Happiness

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7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Happiness And What You Can Do About Them

A lot of people want to be happy, smile, and have fun in life. This means that these people are not yet happy. Otherwise, you didn’t want to be happy, right?

What a lot of people don’t take in consideration is that they have the power over their own happiness although it doesn’t always look like it.

In this article, I will help you become conscious of ways you’re sabotaging your own happiness and how to fix it.

You Let Other People Put You Down

Did your partner talk to a girl/boy you were feeling jealous of? Or did someone upset you by saying you did something wrong?

These are signs that you’re putting other people in control of your emotions. If others are in control of your feelings, you’ll feel like you’re on a roller coaster you can’t get out of. I understand that some behaviors are annoying and that there are other people in your life, but you can still be an entirely separate person from them.

I used to respond with a lot of emotions to what other people say or do. One day, I realized that it didn’t even matter if I didn’t answer. And let me tell you, it feels so good not having to respond to what other people say or do. Just mind your own business.

How To Take Control

If someone says or does something, it doesn’t mean that they’re such a person. It’s just a behavior that’s performed by that particular person. When you are aware of that, you’ll be able to separate the person from his actions.

People have their own lives and they should be able to do what they want. Everyone has a reason why they do something and it’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

So, mind your own business and live your own life. If people want to make fun of you, great. If people want to make fun of you, they have their reasons.

You’re Not Living The Life You Want

When I was 17 years old, I was working as a warehouse worker at this company for 3 months. I did not see my job as a significant one and it wasn’t hard to do. However, I found out that there was a very negative atmosphere there.

One time, I went to the canteen for a break and I heard these men, around the age of 50, talk to each other. “We only have to be here for 17 more years guys, then we can finally leave,” one said.

I was shocked.

These people didn’t like their job and were almost working there their entire lives. This guy just said he wanted to keep doing this for his lifetime (at that time) until he could go and retire.

From that day on, I made the decision to always be in tune with myself and make my decisions based on that.

If you’re living your life not the way you want and you’re not doing something about it, please take action. The only things you’ll regret in life are the risks you didn’t take.

“Suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

How To Live The Life Of Your Dreams

This is actually a pretty simple (not easy) process. First, you have to find out what you ultimately want in your life. Then, you start working towards it. Along the way, you’ll find out how you’ll get there.

You’re Not True To Yourself

This is a thing I really try to focus on in my life. It’s about being really honest with yourself about your feelings, values, and mission. Telling yourself what you’re feeling and communicating them to others can keep you accountable.

A lot of times, people talk about things but do the opposite.

For example, my dad tells me all these life lessons but he’s not living up to any of them. He used to say to me that aggression isn’t a solution to a problem but when something goes wrong, he gets mad.

“You talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”

At the end of the day, there will be times when you have inner conflicts. I always say to myself that I would never give up but at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I had to give up several ventures because they just didn’t work for me.

You’ll have to find the middle ground here and not beat yourself up entirely because you didn’t do what you said you were going to do.

If you are not true to yourself, you’ll likely feel a little bit bad about yourself and this can affect your happiness. Being true to yourself means keeping your values in mind while also considering the situation.

How To Be True To Yourself

You can be true to yourself by accepting full responsibility for your life. Everything that happens to you is a consequence of your actions and thoughts.

This means that when something happens, you should always ask yourself first what you’ve done that lead to this outcome.

By taking full responsibility for your life, you’ll have all the power over your actions, thoughts, and feelings.

You Talk To Yourself In A Negative Way

talking to yourself negatively

Something I, as a perfectionist, struggle with a lot.

Do you ever notice that you’re talking yourself out of something or saying to yourself that you didn’t do enough?

This is something that happens to a lot of people. Although we may be very confident about ourselves, there’s always this inner critic that’s talking sh*t.

Telling you that you’re not good enough, that you’re not meant for something or that you’re not worthy of someone.

You and I both know this is utter nonsense but at the moment, it seems very legit.

If you continuously talk yourself down, you know what it’s going to do. If you didn’t do much on a given day, or so you think, you’ll beat yourself up and say you’ll have to catch up the next day.

The next day, it will be even harder because it’s impossible to do 2 days of work in 1 day. It will lead to negative self-talk again. This opens up a cycle of negative self-talk which will only make things worse. You’ll never be proud of yourself this way.

How To End The Inner Critic

To end the inner critic, you’ll have to go through a simple step-by-step process I outlined below for you.

Step 1. Identify what your inner critic is talking about and where it comes from.

This is something separate from the real you as you only believe it because your inner critic is telling you over and over again.

Step 2. Accept that this is not the real you and change the belief you have about yourself.

Is this voice saying, “I’m ugly”?

Change it and say to yourself that you are freaking beautiful and do it with as much passion as possible. Even if you don’t believe it yet, force yourself.

Write it down if that helps.

Step 3. Repeat it consistently. Write the opposite of every inner critic’s beliefs down. Read or speak it over and over to yourself until you feel better about yourself.

Step 4. Reflect on the belief now. Do you still believe you’re ugly? Keep telling yourself that you’re beautiful because you are beautiful!

See Also: 9 Baby Steps To Happiness For The Naturally Gloomy

You’re Comparing Yourself To Others

Especially if you’re on a journey to success, you’ll look up at a lot of people who have something you want to achieve.

It’s really common for people to compare themselves and it’s one of the biggest mistakes people make. As you and I know, everyone is different and we live different lives.

If you compare your level 1 with someone else’s level 100, you bet you’re going to feel sad about your current situation.

It’s going to make you feel utterly miserable about yourself.

How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

If you look at it from a mathematical standpoint, what do you think the chance is 2 people live the same life?

Having the same kind of parents and environment. Having the same experiences in life.

Even Siamese twins have different experiences.

It’s just impossible to have the same things as someone else.

With this in mind, you need to accept yourself as you are and that your life journey is different than any other life journey.

You need to go through the things you’re going through to become the best version of yourself.

Everything happens for a reason.

You Never Ask For Help

Do you always do everything on your own? Thinking you can solve everything alone?

When you’re experiencing a lot of problems, emotionally or any other way, and you don’t ask for help, you’ll have to deal with everything on your own. This is a robust process which can lead to a lot of stress and unhappiness.

Why You Should Ask For Help

Even the happiest people in the world need others to help them. If you take a look at His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, he’s got a whole team of people advising him in his choices as a leader.

People who take care of his website, planning, etc.

He also talks about relationships being a vital part contributing to someone’s habits in his book ‘The Art Of Happiness’. Having people around you can really help you through the tough times.

You can reach out to them and ask them directly for help or just for company.

One thing you shouldn’t do is isolate yourself. If someone asks you to go out, go out with them. Being with another human being can make you feel consolidated.

You Keep Thinking About The Past

thinking about the past

Do you always remind yourself of the mistakes you made with a person you still think about from time to time? Or are you blaming yourself for something that has happened in the past?

If you’re living in the past, you miss the good things that are happening right in front of you. You’re keeping yourself in a negative state of mind by focusing on something that already happened.

The past is past and it can’t bring you anything. The present is your only moment and opportunity to be happy.

How To Be Present

Pause.

Breathe.

Look around. Absorb your environment, thoughts, emotions and whatever else is there.

Observe, smile, and let go.

That is all you have to do to become present.

You could call it meditation or whatever you like.

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

Conclusion

I hope you now understand the ways you are sabotaging your own happiness and how to fix it.

You deserve to be happy.

I think it’s vital to become happy so that you can spread your happiness to others and make the world a better place.

It’s up to you now!

The post 7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Happiness And What You Can Do About Them appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Taking The Mystery Out of Life: Why Humor Is Important

In one of his books, the late Dr. Wayne Dyer said:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.

Some persons attribute the quote to Einstein. Others reach back and give Buddha credit.

Regardless of who said it, there is really no middle ground where some things are miraculous and others, well, not so much. Too many people fall into the middle ground. Others believe in the existence of miracles as really taking place- if only rarely. Some are more jaded than others.

Plenty of people prefer to live with a sense of wonder because it’s more fun.

Life and everything in it are mysterious. Even tangible items, like science, is easier to understand than exploring life. Biology allows us to observe what is happening.

In life, we become active participants. We can only wonder how life works and accept the results with a touch of humor. We lean towards taking ourselves too seriously.

But, do you know why humor is important?

