Happiness

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How to Find Inner Peace: 5 Beliefs You Must Drop Now

Each one of us is fighting a battle no one is aware of. This is why finding inner peace is extremely important.

But, is it as simple as it sounds?

No.

Not because it’s hell difficult but because of the beliefs, stories, perceptions, and philosophies we have adopted over the course of our lives. Dalai Lama could not have said it better, “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

People think of peace as some kind of epiphany or an enlightenment from the skies.

In reality, inner peace has nothing to do with it. It’s more about accepting the things in life you have no control over and dropping beliefs you are holding onto for the longest time.

When you start to let go of those beliefs, you will find it within you to liberate yourself. This being said, here are five beliefs you should drop if you want to learn how to find inner peace.

I am perfect

No one was and will ever be. So, what’s the point of troubling yourself by comparing your life to others?

Drop the belief or even the expectation that you are perfect or sufficient. The moment you accept this reality, you’ll liberate yourself from one of the heaviest feelings in the world.

There’s no such thing as a perfect body, perfect career, perfect house, or even the perfect time. Perfect doesn’t exist.

Make peace with your life, struggles, and circumstances as they are. They are just the way they are supposed to be.

I have not achieved anything significant as of now

self progress

You don’t have to build a Taj Mahal or get a prefix in front of your name to feel important or special.

If you haven’t achieved something extraordinary, you don’t have to beat yourself to death for it. Destiny has a reason for everything.

All that matters is that you give your heart and soul to whatever it is that you do – from making planes to earthen lamps.

We all have our journey. Some reach their destinations early while it takes time for others. Don’t confuse movement with progress, my friend!

What if they don’t like me if I show my true self to them

Most of us aren’t content because we carry the baggage of being someone else. We are scared that if we act the way we are, people might not like that.

Just imagine:

How can you be happy being appreciated for being someone you are not? Does that validation even matter?

The reality is you are much more than the pretense you do, the jokes you crack, and the smiles people show when they look at you.

What matters is that you’re appreciated for what you are and what you do- even if it means not many people liking you.

See Also: Are You Your Own Best Friend Or Your Own Worst Enemy?

How can I love myself when no one else does

love yourself

The world we live in paints a wrong picture when it comes to the idea of lovers and friends. Humans are social beings. We tend to surround ourselves with the company of others to feel better.

Those who aren’t social by nature get the whole idea wrong and end up thinking that something is not right with them.

We need to promote self-love, the concept of loving yourself unabashedly.

Go out on a date with yourself, travel solo, buy yourself gifts, and date yourself until you find someone worth it.

See Also: 5 Steps to Loving Yourself and Living Happily Ever After

I have to make them proud to feel good about myself

Success is the word which is making people feel inadequate about themselves.

What if I say that you don’t have to be successful, you just have to be you. Period.

People who love you when you don’t own the biggest bungalow or the fanciest car are the ones that really matter.

They love you for what you are- successful or not. They aren’t waiting for you to climb the Everest to say that they are proud of you.

The day we learn to get out of the shackles of these self-created opinions and beliefs will be the day we would find inner peace. The day we stop berating our existence and accept that we deserve nothing but the best will be the day we would enjoy inner peace.

Ask yourself this:

Why do we only rest in peace when we can live in peace?

The post How to Find Inner Peace: 5 Beliefs You Must Drop Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Get Over A Bad Day

It starts with spilling your coffee, then you lock your keys in the car, and now you are late for work. It’s not even 9 a.m. and you have already told yourself that you are having a bad day. At this point, it would almost take a miracle for you to see this day any other way.

Sound familiar?

The negative thought pattern that gets created when a few things go wrong can blister into a long-term, self-fulfilling prophecy if you aren’t careful. It can be very difficult to break that cycle. Left unbroken, it can leave you feeling depressed and overwhelmingly unhappy for days.

So, how to get over a bad day?

Recognize the Thoughts

It’s easy to take a series of unfortunate events as signs of a bad day. And once you give in to that thought, you have effectively taken away any alternative and your day will surely be bad.

It can take some work, but try making a conscious effort to recognize the tone of your thoughts. Are you thinking in negative terms?

There are physical cues that can go along with this as well. For a minute, consider what your body is doing.

Are your shoulders tensed? Are your brows furrowed? Is your jaw clenched?

These are all physical manifestations of the tension that negativity breeds. If you recognize these signs, stop yourself and force those muscles to relax. You will feel an immediate difference.

Consider Your Feelings

consider your feelings

Negative thoughts trigger negative emotions. Anger, frustration, irritation, anxiety, and sadness can consume you when you are thinking negatively. Those feelings have a way of pushing happiness and satisfaction to the back-burner, leaving you an anxious, angry wreck.

Ask yourself what you are feeling.

Identifying your emotions gives you control over them rather than letting them have control over you. Once you have identified what you are feeling, you can start taking actions.

Identify Your Behavior

If you have already decided you are having a bad day, then you are likely to be anticipating all the other things that could go wrong.

How can this affect your behavior?

Quite possibly, you’ll be walking in an aggressive manner, responding defensively to those around you, and becoming inordinately irritated with everything you encounter. If ever you find yourself behaving in such way, stop.

Take a deep breath and recognize your thoughts. Think about your feelings and make an effort to change them. For sure, your behavior will follow.

Even just forcing a smile and saying something nice to someone can have positive effects. Purposefully changing your approach to those around you and making a direct effort to be positive can reverse your negative thinking and cycle. Additionally, acts of kindness toward others can release endorphins, which can help you regain a positive outlook.

Reset

Take a deep breath and give yourself a do-over. Get a fresh cup of coffee or tea and find the positive things in your environment. Smile even if no one is looking and move forward. If you need to, remind yourself that a couple of bad moments do not make up a day. By letting them color your entire day or week, you have given them too much power.

See Also: Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life

When All Else Fails, Talk

talk to someone

Sometimes we just need to vent. If you are having a hard time putting yourself back into a positive space, try talking to someone. A friend or a family member that you trust will likely understand how you are feeling.

Bad days happen to all of us. They are fairly normal experiences for most people. The problem is that many of us get sucked into a negative way of thinking, which can be hard to escape from. Following the suggestions above can help you avoid getting stuck in that depressive cycle.

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

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How to Find Your Dream Job: 5 Tips You Can Use Right Now

Everyone has a dream job in mind. However, finding and actually getting that job isn’t that easy.

You may need to send out countless resumes and cover letters. You may need to go to interviews that don’t really guarantee any good results. There will be times that you won’t get any response, no matter how persistent you are. You’ll face a lot of competition and rejection that will really affect your confidence.

Listen:

Randomly sending out resumes may get you a few interviews, but you will be wasting a lot of real and good opportunities. For an effective job search, you need a careful and well-planned strategy.

If you aren’t sure how to do that, here’s a quick guide on how to find your dream job.

Define your job search criteria

The first thing that you need to define is the criteria for the job you are looking for. You need to be clear about your job priorities because it will help in focusing your research.

When you know your motivations, it will be easier for you to find opportunities that are perfect for your ambitions and skills. It can be the salary, job position, or company culture.

Although defining the criteria for your job search is essential, you still need to make sure that there is enough room for flexibility. If you are too rigid with your criteria, you can end up sacrificing your dream job for some mundane things.

Create a list

writing a list

 

Once you have defined the criteria that you are looking for, you need to use them to search for available jobs and make a list. Prioritize them according to their desirability and when you have a list, you’ll find it easier to organize and keep track of the jobs.

Read job descriptions

When you are searching for a job, make sure that you read every job description. It may feel like a time-consuming activity, but it will actually save you more time in the future.

When you read job descriptions, you’ll be able to know which jobs fit your skills, education, and experience. By knowing which jobs you qualify for, you’ll have more time to focus on them and you’ll spend less time on irrelevant jobs.

Create an attractive resume and engaging cover letter

short resume

Your resume and cover letter play an important role in getting the attention of potential employers. They are your way of introducing yourself and convincing them that you are the best candidate for the position.

Instead of sending out the same resume and cover letter, create multiple versions. Make sure that you only send out resumes that speak about the requirements for the jobs you are applying for.

See Also: 5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out

Activate referral network

It is important to create a network because it will expose you to a lot of job opportunities.

There are a lot of opportunities that are not advertised and if you do not have a referral network, you won’t even hear about them. You should take some time to attend conferences, events, lectures, and industry-related seminars so that you can build a good network that will keep you informed about the best positions and opportunities.

When you are looking for a job, you should let people know that you are looking for employment. This way, you’ll be one of the first people they’ll think of when the hiring process begins.

Finding a good job that will keep you happy and satisfied requires patience and the right strategies. Sometimes, it can take years before you can find your dream job, so be patient and consistent. With a little work and discipline, you’ll be able to get the job that will make you really happy.

The post How to Find Your Dream Job: 5 Tips You Can Use Right Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 5 Key Yoga Poses For Women Over 50

Let’s be honest.

Turning 50 doesn’t really mean much anymore when people are healthier and living longer than ever. However, society still sees this as a milestone. That being said, for some women over 50, a whole new chapter of growth and excitement could be opening up. If you are one of those women, this means a lot more free time for new experiences.

Being over 50, whether male or female, also means physical changes could be occurring in your body. For women, the list includes arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic back pain, heart disease, and a loss of flexibility. There’s the horror of menopause, too.

In the words of Dr. Christiane Northrup, a renowned expert in women’s health, “Getting older is inevitable; aging is optional.”

If you’ve seen women in their 80s and 90s doing yoga, you know this is true!

The gentle exercise of yoga and the inherent practice of mindfulness can drastically change the way you see your own body and life. It’s also an inexpensive tool to combat stiffness, arthritis, and chronic pain.

Interested in trying yoga? Here are a few yoga poses for women over 50 you can try today.

Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog

Downward Facing Dog is a yoga classic that no practice is complete without. Down Dog, as it’s called colloquially, stretches the entire back while allowing the neck to relax. This makes it a favorite for those with chronic lower back pain as well as those who work behind a computer all day. It also helps strengthen the shoulders, but exercise caution and listen to your body if you’re recovering from a shoulder injury.

See Also: Top 10 Yoga-Before-Bed Poses to Reduce your Back Pain

Modified Tree Pose

modified tree pose

Tree Pose is a balancing pose. Like all balancing poses, it brings strength to the feet and a mild workout to the abs. Tree Pose also provides a gentle stretch to the hips.

From a spiritual perspective, yogic wisdom holds that balancing poses inspire confidence. Similarly, core strengthening is meant to cultivate willpower while hip openers are said to release emotional blockages. God knows you’ve probably accumulated some of those.

To modify this pose, place your hand on a sturdy chair before executing the balancing aspect of the pose.

Crescent Pose

crescent pose

Crescent Pose, also known as High Lunge, builds strength in the legs while delivering a delicious stretch to the hips, chest, shoulders, and the all too forgotten ankles.

For a milder pose that requires less balance and muscular engagement, feel free to perform this pose with one knee on the ground. If you have knee troubles, be sure to use a thick mat or put a towel under your knee.

Triangle Pose

triangle pose

Triangle Pose or Trikonasana is one of the best poses for a full body stretch. While opening the entire front body, this pose also delivers a much-needed stretch to the ankles, hips, legs, and back. Women who are braving menopause particularly love this pose, claiming it helps relieve constipation and lower back pain.

Restorative Bridge Pose

restorative bridge pose
Via breastcanceryogablog

Restorative Bridge Pose is a modification of the Bridge Pose. It creates a more restful posture, which is perfect for nights when you can’t fall asleep. This relaxing pose is also said to help relieve digestive discomfort while opening the chest.

For this pose, you’ll need a block or bolster. Simply assume the position of traditional Bridge Pose. You can use your prop to support your lower back. Then, relax and allow gravity to deliver a gentle stretch to your lower back.

See Also: Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

Treat Yourself

No matter what your age is, there’s no question that yoga can radically change your life.

If you’re craving for more flexibility or relief from chronic pain, yoga might be one of the most cost-effective solutions you can find. If you are dealing with menopause, yoga can help you survive those painful days and sleepless nights while the meditative aspect of the practice can help with your mood.

As a woman, you’ve probably been taking care of other people your entire life. However, you have to remember that taking care of yourself is actually the first step in helping others. Take time to do something for yourself by introducing yoga into your routine. Your body will definitely thank you for it.

The post The 5 Key Yoga Poses For Women Over 50 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

12 Christmas Quotes about Love and Family that will Lift Your Spirits

Do you need inspiring Christmas quotes and cards to send out to your loved ones this holiday season?

Friends, throughout the year, our minds are filled with thoughts of improving our businesses,  boosting our productivity and focus, and ultimately creating success. It does get wearying and holidays are the perfect time to pause awhile, take stock, and turn our attention outward to all our blessings and all the people surrounding us.

Send out these inspiring Christmas messages to the loved ones in your life. It’s not about expensive gifts, rather, it’s the simple thought of being remembered that often counts.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas!

quotes christmas

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. – Roy L. Smith

christmas quotation

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

christmas blessing quotes

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. – Janice Maeditere

christmas-quotes

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things. – Thomas S. Monson

christmas greetings quotes

Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united. – Norman Vincent Peale

christmas-quotes-for-family

Christmas is a tonic for our souls. It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving. – B. C. Forbes

family christmas quotes

The only blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart. – Helen Keller

famous-christmas-quotes

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling. – Edna Ferber

quotes for christmas cards

Like what you see? See more Merry Christmas Images.

The BEST of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a HAPPY FAMILY all wrapped up in each other. 

xmas quotes

God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it. – Pope Francis

merry christmas wishes quotes

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas. – Dale Evans

christmas quotes

Please visit SayingImages.com for more Christmas Quotes, Messages and Greetings.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

The post 12 Christmas Quotes about Love and Family that will Lift Your Spirits appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For

Is your relationship worth fighting for? Is the stress of the struggle worth it?

If you are currently in a romantic relationship or marriage and you’re having doubts about whether to fight for it or not, there are a few ways to tell.

Here are 5 signs that you can put away the white flag and salvage your relationship.

You Mean It When You Say, “It’s Not You, It’s Me”

relationship

Yes, this phrase is one of the most cliché break-up excuses. Cliché or not, looking at your own, personal intimacy issues can provide great insight into your current relationship.

Maybe your issues have nothing to do with the love and companionship your partner offers. Maybe it has something to do with your own emotional baggage.

Are you seeing a pattern in your relationship turmoil? Are the same issues that ended your last relationship haunting this one?

What’s the common denominator?

Yep, you guessed it right – it’s you.

Though I’m painting a pretty dismal picture, all hope is not lost.

If the only problems plaguing your current relationship are deeply rooted in your own insecurities, the first step is to acknowledge them. Take a step back and examine how these personality traits are affecting your relationship. You’d be surprised to see how a few slight changes to your state of mind, communication tactics or displays of affection can change things for the better.

You’re Willing to Put in the Work

Do thoughts of attending a couples retreat or counseling turn your stomach? Do your palms get sweaty and blood pressure rise when you and your loved one are left in a room together?

If working to save your relationship sounds like too much work, then it’s probably time to move on.

But if you can clearly see salvageable pieces of your broken puzzle or if you can still easily name at least five admirable qualities about your partner, there may be hope.

So, make a list and include pros and cons of you two as a couple and your partner individually. You might be surprised to discover that one awesome ‘pro’ can actually outweigh a long list of ‘cons’ or the other way around.

If you’re willing to work things out, then the relationship is definitely worth fighting for.

See Also: When to Say Fuck It and STAY in Relationship

The Thought of Ending Things Makes You Sick

Maybe it’s jealousy. Maybe it’s possessiveness.

Whatever it is, if the thought of your partner moving on or moving out turns your stomach, then you’re probably not ready to end things.

Ending a toxic relationship usually leaves you with a feeling of freedom, release, and peace of mind. All these feelings are a good indication that you made the right decision.

Sleepless nights and conflicted emotions, on the other hand, mean the opposite. If your heart and mind are torn over whether to end things, you should probably give it another shot.

There’s no worse feeling in this world than regret. Avoid the “what if” by giving things another try.

You Only Threaten to Break Up When You’re Mad

romantic relationship

We all say things when we’re mad and sometimes, it can get ugly. You blurt out things you later wish you could take back.

Often times, people use idle threats and make empty promises in the heat of an argument.

Have you ever threatened to leave only to go around the corner for a beer and return home after cooling off? Or promised to never name call again only to forget your promise during the very next fight?

If the only time you can think of leaving your partner or ending the relationship is when you’re angry or high on adrenaline, then it’s likely an irrational and superficial emotion. This means you should pause for further consideration.

You Can Imagine a Future Together

People say things like “I can’t live without you”, but do they really mean it?

If you can’t imagine your life without your partner, then you have a great foundation to work with.

When you have a solid relationship, talking about the future is important.

Some people depend their life plans on their partners. They will plan their life, career choices, and thoughts about kids based on their significant others.

For you, do your long-term goals all include your partner? Can you not imagine purchasing a home or growing old with anyone else? Even when times are tough and the two of you can’t seem to get on the same page, do you still foresee a future together?

If your answer is yes, then the two of you should be willing to work through whatever issues you are having.

See Also: 7 Best Secrets To Building Lasting Relationships

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know that your romantic relationship is worth saving, you can take the necessary steps.

Keep the lines of communication and your mind open. Try not to go on the defensive when your partner expresses concern or worry about your relationship status. Don’t jump the gun and call things off at the first sign of trouble.

Yes, relationships take work but if it’s a relationship worth saving, it will feel less like work and more like an investment in your future.

 

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Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up

Whether you were expecting it, initiating it or it just came out of the blue, handling a break-up like a man can be really difficult. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best thing for you or if you cared about her at all, there is going to be pain when things are over.

So, is coping really different for men than for women?

Well, the answer to that is yes and no.

Emotions are emotions and recognizing how you are feeling is important. If you try to ignore your feelings, then they are likely to surface somewhere else and become destructive.

To help you cope with a breakup, below are some tips to get you through the hard times.

Do not try drowning your sorrows

You hear stories all the time of men crying and drinking alcohol just to forget. Skip this technique. Alcohol is a depressant and is far from lifting your spirits. It is more likely to make you feel worse both physically and emotionally.

And with impaired judgment, you’ll be at a higher risk of getting involved in destructive behaviors. Drunken one-night-stands or emotionally driven bar brawls will not get you through a breakup.

Consider getting back to the gym

go to the gym

Or if you are already there, consider taking on a new challenge. Training for a half-marathon or setting a new goal for bench press can provide a healthy physical outlet for your anxiety and emotional stress. Being physically active is also a great way to clear your head. So, drag your sad self into the gym.

Don’t start booty calling through your contact list

Really, this is a pathway to trouble on many levels. In most cases, women are looking for more than an hour of your time and after a breakup, you are not likely to be in the condition for that.

And there’s a long list of negative consequences when it comes to jumping in and out of bed with people. The last thing you want is to need an antibiotic or to be researching the latest in crib features.

Spend time with friends

have fun with friends

Guy friends, couple friends or a female friend – anyone who cares about you and that you enjoy being with is a good bet during this time. You may feel like you would rather be alone but override that desire and spend time with people. You don’t have to get too involved in discussing your feelings with them.

Let yourself have a good cry

It goes against all masculinity rules but crying is a natural response to sadness and can be very cathartic. You don’t need to do this in front of other people.

Don’t give in to the desire to text and call repeatedly

That nagging inclination to call or text your ex will always be there.

Maybe the break-up was a mistake, right? If you could just talk it out, maybe things will be fine again.

No.

You broke up for a reason and whether it was the right reason or the wrong one, you both need some time to gain perspective. Repeatedly calling will not make things better. In fact, it can make things worse.

Take care of yourself

Many people experience physical symptoms associated with intense emotions. Some people can’t eat, feel physically ill or can’t sleep. Others overeat, abuse alcohol or other substances or sleep all the time. None of these are healthy options.

Try to ensure you have the right nutrition and make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night.

See Also: What To Do After A Break Up: A Handbook For Every Newly Single Guy

Conclusion

Very few of us get through life without a heartbreak. If you have ever loved someone, then you have taken the risk of getting your heart broken through a breakup. Try and remember that everything will be alright in time. While that time is passing, you need to do what you can to ensure you are ready when your next opportunity for love comes around.

 

The post Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Magic of Appreciation: How to Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is the key to happiness in life, at work, and in relationships.

Studies show that depressed people who engaged in gratitude practice were 25% less depressed after a 12-week period. Interesting, right?

When we are down, we tend to ruminate and go over the same things over and over. Most of the time, it’s about our past and ourselves. We can’t stop being self-critical.

According to a study performed by Dr. James Pennebaker, depressed people used the “I” word at a 6.5% rate, that’s 4% higher than the average person. And those who suffer from a mental illness use “I” 11 times more than other people.

When we focus on the present and we’re grateful for what we have and who we are, we generate positive memories. These are the memories we can reflect on in the future that can help us feel better. Also, focusing on others and what we can do for other people can help us, too. We won’t be using so many “I” words.

So, do yourself a favor and focus on the present, what you have and what you’re doing. Once you are able to do that, you’ll be a happier person.

thank you

Make sure to appreciate the people around you as well. They’ll know it and they’ll reward you in kind.

In one study, twice as many people helped a second time after receiving a thank you email than when no thank you email was sent. The study showed people did it because they felt more socially valued when they’d been thanked.

Dr. Sara Algoe, a US psychologist, emphasized that “Feelings of gratitude and generosity are helpful in solidifying our relationships with people we care about and benefit to the one giving as well as the one on the receiving end.”

On the other hand, a Glassdoor study showed that more than 80 percent of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.

gratitude

A feedback loop develops when you appreciate others. They begin to think about how they appreciate you.

It is easy to focus on what people are not and how they are different, but when you focus on people’s good qualities, you will be happier around them. They will be happier around you, too.

And what happens when you do the opposite?

Many will get defensive, angry, and lash out, causing you to do the same thing. Best to start off and focus on the right things. This is especially true in marriage.

So, appreciate people for what they are, what they bring to the table and for who they are and not who they are not. This way, you’ll be better off individually and together.

What can you tell about people who don’t say thank you?

Well, the inability to say thank you could be a sign of narcissism. When people feel entitled or full of themselves, they fail to appreciate the complement or the contribution of others. They think they deserve the special treatment or special praise because they are special.

No one wants to be with someone like that. So, make sure to show how thankful you are to those around you.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

How to get started?

Make it easy.

Try thinking or writing down three simple things you’re grateful for each day. Tony Robbins makes this a daily practice and he starts with something easy, like the wind on the face or the peacefulness of no wind.

You can show gratitude for anything or anyone in your life. It can be as simple as being alive and the opportunity to do things better the next time.

Make it a habit and do it every single day. Over time, your view of the world and life will dramatically change.

Thank you for reading this!

The post The Magic of Appreciation: How to Practice Gratitude appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Quick Guide In Designing Your Children’s Room

Adding fun to your children’s room is no different from any renovation project you have for your home. However, in choosing the right child room design, you have to make sure that it can adapt to the changing moods of your children while allowing them to develop some really cool memories.

If you are not sure where to start, here are some ideas you can consider.

Clocking The Cool Color: The Basics

The project has to start with picking the right color.

It is a myth that children love all colors. In fact, they are very picky.

