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7 Smart Strategies To Deal With Unemployment

Having been retrenched in 2018 after being with a company for 17 years was quite frightening. I have just turned forty-nine, which have put me in the age bracket where finding employment is exceedingly difficult. Being hard of hearing has also limited me with regards to the positions I can apply for.

Coping was extremely hard, especially as time wears on. Because you do not receive any feedback on your applications, you quickly start losing confidence in your abilities and struggle to stay positive.

In 2020, millions lost their jobs due to the pandemic and the lockdowns enforced worldwide. The resulting economic downturn made it even more difficult to find employment or generate an income working for yourself.

How do you cope with this situation that is so stressful and emotionally draining?

Sleep, Nutrition, and Exercise

deal with unemployment

This is a time that you need to take care of yourself.

Now more than ever, it is essential to get enough sleep. Matt Walker states in his Ted Talk Sleep is your superpower, that sleep is essential for many reasons like learning and memory, cardiovascular health, immunity, and your overall wellness.

That said, the stress of your situation and an overactive mind could make it hard to fall asleep. If this continues for too long, it may severely impact your ability to function. To help you to fall asleep, create a bedtime routine: set a specific time to go to bed and to rise in the morning. Avoid using your digital devices an hour before bed.

Have a hot bath to help you relax and engage in calming activities like listening to music. For some people reading in bed might help to fall asleep, but only hard copies. You can also opt to use a digital device that does not emit blue lights.

You should also consider natural solutions like chamomile or rooibos tea, and meditation. Another natural remedy is journaling, which helps by getting all your thoughts down on paper.

As a last resort, consider asking your doctor for medication to relax you and help you to sleep. But use it only when necessary to avoid the danger of becoming dependent on it.
Also, eat healthy and nutritious food. Fruits and vegetables provide you with essential vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. For example, vitamin B helps to combat depression, while vitamin C and zinc strengthen the immune system.

Regular exercise is essential to deal with feelings of depression, anxiety, and frustration. It helps to get all the stress hormones out of your body and calm your mind. Cycling is a good option to consider. The repetitive action of pedalling helps to organise your mind, for which you will often discover innovative ideas and insights while out riding.

Upgrade your knowledge and skills

Even if finances are tough, try to upgrade your knowledge and skills and learn as much as possible. The internet contains a wealth of information about various subjects and you will be able to learn a lot from just accessing free material like blog posts, free eBooks, webinars, etc.

If you subscribe to receive a free eBook and you do not like the newsletter, it is easy to unsubscribe. But sometimes the information in these emails might be useful, especially the ones relating to self-help and self-improvement.

As far as courses go, Udemy has many different courses, which is often discounted to as little as R180 (about $12) per course. It gives a detailed breakdown of the course content and most courses have plenty of reviews to help you decide if a course is worth taking.

Also, look out for the LinkedIn trial offer – a free month to access many useful courses offered on LinkedIn Learning. Just remember to cancel the subscription before the first billing takes place. You will lose access to all the material after cancelling, so make sure to make notes of valuable information.

Budget and Finances

Financially you need to look at your budget with a sharp eye and see if there are any items that you could save on. Cut all luxury items like subscription services, DSTV, etc. But ensure that you do have a reasonable amount of data available every month as a lot of job hunting can be accomplished online.

Also, look at entertainment expenses like eating out or going to the movies. Buy good, healthy food and prepare it yourself. If the family joins in with the cooking, it may become a precious and long-remembered family time.

Confide in somebody you trust

It is important to find a person you trust to share your feelings with, somebody who will be prepared to listen without judgment. It’s important to have someone who’ll listen and understand, especially when the emotional part becomes extremely difficult to deal with.

This can possibly lead to having very dark and negative thoughts, which is not easy to control. This person must not be scared to listen to this. It is not so much about getting advice but having someone who will listen when you need to talk.

Family, Friends, and Hobbies

how to deal with unemployment

Spend enough time with your family and friends as they are your biggest support group. Look for activities that do not cost a lot of money. A daily walk gives you some precious talking time and much-needed exercise. Preparing meals together is a fun activity. Pack it all in a basket and have a picnic in the backyard under the stars.

Many a winter night may be whiled away with games like Scrabble, chess and many more. Building puzzles and doing crosswords is a challenge and helps to keep your brain sharp!
Find time for hobbies and do things that you enjoy.

To break the monotony of job hunting or working on your own business, set aside some time for that hobby that you always wanted to start but never had the time. The possibilities are endless: photography, writing (start a blog or write a book if you dare), scrapbooking, woodwork, knitting or crocheting. It may very well become your next career.

Join support groups

Joining support groups on Facebook and WhatsApp is also beneficial. It helps to know that you are not the only one in this situation, and others are also experiencing the same challenges and fears that you are facing.

Because you are all in the same situation, it is easier to share your feelings and get encouragement. These groups assist by sharing information and referring people in the group to their different networks.


Networking is critical. Attend as many social events and group meetings as possible in your area. It does not necessarily have to be a professional group. It is important to get your name out there, talking to many people as possible. They might just know of or hear about a potential opportunity or job opening and refer you as a candidate.

Finding a job is hard, but perseverance does pay off in the end. You can give up or you can keep striving. Add all your new-found skills and knowledge to your CV, optimize your LinkedIn profile, keep it updated, and network with as many people as possible.

Keep active on social media to ensure that you stay visible since prospective employers look at candidates’ profiles these days. Make sure that your social media activities display you as the type of person that an employer would love to have as part of their team.

I hope things will go well for you and you find your dream job soon!

In the meantime – look after yourself, keep on looking for opportunities, and remember to spend enough time relaxing with your loved ones and doing the things you love!

Which one of these tips will you do today to help you cope until you find your next opportunity?

The post 7 Smart Strategies To Deal With Unemployment appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Can Public Transportation Be Made Safe for the Public Post-Pandemic?

The pandemic has adversely affected public transport. Many countries had to shut down public transport services in light of the global crisis. More recently, many of these countries have started restoring public transport services, but things are far from normal.

The high risk of transmission has contributed to low ridership, and public transport vehicles are hardly managing to achieve half of the total occupancy.

Contactless technology has emerged as a solution.

Let’s look at how contactless technologies are helping in the revival of public transport.

Global Pandemic and Public Transport

qr codes for public transport for post pandemic

Public transport is one of the worst-affected industries worldwide. As cases continue to rise, the ridership remains to be low in developing cities. As a result, public transport operators are incurring hefty losses.

The public transport sector is a billion-dollar industry and serves as the primary source of income for the government of various countries. Now, with more people avoiding public transport, the industry is under crisis.

The reason for this curb in ridership is the increased risk of transmission. Back in the initial months of 2020, when the virus was in its early stage of contagion, public transport served as the major cause of transmission in several developed countries.

In response, many nations decided to completely shut down public transport until the situation got better.

Public Transport Challenges in the Post-Pandemic Era

As the effects of the pandemic seem to subside, several countries have reopened public transport services. But despite the reopening, the ridership remains low, and rightly so.

Although the graph has begun to flatten, the risk of transmission remains high. More than 500,000 active cases per day have been reported continuously for more than a month.

So with the coronavirus in hindsight, people will try to avoid public transport.

Another reason why people may avoid public transport is excessive human contact. A passenger has to go through several points of contact, with each point having the risk of transmission.

Most public transport systems still use cash and paper-based tickets. And the WHO has already confirmed that cards and currencies can contribute to the virus’ spread.

Besides being unhygienic, this process is also inefficient. Manual ticketing takes more time and makes the engine procedure time-consuming and less productive.

Contactless Is the New Normal

In light of the coronavirus, countries are adopting contactless public transport. The purpose is to minimize the points of contact and make the process touch-free.

As we all know, touching random surfaces can be deadly. You never know where the virus particles may be lurking.

Contactless technology helps make public transport contact-free.

The main benefit of this system is contactless payments. The traditional public transport system looks something like this. A passenger arrives at the bus station and asks for a ticket at the ticket window. Here, he comes in contact with a ticket window professional, a point of contact.

Then, the passenger will board the bus, where the conductor will check the ticket – another point of contact.

Some modern public transportation facilities have machines for generating tickets. Passengers can use the touch screen panel to create tickets.

But even this isn’t entirely risk-free. Many passengers will use the machine, making it a potential transmitter of the virus.

Contactless ticketing and payments can resolve this issue. In contactless ticketing, passengers don’t need to use cash or paper tickets. They can make a payment online with NFC or by scanning a QR code and receive the ticket on their mobile device.

The conductor can also check the tickets without any human contact. He can scan the ticket code with his smartphone without touching any surface.

This leads to a truly touchless experience and reduces the risk of transmission. Other than touch-free payments, contactless technology also ensures transparency in the transport system.

Technologies in Contactless Transportation

Which technologies are used in contactless transport? For payments, NFC and QR codes are the most popular. Passengers can use “tap and go” functionality and make payments without touching any surfaces. Similarly, they can scan QR codes using their smartphones to make payments.

QR codes, in addition to payments, also offer an additional benefit – sharing of information. Authorities can put up QR codes and link them to information like time tables, schedules, and expected delays.

Creating QR codes are also seamless. You can easily develop a QR code with a QR Code generator with logo.

QR Codes in Post-Pandemic Public Transport

We need to give credit to QR codes for making contactless transport a reality. When the wave of the virus hit and the world underwent a lockdown, no one thought how things would revive. This is especially true for public transport, considering the fact that it was a major contributor to the escalated spread.

But thankfully, the pandemic came to the world at a time when we had the resources to reduce its wrath. Imagine it ten years ago when QR codes were not well-known outside China and Japan.

While the current medical crisis has also done substantial damage, we have a blueprint for bouncing back. Here’s how QR codes are helping public transport authorities stay afloat in the post-pandemic era.

Faster Payments and Boarding

As discussed, the traditional ticketing and payment process is tedious. Several countries have adopted a QR-code based ticketing system to overcome this hurdle. Here’s how it works:

A passenger needs to install the public transport app. The app has a wallet feature, so the passenger can add funds to it. Once the passengers complete the payment, they receive a QR code as a virtual ticket. Near the boarding terminal, a QR code scanner is implemented. Passengers can scan their code to confirm their booking and then board the bus.

This process doesn’t require any cash transaction, paper tickets, or human contact. The entire procedure becomes self-serving, as passengers generate the tickets and confirm their bookings by themselves.

Tracking Schedules and Time Tables

There’s hardly any human who hasn’t missed his or her bus due to wrong information. It happens all the time. You reach the bus station with the expectation to catch a bus, but end up discovering that the bus had already departed 30 minutes ago.

Some countries have resolved this challenge, thanks to QR codes. Some countries like Belgium have even put up QR codes across the cities. These dynamic QR codes contain real-time information about the bus or tram schedule of the entire city.

Passengers can scan the code and find the status of the bus or tram they want to board. This eliminates the guessing element of the trip as passengers would have precise information about their ride.

While this concept is still in its primordial stage, the people in Belgium are thrilled with the idea. It has since become an instant success in the country, and sooner or later, it will reach other countries, too.

Passenger Safety

qr codes for public transportation

Passenger safety has been a point of concern for public transport authorities. Several incidents of mishappenings in public transport vehicles have been reported, especially in buses functioning in rural areas and city outskirts.

QR codes can help transport authorities enhance security. One way is to put up QR codes in the buses, usually on the windows and behind the seats. If the passengers feel threatened, they can scan the code and alert the authorities. Same way, these codes can be scanned to alert the authorities in case of an accident or if the bus stops working.

Marketing and Advertising

Many businesses use public transport buses for advertising. You must have seen posters of companies on the windows of buses.

Companies can use QR codes to enhance their marketing efforts in public transport buses. They can put up a QR code that people can scan to know more about the company and its products. And since the QR code cost is low, QR codes offer an economical opportunity for marketing.


Countries may have lifted lockdowns, but the risk of spread persists. People are still practicing social distancing, and public transport is the last option in their minds. But with QR codes and other contactless technologies, transport authorities are looking forward to reviving public transport in the post-pandemic era.

The post How Can Public Transportation Be Made Safe for the Public Post-Pandemic? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why You Need To Grieve The Old Normal

There is no denying that things have changed a great deal lately, and most will agree it’s not been for the better. Regardless of your opinion about the whys behind the changes, we’ve all been thrust into what’s being called a “new normal.”

The unspoken consensus is that we need to carry on, keep moving forward, and try to stay as positive as possible. And, yes, we really do, but it’s also not that simple.

The many changes 2020 has brought about mean that most of us have had to make some abrupt alterations to the way we do things. Whether it’s school, work, worship, socializing, or shopping, almost nothing is the same.

Changing suddenly to a new way of doing things on such a large scale comes with some pain and not acknowledging that pain can lead to bigger problems down the road. So, in addition to maintaining a chin-up attitude, there are some very good reasons to grieve the old normal.

Your Feelings Are Valid – No Matter What Your Situation

feeling sad at the new normal

No matter what your circumstances are, it probably feels like your world’s been turned upside down. Nothing feels secure anymore and it may seem like everything you could count on before is now gone.

So, the routines, process, and people that used to provide a stable framework for everyday life are now scrambled – and it probably feels bad, uncomfortable, wrong, and you feel powerless to change it.

But you’re okay, right? You look around and know that there are others who have it so much worse. So, what business do you have feeling sad and complaining about the way things are? You’re making it work.

The problem with that thinking, however, is that feeling guilty about feeling sad, frustrated, and scared, and ignoring those feelings doesn’t help things. No matter how well you are coping, it’s alright to feel upset and even angry.

And you need to acknowledge these feelings in order to get through them and on to a healthy place in this new environment. Of course, being angry and moping around complaining won’t change the state of things, but these feelings also won’t go away on their own.

Bottling Up Emotions Does Not Eliminate Them

If you don’t face them, share them, and give them their moment to be expressed, they will fester and eventually bubble up to the surface in a more destructive way. This is especially true when it comes to our children and teaching them to handle their emotions.

In an effort to make things less scary and difficult for kids, adults often set a poor example when it comes to handling uncomfortable feelings. We smile, tell the kids it’s all fine, that they need to stay positive, and many other well-intentioned platitudes.

What we don’t do very well is help them face their own feelings of sadness and let them grieve for the old normal. School, friends, sports, and all of the routines that made them feel safe and helped them define themselves and understand their place in their own world are now gone (or at least wildly different).

Kids need to be able to talk about how they feel and know that their feelings are normal, that they’re okay to have, and then be taught (and shown) how to cope with them. A skill that many adults still struggle with themselves.

