Did you know this word means THIS?

If I asked you what the definition of the word "ape" is, you'd likely say it's a large primate like a gorilla or orangutan.

But do you know what "ape" means as a verb?

I came cross the word in the book I'm currently reading, Alexander Hamilton, where the author states that, despite having gained their independence from the mother country, many Americans were still "aping" the customs of the British even toward the end of the 18th century. Before that, I hadn't seen the word used in a similar context since my college days.

Per my trusty dictionary, it means to imitate the behavior or manner of someone or something, often in an absurd or unthinking way.

Synonyms for ape include mimic, copy, parrot, and parody.

Did you know the definition for "ape" before reading this post?

Being alone isn't what people think

Many assume that if someone is alone, time must sit still -- that within a matter of minutes, he or she is probably bored out of his mind and itching to do something to make the clock move a little faster.

Well, while this may be true for some, it certainly doesn't apply to those who actually relish their time alone.

Why?

Because if the person is alone, there's a high probability they're introverted and enjoy their own company. If that's so, there's no reason to think they'd want time to fly.

Being introverted doesn't mean you're shy, antisocial, or snobbish.

It means you draw energy inward. Peace, quiet, and solitude recharge you. You enjoy being deep in thought. Heavy social interaction leaves you exhausted.

In reality, introverts have such rich imaginations that they can momentarily escape reality and live comfortably in their heads when the urge strikes.

From debating the merits of climate change to picturing what life was like in the 18th century, an introvert's mind is constantly firing on all cylinders -- a marked contrast to the calm, measured demeanor they project to the world.

Thus, when you see people who are alone and seemingly content that way, chances are they prefer their own company to that of others.

As an introvert, I'm often so engrossed in thought as to be oblivious to the chatter around me.

So, no, just because one is alone doesn't mean they'd rather be chatting it up with friends or doing other people-centric activities. Being alone and being lonely are two different things. The former is usually by choice while the latter is not.

As ironic as it may seem, some people feel lonelier in groups than when they're by themselves.

And while society generally frowns upon so-called loners, I think it's time people understood that not all of us are wired the same way. Some people do feel more of a need for solitude, and there's nothing wrong with that. It doesn't make them weird, but human.

Believe you CAN and you WILL

Whether you're striving to fulfill a long-held dream or resolve a vexing problem, I'm here to tell you one thing: you can do it.

There's really no way around it. You have no choice but to believe you're capable of doing it; otherwise, you won't get very far.

Yankees great Yogi Berra once quipped, "It ain't over till it's over." What that means is that until you've thrown in the proverbial towel -- until you've given up -- you have a fighting chance at success.

Instead of sitting around and serving up excuses for why you can't do something, try a different approach. With every unsuccessful attempt we gain more wisdom and experience, making us a bit more likely to triumph next time. Positive thinking attracts positive outcomes.

However, success doesn't come without hard work, persistence, and sacrifice. It usually requires a serious investment of some resource -- whether time or money -- that we may not always be inclined to part with. And there will be times where you'll feel so frustrated as to want to quit.

But if you're hungry enough to make it happen, you should be predisposed to doing virtually anything. If that's not the case, maybe you should reassess how badly you want this.

The bottom line is that faith in God and in ourselves keeps us focused on reaching the finish line. And once others see how dedicated you are, they're often willing to lend a hand anyway they can.

Don't give up! Picture yourself succeeding and it will happen. Don't allow negativity -- the thought of letting yourself and others around you down -- trickle into your mind.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Show the world that you've got what it takes to achieve anything you set out to do.

Imagine how different your life would be if...

Imagine how different our lives would be if the internet didn't exist.

For starters, you wouldn't be reading this right now.

You would have no choice but to communicate with others by phone, via letter, or in person, as social media wouldn't be available.

Chances are, you watch shows or movies via streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu. You would instead be forced to watch them on TV or rent them through Redbox or the local video store.

Imagine how many people would not be together if it weren't for Internet dating sites like Match.com or eHarmony. (I'm the perfect example of this, as I reacquainted with my now-wife, who I first met in middle school, through MySpace.

You would have to make payments by mail, through the phone, or in person.

You wouldn't be able to make purchases online. Instead, you'd have to hit up brick-and-mortar stores or buy your stuff through catalogs that come in the mail. It's important to note that were in not for the Internet, stores like Circuit City and Borders would likely still be in business.

With no Wikipedia or Google to turn to, you'd have to look up conduct research in the library.

You'd only be able to peruse job listings in the local paper and apply by mail or in person. We would not be able to avail of sites likes like Monster, CareerBuilder, or Craigslist.

Consider how much lower companies' sales would be. They would have no websites consumers could visit to peruse and buy products. (An Amazon- and eBay-less world is hard to fathom.)

Consider the fact that doctor's offices, universities, and other businesses would have no choice but to maintain paper trails of all our information.

It makes you wonder one thing: How the heck were we able to function as a society before the advent of the Internet?

We've become so reliant on the Web that nowadays we couldn't imagine going a day without using it for something -- whether to check email or like a friend's status on Facebook.

It really allows us appreciate the fact that we're alive in this ever-expanding digital age.

While the world is in many ways more complicated now than it was, say, 30 years ago, there's no denying that the Internet has been a boon for people who want to do more in the comfort of their home. And with smartphones, we can do virtually anything while on the go.

There's no question that the Internet has revolutionized the world like nothing else in history.

What would life be like for you without the internet? Are you happy to be living in this digital era?

If you're single on Valentine's Day...

First off, Happy Valentine's Day to all of you lovebirds who are married or in relationships.

Whether you wanted stuffed animals or kisses (of the romantic or chocolate variety), I hope your honey has succeeded at expressing how much you mean to them today, though that should really happen daily.

For those of you flying solo this Valentine's Day, there could be many reasons why this is the case. Perhaps you're not interested in a relationship right now. Maybe you just got out of one recently and wish to spend the next few months having fun with friends.

If it just so happens that you're a little blue about being single, don't despair.

The right person is out there -- you just have to be patient. At the same time, you need to do your part. Get out there and attend social functions where you can meet people. See if there are any dating sites to your liking. Ask friends and family whether they might know any prospects.

They say life happens when you're not looking. Who knows if you'll bump into Mr. or Mrs. Right at work, in the gym, or while on vacation in another country. You may have even met them already.

Don't try too hard, but don't rest on your laurels either. And once someone does come into your life who has potential, don't squander the opportunity by playing hard to get or other silly games.

Even if it takes getting through a few bad eggs before unearthing a diamond, don't give up. You deserve happiness, and you'll get it so long as you remain patient and open to all possibilities that come your way.