To address this, you need to introduce themes along with the colors. For instance, you can associate yellow with sunshine and red with roses.

Since children have ideas, make sure to ask for their opinion. Depending on your children’s age, they can assist you in coloring the wall themselves.  For you and your children’s safety, choose paints without toxic fumes.

Thematic Tales: Every Wall Has A Story

harry potter themed childrens room
Via pinterest

Children grow up listening to stories of monsters, centaurs, and unicorns. So, it’s only logical that you design their room with those stories. Hire a professional or grab a paintbrush yourself and draw stories of David Slaying Goliath or Beauty and the Beast. This can freshen up the room while imparting values to your kids.

You also need to pay attention to the room’s flooring since it’s where your children spend most of their activities. You can opt for laminate and vinyl flooring in hardwood, stone, tile, and carpet flooring.

In choosing between laminate and vinyl flooring, consider that your child’s room is a high traffic area and the flooring has to be durable. Laminate is a durable material and it rarely fades. It is resistant to stains and easy to install.

Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is a step up from the old linoleum types. It is also good for a child’s room as it is resilient and doesn’t take a lot of time to install.

Killing The Ceiling: The Dreamy Sky

dreamy childrens bedroom ceiling
Via Decoist

The right design can make your child’s room look dreamy. Peeling paints and plasters on the ceiling can be really depressing.

Since the ceiling is the last thing your child looks at right before he sleeps, you need to carefully plan its design. It should be designed tastefully and with care.

For the wood ceiling, you can get board planks from your local hardware store. Run them in the same direction on the ceiling. Finish the job with crown molding or wood trim. For ceiling tiles, get the adhesive ones that are easy to install. Mix and match tiles or create a pattern. If there’s an existing wallpaper, make sure to remove the old wallpaper and prepare the ceiling before you add a new design.

Furniture And Accessories: The Finishing Touch

Assess the furniture in your child’s room.

If they are still usable, consider freshening them up. Take out all pieces of wood furniture and sand them down. You can also paint them up with a shade that matches the color scheme you used on the walls. For those items that need upholstering, check if you can do it yourself. If not, make sure to hire someone you can totally trust.

Consider the layout of the room. Children move around a lot and need space. So, go for an uncluttered layout that will allow your children to move freely.

Now, go for accessories. Here is where you can make the most out of your designs. You can use accessories that can double as learning materials. For example, you can make their geometry lessons come alive by decorating the room with different shapes. A mixture of symmetric figures and patterns would enhance the imagination and creativity of your kids.

Conclusion

The best child room design idea is one that reflects his or her dreams, ambitions, and emotions. It should allow them to feel comfortable and safe, too.

By following these steps, you should be able to create the perfect room for your little ones.

The post A Quick Guide In Designing Your Children’s Room appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Must-Reads For Ambitious Humans

I am ambitious.

To reach my goals I need to learn to get better. And to get better, I read all the time.

I do it partly because successful people throughout the ages have been voracious readers.
Legends, like Elon Musk and Abraham Lincoln, attribute their success to reading.

So, without further ado, here are the best books to read for success.

Methods of Persuasion

methods of persuasion nick kolends

Every page and every section of this book is chock-full of methods you can use on a daily basis.

The best part of Methods of Persuasion is the thoroughness of the research.
Every method is backed by scientific studies.

On top of that, Kolenda provides case-studies and real-life applications of each method.

I’ve implemented every aspect of this book in my daily life and it has paid off handsomely. I have secured a new, better-paying job, my relationship with my fiance has vastly improved and my overall communication skills have increased ten-fold.

If you don’t read this book, you’ll be left in the dust by the people who did.

Ego Is the Enemy

ego is the enemy ryan holiday

Most of us struggle with ego.

In fact, ego is a major obstacle in our lives. It is in mine and I work towards diminishing it every day.

This book illustrates just how much of our lives are controlled by ego and how destructive it is. Ego keeps us from paying the price of success. It keeps us from doing work that we think is “beneath us”.

Ego is an enemy and a slippery one at that.

Reading this book has made a difference in my life. It has made me more humble.

Humility has helped me delve into various tasks with a more open mind.
Open-mindedness has allowed me to learn more and in turn add more value. This has benefited my career tremendously.

Trust me.

If you want to do more, create more and achieve more, you need to diminish your ego.
Ego Is the Enemy shows you how.

Reading and re-reading this book will add tremendous value to your life.

The Score Takes Care of Itself

the score takes care of itself bill walsh

Bill Walsh is famous for his work as head coach of the 49’ers. He built one of the most majestic dynasties in Football history from the ruins of a franchise.

How did he do it?

By focusing on the process and on the fundamentals.

This allowed him to hone the skills of Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and Steve
Young into the best players of their generation. Some of the best players of all time.

His consistent focus on the fundamentals as a key driver of performance is essential. Whatever your field, Walsh’s advice is valuable.

My three key takeaways from the books:

  1. Focus on creating a system that supports your progress.
    If you do the right things the right way, the results will follow.
  2. Keep your eye on the fundamentals instead of the score.
    It doesn’t matter if people praise you at work. What matters is that you add value and get better every day.
  3. Everything you do matters.
    Some of Walsh’s tenets included no sitting on the practice field, no smoking on the facilities and always dressing in a tie and jacket.

Your representation of yourself and others matters more than you think. You represent yourself in all of your actions so everything you do matters.

The lessons in these three books will add tremendous value to your life if you implement them.

So, read the books and learn their lessons. Apply them in your life and repeat.

Do this and you will get far.

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

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6 Ways To Live Well With A Chronic Illness

Living with chronic illness comes with its own set of unique challenges but it doesn’t mean that life has to be one terrible ordeal.

Often, we don’t look ill and we can still manage to hold down a job. We have families and a bit of a social life. Despite these things, we still feel terrible.

It’s like having the flu every day, with maybe an odd hour or two of relief.

Living with a chronic illness brings with it the challenge of honoring ourselves while also living up to the expectations and responsibilities of being alive. Often, that includes extreme pain, exhaustion or a hidden disability.

The hardest part can be that because we don’t look ill and we do our best, family and friends can forget. They can even become frustrated with us. As a result, we become frustrated with them and we get angry at ourselves for being ill.

These feelings of guilt and frustration can lead to arguments. Sometimes, they can also push us into a deeper sense of depression and deprivation.

Why us? What did we do wrong?

Despite all the questions you may have in your mind, remember that there is a way to live well. It can be a challenging work but living with chronic illness is possible.

Below, I’ll show you how.

First, we need to grieve

grieving chronic illness

We need to grieve for the life we are not going to live or might never live. We need to grieve for the lost time, missed events, and missed opportunities.

And grieving is tough, especially when we are told we can think our way out of it or we, on some metaphysical level, asked for this. This ‘magical’ thinking or any other general new age BS does not help us when we are deep in the mire of seeing our lives crumble beneath us.

We are ill.

Most of us are still desperately searching for a cure. But to continue with this journey, we must accept where we are.

Grieve the loss of the life you don’t have. Grieving comes in waves and must be honored.

However, you should remember that grieving does come to an end once there’s acceptance. So, accept how life is and get on with it.

Let’s live it well- even within the restrictions of the disease.

Which means boundaries

Boundaries keep you safe. They keep your pain down and they keep you sane. They don’t mean brick walls.

Instead, think of them as flexible fences that control what comes in and goes out. Learning to set your fences can be hard. But once done, you’ll wish you were able to do it years ago.

Boundaries let you stop worrying. And when you worry, you increase your stress levels and even your pain. It becomes an endless cycle that damages you more.

Strong boundaries ensure things get done, toxic people stay away, and you stop over giving.

So, sort out what type of boundaries you need. Get others on board, remind them when they are overstepping your boundary, and stick to your guns.

The boundaries you put in place will be unique to you.

Honesty with yourself and others

I feel this follows on naturally after the grieving process and boundaries.

You are going to disappoint people.

You can’t do everything. You’ll have limits due to your illness.

Being honest about this is the best way forward. Explain that you only have so much energy. Give a warning when that energy starts to deplete and plan how you’ll leave if this has not already been done. Then when ready, put your plan into action.

Do not push through!

Pushing through is for emergencies or once in a lifetime events only. The consequences of pushing through are harsh. They mean days in bed, increased pain and increased brain fog.

And often for what? So other people will like you more?

People without a chronic illness can bounce back after 5 minutes, but what about you?

You’ll crash and can’t move.

Listen to your body. Honor when it talks to you and for the love of all that is, don’t push through!

Drop the guilt

It is not your fault that you are ill and it is not your fault that you have limitations. It’s just not your fault so stop feeling guilty.

I can’t stress this enough.

It has taken me years to drop the guilt but finally, it is happening.

This is life.

By accepting ourselves as we are, we make it easier for others to accept us as we are. If we present to the world who we really are without the guilt, the world will reflect that back to us. People that can’t honor this will walk away.

Pamper days that are more than pamper days

Pamper days to me are ‘women going to a spa’.

Well, that is not enough.

Living with chronic illness means we miss out big time.

For me, a pamper day is planning a day where I don’t miss out. I don’t do what anyone else wants or needs me to do. This day is for me to experience what I need to experience to feel alive. This may be a visit to an art gallery, a trip to friends, a simple stroll or a wheelchair visit outdoors.

Too often, we are bounded to our beds and houses and this is bad for us on all fronts.

If you can’t get out, bring the pamper day to you. Have your friends come around and cook for you, have a tea party or a picnic in the back garden. Do what feeds your soul and not what feeds others!

pamper days

But again, don’t push through.

Be strategic about coping with your energy/pain levels.

Love

I am so lucky that I have a partner who understands that I have an illness one can’t see. It wasn’t always like this, but we are now at a point where our routine honors his needs and mine. He knows I’m not pulling a fast one. He can now recognize when exhaustion sets in and if I need to be in bed, then I’m in bed.

It has taken time and patience to get here. Education and seeing medical results have been instrumental, but I’m so glad we have hung in there.

It hasn’t been easy for my daughter, either. She can’t remember a time that I was not ill. As a result, she can read me like a book and sense within a second when I’m flagging. I have done my best to parent her the best I can, but this has sadly meant she has grown up way too fast for my liking.

She spins it and says she is independent and she is. I can’t deny that her love has helped immeasurably, but at a cost to her childhood.

But, what if you don’t have love?

Join clubs or groups. You can even search for virtual ones. Facebook seems to be a suitable place for support and advice. Just try and avoid the toxic groups. We need support, not a pity party.

Which brings me on to toxic people.

What if you have a toxic relationship?

If you do, then get help or just get out. Toxic relationships stress us immeasurably.

We are far better off without them.

There is nothing worse than being ill and living with toxic family or friends. They will make you worse and you deserve better.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies are often complementary to the regular medical care many of us have. Some find them a bit ‘woo’ but I do believe the right ones have a significant role to play.

If we are truly fortunate, we have an integrative medic that practices both conventional and complementary techniques.

My illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, needs to be treated with several complementary therapies. Diet change has been one and I strictly follow the Auto Immune Protocol. My emotional and mental well-being has been improved with therapies like EFT. I take supplements to correct blood test results and they have improved my fatigue levels.

I still can’t do everything I want to do, so I do the best I can. I no longer beat myself up for it.

I don’t believe I am to blame for this illness and I will no longer allow people in my life that disrespect me because of it.

I see conventional medicine and alternative medicine as a partnership where they complement each other. Together, they can help a person live well.

See Also: Common Health Conditions Treated with Alternative Medicine

My life is more balanced, more loving and more fun. I have grieved, I have dropped the guilt, I have a fantastic doctor and I am loved. All these things make living with chronic illness a little easier.

The post 6 Ways To Live Well With A Chronic Illness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Mastering The Beautiful But Difficult Art Of Letting Go

“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” – Dodinsky

Fears, doubts, past events, unpleasant memories, bad conversations – these are some of the factors that contribute to our unhappiness.

Our mind has the tendency to hold onto those things for long, creating misery. For instance, if someone said bad words to you, your mind will keep on clinging to it until another event happens.

Unless you learn how to let things go, you won’t be able to embrace every moment of life and live it to the fullest. You won’t be able to enjoy even the world’s best luxuries.

In this article, you’ll learn the best tips for mastering the art of letting go.

Learn to Accept Before You Learn How to Let Things Go

More than half of our problems begin when we start questioning the things around us. For instance, suppose you are stuck in a bad traffic jam and there’s no way out for you.

There are two ways in which you can handle this scenario.

You could start yelling at people and vent out your frustration but this can make things even worse. Or you could keep calm and use this time to do some thinking. You could sit quietly and enjoy the music being played on the FM.

Now, what usually happens?

We choose to react negatively to the things around us. When thoughts bother us or a past event troubles us, we start questioning, explaining or justifying it. This leads to more chaos and confusion.

The best thing you can do at any moment is to accept it as it is.

When you accept it, your mind comes to rest immediately. With a stable state of mind, you can decide what can be done to make the situation better. Such decisions usually never end up in regret or guilt. Also, accepting things can help you to move on quickly from events and situations.

Remember Death

letting go

What are you really holding onto? How long will you hold onto it?

In all those moments when you find it difficult to let go, just remember that one day this is all going to be over. This very realization takes away the stiffness in your mind and body. When you remember death, you are able to honor life.

There are many people who have come before you, had been in the same situation as you and may have even left the world by now. So, there’s no point in worrying or holding onto things. Enjoy the moment you have now and just let go!

Have Faith

What keeps us from letting go of our anxieties and fears? It’s the lack of faith.

Lack of faith leads to insecurities and fears in us. That’s why faith is the biggest blessing you can ask for. With faith and confidence that you will get what you need at the right time, you can easily let go of your fears and worries.

We all have experienced this at some point.

There have been moments when you badly needed money and somebody out of nowhere came to help you. Whenever you need some help, someone always finds a way to be there for you.

That’s because of faith, isn’t it? So, have faith and let go!

Meditate Regularly

meditate regularly

Meditation is a highly recommended activity for mastering the art of letting go and living in the present moment. Meditation helps you get rid of negative emotions, stress, and everything that bothers you. It gives you the power to channel your thoughts in a positive direction.

Practicing meditation twice a day keeps you away from impressions, events, and happenings in the outer world. It helps you stay in the present moment and do your tasks with sincerity and dedication.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Bottom Line

With practice and patience, you will eventually learn how to let things go, particularly those that bother you. You’ll realize that anxiety and fear are not worth your precious time and peace of mind.

Let go of things and be happy right now!

See Also: 12 Stressful Things To Let Go Of If You Want To Live A Calm Life

The post Mastering The Beautiful But Difficult Art Of Letting Go appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Are You Too Complacent In A Relationship?

Do you remember when you would check the mirror, adjust your hair and perhaps, put on cologne before seeing your mate? You wanted to put your best foot forward to make sure you would impress and attract.

Now, let’s be real.

After a few years in a relationship, we become so comfortable with one another that a lot of those little details don’t happen anymore.

Becoming complacent in a relationship is a double-edged sword. It shows that the love is unconditional and that our partner accepts us for who we are, good things and bad. The problem, however, is that you no longer put the effort you were giving before. When we start acting as though those details don’t matter anymore, a lot of things in the relationship change.

Now, if you are starting to worry about being complacent in a relationship, check these signs below.

You no longer hide the array of sounds (and smells) that your body produces

You may be thrilled that your relationship is close enough that you no longer have to leave the room every time you let out a bit of air. Unfortunately, your partner may not share your enthusiasm. Consider it something to keep to yourself and take it somewhere else whenever possible.

You have lost interest in personal grooming

It isn’t necessary to slap on some aftershave each time you walk past the mirror. In fact, it would probably be an overkill.

You should, however, make it a point to shower daily and brush your teeth regularly. Yes, your partner may love you no matter what but you shouldn’t make her work to remind herself why.

You mumble some version of “love you babe” frequently and without eye contact

Remember when you first told her you love her? You probably looked into her eyes when you said those words. You definitely felt their meaning.

If “I love you” has morphed almost exclusively into “love you babe” or some version of that, you probably have forgotten what those words are supposed to convey. It’s time to remember and make a change.

You think “dates” are no longer needed

no date

Believe it or not, dates are still necessary. What brought you together as a couple and helped you gain the comfort and closeness you now have was developed through dating.

Just because you are a few years into things doesn’t mean you should stop putting effort. People (yes, even your partner) change and grow continually. If you don’t spend enough time to enjoy each other’s company, you’ll eventually grow apart.

Closeness is a moving target. You can’t stop working on it just because you think you have it.

See Also: 6 Hobbies For Couples That Can Strengthen Your Relationship

Sex has become like a well-loved recipe

sex in relationship

If your intimate life has a set routine and you could and possibly have done it in your sleep, you are probably too comfortable. Just because you achieve a successful…ahem…end result does not mean you have had a successful experience. Sex is far more enjoyable when there are a few new moves here and there. So, throw out the recipe and try exploring a bit. You might find yourself surprised by the result.

There is a difference between trusting someone so much that you can be completely comfortable in their presence and being so comfortable that you seem not to care. That difference can be a very fine line.

If several or all of the above points ring a bell, you have probably crossed that line. Try changing things up and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your partner’s reaction and what you get in return.

See Also: 6 Signs You’re In A Long-Term Relationship

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5 Behaviors That Annoy Your Customers

Frequent calls and customer complaints are staples in every business. This, however, doesn’t mean that they are completely harmless. In fact, the increasing number of calls and customer complaints can mean that your business isn’t doing well.

Today, customers aren’t afraid of switching. If they are unhappy with your services and goods, they’ll just move on and find another company or brand that can meet their needs and expectations.

So, whether you are a startup or a big player in your niche, providing the best services and products for your clients is essential. After all, the more unhappy customers you have, the less chance you’ll succeed.

With that, we have jotted down 5 things customers find annoying and what you can do to avoid them.

Slow response

One of the most common things that customers find annoying is when they can’t find a quick and instant solution to their problems. If your business fails to impress with a quick response time, it creates a negative experience and forces customers to switch to a competitor.

Introducing a live chat solution can permanently fix the problem. Your customers can connect to a live chat agent in seconds and get their questions answered in real-time, creating a positive impression.

live chat

See Also: Know Your Customers In The Digital Age

Irrelevant Information

Most businesses today focus on acquiring customers through social media campaigns. Posting engaging content with appealing headlines is the most common way to do that.

But, are you false-trapping your buyers through click baits? If yes, then you need to reconsider your strategy as soon as possible.

Customers feel annoyed when they aren’t provided with the promised content. They are likely to leave and never return if they feel like they’ve been fooled.

As a way to solve this, make sure you live up to your promises. If you are offering a solution to your customers’ problem, ensure that your content has it. In addition to that, you should also consider the way you deliver your promise.

Most web users are short on time these days and they want solutions that they can consume in a matter of minutes. If you provide that, you are most likely a step ahead of your competition.

Insufficient Value

Valuing your customers is one of the best things you can do for your business. If your customers feel privileged, they will stay and ultimately become members of your loyal tribe. On the other hand, not offering what they expect can make them switch to a competitor product.

That said,  you must focus on getting regular feedback from your audience. You can use the information you get from them to improve the products and services you offer.

Introducing a live chat can be one option but it’s not the only thing you can do. You can also offer discount coupons, freebies and more to make them feel valued. Never miss an opportunity to show how your customers are important to you.

Uniform Treatment

happy customer

 

A business has both loyal and occasional customers.  While occasional customers expect discounts and better services, loyal customers may demand more.  They should be given some liberty points, coupons or schemes to make them feel more special. Customers observe each and every detail, so you should always keep these things in mind.

Not listening to your customers

Every business has problems that their customers also feel. If you are a smart business person, you will find a way to make sure that your customers are heard.

If your customers have no platform where they can put their thoughts, they may feel neglected, annoyed and angry. This can decrease customer retention and negatively affect your overall business. A live chat can help in this case as it allows your customers to speak their mind.

See Also: 4 Surprisingly Easy Tips To Improve Customer Engagement

The Solution

You obviously don’t want to continue making those mistakes. So, here are a few notable suggestions to avoid unhappy customers:

  • Provide 24/7 online support by integrating live chat for website
  • Improve the quality of your services and products
  • Take immediate actions on customer’s feedback and complaints
  • Keep refining the products

Conclusion

Businesses should aim to improve their relationship with their customers to increase retention. The more loyal customers you have, the better your business’ survival rate is.

Avoid having unhappy customers by giving them exactly what they want. Provide a solution to their problems and make that solution easy to achieve. Be consistent in your efforts in making them feel valued and they are highly likely to stick around for a long time.

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10 Brilliant Camping Tips To Make Camping Easier

What are the campgrounds near me? What should I bring to a camping trip? Are there camping hacks I don’t know about?

If you’re asking yourself or the all-knowing Google these questions, then you’re most likely new to camping. Camping is fun but it can take a lot of planning, patience, and work, particularly if your family is big. Without the right strategy, it can easily turn out as one of your worst outdoor experience. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to make camping more fun and less stressful.

Below, we’re sharing with you 10 of the most useful camping tips you can use to make your life in the campsite a little easier.

Use sage to keep bugs away

sage camping

Admit it.

Although camping is a great way to explore nature, it’s not always the best idea, particularly when bugs start bugging your campsite.

So, to keep those annoying insects from ruining a good campout, you can toss a bundle of sage into your campfire every now and then.

Now, you’re probably wondering: What if I’m not allowed to create a fire in your campsite?

There are other fragrant plants you can use to keep bugs away. Basil, lemon balm, and citronella can repel mosquitoes once crushed and rubbed onto the skin.

Make a Swedish torch

swedish torch camping
Via pinterest

Now, if you don’t want to create a huge campfire, you can just create your own Swedish torch. It makes an excellent and efficient campfire for cooking.

You just need a log and make three crisscrossing cuts that are almost to its core. Pack some fire-starters inside it and once it’s lit, you can practically forget about it. The cut you created through the log will allow air to naturally ventilate your fire, allowing the log to burn from the inside out.

And you know what else?

A Swedish torch can also double as a cooking surface. You can use it to hold cast iron pans.

swedish torch
Via thehomestead.guru

Do a makeshift lantern

makeshift camping lantern
Via adventuretogether

Camping lanterns are great in keeping your camping area well lit. But, once you place them inside your tent, it’s a whole different story. Most of them are way too bright, which can be blinding to look at.

To diffuse the light and make it softer, you simply strap the light to a gallon of water. Make sure to point the light towards the water to make this hack work.

Make DIY fire-starters

When you’re camping, it only makes sense to bring at least two types of fire starters to the trip. You wouldn’t want to spend the night at the campsite without a fire to keep you warm or cook your food, right?

One of the easiest DIY firestarters you can make involves just a few pieces of cotton pads. Dip them in wax and allow them to dry on a piece of wax paper. You can tear or cut them before lighting.

diy fire starters camping tips
Via preparednessmama

Another great way to create your own firestarter is to gather a few pieces of old cardboard. Cut them into 3×3 pieces, dip them in wax and then let them dry. They are easy to stack, so you won’t have any issues packing them inside your bag.

Pack your own emergency kit

mini camping emergency kit
Via pinterest

Accidents can happen anytime, so make sure you are prepared. Instead of packing a big kit, prepare a smaller one which you can take with you anywhere you go. Make sure it can fit a small compass, pain reliever, whistle, adhesive bandages and flint and steel.

