Dumb Little Man

7 Surprising Reasons Public Safety Is At Risk In 2018

Public safety is (and has always been) a major concern. Moving into 2018 and the future, there are many possible new public safety risks that companies and individuals need to be aware of. Are you aware of all the issues faced by the public today?

Ready to learn more about a handpicked selection of them? Let’s dive right into it!

Glitches in The System

If anything can affect our safety and security in the future, it has to be glitches in the system. From self-driving car bugs, to sports stadium software gone wrong, to police scheduling systems breaking, there are many possible reasons the public might be at risk.

Cybersecurity: Hacks, Data Leaks, & Breaches

Cybersecurity is becoming a hot topic moving into 2018. From giant insurance hacks, government data leaks, to SMB database breaches, none of your information is safe anymore. Who knows what offline effect these cybersecurity breaches could bring directly and indirectly.

See Also: Using Zero Trust Network Segmentation To Protect Your Business From Hackers

Gun Violence

gun violence

Gun control is the hot topic in North America right now. It’s easy to observe that gun violence is statistically rising up the charts. This is an issue that we cannot ignore and requires intervention from diplomats, scholars, politicians and the public before arriving at a conclusion.

Criminal Violence

Physical violence has always been in existence. With access to guns, and the intense pressures of modern culture and a politically charged climate, criminal violence has to be prevented at all costs. The failure to break up feuds and public rants could cause a huge damage to public property.

Vape Dangers

Are you a vaper? People who use vaping apparatus can be a nuisance and can cause public turmoil especially when a short-tempered person confronts a vaper. Vapes are known to explode on rare occasions, so in places like crowded stadiums, it’s something that can easily cause threats to public safety.

Social Engineering

With Facebook and other mass marketing tools now available to all businesses, the ability to mold the subconscious is becoming more prevalent than ever. Be sure to spread a positive message and have the right security measures in place in case of danger.

Natural Disasters

natural disasters

Natural disasters only appear to be increasing and getting more severe as global warming continues to affect us all. It’s important that the government takes all the precautionary steps during times of emergency. More importantly, all the right public safety measures have to be in place when you are planning any events or gatherings where a lot of people will be in one place.

See Also: Safety Tips for Natural Disasters: A Quick Guide On How To Secure Your Property

That was a quick rundown of a small selection of things that we all should be trying to help fix and eradicate in our lives for ourselves and the public. Check out this infographic titled ‘Safety in Numbers’.

Infographic

Share this article if you agree and feel free to comment any other risk factors associated with public safety!

The post 7 Surprising Reasons Public Safety Is At Risk In 2018 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Work And Travel The World: 10 Helpful Tools

The difference between office and remote jobs is not in the place of work but in the freedom and responsibility. There is no boss who forces you to work and pays the salary at the end of the month. On the contrary, remote workers get paid only for what they actually do. The competition is harsh: there are millions of orders and potential executors so you have to fight for your client.

Three years ago, I left my office job and after a few attempts, I decided to stick to online marketing. Over this period of time, I tried a lot of useful digital tools that helped me to deal with the freelancing duties more efficiently.

In this article, I decided to present you the 10 most productive online tools that can improve the capabilities of any remote worker.

10 Tools to make you a Super-Efficient Remote Worker

It doesn’t matter if you are a copywriter, content manager, blogger, translator, marketer, online teacher, or even a website developer – all these tools can make you better at what you do. Let’s check them out one by one.

Learning Tools:

  • Udemy

udemy

Udemy is a global learning and tutoring platform which offers more than 55 thousand courses. It allows you to gain new knowledge from anywhere in the world with expert help from professional instructors. This is extremely practical if you want the opportunity to obtain new freelance occupation and become eligible for more job openings. Using one of Udemy’s courses three years ago, I got acquainted with alternative ways to prepare and implement social media campaigns.

  • Duolingo

Learning languages while traveling around the world is the best combination to meet different cultures. Duolingo is a digital language learning source that guides you through the basic elements of foreign languages with its friendly user interface and simple functions. I used Duolingo successfully to strengthen my Italian before going to Rome for a few months. It is based on amusing gamification elements and learning through visualization. The navigation is easy and takes you directly to the in-app grammar and vocabulary practices.

Planning Tools:

  • Trello

trello

Planning and time management play an essential role in the life of every remote worker. In that regards, you can use Trello as the best agile management solution. Using this software, you can manage projects through the card board and get acquainted with each new phase of the working process. Trello is an excellent planning tool. When I started using it, it helped to see the big picture of all important processes in my life and helped me to determine the direction in which I want to grow

  • Rescue Time

Rescue Time is an online tool that improves your everyday habits and makes you more productive in general. I wasn’t even aware of my daily activities and behavior patterns before I started using Rescue Time. It helped me to eliminate distractions such as social networks and other features on my computer. In that regard, Rescue Time monitors your progress over time and you can improve even further once you get used to this way of thinking.

Financial Management Tools:

  • On the Job

Remote workers usually can’t keep an eye on their finances easily – or at least I know I can’t. That’s why I suggest you use an app like On the Job, which can assist you in time tracking and invoicing. It makes your personal finances simpler and you won’t struggle with multiple currencies or hourly rates. All you have to do is to set your preferences in On the Job and it will do all of the necessary calculations related to your work.

  • Invoice Ninja

invoice ninja

Recently I had something like five or six different clients at the same time and it was hard to manage all those bills and payments. Invoice Ninja is a high-quality open-source platform with elements like online invoices, payment alerts, due dates, and other valuable features. I must admit that it set me free from everyday accounting work. It doesn’t only make your financial transactions a lot easier but also a lot faster than traditional payment services.

Presentation tools:

  • 24 Slides

24 slides

 

Presentations are one of the basic models of communication for many professionals, especially marketers. 24 Slides is the presentation design tool with all of the essential graphic design elements. The developers of this app created it to avoid seeing boring slides all over the Internet. To be honest, I also exploited many of these standard templates regularly. However, 24 Slides offered me some fresh and creative template solutions, images, and visuals to make presentations much more attractive than usual.

  • Superior Papers

Superior Papers is a group of professionals from various fields of expertise who can help you to create a concept for the presentation and eventually execute the project on their own successfully. From marketing, over finances, all the way to science and IT industry, Best Dissertations offers you a full set of ideas that can make your presentation look perfect. Once I had to deal with the unknown topic of mobile app branding and these guys made sure that I don’t embarrass myself.

Web Development Tools:

  • Coda

Coda is the web development application for macOS. As an amateur in this field, I still managed to handle this tool for coding, testing, and reference, which means that it’s really simple. With its six units, web developers get an efficient text editing tool. Coda allows you to open and handle your files both locally and remotely. It has a simple user interface – a very convenient feature for remote workers who travel a lot.

  • Espresso

espresso app

Espresso is the Mac web editor. It has numerous interesting website development features and gives you the opportunity to get creative at work. You can design and combine various elements, while Espresso makes real-time saves and updates. With this app, it is easy to customize the toolbar and make several changes at once.

Conclusion

Remote work gives you a lot of freedom but also the responsibility to manage your time successfully. In order to get the job done, you often need some kind of help. Fortunately, you can find it in some of many online tools. In this article, I presented you the 10 most fruitful tools that can help you to work and travel at the same time. Give them a try and let me know in the comments which ones you liked the most.

The post How To Work And Travel The World: 10 Helpful Tools appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

One Simple Trick to Get Rid of the #1 Workplace Productivity Killer

Coworkers, emails, phone calls, customers or clients…. The amount of things that can distract us from our responsibilities in a work day is enormous. Normally, we don’t resist these distractions and we end up switching over to them because want to.

This kind of multi-tasking kills our ability to be productive.

Scientific studies have shown that we lose 40% of our time due to switching between tasks. That means that we’re losing 16 hours of our work week by multitasking alone.

The #1 offender that gets us off track?

Mobile phones in the workplace.

Why are mobile phones so good at getting us off track?

There’s actually a simple explanation and it has to do with the way our brains work.

It’s called the Triune Brain Theory.

If you’ve never heard of the Triune Brain Theory, here’s the short version:

The Triune Brain Theory is a model for how the brain works as proposed by Dr. Paul MacLean. Our brain is actually made up of three brains which evolved on top of each other: the physical brain, the emotional brain, and the thinking brain.

triune brain theory
Via slideplayer.com

The physical brain controls all of our physical needs such as safety and security, hunger, sex, and shelter. The emotional brain controls all of our emotions and emotional needs such as happiness, sadness, relationship, and connection with others. The thinking brain controls all of our complex thinking skills such as language, abstract thought, and planning.

The strongest is the physical brain, followed by the emotional brain, then by the thinking brain. These brains all want different things and have their own unique ways to get them.

In order to get rid of distractions, we have to learn to manage our physical brain.

The physical brain loves immediate, physical gratification and wants it ALL the time. It also pulls our emotional brain in to help it in this task. When it fails to get its needs, it dumps us with negative emotions.

For example, our physical brain loves looking at our phone. Scientists discovered that when we look at our phones, we get a hit of dopamine: the chemical that makes us happy.

In this article, researchers connected electrodes to Anderson Cooper from CNN and measured his heart rate and perspiration. When he couldn’t check his phone every time a notification alert occurred, he showed the same withdrawal symptoms that you see from an addict.

The Solution

In order to overcome this addiction and take your productivity back, you have to put your phone in a place where it’s accessible if you really need it, but not so easily accessible that you’ll reach for it in the case of a distraction.

My recommendation is a lock with a timer.

With this, you can lock your phone away for a set time and work uninterrupted.

locked box

Try this: Get a small box that can be used with a lock. Get your timed lock and set the time length for 45 minutes and work. Make sure your phone is on silent and vibration is turned off.

When you get your phone back, go nuts for 15 minutes. Be as impulsive as you want. Get on Facebook, start reading the news, start scrolling through Instagram or text/call your friends. Doing this will get rid of the biggest work distraction out there and allow you to focus and work uninterrupted.

The post One Simple Trick to Get Rid of the #1 Workplace Productivity Killer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Successfully Get Back Together After A Break Up

Karen felt hopeful when she and her ex-boyfriend initially got back together. After a stormy breakup and a painful month apart, they gradually began to communicate with one another. It was healing for her to be able to finally get all that was unsaid out into the open.

For the first time in a very long while, Karen felt listened to. It also seemed that her boyfriend was open, honest, and that they were figuring things out.

Now that they’ve settled as a couple again, her hopes and positive attitude about the future of her relationship are fading. While a few of the agreements that Karen and her boyfriend made to bolster trust and healthy communication have continued, many of their old and disconnecting habits have resurfaced.

It’s starting to feel like “business as usual” and Karen doesn’t like that at all. She’s beginning to wonder if getting back together was a big mistake.

Reuniting with your ex can be a joyous time, but it can also bring with it doubts, fears, and more of the same dynamics that tore you apart in the past.

The Extra Baggage

We all bring emotional baggage to our relationships.

When your emotional baggage is from your past relationship with your current partner, things can get confusing. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself reacting to your partner in a more intense way because of something that happened long ago and before you broke up.

Aside from these expectations and the baggage from the past, there is a good possibility that you and your partner will fall into habitual patterns. Humans tend to do what we’re most accustomed to doing– this happens in relationships, too.

When we get triggered, tense or tired, we revert back to those habits that we know so well- even those that have not been in our (or our relationship’s) best interests in the past.

Before you consider a reunion, here are the best tips on how to successfully get back together after a break-up.

Identify what makes you two apart

identify relationship problem

At first glance, it might seem obvious to you that your partner’s dishonesty, inability to communicate, blocks to intimacy, flirting, and jealousy are what’s ripping you two apart again.

It’s best if you take a deeper and broader look. It’s probably your partner’s or your habits that are causing the problem. However, there’s most likely a lot more going on, too.

Set an intention to be an observer and not a critic. Then, pay closer attention to how you and your partner interact on a day-to-day basis and when stressful or triggering situations arise.

Notice what happens to communication, intimacy, trust, and more. Think about what happens when your partner appears to have closed down to you.

For the moment, try to understand the dynamics between the two of you. Your goal is to figure out what leads you to move further away from one another so that you can make some changes.

Own your share of the disconnecting habits

Once you have a clearer and broader picture of what’s potentially taking you and your partner away from one another, take responsibility.

Let’s be clear here.

We’re NOT encouraging you to take the blame or to let your partner “off the hook.” This won’t help your relationship. What you have the most control over is what YOU think, say, and do. That’s why this is such a powerful place for insight and action.

Be the observer for a little while longer and notice how you’re contributing to the problems in your relationship. You may not be the one starting the arguments but you’re probably making things more heated.

Stepping back and watching your own behaviors can be transformational to you and to your relationship.

Stay focused on what you DO want

focus on relationship wants

This is a time to clear up your past and let it go. Holding onto resentments and allowing unresolved conflicts to build is only going to hurt your relationship in the long run. Do what you need to do to be more present and aware of your relationship.

Be honest with yourself. If it has become apparent that staying together is unwise and that it would be better for you and your partner to end your relationship and remain apart, honor that.

But if you and your mate are truly willing to do what it takes to create the kind of relationship you both want and you see signs that changes are happening, here’s what we urge you to do…

Make sure you are orienting yourselves toward what you DO want.

Instead of hiding the truth, make a genuine promise to speak honestly and openly and do it.

Rather than telling one another that you will stop yelling and arguing, set up some “ground rules” that are reasonable for how you WILL communicate respectfully as you resolve conflicts. Then, put them into practice.

This kind of a shift in perspective can be subtle, but the effects make a big difference.

See Also: 5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For

The post How to Successfully Get Back Together After A Break Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Easy Ways To Spring Clean Your Health

Spring isn’t just the best time to clean your home. To ensure that your body stays in great shape, you should also take it as a time to take a good look at your health. To help you get started, here are 7 ways to spring clean your health.

Get Outside

Most Americans (as much as 50% of us) spend way too much time indoors. As we age, our outdoor time tends to decrease even more. A lot of that time is spent in front of TVs, computer screens, and other unhealthy activities.

Getting outside even for a few minutes every day can be a big mood and immune system booster. It can also increase your Vitamin D levels.

Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to a number of health issues including insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and low immune function.

Get Active

Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can promote better cardiovascular health, normal blood sugar, and fewer episodes of depression and anxiety.

Don’t care for the gym?

Now that it’s getting warmer and getting dark later, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors to get more activity. Spring is a great time to find new ways to get fit. You can go for a run, hike or bike ride.

Find a group of friends who also want to get in shape so you don’t have to go alone. Outdoor activity can be more fun if you have friends with you.

Don’t forget to take a look at and replace any workout shoes that are worn out or that you have been using for over a year. They can make you prone to injuries and pain after.

Check Your Sleep Routine

importance of sleep

An inconsistent sleep pattern can have serious implications on your health. So, take this time to start making it a priority.

Do you have trouble falling asleep?

Try developing a regular schedule that includes exercise, chamomile tea, yoga, turning off electronics, and setting an alarm even on your days off.

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

Find Ways To Reduce Your Stress

High stress levels can also have serious consequences on your health as it plays a role in the development of many illnesses and chronic diseases. Find some time each day to put away your work and take time to de-stress.

If you can, get rid of some of the things that are stressing you out or stealing your peace of mind. Finding even 30 minutes a day to devote to meditation, deep breathing, reading, a hobby or just taking time for yourself can make a huge difference.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

eat healthy

Winter meals often consist of heavier comfort foods. They are often full of carbs and can lack the important nutrients your body needs.

Spring can be a great time to plant your own healthy fruits and veggies, visit a farmer’s market or try new fruits and vegetables that are now in season. Most don’t need a lot of prep work. You can even freeze them for future meals.

Check Your Medicine Cabinet

As you are decreasing clutter in your home, don’t neglect your medicine cabinet. Check the expiration dates on your medications and get rid of anything outdated- even if they look or smell good.

The same goes for your makeup. Eye makeup should be tossed after three months. Anything else should not be hanging around for more than a year.

Schedule A Wellness Exam

Are you up to date on your immunizations, colonoscopy, mammogram, PAP tests, and dental exams?

Wellness exams are a perfect time to talk to your doctor about any screening labs and tests. You should take them depending on your health history, family history, and age group.

Don’t skip it just because you are healthy. Wellness exams are key in preventing and detecting illness and disease in their early stages.

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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.

How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt Fast

Credit cards come with a sense of power. There is nothing you cannot buy using that piece of plastic. With its power, however, comes the illusion that you can easily buy everything.

Because of that, more and more people are finding themselves drowning in credit card bills. And the less they are able to pay those bills, the more their finances suffer.

The average American household has a credit card debt of around $4,400 as of the first quarter of 2018. Each family has an average of 3 cards from various service providers.

That is an alarming piece of stat and it shows why the total credit card debt of America has risen to a staggering $1 trillion in the recent times.

In 2017, credit card debt reached its highest possible level ever due to increasing interest rates, increasing prices of commodities and services, and the habit of spenders to use their cards indiscriminately for every payment.

How can you manage your multiple credit card payments?

multiple credit card payments

If you find yourself spiraling, you can always take the help of credit card debt consolidation loans. This will reduce the number of payments you make each month.

