Day: July 4, 2017

Afghanistan's version of 'Sesame Street' promotes gender equality with a new muppet


Afghanistan’s version of Sesame Street, Baghch-e-Simsim, introduced a new muppet, Zeerak, who’s spreading the importance of women’s education.

Zeerak is the 4-year-old brother of Zari, who made her debut last year. According to AFP, the producers of the show hope that Zeerak, who looks up to his older, educated sister, will inspire positive attitudes about women’s education in Afghanistan.

Meet Zeerak, @sesamestreet‘s 2nd Afghan muppet, proudly teaching boys in the war-torn country to love their sisters:

— AFP Islamabad/Kabul (@AFPAfPak) July 4, 2017 Read more…

More about Sesame Street, Muppets, Baghch E Simsim, Zeerak, and Zari

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Samsung is reportedly getting ready to join the smart speaker craze

 Samsung is reportedly working on its own smart speaker device to compete with Amazon’s Echo and others, the WSJ reports. Appropriately, the timing of the device is far from ironed out. Samsung has had quite a few problems getting the voice-powered element of its Bixby smart assistant ready for Galaxy S8 consumers in the US after launching the device months ago. The report also states… Read More

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AT&T: it's not “forced arbitration” because no one forced you to have broadband

AT&T, which has successfully lobbied state governments and the FCC to ban any broadband competition in the markets where it operates, says that its forced arbitration “agreements” aren’t really forced, because people in the markets it serves could just not use the internet.

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Seven Mindfulness Steps To Build Self-Esteem

It’s no secret that a lot of what we think and do are the products of our habits. These habits are often carried out unconsciously and they lead to our emotions and beliefs. These emotions and beliefs then lead to certain actions. These actions can reinforce our beliefs or have consequences that start the cycle all over again.

What exactly is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been defined in many ways. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn has described it as, “Awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind.”

Generally speaking, mindfulness has two major aspects to it.

The first involves the following:
• Being generally aware of the present moment
• Noticing when that awareness wanders
• Bringing that awareness back to the present moment

The second most common aspect of mindfulness is focusing on something in particular. This involves:
• Paying attention to something in particular, like one’s breath
• Noticing when the mind drifts from that thing
• Bringing attention back to that thing.

Strengthening mindfulness for self esteem

Mindfulness is a skill that most westerners are not used to. Becoming more mindful usually takes specific forms of practice. Many traditions and methods have been developed over the years.

The different forms of meditation have been generally accepted as mindfulness practice. Still, the main goal of being more mindful is to apply its principles to real life situations.

mindfulness and meditation

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Seven steps to utilize mindfulness for self-esteem

Stay in the present moment

Most of your distressful feelings are either memories of things gone wrong or thoughts of a less than optimal future. If you find yourself feeling less confident, odds are you’ve been harping on past failures or are worrying about a particular outcome.

You must strive to vigilantly observe when your mind isn’t focused on the present. When you notice your awareness drifting, bring it back to the here and now. Concentrate on what you’re doing right now at this very moment. There’s a saying, “If you have one foot in the future and the other in the past, you’re pissing on today.”

Don’t confuse ruminating and worrying about the future with planning. Depending on how ingrained your habit towards negative thinking is, it can be a thin line between worrying and planning.

Think of it like this.

If you tell yourself that you are going to do x, y and z, it’s usually planning. But, if your thinking is along the lines of “what if” or “such is probably going to happen”, then you’re probably worrying.

Don’t judge

Judge not or you shall be judged.

This saying has more truth to it than most people realize. Judging can become a formidable unconscious habit. What you often don’t realize is that by judging others, you’re actually drawing comparisons.

You will eventually judge someone to be better at something than you. And once that happens, you will start to down yourself and attack your own self-esteem.

A good way to practice being non-judgmental is to watch the news or read the newspaper and not form an opinion about what you see. In other words, try not to think that the event, the people involved or their actions are right, wrong, smart or stupid, etc. Then, try to bring this same mindset when dealing with others.

When you judge others, your mind slips out of the present moment. It makes you vulnerable to ruminating about the past and future. Remember, judge not, or so you shall be judged.

Stand tall

Research has shown that standing with good posture can have beneficial effects on your mood. It is hard to walk with one’s head, shoulders and chest held upright and not feel good. If you’re standing with good posture, most people will look at you and treat you as if you are confident. It can help you feel better about yourself.

One of the hindrances that make it hard for many people with low self-worth to stand tall is fear of eye contact. If you keep the two previous steps in mind, staying in the present and forming no judgments, it will be easier for you to look people in the eye.

Don’t stare. Just occasionally look people in the eye, especially if they’re looking at you. If you still find eye contact hard, there are a couple of hacks for it. You can look at the bridge of a person’s nose, instead of directly in the eye. Another trick is to look at a person’s ears if you’re directly in front of but not too close to him.

Demand your space

People with low self-esteem often don’t want to be noticed. When in public, they try to be as unobtrusive as possible. Whereas people with high self-worth stand out. One of the ways they do this is by taking up space.

For instance, when standing, try to keep your feet shoulder-width apart. When sitting, keep your knees apart as much as is appropriate for the situation. When you do this, you’re basically telling the world that you not only have balls, but they’re big ones. Try and keep your hands away from you as well, being mindful not to consistently fold your arms across your chest.

If you are a man, you should also be mindful of keeping your elbows away from your torso as well. Keeping the knees and elbows drawn in is often viewed as weak and submissive, not to mention effeminate in some cultures.

Make faces

The look you hold on your face often influences your mood. You should strive to have the look of a confident winner. Different people show that differently.

For one person, it could be a smiling face. For another, it could be the look of a person who’s serious and doesn’t play games. The choice is yours, as long as it is the facial expression that you feel a confident person would wear.

A lot of times, when you have low self-esteem, you defeat yourself before you even start. You have a look of defeat, submission or unhappiness plastered on your face. Not only does this affect your mood, but it can influence those around you.

When you smile, the whole world smiles with you. If you look upbeat and confident, it can make it easier for people to gravitate towards you. People instinctively know that emotions are contagious. Therefore humans tend to be attracted to people who feel good.

On the other hand, if you look like a depressed loser, not only will you tend to feel that way, but it can make people hostile towards you. They don’t want to feel like you do, so they will tend to avoid you or drive you away.

You’ll even find people will often be attracted towards you if you look slightly angry. The key word is “slightly”. If you look enraged or ready to explode, people may stand clear out of fear for their physical safety. Anger is not generally considered a positive emotion, but an angry person is generally looked at as having more confidence than one who looks submissive.


mindfulness and relaxation

Relaxation techniques help to alleviate the effects of the fight or flight response. Being in a relaxed state won’t necessarily build confidence, but it can help to relieve anxiety and other adverse moods. This step takes practice.

In the beginning, it’s recommended that you practice some type of relaxation technique. This is so that you know what relaxation actually feels like. Once you have established how it feels, you’ll have to be mindful of the stress on your body. The common trouble spots are the face, neck, shoulder region and the central torso. During your day, you can do a quick self-check to see if there is unnecessary tension in those trouble spots.

Act as if

This step includes bringing all the other steps together. It’s sort of like being a method actor.

You contemplate how you would imagine a person with high self-esteem would act and then you strive to emulate that type of behavior. It may be awkward at first and people that know you may be put off a little. They may not take the ‘new’ you seriously. But, if you’re consistent, they will fall in line. The key is consistency.

You will eventually slip into your habitual ways of behaving. This is where mindfulness plays its part. You have to train your mind to become aware of your thoughts, attitudes and behaviors so that you can correct them as soon as possible. If done often and consistently enough, this in and of itself will become a habit.

See Also: 7 Ways Mindfulness Can Unlock The Door To Your Authentic Life


We see that high self-worth can be influenced by what you do and don’t do. Always remember that it’s about progress and not perfection. You should strive to be mindful of using your thoughts and behavior to:
• Prevent self-defeating thoughts from arising
• Eliminate self-defeating thoughts that do arise
• Bring up esteem building thoughts when they are not presently in mind
• Maintain esteem building thoughts that are currently in mind

If you want moderate gains in your self-esteem, be mindful of the steps you take to move through life. Your limits are only set by the limits of your mindset.

