Dumb Little Man

24 Ways to Find a Date Offline

Everyone seems to be trying out online dating these days. With how common it is, you might think that it’s an easy process. The truth, however, is that online dating isn’t always ideal. Apart from the risk it poses to your security, you can also end up feeling disappointed and frustrated.

If you want to avoid those things, you should probably consider dating offline.

But first, let’s review a few tips to make it work.

  • Have a simple goal of making new friends. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Seek to find a great friend and see where things lead.
  • Commit to saying “Hi” first. Don’t be shy. Perhaps set a goal of saying hi to 5 people a day. Start with one a day and then work your way up.
  • Smile and have fun. Everyone looks better with a smile.
  • Be open to meeting new people- anywhere and everywhere.
  • Always be dressed and groomed to meet new people even if you’re just running out to get milk. You just may meet that someone special in the dairy isle!
  • Be interested in others and ask lots of questions.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection. You’ve got nothing to lose!! What’s the worst that could happen? Someone will laugh at you? That’s hardly likely. And even if they do, who cares! Just say “Next!” and move on!
  • Go slow for safety and success. Never rush into anything. Go slow.
  • Check out these conversation starters from Searchwarp and Suite 101.

Now that we got that out of the way, here are the best ways to find an online date:

Host a “White Elephant” party for singles

The idea is everyone who is invited must bring a single friend, preferably of the opposite sex. You can also have each invited person invite 5 other people to increase the numbers for your party.

Join a social/singles group in your area

Check the newspaper, yellow pages or online.

Start a social/singles group in your area

If you don’t have one in your area or want something different, start your own. Start small and build. It can even become a business down the line if you have success and decide to charge dues.

Ideas for events for your group:

  • Themed parties
  • Sports events, like ski trips or baseball games
  • Meet and greets with a speaker of interest

Find singles magazines or newsletters in your area

Join their mailing lists and see if you can find anyone who interests you.

Check the “Local Happenings” section of your newspaper

Clip out the events that interest you and go. Bring a friend or go solo, but just remember to meet at least one new person when you go!

Take your dog or other pet to a dog/pet park

You can also search for pet meetups online according to dog breed or really any other interest you may have. Other places to use your pet as a lure: main street shopping areas, fairgrounds, and outdoor sporting events.

The ‘Ole Meat Market

Yes, you can meet someone in a bar. People do it everyday. Is it the best place? Maybe not, but you shouldn’t rule out any place where there is opportunity.

Join a club in an area that interests you such as astronomy, public speaking, gardening, books, or whatever. Check Google, local bulletin boards, or your local paper for ideas.

Take an adult education class in something that interests you

You’ll be surprised at the people you’ll meet there.

Go shopping in the opposite sex’s department

Ask a stranger for help in shopping for your relative.

Browse bookstores, libraries, and video stores

Go in the sections that interest you. Ask someone their opinion and see what develops!

Attend trade shows, conventions, specialty sales, and auctions for things that interest you.

It is the perfect place to talk to new people because that’s what it’s all about!

Your workplace

First know your employer’s dating policies and always use discretion. Many people have met their mate this way. Maybe it will happen for you, too.

Attend an event of another department. Let select co-workers know that you are looking. Maybe they will know someone you’d like to meet.

After hours shopping

Grocery shopping, the hardware store, and the like can be great places to meet someone just like you. If you’re shopping after 5pm or on a Saturday pay attention to check out more than just the produce and then take some action by saying hi and asking a question.

Attend a singles dating event

It can’t hurt. Bring a friend if you need a little confidence boost.

Go to those weddings, reunions, and other such events that you’ve been invited to.

Fight the urge to say “Ugh. Oh no.” Go. Have fun. Talk to people and see what happens.

Volunteer for a group or an area of interest for which you have a passion

animal rescue volunteer

What better way to meet someone that may be compatible with you? Looking for people in your area of interest is one way to make sure you end up with someone who has the same passion as you.

Attend art gallery and museum openings and functions

Culture, creativity, and dating potential, oh my!

Join a professional organization

And when you do, be sure to go to events and maybe volunteer to help out with some of them. Working on projects with others is a great way to get to know some new people.

Join a health club or a casual sports group

This includes softball leagues, golf, ski clubs, sailing, etc. And don’t rule out groups just because you’ve never done it before. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to sail, then join a group and learn. There’s always room for newbies.

Travel

international travel tips

Consider a singles vacation trip. There are many organization including Club Med that organize trips to any and all destinations you can imagine. Search the newspaper or online.

Spiritual groups

If you belong to a religious group, see if they have any groups that interest you. If they don’t maybe you could start one and then advertise it in their weekly bulletin or newsletter.

Music and Theater

Go see a band, a play, the orchestra or an opera. Expand your cultural horizons or simply go for some head banging. Just remember to meet some new people.

Attend a free seminar

Many businesses present free seminars to gain new clients such as brokerage firms, home improvement stores, and technology stores. Go get some learning and chat to some fellow attendees.

A little help from your friends and beyond

If you’re really looking, put the word out to a lot of people that you are open to introductions or invitations to events to meet people. Hand out your card with your number and email. Tell people what you are looking for. Then let it sit. If you do this consistently, you’re sure to end up with some dates.

What do you think is the best way to meet someone? What is your favorite conversation starter? What’s the craziest story you know of a couple and how they met?

Please share in the comments!

Written by K. Stone, author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Popular articles are How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less and Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?

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How Do I Stop My Belt From Squeaking When I Start My Car?

The sound of a squeaking belt in a car’s engine can be caused by weather conditions, leaking fluids, maintenance issues or wear and tear. The magnitude of sound can range from a soft squeak to a loud and noisy squeal and it may occur while starting a cold engine or during normal vehicle operation. This is an issue that requires attention but does not pose danger or immediate risk of major damage.

Locating the Source of the Noise

The number of belts in an engine will vary according to the make and model. To determine which belt is making the noise, the best practice is to ask an assistant to start the engine while taking a look under the hood.

Modern vehicles typically have one or two belts:

  • A single serpentine belt that drives several components or a separate one for the alternator. Older vehicles may have a series of belts.
  • A main drive belt and separate ones for the alternator, fan, water pump, hydraulic steering, etc.

It is generally easier to determine when alternators are the cause of the squeak since they tend to be closer to the top and front end of the engine. After turning off the engine, the belt can be visually inspected for wear and tear. It can also be checked for tension by pushing down on it.

Loose belts are more likely to squeal in warm weather. However, if the belt appears to be tight and in good shape, then the issue may be the internal bearings of the pulley.

The same visual and tension check can be performed on the serpentine belt.

There should be enough tension to allow the belt to be pushed down about three quarters of an inch. Some hands-on car owners might be able to replace the alternator belt, but the serpentine belt may require a trip to the auto shop. Some engines feature an idle pulley that also serves as a tension adjustment device that can be dialed with a wrench.