In case you are wondering how to get out of credit card debt fast, here’s what you should do

  • Get your FICO credit report. This will give you a detailed update on your credit score.
  • Find a non-profit service that offers credit card debt counseling exclusively for personal users.
  • Look for debt consolidation loans that can cover your credit card bills in the future at a much lower cost.
  • Do not cancel your credit cards or stop using them. Regularly using your card is one way to build your FICO score. Just use them sparingly to pay your electricity bills, medical bills, grocery bills, and fuel expenses.

What are two alternatives to debt consolidation loans?

Debt snowballing and debt avalanche are other ways that can help you pay off your credit card bills. Although they are distinct debt payment procedures, they are quite alike in that both of them need you to pay off the minimum on all your credit card debts except one.

Debt snowballing

According to this method, you start with the smallest balance and progress towards the largest one during the time of payment. This process is independent of the interest rates on each debt. So, just grab the credit card with the least debt and start by paying that off.

Debt avalanche

This one goes through debt payments in the absolute opposite direction. You start with the largest payment and move to the smallest gradually. Economically, this makes sense since you will pay less in interest if you follow this order of payment.

Why can debt snowballing and debt avalanche be bad for your financial health?

multiple credit card

In reality, both methods can be debilitating for your credit score. Meeting the minimum payment requirements for your credit cards is not such a great idea. Debt snowballing and debt avalanche might work with invoice factoring and payday loans that do not have any direct links to your FICO score.

These two processes are not effective when:

  • You need to pay off large amounts over a long period.
  • A balance transfer is not an option.
  • You can easily qualify for a good and sensible consolidation loan.
  • Your new loan comes at a significantly lower rate.

For credit card debts, always paying the best you can towards the company charging the highest interest is the better idea. A debt consolidation loan can help with a new loan at a much lower interest and better APR to pay off your outstanding credit card bills.

If you think you cannot manage a large amount of money and pay the credit card companies off on time, you should seek the help of a debt consolidation program as well. Several new and approved credit card debt consolidation programs and debt consolidation companies focus on the needs of individual credit card holders.

What should compulsive credit card users know about debt consolidation loans?

The new loan will make the payment periods a lot better and manageable. However, without a proper check on your spending habit, you will fall right back into the quicksand of payment and surmounting bills.

Start by setting a maximum spending limit on each card. Find out the minimum compulsory expense on each card that you need to meet in order to rebuild your credit score.

Each month, cut down on expenses. For example, switch from a luxury brand of soap to a store brand for the time being. You might smell less than awesome but your finances will feel amazing!

Download a holistic monthly budget template so you can chart your monthly income, expense, overheads, and penalties. This will help you make sense of the top priority payments and cut the unwanted expenses weighing your finances down.

The kind of loan and debt consolidation loan company you pick can make all the difference in your finances. Always remember that your credit card debt is already unsecured. You do not want to convert that to a secured debt at any cost. Always stick to an unsecured debt as long as you can.

The post How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt Fast appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Cryptocurrency Trading for Beginners: How Can You Get Started?

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic lately and a lot of people are getting interested in cryptocurrency trading for beginners.

Now, how do you even go about buying it?

Much like stocks, many cryptocurrencies are also traded on exchanges. You input your preferred fiat currency and use that capital to buy, sell or trade various forms of cryptocurrency.

You can either own a coin directly or you can trade in a contract for difference, owning a position with a broker. You’ll have to choose based on things like security of the trading platform, how currency is stored once purchased, which fiat currency you can input, currency input methods, and more.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Options

  • Binance – Only supports crypto-to-crypto exchanges and does not accept any form of fiat currency into the system. Very low maker and taker fees and no reported security issues.
  • GDAX – Owned by Coinbase but aimed at professional clients. Accepts U.S. dollars, British Pounds, and Euros through bank transfers as well as cryptocurrencies. No maker fees and moderate taker fees and no reported security breaches.
  • Bitstamp – A great platform for European investors, it does not charge for conversion of fiat currency when Euros are deposited through SEPA. U.S. dollars are also accepted with a fee. There are moderate maker and taker fees and there was a major hack in 2015 that lost $5 million worth of cryptocurrency through hot wallets.
  • Kraken – Probably the most versatile exchange in terms of fiat currencies accepted and with no security issues and moderate maker and taker fees. It’s a great option for international users.
  • Bitfinex – This is a popular exchange for American and European traders due to high liquidity of assets. However, there was a serious security breach in 2016 that cost investors $65 million.
  • Bittrex – This is an exchange with a solid security record that is great for beginner investors. Only cryptocurrency is accepted into the exchange and there are moderate maker and taker fees.
  • Bithumb – Based in South Korea, this exchange has low maker and taker fees but recently experienced a massive data breach.
  • Gemini – Founded by the Winklevoss twins who rose to fame in their lawsuit alleging that Mark Zuckerberg stole Facebook from them.  There are moderate maker and taker fees but no security issues at this time.

Best Investment Strategies For Cryptocurrency

cryptocurrency

Just like investing in stocks, investing in cryptocurrency requires a sound investment strategy. Diversify your portfolio by investing in more than one cryptocurrency or ICO. That way, you’re able to protect your funds when volatility strikes.

Remember to invest slowly and incrementally, too.

Don’t panic when volatility strikes and pull your investment out while it is low. And most importantly, don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose.

There are also three types of orders you can use to buy and sell cryptocurrency.

A market order allows you to buy and sell at whatever the market is when you place the order. It is the most susceptible to slippage.

Less susceptible to slippage is a stop order. It allows you to set conditions on buying and selling.

The only way to avoid slippage, however, is to use a limit order. It allows you to set the price at which you are willing to buy or sell your cryptocurrency.

See Also: Cryptocurrency Is On The Rise: Are You Prepared?

All Investments Come With Risk

Investing can be scary, but a little bit of knowledge and preparation can help you make the best decisions possible. Many of the strategies are the same as mainstream investing strategies.

Learn more about cryptocurrency investing options and cryptocurrency exchange platforms from this infographic. Are you ready to dive into crypto?

Top Crypto Exchanges for 2018

The post Cryptocurrency Trading for Beginners: How Can You Get Started? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Yoga Contraindications You Need to Know

Yoga has now become very popular all over the world. Because of its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, it has become a hit for people of all gender and age group.

Yoga mainly consists of various Asanas that give flexibility and strengthen the muscles of the body. It helps in reducing stress, provides better relaxation, and aids in detoxifying the body. Overall, it can bring balance to your body.

Although beneficial to the body, yoga isn’t really for everyone. If not done properly, it can put you at risk of injuries in the neck, back, and shoulders. It can also cause torn muscles and herniated disks.

If you want to make sure that the exercise is for you, here are the most common yoga contraindications you need to know.

Heart problems

heart condition

Though yoga is not a vigorous exercise, there are specific asanas that may not be suitable for a heart patient.

If you have been diagnosed with a heart condition or if you feel pain in the heart while doing normal physical activities, it is best to consult your doctor first before enrolling in a class. He is the best person to decide whether yoga is for you or not.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

Imbalance in the ear fluid

There are people who lose their balance without any reason. Some even lose their consciousness with position changes. If you have experienced any of those things, it’s best to get your ear checked.

An imbalance in the fluid in your ears can affect your stability. This won’t only make it hard for you to complete the poses but it can also put your safety at risk.

Fracture

If you have suffered a hip, knee or back fracture as a result of a fall, then it is better to consult a doctor. Some asanas can worsen your pain and aggressively hurt you. Similarly, a person with a spinal problem should not perform yoga without consulting a doctor, too.

If your doctor allowed you to practice yoga, consider enrolling in a class and getting the help of a professional yoga teacher. He or she can help you learn the best poses that won’t compromise your bones and body.

Unsteady blood pressure and sugar level

unsteady blood pressure

If your blood pressure is unsteady or if your blood sugar level fluctuates drastically, then it is best to consult a doctor before starting a yoga session. Certain inversion poses and forceful breathing can increase your blood pressure and cause problems.

Glaucoma

If you are pre-diagnosed with glaucoma, avoid inversion poses, like the headstand and shoulder stand. Such poses can worsen your condition as they can cause the pressure in your eyes to increase.

Infectious diseases

Certain asanas that are physically demanding and which involve deep breathing and retention can be harmful to you if you have an infectious disease. Before you get started with yoga, consider getting treated first.

In practice, most people do not consult a doctor prior to yoga practice. In fact, it is not mandatory for all to see a doctor.

However, if you fit in one of the following criteria, make sure to visit your physician first:

  • If you are a male and above 45 years of age or a female above 55 years of age
  • If you have a family history of heart ailment
  • If you are currently a smoker or quit smoking within the past six months
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • If you have cholesterol
  • If you have diabetes or have a family history of diabetes
  • If you are obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • If you are pregnant or given birth within the past 3 months

Thus, in a nutshell, yoga is good as far as it is done in moderation and under the supervision of a trained practitioner. Listen to your body at all times. If you feel that the stretching and pulling are too much for you, stop immediately. If you already have any medical condition like back pain, you should inform the instructors beforehand so that they can modify the poses for you.

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

The post 6 Yoga Contraindications You Need to Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

What to Say to Someone Who Cheated On You

If your worst fears have been confirmed and you have discovered that your partner is cheating on you, you are probably wondering what to do now. There is likely some part of you that wants to find a way to inflict as much pain as possible on the cheater, but is that really the best way to handle things? Probably not.

So, what do you do?

Take a look at the tips below to help you get your thoughts in order before you approach your partner.

Let it out

let out feelings

Take some time to express your thoughts and emotions but not to your partner yet. Cry, scream, break a plate, and do whatever will make you feel better. No matter which you choose, do it on your own and in private.

What you are feeling can be overwhelming and potentially lead you to destructive, emotionally driven actions. They will not gain you the results you need so, allow yourself to fully express your emotions first.

Stop and think

Once you’ve expressed your feelings in private, sit down and give some thought to your situation.

Did you see this coming? Were there signs along the way? Did the cheating happen for reasons that you can determine?

Consider the evidence

Now, think about what evidence you have.

Is it irrefutable? Could there be any chance that you have misunderstood the situation?

If you are certain that things are as they seem, you will need to make plans for your next steps.

Evaluate your past and future

Time to reflect upon your relationship. You became a couple for a reason but are the things that brought you together still there in any way? Is this the first time this has happened or have you been through this in the past?

Consider what you had wanted for your future. If the infidelity had not occurred, where did you see your future together?

What do you want

Aside from hurting your partner in some comparable way, think about what you want to do next. If you have a family and a life together, considering what you want now and in the future is crucial.

Keep in mind that keeping your marriage together after an affair is possible. Getting past it will take work but it can be done. But, is that what you want?

Write it down

Writing things down offers several benefits for you. Moving through your thoughts and feelings as you put them on paper or a screen will help you sort them out. It will also allow you to approach a conversation more calmly and in a more prepared manner than if you just start talking.

Talk

talk it out

Set a schedule where both of you can focus in an uninterrupted way as this conversation will not be easy. Know ahead of time that emotions will run high and you will have to do your best to stay calm and rational about things.

There is no way to determine how a conversation like this will go. It is possible that it may not go well at all. It is also likely that in order to get through things, you will need to seek the help of a professional counselor.

In Conclusion

There are many couples who are able to work through cheating and come out stronger and closer.

If you have found yourself in this situation, try using the above tips as a guide to get started. Be open to seeking counseling if needed and be committed to making things work.

See Also: How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating

The post What to Say to Someone Who Cheated On You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

What You Should Know Before Becoming A Pharmacy Tech

Discovering a new career is exciting, frightening, and a process full of self-discovery. Without an adequate understanding of yourself and the current job market, it can be difficult to make a career choice with confidence.

Many young students and older career-changers opt for careers in healthcare. Job stability and the personal gratification that comes from serving others in need are two great things about getting a career in healthcare.

If you are thinking of working in the said industry, then you should consider becoming a pharmacy tech.

Pharmacy tech training is relatively short in comparison with other healthcare professions. However, it is rewarding personally and professionally.

pharmacy tech career

Working As A Pharmacy Tech

Pharmacy techs work in retail pharmacies and hospitals. They distribute prescription medications to customers and work closely under the supervision of pharmacists.

Some of their other tasks include:

  • Measuring the proper amounts of medication
  • Packaging and labeling prescriptions
  • Organizing the inventory
  • Entering customer information
  • Answering any questions

There is a customer service component to the job, too. Pharmacy techs are responsible for educating customers on dosage and side effects they may experience after taking their medicines.

In a hospital setting, a pharmacy tech may make rounds in the hospital, distributing medications to patients. With healthcare changing at a rapid rate and new drugs hitting the market each year, pharmacy is an exciting career that requires professionals to stay current on what is going on in the industry.

Pharmacy Techs vs Pharmacists

Before becoming a pharmacy tech, there are certain realities about the profession that you should know. For one, a pharmacy tech is not the same as a pharmacist.

A pharmacist is a health care provider who supervises the pharmacy and makes sure the premises are top quality. Comparatively, a pharmacy tech does many of the same tasks as a pharmacist. However, their level of responsibility is drastically different, not to mention the compensation.

If you are planning on becoming a pharmacy tech, consider first if the salary and compensation will fit your needs.

How to Become A Pharmacy Tech

In a pharmacy tech program, students will learn the basic concepts of pharmacy care, how different drugs must be used, and which precautions to take with each. Students will receive a basic overview of the human anatomy and understand how drugs impact all parts of the body.

Most educational programs will cover an overview of these concepts in the classroom as well as practical application and hands-on learning.

pharmacy tech job
Via monster.com

Once you have decided that pharmacy tech training is right for you, you need to pick the right school. There are pharmacy tech training programs throughout the country that have their own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Important questions to ask while researching programs include teacher-to-student ratio, cost, and whether or not the program assists with job placement after graduation.

Does the program graduate students who find employment at a relatively high rate? Can students work full-time or part-time while completing the program?

What is the “dropout” rate? Are there online courses offered within the program?

It is important to know that not all pharmacy tech training programs are right for you. Enrolling in a program with your eyes wide open is especially important, given the cost and amount of time you will be investing.

In Conclusion

Finally, if you are looking to work in a field that is projected to grow, any career in healthcare will fit that bill. With the aging baby boomer population, it is projected that more and more elderly will need prescription medications, resulting in an increase in the demand for qualified and trained pharmacy techs.

Pharmacy techs need to be meticulous in their work and enjoy interacting with people from different backgrounds. Pharmacy techs obviously handle extremely personal and confidential information. With this, it’s important that techs are able to live up to a high code of ethics.

The post What You Should Know Before Becoming A Pharmacy Tech appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Best Tips to Boost Pinterest Conversion

Pinterest has emerged as an important marketing platform to drive conversion for businesses. But how exactly can it drive sales and generate leads?

To understand the potential of Pinterest, it is important to know how it stands apart from others. Let us explain first its key attributes.

Visual Content: Most researchers agree that visual elements generate more interest in reading content. Do you want some statistics in favor of it? Just have a look at the following stats:

  • Visual content enhances 94% more page views.
  • It makes at least 37% more engagement.
  • Visual impressions are processed by our brain six billion times faster compared to text.

Easier sharing: Visual content gets better sharing compared to text. A visual in Pinterest gets around 10 repins compared to text.

Driving traffic: Pinterest can generate a good volume of traffic in a quicker time if you can make a solid visual campaign on it. Here are some tips:

  • Do not pin any image without website link.
  • Pin tutorials in greater number to get more clicks than others.
  • Offer pins on trending topics to gain more clicks.
  • Use appropriate Call-to-action buttons like, ‘Repin this’, ‘Comment below’,  and ‘Click here’ to push clicks and conversion.
  • Make all your posts easily pinnable by using a Pin App.

Pinterest is less competitive: The competition on Pinterest is significantly lower as compared to the major social media sites. Facebook has 1.40 billion users while Instagram has over 400 million. Pinterest only has 100 million active users in a month as of now.

More discoverability: The posts on its homepage stay much longer, allowing more views.

Pinterest is ideal for shopping: A 2014 statistics revealed by Pinterest says that 93% of pinners, comprising both men and women, shopped through the platform in the last six months.

So, you have got the mandate loud and clear.

Pinterest conversion is better than other social media platforms. If you are ready to apply it to your business, here are the 5 most effective tips you can use.

Understanding the users

pinterest social media

Every platform has a typical user mindset. The same person while using Facebook has a different mindset than the one using Pinterest.

A recent study by Digitas and Curalate revealed that 70% of brand engagement on this platform is created by the users only, not by the business brands.

What are the basic experiences people refer when using Pinterest? Here’s a quick look:

  • Just having a glimpse.
  • Wish I could do it.
  • Taking a closer look.
  • I am definite of what I want from it.

These four reactions happen on the basis of user needs, context, and time. You should have a solid grasp of the target user preferences, contexts, and the way they prefer content. A unique look and feel coupled up with staying relevant to your audience will be the key to prompt action from them.

Promotional campaigns

On Pinterest, coupons and contests are very popular. Terms like “free”, “discount,” “best offers” will surely get your users’ attention. Seeing the products and reading their data in details can also increase engagement and conversion.

To set up coupons on Pinterest, you can easily take help from a third-party coupon creation app like Wishpond. You can run the campaign through the business website.

There are also free third-party coupon apps. Some of these apps also provide tools, like real-time analytics of campaigns to spot opportunities.

When running a photo contest on Pinterest, make your strategy based on social-proofs and allow only user-created content for the contest. This will enhance credibility and enhance engagement to the contest.

Such contests should allow sharing the content across all social channels, generating fresh traffic for your website and opening new avenues of engagement.

SEO for better discoverability

How can you make your content easy to discover on Pinterest? Well, this requires some maneuvers that we would refer to as Pinterest SEO.

First of all, begin your pins with the username of your company. In Pinterest, just as it is allowed on Facebook, you can create custom URL.

Secondly, always use some target keywords in the About section and then let those keywords appear in the Pinboard names. To make it further optimized, you can also use backlinks to your website or use hashtags within the pin description.

A Pinning Strategy

pinterest

You should have a pinning strategy in place. There are various aspects to it but the most important of them include wise targeting, quality images, and enriching pins.

Let us have a look at these:

  • Pinterest offers robust analytics to know your audience and accordingly fixes your pinning strategy with relevant keywords, image strategy, promoted pins, etc.
  • High-quality images have no alternative to boost your pins for better user engagement. Besides professional quality photos, make use of graphics, infographics, and posters to offer a varied mix of visual content.
  • Rich pins consisting of various types of texts and images can engage audience better.

Using pins to allow direct purchase

There is not a better way to push Pinterest conversion than allowing people to make purchases directly from pins. Pinterest pins can be used to make such direct purchase and they are called buyable pins. At present, they are only available for iOS and Android users only in the U.S. Anytime soon, it will be extended to other parts of the globe and across other platforms.

See Also: Use Pinterest to Plan Your Next Vacation — Here’s How

The post The Best Tips to Boost Pinterest Conversion appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Ways to Constantly Improve IT Skills

As technology continues to develop, the same should happen to your IT skills. Employers only seek out the best IT specialists and the only way to get ahead of your competition is to keep learning and refining your skills.

Becoming complacent is the worst thing any professional could do as this makes you less likely to progress towards your ultimate goals.

As a guide, here are sure ways to consistently improve your IT skills.

Establish Weak Points

read technical books

If there are specific weak points that are dragging you down, consider doing something about them.

If, for example, coding is not your strongest point, figure out why this is the case. It may be that you need extra mentoring.

Reading technical books is hugely beneficial, too. They typically contain helpful information and step-by-step guides which can help you grow as an IT specialist.

Overcome Fear of Automation

Firstly, to self-improve, you must feel confident about yourself and your position in the IT world. Regardless of the industry, the development of automation is inevitable but this should not impact your career potential.

In a report by CompTIA, they stated that an estimated figure of 5.4 million US individuals was hired in the information technology sector. Compared to previous years, this reflects an increase of 2.1%. In 2018, people should expect to see the same growth.

Knowing this, IT professionals can feel safe that their jobs will not be replaced by automation anytime soon.

Consider Further Certifications

You might already have a resume filled with qualifications but these can quickly become outdated and irrelevant in the IT industry.

Certain certifications hold value for IT pros and are more meaningful than others. These include the CAP (Certified Analytics Professional), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) and more.

As identified by Indeed.com, the most in-demand IT jobs include Java Developer, Network Engineer, and Software Developer. Therefore, adapting your resume to suit these types of jobs will give you an advantage over others.

Work Part-Time or Find Freelance Opportunities

freelance work part time

Education is one of the best ways of learning more of what you enjoy. However, work experience is even better. Taking what you learn and putting it into practice not only improves your IT skills but your transferable skills, too.

Boasting great initiative, problem-solving, and decision-making skills will look fantastic on your resume and give you a well-rounded profile.

Regarding work opportunities, it is great to get more exposure by taking up opportunities you would not normally accept. By doing different projects and jobs, you are learning a variety of things, whether it is a new computer programme or application.

Keep Up-To-Date with Cyber News

A brilliant way of staying fresh with new tech is to keep on top of tech news. Do it even if you have a really packed schedule. Read discussions, watch the news, and join forums so you can stay updated with the latest technology.

Take Advantage of the Free Stuff

Keep on the lookout for industry conferences and webcasts, which happen all year round. There are plenty of online guides which can keep you informed of worldwide tech events.

Typically, these events give inspirational talks, information about new technology, and heavy debates about political changes. Attending these are also a brilliant way of networking and promoting yourself to IT firms.

Online resources, like webinars, articles, podcasts, and videos, are great, too. By using online resources, you have the benefit of learning during your free time whilst choosing specifically what skills you want to focus on.

The key is to stay one step ahead of the game, especially in a world where technology has no limits. With dedication and hard work, you can go from professional to elite and feel confident about your place in the IT world.

The post 6 Ways to Constantly Improve IT Skills appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

15-Minute Full Body Kettlebell Workout

Most of us undervalue the positive effects of a 15-minute workout.

Many people think they need to spend hours in the gym to see results. Contrary to this belief, the intensity of a workout can actually have a bigger impact on your fitness than the duration.

The American Heart Association recommends 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week to improve cardiovascular health. When you break it down, that’s only 15 minutes of exercise per day, five days per week.

What kind of intensity level does “vigorous activity” indicate?

Exercise professionals assess levels of activity by your heart rate and age group. There’s a simple equation to figure out your maximum recommended heart rate: 220 minus your age.

If your age is 37, you need to subtract 37 from 220 which gives you 183 as your maximum recommended heart rate. Vigorous activity, then, is 70 to 85% of your maximum heart rate. In this example, 183 should be multiplied by 0.7 and .85 to find the range you should keep your heart rate within(128 and 156 beats per minute).

If you aren’t wearing a device that tracks your heart rate, you check it yourself every few minutes. Simply count the number of beats at a pulse point for 15 seconds then multiply by four. Checking your pulse during active rest periods between exercises is an easy way to monitor whether you need to increase or decrease intensity.

Here’s your assignment for the workout below:

  • Calculate your maximum recommended heart rate and your 70-85% range.
  • For the next 15 minutes, try to keep your heart rate within that range while completing kettlebell the workout.
  • As a general guideline, men should start with a 16 kg (35 lb) bell and women should start with an 8 kg (18 lb) bell.
  • Get a timer that’s able to count seconds.

kettlebell 8 kg

To keep things simple, there will be just four exercises to practice. The format is one minute of each exercise followed by 15 seconds of active rest. Repeat the five-minute sequence three times. Perform the exercises at the speed necessary to keep your heart rate within your 70 – 85% range.

Active rest is different from regular rest. You’re going to be doing something that keeps you moving, such as walking or jogging in place. Pick a few movements you enjoy doing and alternate between them. The important part is that you’re still active. Don’t forget to use this time to check your heart rate.

Exercise 1: The Kettlebell Crunch (1 minute)

This exercise is great for engaging the core and back muscles.

  • Lay on the ground with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.
  • Use both hands to grasp the kettlebell by the bell instead of the handle.
  • Hold the bell above your chest.
  • Use a slow, controlled motion to roll your upper back off the ground.

Active Rest: 15 seconds

Exercise 2: The Kettlebell Squat (1 minute)

Your quads and glutes should be burning during this movement.

  • Use a shoulder-width stance.
  • Hold the bell with both hands at chest level. Your palms should be facing each other as if you’re holding a ball.
  • Bend your knees like you’re sitting down on a chair and bring the elbows to the inside of the knees.
  • Your weight should shift to your heels.
  • The kettlebell will help you balance by keeping your chest up.

Active Rest: 15 seconds

Exercise 3: Kettlebell Around the World (1 minute)

This exercise is great for grip strength, proprioception, and engaging your entire body. It pays particular attention to your obliques and other supporting muscle groups.

  • Use a shoulder-width stance.
  • Hold the kettlebell on the outer edge of the handle.
  • Pass the kettlebell from one hand to the other as you move it all the way around your body.
  • You can pass it at different heights around your body to use different muscles.

Active Rest: 15 seconds

kettlebell around the world
Via womanista

Exercise 4: Kettlebell Push Press with Lunge (1 minute)

This movement is great for your arm and shoulder muscles.

  • Use a shoulder-width stance.
  • Hold the kettlebell by the handle in one hand. Your elbow should flex so that the bell is to the side of your shoulder.
  • Let the kettlebell rest against your forearm with a loose grasp at the base of your thumb. Be careful to avoid hyperextension of your wrist.
  • Step into a lunge.
  • As your body lowers, extend your arm straight up.
  • As you rise, lower the kettlebell back to your shoulder.

Active Rest: 15 seconds

Repeat this entire sequence twice

Exercises don’t need to be complicated or lengthy to be effective. Remember that any movement is better than no movement. The more effort you put into your workouts, the shorter they can be.

Exercise is great for combating mental conditions such as anxiety and depression. The next time you’re feeling confined to your office chair, take a 15-minute break and work out!

The post 15-Minute Full Body Kettlebell Workout appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Can Cycling Actually Change Your Health And Life?

Bikes can be life-changing machines. Although they are cheap and consume a lot of time when it comes to transportation, they can have a huge impact on your life. In fact, bikes can make you better and healthier.

If you are still thinking twice about getting your own, below are some good reasons why cycling is important.

Less money on transportation

less transportation cost

Have you ever calculated how much money you actually spend on transportation in a year?

Every month, it’s the same story — you have to spend a lot of money on public transportation. If you go to work by car, you may end up spending more.

Traveling in your bike can help you save a lot of money. You’ll be able to help protect the environment, too.

It’s good for your health

Doctors encourage all their patients to do more physical activities, regardless of their patients’ ages. Well, guess what – cycling is part of this category, too.

A half-hour ride is more than enough to burn at least 250 calories. You’ll be able to get rid of that body fat in a few weeks and you don’t even have to go to the gym!

You’ll also boost your cardiovascular health, have toned muscles, better immune system, stronger bones and better joints. You’ll even look younger. All you have to do is invest in a bike and use it daily for your transportation.

Better mood

Physical activities can boost one’s mood. Doing exercises, even with moderate intensity, can help improve your self-esteem and mood, reduce stress, and prevent depression.

More time for yourself

cycling alone time

Riding a bike will never be as fast as a car but for those who ride bikes to work and back, you can actually save more time. This is when you compare the time one needs to spend enduring heavy traffic to and from work. Finding and choosing an empty parking lot can eat a lot of your time, too.

What you have to know before buying your first bike

Those who have decided to buy their first bike should know a few important things first. Here’s a quick list:

  • Consider your budget– Decide how much money you’re willing to spend on your bike. You’ll also need to prepare extra money to invest in the right accessories, like a helmet, water bottle, and pump.
  • The style– Before you actually look for a bike online or in physical stores near you, you’ll have to think of the style that suits you best. One way you can do that is to take into account the way you intend to use your bike. Decide whether you’ll use it for work, exercising, or taking short trips downtown.
  • Look for a professional bike repair shop– Once you buy your first bike, you’ll have to take it to a workshop to have it ready. Make sure you look for a reliable and professional repair shop who can adjust the bike according to your needs and wants.

The post Can Cycling Actually Change Your Health And Life? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Keto Diet Myths You Shouldn’t Be Suckered Into

You’ve probably heard of the Ketogenic diet but you’re too scared to give it a try with all the bad things you heard about it. It’s controversial, scary, and way too confusing for beginners to understand.

But are the rumors true?

To set the records straight and to ensure that you’re fully informed before you give it a try, here are the most popular Keto diet myths finally debunked.

Myth #1: It puts you at risk of heart diseases

heart disease

Eating a high fat Keto diet can be scary for some people. After all, too much fat is harmful to the heart, right?

Well, no.

The truth is that eating a high fat Keto diet can actually reduce your risk of heart diseases.

How?

When you eat fewer carbohydrates and your intake of saturated fat is increased, the metabolic markers for heart disease risks improve.

Your blood glucose levels will drop which can reduce glycation and its negative effects on the body. Your triglycerides, insulin levels, and lipoprotein get reduced while your HDL cholesterol levels improve.

And you know what else?

A high fat Ketogenic diet can also provide your body with more vitamin D, selenium, copper, and magnesium which are all great for the heart.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

Myth #2: You can eat all types of fat

While eating a high fat ketogenic diet won’t be that bad for the body, it doesn’t mean that you can eat any type of fat.

If you’re thinking of loading your diet with ham, sausages, and loads of fried foods, then you’re totally on the wrong track.

If you want to get the most out of this diet, consider replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fats. Think of oily fish, flaxseed, and walnuts.

You can also incorporate more extra virgin olive oil and fatty fish into your diet. Nuts are great, too.

Myth #3: You won’t have a hard time adjusting to Keto

Transitioning into ketosis can cause some uncomfortable experiences. You may have to deal with digestive issues, sleep-related problems, and fatigue during the first few weeks of changing your diet and lifestyle.

Also known as the Keto flu, those side effects are common and will typically go away after a few weeks. You can make them less uncomfortable by drinking more water and eating more foods rich in fibers and electrolytes.

This, however, shouldn’t scare you. Although Keto-flu is normal, it doesn’t mean that every person who goes on a Keto diet will have the same problems. There are people who experience way less issues during their transition.

Myth #4: It causes extreme dehydration

A ketogenic diet doesn’t have to cause dehydration if you know what to do.

Consuming less carbohydrates than usual can affect the way your body deals with water and electrolytes. This can make it easier for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance to happen.

Imagine this:

When you go on a keto diet and you cut back on your carbs, your body is forced to produce less insulin than usual. This means your glycogen stores will decrease.

As that happens, your kidneys start excreting more water. And as your body flushes out water, you lose essential electrolytes and minerals, too.

As your body loses a great amount of electrolytes, your heartbeat will become irregular, your energy becomes low, and your body temperature control becomes less effective.

So, how do you prevent those things?

Drink more water and consume a lot of teas, broths, and soups. Eat foods rich in sodium, magnesium, and potassium, too. They can help replenish your body’s lost electrolytes.

See Also: Top 5 Tips On How To Stay Hydrated

Myth #5: It’s good for your mental health

Keto diet requires a lot of discipline and commitment. Naturally, you’d think that it’s great for boosting your mental health.

The truth, however, is that Keto diet can affect the brain negatively during the new fat-burning stage. You’ll be more irritable and less focused than usual.

This is because your body and brain are starting to look for glucose which is its main source of energy. Your brain needs about 100g of carbohydrates a day to ensure your brain’s optimum function. In comparison, you can only get about 50 grams of it when you’re in Keto.

Take note that those effects are only temporary. They will pass and go away on their own but it can take weeks or months to happen.

The other side of the coin is that a lot of keto dieters rave about their newfound focus and clarity. They attribute this to the decrease of carbohydrates that the body processes.

Myth #6: Keto won’t let you exercise

walking exercise

When you’re on a Keto diet, it’s normal for your body to feel less energized during your exercise. This is because you get less carbohydrates which, like your brain, your body needs as fuel for such activities.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise.

You can continue your workout routine even if you changed your diet. You just need to make sure that you’re giving your body enough calories and a lot of fat to support your routine. Don’t forget to provide ample time for recovery in between routines, too.

If you’re still having issues with being active, try a modified Ketogenic diet. It’s more flexible than going complete Keto.

You can also try taking supplements but be sure that they’re safe. Do your homework first and really get to know your options. Remember, not all Keto supplements are the same.

Try to find and study guides online, like this KetoDrive review. Use them in deciding which ones will safely meet your needs.

In Conclusion

Keto diet is effective whether you’re trying to lose weight or you just want to lower your bad cholesterol and risk of heart diseases. However, although effective, it doesn’t mean that it’ll work for you right away.

Changing your diet can affect your overall health. This means experiencing a few unwanted side effects, like less energy and mental clarity, as your body gets used to the changes.

Take note that those side effects don’t mean that Ketogenic diet is bad or that it’s not working for you. Your body just needs time to adapt your new diet. Give it a few weeks or months and your body should be able to see why many people are talking about the benefits of the keto diet.

Remember that the bottom line is always your health. You don’t need to follow or stick to a diet for the sake of being on one. Always listen to your body, make a lifestyle change of what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed.

The post 6 Keto Diet Myths You Shouldn’t Be Suckered Into appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Does A Divorce Work With A Child?

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans unravel and fall apart. This is true with any relationship, including the relationship where you share a child. When children are involved, the steps to ending a relationship become more complex.

So, how does a divorce work with a child?

Getting started

child custody

Figuring out the child custody rules and regulations within your area is vital. Having a knowledgeable and capable family law attorney is crucial to the process.

Family law is different. It has far more rules and regulations than the criminal law. The burden of proof isn’t upon just one person. Instead, it is upon the person who is requesting for the custodial rights. That person has to prove that he’s more capable, reliable, and responsible.

More often than not, that means both parents need to prove themselves. The process won’t be quick and easy. It can take months and even years.

Tips On Handling Divorce When You Have A Child

1. Knowledge is key

Knowing what to do will help you through this difficult time. Having a lawyer can make things easier for you.

2. Prove that you’re the better parent

This isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Anything you say will be recorded. If you fabricate stories or tell lies, expect those things to backfire on you.

Now, if you’re sure that the other parent won’t do any good to your child, make your lawyer aware of it. Having proofs to back up your claim will also be helpful at this point. Be open to your lawyer so you can plan how you can use those proofs to your advantage.

3. Have your documents ready

Be prepared. If you expect to move out of the state, have your children’s documents ready. Keep a record of their school activities so you can easily use them when transferring.

Apart from that, you should also have your work history or proof of residence ready in case the court asks where you will be transferring. These documents are also helpful in proving your capability to provide for your child’s needs.

4. Try to come to terms with the other parent

Doing so can make the proceedings go faster, cheaper, and with less stress.

Your attorney will inform you all about the different types of custody agreements. The most common are those where the child resides with one parent weekly and spends weekends with the other parent.

Another common form of custody, which has become more popular as of late, is known as shared parenting. This is where the child spends half a month with each parent. This type of custody requires more communication. If you’re on good terms, then that won’t be an issue.

5. Don’t be afraid to have a discussion

There is nothing wrong with being passionate but remember that this isn’t about you anymore. This is about your child. Whether you like it or not, the person you are arguing with will be in your life for no less than 18 years. The less difficult you make it, the better things will be in the years to come.

talking child custody

In Conclusion

Remember that no matter how hard things get or how confusing the process becomes, rely on your family law attorney to help you through the court proceedings. He will help you find a way for your child to have a relationship with both parents.

Although your relationship with your partner is ending, it doesn’t mean that your child’s relationship with his parent has to end, too. It is your duty to make sure that your child still gets to enjoy a quality time with his parents.

See Also: 5 Legal Issues To Consider And Address Before A Divorce

The post How Does A Divorce Work With A Child? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Top Careers In Chemistry After Graduation You Need To Know

Chemistry, just like other natural sciences, is the backbone of how the world is shaping up at present. It says a lot about the structure of things, how they react with and to each other, and the way they change.

This knowledge opens up a wide range of career choices for you.

Some of the most popular chemistry majors include:

  • Marie Curie, the first female scientist to win the Nobel Prize
  • Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite and after whom the Nobel Prize is named
  • Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico
  • Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
  • Margaret Thatcher, the ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Kurt Vonnegut, author of the famous novel called Cat’s Cradle
  • Pope Francis

If you want to get a career in chemistry after graduation, here’s a list to help you out.

Research

research and lab careers

Chemistry graduates are in-demand in the research industry. Medical companies, universities, and public-sector research centers are also looking for chemistry graduates.

Apart from research, you can work in laboratories, too.

You can lead the search for new medicines and vaccines. You can work on finding solutions to various environmental issues and perform forensic analysis. In addition, you can also work on developing new materials and products.

Chemical Engineering

Another great option for you is to work in the oil and gas sector or energy sector. You can also look for jobs in water and sewage treatment plants or in industries related to food and drinks, toiletries, and plastics.

If you are up for the challenge, you can look for jobs that require a degree in advanced sciences. This includes Biomedical Engineering and Nanotechnology.

Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries

pharamceutical careers

The healthcare industry and the pharmaceutical sector are large employment markets for people looking for a career in chemistry after graduation. You can specialize as a clinician, pathologist or biochemist.

In this industry, you can work on developing new cost-effective drugs. You can apply your analytical skills to test and evaluate them in accordance with government regulations.

Toxicology is another field you can get a career in. Jobs in this field involve identifying toxins in different materials and determining which of them are safe and which are harmful to the people.

Public Sector Careers

Chemists work in several state agencies such as Law, Defense, Public Health, Policy, and the Environment. Forensic experts not only collect evidence but are also called upon to discuss the findings in courts.

Chemical experts offer specialized consultancy to lawyers as well as policymakers. They provide suggestions on how to update a policy for the environment or agriculture based on the latest scientific developments.

Other Careers

Chemistry graduates can use their scientific and analytical skills to shine in other fields, too. With that, your other options include:

  • Business Development
  • Data & Analytics
  • Energy, Conservation & Environment
  • Fintech & finance
  • Marketing & PR
  • Media & Advertising
  • Tech & IT
  • Writing (including writing science fiction and working in newspapers or science journals)

The post Top Careers In Chemistry After Graduation You Need To Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Creating A Car Budget: 7 Things You Can Give Up For That Brand New Car

Getting a new car is way cheaper than you think. In fact, buying a car on finance can even be less expensive than the monthly cost of a fancy new iPhone, broadband contract or your gym membership!

So, ready to hit the open road?

Here’s how to set your car budget by giving up some of your unnecessary expenses.

Cut: Daily coffee fix
Get: Honda Jazz

daily caffeine fix

It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying a latte on your way to work every day, especially when every other store is a coffee house. But do you really want that expensive coffee or is it simply a force of habit?

The average American spends a whopping $1,100 a year or $91 a month on coffee. Forgo the daily coffee spend and make your own at home instead and you could easily afford to buy a Honda Jazz with those savings. It’s perfect for zooming around the city.

See Also: Top Tips In Buying A Car With Your Significant Other

Cut: Apple iPhone X 64GB
Get: Toyota Aygo

The new Apple iPhone created a buzz as soon as it was released. Unfortunately, the buzz subsided once consumers saw the monthly contract prices that come with the phone- an eye-watering $157 a month!

If you don’t really need the latest smartphone and all its associated tech, why not go for a lesser and cheaper model. Do so and you could afford to buy a Toyota Aygo!

Cut: Monthly nights out
Get: Seat Ibiza

A night out in a big city costs around $83 a pop by the time you’ve bought drinks, paid entry, and possibly had a late-night snack. To sum that up, that’s about $332 a month.

Do yourself a favor by giving up a few big nights out. You won’t only enjoy more hangover-free mornings (which your head will love you for) but you’ll also be able to treat yourself to a Seat Ibiza instead.

Cut: Takeout food
Get: Peugeot 108

pizza takeout

Leading a busy life means it’s tempting to call in a takeout after a hard day at work. And the rise of fast-food ordering apps means you can order a pizza in a matter of moments.

But at a monthly cost of $153, takeaways don’t come cheap. Do your waistline and your wallet a favor and ditch them. That way, you can drive away in a gorgeous Peugeot 108 instead.

Cut: Cigarettes
Get: Audi A1

Smoking your way through a 20-pack cigarette costs a staggering $447 a month. Not only is it a painfully expensive habit, it is also proven terrible for your health. Why spend that much money on something so bad for you when you could put that money towards a set of wheels instead?

Forget your cigarettes and you’ll start to look, feel, and smell better in days. You can treat yourself to an Audi A1 as a reward.

Cut: Luxury subscription services
Get: Toyota Previa

Luxury subscription box services where you get, for example, some tasty organic food delivered to your door a few times a month are super trendy right now. They’re also expensive, costing around $86 a month.

If you find that most of the food usually ends up left uneaten, your subscription might not be all that worth it. Cut it out and you could afford to make monthly payments for a Toyota Previa.

Cut: Date night
Get: Vauxhall Corsa

Now, we’re not for a minute suggesting you shouldn’t go on dates. But if you’re willing to go on one less a month, you’d be saving yourself a sizeable $104. That’s enough to buy a Vauxhall Corsa! Log off Tinder and get behind the wheel instead. Dating is overrated anyway, right?

By cutting out some of your non-essential expenses, you can easily create your car budget. If you are still in doubt how to start, you can use a car finance calculator to find out which vehicles will suit your budget.

The post Creating A Car Budget: 7 Things You Can Give Up For That Brand New Car appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Preventing Dog Attacks: Myths And Facts You Should Know

There are ninety million dogs kept as pets in the United States. One of the most common breeds is the pit bull.

Considered as vicious, this dog breed is chronically misunderstood.

Pit bulls were bred in the 19th century from a mix of two breeds: the Old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier. With their strength and agility, they were brought to America before the Civil War. Here, they became known as the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Pit bulls have three distinct types: the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier. There are also countless look-a-like breeds, which contribute to the confusion about pit bulls in general.

The American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) assesses the aggression of dog breeds in a series of simulated encounters that range from passive to threatening. Dogs who pass this test are able to safely interact with humans and their environment.

When testing pit bull breeds, ATTS found a pass rate of over 80% while the Staffordshire Bull Terrier passing 91% at the time.

If Pit Bulls Aren’t Aggressive, Why The Bad Reputation?

pitbulls are not aggressive

Pit bulls are often blamed for cases of serious dog attacks. In reality, the breed is responsible for only 69% of the cases.

In 2007, two dog attacks occurred only days apart but received wildly different coverage.

On August 18th, a Labrador attacked a 70-year-old man. He ended up hospitalized and in critical condition. On August 21st, two pit bulls attacked a 56-year-old woman in her home.

The lab attack was in a single article in a local paper. The pit bull attack, on the other hand, was on the national and international news. It was in over 236 articles and television news networks.

Labeling Pit Bulls Does More Harm Than Good

labeling pit bulls

Every year, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters and 670,000 are euthanized.

A 2014 study of potential adopters found that dogs labeled as “Pit Bull” remained in the shelter more than 27 days longer than look-a-like dogs who were labeled differently. A whopping 50% of people say they would never consider adopting a pit bull.

The harm caused by labeling pit bulls as vicious extends beyond potential adopters. When asked if they considered pit bulls safe enough to live in residential neighborhoods, 40% of people said no, while only 27% thought all medium-sized dogs were somewhat or very dangerous.

Breed Specific Legislation

Due to pit bulls’ reputation for aggression, they are often the target of breed specific legislation (BSL). BSL bans or regulates specific breeds, including breed mixes.

Only 27% of “dog experts” can visually identify dog breeds without error. This is why BSL applies to dogs that resemble a pit bull or other banned breed.

Supporters of BSL say that it prevents dogs attacks on humans and other animals. Critics condemn the law as discriminatory, costly, and ineffective.

Many argue that BSL punishes dogs instead of the owners who failed to properly train and control them. National organizations opposed to BSL range from the Humane Society of the United States to the Center Centers for Disease Control. A few states have begun to prohibit municipal BSL, too.

Preventing Dog Attacks

According to the ATTS standards, Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are the most unruly breeds – pit bulls don’t even broach the top five. However, the breed is not a major factor contributor to dog attacks.

Researchers comparing factors across a 10-year range of dog attacks found that the greatest predictor of an attack was having no able-bodied person present to intervene. Attacks are also more likely to happen if the victim and the dog are strangers. Dogs that lacked positive socialization with humans and those that aren’t neutered can be aggressive, too.

These factors have nothing to do with breed and everything to do with proper training.

In general, there are three important components of training to consider:

  1. Learn to read dogs’ body language and spot the warning signs that a dog may attack
  2. Engage your dog in obedience training to learn basic commands, like “come” and “stay”. These commands will help redirect the dog in any situation.
  3. Every dog needs to be exposed to different people and situations so they can learn to feel comfortable

Finally, to learn more about why pit bulls aren’t a security threat, check out this infographic.

Pit Bulls and Public Health
Source: Online Masters in Public Health

The post Preventing Dog Attacks: Myths And Facts You Should Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Ways Brexit Could Affect Global Finances

With the UK still locked in negotiations with the 27 member states of the EU following the country’s decision to leave the Union, a great deal of uncertainty still remains about what form a post-Brexit world will take. At the moment, even the negotiating position is open to debate with the country’s MPs split on what the best approach should be.

Although the direction Brexit is taking is still uncertain, there is no denying that it is going to influence more than the UK or the EU’s finances.

Let’s take a look at the likely influences of Brexit around the world, in six key areas.

Supply chains and manufacturing

brexit supply chains affected

Today’s supply chains are global, so the cost of raw materials for manufacturing may increase under new trade agreements, as well as being affected by currency exchange rates. One thing’s for sure, whichever way Brexit goes, it’s a monumental event on the world’s economic data calendar, with ramifications for more just one country. Increased customs procedures for materials entering or leaving the UK for EU countries could also slow down the supply chain, increasing costs and reducing efficiency.

Corporations

Many global corporations have their headquarters in the UK and are actively considering what this could mean for them once the country has separated from Europe. If they do decide to move to an EU country, it will obviously have financial consequences for them, not least in meeting the costs for both new premises and relocation expenses for valued staff.

Trade

brexit trade affected

The UK is actively looking to draw up new trade agreements worldwide as a hedge against any changes in the way that it trades with EU countries. One of the UK government’s key mantras has been “Britain is open for business” so it could be that many countries are in a good position to negotiate especially favourable terms to minimize tariffs for exports and imports.

Exchange rates

As was seen shortly after the Brexit referendum result was announced when the value of sterling dropped by 10% almost immediately, the pound is likely to be weaker against all of the world’s major currencies. Some hope that this may help to offset the higher tariffs that might form part of new trade agreements.

Taxes

The UK is very aware of the need to both retain the companies headquartered there and attract new ones. So, there have been suggestions that the level of corporation tax, which is currently 20%, could become as low as 15%. If this was the case then it would be one of the lowest rates of any of the world’s major economies.

Equity markets

Just as the value of sterling fell after the Brexit vote, global equity markets also showed considerable volatility. So, although nothing can be certain right now, it is expected that these will react in one way or another as more is known about the world economy after the UK has finally severed ties with the EU.

So these are interesting times not just for the UK and Europe but for the whole world. But it’s only after March 2019 that anyone will know just how interesting they are for the global economy as a whole.

The post Six Ways Brexit Could Affect Global Finances appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Easy Snow Removal Tips For Your Garden

There’s nothing wrong with having snow in your garden. It makes a great insulator and can provide just the right water to your dry plants during the winter.

However, once snow builds up and causes trunks to bend and break, it’s a totally different story.

Here are some of the best tips you can use to deal with snow in your garden.

Shovel frequently

shoveling snow

If you want to stop snow from accumulating in your garden, there’s really no better way than to shovel often. If you delay removing snow until the next day, you’re simply making your job a lot harder. Remember, snow can stick to the ground and freeze.

Be mindful of the shovel you’ll use. Make sure to use a quality shovel to avoid straining your body, particularly your back.

As much as possible, skip the cheap shovels. Although they can save you some money, they can make the job harder. They can even leave you with arm stiffness and back pain. They break easier as well and that means a repurchase.

Get a snow blower

using snow blower

If shoveling sounds like a lot of work for you, get a good snow blower. It can make removing snow a lot faster and less tedious.

Here’s the catch.

If you are going to buy a snow blower for the first time, consider getting one that’s maintenance-free. An electric snow blower is a great choice because you don’t need to change oils and fill it up each time. You just need an electrical outlet and extension cord and you’re good to go.

Now, if you are looking for the most efficient and powerful snow blower, a three-stage snow blower is one of the usual top picks. Although it’s probably not the cheapest blower you can find, it can save you a lot of time and energy.

Tip:

If you’re going to use a snow blower, don’t point it to any plant to avoid breaking or damaging it.

Sweep gently

To get rid of snow on your shrubs and plants, remember to be really gentle and careful. With a broom or just your hands, sweep upwards to loosen the snow on your plants. Avoid sweeping downward as that can completely break any bent branch.

Don’t shake your plants, too. They are already stressed and very brittle. Shaking them will only make things worse.

As for the ice, just leave it and wait it out. If you try too hard to remove ice, you are liable to break branches off your plants.

Apply cooking oil to your shovel

This might sound weird but it definitely helps.

Using cooking spray on your shovel makes it easier to move the shovel through the snow since it prevents sticking. Just remember to completely wipe the oil off before storing your shovel in the garage to avoid creating a mess.

Choose the right form of ice melt

You actually have tons of options to get rid of a slippery driveway. You can get a calcium magnesium acetate, urea, calcium chloride or salt to get the job done.

Take note, however, that those ice melt forms aren’t the same. So, be sure to do your homework and really consider your choices. Some of them can be damaging and harmful to plants, floorings, and animals.

If you’re on a tight budget, go with salt. It’s readily available and cheap. It’s best applied to driveways and walkways but never directly on your garden.

Choose Magnesium Chloride if you’re looking for something that’s gentle on vegetation and most surfaces. It’s pet-friendly, too.

Be careful where you pile your snow

snow piling

When you’re removing snow from your roof, garden or driveway, make sure you’re not piling it up near your house. This can create problems in the foundation of your home, like frozen pipes and cracks.

Avoid creating a huge pile along your driveway’s edge, too. This can cause chunks to fall back into your driveway, forcing you to clear the area twice.

Stay safe

The equipment and tools you’ll be using for snow removal aren’t the only things you have to worry about. Since the process requires a lot of effort, you need to be physically ready, too.

Wear the right gear and dress properly to protect yourself. Dressing in layers can help keep your body warm while you’re outdoors. Avoid long winter coats and wear insulated vests instead. This will ensure your flexibility while working.

Remember to protect your hands and head as well. Wear a warm hat and a pair of earmuffs to prevent heat from escaping through the head.

As for your hands, wear gloves that will allow you to grip your shovel well without letting your hands get cold. If a pair of gloves isn’t enough, get a pair of heated gloves. They will keep your hands and fingers warm as you shovel through the snow.

Don’t forget to do a bit of stretching prior to shoveling, too. This will warm up and stretch your muscles to prevent injuries.

You don’t necessarily have to do a long and complicated routine. Stretching for about 5 to 10 minutes can be enough to prep your body for the hard work.

Consider getting salt-resistant plants

If you struggle with snow accumulating on your driveway every year, it’s probably the right time to get salt-resistant plants. Having them in your yard means you’ll be able to use salt and deicers without having to worry too much about killing your entire yard.

Some of your best choices are bee balm, peony, yucca, sedums, and butterfly weed. Century plant, rosemary, oleander, and rugosa rose are good options as well.

In conclusion

Most people look forward to seeing snow but feel dreadful once it’s time to get rid of the snow in their yard. If you are one of those people, knowing the right tips and tricks can greatly help. Investing in the right tools and equipment can make the process a lot easier, too.

The post 8 Easy Snow Removal Tips For Your Garden appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Digital Marketing for Business: Is It A Must?

Why is content going digital?

There are plenty of people who prefer going to movie theaters to see new movies. There are still lots of folks who enjoy a live musical performance over listening to the radio.

But more and more people are choosing to download digital copies instead of standing in line to buy physical copies of books, music, and movies. And that’s not even the most seismic shift to digital content we are seeing at this point in time.

There is a ton of data out there that is finally starting to be used for something and they are going to change everything about our lives.

How Much Digital Content Is Out There?

90% of today’s data were generated in the last two years and that’s really not surprising. Smartphones have only been around just over a decade. Users have only recently embraced their ability to generate data pertaining to their everyday lives.

Two and a half quintillion bytes of data are created every single day worldwide. Considering that internet usage worldwide is only at 50%, that figure is going to continue growing exponentially in the future.

What Else Is Going Digital?

One major example is currency.

We see this a lot with cryptocurrency. Even though news of cryptocurrency’s volatility, carbon footprint problems, and security problems are making headlines daily, digital currency is still getting more popular. In fact, it increased 43 times in just one year.

That speaks volumes about the trust people put on digital currencies and content.

See Also: Cryptocurrency Is On The Rise: Are You Prepared?

Businesses Are Leveraging All That Digital Content To Innovate

digital business marketing

Think about all the data generated about you when you go online and interact with people there. That’s the same way companies get an idea of who their target audience is.

Think of it this way:

When you call a call center with a complaint or customer service issues, the other party asks for your details. That includes who you are, where you live, how much money you make, your education level, and more.

Those data can tell a company a lot about who its target audience is. They can also provide valuable insights on how its employees and products are doing in terms of customer satisfaction and retention.

Some of the ways that big data is being leveraged to improve businesses include:

  • Cost-benefit analysis and decreasing expenses
  • Making decisions based on data
  • Discovering new avenues for innovation
  • Speeding up current innovation efforts
  • Launching new products and services based on what customers want
  • Adding revenue
  • Transforming business into a sustainable model that will work in the future

See Also: Know Your Customers In The Digital Age

Potential Downsides To Going Digital

We’ve seen places like Puerto Rico get slammed with hurricanes that have wiped out the entire power grid. Replacing that power grid is slow and costly.

Of course, in that situation, you wouldn’t be worried about accessing your digital movies, books, and music.

But what if you’re relying completely on digital currency and there’s no electricity to connect you to the Internet? How can you use it?

Digital Marketing for Businesses

At this point, it no longer makes sense for your business not to adopt and utilize digital marketing. It’s the hottest thing right now and it’s what can give your business the boost it needs to improve its sale.

Here’s a list of what you need to do:

  • Post videos of special events and see how the public will react to them.
  • Post photos regularly on Instagram and see which ones get the most interaction. This is often where you will find your next big idea.
  • Use social media as a means to interact and build relationships with your customers.

Learn more about leveraging digital content from this infographic!

Infographic by MerlinOne

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3 Ways To Build A Personal Brand Based On Authenticity

In today’s society, people are used to getting a taste of products for free. When a product or service is so high-quality that its creator is confident enough to give it away, that tells audiences it’s truly valuable.

Take Chance the Rapper, for example: He has risen to stardom over the past seven years — performing for President Barack Obama at the White House, hosting “Saturday Night Live,” and winning three Grammys in 2017 for his rap album “Coloring Book.” If that’s not impressive enough, he managed it all while giving fans his music for free. He’s taken the road less traveled, and zigging when everyone else is zagging, drawing attention from his fans.

I’m certainly not a rapper, but I have relied on a similar method for success in the 17 years I’ve led a gift strategy and logistics company, and I wrote about it in my book “Giftology.” I’ve built a personal brand based on giving and authenticity, and I can show you how to do the same. Here’s where to start:

giftology

Give back to your collaborators and supporters

When building a brand, most people focus on scrounging for every penny to help them rise to the top. But like Chance, I focus on what I can achieve alone, then collaborate with others to let them shine. In my case, that means partnering with the people providing me gifts, then putting the spotlight on them. A core value of my business is relationship-building because even if I can give only a little at the start of a relationship, my partners and I will grow together over time.

Build a giving mentality into the fabric of your personal brand to help set it apart. As often as you can, donate time or resources to give back to the people or companies that helped you get where you are. Chance, for example, champions causes and invests time and money into revamping Chicago and its public schools. Ensure the messaging you create to market your personal brand focuses on how you’ve helped others, not on how you’ve helped yourself.

Be gracious early on

I follow the Gary Vaynerchuk mindset of playing the long game, which Chance demonstrates with every album he releases. While giving his music away for free might seem crazy at first, he’s really just building good faith with his audience, which pays off in spades. It’s the same reason I ask anybody I’m engaging whether I can comp a gift on his behalf to help him look good. This freemium model has helped us land a number of clients, including pro sports teams like the Orlando Magic, and it builds goodwill.

Make the first move of generosity by giving your connections something on the front end. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gift, either. Maybe you can only afford to take someone out for coffee at a trendy local shop while you network and send him a handwritten thank-you note after your meeting — that’s OK. That act of kindness can be enough to keep you top of mind the next time an opportunity comes along that should have your name written all over it.

Go off-book

 

chance rapper

Any time you can surprise and delight by blazing your own trail is a chance to impress those around you. Just because society has set a standard doesn’t mean you can’t change it. Chance the Rapper doesn’t bow to the pressure of $10 million offers from record labels; he pursues his own vision. Technology has made it easier than ever to build a brand that bucks the status quo, regardless of your credentials.

It’s also a great opportunity to set yourself apart from competitors. Going off the beaten path can be a powerful indicator of who you are and what your brand is. Breaking patterns gets noticed, so whether you’re simply changing the way you present yourself on social media or pulling stunts in your community to generate buzz, don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

Chance the Rapper is known not only for offering his music for free and for his charitable work, but also for becoming a lifestyle icon. No matter your industry, chances are good your personal brand will benefit if you take a page from his book. Take it from me: A personal brand built with authenticity will take you far.

The post 3 Ways To Build A Personal Brand Based On Authenticity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Top Tech Events You Need To Attend For Your Business This Year

The UK is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to technology and in 2017, the tech sector saw a record amount of investment at nearly £3 billion. This was almost double the amount that was spent in the previous year.

At a time of great uncertainty and with Brexit looming in the background, this just goes to show how powerful and infallible the tech industry is. As the tech industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, 2018 promises to be another massive year.

Tech events are great if you want to keep up to date with all the latest trends and developments in the industry. They’re also a great opportunity to network with peers and learn from the most influential thought leaders around.

Whether you’re interested in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence or digital marketing, there’s an event out there that will help you and your business to grow.

Here are the top tech events in the UK that you need to attend for your business this year:

The Wearable Technology Show – London (March 13 to 14)

wearable-tech-show-2018
Via electronicsmedia.info

Wearable technology has been soaring in popularity over the last few years, with many brands recognizing its huge potential. It has been used in sports, fitness, healthcare and augmented reality.

The Wearable Technology Show will be held at the ExCel Centre in London over two days. It will showcase the latest and most innovative wearable gears to date. There will be a range of different speakers and workshops that you can participate in.

Cyber UK – Manchester (April 10 to 12)

cyber uk 2018
Via ncsc.gov.uk

As our reliance on the digital world grows each year, so too does the need to improve cybersecurity. The threat of fraud, hacking, data theft and other nefarious activities online remain more prevalent than ever. This is why cyber security is so important.

Cyber UK will take place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex for three days. It will play host to thousands of delegates and online security experts from around the world.

The event is organized by the National Cyber Security Centre. It will include a number of different workshops, briefings, and talks from thought leaders, government representatives, and many more.

London Tech Week – London (June 11 to 17)

london tech week 2018
Via londontechweek

London Tech Week is the largest festival of tech in Europe, attracting more than 55,000 attendees from over 90 countries. The event is an all-encompassing celebration of all things tech-related. There, you’ll see techs linked to virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and cybersecurity.

As a business, you have the opportunity to exhibit some of your work. You’ll also be able to network with and learn from some of the most creative minds out there. The Prince’s Trust Gala Dinner and the Leaders In Tech Summit will both be in the lineup while you’ll also have the chance to watch some exciting F1H20 Powerboat Racing take place.

Turing Fest – Edinburgh (August 1 to 2)

turing fest 2018
Via tech.eu

The Turing Fest in Edinburgh this year promises to be the biggest one yet, with six conference tracks providing an insight into how the most successful businesses use technology to grow and stay relevant. The event will be attended by some hugely successful CEOs, such as Eric Yuan of Zoom, Des Traynor of Intercom, and Samantha Noble of Biddable Moments.

You’ll have the opportunity to network and share tech insights with like-minded peers and participate in a range of panel workshops and keynotes. There’ll also be some additional informal fringe events.

DigiMarCon Ireland – London (September 5 to 6)

digimarcon ireland 2018
Via digimarconireland

While DigiMarCon Ireland is one of the largest Irish digital marketing events, it actually takes place in Heathrow, London. This event is not only ideal for digital marketing companies and startups but also for any brand that wants to grow and expand their reach.

You’ll be able to find out about all the latest developments in terms of generating traffic, boosting brand awareness, and improving lead generation. You will also know more about content marketing, SEO, and geotargeting during this two-day event.

It’s also worth noting that there are many other outstanding tech events that take place internationally, particularly in Australia and America. So, consider heading overseas to expand your tech knowledge- a perfect excuse to spend some of that business trip budget!

The post The Top Tech Events You Need To Attend For Your Business This Year appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Ways To Stop Your Bad Habits

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

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

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

“Past performance is indicative of future returns.”

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

Take habits for example.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Tricks on How to Stop Bad Habits

Replace it with something else

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

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

So, one day, I just quit cold turkey.

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

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

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

Then, I stumbled upon exercise.

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

daily exercise

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

See Also: 16 Essential Tips for Quitting Smoking

Figure out what stimulates the habit

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

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

It took me a while to realize that.

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

This all comes with time though.

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

This is what we have to do:

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

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

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

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

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

habit awareness

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

See Also: Spiritual Pointers for Quitting a Bad Habit

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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.

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How to Study Effectively: 4 Ways To Study Like An Ivy League Student

Studying is a crucial skill for students but it’s one that’s not explicitly taught in school. Instead, it’s something you have to figure out on your own. It can be a trial-and-error process to find exactly what works for you.

To help you out, here are a few tips on how to study effectively.

Take Your Notes by Hand

notes writing

Typing on a laptop may be quick but writing out your notes by hand helps you process the information better. Since you can type faster than you write, you can probably jot down almost everything the lecturer is saying.

Writing forces you to choose only the important information. If you take written notes in your class, you’re actually getting a bit of a head start on studying. The same goes if you’re taking notes from a class reading.

Put away your laptop and take out your old spiral-bound notebook. Laptops can be distracting whether you’re in a classroom or inside your dorm. It can tempt you into logging into your social media accounts and checking out your friends’ profiles.

Study At Your Best Time

You may think you’re a master at cramming but you’re retaining a lot less than you think. Cramming is only good for remembering information short-term which you can lose quickly.

This means that if you have to recall the same information for a homework or test, it’s unlikely you’ll remember much of it.

Cramming also usually means giving up sleep so that you can study. This can have a negative impact on your health and memory. You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by choosing to study instead of sleep, but sleep is something that’s necessary for remembering things.

So, pick the right time to study and know when your mind is clearest. Take distractions into consideration, too. If you know you have a chunk of time before your roommate gets back from class and you’re alone, that’s probably a good time for studying.

Make Sure to Test Yourself

Testing yourself throughout your studying process can make information stick better. This method also makes it really clear what information you have to work on before the actual test comes.

If you’re studying solo, try making flashcards. You can also have friends test you out.

 

Eliminate Distractions

studying without distractions

These days we pride ourselves on being able to multitask. Studying while checking texts and social media is pretty common.

However, distractions can definitely hinder your ability to recall information. Studying with no interruptions is the only way to ensure you’re retaining all the information you need.

And that’s not limited to your phone. Having access to the Internet when studying can also be distracting.

As a solution, you can install website blockers. This way, you won’t be tempted to open your social media accounts while you are preparing for an exam.

If your dorm is too noisy, try the library or a study room on campus. If you learn best alone, don’t invite friends to study with you. Make sure you’re setting up an environment that allows you to focus completely on your work.

It’s a lot easier to study like a pro than you might think. Try these methods and make yourself the best student you can be.

The post How to Study Effectively: 4 Ways To Study Like An Ivy League Student appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Bringing Work And Life Back Into Balance In The United States

Knowing how to achieve work-life balance isn’t always easy. We live in an age where technology blurs the line between our hours at work and at home.

In fact, 40% of Americans think that it’s perfectly fine to answer work emails at the dinner table if it’s “urgent”.

Now, the only problem with that is your boss might have a different definition of urgent than you do.

Achieving work-life balance isn’t about being rigid and inflexible with your 40-hour workweek. It’s simply knowing how to set boundaries so your work won’t end up ruining your life.

America Kind Of Sucks At Work/Life Balance

The United States sits at the 30th spot (out of 38 countries) when it comes to work/life balance. Nearly 12% of our workers are working more than 50 hours a week, compared to The Netherlands, which only has 0.5%.

People in The Netherlands spend 16 hours each day working on leisure and personal care. In comparison, people in the United States only spend a little over 11.

The average workday in the United States is also creeping up, logging in at 8.15 hours a day for full-time employees.

Because of that, nearly 60% of Americans say that technology has ruined the modern family dinner because bosses expect answers at any hour.

Other complaints American workers have include:

  • 60% bad or overbearing bosses
  • 39% work beyond normal working hours
  • 39% experience inflexible work schedules or inadequate off time
  • 31% struggle with incompetent coworkers
  • 30% endure long commutes

commute from work

Working Too Much Can Burn You

You need that time away from your job to rest, spend time with friends and family, and just generally recharge your batteries. When things get out of whack, you suffer not only at work but also in your life at home.

Those with poor work and life balance report missing important family events or even ruining family time by being distracted or unavailable. They also tend to lose focus even when they are physically present.

At work, you can lose productivity, too. You’ll feel fatigued and even experience poor morale and high turnover rates.

In the end, people who don’t figure out how to balance work life and home life could end up with higher blood pressure, a coronary heart disease, anxiety, depression, and even hormonal changes.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

How Can You Regain Your Balance?

work life balance

All that technology that is preventing you from separating your work life from your home life can actually be helpful in regaining your balance in life. Many American workers report that remote work, flexible scheduling, and paid time off can help restore that balance.

You can do that with the following:

  • Negotiate for a flexible schedule. Nothing makes your job worse than having to choose between being there for major family events and paying your mortgage.
  • Utilize that technology to work remotely from time to time. Being in an office is a great way to keep office stress at bay but sometimes, being able to cut out your commute and channel that time into other things can be a great way to restore balance to your life.
  • Draw lines in the sand. It prevents you from being called into meetings when you need to rest and relax during those times.

See Also: 5 Ways to Balance Work and Family Time Even if You’re a Workaholic

How Other Countries Beat Us To The Punch

In The Netherlands, there is paid vacation and maternity and paternity leave. People have a legal right to decrease their hours without having to worry about losing their jobs.

In Denmark, workers get to choose whether to work from home and when to start their workday. There is a minimum of 5 weeks of paid vacation for all workers, too.

We have a long way to go to get to that and it starts with redefining work in America. Learn more about restoring work/life balance from this infographic!

Work-Life Balance

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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.

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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.

How to Maximize Space in A Dorm Room

Most dorm rooms are really tight. Without the right strategy and failure to know how to maximize space in a dorm room, you’ll have a hard time fitting everything you need in your space.

If you are about to transfer or you’re redecorating your room, here are some great tips you can use.

Utilize the Storage Space Under Your Bed

storage under the bed
Via Pinterest

Many students looking for more space to store their belongings will just stuff things underneath their beds. If you are like those students, consider getting more organized by using storage containers. They are effective in conserving and maximizing space at the same time.

Before you actually place your items in their respective containers, make sure to do vacuum packing first. It can take away the excess space your things will occupy, allowing you to keep more items in your containers.

Tip: Store your seasonal items you won’t need to clear up more space.

Use Your Dorm Room Door

If you are like most students who like to bring several pairs of shoes to college, you can get a shoe rack which you can hang near your doorway. Most of those shoe racks can keep around 9 to 12 shoes at a time, saving you a lot of floor space.

You can also get storage bins which you can attach to your door. Those bins can give you enough space to store your miscellaneous items.

Tip: You may have two doors in your dorm room. Use both of them to get more space to keep your things.

Keep Things On Your Walls

Using a small area on the wall for a coat rack will allow for more space. However, most college dorms won’t let you nail or screw anything into their walls. If that is the case, you can use sticky hooks which you can buy them from your local stores.

You can also find sticky baskets which you can stick to your wall. You can use those baskets to keep your keys, coins, or even small pens. The more organized and easier it is for you to find them, the less likely you’ll have to scramble for them when you’re running late for your class.

Tip: Tuck away your coats and jackets you won’t need for the season under your bed. Put them in your bins after they’ve been vacuum sealed.

Declutter Your Deskorganized desk

Most students have desks that look like a bomb hit them. This is especially true with students who are in the middle of preparing for exams.

Now, how to keep your desk more organized?

Consider investing a desk lamp with little compartments for your paperclips, pens, and scissors. This can greatly reduce the clutter on your desk.

Installing a file sorter can also help. You can use it to store all of your files and papers. You can use the other drawers for your books and other miscellaneous items.

Utilize Your Sitting Area

If you frequently have friends dropping by, consider getting ottomans. They aren’t just great for comfy seating but they can also serve as storage boxes. Ottomans have removable tops which you can take off if you need to keep things inside the boxes.

In Conclusion

These are just some of the things you can do to maximize the space in your dorm room. If you are still having problems fitting everything into your space, sit down and go through each of your items. Find out which of them are really necessary to keep and which ones you don’t really need.

The post How to Maximize Space in A Dorm Room appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Major Lessons Learned From Losing 100 Pounds

I’ve lost over 100 pounds twice.

The first time, I experienced a major injury, job loss, relocation, and the death of my closest family member. I was about 2/3 toward my total weight loss goal that time.

I kept up with exercise and good nutrition for a bit. Unfortunately, I slowly reverted to old habits and then eventually things rapidly declined. I gained seventy pounds in six months.

It took a few years for me to get inspired to try again. The second time, I wanted to lose one hundred pounds to reach my big goal. After two and a half years of hard work, lots of setbacks, injuries, and lessons learned, I did it. I SMASHED my goal!

It’s been almost four years since I hit my goal and in all candor, I didn’t keep it all off. Despite my work with coaching clients, having a book and podcast on the 100-pound weight loss journey, and working in the fitness community, I still deal with ups and downs.

Over time, I’ve come to realize that it’s a wonderful thing to be in a fantastic physical shape, eat healthily, get adequate sleep, and find some harmony in life. However, I also know what it’s like to run multiple businesses, be involved in my community, do service work, teach six to twelve yoga and fitness classes a week, put in the time and effort needed to keep a relationship fresh and exciting, write regularly, and work on my own healing and personal development. It’s a LOT.

There are many things that I’ve learned from my experiences, but I’ll keep this simple. Here’s how to change your lifestyle.

Self-acceptance is paramount

self acceptance

If we want to be healthy, we must practice self-acceptance. When we practice self-acceptance, we give ourselves permission to receive great and amazing things in this life.

When we deny ourselves the gift of self-acceptance, we block many of life’s blessings.

Self-acceptance acts as the fuel that drives us to do difficult things. It gives us the inspiration to continue onward when things get tough (and they will).

Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean that we like everything about ourselves. Rather, acceptance means that we see ourselves as we are. We accept our attributes, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.

We may aspire to improve but we learn to accept ourselves as we are, without needing to change who we are.

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

We must have a compelling “WHY”

Whenever we embark on any lifestyle change, we’re doing something that we’ve either never done before or we are attempting to do something that we have struggled with.

There will be setbacks. We will make mistakes and we will get discouraged.

Our compelling WHY will keep us focused and motivated to keep pushing through these challenges.

Challenges are a huge blessing. We thrive on challenges. We don’t get stronger and smarter when things are good. We learn to thrive when things are rough. Life doesn’t get easier. We just get better.

When I attempted to lose 100 pounds the second time, I made a list of 100 reasons to lose 100 pounds. I then made 100 videos and each of them discussed one of the reasons on my list.

Over the course of two years, I continued to document my progress until I hit my goal. It’s great to have a strong WHY. I needed 100 reasons why!

And you know what? It worked!

It’s not about the destination – it’s about the journey

losing weight journey

Quite frankly, this third one used to (and sometimes still does!) drive me CRAZY.

“Enjoy the journey!”

I’ve heard this for years from yoga teachers, life coaches, and mentors. Sure, it’s great to enjoy the journey, but I want RESULTS!

However, I’ve discovered that when I reached a goal, I would plan for the next. I wasn’t content.

Our achievements do not define us. We develop skills and wisdom by our experiences. We become extraordinary in the process.

That’s where the beauty really happens – not at the end, but in the journey.

Our stories are interesting because of the trials we endure. We are fascinating because we are innovative and creative. Our legendary tales aren’t remarkable because we achieved something. They’re remarkable because we overcame SO much!

We are all on the brink of something incredible. We have goals, dreams, and a purpose. We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones to do something remarkable with the time we have.

We can do amazing things when we accept ourselves as we are, delve deep, and discover why we want to live our best lives possible. We learn to live in each moment and appreciate the journey.

See Also: 6 Ways to Lose Weight (and Still Have Fun)

There’s so much more to come for you! Start here and you will have a great foundation.

Here’s to your continued success!

The post 3 Major Lessons Learned From Losing 100 Pounds appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Increase Conversion Rate: Top Tips in Designing Your Website

You only have 8 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention.

If you’re planning on making it big on the internet, you need to make sure you get that 8 seconds right.

How?

The answer is to keep your site’s visitors as engaged as possible. Make sure that your website is eye-pleasing, easy to navigate, and highly usable.

Based on a research done by Stanford University, over 46% of visitors stated that design is the most important factor they consider in deciding whether they’ll stay or leave a website. But how can you ensure that?

Here are 6 ways to increase conversion rate.

Establish a Visual Hierarchy

visual heirarchy website

Establishing a visual hierarchy helps users find the information they need to make a decision. You can apply the right visual hierarchy to your site to influence users and make them react positively to your call-to-action.

Here’s how you can create a powerful visual hierarchy:

  • Perfectly placed conversion forms
  • Call-to-action buttons need to be bigger, clear, and simple
  • Use of high-quality images
  • Brief and benefit-driven headline
  • Use of power words to make your copy catchy and compelling
  • A good layout that seamlessly moves eyes from one point to another

These design principles can improve the overall experience of your website in a way that users just don’t accomplish goals but also enjoy their visit to your site.

Use the right color combinations

Different color combinations convey different meanings and evoke different emotions. You can play with colors to get people to do exactly what you want.

For example, you can apply contrast psychology to highlight call-to-action buttons and to make headlines and texts noticeable and readable. Other important elements that you want to highlight should stand out from the rest of your site, too. Use the right color combination so that people can see them easily.

Use negative space effectively

Negative space is referred to as white space on a website.

In simple words, positive space has all the elements on your site whereas negative space refers to the empty space between paragraphs, sidebars, and texts.

Despite the name, negative space is valuable to the design of your website. Without it, your site will look cluttered.

Effective use of negative space is necessary to keep your website user-friendly and easy to navigate. So, avoid stuffing your website with too much information.

See Also: Web Design Strategy: How To Give New Life To Your Site

Good typography is critical

The right typography can enhance the readability of your content while optimizing your UI design. A good typography often goes unnoticed because it just makes sense. So, go for a simple yet bold typography that presents your content in a user-friendly way.

Here are some essentials of a good typography.

Consistency- Consistent use of kerning, typefaces, and formatting is essential to give your content a professional look and keep your users focused.
Hierarchy- Creating hierarchy is important to guide users through the content. For example, in web design, it has to be heading followed by subheading and then main copy.
Alignment- Alignment is important to keep the look of your web page unified. You can either settle for flush left alignment or flush right alignment to provide readers a stronger edge line to follow. As much as possible, refrain from choosing a centered alignment.

F Layout is the safest

A user’s natural pattern when browsing the internet follows the ‘F’ pattern. That makes it the safest and most effective website design to follow.

When visiting a site, visitors move their eyes from left to right, starting at the top of the screen. Next, they scan the page downwards to find the information they need. The bottom right of a web page gets the least amount of visibility.

Thus, to boost your site’s conversion rate, you need to place all the important pieces of your website along with that “F” pattern. This will encourage users to take specific actions, like completing a purchase, signing up for a newsletter or downloading an e-book.

Make it mobile-friendly

mobile friendly website

A lot of people access the internet from their handheld devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, then you’re way behind.

If you want to increase your conversion rate, your website needs to be able to provide a seamless experience to users. Moreover, Google also prefers mobile-friendly websites. You can end up in a higher spot in the search results if Google likes you.

With that, optimizing your website for mobile is no more just an option but a must-do.

See Also: The Essential Elements of Modern Web Design

Final Thoughts

Lastly, remember the K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) rule for your web design. Keep it simple and make sure there are fewer distractions. The more aesthetically pleasing your website is, the higher its conversion.

The post How to Increase Conversion Rate: Top Tips in Designing Your Website appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Set Your Mind to Lose Weight

Have you ever asked yourself how people lose weight and manage to keep it off?

You are thinking losing weight and staying fit is a matter of genetics, metabolism, and the willpower to change one’s habits. Although those things play a part in losing weight, building muscle, and improving one’s general health, the most important component to change happens in your brain.

The two stimuli that cause a person to take action

According to Tony Robbins’ book,  Awaken The Giant Within, human beings are motivated to take action by two things: pain and pleasure.

awaken the giant within

We do the things we do to move from pain to pleasure.

That can be eating, sleeping, finding a partner in life, quitting a job you hate, drinking, smoking or gambling.

We associate eating with pleasure because it removes the pain of hunger.

See Also: 8 Bad Food Habits That are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals

We sleep to give our exhausted bodies and minds some rest.

We spend a good portion of our lives looking for a partner so we can share our joys and sorrows.

Even people who drink associate alcohol with pleasure. Maybe it’s to help them forget about their problems or to help them de-stress after a hectic work week. Perhaps, they enjoy socializing and alcohol just happened to be a part of most gatherings.

What causes a person to change his or her habits?

How do people suddenly find the motivation they need to lose weight?

I used to wonder if there was a switch you can turn on in a person’s head to make him decide to change for the better.

It turns out there is a name for that switch. It’s called the pain threshold.

Tony Robbins described crossing the pain threshold as the ultimate motivator to create change. Once you associate so much pain to something, you would do everything in your power to change it and move yourself to pleasure.

Most people who decided to lose weight crossed the pain threshold, which can be in the form of health issues.

Arthur Boorman was in so much pain from walking. So, he decided he had to lose weight or he would never walk unassisted for life.

Jared Mollenkopf was so out of shape that he got tired just sitting in front of a computer. Since he has an office job, imagine how much pain he’s in, having to sit for 8 hours a day.

Stacey Morris got embarrassed each time she had to put on extension seat belts whenever she flies. Since her job requires her to travel a lot, she had to endure that situation often.

It’s also pretty common to see people choosing to lose weight because of their family. Not living long enough to see young kids grow up or not having the energy to be there for the family during special occasions can be a good source of motivation to shape up.

How to use pain and pleasure to create change

The most important thing to ask yourself is this:

What do you really want?

Think about what is really going to give you joy and what gives you sorrow. Once you’ve figured that out, create leverage on yourself by associating pain to not changing NOW. Leverage is the key to get yourself into taking massive action.

In my case, there was a point in my life when I felt exercising took a lot of effort and I had little to no time for it.  I ate junk foods and sweets often because they tasted good.

It’s funny because I didn’t find time or energy for exercise but I could always squeeze in some time to go to the bar with my friends.

Was it fun eating anything I desired and drinking alcohol with friends instead of exercising and eating healthy? Absolutely.

Until one day, I took my shirt off and looked in a mirror.

I looked nothing like I used to be. I wasn’t really overweight, but my belly was starting to stick out. My hairline was starting to recede and my cheekbones and jawline where nowhere to be found.

I always felt like I needed more sleep and had low energy level to do anything physical.

I was in the worst shape of my life and I was only 29 years old!

The pain I felt looking and feeling older than I am was overwhelming. I knew right there that if I didn’t change something, things would go downhill fast and I was not prepared to accept that.

One thing I learned was that if I wanted to get different results, I had to do something I’ve never done. It definitely took a lot of courage to try something I knew nothing about but the pain of failing and gaining more weight weighed more than the fear of the unknown.

I took action. I bought weight loss programs online, which totally changed the way I trained. Slowly, I renewed my commitment to eating healthier, too.

The one thing that is absolutely crucial if you want to create permanent change

You’ve decided what you really want, you’ve gotten leverage on yourself, you changed your habits and approach and you’ve gotten the results you’re looking for. You started seeing results.

Well, it’s not enough that you lost some weight. You need to find a way to keep the fat off.

The danger with not creating new habits is that you can easily slip back into the things you were used to doing.

I mean, I could have stopped training. After all, I lost weight already. I could have gone back to enjoying my weekends watching movies, eating anything I wanted, and drinking beer.

But the joy I found with my new self meant more than eating junk foods and laying on the couch. My weekends were replaced by pickup games with friends or trying out new ways to do cardio, like biking, going on long walks in the park or hiking.

lose weight biking

Hearing compliments about how much weight I lost felt good and it motivated me to train harder. That’s also enough motivation for me to take it easy on junk foods and alcohol. I became committed to staying healthy.

I still have my cheat meal and beer occasionally but I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. After all, being healthy, strong, and confident give me my ultimate pleasure.

Conclusion

Now that you understand how to set your mind to lose weight and keep it off, it’s time for you to give it a try.

First, know what motivates you and what ultimately gives you pain and pleasure.  Figuring out how to lose weight with training and proper nutrition will follow as long as you’re committed to making changes. After all, there are lots of materials available on the internet from people who have done it before you.

Just find out what will work for you. Figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Go on and take that first step.

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What To Look For In Health Insurance Plans for Parents

Finding the right health insurance plans for parents can be tough but when you know exactly what to look for, it can become a seamless process.

Old age brings with it ailments and health-related problems. If you aren’t prepared, it can put you under a lot of stress. It can cause problems not just with your finances but your relationship with your parents and siblings, too.

One of the best ways to be prepared is to invest in the right health insurance plan. Here are the most important factors you need to consider before purchasing one.

Entry Age

health insurance plans for parents entry age

A majority of the health insurance companies provide health insurance for senior citizens around the age of 60 to 70. If your parents have passed 60 years of age, consider getting a senior citizen health insurance policy rather than a family floater plan. There are different entry age guidelines for different policies so make sure you check in advance before signing up for one.

The Kind of Coverage Available

You need to know that the policy you buy provides extensive coverage. This ensures your aging parents are protected against various types of ailments and even pre-existing illnesses.

Make certain that you check all the terms and conditions well. This helps you understand the kind of coverage you get in a better way.

Sum Insured

The sum insured should be sufficient to cover your parents’ medical expenses. You need to take into account all your parents’ existing health issues and conditions they are at risk of.

It goes without saying that you need to go for a policy that offers the highest coverage. Stay informed about the medical inflation rate and then decide accordingly.

The Premium Amount

As a person ages, his insurance policy’s premium rate also increases. Premium rates on senior citizen insurance policies are on the higher side. This is because the risk element is comparatively high for senior citizens.

When finding the best medical insurance for parents, you need to consider all the coverage factors and go for the policy that comes with the lowest premium.

Network Hospitals that Provide Cashless Treatment

health insurance cashless transactions

When an emergency occurs, you can take advantage of your policy by seeking medical help and assistance from network hospitals. This gives you the advantage of gaining cashless treatment.

Although you can head to a non-network hospital (as your insurer would eventually cover the outstanding expense in time), you can go to an in-network hospital to obtain treatment without worrying about paying the hospital bills. See that the insurance policy you choose has a wide range of network hospitals on its list.

See Also: 7 Medical Procedures That Are Not Covered by Health Insurance

You also need to consider the renewal age which determines when you can renew the insurance policy. These factors can make choosing a systematic and trouble-free health insurance policy for parents easier.

See Also: 5 Financial Emergencies Everyone Must Be Prepared For

The post What To Look For In Health Insurance Plans for Parents appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Balancing Work and Study: 4 Highly Effective Tips You Need to Try

If you are a student, you’ve probably thought of getting a job. But is it possible to work and study at the same time?

The answer is yes.

To be successful in balancing work and study, here are some tips and tricks you can consider.

Find a Job Based on What You Are Studying

It might seem difficult but it is not impossible!

For example, if you are pursuing a degree in History, you could look for jobs that can help you improve and learn more about your course. Universities are often looking for students who want to get involved.

You can help with different organization or your school’s administrative tasks. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with successful people who surely have a lot to teach you. Plus, you’ll be able to earn while learning, too.

Filling your resume with field-related experience also increases your chances of getting a job after you graduate. Employers appreciate related experience.

Become the Master of Time Management

time management planning

Your schedule might be pretty tight if you’re working and studying at the same time. This is a challenging situation but you need to stay committed to make it through.