Consequences – Further On

The repercussions of not acknowledging negative feelings can be even harder to deal with. Anxiety and depression are on the rise right now for many reasons and pretending that you’re okay and everything is fine is partially to blame. Things aren’t normal – it’s okay to say it.

Think about it like losing a loved one. Saying you shouldn’t be sad because they’re in a better place doesn’t make the sadness go away. It just makes you feel like you need to hide it and suffer alone. Neither adults nor children should feel like that.

So, take the time to let yourself feel all of those things. They’re normal, understandable, and we are all feeling them. It doesn’t matter if you’re making it work and getting through things – let’s just say it – it still sucks.

I Admit It – I’m Sad. Now What?

the new normal

Now it’s time to focus on the good parts of what’s new in your world. Yes, if you’re making a list of bad versus good, the bad column is going to be a long one. That just means you have to look a bit harder to fill in the good one.

Your feelings of grief don’t change the reality of what we are all going through right now, so once you’ve acknowledged them you can’t allow them to become the only thing you feel. You can’t force them away either, but you can start to replace them by finding the positives. And you can also manage them by taking care of and being honest with yourself.

New routines come with new comforts. They may be hard to find at first, but they are there. Maybe it’s the pleasure of working in sweatpants, or an afternoon cup of tea or nap. I heard from one woman that her teenage daughter has now discovered the fun of talking on the phone – talking, not texting.

Finding The Silver Lining

Normal right now is a moving target, and there are likely to be several versions of it before we all feel connected to a secure and comfortable new routine. When and, if, we go back to some form of the “old normal”, there will be things we will miss about our current circumstances, too.

We may not grieve in the same way – political strife and pandemics won’t be missed – but we might look back and think it was good to have slowed down a bit, spent time with the family more, and to have found a little appreciation for being forced into reprioritizing and taking a new look at the old way of doing things.

The post Why You Need To Grieve The Old Normal appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Hidden Cost of Social Distancing

I’ll admit it, when COVID-19 came to town this past March I was secretly excited that we were ordered to quarantine. Finally, I thought, a legitimate excuse to hunker down at home and stop the hustle!

Work slowed down. I embraced my role as chief laundry-doer-dinner-maker-house keeper. I created a cleaning schedule, tackling one section of the house each weekday. I planned all the meals. Once a week I put on my mask and headed to the grocery store to stand in line and wait for my turn to head inside.

With my freshly wiped down cart, I social-distance-shopped while dozens of personal shoppers walked through the aisles, glancing at their phones and filling shopping carts with someone else’s grocery list.

Life felt simple. Every day felt like a staycation. As someone who regularly practiced yoga at a local studio, I was thrilled to be able to rotate through a roster of classes with my favorite instructors, all in the comfort of my own home.

I was so happy and content—until I wasn’t.

Over the last six months of self-imposed quarantine I have gone from feeling secretly validated as a closet introvert, to feeling trapped, aimless, purposeless, disconnected and depressed.

social distancing effects

I know that I am not the only one.

We’ve been asked to stay home in order to stay healthy and to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But a healthy society requires more than the physical health of its members. A healthy society requires its members to be healthy in body, mind and spirit.

Tragically, our collective society is experiencing an erosion of mental and emotional health, because isolating ourselves, or limiting healthy social interaction, has negative consequences, including the manner in which it impacts our neurobiology.

Research shows that social isolation and perceived loneliness are associated with activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), otherwise known as the stress response (fight/flight/freeze). This response is designed to provide us with the ability to quickly defend ourselves from harm (fight), or to help us escape danger (flight).

In moments of perceived danger, our brains and bodies are turbo charged with hormones and biochemicals that are very useful in times of threat or danger. But when this system is chronically activated, as a result of social isolation, it turns from helpful to harmful.

The global pandemic brings no shortage of stressful realities and has impacted every one of us. Loss of jobs and incomes are creating financial stresses. Those who are employed as essential workers are facing health risk stressors. Those who have been impacted by the virus experience the stress of illness and loss.

And all of us are (ideally) practicing social distancing as the new public health initiative, which means that we are all at risk of experiencing the negative impact of the associated chronic stress. These impacts can be felt in a variety of ways, ranging from constant fear or anxiety, to general malaise, to depression, which can cause us to feel constantly exhausted, stuck, unmotivated or immobile (freeze).

Engaging in healthy social interactions does much more for us than we might think. When we have meaningful connections with others, we experience important human emotions like empathy and compassion (which we do when we reach out to someone for support, or lend an ear to someone we care about during a hard time).

These social/emotional experiences stimulate the production of important hormones and biochemicals like oxytocin and vasopressin, which can be mitigators to the development of stress and stress-related issues like depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, the fewer healthy social interactions that we have, the less our brain is able to produce these “feel good” hormones, further heightening our risk or of developing depression and anxiety.

As our mental health erodes, we become susceptible to developing social anxiety or social dysfunction, leading us to isolate further. This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle that feeds itself. Over time we feel like our feet are stuck in quicksand. Reaching out for connection feels impossible, even if we know it’s the helpful thing to do.

If all these weren’t concerning enough, continued isolation and the associated continuous activation of the HPA axis (stress) creates inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is the source of many autoimmune and physical ailments ranging from arthritis to cancer. The negative health implications of prolonged social isolation could be very dire, and won’t be fully recognized for years to come.

What to do?

It’s important to recognize how you are feeling (in your body), even if you don’t necessarily know what you are feeling (in your mind). To become aware of the physiological effects of the chronic stress associated with long-term social isolation, it helps to turn your awareness inward—to your body.

Distressing sensations in your body are the visceral impact of all those toxic stress hormones and can be felt in any number of ways, including a heavy feeling in your chest, sick feeling in the pit of your stomach or tightness in your throat. You might also notice you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Racing heart
  • Jittery legs
  • A general feeling of being trapped or confined

These sensations underpin emotions like fear, anger, irritation, resentment and so on. They are also a good indication that you’re experiencing a feedback loop of stress.

Practicing a variety of simple stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong, and even dancing can interrupt this feedback loop. But if you feel unable to proactively engage in these types of activities (remember that quicksand feeling), simple breathing exercises (like the one described below) can be just as effective.

Breathing can be used anytime and if done correctly, your nervous system will shift from the high rev SNS to the calming and relaxing parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). It’s like turning the flame on a stove from all the way high, to a manageable simmer. If done regularly, your body will eventually learn how to stay calm and relaxed on its own.

Balloon Breath

balloon breathing

Sit or lay down. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Inhale and inflate your belly and chest like a balloon (feel your hands moving as your body inflates). Exhale and let your belly and chest relax. Repeat at least ten times.

Breath and mindfulness practices are a good start for calming your body’s stress response. But to reverse the long-term negative impacts of social isolation, authentic connection with other human beings is a must.

Socializing (as we knew it) is still tightly regulated, but we can find opportunities for authentic connection with friends and family via apps like Facetime, House Party, or the video chat option on Facebook. Support groups like AA, Alanon, cancer support groups and others have all shifted to Zoom, allowing us access from anywhere in the world.

These are some ways in which we can connect with other humans, express care, empathy and compassion, and feel the benefit of all those good biochemicals.

As for me, I’ve been facilitating online TIMBo (trauma informed mind body) groups for women since mid-March. The connection I feel with these women is surprising and remarkable. We may not be in the same room, but over an online platform we share our thoughts, feelings, and struggles.

We connect, resonate, feel compassion, empathy, joy and, sometimes, grief. I thank technology, this program, and these women every day because without the opportunity to connect in such a meaningful way, I’m quite sure the world we’re living in would get the best of me.

So if you’re feeling off, increased social isolation might be at the root. Be proactive, see what’s available, find something that resonates, and start connecting.

We all need each other right now to help us get through these uncertain times. Our health, and the health of our society really does depend on it.

To learn more about TIMBo, go to Suzanne’s award-winning book, There is Nothing to Fix: Becoming Whole through Radical Self-Acceptance, is available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook.

The post The Hidden Cost of Social Distancing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Biggest Moving Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid

Moving can be a stressful time because there is an overwhelming amount of things that need to be done. You have to find a new place, pack up all your things, haul them, put them in your new home, arrange utilities, and more. It’s easy to forget something, and mistakes can be very costly.

For the best moving tips, we are sharing with you the most common mistakes people make when moving from one home to another.

Not Getting Estimates

avoiding moving mistakes

Unless you’re doing all of the moving yourself, getting estimates is essential. You want to call up several different moving companies in your area well before your move date. Ask them about truck sizes, how much they charge by the hour, how many people they send, insurance, and mileage. Ask if you can get a quote in writing before comparing multiple quotes from the moving companies. This will help ensure you get the best rate possible for your move.

Not Making a Moving Checklist

Many people think they can simply remember everything they have to do before their big move. However, it’s easy to forget small things. For example, did you remember to call the utility companies and tell them your move date? Did you pick up enough packing supplies? Do you remember which moving company offered which quote? As hectic as moving it, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks. This is where a moving checklist comes in. It’ll group things you should do by importance and date to make sure you remember everything.

Ignoring Moving Insurance

No one ever wants anything to go wrong in their move, and many people consider moving insurance an expense they don’t need. However, this is something important to have. What if the movers accidentally dropped your antique mirror? Maybe a piece of furniture or expensive electronics didn’t make it to your home unscathed. Whatever happens, moving insurance can help cover the cost to replace it. In turn, you won’t be out this money on top of everything else.

Not Taking Measurements

You may assume that all of your furniture will fit smoothly through your doorways or up the stairs in your new home, but this can be a huge mistake. You could end up paying to move items that simply won’t fit into your new home. Before you move, go to your new home and measure the doorways and stairs. Take your measurements back and measure your larger pieces of furniture. Do they fit? If not, you may have to sell them off before you move.

Putting Your Valuables in the Moving Truck

Did you know that many moving companies refuse to deal with valuable items like jewelry? If it gets lost in the move, you could be out these pieces. This is why you want to carefully pack your valuables, label them, and transport them yourself. Expensive technology, collectibles, or important documents should also go with you in your vehicle where you or a family member can keep a close eye on them. Read your moving contract and see if the company can move things like firearms, grills, or alcohol.

Forgetting to Prep for the Pets

If you’re just moving across town, this won’t be as big of an issue. However, if you’re moving hours away, you want to prep for your pet. Make sure all of your pet’s shots are updated. Get any certificates, copies of medical records, and paperwork you need for your new vet. Your pet should have the proper tags and identification with them, and you’ll have to plan how to transport them. Ask about motion sickness medications and portable kennels for the ride.

No Personal Survival Kit

Everyone in the family should have a small personal survival kit to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible. It could include must-have items like a screwdriver, address book, map, flashlight, toiletries, can opener, dog food, any item your child can’t sleep without, coffee, soap, toilet paper, medications, and cash. This kit will get you through the first few hours of the move before you have a chance to unpack. It should go in the car with you and be ready to grab when you get to the house.

Failing to Switch Important Addresses

Credit card bureaus, insurance agencies, banks, fitness centers, utilities, and subscription-based services are entities you’ll have to contact to switch your address. Forward your mail at the post office. Talk to your primary care doctor and get referrals to a new clinic and arrange to have your records transferred over. Get veterinarian paperwork and school records together and make sure you change your voting address before the next election.

Not Leaving Time to Clean

You don’t want to neglect your current home in favor of your new one. You should set aside time to deep clean your old home and make any repairs necessary to get it ready for the next buyers or tenants. Get any deposits back and cancel any services you have like lawn care. Call your local utility company and give them your move date to transfer it over. You may have to pay off any bills at this time.

Not Labeling the Boxes

moving mistakes to avoid

You want to clearly label all of your moving boxes and organize them by room. This will remove a lot of the stress and guesswork that comes with unpacking. It’ll also help the movers put your boxes in the correct space in your new home. Label the room, what’s in the box, and any special instructions for the movers on the side or top of the box.

BONUS: Trying to Do Everything Yourself

Moving is superlatively taxing emotionally and physically. Get your family members or friends you are moving with involved in the whole process by delegating tasks. For example, the kids can take care of pets or fragile electronic items. They can also be tasked with categorizing items and labeling boxes. By sharing these tasks, you can focus on getting everything done.

Use These 10 Best Moving Tips for Moving Success

While it’s true that no one likes to move, these 10 best moving tips can help ensure the process is as stress-free as possible. You should start preparing for your move well in advance to give yourself time to pack and organize everything. If you do, you’ll be able to enjoy your new home sooner and relax.

The post 10 Biggest Moving Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Doer

Sometimes, we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about our ideas, dreams, and aspirations. It is easy to content ourselves with simply having lofty ideas and not realizing their sheer abundance.

Anyone who has taken a breath has likely had an idea that could have literally changed the course of his or her life in a revolutionary way. Unfortunately, such ideas rarely get implemented. According to Mark Twain, “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

If you are tired of inactivity robbing you of your potential, then here are 15 ways to be a doer.

Dreams and Mental Preparedness

Cultivate Your Dream

achieving goals

What would you attempt to do if you knew that you could not fail?

In so many cases, your answer will account for a mere fraction of your potential. This is important.

In order for one to unlock such potential, he must be able to move past mental barriers. Accordingly, meditate on what winning will feel like for the next 30 days. Saturate your mind with the next level, but don’t stop there. Write the vision. Make it plain. Unlock your dormant dreamer and doer!

We tend to move in the direction of our most dominant thought.

Don’t be contained by limited thinking. Your dreams should inspire you to move beyond your comfort zone and into action. Your dreams should also inspire awe from observers.

Whether your dream is prosperity and wealth, helping thousands of people, fitness or a phenomenal career, cultivate your dream. Remember that the dream is the fuel and your plan is the map!

Relinquish Regret

Regret is usually a waste of time – Thomas Crown.

Languishing in regret and despair over past mistakes is counterproductive. It will just rob you of your joy. The energy expended on regret could be put to much better use, like realizing your dreams.

Everyone makes mistakes or missteps occasionally, but the key is extracting the lessons from mistakes and minimizing or even evading future losses. To err is human, but to forgive is divine.

Forgive yourself today.

See Also: How to Avoid The Regret of Yesterday And The Fear of Tomorrow

Let Go of the Stigma of Failure

Similarly, you should not let the fear of failure stop you from working on your goals. John F. Kennedy said those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.

Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki, Suze Orman, and many others have tasted what many would characterize as failure, only to later achieve extraordinary success. The key lesson is that there is another act to your life’s play.

In How to Appreciate the Pain of Financial Problems, I discussed how failure can be instructive and how it’s just often temporal. It’s simply a matter of opinion that can unleash your creativity.

Don’t let the stigma of failure stop you from achieving your goals, even if you experience an initial setback. If you made a mistake, you are in great company.