You should also pack a few antibiotic ointments in your kit. You can cut up a straw and fill its pieces with the ointments. Seal their ends with a heat sealer or use a lighter to melt and close the ends.

mini first aid kit ideas for camping
Via pinterest

Put your eggs in a mason jar

eggs in a mason jar camping tips
Via khnutrition

The idea might sound bizarre but it’s actually one of the most brilliant camping tips, particularly if scrambled eggs are your favorite breakfast.

Before leaving for the trip, crack your eggs into a mason jar and keep it in your cooler until it’s time to cook the eggs. Just remember to shake the jar vigorously before you pour its content into your pan. Enjoy a no-fuss scrambled eggs in the morning with less work and less mess.

See Also: Five Clever Tips for Stress-Free Family Camping

Store your spices in Tic-Tac boxes

tic tac boxes spices
Via Good Housekeeping

Now, if you worry about your scrambled eggs tasting a bit off, you can keep a few spices in tic-tac containers. These boxes are just the right size to hold enough spices to make your food taste like it just came out of your own kitchen. Plus, they also have snap-tight lids which keep the spices from getting all over your camping tools.

Protect your toilet paper with an old coffee can

camping hacks toilet paper inside coffee can
Via pinterest

If your toilet paper gets soggy, it’ll be practically useless and having a roll of toilet paper you can’t use is a lot worse than not having one at all.

Agree?

So, instead of relying on a paper bag to keep your toilet paper fresh and dry, take an old coffee can and use it to hold your toilet paper. It’s the perfect size and it comes with a lid for extra protection.

Hang up pots and pans using a belt

camping tips pots and pans
Via experienceonstar

Since there’s not much space on your table or in your tent to keep all of your camping tools, you have to be a bit more innovative. Get a belt and wrap it snugly around a tree. Attach a couple of S hooks and use them to store some of your essential kitchen tools.

Make individual coffee bags

Listen:

If you are one of those people who can’t function well without a cup of coffee, this is one of the most helpful camping tips you can’t really miss.

With just a coffee filter, dental floss, and ground coffee, you’ll be able to get your daily fix of caffeine even if you’re in the middle of camping.

individual coffee bags camping tips
Via inspiredbarn

How?

First, you need to get a coffee filter and fill it with about 2 ounces of ground coffee. Hold the bottom of the coffee filter (where the coffee is) and twist its top part to create a pouch.

Secure it with a few inches of dental floss.

Each time you need to drink coffee, you simply need to place your coffee bag in a mug and add in water. It’s actually similar to how you prepare your tea.

See Also: Camping Outdoors: A Perfect Health Booster

We hope the above camping hacks will prove useful to you on your next trip. To find out the best place for your next adventure, check out an online campground finder like this one.

 

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5 of The Best Hobbies To Get You Outside

It seems like everyone you meet is involved in interesting or unusual hobbies. Perhaps, it’s been a goal of yours to try one of those activities, too.

If that is the case, maybe you can try some fun outdoor activities.

You can pick up a new skill or learn a new technique to keep your brain and body healthy. You can also try out activities that can give you a better understanding of the natural world. Who knows, you might learn something that will greatly surprise you.

To help you get started, here are five unique hobbies you can enjoy in the great outdoors.

Metal Detecting

If you are someone who wants a new sense of adventure while outdoors, metal detecting is the hobby for you. Individuals and clubs involved in this activity explore different places where there might be a bit of treasure.

Whether it is combing an old battlefield for military memorabilia or seeking valuables in a nearby park, metal detecting is a hobby that enriches any explorer. You can rent cheap equipment or buy your own and go anywhere you want. You can go metal detecting when you go camping, road-tripping or just exploring nearby parks.

Gardening

fun outdoor activities gardening

A favorite hobby of anyone with a green thumb, gardening offers those passionate about growing plants endless opportunities for enjoyment. The internet, your local library or gardening club has all the information you need to start cultivating a garden.

Many people save money by using their gardening hobby to provide herbs, vegetables, and fruits for their families. If flowers are your thing, see how creative you can get by pairing perennials and annuals and growing inventive new color combinations.

Seeds are usually pretty cheap and the only purchases you might need are soil, new pots and perhaps a tool for weeding.

Paintball

Most areas have paintball clubs often sponsored by paintball businesses that have indoor and outdoor facilities.

Paintball is a great hobby for those looking to socialize, have fun and get active. However, you need to be in a pretty good shape and willing to take the stings that come with getting hit if you want to pursue this activity.

You can start a club or just join a local one. You might need to buy special clothing, pads or even a gun for it. There are, however, some facilities that provide them or you can just rent your gears there.

Motorcycling

A popular activity for people of almost any age, riding a motorcycle or renting one for an extended road trip can be the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll get to see America’s scenic highways from a whole new perspective. You’ll get the thrill of driving down a winding road like you never did before.

Be sure to study up or take a class in motorcycle driving and defensive techniques before trying out this activity. According to Abels & Annes, in 2011 there were 3,756 crashes involving a motorcycle in Illinois alone. Knowing how to predict drivers and to stay safe while driving a bike can save lives.

Always wear protective clothing and a helmet. If you can seat a passenger, make sure the other person is also wearing a helmet before you drive. This activity is great if you want to see many new places and get out in new campgrounds or trails.

Radio Controlled Vehicles

drone hobby active

RC cars and planes are a great outdoor hobby for those who enjoy building vehicles and don’t mind watching them break as they are being controlled. There are clubs, racetracks, and even RC airports where you can learn from and interact with other enthusiasts.

Check local regulations before flying any RC planes or drones on your own. Check local parks for busy times as well. With radio-controlled vehicles, you can have fun meeting new people or enjoy more secluded time alone.

See Also: How Auto Toys Can Keep Your Man Busy Outdoors

These are just some fun outdoor activities you can try. They can help boost your mood, alleviate stress, provide exercise, and expand your circle of friends. If you pick one and realize that it’s not right for you, you can just go and try something else.

The post 5 of The Best Hobbies To Get You Outside appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Ways On How To Live A Balanced Life

Knowing how to live a balanced life is a great thing for your mental health. It’s not a matter of having complete control over your life, but about finding what works best for you. It means not feeling like you’re being pulled in several directions all at once.

A balanced life can make you feel more content and calm. You’ll have more motivation and ability to move forward with your plans. You don’t feel so down about everything all the time.

So, read on below and find out how to start balancing your life today. Hopefully, these tips can help you be more grounded and better-rounded individual.

Inner And Outer Focus

There are two kinds of elements you need to balance if you want to start your new life. These are inner and outer elements. When one focuses more on one kind of element, an imbalance happens. And of course, you wouldn’t want that to happen.

External elements are your social circle, including family and other relationships. The list also includes your work, hobbies, and your activities. On the other hand, internal elements refer to your inner self. The thoughts in your mind and the workings of your heart are what comprise your internal elements.

Obviously, focusing on just work, relationships, and external activities would leave you with a massive spiritual gap. On the same note, it is also simply not practical to have your mind and heart reflecting on themselves all the time. After all, you have to experience life.

With that, you should strive to focus on both your internal and external elements. This can involve challenging your mind with intellectual pursuits or satisfying your tummy with delicious and healthy foods. As for your heart, it is best if you open yourself up to love, hope and joy. Exposing yourself to bitterness and hatred would soon starve your heart and it can affect you physically, too.

If you are lagging behind in your work, seek to motivate yourself. Don’t settle for less. Know when and how to give yourself the respect that you deserve. Give time to your family as well and remember these connections are for life. In the same way, you also need to pull back from those relationships and seek to foster bonds with those who are worth it.

See Also: 3 Simple Steps to Balance Your Emotional State

Look Around You

It’s essential that you look at your present life in order to work out its kinks. This can help you discern the amount of imbalance you’re currently experiencing. What are you neglecting and what could you make better?

Notice Your Leanings

Taking proper stock of your life would help you see which way you’re leaning. Are you listening too much to your heart and not enough to the practical aspects of things? This could make you a very shabby decision-maker.

Are you following every rule to the letter? It’s probably the reason why you’re not giving yourself a break every now and then.

Plan It Out

list-goals

Once you know where you need to improve, write out your goals. What tasks do you need to accomplish every week, month or year? What worked for you before? Do you think that would work again?

Planning all of these things out will help you create a proper and an effective plan of action.

Think About The Past

Think about your achievements up until now. Focus on your mood and your motivation, which led to your success. Once you’ve gotten hold of that feeling, don’t let it go.

You must have dealt with some fear and doubts back then, too. If you were able to handle them then, you can handle them now. Get some real motivation and some valuable lessons from your past self.

See Also: Time to Break the Cocoon! 5 Great Tips For Finding Motivation

Anticipate The Negativity And Prepare For It

When you look at achieving balance, anticipate the obstacles. Expect some negative feelings, doubts, and second-guessing. Once you know all your inner tricks that throw you off balance, prepare for a counter-attack. This way, you would be more kind to yourself in your balancing process.

Find A Support System

support system

When searching for balance, have a supportive person nearby. This could be your closest friend, a relative or your spouse. See which person provides the healthiest support and stick with him/her.

When you have a companion, the journey becomes easier. It will help you become more aware of your process and make more sense of it.

Wrap Up

Once you finish instilling the above tips in your life, you’re on your way to becoming more balanced and grounded. You would hopefully soon notice your productivity going up and your frustration coming down. This is an excellent exercise if you are consistently finding life slipping away from you.

The post 7 Ways On How To Live A Balanced Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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3 Things That Can Help You Start Being Your Best Self

I did a video yesterday for a challenge that I’m doing and I was talking about something that I’m working on in the challenge. A comment from the leader came back and said that what stood out for her was how I’m constantly in “should”:

“I should have done…”, “I should have been able to…” and “I should…”.

Always “I should…”.

The day before, another friend commented on one of my posts that no matter how much I did, it was never enough: I SHOULD be doing more, I OUGHT to be doing more.

I don’t go into “Woulda” very much but I definitely do “OUGHTA”…

Actually, I do go into “would” but “would” is victim and I tend to go into blaming: the “ought to’s” and “should have’s”

At least, when I’m talking about myself, I go into blaming myself. I’m a bit more lenient on everyone else- sometimes.

The thing is, I can logically reason a solid basis for going into the “shoulds” and “oughts”. I’m aware that I’m not producing at 100% capacity.

I know I’m not being as efficient with my time as I could be and I know I’m hiding out and not doing what needs doing.

I know that if I just get my act together, I’d be producing way more and be way more effective than I am now.

And I know that I ought to be one of the top coaches and mindset experts in the world right now, but I don’t have my stuff together yet.

I ought to have my stuff together because I’ve been working with a mentor for a year now. Besides, I’ve been a coach for 15 years! I ought to be much further ahead than I am now.

And there’s no excuse! None! Not one! Well, except that I haven’t got my act together and I’m not giving it 100%.

By the way, I hate it when people talk about giving more than 100%: HOW?

How can you possibly give more than 100%? How can you start being your best self?

Be serious.

Not that I’m blaming anyone, you understand?

See how easy it is? See how easy it is for me to slide effortlessly into blaming about not being good enough? I start off well, being all objective and constructive. Then, ever so subtly, I always end up making myself wrong.

It even sounds like a logical step, doesn’t it? There’s no jarring change in tempo or direction. It just flows.

How interesting is that?

Our minds automatically go from detached, open-minded objectivity to pointing the finger, blame and make wrong.

I didn’t even notice it in what I was saying in either the video or the post! I didn’t see it or hear it. Honestly, it didn’t exist for me.

It’s just the truth and it’s just the way things are.

It’s a simple statement of fact.

[sigh]

So, what do you do about it? Because I can guarantee that if you want to create the things that you really want in your life, you’ll have to deal with this.

Notice yourself doing self-blame

First of all, you have to NOTICE it. You must notice yourself doing it so you can catch yourself and do something different. The easiest way to do this is to either journal or video yourself talking about yourself and your life, where it’s at, what you want, what you’ve done and haven’t done so far.

Then, get someone to read or watch it.

Scary, I know, but it’s the best way to do it.

If you can’t bring yourself to do that, you read or watch it. The problem with doing it this way is that we tend to believe that what we write or say about ourselves is the truth. It sounds true and it lands for us as just a statement of fact.

This is why we need someone else to point things out for us.

Notice what you say about yourself:

Are you not good enough?

Do you never do enough?

Should you be doing more?

Are you comparing yourself to others?

Does no one appreciate you?

Are you a victim?

Write it down

writing a list

Pay attention to the wording that you use.

Do the same thing again but this time, write about yourself and your life and listen out for the coulda, shoulda, woulda, oughta.

Now, here’s the challenge: Write about yourself and your life as though you’re a complete superstar who plays all out and always does everything to the best of your ability.

If you keep on catching yourself while you’re speaking, thinking, and writing about yourself and making a consistent, committed effort to support and admire yourself, pretty soon your whole life will be completely different.

Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how differently you’d feel about yourself if you just believe that everything you do is what’s necessary?

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier

Believe you’re being your best self

be amazing

I don’t know whether you’ve ever experienced it, but when you’re in the company of someone who thinks you’re amazing, the whole world is different. You’ll be different. You act differently, think differently, and do different things.

Imagine if you lived in that space all the time, where you’re in the company of someone who thinks you’re totally awesome…

Someone who always speaks and acts in alignment with what’s important to him,

Someone who never lets himself down,

Or someone who knows that whatever happens, he’s done the best he can?

Can you imagine that?

Now imagine if that person were you.

The post 3 Things That Can Help You Start Being Your Best Self appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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15 Tips On How To Live A Fulfilling Life

You despise yourself because of your imperfections. You loathed your skin color, your monolid eyes, your body shape—almost everything about you. That’s why you try really hard to get rid of them.

However, although a lot of people are already appreciating you, you still can’t be happy.

Why?

It’s because you don’t know your real flaws, the flaws that you have within you. They are those things that make you feel like you don’t belong in your own body.

Now, to address those issues, here are 15 tips on how to live a fulfilling life.

Be good to yourself

love yourself

If you will not be kind to yourself, who else will?

You need to take good care of your body because that is your temple. You need to protect it against your detractors and the only way to save yourself from them is to love yourself. Always remember that you should be the first person who should accept you for what you are.

See Also: 5 Steps to Loving Yourself and Living Happily Ever After

Create a support system

No matter how hard you try to be good to yourself, if the people around you like to disparage you, it’s still of no use. If you have a set of friends who always keep pointing out your flaws, distance yourself from them.

It may be hurtful to leave them, but it will be more painful if you will stay. You don’t need people who keep on giving up on you. You need people who will stay despite your shortcomings.

Dissolve feelings of shamefulness

You are ashamed of yourself because you think that you are not worthy to be loved and appreciated. You think that people will always point out your defect that’s why you just chose to hide it.

But, remember this:

Your skin color is beautiful and your scars are part of your journey. It’s society’s standard of beauty that must be forgotten.

Embrace your differences

You are born like that because you are special. If you will try to acquaint yourself with how society accepts every human being, you’ll end up being lost in the ocean of masked individuals.

Your differences make you unique, so you should own your individuality. If you are going to get rid of it, how would people distinguish you?

Focus on the positive side

Don’t think that your imperfections are the reasons why you failed. Everything happens for a reason and the reason is that you deserve much better.

If you will just look closely, you will realize that there’s a bright side in every situation. Don’t focus on the bad things that you forget how great life is. After all, it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.

Stop rating yourself

When you rate yourself, you’re creating a standard that needs to be met. If you will set criteria every day and you’re not able to achieve them, you’ll end up dissatisfied for no reasons.

Rating yourself isn’t healthy. It will stop you from accepting your strengths and weaknesses as a person. It can even make you feel insecure about yourself.

See Also: Are You Your Own Best Friend Or Your Own Worst Enemy?

Appreciate the little things

Self-fulfillment isn’t always about getting a huge recognition; it’s also about being able to appreciate the small triumphs that you have. As what Frank Clark said, “Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.”.

If you will change your focus, you will discover that small things could actually make you smile.

Don’t give up on yourself

The reason why people couldn’t reach for their dreams is simply because they’ve given up on them. You are what you are dreaming of. So, if you choose to give up on your dreams, you are also giving up on yourself.

If you’re tired, take time to rest. Consider the rejections you encounter as lessons and not as failures. It’s not yet the end, so just turn the page to the next chapter of your life. Learn to trust yourself and you will surely make it.

Ditch the standard of perfection

Nobody’s perfect. You can’t fix yourself no matter how hard you try to make it better. Break the standards of society by accepting the fact that you shouldn’t live to the expectations of others. You are beautiful in your own way. The people who told you that you are not might also be like you.

Don’t let other people define you by your imperfections. Be a good person and let your personality and attitude speak up for yourself.

Turn your weakness into strength

Forget the notion that your weakness is the reason why you fail. In fact, you can make it as one of your strengths.

With the right mindset, you will learn to turn the things that you’re not good at into something that will make you productive. Give yourself the chance to be able to let the things that you’re scared of encourage you to focus on your main goals, and not to mind the situations that will stop you from achieving them.

Always be thankful

be thankful

You’re alive and you exist. Isn’t that something to be thankful for?

There are things that you forgot to be thankful for because you’re more focused on something that is big. You have so many blessings in your life but you fail to notice them.

Like what Oprah Winfrey stated, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”.

Choose a realistic mantra

There are mantras that aren’t even achievable. If you can’t choose a mantra, you can actually make one. The mantras that you will create should make it easier for you to tap into your true spirit and self.

For example:

“I am in control of my actions and emotions.”.

This is great for people who find it hard to control their reactions to unexpected situations.

Face your life’s drama

Problems are necessary to help you grow as an individual. Whether you like it or not, you need to face the dilemmas that life is giving you. How you direct your life has an important role on how your life would end up.

The challenges you encounter allow you to discover the real you. How you deal with each problem says a lot about you as a person. You’ll also know your limits once you have an idea of who you truly are.

Don’t compare yourself with others

Comparing yourself to others is like comparing an apple to an orange. They might be fruits but they’re not the same type. Even an apple is different from another apple.

If you will compare yourself with others, you will end up feeling disappointed with yourself. So, don’t hate or love your imperfections. Instead, accept them with all your heart.

Accept constructive criticism

Criticism should help you develop and improve yourself without changing who you really are. Take note that not everyone who gives comments on you wants to make you feel bad about yourself.

Sometimes, the negative statements people say to you don’t really mean that they hate you. It may seem like it, but they’re concerned about you. If ever you encounter this type of critics, smile and be thankful.

Just like the lyrics of Jessie J’s song, “Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars”, you shouldn’t let your true self get lost just to feel that you belong. If you think that you don’t fit in, learn how to stand out. You are uniquely beautiful in your own way.

You don’t need the validation of someone to have a more fulfilled life. It doesn’t matter if they’ll love or hate you. What matters the most is that you’re embracing the real you and that’s the most beautiful gift you could give to yourself.

 

The post 15 Tips On How To Live A Fulfilling Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Turning Sixty: Top Things To Do In Retirement

Very soon, you’ll be celebrating your sixtieth birthday and that means you’ll be looking at your retirement, too. It’s natural to feel jittery about it as one question keeps popping into your mind: Now what?

It’s not that everyone over sixty goes through the same dilemma of finding new pastures. Some people keep working because they either need money or they just don’t want to get out of what they have become conditioned to. Well, in any case, if sixty is just not a number for you, it’s time to rev up your passion and pursue your hobbies like never before.

Before you enter your twilight years, you have every reason and opportunity to make your life rocking more than ever. By this age, you have lived most of your life, worked hard for your family and achieved success in ways that you know more than others do. Isn’t now the time you do something for yourself?

Here are the top things to do in retirement that can make your life more engaging and exciting:

Define your passion and purpose

This is going to be a new chapter of your life, so just sit back and ponder what has been missing in your life so far. What have you always been curious about?

Defining your purpose here means thinking about how you are going to spend your time in fruitful pursuits. It is the time to reassess your life and revisit your personal purposes that you couldn’t accomplish before. Now is the time to revisit the things that you always felt very strongly about.

Think young and spend time with your family and friends

Thinking young at this time simply means being energetic and enjoying the time you now have in your hands. Fun and enjoyment is a lifelong process and getting past sixty doesn’t mean that your attitude should be old and obsolete.

It’s time to have fun with your family and friends by talking and meeting with them more often. You can organize small parties and invite your friends to have sweet discussions and little toasts. This is the perfect time to give your friends an exotic bottle of wine or get them their favorite box of cigar. It is also the time to create sweet memories with your grandchildren.

Continue your hobbies

retirement hobbies

Following one’s hobbies is the biggest stress buster at any stage in life. So, continue what your favorite pastimes were even before your retirement. Be it gardening, traveling, reading, singing, dancing or playing golf. You always need to follow your hobbies to keep you fit and enthusiastic.

But, more importantly, your main focus should be doing the things that you enjoy the most. Pursuing your hobbies with heart and soul can give a completely new meaning to your life. So, get ready to make that push.

Volunteer your expertise

It’s time to use your expertise for a philanthropic cause in our society. Maybe your local library, school or pantry need your skills? Perhaps your local hospital and nursing home need an extra hand?

This might not sound like one of the most interesting things to do in retirement but volunteering your expertise will enable you to give back to the society what you learned as a professional.

See Also: Retirement Activities that are Financially Viable 

Develop new interests

retirement activity

There must be something itching inside you. These could be the activities that you were never able to do before or any untapped talent you have. Getting to know people with diverse interests will help you in that. Consider your retirement as a golden opportunity for you to try something new. It can be learning a new language or traveling to a place where you have never been but always craved to go to.

See Also: 10 Amazing Business Ideas For Stay-At-Home Retirees

Final Thoughts

The age of sixty is not the end of your days. It is, in fact, a new beginning where you can do the things that you were never able to do due to obvious obligations. It’s a new freedom and new purpose that will shape your life for the better.

 

The post Turning Sixty: Top Things To Do In Retirement appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Steps to A Happy Beard

A happy, healthy and attractive beard is not just for the rich and famous. All men can have well-groomed facial hair with a little bit of effort and the right beard grooming tips.

If you’ve always wanted to grow beard that is free of beard dandruff, itching and other issues, here are five fast and cost-effective steps to implement.

Realistic Expectations

happy beard

The first thing to realize is that your beard will not necessarily look like another man’s beard. If you have unrealistic expectations from the beginning, you will set yourself up for disappointment no matter how nice your beard looks.

Just as in life, you have to be happy with what you have and stop looking at what others have. Contentment goes a long way in your perception of yourself. Your facial hair is unique to you and it might not grow as thick as another man’s, but it will look masculine and convey vitality.

When you look into a mirror, be happy with the new growth. If you are confident in yourself, others will feel that and will also like your beard.

Wash & Shampoo Your Beard

You’d be amazed at how many people forget to shampoo their facial hair when they shower.

Just the simple act of washing your beard whenever you take a shower will do wonders in removing any dirt or grime that is trapped there. Sometimes, facial hair gets tangled up if it is longer, so take the time to just clean and straighten everything out in the shower.

Washing your face regularly will help exfoliate the skin and open up your pores. This helps to increase beard growth, making it thicker and fuller over time.

A shampoo with a good scent is a great option. If you go for one with lime or aloe vera, it will do a good job of removing the dirt. Beard shampoos are available and you can compare ingredients to see what works for you.