The post Seven Mindfulness Steps To Build Self-Esteem appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Instagram should let users save and share their photo preferences

 While the world waits for Instagram to launch a location-sharing feature à la Snapchat, it’s worth wondering about the potential arrival of something far more simple and obvious: user-preset filters.
Instagram now allows you to prioritize your favorite filters at the beginning of the list and leave the ones that you don’t use often at the end. However, each user has their own… Read More

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Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace

“In corporate America, women fall behind early and continue to lose ground with every step,” begins the 2016 Women in the Workplace Study.

It’s not hard to believe, considering that only 17% of startups have a female founder. There are multiple factors holding women back from succeeding in the workplace. The study continues to note that women often miss out on vital interactions with members of management, stifling their ability to climb the corporate ladder from the get-go.

The more interactions missed, the shorter the ladder becomes over time. This creates a cumulative effect that becomes impossible to make up for later in life. What can be done to ensure that everyone has an equal shot at success? How do you boost the success of women in the workplace?

When Sheryl Sandberg wrote “Lean In” four years ago, her stated goal was to have half of businesses run by women and half of homes run by men. “In terms of women in leadership roles, we are not better off,” Sandberg said in a USA Today interview earlier this year.

She continued by noting that women comprise less than 6% of the Fortune 500 CEO in the United States. There are fewer countries in the world run by women today than there were when her book was first published. In the United States, she notes, there is only a tiny percentage more women in Congress. There has not been, she points out, much appreciable forward movement in women in leadership roles worldwide despite the efforts of a veritable army of women leaning in.

Along with the launch of her book, Sandberg also launched a nationwide campaign urging women to form “Lean-In Circles” in order to support and encourage each other throughout different stages in their careers. These groups provide mentorship and camaraderie for women who might not be getting such in the workplace.

According to, the most important steps for managers to close the gender gap in the workplace include:

Challenge The Likeability Penalty

Oftentimes, women are punished for being “bossy” or “shrill” in the workplace just for doing their jobs. It’s important to ask yourself if you would react the same way if you were talking to a man.

Evaluate Performance Fairly

Try to measure performance objectively and look for opportunities to make decisions in a gender-blind manner.

Give Women Credit

If you see a man take credit for a woman’s work, speak up.

Get The Most Out Of Meetings

Be on the lookout for women who are being kept in the background in meetings and encourage them to take part.

Share Office Housework

If there are tasks, like making coffee or emptying garbage, that need to be done, be sure they aren’t just automatically falling to female employees.

Make Work Work For Parents

Support working parents any way you can. Make sure they know they are part of the team. Don’t make assumptions about work-travel and work-life balance without checking with parents about their needs.

Make Negotiating A Norm

Women are less likely to negotiate and may need encouragement to do so.

Support Mentorship and Sponsorship

Mentoring can help women succeed from both sides—leadership as well as personal development. Having a program in place can foster a sense of purpose from within your organization.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

woman at work

In addition to these steps, there are many habits women can employ to propel themselves forward in the workplace. Overcoming adversity is necessary for many women. Oprah overcame an impoverished childhood and J.K. Rowling overcame being a single mother on welfare.

See Also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before Becoming Millionaires

Everyone can benefit from writing down goals. Dolly Parton has been known to not only write out her goals but also to go about her life as though she had already achieved them.

Taking time to rest and recuperate is crucial. Many women burn the candle at both ends thanks to an imbalance in work and home life. If you are one of these women, meditating or just enjoying a few minutes of quiet time can really make a difference.

Finding balance is the key. There will be compromises as the world changes, so tempering expectations and making the most of even the smallest of victories is going to make you happier in the long run. Learn more about the habits of highly successful women from this infographic.


The post Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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It Is As If You Were Doing Work is a browser game celebrating Windows 3-era cubicle drudgery

Pippin Barr (previously) created a game that presents itself as a Windows 3-ish desktop from about 25 years ago. Mash away at each task in It Is As If You Were Doing Work until you win promotions and break time, wherein Breakout may be played.

“I positioned It is as if you were doing work in the context of the apparently near future of automated work (I read Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford recently in this vein). Thus the game poses as an application that humans who have been put out of work by robots and AI can play as a way to recapture the sense they once had of doing work and being productive. It’s a kind of semi-condescending service offered by this new world to those of us who can’t deal with it.”

Via Alice O’Connor, who points out the uncanny similarities to the pointless make-work foisted on the white-collar unemployed in Europe, training for jobs that will soon be extinct.

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