Know Yourself

Knowing yourself is so important to getting the maximum return on your efforts. You are unique and have tremendous value. Sometimes, we begrudge our differences from others rather than embracing them.

For example, when I was in pharmacy school, I discovered how I preferred to learn. Sometimes, it was different from the others in my classes.

However, knowing my learning preferences ended up being a great benefit to me because I began to cater to them. Had I not understood and embraced my individuality, content that I now devoured readily would have continued to take me a long time to understand, analyze or evaluate. It is important that every doer honor his differences and use them to his competitive advantage.

Goals and Planning

Plan to Win

To Type-A personalities, it may seem intuitive that making a plan dramatically increases the odds of achieving. However, so many of us fail to systematically plan our finances, careers, health, and our relationships.

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

What’s your success plan?

Often, what is lacking is a plan of action specifying precisely what we want our lives to look like in the next three years and what 6 steps we will take to achieve our goals. A goal without a plan of implementation is a pipe dream. Decide on a course of action today.


Attempting too much is just as dangerous as not attempting anything. Focus is blinding. By focusing on your priorities, you can block out distractions. Sometimes, that means putting down something that is important for a passion that must happen.

Thomas Edison said that he has more respect for the guy with a single idea who
develops it than the person with 1,000 ideas but does nothing.

We shouldn’t unnecessarily dichotomize everything into “good” or “bad” when it comes to goals. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of “now” versus “later”.

Harness the power of focus to unleash a determination and passion for your dreams that will make you unstoppable.

See Also: Do You Have Too Many Goals? Here’s How to Prioritize Them

Start Small

Don’t despise small beginnings.

How do you eat an elephant?

The answer is one bite at a time. Just because your goal is to lose 40 pounds this year doesn’t mean you are a failure for losing 10 pounds in the first three months.

In fact, even if you only loss five pounds but have improved your cardiovascular conditioning, diet, and muscularity, you have made significant progress.

Don’t be discouraged by the need to tweak your plan to account for life. Instead,
acknowledge your progress and continue moving in the right direction. Remember, people
cannot always be what they are not, but they can become what they are not.

Set a Time Limit on Preparation

I love preparation as much as anyone, but doers often set a limit on preparation time.

The downside with spending too much time preparing is that you may never get started. In Poke the Box, Seth Godin argues that it is easy to fall so in love with starting that we never start. If you truly are progressively moving towards your goals via preparation, go for it.

There are some things (and even certain professions) that require years of preparation before they are achieved. However, make sure that you are not using preparation as an excuse to avoid action.

Setting realistic expectations on how much time should be allotted for laying groundwork is a great way to keep preparation time reasonable.

Admit the Joylessness of Over-reaching

While I love setting audacious goals, I also have to caution you regarding goal-setting fatigue. If you are constantly over-reaching, then you risk burnout.

You can still stretch yourself and have phenomenal goals without being perpetually miserable because your goals are so huge that they require miracles to accomplish.

Don’t allow your motivation to wane because you set yourself up for disappointment. Treat such stretch goals as just that: goals designed to push you out of your comfort zone.

Know that they are a part of your overall success plan, but don’t despair if your plans sometimes take longer or go in a different direction than you initially expected. By pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, you are often still better off than the alternatives, provided that your ambitions don’t rob you from experiencing any contentment in the process.


Banish Eeyore

Dream-killers, aka “Eeyores”, are some of the most dangerous people that you know. They function as saboteurs to productivity. Regardless of whether they act with the intent of maliciousness, banish (or limit) such disastrous relationships if you plan to be a significant doer.

People providing constructive criticism are fine, such as those providing advice on being objective with your projections. However, those who primarily hinder your progress due to their limited vision need not be included in your elite team.

Network With Achievers

meeting importance

If you want to move beyond your comfort zone, one of the fastest ways is to network with achievers. In fact, while I’m writing this, I have just returned from spending a week with people in my industry who are rock stars.

Being immersed in that environment compelled me to take my game to the next level faster and grander than I had initially planned. When you network and become accustomed to interacting with the next level, it makes you uncomfortable with where you are currently at. Strategically, place yourself in situations that stretch you.

Get an Accountability Partner

While “head knowledge” is good, part of the secret to successful transformations, such as those seen by popular diet programs, is accountability. Your relationship with partners is powerful in achieving your goals. This is because good partners have already gone through the same journey, can see through the lame excuses, and will encourage you during the down times.

Everyone is not suitable to be your accountability partner which is fine. Find the person who will empower you to push past the common to achieve the impossible.


Not everything requires your core competencies, so it is not always advantageous to do everything yourself. The ubiquity of businesses such as Elance, Angie’s List, and Fiverr makes finding reasonably-priced freelancers and contractors to delegate to much easier.

It’s one thing to do tasks that are not central to your focus because you enjoy them or lack the finances to hire help, but it is another issue entirely if you are stuck doing something you hate simply because you haven’t inventoried the resources available to you.

Delegation can be a powerful practice. It’ll allow you to develop your strongest areas while relinquishing distractions and increasing your overall productivity.

Deal With Barriers to Motivation

Create an Action Environment

Your environment matters to your productivity, often more than you realize. It’s important that when you sit down to work, you are not bombarded with distractions. It is sometimes difficult to get motivated to do anything productive in the first place.

Thus, the last thing one needs is to get started only to have his or her time wasted on something that’s unimportant.

Creating an action environment may mean shutting off the automatic notification feature on your phone or email at certain times during the day. It could mean removing the candy jar from your desk or logging off of Facebook.

Regardless, create an environment that encourages you to get things done.

Record and Celebrate Your Progress

Acknowledging and celebrating your triumphs can serve as tremendous motivation to continue in your endeavors. Achievers don’t just work hard; achievers play hard too.

When I became debt-free, I threw a huge party just as I would have celebrated a milestone birthday or a graduation. Big hairy audacious goals require time, so when you are victorious, why not celebrate your successes?

The law of recognition says that what you fail to recognize will not be properly
acknowledged. What you continually fail to acknowledge will eventually leave your

If you value your successes, celebrate them!

Closing Thoughts

Inactivity is one of the greatest thieves of opportunity. Don’t be content with simply having a great idea. After all, an idea is often just a small fraction of the journey. It’s what you do with your ideas, dreams, and passions that count.

Remember, as your thoughts become more, you become more. Therefore, commit to thinking on a higher level, develop high goals and plans of implementation, establish and maintain relationships that add to your life. As you apply these steps consistently, you too will be a doer.

Written by Roshawn Watson, a writer at Watson Inc. on eliminating debt, investing money, and building wealth. Get my free eBook Your Foundation to Wealth by signing up for my email updates (no spam I promise). Get my RSS feed and connect with me on Twitter @roshawnwatson too.

The post The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Doer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Quick Tips On Taking a Social Media Break

We often call the next generation and children today as “digital natives”. They’ll grow up being more familiar with social media and the digital landscape instead of interacting with other kids. Some of them may even be considered addicted to internet.

We often show disdain at such an idea but we ourselves don’t necessarily give up our dependence on social media, especially given how it affects our daily life.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we should remain dependent on social media forever.

In fact, there are actually ways in which we can start to “de-stress” and take a break from our social media habits. A lot of this can seem overwhelming at first, but this is actually a very plausible idea that has its merits.

So, how exactly do you start taking a social media break?

Genuinely think about the benefits you’ll reap.

Reflect and think about the benefits you’ll be receiving once you start taking a social media break. Try listing down the things you’re missing out on or things you’re not enjoying because you’re too engrossed with social media.

Then, try checking if there’s something you can do to remedy the situation. That way, you can justify yourself — in a way you understand and accept — that taking a social media break is possible and necessary.

Remind yourself of the goals you want to achieve.

Once you’ve started to feel like social media has been occupying your head, you might need to take a step back. Look at how social media affects your goals, personal or otherwise.

How is social media affecting your goal to get that dream job? How is social media affecting your goal to spend more time with family and friends?

Start reconnecting with your personal values and see how you can change your social media behavior to reflect it.

Once you feel like social media is becoming overwhelming, try to assess and realign your personal values.

Why are you using social media? Do you think you’re becoming a better person because of it? How can you use social media to help support your goals and help you become a better friend or family member?

The above two tips might not be directly related to a social media break, but they can definitely help convince you to take one.

Disguise it as another non-digital activity.

If you can’t deal with the idea of taking a social media break, you can always think of it as “something else” entirely. It can be in the form of a hobby, exercise or even just spending time with pets or your friends. This only works if it’s an activity that doesn’t involve using your digital devices.

Sometimes, if you’re having a hard time stomaching the idea of a social media break, you need to disguise it as something else so it feels “justified”. And while it might seem like “cheating” the idea, it does make a lot of sense. This is important if you’re also using said activity for a particular benefit other than just “having a break.”

take a social media break

Try to set no-phone zones inside the house.

If you feel like your social media activity is becoming too intense, try to establish places at home where you can’t use gadgets. These can be in the bathroom, the dining area, your bedroom or even in the backyard. This allows you to slowly realize, even in small time frames, that you can “live without social media”.

Try to pursue other activities

Consider working out, jogging, playing board games or even talking with your friends and family (personally!) instead of doing things related to social media.

You can even go out and do journaling in a quiet park. The point of this is to establish that you can do far more productive things even when not using your phone.

Integrate your breaks into your routine.

One of the reasons why we can’t get a break from social media is because we’ve relied on it as part of our routine so much. So why not do the same with a social media break?

Think of resting from social media in the same way you take a break when you eat or when you need to sleep. It has to become a seamless part of your routine so it doesn’t seem like it’s “intruding” in your day-to-day affairs. And interestingly enough, forcing yourself to adopt such a mindset may be able to help you see the relevance of taking a social media break.

Start thinking of your breaks as a necessary part of your daily life.

In the same way that you “automatically” go down to eat during mealtimes and when you “automatically” go to the bathroom for breaks, you can start forcing yourself to actually take your social media break as though it’s a normal part of your life. The key here is not to think “you’re transitioning to a break” but rather “just think you’re already doing it for the past years”. You’d be surprised at how quick your body adapts to such a mindset.

Create opportunities for your body to automatically go to a social media break.

For instance, you can have your charger placed in a location you have to walk to. That way, you’d feel lazy to pick it up whenever you’re downstairs talking with family. The same thing should work if you’re eating dinner and want to stay away from your phone. Put it somewhere far and you’d be surprised that you’d rather finish the meal and talk with family than check notifications.

Start playing game or watch videos.

You’d be surprised to realize that you can do a lot more things with your social media time than pursuing ‘likes’ and checking notifications.

social media break

See Also: 7 Inspiring Movies to Watch When You Are Low on Motivation

Actually include it in your schedule.

If you think you can’t get a social media break because there’s “no time in your schedule”, then now might be the time to actually make time for it.

In today’s society, everything is important for as long as it’s on a schedule. And we often forget that our mental well-being is also just as important as our work and being able to pay the bills.

If you find it hard to get a social media break, you might need to convince yourself that taking a break is advantageous to help you perform your obligations correctly.

Try creating a “schedule” for social media breaks that coincide with other things you’re already doing.

Do it when you eat with family and friends, while you drive or during the commute. These short breaks can give you time to think about things you want to pursue or thoughts you might have been “hiding” or repressing.

Enforce your schedule to yourself.

In the same way you’d force yourself to stay focused when attending meetings or when you need to pay attention to your work tasks, you need to treat your social media breaks from the perspective of necessity.

Remember to tell yourself it’s necessary to take breaks so you can feel energized and more focused. Applying this mindset will constantly remind you of how these breaks can affect other important things in your life, so you may get motivated to take these breaks more often.

Social Media Break: Destress From the Pressures of Digitalization

With the above tips in mind, you’ll hopefully be more acquainted with yourself and your capacity to enjoy life to the fullest without having to rely on social media. Given the sheer complexity of the dynamics that social media has with our life, it’s understandable how getting a social media “detox” can be scary. However, it’s also extremely manageable and possible with the right planning, research, motivation, and execution.

If you have tips in mind you want to share with others and fellow social media users, feel free to comment them below!

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Easy Ways To “Stay Hungry” and Always Be Motivated and Inspired

“Stay hungry” is a great motto, a great way of living your life. To stay hungry means to remain determined, motivated, and competitive to achieve all your dreams, goals, and ambitions.

It also means never to be fully satisfied with less than you know you can potentially achieve. But the question is: how does one stay hungry all the time?

For some of us, it merely comes naturally in the form of curiosity to know more, be more, and do more. But for the rest of us, it comes with a dose of conscious effort. Having the willpower in order to be proactive and overcome challenges can come in handy as well.

While staying hungry is a great way to live your life, and leads you to prosperity in more ways than you can count, you have to remember that life isn’t a competition. It’s merely a journey.

Therefore, you are allowed to rest, to take some time off, and take a well-deserved break and enjoy the beauty of this world from other points of view.

Remember, to stay hungry is a fantastic lifestyle, but it has to be completed and perfected by other amazing aspects of life.

But today we’re talking about how one accomplishes this state of constant hunger for knowing more, doing more, and being more; where one finds the right motivation, inspiration, and drive to hop on this exciting way to live your life.

Find Your Inner Motivation

When you think about the concept of staying hungry, you should know that motivation is its foundation. Motivation is that one thing that has the power to push you forward even in the darkest of times.

There are two types of motivation: internal and external. Your inner motivation is the only thing that can only fuel this hunger. Your internal motivation is actually your drive.

The internal motivation can’t be fulfilled by external factors. It is a feeling, it is a state of being, and it is a way of life. But mostly, intrinsic motivation is the reason why you’re doing something to fulfill your inner world.

Therefore, prosperity, knowledge or wisdom are aspects that can fulfill your inner world to find your internal motivation. But, most importantly, this also helps you find numerous external factors to help you feel whole.

Once you find your inner motivation, all your actions will head towards reaching your goals and desires, so staying hungry will come almost naturally.

Consume Motivational Materials

finding motivation

Life would be too easy if all we needed to do was find our inner motivation to achieve all our goals. In reality, life is complicated, and sometimes it can bring us down like nothing and no one else can.

Therefore, you have to surround yourself with materials that resonate with your purpose to stay hungry. You have to consume motivational and inspiring articles daily to make sure you are staying connected to your world.

When you surround your universe with information that serves you not only as knowledge but also as reasons to push yourself further and be a better version of yourself, you feel more responsible for enacting your goals.

But it’s not always positive vibes for us. Sometimes the worst of life happens. It brings you down and makes you feel like the world is a mean place and that your struggling for nothing. During those trying times, it is important to remember that there is hope — always. If you set a good example, you can make a real change and help make the world a better place.

