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How Adult Daycare Is Fighting The Loneliness Problem

Would it surprise you to learn that chronic loneliness can decrease your lifespan as much as 26%? That works out to two decades less to live your life, which is a bigger decrease than alcoholism or obesity. This is a uniquely western problem — success is measured in the ability to afford to live alone or as a nuclear family, which is actually worse for our health in the long run. There is a real and measurable deleterious effect on health and life expectancy from loneliness, and that also results in higher healthcare and end of life care costs in the long run.

The American Loneliness Problem

In 2018, 54% of Americans said they felt lonely all or some of the time. By 2019 that figure had risen to 61%. These people often report that no one around them shares their interests, that no one really knows them very well, or that no one respects their abilities.

By generation, the younger generations are by far the loneliest. GenZ, Millennials, and GenX are the most lonely generations overall, but loneliness has more dire consequences for the older generations. 18% of suicide deaths are senior citizens, the highest percentage for any age group

77% of those who feel lonely say they lack a social support system. People need friends and neighbors they can depend on for help when they need it, advice they consider trustworthy, and someone to share activities with them.

Unfortunately the American ideal of success often works against this. The cost of living is high, but expectations for a big house, a small family, and two cars is at an all-time high. There are fewer people living in larger houses that necessitate more income, which means less time to spend together as a family, let alone with friends. Multigenerational homes where families would share expenses and be in closer quarters are seen as a failure.

How Health Impacts Loneliness

adult daycare is fighting the loneliness problem

People who have health conditions, physical disabilities, mental illness, and others are more prone to becoming lonely. These conditions already make it more challenging to maintain friendships, and they can often complicate even the simplest act of getting out of the house to enjoy an activity.

There is a 374% higher instance of both depression and psychological distress among people who are in poor health, and people who are lonely are 278% more likely to have chronic health problems. It’s difficult to tell which is causing which, but the correlation is far too strong to ignore.

People with substance abuse problems, chronic physical illnesses, and dementia or Alzheimer’s are more likely to feel lonely. What’s more, people who feel lonely are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, and substance abuse disorders.

Physically, loneliness leads to an increase in norepinephrine levels which can cause spikes in white blood cell counts that leads to inflammation. This can also decrease immunity, leading to still more health problems.

In seniors, increased loneliness can increase the risk of death by 14%.

Adult Daycare To The Rescue

adult daycare

In many communities, community centers provide seniors with access to daytime care. These are places where people can get meals, meet new friends and socialize, have opportunities for exercise that meets their physical needs, and more.

Staving off loneliness can add years to life and life to years. It also has a measurable impact on healthcare and end of life care spending. People who attend adult daycare facilities experience fewer ER visits and hospital admissions, and when they do have to be admitted to the hospital they spend less time there on average. For dementia patients, attending adult daycare staves off cognitive decline.

After a stroke, patients are likely to suffer greater loneliness and feelings they can’t participate in activities like they used to. Unfortunately when patients give into this loneliness it can result in a greater risk of depression and less ability to fully recover. People need others to help with their recovery, and adult daycare centers provide this to people who don’t have communities that can help them.

Loneliness costs us all in terms of health and healthcare costs. Providing seniors and those living with disabilities the opportunity to have their physical and social needs met prevents many preventable problems. Learn more about challenging the loneliness epidemic with adult daycare below.

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

The post How Adult Daycare Is Fighting The Loneliness Problem appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic)

I don’t know about you, but 2020 easily ranks #1 Strangest Year of My Life. Our attention spans inevitably get sucked up by news headlines and the constantly changing city and safety ordinances as a result of the pandemic’s infection rates. Even as I write this from Los Angeles, just today we’ve begun Shutdown 2.0, and I frankly cannot believe it. More businesses crippled by the current health emergency, and more uncertainty about how the economy will fare. Yet despite all that noise, despite the whiplash of changes this crazy year has presented… life goes on.

Yup, even in a pandemic, you’re hard-pressed to meet a guy who still doesn’t want a woman to become both his companion and lover. That never changes. But how do you meet women during or following a crisis of this magnitude? What’s the right way? Well, here are 3 approaches to try — and note: whenever you read this article, these approaches apply because they’re rooted in basic social truths, not fads.

Check the #1 most important thing (that all women have a radar for)

meet women during a pandemic

Hands down, if you do NOTHING else, make sure your intentions are clean and clear. Whether you’re online dating, meeting a girl six feet away at a restaurant, or passing her on a trail while wearing a mask, women innately possess a keen radar for men who are just after that one thing. So what should your intention be? Should it be to get that date? Her number? Nah. None of those, which obviously excludes sex… but stay with me.

Your intention needs to be to have non-threatening, friendly interaction with her. That’s it. Your first, second, third, etc. interactions with a girl should not be riddled with dating or sex vibes. She can sense that, and the girl who wants that isn’t the girl you want. Treat meeting women and dating as if you’re out just to have friendly conversations with new people. Don’t DM or talk to women like you’re a hound on a fox hunt. That’ll push her away, and likely, invite situations where you just get rejected. But if you make your intention just to meet women for the sake of meeting new people, you’ll eventually find someone with whom the communication and vibes work, and from there, you can gradually grow the interaction to one with chemistry.

Avoid men’s greatest fear by ditching these

Men obviously have many fears, but in the dating sphere, let’s be honest: no one enjoys rejection. Oh yes, rejection is the chokehold of dating; just one bad rejection from a hot girl can cut your confidence and recalibrate what you think you deserve from a relationship.

So how do we avoid rejection in dating? Ditch your expectations. Expectations are the trap of dating because by having expectations, you pigeonhole yourself into how the interaction, night, or date should go. By placing a “should” on any dating scenario, you automatically get sucked into your head, and worst of all — out of the environment. When your attention is not on and in the environment, you cannot experience the girl, or see clearly if she really is a good match for you.

Also, let’s be honest: you don’t know how the future will go when you start dating. You have no idea who you’ll hit it off with! I had no idea I would hit it off with the girl I am with, but in the beginning, we just kept hanging out, talking, and talking some more. My expectations with her were not to have sex, get serious, or build a future… but funny, that’s eventually (over time) what happened. When you have etched-in-stone expectations about how a conversation or date should go with a certain girl, you cut yourself off of what could be. And, when things don’t go exactly how you planned? You just end up feeling rejected… but you’re feeling rejected by your OWN ideas. Get that?

Stop creating expectations around dating, and just adhere to #1: adopt a clear intention just to meet people, hot or not.

Follow the flow and never use force

tips on how to meet women during a pandemic

I know that sounds like something a sailing instructor would tell you, but in dating, you want to keep the flow light. What do I mean? Don’t force interactions that aren’t easy, and that aren’t wanted. I’ve read advice from other guys stating that they called their girl every month for a year before they got a date. Maybe that works sometimes (in rare instances), but I’d liken that approach to forcing something that maybe should not be forced.

You want to meet a girl who adds to your life, and with whom life is better — not more work. So if you’re talking with a girl online or offline, and the conversation feels awkward, or maybe she’s just rude? Maintain good manners and keep it moving. Just because she’s hot doesn’t mean she’s worth pursuing. The right girl who evolves from a simple communication into a longer conversation into a hang-out, into a date, and so forth will ultimately be one with whom everything flows. I can’t think of any relationship or human interaction that results well from using force. Have you ever been screamed at? That’s force… and how did that work out for you? Probably not well.

Use flow. Give attention to interactions that run well with no drama, only good vibes.

Now, do you notice something?

I didn’t mention anything about using online dating apps or making sure you hit up the hottest clubs. That’s because the most effective dating and communication tactics work well anywhere — online or offline.

The truth is, achievement in any area of life starts with you, not to sound like a bumper sticker, but you need to check your motivation and goals when it comes to dating. So get your head right, and stack the odds in your favor. Meet many women just to be friendly and meet new people. Meeting new people is one of the joys of life!

And if you occasionally meet people who suck? No worries. Follow the flow, keep it moving, and remember: if you keep your positive attitude and keep your eye on the top of the mountain, you’ll eventually get where you want to go.

The post 3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Tips on Finding Compatible Partners on Dating Apps

Online dating has become the mainstream way to meet singles. Nowadays, it’s more common to meet couples who say that they met on an app than those who say they met at a bar.

During the age of social distancing, more and more singles are turning to dating apps to meet potential partners—especially those with video call features, such as Say Allo and Coffee Meets Bagel. Even as restrictions ease up, dating apps will still be a vital tool for meeting new people.

Dating apps have grown in popularity over the years. There are now 1,500 dating apps around the world that cater to people from all types of backgrounds and interests. According to Pew Research Center, dating app usage in the U.S. has been on the rise over the past few years. 30% of U.S. adults have at some point used a dating app, an 11% increase since 2013.

In addition to a surge in dating apps and an increase in usage, apps have become increasingly diversified. There are apps that cater to people from all walks of life with different tastes and personality types. There’s now a niche dating app that appeals to every type of person.

Whether you want to meet someone who shares your faith, or who is passionate about saving the environment or who loves dogs; or you’re an introvert who prefers intimate connections, you’re sure to meet someone who shares your interests and lifestyle preferences.

While dating apps have made it easier to meet a large pool of singles, it doesn’t mean they’ve made dating easier. The idea of sifting through a sea of romantic options is daunting and it leaves many people wondering if it will actually lead them to that one person who they can share a magical and lasting connection with.

Most experienced daters know that sharing common interests isn’t necessarily an indicator of personal compatibility. There are other deeper and significant aspects of compatibility that should be considered when looking for a stable and long-term connection such as, future vision, attitude towards family and financial planning.

Dating and relationship expert, Susan Winter, said in an interview with Say Allo, that dating can be a valuable learning process, provided we take the right approach. Winters said that by being strategic about our use of dating apps and gaining experience as we date more people, we’ll maximize our chances of finding our perfect match.

If you’re someone who feels overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options of potential partners available on dating apps or you’re having difficulty finding compatible matches, here are five tips you can use to find compatible matches and set yourself up for dating success.

Ask the right questions

In the beginning you want to keep things light and flirty, but if you want to take things to the next level you should be asking questions with substance. These are questions that allow you to get to know a person’s true character. Good dating questions help you scratch more than just the surface and reveal personality traits and interests to see if you’re a good match.

Make sure your profile reflects the real you

online dating tips for finding the right person

Your profile is set up to give a snapshot of who you are: your personality, what you’re into and possibly some hints of what being in a relationship with you would be like. This helps matches get what your vibe is and understand how you’re different from others. The more you reveal the real you, the more you filter out people who would not be a good match for you. Don’t be afraid to declare if you’re a geek at heart or if you’re a gym rat or a vegan. Fully own everything about you and know your value.

Spend more time on each profile

When using dating apps, there’s a tendency to mindlessly swipe through matches, but if you want to find compatible partners you have to spend more time on each profile, especially the ones that pique your interest. Look at photos and examine details such as outfit choices, locations, body language, locations, poses. Read each person bio and responses. What does it reveal about them? Are they playful, serious or cheeky? Are they career-driven or are they the life of the party type of person or a bookworm?

Use apps with the right features

The technology of dating apps has become increasingly sophisticated with filters that allow users to focus on personality traits, body types and values before they even meet in person. There are dating apps specifically designed to find compatible matches for long-term relationships. Compatibility indexes and reports such as the ones offered on Say Allo and eHarmony do all the work for you. They also provide an overview on initial compatibility centered on income, religion, education and more.

Use your gut instinct

dating tips

We’ve all heard a lot about those happy couples who said they “just knew” right away when they met someone special. That’s because they listened to their gut instinct—a powerful tool in dating. It’s that strange feeling you can’t quite put your finger on. It could be a voice in your head, butterflies in your tummy, and feelings of nervousness. It could be a knot in your stomach. Whatever it is, listen to it. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your judgement. But if you sense good vibes from the person, go ahead and swipe right.

The post 5 Tips on Finding Compatible Partners on Dating Apps appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Tips for Building Relationship Equality

Relationship equality is one of the key ingredients to a healthy, happy life with your partner.

The meaning of relationship equality isn’t always simple to define. Many feel that a relationship should be 50/50, but the truth is relationships have ups and downs. Sometimes the needs of one partner may legitimately overshadow the other, such as extra support after a family member’s death.

So, what is relationship equality and how can you build it with your spouse?

Relationship equality is all about respect. Both partner’s feelings, boundaries, and physical body should be respected. There is no power/control dynamic.

When you have equality in your relationship it means that you and your spouse can live in harmony together and feel safe and secure.

Here are 7 relationship tips on how to build equality.

Make respect your no. 1 priority

Unfortunately, relationship equality isn’t a given in our day and age. But just because your relationship scales are tipping to one side doesn’t mean you can even things out. With willing hearts and a little bit of patience, you can build relationship equality.

Couples who respect one another put one another on an equal playing field. They do this by:

  • Communicating openly
  • Speaking kindly to one another
  • Freely giving support
  • Compromising
  • Listening without interrupting
  • Respecting boundaries

Relationships that lack respect are often toxic, so make building and maintaining respect toward your spouse one of your biggest relationship priorities.

Your needs should be equally important

There is no doubt that your needs are important, but so are your partner’s. There is nothing worse than going to a partner with a problem or concern and having your feelings shot down. Remember, healthy relationships are all about equality.

Never treat your spouse like their feelings and the issues they are going through are unimportant or play second fiddle to your own.

Toxic relationships indeed make it difficult for one partner to be assertive, but those in healthy relationships may have the same experience. One partner may be shy by nature, lack assertiveness, or simply hate making conflict. To accommodate this and equalize the playing field, work hard to make your partner feel comfortable and safe expressing their needs.

Get on the same page about sex

having equality in a relationship

Sex is a big deal in a marriage, so both partners must get on the same page about it. You want sex to be something you share, not just something you “do.”

Sex is not something that should be controlled by one partner, used as a way to guilt somebody or a tool to be used to win an argument or gain something.

Research shows that sexual communication equals greater relationship satisfaction for both men and women – so communication is going to be your best friend when it comes to all things sex.

Talk openly and honestly – and make it fun! Share your sexual likes, dislikes, triggers, preferences, and how often you’d like to be intimate together. It may be a little awkward to talk about it at first, but in the end, it will put positivity into your sex life.

Build a romantic friendship

Relationships are about more than just romance, they’re also about friendship.

Think about one of your closest friends. Likely, you both share interests or hobbies, you do fun things together like go to movies, have game nights, play sports, or go to events. Good friends build trust, loyalty, and can talk to each other about everything.

These are all fantastic qualities that shouldn’t be limited to your friends. You can boost equality in your love life by making your relationship about more than romance. Make it a true connection that requires you to think of your spouse as something more than sexual intimacy.

Make your relationship a partnership

Shallow dating is all about filling time. You fill time with your spouse by hanging out, being intimate, and exploring romance. But true equality comes from building a healthy relationship where you share your lives together.

When you don’t welcome your spouse in as your partner, you open yourself up to a “me first” attitude.

Couples can create a partnership by:

  • Getting to know each other’s friends and family
  • Talking about what’s going on in their lives
  • Consulting one another before making big decisions or purchases
  • Having an equal share in how your life is built
  • Helping one another out where you can

Spend quality time alone

equality in a relationship

Another way you can build relationship equality is by spending quality alone time with your spouse.

Spending time alone also shows your spouse that you value their company and their friendship. Instead of solely using your leisure time to be with friends or family, you choose to be with your partner. This gives you more of an opportunity to connect and strengthen the love and respect you share for one another.

Additionally, spending time together regularly (such as with a weekly date night) has been proven to reduce stress, boost relationship satisfaction, increase sexual encounters, and -for married couples – reduce the likelihood of divorce.

Support each other

In a happy relationship, one person’s desires do not overshadow the others. Showing partner support is integral to building relationship equality. Both spouses should support each other’s healthy dreams and goals; never undermining, belittling, or controlling them.

Another way you can show support to your spouse is by making your home life as stress-free as possible – showing love regularly, acknowledging problems, using kind words even when you disagree, showing nonsexual physical affection, and checking in emotionally on a regular basis.

If your relationship doesn’t feel equal, don’t worry. There are things you can do to fix it. First, make respect a priority in your love life.

Work hard to be partners, to listen and communicate, and to build a friendship. Scheduling time to be alone with yourself or your friends is also important since it helps you retain your individual identity. Good luck!

The post 7 Tips for Building Relationship Equality appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

9 Unselfish Tips of Self-Care To Try Out And See Instant Results

“I have the courage to be the happiest and healthiest version of myself.” – Madi Baulch

As we are living in an uncertain time right now, it is important to protect our energy and take care of our mental, spiritual, and emotional health.

It is very easy to be overwhelmed by everything that is happening around us, and that’s normal. We are humans with emotions.

But, what would it benefit to gain the whole world, but lose your soul? So, you need to consider your peace of mind, health, and your emotions and take care of yourself.

Today, we are going to talk about the unselfish act of self-care. The truth is, social media platforms like Instagram have taken the word “self-care” and make you believe that in order to take care of yourself you need to invest hundreds of dollars in the best skin care products, bath salts, and so on…

The word “self-care” has lost its true meaning. You do not need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to take care of yourself.

So, what is self-care anyway? Why should you take care of yourself? How can you take care of yourself, and what benefits does it bring to your life?

How to take care of yourself mentally?

“Let your addiction for growth be stronger than your addiction for comfort.” – Unknown

Did you know that you have the power to create the life that you deserve?

The life we live in its entirety is composed of transitions. Being scared of such transitions is exactly what will make us hesitate to go for the greatest things that God has planned for us in the first place.

So my question to you is, how are you taking care of yourself mentally? What is it that you feed your mind with, do you have a growth or a fixed mindset?

Without further ado, I will go through 3 ways to take care of yourself and how this can bring instant results.

Here are 3 ways that you can take care of yourself mentally:

1. Stop worrying so much

not worrying

Yes, you read that right! One of the common things that take away our peace is worrying. I know this is easier said than done, but what benefit has worrying brought to your life? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

Exactly, so please do yourself a favor. Every time you want to worry, think about the lion king’s phrase: “Hakuna Matata” (no worries/trouble).

Instead of worrying, think about what you can do to make the situation better. And if you cannot do anything, just let it be! For after every rain there will come sunshine!

2. Let go of the fear that’s holding you back

Many times we decide to remain in the exact position because of fear or uncertainty, or just because of our comfort zones.

One of the bravest decisions I made this year was quitting my job. And even so, before sending my resignation letter the anxiety and fear definitely tried to hold me back.

I knew that this was the best decision for me in order to create the life that I want.
But because staying at that workplace was a huge part of my comfort zone, I was so afraid to take that decision.

I mean, who is crazy enough to resign from their job during the uncertainty the world is facing right now? Me!

Let my story encourage you to take that decision that you know you need to take to find internal peace.

Fear, in the long run, will only result in unhappiness, fatigue, hopelessness, and stress. You certainly do not want that for your life.

3. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of the world

One of the things that creates anxiety and stress is trying to fit in into the “cosmetic” world that we are living in.

Our society promotes the exact opposite of what is really beneficial to us.

If I hop right now to Instagram and search “#self-care”, I will get all these products that they recommend for self-care.

I mean, sure, those products are great, but does it really benefit me to consider that product self-care?

So, instead we have to be willing to be transformed by the way we think and see life.

If you think that you are a nobody, that is exactly what will happen to you, so focus your mind to see how much you are improving as a person and you will see how the magic will start to happen.

How can you take care of yourself emotionally?

“Taking care of myself doesn’t mean ‘me first.’ It means ‘me, too.”

Here are 5 ways to recognize that you’re not taking care of yourself emotionally:

  • You try to please everyone
  • You are full of resentment
  • You don’t cry enough
  • You prefer to go through your struggles alone
  • You don’t accept that you need healing

How can you work to be emotionally stable?

Here are 3 ways:

1. Laugh more

taking care of yourself

A joyful heart is good medicine.

I’m not telling you to go around and start laughing for no reason. But every time you get a chance to laugh, laugh. It’s the best medicine that can heal the heart!

Find things that will make you laugh and start wearing that beautiful smile of yours more.

2. Find healing and move forward

Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. In fact, the damage is there to remind you how strong you are.

But, it is important to accept that you’re hurting. It’s the only way to heal and move forward.

See every difficulty as a lesson that we need to learn and grow. Because now you’re stronger, wiser, and you made it!

3. You are not a superhero, it’s okay to talk to someone

Even for me, this was a hard thing to do. As a girl who is always thinking I can fix everything on myself, it is hard to sit down and talk about the things that were bothering me.

The benefits of expressing yourself to someone are:

  • You are conquering your fears and soothing your anxiety
  • You are relieving yourself from stress
  • You will find freedom
  • You will find peace in knowing that you are being understood

Holding onto things will not benefit you in the long run. Eventually, your emotional pain will manifest physically. You will find yourself struggling with health issues. And the reason being is because you’ve been holding too much inside.

How can you take care of yourself spiritually?

Self-care gives us time to recharge our batteries and rebuild strength for another day. It gives us a new perspective on anything we may face during the day.

Life is just better when we focus on ourselves in an unselfish way by practicing self-care. And as you know our lives are divided into three parts: flesh (body), soul, and spirit. And therefore when we are on the road to self-care it’s important to practice spiritual self-care as well.

Here are three ways to practice spiritual self-care:

1. Love others just as you love yourself

As the world continues to go by, love is slowly vanishing. People are becoming more egocentric and nobody really cares anymore. So it’s important to remain of character and offer your neighbor a helping hand when he needs it.

2. Pray and Meditate

To develop a good spiritual and balanced life, we need to pray. Prayer will change everything! Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Try to have an active prayer life. Dedicate 5 minutes each morning and you will start to see changes.

3. Read more

take care of yourself

Start by reading at least one personal development book per month. Reading will strengthen your brain. Knowledge will give you the power to know the difference between right and wrong. In the world that we are living today it’s important to do our own research to know where we stand as human beings.

3 books that I would like to recommend are:

  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  • The Bible
  • You’re a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Conclusion

It is very important to work on ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. How do we do this? By taking care of ourselves properly. Your peace of mind is very important. So, work on becoming the best version you can be.

The post 9 Unselfish Tips of Self-Care To Try Out And See Instant Results appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Let Go Of Things That Cause You Stress

One of the few things you will experience in life is emotional stress. Inevitable as it is, the question is how to get through heartaches and let go of the things that cause us stress. While we try to move on and forget everything that reminds us of the past, the process has never been easy. After all, the art of letting go is not without challenges.

There’s nothing wrong with being hurt when people do things that are, well, hurtful. However, it doesn’t mean that we should just sit idly and suffer. It is also an undisputed fact that we feel greater distress when the offense comes from the people we trust. If you want to move forward and reclaim your sense of peace, this article offers some tips.

Distancing

It is good to distance yourself from people or things that cause us pain. If you’re in a relationship with someone and they do things that hurt your feelings, walking away from the toxic relationship is the best step. The mistake most people make is that they get blinded with love, and they find it difficult to let go. However, the more we see them, the more we want them back in our life. This is why distancing ourselves from whatever causes us pain is a great way of letting go of things that hurts us. Always remember that in most cases, out of sight is out of mind.

Be thankful

Be thankful for what happened and don’t get stuck with the question of why it is happening to you. Talk to yourself whenever you get hurt and find out why it’s good for you to be apart from that thing. Whether it’s heartbreaks from your partner, see the good reason why you had to leave and don’t keep on reminiscing on why it must happen.

Focus more on yourself

focus on yourself

Focus more on yourself rather than thinking about the past. Find something you love doing and get attached to it, find your purpose, and don’t worry about the stressor. When you’re addicted to what you love doing, you spend time doing it and you forget whatever might be hurting you.

Focus on the present

Practice focusing on the present and not the past. The more you learn to live in the present and not the past, the more you’d be stronger in life. Accept the fact that whatever had happened in the past can’t be changed, but the present can be worked on just to get a brighter future. Holding onto the past will do nothing but steal your present and shatter the future.

Understand the situation

Understanding that the person or thing causing stress was never meant to be yours (maybe you just lost something precious, or someone you ever loved so dearly just broke up with you). Believe that the very best will come your way with ease; if it were ever meant for you, it wouldn’t cause you pain and stress.

Don’t complicate issues

Be gentle with yourself in the process of letting go if you haven’t been through it before. You need to understand that it takes time to heal from your pain. Don’t rush it because it’s a step by step process. If you go hard on yourself, you’ll only get hurt even more.

Eliminate the stress indicator

Eliminate whatever reminds you of the bad experience or stress you are going through—eliminating works when the stress indicator is something materialistic, human or emotional. Take out whatever reminds you of bad moments that cause stress pending the time you get over the stress.

Make friends

letting go of stress

Don’t be afraid to make new friends. Friends, especially the real ones, have a way of cheering us up whenever we’re down. Your friend can help you get over stress by taking you out for brunch or dinner: you laugh together and get a nice time out. It is an undisputed fact that stress and emotional breakdown always want to make one distant himself/ herself from the social world. However, the best you can do for yourself is to make new friends. The good times spent with friends have a way of relieving pains.

Move on

Don’t expect apologies if what is causing you stress is human. Sometimes we get to hurt ourselves more with expectations. When people hurt us, we wait for them to apologize. Expecting apologies and not getting it makes you feel worse.

The takeaway

Whenever you are stressed or troubled, don’t give in to the pain. Your peace of mind should be the priority. Always remember you need to be stronger than ever and never let anyone/anything be in control of your emotions and happiness. You are the perfect person to handle stress and emotional pains.

The post How To Let Go Of Things That Cause You Stress appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Be Free To Live Life On Your Terms And Master Fear

Everyone has their purpose in this world or they wouldn’t be here in the first place. Yet, why do so many live unfulfilled lives, are depressed, and lifeless? I’ll answer the question for you: fear.

Fear holds you back from leaving behind those things that hold you back. It keeps you in toxic relationships, unfulfilling jobs, and unhealthy habits. Only those who conquer their fear and overcome their shortcomings can achieve their destiny.

You will only be free if you live life on your terms. No other course of life will satisfy you. If you want to be happy, if you want to be satisfied, and if you wish to have an impact in this world, you’ve got to let go of fear.

Roadmap To Living Free

Like everything else in life, living free is a long process. It’s a way of life, and it takes dedication to achieve. However, there are some definite milestones to point out the way.

Know Yourself, Get Grounded

The first step of their journey to self-actualization begins with an honest and often painful examination of self. Whatever you believe about life, God, and the universe, the key lies in your own heart.

Once you know who you are, what you believe, and what you want out of life, then you have made a significant step. At this stage, you also consider your talents and passion. They define who you are, and will later light the way to the future.

Next, get yourself grounded in something firm. Life will inevitably knock you down, but if you are well-grounded, you can always get yourself up. Some people believe in themselves, others in family, and some in financial prosperity.

I always say that these things can and might fail at some point. If you can, put your faith in something high beyond the changing finite bounds of this world.

Assess Your Situation and Possible Options

live life on your term

The next step involves a calm and pragmatic examination of reality. Are you exercising your talents and passions? Are you earning enough? Are you happy in your work, relationship, or family?

More importantly, what tools do you have to go to the next stage? What do you need to acquire to grow? What are your options? These questions are vitally important because knowing your position allows you to plan for the future.

Plan and Set Up Milestones

Now that you have a clear picture of the past and present, set up the future. It is time to dream big and write down your goals. While you should have concrete plans for how you want to achieve them, always be open to new possibilities. The heart has a strange way of releasing keys to the future one at a time.

Team Up With Like-Minded People

Teamwork is a time-tested secret to success in everything. You are the average of your five closest people. You may have heard that if you want to walk fast, you go alone but if you walk together, you go far.

Having a team to work with makes you accountable, disciplined, and generally brings out the best in you. It also makes sure that when you fall, there will be someone to pick you up.

Write Down Your Fears and Face Them

list your fears

Fear is the biggest enemy of your goals.

To conquer fear, here are a few things you can do:

  • Wean yourself from television, social media, and mainstream entertainment. These tend to narrow your vision and deplete your confidence. Instead, read lots of great books.
  • Write down your fears and face them. Fear is often irrational, and it fades once you have it pinned down. For some people, fear is the result of some painful experience which takes a lot of courage to overcome. Either way, you can never move ahead until you slay the dragon of fear.
  • Surround yourself with positivity. Avoid negative people, media, and toxicity like your life depends on it. In a way, it does.
  • Have someone you can turn to. Sometimes, courage is admitting your fear out loud.

Do Something Selfless Every Day

Life is meaningless if you live it for yourself. Take time to serve God, serve humanity, serve your family, serve your friends, and the less fortunate in society. That is how you get fulfilled. And when you achieve your life goals, make sure it is about others. That is how you get fulfillment.

Final Thoughts

Living life on your own terms is about coming out of the shell you hide in. Face the truth instead of ignoring it, and then decide to follow your heart. Conquer your fear, and you will enjoy freedom and purpose like you never had before.

The post Be Free To Live Life On Your Terms And Master Fear appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Not To Be A “Man”

Addressed to men, for the benefit of women.

If you are a male and are single/divorced/separated/married but available/in an open relationship/nursing a heartache/just a plain philanderer, there is more sex/companionship/romance out there than ever.

Tinder, bumble, grinder have made sure that even the most hopeless, out of shape, out of sorts and even out of mind men have a hope of getting laid/ find a companion. If you still haven’t, read on. If you are a woman who has had the misfortune of swiping the wrong kind of men, read on, in fact share it with men in your world and save other women from the future misadventures.

I will not be sugarcoating the scenario because I am sure if I do, the message will be lost. While you try to the turn the gender gap in your favor through dating apps, let me help you become a little more worthy for the most amazing thing on this planet, a woman. Here are a few things, which may help you behave yourself better than you are capable of; and thus enhance your chances of getting much needed feminine warmth in your life.

You are not cool

No matter how many packs you have tucked under the skin-tight tee (lose the tee to begin with especially if it has a logo of the brand which is bigger than your face) or how amazing the picture is, if you think you are cool, you just aren’t. Same goes to women, too, in case any are reading this.

If you think you are hot, you are only going to attract the specimen mentioned above. It may work wonderfully, but in case you need more than that, drop the “I am hot and I know it” vibe. Pack in a bit of surprise. Let her uncover those abs at the right time, much like all the other things you think you are good at. So, next time when you feel like flexing the biceps, don’t. Give an honest smile instead, you won’t regret it.

Open the damn door!

be an ideal man

There will be more women who would be willing to go back home with you (though not necessarily for the reasons you assume) if they felt they are with a man who knows how to treat women right. Basically, women want to know how good or bad a job your mom did with you and the best reflection of that is how you treat them.

Chivalry is often misunderstood. It is not just about opening doors and pulling chairs, it’s about genuinely respecting the presence of a woman. How? Start by listening. Try not to focus too much on the cleavage and the legs, listen! She is trying to give you the master key to her bedroom while you were not paying attention. You will get ample time to check her out, if, for once, you can keep your desperate self in check and just have a conversation.

Women are great at observing your tiniest movement, so it you think a fleeting glance on her tush would go unnoticed, you are wrong. She is watching every little move that you make. If your mom wasn’t kind to you while growing up or chivalry isn’t something that comes naturally to, Google the crap out of it, seek help, talk to a therapist and practice until you get good at it. Your dating world will change forever.

Size does matter

Both, of what you pack between your legs and between your ears. When I say it matters it doesn’t mean bigger is always better (well it is indeed better than small, in both cases). Good news is there is a right fit for both. You can’t give every girl you meet on earth a shattering orgasm or a laugh. But to some you are just the right fit.

What’s worse than not packing enough is trying hard. There is no better way to kill a great conversation or sex than trying too hard to be good at it. Relax, sit back, just do what you know and if you think you don’t know enough, learn from the right sources. Women are equally insecure in the dance of mating.

In fact, their list of insecurities is far longer than yours. That said, wait for the right fit. She is somewhere around the corner and when that happens you will feel like the best hung stand-up comedian in the world or in other words, just what she wanted in a man.

See Also: The Most Common Intimacy Issues In Relationships

Truth is sexy

Vulnerability in men is the new 6-pack. There was never a better time for a man to come across as insecure, vulnerable, and defective. While the entire “man” kind is trying hard to be alpha and scaring women away, be your real self. Be honest, truthful in your failures as a human being. It only makes you relatable. Know the difference between vulnerability, pitiful, and brooding – they are not the same. Look up their meanings online.

You want to come across as a regular flawed human being, not someone who has nothing to look forward to or deserves sympathy. While women love a project or work in progress, rarely anyone would want to associate with someone who is pitiful. Also, it is tiring to keep the “sorted” pretense going. No one is sorted and everyone knows that. The more sorted you try to appear the sooner you will wear them out. Accept your flaws and let them see the real you.

Quality over quantity any day!

to be an ideal man

Okay, I am going to save you a lot of money on dates, drives, dinners, etc., which you would spend courting women who are just not your sort but you still do it out of lack of action. Desperation is a real thing, I get it, but what is going to happen when you do get in bed with someone you aren’t really into is what I call “post climactic depression”.

Firstly, sex isn’t going to be good. Secondly, you wouldn’t want to be in that bed but won’t be able to get out that easily either. Thirdly, it will just make you doubt about your sexual skill set. Better option is wait it out, follow the things that I have already mentioned and wait for the right fit.

Keep the faith you will get laid, but in this case, “how” is more important than “how many”. If you don’t want to take my word for it, go ahead, swipe right on the next available profile and learn it the hard way. Needless to say, in the road of courtship all roads must lead to a bed. Nevertheless, the journey would be way more enjoyable if we men stop acting like what we have been told a “Man” is.

The post How Not To Be A “Man” appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Effective Tips To Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance

According to a Harvard Business School survey, 94% of professionals reported working for at least 50 hours every week. This compounding stress at the workplace can make it difficult for you to leave your life to the fullest. The pressure of juggling the demands of personal life and career is overwhelming.

From having quality time with your friends to meet your deadlines at the office, you may have a lot on your plate already. You should be able to balance your work and personal life to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Here are the five effective ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance to let your mind be at peace.

Set your priorities right

Your career is important and so are your personal relationships and commitments. So, mapping out your priorities can help you dedicate adequate time to each of your priorities. From your daily exercises to professional work and some fun time with your friends, you can get everything done if you set your priorities right.

You can prioritise your time based on the following categories:

  • Urgent but not important
  • Important but not urgent
  • Urgent and important
  • Neither urgent nor important

At times, you may be tempted to leave work early and have dinner with your friends. But, you also need to complete a project that’s due the next day. Meeting your friends is important, but it isn’t as urgent as your projects. Think about it.

Let’s say your boss asked you to deliver a presentation within 24 hours. Ask her/him if it’s possible to extend the deadline. If the answer is positive, you can try skipping the task for a while and hang out with your friends stress-free.

Take out time for yourself

work life balance tips

Yes, you should love your career, your family, and friends. But, that shouldn’t stop you from loving yourself. Take out some time to take care of yourself at least every week. Your Thursday night is empty on the calendar. That doesn’t mean it is mandatory to go out just because your friends are going out. You can stay back home, read your favourite novel, and enjoy the smell of coffee.

Benefits of setting out time for yourself:

  • Boosts your overall immune system
  • Improves your self-compassion abilities
  • Makes you more productive at work
  • Helps you find out who you really are
  • Makes you a better caregiver

Remember, it is okay to turn down invitations and skip work once in a while so that you can have the time to yourself. Besides setting a specific time for yourself, you should eat healthy foods and get enough sleep every day. No career or friends are more important than your mental peace and health.

Figure out your strengths

Every individual has specific strengths and weaknesses. You can make the most of your strengths to get your professional tasks done hassle-free. For instance, I have always enjoyed doing presentations more than working on spreadsheets. So, I try to take up most tasks related to the presentations because I know I am quite good at that.

Benefits of knowing your value and strengths:

  • Helps you know and accept yourself
  • Keeps you motivated and energised
  • Releases the need to be good at everything
  • Saves time on having to re-learn a job or a skill
  • Lets you succeed and grow in your professional field

Let’s say you are a morning person. That means the best time for you to focus on your work would be in the morning. In that case, you should try to assign the complicated tasks to the mornings and get the easy ones done later. Thus, you will never have to stay for extra hours at your workplace. You don’t have to miss your deadlines as well.

Switch off your phone notifications after work

What’s the point of your social life if you have to respond to your boss’ emails even after work? Imagine sitting at a nice, cozy pub with your friends and spending most of the time on your phone. Does this count as ‘having fun?’ Technology has made our lives easier but you have to be constantly available even after work. So, there are times when you should turn off your phone and just enjoy the moment.

Four reasons to turn off your phone after work:

  • Scientific studies have shown that our brains are not capable of multitasking. When you work, make sure you only work. When you are with your friends, make sure you devote your entire time to your friends. Focusing on one thing at a time will help you become more productive.
  • When you stop responding to your professional emails, it conveys a sense of professionalism to your team. Eventually, they will end up valuing your time at and after work.
  • Your juniors will get better at making decisions, even in your absence. Your juniors must learn how to grow and make decisions. Being on the phone with them constantly won’t help them out.
  • Turning off your phone notifications will also help you relieve your stress. You can make the most of your moments and enjoy them fully. At the end of the day, you won’t have any regrets.

Let’s say you are at your kid’s soccer game. Instead of cheering for her, you end up spending the day on your phone working on a project. You need to stop reacting to the notifications that come from your work when you are enjoying a holiday. The more you respond to the notifications, the more prone you become to stress.

Make time for your family

work life balance tip for employees

Quality time with your family is enough to let all the stress related to your work go away. You don’t have to go out with your friends every day. It’s okay if you just want to come back home and have a nice warm bath. It will also help you take some time for your family, right? Have dinner with your parents and ask them about their day. Help your siblings with their homework and try to bond with them.

Why should you value your time even more after returning from work?

  • Brings you closer to your child or your parents. Family time makes us believe that there’s a life beyond our 9-5 jobs.
  • Helps you develop positive behaviours towards life. Stress is unavoidable at work. But, dealing with stress is way easier if you have frequent peaceful dinners with your family.
  • Boosts your self-confidence when you have valuable time with your family. It fosters healthy self-esteem and a positive self-concept.

If the work pressure doesn’t let you visit your home frequently, ask your boss to allow you to work from home for some time. Working from home not only boosts your productivity but also strengthens your bond with your family. Spending time with your family helps you relieve your stress and get through tough times with more ease.

Wrapping Up

Maintaining a perfect balance between work and your personal life is difficult, but not an impossible feat. Set your priorities right based on their urgencies. Spend time with your family and friends after work. Try out these tips and, hopefully, you’ll have a peaceful life ahead.

The post 5 Effective Tips To Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice

Each person should find time to have a break and think about what is bothering them. Mindful journaling will help to figure out what is in your heart.

Our hectic lifestyles lead to stress, depression, and other similar problems. Nearly all people have this feeling when everything seems to be fine, but something is wrong. You can be successful, you can have a great life and no complaints, but some event or even conversation might leave a trace in life. Mindful journaling is a practice that is targeted at finding out what is wrong.

When you can’t get over something bad or negative, mindful journaling is supposed to help in soothing your mind. You need to find time for yourself, to focus on what is bothering you, and to figure out why you are experiencing certain feelings. Such a practice will help to categorize your feelings, to understand yourself better.

All you need to do is to spend some time alone. You don’t have to meditate and close your eyes, just think about the feelings you are experiencing, write them down, and let it go. For example, if you had an argument with someone and you can’t get over it, just process your thoughts in your mind. Think of reasons why you can’t forget this conversation, why did it affect you that much, and write down these thoughts.

By doing so, you will see clearly what is wrong. When you understand why a situation had such an impact on you, eventually, you can get over it. Mindful journalism helps to restore the peace of your mind, it gives a boost to your mental health, and you feel a lot better afterward.

How To Start Your Mindful Journaling

You can create your own scheme of how to begin your mindful journaling, but to make it easier, you can read the tips below. Just remember, your thoughts in written form are going to help you to understand yourself better.

Use Paper

We live in an era where everything is computerized. Probably, the first thought that came into your mind is to put your thoughts into a computer or tablet. But it’s better to use simple paper or even a special notebook only for your thoughts. Don’t confuse it with a diary, it is different since you note your thoughts and reasons why you are experiencing certain feelings.

When you are putting your thoughts on paper, it takes a bit longer, but that’s exactly what you need. While writing down your thoughts, you are processing them at this moment. This writing process gives you time to understand you even better. Written thoughts give you the feeling that you are in the present moment, it gives you ground. And one more thing, if you choose a notebook that you like, you will be more eager to take your journal again and open up.

Think Deeply

If you understand that a situation, event, or even someone else’s phrase has caused an impact on you, try to look at a situation from a different perspective. If you can’t get over something, for instance, if you are in conflict with someone, try to look at this situation as if you are an observer, not a participant of that conflict.

We all need advice at certain points in our lives. But who would be the best advisor in any situation if not you yourself? Try to think about a situation as if it happened not with you, but with your friend. What advice would you give?

When thinking from a different perspective, we see other details. We can’t change what has happened, or what was said at some point. It might be nagging us and that’s why we can’t get over it. But concentrating on the same details won’t help us heal from a situation. So look at it from a different perspective and eventually, you will get over it.

Date

You might want to write the date when you have expressed your thoughts on paper. It works especially well when you are trying to get over something. Writing a date might help you to leave a situation in the past and to start living in the present day. We all do the same mistake — let our regrets affect the present.

What happened in the past is already in the past. Writing the date of when you have written your thoughts will help you to start a new day without regrets. It helps you to live in the present and your negative experience won’t affect how you perceive the present. That’s how you can keep your mind sound.

Censorship Is Not Allowed

how to mindful journaling

You don’t have to be afraid of misunderstandings, you are exposing your thoughts in front of yourself. When we are talking to our loved ones, we sometimes filter what we say since we might be afraid of being misunderstood. We are carefully choosing words and phrases so the listener would definitely understand us right.

But you don’t have to hide some thoughts or feelings if you are putting your thoughts on paper. Your journal is a safe place where you can be yourself. No one will read it, it’s only yours. And you have to be completely honest with yourself, to write down your thoughts in those exact words that describe your feelings, since that’s the only way you can understand why you are experiencing these feelings and let them go.

Add A Touch Of Happiness

Do not focus only on negative things in your life. Think about what can help you in a particular situation. For example, you feel that you are not completely satisfied and you miss out on something. What could you do in this situation so you will feel better? If you are feeling lonely, you can figure out where you can meet new people. Or you can decide to call your friend, etc.

Or if everything is going well, try not to focus on small negative details by writing them down. If overall you are feeling great, encourage yourself. Think about how happy you are and write down a thought that you are doing great and should keep up the good work. Take some time and write down what makes you happy. After you put your words down, you will notice a long-lasting positive effect. Happy thoughts always have the best flavors.

See Also: Simple Yet Effective Habits For A Better, Happier Life

Start By Doing Small Steps

It’s like learning how to walk or to ride a bicycle. Start with small steps. If you don’t know where to start, just take your journal and write down some thoughts that had occurred in your mind. You don’t have to write down a detailed analysis of what you feel and why you experience these feelings. If you don’t know how to do it, write simple sentences. Eventually, you will gain experience and will figure out the best way to explore your own mind.

One of the best ways to systematize what you are feeling and experiencing is by writing down lists or bullets. For example, write down a small note reflecting your feelings, and then write down everything that comes into your mind as a list. You will understand what you mean, and everything that made no sense will finally become meaningful. That way you can solve the issue, you will understand why you are feeling in a certain way.

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

Keep Up The Good Work

mindful journaling tips

Considering the tips mentioned above, and your own thoughts about how to mindfully journal your thoughts, start a habit of taking your journal and writing down your thoughts. It doesn’t mean that you have to do it every day, but don’t forget to have a break sometimes and to take your journal. If you feel happy, write down what makes you happy. Process this feeling, let it go through you and you will notice that this positive effect is long-lasting.

If you feel that you are losing control over a situation or life overall, take a break, write down your thoughts. Reread them, figure out why are you experiencing these negative emotions, and figure out a way that can make you feel better.

Your journal is a safe place where you can express yourself without being judged. It will help you to understand how to make you feel happier. When you take your time and write down what makes you feel sad, you can get over this situation. That’s how you can gain full control over your life and be happy.

The post Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Doer

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

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

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

Dreams and Mental Preparedness

Cultivate Your Dream

achieving goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Relinquish Regret

Regret is usually a waste of time – Thomas Crown.

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

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

Forgive yourself today.

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

Let Go of the Stigma of Failure

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

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

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

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

Know Yourself

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

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

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

Goals and Planning

Plan to Win

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

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

What’s your success plan?

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

Prioritize

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

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

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

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

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

Start Small

Don’t despise small beginnings.

How do you eat an elephant?

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

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

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

Set a Time Limit on Preparation

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

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

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

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

Admit the Joylessness of Over-reaching

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

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

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

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

Relationships

Banish Eeyore

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

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

Network With Achievers

meeting importance

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

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

Get an Accountability Partner

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

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

Delegate

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

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

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

Deal With Barriers to Motivation

Create an Action Environment

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

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

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

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

Record and Celebrate Your Progress

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

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

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

If you value your successes, celebrate them!

Closing Thoughts

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

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

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

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

Dating Mistakes To Avoid for Happy Relationships!

Falling in love with someone is a wonderful feeling that can only be topped by the feeling when that love is mutual. Starting a new relationship is extremely exciting! However, even with such an unpredictable matter as love is, there are still some rules to follow.

After all, dating is one of the most powerful forms of human communication. Hence, in order to make it fruitful and happy, you need to understand the basics of human relationships. Here are some of mistakes to avoid for happy relationships.

Making your partner the center of your universe

mistakes in relationships

The first thing on this list of dating mistakes people should avoid in order to secure a happy and long-lasting relationship may appear to be a little bit strange to some. One of the arguments against this point is that when you are genuinely in love with a person, you want to invest all of yourself into the relationship. You want to become “the one” so you put all your time and effort into making that relationship work.

However, this is not how healthy and happy relationships work. Of course, if you are going
out with someone it is essential that you pay enough attention to them, as well as their needs and wants. Nonetheless, it does not mean that they have to replace every single other human being and relationship you’ve had in your life before you met them.

Abandoning your social circle for someone is toxic and incredibly detrimental for you. The reason for this is that by focusing too much on your lover, you will lose those bits of character that other people fostered in you. It is likely that by only ever hanging out with your significant other, you will adopt their personality features and become a version of them. While this is cute to some, in reality, this is not great at all. It can even lead to a potential break-up.

The best way to explain the correlation between starting to resemble your lover and them
losing interest in you is this:

When the two of you meet and start to get to know each other better, each of you are a person of your own. And they fall for that person! If you eventually lose all of your unique traits and turn into their mirror reflection, they will be less intrigued by your existence.

In addition to that, it is incorrect to put your significant other’s needs above your own.
While it is an important feature of a happy relationship to know how to compromise, you should not forget about your own comfort when dating someone. Do not cancel plans you have made with someone and really wanted to attend to just at your partner’s whim.

It is understandable that after going out for a while people merge their social circles. They
introduce each other to their friends and mix and match the friendship groups. This is absolutely normal. The same way paying some little extra attention to your partner and choosing them before other people is normal.

You just need to remember not to limit yourself to just that one person by crossing out everyone else out of your life and abandoning your hobbies or goals that make your life a bit happier and fulfilling.

See Also: 6 Essential Steps For Overcoming Codependency

Trying to avoid arguments by bottling up your emotions and feelings

Another big mistake a lot of couples make that hinders them from having a happy and healthy relationship is avoiding arguments.

As weird as it may sound, the idea of arguments being unacceptable in a happy relationship is completely wrong. The truth is, arguments can be incredibly useful and healthy, and even take your relationship to the next level!

In fact, it is much better for your couple dynamics if both of you voice all of your concerns and talk them out, even if that could potentially lead to a heated conversation. If you discuss everything that bothers you at the time and let your partner know about your view of the situation, they are more likely to offer an explanation of their actions and subsequently suggest and alternative model of behaviour that would satisfy you both. After all, your lover is likely not a psychic and cannot possibly know how you feel about certain things unless you explicitly tell them.

Alternatively, if you choose not to express your disagreement and dissatisfaction simply because you would much rather swallow that instead of spending a couple of hours working out the problem, you are in for a hugely delayed scandal. It is human nature to accumulate all the unresolved conflicts and bottle up feelings instead of truly letting them go. Unfortunately, there is a limit to this.

Eventually, there will a be a thing, and often the tiniest one, which will push you over the edge and make you burst. Naturally, this will have adverse effect on your relationship and will likely end in a couple of days of not talking to each other.

Ignoring red flags

relationship red flags mistakes

Despite there not being a definite timeline for dating mistakes, this mistake is more relevant to those relationships that are still early, where people are still getting to know each other.

When you are only starting dating someone and still get butterflies in your stomach just from thinking about them, it is usual to idealize them in your head. Obviously, you are still new to this person and cannot possibly know about all their annoying little habits that are only identifiable to the people they live with. To you, they appear to be perfect. And this is, indeed, a wonderful feeling! However, this is exactly where the risk of ignoring red flag comes into the scene.

Unfortunately, people in love tend to not pay attention to the things that they do not like.
Instead, they choose to focus on what is good about their lover. However, this can be extremely detrimental in the long run. If you want to be in a happy relationship, you need to be with someone who you are compatible with and who fits you well. If someone does not, they are probably not meant for you. It is wrong for you to think that you can “fix” them, and make them good for you.

What you need to do is to notice all the red flags as they come and terminate the relationship as soon as it becomes unacceptable for you.

See Also: 10 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting Serious in a Relationship

Not establishing clear boundaries

This mistake links back to the first point on this list since they are closely connected. In fact, not establishing clear boundaries often becomes the cause of falling into obsessive behaviours and focusing on your partner too much.

This is why you need to remember that the two of you are not to be indivisible. It is okay if both of you have your own personal space which the other one would not violate. It is okay to have some privacy, and it is not to foster any jealousy or secrecy. In fact, privacy in relationships does not equate to secrecy. Privacy is needed to be able to be your own person and is not related to you having secrets from your partner.

In addition to that, it is undeniable that the world of dating is wide and varied. It means
different things for different people. Everyone has their very own understanding of what is
acceptable in a relationship and what is best be avoided. it is important for the two of you as a couple to decide what aspects are okay with you, and which ones cross the line for you.

All in all, you need to be aware of the fact that despite being together, the both of you should still remain your own separate entities.

Comparing your current significant other to the relationships you have had in the past

They say, your current self are made of your dreams and aspirations, your thoughts and your past. When it comes to dating, however, it is best that you keep your past out of the equation.

Of course, it is completely normal to remember some bits of your past relationships and respect the lessons you have learnt from dating those people. What is not adequate, however, is constantly comparing and contrasting your current partner to your exes. Not only that is irrelevant, but that also makes your significant other doubt your feelings for them since it seems like you are not over that person you dated before them.

Besides, you should also remember that no people can be exactly the same.

Therefore, you will not be able to have the same experiences that you went through in the past.

If you want to have a happy relationship, it is pivotal for you to remember that each and every relationships is a fresh start and you have to treat it as such. Live in the moment, and look up to the things you will go through with your current partner as opposed to reminiscing over the stuff that you and your ex shared.

Lacking in the communication department

This perhaps, could be one of the primary and worst mistakes people in relationships make, lack of communication between partners. The truth is that any relationship, let alone a romantic one, are based on human trust and communication.

By dating someone, you give that person an access to your heart and let them be your companion through thick and thin. However, even then they do not have access to your brain and cannot possibly know what exactly is on your mind. And neither can you.

As it has been discussed previously, you can actually save your relationship by arguing as that will help you express your feelings and let your partner know what you’re thinking. However, it is not necessarily negativity that you need to express. Relationship is a continuous communication process. It is helpful when two people talk about their thoughts and ideas.

The worst thing that one can do when dating is assuming what their partner means. And act based on those assumptions. That can instantly worsen your relationship and bring it to a logical end. It is absolutely essential that you discuss everything that needs to be discussed.

Moreover, it is also important for you to not only listen to your partner but also hear what they are saying. Often, we agree to have a conversation yet we are still not ready to communicate. That is ineffective and does not give any positive results. In fact, that only ever leaves both parties unhappy and annoyed with each other. Therefore, in order to communicate with your significant other successfully, you need to actually trust what they are saying and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Spending too little (or too much) time with each other

relationship mistake

Something a lot of couples are guilty of is not being able to find the right amount of time to
spend with each other. Both too little and too much time spent with each other can be harmful to the relationship and result with dissatisfaction from both parties.

When you are not investing enough time into your relationship and end up being too distant from your significant other, you risk losing the connection with them. While it is a gradual process that takes a lot of time to fully happen, it is likely to be irreversible. Once you lose touch with your loved one, you will find it extremely difficult to reconnect.

Therefore, it is important to schedule your life in such a way that the two of you would have some time to be intimate with each other and just have some quality time together.

At the same time, however, it is vital that you do not overdo it. Being together all the time can be rather negative for your relationship. It can lead to the aforementioned dating mistakes such as making your partner the center of your universe and your boundaries being blurred out.

To put it simply, even if you love them a lot, being together too much can make you get bored of them or even make them start getting on your nerves. It is important to have an opportunity to take small breaks in your time spent together, so you would have a chance to start missing each other and then have an outburst of oxytocin when you finally see each other!

Going with your brain and not your heart

At last but definitely not the least, love is an incredibly complicated concept. While scientists claim that love is simply a chain of chemical reactions in your brain, in reality, it is so much more than that! Love is wonderful in its spontaneity and unpredictability. And the worst thing you can do when dating somebody into a happy relationship is to try and calculate it.

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5 Surprising Benefits of Bringing Dogs In The Workplace

Thanks to the evolution of global office culture, managers and business owners have started to go against the norm and adopt non-traditional office policies. Aside from providing flextime benefits and the option to work remotely, more offices are starting to see the value of allowing dogs in the workplace.

Whether it’s for your staff or team leads, bringing your dogs to work can be beneficial in several ways. Aside from helping them get through tough bouts of work, dogs have the power to boost employee engagement and even inspire productivity.

If you want to switch up your company’s performance or help maintain the well-being of your staff, you should definitely consider this option.

Not convinced yet?

Take a look at these five surprising benefits of bringing your dogs in your workplace!

Encourages communication

Dogs can be an excellent icebreaker especially for your newcomers or shy employees. Pets are generally a common interest. Since they bring a friendlier vibe to the office, they unconsciously encourage your staff to talk to one another.

Since communication plays a big part in getting tasks and projects done, dogs can provide opportunities for casual conversations. This can significantly improve team communication and cooperation in the long run.

Boost employee morale

Hectic deadlines, demanding clients, and the happenings of everyday life can sometimes get the best of anyone. When mid-day blues strike, your employees may feel very drained and have a hard time getting back on track. Luckily, a dog’s presence can be enough to help everyone get through that hump.

Dogs are an instant mood booster and can help your employees recharge. Giving the office canine a belly scratch can feel like a breath of fresh air. It’s a lot more effective than gripping a random stress ball or fidget toy. By improving the quality of their breaks, it’ll be easier for them to gather themselves and get back on track.

See Also: 7 Ways Pets Affect Emotional and Physical Health

Promotes a healthy lifestyle

having dog in the workplace

Staying fit inside the workplace can be a challenge for many. The average employee spends around 45 hours a week inside the office and most of the time, they’re just glued to their desks. To make matters worse, their tight schedules may prevent them from following a consistent workout routine.

Other than helping you manage your mood and stress, letting pets in the office can actually pave the way for a healthier lifestyle. Taking a dog to work means waking up early.

Since owners have more things to prepare in the morning, they need to follow a consistent bedtime routine to make sure that they get enough hours of sleep. Once they get to the office, they need to take their pets outside for potty breaks regularly. It’s a simple but very effective way that dogs help you maintain your health by getting up and moving.

Improves employee retention

If you want to improve your retention rates, you need to keep your employees happy. To do this successfully, you need to help them fulfill their needs in and out of the office. For instance, an employee may be living alone with a dog, and there may be cases when the pet may require supervision.

Given this situation, having a dog-friendly policy can really lighten the load on their shoulders. By helping them take care of matters outside their personal life even within the confines of the workplace, they’re more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs and stay.

Win the recruitment race

bringing dogs in the workplace

From a managerial perspective, allowing dogs in the workplace can give your company an edge in the recruitment race. A dog-friendly workspace is often very happy.

The policies you’ve implemented and the benefits provided are significant, but nothing can attract your prospects better than being in a fun environment filled with friendly employees and fluffy cuteness. In the end, allowing pets in the office will definitely increase your chances of acquiring top-tier talent.

Back in the day, having pets in the office was nothing but a dream. However, advances in technology and cultural shift have made transforming a boring office into a flexible workspace a lot easier than you think.

Instead of investing in expensive pieces of furniture, buying the latest coffee machine or adopting unfeasible policies, something as simple as bringing pets in the office can change your whole office completely.

Other than changing the atmosphere of your workspace, it can pave the way for improved individual and team performance, better working relationships, and the development of your company culture.

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The Feeling of Being Ignored: What It Could Really Mean

Have you ever felt ignored?

Chances are you have – we all have at one time or another. Whether it’s being ignored by someone in particular or people in general looking past you, feeling ignored is isolating and painful. It can cause us to act out in destructive ways. This can be particularly true when you feel ignored or overlooked by someone you love.

So how should you handle the feeling of being ignored? And could it be possible that you’re making someone feel ignored without even realizing it?

Let’s take a look.

The Effects Of Being Ignored

being ignored

Being bullied is horrible, but being ignored can be worse. In fact, the silent treatment is a tactic often used by people who want to inflict pain without being outwardly confrontational. It’s manipulative and cruel.

See Also: The Most Important Tips For Dealing With Bullying At Work

People who make a point of ignoring others and using the silent treatment as a weapon may not realize the serious effects their behavior can have. They don’t know how devastating those effects can be. And some people may not even realize that is what they are doing at all.

While their indifferent behavior is selfish, it may very well be accidental.

Being ignored can cause emotional trauma. It can eventually lead to depression, anger, and low self-esteem. Because people are naturally social creatures, we crave acceptance, inclusion, and recognition.

For better or worse, we often use those around us as a mirror. Their reaction to us forms, or at least influences, our own opinion of ourselves. Being ignored by the people around us, especially a loved one, is like looking in a mirror and seeing nothing there. This can leave us questioning our self-worth and value.

But it’s not just psychological stress that we feel when we’re ignored. We can experience physical problems as well. Emotional pain can lead to headaches, digestive issues, disruptions in our sleeping or eating patterns and even diseases. All of them have serious consequences if left unchecked.

What You Can Do To Feel Seen

But what can you do if you feel ignored?

You can’t make someone pay attention to you, right? Well, you can. Unfortunately, the behaviors used by those who are demanding someone’s attention are often negative and destructive. They come from a desperate feeling that any kind of attention is better than no attention at all.

This really isn’t true, however.

If you feel like you’re being ignored, the best thing you can do is to remain calm. Allowing yourself to become so upset over it can drive people further away. The next thing you need to do is consider why you feel this way.

Ask yourself this:

Are you sure you are really being ignored? Could it be that people (or a person in particular) are just busy?

For instance, if you feel that people look right through you when you walk down the street, it may be time to examine your own behavior. People generally match the behavior of others in a public environment.

Could the indifference that you feel from others a response to your own indifferent behavior? Do you smile at others as you pass by? Do you make eye contact or hold a door when the opportunity presents itself?

If the answer is no, then it’s quite likely that those around you are responding to signals you are giving off that say, “Leave me alone.”

If you are being ignored by one person in particular, however, you need to look a little more closely at the possible reasons. Do so with an open mind. In today’s overly busy world, it’s entirely possible that the person ignoring you is actually just really distracted with their own problems and schedules. It may not have anything to do with you personally.

On the flip side, acting out our negative feelings with intentional silence, such as ghosting, has become more and more the norm, so there could be more to it. There is one surefire way to figure that out though – ask.

If you feel that someone may be purposefully ignoring you, then the best way to understand why is to ask them directly. Doing this in an inquisitive and friendly manner will give the other person the encouragement to answer honestly. And addressing the problem in this manner will show that person and others that you don’t accept being dismissed and ignored as an appropriate response.

How You May Be Ignoring People And Not Even Know It

feel of being ignored

What if you’re the one who is doing the ignoring? Would you even know it?

We all know that life can get a little crazy sometimes and we can become self-absorbed. But when you become so focused on your own world that you stop returning calls, answering emails or paying attention to those who are closest to you, it’s gone too far. Now you’ve become the one doing the ignoring and causing others to feel invisible. Not good.

The best advice is to take time once or twice a week to stop and take stock of your relationships and behavior. Give some thought as to what those around you may be experiencing as well. Nothing about our lives and relationships remains static or perpetually harmonious.

There are always ups and downs and back and forths. So, if you are feeling ignored, give some thought as to why and if your behavior is playing a part in that. Do a self-check.

Could you be the reason someone else is feeling overlooked and invisible?

The post The Feeling of Being Ignored: What It Could Really Mean appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Ordinary Steps on How to Live an Extraordinary Life

We’ve all been sold the dream that our life will play out like the stories we consumed as a child. A place where everything works itself out at the conclusion of a 30-minute TV episode.

Not every road to success looks as glamorous as it does on a Friday night’s silver screen.

So, if we want to live extraordinarily, we have to ask ourselves:

How we do get there? How do we really, I mean really, start to achieve a life that we can look back on and say “I lived”?

Define Success

What does success mean to you?

Does it mean hopping from city to city and rubbing elbows with start-up founders at roof-top parties?

Or maybe it means watching your children grow up and spend time with them on your terms?

how to live an extraordinary life

Maybe your goals are somewhere in between or you might not even know your goals.

That’s okay. That’s why I love Brian Tracy’s method.

My man Brian knows how to get the human mind to be honest with oneself. He found that in 30 seconds, you pretty much know what your goals are as if you spent 3 hours on the topic.

Visualize what you want in each area of your life 5, 10, 15 years from now. Although that’s hard to do, try to do this for each area of your life. And be honest with yourself when you think about the following areas in your life:

  • Business/career
  • Family/relationships
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Social life/community

Literally, take 30 seconds for each area. Write your top 3 current goals. Write them as if you’d already accomplished them. Do it on paper, in present tense, in the first person.

The key thing is, identify the goal in each area of your life that has the biggest impact.

See Also: 20 Qualities for A Successful Life

What Are You Willing to Lose?

To pick something up, you must put something down.

Let me say that in a different way.

If you want to start something different, you will inevitably spend less time doing something else. One cannot ‘create more time’ without shaving time down from something else.

I’m willing to listen to a man who gives away 97% of his wealth to charity and can still be a multi-billionaire. I’m talking, of course, about Warren Buffet.

His method is simple.

Take your top 30 goals. Now, cut them down to 5.

It’s hard, right? Those other 25 goals, those are your secondary goals that come in a close 2nd place, right?

Not at all.

Warren Buffet suggests that these are your ‘avoid at all cost’ goals.

I’m not going to lie. This exercise hurts for me to even attempt. So I combine Brian Tracy’s method and do top goals for each area of my life.

The point being, realize that you will never have enough time to do everything you want to do in your life. And that’s okay.

Because living intentionally (having a laser focus on a handful of things) will create more happiness for you. More happiness than lulling around, attempting a basket-full of things in your life.

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

The Actions You Can Take Daily

live an extraordinary successful life

The next step is to start breaking down those big ideas into actionable steps.

It needs to be dead-brain simple. Your goal may be to climb Mount Everest. But you sure wouldn’t slap that on your to-do list. It may look something like:

  • Write out why I want to climb Mount Everest.
  • Read first-hand accounts of people who have climbed Mount Everest successfully.
  • Watch documentary about failed explorations and what went wrong.
  • Find local mountaineer group to get more general knowledge.
  • Hike local mountains to understand scale of difference.
  • Maintain exercise regiment targeting muscle groups needed for climbing.
  • Set date for Mount Everest excursion.

I’ve never climbed a mountain. I am guessing that it’s better to take action than to hope that one day a Mount Everest excursion will waltz itself into your life.

The real question is this:

What kind of life are you going to live from here on out? Are you ready to live an extraordinary life?

The post 3 Ordinary Steps on How to Live an Extraordinary Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Principles to Live by For An Epic Life

A life principle is basically something that drives you to be the best image of yourself every single day. It is an invisible force that defines who we truly are.

In our modern society, it’s really rare seeing people living on principles.

Life principles have the power to transform you from the inside out. They can define how happy, successful, and productive you will be.

If you are dealing with difficult moments in life or you are trying to figure out exactly what you really want to do with your life, STOP focusing on what’s wrong.

Instead, use these 8 key principles to create an epic life. As you live in alignment with them, you’ll find yourself becoming more conscious and more alive. You’ll be able to experience life on a whole new level.

Create an exceptional life vision.

A vision is your life’s direction. When there is no vision, there is no direction. And when there is no direction, there is usually confusion and eventually despair.

A vision is a vivid aspiration regarding what positive impact you want to make on the world. It describes what the world would lose if you didn’t exist. It gives you a reason to jump out of bed in the morning and the motivation to work towards it no matter what.

Having a clear and well-defined vision doesn’t happen overnight. Envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time and reflection. But when you’ve finally decided to pursue it, it’ll mean that you’re really walking at a deeper level of revelation for your life.

Ask yourself right now:

“What is the life that will make me the best person I can ever be?”

There are no limits in life, only those you set for yourself!

Tip: If you are not making progress in any area of your life and you feel truly depressed and frustrated, my advice is to create a vision that is simply better than your actual situation.

You don’t need to figure everything at once. Just pick anything that is better than where you are right now. And once you achieved those simple goals, create a new exciting vision. Achieve those new goals and create new ones.

Embrace constructive discomfort.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

In order to achieve great things and work on your crazy-stupid ideas, you need to step out of your comfort zone. Extraordinary things happen to those who believe in their true potential. When you are committed to turn your goals into reality, nothing can stop you.

New challenges and obstacles motivate you and help you learn new things. Learning, creating, and growing happen only when you step outside of your comfort zone.

By getting out of your comfort zone more regularly, you’ll increase the number of things you’re comfortable with. You’ll also be able to enjoy more things in life since familiarity makes us more likely to enjoy something, even if it turned us off at first.

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

Be unrealistic.

Dreams are the fuel of our existence. They are the foundation of our life.

We live in a world where limitations are not only accepted, but also encouraged. As soon as we’re born, we are taught who we can be and who we can’t be. We are covered with cultural and social limitations that tell us how to live our life.

But you don’t need stupid rules or fulfill society expectations.

All you need to do is to fulfill your destiny, express your nature and your true potential. You need to “dis-learn” what school, society and your family taught you about life and learn to dream big and set huge-unrealistic exciting goals.

Small goals and small dreams are useless because they can kill your success. The greatest dreams are always unrealistic. Think about Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Neil Armstrong, Albert Einstein or Amelia Earhart.

There is nothing realistic and logical about the things they achieved. So, break the rules (don’t get arrested for doing anything illegal), dream big, and expect big achievements. Unrealistic things happen to unrealistic people.

Be specific.

It’s not enough to focus on what you want and what you don’t want. You must be specific, because the more specific you are, the more you are likely to get what you want effortlessly.

You weren’t born to do everything. But you were born to be unique and make an impact somewhere. Find out what you are good at and start from there. Everything will follow up.

Frame in the positive.

I am a huge proponent of being positive. It has helped me become more successful professionally and personally.

By choosing to take a positive outlook on life, you can begin to shift out of your negative frame of mind. You can see life as filled with possibilities and solutions instead of worries and obstacles.

Being positive means feeling happy and feeling good about yourself while taking other steps to make yourself more successful. Choosing to think more positively will not only help you take control of your life and make your everyday experiences more pleasant, but it will have countless benefits on your mental and physical health as well.

Change your subconscious blueprint.

The big myth in life is that if you want to be successful, you must take massive action.

Wait, I know what you are thinking.

Taking action is an essential step to building your dream life. Often, it may be counterproductive because you don’t really believe in what your are doing or going to do. Your subconscious mind is sabotaging yourself from achieving your goals.
That’s why you don’t achieve all of your New Year’s resolutions. You only work on your conscious level.

See Also: 5 Simple Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

Therefore, the key to live an epic and abundant life is not change your conscious blueprint. It’s more about figuring out how to engage your subconscious mind. When you do that, your success become automatic, effortless, and fun.

If you want to be successful in any area of your life, you must change the self-image in your subconscious mind.

Take inspired action.

You deserve nothing but the best.

When I finally decided to pursue my passions and dreams, I am living every day to the fullest. It’s an amazing feeling that I want you to experience.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to change your life, you shouldn’t wait it to drop directly on your lap. Instead, you must take not a simple action but an “inspired action”.

Inspired action is any action you take based on an inside sparkle. This opportunity might come from answering the phone or an email. It may also come from buying a book, joining a meditation group or any action that will bring you closer to your dream.

When you usually take inspired action, you feel energized by the action itself. You’re enjoying the process and you make a lot of progress very quickly and with little effort.
You are allowing things to happen naturally.

Express gratitude 24/7.

meditate regularly

What you see often depends entirely on what you are looking for. When you stay stuck in regret of the life you think you should have had, you end up missing the beauty of what you actual do have. You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for the good things in your life right now.

To truly express your gratitude, you have to be kind, open, and on a mission to make people feel better about who they are.

Saying thank you isn’t hard at all, but the words can lose meaning if they’re just words. You need to say them with sincerity or show your gratitude through little actions.
Expressing gratitude will have a ripple effect that will make the world a better place.

“Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can”. -Dalai Lama

Now, it’s up to you.

Do you want to spend the rest of your life complaining about everything you have? Or are you going to live your epic life?

Leave a comment below, I’d like to read your opinion.

Author Bio:

Luigi Potenza is the founder of Zenlife, a wellness, self improvement and healthy living blog that focuses on helping million lives around the world to get healthier, happier and more fulfilled. He is deeply passionate about holistic nutrition, Ayurveda, Yoga, meditation, and personal development. Connect with Luigi on facebook.com/OfficialZenife and twitter.com/2Zenife to stay highly driven.

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About Being Yourself, Receiving, and Interesting Points of View

Last December, I had joined the theater society in my college and had mixed feelings about it until a few days back.

On one hand, I was really happy because the society was really hard to get into. There was this whole procedure that one was supposed to go through in order to get in and I was able to do that! But on the other hand, I wasn’t really sure how interested I was in being a part of it. It was really exhausting and boring sometimes. Well, most of the time.

I was constantly asking questions:

What is right about this? What contribution can this give to my life? How much fun can I have?

And then one day, I asked my mom what to do. It was becoming more of a burden than a place of creative exploration and fun. What she said was something that changed my whole view about the things that I have to do in my life.

She asked me: What am I not willing to receive from the theater society that it is willing to offer?

I never really looked at it that way. I always saw it as something that I was investing time in. It’s something that I auditioned for, something I had to do out of obligation rather than something that might be investing in me and creating something greater for me! We always think that we are the ones who are doing everything!

being yourself

Now, let me also make it clear that this does not mean increasing expectations. It just means having an allowance to receive what something or someone has to offer to us.

This reminds me of another thing that was creating a barrier for me to truly enjoy being a part of the theatre society. One day, after practice, the directors of my play called me and said that they felt like I’m restricting myself and my body. It is showing clearly which creates a certain awkwardness.

While they were only referring to me restricting my physical body, it made me realize that I was restricting myself from being myself!

What do I mean by that?

I was always serious in the practice session. I never had fun or even thought of it. I’ve never voiced my opinion or suggestions, feared both of my directors and separated myself from them and the other actors.

All of the things that I mentioned are in stark contrast to my personality.

I am nothing like that! I mean, I am serious when I have to be.

So imagine pretending to be someone else the whole time from noon to 6 pm. No wonder I was finding it boring and burdensome!

Have you ever felt that way? Stuck in something so bad, but at the same time not willing to give it up? There might be something that you haven’t been looking at, just like me. Don’t worry though, I have got your back.

Receiving a gift is the gift

Wait… what?

Let’s break it down.

Being willing to receive the gift in something or someone is the true gift. Many of us don’t acknowledge but we have a hard time receiving anything that life has to offer.

But what if by refusing to receive we eliminate all the possibilities that exist? What if we receive everything like we receive free food?

Interesting. How joyous would that be.

What are you not willing to receive from something or someone that they have to offer? If that is, what would it take to change that?

About being yourself

about being you

For the sake of yourself and everyone else, always be yourself cause there is NO ONE like you. One of the most amazing things that one of my favorite people on the planet, Dr. Dain Heer, has said is the greatest thing in life is being yourself. It is the easiest thing one could ever be so why would one want to choose to be something else? If you were truly being yourself, what would that be like?

Take it from me, spending half the day pretending to be someone is not fun! Unless you are an actor, then sure!

Interesting point of view

This is a phrase that looks just like a normal phrase but has changed so many things for me. One of the things I realized is that I was restricting myself from truly being myself because I was too afraid of people I had kept on a pedestal. I was afraid of their judgment and I was preoccupied with all the things other people have said.

But what if everything is an interesting point of view?

Judgments, other people’s opinion, you own opinion — what if they were just interesting point of views that wouldn’t hinder you in any way?

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

The post About Being Yourself, Receiving, and Interesting Points of View appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

12 Mind-Blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity

Positive thinking has been often used in a wrong connotation. People abuse the power of this great practice and suggest that it will attract you money, wealth, and abundance.

“Be positive and you’ll have anything you want!”

No, you will not.

That’s nonsense and that’s not the purpose of exercising your mind to think this way. This is exactly one of the main criticisms for the movie The Secret. Just by feeling good, you can’t have anything you want.

The benefits of thinking and feeling positive emotions, however, are actually very beneficial and they will trigger other positive phenomena in your life. You’ll put both your spirit and body in a phenomenal vibration.

Happiness and joy will radiate from you everywhere you go. Life will seem much better. Your attitude will improve immensely and in turn, it will improve the world’s attitude towards you.

The reward is a blissful life full of enthusiasm and inspiration.Also, it will certainly help you in your financial endeavors. However, just the positive thinking alone won’t earn you any money.

These are some of the great practices that will put you on the right track in life:

Start Singing Even If You’re Bad Singer

Whenever life hits you hard or you experience a disappointment, start singing. Pick a song that really makes you feel great and start playing it in your head until all worries and stress go away.

The song can be one which makes you feel happy. It can be one which provokes laughter and joy in your heart.

Is there any song that you can think of which simply puts a smile on your face every single time you hear it? Probably a song you used to love when you were young child?

Good music has always been and will always be a great tool for changing the mood. It will never fail to make you more positive so consider singing whenever you can.

Turn “Belly Breathing” Into a Habit

Did you know that our consciousness is highly connected to our way of breathing?

Yogis and monks have discovered a long time ago that our thoughts are directly connected to the way we breathe.

When we start breathing slowly and deep in our belly and by exploiting 100% of our lungs capacity, our thoughts seem to slow down and we become more relaxed. Therefore, this is used in almost every meditative technique. Life simply slows down, all stress leaves both the mind and body, and the individual who breathes this way gains clarity and mindfulness.

This practice will not only calm you down, it will affect your health and your overall blood circulation, too. It will boost the activity of your brain and it will never fail to improve your mood.

Breathing is the essence of life, so start doing it properly.

Simply start exercising this until it becomes a constant habit. Breathe deep in your belly and fill it like a balloon. Instead of inhaling shallow breaths in the chest only, expand your belly as much as you can.

The longer you practice this technique, the deeper and more effective your breaths will become. Your consciousness will clear and clarity and inner peace will take place.

Smile and Laugh More Often

Assuming that smiling and laughter are the opposite of crying and feeling bad or negative, just by forcing this into your life, you can’t avoid not feeling good.

Our body is the instrument of our mind. However, it it is also true that our thoughts and attitude are very much related to our body because of the way we operate. We tend to think and feel by what we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch.

So if you smile, you can instantly feel it and your mind will respond to this. You will start feeling good and positive. It will not only lift up your mood, but it will also affect everyone else that comes in contact with you.

You can decide to smile just for the sake of it or you can think of a situation, an event, a person or literally anything that puts a big smile on your face. Either one of them will work very well.

You can just go over to your mirror, look at yourself and force yourself to laugh. This works extremely well. Very soon, it will become contagious and you won’t be able to stop it.

Let’s try this right now…

Think of a little toddler trying to walk. He is learning to walk outside in the yard of his parent’s house and there’s a little puppy waiting for him just a few meters away from him.

As he is walking, he is pointing to the puppy with his tiny little fingers and he suddenly falls like a ball on the grass. He tries to stand up but he simply keeps falling down again and again. Everybody laughs and enjoys the picture.

Finally, our little toddler manages somehow to stand on his tiny feet and starts walking like a penguin towards the puppy. The moment he comes to him, he tries to kiss him with his little lips. Again, as he bends down, he loses control and falls on the ground next to the puppy. The puppy even gets scared and jumps from fear.

Now, I just totally made all that up. I couldn’t think of anything else that could make me smile at the moment. If you’re like most people, you’d probably smile when having the picture of the little toddler learning how to walk.

After thinking about this, I feel very good and very positive. You can do the same.

Smile more often and your positivity will keep increasing more and more every time you do it.

Make Your Surroundings Highly Positive

have fun with friends

What are your friends and the people you associate with like? Is their nature positive? Are they being fun and humorous or not really?

Good company always helps!

If you happen to be around negative and depressive people, you can afford to change your lifestyle. It is very important that your surrounding is highly positive, because you will receive this energy.

It will affect you every single time!

Engage in Meditation and Yoga

These two activities will never fail to boost your positivity. They will help you to gain control over your thoughts and your awareness will be heightened.

You will become aware of the present moment and what’s going on in your mind. Positive thoughts will become natural as you practice these skills.

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

Make Walking Outdoors a Habit

Although very simple, the effect of this single activity can be powerful. I am working from home and most of the time, I am in front of my computer.

Sometimes, this can get overwhelming and the first thing I do is go outdoors.
I walk for 40 minutes in the nearest park and just observe the people, birds, trees and so on. When I come back, I am a completely new person.

I have two times more energy and I am working 3 times more productive. Just do it and see the results!

Be Helpful To Others

You know, it’s not all about you. I realized this not very long time ago. While I’ve never been too much egoistic in nature, I always cared for my feelings and my interests.

When I tried for a moment to completely shift my attention to other people’s needs and really try to help them (from the bottom of my heart), what came back to me was quite shocking.

Help other people and truly care. Don’t do it just for the sake of it, but really show some empathy and compassion. Try putting yourself in their skin and view the world through their perception. Then, do your best to help them.

You have no idea what this can do for you…

Some ideas to help you get started can include:

• Visiting the orphanage and do something special for the kids. Make them happy and prepare some intriguing surprise.
• The next time you go to the subway or when you’re on a bus, be kind and give your seat to a person that needs it more than you do.
• Go to the local supermarket buy some bread, some salami and cheese. Get some fruits and bottles of fresh water and perhaps some extra ingredients you’ll need. Prepare some tasty sandwiches and then go to any shelter with homeless people and give it to them wholeheartedly.

Express Gratitude 3 Times a Day

Create your gratitude journal or simply write on a sheet of paper 10 things that you’re grateful for. Then, read this list 3 times in the day – in the morning, at noon and at night.

The more things you can include in the list, the better. These things should make you feel good and positive about yourself and life in general.

Gratefulness is the secret to a peaceful, happy and positive lifestyle.

Understand that You’re Responsible for Everything That Happens To You

You cannot blame others for the results you get in your life. All our results come as a direct result of our actions and behavior in life. Our actions and behavior, on the other hand, is the direct result of our thoughts and feelings.

Only you have the power to control your attitude. You choose what you give your attention to. So instead of whining and complaining, stop blaming the circumstances, the government, the economy and God knows what else not.

It is your fault that you’ve let these things, people,and events influence you.

The good news is that you can stop it. Take full responsibility and your life will become much more positive.

Make a Contribution and Start Volunteering

Think of the ways you can improve your community. Perhaps help in cleaning the streets in your neighborhood? What about helping individuals in the local library?

This one will be bizarre but certainly interesting:

How about you visit prisoners and just help in making contact? Perhaps you’ll befriend them and make their day better?

Remember,  the more you give in life, the more it comes back. Life will always reward you tenfold for every good thing you do. Decide how you can give back to the community, and then just do it!

Positivity will become your natural mindset that seems to make you company at all times.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

Give Compliments On a Regular Basis

If criticizing makes people feel bad, then the opposite which is giving compliments has to make them feel good. Not only will it make the person you compliment feel amazing, it will come back to you as well.

When was the last time you gave a sincere compliment to someone which comes straight from the heart?

If you can’t remember it, maybe it is about time to consider doing this the next time you see someone on the street.

Remember, if you’re looking for the good sides in others, this is a reflection of the good sides in you. And please don’t do this just for the sake of it. Be really genuine and honest when you compliment people.

Exercise and Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

partner to exercise

Yes, this is important. Pick any activity that you love and exercise regularly.
You can run, hike, go to the gym or take classes in martial arts. Your imagination is the only limit.

Not only will you be more fresh and energetic, but your mood will change accordingly as well There’s no way how this activity cannot make you feel positive. Just do it!

To Conclude

Most of the time, we are being surrounded with a ton of negativity in our lives. We’re constantly being bombarded with pressure and stressful situations, but it is our choice how we are going to respond to them.

We can choose to take responsibility and decide to be in full control over our attitude or we can live day by day and let the waves of life take us wherever they want to go.

I certainly won’t recommend the second option!

Choose to live your life the way you want to live it! Stop being a victim of outside circumstances and decide to gain a positive outlook on life.

And remember, it is the small things that make all the difference! So take a deep breath right now and say how grateful you are for everything in your life!

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Life Lessons You Can Learn From Driving A Stick Shift Car

“Fall seven times, stand up eight” – Unknown

For me, this is more like “kill the car seven times, start it up again eight.” The process of learning and actually driving a stick shift car has been such a process. I really battled with even setting foot in the car, knowing that I was about to mess something up. Still, the lessons that it gave me are ones that I hope to carry with me throughout the rest of my life.

These lessons include:

You always have the option to start over

Life, for the most part, is a bunch of people struggling, trying something new, finding out they hate it, and then starting over. Realizing that, it becomes a whole lot less intimidating and immeasurably more exciting. You’ll feel that freedom and strength when facing the unknown.

Check your blind stop constantly

how to drive a stick shift car

A blind spot is a scary, scary thing. It’s when your view, often of something important, is obstructed.

No matter how hard you try, your ability to be fully aware of a situation or someone’s intentions is close to impossible. So, checking your blind spot, either in life or when driving, is really important.

Give yourself grace to fail

One of the biggest things I would tell myself while learning how to drive is “Mia, I am allowing you to mess up.”

This one simple sentence brought overwhelming peace to me and it continues to do so. Those around you are often more empathetic to you than you are to yourself. You have to face the sometimes harsh reality that you are not capable of being perfect and that is perfectly fine.

See Also: 15 Tips On How To Live A Fulfilling Life

Practice, practice, and more practice

drive a stick shift car

When I first started driving a stick shift car to work, I would wake up all too early on the days that I’d open. That meant setting an alarm for 4 am, getting ready, and driving the stick around.

I had comfort in knowing that close to no one was going to be on the road and that I could mess up without any serious consequences. I would drive for fifteen to thirty minutes in a circle, practicing going up little hills, stopping and starting. You know, things that you take for granted in an automatic.

Simply put, you’re doing okay, you’re doing your best, and that’s all that matters. So, the next time you get knocked down, don’t hesitate to get up and get going again.

See Also: 10 Areas of Your Life That May Need A Boost

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The Art of Cultivating A Sense of Purpose In Life

There are times in life when we all feel aimless. However, as long as we don’t let those temporary feelings define our lives, we will come out the other side. Knowing your purpose in life is what gets you up in the morning and keep you going when the going gets tough.

But did you know that having a sense of purpose can also prolong your life?

Best of all, a strong sense of purpose is something you can cultivate starting today. There’s no special equipment required.

It’s Hard To Feel A Sense of Purpose When You Are Under Stress

our purpose in life

People are under all kinds of stress, from family issues to work-related problems. It can be difficult to feel you have a purpose in life when it’s all stress from all angles. It’s also difficult to feel like there’s any hope for the future when you have been through trauma.

You see, trauma reshapes the brain to be overly cautious and pessimistic. It can make you fearful of the future and cause intolerance of uncertainty. Trauma can disrupt your daily life and cause all kinds of other mental health problems that prevent you from living life to its fullest.

Fortunately, an exercise known as reframing can help you look at traumatic and stressful events in your life. It will enable you to reshape them as valuable experiences.

See Also: 7 Easy Ways to Remove Negative Energy and Unnecessary Stress

What Purpose Can Do For You

Across all age groups, people who have a strong sense of purpose have a 15% lower risk for premature death. In one study, seniors were followed for several years and had periodic checks of their sense of purpose. Those who reported little purpose in their lives at the start of the study were 2.4 times more likely to pass away during the study. That’s in comparison to those who reported a strong sense of purpose in their lives.

Where To Cultivate Purpose In Your Life

purpose in life

Things like family and career can lead to a strong sense of purpose, but those aren’t the only things you should be relying on. Families have struggles and when children leave the nest, it can lead to a sense of aimlessness.

While it is important to cultivate strong family relationships, it is equally important to cultivate a sense of purpose in other areas of your life as well. The same goes for your career. While it is important to build a career that gives you a sense of purpose in life, it can’t be the only thing or you will reach retirement and not know what to do next.

For some people, religion is a nice way to keep a steady sense of purpose going throughout their lives. If religion isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other things that can give you a strong sense of purpose.

Lifelong learning is a great way to keep your mind active and give yourself a sense of purpose and belongingness. Curiosity and chasing the next big goal can keep your mind from withering away. They can also drive your sense of purpose as there is never a possibility of learning everything there is to know.

Likewise, hobbies and other interests are areas where you can continue to learn and grow for the rest of your life. There are also hobbies that come along with new friendships and meaningful contributions.

Doing inspiring activities, whether they are work, hobbies or something else, can keep you engaged in something even when other areas of your life may be in rapid change. It’s important to keep that balance among the various activities you enjoy. That way, when there is trouble in one area, there are still constants you can turn to for stability in the other areas.

It’s not always easy to feel a strong sense of purpose in your life. It’s something you will often have to put work into. But cultivating that sense of purpose can add life to your years and years to your life. In the end, there’s almost zero downside to cultivating a strong sense of purpose in your life.

Learn more about the art and science of purpose from the infographic below!
The Art and Science of Purpose
Source: Online College Plan

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Is it Ever Okay to Settle Down For Less?

No matter how independent most women are, they secretly (or not so secretly) want to find their Mr. Right to settle down with. This is why majority of us have a long list of the qualities our Prince Charming should have. You probably have written it down in a journal when you were 11 or you might be keeping your secret wish list somewhere else.

Well, it’s natural to have some expectations when it comes to committing our life to someone else’s.

This list of ours is supposed to help us by stating what we want and what we need. With it, we no longer have to tread through any obstacles. We just need to have our eyes on the prize!

But what if, instead of helping us, our high and unrealistic expectations are hindering us? What if it’s preventing us from seeing what or who is right? What if the best thing we can do is to settle down for less?

settling down

Settling gets a bad rap

Let me be the first to say this:

There are some things you should never settle for.

You are worthy of the best and someone who treats you like a queen. This is not the kind of “settling” I’m talking about.

I am, however, talking about when you don’t respond to an online dating email simply because he misspelled one word.

What’s wrong with that, you ask?

Impeccable grammar is on your must-have list. I want you to consider that he may have been typing on his phone or perhaps he was in a rush. He simply made a mistake because he’s human — just like you.

I don’t want you to stop caring about grammar. I just want you to give the man a chance.

If every email you receive is full of misspellings and terrible punctuation, kick him to the curb. However, you must give him a chance.

Think outside the box because people don’t always fit inside the box you’ve constructed for them. Physical attraction is often considered something we absolutely shouldn’t settle on or compromise our wants and desires.

Let me tell you a little story…

There once was a girl who thought tall men were the only men worth dating. When asked what kind of guys she liked, she always said, “They have to be TALL or I could never!”

Dating someone not tall was simply not an option.

Fast forward a few years and the girl is now head over heels in love with a dashingly handsome man. He is caring, hilarious, and so intelligent that he blows her mind on a daily basis.

However, he’s also not exactly tall. She’s even taller than him when she wears heels. It’s something she would have thought was so terrible before.

settle down

If I had turned him away the moment I met him simply because of his height, I would be missing out on everything I love about my life now. So, in a way, I settled but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

If this is settling, I would hate to know what not going out on my first date with him would be like.

Examine your list of must-haves and wants. Then, toss them aside. If he treats you well, makes you laugh, and turns you on, who the hell cares if he doesn’t dress the way you like?

Remember your deal breakers and never settle when it comes to them.

Everything else? Live a little and allow people to surprise you. Falling in love isn’t a science and you may not get everything on your list. You just might end up with something you never even knew you needed.

See Also: The 3 Important Rules For Happiness You Should Be Following

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What Is Your Success Meter?

What does success mean for you?

Here’s an interesting story.

In 1983, a young talented guitarist was kicked out of his dream band. He was delirious with joy even just before the manager called him at his office to kick him out. It happened just three days before he was about to record his first album.

No reason, no complaints, no fight, just shown the door. For no reason.

So, as he sat on the bus from Los Angeles to New York, you know what he did?

He cried.

What did I do wrong? Just, how did this happen? I have worked so, so hard to get here and now, this. Let me jump from the roof of this bus. I would never go home.

But he went home. When he stepped out of the bus, his tears were evaporated by the heat of his anger. How dare they fire him? Who are they? Just a crappy band with a dozen songs and 1000 fans?

Blah.

He was over his self-pitying and he was definitely not that guy who’d quit playing guitar. He would build his own band and throw concerts in New York in front of them. He’ll become more famous than them.

And he was right.

His name was Dave Mustaine.

He founded the band Megadeath.

Later on, Megadeath toured the whole world and  has sold  over 25 million albums. Today, Mustaine is considered as one of the most brilliant and influential musicians in the history of heavy-metal music.

young dave mustaine
Via rockandrollgarage.com

But, unfortunately the band which kicked him out was Metallica. It has sold over 180 million albums worldwide. Metallica is considered by many to be one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

So this man, Dave Mustaine was a success freak. You can just guess how successful he was. He has billions of fans and had no guitaring background. From crap, he had made a billionaire of himself. His anger made him successful.

Normally, people would say, “See? He believed in himself and he always sought revenge. That is why he is who he is now. He was overtly successful.”

Or, was he?

In a rare interview in his old age, he said with tears that he has never tasted success. Even with so much money and many fans, he was not successful. For him, success meant one thing and that’s to be more famous than Metallica.

Since he was not, he didn’t consider himself successful.

dave mustaine
Via youtube

Now, you and I will laugh at his condition. But to him, he had worked so hard, but his life was a failure.

Our success is determined by our own success meters.

Someone’s success can be your failure while someone’s failure can be your success.

Dave Mustaine was:

a) A failure (according to his success meter)
b) A success (according to my success meter)

We like to determine other’s success and failures by our own success meters. If you ask what success in life is, many of us would say it’s getting a nice job, getting paid good money, having a car, and having a selfie-ready spouse with two cute kids. These are high success meters but not for everyone.

That is why your parents often tell you that your cousin is a total failure because he dropped out of school to pursue his singing career even though he has concerts regularly and gets 10k likes on each song in YouTube.

So, you define what is successful, either consciously or unconsciously.

Don’t get fazed by other’s success meters. Maybe your dad is a lecturer at a university and wants you to do the same.

Just think, would you be happier if you become a lecturer and get paid nicely? Or would you be happier if you build your business and it collapses and you’ll be poor?

Your answer tells something about your success meters. Do what you think will make you successful. Forget career stereotypes — be a lecturer if you want to, otherwise start your dream business.

See Also: 20 Qualities for A Successful Life

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Best Family Beaches In the USA You Can Visit With Your Kids

Summer is the perfect time to be on beach vacations. They offer a great way to bond with the family and create lifelong memories. But not every beach destinations can cater to the unique needs of travelers with kids.

As we plan our family beach trip, we should ensure that the beach offers amenities like kid-friendly attractions, spacious accommodations, food stores/restaurants, easy access to clean showers and restrooms, and of course, the lifeguards.

To save you the time of doing your research for best family beaches in USA, use this list to help you plan your next family trip.

Boca Raton, South Florida

Originally designed to be one of Florida’s premier resort towns, Boca Raton is known for its beautiful beaches and parks.

The Red Reef Park, a 67-acre park, wildlife conservation, and education center is the famous destination in the area where the family can do land and water activities. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center offers educational programs about sea wildlife, nature, ecology and conservation.

These programs make the area one of the best family beaches in the USA.

Kailua Beach Park, Hawaii

kailua beach park hawaii
Via hawaii.com

Vacationers will love the turquoise blue water of Kailua Beach Park. The life-guarded beach offers plenty of free parking and a variety of family-friendly water activities. The fine and soft white sand is great for kids and their beach play.

With its gentle waves, this spot is ideal for kids who are just learning to swim. Kids who are also learning how to surf will likely have a good chance to practice there as well.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater may not be as big as Miami, but the place offers plenty of ways to enjoy the summer family vacation.

Stroll down at the Sunsets at Pier 60 and enjoy the mini-carnival atmosphere. Kids will enjoy the playground and inflatable amusements. They’ll find the street performers and musicians at Pier 60 amusing.

Children over 14 years old are allowed to drive a rented jet ski with a parent. You should also add the dolphin cruise and the half-day fishing expedition on your itinerary.

Gulf State Park, Alabama

waterville usa
Via gulfcoastweekend.com

Families are flocking to the incredible beach town in Alabama every summer since it is the perfect place for fun and memorable family beach vacation.

There are plenty of family activities to do in Gulf Shores both on the beach and land. There is a small entrance fee but you’ll be rewarded with sugar-white sand and gently crashing waves.

Kids can do swimming, kayaking, and crabbing along the 2-mile stretch of beach. The Waterville USA is a popular destination for its water slides, a lazy river, and a miniature golf course.

Coronado Beach, California

Tons of activities and sparkling clean ocean water await every family at Coronado Beach. The beach is home to resorts, parks, and a lighthouse that will cater to the whole family including your dog.

You read it right. Yes, the North Beach is a go-to destination for families with their beloved pooch. From dog-friendly beaches to the views, and picnic spots, Coronado has become a top family beach destination in Southern California.

Hope this quick list helped you plan your next family beach vacation. These great beaches have a combination of nice shoreline, swimmable waters, delicious food choices, and a variety of activities. All of which make your family beach vacation comfortable, relaxing, and enjoyable.

See Also: How To Travel With Children And Live To Tell About It

Author Bio:

Edward Cruz is a staff writer for VIPpromocodes.com, a website that provides the latest promotional codes, exclusive sales, and offers for all of the top stores in the U.S.

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9 Things To Give Up In Order To Become Conscious And Free

To me, consciousness is about emotional self mastery. It’s the energetic and spiritual awareness of yourself and others and having the tools to be empowered and effective in whatever you do. Knowing how to become more conscious starts with that and letting go of a few things in your life.

Here are some things to eliminate in order to become more conscious, happier, healthier, and more resilient.

Expectations

No one ever owes us anything — not even our parents. I live by the motto, “If it is to be, it’s up to me”, which reminds me to get things done for myself.

That’s not to say that we can’t ask for support, help or assistance from others. It’s just that we can’t expect others to be or do anything, other than to be true to themselves.

Expectations feel funky to the person on the receiving end. When someone has an agenda, that person’s energy doesn’t feel like kindness and caring.

Carrying Your Baggage Around

healing consciousness

We aren’t taught in this life how to process and release things and let them go.

It’s important to find a practical way that works for us and our particular psychology. Sometimes, if we’ve had trauma, we need therapy, a psychologist, counseling or a coach to help us.

A lot of people get very hung up on forgiveness as some sort of moral badge of honor. I don’t agree as this is not pragmatic. It is overwhelming for someone injured or abused.

As an empath, I’ve never found I could get free of other people’s stuff by forgiving alone. Instead, I focus on healing myself and understanding where they are functioning from.

Then, I set boundaries knowing that they will always be true to that. To presume they will change or to justify their choices is to short-change them and me.

See Also: How to Really Love Yourself From the Inside Out

Your Conditioning

We’ve all been taught ways of looking at life and absorbed belief systems that shape our filter and our experience of the world.

It can be helpful to consider whether what we were taught is helpful, because sometimes, it’s not. If not, than we need to dismantle these beliefs as they will continue to hinder our progress and development.

We all wanted to idolize our parents as children, but sometimes, they have issues. They may have not been taught emotional intelligence and may do things that don’t serve their highest good, or ours, even if they were loving towards us.

That doesn’t mean we don’t love them. Instead, it means they are human. Searching for our highest truth and being aware of what we’ve decided is essential to a life well lived.

See Also: How And Why To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence

Negative Or Needy Attachments

Real love is the most freeing thing there is, but we love in a real, human and messy way. I talk about “radical appreciation”. This is when we adore someone/something in all its awesomeness without expectation.

Everything in this reality is temporary. It is possible to adore people, contribute to and receive from them, without a heavy or binding attachment with them.

Attachment to situations, places or people can be good. However, often times, we confuse need with love. We place conditions on others or do control so that we can feel safe or secure.

Worshipping At The Alter Of Your Feelings

Everything in personal development references feelings, and I think this is overemphasized.

I’m big on body wisdom. Our body is like a huge radio receiver, constantly giving us information and reacting to things to give us instant awareness. This is what I term emotion (soul reaction channeled through the body).

Feelings are, in my opinion, body sensations based off thoughts. So, they can only be as healthy or useful as the beliefs of which our thoughts are based.

Therefore, feelings are often not helpful — other than as a guide to where we have great or lousy beliefs or thoughts. What’s good to know is if you change your thoughts, your feelings change, too.

Blame

When we are unwilling to own what is and are not ready to look at our own behavior or beliefs, we pass off responsibility to some convenient target. This is toxic for everyone.

Others are responsible for their poor behavior. It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with them. Our reaction to it is everything about us and nothing to do with them.

Conclusions And Judgements

When we judge something, we pass it through the filter of our past experience and conditioning and arrive at a conclusion. It is where which we attach a positive or negative electrical charge (judgment).

That then limits us as we cannot receive anything from that person or situation that doesn’t match our judgment. Awareness is different. It knows what is, but stays open to all possibilities.

Searching For Romantic Love As Some Kind Of Panacea

how to become more conscious love

Many people search for romantic love. With such a huge attachment to the outcome, it can’t manifest for them. They will likely attract a chaotic experience that turns out to be learning rather than loving.

Stop placing meaning in searching for a significant other. Start putting meaning on honoring yourself and your own journey as a purposeful infinite being here in a human body, for a short amount of time.

Have you even ever asked if you really want a relationship, or do you just look for one because you think that’s what life is about?

Using Empathy Against Ourselves

Empathy encompasses a set of capacities that are akin to superpowers, if properly channeled and nurtured.

Untrained empaths struggle, feeling at the effect of life, people’s behavior and being crippled by their own sensitivity and intense awareness.

Unlearning negative empathy requires us to function from knowing, not having feelings based off negative thoughts and beliefs. It also requires boundaries and saying no to guilt.

These nine things can be eliminated to create more consciousness, connect us with our inner wisdom, and help us reach our full potential more easily.

The post 9 Things To Give Up In Order To Become Conscious And Free appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Garden

Your garden is full of secrets. When you know those secrets, it will help you to grow a beautiful and healthy garden. Although gardening still requires dedication and skill, there are many fun facts about your garden that could make maintaining it a little easier.

Curious to learn more about gardening? We have five interesting gardening facts you likely didn’t know about your garden.

Plants Do Respond to Sound

Have you heard (or seen) people talking to their plants? Maybe you’ve heard the old tale that is talking to your plants will actually promote growth. It may sound silly, but plants actually do respond to sound.

The vibration from sound can affect their growth. Studies have shown that sounds like music and your voice can contribute to the growth and health of your garden.

There Are Good Pests

We always think that a pest in the garden is causing more harm than good. While for many bugs and insects that is true, there are pests out there that are actually beneficial for your garden. The hard part is determining which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of.

Many good pests (including ladybugs, aphid midges, spiders, and ground beetles) feed off of other bugs and pests that can cause damage to your garden. So, if you spot some of these bugs, don’t fret. They’re doing an important job that will make life easier for you to maintain your garden.

Butterflies May Like Weeds More

garden butterfly

Butterflies are beautiful insects that flap around a healthy garden, typically. We often think it is the color in the garden that attracts butterflies. Although that may be true, it comes down to the scent and nectar of a plant that attracts a butterfly.

Due to human’s breeding plants on their own to create brighter and bigger plants, they often lose their fragrance. However, it is the weeds that tend to maintain their scent, which will attract scent-driven bugs like butterflies.

Different Kind of Composting

We know that gardens love compost. That is because they get to absorb all of the leftover nutrients from compost. However, you don’t need to be a dedicated composter for your garden to have similar benefits.

Although having a compost bin will reduce the amount of garbage you have, you don’t need to do this for your garden necessarily. Instead, directly applying to the soil items like used coffee grounds, chopped-up banana peels, and other organic matter will give the plants the nutrients they look for as the items decompose.

Gardening Can Equal Happiness

gardening happiness

Many studies have found that gardening will help boost your mood. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of gardening, spending some time tending to your plants can help the brain produce serotonin, which is the happy chemical that can combat depression. Certain bacteria strains in garden soil will contribute to serotonin production.

If you’re looking for another reason to start a garden, the five listed above may help. These secrets will not only help boost the health of your garden, but they may also help contribute to your overall health and happiness too.

See Also: How to Create an Indoor Garden

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10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way

The early days of dating are always the fun part. It’s where you can’t stop thinking about your girl and how you can make her happy. From flowers to chocolates and balloons, you have a lot of plans that are guaranteed to put a smile on her face.

However, as courtship ends, you feel less and less enthusiastic about wooing her. And that’s where problems happen and relationships break apart.

To keep your relationship in the best condition, here are some tips on how to woo a girl:

1. Be Genuine

We live in a world wherein being genuine has become such a rare quality. People are always being fake, pretending to be someone they’re not in order to impress the girl. Just think of online social media platforms where single men and women create “images” of themselves.

In person though, a discerning eye can tell real people from fakes. Be genuine and be appreciated for who you truly are.

2. Be chivalrous

I would strongly like to believe that chivalry isn’t dead. Be polite, open doors, walk on the traffic side of the road, and escort her and her friend’s home.

You may think these are small things but these small gestures will never go unnoticed. It’s not that she can’t do these things by herself but it is always good to know that there is someone whose looking out for her.

3. Give her your undivided attention

undivided-attention

Get off that mobile phone of yours when you are with her. You will have plenty of time to check game scorse or reply to your messages and emails when you are home. Unless it is extremely urgent, it will always be appreciated if you can give your phones a rest and give your undivided attention to her.

See Also: How to be a Good Husband to Make Your Life a Bed of Roses 

4. Notice her and likes & dislikes

Always take mental notes of her likes and dislikes and surprise her when she least expects it. Take her to her favorite concert, order her favorite drink when she’s running late, notice when she gets a haircut or wears something different.

She will really appreciate the fact that you are taking a keen interest in her and what she likes, and it will make her feel very happy.

5. Be there when she needs someone

You sure as hell don’t need to be a girl’s doormat but you definitely want to be her shoulder to cry on when she needs it. If she needs someone by her side, make sure it’s you. It will show her how committed, dependable and serious you are about having her in your life and wanting to be in hers.

6. Don’t keep talking about yourself, learn to listen

Noone likes a person who only talks about themselves and shows no interest in learning about the other person. If you are only going to keep bragging about yourself and your life, rest assured she will not turn to give you another look. Show a real interest in getting to know her better; it will take you a long way.

7. Make her feel special

If she is having a bad day, let her vent to you and be supportive about it. In fact, all you probably need to do is to listen.

Remember small dates like the first time you’ve met or the first time you took her out on a date. Make an effort to celebrate these with her. Do whatever is in your power to make her feel loved and cherished.

8. Keep that element of surprise

surprise-her

Now that you have learnt about what makes her happy, surprise her by using that information to your advantage. If she has a fantasy of a perfect date, make it happen for her. If she’s feeling low, show up on her doorstep to take her for a drive. Keep the element of surprise alive in order to keep her wondering and the excitement going.

9. Let her know that you are thinking about her

Drop her a message in the middle of the workday to check how her day is going or pick her up from work so that you’ll get that extra 30 minutes to spend together. Message her good morning first thing when you wake up or send her flowers or any small memento that makes you think of her.

Whatever big or small it maybe, show her that you are thinking about her.

See Also: 4 Original Ways to Be Romantic in the Digital Age 

10. Open up to her

Many men are brought up to avoid being vulnerable in front of the girl. However, think about it. You only open up in front of people you truly care about and are truly confortable with. If you talk about your fears or your problems or what makes you sad, it will show her that you are really invested in her and are not there just to pass your time.

We live in a world where women are strong and independent. They don’t need a man to be able to provide for them. They don’t need someone who can pay for a date. They are more than capable of doing that themselves.

Instead, how about a man who can treat them right because somehow that breed has become very rare in the 21st century. Make her feel loved and special. Always think of being in the wooing phase even after being in a stable relationship for a while.

This way you will never take each other for granted. Often, spontaneity is the key to a happy relationship. Be on your toes and keep her on hers. In turn, she will surprise you with her love and loyalty as well.

As Marilyn Monroe says, “A girl doesn’t need anyone who doesn’t need her.

The post 10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

15 Signs That Show Someone Is a Real, True Friend

Friends are very important in our lives. If you have a true friend and find love in someone special, then you are one of the luckiest people in the world.

Essentially, true friendship is an expression of a type of love.

Whether you find friendship in a lover or someone you are just friends with, there may be a time when you question if this person is a true friend or not — and that’s ok.

Even well-established relationships need reviewing once in a while. No one would like to invest time into a relationship that is unproductive or heading nowhere.

These 15 signs of true friendship will help you determine whether someone in your life is a real friend or not.

They support you in everything

true friendship

A real friend will encourage you in anything that you try. They will be there every step of the way, looking for opportunities to help you grow. Your cause becomes their cause. They will rejoice when you are making progress and celebrate with you.

They stick with you at your worst

Life has its ups and downs. For many people, it is easy to stick around when the going is good but not when things are tough.

A real friend is not one of these many people, he or she is different.

They will be there when the going gets tough. Your worries become their worries. They share your successes as well as your failures.

They forgive you for anything

We are all humans and we may screw up sometimes. With a fake friend, a mistake can cost you a friendship but this is not the case with a real friend. A real friend forgives because he or she values your friendship more than your mistakes.

They always have your back

Whether you are wrong or right, once the deed has been done, a real friend will stand by you no matter what.

They will take your side and fight for you irrespective of who is on the other side. But even so, they will rebuke you and correct you when you are wrong.

They constantly keep in touch

Fake friends will only contact you when they need something or when things take a turn in their life. A real friend will contact you because they are interested in what is going on in your life.

They keep your secret

No one knows you quite like your real friends. If anyone is privy to your dark little secrets, it would be your true friend. A real friend values your confidence and will keep your secrets safe with them.

They make time for you

A real friend doesn’t just stay in touch via calls or chats, they make time for you. If you need them to help out with something really important, they will find time for it.

They will also squeeze out time to spend casually with you even when they have busy schedules.

They are loyal and faithful

A loyal and faithful friend is a true friend. Such a friend is someone who is unwavering in their devotion to you and any agreed cause. He or she would not betray you and can be trusted to keep to agreements.

They don’t ridicule you in public

A true friend knows your flaws but still accepts you regardless. The person does not go about mocking or humiliating you, especially in public.

A real friend will showcase your bright sides while helping you work on your weakness where they can.

They are open to you

A true friend is real, the person discusses things openly with you and does not hide feelings.

A real friend will tell you the truth irrespective of whether it hurts or pleases.

That’s not to say they don’t care how you will feel, they actually do.

They keep their promises

A true friend keeps promises. When a real friend says something, the person means it and keeps his words.

If something happens that makes fulfilling a promise difficult, a true friend will be sincere in telling you. And they would make it up to you at a later time.

They are trustworthy

A true friend should be a trusting and trustworthy person.

You are going to be sharing a chunk of your life with this person. It is important that they be someone you can trust and who trust you also.

The thing about trust is that it is earned. A true friend will not only earn your trust but not break it.

They know and understand you

sign of true friendship

Part of what makes someone a true friend is their understanding of you and how well they know you.

A friend should be able to say what you can do and what you cannot. A real friend may even understand you more than you understand yourself.

They will always have your interest at heart.

They remember things about you

What we care about we think about, and what we think about we remember. A true friend hardly forgets any event that is dear to you.

It may be your birthday, anniversary or any other celebrations.

When they can’t make it there, they will be proactive in telling you. Also, when it comes to discussions, a true friend will remember most because they are true listeners.

They think about you before themselves

Thinking of other people before oneself is an attribute of love. A true friend is a loving and caring friend.

Such a person will always look out for your interest, sometimes to their own detriment.

True friendship is about sacrifices.

See Also: 10 Characteristics of A Good Friend

The post 15 Signs That Show Someone Is a Real, True Friend appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Personal Advice on Finding The One

Many of us wonder if we will ever find “the one.” Some people don’t believe that “the one” exists and that we shouldn’t be tied to just one person for the rest of our lives. To start with, the idea of being “tied to someone” is hugely negative and if you think like that, then your relationship certainly won’t be free.

Some people simply don’t care about finding the one. However, as I’ve gotten older I hear more and more people saying they are still searching for the one. As they go along, it becomes more of a burden than exciting for them.

Let’s look at the facts. There are approximately 7 billion people in the world and according to worldometers.info, 50.4% are men and 49.6% are female. The chances of finding someone you love is huge. It’s a big world out there. Often we end up staying in our small circle of friends. We go to work and then come home.

Sometimes we may join an evening class or go to the gym, often in hopes that we bump into someone and instantly fall in love with them as we see in the movies. The truth is, from my experience, it doesn’t always happen like that. I found that meeting people in a bar or online didn’t really work for me. I know there are millions of people out there that it has worked for and that is so wonderful. But for me, it was very different.

I loved the idea of “the one” ever since I was a teenager. In fact, when I was 17, I went out with a girl for almost three years and we were convinced that we were going to get married. It turns out that we didn’t and as sweet as she was, I’m really glad that we broke up. I’ve had quite a number of relationships over the years.

Some have been very intense and some have been pretty relaxed. Some have been long and some have been short. There were times that I was almost trying to convince myself that the person I was with was the one. I knew deep down that this wasn’t the case, but I still tried to make it work, which then caused a lot of pressures on the relationship.

looking for the one

During the times that I was single, I would be constantly looking at people to see if I get that magical moment when you instantly know you are meant to be together. The more I looked, the harder it became. I have dated some lovely people and I have certainly fallen in love with some of them.

But I knew deep down that it wasn’t right. I had a feeling in my stomach that told me I needed to leave. I often ignored it and tried to make it work anyway, but this only led to more heartache for both people.

I decided to completely give up. I managed to get to a place where I was totally happy with being on my own. I decided that I wasn’t going to date anybody and I didn’t even want anything casual. It all became about me and my life. I took myself on trips abroad and weekend trips in my campervan and I didn’t bat an eyelid to anyone.

If there were any signs of flirtation, I would play along, but not talk myself into the fact that I had to fall in love with this person. It was actually a really nice place to be. There was a weight that got lifted and the clouds that hung over had cleared.

While all of this was going on, I was building a really strong friendship with a woman from work. I had not looked at her in a romantic way before. We just enjoyed each other’s company and had a laugh together. As the months passed, we were spending most weekends together and even staying over each other’s houses — just watching movies, drinking wine, and eating popcorn.

She had been giving me advice about my dating life and I was doing the same for her. One night we were watching a movie in her bedroom and we cuddled up. The movie finished and we just stayed there for hours. I felt so completely at peace and after a long battle in my head as to whether I should kiss her or not, I decided to go for it. This was a bold move considering we were close friends, we worked together and that I had given up on dating.

Was it a really passionate, love at first kiss, like you see in movies? No. To be honest, it was a little awkward. Nevertheless, we kept hanging out and we were completely open and honest about how we felt about the situation. We both loved each other’s company and if we both decided to go for it, then that would be it. No messing around.

In retrospect, what happened is that we realized we actually loved each other, but as we were both not looking for love and we were not interested in sex at the time, we just fell in love based on our personalities and incredible friendship. We got married 18 months later and now we have our first baby on the way.

The strange thing was that on paper, we aren’t necessarily the perfect match. When I was online dating, I would scroll through photos and dismiss people who were probably wonderful. We put so much on the first moment, love at first sight experience that we are led to believe will happen.

The wonderful thing about our relationship is that we are fundamentally friends. We do have a fantastic sex life but take that away and we are the best of friends who make each other laugh and want to be with each other all the time. However, I understand that this may not suit everyone and I completely understand why. We both have our own individual hobbies, which is so important as we need to keep our own identities.

Finding the one will be different for everyone, but I do believe that they exist. I could argue that not everyone is destined to find somebody, but I’m just talking from my own experiences. I know that what I have with my wife is incredible and I couldn’t imagine a relationship with someone else being any better.

when finding the one

The key is to listen to what your instinct is telling you. If your gut or intuition is saying something isn’t right, then you must listen and act on that. There’s no point in wasting time, energy and emotion on something that isn’t going to work.

Yes, you can make relationships work and some people become life long partners. But there’s a difference between staying with someone that you love, who you know isn’t the one and living your life with someone you feel like you’ve almost known in a previous life.

I know that if I had stayed with previous partners who I loved, I would not be completely happy. I didn’t want love to be the reason I was unhappy. I knew that someone was waiting out there for me. It’s just ironic that I was searching for that ultimate love elsewhere when she was just right there before my eyes.

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

The post Personal Advice on Finding The One appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Tips to Convince Your Overprotective Parents to Let You Travel Alone

A lot of parents aren’t comfortable with the idea of their children traveling abroad, particularly if they plan on going alone.

They think it is unsafe and simply a waste of time and money. It may potentially take away their focus on what’s really important in life, like education and career.

However, you and I know that traveling is actually one of the best ways to learn and grow.

By going on a solo travel, you encounter new and diverse experiences that are not always comfortable. It forces you to take responsibility for yourself and grow into your own being.

Even research has shown that students who have taken a year off to work, travel and explore other interests are now being recognized by universities like Harvard and employers as valuable in helping students be more successful in their lives, studies and careers.

So, what can you do to get your parents to allow for this to happen?

Do your homework and share your plan

You need to have a plan to prove that you have really thought this through. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your goal or what do you want to experience and accomplish when you are abroad?
  • How will this contribute to your life and your career ambitions?
  • Why is this important to you?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • How long are you going to go for?
  • What are the safety measures you are going to take?
  • How much have you saved?
  • How much do you think it is going to cost?
  • What is your budget?
  • Where are you going to get the money to support you?

All these questions are important for you to answer as it’ll demonstrate you have done your research and know what you are doing. Try and tie it back to how it can help with your career goal and how it can give you a competitive edge in the future. Show them how you are going to be financially responsible and pay for the trip and support yourself.

Back up your research on the benefits of traveling and working abroad

Help them see how traveling will contribute to building your resume and your life skills. Use the information I provided to you in the introduction to share with them time has changed.

Nowadays, employers and schools value individuals who know how to work with diverse people. They favor those who can speak more than one language and are able to think outside the box. Find more examples on Google that further backs this up.

Share examples of other family friend’s children who have traveled on their own

Our parents often like to compare us with their family friend’s children and use them as examples, saying we should be more like them. You know how they always say, “Did you hear about so and so… Why not do the same? Did you hear so and so just got back from Europe and because of his/her experience got a job working for xyz or got into the xyz university?”

So, who do you know have been able to convince their parents to let them go travel on their own and came back more successful? Call them up and find out how they convinced their parents. Ask what have been the biggest reservations their parents had to let them go off on their own.

Even if you don’t know of anyone, ask around. Expand your network and find someone who have gone through the challenge you are facing and get some advice from them.

Reassure them you will stay in touch

One of the biggest things our parents worry about is our safety. They worry that they are not able to protect you and care for you when you are so far away.

The reality is bad things can happen just as easily if you were to stay at home. Also, they won’t be around forever to protect you. Nothing lasts forever in life and what happens around us is out of our control.

The only thing we have control over is how we choose to prepare and respond to what goes on in our lives. So, give them as much information as you can about where you will be staying or where you are going to be. Work with them to agree on how often will you check in and stay in touch with them by Skype, phone or email.

After all, the only way you can learn how to manage ‘life’ on your own and thrive is if they give you the opportunity to spread your wings and face new experiences in life by yourself.

Be patient and don’t give up on your dreams

Know that there is always a way. Be patient, gentle, and persistent. Be willing to compromise if you must.

So, maybe instead of traveling on your own, you agree to join a group or a youth exchange program organized by the government. Check out Go Overseas to find reliable information about various programs abroad.

Ultimately the decision lies within you. It is your life. Don’t waste it on living out someone else’s.

See Also: 6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger

The post 5 Tips to Convince Your Overprotective Parents to Let You Travel Alone appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Tips for a Long and Happy Marriage

There’s no master plan for how people maintain their marriage. There’s no formula to follow or equation to calculate.

Every relationship is different and each couple faces distinct circumstances. You can’t deliver the magic love formula for the same two couples. Yet, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there from those who understand what it takes to thrive.

For one couple, it might be a simple passion or activity they both enjoy, something that no one else can understand. Humor, music, sense of style — these are all points to account for.

The best way to learn how to succeed in a long-lasting marriage is to consult those who’ve done it. Discover the secrets for how these relationships flourish. Some of these couples, overcoming long distance, and some withstanding the test of time, have lasted up to 78 years.

Morrie and Betty Markoff: Your Friends Aren’t The Best Judge of Character

morrie and betty markoff
Via articles.latimes.com

This couple of 78 years has one tip for you: Your friends aren’t always the best judge of character.

Their perspective shouldn’t be the main variable for how you manage your relationship. They’re not the ones who spend their time with your loved one. Your friends don’t understand how much you mean to this person. They don’t define what your love should be.

Yes, your friends can be an excellent safety net for you. They see or might notice things you don’t.

But in the end, you’re the one married to this person and they’re not. It’s up to you to take responsibility for how you judge your own relationship. Not others.

Sammy and Macie Waller: Remember Your Vows

sammy and macie waller
Via becauseofthemwecan.com

75 years of love.

What’s their secret?

They insist that you remember the vows you gave to them when you got married. Those vows represent the foundation of your marriage. If you keep the base strong, you allow your relationship to blossom into something that can withstand time and distance.

Now, what happens to a relationship with a weak foundation? If there’s nothing for your relationship to stand on, how can the rest of your marriage fall into place?

Make a habit to return and remind each other of the vows you made on your wedding day. Those blissful words represent the starting point for your marriage. Without knowing where you two came from, how can move forward together?

Warren and Mattie Sanders: Agree To Disagree

warren and mattie sanders
Via southernliving.com

This couple has been together for 69 years. What kept them together was their agreement to never argue.

Agree to disagree.

Yes, it’s acceptable and normal to disagree. What they did, however, was learn how to walk away from arguments.

Couples stay together based on unity. Arguments fueled by negativity divide your love. It takes away the time you could enjoy together in each other’s arms.

Be wise. Agree to disagree and make an honest effort to understand each other. An argument doesn’t go anywhere if you two don’t listen to each other’s viewpoints. Raising voices and bringing up things to fuel the fire won’t help.

Be patient, listen, and love each other. How do you learn how to do this? Start from the very beginning, and it’ll only get better from there.

Bob and Jean Haynes: Laughter

bob and jean haynes
Via southernliving.com

You can’t fail if you both have a similar sense of humor. Laughter is the secret for this couple of 67 years. Use it as a positive way to lift up and support each other.

Laughter brings smiles and joy. Remember to not use your partner’s vulnerabilities against them. With laughter, you form memories and inside jokes only you two can understand. It brings the bond you have with each other closer.

Who cares if you have a weird joke no one but you two get?

Life is short and few people can say their relationship was blessed with moments of laughter. Your memories and jokes will grow with you, as you two never forget the funniest things that happen to one another.

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

Frank and Thelma Hoffman: Form A Companionship

frank and thelma hoffman
Via abcnews.go.com

Love one another and form a companionship. That’s what has kept this couple together for over 67 years. You two must like or think about the same things. A friendship that blossoms into a loving relationship and marriage is a beautiful testament of affection.

The warmth and tenderness of a true companionship are unmatched. When you’re together, people think you’re close to the same person. Your personality traits complement each other, and the result is a relationship that cannot die.

Maybe you both love animals. Perhaps, you have the same passion for an instrument or you met each other by learning a new language.

You’re both lucky to have each other and you should recognize that.

Cherish it.

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

Benny DeWitt and Joyce Smith Speares: Always Kiss Each Other Goodnight

benny dewitt and joyce smith speares
Via southernliving.com

This is what this couple of 62 years has done every night. Live in the moment, because you can’t guarantee what will happen in the future. You don’t want to live a life full of regret because you were too angry to wish your loved one goodnight.

A kiss at the end of the day before you sleep is a gentle farewell until the morning. Anything can happen the next day, but if you take the time to love each other, even for a short time, your romance grows richer.

Letty and Rudy Sagun: Dancing…a lot!

letty and rudy sagun
Via southernliving.com

Even 59 years later, some of the things you enjoy doing with your loved one don’t change. That’s the case for both Letty and Rudy. Their lasting endearment is thanks to their love of dancing with each other.

Even as time passes by, you can return back and be with your dancing partner. Likewise, when you’re looking to learn a new dance move, they will be right there waiting for you.

Your significant other understands you and knows how you like to have fun. If other people don’t think you’re good dancers, who cares! More power to you.

Charlie and Sherri Sugarman: That Whole “Better Half” Idea? Ditch it.

charlie and sherri sugarman
Via southernliving.com

Charlie and Sherri have been together for 51 years. They understand how crucial it is to be your own person, and there’s no need to turn your relationship into a competition. You two should complement each other.

The two of you can grow together as a couple if you balance each other out as your own person. Spark interest among one another. Bring new ideas every time you come together.

“Better half?” There’s no such thing.

Tom and Maureen McEwan: Still Living In A Big House

tom and maureen mcewan
Via smalljoys.tv

For 50 years, this couple knows what it takes to stay together. At the same time, Tom and Maureen understand that they both have their own unique personalities. Even if you two complement each other, there’s always still room to grow with your own interests!

If you’re artsy, sometimes you need some space for yourself. For other people, maybe you have a passion for reading books. You two can have space for your own favorite things to do, and you can have the comfort knowing you’re both there for each other.

Ray and Joan Day: Share and Compromise

ray and joan day
Via southernliving.com

Ray and Joan have been together for 48 years. Sharing and compromising is what has kept them together through the years. When you learn how to meet each other halfway, your relationship gains newfound strength.

Time can do so much. Jobs come up, people have to move, some friends come and go. But if you take the time to truly listen to where you’re both coming from, you can move past these things.

As a couple, you’re joined together in unity. Your marriage to each other is a signal that you don’t want or need to be with anyone else. There’s no one else out there who can replace them.

Remember…

Each relationship is different. These secrets from these 10 couples are simple, but they’re crafted out of timeless wisdom.

There are hearts all over the world, but when you’re in a relationship, only one of these hearts match up with yours.

They mean to you what you mean to them. As time goes by, you’ll have your chances to give them a hug, laugh with them, and kiss them goodnight. Don’t take these moments for granted, because what you have is special.

Master these secrets of what makes a long and happy marriage work, and share with someone what you’ll do to ensure a loving relationship.

Author:

Jessica Santos is a content marketer with a passion for writing and storytelling. You can find her writing on a variety of topics ranging from floral DIYs to rising cybersecurity trends. When she’s not writing or researching for her next project, you find her trying out the latest foodie trends at local community festivals. See more of Jessica’s writing here: http://www.oldest.org/people/longest-marriages/.

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5 Romantic Date Night Ideas For Going Out This Valentine’s Day

If you’re lucky enough to be all loved-up this February 14th, don’t be a cynic and ignore it altogether. Head out and spend a nice evening to remember with your better half.

You might roll your eyes at the thought of slow-motion embraces and drooping bouquets, but planning a unique date experience your partner will actually treasure — that’s romance.

Though there are many romantic ideas for couples that would rather stay in the comfort of their own home this Valentine’s Day, there are lots of options for those who are looking to dress up to celebrate.

Here are five unique Valentine’s date night ideas you should totally consider:

’Memory Lane’ Treasure Hunt

Arrange a trip through your relationship archives by guiding your loved one around your city. You can make pit-stops at the bars, cafes, bridges, and buildings that brought you together. If you’re so inclined, hand-write clues, draw something, get poetic or even be full-on cryptic.

Once your partner has solved all the riddles, meet him in your favorite bar for a cozy drink and a spot of romantic reminiscing. This kind of date — with potential for mix-ups, belly-laugh, and a few wrong turns — should bring out the kid in both of you. It’s also a brilliant chance to remember some of the best moments in your story together so far.

A Night at the Museum

night at the museum

What could be more romantic than strolling hand-in-hand across echoing marble floors, gazing at Renaissance art, ancient Roman artifacts or Victorian specimen jars?

Based on your partner’s interests and passions, seek out an off-the-beaten-track collection to explore together. You might be able to tour the one-time home of their favorite author, see a carefully curated display of the sport they play or from a country they’ve traveled in.

Many top museums now open up for late-night tours, so consider an early afternoon at a lesser-known gallery before heading to your city’s coolest museum at sundown. Couples who learn together stay together after all.

Ride the Waltzers

If you’d like to inject some magic into your relationship, research has shown there are a few simple activities which have been proven to help bring couples closer. One theory is that sharing a thrill with a partner can improve intimacy. Getting your hearts racing in each other’s company helps further the bond.

For a Valentine’s burst of adrenaline, what about a classic old-fashioned fair round for some vintage romance?

The colorful lights are an ideal backdrop for a photo together and the rickety swoop of a Ferris wheel adds a drop of nostalgia to your date. Cling on tight to your loved one as the roller coaster clatters upwards and raise your voices as one electrifying scream on the way down.

Murder Mystery Party

For some spine-tingling, Agatha Christie-inspired glamour this February 14th, take your partner to a Murder Mystery Party or host one yourself. A group activity takes off some of the Valentine’s pressure that can get in the way on a date night. So, book tickets to a professional evening hosted by actors in a nearby stately home.

You’ll be expected to look the part, so it’s an excuse to don your smartest suit and get a proper 1950s-style shave. Taking on different roles is a recipe for fun or disaster with your favorite person in the world.

Get into character, practice your accents, and impress them with your acting skills. Hosting one at home could also be an excellent way to share Valentine’s with some of your other favorite couples.

Winter Picnic

winter picnic

Valentine’s Day, of course, falls in February, which is often the chilliest month of the year. But if the forecast is cold and crisp with no rain in sight, the frosty temperature shouldn’t stop you and your other half getting wrapped up for a bracing seaside stroll.

Catch the bus or train to your nearest, prettiest beach, kitted out in your warmest woolens and robust pair of gloves. Treat your partner to a windswept march along the coastline. You can blast away the cobwebs and take in some cracking sunset seascapes.

If you want to win extra romance points, pack a winter picnic to remember. Think flaskfuls of steaming hot chocolate, slices of pie, hot sausages, and red wine.

See Also: The Romantically Challenged Guy’s Guide to a Successful Valentine’s Day

The post 5 Romantic Date Night Ideas For Going Out This Valentine’s Day appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Balancing Your Lifestyle With Your Pet

With the ever-increasing cost of living, one payslip is sometimes not enough for anything beyond putting food on the table. This is why most people often have to work long hours and even weekends. Consequently, finding the perfect work-life balance is a struggle for most of us, which jeopardizes relationships with family, friends, and even pets.

If you’re one of those people, here’s a 5-point guide on how to balance your lifestyle when you are living with pets.

Exercise With Your Pet

You already know that living a sedentary lifestyle can dramatically reduce your lifespan and predispose you to diseases like cancer and diabetes. So, with or without a pet, you should set aside some time to exercise at least thrice per week.

If your free time is not adequate for both exercising and bonding with your pet, you can combine the two for an even better outcome. Take your dog or cat for a walk around the neighborhood every evening or try to fit in a hike on the weekends. Your bond will grow even stronger.

Engaging in these activities sets you towards living a healthy lifestyle that’s beneficial to your health. If you have an active dog, it’s one way to keep it healthy, too.

Don’t Forget About Your Family

Your family needs your love, attention, and presence just as much as your furry, four-legged friend. So, as you make the necessary lifestyle changes with your pet, extend said changes as far as your family is concerned.

For instance, bring your kids along on walks with your pets and use the opportunity to get up to date with their lives. If you have the means and the time, you can also organize outings as a great way to bring the whole family, including the four-legged members, together.

Consider Switching to a Career with Better Work-Life Balance

Sometimes, what you need is not a bunch of lifestyle changes but a complete switch to an alternative lifestyle. And no, we are not suggesting that you start wearing hippie wigs and all that. Instead, consider changing the way you work and live.

For instance, switching your 9-to-5 job for a freelance career will give you a better work-life balance and improve your relationships with your pet and family. Other examples of best careers with good work-life balance as compiled by Forbes include:

  • Corporate Recruiter
  • Data Scientist
  • SEO Manager
  • Mobile Developer

Notably, you may need to undertake additional studies to get a job with better work-life balance, which admittedly and unfortunately is not applicable to everyone.

See Also: 7 Tips to Happy Coworking with Your Pets

Choose a Pet that Fits Your Lifestyle

Some pets require lots of activities while others can do just fine with minimal exercise. It is, therefore, imperative that you consider an animal’s personality and how it fits in your lifestyle before bringing it home.

For instance, if you have no free time on weekdays, you may want to keep off dog breeds like terriers as they need lots of activity to stay healthy. Similarly, if you happen to travel a lot for work and can’t take your dog along, you’ll be better off looking for a breed with an amiable temperament.

The number of kids you have and their ages should also be considered when selecting pets. If your kids are below 5 years, avoid toy breeds like poodles and chihuahuas as they’re known to be too nervous around small kids. Instead, go for bigger breeds like bulldogs.

Nonetheless, toy breeds are amazing if you live a minimalist lifestyle with limited floor space. You’ll need a much larger house if you like breeds such as St. Bernard and Great Dane.

Assess the Costs of the Required Lifestyle Changes

After figuring out the type of pet that fits in your existing lifestyle, the next step is to consider the amount of time and money needed to maintain it. Remember, the key is to balance your lifestyle and your needs without one overwhelming the other.

The costs to consider include:

  • Food expenses
  • Medical costs
  • Toys and accessories
  • Grooming costs
  • Recommended exercise time

For instance, common breeds like Beagle and Chihuahua are manageable even on a limited income. Others, such as Chow Chow and Rottweilers, are a struggle financially and physically. You may also find that small pets are more expensive and difficult to handle than bigger pets.

Conclusion

We all love pets for one reason or another which is why it doesn’t make any sense for either animal or man to have lifestyles that are not in sync. Whatever your professional life is like, strive to create a balance in your life when living with pets. That’s one way to increase the bond between you and your furry companion while also augmenting your lifespan as well.

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How To Make Your Wife Smile

When you meet the woman of your dreams, a marriage becomes suddenly inevitable. And a few years into your marriage, everything changes as you get to know your better half. You realize that keeping up with your wife can be a drag. Despite that, however, you should still play your part and give your wife the attention and love she deserves.

Here are some really great ways to make your wife happy.

Make Her Feel Special

courting relationship

Once you are friends with someone as a guy, it naturally gives you the inclination to be more frank with them, tease them, be more personal in your comments, and share things together. However, a woman is a much more complex person and that is what we tend to forget about our wives.

Without them, we are simply lonely. All the fame, power, and money can go rust in the corner. If you don’t have someone to share them with, then what is the point of having them in the first place?

You need to know that your wife is yours and she deserves to be treated in a way that doesn’t make her feel anything less.

Here are some things that can brighten up her day:

• Leave her a genuinely felt and sincere note of thank you or reminder for how much you truly love and care for her.
• Get her favorite ice cream, chocolate or anything sweet that you know she likes. She appreciates the fact that you remember her.
• Make waves the next time you get intimate with her by making the setting more attractive and appealing. We don’t need to delve too much on this subject. We know that you know what we are hinting here.
• Complete your honey-do list and if you haven’t, then now is the right time to start one.
• Calling her on the phone or sending her a message is something that doesn’t need much effort nowadays, thanks to the internet and technology.
• Make her feel at ease. After work, ask her if she needs a massage and if you don’t know how, then learn a few routines for free online.

Remind Her How Beautiful She Is

If you are the man who truly admires your life partner, then you should know why ‘beauty’ or being called ‘beautiful’ is important for a woman.

Here is what you can do:

• Respect your own physique. Wash yourself, brush your teeth, cut your nails, and get groomed. This will make her question your actions — we bet on it. And when she does, tell her up close with a gentle hug or a cuddle that it was all for her.
• Never forget to compliment her with pure honesty regarding how amazing she is in front of everyone.
• Don’t wait for a fight or some other bad time to tell her how beautiful she is. Be generous and straight up tell her and do it differently every time you do.
• Your affection towards her is probably what she needs. The trust she has on you can make her fight the entire world just for you. So, be a man and ensure that you will do the same with a kind smile.

Instill Happiness

You know, there are couples in the world that are broke as hell yet they live the most lovable lives. Even the kings and queens would envy them. Money, property, fame, and power has nothing to do with the state of pure joy. It comes from within — a fulfilling feeling which you can share with your loved one without restrictions or limitations.

Here are some of the ways you can still mean the world to her no matter who and wherever you are:

• Believe in her dreams and support her causes in life. Let her be free to choose what she wants in life or professional career.
• Treat your wife with care. Be gentle and use kind and grateful words for her loyalty and dedication she puts into making your house feel like a home.
• If there is a quarrel, listen first. And if she is right, then you have no reason not to apologize to her and make the necessary changes.
• If there is a decision to make, always ask for her opinion.
• Travel with her, even if it means doing the groceries together or simply going out for a dinner or watching a movie. Ideally, making her leave the house for a week-long trip at the least will really bring out the colors in her cheeks.

A Note

I hope that this post didn’t meddle with your ego as a man too much. Though I certainly do not proclaim myself as a feminist nor does my writing depicts it in any manner possible, I certainly do agree that God creates women and men to complete each other.

Without the other half, we are simply deserted on this tiny blob of water and land placed among the infinity of the cosmos around it. Wealth and youth come and go, time flies by, everybody leaves and nobody stays forever. That’s why we have to do our best to make our better half feel special and loved.

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On Knowing What Destiny Has Prepared You For

What’s stopping you from being the creative person you were created to be? What’s stopping you from stepping into the void of your life and creating fullness?

For every mess, there is a creative idea to fix it and for every void, there is creative wholeness to satisfy it.

The creative idea you’re in need of, the creative wholeness you crave, is not outside you but within you.

On Discovering Your Destiny

Unfortunately, we tend to spend more time studying who and what surrounds us than we do ourselves. So, we don’t know ourselves. We don’t know our true capacity and capabilities.

Destiny is the only one who fully knows what’s inside you. In order to reveal you to yourself, it will sometimes put you in situations of chaos or void with the expectation that you can handle it.

Chaos will show you what’s inside you.

Rejection will show you what’s inside you.

Trouble will show you what’s inside you

Hard times will show you what’s inside you.

You can endure the challenge of any situation as long as the chaos of it doesn’t get in you.

Like a ship at sea, you can weather the waters of any storm as long as the water doesn’t get in you. Once the water gets in the ship, the survival of the ship lowers.

Have you ever been in a difficult situation where everyone around you seemed to fall apart while you remained steady? You knew it was a bad situation but somehow it didn’t affect you. It didn’t affect you, because it didn’t get in you.

I was in labor for over 87 hours with my son. It was a really hard labor. It was completely natural, with no meds and at home. As the days rolled on and my support grew tired and frustrated, a thought came over me, “stay strong, people. I need you to stay strong”.

During that time, I knew that I couldn’t afford my support to grow weak. I couldn’t afford for them to internalize the storm of frustration, fear, and tiredness. Also, I knew that the integrity of our journey through labor and delivery depended on how well they weathered the chaos of the storm.

I was tired, weak, afraid, and frustrated but I could endure as long as the rest of my crew stood strong, refusing to allow the chaos of the situation to go internal.

Can you recall a similar event in your life, when the integrity of your journey depended heavily on how well your crew weathered the storm of circumstances?

You will always have a special grace to get through the challenges that come your way. But, that doesn’t mean that the people present with you also have that grace for that challenge.

Have you ever looked back and wondered, “how did I do that? How did I pull that off”?

You were graced for it.

On Discovering Yourself

You’re designed strong enough to get through the storms of your life. Each storm is an opportunity to reveal the strength of what’s inside you. You absolutely have what it takes to overcome every storm of your life!

Your storms are your opportunities to discover yourself. You were in that situation to discover yourself, to stretch you, to encourage you, to empower you, to see eternity in you.

You’ll never know what’s in you if you don’t push through the storm.

You are creative because destiny is creative.

Destiny is also systematic and, therefore, so are you.

The seed of every thing is in itself. The seed is the potential of the thing. The apple seed is the limitless potential of the apple tree. The seed inside the apple is the life inside the apple. This is destiny’s system of design.

The potential to bring forth exists inside you as a key component to your inherent makeup and design. You were created with a system whereby whatever you need will always be inside of you.

The implication of this realization is significant…

You cannot expect people to give you what they don’t have.

They can’t give you love if they have none. They can’t give you peace if they have none. And they can’t give you wisdom if they have none.

The fact that you have a need doesn’t mean that the solution can be found in someone else. Your need does not determine another’s capacity to give, so don’t go looking to people for what you need.

You’ll wear yourself out looking for love, attention, affection, and significance from someone who has none to give.

On What You Need to Be

The primary expectation destiny has of you is that you would be productive.

You don’t have to ask for joy if you’re productive. You don’t have to ask for peace if you’re productive. You’re going to have joy, you’re going to be happiest, and you’re going to be most fulfilled if you live your purpose.

Your purpose above everything else is to be productive with what destiny has placed inside of you. So, be productive!

Every day of your life up to this point is forever gone.

Every day that’s entrusted to you is given with the expectation that you would be productive. Don’t let a single day go by without producing something or anything.

Use every new day you’re given to go further than the day you had.

At every age or stage, the only thing that Destiny asks of you is that you would be productive with what’s inside you.

This is divine expectation.

Have you ever suspected that there was more inside of you?

Have you ever suspected that you might be living beneath your best purpose, your highest use, your ultimate destiny?

Or have you ever looked into someone’s eyes and seen that they see that something special in you? What does that do to you?

It’s the most attractive quality, isn’t it? When they see it in you?

In order for you to be productive, you also need to see what’s inside you. Let the storms of your life serve to reveal your seed so that it can be turned into a fruit. Then, multiply the fruit.

However, do not multiply what didn’t survive the storms of your life. Take what’s left after the storm calms and multiply it.

Find a mirror. Get in front of your reflection and with your eyes locked onto the eyes of your reflection, say aloud, “Something is about to happen in your life. You had to fight to get here, but you survived. Your purpose is about to flow from your life. You’re about to multiply what survived. It’s your season!”

You’re coming into it! You’re starting to figure it out. Your eyes have not seen and your ears have not heard the things that destiny has prepared for you.

See Also: Accept Your Destiny and Build The Ultimate Form of Confidence

The post On Knowing What Destiny Has Prepared You For appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Little-Known Steps To Get Over A Painful Breakup

Life is already difficult. Let’s try and make it a little less complicated and happier.

Let me start with something you would want to hear in a difficult time like this, okay?

It is completely alright to break up with someone if you think that the relationship was too draining and you’re not receiving enough in return.

Sometimes, saying goodbye hurts, but it is important for YOU. You need it to be happy and to love yourself.

If you’re not happy, you know it’s time to pack your stuff and leave. It doesn’t matter how long the relationship lasted. You will always feel heartbroken after parting ways with someone you couldn’t imagine living a day without. You may feel lonely and vulnerable. You may even want to call them back.

The effects of a breakup can last for a long time if you let them get to you. However, you have an option to slide through those effects and get back to being you.

First of all, I would like to inform you that self-harm, alcoholism, grieving for too long, cutting communication with friends and family or anything that doesn’t sound like a healthy way to get over a breakup is most probably not it.

Instead, you should indulge in activities that make you feel more like yourself — the person you were when you were single.

This doesn’t necessarily mean single people are happier. It just means that you need to learn to love yourself again and then, think about dating. Do one thing at a time.

Here, we are going to focus on how to be the better person after a breakup. Some of these tips will directly and immediately affect you while some can make a difference in the long run.

Curious? Read on to find out more.

Accept the Fact And Let It Out of Your System

Realize that shit happens and you are not responsible for it. You are just sad that it ended and you can take your time to feel alive again. Give yourself some time to do whatever it is that you want to do to accept the breakup.

Grieving is not bad. In fact, it can help you move on. However, hanging onto it for too long is not a good idea. Avoid drinking too much or harming yourself because trust me, you may feel like doing it when the agony becomes too much.

Once you have realized that what has happened has already happened, then you have to be okay with it for your own good. You can congratulate yourself for successfully taking the first step to moving on.

Clear The Chaos Around You

breakup tips

A lot of people will tell you to go out and have fun after a breakup. This is a flawed way of dealing with the situation. Hanging out will divert your mind away from your heartbreak but at the end of the day, you will have to come back to the same place. That’s when you’ll start feeling lonely again.

To get your life back on track, you need to make your living space more lively and organized. Clean up well and create a space where you can breathe freely. Open the windows and let the fresh air and sunlight in your room. Make an environment that has no place for grief or sorrow.

You can also look for cleansing incense sticks to create a fresh atmosphere in your room. Get some crystals, like amethyst, moonstone or citrine, that absorb negative energy.

Remove his belongings if they remind you of him. Throw them away if you don’t think he would want them back. It is completely your decision.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

Think about yourself and the people around you. Take the time to invite some of them over for a barbecue or simply to hang out at home. It doesn’t have to be too extravagant.

Having others around you is actually good. You’ll have people to talk to, particularly when you are feeling down

Keep your routine a healthy one because after a breakup, people tend to oversleep, overeat, and avoid going to work. If you notice that you’re falling into that pit, make the effort to work on a healthy routine, diet, and social life. That way, you’ll feel better faster.

Even if you don’t, you will get there. Just keep in mind that you are the most important person in your life and whatever you do, you keep your own best interests in mind.

Treat Yourself

treat yourself

Heartbreaks can make you feel depressed and unable to take care of your hygiene and appearance. So, put in some effort and take time out of your schedule to visit a salon or a spa to treat your mind and body. Spas can feel relaxing when you’re feeling distraught.

You can also go out shopping and get some new clothes. Be inclined towards brighter and more lively colors as those can make you feel a lot more positive.

You can also get yourself some jewelry or a good pair of shoes. Don’t feel guilty about splurging a little if it’ll make you feel better.

Take Comfort In Your Community

All these efforts are of no use unless you cut your ties off completely from the person who broke your heart and settles back into your community.

You can start making new friends, go out with your old friend, and carry out activities you think you were missing out on when you were in a relationship. Spare some time for yourself and the people who care about you.

Conclusion

It is said that the longer you date someone, the harder it is to let go. This may be true at some level, but it is never impossible to let anyone go. All you need to do is exert effort and the first step towards that is ‘wanting to do it’.

Breakups become as difficult as you make them. You don’t have to follow the dreaded routine of over-indulgence. You can let it not affect you by taking care of yourself and putting your happiness above everything else.

See Also: Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up

The post 5 Little-Known Steps To Get Over A Painful Breakup appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Stop Unhappiness Rituals in Your Relationships

I once had a patient, we’ll call her Betty, tell me that every night she would cook her spouse a gourmet dinner. At first, it didn’t look like she was unhappy in a relationship. After dinner, she would ask, “How was your dinner?”

The response was always the same: “So, so.”

Every night, she would find herself angry, unhappy, and resentful. She would focus on how hopeless her situation was. After all, she told herself that all she wanted was to please her partner and to get a little appreciation for her efforts. This woman was definitely unhappy in a relationship.

What is an Unhappiness Ritual?

unhappiness ritual

An unhappiness ritual is a repeated, unsatisfying, cyclical behavior that leads us to unhappiness. There is always a beginning to our unhappiness rituals. Entrance to them is usually initiated by the person who maintains the ritual. As long as we keep our unhappiness rituals going, there is no end to the hopelessness, disappointment, resentment, guilt, and anger that comes as a result.

Over time, unhappiness rituals become automatic. They become habits. We unconsciously include them. The unhappy feelings, which is the outcome of our unhappiness rituals can evolve into a state of chronic discontent and bitterness. Depression often awaits us as we endure with predictable outcomes.

How do unhappiness rituals begin?

Let’s review the patient above.

Her unhappiness ritual with cooking dinner began because she unknowingly needed some kindness, appreciation, and validation from her husband. She didn’t put those needs into words. It was rather a wordless longing inside her.

Then, the idea came to her that cooking nightly gourmet dinners would certainly invite conversation and expressed appreciation from her husband. When her solution didn’t give her the outcome she wanted, she kept on cooking, hoping things would change. She initially became disappointed.

Then, she became sad. Anger and resentment took over. She became stuck in a repetitive unhappiness cycle.

Here is the equation for the inception of unhappiness rituals:

  1. We have an unarticulated, unmet want that is surrounded by a discontent about our need not being met.
  2. We try to get our needs met by creating a solution.
  3. The solution doesn’t work. Our needs are not met. We get stuck in the solution, hoping that one day our needs will be met.

Why do we stay stuck?

Think back to when you learned to drive a car. If you were like most, you paid attention to how you pulled away from the curb. You always put on your turn signal and you checked the speedometer to make sure you were not going too fast. You were aware of what you were doing and what other drivers were doing.

Compare that to how you drive a car now.

After years of driving, isn’t all that you do on the highways and byways automatic? Do you consciously think about how you drive? Probably not, because your driving is now habituated. You do it without even thinking about what you are doing.

We get stuck in unhappiness rituals the exact same way.

We practice them over and over and without knowing, they become automatic. Like Betty, she no longer was aware that every evening around 4:00 she would begin thinking about what she would cook for her husband.

She would comb Gourmet magazine or her recipe books for new and delicious-sounding recipes. Around 5:00, Betty would have selected a meal and she would begin preparing it. Her mantra was, “maybe this time my husband will love the dinner.”

She reported that she was “always hurt when I got the same “so-so” response, night after night.

We become unconsciously and habitually stuck in our unhappiness rituals. Inexplicably, in our stuckness, we expect others to change their responses. It is our fervent hope that others will “get it” and we will be acknowledged, appreciated or feel loved because someone else changed their behaviors.

How to stop being unhappy in a relationship

unhappy relationship

After some therapy and planning, here’s what Betty did:

She stopped putting so much energy into meal preparation and she stopped asking her husband how he liked his dinner! Does that sound too simple?

It took Betty some time to gather the courage to sort out the needs and feelings that were related to her unhappiness ritual. She took quite some time for her to embrace the idea of stepping out of her automatic behaviors. It took creating new ways of interacting and connecting.

How to get out of your unhappiness rituals:

  1. Identify what is causing unhappiness for you. What is it that you repeatedly do that leads to your unhappy feelings?
  2. Name your feelings. Instead of just saying you feel unhappy, name exactly what the feelings are. Are you resentful or in an unhappiness ritual because of guilt? Are you accustomed to being a victim in your life and therefore being in an unhappiness ritual feels comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time? Exploration of your feelings is more easily done with a neutral third party involved.
  3. Learn what you are needing. We enter unhappiness rituals through a desire to get some response usually from another person.
  4. Dissect your ritual. When does it begin? What thoughts go through your mind? What do you tell yourself? Is guilt, retribution, anger, revenge, manipulation or setting yourself up for victimization a driving force? Write it down. Look at it.
  5. Clearly state what it is about your unhappiness ritual that you want to stop.

Action exiting

Change is very difficult as our automatic behaviors are hardwired into our brains. It takes consciousness and perseverance to depart from our unhappiness rituals, especially when they have become entrenched through years of practice.

Betty made a step-by-step plan. She took action!

She identified that around 4:00 pm, she would start planning the evening meal. Her first exodus step was to create activities for herself at that hour.

After some time, Betty decided that she and her neighbor would either play tennis at the local community center or hike with their dogs. In inclement weather, Betty worked out at the gym.

Unhappiness rituals usually fall apart after we intervene on our first step into the ritual.

Next, Betty stopped her subscription to Gourmet Magazine and she boxed up her cookbooks and the recipes that she had collected from newspapers over the years. She put them in the guest room closet.

Then, she considered what types of meals she would make for dinner. Betty decided on some frozen, pre-prepared meals and fresh salads. She had advised her husband.

It went like this:

Honey, I have changed my schedule so I won’t be dedicating so much time to preparing dinner. Just wanted you to know. I’ve got to go right now. I’m going to the gym. If you have any questions, we can discuss it later.

Notice that Betty was brief and respectful. She simply told her husband that she was making a change and then, she exited. No justifications and no explanations. No processing of feelings and no making her husband wrong for not fulfilling her unspoken needs.

To exit an unhappiness ritual:

  1. Write down a plan. Get feedback from an impartial party.
  2. Tell the person/people involved what the change is going to be. Discussing the reason for the change is not necessary and usually leads to a diatribe about our unhappiness because someone else is not meeting our needs (which usually translates into blaming them for our feelings and for making a change necessary).
  3. Plan activities you can do before you enter your unhappiness ritual.
  4. Stick to your change. Practice the change you have selected. Do the change.
  5. Remember, the more you practice your new behavior, the more quickly it becomes automatic.

Finally, get yourself out of your unhappiness rituals. If you follow the steps, you will alleviate emotional pain and find yourself happier and more satisfied with your life.

The post How To Stop Unhappiness Rituals in Your Relationships appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stay Strong and Extremely Resilient In Chaos

Despite avoiding the news and mainstream influence 90% of the time, I’m still aware that the world is in a state of chaos and that people are having a hard time finding peace in chaos. Especially in the United States’ political climate, we see ongoing negativity, reactivity, and ignorance.

We typically see chaos as a negative concept while order is preferred. With order there’s stability and predictability, thus we know we won’t be challenged. But of course, a challenge is important to an individual’s growth and most of us know that deep down.

The same goes for societies – they must be challenged to either grow or dismantle.

In nature, chaos is generally what happens before growth and change. While yes, chaos can cause an organism to die. However, it is stagnancy and repetition of old patterns that lead to death.

So, what does this mean for the individual who’s trying to stay sane in the midst of (what is often) other people’s chaos and pain?

Here are what I’ve found to be the two most useful actions to take:

Disconnect

disconnect

NOTE: This does not mean give up. Disconnecting isn’t the same as becoming apathetic and complacent.

Disconnecting is an act of self-preservation and restoration. It simply means you are choosing to disconnect from the things that you know to be false. It could be anything that goes against peace, authenticity, etc.

This will probably include a lot of media.

You will need to take long breaks from the news, social media, and maybe even social events in which your friends/family relentlessly complain, argue, etc. By disconnecting, you claim back your power and separate yourself from the endless barrage of negativity – a lot of which is inflated and false.

You get comfortable in your own energy, without the TV blaring or a friend listing all the horrible things that happened that day. This is an especially critical practice for empaths who have trouble holding their own energy around others. Disconnecting doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means you care enough to make a change.

Act from the Center

staying strong

Once you’ve disconnected from the mainstream thought process, you can then have a genuine, positive impact. This is HUGE.

Why?

Because everyone else is so caught up in the struggle – the bickering, the wallowing, the insistence that “my way is the best way.”

In this state, chaos, inequality, and violence will continue to flourish indefinitely. The only thing that holds society together is individuals who step outside the thought stream and say, “here’s what I’m going to do to benefit people today.”

Period.

They act from their center because they’ve disconnected from the outside enough to hear their own voice. These people go on to start businesses, volunteer projects, fundraisers or even just bring their own families back to a place of stability. As a famous musician wrote, “they hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds.”

So, if you’re uncertain of what to do and wish you could have an impact during these times of chaos, try this and see what comes out of it. You might be surprised at how stepping back can actually save time and allow for greater productivity.

The post How to Stay Strong and Extremely Resilient In Chaos appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Avoid The Regret of Yesterday And The Fear of Tomorrow

“We look neither ahead nor backward. We look straight into the present.”

Stay in the present, be in the now, just for today.

We’ve heard those lines time and time again, but we still struggle to get hold of this life-changing concept.

Why? Why is it so hard to know how to stay in the present?

If we’ve been told that focusing on the present is the answer to all of our problems, then why do we find it so hard to do it?

Why do we insist on continually dragging ourselves back into the past or propelling ourselves forward into the future?

The answer is simple. It’s because it’s easy to say but not so easy to do!

So, here are 5 tips on how to stay in the present.

Focus on one thing and look at it with all of your might

I’m not talking about some random object like a pencil or a chair. Looking at that with all of your might would be pretty pointless and boring.

I mean something in nature. It could be a tree, a flower, your dog or your cat.

Stare at it with all of your might. Take every single tiny detail in.

If you’ve chosen to focus on a tree, watch how each leaf moves individually. Zoom in on the lines and texture of the bark and count how many different hues of green you can see. Listen to the tree whisper to you as the wind dances through the branches.

If you decided to gaze willfully at your pet, watch how its body moves gently as it breathes. Watch how it gazes so simply into space or how peacefully it sleeps. Focus on its nose and how it subtly twitches as it smells the world.

When you focus solely on something like that, you are being 100% at the moment and you won’t even realize it.

See Also: Feeling Stuck In a Rut? Here’s How to Change Your Focus

Do a guided meditation every day, just for 10 minutes

practice meditation

Come on now, it’s just ten minutes.

I don’t believe you are that busy that you can’t throw a quick 10-minute guided meditation into your day.

You don’t have to be a spiritual guru or a yogi in order to meditate. Anyone can do it and it really is the best way to center you into the present moment.

There are some brilliant meditation apps for your phone that make meditation quick and easy. Check out Calm or Headspace.

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

Watch the world like you’re watching a movie

When you are sitting on a train or a bus, sitting in a coffee shop or restaurant or even walking down the street, imagine yourself sitting in a movie theater.

Be absolutely still for a moment and just watch everything that is happening all around you in that very moment.

The movie is called ‘Life’ and it’s a fly on the wall documentary film.

It’s the quickest way to get out of your head and find your way straight back to the present.

Focus on the soles of your feet

A weird one I know, like my other four suggestions haven’t been somewhat odd.

If you find yourself feeling all kinds of yucky because you’re preoccupied with what happened yesterday or what’s going down tomorrow, just pause for a moment and focus on the soles of your feet.

Close your eyes and just zone in. Try and feel the soft skin on the soles of your feet without touching them with your hands. Simply use your concentration.

Feel the soles of your feet against your shoes or how they feel against the tiled floor or the grass between your toes. Pay attention to your toes, the arch of your foot, and the bottom of your heal.

Sounds weird but while zoning out on your feet, you’re actually being completely in the present moment. Your thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow have disappeared.

Dance

dance with abandonement

Dancing with abandonment is the best way to clear your head of overthinking and to just feel joy and pleasure right now.

I’m not saying you have to start dancing with abandonment in the middle of the supermarket or at the bus stop. However, if you have the courage to do that, then kudos to you.

No, I’m just suggesting you put some headphones on, lock your bedroom door, and just have a quick boogie to one of your favorite uplifting songs.

It’s impossible not to stay present when you’re strutting your stuff without a care in the world.

The post How to Avoid The Regret of Yesterday And The Fear of Tomorrow appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Crush Uncertainty And Realize Your Dreams

You know the feeling.

You have a dream or maybe a plan. You’ve been at it for quite some time now. Weeks, months or maybe years.

And yet, the dream hasn’t come true yet. In fact, you feel farther from your goal than ever before.

Doubtful thoughts mess with your head in an infinite loop.

What is it that you’re missing?

Are you not smart enough? Is it about luck? Are you too young/old for this?

You feel you know what it takes to make your dream come true, but what if you’re wrong?

Maybe you’re wrong in thinking that you know how to do this.

And that’s exactly what is holding you back.

The Hidden Failure Of Conventional Wisdom

You’ve heard the advice.

Believe in yourself.

Focus.

Keep a positive attitude.

Never give up.

Whatever your goal is, if you follow all of those, you should be able to achieve your goals, right?

Wrong.

Here’s why.

Imagine you’ve come to a new city. You do not know what places to explore. So, you use a map to guide yourself.

Except, it’s the wrong map.

No matter how much you search for a place, the map will always mislead you. You can keep a positive attitude, reaffirm your self-belief, and try as hard as you can. It wouldn’t get you any closer to your destination.

Unless you realize you have the wrong map, the only place you’ll reach is frustration.

Why Most People Fail To Achieve Their Goals

achieving goals

You learn from life experiences. Take a moment and think about all the things you know today.

If your father is a software engineer, you probably started to code at a very young age. If your uncle is a professional painter, you would know the different color combinations and brush strokes.

In short, your life experiences have been a source of knowledge.

But here’s the problem.

Your life experiences are limited. So, the things you learn are also limited.

What happens when your goal lies outside your life experience?

What if you want to build a business when everyone in your family has had traditional jobs? How to be a creative writer when the only people around you are corporate buddies?

How to make up for what you do not know?

You do the obvious.

You guess what will work and hope that you’re right.

Usually, you’re wrong.

See Also: Your Ability To Fail Without Fear Is A Requirement To Reach Your Goals

What Does It Really Take To Succeed?

Two reasons why the successful achieve their goals:

  • They know things that you don’t know.
  • They do things that you don’t do.

If you study the methods of successful people, it becomes obvious that their approach is unique and counter-intuitive.

More specifically, it’s counter-intuitive to your guesses, because you don’t understand things the way they do.

Here’s a personal example.

Years ago, I started a blog without knowing much about it.

I guessed that I should start a WordPress website and write as well as I can. The readers will happily show up on their own.

What I just described is the fantasy of every blogger on this planet.

Unfortunately, it’s merely a fantasy. It never happens this way.

Today, we have hundreds of thousands of blogs. With so many options for a reader, I’ll probably get lost in the crowd of average bloggers, even if I was really good.

It wasn’t just about writing good content and hoping people to show up. I needed to find my readers and bring them to my blog. I have to learn about them and produce my best work that actually helps them. Apart from that, I should do this consistently and exactly in this order.

See Also: 5 Habits Of Successful People You Should Be Following Today

How To Not Waste Years In Making Silly Mistakes

The real reason you fail at goals is that you have no idea of what it takes- at least initially.

And if you rely on personal experiences, you’ll have to make tons of mistakes and take years to learn what works.

How to learn about things that you’ve not experienced?

“Proactive Learning”.

You learn how to “avoid” making mistakes. You realize the common pitfalls ahead and prepare in advance.

Why wait to learn from mistakes when you can find and avoid them in advance?

You may feel that avoiding all mistakes is not possible. We all falter and that is true.

However, do you really have to make all the mistakes that most people make all the time?

Instead of making 100 common mistakes, would it not make sense to avoid 90 by being proactive? Just because a person walking ahead of you fell into a hole doesn’t mean that you should, too.

Simply walk around it.

Go Back To First Grade

I know what you’re thinking.

“All this sounds great. Sure, it would be great to avoid mistakes instead of making them. But we realize our mistakes after we’ve made them. How to predict mistakes before making them?”

To answer the above question, you need to answer this first:

Who knows more about building a profitable business?

A businessman earning huge profits or an employee of an organization?

It’s obvious.

It’s the businessman.

He knows how to build a business. He’s done this for years now. He made some mistakes along the way but finally, he is successful.

He knows this game.

If you seek his help, he will show you the right way. He’ll tell you what steps to take. He’ll explain what mistakes most beginners make and how you can avoid them.

His lessons can be the difference between your business thriving or turning to dust.

This question points to an important truth.

99% of people never do much in life. So, when they hear about your dream, the best they can do is discourage you. They’ll call you mad for believing in something big.

But there’s also the 1% that actually make progress, achieve dreams, and realize their aspirations.

These people want you to trust in your dream just like they did. These people don’t want you to give up just like how they didn’t. They want you to succeed just like they did because they know it’s possible.

Your job is to become deaf to the 99% and learn from the 1%.

Not everyone’s opinion matters.

Become A Zen Student Of Success

By now you must have realized:

  1. If you chase your dreams on your own, it’ll take you years before you make it (you can still do it though).
  2. You can save years of effort and time if you learn from successful people.

But, you may still be wondering.

How to learn from the successful?

These people are extremely busy. Bill Gates isn’t sitting close to his phone, waiting excitedly for your call so that he can teach you his Microsoft secret.

The answer.

You live in the Information Age.

There are books, interviews, audio podcasts, and so much more out there. You can sign up for premium courses. A little research can find you plenty of resources to help you understand their methods and philosophies.

You want to understand what they know and how they act based on that knowledge. You’re looking to avoid the mistakes which they’ve made when they started out. You’re looking to succeed without falling into the traps that kept them stuck.

As you pursue proactive learning, you’ll begin to see the following benefits:

  1. Stronger self-belief – Learning from the successful will give you success stories affirming that you’re not crazy in chasing your dreams. Their stories prove it’s possible.
  2. Better Focus – When you’re unsure of your plan, you keep wondering if you’ve made the wrong plan. Proactive learning gives you better focus because you know it will work.
  3. Better Planning – You know you’re learning from the best, so your plan is bulletproof. It has worked earlier and will probably work for you, too.

Rise Of The Superhero In You

rise of the superhero

So, now you know.

You know exactly how to find what it takes to succeed.

Like Luke Skywalker, you will blast the Death Star of self-doubtful thoughts. There is “A New Hope”.

You’re free.

It’s not about being smart, lucky or having the right age. It’s about finding what actually works in real life and then doing it.

You no longer have to guess. By learning from the successful, you will know exactly what to do and what mistakes to avoid. No way are you falling for those traps again.

Like an expert driver avoiding most bumps on the road, the way to your dreams will be one pleasant ride.

Buy that book on business principles. Sign up for that writing course. Book that coaching session with your ideal teacher.

Your goal is no longer lost in some distant future. It’s coming true right now. Every action you take is in the right direction.

You’ve found the right map.

Now, your beliefs, attitudes, and focus will skyrocket your growth.

Go live your dream.

The post How To Crush Uncertainty And Realize Your Dreams appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why You Should Keep Your Journal Positive

I’m sure you’ve heard about the wonderful benefits of keeping a daily positive journal.

Journaling is just as great as you think it is. It comes with a world of creative freedom and you can make with it what you wish. It’s a great way to get what’s on your mind down on paper.

All the parts of your day that are eating at you and all that anger that is erupting inside of you can be exploded onto a piece of paper. With it, you can let go of those emotions and raging thoughts deep inside of you.

While the freedom to vent without judgment is one of the many benefits of journaling, it is even more beneficial for you to journal your positive, hopeful thoughts.  Here’s why:

It Increases Gratitude

journaling

We are always so caught up in the negative. We spend too much time focusing and writing down what went wrong with our day than recognizing what went right.

There is an endless amount of beauty in this world and too much we take for granted. Every day, journal about the people you love, the gifts you have, and the fortune you’ve been given. Once you consider all the blessings in your life, even the worst days won’t seem quite as bad.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

Builds an Optimistic Attitude

Getting into the habit of writing down positive thoughts and events will help shift your mindset to become more positive.

For many of us, we’ve fallen deep into the habit of self-deprecation and it has become quite a challenge to break. Changing your perspective won’t happen overnight, but keeping a daily positive journal could be a great and simple way to change how you think forever.

Every time you want to write down something negative, change it to something positive. In time, you will find your mind making this change as well.

What You Put Out Into the World is What You Receive

positive journaling

If you release negativity into the world, you will only receive more negativity.

Journaling can be a great way to manifest your desires or shoo them away. If you want something, write it down.

Write down how achieving this desire would impact all your senses. Write about it like you already have it — as if you are already experiencing the benefits. Putting these feelings out into the world can and will attract a positive outcome that will fulfill your desires. Radiate positive energy and the universe will reward you.

See Also: Inspiring Journaling Prompts To Help Re-Shape Your Life

Start the habit of losing yourself in writing down all your blessings and emitting all of your happiness onto a blank page. Even if you’re feeling deep in a rut, unlucky, and unloved, you can still release some optimism into the world.

What do you have to lose?

The post Why You Should Keep Your Journal Positive appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Alternate Life Commandments

Most humans are in challenged pursuit of (near) universal desires and setting and achieving their ultimate life goals.

Religions, societies, cultures, and individuals apply varying classifications to each. But distilled to their core, most of us lead a life-long pursuit of the following:

  • Physical well-being
  • Clarity of the mind
  • Passion
  • Success
  • A positive legacy
  • Continuous self-improvement
  • Love & acceptance

Commitment to each should come easy in theory. Physical well-being supports a long healthy life. Success generates status and financial wealth to purchase incredible things. And passion infuses elusive meaning and fulfillment into our lives. You get it…sign me up!

So, why do people struggle so mightily to sustain diets, a driven work-ethic, exercise routines, and hobby generation/practice?

Life is remarkably difficult

It’s dynamic as hell and pulls our attention in every direction imaginable day to day. And when we’re not distracted by external forces, hard-coded mental and physical habits (many undesirable) dominate our daily routine.

On autopilot, we often make decisions that are not aligned with the intentions of our “ideal self”. We, as humans, are painfully shortsighted when it comes to our ability to consistently find present-moment motivation to embody a lifestyle that leads us towards the attainment of long-term aspirations.

I fancy myself an expert on the matter. Not at all because I’ve cracked the code and am the self-actualizing master. No, kind of the opposite actually. My specialty to date, rather, is in committing to, starting, stopping, and ultimately missing lofty goals. I’m like a spark factory without anything laying around to catch fire.

I adore self-help materials and philosophies that address the tricky science of habits. I aspire to join the front-line ranks of the biohacking self-optimization movement that’s swelling in popularity around the world. But, as with my unreliable meditation practice, my commitment is spotty. I remain largely unchanged at age 28 despite having what I thought were all the right intentions…

Time to radically shift my mindset. I know that habits form in response to a consistent reward. So, I considered how I can tweak the Action-Reward relationship to tap into “purposes” that are more inherently motivating to me. To create rewards that are attainable in the short-near term. To enjoy rewards that are more consistently tangible and that fortify the richness of my personal legacy. The Alternate Life Commandments represent where I’ve netted out on this thought process. According to these, I defined a clear purpose that holds me accountable to aggressive self-actualization goals:

The Alternate Life Commandments

Exercise to activate deeply memorable experiences

exercise

  • Strong fitness allows us to consistently pursue and conquer life’s epic “summits”.
  • Many of the most memorable places/experiences on earth are far off the beaten path. Never allow physical shortcoming to hold you back from greatness.
  • Anecdote: Fatigue thwarted my first summit attempt of Mt Shasta. Not only did I forfeit the experience, but it weighed negatively on me for years. Last year, I trained hard and blitzed it a decade later. Redemption was so sweet.

Exercise so your body is not a physical limitation to experiencing your dreams.

Meditate to fully internalize life’s wonderful moments

  • Mindful peace and presence gift-wrap our memories. Inversely, a hyperactive mind or addiction to social media spoil them.
  • We cannot fully appreciate a beach chill, sunrise summit or a simple walk in the park unless our minds are engulfed in the present moment.
  • Mid-experience meditation may amplify a moment’s serenity, but we must practice mindfulness regularly to win the battle against our subconscious.
  • Anecdote: When training for a triathlon 2 years ago, I biked across Golden Gate Bridge to Hawk Hill regularly. Every morning, overlooking an identical view, I pulled out my iPhone to capture a few SnapChat panos. This habit was a result of my weak mindfulness. It literally pulled the world into my personal moment, tainting the experience.

Practice mindfulness so your life experiences are pure and deeply memorable.

See Also: How to Meditate When All The Other Techniques Don’t Work

Create career success to pursue and master amazing hobbies

  • One of my favorite quotes, from Jerry Seinfeld, frames the importance of owning strong hobbies: “A person’s coolness is determined by the extent to which they’re about what they’re about.”
  • Success, managed properly, generates leisure time and disposable income to support hobbies and continued learning.
  • We earn days off. We’re promoted to the role that calls the shots. We’re permitted to work from home and we build a business (or team) under our success that is self-sustaining.
  • Success-enabled-passions ultimately generate fulfillment in life.
  • Anecdote: I’m exploring the world for a year while maintaining my job because I earned it through dedicated grinding.

Work hard to ultimately spend more time doing the things you genuinely love.

Purge social media to fortify relationships with those you love

  • Research suggests that humans can maintain 5 intimate relationships at once. This limit is dependent on the time an individual has to invest in deep and consistent connection.
  • Psychology experts confirm that relationship quality is far more important to our well-being than relationship quantity.
  • Next time you pick up your phone to troll social media, call a loved one instead or a friend that feels increasingly distant. The time needed to otherwise check in on 1000+ “friends” across 3+ networks is ample, trust me.

Trade poisonous time spent on social media for relationship-enriching moments with those you love.

Practice frugality to reduce stress

  • Notorious BIG had it all wrong… at least for the consciously frugal. It should absolutely be “mo money less problems” or perhaps corrected to ”mo things mo problems.”
  • Everything we buy/own is something to damage, lose, regret, or neglect. All of which creates a combination of stress, disappointment, and more spending.
  • Focus on the essentials and make select quality purchases (from your basic black T to your first home).
  • Build a rainy day fund to easily brush off the flight rebooking fee, phone dropped in the pool or taxi from the airport because you just want to get home.

Be frugal to simplify life and eliminate crippling financial stress.

Travel adventurously to break the habit of being you

travel

  • We love to travel because it forcefully turns our tired routines inside out.
  • Fresh sites, cultures, and perspectives paired with experiences that push the limits of our comfort zone put us in personal growth mode.
  • Time away from the rat race gives us moments to reflect deeply on the status of our lives and set a corrected course moving forward.
  • Introduce yourself to the local, join the expat couple going on a mountain bike, and chart a course far off the beaten path. Push the boundaries of your habitual self.

See Also: 6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger

Pursue international adventures to accelerate self-actualization.

Eat well for a healthy body and mind. Fuel success in each practice.

Drink less for alcohol poisons the well of each practice.

Finally, there you have it, the Alternate Life Commandments. Which, if any, resonate most strongly with you?

The post The Alternate Life Commandments appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

35 Small Acts Of Kindness To Spread Happiness And Flex Your Kindness Muscle

You want to be happy.

So, you do everything to maximize your happiness. You do the things that make you happy. You set and achieve goals. You make as much money as possible so you can buy your way to happiness.

But, what if I told you that one of the best ways to feel happy is to give it away.

Here’s what I mean…

Happiness is not a scarce resource. The more you give or share happiness, the more you get it back.

The joy of giving love and kindness is one of the best things you can experience as a human.

So, how do you experience the feeling on a regular basis?

I’ve got your back. I’ve compiled the list of 35 best random acts of kindness you can do in your daily life.

You don’t have to think of great ideas to become a kinder person. Every small act counts. As Aesop once said…

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

So, without further delay, let’s get down to the list.

Smile at strangers

smile at strangers

A straight face helps no one. Smiling, however, can change your and others’ day in an instant. You don’t even have to fake a smile. When you’re genuinely happy to see fascinating people around you, the smile comes naturally.

Help a stranger

Helping people may require a donation of your time, money, effort, and energy, but it’s one of the best things we can do to keep humanity alive.

Be kind to anyone who serves you (even if you pay them)

Say “thank you”. Sure, you’re paying someone for their services, but don’t let money be an excuse for not being kind and grateful. Go beyond the transaction and overpay with kindness.

Forgive people

Everybody makes mistakes. You always forgive yourself no matter how big or small of a mistake you make. Do the same with every person who has done you wrong. It will liberate you.

See Also: 5 Reasons We all Deserve Forgiveness

Lower expectations

Expecting someone to do something for us is normal. But if someone doesn’t meet your expectations, remember that it is your job to manage your expectations. When in doubt, expect less. If they do more than expected, be grateful.

Give people the benefit of the doubt

If you don’t know the truth, assume a better judgment. It’s not about finding the truth, it’s about what you choose to believe. You may be wrong, but sometimes, it’s better to let go and choose what’s helpful.

Make someone laugh

Don’t you love those people who can make you laugh when you’re taking life too seriously? Laughing is a free therapy. The best part is that when you make others laugh, you get the therapy, too.

Listen to people

When I say listen, I mean REALLY listen. Like listening to others’ feelings, expressions, body language, and words. Don’t make it about you by thinking about what to say next. In the age of smartphones, giving full attention is rare but we can keep it alive.

Compliment people

Small random words of genuine compliments are beautiful. Genuine compliments come in your mind by training yourself to look for the good in people. Notice what’s good about others and don’t keep it to yourself.

Giving constructive feedback

While complimenting someone feels good, don’t shy away from giving constructive feedback. Because when you really care about others, you help others to do better by telling what they can improve on.

Waste fewer resources

Whether it is plastic, water, food, fuel, paper, electricity or other items, do your best to minimize the waste. When saving resources become a norm, more people will do it. And guess who can turn it into a norm? Us.

Donate or volunteer

Other than donating money, items, and clothes to a charity or a cause you believe in, you can donate your time by volunteering.

See Also: The Power of Volunteering

Inspire or motivate others

Your words have power whether they are verbal or in written form. One of the best use of your words is to inspire or motivate others to do the right thing.

Say good morning

Start off the day well by wishing people a good morning. It’s an excuse to practice gratitude.

Keep plants

Planting a tree, owning a garden or keeping plants at home not only helps the planet but staying in touch with nature is super beneficial for you.

Do an unexpected loving act for your loved ones

Help someone out with laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning or any other chore.

Spend time with someone without being in a rush

We all are busy. However, when you take out the time for someone without constantly looking at your watch, you can give them the best gift of all - your quality time.

Hug

Hugging releases oxytocin which helps us connect on a much deeper level. Some other ways you can connect are by giving a pat on the back and giving a high-five.

Have at least one vegetarian day a week

At least once a week, keep a day in which you won’t eat meat or just eat less meat in general.

Send a thank-you letter

Express love and gratitude by writing someone a thank you email, message or letter. It’s a small but high-impact gesture to let someone know how much you appreciate them.

Share what you have with others

You can share your food, resources, items, and so on. As we all know, sharing is caring.

Choose empathy

We make judgments about people instantly. It’s not your fault; it’s part of our nature. However, you can still choose empathy and let go of harsh judgments.

Cook a meal for someone

If you’re a regular chef, invite someone over. If you don’t normally cook at your home, try cooking a meal for others.

Give someone a book

If a book changed your life, share it with someone you love so they get can read it, too. It’s a small gift but it may have a huge impact on someone’s life.

Take care of yourself

When you take care and manage yourself better, you act less with your impulses and show up in a more positive way. Because if you feel negative, you spread the same vibes around you.

Pick up litter once in a while

If you do that, maybe other people will do the same and throw away less waste on the streets. Leading with an example is a step forward towards better public habits.

If someone’s in a rush, let someone get ahead of you in the line

You can also let anyone with a few items at a grocery store get ahead if you have too many items to check out.

Hold the door (or elevator)

Make it a habit to hold the door for the person right behind you. It’s not only kind, but a mature gesture to do.

Be happy for someone

Whether it’s a big or a small win, when someone achieves something, be happy for them and cheer them up.

Share your knowledge

If you know something that can help someone, teach them what you’ve already learned so they don’t have to hunt for resources to learn from scratch.

Call your parents

They miss you.

Pay for someone

Paying for someone’s meal, ticket or any other item is a great gesture of kindness.

Put gym equipment in its right place

Put in those reps, but make sure you put those weights back from where you picked them from.

Be super kind with a customer service rep

They listen to a lot of complaints all day long. Make their day by treating them really well by being extra kind to them.

Leave a positive comment or review

We consume a lot of stuff on the internet. But so often, we forget to hit the like button or leave a positive comment on the content we like. As a content creator, I know how big of an impact you make with such a small act.

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.“ - John Bunyan

This list is just a starting point. There is no limit to how kind you can get.

Kindness is a therapy. When you feel down or discouraged, come back to kindness. It will give you the strength and the positivity you need to get back up again.

Even when you don’t feel down, it’s best to turn acts of kindness into your habits. Because with these best random acts of kindness, you’ll feel happy spreading happiness around you.

As you become kinder, more people will follow your lead as you set an example of what humanity looks like.

The world has seen enough rage, distrust, envy, and hate. It’s time you show up like a superhero with your superpower - your kindness.

Let’s not let the standards of humanity fall down. Together, we can make the world a kinder place to live.

The post 35 Small Acts Of Kindness To Spread Happiness And Flex Your Kindness Muscle appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Best Rewards Cards For Funding Your Family’s Next Vacation

Family vacation costs can add up quickly, especially when the number of mouths to feed seem to grow with each big trip. Sooner than you realize, the cost of a big family trip can seem like a vacation experience straight from the movies. With that, you have to know how you can start planning a family vacation on a budget.

Whether your family is big or small, saving up for vacation and saving while on vacation can help bear the financial burden of your next big trip while maximizing fun for the whole family. Here are some tips you can use.

Saving Up For Vacation

saving up for vacation

Cashing In On Cash Back

A great way to save for your family’s next vacation is by squirreling away all that cash back earned on everyday purchases. If you don’t own a cash back card already, you may want to consider opening one. Your savings can only be accomplished if you pay off your balance before the close of each billing cycle though.

The best cash back cards to look for are those in which the cash back doesn’t expire, ones that have the highest cashback rates, and those that don’t limit cash back to certain categories.

Also, be on the lookout for special incentives, like bonuses if a certain amount is spent in a certain period of time. For example, Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is offering a $200 credit if you spend $1,000 within the first three months.

Let Your Work Travel Pay For Your Vacation Travel

If you find yourself traveling more and more for work and you’re booking much of the travel yourself, you might as well use a travel rewards card that allows you to rack up miles. Since vacation destinations for your family may require a different airline than what you use for your work destinations, a sure bet is to use a card that will give you universal rewards points redeemable for most airlines, such as Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture cards.

Many cards will give you double the points for a variety of travel-related purchases in addition to 1:1 points on regular purchases. Plus, if you don’t already have a travel rewards card, you can take advantage of bonus incentives by opening a new one.

Saving While On Vacation

saving while on vacation

Making The Choice

While you may not want to have one card for cash back, one for airline miles, one for hotels, and one for resorts; by choosing the best cards for your family, you’ll be giving yourself more opportunity to save up for vacation and continue the savings while on vacation. Take your time, look at your current cards, and decide which points or miles card is right for you.

Hotel Rewards Cards

Another option worth considering is a hotel rewards card, especially if you’ve grown a preference for one particular hotel brand chain accommodations and decor over others. If you’re already a loyal customer to Hilton brand hotels for example, then you may be able to rack up some free stays quickly with the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

You can earn 50,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $1,000 in the first three months, and 7x the points with every dollar spent at a Hilton brand accommodation. If you’re more of a Marriott kind of family, take a look at the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card. They’ll give you 100,000 bonus points after you make $5,000 of purchases within the first three months (which isn’t hard to do for a big family on vacation).

Resort Rewards

One of the most popular resort destinations for families is Disney. Whether it be Disney theme parks such as Disney World, Disneyland, or a Disney Cruise, if your family is seriously Disney, then you may want to consider opening a Disney Premier Visa Card.

Not only will you be able to receive extra savings at these attractions, you can earn rewards points to use at Disney movies and on any Disney merchandise.

International Travel

If you’re planning on taking off to see the world with family in tow, don’t forget to consider which rewards card you’ll be using. Some card companies actually charge a 3% fee for any international transaction. This includes any transaction outside of the U.S. even though you may be making the purchase from your living room couch.

The best rewards card companies, like Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture, will give you rewards for spending money on your international vacation. Consider them when planning a family vacation on a budget.

The post Best Rewards Cards For Funding Your Family’s Next Vacation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Find Happiness Within Yourself?

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

Happiness is a state of mind. We can keep ourselves happy in every situation; we only need to make up our mind.

There are people who have a limited income and simple lifestyle and yet, they are happy. There are people who have big houses, expensive cars, loving families, stable jobs, and great health but they don’t feel happy at all.

Ever wonder how the principle of happiness works?

This article can give you a clearer idea on how to find happiness within yourself.

Root Cause

Most of the time, we want others for love and approval. We continuously feel that something is lacking within ourselves and that the outside world can complete us.

If we want to be and stay happy all the time, however, it is essential that we learn to value and love ourselves. Instead of finding happiness here and there, find your confidence. Happiness comes after such ‘self-care’ behaviors.

Start believing that your happiness is more connected to you and your behaviors more than any other circumstances. Follow these simple yet powerful tips and start learning how to find happiness within yourself.

Decide

decide happiness

This step is the very first thing in learning how to find happiness within yourself.

You have to decide and you have to choose to be happy. Change your state of mind and distract it from sadness.

Define the road to happiness. Write down your meaning of joy in a diary. Keep all your senses open and try to observe triggers which lead you to any positivity. Eliminate negative thoughts by imagining something useful and write it down. Choose to believe that you can be happy.

Visualize

You must show the world that you want to be happy and will never fail in that. Convince yourself that you are on the right track to finding happiness. Visualize the best version of yourself and work for it.

Set some goals for your life that can make a difference. Such goals can tremendously help you in reaching your fullest potential. Stop ruminating and thinking about the moments and things which other people have said to let you down.

Develop

Finding happiness within yourself is not rocket science but just like any other habits, we need to cultivate it, too.

Cultivate happiness by developing an optimistic outlook. Optimism brings positive change to our mind so that we can overcome issues. Also, show your compassion and develop the skill to deal with negativity. Challenge your negative thoughts and never allow them to control your mind.

See Also: Four Surprising Yet Effective Ways To Tune Into Your Soul

Forgive and Forget

Forgive yourself, no matter how bad your mistake was!

If you have realized it and now want to take a fresh start, forget it and forgive yourself. Don’t make your past ruin your present.

Try to forgive others, no matter what they did to you! To forgive someone is not for them; it is for you and your peace of mind. That can lead you to the happiness.

Practice active gratitude. Accept the good and imagine the best. Stop blaming others and be open to change. Forget any bad memories, listen to your heart, and find purpose again.

Appreciate

Frederick Keonig once said, ‘We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.’

It is essential to take a few minutes to consider where happiness comes from. Always focus on what you have in life and not on the things which you have lost in the past. Start appreciating all the positive things around you, including people who work hard to make you smile.

Meditate

meditate regularly

Meditation is powerful. It can heal a lot of things.

After closing your eyes and when you focus on the center of your forehead, you will feel that many problems and plenty of negative thoughts are trapping you. But after practicing for a few sessions, you will surely feel peace.

Meditation can calm your mind and may give you some direction. It helps you to listen to the inner voice and declutter the chaos. A few minutes of exercise are also helpful to stay positive and energized.

Choose Wisely

Be with others who make you smile and not the ones who have a hugely negative approach to life.

You can help them but when you are struggling with yourself, choose to stay away from any form of negativity. Hold on to your values and never compromise your self-esteem.

Remember that it’s hard for you to gain the confidence to find happiness within yourself. Treat yourself well and do things you love.

If you want someone, you can also take professional help. It is FINE.

See Also: 5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

Go out and explore my friend. Take pictures of beautiful things and convince yourself that it is okay to BE YOU and it is okay to be alone than to be with someone who doesn’t treat you right.

It’s Not Complicated!

To find happiness is simple. Anything from the chirps of birds to a bandstand can make you happy. Even paper boats, snowfall or your childhood memories can do that.

There are 1000 reasons to be happy and only 10 reasons to be sad. But still, we focus on the ten and don’t see the brighter side.

Take a break from televisions or cellphones and write down all the things that can make you happy. Whether it is a meal, beach, mountain or some silly jokes, write it down.

Feel everything, whatever it may be – happiness, sorrows, laughs, tears, pain, heartbreaks, anything!

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Let it go and treasure yourself. The universe will help you find happiness within yourself. Just live with the flow and keep smiling.

The post How to Find Happiness Within Yourself? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Millennials Still Go To The Movies?

Over the last 20 years, nearly 1 in 4 movie theaters have closed. Many people feel the days of the movie theater are behind us, with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu providing premium content from the comfort of home.

In reality, there are more big screens in the United States than ever, despite the lower number of theaters. The days of the small, dollar theater may be behind us but the multiplex is gaining popularity. And it may surprise you to learn that millennials are driving this trend.

But what’s with millennials and movies?

Movie theaters are far from disappearing. Box office revenues have grown over the past three years. In 2017, box office earnings hit a record high at over $40 billion. Of the top ten highest grossing films in history, six were released in the last five years. Moreover, two of these films, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, were out in the first half of 2018 and four are from the Marvel franchise.

Highest Grossing Films Worldwide

  • Avatar
  • Titanic
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Jurassic World
  • The Avengers
  • Furious 7
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Black Panther
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Who Goes to the Movies?

The people most likely to go to the movies are millennials who are nearly twice as likely to frequent theaters as any other age group. Common knowledge might say streaming devices are replacing trips to the cinema, but frequent moviegoers actually own more technology than the average adult. From smartphones, tablets, computers to gaming systems and personal assistants, nearly 80% of moviegoers own at least four different types of technology.

All of that tech might not be replacing the big screen, but it’s changing our media consumptions. Millennials and younger adults are the biggest users of online streaming services. Rather than replacing trips to the theater, streaming services are just another way to consume media. Young adults are watching, listening, and streaming more than ever.

Why Choose the Cinema?

movies and millennials

In 2017, more than double the number of Americans went to the movies as those who attended major-league sporting events and theme parks combined. These 1.2 billion moviegoers picked an outing that costs less than half the price of visiting an amusement park or basketball game. While the price of tickets is going up, movies are still an affordable option for those looking to treat themselves to a little luxury.

Compared to the cost of installing a professional-quality theater at home, a family of four could visit a luxury theater every month for 9 years and still spend less. Movie theaters are adding to the luxury with more amenities as well. Adjustable, reclining seats offer comfortable seating with more elbow and leg room than traditional theaters. And many theaters offer dine-in options or full-service bars that give you dinner-and-a-movie all in one place.

What’s So Great About the Big Screen?

Seeing a movie in the theater isn’t what it used to be and it’s not just the seats that are getting better. Theaters are switching from old, film-based projection systems to digital screens that offer better, brighter pictures. And new 3D technology makes movies more life-like.

The latest tech dual-laser projection brings a film to life with brighter displays, more vivid color, and a million-to-one contrast ratio. Today’s screens can display more nuanced tones and a greater spectrum of colors for the ultimate theater experience. What’s more, the newest and greatest technology can be added to existing screens, from the big screen to your home computer, with little more than a firmware update.

Surround sound is making strides as well, with 64 speakers installed on each wall of the theater. There’s even newer theater tech that does more than just place sounds in different speaker channels, like earlier versions of surround sound technology.

This new tech allows filmmakers to place each sound in a specific location in the theater, creating soundscapes that are even more nuanced and creating the same effect across theaters with varying speaker setups. Sound can pan around the room, moving seamlessly from speaker to speaker.

Check out this infographic to learn more about millennials at the movies and the numbers behind the big screen’s continued success:
Afordable Luxury: the summer blockbusterDolby

The post Millennials Still Go To The Movies? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Four Surprising Yet Effective Ways To Tune Into Your Soul

I’m going to ask you a question which you may or may not have ever asked yourself.

Does your life actually feel like it’s in alignment and in flow with what your soul needs and desires?

If you take a trip down memory lane right now and re-visited everything you did over the past week, is there anything that stands out as feeling heavy or wrong? Maybe there’s something you felt an unusual amount of resistance around or something that simply sucked your energy dry? Maybe it was more obvious and screaming out as a ‘Hell No’ or as being undeniably out of alignment and flow?

When life gets on a roll and one thing leads to another, it’s so easy to begin taking action or making decisions which are not truly in line with what your soul really desires and requires.

Those little choices add up and gradually, little by little, a feeling of uneasiness begins to creep in. You can’t quite seem to fully relax or settle. You’re restless and there’s something you can’t quite put your finger on. If only you could just figure it out, you’re quite certain you’d be able to relax, enjoy your life, and feel in the flow!

The good news is that it’s quite possible. Take a day to slow down, breathe, and look within.

Choose a day where you give yourself permission to not have to do anything- not even your normal daily non-negotiable tasks. And after, try using these four tools below!

Meditate

meditate daily

This can be as simple as having a search on YouTube for a guided meditation video that resonates with you and then listening to it!

You can spend 5 to 30 mins or whatever feels right for you. Just breathe, relax, and be with yourself. See and feel whatever comes up and allow yourself to just be with it.

After you’ve listened to your guided meditation or practiced your own mediation, finish off by asking yourself:

If I was living a life aligned and in flow, what would that look and feel like for me?

See what comes up!

See Also: How to Meditate When All The Other Techniques Don’t Work

Journal

Find yourself a quiet place. It can be your favorite cafe, park or maybe it’s in the bath with a glass of Bordeaux! You can choose any place as long as you feel relaxed, not rushed, and there are no distractions.

Take your time and work through these journal prompts.

Remember your soul always knows. It’s because everything is already written and all available choices have already been mapped out. All you need to do is to know how to get in touch with your soul and ask:

  • What does my soul have to say right now?
  • What would my soul have me do?
  • In all honesty, what does my soul desire?
  • What does my soul require?

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

Sweat it out

walking exercise

Allocate some time during the day to move your body. This might be a hot yoga class, a fast-paced walk, a gym session or a stretching routine.

The aim is to move your body and ideally, break into a sweat.

You can use this time to not only detox physically through sweating but to detox emotionally as well. Just set an intention before you exercise that you are releasing what needs to be released. Having this time to exercise is rejuvenating for the mind, body, and soul.

Soul aligned action

I’m a big believer that life should be fun, flow-based, and easy!

Take some time to do exactly what it is that your soul needs and wants. It can be something that you find enjoyable, fun, and naturally drawn to doing. This should feel almost effortless and it should come from within.

Maybe it’s a phone call with a soulmate, playing with your kids or binging on a TV series. Maybe it’s taking a long bath while you talk to a loved one or dancing around the lounge to your favorite playlist.

You get the idea!

Use these four tools as much as you need to help bring you back to YOU.

These are four simple but powerful ways to help you know how to get in touch with your soul. They can also highlight what’s not aligned for you.

Eventually, it will become clear if there are any changes you may need to make so you can live more in alignment and flow with your soul.

When you tune in and say yes to what your soul desires, life will then say yes to you!

The post Four Surprising Yet Effective Ways To Tune Into Your Soul appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Inspiring Journaling Prompts To Help Re-Shape Your Life

I’ve always had massive aspirations, dreams, and desires my entire life. With hard work, commitment, and a lot of journaling, I’m now living the life I’ve always dreamed of and wanted to create.

Journaling has been a massive part of my success. I personally journal daily as I believe that mindset is the key to everything!

Everything in my life, I have created through asking for it and it helped to first know what it was I was asking for. What was it that I wanted? Who did I want to be? What did I want to do? What was deep in my soul that I wanted to share with the world?

That’s where journaling came in!

There are a number of ways you can journal and you’ve probably come across a few.

What I want to share with you are a few basic and powerful questions you can ask yourself to get you focused, clear, and feeling empowered in any and every area of your life.

Below, I’ve put together some powerful journal prompts about life you can use to create what you truly desire. You can use them as much or as little as you need.

How This Works

Read the questions below then answer them in your journal. Write as little or as much as you feel. Don’t hold back. This is between you and yourself.

Deep down, you know the answer to everything you need to know. So, take your time and let it surface. If any question makes you feel like you do not want to answer it, I’d be seriously looking for a reason why.

journal writing

Let’s get to it!

  • What do I REALLY want?
  • What do I want to have?
  • How can I wake up every morning and feel amazing?
  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to be?
  • How can I re-frame or change this?
  • What would I need to believe in order to be and have and do all of that?
  • What action can I take right now to make this happen?
  • How do I know what’s preventing me from taking this action?

The next set of journaling prompts is what I use daily to describe and become super clear on creating what I considered to be my perfect day.

  • On your perfect day, where do you wake up?
  • Who is around you?
  • What is the first thing you see – describe your environment in detail.
  • Where do you go?
  • What is your ideal morning routine – describe in detail.
  • What do you eat?
  • How does the day feel to you?

The Crucial Part

life journal

I want you to list 5 to 10 powerful statements or beliefs that can support what you have just written down. Remember, it’s your beliefs that drive your choices and decisions. You must establish a set of powerful beliefs that support what you’re wanting to create and have in your life!

I’ll give you a few of mine so you have an example:

  • I allow myself always, to access my deepest intuitive powers.
  • I am guided by deep wisdom from within.
  • Everything always works out perfectly for me.
  • I have everything I need to know inside of me.
  • I FULLY trust my soul.
  • Every day, I choose to wake up and trust, that everything is taken care of.
  • I am safe to express myself always.

Through your journaling, you might discover you have a dream you want to work on. Instead of it feeling completely daunting and like it’s never going to happen, your powerful beliefs will be in place to support you in making it happen. It is possible if you decide for it to be.

Reiterating powerful beliefs will give you more energy and a drive which comes from within you. Use these journal prompts about life as regularly as you need.

Whatever it is you dream, no matter how grandiose or out of reach it may seem right now, for somebody somewhere in the world, it’s normal to live like that and be like that.

It’s just how life is and you can make it happen to you as well.

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

The post Inspiring Journaling Prompts To Help Re-Shape Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why Am I Not Happy? (I Should Be)

You look around you and think, “I have a great life, I should be happy, but why am I not being happy?”

Does this sound familiar?

Perhaps your career is going well, your relationship is strong, your family is great, and you have all the material things you need. So, why are you still plagued by a feeling of unhappiness?

Happiness is a tricky thing and measuring it is even trickier.

But before we start considering why you may not be experiencing the happiness you feel you should, ask yourself this question.

Are you not happy or are you not satisfied?

Happiness and satisfaction are often confused but there is a distinct difference.

To begin with, happiness is an emotion whereas satisfaction is not. If you are looking at your life and the various components that give you pleasure, it is likely you are not unhappy but rather dissatisfied.

Feeling dissatisfied is fairly common.

We are conditioned to want certain things in our lives– money, houses, cars, work accomplishments. Without them, we might feel like we haven’t satisfied certain criteria for success. We feel that we are missing things.

We are also never told that there is a point where you can feel, well – done. In other words, once you achieve the things you were aiming for, most people want more and will ask (or feel like asking) “what’s next?”

The feeling of dissatisfaction or “what’s next” is a frustrating one. It can prevent us from really enjoying our lives and the people in them. It can cause us to always look for the next thing.

So, although you may have everything you need to feel happy, dissatisfaction may be keeping happiness at bay.

But what if it isn’t dissatisfaction and you truly do not feel happy in spite of what seems like a pretty good life?

Feeling unhappy in a seemingly happy life can happen for a number of reasons. Give some thought to those below.

Happiness is subjective

Measuring with the wrong ruler is one of the biggest issues with happiness. What makes one person happy is not necessarily the same thing that will make another person happy.

So, if you are not happy and feel like you should be, think about what you are evaluating.

You deny yourself

limiting happiness

Do you love to draw, dance, write or read? The list could go on and on.

If you deny yourself things in life that are a release or an outlet because you feel like they are silly or superficial, you could be limiting your happiness. Hobbies, no matter which ones you choose, are an important part of life and happiness.

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

You feel guilty

Yes, this happens.

Too often, people don’t think they have a right to their own happiness. They feel guilty about enjoying their lives because so many others struggle. You never need to feel bad about having a happy life. Enjoy it.

If more people did, the world might be a better place.

Anxiety, worry, and stress

No matter how happy you are, these three are a factor in nearly every life to some degree. The key is managing them.

There have been chapters written on how to do this but your approach will depend a great deal upon what it is that’s plaguing you. If one or all of these things are a problem in your life, it can impede your ability to be happy.

You’re unhealthy

This is another factor that comes in various degrees, but study after study shows a direct link between being physically active, eating well, and happiness. If you haven’t already, it may be the right time to make some positive changes to your physical well-being.

You don’t know what makes you happy

Have you checked all the boxes and still don’t feel the happiness you think you should feel?

Maybe they’re the wrong boxes.

This goes back to using someone else’s ruler. Many people never get to know themselves well enough to really know what makes them happy. They follow the guidelines that have been generally accepted by society and expect happiness to come from doing so.

Remember, everyone is different.

You are depressed

depression

Many people suffer from depression. It isn’t a passing sadness or dissatisfaction but a persistent feeling of unhappiness and hopelessness.

Depression doesn’t typically go away on its own and should not be left untreated. If you suspect that you are suffering from depression, seek professional help.

See Also: 15 Symptoms You Are Depressed (Even When You Think You Aren’t)

If you have reached a point in your life where you are questioning if you will ever actually feel “happy”, take some time to really consider what that means to you. If your definition seems to be what you already have, look a little deeper. You may actually be dissatisfied or perhaps just one step away from getting where you want to be.

The post Why Am I Not Happy? (I Should Be) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

What Should Be Your World Cup Drink This Summer?

The World Cup is in full swing. What better way to celebrate it than by drinking the traditional cocktails from the countries participating? For each of the 32 competing countries, there is a cocktail or mocktail to whip up to celebrate their culture and cuisine.

Whether you’re a football fanatic, a fairweather fan or an unwilling supporter who can’t seem to avoid being dragged along to watch the footie, there’s no better way to celebrate (or tolerate) this year’s tournament and get in the ‘spirit’ than with a cultural cocktail in hand.

Throwing a World Cup party? Add a touch of class and impress your guests by mixing up a batch of cocktails.

Here’s what you’ll be drinking for the next few matches.

Senegal v Colombia

For Senegal v Colombia, you’ll be drinking an exotic combination of Jus de Bissap. It’s a refreshing mocktail made of pineapple juice, lemon juice, dried hibiscus, vanilla extract, ginger, and orange blossom. It also has the somewhat stronger Carendals – aguardiente with soda water, lemon juice, and fresh strawberries.

Japan v Poland

For Japan v Poland, there are some fairly strong cocktails on the menu. Samurai Rock is Japan’s offering. It’s made by mixing sake with lime juice. For Poland, it’s the Zubrowka and Apple. It’s a lethal combination of Polish vodka mixed with apple cider.

England v Belgium

For the all-important England v Belgium match? You’ll be sipping a classic Pimm’s Cup where you add Pimm’s and lemonade with lots of fresh fruit and mint. You can also try the Black Russians to wake you up. It’s simply vodka and coffee liqueur.

Panama v Tunisia

For Panama v Tunisia, mix up a batch of Seco Sours. It’s Seco Herrerano, strawberry syrup, and lemon juice topped with lime and mint. You can also try the Arab Springs. It’s Boukha, lemon juice, and grenadine topped with ground cardamom, mint leaves, and pomegranate seeds.

Which cocktails will you be drinking most frequently?

favourite world cup drinks

Certain nations have performed better than others throughout the World Cup’s history. This means that as the tournament progresses and more and more teams get knocked out, the cocktails from countries like France, Spain, and Brazil are likely to be on the menu most often!

That sounds like a rather ideal situation, given that France’s national cocktail is the delicious Mimosa. It will transport you to Belle Paris and the banks of the river Seine.

Spain’s is the fruity Sangria which will bring to life visions of the beautiful Costa del Sol and Brazil’s is the tangy Caipirinha that can transform even the dreariest of days into a sunny day on the busy streets of Rio!

Other favorites from around the world

cocktail drinks

Here are the other national cocktails which you need to try out, too.

Australia’s Fairy Floss Windmills

This playful cocktail consists of vanilla vodka, strawberry floss, elderflower liqueur, apple juice, and cranberry juice with a twist of lemon.

Denmark’s Anaconda

Shake together cachaca, Midori, lime juice, and pineapple juice to create a fruity cocktail that tastes like a fruit cocktail!

South Korea’s Grapefruit Soju

The clue is very much in the name but this cocktail is a delightful combo of soju and grapefruit juice.

Serbian Rakija

Prosecco, Rakija, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice make up this Serbian thirst quencher.

Switzerland’s Champagne St. Moritz

This fancy aperitif is a recipe of gin, champagne, apricot brandy, and orange juice.

Make this World Cup a round-the-world trip of cultural cocktails. And of course, since the World Cup is being hosted in Russia this year, it’s only fair that each match should also be accompanied by a toast of vodka. Get either a straight or mixed with ginger ale to create the nation’s Moscow Mule.

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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.