Keeping A Sense Of Humor

sense of humor

Life can’t be serious all the time and humor goes a long way in easing the pain. Being able to laugh is healthy for everyone.

When used correctly, humor can even defuse tense situations.

In a relationship, humor has been recognized as vitally important. Cultivating humor in a relationship requires both individuals to remain respectful. Marriage is not a stand-up routine or a witty repartee. A good marriage is two people playing with words where humor is not used as a weapon.

Contented people approach life and love with a finely tuned sense of humor. This isn’t about making jokes that rival Jimmy Fallon. It’s about seeing the funny side of being alive and reveling in everpresent humor. Life can be ironic, fun, and entertaining.

When you share humorous observations and are able to be silly and non-serious together, you’re open and vulnerable. You’re showing you are comfortable in your own skin and at ease with your partner.

There will be challenges and obstacles in life.

When a couple finds humor, things go much smoother. It may take some effort, but that’s alright. A sense of humor can keep the world balanced even if things feel like they are flying apart at the seams.

humor in relationships

See Also: 3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship

In a particularly challenging situation, you can make light of it and find humor. It’s a means of enjoying and appreciating each other’s support and company even in a position that is mostly crappy. Comedy is a form of relief in a stressful situation.

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life,” wrote William Arthur Ward, an American writer.

The post Taking The Mystery Out of Life: Why Humor Is Important appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Top 5 Signs You Might Need Help with Alcohol Addiction

America is facing an addiction crisis much larger than any generation before. Now, the drugs are harder and smarter but some old ways of getting high seem to continuously plague the human population.

Alcohol has been used for hundreds of years as a relaxant and a depressive drug. For some people though, it isn’t just about having a good time but it’s something they end up living for and throwing away their lives for.

Here are the top 5 symptoms of drinking problem you need to know about:

Day drinking

If you need a drink before the drugstore is legally allowed to sell you a six-pack, it’s generally a good sign you might need to look into your decisions. Vacations are fine but when you feel the need to drink outside of traditional lunch and dinner hours, you might want to take another look at your habits.

It’s not just a solo cup but a solo night

Drinking alone is one of the biggest tips that you might be bordering on a problem. Social drinking is something that many consider as healthy. If you find the need to drown your sorrows in a bottle of tequila while watching Grey’s Anatomy, you might either be a very devoted Grey’s fan or you might have some soul searching to do.

You change your plans to drink

Canceling on people at the last minute and bailing on plans is a sign that you prioritize your bottle of beer over social engagements. If you find yourself doing this consistently, then it’s worth a second look.

You’re using money you don’t have for your beer budget

When you can’t pay for something but choose to buy it anyway, know that you have a problem with alcohol. The truth is that many alcoholics build up their debt and money troubles this way. It can only steamroll into other issues down the road.

People tell you there is a problem

If someone stops and asks if you have a problem, then you probably have a problem. The occasional drunken night is not the same as an entire week with you passed out.

All kidding aside, addiction is a serious problem. It should be addressed and treated with the help of a trained medical professional.

See Also: Can You Curb Alcohol Addiction In Its Early Stage?

The post Top 5 Signs You Might Need Help with Alcohol Addiction appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Things to Let Go If You Want to Be Happy

There are some things in life that have us convinced that life without them would be terrible or uncomfortably weird.

In reality, however, life generally gets better without those things. Nothing in life should create a dependency.

I recently let go of a lot of junk, including material possessions, and I’ve never felt better in my life. If you want to experience the same things, here are the top things to let go so you can start living the life you’ve always wanted.

Checking Facebook Daily

checking facebook daily

Value your time and emotions.

What tangible good comes from Facebook? Ask yourself that and be critical for a moment.

Are you feeling uplifted and motivated by what you see there? If not, it’s time to abandon ship. If scrolling through all the baby, house, and vacation photos makes you jealous of your “friends,” it’s time to let go of Facebook.

You’re not going to “miss out” by not checking Facebook. If someone needs you to know something, they’ll text or call you.

Studies show that Facebook makes us feel bad about ourselves. That’s enough reason to leave it. Jealousy isn’t something you want consuming your emotional life.

I caught myself getting upset by the lack of engagement on my posts while I saw plenty of engagement on angry, political posts. That feeling was not helping me. Spending 45 to 60 minutes on Facebook per day was a huge time drain that could be spent improving my skills and life instead.

So, I replaced reading my Facebook feed with more positive things that stimulated my mind without causing emotional turmoil, like Futurism.

See Also: Social Media Causing Depression and Anxiety: Is It True?

Watching Football

Value your time. It’s so important that I have to mention it again.

I used football as an example because it was an excuse to day drink for me. Watching football was an excuse to be lazy all weekend. Fortunately, I was only burning one full day on it (Sunday), but if you add up all the time I spent reading about fantasy football, that was a whole day’s worth of work per week.

Maybe for you, it’s watching reality shows and keeping up with celebrity gossip. Maybe it’s binge-watching an entire Netflix series each weekend. The exact television program doesn’t matter. We Americans watch five hours of shows per day. Yet, we complain about a “lack of time” for things we say we want to do.

Don’t know how to spend your time in a more positive way?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Go on a hike
  • Take a yoga class
  • Hit the gym
  • Cook healthy meals
  • Read good books
  • Play board games with friends

Watching football or any sport, for a lot of people, is filling a void – the football team is part of an identity. That’s not a good route, my friend. Just be yourself and accept yourself for who you are and what you like. Love yourself and don’t tie your identity to anything other than you. You are enough.

Trust me, addressing that inner void feels much better than avoiding it forever. Then, you can enjoy watching a game without being invested in the outcome, which is freeing for your mind and spirit.

Drinking Alcohol Regularly

drinking alcohol

Value your money and your body.

I used to drink three or more nights per week. And, predictably, I did not stop at one drink. That was Thursday through Sunday of drinking and feeling less than my best. For what?

This past December, I did a 30-day challenge of zero alcohol. It felt amazing for my body and it also boosted my mental clarity. There were no sloppy nights and subsequent hungover mornings which meant better productivity.

If you want to find a bunch of extra time in your week – stop drinking.

Did I accomplish anything by drinking alcohol?

No. Alcohol consumption prevented me from accomplishing my goals, actually. Time and money were wasted on an activity that was not fulfilling me or helping me grow. Fortunately, I was saving money by hosting parties instead of spending $10+ per drink at a bar, but that did nothing for saving time.

After letting go of alcohol and my emotional baggage, I lost 18 pounds in less than two months. That was more than 10% of my body weight at the time (cut from 173 to 155). Drinking tons of water, like Tom Brady recommends, helps, too. I also changed my diet to be a dairy-free pescatarian, thanks to the guidance of my health coach, Laila Robins.

See Also: The Tell-Tale Signs You May Have Alcoholism

Consuming the News

Most of the news doesn’t actually affect us. The news is meant to stir emotions and keep us hooked to the platform.

The big media outlets push fear and we absorb that fear, causing us to turn against each other. How?

Fear becomes anger and anger becomes hate. It’s a horrible cycle we’re spinning.

The only way out is to disengage. Unplug from the sources of negativity and fear-mongering. Stop tuning into the voices trying to drive a wedge between you and your fellow humans. That wedge does zero good for humanity.

We need positivity and love pouring from people. Be one of the people making the world lighter, happier, and better. Love your neighbors and don’t stop showing love even when it’s tough.

Show love for people who disagree with you instead of getting mad at them. And definitely don’t look down on others – condescension is really bad energy.

Be positive. Be happy.

Complaining

Eliminate the negativity in your life. You can start with complaining.

Negative emotions wreck our health and productivity. It spreads negativity from within ourselves to the world, too.

If we stop complaining about what we don’t have, we’ll be happier.

Tim Ferriss is brilliant and provides fantastic insight into this. He puts emphasis on the benefits of taking time for gratitude by challenging himself and others to go through 21 days without complaining.

This challenge will be a whole lot easier to accomplish if you let go of the aforementioned things.

Think about it: you won’t be able to complain about your “friends” having more than you because you won’t see posts about those things. No more complaining about your team or a celebrity making a dumb decision because you missed that, too. There won’t be any political talking head getting you to complain about other people with different views. You won’t be drunk or hungover, too.