See Also: 7 Inspiring Movies to Watch When You Are Low on Motivation

Surround Yourself with Hungry People

finding inner motivations

You probably heard the phrases “you are what you eat” and “you are what you do,” but today, we’re going to focus on “you are who you surround yourself with.”

Honestly, these three sayings couldn’t have been more accurate. Jim Rohn once said that we are “the average of the five people we surround ourselves with”.

Therefore, take a closer look at your family and friends, and at what they’re manifesting in this world. If they don’t march your goals, you have to look for new company.

To stay hungry requires surrounding yourself with people who have the same goals and aspirations as you do; people who can inspire you to stay on track no matter how hard it gets sometimes. We all need to surround ourselves with people who understand us.

For instance, assignment writers that seek to be the best out of the best surround themselves with people who have the same aspirations as they do; usually, people who have already achieved the goals they’re aiming towards.

Understand and Demolish Your Demotivating Habits and Beliefs

Last but not least, you have to deal with all your demotivating habits and beliefs. To truly set in the hunger state, you have to demolish all your beliefs and habits that pull you out from that path.

Of course, you will have to be aware of them and understand the reason behind your actions and beliefs. And this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

You’ll have to take some time to spend with yourself — to pay attention to your instincts and to manifest something that doesn’t resonate with your purpose. Every time you notice something, try to understand why you’re doing it and replace your behavior with one that matches your hunger.

The same way goes with your beliefs. Take some time to observe your thoughts, and whenever you notice something that will step you down, understand it and replace it with something proactive.

This process is a long-term one that should start as soon as possible. It will end as soon as you truly understand yourself and when you’re in full control of your thoughts, emotions, and actions.


Once you find your inner motivation, which is the passion that’s always burning inside of you, everything will seem easy. It’s because it gives you the right drive and the desire to make things work.

Maybe there are some other easier ways to achieve it, but I believe in the aforementioned ways to be a very efficient. The ones discussed above work in very complex yet effectual ways, ensuring that you won’t just stay hungry for a limited period but for as long as you want to.

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I Am Not Ashamed to Be Seen In Public Anymore

My wife and I were at a nice restaurant, eagerly waiting for the chance to order our meals. I salivated at the thought of the barbecue ribs.

A server came to our table and in his chivalrous way, asked Stephanie what she would like to eat first. After taking her order, he said it would be right out and I prepared to order.

As I began to open my mouth, I watched him close his notes. He started walking away without even looking up at me. I quickly yelled out in an insulted tone, “Excuse me, I would like to order as well.”

He turned around, seemingly befuddled over the fact that I spoke.

Did he really not notice me? Did he not think I was capable of speaking? Or did he not think I may actually have come to enjoy some particularly delicious barbecued ribs?

He apologized profusely as he fumbled through his notes, red in the face, presumably embarrassed at his indiscretion.

The Impression We Create

It is situations like this that remind me how different I look to the outside world. A freak car accident left me paralyzed below the shoulders in November 2009. After that, I have been on the journey of a lifetime that goes well beyond the physical limitations.

I launched to share the ups and downs of my journey. I aim to give a front row seat to what’s been going on in my mind and the day-to-day experiences I face.
After enough dinners and time out with friends, sometimes shying away from being in public has more of an appeal.

From encountering long stares in public places to overly eccentric smiles, it often feels more convenient to just avoid it altogether. In the eye of the American public, I’m led to feel so otherworldly. It’s simply due to the fact that I physically cannot move certain parts of my body.

Looking through the lens of my new viewpoint has allowed me to reflect on the world around me in a way I never would have thought possible. It is easy to quickly get frustrated when I receive a different treatment or when a kid stares while asking his parents what is wrong with me.

However, it’s often made me reflect on how I’m also guilty of being quick to judge other people’s look. Skin color, dialect, socioeconomic background, and various physical differences all make for a subtle preconceived idea in my head about someone. And the way I treat them often reflects that.

I’ve learned that interacting with just one person, who is in some way different from me, can reshape my worldview when I actually take the time to look beyond the specific difference that sticks out. Why should I hold back an opportunity for someone to experience the same thing when it comes to my paralysis?

Final Thought

Next time, rather than acting annoyed and puffing out my paralyzed chest, I can carry myself in a different way. I hope to garner respect and open up a conversation that breaks stereotypes one person at a time. As each wall gets broken down, people are able to see that a wheelchair and lifeless limbs do not define me.

As I come to expect others to be open to my current difference, I have learned to be open-minded in creating an impression of others. This has made all the difference in the world.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Giving Up

‘Giving up’ or ‘quitting’ on something has mixed connotations.

For one, giving up smoking is widely applauded.

Giving up on a marriage, on the other hand, well, it depends on who you speak to.

In my life, giving up has not been equated with praiseworthy behavior. To give up or to ‘throw in the towel’ is to be defeated.

I’ve seen myself and others be reprimanded for behavior like this. Giving up my ballet lessons, in favor of Saturday morning cartoons was my decision, age six. I thank my parents for having the grace to let me make the choice, but it was clear to me I’d made the wrong one in their eyes.

Despite the cloud of judgment that hangs over the realm of giving up, I’ve been an active quitter throughout my life. I feel like I’ve earned my stripes in the art of quitting, and now I’m on a mission to advocate for the life-changing magic of giving up.

My Best Quit Ever

My job, age 23.

I was in a position that any fresh graduate would be grateful for. I had landed a role as a junior designer in a digital agency, based in the heart of London’s West End. My colleagues were pleasant, we were always allowed to leave on time, at the crack of 5 pm. On paper, I had nothing to complain about.

job quitting

Inside, however, I was screaming. For some people, the open plan office environment with its bright lights and background drone isn’t for them. The commute wore me out, and I wondered every day how everyone else seems to be coping just fine.

But are they? Or are those other poker-faced commuters also screaming inside? Do we all just agree to this lifestyle, just to pay the bills and live in an apartment within walking distance to the cool cafes and good public transport links?

The Courage to Quit

Maybe some people really don’t mind it so much. But I did. So I quit.

I started freelancing, working from home and built my online business. The work was more challenging, the paychecks less predictable: but I was happy.

My most recent quit has been my home, I suppose. I traded that in for a nomadic lifestyle, taking my laptop and Aeropress on the road and gently stepping off the path that should, society tells us, lead to a happy home, 2.4 kids and a nice man to rub my feet.

Since then my eyes have been opened to the true generosity of many, many humans. I’ve seen first-hand the kind of incredible regeneration work is happening in the forests of Portugal. I’ve hiked in the Cascade Mountain range. And I’ve helped build a mini-golf course. Needless to say, I don’t regret my decision one bit.

why quitting is not bad

These decisions take courage. They are full of risk and uncertainty. When I quit my safe, well-paid agency job I didn’t know what would happen next. I didn’t know how to get my own clients or start an online business. I had to choose to trust myself to figure it out.

Now, I’m reminded of the bravery that takes. To say, ‘yes’ to uncertainty and to gather the strength to move forward into the unknown in spite of the risks, both financial and emotional.

The Stigma of Quitting

Quitting doesn’t have to be applied to something as dramatic as a job or home; it could be quitting sugar or late nights or speaking to that grumpy neighbor. These little decisions we make to put our foot down and say, ‘I quit’, and stand by that even if we’re scared; are life-changing.

If someone tells me they left their marriage of 35 years, I won’t cast a judgmental eye. I know that the courage that must have taken is worth applauding alone, whether or not it was the ‘right’ decision. After all, who are we to judge whether something is the right decision? The best we can do is acknowledge what comes our way and learn from the events we wish had gone differently.

I wonder if dropping our judgment around giving up is something that would actually help more families stay together or more employees stick around for the long haul. If we strip away the stigma attached to quitting, maybe we could talk more openly about that pull we have to bolt.

The conversation can then open up. We can ask ‘what can I do to help?’ In some cases, maybe the decision can be turned around altogether, simply because the person on the edge of leaving is met with compassion and understanding.

In some cases, it won’t. Giving up the past may be the best and only decision for many of us and the only path to a brighter future. Either way, I believe it’s time we drop the judgment around giving up and maybe even celebrate its life-changing magic.

Is there something in your life you can give up?

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How To Know What Changes You Should Actually Make In Your Life

These days, the internet is full of confusing mixed messages. There is the message of “Be yourself! You’re beautiful no matter what you look like!” Then, there is the message of “You must look this exact way in order to be considered beautiful.”

Neither of those are necessarily true. Beauty is a standard and everyone has his own idea of what that looks like. You don’t meet everyone’s criteria and not everyone meets your criteria. That’s just how the world works.

This makes personal improvements tricky. When we hear things like “get in shape” or “get dressed up” or anything relating to becoming beautiful, our minds often go straight to models of some kind, whether Instagram or Victoria’s Secret.

We’re often overwhelmed by what we want to change about ourselves. We want to be perfect, but no one is perfect. We don’t like ourselves, but we don’t know what or how to change what we don’t like.

Instead of saying to yourself, “I want to be beautiful. I want to be skinnier. I want to be happier. I want to look like a Kardashian”, ask yourself this: What does being the best version of yourself look like?

This question takes all outward influences out of the picture. You don’t have to look like the models you see everywhere you look and you don’t need to look like anyone else. You can look like you.

Being The Best Version of Yourself

The best version of you might be ten pounds lighter or ten pounds heavier. You might have zit-free skin or you might have the perfect winged eyeliner look.

Maybe you drink more water and eat more bacon. Maybe you write in your notebook every day or smile at strangers more often. Or maybe you give your friends gifts more often or call your parents more. Perhaps you go out only Saturday nights, instead of Friday through Sunday. Maybe you finally do that thing you’ve been dreaming about for months.

People will still have their judgement to pass on you, even when you’re steadily working to better yourself. If you listen to them at all, take what they say with a grain of salt. What you do does not concern them and your happiness does not rely on them.

The important thing is to remember that you don’t look like anyone else, inside and out. There is a “best version” of yourself in you somewhere, even if sometimes it’s hard to find. Think about what you want to see from yourself, not what anyone else might want to see.

See Also: 3 Things That Can Help You Start Being Your Best Self

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The One Post Breakup Thing Women Need to Do

“I’m not happy anymore. I see no future with you. I will never love you. You need to accept that and move on. I’m sorry.”

As cliché as it may sound, that was the last I heard from the guy I was so desperately in love with. He’s the guy who dumped me for his major insecurities, male ego, and limitless tail-chasing.

After some time, he went with a follow up stating that he wanted the possibility of a friendship with me- different from what I had been hoping for with him.

break up

You’d like to think that I immediately jumped at the chance to get back together, even if it’s just on a level of completely platonic pals. Or perhaps one of his many previous conquests-now-turned-buddies.

Well, let me tell you this.

I was not that desperate and pathetic.

Flipping him off was below my ladylike standards, so I told him an outright no.

Naturally, he didn’t understand my reluctance as much as I couldn’t comprehend why he wanted to keep me with him, when in fact he’d expressed openly in different terms that he’d rather close the chapter of his life where I was in it, to begin with.

How to handle a break-up with class

post break up

After a breakup, especially in this sort of situation, no matter how much you think it will work on your favor, never beg or plead. That’s even if you are still completely not over or might never be over him. By never, I mean it would be horrific and downright mortifying once you come to your senses!

Trust me. Begging does not work, even if you blackmail him emotionally.

And, do not accept a “Just Be Friends” proposition from the man who brutally jilted you under any circumstance at all! It would be unfair of him to ask that of you, especially when you didn’t want whatever relationship you had to end in the first place.

Handling breakups are different for the vast majority of us as there are a lot of factors that tend to vary.

However, acting loony will get you nowhere.

Overreacting would be a nasty faux pas.

Blowing up his phone and stalking him on social media would not only strain an already non-existent relationship. It would also make you- and not him- more miserable in the long run.

My dear women, I say, go through the breakup with class and what’s left of your dignity.

Various online dating gurus would tell you this and I can attest that it absolutely works a hundred and ten percent: Lose all form of contact with him, as long as it would take for you to reconvene your feelings and your life in general.

Human nature dictates that pain is unwanted, in every aspect, be it physical or emotional.

Unquestionably, going through your normal routine will prove to be very, very difficult. You may find yourself at the end of some nights tired, weeping, and lonely but don’t fret too much. It’s all part of the process to heal yourself.

The bottom line is for you to get a life where you are happy and secure with yourself. You don’t need him to be in it.

Then, live that life and let things run their course.

If he comes back, then it’s up to you to accept him. If you do accept, set boundaries for yourself, which he has to learn to respect.

In case he doesn’t, well, do you really want a man who wants to stay uncommitted and yet desires the benefits of a committed relationship?

See Also: Let Go of Your Ex: 7 Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

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Breaking The Cycle of Confirmation Bias

No matter how much you share political stories on Facebook, you’ll likely never change your friends’ opinions on the issues. In fact, sharing and reacting to political posts will only create a more polarized community because Facebook’s algorithms show you what you like. This is where learning how to avoid confirmation bias becomes tricky.

Polarizing Opinions on Social Media

On social media, Democrats and Republican link to articles that share their party’s natural bias. Almost half of the links shared by Congress members come from these slanted sources. It’s not just political figures that tend to be biased, either.

Each time you like an article on one side of the debate or ignore a post from an opposing side, Facebook gets more data on what you want to see. Over time, your news feed will show information from fewer sources and you may even land yourself in a fake-news bubble.

This sort of echo chamber occurs when dissenting opinions are filtered out of the dialog. It enables confirmation bias, the natural human tendency to overemphasize information that supports one’s opinion and overlook anything that could prove it wrong.

This underlying human flaw doesn’t just change how we consume information; it affects how we share it as well. Social media users share news articles from liberal or conservative sources 22% more often than stories from more centrist outlets.

Investigating Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias lets us cherry-pick information without even realizing we’re doing it. Multiple studies show that humans tend to have a strong tendency to hold to an established opinion, regardless of evidence.

In 1975, the Stanford suicide note legitimacy study asked two groups of participants to determine whether each of 25 suicide notes were real or fake. The psychologists running the study told each group their score, giving one a false high score and the other a false low score. Even when they revealed that the scores were fake, participants believed they had done well or badly according to the score they were assigned.

Another experiment at Stanford, the capital punishment study in 1979, grouped participants based on their established views on the death penalty. Both groups were present with two fictitious studies: one supporting capital punishment and the other questioning it. Both groups found the studies credible and felt that both studies supported their existing views.