Lubricating the Belt

If the belt is not loose and there are no signs of wear and tear, closer attention should be paid to any noise coming directly from the pulleys. This will require an inspection from a mechanic.

Otherwise, the squeaky belt can be lubricated for the purpose of silencing the noise. Only two lubricants should be used on belts: bar soap or belt dressing.

The latter can be purchased at an auto parts store and the former should only rubbed to the interior of the belt in dry conditions.

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On Knowing What Destiny Has Prepared You For

What’s stopping you from being the creative person you were created to be? What’s stopping you from stepping into the void of your life and creating fullness?

For every mess, there is a creative idea to fix it and for every void, there is creative wholeness to satisfy it.

The creative idea you’re in need of, the creative wholeness you crave, is not outside you but within you.

On Discovering Your Destiny

Unfortunately, we tend to spend more time studying who and what surrounds us than we do ourselves. So, we don’t know ourselves. We don’t know our true capacity and capabilities.

Destiny is the only one who fully knows what’s inside you. In order to reveal you to yourself, it will sometimes put you in situations of chaos or void with the expectation that you can handle it.

Chaos will show you what’s inside you.

Rejection will show you what’s inside you.

Trouble will show you what’s inside you

Hard times will show you what’s inside you.

You can endure the challenge of any situation as long as the chaos of it doesn’t get in you.

Like a ship at sea, you can weather the waters of any storm as long as the water doesn’t get in you. Once the water gets in the ship, the survival of the ship lowers.

Have you ever been in a difficult situation where everyone around you seemed to fall apart while you remained steady? You knew it was a bad situation but somehow it didn’t affect you. It didn’t affect you, because it didn’t get in you.

I was in labor for over 87 hours with my son. It was a really hard labor. It was completely natural, with no meds and at home. As the days rolled on and my support grew tired and frustrated, a thought came over me, “stay strong, people. I need you to stay strong”.

During that time, I knew that I couldn’t afford my support to grow weak. I couldn’t afford for them to internalize the storm of frustration, fear, and tiredness. Also, I knew that the integrity of our journey through labor and delivery depended on how well they weathered the chaos of the storm.

I was tired, weak, afraid, and frustrated but I could endure as long as the rest of my crew stood strong, refusing to allow the chaos of the situation to go internal.

Can you recall a similar event in your life, when the integrity of your journey depended heavily on how well your crew weathered the storm of circumstances?

You will always have a special grace to get through the challenges that come your way. But, that doesn’t mean that the people present with you also have that grace for that challenge.

Have you ever looked back and wondered, “how did I do that? How did I pull that off”?

You were graced for it.

On Discovering Yourself

You’re designed strong enough to get through the storms of your life. Each storm is an opportunity to reveal the strength of what’s inside you. You absolutely have what it takes to overcome every storm of your life!

Your storms are your opportunities to discover yourself. You were in that situation to discover yourself, to stretch you, to encourage you, to empower you, to see eternity in you.

You’ll never know what’s in you if you don’t push through the storm.

You are creative because destiny is creative.

Destiny is also systematic and, therefore, so are you.

The seed of every thing is in itself. The seed is the potential of the thing. The apple seed is the limitless potential of the apple tree. The seed inside the apple is the life inside the apple. This is destiny’s system of design.

The potential to bring forth exists inside you as a key component to your inherent makeup and design. You were created with a system whereby whatever you need will always be inside of you.

The implication of this realization is significant…

You cannot expect people to give you what they don’t have.

They can’t give you love if they have none. They can’t give you peace if they have none. And they can’t give you wisdom if they have none.

The fact that you have a need doesn’t mean that the solution can be found in someone else. Your need does not determine another’s capacity to give, so don’t go looking to people for what you need.

You’ll wear yourself out looking for love, attention, affection, and significance from someone who has none to give.

On What You Need to Be

The primary expectation destiny has of you is that you would be productive.

You don’t have to ask for joy if you’re productive. You don’t have to ask for peace if you’re productive. You’re going to have joy, you’re going to be happiest, and you’re going to be most fulfilled if you live your purpose.

Your purpose above everything else is to be productive with what destiny has placed inside of you. So, be productive!

Every day of your life up to this point is forever gone.

Every day that’s entrusted to you is given with the expectation that you would be productive. Don’t let a single day go by without producing something or anything.

Use every new day you’re given to go further than the day you had.

At every age or stage, the only thing that Destiny asks of you is that you would be productive with what’s inside you.

This is divine expectation.

Have you ever suspected that there was more inside of you?

Have you ever suspected that you might be living beneath your best purpose, your highest use, your ultimate destiny?

Or have you ever looked into someone’s eyes and seen that they see that something special in you? What does that do to you?

It’s the most attractive quality, isn’t it? When they see it in you?

In order for you to be productive, you also need to see what’s inside you. Let the storms of your life serve to reveal your seed so that it can be turned into a fruit. Then, multiply the fruit.

However, do not multiply what didn’t survive the storms of your life. Take what’s left after the storm calms and multiply it.

Find a mirror. Get in front of your reflection and with your eyes locked onto the eyes of your reflection, say aloud, “Something is about to happen in your life. You had to fight to get here, but you survived. Your purpose is about to flow from your life. You’re about to multiply what survived. It’s your season!”

You’re coming into it! You’re starting to figure it out. Your eyes have not seen and your ears have not heard the things that destiny has prepared for you.

See Also: Accept Your Destiny and Build The Ultimate Form of Confidence

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5 Unique Ways To Celebrate Your Parents’ Anniversary

Anniversaries are considered as one of the most special occasions in the life of a couple. And if you are planning to celebrate the day when your mom and dad tied the knot, then you must be quite excited. They definitely deserve some fancy celebration on achieving such a big milestone in their life.

If your parents are a social couple, then it is important to include all their favorite people in their anniversary celebration to make it unforgettable for them. If you don’t have a plan yet, here’s what to do for your parents’ anniversary.

Pool Party at a Farm House

Imagine all your family members having fun at a pool party while enjoying exotic cocktails and scrumptious cuisines. Yes, just the thought of it sounds so exciting!

It’s best if you have a farmhouse of your own away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If not, then you can always rent one for your parent’s anniversary celebration.

Let all your dear ones witness the most important day of your parents’ lives. Your parents will be thrilled with the idea of a pool party. They will surely have a great time with all their favorite people at one place.

Special Wedding Anniversary Cake

We all agree with Julia Child that a party without cake is just a meeting.

So, add some fun and flavor to your parents’ anniversary celebration with a lip-smacking cake of their favorite flavor. You can order a heart-shaped special cake for a wedding anniversary. You can also get a photo cake with a memorable picture of your parents’ wedding day.

Just the sight of the cake will make them smile. They will surely enjoy every bite along with the rest of the family.

Create a Video of Some Old Memories

Your parent’s marriage must be full of happy moments and wonderful memories. Turn them into a video they can watch on their anniversary.