Research shows how much we’re influenced by the people around us. This provides extra incentive to not stick with negative people. Let them go and cut them from your life. It may be painful at first, but you’ll be better after.

Who knows?

Maybe they’ll realize that being negative is costing them friendships and they’ll soon change their lives as well.

Conclusion

If you start eliminating those top things to let go, you may find yourself enjoying life more.

So, start today and give up something that isn’t serving you. Let that positive life energy flow through you and to the world!

The post 5 Things to Let Go If You Want to Be Happy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Tips for Creating A Wedding Budget

Are you nearing your wedding day and still have not figured out the best ways in creating a wedding budget? If yes, then you have to be smart while planning your budget and just go for the essentials that will not force you to break your bank.

If you are curious to know what those ways are, check out the following amazing tips you can start using now.

Make Your Reception Private Yet Grand

One of the most common things that bother couples the most during their wedding planning is the guest list.

Cut down the guest list and only include your close friends and relatives. That way, you won’t have to spend too much on your reception.

Also, watch out for off-peak seasons as that can help you save more. Don’t forget to consider holding your wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue, too.

Focus on Greenery More than Flowers

wedding budget

Although most people will go for flowers, choosing for greenery instead will give you a great chance to create a reasonable budget. This does not mean you have to completely eliminate flowers from your list. You just need to focus more on non-floral elements.

If you are adamant about flowers, then make sure you invest in floral products that are in season and comes at a discounted price.

See Also: Make Your Celebratory Table Special With Minimum Effort

Wedding Bands

wedding bands

This one is an important consideration, especially if you are on the bride’s side. A wedding band is mostly the only jewelry that a groom will wear throughout his life.

To make things easier for you, shop for wedding bands online from credible sources and get wedding bands at great prices. Also, make sure to research on certain metals before purchasing the wedding ring.

For instance, if you cannot afford to buy platinum wedding rings, look for alternatives.  Palladium, for example, offers the same luxurious feel yet it comes at a budget-friendly price.

Opt for the Services of a Budding Music Group

Needless to say, music is an integral part of any and all traditional wedding. It helps create the right ambiance and mood for the guests and the couple.

Resist your urge to book a live band at your wedding event. Instead, find amateur music groups with refreshing and untapped music talents. Conduct a short audition or ask for their videos to examine how well they can set everyone’s mood at the event.

Consider Web Designers for Printing Invitations

In case you are unable to stretch your budget to get a professional wedding invitation designer, look for web designers who know how to design and print wedding invitations.

You can also buy software packages that provide classic layouts and creative graphics along with fun fonts for making your invitation card stand out.

Final Thoughts

Creating a wedding budget is now easy with the aforementioned tips. They are a great help for making things smooth for couples who want to save their funds for the future. Cut all the unnecessary costs by adhering to these tips and have a budget-friendly yet great wedding.

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Dating In Midlife: 5 Tips To Help You Get Started

When you are in your teens and twenties, dating didn’t seem overly complicated. It might have seemed awkward and occasionally stressful, but not overly complex in most cases.

Fast-forward to your 40s or 50s and now all of the rules have changed.

What used to be “Hey, you want to grab a beer?” or “Would you like to go to dinner and catch a movie?” now must often be coordinated around kids, jobs and even exes. That is if you even know anyone that is not only single but also interested in getting back into the romantic swing of things.

So, how do you get back to dating in midlife?

First, know that there are going to be challenges. Second, recognize that today’s day and age has made dating far more complex.

If you are finding yourself in your mid-years and back on the market probably after a long-term relationship or marriage, you are likely to be a little lost on how to meet eligible potential companions and how to handle things when you do.

If that is the case, check out the tips below to help you get started.

Spend some time thinking about what you want

midlife dating

If you are coming out of a marriage or long-term relationship, it would be smart to take some time before jumping back into things. Use this time to narrow down what you are really looking for.

Do you want a long-term, serious relationship or someone just for light companionship? Do you want someone to travel with or someone who is happy puttering around the house and watching movies?

People in this age differ so you should be clear with your desires. Don’t waste time or play games.

Know there will be baggage

In the 40s and 50s, people have already experienced many of life’s big moments. Most will probably have kids and even grandkids.

They will have developed habits, both good and bad, that you will have to accept. There may even be a relationship with an ex that you will have to get used to.

Be careful though.

If the divorce is new or they are just separated, you should exercise caution in dating. You are likely to say the same thing about yourself. With that, remember that acceptance is a two-way street.

Protect your finances

As everyone comes with baggage, they also come with a financial track record. This can be good and bad.

Regardless, when it comes to finances in your 40s and 50s, you have likely started or should have started laying the foundation for retirement and golden years. You may own a home and are hopefully on solid footing.

A new companion or romantic partner in your life should not derail your financial plans. It is probably wise to keep your finances separate. If you are considering a different arrangement, consult with a financial adviser to ensure the right decisions are being made for both of you.

Consider online options – but be careful

This is probably a new one and possibly feels uncomfortable depending on your age. But online dating has come a long way and can help you meet like-minded people. It also offers a population of people in similar circumstances all looking for companions.

Be careful though on just what sites you use. It is worth doing some research on the groups that target your age range and interests. Some will ask for a membership fee, so be sure that there are ample positive reviews and strong ratings by the Better Business Bureau before you pay.

And, as always, do not provide personal information beyond what is necessary for your site’s profile.

See Also: 5 Tips for Effective Online Dating

Think about hobbies, classes, professional affiliations, and friends

dating during midlife

If online dating is not for you or is just not working, consider broadening your horizons. Taking classes like cooking, trying a new hobby, or joining professional groups like Toastmasters or The Chamber of Commerce can expose you to potential new friends.

Whatever your circumstances, dating in midlife can be intimidating. Despite that, try to enjoy the process of meeting new people and the excitement of finding a new romance. Don’t get hung up with challenges. Those you are meeting are dealing with the same challenges and are probably experiencing the same range of emotions.

The post Dating In Midlife: 5 Tips To Help You Get Started appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Create A Fairy Garden Outdoors

Despite what most people say, creating a fairy garden is surprisingly easy and you can do it by yourself or with the help of your kids. You can find fairy garden kits so you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for all the bells and whistles to make a perfect garden.

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick guide on how to create a fairy garden outdoors.

Materials and Fairy Garden Accessories

fairy village

First, we need to collect all the materials and fairy garden accessories you’ll need for your project.

The list includes:

  • Container with a drainage hole
  • High-quality potting soil
  • Plants (Irish Moss, Boxwood, Lithodora, living-rock plants)

Fairy Garden Accessories

  • Miniature furnitures like bark, twigs, and leaves
  • Pebbles
  • Fairy figurines
  • Decors

The Instructions

Plan the Design

A fairy garden is a make-believe concept which is why there is no limit to what you can do to it.

Start by sketching out the design on the potting soil using a stick. Decide where you will plant the tree and place the miniature bench, fountains, and other decorative items.

Start Planting

Remove excess potting soil from the container to plant the boxwood tree. You can use any type of plant you like.

While planting the tree, remember to keep an inch of space from the root of the tree to the rim of the pot. Tease the roots apart gently, plant the tree, and press the soil around the roots.

Now, plant the moss and other plants.

Start Adding the Pebbles, Stones, Furniture, and Decor

fairy garden
Via Pinterest

Make a path by littering small pebbles onto the soil. All the furniture should be natural. You can construct a mini bench using four sticks, a piece of bark, and a leaf. A small bird’s nest can be used to mimic a Papasan chair. A tiny bench can also be made by stacking a bigger rock above two smaller rocks.

Add A Fairy House

fairy toadstool house

A fairy garden feels somewhat incomplete without a fairy house. It’s not mandatory but if you want to include a fairy house in your garden, then make sure the house’s walls are made from different materials.

The walls can be supported by placing twigs vertically outside and stacking small stones inside. Twigs or bark work great for a roof.

We recommend you only build three walls since an open fairy house will make it easy for you to decorate it.

You can use small stones or pebbles as “tiles” or a bark as a “wooden floor”. You can use a leaf as a “carpet” inside the house, too.

To make the “beds”, try using flat rocks and the flower petals or scraps of colored fabric can be the “sheets”. You can consider building a playing area for the fairy children. You can make a swing from twigs, a string and a bit of fabric.

Fairy gardens look adorable and enthralling to kids. They also make good additions to your otherwise boring backyard garden.

So, what are you waiting for?

Author Biography

Leroy Perez is a well-rounded blogger who has a wide variety of interests and specializes in doing in-depth research for every garden. He’s a notorious Writer, Editor, Blogger. He loves gardening. He currently is a blogger for https://www.earthfairy.com.au in a genuine effort to provide the best quality content to his readers.

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Why You Need A Daily Morning Routine Even If You’re Not A Morning Person

I can almost hear you thinking: “Just one more snooze” as you shuffle around your bed early in the morning.

You’re either giving yourself just enough time to get ready for work or rushing to get one bite to eat before heading out. This is the sad reality most people face.

You hear about morning routines on the web and in Podcasts. You hear about morning routine practically everywhere yet you’re convinced they don’t apply to you.

Afterall, you’re not a morning person. You’ve always stayed up late and sipped on coffee like water throughout the day.

The problem with your current routine is that you’re bound to fail eventually. Worse yet, you may wake up one day and realize that you’ve been living someone else’s dreams and not your own.

Starting each morning without a plan is a recipe for accomplishing “random” tasks throughout your day. In other words, nada!

It wasn’t that long ago when I, too, fumbled each morning and after discovering the impact my mornings had to my entire day, I quickly adopted a daily morning routine.

It boils down to this: if you want to make every day successful, you’ll need a morning routine.

Let me walk you through on why this is the case.

Start your mornings with the intention

So, what’s the hype around your mornings?

Simply put: 0 distractions

Most dream about going back to school or starting a business. Most dream about finally having the courage to change careers.

The result?

Most people lose hope with achieving their dreams. Some struggle squeezing time for their dreams and very few accomplish them.

The answer?

Carve out uninterrupted time each morning. Use this time to plan out the most important tasks that you’d like to accomplish by the end of your day.

Let’s say you’re planning to go to grad school one day. Start breaking this goal down into actionable steps with concrete deadlines.

For example, if a prerequisite is taking the GMAT test, then spend 1 to 2 hours each morning studying.

Repeat this for 5 to 7 days a week and you’ll be carving out 10 to 14 hours for your most important tasks.

The best part is that your mornings are only a small portion of your day. Once you begin making progress towards your goals, you’ll become motivated to carve out additional time throughout your day.

Start waking up with intention and reap the benefits of your uninterrupted mornings.

Create a morning routine that sticks

morning routine

Accomplishing goals is great but goals alone won’t create a fulfilled life.

Instead of using your morning routine solely to accomplish goals, incorporate other meaningful factors. In the book “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, Hal covers 6 different components or Life Savers.

the miracle morning

The 6 components are:

  • Silence: Sitting in silence or meditating. (1 –5 mins)
  • Affirmation: Reading positive affirmations out loud (i.e. today’s going to be a great day). (1 –5 mins)
  • Visualization: Visualizing your goals or looking at a physical vision board. (1 –5 mins)
  • Exercise: Doing home workouts or going to the gym. (1 –60 mins)
  • Read: Reading blogs or books relevant to your goals. (1 –5 mins)
  • Scribble: Writing down your most key goals to accomplish by the end of the day. (1 –5 mins)

Start using Hal’s Life Savers in your morning and eventually add your own components to truly make this routine yours.

Start living a purposeful life

living a purposeful life

Imagine this:

You’re no longer snoozing your alarm and you wake up each morning excited.

You’re excited not because you’re going on vacation or anywhere special. You are feeling pumped because you’ll be making progress towards your most important goals. You’re healthier than ever, smarter than ever, and more present than ever.

It wasn’t too long ago when you considered yourself a night owl. Now, you can’t believe your life has changed for the better.

Sounds good?

The truth is you can transform your life for the better. You now understand why morning routines are a powerful way to start your day.

The only person stopping you from living a fulfilled life is you. I challenge you to adopt Hal Elrod’s morning routine and discover how your life transforms.

Are you going to keep wishing for better days or take the initiative to make each day a successful one?

The post Why You Need A Daily Morning Routine Even If You’re Not A Morning Person appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Are You Ready For The New Rosé?

Are you ready for the rosé revival?

Once associated with sticky sweetness, today’s rosé ranges from dry to sweet and everything in between. You can get it with bubbles, without bubbles, and from just about every major wine-producing region of the world.

Since summer is a prime rosé season, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge. Here’s a quick rose wine guide to help you get the best wine experience.

Why Is Rosé Making A Comeback?

Once seen as the syrupy-sweet option for the unrefined palate, rosé is now popular among wine connoisseurs who want to enjoy the full spectrum of what this varietal has to offer.

Currently, rosé accounts for only 1.5% of wine produced. It’s rapidly growing in popularity, accounting for 1 out of every 36 bottles of wine sold in the United States.

Between 2016 and 2017, sales grew by 53%. This variety is now worth $207 million a year. What’s more, sparkling rosé is growing twice as fast as the rest of the sparkling wine category.

There are a few factors that have contributed to the recent rise in rosé’s popularity.

The Provence Wine Council began to promote rosé on promotional tours. Magazine articles started touting rosé as the next big drink and popular rappers and musicians started showing steady support.

Who Drinks Rosé?

rose wine drinker

Millennial women are the biggest slice of the rosé consumer pie, clocking in 40% of all sales. Men are showing intense love for this wine variety as well.

A quarter of all imported rosé is consumed in New York City while 15% is consumed in Miami. Almost a third of the wine consumed in France is rosé.

How And Where Is Rosé Made?

Rosé originated in Provence, France before the times of the Roman Empire around 125 B.C.E. With that, the city is the rosé capital of the world.

34% of the world’s rosé originates in France. Spain comes in second, making 19% of the world’s rosé and the United States comes in third, making 15%.

The process for making rosé is similar to how other varieties are made. The three most common ways to make it include:

  • The Maceration Method – The skin of red grapes macerates in the juice before fermentation. The longer they stay in there, the darker the rosé will be. This is the most common method.
  • The Saignée Method – About 10% of the juice is bled off after fermentation in order to make it darker. This is not as common.
  • The Blending Method – This method is mostly used to make sparkling wines. A combination of red and white wines are mingled together in a vat to get just the right color.

What Are The Available Flavor Profiles?

There are more flavor profiles for rosé than you might imagine.

The classic traditional Provence style of rosé is dry, light in color, and tends to be more floral and herbal. Rosé made with pinot noir grapes is slightly darker, dry, and have earthy notes.

White Merlot and white zinfandel-based rosé wines are on the sweeter side and tend to have more fruity flavors. Tavel style is dry, dark, and strong and tastes and looks the most like red wine.

Are You Ready For Rosé?

More than half of American adults say that a nice rosé wine is more refreshing than a popsicle in the summer but you can enjoy it all throughout the year.

In fact, many people enjoy a nice glass of rosé when they are just sitting, reading or watching television. It also makes a great compliment to your food. It goes great with seafood and chicken dishes while sweet rosé is great with spicy foods.

Learn more about rosé from this infographic!

The post Are You Ready For The New Rosé? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stay Sober: 7 Easy Ways To Handle Sobriety In Your 30s

Whether you hit rock bottom or just realized you need a new direction in your life, making the decision to stay sober in your 30’s is a unique challenge. Coming out as a problem drinker can be detrimental to your social life, your family, and even your job.

With that, if you’re curious to know the best ways on how to stay sober, check out these 6 easy tips you can start applying to your life today.

Keep a clean house

Make your bed and do the dishes before going to sleep. Don’t forget to prep your meals for the week and keep your vices out of your house, too.

Keeping a clean house can help calm your mind whenever your thoughts go frantic. Make sure you have plenty of alternatives to keep you satisfied.

Remember these:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

These are the times you are more likely to relapse.

Don’t avoid social engagements

Go to your friend’s birthday party or consider going to the beach.

Secluding yourself in your sober sanctuary can lead to loneliness and thoughts of relapse. If you are still at a point where seeing people drinking makes you uncomfortable, go early and leave early.

Say yes more often

Experiences are one of the many blessings of sobriety. Being able to have a real moment that isn’t clouded by alcohol is a beautiful thing. Let “yes” be your guide to sobriety.

Find a hobby

sobriety ways hobby

Hobbies are a great way to focus your mind. Try wood crafting, knitting, reading or go skydiving! Find a hobby that is healthy for your mind and body and be the best person at it.

Let yourself be silent

Early on in sobriety, your brain is your worst enemy. It will run a thousand miles a second because you spent so long quieting the world around you with substances.

Take a moment each day and be silent. Leave the world around you outside your brain and outside your consciousness. Let the silence come back into your life.

Join a support group

AA is not for everyone. However, for so many people, it’s the only way they keep sober.

Whatever path works best for you, follow it. Don’t be afraid to change it, too!

Substance abuse is best cured by sharing experiences and being vocal about what you are going through is crucial to your sobriety.

See Also: Where to Find Friends and Support During Addiction Recovery

Reflect on your experiences

benefits of journaling

Journaling is a big help in sobriety. Whatever tool you choose, write your experiences down because it will be interesting to look back at your life a few months from now.

See Also: 5 Benefits of Journaling To Inspire and Motivate You

The post How to Stay Sober: 7 Easy Ways To Handle Sobriety In Your 30s appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Do You Heal A Broken Heart: 7 Surefire Tips You Can Use

What’s the most common trait of human beings?

It’s the capacity to fall in love.

Everyone experiences this intense sensation at least once in a lifetime. You go out and meet someone unique. There is an instant spark, your personalities coincide, your souls sync up, and you feel like two pieces of a puzzle joined together by destiny.

For a little while, this euphoria seems eternal. You’ll be together forever.

Unfortunately, all good things will eventually come to an end. This is the harsh reality of life unless you’re incredibly lucky to find that special someone you’ll be with forever.

But if you’re anything like the rest of us, you must have experienced a heartbreak already.

The heart is the seat of emotions. Every time it experiences extreme pleasure to extreme pain, it goes haywire and breaks up.

This phenomenon sends waves of depressions all over the body and freezes you.

You don’t want to get out of bed, eat anything, talk to anyone or even open the drapes to let some sunlight into your room.

This behavior is understandable yet quite unhealthy for your overall well-being.

So, how do you heal a broken heart and move on? How can you get back on your usual way of life? How can you start living life to its fullest again?

Go through the following healing tips to get an answer to these questions.

Accept the Reality

The period following a break-up is devastating. It is overruled by unruly thoughts and unfulfilled fantasies.

How could something like this happen to you? You loved someone with all your heart, and this is what you got in return. Did you deserve to be treated that way?

Listen to me.

This is not going to work out. Depression is an entrapping abyss from which only you can pull yourself out.

And the first step to getting out of that abyss starts with acceptance.

Accept that this has happened to you. Cut off all ties with the one who’s broken your heart.

Talk It Out

After acceptance comes expression.

You’re in pain – a lot. Everyone can see it written across your face.

Do not hold it in or it will smolder underground and eventually erupt in an untasteful manner. Instead, slowly let it out by talking to someone about it. That someone can be a complete stranger or a close friend.

Talk your pain out. Eject it from your system in any way possible. Do a creative catharsis.

Once it’s gone, you’ll find a deep cavity within yourself. The next step would be filling it with all the good things in the world.

Get Your Traveler’s Shoes On

broken heart healing tips

You feel parched like a plant deprived of nourishment. It’s time to put a distance between yourself and the place where you’ve found only misery.

How can you do that?

By putting your traveler’s shoes on and going on a life-changing journey.

Pack light, book your flight and behold the beautiful sights all across the world. Trek through rainforests, go mountain climbing and soak yourself in soothing natural spas.

Gain new experiences to get over the past painful one. You can do this!

Watch Empowering Movies

If you don’t feel like leaving your room, then how about you travel the world virtually?

Indulge yourself in other people’s stories, relive their accounts, relate to their grievances and joys and you’ll get over your own.

One of the best ways to do that is by watching movies. Use your brand new Xfinity TV for this purpose and stream self-empowering movies in HD. In addition to this, you can watch comedy movies, too.

Change Your Style

When you’re going through a heartbreak, you tend to question everything about yourself. This line of thought can endanger your very identity, damage your self-confidence, and lead you to a self-deprecating despair.

You should not let this happen.

Bring a positive change in your style. Let go of everything pulling you down. Get a new hairstyle, buy some new clothes, and basically treat yourself.

This positive change in your appearance will bring a positive change in your personality. You’ll definitely feel much better after.

Pick Up a Productive Hobby

Fix your attention on a new activity.

Go to the gym and exercise your heart out. Work on your body by taking up 30-day challenges or you can learn a musical instrument. Take art and crafts classes and create unique works of your own.

Yoga and meditation is another way to centralize your focus and let out the suppressed pain. You can write in your journal, too.

Anything to divert and discipline your raging thoughts and feelings will be beneficial for you.

Get a Pet

tips on healing a broken heart

You’ve lost a companion. How about you gain another one?

Go to the nearest pet store or adoption house and purchase a cat, a dog, a parrot – whatever suits you best. A pet in your life can bring an unfathomable amount of joy.

Once you actualize the aforementioned tips, getting over a heartbreak won’t seem like such a huge task. Remember: there’s always a silver lining behind a dark cloud.

See Also: How A Broken Heart Can Be Your Biggest Teacher

The post How Do You Heal A Broken Heart: 7 Surefire Tips You Can Use appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Top Reasons to Take The King’s Cross Walking Tour

King’s Cross used to be a grotty red-light district. Now, after a multi-million-pound regeneration project, the area is one of the coolest spots in the capital. It’s a destination in itself, with plenty of fun and exciting things to eat, see and do.

While London is famed for its rich history, much of which is housed in its marble-floored museums, there has been plenty of work done over recent years.

The King’s Cross revamp included the creation of new schools, homes, a university, a sports pitch, and a community garden. Some historic buildings have been restored, too.

Acres of previously unloved open space now gleam with life. King’s Cross has seen a true turnaround over the last decade, making it fully deserving of a spot on your to-visit checklist.

Now, if you are still thinking twice about that, below are some great reasons to take a King’s Cross walking tour.

For remarkable architecture

st pancras old church

It’s not just the elegant King’s Cross railway station that will catch your eye in your tour. St Pancras Old Church is said by many to be the oldest worship spot for Christians in the whole of England. In its grounds stands an ash tree planted by poet and novelist Thomas Hardy.

To eat like royalty

dishoom kings cross
Via dishoom

In the past, your standard King’s Cross fare would have been a 3 am kebab. Lately, however, the area has posher items on the menu.

For veggie and vegan feasting, try Mildred’s Kitchen. Their brunches are second to none. Get your taste of its inescapable avocado toast, beans and tofu or waffles with southern fried ‘chicken’.

Then, there’s the trendy-for-good-reason Caravan where you’ll find bread, cheese, meats and fancier bits, too. Dishoom, which presents a modern twist on the traditional Irani cafes of Mumbai, does a dreamy bacon naan roll.

For a blast from the past (and a glimpse of the future)

charles dickens museum
Via dickensmuseum

Though it’s cool to explore newly dolled up London localities, you will need to get your history fix, too.

King’s Cross is home to the Charles Dickens museum which is set to give you an insight into the famed novelist’s life and works. The London Canal Museum also offers a fresh perspective on a city we often stereotype as a cluster of towers competing to reach the sky.

Head along to discover the secret histories of London’s waterways. If you want to see more of the future, remember that Google HQ and the YouTube Space are just around the corner.

For art and culture

the harry potter store
Via kingscross

Another reason to make a beeline for King’s Cross is its thriving arts scene. The House of Illustration is a public gallery set up by iconic artist Quentin Blake. Then, there’s the interactive art space known as Market Road Gallery.

You can’t go wrong with the British Library on Euston Road, too.

Fans of JK Rowling’s world-famous series will love The Harry Potter store. For music lovers, the Vinyl Cafe at Tileyard Studios is something to look forward to. It is a sleek coffee shop and eatery which hosts live music performances.

It has also served as a platform for some of the city’s hippest new musicians, including Brit Award nominee Izzy Bizu.

To go out on the tiles

big chill house
Via timeout.com

No recently-refreshed slice of London could very well function without a twinkling nightlife to match its new image.

Back in the day, the area’s most tempting after-dark offering would have been a sleazy, sweat-drenched club. These days, your King’s Cross all-nighter will be more polished.

Exhale with a cocktail in hand under the neon glow of the Big Chill House or dance to disco or hip-hop at the shiny Simmons bar. If a cozy boozer is more your thing, The Queen’s Head does a frothy pint and a cracking cheese board.

The post Top Reasons to Take The King’s Cross Walking Tour appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Things You Can Do To Avoid Midlife Crisis

If you are entering the mid-years of your life, you’re probably wondering about midlife crisis. After all, it seems pretty common.

Midlife crisis can happen to anyone at anytime. Some people experience it early while others struggle with it in the late stages of their lives.

Now, although common, it doesn’t mean that there’s no way for you to avoid it. Check out the tips below to help you stave off or mitigate a midlife crisis.

Believe that it’s never too late

A lot of people who are in their mid-life years panic when they start to take inventory of the things they wanted to do but never made time for. They feel that it’s too late to make them happen now.

It really isn’t.

You still have time to write a book, climb a mountain, travel the world or learn to do that thing you always wanted to. It may seem a little tough when those around you are younger. However, if you really want to avoid having a crisis, you need to accept that if you really want to do it, your age shouldn’t stop you.

Evaluate your priorities

evaluate priorities

Priorities change over time and for good reasons. It is okay to let go of some dreams and expectations if they no longer appeal to you. You haven’t sold yourself short if you find saving for retirement is more important to you than buying a Porsche.

Accepting that priorities change is important and healthy. Doing so will keep you grounded as you move into the new phases of your life.

Stop waiting for things

Now is the time to do something.

That doesn’t mean you need to be extravagant or do something really bold. It simply means that once you identify what you want or what you want to do, make a plan and get it done.

Putting things on hold or constantly waiting for things to happen can leave you feeling unfulfilled and more anxious.

A word of caution:

Doing the things you want and getting what you want out of life is important, but it needs to be done responsibly. Seek advice as needed so that your choices are good ones.

Deal with your regrets

We all have regrets. It is nearly impossible to get through life without wishing you had or had not done certain things. Take the time to get over them.

Take whatever rational measures that may help– apologize, reconnect and then let them go. Moving on does not make you a bad person.

Cultivate friendships now

If you don’t have a good circle of friends yet, then it’s time to make one.

The worst part of midlife crisis is when people feel like they have no one to turn to.

Friends give you a support system, a sounding board, and the happiness of companionship. Never underestimate the power of friendship.

Get or stay in shape

exercise regularly

Never underestimate the power of health and exercise.

There is no need to explain the benefits of exercise to your body but you may not realize how important exercise is to your mind. Regular exercise keeps your mind sharp and helps to alleviate stress.

Depending on your preferred exercise, it can also provide an avenue for new friendships and achievements.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

In Conclusion

The second half of your life doesn’t have to be scary, depressing or full of crisis.

Understanding that life has its ups and downs and being prepared for them is important. If you feel like you are headed down the path toward midlife crisis, take a moment to stop and take stock of what you are feeling and why.

Use the tips above to get you through the process. If you don’t feel like you can get back on the right path, seek the help of a professional counselor.

For some people, a midlife crisis can be very complicated. It is possible that you may need help to get through it –a lot of people do.

The post 6 Things You Can Do To Avoid Midlife Crisis appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret To A Happy Life

The pressure to find happiness can lead to a sense of inadequacy and disappointment.

In fact, the pressure to be happy can make you unhappy.

Instead of forcing yourself, try Ikigai. It can get you out of bed in the morning.

In the culture of Okinawa, Japan, Ikigai (pronounced “eye-ka-guy”) roughly translates to “reason for being.”

In a 7-year study involving about 43,000 adults, it was found that those adults who were able to find their Ikigai were alive 7 years after the study.

This was even after taking other factors, like diseases, into account.

Ikigai is similar to “happiness”.

ikigai happiness

The difference is that even if you are miserable now but have a goal in mind, you may still feel Ikigai.

Have you ever been so absorbed in doing something that you forget to drink and eat?

What were you doing?

You may find your Ikigai in those moments.

If you can find out what you are good at, what you can be paid for, what the world needs and what you absolutely love doing, then you have your Ikigai.

ikigai
Via leftbrainrightbrain.blog

Let’s break it down:

1. What you love: It’s going to be something that you do because you enjoy doing it. Make a list.
2. Be good at it: If you enjoy it, you’re likely to be good or at least decent at it. Make a list.
3. Can be paid for: For it to be Ikigai, you should be able to make a decent living off of it. Is there a niche for it? Make a list.
4. The world should need it: It should be something people find useful. Make a list.

By now you should have four lists.

Is there anything that exists on all four of them?

That’s a really good contender for Ikigai.

Also, consider the things on the “I love doing it” and “The world needs it lists”.

Are you suddenly going to start loving doing something that you don’t enjoy doing?

Not likely.

It’s easier to get really good at something you enjoy or figure out a way to make a living from.

Ikigai may be an answer to the Millennial frustration

I want my life to have meaning and consequence. On the other hand, I want to enjoy the lifestyle that comes with money.

Whether it’s Ikigai or what Chris Myers calls Enlightened Entrepreneurship, find your passion and then the medium through which to express your passion.

Ikigai isn’t about working harder and longer.

In fact, only 31% of Japanese say they’ve found their Ikigai at work, which means 69% of people find it elsewhere.

Ikigai is about feeling that your work makes a difference in people’s lives.

Unlike the English term “purpose in life”, it need not refer to dauntingly large or spectacular projects.

It doesn’t need to be grand or showy.

You can find your Ikigai in doing one small thing as well as you possibly can.

The post Ikigai: The Japanese Secret To A Happy Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Going on A Date? 6 Tips In Planning A Cruise for The First Time

So, you have spotted that perfect girl that makes your heart race every time you see her. You asked her out on a date and she said yes. Now, the next thing is to plan a perfect date that will impress her and get her to think some nice things about you.

One of your best options is a dinner cruise.

If you’re looking for an exhilarating way to see London’s riverside sights, then opt for a high-speed RIB cruise on the Thames River. In a rigid inflatable boat, soar past the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and Shakespeare’s Globe while listening to a high-octane soundtrack.

Thinking about whether you ought to get an inside lodge or an overhang room?

Try not to sweat it. Galleries are extraordinary but inside lodges can be great, too.

If these things and planning a cruise for the first time overwhelm you, here are a few tips you can use.

Plan

plan a cruise

You need to plan how everything is going to go. Women like men who are organized and know what they are doing.

You need to know what will happen throughout that day so that you do not disappoint her. This way, your woman can be relaxed when she is with you since she knows that you have everything under control.

Get some money

Figure out how much money you are going to spend on the date and make sure that you have enough. You can try saving up for a couple of weeks to get all the cash that you need. Remember to stop by the ATM before you leave.

Let her know ahead of time

You have to call her in advance so that she can plan and prepare herself. If you wait until the last minute to inform her of your plans, she might already have made other plans.

Let her know the date and the time that she should be ready. You can also let her know where you are taking her so that she’ll be able to dress appropriately. This way, you won’t embarrass her.

Send her a reminder on that date or the day before so she won’t forget.

Show up on time

If you are picking her up, show up at her door on time. Do not keep her waiting endlessly without telling her where you are. If you are going to be late, call ahead of time and let her know. However, don’t be too early as she might probably not be ready yet.

When you see her, make sure to tell her that she looks good. Most women spend a lot of time and money in prepping for a date. Show appreciation for all the effort she put in.

The drive

On your way to your dinner, you can talk in the car or you can listen to some music. If you want to listen to music, keep it classy and play some soft music so that you can relax and enjoy each other’s company.

At the date

dinner cruise

Keeping things simple is one of the best rules in planning a cruise for the first time. Talk to your date and enjoy her company. Make sure that you are the one who pays. If she offers to pay, turn her down nicely.

The post Going on A Date? 6 Tips In Planning A Cruise for The First Time appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Become Happier Today

Are you happy? How to be happy everyday?

This is a really subjective question when you think about it.

Happiness can’t really be measured easily through quantitative measures. Happiness is dependent on a lot of things, including your circumstances.

But one thing is for certain. You need to develop certain habits in order to become happier overall.

Factors Leading To Greater Happiness

Though happiness may be subjective and deeply personal, there is still a basic formula to it. Factors that affect our general happiness include economic, social, and the state of our health.

  • Economic -Income, employment, career
  • Social – Education, friends, family life, peer interaction
  • Health – Mental, physical, access to healthcare

The Happiest Place Isn’t Where You Think

norway happiest place on earth

Contrary to popular belief, that amusement park with animals isn’t the happiest place on earth- for that you’d want to visit Norway.

Residing in a cold and often dark climate, Norwegians’ survival depends on strong community support and close communities. Norway is also one of the wealthiest countries on the planet and their economic and security benefits offer universal education and family allowance.

Apart from that, Norway also:

  • Sees months with very little sunlight and the natural vitamins that boost the brain’s “happy” receptors
  • Is the fourth wealthiest country in the world based on GDP per capita
  • Offers free education in the university level for all citizens

America’s Happiness

The US comes in at #19 of 155 countries in terms of happiness, far behind Norway. From social unrest, healthcare concerns to education, the level of happiness Americans express is less than ideal.

The case of American happiness is a unique one and the following are cited as contributors to their decreased happiness:

  • Perception of lowered personal freedoms, such as body pat downs and invasive government surveillance
  • Income inequality issues and deteriorating educational systems
  • Political unrest and a general frustration with current political climates

Though it’s clear Americans collectively have a lot on their mind, it isn’t all bad. In fact, the happiness level and optimism of Americans are rising.

  • In 2017, 33% of Americans say they are happy (an increase from 31% in 2016)
  • 86% of Americans say they have positive relationships with their family members
  • 72% of Americans express they are optimistic about the future

Happy Habits Are The Key

When it comes to happiness there is a no one-size-fits-all solution. We all must approach happiness on our own terms. That said, there are steps that encourage happiness as a habit.

Here are some of them:

Practice gratitude: Psychology research shows that feelings of gratitude and thankfulness are associated with happiness.
Embrace and accept negative feelings: By acknowledging the full spectrum of our emotions, we can better appreciate the complexity of life.
Place a higher value on time than money: Prioritizing time is a behavior associated with greater happiness.
Practicing compassion and generosity with others: This will lead to more self-compassion and less negative self-talk

See Also: 8 Inspiring Habits of Happy People

Even physical effects can make us feel happy. Even just spending some time outdoors can do wonders for one’s mood and can even help establish happy habits.

  • Serotonin is secreted when the eyes come into contact with sunlight.
  • Vitamin D, produced when UV rays hit the skin, literally makes us feel happier.
  • Simply forcing a smile can “trick” the brain into feeling happy.

Happy people do have some traits in common with one another.

happy people

Living in the moment: Happy people seek out new experiences, even if they may seem a little scary at first.
Goal-focused and big-picture oriented: Happy people don’t necessarily sweat the small stuff but still keep the endgame in sight.
Optimistic and idealistic: Instead of dwelling on the problems of the world, happy people tend to be more proactive.

How Can You Become Happier Today?

The happiest man in the world, Matthieu Ricard, meditates daily for at least 15 minutes on happy thoughts and compassion. Start this habit today and see how it can uplift your mood.

Learn more about the habits of the world’s happiest people from this infographic!

See Also: 5 Key Insights For A Happy Life From Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

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10 Possible Reasons Why You’re Always Not Good Enough

Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough? Have you ever questioned yourself why you’re not appreciated and valued for who you are?

Well, let me tell you what I think.

1. You’re constantly comparing and measuring your standards of success against others.

“So what If I’ve graduated with a Bachelors degree, people are graduating with Masters and PhDs, I’m just not smart enough; I’m never gonna get a good job.”

2. When you don’t take care of your health, you feel like crap and you underperform.

Imagine this:

You only slept two hours the night before and you tried to work out the next morning. No matter how hard you try, you couldn’t lift as heavy as your last record. You start to think that you are deteriorating and you’re never going to improve.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

3. You complain that you’re not good enough but you don’t do anything to change.

You still continue doing the same shit every day that makes you mediocre.

always complaining

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”– Jim Rohn

4. You think you should be like Wonder Woman and be good at everything.

Well, you don’t have to, because you never will. This brings me to my next point.

5. You are a self-proclaimed perfectionist and big-time procrastinator.

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” ― Ecclesiastes 11:4

6. You’re constantly thinking about the ‘What If’s’ but you don’t look at your current assets and how you can work them to your advantage.

7. You try to do everything but give up everything in the process.

You don’t have a goal or a list of things you want to achieve. You’re constantly stuck and feeling lost.

8. You’re not fully present when you’re working on something.

After you’ve completed a task, you don’t even remember what you did.

9. You don’t want to admit that you’re just a lazy prick and you’re not willing to put in the effort to succeed because acknowledging that makes you feel worse about yourself.

being lazy

10. You constantly think that you’re not good enough.

“What you think, you become.” – Buddha

By now, you must be thinking:

“Well, this girl sounds like she’s giving me advice because she’s got everything in one piece and is living out her life purpose which is making a difference in people’s lives by doing what she’s good at…”

Hell, no.

This girl is very aware what it feels like to never be good enough. However, despite that, she’s still trying to get out of her hole.

She scrolls through Instagram looking at her friend’s post about a pretty unicorn smoothie bowl he made and she thinks: “I have a degree in food nutrition and I can’t make stuff like that… I’m not healthy enough.”

She goes to Cross-fit class and she sees others doing pull-ups and handstands and she thinks: “I’ve been working out for donkey years and I still can’t do any of those… I’m not fit enough.”

She and her friend go traveling together and she sees her friend being the one connecting with people along the way and she thinks: “I can’t talk like that…I’m not sociable enough.”

And as she is in the process of writing an article, she thinks: “Why am I even spending my time doing this, I’m not…”

I’m not enough. I can’t.

You get the gist.

Final Words

If you don’t feel the same way, kudos to you. Keep it up!

If you do, then know that you’re not alone in facing this ‘fear’ of imperfection, of never being good enough.

I’m not here to offer pity or start preaching that you should change and start thinking positively.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m just hoping to be able to offer some comfort and make you feel comforted as well.
There’s no room for judgment here. Only understanding.

Oh, and ice cream.

Join me for ice cream? I’m thinking cookies and cream. What about you?

The post 10 Possible Reasons Why You’re Always Not Good Enough appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Heal From Divorce Through Writing

Most people who have been through a divorce would probably find it one of the most challenging times in their lives. It’s a time of grief, mourning, upheaval, and changes that you never dreamed you’d have to make. Social support, emotional support, and self-care are completely important during this painful transition.

For centuries, writing has been used to express people’s deepest feelings and find meaning and purpose in their lives. By using well-thought-out prompts, you can do the same thing and experience the benefits of expressive writing.

Introspective writing, for example, can help lift up your spirit. It can also benefit you emotionally and physically.

Writing can help you in practical ways as well. How?

Below are some great examples:

Sharing the news

For one, you can use it to plan how you are going to tell your family and friends about your impending divorce.

It can be uncomfortable and awkward for everyone involved. This makes it critical that you carefully plan how you’re going to tell them the news.

Try writing about how you would like your divorce to be perceived. You will probably need a page or more to explore this in writing. Eventually, you’ll be able to narrow it down to a sentence or two.

Focus on what you would like the divorce to be like and decide how much you are willing to share with different people. You will have different versions for the children and for family and friends.

Preparing your answers

Children will need to know concrete facts, like where are they going to live and how often they will see each parent. Anticipate the questions they might have and plan your answers.

For friends, focus on the ideal way that you are aiming for. You might say something like, “Peter and I have been struggling in our marriage for a long time and we have decided to get a divorce. We would like to remain friends.”

However you decide to word it, practicing on paper will help make conveying this difficult message easier.

Forgiving yourself

You can also support yourself during this time by writing a letter to yourself, expressing encouragement and love.

It is vital that you forgive yourself for your part in the dissolution of your marriage. And also give the assurance that you can successfully move forward. Then self-address, stamp, and mail it!

Another enlightening exercise is to sit down and write the complete story of your marriage, with a beginning, middle, and end. Do it in a few short sessions as it can be overwhelming.

Forgiving your ex

As you write the story, remember that the good memories are still yours to cherish. And feel the relief that the bad times will soon be over.

writing about divorce

It is vitally important that you begin to forgive your ex – no matter how hard that may be. There is a Buddhist saying that holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else – you are the one who gets burned.

Planning your future

Most importantly, when writing the history of your marriage, do not end the story with the divorce as that isn’t where your story ends!

