi, a leading automobile technology firm that designs safety technology for cars, is driven by passion. We recently spoke about the advancements the company is making in the vehicle safety space and ended up concluding that passion is essential to innovation — and good for your health as well! Here are a few reasons why:

Passion is good for your brain

According to Total Brain Health, having an intellectual passion is a major factor in keeping your brain healthy. Passion is also good for staving off memory loss. People who show lifelong intellectual engagement develop memory loss later as they age. Having a passion, whether it’s learning a language, playing Sudoku, or climbing mountains, is the best way to get a mental workout. In fact, according to one German study, adults who became proficient at juggling showed increased brain volume on imaging studies.

Passion gives you a purpose in life

Amy enthuses: “It’s easy to get passionate about our jobs at CarVi, every member of the team is driven by the goal of saving lives. It makes us want to come to work every morning.” Having a passion gives us a purpose in life. And having a purpose leads to fulfillment and happiness, which is subsequently good for our health. Many scientific studies have found a connection between happiness and good health.

People with an optimistic mindset are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as exercising and eating right. Lower blood pressure and a healthier BMI have been associated with improved well-being on many occasions. You’ve probably already heard that happiness releases endorphins, in the same way exercise does. But having something to get excited about in the morning sets those natural neurochemicals coursing through your body, reducing pain, minimizing discomfort, and making you feel healthier.

Passion drives you to be better

Once you’ve identified your passion as the driving force of your business, it will propel you to be better and seek continual improvement. That means that both your professional and personal relationships will benefit, as will the way you treat yourself. “Our motivation at CarVi,” says Amy, “is zero accidents, and we’re continually working on driving innovation forward and being better at what we do.”

Being better at your job (or wanting to be better) most often has a contagious effect and spreads to your personal life as well. When someone is continually seeking self-improvement it makes them healthier. Isolating areas of their life that are unhealthy for them and becoming the best version of themselves possible.

So, there you have it. Whether you’re passionate about saving lives, helping people organize their lives, or writing all about it, having a passion is good for your health! If you want to keep memory loss at bay, enjoy improved mental agility for longer, lower blood pressure and get a better quality of sleep, start following your passion today. Doctor’s orders.

Originally published at medium.com

Near-Misses Make You Stronger!! – That’s us!!

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Click Here to Read Article

Assignment:

1. Read the article below, then write the sentence starters I have below, and finish them with your answers.

2. In the article, “How Early-Career Setbacks Can Set You Up for Success, Failure is just part of the process,” by Tim Herrera, the author states that people who barley miss out on something early in their career …

3. The article also says that people who fail early in their careers come back stronger because…

4. There is actual science behind this study, it says that people who barley miss, when they’re at the beginning of their career, are more successful than people who barley succeed early in their career because …

5. You came to Delta because you fell behind early in your career. This article states that falling behind early in your life/career will make you way more successful in your life, describe why you agree. I agree that I will become very successful because of my early setbacks because…

Magazine: Assignment 1

Assignment:  Write a letter to the author 

1. Read 1 story from Empathy Empire magazine

2.  Write a letter to the author – use google docs.   (Use the Letter Template below)

3.  Write three paragraphs:  Answer the questions below in each paragraph

Paragraph 1:  Tell the author how their story makes you feel

Paragraph 2:  Tell the author how you can relate to them, somehow

Paragraph 3:  Thank the author for his or her courage to tell their story.  If                            they inspired hope for you, explain to them how they inspired you.

Click the Magazine below to Read it: 

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The Short but Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” – Arnold Toynbee

Post written by Leo Babauta.

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Following your passion can be a tough thing. But figuring out what that passion is can be even more elusive.

I’m lucky — I’ve found my passion, and I’m living it. I can testify that it’s the most wonderful thing, to be able to make a living doing what you love.

And so, in this little guide, I’d like to help you get started figuring out what you’d love doing. This turns out to be one of the most common problems of many Zen Habits readers — including many who recently responded to me on Twitter.

This will be the thing that will get you motivated to get out of bed in the morning, to cry out, “I’m alive! I’m feeling this, baby!”. And to scare your family members or anyone who happens to be in yelling distance as you do this.

This guide won’t be comprehensive, and it won’t find your passion for you. But it will help you in your journey to find it.

Here’s how.

