For centuries, virtually every country in the western world had some sort of king and royal family.
Some people in republics like France or the United States will say that clever people grew out of them. Monarchy lovers will respond that really clever countries kept their monarchies. They argue that royal families embody their country's human roots and identity. Brave kings and queens often become symbols of their nation's unity in times of war or crises.
The role of the royal family across the Commonwealth is that of morale boosters.
Younger family members are expected to join the armed forces or participate in some useful social service. Royal people present medals to brave soldiers and cups to sporting teams. They are expected to set a good example wherever they go.
In a representative people's monarchy, the people have the power while the monarch has none.
The British royal family are not supposed to express political opinions. When Elizabeth II reads out the policies of 'Her' government in the Queen's Speech at the Opening of Parliament, she represents the power of the people whose votes put the prime minister of the moment into office. She is a mouthpiece of that government but does not express her own opinions.
People identify with people. While politicians come and go, the royal family creates a sense of human continuity at the centre of society.
History shows that rebels and non-conformists in the family can create more affection than good ones. Diana, the maverick Princess, topped many of the royal popularity polls all over the world.
Briitish taxpayers fund the royal family, which totalled £82.2m in 2018/19. This paid for their 3,200 royal engagements at home and abroad, with over 160,000 guests being welcomed at royal palaces for events. It also financed the reservicing of Buckingham Palace for £85m over the next five years.
While that is a lot of money, in 2016 alone, over 2.7 million tourists visited Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and other key royal attractions, boosting Britains tourist revenues by £550m.
Succession runs through the male heirs, except when no male heirs are available. That law changed in 2015 for members of the royal family born after 28 October 2011.
The royal family take their titles from the English shires - York, Lancaster, Gloucester, Cornwall.
For the next generation of royals,
In term of precedence, the five male titles of the peerage are Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. Duke is the highest and most exclusive.
The British royal family survived by being more open and flexible than many others.
The French monarchy was destroyed in a blood-bath in the 1790s because it aligned itself with an oppressive aristocratic upper class who exploited the people. In contrast, the British royal family kept company with merchants and entrepreneurs and was encouraging scientific research. Generally, the British kings accepted the will of the people as expressed through parliament.
A brainchild of France, the metric system, or decimal-based measurement protocol, has not yet been adopted fully by many countries including the United States. This results in a different measurement unit for just about everything.
The U.S. Customary System is an inch-pound system having about 300 distinct units of measurement. A football field is measured in yards, while a race goes by meters. Air pressure is measured in PSI(for tires) but surface atmospheric pressure is calculated in inches on mercury, and air pressure in millibars.
The US inherited many rules and standards from the British Empire, including the British Imperial System, which had evolved from the weights and measures used in medieval times.
Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary Of State back in 1790 endorsed the decimal system of measurement in principle, but could not implement it due to political issues. Hostilities with France complicated the situation, and the United States could not persuade anyone to adopt the metric system.
The growing adoption of the metric system worldwide as of 1866 could not be ignored in the United States any longer. France was more accommodating this time, and a Treaty Of The Meter was signed.
An international committee for Weights and Measures was established, called the International Bureau Of Weights and Measures.
In 1890, an official document was created specifying the fundamental standards for length and mass, based on metric units, including conversion standards.
This was called the International Prototype Metre (for length) and the International Prototype Kilogram (for mass) and was stipulated in 1893, and later refined in 1959.
Apart from the cost involved in the mass adoption of the metric system, the reason for the sporadic deployment is also due to resistance towards change, and the American stubbornness towards adopting something coming from foreign shores, even though what is already in use seems good enough.
Making the conversion process voluntary without any imposition, has resulted in a vast majority of Americans still thinking in terms of inches and pounds.
Keystone habits lead to the development of multiple good habits.
Exercise is a good example of this. Once you start to change your exercise habits, it sets off a chain reaction that changes other habits as well: you start feeling good about your body, you eat healthy foods, you procrastinate less, etc.
Focus on baby steps. The key to new good habits is to do the minimum and be consistent.
Do not be ambitious at the beginning. That leads to failure. Consistency is what you’re shooting for, so make the hurdle as low as possible.
Thinking about the details makes you more likely to follow through.
Just writing down your plan also makes a big difference in effectively committing to your goals.
Tie a “want” to a “should.”
For example: if you want to listen to an audiobook but you know you should go to the gym, allow yourself to only listen to audiobooks while working out.
Mark the calendar. Set the alarm. Use a checklist.