Remember though, you don’t want to overdo it. Don’t wash your beard so often with shampoo that you dry it out. Moderation is best.

Resist the urge to scratch

Some guys scratch their beard so fiercely that they end up with inflammation, which makes the problem much worse.

While it might seem impossible, resist the urge to scratch it regularly. If you must, try gently scratching it with something soft. One great technique is to use your fingertips instead of your fingernails. This way, you avoid the harder end and make scratching gentler.

You can also try massaging your beard. It will help you get rid of the urge to itch while preventing damage to your beard and skin.

Use a nice oil

Controlling the itch that accompanies beard growth can be one of the most challenging aspects of growing a beard. A good beard oil can help you with this.

Immediately after washing, apply beard oil. It will help keep your beard soft, prevent excessive itching and keep it healthy. Beard oil helps to protect and moisturize your beard by conditioning it, keeping it hydrated and giving it a nice shine.

Comb your beard regularly

beard comb
Via beardoholic

Do you own a beard comb? If not, then get one as soon as possible. Beards grow in all directions and length they want, no matter how hard you try to direct them. They can end up looking rough and unkempt.

A beard comb has narrower teeth and will allow you to comb your facial hair more evenly. This helps your beard appear fuller and healthier. Combing also helps prevent tangles and split ends in addition to removing flakes (dandruff or beard-ruff) and reduce obvious patches.

Implement these five simple and easy steps today to have a happy, healthy beard that you’ll feel good about. Be patient with your beard.

At the end of the day, regardless of what you do, genes are an important factor in how your beard is going to turn out. If you take that into account from the beginning, you won’t expect too much and will be pleasantly surprised.

See Also: How To Grow Facial Hair Faster

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Sleek and Sexy: Five Facts About Owning An Awesome Sports Car

Most of us dream of owning a sleek, sexy and fast sports car. We see these amazing machines in movies, such as in Fast and the Furious, The Transporter and, most recently, Baby Driver.

With movies like these that show how outstanding and powerful these cars are, it’s no wonder why a lot of people want to own one. The sight of even seeing one makes a lot of people have goosebumps. As the driver inside the car revs the engine, its roar makes people shudder and look in awe.

Certainly a head turner in the streets, sports cars are also a unique status of wealth and power. Each car can be custom-made to fit the specifications of the owner. This fact is the reason why almost all of these cars cost a fortune.

However, for those who are financially secure and capable of buying a luxurious sports car, here are five facts you need to know first.

Expect Nothing Less

As an owner of a sports car, you shouldn’t expect less. The reason why these machines cost so much is that everything about it is made to be perfect for you. From the sexy look of the car, the excellent paint job, to the mechanical aspects and engine power, your car is equipped to please your every demand.

In addition to being customized, elite companies, such as Ford, Lamborghini and BMW, all have the capability to let other people know that you are worthy and capable of driving such an awe-inspiring machine.

Reality of Problems

Sadly, even if you’ve finally realized your dream of owning a sports car, reality will soon sink in. Owning a sports car requires tons of meticulous care, expensive repairs, and hefty taxes.

And if you’re a person who has a family, especially with teens, you’re going to have to accept the fact that they want a piece of your car. They’ll want to take it out for a spin, which could mean a bad thing for you and your dream car. Buying a sports car is difficult. Maintaining one is twice as hard.

Not for the Family Guy

cool factor

Most sports cars are only for two: one for the driver and one “riding shotgun”. You can’t cram in more people inside if you want a comfortable ride. Sports cars aren’t for family trips.

See Also: What Science Says About The Car You Drive

Retaining its Value

Another reason why sports cars cost too much is that of their resalable value.

A lot of car enthusiasts or collectors are on the lookout for second-hand sports cars because they know of the difficulties of maintaining one. Since they are properly cared for, second-hand sports cars can remain as good as a new one, but with much lower price tags.

Although a second-hand sports car is cheaper compared to a brand new sports car, its price is still attractive. Some second-hand cars can even cost higher than the original price once their reputation and rarity rise through time.

An example of this is a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta which sold for only $33,500. The car was held on by its owner for almost 49 years. After waiting, he finally sold it for a whopping $38,115,000. Now, that’s value through the years.

Cool Factor

awesome sports car

Your sports car can be an absolute head-turner. This is one reason why a lot of people do silly things when driving their sports cars.

No matter how tempting it is, don’t get caught up in the moment and do something that can damage your vehicle. Take pride in your purchase, but don’t do anything stupid that will jeopardize everything that you’ve worked for all your life.

See Also: How Your Car Can Affect Your Personal Branding

Takeaway

A lot of people think that the only hurdle in buying a luxury car is the absurdly high cost. However, when they do get to make that purchase, maintaining the car is twice as difficult. A lot of individuals will discover that going to any mechanic or to any other place that will take care of your car will charge extra.

Fortunately, owning a supercar isn’t just all about expensive maintenance. When you do get to own one, prepare yourself for the immense feeling of joy and pride when you drive it down the road. Flaunt your car responsibly and there will be no problems for you and your sports car.

 

The post Sleek and Sexy: Five Facts About Owning An Awesome Sports Car appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Cooking Tips For Beginners To Help You Master The Kitchen

A recent survey showed that almost a third of the US population cannot cook. Decades of TV dinners and ready meals have left many of us unable to find our way around a kitchen. However, with some basic skills, you can find that cooking can be an enjoyable and healthy pastime.

Follow these cooking tips for beginners and easily become a master of the stove- even if you have never cooked before.

How to boil an egg

Let’s start with something simple- a perfectly boiled egg.

It’s great for a quick snack or as an add-on to your salad. It is one of the simplest things to cook — put on a tight lid if you know how.

Cooking an egg to the perfect level of hardness can seem like a mystery. The trick, however, is in the timing.

Put a pan on the stove with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat slightly to a simmer where the water bubbles gently. Add the eggs carefully and then start a timer. You need to leave them for 6 minutes if you want a runny egg yolk. Leave them for 8 minutes if you want the yolk to be set softly or 9 minutes if you want a hard boiled egg.

Cook a perfect steak

real men can cook

Similar to a perfect egg, cooking a perfect steak is a matter of timing. You need to heat a pan until it is smoking hot. Don’t put any oil in the pan. Instead, rub your steak with some oil then some salt and pepper.

Place your steak in the pan and leave it alone! Resist the temptation to move it about. Wait for a minute or so until it is ready to be turned. Depending on the thickness of the steak, you need to cook it for about 1½ minutes per side for rare, 2 minutes for medium rare and about 2½ for medium.

However, rather than just relying on time, here is an additional test. Pinch your thumb and first finger. If you feel the flesh between your thumb and finger, this is what a rare steak should feel like. When you touch your middle finger to your thumb, you will get the feel of medium rare and your ring finger will give you the feel of a medium cooked steak. You can use this as a way of telling if your steak is cooked perfectly every time.

Remember, allow your steak to rest for a few minutes before serving to allow it to reabsorb the juices and be totally delicious!

Handle a knife safely

Your kitchen can be a dangerous place. It’s filled with hot pans, sharp knives and more. Because of that, knowing how to handle a knife is vital. You also need to know how to select the correct knife for the job.

Your knife must be sharp! A blunt knife is more likely to slip and cut you. Treat your knives well and keep them razor sharp. Wash them by hand as your dishwasher will blunt the blades.

Remember that you always need to keep your fingers clear of the blade when cutting. Do this by curling your fingers so that the knife is guided by your knuckles and your fingertips are clear.

Speed is not essential. Practice will allow you to work faster and more accurately with your knife.

How to cook rice perfectly every time

Rice is a staple for many meals. However, wet or burnt rice will easily ruin a dish.

For perfect rice, you need to wash your rice until the water runs clear. Take a medium sized pan and put in about ½ a cup (90g) per person. Cover with water so that it’s about an inch above the rice and bring to a boil.

When it’s boiling, keep an eye on the rice as you are watching out for bubbling holes on the surface of the rice. As soon as you see this, put in a tight lid and switch off the heat. Leave the rice for 10 minutes and serve immediately.

Make a pasta sauce

man can cook

A tomato ragu is a simple pasta sauce which you can use to create a delicious and quick pasta dish, meatballs or some grilled chicken. It is a very versatile addition to many dishes.

Finely chop onion, carrot and celery and place them in a pan with a little olive oil. You want to gently heat this so that they soften without browning. Patience is everything here!

Add a tin of plum tomatoes, a sprinkle of basil, a bay leaf, salt, pepper and water. Mix well and simmer for at least 30 minutes or longer if you can. Make sure you stir it every so often and then serve with your favorite pasta or meat.

Become a BBQ master

Mastering a barbecue is a great skill and there is more to it than firing up the grill and hoping for the best.

Step one, preheat your grill. Placing meat on a cold grill will leave you with undercooked food. Heat the grill for ten minutes or so before you place your first items, ensuring it is searing hot.

Check if your meat is at room temperature. You should take it out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you start cooking. You can use a meat thermometer. It may cost a few dollars, but it will save you from having burgers that are burnt on the outside, raw in the middle.

For ground beef, you need to ensure that you have an internal temperature of at least 160℉ to ensure that any bacteria is killed. There is nothing worse than being remembered for poisoning your guests!

Oil the grill using a brush so that nothing sticks. Use wood chips to add a smoky BBQ taste. You can wrap some corn on the cob in foil with butter to add to your steak and burgers.

Bluff your way with wine

There has never been a better time to enjoy a good wine. There is such a great selection available at affordable prices.

If you know nothing about wine, you should start by trying out a number of different wines. Many specialist shops will have taster sessions to help you understand wine better. While you are there, remember to jot down the names of the bottles you enjoyed.

Start with some classic wines, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Rioja. From there, build your selection as you try more new tastes.

Make life simple with batch cooking

We have all been there. We get home from work and want something to eat but we can’t be bothered to cook. So, we reach for a take-out menu.

If you keep on experiencing this issue, then the answer is batch cooking. It’s the art of creating additional portions when you cook meals. It is perfect for dishes like chili con carne, casseroles and soups. You can portion them off into plastic boxes and freeze them until you need them for quick dinners.

Remember to package the meals carefully. There should be no excess air in the packaging as this can cause freezer burn.

Make your own bread

Making bread is something that’s deeply satisfying, particularly if your home starts getting filled with the delicious scent of warm bread. It may not be something you want to do every day, but it’s a great thing to do on the weekends.

The recipes are pretty simple. Basically, you’ll need yeast, warm water and flour kneaded together.

Enjoy cooking

Probably the best tip for anyone who wants to get into cooking is to enjoy it. Look at your time in the kitchen not as a chore, but an opportunity to chill out after work or as a weekend activity. Put on some great music, grab a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy creating some great dishes!

The post 10 Cooking Tips For Beginners To Help You Master The Kitchen appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life

When we look back across our lives, it is often the most prominent of events and landmarks that we remember: a kiss, a birthday party, a new job, or a sporting achievement. Yet it is the way we live our day-to-day lives that truly defines who we are and how we feel. Happiness breeds happiness, and it is important to start with the fundamentals.

All around the world, ordinary people and famous achievers alike have developed ways to buoy their daily experience for thousands of years. Whether due to the local climate, religious and cultural tendencies, or just a chance habit that caught the imagination of others in that region, every place has its own techniques to share on how to make regular life just that little bit nicer.

So let’s take a look at things folk from around the world do to give their day that tweak it needs, and how you can adapt these ideas to your daily life.

Japan

The Japanese have a relatively new ‘tradition’ to reconnect with their souls. It’s called ‘shinrin-yoku’, or forest-bathing, and was developed in the 1980s in an atmosphere of suffocating cityscapes and omnipresent technology.

shinrin yoku

To practice shinrinu-yoku:

  • Go for a walk in the forest, or a wooded area of your local park
  • Take time to think about every sound you hear while you walk
  • Appreciate the smells and the texture of the trees
  • Reconsider your existence in the context of our ancient natural world.

Hawaii

The Hawaiians have a particular method for dealing with problems in everyday relationships: ‘Ho‘oponopono’. Whether it’s your partner, a friend, or a colleague at work whom you feel has done you wrong, Ho‘oponopono is a means of figuring out things by yourself rather than responding rashly and making things worse.

Allowing resentment to build will ultimately hurt you more than the person to whom it is aimed. Instead:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Find ten minutes to think things through
  • Be grateful for what you have
  • Forget your own needs for a moment and consider the other person’s point of view
  • Express your own feelings calmly
  • Work towards mutual forgiveness.

Norway

‘Friluftsliv’, or ‘free air life’, is the Norwegian practice of spending time in the outdoors. Aside from the benefits of fresh air, subjecting yourself to decent amounts of natural daylight can help you to regulate your sleep and stay in touch with the natural rhythms of the world around you.

free air life norway

If you spend most of your time indoors:

  • Establish a morning and/or evening ‘outdoors ritual’, such as walking the dog
  • Use every coffee break at work as an opportunity to get some fresh air
  • If it’s warm enough, eat lunch outdoors; otherwise, take a stroll through the park before you eat indoors
  • Look beyond the borders of your town. It’s usually easy to find a national park or natural area to visit on the weekends.

Germany

If the Norwegians are all about heading into nature by themselves to ‘re-connect’, Germans are more about reconnecting with each other. ‘Gemütlichkeit’ is that particularly German manner of celebrating togetherness with a frothy beer, a song and a dance.

To get some of this goodness in your own social life:

  • Be careful not to take the people you live and work with for granted
  • Never miss a chance to raise a toast
  • Take time to greet people properly and say meaningful goodbyes, even if you see them every day.

Spain

The famous Spanish siesta is an endangered animal. Sadly, even as experts more frequently recommend an afternoon nap to boost workplace productivity, many business managers are concerned that lost time and energy is bad for profit margins.

spanish siesta

To take a healthy, effective siesta:

  • Nap for no more than thirty minutes
  • Sleep in an armchair or sofa rather than a bed
  • Make sure you do it regularly and not just as an occasional treat.

See Also: Get Strong, Sleep, Repeat: The Importance Of Sleeping

France

We are a generation of multi-taskers – but often, allowing our work and personal lives to overlap means doing a bad job at both and truly enjoying neither. A little daily ritual to demarcate the various areas of your life can help you more accomplished and relaxed. The French do this by taking a small drink between work and the evening meal: the apéritif.

apéritif france

To leave work behind for the day:

  • Change into a new set of clean clothes as soon as you get home
  • Switch off work notifications on your phone
  • Pour yourself a drink of something special – it doesn’t have to be boozy!

Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil

In 1909, the French Society of Hygiene told us: “Yerba mate raises morale, sustains the muscular system, augments strength and allows one to endure privations.” What they did not mention is that drinking this special tea in the company of friends is also good for the soul.

To tap into the South American ritual of mate-tea drinking:

  • Always offer a drink to everyone in the room when you’re brewing up
  • Try to establish a ‘tea tray’ culture for meetings at work
  • Try the real thing – yerba mate can be found in lots of health shops and some regular grocery stores.

Turkey

‘Keyif’ is all about idle moments of relaxation and contemplation. Remind yourself to take a couple of these each day – the manner of doing so is different from individual to individual.

To identify your moment of mindfulness:

  • Slow down – take the long route from A to B, and never be in more than a hurry than you need
  • Pay attention to what makes you happy, be it the sound of the breeze in a tree you walk past each day, or a particular seat in a café that makes you feel calm
  • Try watching a few ASMR videos for some ideas on how the mundane can become almost transcendental.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnian people like to break up their morning with a slow coffee, brewed in a special pot and served with sugar or candy. It’s thick and tasty like Turkish coffee, but just as important is the symbolic side: taking time to discuss the day’s events or a business proposition.

bosnian coffee

  • Enjoy tea or coffee as an experience in itself, not something to fuel you while you work
  • Use your coffee break to talk to other people, rather than staring at your phone
  • Look into buying a Bosnian coffee set online – it will change your life!

See Also: How to Supercharge Your Afternoon With a Napuccino (aka a Coffee Nap)

Nigeria

‘Ubuntu’ is the philosophy of putting the community ahead of the individual. Individuals become stronger in a healthy, happy community.

  • Try asking questions or listening rather than interrupting when you think somebody is wrong
  • Consider the benefits for your group as well as yourself when making decisions
  • Look at each group task as an opportunity to learn or to teach.

Try just a handful of these happiness techniques from around the world, and you are sure to see your quality of life improve!

 

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How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are limits we set for other people regarding their behavior towards us. Establishing personal boundaries means stopping other people from pressuring us to do what we don’t want to do or put up with things we don’t want.

There are people in our lives that can violate our personal boundaries and make us feel uncomfortable, used and emotionally drained. Many of us put up with poor treatment by others because we are afraid to make them feel angry or lose their friendship. We might also feel guilty for standing up to other people and telling them no.

If you often feel like that and have difficulties building and keeping personal boundaries, there are a few things you need to practice.

Get Comfortable with Negative Emotions

Standing up for yourself and saying no to people very often gets a negative reaction from them. That is something to be expected and you need to realize that them getting mad is not your problem and that you cannot allow your boundaries to be violated just for the sake of avoiding negative emotions.

Even though people may get angry at first, they will soon realize they were asking too much from you. And if they don’t realize that and still hold resentment, that is not your fault. You should feel free to let them go.

Don’t Reward Poor Treatment by Giving People What They Want

When people learn that they get what they want from you even when they treat you poorly, they will be encouraged to continue doing that. By standing up for yourself and not giving them what they want, you’ll be teaching them that their behavior is not only unacceptable but also doesn’t get them anything positive. We have the power to guide how other people treat us by our reactions to their behavior.

Feel Free to Say No

say no

You may be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or appear selfish by saying no. However, you need to realize that saying yes when you mean to say no causes you to hold unnecessary resentment towards other people. That isn’t healthy for you and your relationships.

Saying no to someone doesn’t mean you are a bad or a selfish person. It means you are being honest about your feelings and desires.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Make Yourself Unavailable

You can stop other people from violating your boundaries by making yourself unavailable physically or emotionally. Don’t answer their calls and messages or tell them you are busy. Don’t react when they try to get something out of you and don’t participate in conversations that make you feel bad about yourself. Often, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

Know What You Want

To be assertive and to establish clear boundaries, you need to know what you want from people and what your values are. You need to be in touch with your own wants and feelings to be able to communicate them and recognize when they are being hurt or violated. Be introspective and ask yourself if there are things that make you feel bad or uncomfortable but you do them anyway because you feel pressured by other people.

Don’t Try to Change People

People who violate other people’s boundaries usually lack self–awareness and that’s why it’s difficult to make them change their behavior. They see nothing wrong with it.

If someone can’t understand that their behavior is unacceptable even when you explain why, there’s nothing you can do about it. Trying to make them change is a waste of time and energy.

Practice Self-Care

practice self care

Practicing self-care involves taking care of your health and body, taking alone time to relax and pursuing activities that make you feel happy.

When you practice self-care, you become more tuned with your own feelings. You learn to value and cultivate your own well-being. The more you practice self-care, the less likely you are to put up with people and behaviors that are not healthy for you.

See Also: Neglecting Self Care: The Biggest Mistake I Made (And How You Can Avoid It)

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The Absurd Hero: An Inspiration In Overcoming Challenges

Did you ever lose something that changed you completely? Something that obliterated your expectations, squashed your goals or undermined your existence? Did you ever run out of everything meaningful until you found yourself staring blankly into a void?

This common yet unsettling experience is a disguised blessing that only a few people recognize as such. Why a blessing?

Because it’s only when a slate is wiped clean that you can write on it. It’s only after a bully comes over and shakes your Etch-a-sketch that you start considering what to create next (sorry, 90s kid).

Life is complex, especially in today’s world where we can browse options to the point of paralysis. It’s no wonder that a lot of people find themselves in need of renewal or a serious self-assessment. But, that’s not a moment of failure. It’s a jumping off point for overcoming challenges.

Philosopher Albert Camus uses the Myth of Sisyphus as a metaphor for the human condition. You know Sisyphus, the guy in Greek mythology who was condemned to push a rock up a hill for eternity only to have it roll back down again? Yeah, he’s the one.

Camus refers to Sisyphus as the epitome of an “absurd hero” or a person who experiences, hopes and tries in spite of his undeniable mortality.

A lot of people might think of this “hero” as more of a loser, slaving and living a foolish life in vain. But, that’s a misunderstanding, because a hero has the opportunity to first change himself and then the world. He doesn’t have to be useless or hopeless. Rather, he can grow, learn and thrive against all odds and that makes victory even sweeter.

Sisyphus has a powerful weapon in his arsenal: radical acceptance. The hero understands that he is but a speck in existence with no special significance. He accepts it without a hint of denial and, most importantly, he doesn’t give up after becoming aware of this. He doesn’t give himself away to a “default” life. Simply, he makes the choice to keep himself and all the burdens that come with him.

“The one truly serious philosophical problem is suicide.” – Camus

Sounds morbid? It really isn’t. What it means is that when we’re faced with life-altering events, questions and even despair, that’s when we actually choose life. We suddenly realize what kind of life we want and why. Prior to that, we’re just existing.

So, you might think, “What do all these metaphors really have to do with me?”.

They can serve as a guide in overcoming challenges, handling transitions and going through hardships.

Calling this crazy, rock-pushing fellow Sisyphus a hero shatters every common notion we have about what a hero is. He’s not glamorous, flawless or doing anything remarkable at first glance. He’s not even saving people. So, then why is he (aka. YOU) a hero?

Camus calls him the “Absurd Hero” because of his persistence in the face of absolute struggle. He feels and he doubts, but he continues in spite of the oblivion staring him in the face each day. This concept of a hero is much more realistic than Superman or the Green Lantern.

People aren’t exactly eager to become the Absurd Hero. It’s challenging.

So, when does a plain old person become an “Absurd hero?”.

It could be after a divorce, confusing college years or a long-term job loss. While all are generally unpleasant experiences, all of them have one thing in common- they force you to reassess yourself, your goals and your plan of action. They force you to face major life questions that most people don’t think about often.

It feels something like plunging into a dunk tank after some lucky pitcher finally hits the target. It’s not the asshole target-hitter that you should be focusing on. It’s the plunge.

When everything at the core of you is in question, you find an answer.

I’m talking about moments of total lucidity. That’s when Sisyphus (aka you) is at the top of the hill, pitifully watching his big dumb boulder roll all the way back to the bottom. Feeling helpless and depressed is often unavoidable but contrary to what society tells us, there’s no need to be ashamed of negative feelings. They are catalysts that keep us alive and choosing.

You thought your big dumb boulder (marriage, business, friendship, whatever) meant something. Well, it doesn’t anymore or maybe it never did. Now, you’re dumbfounded.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

No one ever wants to face things like uncertainty, being miserable, or starting over. Yet, these are the exact things that will lead you to clarity because they’ll force you to find it.

Some of us can remember these moments right down to the date they happened while for others, everything just belongs to a blurry time frame. For some, these kinds of moments never happened yet or maybe they never will.

It can be confusing, excruciating, or simply unpleasant. You could spend a moment in it or maybe a few years. Regardless, it ends in choice. Once becoming conscious of a dilemma, some choice is inevitable, even if you choose inaction.