1. What are you good at? Unless you’re just starting out in life, you have some skills or talent, shown some kind of aptitude. Even if you are just starting out, you might have shown some talent when you were young, even as young as elementary school. Have you always been a good writer, speaker, drawer, organizer, builder, teacher, friend? Have you been good at ideas, connecting people, gardening, selling? Give this some thought. Take at least 30 minutes, going over this question — often we forget about things we’ve done well. Think back, as far as you can, to jobs, projects, hobbies. This could be your passion. Or you may have several things. Start a list of potential candidates.

2. What excites you? It may be something at work — a little part of your job that gets you excited. It could be something you do outside of work — a hobby, a side job, something you do as a volunteer or a parent or a spouse or a friend. It could be something you haven’t done in awhile. Again, think about this for 30 minutes, or 15 at the least. If you don’t, you’re probably shortchanging yourself. Add any answers to your list.

3. What do you read about? What have you spent hours reading about online? What magazines do you look forward to reading? What blogs do you follow? What section of the bookstore do you usually peruse? There may be many topics here — add them to the list.

4. What have you secretly dreamed of? You might have some ridiculous dream job you’ve always wanted to do — to be a novelist, an artist, a designer, an architect, a doctor, an entrepreneur, a programmer. But some fear, some self-doubt, has held you back, has led you to dismiss this idea. Maybe there are several. Add them to the list — no matter how unrealistic.

5. Learn, ask, take notes. OK, you have a list. Pick one thing from the list that excites you most. This is your first candidate. Now read up on it, talk to people who’ve been successful in the field (through their blogs, if they have them, or email). Make a list of notes of things you need to learn, need to improve on, skills you want to master, people to talk to. Study up on it, but don’t make yourself wait too long before diving into the next step.

6. Experiment, try. Here’s where the learning really takes place. If you haven’t been already, start to do the thing you’ve chosen. Maybe you already are, in which case you might be able to skip to the next step or choose a second candidate to try out. But if you haven’t been, start now — just do it. It can be in the privacy of your own home, but as quickly as possible, make it public however you can. This motivates you to improve, it gets you feedback, and your reputation will improve as you do. Pay attention to how you feel doing it — is it something you look forward to, that gets you excited, that you love to share?

7. Narrow things down. I recommend that you pick 3-5 things from your list, if it’s longer than that, and do steps 5 & 6 with them. This could take month, or perhaps you’ve already learned about and tried them all out. So now here’s what you need to ask yourself: which gets you the most excited? Which of these can produce something that people will pay for or get excited about? Which can you see yourself doing for years (even if it’s not a traditional career path)? Pick one, or two at the most, and focus on that. You’re going to do the next three steps with it: banish your fears, find the time, and make it into a career if possible. If it doesn’t work out, you can try the next thing on your list — there’s no shame in giving something a shot and failing, because it’ll teach you valuable lessons that will help you to be successful in the next attempt.

8. Banish your fears. This is the biggest obstacle for most people – self-doubt and fear of failure. You’re going to face it and banish it. First, acknowledge it rather than ignoring or denying it. Second, write it down, to externalize it. Third, feel it, and be OK with having it. Fourth, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Usually it’s not catastrophic. Fifth, prepare yourself for doing it anyway, and then do it. Take small steps, as tiny as possible, and forget about what might happen — focus on what actually is happening, right now. And then celebrate your success, no matter how small.

9. Find the time. Don’t have the time to pursue this passion? Make the time, dammit! If this is a priority, you’ll make the time — rearrange your life until you have the time. This might mean waking earlier, or doing it after work or during lunch, or on weekends. It will probably mean canceling some commitments, simplifying your work routing or doing a lot of work in advance (like you’re going on a vacation). Do what it takes.

10. How to make a living doing it. This doesn’t happen overnight. You need to do something, get good at it, be passionate about it. This could take months or years, but if you’re having fun, that’s what’s most important. When you get to the point where someone would pay you for it, then you’re golden — there are many ways to make a living at that point, including doing freelance or consulting work, making information products such as ebooks, writing a blog and selling advertising. In fact, I recommend you do a blog if you’re not already — it’ll help solidify your thinking, build a reputation, find people who are interested in what you do, demonstrate your knowledge and passion.

I told you this wouldn’t be easy. It’ll require a lot of reflection and soul-searching, at first, then a lot of courage and learning and experimentation, and finally a lot of commitment.

But it’s all worth it — every second, every ounce of courage and effort. Because in the end, you’ll have something that will transform your life in so many ways, will give you that reason to jump out of bed, will make you happy no matter how much you make.

I hope you follow this guide and find success, because I wish on you nothing less than finding your true passion.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius