Happiness

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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

The post Life Lessons You Can Learn From Driving A Stick Shift Car appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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

The post 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Garden appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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

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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

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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.

The post What Should Be Your World Cup Drink This Summer? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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

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

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

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

You Let Other People Put You Down

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

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

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

How To Take Control

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

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

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

You’re Not Living The Life You Want

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

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

I was shocked.

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

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

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

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

How To Live The Life Of Your Dreams

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

You’re Not True To Yourself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Be True To Yourself

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

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

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

You Talk To Yourself In A Negative Way

talking to yourself negatively

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To End The Inner Critic

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

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

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

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

Is this voice saying, “I’m ugly”?

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

Write it down if that helps.

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

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

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

You’re Comparing Yourself To Others

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

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

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

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

How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

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

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

Even Siamese twins have different experiences.

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

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

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

Everything happens for a reason.

You Never Ask For Help

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

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

Why You Should Ask For Help

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

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

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

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

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

You Keep Thinking About The Past

thinking about the past

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

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

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

How To Be Present

Pause.

Breathe.

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

Observe, smile, and let go.

That is all you have to do to become present.

You could call it meditation or whatever you like.

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

Conclusion

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

You deserve to be happy.

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

It’s up to you now!

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

Taking The Mystery Out of Life: Why Humor Is Important

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But, do you know why humor is important?

Keeping A Sense Of Humor

sense of humor

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

When used correctly, humor can even defuse tense situations.

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

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

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

There will be challenges and obstacles in life.

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

humor in relationships

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

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

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

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Top 5 Signs You Might Need Help with Alcohol Addiction

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

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

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

Day drinking

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

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

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

You change your plans to drink

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

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

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

People tell you there is a problem

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

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

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

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5 Things to Let Go If You Want to Be Happy

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

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

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

Checking Facebook Daily

checking facebook daily

Value your time and emotions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watching Football

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

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

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

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

Here are a few ideas:

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

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

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

Drinking Alcohol Regularly

drinking alcohol

Value your money and your body.

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

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

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

Did I accomplish anything by drinking alcohol?

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

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

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

Consuming the News

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be positive. Be happy.

Complaining

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who knows?

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

5 Tips for Creating A Wedding Budget

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

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

Make Your Reception Private Yet Grand

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

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

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

Focus on Greenery More than Flowers

wedding budget

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

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

See Also: Make Your Celebratory Table Special With Minimum Effort

Wedding Bands

wedding bands

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

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

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

Opt for the Services of a Budding Music Group

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

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

Consider Web Designers for Printing Invitations

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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Dating In Midlife: 5 Tips To Help You Get Started

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spend some time thinking about what you want

midlife dating

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

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

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

Know there will be baggage

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

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

Be careful though.

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

Protect your finances

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

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

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

Consider online options – but be careful

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

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

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

See Also: 5 Tips for Effective Online Dating

Think about hobbies, classes, professional affiliations, and friends

dating during midlife

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

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

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

How to Create A Fairy Garden Outdoors

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

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

Materials and Fairy Garden Accessories

fairy village

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

The list includes:

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

Fairy Garden Accessories

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

The Instructions

Plan the Design

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

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

Start Planting

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

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

Now, plant the moss and other plants.

Start Adding the Pebbles, Stones, Furniture, and Decor

fairy garden
Via Pinterest

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

Add A Fairy House

fairy toadstool house

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what are you waiting for?

Author Biography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start your mornings with the intention

So, what’s the hype around your mornings?

Simply put: 0 distractions

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

The result?

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

The answer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Create a morning routine that sticks

morning routine

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

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

the miracle morning

The 6 components are:

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

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

Start living a purposeful life

living a purposeful life

Imagine this:

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

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

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

Sounds good?

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

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

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

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

Are You Ready For The New Rosé?

Are you ready for the rosé revival?

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

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

Why Is Rosé Making A Comeback?

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

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

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

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

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

Who Drinks Rosé?

rose wine drinker

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

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

How And Where Is Rosé Made?