In other words, you have to choose your own rock—your boulder that you’d be willing to push up that giant, eternal hill. This might sound torturous, but it won’t be. Once you’ve found the right thing to push for, you’ll always be fueled.

“The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” – Camus

So, how do you find a reason to live when all of the obvious ones were exhausted, didn’t work out or weren’t fulfilling?

Get back to the basics.

Think of the things that you never tire of. The things that always provide you with inspiration and the things you could see yourself helping others with on a broad scale.

There’s your rock. Now start pushing.

See Also: 5 Key Insights For a Happy Life from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

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Dating Tips for Finding the Right Person

The biggest challenge in dating is finding the right person.

Most of the time, dating is usually clouded with the wrong intentions. Some simply want to get laid while others want to see what happens next. These aren’t really wrong if those are what you intend.

But, if you are looking for the right match, you can easily get hurt if the other person has those intentions.

That is why it is important to make it clear what your intentions are, particularly at the start of the dating process. If you are dating to find the right person for you, then you have to be honest about it. Otherwise, you will get hurt if you play along and can become an easy prey to people who are just looking for fun.

Finding the right person takes time. Actually, it takes an enormous amount of time. Some people can be married, have kids and start a family only to realize that who they live with is not actually the right person for them. No wonder divorce rates are sky high.

Here are a few dating tips for finding the right person:

Eliminate Fear

Fear will always cause us to make the wrong decisions. Fear can easily convince us that who we are currently dating is the best we can have. At your very core, however, you know there is a mismatch in many of your characteristics and personality.

In other words, fear will make you blind to many unpleasant things and this can cause great issues in the long run.

It is best to date not because of fear, whether that is fear of loneliness or being single. Being single shouldn’t actually be feared at all since rushing into a bad relationship is actually worse than being alone.

Do not confuse being partnered with happiness, too. You can be happy alone and you’ll have a greater chance of finding the right person if you are complete on your own.

Take Time Before Committing

dating tips

Commitment brings a relationship to another level. Sometimes, the sweetness and the “high” felt at the beginning of a new relationship can convince you to commit to something even more serious.

Hold back a little and think about what you are getting into.

Not being bitter, but you have to consider many things. Think about your career, social life, and personal life. If the relationship you are committing to may be disruptive to any of this, it may not be worth it.

See Also: 7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship

The Right Person May Be Appear as Wrong

There are many relationships that flourished not because of initial attraction. In fact, some of those that truly lasted are people who may have known each other for a long time without being entirely in love. The right person may be the wrong person at first, so give your partner a fair chance.

Who you are craving for may be toxic and cause you problems and those you may consider toxic or perceive to be may just be the remedy you need to achieve and sustain happiness.

You’ll never know!

Establish a Sensible Foundation for a Relationship

date tips

Many of us sign up for a relationship as if it’s a promotion of an insurance company. We forget that any relationship requires a solid foundation as it gets established.

Before you go about committing to enter a relationship, have a clear sensible foundation. For example, list your own set of values that are most important for you and see if the other person can identify with them. If not, better look for another one. Otherwise, you’ll just create your biggest regret.

Don’t Let Lust be the Foundation

Lust and sex (as dirty as possible) is a requirement for a healthy relationship. No argument in that one. But, take note that it shouldn’t be the foundation of your relationship.

Sexual chemistry is great but it doesn’t mean you’d go blind over the bad behavior of the other person. Life isn’t about sex alone. Remember the many other aspects of life you need to keep intact.

See Also: 4 Dating Mistakes You Could Be Making (And What To Do With Them)

Conclusion

Have fun dating and don’t let bad experiences take away the possibilities of finding the right person.

Again, it takes a long time to find the right one. But, if you do not stumble upon the wrong ones, you would never get there. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, but please learn from them and never allow them to hurt you. Appreciate the transience of people in your life and move on quickly!

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5 Steps to Loving Yourself and Living Happily Ever After

We are conditioned to feel crap about ourselves.

You never hear people say “Yes, I think I’m great!” or “I love that about myself, I think it’s really cool,” or “I just really make myself laugh.”.

It just sounds a bit weird that it’s more socially acceptable to mock yourself, put yourself down and bemoan your shortcomings. It’s almost cool to appear to be broken, dysfunctional and miserable.

The trouble is that we’re forced to conform to other people’s ideas of what we should be rather than be accepted for who we really are.

We’re spat out of school after being shoehorned into categories and graded like goods on a factory production line. And then, as adults, our insecurities drive advertisers to constantly prey on our self-loathing. We’re continually led to believe that we’re too fat, too stupid, too short, too insecure, too lazy and too unproductive. We constantly compare ourselves to others and consistently find ourselves inadequate.

As adults, we continue to feel like children being told off for being too slow or too messy or not trying our best. Rather than it being our parents or teachers putting us down, we let others do it — the media, our bosses, friends and even more destructively, ourselves. We never stop bemoaning ourselves to the point that we allow those negative voices to cause us misery and permeate our whole lives.

Part of true mature thinking is to own and deal with these thoughts. You need to take control of the ones that are valid and to own the constructive criticism.

It was Mark Twain who said: “The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.”.

And, he was right. You will spend your whole life with yourself. The quality of your relationship with yourself will have a direct bearing on the quality of your life as a whole.

It’s probably a strange thought that you are in a relationship with yourself. For many people, they are themselves and, in a haze of introspective emotion, they can’t see beyond a two-dimensional representation of their existence. It’s a childish state that many of us remain locked into.

But, to really develop, you need to separate from yourself, develop some sense of objectivity and become your own best friend. You have to distance the childish voices and impulses and to cultivate a mature view of yourself. You need to be able to look down at yourself with compassion and ultimately love and care for yourself.

Having the inner strength to talk yourself through things, the capacity to self-soothe, to be entertained by yourself and to find yourself interesting is incredibly powerful. To be able to look after yourself, respect your own point of view and be confident in your own thinking is liberating and empowering.

I’ve learned that if I can love myself, forgive my own shortcomings and try to live a happy and fulfilled life, then I can have more resources to be the person I want to be to others. It may sound selfish but if I’m unhappy, tired and drained, I’m no use to anyone. I’m less good as a parent, as a partner, as a worker and a friend. Any positive influence I can give has to start from within and if I’m not right within myself, then I’m wasting my time.

So, what are the steps to loving yourself?

Learn to love yourself from the outside – become your own best friend

love yourself

Try to remove yourself from your immediate emotion and look at yourself objectively. Of course, we all need to feel emotions and be in the moment. But, being able to separate from them and simultaneously retain a sense of balanced objectivity is a valuable skill.

Sometimes we get so involved with our inner feelings that we can’t make progress. Strong emotions can cloud your judgment and having a two-dimensional sense of yourself where you are with your emotions is often detrimental to your well-being.

Become your own best friend. Recognize your emotions and try to nurture a loving and supporting view of yourself so that you can give pieces of advice and comments that are parallel with your inner self.

This sounds more complicated than it actually is. But, think of it this way:

We all have a feeling side and a thinking side and it’s just a case of recognizing and synchronizing the two to work harmoniously.

There are a number of ways to develop this way of supportive thinking. Daily journaling or keeping a diary is a good start as it helps you to reflect on the day’s events. Spending five minutes a day on reflective writing can kickstart your inner voice and allow you access to an inner dialogue that will comfort and support you.

Once you have a sense of your inner voice, nurture and develop it. Converse with it and talk to it. Having an inner dialogue can bring you closer to yourself.

See Also: Are You Your Own Best Friend Or Your Own Worst Enemy?

Spend time alone and learn to enjoy your own company

How often do you actively do things alone? There’s always a pressure to be seen with other people or to feel as if we are “Billy no mates”. However, spending quality time with yourself is extremely valuable and underrated.

So many people seem terrified of themselves and clearly don’t like being alone and can’t stand their own company. They constantly fill every waking moment with entertainment and chatter to avoid confronting themselves. To them, a moment alone in contemplation would be a horror.

But, you can’t avoid yourself. It’s impossible and the sooner you learn to love your own company, the better. As with any relationship, it takes time and effort to make it work. There may well be times when you drive yourself nuts but also times when you start to find an inner peace and acceptance that’s priceless.

Have a go at simply scheduling time to do stuff on your own. You can try going for a walk, shopping, going to the cinema or a concert. Even allowing yourself to daydream, sitting with your eyes closed and listening to music is a great way to spend quality time with yourself.

Maybe meditation would work well for you. Any activity that allows you to concentrate on your inner thoughts and feelings is valuable in nurturing your inner relationship.

Develop self-acceptance and compassion

self acceptance

We all instinctively spend a lot of our time comparing ourselves to other people. We are actively encouraged to do this at school and work and our performance is constantly scrutinized. On social media and in advertising, we are incessantly bombarded with images and ideas about how we should be. There’s little wonder that so many of us are full of self-loathing and feel inadequate.

In the past, we were only able to compare ourselves to people within a much smaller demographic. We didn’t have access to media, the internet and travel, so we were able to see ourselves a little more objectively.

Today, the context is essentially the whole world. Inevitably, we are exposed to the best of everything — the fastest, tallest, slimmest, most beautiful, best designed, most efficient or most stylish. It’s hopeless and demoralizing trying to compete with all of those.

We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. That’s not to say that we can’t have aspirations and dreams for development. However, learning to love our individuality is one of the most important steps to loving yourself. There’s little point in looking at what other people have or haven’t got. There will always be someone who is better and worse than you.

We need to learn to measure and celebrate our progress in terms of our own personal achievement. What really matters is that we are slightly better today than we were yesterday and not that we are better than someone else. Comparing ourselves to others ultimately erodes our self-confidence and kills our self-esteem. By all means, be ruthlessly competitive with yourself.

If we can learn to cut ourselves a bit of slack and accept that life is going to be a bit rubbish sometimes, then we will find that we’ll be much happier and much more accepting of your own limitations.

See Also: Self-Acceptance: The Key To True Happiness

Find your flow activity

All people have a gift or a skill that they are better at than others. It can be something that they love or something that gives them enormous satisfaction and pleasure. Sometimes, it feels so good that it’s almost like a guilty pleasure. When our brains are in what’s called “in flow”, we are in one of the most satisfying and fulfilling states that the human mind can be in.

Sadly, many people go through life without finding their flow activities. They never get to spend that quality time developing their skill, feeling positive about their achievement and being one with their purpose in life. If you don’t know what your flow activities are, then think about the last time you lost track of the time of day. It’s when you got so absorbed in doing something that nothing else mattered. You were just happy and at peace with yourself.

These activities are fundamentally precious to your personal well-being so you should schedule more time doing them.

Care for your mind and body

Ultimately, learning to live with and love yourself is about respect and taking the time to listen to your inner voice. It’s incredibly hard to attune yourself to the depths of your inner workings if your outer layers aren’t being looked after properly. This makes it important to look after your physical well-being, too.

Starting to make positive choices about food and exercise can have far-reaching effects on your mood and happiness. Just by being proactive about healthy eating, making informed choices, and respecting your body is a mindset that can spill over into other aspects of your life. Keep in mind that there is an incredibly strong link between physical and mental health.

If everything above just seems far too difficult and complicated, start by simply taking control of your body. Learn to care for your physical health more fully. Start to exercise and be deliberate in your eating habits. Small changes can have a big impact. The very act of deciding to take care and to regain physical control can have positive repercussions way beyond those small first steps.

In Summary

The bottom line is that you are the only person responsible for your life. You can’t escape yourself. It’s the one relationship that you can’t break off. You can’t divorce yourself, sack yourself or dump yourself. However, you can reinvent yourself so you can become better and stronger. You are stuck with yourself for life and the sooner you come to accept, love and respect yourself, the happier and more fulfilling your life will be.

 

The post 5 Steps to Loving Yourself and Living Happily Ever After appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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When to Say Fuck It and STAY in Relationship

In Mark Manson’s article entitled “Fuck Yes or Fuck No,” he asks the crucial question about being in relationship. If a person really just isn’t that into you, then why waste your time? This critical advice has hopefully saved a lot of heartache for those who have held on to relationship hope past the expiration date.

Recently, however, a different slice of the same pie was delivered to a friend. Beth had been casually dating Greg when he had a complete meltdown – something about her roommate. Riddled with anxiety, he completely broke down, and the two had a brief conversation about what was going on. My husband talked to her the next day, and the two agreed that the relationship seemed like more trouble than it was worth. After all, it was early days yet. Wasn’t this supposed to be the easy times? Beth decided that it was too much for her and broke it off. She decided she wasn’t so into Greg that she wanted to invest any time in the relationship. She was a definite Fuck No.

My opinion about the matter differed. I saw total value in staying in the relationship long enough to talk about what had happened, using this as a practice run. Let me explain. Beth and Greg had little invested in the relationship as it was so new. Because of this, I felt it could be helpful for Beth to gain some relationship experience (she was very inexperienced) by having a more difficult conversation with Greg.

She could have listened to his fears and revealed some of her own. She could have told him about her turn-off. She could have had a potentially crunchy conversation in a very low-stakes relationship.

This would mean practicing her communication and transparency skills, so when she was in a high-stakes relationship, she’d have more skills. It means that if it didn’t go well and the relationship ended, then she wouldn’t be crushed. Hopefully she’d reflect, learn, and move on. And if it did go well, then she might see if the relationship was truly workable, and perhaps it might evolve into a high-stakes relationship.

low stake relationship

First things first, what is the difference between a low-stakes relationship and a high-stakes relationship? A low-stakes relationship – unlike a casual relationship – still has a level of commitment. It might mean seeing the person every two weeks, once a month, or once a year. It means you value the relationship: it’s not disposable or expendable or fast food. You nourish it even if you think it might only last a short time.

A high-stakes relationship has a higher level of commitment. Think: life partner, long term, family relationships. These ones have weight, (sometimes baggage), and are deep on our hearts. These are the ones that often need the most work. This is where low-stakes healthy relationships can help. (Note: It’s always worthwhile checking in about whether or not you’re in a healthy or toxic relationship. Toxic relationships clearly aren’t worth your time or energy!)

See Also: 6 Signs You’re In A Long-Term Relationship

In staying in such a low stakes relationship, it’s not about whether the relationship is right or wrong for you, it’s whether both of you can actually learn something from being in the relationship. Now, if there’s not enough connection from the get-go, then by all mean, don’t stay in.

If, as Mark Manson says, the person just isn’t that into you, then leave. But if you seem to share values and enjoy one another’s company, then why let one upset upheave the whole thing? What can you learn by staying in? Lots, I’d say, but only if you really want to do the work.

long term relationship

You might ask yourself, Do I have a lot of healthy relationship experience? Have I learned how to communicate in relationship? Do I know what it’s like to be transparent about my needs? Have I learned how to apologize when my words and actions have had a negative impact (seen or unforeseen)? How can this current low-stakes relationship teach both of us these skills?

And if your answer is Yes, I can learn more… Yes, I want to be able to weather the storms of an intimate relationship – maybe not with this person for long-term, but for right now – then do it. Step into the storm. See what you can learn about connecting with this person. See how you can stretch and grow. See what it means to be messy, human, and compassionate. See what happens when you say Fuck it. It’s not why stay, it’s why not stay.

See Also: Red Flags: When To Start Giving Up On Relationships

 

The post When to Say Fuck It and STAY in Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Simple Habits For More Productivity, Happiness And Fulfillment

Research tells us that willpower is like a muscle. You can work on making it stronger, but you can’t keep it flexed forever.

In other words:

Willpower is a limited resource.

There’s no better use of one’s willpower than on forming the right habits. The right habits serve as the bridge between where you are and where you want to be. Once those habits are formed, you don’t have to exert willpower on them anymore. Your journey towards success is effectively put on autopilot.

Try and adopt at least one of the following six productivity habits and reap the fruits of increased happiness and fulfillment.

Join the 5 a.m. club

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”

– Ben Franklin

Waking up early is a habit common among the world’s highest achievers. Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Immanuel Kant and Thomas Jefferson are all examples of men who were early risers.

Turns out:

Several studies have correlated waking up early with success.

In a 2008 Texas University study, college students who woke up earlier earned a higher point than those who study and sleep late (3.5 vs. 2.5).

Also, Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found that early risers are more proactive and more likely to respond positively to statements like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.”

And if that isn’t enough, psychology research also tells us that early risers are happier and healthier than night-owls.

When you wake up early, there are less distractions and more time for you to focus on planning your day and doing what needs to get done.

Check out this actionable guide to discover how to burst out of bed every single morning.

Meditate Daily

meditate everyday

“The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.”

– David Lynch

After interviewing more than 200 world-class performers like Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Amelia Boone for his podcast (The Tim Ferris Show), Tim found that the most consistent habit among his guests was some form of daily meditation or mindfulness practice.

Meditation is a practice that is a thousand years old. Only recently has science begun to discover the profound effects that it has on the brain.

A group of Harvard-affiliated researchers reported that, over time, meditation can increase the brain’s gray matter. This is the region of your brain associated with decision-making.

What is life but a sum total of your decisions?

If something as simple as 10 minutes of daily meditation can improve the quality of your decisions, imagine what it can do for your overall quality of life.

Meditation has also been shown to reduce stress, improve concentration, increase self-awareness, slow down aging and increase happiness. It’s a habit that can improve every area of your life.

Don’t know where to start? Check out this beginner’s guide to meditation.

See Also: Benefits Of Meditation: How You Can Change Your Life In 10 Minutes

Read for 30 Minutes Everyday

read a book everyday

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”

– Socrates

I compare reading to taking the red pill because it’s what snapped me out of the matrix of societal conditioning. Reading the works of great men and women showed me the extent of what’s really possible.

When we hear about Richard Branson in the media, we see him as the cool and suave, self-made billionaire. However, when you read his autobiography, you’ll learn about the mistakes he made, the obstacles he overcame and the lessons he learned. It has a sort of humanizing effect on him and you’ll realize that what one man can do, another can do as well.

Expose yourself to a wide variety of books and ideas to develop a dynamic and empowered perspective on life.

Need help getting started? Check out this step-by-step guide on how to read more.

Practice Gratitude

“Gratefulness is a higher organ of perception, through which you can accurately appreciate a fundamental truth: the universe works in mysterious ways, and you’re the constant beneficiary of its generosity.”

– Phil Stutz

Practicing gratitude teaches us to love the life we have while in pursuit of the life we want.

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to those who have more than us. But, when we realize the simple miracles of everyday life (e.g. access to clean water, the ability to walk, a warm bed to sleep in, etc.), it puts things in perspective.

The power of gratitude has been demonstrated in multiple studies. Here’s one that I like in particular:

Researchers brought participants into a lab and asked them to write a few sentences each week focused on a particular topic. One group wrote about the things they were grateful for while the other wrote about daily irritations or things that displeased them.

After about 10 weeks, the participants that wrote down what they were grateful for were more optimistic, felt better about their lives, exercised more and visited their physicians less.

Practicing gratitude literally changes your brain and makes you a happier and more fulfilled person. Make it a habit to write down 5 things that you’re grateful for every single day.

Skip Breakfast

“Since I’ve started intermittent fasting I’ve increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, increased explosiveness, and decreased the amount of time I’ve spent training.”

– James Clear

This habit might come as a shock to you. After all, we’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This idea, however, is quickly being laid to rest as the benefits of intermittent fasting have become too many to ignore.

See Also: Breaking the Fast: What I Have Learned Using Intermittent Fasting

Did you know that digestion is actually one of your body’s most complicated and intensive functions? That’s right.

By skipping breakfast, you extend your overnight fast and allow your body to focus its resources on other important tasks, like controlling blood sugar and facilitating cellular recovery.

Furthermore, a short-term fast can boost testosterone and growth hormone levels. These two factors can seriously enhance your progress when trying to lean down.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet. It is a pattern of eating. To get started with IF, you only have to follow one rule:

Eat within a 6-8 hour window.

So, if you wake up at 8 a.m., simply skip breakfast and have your first meal between 12-2 p.m. Have your final meal between 8-10 p.m. It’s as simple as that. For a more intensive resource for, you can check out James Clear’s guide.

Since adopting IF, my productivity has also shot up. My body is not involved in digestion and I find myself more focused on work. By the time I have my first meal, I’ve already gotten so much work done that the rest of the day is pretty much just a bonus.

Make Your Bed

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

– U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McCraven

Making your bed in the morning will set the tone for the rest of your day. As the first task of the day, it will set the momentum for your next set of tasks. By the end of the day, it will be like a domino effect that has carried over.

As McCraven mentions in his University of Texas commencement speech:

“Making your bed will reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made – that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

 

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Finding Your Soulmate: 6 Ways To Know When You’ve Met ‘The One’

You might not believe in ‘the one’ or the idea that there is a perfect person out there destined to be yours. But, maybe you’ve been dating someone for a while now. You love them, enjoy their company and are wondering if they are the one you’ll commit to spending the rest of your life with.

How can you really be sure?

There are the loving feelings you have for them that can give you hints. You may even have thoughts that living without them would be unbearable. Those are both good starts. However, there has to be more than that to know that he or she is ‘the one’, right?

There are. And to help you figure it out, here are 6 tips on finding your soulmate.

You both feel lucky to be with each other

It’s a good sign when both of you think you hit the jackpot with your relationship. You feel like the luckiest person alive to have this person as yours and they feel the exact same way. You’re feeling blessed to have each other and you couldn’t be more grateful.

You have similar priorities and values

Opposites may attract, but if you have opposing life goals and values, the relationship will likely experience a lot of turmoil. On the other hand, if you and your partner share common priorities about family, children, work or even money, then you can know that you can build a future together.

It doesn’t matter what you do together

fun relationship

When you’re with someone you truly care about, even the mundane can be fun. Your time together doesn’t have to be filled with fun or fancy dates. You are just excited to be with the other person and spend time together. You care about the smallest details, like how her day went or what happened at work.

See Also: 7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship

Your friends and family see what you see

Your family members and friends see why you like this person so much and they like the idea as well. If you’re falling in love with a special person and have supportive friends and family, then they will encourage the relationship. Always be cautious if your friends and family aren’t tickled over the person you are dating.

You can have healthy conflict

Every relationship is bound to have its arguments and disagreements. It’s how you handle those arguments and disagreements that show how compatible you are.

Can the two of you respectfully disagree and work through conflict in a healthy, productive manner? Or do fights turn into screaming matches where everything escalates and there is never an end to it?

The two of you should feel like you can tackle anything together in a respectful, considerate and effective way.

You are truly yourself around them

happy relationship

In the early stages of a relationship, we put our best feet forward. But, as we get more comfortable and know someone more and more, our true selves come out. It might be for the better or for worse.

You shouldn’t feel like you have to hide your intellectual or silly side whenever you are with them. When your partner has seen the many facets of you and loves you anyway, it’s a good sign the relationship is a keeper.

Conclusion

Sometimes, you just know. Call it a feeling or a gut instinct, but we often can just tell when something is right. If all the above things are present in your relationship and you have the feeling, then congratulations! It looks like you’ve met your match.

This does not mean, however, that living happily ever after will come automatically. Relationships take work. Finding your soulmate takes effort. You have to be willing to put into and not just take from it.

When you appreciate each other, have similar values, enjoy just being together, navigate conflict in a healthy way and can be yourselves with each other, you are off to a good start. Having these things going for you gives you a good foundation to build from and increases your chances of having a successful relationship.