Plan a Treasure Hunt with Family Members

If your parents are quite sporty and love to play fun games, then you should plan something that will get them moving for their anniversary celebration. You can plan a treasure hunt in your basement or backyard.

Everyone will surely have fun while hunting for treasures. It will give them an opportunity to work as a team, too.

Redesign their Old Wedding Attire

Consider redesigning your parents’ old wedding attire. Remember, you don’t really have to make these trendy and up to date. You can just repair any tears and wash away any stains. Surely, your parents will be in tears after seeing that what they wore on their wedding day are now good as new. Everyone at the party will have their eyes fixed on how thrilled your parents are. Not to mention, on the remarkable restoration of their wedding attire.

See Also: What to Give On Anniversary: Gift Giving Tips To Make It That Extra Special

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How To Modernize Your Business By Ditching The RFP

In our modern, fast-paced world, there is hardly any time to spare. Businesses need results and they need them quickly, encouraging the development of new technologies that can keep up. Yet 95% of companies still use RFPs when they need to get the job done – why is this outdated practice still treated like a business staple?

It’s Time To Move On From The RFP

request for proposal

Smart businesses today understand the value of diversifying away from the risk of relying on single one-stop-shop vendors. If the massive change in Forbes Global 2000 companies that outsource IT projects to single vendors is any indication, this shift is a massive trend. In 2008, 42% of these businesses worked with a single vendor for their IT or application needs; in 2018 that number is just 15%.

And yet, for lack of a better method, many businesses find themselves at a loss for reaching new vendors. Whether their project scope is too wide for in-house work, or they just need some extra guidance from creative professionals, it’s easy to turn to Requests for Proposals to scout out the talent. But there’s a glaring problem with using RFPs to do this – the results very rarely elicit the most innovative solution. Companies that use RFPs may ignore innovative startups in favor of “established” vendors, rewarding longevity over skill and flexibility.

How Do Startups Compete With Established Relationships?

When we look at startup funding trends, we are met with stats of explosive growth. In 2017 alone, the global venture capital investments for startups hit over $140 billion, and in the years between 2015 and 2017, the total global startup economy value creation was $2.3 trillion. Any way you spin it, there is some serious firepower behind startups and for good reason. Unfortunately, these talents can go ignored and even outright rejected when forced to participate in requests for proposals.

  • Bidders must specify how long they have been in business to even qualify
  • Not useful and counterproductive in the age of startup innovation

As a result, RFPs are actually a roadblock to reaching effective new vendors, placing incumbent vendors ahead of other bidders. For new vendors participating in RFPs, they may only have a week to respond, yet incumbent vendors are notified several weeks beforehand. Even then, many startup level vendors find it challenging to work within the confines of typical RFP guidelines and are unable to let their talents show.

  • Discourages considerations of more innovative proposals
  • Rewards easy solutions over flexibility and talent
  • Low value and low innovation
  • Long-term costs are higher than originally projected

There’s A New And Better Way

It’ll take more than a simple update to overhaul this antiquated process. Real solutions will come from a total mindset change, improved flexibility, and real ROI projection. The best way to try out a new vendor is by using Proof of Value, or PoV. This process ensures the best value projects are done for the right price and by the right people. Based on information measurement theory, Proof of Value considers the predictability of success or error using measurable, factual information. This replaces the RFP with scalable options using information and performance-based solutions as a new standard.

  • Create a full working cloud-based model app
  • Share the real app with business users to get an idea of what the full solution will look like
  • Use PoV as a first iteration jumping off point to fast-track the project

Accounting for lost time, wasted money, and piles of busy work, RFPs, or requests for proposals just don’t work anymore. A LexisNexis survey revealed nearly 17% of businesses deal with up to 10 RFPs per month, and 15% of businesses have a load of 21 or more. Organizations are relying more on RFPs, but it doesn’t necessarily benefit their firm. Smart businesses can use more nimble vendors and methods to outperform instead.

  • Intuitive user experiences
  • Clean interfaces
  • Deliver against tighter project deadlines
  • Reliable, measurable ROI
  • Diversify risks away from conventional mega-vendors

It’s Time To Ditch The Outdated RFP

Though many organizations are still using RFPs for solutions, when has following the status quo ever done business any favors? Is your company still using RFPs? Take a look at this infographic for more on how RFPs hurt innovation, stunt professional growth, and ignore real talent, and what you can do to break this cycle by developing better solutions that fit with your business’ needs.
RFPs: Dinosaurs of the business world?
Source: Semarchy.com

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Access to Contraceptives Around the World: What You Need to Know

Here in the US, we’re lucky to have relatively easy access to contraception, with the FDA approving the first oral contraceptive in 1960. There are also other forms such as the implant, the patch and the sponge. Forty-five countries have proudly offered contraception to patients free of charge for years, whilst some governments have dragged their feet on making such treatments available.

How do seven varying countries around the world compare in terms of accessibility? Here’s what you need to know about people’s access to contraceptives.

United States

Despite being the first nation in the world to introduce the birth control pill, the United States does not give out free contraception. Instead, women have to pay around $59.25 each month for the pill, depending on their health insurance coverage. It also prohibits the sale of birth control pills over the counter.

Spain

condom-vending-machine
Via athingforwords.com

In Spain, the average cost of contraception is around $2.91 per box. Condoms are very easy to find in supermarkets and pharmacies, and there are also condom-dispensing machines dotted around on streets. The Spanish tend to have a pretty liberal view on contraception in general. In fact, some pharmacies even sell birth control pills over the counter.

Canada

Canada has a healthcare system called Medicare, which is publicly funded. Most forms of contraception are easily affordable and available under this system/ Birth control pills are usually available for free or up to around $37.57 per month, depending on the type.

Brazil

Brazil offers a year’s supply of birth control pills for only $2.36, as long as citizens are able to present their national identification card. By the letter of the law, one can only buy the morning after pill with a prescription. Most pharmacies, however, tend to sell it without. Women and girls of all ages can also purchase it legally.

Japan

blood test

Japan is not so relaxed when it comes to issuing birth control pills, probably because they have quite a low birth rate. Japanese Health Insurance doesn’t cover the contraceptive pill and women have to pay around $25.67 each month. Many doctors require women to take a blood test to see if they’re fit enough to take the pill, and this isn’t free either, costing around $86.

India

Although healthcare in India is universal, it greatly fluctuates in quality and coverage throughout the country. Those who live in more urban areas tend to benefit more. While contraception remains available from $2.48 to $5.85 in India, worryingly,the most common form of birth control is tubal ligation, a form of female sterilisation.

Ethiopia

Although there is a lot of awareness about modern contraception in Ethiopia, a large proportion of the country do not take any. Both male and female condoms are available in pharmacies at a low cost. There are also a few other places where Ethiopian nationals can get them for free. Birth control pills can also be bought without a prescription and, in some cases, are free as well.

Conclusion

Many medical advancements have been made since the 1960s. There are now more contraception options than ever before. Over the next coming years, a male contraceptive pill is expected to be rolled out for general consumption. This could balance the responsibility between men and women. For the moment, the pill is still being trialed, but has so far received an 83% success rate, with minimal side effects.

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6 International Travel Tips You’ll Find Handy

Exploring world-class destinations, learning about unique cultures, and treating your taste buds with delicious foods is what traveling is about. And the fun of traveling multiplies if you are flying to a foreign destination, more if that’s your first international trip.

To help you prepare, here are some international travel tips you’ll find useful on your first vacation abroad.

Know Your Travel Budget

Are you traveling as a backpacker or want to bask in the luxury your hotel and airline may offer you? Knowing how much your vacation may cost you can help you budget your trip. It’s great if you already have the money in your bank. If not, take the time to prepare your budget and allocate your funds wisely.

See Also: 7 Ways To Save Money While Traveling

Create an Itinerary

create itinerary

This includes everything from the length of your trip to the attractions and landmarks you wish to explore. You don’t have to know the exact dates and time but a rough idea of when, where and for how long you’ll be staying there can greatly help you. Certainly, you wouldn’t want to be wondering what to do next with three or four more days in your hand, do you?

Book Flights and Hotels

With the internet at your disposal, once you know where you are going, booking your international flights, hotels, and activities are perhaps the easiest part of planning your trip. However, you must not be impatient to book whatever you find through your travel agent. Browse the internet and find out some great deals for yourself to make the most of your budget.

Pack Light and Right

pack light

No one likes to pay for extra bags unnecessarily! If you don’t wish to be levied with additional charges, knowing a little about the weather in your destination and packing accordingly may help you. Pack as less as possible.

Pack woolen clothes if you think it’ll be cold where you land and pack light clothes if it’s summer there. Don’t forget to pack a few waterproof jackets, a poncho, and a light sweater if your destination tends to experience rain a lot. This practice will also allow some space for you to bring home some keepsakes for your loved ones.

Buy travel insurance

We all want our vacations to be full of happy moments and great experiences, but that’s not always the case. For not-so-pleasant situations while traveling, such as lost baggage, health issues or trip interruption, you must buy travel insurance. Speak with your travel agent or ask people you know for recommendations and have an insurance that provides great services.

See Also: How To Stay Safe and Prevent Theft While Traveling

Automate Your Bills

A missed credit card payment or mortgage repayment may be the last thing you would like to discover after you are back from your vacation. You can automate your personal finances to ensure that your dues are paid on time while you are on a flight, sleeping in your hotel room or clicking pictures of a breathtaking sight before you. Do it and save yourself from incurring late charges.

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The Accomplishment Journal: A Yardstick Against Your Life

Have you ever gathered all of your professional and personal accomplishments into a single document?

An accomplishment journal isn’t equal to your CV, credentials or acquired skills. It’s a simple bullet list of your achievements that you’ve completed throughout your life or over the recent years.

Whether you are about to change careers, set stretching goals or just need a yardstick to measure where you are now, an accomplishment journal will let you address tough questions.

Let’s jump in and see what an accomplishment journal can offer and how to create one.

How do I keep an accomplishment journal?

accomplishment journals

It was a course I took on Coursera―one of the largest online learning platforms―when I first came across the idea of the accomplishment journal (credit to Charles Duquette and the Coursera community). I quickly embraced the concept and scheduled a one-on-one meeting with myself to create one.

Then, I faced a painful experience. It dawned on me that, despite my degrees, credentials and almost 10 years of work experience, I could hardly put any measurable accomplishments onto paper. Still, I persevered and finally hammered out a nice list of accomplishments. Well, it’s not so easy to get everything measured, but once you get the idea, it will be a lot easier and fun.

Your accomplishment journal should be composed of accomplishment statements. Begin your statement with an action verb and use the simple past tense. Be as specific as you can. Name things by their names and underpin your statements with exact numbers wherever possible. The key here is to be measurable. No place for rambling here.

For example, you could put an accomplishment statement like this: “Authored 13 guest posts in top-ranking productivity magazines with a total number of 152 comments.”

As a backup of your statement, articulate the antecedents, the steps you took to move things forward, the competencies you needed, and the deliverables. You could then make use of all these pieces of information as you will see later in this post.

Your journal can be a physical bullet journal. A note-taking app like Evernote or even a mind mapping tool will do the trick as well. Whatever platform you use for journaling, keep it simple and easily available for future references. The latter is the subject we continue with.

How do I harness my accomplishment journal?

writing accomplishment journal

Let’s assume you’ve gathered all your accomplishments and put them in a journal. The next step is to claim your benefit.

Have a look at your list and ask yourself the following questions: What are my enjoyable accomplishments? Are there any? How could I build on them? What steps could I take to get more enjoyable accomplishments done?

Maybe, it’s time to change careers, harness your dormant skills or negotiate with your boss for more deep work.

If you’re preparing for a job interview, it’s mandatory that you consider your accomplishment journal first. It’s very likely that you’ll meet some tough questions about your accomplishments and a list can help you with that.

Carefully selected accomplishment statements would perfectly fit into your CV as well. If you keep your accomplishment journal updated, you no longer have to spend hours updating your resume. You would just pick up those accomplishments that are in line with your targeted position and fine-tune them if necessary.

Your journal will best serve you if you keep it fresh and to the point. I suggest that you schedule a regular update of your accomplishment journal. I would prefer a monthly update, but a quarterly update is highly recommended. Group, rethink, and rephrase your statements as frequently as you need.

See Also: Inspiring Journaling Prompts To Help Re-Shape Your Life

Final thoughts

I found that an accomplishment journal takes minimum effort to assemble, but it really pays off in the long run. It can assist you when applying for a job or building your career further.

More importantly, it may serve as a yardstick against your life. It may point you in the right direction and keep you on track.

Give it a try and schedule a meeting with yourself now to put all your accomplishments together.

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

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How To Choose the Best TENS Unit for Home Use

TENS machines come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and features. As a first time buyer, the long list of choices can frustrate, overwhelm and confuse you all at the same time.

Since TENS units for home use promise pain relief without the nasty side effects you can get from pain medications, you’d want to make sure you get one that’s effective and convenient to use.

In choosing the best TENS unit for home use, here are the 5 most important factors you need to consider.

Modes

Different types of pain respond to different electronic pulses or modes. With that, you need to make sure that your unit can be set in various modes. With most high-quality TENS unit, that won’t be a problem. However, in some low-end models, your options may be limited as they generally work with one or two models.

Choosing a TENS unit with multiple options can make the experience more enjoyable. It’s what will make the unit more effective in providing pain relief.

Battery Life

choosing best tens unit
Via thewirecutter.com

There are units that can work well on a 9-volt battery or 3 AAA batteries. While they look like a convenient and practical choice, they can increase the annual cost of using a TENS unit on a daily basis.

A high-quality device that works on a lithium battery is actually a better choice. It can take you weeks or even a full month of using the unit before you need to recharge it.

Additionally, a TENS unit working on a lithium battery can save you from the hassle and stress of constantly changing dead batteries.

Power Level

You need one that feels intense but won’t hurt. Now, this is tricky since people don’t have the same pain tolerance.

With most low priced TENS machines, their highest level may still not be enough to provide their promised benefits. So, what customers eventually do is upgrade their units to something better. This is simply a waste of money.

To avoid that mistake, get a TENS unit with a wide range of power. That way, you’ll be able to set your unit to your preferred intensity.

Number of Electronic Pads

The more electronic pads you have, the wider area of your body you’ll be able to cover. If you have multiple areas of pain or you’re suffering from multiple injuries, try to get a unit with multi-channel outputs.

Budget

You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot on a TENS unit for home use. However, you need to understand that a unit’s price will affect the features you’ll get. As mentioned, low-priced models may fall short when it comes to modes, battery life and even power level.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy a TENS machine at home just because you are on a tight budget. The trick here is to know exactly what you need. Don’t spend a lot of money on a unit with features you don’t really want or need.

Ease of Use

For someone who’s new to using a TENS machine at home, the idea of operating it on your own can be nerve-wracking. With that, find a unit that’s easy to use. You should also consider getting a unit with a user-friendly interface and buttons with clear and easy-to-read labels.

There are machines that are compatible with smartphones. Some of them even come with their own dedicated apps and downloading them on your phone can make it possible for you to control your session with just your handset.

There are units that allow users to pre-set programs, making them easy to use. Others feature options to customize intensity and frequency to give you maximum control.

Life of the TENS pads

Quality electrode pads should last for months even with daily use. Low priced replacements pads, on the other hand, wear out easily and quickly which means that you will have to purchase new ones more frequently. This can skyrocket the cost of using a TENS unit over time.

In addition to inquiring about the life of the TENS pads, you should also ask about their price. Those pads, in general, don’t come cheap but they don’t have to burn holes in your wallet. Choosing an expensive set of TENS pads that will last long is better than buying low priced TENS pads that wear out in just a few weeks.

Customer Service

great customer service

Believe it or not, this is one of the most important factors you need to consider when buying a TENS unit. Should something go wrong with your machine, there should be someone to assist you and answer your questions concerning the unit. A reputable company can easily address that.

Apart from the quality of customer service a brand has, you should also ask about its return policy. If you notice that your unit isn’t working as it should or you’re just generally unhappy with it, you should be able to return the machine without encountering a lot of issues.

Portability

Since you are looking for a unit you can use at home, it’s a good idea to consider its size. A small and compact TENS unit will make it easy for you to use the machine anywhere in the house. A small size also means better portability. You’ll be able to take it with you when you travel or work.

Treatment Timer

Most TENS machines have treatment timers as an added feature. A timer allows you to set your desired time for the treatment and automatically shuts off the unit when that time runs out. While it’s not that necessary, a timer makes your TENS unit more convenient.

Conclusion

Choosing the best TENS unit for home use isn’t easy. You have to be thoroughly informed if you want to find a unit that will fit your needs. With this list, you should be able to have a clearer idea about what you want and don’t want in a quality TENS machine.

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How Do I Get My Dishwasher To Stop Leaving White Powdery Film On My Glasses?

Do you get that white powdery film on your glasses after you clean them in the dishwasher? Isn’t that annoying?

Well, the good news is that removing white residue on glasses is actually easy. Here are a few things you can do make your glasses spotless after wash:

Dishwasher Cleaning and Maintenance

cleaning dishwasher
Via howtocleanthings.com

The first thing you want to do is to ensure that your dishwasher parts are clean and in good working order. After that, you can proceed with the following steps:

  1. Clean out the dishwasher garbage trap of any old food, hair or dirt particles. There might be clumps of dishwasher soap in there also. Remove the trap screen and wash with vinegar to make for a more thorough cleaning process.
  2. Then, get a towel or brush and manually scrub the interior part of the dishwasher. Remove the parts and clean them thoroughly. Check underneath them for caked soap.
  3. Use the same vinegar solution with plenty of hot water to clean the interior part of the dishwasher. When the powdery soap cakes up, it leaves that powdery film. You want to make sure that all of the soap is liquefied when you wash your dishes.
  4. Wash a small container full of white vinegar by itself in the dishwasher. This will also remove any microscopic particles that you missed. Vinegar is the nemesis of powdery soap. Wipe down all the surfaces once again.
  5. If you want to remove any lingering smells, you can place some baking soda in a container in your dishwasher and wash another load. This will soak up any foul odors.

Clean This Way Every Three Months

clean dishwasher

Now, your dishwasher should be sparkling clean and ready to go. When you do the next dishwasher load, you might want to pre-dissolve the powdery soap to ensure that it is properly liquefied.

You can also shake and bust up any cakes that may form in the soap container when it is not being used. Any humidity could lead to the soap turning into clumps. A higher quality soap might help also.

Regularly clean your dishwasher every three months using this process to remove all of the powdery soap. Do your best to look for caked soap that is not dissolved properly. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can stop the dishwasher from leaving white powdery film on your glasses.

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4 Ways Men Can (Accidentally) Mess Up Their Relationship

Men are from Mars and women from Venus, right? That was the big a-ha moment back in the 90s when Dr. John Gray wrote his book. When that book came out, men and women everywhere stopped, took notice, and said: “Okay that makes sense. Men and women handle relationships (and many other things) differently!”

Not that it was that big of a secret. The emotional differences between men and women have long been noted. Those differences, however, can also be one of the reasons why many relationships fail.

In particular, men are too often at fault on this score. Because many of us haven’t developed emotional intelligence, we often look past the emotional needs of our partners. We may not experience the same feelings, so it doesn’t occur to us that they would. As a result, we get ourselves in trouble and can, without even realizing it, mess up our relationships.

Before we take a look at some of the areas men routinely overlook, let’s talk about the #1 way that men kill their relationships.

The biggest man-made problem is thinking that those differences don’t matter and that we don’t need to worry about them. Of course, if you are one of those men, you are probably not reading this. Good for you as you’ve dodged the biggest bullet.

Just because a woman views things differently than you or measures the impact of things differently, it doesn’t mean you can dismiss those things and keep going. Actually, the fact that you don’t get it probably means you need to stop and take notice.

So, assuming you are trying to avoid accidentally ruining your relationship with your partner, what are those things you should pay attention to?

Below are four of the biggest relationship mistakes guys make.

Letting your appreciation go silent

When you started dating, you likely told her pretty routinely how much you appreciated her presence in your life. You probably said things like “you’re beautiful”, “I am lucky to have you” and “thank you”.

Once your relationship is firmly established, those often stop. There’s no need, right? You told her over and over before and now you guys are committed and she should know.

Nope.

When the expression of appreciation stops, women take notice and not in a good way. For many women, no longer hearing those things means you have stopped feeling and thinking them. That translates into feeling taken for granted and undervalued.

I know you are saying to yourself, “Why is she so insecure?”

Guys, this is usually not an insecurity thing. It’s more of reinforcing your connection and not taking her for granted. It doesn’t need to be done excessively. You don’t necessarily have to do daily flower deliveries and love songs, but routinely letting her know that she’s important to you will go a long way.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Relationship Insecurities

Thinking that sex no longer requires romance

romance tips

When you’re in a steady relationship, you might think that you can just roll over any morning and let her know you’re ready and it’s game on. Well, not so fast.

While that may work on certain occasions, a woman really never stops wanting to feel pursued. Taking the time to do things right will maintain the intimacy in your relationship and reinforce that feeling that you want her and she’s worth the time and effort. You may be pleasantly surprised at her reaction.

Ignoring what she tells you

relationship tip

One thing that women tend to do far better than men is express their feelings. The problem is that not only do men not DO this well, they also don’t LISTEN to it well.

I have a friend whose wife told him for years what she wanted from their relationship – more time together, sex, and romance. She said she felt secondary in his life to work, friends, football – you get the picture.

I was actually around to hear some of these things said. He seemed caught completely off guard when she decided she was done talking and never being heard. She decided to file for divorce.

The point is, listen to what she tells you. Many women will almost give you a blueprint for the relationship if you just pay attention.

Assuming she cares about your underwear and socks

Here’s the thing – she doesn’t.

Don’t assume she’s going to take care of all your incidentals. Your laundry, dinner dishes, putting your shoes away, ensuring that you always have deodorant — those things are your responsibility. That doesn’t mean she may not do those things, it depends on how you have your division of responsibilities arranged.

But when you get angry because your sock drawer is empty and that becomes a regular complaint, it’s time to read the signs and take care of things on your own. Women want to be seen as equals, partners, and intelligent human beings – not your mom.

When you take that for granted, she will handle all those little things. She may end up pushing back or spending time with someone who doesn’t expect her to do them.

Men often assume that once the relationship is established, we are good and all the work is done. That’s simply not true. And although women can be just as guilty of all of the points above, we are often our own worst enemies when it comes to these things. Try appreciating and respecting the natural differences between you and your partner. Doing this will help keep you from accidentally messing up a good thing.

See Also: 7 Best Secrets To Building Lasting Relationships

The post 4 Ways Men Can (Accidentally) Mess Up Their Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Identify One Goal: The Secret to Discovering Your Purpose

I think a lot of young people will find this post very useful if they were to apply themselves to it.

Most often, I find people wondering what their purpose in life is. And before they discover it, they try a couple of things and make some mistakes. They are the lucky ones as some people don’t even find out their life’s purpose at all. So, they end up living someone else’s life — a fake life.

But discovering your purpose is not a hard thing — at least not as hard as some say it is.

As a motivational speaker and life coach, I encounter this question a lot and most often, usually asked by young people. Not too long ago (January 2017), someone asked me that same question.

This lady was in her early thirties, a banker, had a car and living in a really nice apartment. At that point, she was living better in most standards than me. As we got talking, she asked me how someone could identify one’s purpose. I was shocked because, in my own mind, I would think she’s living her dream life. However, I contained myself and gave her an answer.

Identify one goal

What do you want to spend your life doing? What is that one thing you want to be identified with? And what is that one thing you want to be known for?

Identify that one thing you can do forever and you don’t mind doing it for free. That is the question that can point you to where your passion lies.

identifying one goal

When you finally identify it, spend every day of your life learning about it, studying it, practicing it, and doing it. Practice until you are not afraid to do it in front of other people.

“Don’t think about money; don’t start by focusing on the money. Do it because it just makes you happy and satisfied.”

be happy

Like I don’t care if I get paid for writing or speaking, as far as there is one person who listens to me or reads what I write, I’m satisfied. That’s why on my website, I have a place to book a one-on-one time with me because I care about just you who’s reading this.

“Focus on what you love and when you are so good at it people will start paying you for it.”

Usain Bolt is a multi-millionaire for just running. Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova are worth millions of dollars for just playing tennis. Linda Ikeji is a millionaire for being a gossiper. But at first, they all started loving what they do and they were doing it whether money was involved or not.

Takeaway

If you want to be counted as one of the greats or one of the richest, identify that one thing you are passionate about and be the best at it. You’d be lost having fun and doing your thing that one day, you’ll just discover that you’re rich and you’re celebrated.

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6 Foolproof Ways to Refine Your Professional Life

Sometimes, we feel that a new job will diffuse us with happiness we have always longed for. At times, however, we feel that staying away from toxic people and jobs can improve our lives.

There are a number of things that can make you unhappy at work. This includes feeling unfulfilled, lacking direction, being ignored by superiors, performing repetitive tasks, and not being considered for promotion or appraisals.

The good news is that you don’t have to feel that way about work. With these tips on how to improve yourself professionally, you’ll be able to develop a better perspective about your career.

Decide what you want from your career

career choice

It’s time to stop complaining and walking in circles. Think about your existing status and where you want to head in the future. Craft a plan or roadmap focusing on what you want to achieve. Then, start working on your goal one step at a time.

The entire journey won’t be consistently paced and smooth. Some days you will feel like running. At times, you will struggle to even jog. It’s okay as long as you are moving forward.

Take care of yourself

A human body is a machine. Just like any other machine, we need to tune it each day. Eating, exercising, and getting a proper rest is crucial for your well-being. Having enough physical, mental and emotional strength is mandatory if you are to stay laser-focused on your goal and achieve it. Furthermore, being strong enough also makes us more resilient in the face of never-ending obstacles.

Always embrace new ideas

Everyone is advised to keep their minds open to new idea. There is always some learning in every communication and idea we share. You never know what insights the colleague seated next to you holds that might boost your career like never before.

Cut out toxic influences

It is impossible to eradicate all the negative and toxic situations and people around us. However, we have the authority and power to decide whether to fall under their influence or not. If you uncover a certain aspect of your life that’s particularly negative, an instant action is required to protect your emotional and mental well-being.

At times, some negative influences are difficult to discover. Consider an example of sharing a college dorm with a particularly pessimistic, unhealthy roommate. The person might have been quite intolerable, but he might also be fun at times. In fact, his dark side only protrudes when you start to spend a considerable time with him continuously.

Toxic people and circumstances at workplaces are great examples, too. Your colleague might complement you now but right in the next meeting, he/she will try to discourage and contain you in front of your manager or badmouth you to others.

In order to get away from such craziness, you must first learn how to refuse to cater to such false pretenses. Keeping your interactions polite and distant is another great way. And if you think your negative colleagues need to hear how their behavior and vibes are affecting others, then explain it to them.

Furthermore, try to replace negative interactions with positive, healthy ones. People who aren’t judgmental and narcissistic can help bring out the best in you.

See Also: 5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

Unplug and get out

People who spend most of their time behind a desk are more irritated and cranky. Every employee, ranging from an office boy to CEO, should understand that unplugging themselves from the never-ending work and going outside is downright beneficial physically and mentally.

Spending time with others, staying away (for a while) from your system’s screen, and making the most out of your break times are great things you can do to elevate your spirit and re-energize your mind. If your manager expects you to be a genuine workaholic who put extra hours at work, then you need to stand up for yourself. Politely let him know that you have a life out of your office, too.

Even small acts like a high-five over a short humorous conversation, applauding someone over a job well done, and hugging your colleague-turned-close-friend on special occasions can be a mighty boost in uplifting your mood.

Start participating in community work

community work

Quite an extension of the last point, you should consider getting out and becoming a part of communities working for the betterment of society.

Whether it’s spending time with kids in an orphanage, teaching useful life skills or even forming groups to clean the neighborhood, you are using your free time productively and contributing well to great causes.

Participating is similar social causes which will make you understand that true happiness doesn’t only lie in living and earning for yourself. Instead, it’s more about stepping out in the harsh realities and helping others acquire the comfort they have always been deprived of.

See Also: The Power of Volunteering

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E-Waste Tips: What To Do With Old Tech Gadgets

Have you noticed how we seem to be piling up a lot of our electronic devices at home? Some we use and some collect dust in some forgotten drawer. If you’ve always puzzled how to do some electronic spring cleaning, here are some ways that you can get rid of old gadgets.

Take it to a Retail Location

Did you know that several retail stores will accept old and broken electronics? Best Buy accepts a huge selection of electronics ranging from car GPS units to larger appliances. You can drop your fax machines, shredders, tablets, and phones at Staples. Finally, Lowes accepts rechargeable batteries at no cost to you. They’ll take your old electronics and dispose of them in a safe and effective manner.

Donate

ebay for charity

Even if your electronic is a few years old and still works, many nonprofit agencies or charities would be glad to have them. You can start by calling and asking senior centers in your area if they’re interested. If you have any thrift stores in your area like Goodwill, they may be interested as well. eBay for Charity lets you sell you things through the platform and donate your earnings to whatever charity you choose. Just be sure that you keep your receipt because this will let you write it off to taxes at the end of the year.

Recycle Your Electronics

Almost every city or town has one or two days a year where they accept all types of electronic devices for recycling. You can gather up all of your outdated or broken electronics and bring them in on this day. If you don’t want to wait, look for a rechargeable battery and recycling program in your area.

Call2Recycle is a great option because it accepts batteries and old cell phones. All you do is input your zip code to find the closest location where you can bring your items and drop them off. Their services are available in Europe and UK as well.

See Also: Your New Year’s Resolution: Better Recycling Practices

Check if the Manufacturer Will Take it Back

Many electronic manufacturers don’t want to see their items end up in a landfill. This is why they offer large recycling programs where they’ll take back your outdated or broken electronic device and recycle it for you. Apple and Sprint both have Buyback programs available. You can get phone line credits or gift cards for returning certain items instead of throwing them out.

Trade Your Device In

There are reputable tech recyclers, like Plunc.com, that will let you swap and trade in your electronics for money. You enter your electronic’s details and the company gives you a quote. They’ll send you a shipping label and envelope to send your device to the retailer. When they get it, they’ll send you a check, gift card or deposit your money into your PayPal. It’s perfect if you want to sell your iPad, phones, tablets, or computers.

List them on Electronic-Based Apps

There are several quality apps available that allow you to list your electronic devices free of charge and sell them to people who will use them. Certain apps are for face-to-face meetings and restrict you more to your local area while others will generate shipping labels for you, so you don’t have to worry about trying to send your items to the buyers. This lets you connect to more people. You do most of the communicating through the apps as well.

Sell It on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook

sell on facebook

Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook are sites that let you list your unwanted electronics free of charge. You can list them through Facebook’s Marketplace or in local selling groups. Craigslist has selling lists for each state, and you can even narrow it down to the city if you live in a larger one. eBay lets you list to sell or auction, and you send the item to the buyer once they purchase it. Local classified ads are another great option to consider if you’re not moving the items as quickly as you’d like.

See Also: 4 Ways You Can Make Money Online By Selling Old Stuff

Take Part in an Electronics Drive

If you have a lot of older electronics laying around, chances are your family, coworkers, and friends do as well. You can all get together and host an electronics drive. When it’s over, take all of the bulk electronics you have to a certified electronics recycler. This is a great way to clear out any electronics you have gathering dust. You can have your event run for a few days or a few weeks at a time.

Consider Repairing It

repair gadgets

Just because you don’t have a need for your old electronics doesn’t mean someone else won’t want it. Taking your electronics to a computer or electronic repair shop is the first step. They’ll tell you if they’re able to get it back to good working condition. If they are, have them repair and call your local schools to see if they have students who could use your old electronics. They usually do, and they can give the electronics to the students for you.

Now, don’t forget. It’s important that you keep your own safety in mind when you’re dealing with your old electronics. You want to make sure that you wipe any personal or sensitive information off of your device before you get rid of it. This can help protect your identity, and it can stop people from seeing things that they shouldn’t see.

Done right, these nine e-waste tips will help you get rid of your old electronics in a safe and effective manner. You won’t have to worry about them cluttering up your local landfills, and someone may get more use out of them.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Car Insurance

Car insurance can be very confusing for anyone. It’s also one of those things that can be very costly if not done right. We rounded up the 10 key things that you may not know about your car insurance.

Having “No-Fault” Insurance

Many people mistakenly think that when they have a no-fault car insurance, no one will be blamed or considered at fault in the event of an accident. If you cause an accident or scratch a car when you park, having this type of insurance doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re safe. If you caused the accident, you can and most likely will be held accountable.

This type of insurance means that if you are in an accident and it isn’t your fault, you won’t personally have to go after the other driver’s insurance or the driver for compensation. The insurance company will do it for you automatically.

Several Factors Impact Your Insurance Cost

You’ll get asked a series of personal questions when you apply for your car insurance. The list can include your gender, age, marital status, and how long you’ve had a license count. Your answers will impact how much your insurance premium will cost per month or year.  Additionally, any previous accidents or tickets can make your premium go up.

If you’re a male who is under 25 years old, your insurance company will deem you a higher risk for accidents. In turn, you’ll most likely have a higher premium than a female who is under 25.

Your Car’s Age and Type Increase Your Insurance Costs

car model insurance

People who drive high-end or luxury cars will typically pay more to have their car replaced or repaired in the event of an accident. This means that you’ll most likely pay more to cover this type of car because your insurance will pay out more if there is an accident. Cars that cost less to repair or replace or cars that are older will cost less to insure because it won’t cost your insurance company much if there is an accident.

Modifying the Car Can Cost You

A lot of people like to modify their vehicles, but insurance companies don’t necessarily like these modifications. There are a few valid reasons behind this. First, modifying the vehicle can impact how much emissions it releases into the environment. Second, if something happens and the insurance company ends up with the car, they may not be able to sell it again because the modifications make it illegal to drive on the street.