The Stanford experiments show that confirmation bias makes people with opposing views feel validated by the same information. It even reinforced our opinions in the face of contradictory evidence. This phenomenon reduces the diversity of opinions, allows misinformation to spread, and leaves us vulnerable to manipulation.

How to Avoid Confirmation Bias

Combatting the effects of confirmation bias is difficult. One of the most important steps is noticing when you’re caught in an echo chamber. Recognizing the signs takes practice and self-awareness. Practicing mindfulness and self-reflection can help as well.

Signs You’re Caught in an Echo Chamber

confirmation bias

  • Distinct community structure
  • Strong polarization of opinions
  • Perception of facts clouded by emotional narratives
  • Shared values/meaning, leads to self-validation

While Facebook’s data collection has been the subject of a lot scrutiny for its failure to combat or flag fake news, sites like Google offer a better alternative. Google’s algorithms flag fact-checked articles for readers and punish unsubstantiated articles and attempts at misinformation. Choosing your sources carefully is a great strategy to keep confirmation bias at bay.

Another strategy is researching the evidence carefully. Use fact-checking sites like Snopes to see if a story is accurate before you share it with others. Get the news directly from reputable, less biased sources. And of course, don’t blindly trust what you read on social media.

Tips for Fighting Confirmation Bias

  • Avoid emotional thinking
  • Recognize logical errors
  • Try to understand others’ point of view
  • Remain skeptical of your own beliefs
  • Keep an open mind toward others

It can be difficult to fight confirmation bias and it’s impossible to overcome it completely. However, exposing yourself to a variety of opinions and doing your own research will help you learn and practice this skill. Instead of blocking or unfriending people you disagree with, engage in conversation and always consider the possibility you could be wrong.

Finally, to learn more about confirmation bias and its effect on social media, check out this infographic:
Confirmation Bias
Source: Psych Degrees

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Paperless Office: Myths, Benefits, and Tips for Going Paperless

Operating in an eco-friendly manner has been the new black for some time now. However, being trendy is not the main benefit of going paperless in the office. It actually offers tons of advantages.

Top myths about paperless office

Even though the term paperless was first used in 1978, the amount of misconceptions that still surround it is quite surprising. Let’s get to debunking:

  • Paper-free automatically means environmentally-friendly – It’s not that simple. If your go-to approach to becoming paperless is just to scan all documents and throw away the paper, you won’t do anything ecological. For starters, to be called eco-friendly, you’d have to at least recycle that paper.
  • Being paper-free requires complete rejection of the paper – Of course, in the perfect world, you would say no to all the papers. In reality, however, a paper-free office is actually a concept of an organization striving to minimize the use of paper. That’s why complete rejection is not really necessary.
  • Paperless office is less secure – That’s not true as well. Digital cloud services and paper-free tools protect your business data better than you might think. They usually utilize highly secure encryptions to protect your business data. Also, paper documents are not bulletproof, too. They can easily get spoiled or lost.

Why bother going paperless?

paperless office benefits

So, what are the benefits of the paper-free concept? Why did it become so popular? From our point of view, the advantages are clear and really impressive.

  1. It saves money. You won’t have to spend on printers, papers, toners, inks, shredders, and whatnot. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, going paperless can save a company about $80 for each of your staff members per year.
  2. It saves time. On average, it takes workers about 5 minutes to come to a filing cabinet, find the needed document, and then work on it. Multiply this by how often your workers need to find new docs and you’ll see how much of their time will be freed by going paperless.
  3. It improves business workflow. When all of your documents are in electronic form, collaboration with your partners becomes faster and easier. For instance, being able to sign papers digitally allows you to avoid the old-fashioned print-sign-scan-send routine. Instead, you can sign papers with a tap of a finger, speeding up your sales process. Also, the mere absence of paper and filing cabinets makes your workers more organized overall.

How to go paperless?

paperless office how to

You might think that you are ready to make the transition, but it is important to understand that you can’t go paperless overnight.

Here are the best tips for going paperless.

  1. Choose a cloud storage for your business data if you still don’t have one. There are plenty of popular services out there, like Google, Microsoft or Dropbox. They have different amounts of available space and privacy policy rules, so be careful. Choose the one that suits your business best.
  2. Scan all your documents and transfer them to the chosen cloud storage. Considering the amount of paper in use by an average company, you probably won’t make it in one day. That’s why we suggest you to make a daily transfer plan and then process at least one filing cabinet a day.
  3. This step is important eco-friendly-wise. Now that you have all your documents in electronic form, you should get rid of the unnecessary papers. It is important that you recycle them. Normally, you can find a couple of recycling companies in most large cities, so this shouldn’t be that much of a trouble.
  4. Implement paper-free tools. For example, your company should consider using tablets instead of laptops and desktop PCs when possible so that employees could work effectively on the go. Tablets are also indispensable when working with clients when you have to fill in profiles and questionnaires or close deals in a matter of minutes. Another great paperless tool that facilitates client work is electronic signature services. It is a technology for electronically signing documents. It also allows you to remotely collaborate with stakeholders and sign your documents even on-the-go. Some of these services also provide additional features, like templates, offline mode, and secure storages.
  5. Go for electronic invoicing and billing. This includes paying your bills with online banking, especially since there are no legitimate reasons not to. Once you’re geared up with paper-free tools, you are ready to practice e-Invoicing, too. FYI, your savings from turning to electronic invoicing can reach up to $8 per invoice.

In conclusion

Going paperless is a multi-step and time-consuming process. However, the benefits are worth it. Be patient with these tips for going paperless and you’ll soon see the improvements in your office.

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How to Rewire Your Brain for Success

The brain is an incredible organ. It is constantly regenerating and renewing itself while absorbing the information being thrown at it. However, not every piece of information it absorbs is positive or even correct.

For example, if you fall down in public and feel embarrassed, the thought “I’m an idiot” pops into your head. Your brain will absorb it and form a neural pathway. This pathway is the connection through which neurons send their signals from one part of the brain to another.

And as more things cause embarrassment for you, the stronger that pathway becomes to the point that it affects how you live your life.

What if you utilize how your brain works naturally to promote productivity, happiness, a sense of self-worth, and success in your workplace? The results will amaze you.

What Am I Talking About?

importance of mindfulness

What I am really referring to is something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a therapy used by mental health professionals all over the world. CBT is an evidenced-based therapy that assumes changing harmful thinking can lead to an ultimate change in behavior. Even further, more recent versions of CBT focus on changing a person’s relationship to harmful thinking. It rewires the brain and those aforementioned neural pathways to initiate a change in behavior.

This kind of practice can also be described as ‘mindfulness’. It involves focusing on the present moment and acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings while noticing one’s relationship to those feelings. It is much easier to change one’s relationship to feelings and circumstances when they are acknowledged.

Does This Even Work?

The Harvard Gazette recently published an article outlining a study done on the effectiveness of using the above techniques to change one’s brain with respect to depression. I believe this to be interchangeable with anxiety, stress, or even a lack of productivity in one’s life.

Dr. Gaelle Desbordes, an instructor in radiology at Harvard Medical school and a neuroscientist, began practicing mindfulness and experienced great benefits. As a scientist, she wondered how it could benefit others and how the process could be documented.

What is amazing about her study, outlined in this article, is that she could visually see a difference in scans of patients’ brains before and after they practiced mindfulness and the change seemed to be there to stay.

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

What Does This Mean For You?

practice mindfulness

Even if you are not struggling with something as serious as depression or PTSD, utilizing a tool or practice like mindfulness or CBT could really make a difference to your success as a person. It’s possible that you have some thought patterns cycling on a daily basis that are hindering your success in work or your productivity on a project.

I truly believe that taking inventory of your daily thought patterns can tremendously help you. You can begin by pinpointing something in which you have a physical hiccup.

Do you struggle with deadlines and procrastinate until the last second? Do you eat healthy all day and binge on all the unhealthy foods right before bed?

Whatever your goals or scenarios are, write them all out as they pop into your head.

See Also: How to Deal With Depression: 22 Things You Need to Try Today

For example, if you struggle with procrastination, your thoughts surrounding this issue may be one or a few of the following:

  • I feel overwhelmed.
  • I want to do a perfect job so I fear to start the project.
  • I’m not good enough.
  • I dislike my work and do not want to begin the project.

You probably have a lot more thoughts or reasons for feeling such way. So, sit with yourself for a few minutes and really think about them before writing them out. Choose one that you deem is harmful to your productivity and write down why it shouldn’t be that way.

In Conclusion

Now, you know how to rewire your brain for success.

The next time you are procrastinating, revisit what you’ve written and it’ll create the positive changes you want in your brain. It will file this new information and override the old, ultimately changing your behavior.

I hope you find this information helpful in your quest for a more productive, happy, and successful life.

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3 Ways To Stop Your Bad Habits

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I have plenty of time, I can work on this later” or, “What I do now doesn’t matter, again I’m young”?

If so, I’m here to say that it does matter, particularly when you’re learning how to stop bad habits.

There’s a saying that I’ve been hearing a lot lately.

“Past performance is indicative of future returns.”

Now, although it’s usually said when discussing a financial institution, I believe that it can be applied to so much more.

Take habits for example.

Once learned, do you know how hard it is to break a habit? Very freaking hard.

It takes a lot of self-discipline and commitment to break a habit and even once it’s broken, constant maintenance is required to keep it broken.

Think about all the habits you learned while you were young. Look back at how you look and behave toward certain ideas. Those habits and behaviors are hard to get rid of because they are built deep within you.

But how exactly do you take them out of your life?

I’ve talked to so many people who, despite their good nature, have told me that they used to believe that they were immortal (figuratively). They used to think that they have all the time in the world.

Now, upon reflection on their lives, they’ve noticed that they’re stuck in a sense of perpetual failure. They have developed tons of self-defeating habits that they can’t seem to shake off even after so many years.

3 Tricks on How to Stop Bad Habits

Replace it with something else

When I was younger, I had several BAD habits that really hurt both my work ethic and outlook on life. After a length of time doing these things, I noticed what they were doing to me- they were contributing to my failures.

My only option was to kick the habit but I had no reasonable idea how.

So, one day, I just quit cold turkey.

I told myself that I just wouldn’t do them anymore and it worked for a while.

A few months later, I found that the desire for them was back and that I longed for the pleasure that they brought again. I’d put a lot of thought into it and I was wondering why this feeling came back.

I realized that I needed something else that would calm me- something that would help clear my mind so that I could stay focused.

Then, I stumbled upon exercise.

I found that the relief I get from it was on par with the relief that the substances brought to me. I kept exercising on a regular basis and soon found that my desires went away. I’d found my substitute.

daily exercise

With the help of sticky notes, I’ve eliminated my unwanted habits and it worked really well for me.

See Also: 16 Essential Tips for Quitting Smoking

Figure out what stimulates the habit

After you realize that a habit is unwanted, the next (and possibly the easiest) thing you should do is to figure out how to avoid doing it. This also means that you must find your trigger.

For me, it was the stagnation or the feeling of constant movement but never going anywhere. This coupled with the ever-present mistakes that made it very difficult for me to deal with the stress of life.

It took me a while to realize that.

At first, all I noticed was that I wasn’t on my stuff the way that I needed to be. But like with anything, until I knew what was causing it, there would be no way for me to avoid a similar situation.

This all comes with time though.

Just like how it took a while before I figured out what was hurting me, it will also take a while for you to realize that.

This is what we have to do:

We must reflect and realize what is contributing to our current state. It’s hard but with enough time, it can be done. And if you can’t do it yourself, go to someone who can help you.

Make yourself aware of the fact that it’s unwanted.

This is the hardest thing in the world for us to do, especially by ourselves.

A habit is something that we do on a regular basis. We get so used to them that we no longer view them as a problem. This means that we must reflect and pinpoint the issues. We must look long and hard to find the things that add to our problems.

For me, one of those issues was my substance abuse. I just had to look into myself and see what it was that was causing my current state. It took a very long reflection for me to realize that it was hurting me and how it was holding me back.

habit awareness

This is your life, and you only get so much of it. Since our time on this earth won’t last, we must make the most of it. We must rid ourselves of our unwanted habits as soon as possible. Don’t be the person that looks back and says, “Man, I knew that I needed to do this. I just never did.”

See Also: Spiritual Pointers for Quitting a Bad Habit

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4 Important Things To Consider When Changing Jobs

Have you ever been so burnt out at work and sick of all the corporate politics that you are thinking of quitting your job?

Or maybe you are only working hard enough to get a paycheck and make it to the weekend?

Week after week.

Month after month.

Year after year.

You meant well when you first accepted the career position. Now, you’re no longer sure if you’re feeling the same way.

And you’re not alone.

Some statistics say up to 85% of people hate their jobs. So, if you find yourself wondering if you should change careers, here are 4 important things to consider when changing careers.

#1: What is your ideal work situation?

Analyze your work environment. Has it changed dramatically since you accepted the position?

If this is the case, then you have to put yourself back in your life’s driver’s seat.

Make a list of the top 10 words or phrases that describe your career. You can include all the pros and cons of your job. For example, you can write how many hours you spend commuting per day, all the benefits you get, and the things that make your work extra hard.

Now, how do you feel about that list?

#2: Do your actual job duties match your personality?

There are 4 traits that make you the person you are today.

Those traits relate to your ability to interact with people, solve problems, manage day-to-day tasks, and respond to events and situations.

Here’s what you could do:

Take your list from question one and start to ask yourself which of those things match who you are.

If you don’t know where to start, I suggest taking the DISC personality profile test or a Myers-Briggs personality profile test. Once you have the results, ask yourself if your dominant personality types fit your current career.

See Also: How To Get Out Of A Career Rut

#3: What are your values, passions, and dreams?

“Always remember, you have within you, the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

Do you dream of a work-from-home position?

Well, does your current company offer that? If not, then you won’t fulfill this dream until you change careers.

Do you have a passion for achieving results but your team simply goes through the motions?

Start looking for another team to be a part of today.

Do you value work-life balance?

Take the necessary steps to see how you can create more balance in your current career. If that’s not possible, it’s probably time to change careers.

#4: Is there a paying market for your ideal career?

Honestly, I love to eat Mexican food. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for me to find or create a job where I can get paid well for only eating Mexican food.

Career changes are similar. Don’t just move from one thing to the next if there’s not a great paying market for you. Living on beans and rice to get by is fine for a while, but your family will need more than that.

My word of advice for those I coach is to stay at their current jobs while they look for a new one or start something that will fit them better.

So, is it time for you to change careers?

I don’t know for sure but I do believe that if you take the time to evaluate where you’ve been and where you’re headed, you’ll come to a conclusion of what’s best for you.

Don’t wait any longer trying to make your career fit you. Take action and begin finding or creating the work that you love.