If you don’t have all of these characteristics, you don’t have to give up. Successful relationships are built, not born. Pick one or two to start working on improving and see what happens next.

See Also: 7 Best Secrets to Building Lasting Relationships

The post Finding Your Soulmate: 6 Ways To Know When You’ve Met ‘The One’ appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship

As soon as you stop laughing with your significant other, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find yourself on the miserable road to relationship hell.

The person you were once so enamored with will start to take on the look of a hairless cat that’s been left out in the sun for too long. You’ll hear the cell block doors slam shut on your relationship as you look forward to a dim future with your crusty ball and chain.

And one day, you’ll gratefully fling your carcass into the earthy arms of an early grave.

Ok, we’ve taken a dark turn here. Let’s go back to the actual issue.

The real question is, how can you keep things fun and new? Let’s move on to the humorous portion of this article and explore a few ways to bring the laughter back to your relationship.

Why Laughter is Good for Your Relationship

In addition to the fun and happy moments that laughter provides, there are also some scientific reasons why humor is great for your relationship.

According to a study performed by the University of North Carolina, couples who laughed together reported better quality of relationship with feelings of closeness and support that stemmed from it.

Some of the findings include:

  • While women laughed more often, men’s laughter was found to be more contagious.
  • The female’s reciprocation of laughter had a positive effect on the men.
  • The longer the laughter continued, the greater the men’s rating of satisfaction, commitment and passion toward their partners.

Laughter makes us feel better, both physically and emotionally. This is likely to make us nicer to our partners. When you laugh more often, you’ll typically become less defensive, more spontaneous and you’ll have less inhibitions. In other words, your interactions can become much more upbeat and positive. You’ll end up enjoying each other’s company to a greater extent.

So, how can you tap into the benefits of laughter and use them to improve and maintain the quality of your relationship? Check out these three relationship humor tips you can actually use.

 

Going Back to Your Early Years

relive childhood days

What is your favorite childhood memory? Which places do you remember playing and laughing in when you were growing up?

If you know your partner well enough, it’s likely that you’ve heard about a few of their fond childhood memories. Taking the time to revisit the places or reenact the events together can be a fantastic way to tap into happy moments.

Sneaking off to the park and swinging together under the moonlight, watching an old treasured movie while you’re curled up together or dancing like nobody’s watching are just a few ways to bring back the magic of youth.

The Spontaneous Trick

be spontaneous

Some of the best fun is often the result of spontaneous choices.

Breaking away from the old routine might not be easy, but it’s a great way to bring more fun into your relationship. Some things you may want to try include:

  • Taking an unplanned trip
  • Trying something new together
  • Switching up the sexual routine
  • Saying yes to unexpected opportunities

Whether you are laughing at the ridiculous positions you find yourself in while taking that yoga class for the first time or find yourselves lost in a small town with a suspicious looking clown on the side of the road, you’re guaranteed to create some interesting memories when you make an effort to be more spontaneous.

A Good Old Fashioned Gag

This tactic is powerful, but it’s often neglected.

Most of us can probably remember the last time we picked up some flowers or a thoughtful trinket for our partner. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice gesture. But, how often do you bring home a great gag gift?

Bringing the laughter back into your relationship will probably take less time than you think when you implement a few of these relationship humor tips. Give them a shot today and experience the joy that comes with a good belly laugh.  

Are there any other techniques that you’ve used to amp up the humor between you and your partner? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

See Also: Five Traits Women Want In A Partner

The post 3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Mind Exercises That Will Teach You How To Build Self Confidence

Are you a confident person? Do you know how to build self-confidence? How can you tell?

Is it because you value and love yourself? Is it because you make sure you have all your ducks in a row all the time so you know what to expect?

Back in the day, if you had asked me, I would have said “Hell, yes! I’m smart. I know my worth and I know I’m an awesome person so yep… I’m confident.”

But, like most folks, I would have been confusing self-esteem with self-confidence.

See, self-esteem is your evaluation of yourself and your worth. I knew who I was, and I didn’t allow any man, woman or child to treat me any less than I deserved. So, self-esteem? Yep, I had tons of that.

But, self-confidence is a whole different story.

It’s not bravado or cockiness as those relate more to insecurity. It’s not throwing your weight around or talking over everyone in a ‘look at me, look at me!’ type attitude.

Confidence is quiet and more subtle than that. It’s that trust in yourself and your abilities that move you to action.

And I didn’t realize I was missing that until I punked out on a chance to be the registered badass expert during a system outage at my job. All the big wigs and my peers were trying to solve the problem and I had a possible solution.

But, I froze.

“What if they think it’s stupid?”

“What if they think I’M stupid?”

“Better to have no opinion than having a wrong one and look like a fool, right?”

I’m wishing I could tell you that I stood up and spoke my idea, but you already know how that ended.

I kept my mouth shut because I was scared to be wrong. I doubted myself,  knowledge and abilities. And I felt like a jackass for being scared to open my mouth- like I’d die if I did.

Maybe this has happened to you, too, and you can relate to the missed opportunity of greatness because of self-doubt. Or maybe you already know that your confidence can use a boost.

Wherever you are, know that this doesn’t have to be you. It doesn’t take much to stop doubting yourself. In fact, it just takes a few tips and constant practice so you can get to the place where you can let your badassery fly and just trust yourself and your ability to blow the mind off those around you.

Here’s how to build confidence.

Get Physical

1. Spend a day being decisive

Try spending one day where everything you say is prefaced with a decisive tone.
For that one day, banish unsure phrases, like ‘I’m not sure’, ‘I think’ and ‘Maybe’ from your vocabulary.

Removing such wishful tones from your speech is incredibly powerful, positive and affirming. It forces you to be sure of your decisions, opinions, and choices. Even if you aren’t totally convinced, saying something out loud with a commanding tone helps convince you of your own ideas.

This isn’t some fake-it-until-you-make-it trick. It’s removing your fear of what others may think- a common cause of self-doubt.

You already know what you want and what you think. Sometimes, we just need a cheerleader to tell us that our idea isn’t too crazy. This exercise will teach you to become more decisive and your own personal cheerleader.

2. Take care of your body

When you work out, feed your body well and get good sleep, your body gets flooded with endorphins. You know, those feelings of accomplishment that flood over you when you do something kickass and your body is feeling happy, relaxed and unstoppable.

back pain exercises

When your body is running at its optimal level, you are more productive, able to absorb more experiences around you and more capable of proving to yourself that your body can accomplish more today than it did yesterday. And that’s what builds confidence – collecting successful experiences and believing you can do more than you did yesterday.

3. Rock a Gangster Lean

Did you know that certain poses, like standing with a wider stance, are argued to increase testosterone, lower cortisol and make you feel more powerful and confident?

Sometimes you just need a little nudge. Just like speaking with power and decisiveness, you just need to ‘deliver’ with boldness so you can stop worrying about the impression you’re making on others.

And there is real science behind it. Harvard Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, teaches that power poses can help liberate us from fear in high-pressure moments. They can help us perform at our best and connect with and empower others to do the same.

So, try smiling, standing up straight with your shoulders back and chin up and with a more open relaxed pose to help put on more confidence.

Change Your Motivations

4. Aim to fail every day

Most of the time, we never try anything because we are afraid that we’ll fail. We worry what people will think and what they’ll say. We fear that we’ll be ridiculed.

But, here is a little secret.

No one is watching you or waiting to see if you are going to fail. No one is waiting to laugh at you.

Why?

Because people are worried about the exact same thing! They are too busy worrying about themselves, chasing their own fears and running their own insecurities in their mind.

So, what would you try if you knew that no one would be watching you? The best way to overcome that fear is to aim to fail every day. Aim to fail at least once every day because failure is the real evidence that you’ve tried something new.

Order that Tai Latte from Starbucks you’ve been wondering about. Wear heels to the office or call about that house you’ve been eyeing. Walking around with little fragile hearts avoiding failures means we are avoiding action and life in general.

Failure and mistakes are needed and expected if you want to move on with life. They are lessons that can teach us to look inward, refine our goals and affirm our desires.

5. Reach your bliss point

Ever notice that when you are in a good mood, everything seems to fall into place? It’s not that suddenly the universe opens and people want to give you good things.

When you’re happy, your perspective changes. You become more positive and, instead of seeing difficulties in opportunities, you see opportunities in difficulties.

Your boss asks you to work on a project outside of your given skill set? While others see that as a frustration, you see it as an opportunity to learn.

Think about your bliss point and try to reach it. It’s your sensory profile where you optimize your ‘feel good’ vibes.

The way to do that is to give yourself little pleasures. Stop waiting for the weekend, your success or retirement and start giving yourself a taste of what’s to come.

Whatever you like that can change your perspective, do it.

De-clutter your space, add a fresh coat of paint to your walls, rearrange your furniture, wear a new scarf, get your hair done- whatever blows your skirt up and makes you happy, do it.

The sillier or more frivolous, the better. Happy people are hopeful people. Hopeful people are fearless people.

6. Build your competence

If you want to stop doubting yourself, then you need to have a reference to draw your knowledge from. You can’t speak on what you don’t know. And if you aren’t sure, you are less likely to speak anyway.

So, if you want to build your confidence and improve the delivery of your message when you interact with others, then you must have competence. Go deep spending time studying your craft and go broad when improving yourself.

Whether it’s parasailing, candle making or outdoor hiking, develop new interests and skills that can improve your life and make you interesting.

We are not binary individuals that have natural strengths and weaknesses. We can grow and improve in anything at any stage of our lives.

If you are uncomfortable with public speaking, then read a book, take a class or join a club. Continue working on improving yourself and that’s one of the best ways you can start learning how to build self-confidence.

Mold Your Mind

7. Disappoint your parents

If you are wondering when you turned from fearless to fearful, then look at your childhood. Try to recall how your parents or guardians responded when you did something great or when you failed at something.

Seriously, you can totally pull the ‘blame your parents’ card for this one.

In their effort to protect us from sadness and disappointments, they taught us what they knew and how the world works by their standards. It is usually to lower your expectations and avoid risks.

Years later, you probably noticed that little voice in your head, giving you all the reasons/excuses why you can’t do or try what you want. That is a clone of your parents.

But, don’t be fooled! Your beliefs are incredibly powerful!

If you always wanted to be a writer and the people around you all told you that you can’t write books because you were too young or too dumb, then you might believe that and never even try to write the book of your dreams.

But, what if you hear the stories of J.K. Rowling, Oprah and Les Brown who are wildly successful despite facing difficulties, you might start changing your own beliefs and exploring new experiences.

Think of all the reasons why you ‘can’t’ do what you want and reflect on whether it’s true or not. If it’s not true, then choose to change your thinking and create a new narrative. If it is true, then determine what you need to do to change that.

So, how about we plan to disappoint our parents by dumping many of their teachings to form our own beliefs? Don’t worry, you have my permission.

8. Be child-like

When you were a kid, anything was possible.

Chocolate milk comes from brown cows. The moon is made of cheese and if you climb a ladder high enough, you can get there and see for yourself.

Get that mindset again and adopt the attitude of “why not”.

What’s the worst that can happen if you give it a try? I mean, really?

Most of the things we imagine won’t happen and, if they do, it won’t be as bad as we think.

So, take the pressure off. You don’t know and can’t control what anyone might think, so why not just see how far you can get? Instead of spending your energy thinking of why something won’t work, focus on gaining experiences.

You literally cannot go wrong, because, no matter what the outcome is, you are on the right path to where you need to be.

See Also: Why We Should Look at the World as a Child Again

9. Ride the rainbow

When you succeed, bask in the awesomeness that has occurred from your hard work.
Smile, think about it and remember how hard it was to get here. Post it on Facebook or just tell your friends. Whatever you do, don’t underestimate your success or shrug it off as luck or chance.

Like Spencer Johnson says in Who Moved My Cheese, “Smell the cheese and celebrate the cheese often!”

Each victory helps you to win another and is a testimony you can use to renew your spirit when doubt creeps back in. It also provides evidence that you can achieve if you stay persistent.

10. Renew your mind daily

Confidence isn’t built in a one-time activity. That’s because doubts and fears are likely to creep in all the time. They are like weeds you must pluck every day.

So, bear this in mind:

Continuously taking risks, learning from failures and reaping rewards is how confidence is made.

Get Ready for Awesome

Just imagine not being shy about voicing your ideas – even if it’s not fully formed. Imagine never feeling fearful of what people think and doing what you want because you want it. Imagine waking up tomorrow morning feeling empowered as your feet touch the ground, looking forward to the day ahead and not dreading it.

Sound impossible? No, they’re not.

These simple tips on how to build self-confidence have dramatic effects on your belief in yourself. Do the work, try a new tip every day and flush out the stories that say you are any less than awesome.

You’ve got your road map. Now, all you need to do is follow it. Your new life of being a badass awaits.

The post 10 Mind Exercises That Will Teach You How To Build Self Confidence appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How Lack Of Integrity Can Affect Your Life

Integrity is probably at the center of my core values.

If I’m not being generous, I’m out of integrity. If I’m not being honest, I’m out of integrity. When I’m not showing compassion, I’m out of integrity.

Another way to look at it is if I’m out of integrity, I’m not in alignment with what’s important to me. And to be perfectly honest, I simply can’t function when my integrity is out. My life just doesn’t work.

Now, whether my integrity is out or not is entirely subjective. Logic doesn’t come into it and I can’t talk or justify my way out of feeling out of integrity. If I’m out of integrity, I KNOW I’m out of integrity and no amount of sophistry, understanding, justification or reasoning is going to change that.

It sounds like I’m being really harsh on myself, but that’s not how it is at all. By working on getting myself back in integrity, I’m constantly moving further into alignment.

Things don’t flow when I’m out of integrity. Stuff doesn’t work and I feel blocked. It’s unpleasant when I’m that way. It feels like I’m wading through quicksand.

Why life feels like hard work

Half the time, it’s not obvious that I’m being out of integrity and that’s where problems happen. Because my integrity so intrinsically links with everything else, all I know is I feel out of sorts and things feel just not quite right.

I’ve felt like that for a few days now and it’s been getting more and more difficult to achieve or complete anything. Even writing has been difficult and, trust me, I usually have no problems in writing something.

Then I realized: I’m out of integrity.

I gave my word to do something and it hasn’t happened. The reasons for it not happening are completely out of my control, but it’s still my responsibility.

My word, my responsibility. No one’s fault, just my responsibility.

I told someone I’d do something and it hasn’t happened. I’ve communicated with the person and reset the event date 4 times now. It’s still not going to happen and I’m not willing to reset the date again. My integrity is out, not just on sticking to my word but also on another of my core values: fairness.

Even though the reasons are completely out of my control, I don’t feel like I’m being fair to the other person for constantly changing the plan. And I’m feeling awful about it.

feeling awful

I’m feeling awful because my integrity is out and I can’t do anything about it. The other person was very understanding, but it isn’t my fault and I’m not the only one to blame.

But, that’s not the point.

The point is that it’s MY integrity that’s out, therefore, it’s MY integrity that needs mending.

I want to feel good about myself, so I MUST take responsibility. The reason is simple.

I’m taking responsibility, regardless of the fact that not all things and people are under my control because I gave MY word that I’d do something.

Living with knowing that I can’t stand by my word is unacceptable.

I could go down the path of justification, reasonableness, and blame. After all, it’s not entirely my fault.

But, if I do that, then it’s like giving the power over whether I’m true to myself and my core values to someone or something else.

I’m giving the power about how I feel about myself to someone else. It’s like letting someone else have control over my life. And no one should have that power over anyone else.

Only WE know whether we’re being true to ourselves or not.

If you feel that something’s “off”, that life is hard work or just a bit icky, take a long, hard look at yourself. Find out where you’re not being responsible. No matter how ridiculous it seems or no matter how much things are completely out of your control, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

take responsibility

Take responsibility for knowing that you’re being true to yourself. Don’t leave it for years like I’ve done in the past. Look at it NOW.

See Also: Taking Ownership: Are You Taking Full Responsibility For Your Life?

Where are YOU out of integrity?

I can pretty much guarantee that if life is feeling like hard work for you, it’s because you’re out of integrity SOMEWHERE.

It might be around your values or because you feel like your job isn’t the one for you. You might have given up on a dream, eating poorly or not exercising. You might be in a relationship that you know is not right for you. It might be due to all the things you’re saying in your own head.

So, have a close look and find out where you are running out of integrity.

Don’t waste any more time not feeling completely in the flow. Do something about it NOW.

See Also: Flow: Discovering The Secret to High Performance and Happiness

The post How Lack Of Integrity Can Affect Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Killer Tips For Planning A Las Vegas Wedding

Planning a wedding is a wonderful and memorable thing but, beyond the emotions, it is also rather stressful. From finding a perfect wedding dress to booking a reception venue, it can be a real challenge for everyone involved. However, if you are getting married in Las Vegas, this process may become even more complicated.

The good news is that planning a Las Vegas wedding means having no limits at all. Want to tie the knot underwater or get married during a rock concert? The Entertainment Capital of the World can easily provide you with such an opportunity! With so many options, it is always better to have a Las Vegas wedding checklist at hand.

Whether your big day is an intimate one or you want to celebrate in style, here are 7 killer tips that can make the process of planning a Las Vegas wedding much easier:

Vegas wedding dress ideas

You can certainly travel to Las Vegas with your carefully chosen elegant wedding dress. But, actually, there’s no need for that. Since Las Vegas is home to spur-of-the-moment weddings, you can find lots of stores where you can buy or rent any bridal gown, tiara, veil, jewelry, shawl, gloves and crinoline you like.

Most of them are open late so that even those who are planning to have night weddings can have plenty of Vegas wedding dress ideas. If you still don’t have a perfect gown for your special day, you are sure to find it in Las Vegas.

Choosing a date

One of the first tasks that should be in your Las Vegas wedding checklist is choosing a date. There are two important things you should pay your attention to.

The first one is the weather. Don’t forget that Las Vegas is in the desert, so if you want to have an outdoor ceremony or reception, consider getting married in the spring or autumn time. Traditional wedding months (June – October) may turn your big day into a nightmare.

Besides that, keep in mind that Vegas is a popular destination for conferences, meeting, concerts and vacations. Thereby, to check a convention calendar beforehand is never superfluous.

Marriage application

If you are planning a Las Vegas wedding, you don’t need to wait long to receive a marriage license. You can apply for it no more than sixty days before your set date. Besides, you can speed up the process by filling out a marriage application form online.

Please note, however, that both people getting married in Las Vegas should appear in person at the county clerk’s office to receive the license. It will cost you about $60.

Hotel chapel

las vegas wedding chapel

If you want to save some money, a hotel chapel can be a good option for you. The fact is that almost every hotel in Vegas has its own wedding chapel, which gives you and your guests the opportunity to stay in the same place for your ceremony and reception.

Furthermore, any hotel chapel can provide you with a variety of wedding services, including live broadcasting of your ceremony online, limousine transportation, professional photo and video shoots. Most of them offer fresh floral decoration and even a honeymoon helicopter flight. If you book your chosen wedding package beforehand, you are guaranteed to get a good deal.

Venue location

Las Vegas offers plenty of themed, fun and casual wedding venue options for a wide range of tastes and budgets. From sky high weddings and cocktail parties to the ultra-chic nightclub buyouts and wedding venues for animal lovers, everyone can find something to their liking.

However, if you are planning a unique Las Vegas wedding, keep in mind that most popular and unusual venues and vendors get booked up early, so it is better to do everything in advance.

Hair and makeup

Finding hair salons and makeup artists doesn’t have to be a hassle in Las Vegas. Lots of hotels, casinos and spa centers offer these services to those who want their makeup and hair done professionally for the wedding day.

The only problem is that these services usually come at a rather high price. If you are on a budget, you can save some money if you go to a local salon located somewhere off the Strip.

Day-after photo session

las vegas photo session

One more thing to include in your Las Vegas wedding checklist is a day-after photo session. Talk to your photographer beforehand about organizing a creative and funny shoot somewhere in Downtown Vegas or in the desert. Thus, in addition to your beautiful wedding photos, you will also get plenty of awesome Vegas pics to enjoy for years to come.

As you can see, getting married in Las Vegas may require a bit more preparation compared to a local wedding. However, who said you cannot elope without proper preparation and planning? if that’s the case, just make your way towards Las Vegas Boulevard. You will find there everything you need for your perfect Vegas wedding! After all, this city is not called the Marriage Capital of the World for nothing!

The post 7 Killer Tips For Planning A Las Vegas Wedding appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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11 Secrets To Building High Self-Esteem To Find Happiness

A high self-esteem means you know what you’re worth and can hold your head high when others are losing theirs. This definition is relatively basic but, in life, so many people still don’t understand what they are worth.

Building self-esteem is like forming a new habit. It takes small incremental efforts before it can become second nature. To help you out, here are some of the tips you can use.

Learn To Improve Yourself

Cherish opportunities to improve yourself. Start by acquiring knowledge and living through life experiences. This way, you’ll be able to appreciate your abilities and make good judgments that can inspire other people. Building self-esteem requires you to constantly experience self-improvement.

Know What You Want

Most people who have low self-esteem do not know what they want. They look to other people and wonder how others can be so successful.

If you want to boost your confidence, you should know what you want. Set clear goals and be passionate about meeting them. Even just one cleared goal should improve your self-esteem dramatically.

Believe In Something Worth It

What do you stand for? What do you believe in that is worth protecting and, if need be, dying for?

To build high self-esteem, you need to answer these questions. Unless you believe in something worth it, you will be swayed by anything. As soon as you believe in something worth it, you will be able to understand your limitations and know what to avoid when your belief is challenged.

Exercise Regularly

exercise regularly

Those who engage in regular physical exercise will experience a remarkable improvement in self-esteem. Regular exercises will help you stay in shape and boost your confidence.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Learn To Be Yourself

I have seen so many people try to live their lives as others do, without considering exactly what they want. This is a prelude to unhappiness.

To start building self-esteem, you need to learn to be yourself and not someone else. Those who have high self-esteem are unique people. They do, see, think and act differently. Their uniqueness comes from within.

They are not moved by ephemeral things. They do what they think is right and they do not listen too much to what others might say.

Learn Perseverance

learn perseverance

You need to learn to persevere. This will help you go through those periods when the flood of discouragements, failures and opposition mounts.

Failures and setbacks will surely come, but your ability to persevere is what will see you through. Perseverance will help you appreciate hard work and gain confidence.

See Also: Don’t Be A Quitter: Perseverance Is One Of The Most Underestimated Skills of Successful People

Understand Life

To build high self-esteem, you should fully understand life, its purpose and what it truly means. Many people consider acquiring many cars, houses, jewelry and other material things as being successful. Your inability to understand life will make you hold onto things that do not matter. It’s like chasing shadows and going after the wind.

Avoid Discussing People

Avoid discussing people if you seek to boost your self-esteem. People who put others down or work to discredit others are insecure beings. As humans, it’s normal for people to commit mistakes. This, however, doesn’t mean that they’re bad.

Look at yourself before criticizing others. Will you be happy when people discuss you behind your back or discuss your mistakes in a way to ridicule you? If you will not be happy, then don’t do it. Focus on issues and use your time wisely. Instead of wasting time discussing people, work on achieving your goals.

