Monthly Archive for February, 2022

How Thinking Optimistically Can Change Your World Perspective

In some parts of the world, March is optimism month, during which the idea is promoted that we can actively change the way we think and start to view things more optimistically. We know that some people are naturally more optimistic than others, but whoever we are and whether we are inherently positive or not, we can work to train ourselves to create a lifelong habit of optimism, for a happier, healthier life.  

How Thinking Optimistically Can Help You. 

People will often assume that those with a more positive outlook on life are that way due to the fact they may have had an easy life, or that they’ve never had something major happen to them that shook their worldview, but this is not entirely the case.

Research suggests that optimistic people are happier because they actually gain happiness from their optimistic outlook. This can have health benefits as a happy life can lead to a longer and healthier life, especially mentally. So how do we ‘train’ ourselves to be more optimistic? There are a number of ways: 

How to help optimise your optimism. 

Coincidence Journal: 

Do you remember the last time you experienced good fortune, or a coincidence that benefited you? Perhaps you moved something valuable off of a shelf moments before that same shelf fell of the wall. We all experience these happy coincidences on a regular basis, but we can fail to notice them, as we may be too stressed or busy.  

It’s important to take note of these, so create a journal that you can add to every night (or when you’re free) and you’ll soon start to appreciate how much is actually going your way. Revisiting this journal will help you focus on the positive and gain a new perspective. 

Gratitude Journal: 

Creating a gratitude journal is another way to focus on the positivity in your life. 

Challenge yourself to write three things that you’re grateful for at the end of each day. If you can, try to make what you write each day different, to help highlight as many positive events in your life as possible. It will help you promote a more optimistic outlook.  

The best thing about keeping a journal is that if you’re feeling down or stressed, it can be a great reminder of all you have to be thankful for.  

Vision Board: 

When you set yourself goals, it’s important to visualise how you can achieve them. Creating a vision board can help you do this and see your aims clearly. 

The first step is to set your goal (or goals) and place them at the top of your board. Below this, draw a ladder, with each rung being a step towards achieving your goal. Break down your thought processes and be realistic; it’s important that you maintain the right difficulty level for each step, or you may lose motivation. As you move down the steps, you can mark the fact that you have completed them in whatever way you wish and get a visual sense of your progress. Your optimism will hopefully increase as you see yourself get closer to the overall goal.  

In case you feel that you could end up being too optimistic and this might actually end up being harmful rather than helpful, this is actually quite unlikely. Studies have shown that most people are consistently wrong in being too optimistic. On average, people expect good things to happen and bad things to not happen, and these optimistic beliefs are more positive than can be justified by reality.

But for the most part, this over-optimism does no harm. In fact, we may have evolved this way, as it give us a survival advantage. Being optimistic is extremely motivating and will make us try harder (creating a self-fulfilling prophecy). It also helps us to avoid stress.

So it’s official. You can’t be too optimistic!

Spring has arrived, find out why it’s simply the BEST season!

Spring is nearly here and, for us at Infero, it can’t come soon enough. It’s the season of rebirth and rejuvenation, when animals emerge from hibernation and nature starts to regrow. Here are our top picks of why spring is the BEST season. 

Longer days 

The further from December’s midwinter solstice that we get, the longer the days become. Thankfully it is no longer pitch black outside by 4:30 pm. By the end of March, sunset won’t happen until almost 6:30 in the evening. Then, daylight saving time will come to an end and our clocks will spring forward an hour, giving us late evenings to enjoy for the whole of summer. Taking full advantage of all this natural light benefits our mood, as sunlight directly affects how much serotonin our brains release, a hormone that makes us feel both happier and healthier! 


Spring sees the return of wildlife to our parks and gardens. As well as the return of hedgehogs from hibernation, the UK sees the return of many migratory birds, with birdwatchers recording the the first arrival of the first Swallow or Cuckoo of the year. And, whilst butterflies can be seen all year ’round in the UK, this is only in certain habitats. It is in spring that we will begin to see these wonderful and unique creatures once more grace our gardens; from late March and April onwards. The species most likely to be found near our homes include peacock, red admiral, small white and painted lady butterflies. All this can have an extremely positive effect on our own well-being. In fact, a UK study in 2017 directly linked the number of birds people could see in their neighbourhoods to their reported mental state. The little things really can cheer us up. 


We all know that the UK doesn’t get the hottest weather, except, perhaps, for two random weeks, somewhere between March and November, when the temperature climbs to the mid thirties and we all complain that it is ‘too hot’. Spring does, however mark temperatures rising to slightly more bearable levels than those of the depths of winter. This means we can go outside, enjoy the fresh air and take advantage of those longer days. March winds and April showers may mean that spring is breezier and wetter than the summer to follow, but it still feels great to be outside. And once out and about, feel free to channel your inner Pepper Pig and go jumping in those muddy puddles. 