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

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

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

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

What Are The Available Flavor Profiles?

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

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

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

Are You Ready For Rosé?

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

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

Learn more about rosé from this infographic!

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

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

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

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

Keep a clean house

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

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

Remember these:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

These are the times you are more likely to relapse.

Don’t avoid social engagements

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

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

Say yes more often

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

Find a hobby

sobriety ways hobby

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

Let yourself be silent

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

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

Join a support group

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

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

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

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

Reflect on your experiences

benefits of journaling

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

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

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

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

What’s the most common trait of human beings?

It’s the capacity to fall in love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accept the Reality

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

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

Listen to me.

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

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

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

Talk It Out

After acceptance comes expression.

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

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

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

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

Get Your Traveler’s Shoes On

broken heart healing tips

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

How can you do that?

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

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

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

Watch Empowering Movies

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

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

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

Change Your Style

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

You should not let this happen.

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

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

Pick Up a Productive Hobby

Fix your attention on a new activity.

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

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

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

Get a Pet

tips on healing a broken heart

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

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

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

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

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

Top Reasons to Take The King’s Cross Walking Tour

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

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

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

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

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

For remarkable architecture

st pancras old church

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

To eat like royalty

dishoom kings cross
Via dishoom

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

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

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

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

charles dickens museum
Via dickensmuseum

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

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

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

For art and culture

the harry potter store
Via kingscross

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

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

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

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

To go out on the tiles

big chill house
Via timeout.com

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

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

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

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

6 Things You Can Do To Avoid Midlife Crisis

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

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

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

Believe that it’s never too late

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

It really isn’t.

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

Evaluate your priorities

evaluate priorities

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

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

Stop waiting for things

Now is the time to do something.

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

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

A word of caution:

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

Deal with your regrets

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

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

Cultivate friendships now

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

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

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

Get or stay in shape

exercise regularly

Never underestimate the power of health and exercise.

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

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

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

In Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret To A Happy Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ikigai is similar to “happiness”.

ikigai happiness

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

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

What were you doing?

You may find your Ikigai in those moments.

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

ikigai
Via leftbrainrightbrain.blog

Let’s break it down:

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

By now you should have four lists.

Is there anything that exists on all four of them?

That’s a really good contender for Ikigai.

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

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

Not likely.

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

Ikigai may be an answer to the Millennial frustration

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

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

Ikigai isn’t about working harder and longer.

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

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

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

It doesn’t need to be grand or showy.

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

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

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

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

One of your best options is a dinner cruise.

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

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

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

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

Plan

plan a cruise

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

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

Get some money

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

Let her know ahead of time

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

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

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

Show up on time

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

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

The drive

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

At the date

dinner cruise

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

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

Become Happier Today

Are you happy? How to be happy everyday?

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

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

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

Factors Leading To Greater Happiness

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

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

The Happiest Place Isn’t Where You Think

norway happiest place on earth

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

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

Apart from that, Norway also:

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

America’s Happiness

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Habits Are The Key

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

Here are some of them:

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

See Also: 8 Inspiring Habits of Happy People

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

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

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

happy people

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

How Can You Become Happier Today?

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

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

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

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10 Possible Reasons Why You’re Always Not Good Enough

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

Well, let me tell you what I think.

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

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

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

Imagine this:

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

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

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

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

always complaining

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

being lazy

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

“What you think, you become.” – Buddha

By now, you must be thinking:

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

Hell, no.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not enough. I can’t.

You get the gist.

Final Words

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

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

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

Don’t get me wrong.

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

Oh, and ice cream.

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

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

How to Heal From Divorce Through Writing

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

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

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

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

Below are some great examples:

Sharing the news

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

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

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

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

Preparing your answers

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

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

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

Forgiving yourself

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

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

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

Forgiving your ex

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

writing about divorce

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

Planning your future

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

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

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

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

Expressing gratitude

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

write for recovery

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

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

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

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

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

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