Help Others Succeed

There is so much competition in the world today and people are competing with one another in almost every aspect of life. As much as possible, do not take part in this trend.

Instead, think of ways to help others. Most people with high self-esteem are adding value to people’s lives and inspiring them to succeed. They are always thinking of how to make the world a better place. When you help others succeed, you will also succeed.

Learn Something New

One way to build your self-esteem is to constantly update and build your knowledge. Reading is a good example. When you read, you learn something new and you improve yourself in the process.

Another way to learn something new is to accept feedback from mentors and colleagues. You can use what they have to say to improve, grow and gain more self-confidence.

Be Generous

What are you giving to others?

Being generous to others can help boost self-esteem. Remember, givers never lack.

These are the ways I have gained high self-esteem over the years. Practice them consistently and you’ll find building self-esteem a lot easier.

The post 11 Secrets To Building High Self-Esteem To Find Happiness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Find The Boring Life Of Your Dreams

Sounds funny, right? Why would you want to make the life of your dreams boring?

There’s just so much to do these days. You can take in a live sporting event, enjoy fine wine, dine on international cuisine or even travel to exotic destinations.

But, do you really want those things? Does a fast-paced, entertainment-filled life bring you real happiness?

My guess is it leaves you feeling depleted.

Yes, you want the best travel, food, entertainment and lifestyle, but you want to enjoy them at your pace. And right now, you just feel exhausted. So, how can you find time to breathe while getting the most out of life? The “boring life” of your dreams may just be the answer.

What is a “boring” dream life?

Simply put, it means living your life at a steady pace- not too fast or too slow. It means to counteract the exciting moments with the quiet, more “boring” ones. But, how exactly can you do that?

Below are 5 ideas to help you get started.

Start a meditation practice

As someone who’s been meditating for 13+ years, meditation gives me time to process my experiences, think more clearly and make better choices.

meditation at work

When life at the office is stressful, my schedule is jam-packed with activities or I just feel too exhausted, meditation provides me the time to catch my breath and reflect.

On a hot summer day, meditation is the cold glass of water that revitalizes me. It helps soften the blow of all the intense experiences, and it can do the same for you.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Schedule unscheduled time

Remember having more “free time” as a kid? You know, that block of time you were given at camp or some other event to do whatever you want? Unscheduled time is similar. It’s time where you don’t plan anything, and you can do whatever you feel.

Unscheduled time is similar. It’s the time where you don’t plan anything, and you can do whatever you feel.

The funny thing about unscheduled time is you have to schedule it—or it’s likely not to happen. Personally, I schedule it in two-hour blocks, and I leave one entire day a week (usually Sunday) as unscheduled.

I never work on Sundays. Instead, I hang out with friends, explore the city with my girlfriend, catch a movie, exercise or simply do what I feel. And without fail, that one unscheduled day revitalizes me, recharging my batteries for the week ahead.

Chill out on the stimulants

Consuming booze, coffee, sugar and even fatty meals on a regular basis can have a dramatic effect on how you feel and your perspective.

Too much coffee can leave you wired and irritable. Boozing frequently can keep you perpetually in hangover-recovery mode, and too much sugar can leave you feeling depleted.

So, I recommend balancing your stimulants.

Drink more water. Eat more fruits and veggies (with less butter and dressing), and don’t overdo it with the stimulants. Yes, these changes can be dreadfully boring, but your body and mind will surely thank you later.

See Also: How To Develop Awesome Eating Habits Without Failing

Stay grounded with habits

Personally, my habits help keep me sane. I meditate every day, exercise 2-4 times a week, eat 2 vegetarian meals a day and go to bed at 10 pm on weeknights. These habits make me feel like me, and they remind me of who I am.

In other words, habits provide stability in your life.

They keep you planted when the going gets tough. If you have a bad day, your habit, whether that’s exercise, meditation, reading an hour in the evening, will be right there waiting for you. No matter how much the circumstances in your life change, your habits won’t. They can be your rock when life gets insane.

Balance your life

Last year, I took a total of 4 vacations, lasting a total of 6 and a half weeks, in the span of 5 months. How did that make me feel?

Awesome at first but, by the last trip, I was sick of vacation. I felt unproductive and bored with the sights I was seeing.

In hindsight, it’s obvious I overdid it. I should have spread out my vacation time more evenly throughout the year. If I had, I would have enjoyed the experiences a lot more.

Whether it’s vacation, dining at nice restaurants or knocking back some beers with your buddies, I recommend adopting the same attitude in every area of your life. Don’t overdo it, and don’t underdo it. Find a balance between the quiet times and the exciting times so you can live the life of your dreams.

vacation

But, how do you find that balance?

Well, that answer is for you to discover yourself. Experiment and find out what works best for you.

And here’s a tip.

If you feel like you’re overdoing it in one area of your life, ask yourself, “How does this make me feel? Does doing this activity so often make me happy?”. If the answer is “no”, then try cutting back on it to find a happier medium. You may just discover a new love for another activity.

The challenge of enjoying the “boring” dream life

There’s no use sugar-coating it.

It can be scary to slow down, especially when your friends start to take notice. Some of them might think you’re acting weird and you may even lose some friendships along the way. Even worse, taking some quiet time for yourself may cause you anxiety.

Why?

Well, you’re not used to it. And that’s okay.

There’s no need to rush though. Take baby steps as you slow down towards the life of your dreams. Once you find time to breathe and balance the adrenaline with the quiet, I guarantee you’re going to feel 10x better. You’re going to enjoy time with friends. You can go out for vacations and parties to eat out and drink.

Start today and take some time for yourself. Start a new habit, like meditating. Do whatever you need to do but just make sure you schedule some time for yourself.

Put YOU first and ask yourself, “Will this activity make me happy?”. Let that question be your guide, and you’re sure to find yourself smiling a bit longer.

The post How To Find The Boring Life Of Your Dreams appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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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?

The post 17 Easy Positive Changes You Can Make In Your Life Right Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Easy Tips On How To Find Happiness

Knowing how to find happiness is easy, but actually attaining it is a different story. If you have been chasing happiness without positive results, read through the tips below to open yourself up and to let happiness come to you.

Understand That Happiness Can’t Be Defined

Happiness is something that we must define for ourselves. What one person may find happiness in, others may see sadness or contempt.

For example, many people consider high-paying jobs and large houses to be the definition of happiness. For other people, happiness is being with their family and spending time with them even in a small house.

Happiness can be found in all things, but it is up to you to discover which things should hold a special place in your heart.

Realize That Happiness Is in Your Life Already

happiness in life

Happiness is already in your life. Just think about the way you feel when you hug your friend or when you feel that hint of fresh air when you step outside. Think about that moment when your head hits the pillow after a long day of work.

We often overlook the small bits of happiness in our lives because we are so focused on obtaining objects and titles that we believe will make us happy. In reality, the key to being happy is in realizing that happiness is already around you and within you. You just have to be receptive to it.

Open Yourself Up to the Universe

You will not be able to fill a cup of water if you’re holding your hand over the opening of the glass. Similarly, you will not be able to allow happiness to fill your life if you are closing yourself to the universe.

Pain and hardships will come into your life from time to time, and they will make you want to shut yourself down. Fight this instinct. Only fighting through the pain and darkness will you be able to find the joy and the light.

Express Gratitude to the World

Have you ever wondered why we teach children to ask politely and say thank you after receiving something?

It’s because we all know that we should show gratitude to those who have been good to us. Much like those people, we should also express our gratitude to the world around us. Thank it for anything and everything. The world will be much more willing to provide you with what you need if you express gratitude for what you have.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

Meditate Daily

meditate daily

More often than not, we allow our emotions and our thoughts to dictate our behaviors and mindset. Meditation helps you become more grounded, mindful, and peaceful.

Through becoming more grounded and aware of yourself, you will be able to find happiness around you much easier. A simple 10 minutes a day is all you will need to begin experiencing the benefits of meditation.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Seek to Better Yourself

People who are happy with themselves and their lives are constantly seeking to become better people. Search for resources and people who can help you achieve these goals.

Bettering yourself will help increase your self-awareness giving you the ability to know what areas of your life are lacking happiness so you may improve upon them.

Know That You Can’t Always Be Happy

Those who chase happiness are under the impression that once they find it, every moment of their lives will be filled with overpowering happiness. This is absolutely not true. Not every day will be happy, and it shouldn’t be.

Happiness is special because it is something that you can’t experience all the time. That being said, you can find pieces of happiness every day even in unexpected places, and you shouldn’t allow yourself to give in during times when it seems as though things won’t ever get better.

Happiness is like the air around us. You can’t always see it, and it’s not always obvious that it’s there, but if you sit still and stop seeking it, you will be able to find it. If you use the tips in this article properly, chasing happiness will become a thing of the past.

The post 7 Easy Tips On How To Find Happiness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Responding To Pain With Positivity: Unleash The Stronger You

We all have had our share of pains, bruises, and bumps. These things are what make life more meaningful and memorable.

For me, things were pretty bad and so out of hand that I wanted to kill myself. However, with time, everything fell back into place and life looked way better than before.

Trust me, attracting pain is usually beyond human control. If we are destined to face the harsher realities of life, no protective measure would come in handy. At the end, it will all depend on the will of an individual and how he or she will use that pain to grow stronger.

There are individuals who give in to the pain and trauma while there are superheroes who use these roadblocks as motivation. They start learning, moving towards a positive direction and growing beyond their limitations.

Today, we will be talking about the approach used by these winners to unleash their stronger side.

Understanding The Will And The Lack Of It

There are two types of individuals: one who breaks down upon experiencing a barrage of hardships and the other who moves on towards a better life despite the pain.

It took me twenty years to get over nephrotic syndrome, an ailment that nearly damaged my kidneys. I witnessed my father’s death. There was my girlfriend who stood by me during the tough days but later on cheated on me with a few other men. All those things happened within a span of two years, leaving me twisted, broken and beyond repair.

However, facing all these wasn’t the difficult part. My father’s absence made me feel lonely and her betrayal made me an insomniac. I was confused as which pain should I lament to and there were no answers.

Just a blank slate with my teardrops on it.

I am not ashamed to admit that I cried and I cried a lot. This actually helped me vent out the anger for her and the gut-wrenching pain and sadness associated with my father’s absence. As a result, my work suffered. I found it hard to concentrate on anything constructive.

I got three huge scars even before I could turn 25. The heart can take only that much but mine kept on asking for newer challenges.

Getting fired from the workplace due to frequent mistakes, getting my right leg fractured, and losing a pet were some of the other roadblocks that sabotaged my growth. There was even a time when I took medicines for depression.

See Also: 15 Symptoms You Are Depressed (Even When You Think You Aren’t)

Fast-forward to 5 years later and at 30, I feel that my life has never been better. I have a beautiful wife, a growing business empire and a lovely daughter. Things do look bright but I wouldn’t be complacent. Then again, this isn’t my story to share. It’s ours.

You can never learn the right way to deal with pain. You must experience it. Therefore, enumerating points wouldn’t make a lot of difference. However, I believe that reading on can help a lot of readers in dealing with emotional pain.

Pain Is Not Everlasting; Glory Is

 

Trust me, the pain isn’t going to last forever, but your inner toughness will. Yes, I admit that certain experiences can haunt us for years but every pain-filled moment has an expiry date.

A Hint of Narcissism

Be self-obsessed. Be in love with yourself. Be a narcissist.

Yes, you won’t find motivational speakers recommend these traits, but they can do you good. The love for your own body and attributes will overshadow the pain which you might be finding hard to deal with.

Keep Changing Things

keep changing things

When in pain, monotony can be the biggest tormentor. This is why you need to hustle down the alley and play a sport, go to the gym or do both. Never allow yourself to be stagnant in situations that haunt you. Become the free-flowing stream which never stagnates or sits at one place.

Cultivate Acceptance

The day you can accept everything that has happened to you, nothing in this world can torment or torture you anymore.

I could only accept the sudden demise of my father 3 years after the incident. I know he had to go someday, but, sadly, it happened when I least expected it.

My girlfriend cheated on me and this was actually harder to accept because of my ego. However, I love myself way too much to spoil my health and sleep over her betrayal.

Pain often brings disappointment and fear with it and we should stand and face these things head on. Running from them can actually make the pain a lot worse but eventually, we’ll be able to go ahead of them.

The Wrap

Believe me, there is no quick fix to killing the pain and the reasons associated with it. You need to live through each and every moment of anguish— all by yourself.

There can be friends and family members to support you, but this fight is all yours and nobody else can join the combat for you. Pain, inflicted upon us by people or circumstances, is a medium to make us stronger.

Have you ever seen how a piece of iron is forged into something unbreakable?

It needs to undergo massive amounts of heat and pressure before it becomes strong. Similar to that, you can imagine yourself as that piece of raw iron that needs to be strengthened with pain.

See Also: Why Pain Is Necessary To Help You Progress

The post Responding To Pain With Positivity: Unleash The Stronger You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Truth About Political Polarization And Its Relation To You

Politics has become a major part of our modern day lives.

You’ll have to deal with it when you are debating with friends and family or making big decisions in life. You can either be a conservative fighting for free enterprise or a socialist fighting for wealth redistribution.

The truth is, it doesn’t really matter which side you choose because, at the end of the day, conservatism and socialism are two sides of the same coin.

To dive deeper into this, I will be using the hermetic premise of polarity. If you would like to know more about hermetic premises, you can check out my book: 8 Lessons to Succeed at Anything.

8 Lessons to Succeed at Anything

POLARITY

The premise of polarity states that polarity exists in everything and that there is no definitive line that separates two polar opposites. Just think about temperature (hot/cold), wealth (rich/poor), health (skinny/fat) and even the economy (inflation/deflation). Political polarization is true as well.

As a coach, a very common question I ask my clients is ‘Who wants to be Rich?’ and, as expected, everyone immediately raises their hands. But, the truth is that people don’t really want to be rich, they just don’t want to be poor. Being rich is just their way of running away from being poor.

Politically speaking, conservatives are just running away from what they want from socialism and socialists are running away from what they don’t want from conservatism.

LAW OF RHYTHM

Think of the law of rhythm as the swing of a pendulum. It covers equal length on both sides in the same amount of time, regardless of any circumstances.

When you engage in polarity, you activate the law of rhythm.

A friend of mine whose life goal was to become rich frequently finds himself poor more often. His life has become a rhythmic cycle of being poor, rich and then poor again.

In politics all around the world, you would often find two major parties competing for power. There are Conservatives and Socialists and Republicans and democrats.

As soon as one party comes into power, the pendulum hits its maximum position and the swing back begins (their downfall). At this time, the opposition does anything and everything they can to gain power back, which inevitably does happen at one point or another.

WHAT YOU RESIST PERSISTS

It’s a common reaction to run away from things we find dangerous, unpleasant or unwanted. However, when we do run away, it reinforces the fact that what we don’t want is dangerous, unpleasant and unwanted.

For example, in a recent conversation I had with this extreme French socialist, she told me that what she wanted for the world was wealth redistribution for everyone. I asked her why.

She answered by saying that the rich have too much and they should share with the poor. As an example, she told me that she works on a rich man’s boat and that the money she makes helps her live the life she has. She told me that he could pay her more and still live the life that he wanted.

I followed up this example of hers with a series of questions to see what she was truly running away from (resisting). It turned out that she was unconsciously running away from the fear of failure. She believed that she was too incapable of becoming rich.

Therefore, to deal with her own fear and incapability issues, she demonized the rich and wanted to bring them down to her level. And her way of achieving this would be supporting and voting for someone who would bring up taxes for the rich and have more benefits for the poor.

Her decision is to back a regime that will discourage entrepreneurs and businessmen from conducting business and generate income, leading to a fall in the economy. This, as a result, can leave the government with not enough money to pay for benefits, leaving people poor and incapable.

trump election

In terms of conservatives, a good example is Donald Trump who wants to bring the USA back to the ‘good old days’. He wants to regain its status as the most dominant country in the world that has everything under control.

He and his voters are unconsciously resisting change because of the fear of losing control. His strict immigration policy is one good example. He fears that too many immigrants from different cultures and backgrounds will change the way the country is.

See Also: How Cognitive Bias Played Into The Most Divisive Election Ever

FINDING WHAT IS IT THAT YOU TRULY WANT

Usually, people think that the solution to polarity is balancing the two opposing forces. In reality, however, a proper balance can never be achieved. As long as you are on a polarity, you will always experience oscillations.

The only way to escape polarity is to:

1. Become aware of the polarity you are in and to identify what you are running away from
2. Identify what you truly want, while being free of what you don’t want.

Consider this:

The extreme socialist from the previous examples realized that she wanted wealth redistribution because she felt incapable. That gave her the freedom to realize that what she truly wanted was to travel the world. This also opened her eyes to the fact that a socialist or a conservative government would have little or no impact on her in relation to achieving her dream.

See Also: The Ultimate Stepping Stone to Personal Freedom

In conclusion, you can have a million reasons why you should be a socialist or conservative but you don’t really need to be either. When you realize what you truly want, you’ll find a way to get out of any political polarization you’re in.

The post The Truth About Political Polarization And Its Relation To You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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11 Best Tips To Help You Lose Weight Naturally

Losing weight can be easy as long as you know the right things to do. However, since there are a lot of confusing tips on how to lose weight naturally and quickly, the process becomes challenging and frustrating.

For long-term health, it is essential that you avoid the weight loss quick fixes that promise astounding results and stick with these tips.

Keep a food diary

food diary

The most important step towards achieving the right body weight is keeping a food diary of everything you eat each day. This needs a lot of commitment and this is something that you should be ready to undertake if losing weight is your top priority.

If you have excessive body fat and on your way to obesity, you must put your health first. Having a food diary is important since it will give you a clear idea of what you eat and drink and how they are contributing to your weight issues.

Reduce your sugar intake

Eliminating or limiting the amount of sugar you take can be a tough job. One easy way to start is to pay close attention to food labels so you’d know how much sugar is in the food you purchase.

Eat your breakfast

The most important meal of the day is breakfast. It will help boost your metabolic rate which means you’ll burn more calories during the day.

If eating a proper breakfast isn’t feasible, a diet smoothie is a good alternative. You should eat about half of your daily calories in the morning.

Sleep

Have you ever asked yourself why you consume a lot of food after a sleepless night? The reason is very simple.

Most of your hormones are affected by sleep. This includes leptin which reduces your cravings and ghrelin which boosts your appetite.

When you don’t sleep enough, your body produces more ghrelin while the amount of leptin decreases. Because of this, you’ll find yourself frequently breaking your diet.

As a solution, try to get a maximum of seven to eight hours of sleep. Switch your thermostat off while you sleep and make sure your room is completely dark. This type of environment can boost the production of melatonin, a hormone that can promote better sleep.

Avoid stress

When you are under stress, your body produces two types of hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol can increase your food cravings and push you to eat more than you should. This is commonly referred to as “Stress Eating disorder”.

This condition can make it very challenging for you to achieve the proper body weight. In addition to this, stress can also increase your risk of heart diseases.

Avoid unhealthy eating habits

Having too much fat in your diet won’t help you lose weight. Eating too many sweets and foods with high glycemic index won’t do you any good, too. Such foods can increase your blood sugar level at a very high rate and this can affect the way your body utilizes fats. Instead of eating these foods, go for foods that are low in carbohydrates.

See Also: 8 Bad Food Habits That are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals

Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits

If you are really committed to losing weight, then it is important that you make fruits and vegetables as parts of your diet. Fruits contain essential nutrients that are needed by your body. In addition to this, certain fruits have fiber that can help suppress your appetite. Take, for example, oranges.

Remain focused

Some people might see the process of losing weight as a very difficult task, but that isn’t always the case. With the right motivation and goals, it should be much easier.

When setting your goals, it is important to be realistic about what you can achieve. You can write down your goals and place them in areas where you’ll see them often. The more you get reminded, the more you’re going to feel motivated.

Increase you water intake

drinking-water-everyday

Ensure you drink between six to ten glasses of water each day and be sure not to include carbonated drinks and juices when counting. Water helps increase your body’s metabolic rate as well as the process of eliminating toxic and harmful substances from your system. Water keeps your body hydrated, too.

Take your time when eating your food

For weight loss, it is essential that you develop the habit of eating slowly. It will give your body enough time to send the right signals to your brain that you’re already full.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is a very good way to achieve your weight loss goals. It won’t only help you burn excess calories, but it can help improve your energy level, too.

Exercise is one of the most crucial elements in weight loss. As such, it is critical for you to incorporate a comprehensive workout plan in your overall weight loss strategy. If you are unsure where to start, you could find a personal trainer to help you with your daily workout routine.

See Also: 6 Ways to Lose Weight (and Still Have Fun)

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10 Actually Useful Fortune Cookie Fortunes

During weekends, my son and I would go out and do stuff. We’d do different activities, like going to a video arcade and hitting different adventure games. It’s a lot of fun and it’s great that I could spend time with him.

But, as we go through our day, we inevitably hit a point where we get hungry and we need to eat something.

One of the things my son likes to eat is Chinese food. And, while I like the basic vegetable lo mein and General Tso’s Chicken, he ends up liking it more than I do most of the time. We’ll mainly hit Chinese buffets, but anywhere we go, it’s usually a relatively enjoyable meal.

At the end of the meal, we always have the fun of opening up our fortune cookies. Not only do they taste good, but the little fortunes inside are generally fun to play with.

As any of you who’ve eaten a fortune cookie before know, the fortunes are just basic words of wisdom and really very generic. They could be applied to pretty much anyone.

One of these times, it got me thinking. What would be the best thing that I could put in the fortune cookies for you?

Here are the 10 fortune cookie fortunes I came up with for you.

“Know Where You’re Going”

If you don’t know where you’re going, then it won’t really matter. You can decide to go north, south, east or west, but if you don’t have an exact destination, you’re just going to wander around.

To have a better chance of getting somewhere you like, stop wandering and figure out what you want and where you’re going. If you don’t know, then stop reading here and don’t continue until you do.

“Take Action”

This is the single thing that is hardest for a lot of people to do. People can decide where they want to go or what they want to achieve, but taking the action needed to achieve their goal is hard for them, especially if it requires stepping out of their comfort zone.

Say, you decide you want to go on a trip to London. You can wish it, plan it out and tell all your friends how you’re going to London, but unless you start doing the things you need to get there, you will never be able to go to London. Take action and do it now.

(Editor’s Note: Have you heard? Stephen Hawking is actually going to space very soon! A perfect example of taking action.)

“Be Consistent”

Action is great, but if you don’t take action consistently, it’s not going to matter. The same is true with exercise and eating healthy. If you aren’t going to do them consistently, you won’t be able to get their full benefits.

It also applies to success. People tend to be a lot more successful doing at least one thing each day towards their goal rather than trying to do everything in a day or two.

Be consistent. It really does make a difference

“Successes Are Built On Failures”

When you’re trying anything new, you’re not going to do it perfect the first time, and that’s okay. You just need to work through things. The more you work through, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you are likely to succeed.

Don’t be afraid of failures because they will eventually bring you success. A lot of today’s successful people failed massively before getting to where they are now.

See Also: Why The Road to Success is Always Full of Failures

“Success Can Be Exponential”

Think about this in an investing sense. If you go and put $100 on a stock and you happen to get lucky, you can increase it up 10 times. That means you can have as much as $1,000. Now, you can do the same thing and take that $1,000 out, put it in 10 other stocks, and see what happens.