Nature – The Great Outdoors

For those who love gardening, it’s time for you to return to your favourite hobby. Spend some time planting seeds, pruning your shrubs and vines, adding colour in your lawn, by using plants such as pansies, clean and prep your garden and rejuvenate your water features. And if gardening’s not your thing, then wander a little further from home to marvel at the splendour of nature. And there is a lot to see; consider the 15 National Parks in the UK. In England 10 National Parks cover 9.3% of the land area, in Wales 3 National Parks cover 19.9.% of the land area, and in Scotland 2 National Parks cover 7.2% of the land area. You can learn more about these spectacular national treasures in our previous post here.

So whatever you do, get out and enjoy spring. Like the song says:

Ma Nature’s lyrical, with her yearly miracle

Spring, Spring, Spring.

Women’s History Month: Discovering The Women That Shaped the World

Throughout history the achievements of women have been overlooked and under-represented, and this is no less true in the UK. March is Women’s History month, when we look back and celebrate the contributions of women and how they helped develop our nation. 

Until relatively recently women did not enjoy the same rights under the law as men; for example, they only gained the vote in 1918. Even then, they only had the right to vote if they owned a house. Women didn’t gain real equality, in voting terms, until 1928.  


It was groups such as the suffragettes, using both peaceful and more extreme forms of protest, with the aim of causing as much societal disorder as possible, that eventually helped force the then government to give women the vote. Their struggle wasn’t without sacrifice. Emily Davison, a key figure of the suffragette movement was killed during one protest, after throwing herself In front of the king’s horse during a race.  

For the vast majority of recorded history, women’s voices have been ignored and their contributions hidden, or perhaps worse still, the credit for them has been stolen by others, invariably men. Women’s history month focuses on the achievements of those in the past who were passed by at the time and celebrates the significance of what these women did, for both equality between the sexes and for their societal contributions. 

Here are some of the Women that helped to shape the UK and the world as we know it: 

Florence Nightingale 

Although known in popular mythology as “The Lady with the Lamp”, it is unclear whether her achievements in the Crimean War were exaggerated by the media at the time. This doesn’t really matter, however, as Florence Nightingale was, by any measure, one of the most remarkable people of her time, male or female, and is agreed to be the founder of modern nursing.   

 After rejecting the expected role for a woman of her status to become a wife and mother. Nightingale worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing. During the Crimean War she served as a manager and trainer of nurses , organising care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople. Giving nursing a favourable reputation and becoming an icon of Victorian culture, she later established her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, the first secular nursing school in the world. Her achievements in the profession are such that in some countries the ‘Nightingale Pledge’ is taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal is the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve.

What is much less well-known about her is that Nursing is only one part of a remarkable career. She was a social reformer whose reforms included improving healthcare for all sections of British society, and someone who expanded the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce. A pioneer in statistics she developed a form of the pie chart now known as the polar area diagram. In addition to all of this Nightingale was a prolific writer, publishing a large number of books and tracts, many concerned with spreading of medical knowledge and written in simple English.

Mary Seacole  

Mary Seacole is the other famous nurse of the Crimean war. After hearing about the poor treatment of soldiers in Crimea, she offered herself to assist with nursing the wounded, and applied to the War Office to be included among the nursing contingent, but was refused. She later attributed this refusal to prejudice, but she travelled to Crimea independently anyway and set up her “British Hotel” behind the lines. She described the hotel as “a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers”.

Displaying “compassion, skills and bravery while nursing soldiers during the Crimean War” and relying on her skill and experience as a healer and a doctress from Jamaica, many have argued that she was the first nurse-practitioner. Returning to Britain after the war, she got into increasing financial trouble and was declared bankrupt. The British press highlighted her plight and a Fund was set up to help her and there was even a festival held in her honour. After her death, she was largely forgotten for almost a century, but was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991 and in 2004 was voted the greatest black Briton, with a statue of her being erected at St Thomas’s hospital, London in 2016.  

Marie Curie 

Mare Curie was a Polish Born Chemist who had moved to Paris for a chance to study at university. She worked closely with uranium, a new and highly radioactive substance but, during her studies, noticed that some parts of the uranium were more radioactive than others, and realised that the readings couldn’t be that of the uranium alone. Despite being doubted by her peers, she continued researching and discovered a new element, polonium. She went on to find yet another element – radium.  

Marie Curie’s discoveries paved the way for much modern medicine and the treatment of cancer through radiotherapy, as it is used today.  