See Also: How To Change Careers Without Losing Your Mind

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17 Easy Positive Changes You Can Make In Your Life Right Now

There are many positive actions and habits we know we should do, like working out, eating healthily and not spending beyond our means. We know the big things that will make our lives better, but the fact that they’re big tasks means they can feel daunting or overwhelming.

And so we easily give up on them.

Life isn’t always about big, bold milestones. It’s also about the little things that can bring you a more positive and fulfilling lifestyle.

If you feel the same way, then you should know that there are small positive changes you can still do to make your life better. Pick one thing from the list below and test it out. If you like it and it’s becoming a regular habit, add another one in.

And the best thing about these small changes? They require no extra money or prep time.

So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down the list, pick a number and start making positive changes.

17 Things That Will Bring You Positive Changes

1. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day as much as you can. However, a spontaneous wild night out every now and then won’t hurt anyone.

2. Watch some comedy every day to keep those laughter muscles warmed up.

3. Have a healthy breakfast to set yourself up well for the day. Oatmeal with fruits, a smoothie or even a homemade granola will do.

healthy breakfast

4. Consider playing the songs you love as you’re getting ready in the morning. It will give your day a great start even before you leave the house.

5. Unfollow people on Facebook. A major factor in feeling bad is comparing ourselves to other people. Seeing your high school buddy’s “perfect” holiday, kids or home isn’t going to boost your self-esteem. It’s best to remove them from your view.

6. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the time for. Make it simple and achievable, like dining at a particular restaurant or trying out a new recipe.

7. While you’re lying in bed at night, think of five things that went well that day. They don’t have to be big or dramatic. It can be a nice lunch, a free gift at the store or a cute baby that smiled at you. As a result, you’ll be able to train your brain to focus on the good rather than the bad.

8. Talk back to your negative thoughts. If your friend told you she’d had an unproductive day, would you respond negatively or positively? Consider it the same for yourself. Being harsh on yourself won’t help you achieve more. In fact, it can only make you feel crappy.

9. Keep a notebook and jot down all the things that make you feel alive. You’d be amazed at how this simple act can switch your brain into feeling good.

10. At least once a week, wear an outfit that makes you feel great. Wear your most fabulous clothes, underwear included. Do your hair in a style you love, put on some makeup, and head out looking good. You’ll be amazed at how differently people will treat you.

11. Send a text once a week to someone you know and tell them why you think they’re awesome. This will boost your positivity.

12. If you want to work out but can’t find the motivation, just go for a walk. It’s better than nothing and will get your blood pumping. The best way to get fit is to see yourself as someone who works out and keeps fit.

walking exercise

13. Drop the word “should”. Keep an eye out for how often you say it and ask yourself if it’s making you feel better or worse. Is it something genuinely important to you? Who said you should do it? Do they know you better than you know yourself? Ask yourself these questions and you’ll know why the word won’t help you.

14. If you’re a procrastinator, introduce the “yucky task, nice task” process. It works just as it sounds. Get your yucky task done first and give yourself a reward or do a nicer task after.

15. Another positive change you can do is clear your inbox of all the newsletters you’re signed up to. Put them in a separate folder, delete them, or pare them down to just the ones you love to receive. The feeling of freedom that comes from an uncluttered inbox is worth more than the sporadic, fleeting bonus you might get from one of your newsletters.

16. Add one more piece of fruit into your day and mix it up with the usual ones you have every day. Make it a daily challenge to see the different kinds of fruit you can eat. In addition to helping you start with some positive changes, it can also help you be healthier.

17. Finally, if you’re a news junkie, set a timer and allow yourself to read the news for an allotted period of time only. Our news has changed over the past few years and they’re designed to hook you in. Generally, we feel worse after watching story upon story of terror and bad news, so limit your exposure. If you’re not a news junkie, why not take a break from watching?

So, there you have it. These are the 17 small changes that can add up to big results. Where will you start?

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Why Criticizing Others Won’t Get Them to Change … and What Will!

When someone in your life behaves in a way that is off-putting or upsetting to you — maybe they cross one of your boundaries, or perhaps they just do something that is not cool with you, maybe even repeatedly, and you finally get fed up with it — how do you handle the situation?

How do you confront them about their undesirable behavior, or perhaps their lack of desirable behavior?

You want them to change, right?

But is your approach really working to bring about that change?

If you’re like many people, the approach you may very well take is to criticize them and find fault with their behavior. This often takes the form of “You never […]” or “You always […]” — then insert the behavior in question.

But have you ever stopped to consider the reasoning behind criticizing others, hoping it will change their behavior?

If you investigate it, the common thought process is this:

“If I just make this person aware of their behavior by pointing it out to them and how off-putting it is, it should be reason enough for them to change it.”

Sounds logical enough, doesn’t it?

But does it actually work?

When you criticize people and find fault with their behavior, do they end up changing?

I’m willing to bet the answer is: No way!

What usually ends up happening?

Don’t they generally just dig in their heels and become defensive and argumentative?

They either start trying to weasel their way out of the situation by making excuses for themselves and the way they act, or they attempt to justify their behavior by giving you reasons for why they act the way they do.

And in other cases, they may even turn the situation around on you and start criticizing you in return. They may retaliate and start picking out your own faults and flaws.

Now instead of getting them to change, the only thing that’s accomplished is a heated argument, where nothing comes of it but hostility and resentment.

So what’s the solution to this problem?

And how do we get others to change?

The first thing you need to realize is that finding fault with others and criticizing their behavior doesn’t work to bring about change in other people. In fact, it only brings out the worst in them. It only leads to them feeling like they’re under attack.

And how do we respond when we’re under attack?

We either try to defend ourselves, or we fight back

defensive argument

And in that, the whole aim or purpose of our initial actions and the results we hope to achieve (to get the other person to change their behavior because it wreaks some form of hardship on us) get lost along the way. They get pushed to the side and instead, the interaction takes on a complete tangent in the form of an argument, where nothing but animosity and strife are the result.

Then we may get angry and bitter because the person can’t see the error of their ways, even though we’ve so accurately pointed them out to them. And then when the argument is over, likely unresolved and filled with bitterness and resentment, perhaps we go and complain and gossip to our friends about how the person just can’t see and doesn’t understand how their behavior negatively affects us.

See Also: The Best Way to Win an Argument

We blame them for being the problem

blaming others

But what if the problem isn’t really with them? What if the real problem is the approach we took in confronting the situation? What if fault finding and criticizing just doesn’t work to bring about changes in others as it relates to us?

If so, what is the real solution?

How do we truly create change in others’ behavior?

The secret is to separate the behavior in question from the person’s sense of identity.

What do I mean by that?

Instead of criticizing someone’s behavior, making them feel like they’re under attack (which will generally only make them defensive and argumentative), we have to go under their radar and prevent their ego from getting involved in the conversation.

This is done by telling the person how their behavior (or lack of it) make you feel. Instead of placing the focus on them by putting them down, focus on your feelings.

Simply use a statement like this:

“When you […], I feel […].”

For example, instead of saying, “You always come so home so late! What’s the matter with you?” — which will probably just lead to a full-blown argument — simply say, “When you come home so late, I feel worried.”

This prevents you from putting a laser focus on them, which will prevent them from getting defensive and argumentative. Instead, it puts the focus on your feelings about their behavior. And because you haven’t involved their ego in the confrontation, they will be open to listening to you and understanding where you’re coming from.

Because it’s about you and not them, they won’t throw up their barriers as in the case of criticizing and fault finding.

Then the next step is follow-up with a “Would you […]?” question.

For example, “Would you please call if you know you’re going to be coming home late to let me know?”

Here, you’re not demanding anything of them. You’re approaching the subject in a civil way. You’re asking them for permission, in a sense. You’re asking for their consent in the matter.

You’re giving them the choice, and that always leads to more positive results.

If you take this approach instead of criticizing someone and finding fault with them, hoping it will change their behavior, you’re almost sure to find it’s a method that actually produces the results you want.


“When you […], I feel […].”

Followed by:

“Would you […]?”

That’s it.

Remember those words the next time you feel like criticizing someone who behaviors in a way that is undesirable to you and you want them to change, and you’ll find it’s the difference between an argument where nothing but an argument is the result, and creating real, positive change in others.

See Also: The Call for Change: Time to Step Out of the Comfort Zone


The post Why Criticizing Others Won’t Get Them to Change … and What Will! appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Things You Need To Get Rid Of To Become Successful In Life

What do you mean by a “successful life”?

Many people talk about having a successful life, but what do you mean by a successful life? Is it all about having luxury? Studies show that the suicide rate is a lot higher among rich people. If being successful was all about money, then rich people would never commit suicide. There are lots of factors to be considered in judging whether a person is successful or not.

Each and every person has different personality traits and habits. Some of the habits are good whereas some of the habits are bad. To have a successful life, we should never hesitate to learn. Moreover, it is also necessary to give up our bad habits.

Get rid of these 5 habits if you want to have a successful life

In this article, you will not learn new skills; instead, you will learn how to give up old habits that are bad. Yes, you will learn the art of giving up.

Here are the 5 habits you need to discard.

Get rid of your unhealthy lifestyle

healthy diet

If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, you need to be concerned about your overall health. To ensure a healthy lifestyle, you need to focus on two major things — healthy diet and physical activity.

Without a healthy body, you cannot even imagine having a successful life. No matter how much money you have, you won’t be able to remain happy without good health.

To achieve a healthy lifestyle, research about diet plans and choose the best diet plan for you. According to surveys, the majority of Americans are ignorant even about basic nutritional facts. Don’t be ignorant, and be informed about health and nutrition.

In addition to a healthy diet, you need to be involved in regular physical workouts. Regular exercise will enhance both physical and mental health.

See Also: 5 Easy Healthy Habits You Can Start Straight Away 

Don’t have a short-term mindset

In today’s generation, people want to have everything quickly. They are always in a hurry. Because of this habit, many people have developed a short-term mindset. Most of these people have no long-term goals in their life. If we look at great achievers, they always had a long-term vision in their minds. Every action taken by those people was motivated by their long-term goals.

If you want to be a success, give up on your short-term mindset. Start developing long-term goals.

Stop making excuses

There are people who always blame others for their failures. If they don’t have someone else to blame, they blame external factors like luck. Well, if you want to be a successful person, then stop making excuses. Stop blaming others and don’t blame Lady Luck either. You are responsible for your actions.

When you start to take responsibilities for your own actions, you will start to grow as a person. This is how you keep on growing and ultimately it leads to a successful life.

See Also: Stop Talking Sh*t and Start Taking Action 

Don’t be too dependent on social media and television

increase knowledge

Do you get paid for watching too much TV or posting too much on social media? If you’re not paid, then avoid television and social media. Studies show that social media is highly addictive. Furthermore, this social media addiction could also lead to other substance addiction..

I’m not trying to say that you should completely give up your habit of watching TV and posting on social media. I’m trying to say that you should avoid pouring too many of your hours into them. Instead, you should utilize that time to enrich your knowledge and skills, which can lead to success.

Don’t try to control everything that goes around you

Some people try too hard to change everything. Instead of change, it brings stress in their life. Understand the things you can change and the things you need to leave alone. Adjust your behavior accordingly. Stay away from the things you are not able to control. Only focus on the things you can change.

This will help to reduce your stress, and reduction of stress will lead to relaxation.


Everyone wants to be a successful person, but only a few succeed in their life. It is because some people just don’t want to change, whereas some people are very flexible to change. The people who are humble enough to keep on learning by giving up their ego are the ones who are very successful in their life. Once again, I’m reminding you that success is not only about earning lots of money. It is about having a wonderful and satisfied life.

Once you give up all the bad habits mentioned in this article, you will realize that you’ve changed a lot. Your whole life will start to change. Remember that you should not only give up these habits for a certain period. No, this will not work out at all. You should permanently give up these habits. It will be tough at the beginning to give up these habits because it is not an easy task to give up on things you’re used to. It is hard, but it is not impossible.

Just don’t quit early. Keep putting in the effort, and at the right time, you will reap the fruits of your hard works. Have a wonderful and successful life.


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3 Steps To Effective Change Management

Have you ever watched the movie Moneyball?

The lead character Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, pressed forward in his plans to re-create the Oakland A’s baseball team. He pursued this goal with a single-minded determination, stating continuously, “It’s a process, It’s a process.”

Billy understood that in deconstructing the old way of doing things, you create the potential to build a new way. The story of Billy Beane is an example of how a systematic process can change the way you play the game. Following through from beginning to end is the key.

Research from Prosci indicates that “projects with excellent change management effectiveness are six times more likely to meet or exceed project objectives.” Completing the process improves not only the bottom line. It also builds trust and maintains continuity within the organization, thus reducing chaos within the organization.

Three Steps to Create an Effective Plan for Change

Use these steps as a template to create any new plan or goal. Change introduces the opportunity for an intentional plan that keeps the process moving forward.

These three steps may seem simple, but one misstep in any part of the process fractures the flow of the work. How many times have you seen a plan fall apart because there was no follow through on the goals?


The first step in any process for change begins with an awareness of the situation. Awareness can come in many forms: the awareness that something needs to change, an awareness that there is a problem, or even an awareness that something just does not feel right.

As Claire Hartman, President of First Community Title in Temple, TX stated, “There was something I needed to work on from a professional standpoint, but I wasn’t sure how to get there. It was also personal. I could tell something was a little broken, but I couldn’t figure out how or what it was or even conceive how to look for what it was. It was a gut feeling. I didn’t know where to go.”

Awareness generates an opening for change.

Once you have created an awareness for change, then you start to look at the broader view and the available options. I sometimes call this the fantasyland view because, now, all things are possible.

Fantasyland view equals brainstorming. You explore all the possibilities, even the ones outside of your comfort zone. If you don’t expand your awareness of opportunities and issues, then you may miss options that change the way you accomplish business for the better.

Categorize both facts, which are verifiable and expectations, which are personal/organizational beliefs of what one wishes were true. The activity of awareness moves you into the second part, which is words.


Words allows you to start putting form to fantasy. Words offer a place in the process where judgments of good or bad, or right or wrong do not exist. Talk about or write out all the possibilities that began to emerge with the first step of awareness. Confirm verifiable facts versus beliefs, which may differ from person to person within the group. With words, you create a plan for what you want to do and how you want to proceed.

management words

The second phase offers individuals the opportunity to discuss ideas and encourages creativity or innovation. If the words, “We have always done it that way” are uttered in this step, then you may need to take yourself or others in the group back to the awareness stage.