You’re not going to hit that home run every time. You’re going to experience some losses along the way. Despite this, you should know that the more you try, the more you are increasing your chances of succeeding. Be smart about it and work hard. Learn from your mistakes and success will build upon itself.

“Good Friends Are Better Than Lots Of Friends”

good friends

This is something that you hear even in grade school and middle school. There’s a big difference between a true friend and an acquaintance.

You may be friendly and know a lot of people but not all of them will actually have your back. So, find a few in your life who can really be there for you and stick with them.

See Also: Why You Need to Get Out and Meet Your Friends

“Believe In Yourself”

No matter how many friends you have or how much action you take, if you don’t believe that you can do it, you’re going to find a way to fail every time.

This isn’t just positive thinking. Things aren’t necessarily going to be easy and things won’t just completely flow for you. It may be hard, you may make mistakes, but you have to believe it’s possible.

When you believe it’s possible, it becomes easier to deal with the inevitable setbacks and keep pushing on. Remember, if it’s possible for anybody, that means it’s possible for you, too. So, believe in yourself and believe that you can do it.

“Track What You’re Doing”

One of the biggest things I see people do is start taking massive action on something and have it not turn out as they expected. They may have a plan and an idea of where they want to go, and they start working on it without really knowing if the work that they’re putting in will actually give them the results that they want.

That’s why you need to track things. It’s kind of like a GPS for your goals that helps you to stay on track and get where you want to be- with fewer mistakes and less wasted effort.

There are various ways to do this and there are programs to do it. You can keep it on a spreadsheet or even a notebook.

In addition to tracking your goals and mistakes, it’s important that you also take down notes of your mistakes. This way, you’ll be able to learn from them. They will guide you in what you should and shouldn’t do.

“Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment”

food experiment

For a long time in my life, I just stuck with the things that I knew I liked. As I got a little older and more stable, I decided that I wanted to try new things.

One of those things is to go and take a trip to Japan for a couple of weeks or even a month. However, before actually booking my trip, I figured that if I’m going to be in Japan that long, then I need to make sure that I can eat Japanese food.

One time, when I was at a conference, I went and tried some sashimi. It was the first time I ever had it and I ended up liking it. Since then, I’ve been more experimental with what I do.

I gained more confidence in experimenting because I know that if I like something I tried, I’ll get to treasure it. If I don’t, then great. I’ll be able to avoid it in the future. Either way, I get to learn something new about myself. This mindset has opened up new possibilities for myself and new avenues in my life.

The best part is that you can apply it to all parts of your life. Failure is a lot easier to deal with when it’s just an experiment that didn’t work. It’ll be easier for you to say: “Ok, that way didn’t work. What else can I try?”

“Do The Truly Important Things First”

This is true in business, family, and life in general. You do the things in business that are going to move you ahead. Although there are little tasks that can take up a lot of your time,  make sure to prioritize the big things. They are the things that will keep your business moving forward.

It goes the same with family. You need to make sure you can be there for them when they need you. Show up at birthdays. Make sure you’re there for the important times in your family members’ lives as that will help build a great bond. Do the important things in life but make them your first priority.

 

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Changing Perceptions: Understanding What We Can Control In Life

Differentiating what one can change and what one cannot control in life can be invaluable for some people. As obvious as it sounds, there is no point in trying to change what is outside of one’s control.

However, that shouldn’t always be the case.

Although we can’t control everything, we still have the power to change how things can affect us. And it starts with changing perceptions.

Why We Should Do This

A full understanding of the things that are out of our control gives us a greater sense of power and authority over our own lives. Accepting our inability to influence many external events allows us to focus our time on the things we can change.

For example, we cannot change our past but we can certainly change our future by influencing the present. We always have the choice to focus on the parts of our lives that can make us happier. A lot of people fail to realize this and they get pushed to a series of disappointments trying to chase things outside their control.

control in life

Although there are things in our lives that we don’t have control over, we can always work on how we think of them. How we react to a situation is ultimately our choice. One can choose his own perception of a certain event.

Take, for example, traffic.

We can’t always control the traffic in front of us but we can choose how we’ll react to it. We can shout and argue or stay calm and collected.

“Reality doesn’t bite, rather our perception of reality bites” – Anthony J.D’Angelo

In essence, there are still some controllable aspects to the things we consider uncontrollable. Once you know what they are, you’ll have more power, freedom, and clarity.

We have our own mind and its power is endless. Our choices can never be taken away from us.

How You Can Start

You can start off by identifying which areas of your life are outside and inside of your control. By differentiating them, it will give you more clarity.

Once you know the things that you don’t have too much control over, examine your feelings about them. If you realize that you are unhappy, try to start changing perceptions. You’ll be surprised at how much it can improve your life.

A common example is the rain. We cannot change the weather; it is external to us. If it rains, we should let go of any negative emotion and simply accept that we cannot do anything about it. We can, however, change our perception of it. We can either complain and be miserable, or we can choose to be strong about it and see it in a positive manner. Rain today will allow us to appreciate sunny weather tomorrow. Also, rain in itself can be a pleasurable thing. There is no point building up negative energy within you for things which are not in your control.

The Benefits

1. We will live a happier life. Once we realize that most of the things that don’t make us happy are outside of our control, we can easily start changing perceptions.

For example, when we know that we can’t force certain people to agree with us all the time, we can accept that they won’t agree and therefore be at peace with it.

happier in life

See Also: 10 Life-Changing Tips That Will Boost Your Happiness

2. We will live a life feeling more powerful. Although we can’t win all battles, there are still things in our lives that can be controlled. We just have to realize that we have an advantage over them.

3. We will live a life with greater clarity and focus. The more we understand that it is our choices that shape us, we’ll be able to have a better understanding of the people around us.

See Also: How To Find A Dose Of Clarity In Your Life

4. It will motivate us. Because we now have a greater sense of control, we can start working harder towards the goals that truly matter to us.

We shouldn’t let outside events get in the way of pursuing our dreams. Instead, we should focus more on the things we have more control over, like changing perceptions and choices.

These tips will take time and effort before they can completely change your thought process. The positives, however, far outweigh the negatives of inaction so just keep trying.

Don’t try to change what you can’t control. Instead, start changing your perceptions and you can change your reality.

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How To Stand Up And Defend Your Path To Success

You’ve made the decision to start a new venture. You’re excited, motivated and strongly fueled by your passion. You’re feeling positive about your future and this path you’ve laid out for your success.

You shared your new found journey with a loved one, who immediately started pointing out all the reasons why this is risky and why you shouldn’t do it. Suddenly, you started questioning yourself. Before you knew it, you’ve come to a complete stop.

How can you stop this from happening?

Your loved one’s concerns are, of course, coming from a good place. This person only wants what’s best for you. This, however, is your journey and decision. You feel excited and motivated about it for a reason.

To ignore your passion and life path is one of the worst things you can do to your happiness and success in life. Although your loved ones mean well, do not allow them to derail you.

Everyone has his own mental model. When we push ourselves towards a new path, we are essentially building a new self-image. Unconsciously, however, when we interact with those people who know us well, we tend to ignore the new self-image we’re building and conform to how others perceive us.

This is detrimental to your future and path to success.

interact with others

You’ve got to find your own truth. If you want to do something different, then you’ve already allowed the space to create your new goals, attitudes, and associations. They are real to you.

In sharing your new goals, it’s important to have a conversation with your loved ones. Explain to them why you need to undergo the process and why it’s inevitable. Ask them to please not invalidate your decision and let it play out.

Some may struggle not to give out their opinions but just let them wash over you and don’t take it on board. Take a stand for your own journey, and if they’re meant to witness it, they’ll be there.

There are two ways to view life: the big and little picture.

Pointing out all the possible ways a particular venture could go wrong is the little picture. The big picture is not fully understanding how you’re going to get to the end goal, but knowing you have to do it anyway because the thought of it excites you more than anything.

There’s a lesson in every step of your road. Your first step may not be the right step but you can always learn something from it. Ask your loved ones to allow you to absorb it all and correct yourself in case of failure. No one else can do this for you.

If you always take on everyone’s doubts and opinions, soon there will be no space in your mind for changes and new goals.

stand up on your dreams

Following your dreams and learning the lessons of the process are parts of the game. I absolutely believe that if you choose a path that invigorates and excites you, it’s going to lead you to your greatness.

However, if you’re looking at some specific thing in front of you, and are relying on that thing to make you happy and successful, then that’s looking through a little picture lens.

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

I highly encourage you to think about the big picture and treat life like it’s an opportunity to produce better outcomes and goals. Your biggest win is the person you become after the process.

If you have some little picture people around you, have those hard conversations and stand up for your own journey. Explain that, for you, this is something big and they should be there for you to see where it all leads. Some experiences will be positive while others will be negative. All of these are parts of the process. Stand up for your success and enjoy the ride.

See Also: 5 Barriers That You Need To Cross To Achieve Success This Year

The post How To Stand Up And Defend Your Path To Success appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Happiness Hacks That You Need To Try Today

When was the last time you felt happy? Not just a shadow of the pleasant feeling, but truly happy?

You could say that most of our actions are fueled by our motivation to feel good. Unfortunately, however, it’s not all the time that we feel happy. There are days when we just can’t resist feeling low.

If that is your case today, these simple happiness hacks can give you that extra shot of joy.

Let Your Inner Child Take the Lead

Children’s faces usually light up at the seemingly smallest things.

Take, for example, the silly faces their older sibling makes at them across the dinner table. The big hug they get when their dad arrives home from work and the feeling of flying in the air while they are on the playground’s swing set make them giggle with laughter, too.

If you want to put yourself in a happy place, try doing an activity that you enjoyed as a child. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this can spike your happy chemicals.

Enjoy Strange Interactions

stranger interaction

The “stranger danger” warnings handed down to us during childhood can permanently hinder our interactions with people we don’t know.

However, if you make an effort to push through the discomfort and regularly interact with strangers, you’ll find yourself feeling happier during the day. A study conducted by behavioral scientists in Chicago found that individuals who made small talk with strangers during a ride on public transportation rated their experience as more positive than those who did not.

When we take the time to connect with other people, even when we don’t know them, it tends to increase our happiness.

Take A Risk On Something New

When was the last time you tried something that you’ve never done before?

If it’s been a while, then you may want to give this happiness hack a shot. Taking the time to try something you’ve always wanted to do, like getting a new hobby, is not only stimulating but can lead to increased happiness.

Feelings of accomplishment and boosted confidence can also contribute to the smile on your face. Whether you’ve always wanted to try alligator wrestling, knife throwing, or sewing Halloween costumes for your dog, now’s the time to do it.

See Also: How to Start a New Hobby Without Wasting Money

Hold Onto Those Pennies

Spending money when you feel bad can be an easy way to give yourself a quick high. However, once the initial high wears off, people tend to crash pretty hard, especially if they had a hard time earning it.

Rather than splurging on that new toy, try making a habit of regularly saving a part of your earnings. According to a recent survey, the more often people save money, the happier they tend to be. Saving money is also a good way to enhance feelings of self-control, security, and overall well being.

See Also: 10 Ways To Save Money Without Compromising Your Lifestyle

Celebrate Small Goals

celebrate small goals

By setting and achieving small goals on a regular basis, you will not only be more productive but feel happier as well.

Setting our sight on massive goals often results in feelings of failure and depression. So, rather than focusing on your end goals, try chopping them up into several small goals that you can easily achieve and celebrate. Keep in mind that the more specific you are with your goals, the better.

As you get started with these happiness hacks, try to keep your focus on the positive things in your life and use gratitude to your advantage. As you increase your own happiness, you will notice that the people around you will begin to smile and laugh more often as well.

The post 5 Happiness Hacks That You Need To Try Today appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways To Sharpen Up Your Would You Rather Game Questions

Would you rather is a classical social game that has stood the test of time and is among the most popular gather-around games in the world. Whoever says you can’t learn a lot about your friends over this game has probably never played it right.

In reality, the game is hilarious, engaging and informative. However, for you to reveal your friend’s deepest secrets with this game, you’ll need sharper questions that promise better answers.

Just as articles are required for a blog to rank high on Google, you need to have good Would You Rather questions to have a fun time. While some people are born with the natural ability of asking good questions without any preparations, others have to develop it through practice.

If you belong to the last group, here are 5 easy, simple and effective ways to help sharpen up your Would You Rather questions.

Find the Right Attitude

One way to improve your Would You Rather questions is to find the right attitude. Without the right mindset and attitude, a lot of people will avoid playing with you.

To start, you must first determine what makes a bad player. For one, they don’t take responsibility for their rude or inappropriate behaviors. They offend other players with big no-no questions and they curse and blame others for their own mistakes.

If you think you don’t have these traits, then you’re on the right path to improving your game.

Be Versatile

We, humans, have a tendency to keep hitting someone’s weak spot as soon as we find it. However, for the sake of fun, you should refrain from asking Would You Rathers from one category only.

The key to making the most out of the game is to be diverse and ask both serious and funny questions from as many categories as possible. As long as your intentions are friendly, you can ask any sort of question you want.

Think Twice Before You Pose a Question

think twice

Although you can ask any question you like, that doesn’t give you the right to be impolite, rude, and make others feel uncomfortable. To avoid an awkward situation, make sure you know enough things about the players, like their age, education level and personal preferences.

If you take the risk of asking a Would You Rather question without considering your friend, you may not only offend them and kill the mood, but you may lose them from your life for good. Before you start, make sure you know which questions are good to ask and to which players.

Practice Makes Perfect

As with any other games, practice is a crucial part of becoming a good player in a game of Would You Rather. There are a plenty of questions online that are conveniently sorted into different categories. You can just look them up if you want to get inspired or improve your skills.

It may be obvious that reading questions online can help you sharpen up your questions. However, it won’t be able to help you get better at creating your own. Crafting your own questions require more effort, but it is a much more effective way of getting better questions.

Prepare Yourself by Making a List Beforehand

 

Last, but certainly not the least, is to prepare a list of Would You Rather questions before you even set a game date. This is a better strategy than throwing random questions when you’re already in the middle of the game. Apart from letting you know more about your opponents, it will also give you more time to analyze them carefully.

See Also: 5 Sports From Fiction You Can Try And How You Can Play Them

The post 5 Ways To Sharpen Up Your Would You Rather Game Questions appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Tips For Happy Marriage: 7 Simple Ways To Maintain A Loving Relationship

A happy marriage or relationship can be very healthy for your physical and mental wellbeing. Science has proven that men live longer and healthier lives when they are in a healthy marriage or long-term relationship.

These things, however, aren’t the only benefits you can gain from such relationships. Fox News report that the prevalence of cancer is lower among married women and men and heart disease is less common among happily married couples. A healthy, loving relationship can also lead to lower stress levels, fewer symptoms of anxiety and a happier mood.

Unfortunately, not all relationships and marriages have happy endings. Up to 41% of first marriages end in divorce while the average person gets divorced at the age of 30.

Second and third marriages, however, have an even lower success rate. As much as 60% of second marriages end in divorce while up to 73% of third marriages fall apart. It is also reported that there are up to 100 couples filing for a divorce every hour every day.

If you think that your marriage or relationship is going downhill, then this post is for you. Here are the simplest, yet effective, tips for happy marriage.

Open Communication Is Important

The way you and your partner communicates is of utmost importance. The Better Health Channel of Australia reports that a happy relationship relies on being both a good listener and good communicator.

You should be able to openly share your feelings with your partner and listen when your partner is talking to you. Only then will you be able to truly understand each other’s feelings and find ways to improve together.

They recommend setting aside time each day to listen to each other without any distractions, to think about what you want to say, and to be open to discussing certain objects with your partner without jumping to conclusions and without being judgmental.

Don’t Forget To Hug

loving relationship

While this may seem somewhat insignificant, you should not disavow this idea without considering the science behind a hug. Mind Body Green reports that hugging helps to build trust. It can boost both your mood and happiness, too.

These are all thanks to the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps to reduce feelings of anger, isolation and loneliness. Consider the benefits of a hug and you’ll clearly see how hugging on a regular basis can help you and your partner maintain a sense of trust and a healthy bond.

See Also: How to Hack Relationships: 3 Ways Physical Touch Helps

Have Sex… As Frequently As Possible

Having sexual intercourse with a partner on a regular basis has many health benefits for the both of you. Sex can improve your immune system, contribute to better heart health, and cause your blood pressure levels to decline. It makes an excellent form of physical exercise.

Sex can also be an excellent way to reduce pain as well as the risk of developing prostate cancer. It can improve your sleep quality and many people find that sex helps lower their stress levels.

Sex can also help a couple bond. It can make both individuals feel appreciated and sexier. If you suffer from a condition such as premature ejaculation, a lack of libido or erectile problems, then seek help from a doctor to prevent these health concerns from causing problems with your sex life.

Have Dinner Together

We all live busy lives and with schedules that are packed with tasks and activities. This can often lead to two partners living past one another and spending less time with each other.

To stay connected, two partners have to make time for one another. Start by having dinner together every single night. While this may seem like a very small step, it would allow both you and your partner to spend more time with each other thus creating an excellent opportunity to maintain your connection.

Better Sleep Cycles

When our lives are busy, our sleep cycles often become disrupted. Sleep is important and has many functions in the body. Ensuring you gain an adequate amount of sleep every night is really important.

When you do not have healthy sleep cycles and become sleep deprived, both your body and mind may suffer. Sleep deprivation can cause cognitive dysfunction, impaired mental activity, memory problems, moodiness and can even lead to depression. This can take a toll on your health and your relationship.

Smile… And Laugh

happy couple

Something as simple as a smile can make a difference, especially if you and your loved one are going through a tough time. Laughter can be thought of as powerful medicine.

Science has proven that laughter can strengthen your immune function, provide relief in pain, reduce stress levels, and even boost your mood. Laughter has been scientifically proven to strengthen the relationship between two people so try to smile and laugh more with your partner.

Spend Time On Yourself Too

Lastly, you should never forget that even though you are in a relationship, you are still an individual with feelings, emotions and body. Some people tend to forget that they should spend time on themselves as well if they plan on maintaining a healthy, loving relationship.

Small things like making sure you are always well-groomed and decent can show your partner that you still care how they feel about you.

Conclusion

Being happy is a wonderful experience, but being in love can be an even more powerful experience. Unfortunately, love does not last for everyone – as we already discussed, more than 50% of all marriages end up in divorce. Luckily, there are ways to maintain the love and happiness in a relationship.

One of the best tips for happy marriage is to act together. Both partners need to act together to make their relationship last.

See Also: 6 Stepping Stones Of A Successful Married Life

The post Tips For Happy Marriage: 7 Simple Ways To Maintain A Loving Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Retirement Made Easy: Tips To Make The Transition Simple

At some point in your life, you may have to retire. This phase can be challenging, intimidating, and even overwhelming, especially if you’re not really sure how to make the necessary adjustments.

To make your transition more simple, here are some of the best retirement planning tips you can try.

Ease Into Things

retirement hobby

Suddenly stopping working after so many years can be incredibly tough so avoid rushing the process.

If working part-time for your employer is an option, consider it. If not, you might want to do some freelance work in your field for a while.

You can also use your hobbies to get more involved in work and find ways to stay busy. It might be teaching piano, sharing your love of painting, or crafting and selling your items online.

At your retirement party, network with other coworkers who’ve already retired to see what jobs they’ve taken up. There are a lot of options, so find something that can keep you busy and your mind occupied.

See Also: 10 Amazing Business Ideas For Stay-At-Home Retirees

Make Sure You Are Financially Prepared

Just because you feel like you have saved enough money does not mean you are already financially prepared for retirement. You need to have a plan for how you will tap your retirement savings for living expenses, including taxes.

There are strategies you can use to minimize taxes. Talk to your bank and check your employer’s retirement policy to find out where you are at before retiring. Know how you can make the transition and keep all your money.

Think About Where You Will Live

Many retirees want to stay in their homes but others may want to move to places that are warm or have lower taxes.

Before you actually retire, make sure to map out a plan for your living situation. Talk to your family and see if they have an opinion on where it might be best for you to live. If you have health issues, it might be a good option to also look for institutions that can help you with mobility or medications.

Take Steps to Stay Healthy

retirement health benefits

Numerous studies suggest that healthcare spending takes a large bite out of people’s retirement funds. These expenses can easily hit the six-figure level for many retirees.

To stay in good health, you’ll need regular checkups, especially if you have existing health issues. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider to keep a plan in place for your future.

Find Things to Do

Boredom and loneliness can be real issues for retirees. Apart from making the transition harder, they can be bad both for physical and mental health, too. That’s why it’s important to find things to do.

Many retirees like to travel. However, since that can be expensive, it may not be an option for all people. If this sounds like your case, you can try volunteering, going to shows and concerts at your local event center, or playing sports. You can try bowling and golf.

See Also: Retirement Activities that are Financially Viable

Retirement is an exciting but scary experience. However, by following these retirement planning tips, you’ll be able to experience a smoother and easier transition. Just be sure to keep your options open and be prepared beforehand so you can have a great start in your retirement years.

The post Retirement Made Easy: Tips To Make The Transition Simple appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship

Anybody who has dated and experienced being in a relationship will know how complex the process can get. The longer you continue to see each other, the more dynamic the feelings become.

If you are still in the dark, here are 7 of the most obvious ways to tell if you’ve gone from dating to entering a relationship.

Nightlife Goes From Club To Couch

real relationship

Before, you used to spend most Saturday nights dating people at a bar, cinema, or restaurant. Now that you’re in an actual relationship, it will no longer matter where you are dating. As long as you’re with your loved one, you’ll be happy.

They Don’t Consume Your Every Thought

Once you’ve already gotten over the infatuation stage and realized that you and your partner are in it for the long haul, you’re less likely to think about him all the time. This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re bad. It’s just your brain showing how settled you are.

Arguments Aren’t Disastrous

relationship argument

In the delicate dating stage, one or two arguments can often spell the end of the romance. When you have settled into a real relationship, the bond between you and your partner is already strong enough that you no longer take silly misunderstandings seriously. Instead, you argue a bit, cool off, and the make up again.

They See The Real You

During the dating stage, people tend to create the ideal versions of themselves. It’s a way to entice a partner. However, once you have found someone special, you begin to let your guards down and show your real self. You wear less makeup and you pay less attention to how you look.

The Future Is Talked About

Bringing up what you want in the future is probably one of the worst things you can do when you’re casually dating someone. It’s a sure-fire way to scare somebody off. This changes when you are in a relationship. You find freedom and excitement in discussing what might happen in the next few years.

You’re Fully Connected

The idea of meeting each other’s friends and family is always a bit awkward when you’re still in the early part of dating. By the time you are in a formal relationship, you probably already know each other’s friends’ first names. You might even be sending them Christmas and birthday cards regularly.

Jealousy Is A Distant Memory

In a relationship, you no longer have to worry about other men or women paying close attention to your partner. Being in a formal relationship gives you more security since there’s less competition. Apart from that, there’s complete trust in one another, too.

The process of dating and entering a relationship isn’t at all bad. In fact, it’s interesting and exciting. Enjoy while you’re at it.

See Also: 5 Ways To Create the Foundation of a Long Term Relationship

 

The post 7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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