Ada Lovelace 

Many consider Lovelace to be the first computer programmer, long before what we would now call computer even existed. After working with Charles Babbage, who proposed an Analytical Engine (a programmable, general-purpose computer) she recognised that the machine might have applications beyond pure calculation, and published the first algorithm (programme) intended to be carried out by such a machine.

The Analytical Engine was never finished, so her work couldn’t be put to the test during her life-time, but her contributions to Mathematics and Computing cannot be underestimated and she’s now remembered through the programming language dubbed “Ada”. A hundred years ahead of her time, Ada was remarkable also because the vision she had of computers going beyond mere mathematics. She asked questions about the Analytical Engine itself and how individuals and society relate to technology.

Amelia Earhart 

Amelia Earhart was an American-born pilot who defied gender roles to pursue her passion in aviation. She set many milestones during her life, such as being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (second person ever) as well as the being the first person to fly from Hawaii to the mainland USA.  She received a ‘Distinguished Flying Cross’ for her trans-Atlantic flight. After placing third in the All Women’s Air Derby, she helped found the Ninety-Nines, an international organisation to help women into aviation, which is still around today and helps women from 44 different countries.   

Attempting to navigate the globe she was only 7000 miles away from completing her goal when she and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared after losing contact with the US Coast Guard.  Investigations and significant public interest in their disappearance still continue over 80 years later.

These women and many more like them around the globe have helped push boundaries and change the world for the better. We can celebrate how far we have come in terms of equality and look back on those that paved the way. 

Why You SHOULD Learn New Skills In Excel

Now might be the time to get the new job you’ve always wanted. The Office of National Statistics reported in January that “The number of job vacancies in October to December 2021 rose to a new record of 1,247,000”. In some areas, however, things are still very competitive and it takes that little bit extra to stand out. 

One skill employers always look for proficiency in is MS Excel, because the software is extremely versatile and able to be turned to almost any task. It is also very widely used, in all types of industries including HR, Marketing, Retail and more. This is due to the depth of functionality that Excel has, being able to do everything from calculating, to sorting, organising and evaluating data, to providing business insights through easy to understand charts and visualisations. It is the default tool in almost every organisation, used by everyone from entry-level employees to senior staff.  

Whether you’re an employee trying to stand out from the crowd or an employer trying to raise productivity in your workplace, here are our top 5 reasons Excel should be your next step in education: 

Improving efficiency in the workplace 

Since Excel allows you to manipulate large amounts of data and even automate any data processing that takes place, it is easy to save hours of repetitive work. Tasks that take hours or days can be accomplished in minutes if you know how to access the correct tool in Excel. The greater your knowledge the more work that can be done speedily and efficiently, simply by accessing the sophisticated tools that Excel puts at your disposal. 

Knowledge of Excel will also help you stand out to prospective employers, or, perhaps, increase the appreciation that your present employer has for you, and give you a helping hand towards that promotion you are after. 

Takes the strain off the IT support 

In some organisations, where the workforce does not have a good knowledge of Excel, IT support may be required to help with ordinary, day to day work-tasks. This means that the individual may be unproductive whilst waiting for help from IT and the support staff’s time is taken up in solving an issue that wouldn’t even arise if the staff member had had some elementary training. Two staff members time are wasted on something trivial and very easily solvable. For both employees and employers, just a small amount of the right training is invaluable. 

Can Save the Company Money 

It might be that the company will at some point require someone with strong Excel skills. We live in an increasing data driven society, after all. At this point it would be far more cost effective for the employer to invest in their current staff. These are the people who have knowledge of, and commitment to, the company and could use that knowledge to uncover some money-making insights, if they only had the skills. Hiring someone already proficient in Excel will be time-consuming and costly. And it will take that person literally years to gain the knowledge and understanding of the business that current employees already have. Training is an investment of a few days that provides an excellent return in terms of workflow and productivity.  

Creates Higher Satisfaction for Employees 

Performing tasks in Excel without the proper training can mean that employees have a much higher workload than they really should, because they are not able to access the functionality contained in the programme. This, in turn, can lead to a team feeling unmotivated, with lower job satisfaction, even pressured and stressed because they may feel that they aren’t fully equipped for the task. Providing advanced Excel training for your team will increase both their motivation and productivity and your turnover. And, because they are being trained and valued, employee retention will be high.

Making Yourself Necessary 

The more efficient you become as a worker and the more time you save on the normal, everyday tasks, the more you will graduate to higher levels. Continuing your training to Excel advanced level can make you almost irreplaceable. Developing new skills helps you stay on top of your game and is a win-win for both the employee and the employer. 

If you’re looking for training for yourself or your employees, we offer Excel courses at three levels, catered for your pre-existing knowledge and experience.