Extend this story into your future, describing how resilient you inherently are and how bright your future will be. Detail what you learned from your mistakes and how your next relationship will be different. Then, go on to describe your ideal future!

See Also: How To Overcome Negative Emotions Using 5 Writing Techniques

The very best way to heal is to begin living your dreams. So, list your goals in the next five years and what you would like your life to look like ten years down the road. And when you are ready, list baby steps you can take to realize those goals.

Expressing gratitude

Finally, one of the simplest but most powerful practices is to write a daily gratitude list.  As I wrote in my book Write For Recovery:  

write for recovery

No matter how bad your life is at any given point, even in the worst of times, there are always things for which we can be grateful. A practice of appreciating the good things in your life nurtures feelings of optimism and joy. It also gets your ego out of the way so your spirit can shine.

A minute of gratitude is like a vacation for your heart and mind. And just as the runner gets a second wind and is stronger with every run, gratitude is strengthened by repeated effort.”

The act of acknowledging our blessings has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brains. A practice of appreciating the good things in your life nurtures feelings of optimism and joy.

A minute of gratitude is like a vacation for your heart and mind. You cannot hold anger at your ex and bemoan your past while you are busy being consciously grateful for all the precious little gifts in your life!

See Also: The Magic of Appreciation: How to Practice Gratitude

The post How to Heal From Divorce Through Writing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Simple Things That Women Want From Men

There is a lot of confusion and mystery when the topic of what women want arises. Most men think that women are so incredibly complicated that knowing what they want is nearly impossible. That is not necessarily the case. Actually, in most cases, it’s pretty simple.

Women, like men, differ from each other. There are, however, some things that are common among them.

If you are wondering what those things are, check out this handy guide on what women want.

Respect

Aretha said it well.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Women want to be respected.

That is true for most people on the planet, but women have expressed that they often feel less respected by their partners than they would like to be. It is possible that, as men, we forget that the respect women are referring to is larger than showing good manners in their presence.

Women and men are intellectually equal and just as capable as one another at most tasks. Yet, as men, we often try to take over, control or disregard their contributions not just in the workplace but in relationships, too.

A good rule of thumb is to consider the respect you would like and then show that same level of respect to the women in your life.

Attention

women wants attentionMost women like attention. So, make it a habit to practice touching, hugging, and talking about the little things that happened during the day. These things can help keep you connected to your partner.

Take note that it’s perfectly fine to ask for the same things even if you’re a man.

Honesty

Honesty goes hand-in-hand with respect and is a non-negotiable in a healthy relationship. Practice respect for your partner by being honest at all times.

She is an adult and if she asks you a question, whether it is about her appearance, behavior, or anything else – be honest with her.

Fun

When you stop to think about why people get into a relationship, you’ll probably think about love, kids or growing old together. But, if you really consider it, you start a relationship because you have fun with the other person.

Something about being together makes you happy and that really never changes. Girls and women really do want to have fun.

See Also: Friendship’s Day Special: Why Friendship Makes Marriage More Fun

Sex and Romance

women wants sex and romance

Yes, I said sex. Women want sex, too.

However, don’t overlook the romance. Although women can be just as visual and just as physically motivated to have sex as men, they consider it a personal experience associated with love. This makes incorporating romance into the equation a crucial piece to keeping your sex life active.

Romance can stand alone. It doesn’t always have to lead to sex. In other words, don’t expect to hit the sheets every time you bring home flowers.

See Also: Four Ways to Help Your Guy Get A Clue About Romance

Acceptance

We all desire this, don’t we?

Women feel a great deal of pressure to fit whether it involves their appearance or behavior. The open secret is that they don’t like that.

The woman in your life has flaws. As long as they are not detrimental to her health, safety or your relationship, try to accept her the way she is. As much as men accuse women of trying to change them, men can be just as bad.

I am sure you don’t want to constantly be told to change, so don’t do that to her.

The post 6 Simple Things That Women Want From Men appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Choose the Best Site for Online Casino Games

Online casinos are fun. They can help you pass time, double your money, and earn points without the need to spend on gas and drive all the way to a casino. They can even lessen your anxiety and stress.

Now, despite all the great things you hear about online casinos, not all of them can give you the best experience. In fact, if you fail to find the right one, you can end up falling victim to identity theft and fraud.

To make sure none of these things happen, check out these best tips on how to find the safest and best online casino.

Reliability

Since you’ll be depositing money into the online casino, you have to make sure that you can rely on it in keeping your money safe. The last thing you’d want to happen is to find all your money gone even before you start betting.

One good way to verify a casino’s reliability is to check its licensing company. You should also verify if its random number generator is legit. Otherwise, the casino could be swindling its customers and that’s not legal.

Reputation

As much as possible, stick with online casinos that have a proven track record for treating their clients fairly. AskGamblers, named one of the best casino portals, is a great example.

askgamblers

Now, how do you check?

You can do a quick search online to see what others are saying about the online casino you like. Take the time to read each review so you’ll know what to expect.

You can also try asking your friends about which sites they trust and how long they have been using them. Having lots of long-term users is a sign of a good reputation.

Take note that searching for and reading reviews isn’t a foolproof way to determine a casino’s reputation. However, they can give you an idea about which sites are trustworthy and which ones are shady.

Remember, try to stay away from sites that are plagued with negative reviews.

Selection of Games

Once you know your money and information will be safe, it’s time to get to the fun part.

In choosing the best online casino, you need to find out what makes it great and that includes the game selection. You’d want to have as many options as possible if really want to have fun.

Imagine this:

If you sign up for an online casino with a narrow selection, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself searching for another online casino in just a few days. That isn’t only time consuming but frustrating, too.

So, before you start playing, make sure that the online casino you’ll be playing in is offering all the games you’re after.

Check if the site offers all types of games as well. An online casino that has about 40 types of video poker and only 5 table games won’t give you the best experience since it can force you to play the same type of game over and over again.

Graphics

Of course, you want your games to give you the best experience. And for that to be possible, you need to make sure that the online casino you choose uses the latest technology and graphics. You also need to make sure that it offers the latest games.

Excellent customer support

customer support

This might not sound that important but once you experience a problem, you’ll find the true benefit of having an excellent customer support. It won’t just help solve your issues quicker and easier but it can also make problem-solving a lot less stressful.

Now, testing a casino’s customer support isn’t that hard. All you need to do is send them an email with a few questions. Check how fast they’ll respond and how helpful their answers are.

If there’s a live chat support, try using it. Don’t wait until you have an actual problem before you test it out.

If you encounter a problem and that live chat support don’t work, you’ll have a hard time fixing your problem.

Deposits and Withdrawals

If you prefer a particular method for funding your account, you might want to check a casino’s depositing options. You should also check if you need to pay any additional fees to process your money.

Now, remember:

Most sites allow players to withdraw money from the same method they deposited their funds. This means that if you are going to use the bank method, make sure that your account allows deposits and withdrawals for the site you’re after.

Verify this before you deposit any money into your playing account.

Apart from deposits, you need to check the casino’s withdrawal process, too. Not all casinos process cash-outs at the same speed. There are casinos that follow a range of processes and that can delay your cash-outs.

Rewards

Online casinos usually post their rewards and bonuses so you can easily spot them the moment you visit their sites. In fact, they are the first things you’ll see.

Now, here’s the thing:

Although big bonuses and rewards look attractive, not all of them are great. Some of them can have hidden terms and conditions you need to keep an eye out for. Others require a higher wager which can make the rewards not that valuable.

If you are an occasional player, a welcome bonus is something you should look forward to. However, if you a regular gambler, try to find the best rewards for your wagers. The list includes reload bonuses, leaderboard contests, cashback deals, and VIP clubs.

See Also: Top 5 Strategies To Maximize Your Online Casino Profits

Conclusion

Playing online casino games are great as long as you can find the best sites to play. If you aren’t careful, you won’t just waste time and money but you can also end up compromising your security.

So, do your homework and use the factors above in choosing the best online casino. It may take more time and may require more effort but the peace of mind and sense of security can make your gaming experience a lot more enjoyable.

The post How to Choose the Best Site for Online Casino Games appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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

The post How to Get Over A Bad Day appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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

The post Are You Too Complacent In A Relationship? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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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.

 

The post 10 Brilliant Camping Tips To Make Camping Easier appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

 

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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

 

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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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