The key to balancing work and study successfully is to manage and organize your tasks carefully. Take into consideration using an agenda. It helps a lot! You can plan all the activities you have to do and, while time passes, you’ll get used to using it.

Every person in the world has the same amount of hours in a day, the same amount of days in a month, and months in a year. If others can make it work, so can you. Make changes to your current schedule until you have full control over your time. Follow this schedule to optimize your tasks.

See Also: 5 Essential Time Management Tips to Live By

Take Breaks

take breaks

Of course, you might feel overwhelmed because it is not easy to work and study at the same time. Every once in a while, a break might help a lot. Don’t bury yourself under a pile of articles and lessons right after you come back from work.

Take your time and relax! Of course, it is also important not to push it and start procrastinating. Limit the length of your break and follow your agenda.

Enjoy a couple of hours with your friends, take a walk with your dog, and do some morning exercise to keep the energy levels high. Something as simple as your favorite chocolate can make things better, as long as you keep track of your schedule.

See Also: Five Things To Do Right Now To Stop Procrastinating

Keep Your Motivation Level High

At first, you could feel that everything is possible and that you can make it through without problems. The boost of motivation you have at the beginning is incredible and it gives you amazing powers.

But, with time, you might feel overwhelmed or tired and so your level of motivation might decrease. It will become harder and harder to do your assignments after a long day at work.

Reward yourself after you finish reading your lessons. Keep in mind that you do not have to give yourself amazing rewards. A chocolate, watching a movie or going for a walk will surely help. Besides that, you’ll have more energy and you will retain the information easily. Receiving small rewards after accomplishing tasks makes it easier to retain information.

Conclusion

Of course, it is not an easy job balancing work and study. Both of them are important for us and we should take care of both aspects. Although it might seem challenging at first, and it is, you should probably keep in mind that it’s not impossible.

By successfully managing your time and your breaks, you can easily achieve work-study balance. And remember, this is just a transition period towards adulthood. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do!

The post Balancing Work and Study: 4 Highly Effective Tips You Need to Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Has Trade Changed Over Time

Trading centuries ago was way different than what we’re experiencing today. It was less convenient, easy, and predictable. It took a lot of time and it came with a lot of risks.

Here, we take a look at how has trade changed over time.

Setting the scene

Post-war investment was very different to the trading opportunities of today. The Great Depression, along with two world wars, had impacted the Stock Market such that very few people owned common stock. In fact, until 1954, daily trading volumes sat below one million shares on the NYSE – a tiny fraction of what they are today.

Investing was time-consuming and investment choices were fairly restricted, thanks to the limited competition among independent stockbrokers.

With contemporary technology, trade took much longer, too. Investors had to contact their brokers to instruct a trade. After that, a ticket needs to be created before the transaction can be carried out.

Prices were also harder to come by. An investor had little choice but to contact a stockbroker for the current market price on shares.

One instrumental change that took place was the introduction of a monthly investment program by the NYSE. This enabled investors to risk smaller amounts of money.

The 1970s to the end of the 20th century

stock market 1970
Via wikiwand

While the Stock Market was experiencing slow growth during the 1970s, progress and changes in other areas were beginning to take place. Where trading had traditionally taken the form of physical stock certificates, this decade saw the rise of electronic trades, with stocks held at a central depository.

As automation and technology improved, the capacity for trading volume increased. At the time, the NYSE reported a daily trading volume of 100 million by 1982.

In 1970, the trade in derivative financial instruments increased. A number of governments initiated volatility into the markets by relaxing controls on pricing and a methodology for establishing option prices was introduced. Predicting future prices was sped up with the advancement in computing technology.

It wasn’t just the improvements in computers that helped the financial markets grow in the late 20th century.

In their 1996 publication, “Globalization Myths”, Paul Bairoch and Richard Kozul-Wright noted that the price of a three-minute phone conversation from New York to London fell by $242 over the course of the century. By 1990, a call was just $3. That’s way lower than its $245 price in the 1930s.

With cheaper telecoms available and electronic trades predominating, commissions were lower and investments could be smaller. Smaller risks were a major factor in the increase of mutual funds. With the introduction of individual retirement accounts (IRAs), more investors chose to pool their money with others’ in order to achieve financial goals.

21st-century trading

21st century trading

Today, it’s possible to make trades from the comfort of your living room, without having to employ the services of a broker or a financial advisor. The internet has proved an invaluable resource to investors, with current prices available on demand and the option of managing daily investments themselves.

Trade options have become so extensive that those who are new to investing can find the market somewhat intimidating. With the information available on the internet, new traders can easily adjust.

Compared with the 20th century, the economic sectors are vastly different. Iron, coal, and steel were a much larger part of the market before. Today, banking, pharmaceuticals, and information technology are the largest sectors.

Further differences include a rise in online brokerages, which means investors are able to pay lower commission rates, and the introduction of decimal pricing for stocks in 2001. As a result, there’s faster trading.

These developments come with an increased risk.

As the credit crunch of the late 2000s demonstrated, globalization and the close relationship between international markets can mean there is nowhere to hide when disaster strikes. An apparently small event in an overseas market can, therefore, have economic implications across the world.

Rather than being conducted through multiple regional exchanges, today’s global economy is defined in terms of financial centers. The largest of which are Tokyo, London, and New York.

Conclusion

Although investing is quicker, cheaper, and more convenient nowadays, the number and complexity of options make it more challenging. With the risk introduced by globalization, a portfolio structured for the future is more important than ever.

See Also: Trading Tips For Beginners: Are You Emotionally Ready to Trade Online?

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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.

Top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is considered the entertainment capital of the world and it’s easy to see why. The city literally has something for nature enthusiasts to nightlife lovers. This is why there were and over 42 million the year before.

If you are thinking of visiting the place, here are the best things to do in Las Vegas to help you plan your trip.

Concert Residencies

concert residences celine dion

Las Vegas is famous for its concert residencies from the world’s biggest superstars. Elvis Presley, Cher, and Prince have all headlined there in the past.

Nowadays, Sin City revelers have the chance to see stars like Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, and Britney Spears perform sellout shows along the Las Vegas Strip at famous venues, like the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood Resort.

Lady Gaga recently sealed a deal that will earn her an impressive $1 million per show. It’s set with 74 dates in MGM’s Park Theater beginning late 2018.

One act that has been going strong for many years now is David Copperfield’s residency at the MGM Grand Casino. There, he captivates his audience with spectacular illusions.

The magician performs 15 incredible shows per week in a residency that has lasted 18 years to date.

Nightclubs

mgm grand hakkasan

The nightlife in Las Vegas is one of the biggest attractions for young and old tourists. It has a wide range of bars and clubs that play host to the world’s most reputable music acts and DJs.

Venues like Hakkasan at the MGM Grand are the epitome of what nightlife is all about there. With a capacity of around 6,000 people, a mindblowing sound system, and the likes of Calvin Harris and Tiesto regularly headlining, it’s no wonder why tons of people gather there.

XS at the Wynn Encore has hosted EDM superstars like Skrillex and Diplo and features an outdoor pool which is perfect for cooling off from the stifling heat.

Fremont Street Experience

fremont street experience

Fremont Street Experience is an outdoor entertainment district that spans five blocks in downtown Las Vegas. It has countless free concerts people can enjoy all year.

It also has the world’s largest screen. It’s made up of 12.5 million energy-efficient LED lamps and accompanied by a 550,000-watt sound system.

You can find a number of bars and restaurants in the area. There are also a lot of games and various visual experiences. You can find a huge zipline, too!

17 million visitors per year see the free Viva Vision Light Show.  This makes the place a must-see for any tourist.

Grand Canyon

grand canyon las vegas

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A day trip is definitely one of the best things to do in Las Vegas.

More than 5 million people come each year to see the magnificent views filled with different types of terrain and inhabited by diverse wildlife. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is perched up over 4,000 feet above the surface, offering visitors the chance to dine in style with views of the Arizona sunset.

Spanning 446 kilometers in length and stretching 29 kilometers at its widest point, the Grand Canyon isn’t the deepest canyon in the world. It’s a title that goes to Peru’s Cotahuasi Canyon or Kali Gendaki Gorge in Nepal, depending on who you ask.

However, because of the spectacular view it offers, the place is definitely one of the most popular attractions in the United States. The Grand Canyon is located 200 km from the Strip, with multiple coaches and helicopter tours available daily.

Hoover Dam

hoover dam las vegas

Built in 1935, the Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark. It has enough water to irrigate up to 2 million acres of land. It’s a hugely popular tourist destination which you can find just over 30 miles away from Las Vegas.

There is a selection of tours that allow you to explore deep into the depths of the dam where you can marvel at the incredible engineering work. While you’re in the area, you can also take a relaxing boat tour to Lake Mead or the Colorado River.

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5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018

Groundbreaking steps are happening in the technology industry all the time. In the past couple of years alone, leaps and bounds have resulted in better augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, speech recognition, and more. This year, you can expect more tech innovations to enhance our lives.

Here are the top technology trends you need to watch out for this year.

Augmented Reality

augmented reality vs virtual reality

We’ve already seen what today’s AR mobile apps can do and games like Pokémon Go are a far cry from it, to say the least.

The AR technology from companies like the startup DAQRI, however, extends well beyond a mobile game experience. Its technology is found in other products, like its $15,000 AR helmets.

You can wear those helmets entirely hands-free and it can work for hours. A requirement for its primary users: industrial workers, sailors, and soldiers.

Take note that these headsets aren’t quite full-scale AR because they suffer from the common problem of most AR headsets. It’s the narrow rectangular view that cuts off images when the user moves.

Now, as the company has partnered with Two Trees, a holography specialist, and is working on developing new dynamic holography technology, it could possibly revolutionize AR.

See Also: How Augmented Reality Is Changing The Game

Google RankBrain

One of the biggest contributors to the advancement of search algorithms in recent years has been Google’s machine learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, RankBrain.

Since its inception over two years ago, Google continues to embrace RankBrain, using it to return the best results that match a Google user’s query. It has gone from being used in 15% of Google search queries to now being used in all of them.

Google has also been dabbling in other AI interests. This includes the development of a Cloud Vision API, which has the capability to recognize a huge number of objects. Plus, its Google Brain division has reportedly been developing an AI that can build AI better than humans can.

Artificial Intelligence

Google RankBrain aside, artificial intelligence isn’t only found in data. It’s in just about every industry. Journalism, financial services, video gaming, gambling, automotive, the military, and even healthcare are just some examples.

Currently, the vast majority of AI systems function as a supportive tool that can make certain processes more simplified, effective, and faster.

That said, as AI enters more and more fields, people like Jack Ma question what impact the future of AI will have on society as a whole. The concerns of Alibaba’s founder and Executive Chairman were made known earlier this year during the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos.

“The AI, Big Data is a threat to human beings. The AI and robots are going to kill a lot of jobs because, in the future, these will be done by machines,” Ma stated during a discussion panel.

He believes that AI should be used to support people and added that tech giants, like Alibaba, Amazon, and Facebook, need to be responsible and “should spend money on technology that enables people, empowers people, and makes life better”.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

Smart speakers

Forget about talking to your smartphone. The future is all about voice-controlled smart speakers now.

This technology perfectly fits into the ecosystem of a smart home as smart speakers can function as the main control hub. They can answer questions, set timers, play music, and control other devices at home.

As you might imagine, there is a fierce competition between market leaders. Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft aim to develop and sell the most sought-after smart speakers.

Today, the competition is tight between Amazon and Google. These companies are leading the market with smart speakers that are affordable, accessible, and superior to Apple’s Siri.

And once Apple’s smart speaker (HomePod) is out later this year, fans will still flock to buy it despite the high price tag. That only reflects people’s desire to always get their hands on the latest technology.

apple homepad
Via Dezeen

Speech recognition

Speech recognition is another tech that has recently advanced both in its capabilities and its use. Whether you’re asking your smartphone a question or your smart speaker, speech recognition is at play.

While there has always been a lot of kinks to work out when it comes to this technology, last August, Microsoft claimed a new speech recognition record. It was able to reduce its error rate to an amazing 5.1%.

This percentage matched the error rate of multiple human transcribers in a well-known accuracy test.

Microsoft’s continued improvements in speech recognition technology are a part of its wider effort to advance state of the art AI and bring these new innovations to the market.

Conclusion

Of course, no one really knows what the future holds for these top technology trends. Maybe full-scale AR will eliminate the need for mobile phones. Perhaps, speech recognition may prove to be superior to human transcribers- or maybe not. Only time will tell where these innovations might take us next

The post 5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Protecting Yourself From Fake Social Media Accounts

Fake news.

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about it lately.

What is fake news and why is it so important that you know how to spot it?

Fake news is not someone saying something you don’t agree with. It’s not one political party pointing out facts that happen to be inconvenient to the opposition.

It’s made-up stories disseminated with the sole purpose of creating divisiveness and spreading misinformation.

The widespread availability of the Internet has led to an openness in the exchange of information that humanity has never before experienced. Unfortunately, this has also led to folks taking advantage of this openness to spread divisiveness. The greatest tool in their shed? Social media.

Fake Social Media Accounts Spread Fake News

During the election cycle in 2016, Stanford University conducted a study of fake news circulating on Facebook and the results were shocking.

Researchers found 115 fake pro-Trump stories circulating on Facebook that had been shared 30 million times at that time. They also found 41 fake pro-Clinton stories that had been shared 7.6 million times.

We’ve all seen them- implausible headlines, questionable websites, and recycled photos.

The problem is that people do believe them and fake social media accounts use this fact to spread such stories like wildfire.

How Big Is The Problem Of Fake Social Media Accounts?

Between 2014 and 2016, the number of fake social media accounts grew 11 times, a shockingly sharp uptick. While as a percentage, fake social media profiles don’t seem especially prevalent.

However, by volume, there are way more fake profiles than you may think. Check out these numbers:

  • 2-3% or 60 million fake Facebook accounts
  • 9-15% or 48 million fake Twitter accounts
  • 8% or 24 million fake Instagram accounts

How Can You Spot Fake Social Media Accounts?

fake social media account
Via skstechnologies

Have you ever received a friend request from someone you are already friends with that has the same profile picture and everything? That was probably a hacker trying to gain access to your or your friend’s personal information.

In addition to looking for duplicate accounts of people you know, there are a few other ways to spot fake social media accounts.

Here are some great examples:

  • Profile pictures that are of celebrities or objects
  • Accounts with almost no followers or have thousands of followers
  • Public figures who aren’t verified
  • Accounts with little user engagement

What Should You Do If You Are Being Impersonated?

Impersonators wield a lot of power in today’s open social media society.

Just setting up a social media account and pretending to be a real person can gain you a lot of trust right off the bat. So, what do you do when someone is impersonating you?

Start by reporting the impersonator. Know that reporting the impersonator may or may not work and even if you get one account shut down, there’s always the possibility that another one will be created.

Impersonator accounts can be used to gain access to personal information or to publicly shame, embarrass, or humiliate the person they are impersonating. If you are a target of either, make sure to monitor all social channels regularly to find and report them immediately.

Why Does Any Of This Matter?

Social media is the new telephone.

Instead of calling our friends and catching up one by one, social media has allowed us to catch up with all of our friends at once, multiple times a day.

Logging off is one way to avoid fake news but is that really a reasonable solution?

We didn’t get rid of telephones when telemarketers became a problem.

Plus, most people aren’t going to log off anyway.

Fake news and fake social media profiles are a real problem and you can only solve them with education and awareness. Learn more about where fake social media accounts come from by checking out this infographic.

Where do fake social media accounts come from?
Source: SocialCatfish.com

The post Protecting Yourself From Fake Social Media Accounts appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Truth About What Makes A Great Leader

Leaders are essential to any group or organization. They are the people that guide, control, and manage others so that they can be more productive and efficient in meeting their goals.

However, not all leaders are great ones. Some of them are just wearing the title and don’t live up to their position.

If you’re curious to know what makes a great leader, here are some points to highlight their traits.

“Good leaders tell you what to do while great leaders make you realize what needs to be done”.

great leader

Good leaders have ideas that can only alter what’s within their area while great leaders have ideas that can change the way things are done around the globe. The scale of their ideas is what sets apart greatness from merely being good.

Game-changers and out-of-the-box thinkers are great leaders because they have the power of changing the way people think. They can call their fellow people to action and steer them towards change. An organization that has great leaders with the right mindset will be able to continue growing and evolving.

A magnetic personality is what makes a great leader. Their passion and drive are visible in everything they do. Their shoulders aren’t slouched and there is a zeal that drives them to inspire the people close to them.

“Good leaders say. Great leaders show.”

great leader observation

Great leaders make people observe them. They know that people learn and adapt their behaviors through observation. So, they set examples of effective work culture, communication, and work ethics to influence everyone around them.

Great leaders believe in actions and in inspiring others. They believe that every person has an innate quality of greatness within them and they strive to bring that out.

A good leader will not improve you as a person as much as a great leader will. He can only tell you what should be done in your workplace but he rarely follows his own words.

Good leaders can make you feel good but great leaders can make you feel great about yourself. You will literally see yourself evolving into a better professional when you are under the guidance of a great leader.

“Good leaders cover their weaknesses while great ones work on them”

A good leader will try and cover his weaknesses with tons of excuses. He will make excuses so that he can avoid doing a job he’s weak at. This trait gets communicated to everyone, building a negative vibe.

A great leader, on the other hand, will realize his weaknesses and will try hard to overcome them, even if that involves learning from his subordinates. Great leaders, after all, have no ego when it comes to learning.

Their only goal is to make his employees and the organization better. Everything else is secondary to them.

Great leaders work so hard on their weaknesses to turn them around into their strengths.

See Also: The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence For A Leader

Good leaders aren’t motivators! They can show you the direction but they won’t fuel you up for the journey.

Great leaders will fill you with the thrill of embarking upon something new and will see to it that you stay motivated throughout.

Good leaders become bosses but great leaders become friends. A good leader will only remain your boss and will stay within his professional boundaries. A great leader befriends everyone in his team and doubles as a mentor to everyone.

The post The Truth About What Makes A Great Leader 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.

5 Flavored Popcorn Recipes You Need to Try Now

One can’t simply watch a movie without a huge bowl of buttered or salted popcorn in his lap and a cold drink in his hand. But who says popcorn only has to be salted or buttered?

In this article, we’ll introduce you to 5 innovative ways of spicing up popcorn. All of the recipes are super easy to make and preparation time can only take around 15 minutes. Plus, the ingredients you’ll need are only minimal. Seriously, you won’t burn holes in your wallet with these treats.

So, if you’re too curious to know, here are our must-try flavored popcorn recipes.

Popcorn with Herbs and Garlic

popcorn with herbs and garlic
Via thedomesticgeek

Garlic and herbs go together perfectly and complement each other’s tastes. This recipe has good chances of becoming your favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of sage
  • 1 tbsp of thyme
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary
  • Popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Mince or grate the 4 cloves of garlic and then melt your butter.
  2. Add the herbs and cook everything for 60 seconds. Make sure the stove’s not set on max because the mixture will be burned and that will surely taste awful.
  3. Put your popcorn in a bowl and pour the garlic and herbs over it.
  4. Add a few pinches of salt to enhance the flavor.

Cheese-popcorn with Parmesan, Cheddar, and Colby

This is for all the dairy lovers out there. In less than 5 minutes, you can get some popcorn that will blow your socks off. You are free to use any kind of cheese you like.

We’re doing it with parmesan, cheddar, and Colby. Some people use mozzarella, but we prefer not to because it doesn’t melt properly.

Ingredients:

  • Popcorn kernels
  • 1 full cup of parmesan
  • Half a cup of Colby cheese
  • 2 full cups of cheddar
  • 1 baking sheet
  • Salt

Instructions:

  1. Grate and shred your cheeses.
  2. Spread the popcorn on the baking sheet and heat the oven at 3000 F.
  3. Put the shredded cheeses on the popcorn and insert the tray in the oven. It should be ready in about 4 minutes. Stay by the oven and look inside.
  4. If the cheeses have melted properly, take the popcorn out and add as much salt as you like.

Popcorn with Curry and Turmeric

Curry and turmeric are among the healthiest condiments in the world because of their potent anti-inflammatory properties. Now, you can enjoy their health benefits by adding them to your popcorn.

Keep in mind that these spices are extremely powerful, so you certainly don’t want to use them in large quantities.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • ½ tbsp of curry
  • ½ tbsp of turmeric
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • Popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Set the stove on low heat and melt the butter-stick in the pan.
  2. Add the other ingredients. You might be taken aback by the sugar – it’s actually important because it will mellow out the taste of the curry and turmeric.
  3. Cook the mixture for approximately 1 minute and a half (maximum of 2 minutes).
  4. Add the salt and spread the dressing on your popcorn.

Cocoa Popcorn

cocoa popcorn
Via POPSUGAR Australia

This will take a little longer to make than the other three recipes, but it’s certainly worth the wait. You will also need more ingredients than usual.

Ingredients:

  • Half a cup of butter
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla or half a spoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (your choice)
  • Popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Set the stove on low heat and melt the butter in the pan.
  2. Add the vanilla, cocoa, and sugar.
  3. Stir and let the mixture boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir so that the popcorn gets coated evenly.
  5. Set your oven at 2500 degrees, put the popcorn on a baking sheet and bake it for half an hour. The cocoa coating will become crisp and won’t fall off the popcorn.

Popcorn with Cinnamon and Bananas

This is such a delicious recipe that you’ll never go back to traditional popcorn.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh banana or 1 cup of dried banana
  • 2 tbsp of cinnamon powder
  • 3 to 4 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of sugar,
  • Some mint and chocolate chips (optional)
  • Popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Melt the butter in the pan on low heat so you don’t vaporize it.
  2. Mince and then crush the banana with a spoon and add it to the butter.
  3. Add your cinnamon powder and let the mixture boil for 1 minute. Make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  4. Lastly, add the sugar and pour everything on top of your popcorn.
  5. You can add some chocolate chips or a few drops of mint oil.

Conclusion

These 5 flavored popcorn recipes are just some of the awesome ways to make your snack taste a lot better. There are surely a lot more recipes you can try if you just search around. In fact, you can even experiment and create your own!

The more you experiment, the more enjoyable your popcorn will be. Just make sure to watch your pot closely since popcorn kernels can burn pretty quickly.

The post 5 Flavored Popcorn Recipes You Need to Try Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Simple Things That Women Want From Men

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

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

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

Respect

Aretha said it well.

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

Women want to be respected.

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

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

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

Attention

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

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

Honesty

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

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

Fun

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

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

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

Sex and Romance

women wants sex and romance

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

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

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

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

Acceptance

We all desire this, don’t we?

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

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

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

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Trading Tips For Beginners: Are You Emotionally Ready to Trade Online?

Trading online is no child’s play. It requires guts and an unflappable will. If you are not able to control your emotions and exercise the highest level of discipline, you most probably need to change direction.

Trading online needs you to forget about your emotions and think with your head at all times. You also need to know the right trading tips for beginners to help you get started on the right track.

But why do you need to be in control of your emotions?

  • Because as a trader, everything happens on a short notice.
  • Markets can nosedive in the blink of an eye.
  • The direction can change anytime and you need to make snap decisions.
  • You do not have the time to throw even half a tantrum. You must be present and ready all the time.
  • If you look at sites that have information on online trading, such as social trading platforms, you will see why you cannot afford to slack.

Are you afraid?

Without a doubt you are.

However, that doesn’t mean you should hurl your computer against the wall and just walk out. Instead, take a deep breath and take stock. Sometimes, the stress can be too intense that the urge to punch something can almost take over.

The one thing you should avoid when the fear sets in is overreacting. This may feel like the right time to liquidate everything, but hold on. As earlier mentioned, tides can turn really fast and selling off your holdings can cause you to miss out on very good gains.

Reign in the fear

Face it head-on and see it for what it is. Take the time to assess your fears and the things that are causing them.

Additionally, it helps if you can cover all bases before placing trades. Ensuring that all loopholes are sealed may not guarantee you a win, but it will set your mind at ease. Fear, when well-managed, can turn into your greatest asset.

Greed is a sign of emotional immaturity

Sometimes, there is the compulsion to latch onto what seems to be the winner at the time. There is also the temptation to risk more when you have experienced some great gains.

Those are things you need to know how to control. If you are in tune with whatever is driving you, you might recognize greed and probably do something about it before it leads to your downfall.

Your business decisions should not be made on a whim. They should be carefully planned and executed.

Follow the rules

There are trading rules that you should take seriously. If you find yourself taking shortcuts, you are definitely not emotionally mature.

There must be limits governing your trading activities to cushion you from monetary disaster. Some of the rules that you may need to formulate are:

  • When to quit
  • When to stop a loss
  • A limit on how much money you can place on a trade
  • The limit on how much you can rake in or lose every day

These are just a few of the rules you need to come up with. They are important in regulating your trading activities so that you do not go overboard.

Have a plan

learn how to trade

Have a plan that you can justify and own. A few pointers to how to come up with a plan include:

  • Know the market that you are most interested in trading in.
  • Attend seminars and workshops on trading.
  • Spend a lot of time on research.
  • Learn all you can about how the market operates. This is one surefire way of managing fear.
  • Get out of your comfort zone once in a while. Try new things but do not stray for too long.
  • Every once in a while, evaluate your progress. It gives you an amazing boost to see how far you have come.

While is important that you see the whole picture before taking the plunge, remember to do the following:

  1. Follow rules
  2. Plan
  3. Research
  4. Get experience

Emotional maturity in trading is something that you must have. Without it, the chances of committing serious errors are very real.

Try seeking the advice veteran traders. They can share their experiences with you and also help you identify the pitfalls so that you can prepare for them.

So, are you ready to trade stocks?

After learning those trading tips for beginners, you need to know what you should do next. Opening your brokerage account is one thing. Getting into the game is another.

To start with online trading, you will need:

  • Goals
  • A trading plan
  • A system that has the potential for profits
  • Rules to manage risk– Be clear about how much risk you can take and how much you can afford to lose.

All those things should be written down and studied well so you won’t feel overwhelmed. Having a well-documented plan is one way of ensuring that you are prepared.

online trading plan

See Also: Want To Start Trading? Here’s What You Need To Know

Conclusion

Emotional maturity is paramount in online trading. You need to be sure that you’re prepared and ready to make decisions when and where they matter.

The post Trading Tips For Beginners: Are You Emotionally Ready to Trade Online? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Ace Your Apartment Hunt

Finding an apartment to move into is an exciting experience. Well, that’s if you’re fully prepared.

In the same way that you go shopping for clothes, you will want to find an apartment that will fit your lifestyle. Knowing the size that you need, the amount you want to pay, and where to look are the key factors that make an apartment hunt go smoothly.

To make sure you enjoy the experience, here are 8 tips to help you in finding an apartment.

Make a List

writing a list

Before you even begin your search, we advise you to make a list. Make sure that it includes two categories: your wants and your needs.

Be realistic with your list and be willing to bend.

For example, not being able to find an apartment in your chosen location is alright as long as the apartment is big enough to accommodate all your things.

See Also: Here’s What Millennials Want When They Buy A Home

Prepare a Budget

In the same manner that you made your previous list, you should now prepare your budget. Determine the highest amount you can afford, including the cost of utilities, parking, public transportation, and Homeowner Association (HOA) fees. You should also determine the highest amount you can afford without those fees included.

Then, outside of your budget, you will want to set aside some money for the extra fees. This includes the security deposit and the registration fee for your pet.

Finally, depending on where you are looking, you may even need to set aside some money for a broker’s fee. A broker is necessary when a landlord won’t deal directly with tenants.

Take note that a broker’s fee can be quite expensive. In some cases, it’s equivalent to a month’s rental fee.

One good tip you can use to lower that fee is to find an apartment in a newly constructed building. Most developers will want to fill in all the empty apartments fast that they are willing to cover the broker’s fee. Looking for a place during the winter season can also lower your rental cost.

Narrow down your preferred location

Before you begin looking at rental properties, you may first want to select one or two neighborhoods to begin looking in.

Do you have a friend or family member who already lives in the area? Or are you selecting a neighborhood because it sounds like a great place to live in?

Try and do some quick research beforehand so that you’re not running all over the city.

Create a checklist

Being ready with an apartment hunt checklist will help you keep track of what you are going to see, especially if you have scheduled multiple visits in one day. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, consider bringing a friend. Chances are he or she will want to have input on your place, too.

Second, have your previous wants and needs list attached to your checklist. Include an area where you can write down your comments.

Check off the features you are getting, such as washer, dryer, and easy access to public transit. Acknowledge the things you won’t be getting, too.

As you take a look around, make sure to also take pictures. Otherwise, when you get home, all the apartments will start to blur together and you won’t remember which one was which.

See Also: Changing Trends in the Way Families Buy Homes

Feel free to snoop

When you are looking around the apartment you want, it’s important for you to know that you’re getting your money’s worth. So, push those buttons on the dishwasher, run all the faucets to check how long it takes to get some hot water, and don’t be shy to check out each closet.

If this is going to be your next home, you don’t want to be caught off guard when you move in. And while snooping, feel free to talk with the tenants next door about what it’s like to live in the building and with the current landlord.

Know how much space you will need

Do you have a king-size bed and a large dresser? If that is the case, you’re going to need a bedroom that will fit them both.

To make sure you don’t end up guessing, include those measurements on your checklist and be sure to bring a measuring tape with you. Don’t be afraid to pull it out to verify the measurements of a room.

Sometimes, a room might look big but with the location of the window and closet, you will find that there isn’t enough wall space for you to fit all of your furniture. While you’re at it, make sure that your large couch will also fit the door.

Arrive prepared

property manager

Just because you believe that you are simply looking for an apartment doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared and be presentable. In a sense, the landlord is interviewing you in a similar way that an employer would.

It wouldn’t hurt to create a resume or file of all the necessary details your possible future landlord would need. Even if the property manager requires you to fill up a lease application form, having your resume to add to that will highlight your good character.

You will want to include all your up-to-date information, such as your contact numbers, employer information, previous landlord, and even checks for security deposits.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better rental price either if you think you can give the landlord something in return, such as a long-term lease. You might even be able to negotiate the security deposit if you can prove that you are a good tenant.

Get it in writing

If your apartment hunt progresses swiftly and you end up finding a place that you like, take a moment to write down the details. Make sure that it includes the rental fee, security deposit, and any visual damages that they’ll repair for you for free.

Remember to secure copies of everything that you sign. Confirm that you can make the changes you want, such as painting the walls or updating the floor. Wait for him to sign the agreement before initiating the changes.

Make it count

Being prepared is only half the battle when finding an apartment. Hopefully, this list of tips can help make the process a lot easier for you.

 

The post How To Ace Your Apartment Hunt appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Growth of the Online Mattress Market

These days, people are getting new mattresses every 8 or 9 years as opposed to once every 10 years just a decade ago. Where did our sudden interest in buying beds come from? Why did the mattress market suddenly boom?

Online mattress retailers identified the complicated process of buying a bed and it overwhelms a lot of people. Here are the figures to help you understand:

  • 80% of shoppers look for free delivery as a factor when deciding where to purchase a mattress
  • 51% of shoppers look for a free trial before they make a decision
  • 35% of shoppers look for mattresses that come in compressed boxes for ease of delivery and set up

Recognizing that it’ll take a large paradigm shift to topple the brick and mortar portion of mattress sales, online retailers operate differently from traditional retailers.

Taking the guesswork out of buying a mattress, especially in an environment where the shopper can’t take the bed for a test, online mattress retailers often offer a generous return policy and some even offer free trials.

Shipped mattresses are compressed into rectangular boxes for ease of shipment and retailers eliminate the cost of shipping companies.

Online mattress sales, while still a fledgling industry, are already beginning to make a dent in the mattress economy. Though 85% of mattress sales are made via physical stores, like specialty chains, furniture stores, and department stores, 27% are made online and that number is quickly growing. As more consumers decide to try their luck online, the appeal of shopping for a bed from home becomes more and more real.

The Big Players:

Casper, founded in 2014, is probably the most well-known of all the online mattress companies because of its frequent sponsorship of popular content creators. Though mainly an online retailer, Casper has branched out into brick and mortar stores like Target.

casper-mattress
Via good housekeeping

Purple, founded in 2016, follows a similar marketing strategy as Casper by sponsoring podcast episodes and other online media. Purple mattresses hold a patented polymer design that relieves back pain and supports the spine.

Saatva, founded in 2010, is more on the high-end of online mattresses, offering luxury mattresses that are much more expensive than competitors. Their target consumer age is 30 to 65, unlike other online mattress companies that are marketing towards the millennial generation.

The more affordable options:

Tuft & Needle, founded in 2012, sells mattresses for almost half the price of its competitors. They refunded early buyers a total of $50,000 when the company discovered that they were selling a pillow that’s 25% higher than necessary.

tuft and needle mattress
Via toolsandtoys

Leesa, founded in 2014, donates one mattress for every ten sold. So far, more than 10,000 beds have been donated.

Aside from being a booming business, why does a lot of big companies want a piece of the mattress market so badly?

For many investors, the disruptive nature of this new industry is very attractive.

New technologies: Casper’s memory foam formula worked for companies and institutions like NASA, Muji, and IDEO.

The disruption is beneficial to investor and consumers alike. Founders saw problems within the existing mattress industry, including unfair markups and questionable sales tactics.

Tuft & Needle was developed by software developers who had this unique vision to make their company the Apple of mattress retailers.

As with any industry, innovation is necessary.

Our beds as we know them now are already a thing of the past. Soon, the entire industry will be completely digitized. The capabilities of the humble mattress are growing exponentially and even traditional retailers are waking up.

See Also: Do You Have The Right Mattress For Your Body Type?

Just take a look at these examples:

  • Sleep trackers help monitor breathing and restfulness during the night
  • Sensors that adjust firmness and softness or align your head to prevent snoring
  • Smart beds that are connected to other devices in the home

Online mattress companies aren’t just changing the way we buy beds; they are changing the way we think about mobile retail and how far we can take its capabilities.

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