Fantasyland narrows into feasible options for what you want to accomplish and how you are going to achieve these changes. You may set goals and timelines so that there is a systematic approach to the changes. You also set rules for engagement to help keep the focus on the plan, not the problems.


The third and final step offers actions. When you ask the question, “Which tells the true nature of a person or an organization, their words or actions?” almost universally, the answer is actions.

By this step, you or individuals within the organization should see renewed awareness. The goals and objectives are written out with timelines. Until awareness and words become actions, effective change cannot occur, either personally or organizationally.

Remember, it’s a process, it’s a process. The process of change management takes time and forward momentum to be effective.

management action

A misstep of any of these three steps fractures the process. Without awareness, plans reduce to a narrower view, possibly missing key options that could benefit you or the organization. When you do not discuss possible options, then you may lose valuable information that identifies what regulations or limitations impede goals, and miss new emerging ideas. Without actions, the genuine nature of individuals and organizations diminishes due to inactivity and dissonance with the words.

As you forge through these steps toward your goals, it is important to remind yourself and others, “It’s a process. It’s a process.” The change you create by maintaining these three steps helps you and your team to become even more effective for a game-changing season.


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The Call for Change: Time to Step Out of the Comfort Zone

Have you ever tried to define the comfort zone? It’s that place that you don’t like, but you’re afraid to change. You know you’re supposed to do greater things. You want to be more successful. You want to learn more. You need to make a change. Still, the comfort zone is like a disease that kills your ability to make that change. It frightens you with the assumption: “What if I fail?”

Why is this state of inactivity called a comfort zone? Why does it make you comfortable where you are, even though you’re not happy with your accomplishments? You feel comfortable because you know nothing unexpected can happen. You have a vision of how your day, week and year are going to end.

Sooner or later, we all get the call to action. Something inside is telling us that we were not born to be comfortable. We were made for challenges – both on a personal and professional level. At that point, you have two options:

  • Honor the call and step out of that box, or
  • Keep convincing yourself that you’re perfectly well as you are.

What are you going to do (or not do)? I challenge you to make a change. Do you want to be something more than mediocre in this lifetime? If that’s the case, I invite you to keep reading. Together, we’re going to make an effort to get out of the comfort that’s slowly killing us inside.

Long-Term Comfort Zone = Dead Personal Growth

never stop learning

After reading a few biographies of successful people, here’s the conclusion I came down to: They never stop learning. In order to bring a change in this world, one has to possess powerful beliefs, creativity, the will to learn, and the courage to take action.

Successful people turn learning into a habit. They perceive life as a journey towards growth, which they achieve through knowledge and personal progress.

How do they turn that philosophy of life into practice? They always take action. They consistently step out of their comfort zone. They expand their mental and physical boundaries and they keep making their lives better.

Sometimes they fail. Failure is part of the journey, and it’s not devastating as long as it doesn’t push you into a comfort zone. As long as you keep trying, you’ll go towards improvement.

See Also: 7 Power Habits of Great Leaders, Business Icons and Inspirational Achievers

Comfortable? It’s Fake Comfort!

Maybe the decision to stay away from change keeps anxiety at bay. However, this feeling of comfort is fake. Do you know how it feels when you blame yourself for something you haven’t done? At one point, you look back and you realize: “If I did what I was supposed to do back then, my entire life would be different now.” Each decision leads to a chain action that has consequences on your future. When you don’t assume responsibility for your future, that doesn’t mean you’re not affecting it.

Assuming responsibility for your own life means taking responsibility for your beliefs, actions, and thoughts. You can’t control all factors and you can’t completely direct the outcome of your actions. However, when you take full responsibility for everything you do and the consequences that follow, you are stepping out of that zone on the path towards accomplishment.

People who are deeply chained in the state of comfort find different ways to put the blame on someone else. God, karma, bad luck, and mostly – other people. They always find ways to justify their inactivity and blame someone else.

That’s what’s comfortable in this zone: the thought that it’s not your fault and there was nothing you could do. If you find yourself somewhere in that description, it’s time for a realization: You ARE responsible for what happens to your life.

It’s about time you start being responsible for your own actions.

Without Risk and Challenges, there’s No Great Accomplishment

Do you know why you keep hearing about the success of Bill Gates, Richard Branson and other great leaders? They constantly do something that gets them in the headlines. That’s because they can’t afford to stay in a comfort zone. Clint Eastwood started off as an actor, but he didn’t stop there. He felt like acting in a film or two to earn money for a good life wasn’t enough. That’s why he keeps challenging himself: the thought of staying in the comfort zone of peaceful retirement would destroy the chances for any other great accomplishments.

Famous people are not lucky. They are persistent. They did something to deserve other people’s respect. They did that because they were brave enough to take risks and set huge personal and professional challenges.

See Also: 9 Powerful Lessons from the Success Story of Bill Gates 

You’ll Find Your Motivation as Soon as You Step Out of That Zone


Our lives are fueled by action. When you have a lousy day, think: did you do something to improve it? Stepping out of your comfort zone is enough to find inner motivation. Start exercising or read a challenging book. Sign up for an online course. Start looking at job ads. Do something!

If you’re willing to be active throughout your life, you will find the inner drive that keeps you going. We live in a time when doing anything is easy. You can find any information and start learning about the things you’re interested in. You can book a plane ticket and go see the Northern Lights in person. In other words – you can start searching for happiness instead of waiting for it to hit you (which won’t happen, anyway).

How exactly can you step out of that comfort zone? It’s all about the mindset. When you believe you can do something, you’ll find the strength to do it. Once you realize that all your actions form your future, there’s no other choice: you have to do something in favor of your happiness.

Comfort is bad. It keeps you inactive and unwilling. Challenges, on the other hand, are beautiful. Go live!


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Important Tips On How To Find A New Doctor

Do you need to change and find a new doctor?

The need to find a new doctor may arise from various situations, including moving to a new location or looking for a specialist. Patients may also be dissatisfied with how their current physicians handle them or provide treatment.

Regardless of what your reason may be for finding another doctor, you need to do your research and have enough time to choose the right doctor for your health-based needs.

Reasons for Changing Doctors

changing doctors

Looking for a doctor and leaving the one that you currently have is an important decision. If your physician is relocating or has not performed according to your expectations, the desire for change is understandable.

• Consider consulting another doctor if your current one does not acknowledge your issues, dismisses your concerns, does not want to provide explanations when carrying out tests or frequently interrupts you.

• If your physician does not refer to your medical records before prescribing medication or performing procedures, has a questionable reputation or does not specialize in your condition, it is advisable to find someone else to take care of your health.

• You are at liberty to explain your reasons for leaving but if you are not comfortable with the doctor, you are not compelled to provide detailed about explanations regarding why you can no longer be their patient.

Referrals and Recommendations

• If you and your current physician have a good relationship and you need a referral, go ahead and ask for one. Your doctor can provide a referral to another doctor in an area that is suitable for you. Since your doctor is aware of your medical history, they can make it easier for you to locate an ideal replacement.

• Doctors often suggest specialists when they are unable to deal effectively with particular medical conditions.

• Family and friends are also useful sources of information when looking for a good replacement. You can ask them to recommend a physician. They can also provide suggestions for medical specialists such as dermatologists.

• Online searches can help you look for qualified doctors if you are moving to a new area and do not have anyone to ask for referrals.

• Insurance providers have their list of doctors that you can search for according to location and field.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why the World Needs More Naturopathic Physicians 

First Appointment

first doctors appointment

• After finding a potential doctor that may be the right choice for you, try to schedule a visit as soon as you can. This will give you the chance to discuss your needs and medical history with the doctor. While scheduling the appointment, you can ask a few questions pertaining to aspects such as the duration of appointments, availability and emergencies.

• You will usually be expected to fill out some forms and it is important to be aware of your current prescriptions, medical history and allergies you may have.

• After the initial visit you will be able to determine whether or not the doctor is the right choice. If you are not yet satisfied, you can continue your search to make sure that you find a doctor you are comfortable with and one who can help you with your medical problems.

See Also: 4 Essential Checkups You Should Have Each Year


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Common Health Conditions Treated with Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicines are treatments outside the mainstream of standard healthcare. They are used to treat certain illnesses solely or together with conventional medicine. In this case, the type of treatment will be referred to as complementary therapy. Alternative treatment ranges from meditation and aromatherapy to acupuncture and homeopathy. These types of medicines are used to treat a variety of health issues.

Pain Management

pain management accupuncture

You may feel pain as a result of surgery, childbirth, injuries to the back, head or shoulder, cancer or migraine headaches. According to NHS Choices, almost half of adult British citizens are suffering from pain. Moreover, with the aging population, the number is predicted to increase hence the need for pain management and relief treatments.

Aside from drugs, there are alternative treatment options used as pain relievers. Some of these treatments include acupressure and acupuncture.

In acupuncture, needles are inserted at specific points on the body to boost energy and stimulate pain relievers. Acupuncture reduces pain by improving the release of endorphins that relieve pain. Acupressure works in a similar way, but, instead of using needles, finger pressure is applied.


Depression is also another common problem. Some people think it is not an actual health issue. However, it is a real illness with real symptoms.

Depression is more prevalent than pain since it affects even the younger generation from a tender age of 5, notes NHS Choices. It affects people in different ways and has a variety of symptoms. People experience hopelessness, unhappiness, lack of appetite, having no sex drive and losing interest in things you used to enjoy.

Dealing with depression can involve a combination of treatments methods such as herbal supplements, change in lifestyle and therapy. Some therapeutic options that help cure depression include yoga, meditation, and massage. They relax the body which helps with depression. Your treatment will depend on whether your depression is mild, moderate or severe.

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally 

High Blood Pressure

high blood pressure

A report by CNN stated that more than a billion people worldwide are living with high blood pressure (hypertension). Approximately 16 million of those are in the UK and are living with it knowingly or unknowingly.

These stats are a scary considering that a report by the WHO indicates that blood pressure causes 7.5 million deaths globally. These facts highlight the importance of knowing your blood pressure and getting treatment if found out to have high blood pressure.

There are several types of alternative treatments that are effective for treating hypertension. For instance, dietary change, yoga practice, and relaxation have been found out to lower blood pressure for those suffering from mild hypertension.

Note that it is important to consult your doctor before engaging in a physical program especially for the older population of age 50 and beyond. Some herbals to use at the discretion of doctor include hibiscus, garlic and fish oil.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease 

Other health conditions that you can treat using alternative medicine include insomnia, arthritis, and migraines. Alternative treatment is becoming popular because many people dislike the use of mainstream medicine like drugs.


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One Awesome Tip On How To Shift Perspective

A while back, I took acting classes, one of which involved me doing a monologue (which is basically when one person stands in front of the audience for an extended period of time and speaks directly to them). This monologue was from the playwright Eric Bogosian and the title was “Pounding Nails in the Floor with my Forehead.”

And although this monologue was meant to be funny, it kept coming out as if I was angry, not the emotion I wanted to portray to the audience. This left me feeling frustrated with myself and unsure what to do in order to quit sounding mad so I might actually make them laugh.

At one point, my teacher, one of the best teachers I’ve actually ever had, sensed my struggle and said, “Red. Stop for a second and come sit in my seat.” I wasn’t quite sure what good that was going to do but, like a good student, I complied, trusting in the fact that he knew what he was doing (when I clearly felt like I didn’t). Then he gave me my next command. “Now do the monologue.”

In my mind, I’m thinking, “What? How am I going to do the monologue from this audience seat?” Most importantly, I wondered how changing my physical location was ever going to help me change my tone enough for the correct effect. But again, I trusted my teacher so I did as he asked. The result? The monologue suddenly sounded exactly like it was supposed to…funny.

That day I learned that sometimes you have to move your physical space in order to change your perspective and get better results. In this case, it took me leaving the theater stage and sitting in an audience member’s chair to shift my thoughts enough to shift the monologue tone as well. So, if you’re not achieving what you want in your life, maybe moving your space is the one thing that can help you overcome your hurdles and create better results.

change of environment

For example, if you work behind a computer all day and find that you spend more time fiddling with your ink pen than typing out your marketing goals or coming up with new products or services, why not take your laptop and head to a coffee shop instead? Leaving the quiet office scene and going someplace where people come and go all day may just stoke your creativity, making it easier to come up with new thoughts and ideas that can take you and your business to higher levels.

Or if you feel like you’ve been treading water for some time in your career—expending lots of energy but not really getting anywhere—a change of space may be exactly what you need to start moving forward again. This could involve taking a day off and going to a conference, networking with others, or taking a class to learn more in an area that you struggle (marketing, product development, etc.) and enabling you to begin to make progress again.

By changing your physical space, you’re better able to change your mental perspective. When you see things from a different angle, you get a better view of solutions or ideas that you didn’t know existed simply because you’re looking at them differently than ever before.

This process can be amazingly transformational, helping you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. And you can do it solely by taking a step in another direction, giving you a better view.

See Also: How to Leverage Your Problems in Order to Become Happier


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15 Unforgettable Haruki Murakami Quotes For Dealing With Adversity

Haruki Murakami is an internationally renowned Japanese writer, probably best known for his novel, Norwegian Wood. If you need to rebuild your strength when you’ve been through tough times, the wisdom in these quotes by Haruki Murakami will show you the way.

“Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.” – 1Q84

1q84 quotes

When it seems as though everything is complicated, that’s perfectly normal. Accept that there will be difficulties as you try to get through life. Don’t fight against it, and you’ll find things far less stressful.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” — What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can choose how you react to it. Attitude can influence how well you cope with adversity.

“Listen, every object’s in flux … They don’t stay in one form or another or in one place forever.” – Kafka on the Shore

quotes by haruki murakami

Change can be difficult for many people. But it’s a natural part of life. So go with the flow. Embrace change. Seize the opportunities it brings. Ask yourself what you can learn from these new situations and what you can gain.

“Even castles in the sky can do with a fresh coat of paint.” – South of the Border, West of the Sun

From the outside, the lives of others can seem perfect. But you don’t see everything. Perfection isn’t always desirable.

“Two people can sleep in the same bed and still be alone when they close their eyes” – Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

haruki murakami quote

A relationship is often seen as the ultimate goal. Isn’t it lonely to be on your own? But you have to be happy within yourself to be happy in a relationship. Be cautious of assuming that having a partner will solve all your worries.

“Hatred is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person you cut yourself.” – Norwegian Wood

It’s inevitable that some people will treat you badly. You can’t change them or the past. What you can change is how you view their actions. Forgiving them allows you to move on. You may not forget what they did. But it’s healthier for you to move on and not be angry at them.

“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.” – Kafka on the Shore

quotes by murakami

Few of us will make an impact on the world. But we can make a difference to a few people.