When you’re trying to break bad habits, you need to resist. But with good habits, you need to remind.
Peer pressure works. And a good support network shows us that change is possible.
Hang out with pals who have the habit you want. Across many different kinds of behavior (voting, smoking, weight loss and weight gain, happiness, etc), people are very meaningfully affected by the behaviors of other people to whom they’re connected.
Asking for feedback and general collaboration with other people provides us with a sounding board that can sharpen our vision and make the execution stronger.
It also helps us recalibrate or pivot the idea and give it the right direction and shape.
Once the project is on trajectory, it is a good idea to map out a schedule, breaking it down into stages.
Even a calendar plan can help us visualize the outcome in the future and not be anxious.
If the idea gets stale after a week or a month, it may not be worth pursuing the same. The creative spark needs to be alive, to keep the excitement and motivation levels as they were before.
One has to invest one’s limited resources (Time, Money, Energy) only in something that is worth doing.
Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist, had worked on a theory that linked self-actualization to spirituality and self-transcendence.
His Hierarchy Of Needs Pyramid (which was never intended to be a pyramid) familiarized us to the basic human needs like safety, belonging and self-esteem to be a foundation that paves the way for creative pursuits.
Self-Actualization is an internal struggle that one must take by leaning towards stability and our higher goals while minimizing disruption from distracting thoughts and impulses (disruptive impulsivity).
One also has to look out for oneself to not fall in the dark abyss of negativity and doubt, apart from feeling directionless or meaningless.
Self-actualization is the ultimate paradox, in which by losing everything, one gains everything.
It is the ultimate nothingness, the zero that is infinity at the same time.
There is nothing to sacrifice in the process of self-actualization, even though it feels that way. One is freed of the bondage of the ego and is able to function with their full powers in the service of others.
If a person achieves what he set out to do, and is able to reach the goal they set for themselves, they are considered to be successful.
There are three positive traits that help us align towards our set goals, and make success easier and faster for us: Perseverance, emotional intelligence and humility.
If we keep out a million distractions surrounding us and think about our goal day and night, we will succeed in our goal, no matter what. The key here is continued focus, and also making the right thing as our goal.
If the aim is only money, it may not help us much, but if we keep our aim towards learning or striving to become better at something, we achieve success in monetary terms as a bonus.
Emotional Intelligence, the ability to understand yourself and the people that you live and work with, is an excellent trait to balance and correct yourself.
Everything and everyone is connected to one another forming a huge ecosystem. Our endeavours, whether to get a job, to lose weight or to find a life partner is always related to others.
One of the best traits in life is the continuous hunger to learn and be open to feedback. Being humble makes us leave our ego aside, breaking down the walls around us.
Humility makes us learn from one another, and stand upon the shoulders of giants. Instead of comparing ourselves with others, we have to create our own definitions of success.
Popular phrases define beauty as 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' or 'beauty is only skin deep.' But the question is: Should we define beauty by what we see in the media or by popular culture and trends?
We often do not have a clear view of what beauty is. We use different life experiences and memories we have and blend them to form our own definition of our beauty.
Our definition of beauty is often formed in three ways:
Real beauty is acceptance of yourself, including your perceived flaws. It's having character, kindness, strength, and self-confidence.
You are a masterpiece - a work of art. There is only one you made up of your unique genes and life experiences. Beauty is about starting to appreciate yourself as you would any other piece of art.
People’s minds wander, sometimes up to 30 to 40 percent of the time, while doing activities like reading.
A wandering mind is invoking the good brain regions, which are associated with solving insight puzzles. It is at work trying to find the answer to your stress-related problems, automatically.
Mind-wandering makes your brain richer and more creative. Like a creativity machine left on its own, it helps to solve problems, enrich our understanding, and process information that is otherwise left unprocessed.
Creativity by default is a messy process. Doing creative stuff, and letting your mind wander forms new connections and helps us subconsciously compare and contrast our problems and solutions.
Our brain's neural network needs to be fed different kinds of food, at the same time.
Mind-wandering has also been associated with unhappiness and stress.
This happens when the individual’s current life situation is not optimal or desirable. The mind tries to make up for this by imagining other things.
A wandering unfocused mind allows noise inside us, which helps in developing new ideas. A completely focused mind is shut, and as there is no noise which enters, it remains uncreative.
Many people have certain rituals that allow them to relax their minds deliberately. Like pausing and savouring a hot cup of coffee in the morning, allowing the mind to go places.