“One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds.” – Colorless TsukuruTazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Love can be painful. That’s part of the price we pay for having this joy. People will hurt you, and you may hurt them.

“Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up back where we started.” – 1Q84

1q84 murakami

If only we could change the past! Things would be different. But we can’t go back. Focus on the present and the future instead. What can we do differently from now on?

“You can’t run away from your life. So deal with it. The end.” – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

People often change their environment, thinking they can get away from unhappiness. But you can’t escape yourself. Your problems will go with you if you don’t address them. Learn to face things that scare you. Change your attitude. Work on yourself.

“If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.” –1Q84

haruki murakami quotes love

It’s heartbreaking if you can’t be with someone you love. But at least you have that love, even if you can’t do much about it. Some people never even have that much. It shows you have the capacity to love.

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.” – Kafka on the Shore

Most of us are stronger than we think. We need to have faith in ourselves. We may look back and wonder how we coped with adversity. But we do. Every time. We have inner strengths that we’re unaware of.

“I happen to like the strange ones. People who look normal and leads normal lives – they’re the ones you have to watch out for.” – Kafka on the Shore

quote haruki murakami

Have you been ridiculed for being ‘different’ or ‘strange’? Perhaps people secretly envy you. But you’re unique, you’re yourself. Love yourself for who you are. What other people think doesn’t matter.

“Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.” – Dance Dance Dance

Time spent in regrets is time wasted. You can’t change anything. Enjoy your life. Make the most of it from now on. But don’t have regrets. You did the best you could at the time. Don’t criticize yourself.

“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.” – Kafka on the Shore

murakami quotes

Life can be a wonderful experience. But there has to be balanced. It can’t be amazing all the time. There has to be loss and pain as well. It’s all part of the cycle of life.


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11 Things You Should Let Go Of To Be Happy

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, you’re probably carrying around a lot of baggage that you don’t really need. Simplifying your existence can help you focus on what’s really important and get rid of what’s not.

To live a happier life, try to let go of the following 11 things.



Sure, there’s value in considering all of your options and in planning ahead. However, over-analyzing will destroy your mood and block your intuition.

Breathe deeply and slowly, clear your mind and trust your gut. Your body knows what you need.

Trying To Please Everyone

It’s your life so don’t live it for anyone else. Believe that you know what’s right for you and follow that path. Those who truly love you will support you in all you do, and won’t need you to conform to their expectations or preferences.

Past Mistakes

Every one of your decisions and experiences has led to you becoming the person you are today. And that’s the person you need to be. Look to your past to learn important lessons, but let go of any shame and regret you feel about it.

Chasing People

Don’t run after people who don’t reciprocate your kindness or interest. The people you need in your life don’t need to be chased—they’ll come to you. Respect your own worth by refusing to engage in a one-sided relationship.

Worrying About The Future

Worrying just attracts negativity, so let it go! Believe that good things are coming your way, and you’ll soon see them manifest. View the future with excitement and anticipation, not dread—there’s so much joy still waiting for you.

Heartbreak And Anger


Remember, you can’t change the past, but you can stop it from ruining your present or future. Forgive those who have wronged you, and turn your attention to the things that bring you pleasure and fulfillment.

See Also: I’m Saying Thanks For Breaking My Heart

Fake Friends

We’ve all had friends who only contact us when they need something. This is disrespectful and devaluing, and these people aren’t worth your time or energy. Draw boundaries when people try to use you, and don’t let fake friends back in.

Comparing Yourself To Others

You run your own race, so only compare yourself to what you want to achieve. Our perceptions of others are rarely accurate, so stop thinking everyone else is happier, powerful or more successful. Set your own goals, and concentrate on meeting them.


Self-doubt paralyzes you, keeping you stuck in the same old place. In the end, you will only regret the chances you did not take. Step out of your comfort zone, believe you can handle anything life can throw at you, and reap the rewards!


Respect your own time, and use it to live the life you want instead of living by the minute. Prioritize the things you truly care about and stop scrambling to keep up with other people’s demands on your time.

Negative Thinking

When you feel negative thoughts creeping in, replace them with something positive. Come up with things that make you feel grateful, do a meditation exercise, or contact someone who makes you smile. If you let go of negativity, you’re guaranteed to live a happier and more successful life.

See Also: 7 Simple Ways To Overcome Negative Thinking & Set Yourself Up To Win This Year

The post 11 Things You Should Let Go Of To Be Happy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Powerful Habits To Skyrocket Your Self-Confidence

Have you ever imagined how it would be to gain a ton of self-confidence?

Every challenge would feel way easier to you. You would negotiate the pay raise you have been dreaming for years. You would ask out that girl you always think about.

And there’s a whole new world of possibilities…

It’s a shame that it’s just a dream…


Are you sure that it’s just a dream? What if it were possible?

Let me tell you a secret. Not only can you gain self-confidence, but it’s even easier than most people think. It’s all about knowing the right way to do it.

You know, I’m a huge fan of habits. The reason is simple. Habits are super-effective and don’t require much energy once they are ingrained. Besides, learning a new habit isn’t impossible – in the end, it’s just a matter of patience.

Here’s the trick: Adopt the right habits and your self-confidence will skyrocket before you even realize it.

Change your focus

focus on the solution

How many times have you told yourself “I can’t do that”? Well, that’s a horrible point of view. You are focusing on the problem, not the solution. Of course, you can’t do it, because if you have that thought, you won’t take action.

Instead of focusing on your problem, focus on the solution. That will make a world of a difference. Instead of telling yourself “I can’t do that”, ask yourself “HOW can I do that?”. You’ll start thinking about the multitude of ways in which you can solve the problem. And you will solve it – and as a result, your self-confidence will go up.

So, here’s the habit. Every time you think you can’t do something, change your focus to how you can do it.

See Also: 3 Keys to Staying Focused & Reaching Your Goals

Exit your comfort zone when you need to

Your comfort zone is the set of actions you can take without feeling discomfort. We all spend most of our day in the comfort zone.

But sometimes, something makes us feel a little of discomfort – maybe a colleague you have a crush on just heard you said something embarrassing, maybe you just stumbled in front of a person you wanted to impress, etc…

Other times, we are required to take actions that make us feel discomfort. For example, you may have to call someone you haven’t heard in a while and ask him a favor.

Do you know the response of most of the people in the face of these situations? They run away, trying to avoid discomfort. The problem is that doing so undermines your self-confidence.

Here’s what to do instead. Every time you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, don’t run away. Stay in the discomfort and feel it. Every time you have to do something that embarrasses, don’t avoid it – do it.

Do you want to know what will happen? The amazing truth is that you won’t die! You will realize that discomfort isn’t that bad after all. And your self-confidence will grow a lot.

Make this a habit and you’ll be very self-confident.

See Also: 7 Ways to Get More Comfortable With Feeling Uncomfortable

Work on your body language

do yoga

Do you want to know what’s the fastest way to gain self-confidence? It’s to assume the posture of a self-confident person.

Countless studies have shown that our inner thinking conditions the body. However, the reverse is also true. Therefore, by changing your posture, you will change your feelings and thoughts.

This is especially important if you don’t exercise regularly and if you work sitting at a desk. Do postural exercises or practice any physical activity that positively affects your posture – like swimming and yoga. In addition, put your focus on your body and assume a more dominant posture often – especially when you need to take important decisions.

Improve your voice

Like body language, your voice is a reflection of your inner world. A self-confident person speaks with a higher voice volume – of course, he/she can still whisper when needed! Thus, speaking with a higher voice volume will make you feel more confident.

This means that working on your voice volume regularly (let’s say 10-20 minutes, 2-3 times a week), will make a big difference. Also, put your efforts into noticing when you decrease your voice volume when speaking with others – and increase it, within reason of course.

Read inspiring thoughts

Your mind is like a sponge. It absorbs whatever gets to it. It means that if you feed your mind with horrible information, it will produce lots of horrible thoughts. If you feed it with wonderful information, it will produce lots of wonderful thoughts.

You can leverage this by adopting a very smart habit. Read inspiring thoughts/information frequently and your way thinking will improve continuously. Which means that you will feel good and make better choices. And as a result of both, your self-confidence will increase.

You have plenty of choices. Read a good book from a great person, listen to an inspiring speech, read a great personal improvement blog, enjoy a powerful quote, and so on. The are so many possibilities!

Change the words you use

Have you ever noticed that the way in which you talk to yourself changes the way you feel? Well, the truth is that even changing a single word can make a very big difference.

If you think that your day is just okay…well, you’ll feel just okay. Let’s change that, and let’s say that your day is fabulous. How will you feel? You will feel way better than before. Given that you choose the words you use, you have the power to change your emotions.

How do you feel about asking that person out? If you say you feel nervous, you will feel nervous and won’t be self-confident enough to ask him/her out. Instead, try to describe that feeling as excitement and you’ll ask him/her out right away.

Remember past successes

So many people think that they can’t do anything remarkable. But that is so untrue!

Here’s a game. Write the 10 biggest accomplishments in your life. No matter what, get to 10 accomplishments. Even if you need 1 hour – don’t worry. Every time I make a client do this exercise, he finishes after 10-15 minutes at maximum.

Now, after writing this list, do you still think that you can’t do anything remarkable? You already are at 10 – and probably even more.

After you graduated, or made that amazing travel, or solved that problem at work, or got an amazing partner…how easy does it sound to make that call that you were delaying? Really easy!

Remember your accomplishments often, and you’ll soon feel more confident.

And there you have it: 7 powerful habits that can make you gain a lot of self-confidence. And, of course, you don’t have to put all of these 7 into action. Actually, just pick one – the one that resonates the most with you. Put that one into action.

Once you have mastered that first habit – no less than 20 days, please – you will be free to add another one.


The post 7 Powerful Habits To Skyrocket Your Self-Confidence appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Little-Known Reasons Why a Simple Life is a Happy Life

I wonder what my parents were thinking the day I came home from college and said, “I want to put my education to work. I want to homestead!”

There may have been a long pause — I can’t remember now — followed by some expertly crafted support rhetoric.

I do remember, though, how that passion was sparked in what seemed like an instant. It was as if there was an unfinished puzzle sitting in front of me, and I had finally put enough of the pieces in to figure out what the picture was.

I was entranced by the idea that I could work, live without clutter and noise, eat well, be sustainable, and stay healthy, all without driving anywhere. I knew it was for me, but not everyone who finds happiness in simplicity does in overnight, and happiness isn’t a permanent state.

Exploring what happiness and simplicity really are helps to appreciate how a simple life, while maybe less convenient, can be a happy life.

Hard Work is Rewarding

hard work

It’s what your grand-pappy used to say right? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I’m not going to pretend that fixing broken fences in the snow and rain is hella fun! It is not.

Knowing yourself, though, is an unparalleled reward and there isn’t a better time to get to know yourself than when you are giving something your all. Real satisfaction is achieved in creating something with blood, sweat, and tears and there’s a lot to be learned from failure, like perseverance.

An integrated, agrarian life combines problem-solving with physical ability, research with experimentation. It occupies both your head space and your body. That is what I call a complete workout.

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”
― Thomas Jefferson

Creativity Abounds

I often speak with creative professionals who express concern that living simply is a boring, day-to-day exercise in the mundane; a cyclical ceremony honoring obsolete traditions. This is why my husband and I strive to make every act on the homestead an act of art. We don’t have to go out of our way either.

When I design the year’s garden and then watch my beans, squash, and corn all grow into an expression of my intention; that is creativity. Crafting a new design for a gate, fence, or feeder fills the creative cup.

Living simply buys you back time that would otherwise be spent in the car, at the office, restaurant, shop, club or movie. So, I have time to take photos, stretch canvas and actually paint. Not to mention the inspiration that bubbles over when surrounded by happy animals and rich gardens.

“My wish simply is to live my life as fully as I can. In both our work and our leisure, I think, we should be so employed. And in our time this means that we must save ourselves from the products that we are asked to buy in order, ultimately, to replace ourselves.”
― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Practicing Goodness

A very happy time in my life was when I lived in a small apartment the city and literally walked 15-20 blocks to work every day. Every morning, the city came alive. Each day felt like I was a part of this organism. I was a cog in this machine that was propelling humanity toward future grandeur, and being a part of that something-bigger felt amazing.

It feels great until you are faced with the fragility of it all, the wastefulness, and the reality that unless something changes, it will all collapse. The ultimate organism that we are all a part of is Earth, not the city.

Knowing what is good for us takes reflection, and a life of simplicity allows for that. Watching nature come alive each morning is a sense of awe beyond any, and you don’t have to live in the country. An urban homestead still awakens to the sounds of its birds and gardens, and to the smell of home cooked meals.

“We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world – to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity – our own capacity for life – that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled.”
― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

An Integrated Life

My childhood in the 80’s and 90’s was a series of rides to scheduled blocks of time. Ride the bus to school, ride the van to volleyball practice, ride in the car to piano lesson, ride with mom to do errands, ride to doctors office, and ride to the assisted living facility to visit grandma.

It just seemed very compartmentalized, like those professional organizers who want you to have a plastic bin for every item you own. A simple life is an integrated life which means that the homestead is the school, and the grocery store, and the workplace, and the doctor’s office (within reason). Each act of living becomes an act of teaching, working, and learning. There is intention and information in something as simple as taking a shower when you’ve plumbed your greywater through a greenhouse where it waters year-round salad greens.

“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”
― Bill Mollison

Security in Sustainability

fresh produce

We’re used to depending upon utilities and retail stores so much, we place our sense of security in them. Pulling in a year’s worth of garlic, onions, and potatoes always gives me the deepest sense of stability, a ‘we’re going to be alright’ feeling.

Imagine never paying a utility company again. As long as the sun is shining or the wind is blowing you will have lights, hot water, and telephone.

Even if your homestead isn’t totally off-grid, with each step toward sustainability, you gain security. In the gales of a winter storm, knowing that your Rocket-Mass-Heater keeps you toasty warm with the slightest amount of wood is enough to have you singing “let it snow.”

Our current system of production, distribution, and consumption is not sustainable. It is totally dependent on fossil fuels, the exploitation of animals, and dwindling free resources from the Earth. It will fail, and withdrawing our investments in it now not only protects us, but it encourages the larger system to change for the better.

“A sacred way of life connects us to the people and places around us. That means that a sacred economy must be in large part a local economy, in which we have multidimensional, personal relationships with the land and people who meet our needs, and whose needs are met in turn.”
― Juliana Birnbaum Fox, Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide

See Also: Why Simple Living is the key to Finding your Life Purpose


The post 5 Little-Known Reasons Why a Simple Life is a Happy Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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