If you modify your vehicle, the car insurance company may take steps to protect themselves. This can mean increasing your premium. If you absolutely have to modify your car, look for a specific insurance company that won’t penalize you for it.

All Car Insurance Companies Have Different Rates

When you apply for car insurance, it’s vital that you shop around to find the cheapest car insurance that can give you all of the coverage you need. Several search engines allow you to compare various car insurance companies side-by-side so you can find the best rate. Don’t skimp on liability insurance and be very aware of what your car insurance covers and what it doesn’t cover. That way, you won’t get a surprise if you’re involved in an accident.

See Also: Average Car Insurance Rates For People Under 21 Years Old

Perks

When you think of car insurance, you usually don’t think of any perks that come with it other than avoiding a ticket for not having it. However, some insurers offer perks for people who are loyal to the company. You may get free towing in the event of a breakdown, tiered rewards with lower rates when you stay with a company for over a year and a refund for not having accidents every six months.

Your Rates May Increase with a Claim

Say you caused an accident on your way to work or school and the other driver filed a claim. Some insurance companies will increase your monthly premium in response to this claim. This includes if you file a claim in the event of an accident as well, and it applies whether or not the accident was your fault.

It Won’t Cover Your Belongings in the Car

Did you know that your car insurance will cover the cost to repair or replace your car and some medical expenses depending on your policy but not any belongings you lose as a result of an accident? For example, say you have your laptop, cell phone, GPS unit, or tablet in the car and they got ruined due to a car accident. Your car insurance won’t cover the replacement cost. It also won’t cover their replacement if they’re stolen out of your car.

It May Cover Pet Injuries

pet injuries car insurance

Some car insurance companies have coverage for veterinarian expenses if your pet is in the car and injured when you have an accident. Not all insurance companies offer this though, so you should ask if your pet routinely rides with you. Also, make sure you check on how much the insurance will cover because a lot of them cap at $1,000 for veterinarian bills.

You Can Save Money By Paying Your Premium in Lump Sum Form

Yes, you can pay your car insurance every month. This may seem like the cheaper option upfront. However, you’ll most likely pay more over the course of the year by doing this. It’s better to pay for a year or half of the year when you buy insurance. It’s more expensive upfront, but you’ll avoid additional interest fees, payment processing fees, and other miscellaneous fees.

No matter what insurance company you decide to use for your car insurance, make sure that you compare them. The goal is to get the cheapest car insurance available that will still provide adequate protection in the event of an accident. Take your time, shop around, and pick the car insurance plan that is going to work for you.

See Also: Not So Perfect Driving Record? What You Need To Know About Car Insurance Coverage Costs

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​How Intermittent Fasting Helped Me Hit My Diet Goals

A few years ago, my body wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I wanted to lose quite a bit of weight. So, I tried monitoring my portions, counting calories, cutting out certain foods, and exercising like crazy. Unfortunately, nothing worked. I wasn’t getting any closer to attaining my weight loss goals. It was frustrating, to say the least.

Then, one day as I was pumping iron at the gym I overheard someone talking about intermittent fasting and the incredible gains that came with it. I was intrigued.

As soon as I got home, I did my research about this weight loss method. Then, I started to put it into practice.

Even I couldn’t believe the amazing results I got after intermittent fasting for just over a year. I’ve increased my muscle mass and decreased my body fat — all while eating less and spending less time at the gym.

What Exactly Is Intermittent Fasting?

Simply put, intermittent fasting involves eating within a specific window of time in the course of the day and not eating anything for the remaining hours. Instead of changing what you eat, you change when you eat so that you can get the most from your meals. I like to think of it as a pattern of eating, not a diet.

There are different intermittent fasting methods and you get to choose the one that suits your goals. Some people prefer alternate-day fasting while others find it better to have 24-hour fasts once or twice per week. There are people who find that a daily fasting window works for them. When choosing which method to go for, make sure that you understand your choices completely. Searching for a reliable intermittent fasting guide can help you.

I personally follow the 16:8 model of intermittent fasting, also known as the Leangains method. This involves having an 8-hour eating window followed by a 16-hour fasting period.

Most days, I simply skip breakfast and have lunch as my first meal of the day at around noon. Then, I eat one or two more meals during my eating window and stop eating at 8 p.m. After that, I fast until noon of the next day.

I admit that it took some getting used to but since my mornings are typically busy. I don’t find it hard to put off eating until noon.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting benefits

Intermittent fasting comes with a number of benefits including:

Fast weight loss

Thanks to intermittent fasting, I was able to quickly achieve my weight loss goals. Since I was eating less, I was consuming fewer calories per day without having to count them or change my diet. Fasting for short periods of time increased fat burning levels in my body, resulting in significant weight loss. Best of all, I lost that stubborn belly fat in the process.

Losing body fat while holding on to lean muscle

Surprisingly, not only did intermittent fasting help me shed body fat but I was also able to increase my lean muscle mass. I did some research and discovered that this was largely due to the hormonal changes during fasting.

During the fasting hours, the levels of human growth hormone skyrocket, leading to muscle gain. Insulin decreases while norepinephrine increases. This means that the body finds it easier to burn fat when it enters a fasting state.

It’s easier to stick to than dieting

I have tried several dieting methods over the years with limited success. I found it difficult to adhere to them because they involved eating new foods or changing my eating habits.

With intermittent fasting, I don’t have to cut out my favorite foods, I simply have to change when I eat them. Additionally, while I still have to keep an eye on my portion sizes, I don’t have to get into any tedious calorie counting. The simplicity of this weight loss method made it easy for me to keep at it.

What To Look Out For

intermittent fasting tips

While intermittent fasting does have tremendous benefits, keep these things in mind if you want to lose weight:

Start slowly and be patient. If you’re new to fasting, consider starting with a moderate approach, such as overnight fasting before progressing to more intense fasting schedules. This gives your body time to adapt so you won’t be overwhelmed by the transition. Be patient as it takes time for the body to get used to going without food for long periods.

Be consistent. To help your body adapt, be consistent with fasting. Choose a schedule that works for you and stick with it until you attain the benefits.

Focus on the quality of the food you eat. While you don’t have to count calories, the quality of food you consume still matters. Include complex carbs and whole foods in your diet to keep you satiated for longer.

Ensure you don’t overeat. As you start out with intermittent fasting, you’re likely to experience increased hunger as your body isn’t used to going for long periods without food. This might tempt you to overeat to compensate. Giving in to this urge can undo all the good that you’ve gained from fasting.

Going without food for long stretches isn’t for everyone. However, if you’ve tried other methods to hit your weight goals without success, intermittent fasting might just do the trick.

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

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5 Little-Known Steps To Get Over A Painful Breakup

Life is already difficult. Let’s try and make it a little less complicated and happier.

Let me start with something you would want to hear in a difficult time like this, okay?

It is completely alright to break up with someone if you think that the relationship was too draining and you’re not receiving enough in return.

Sometimes, saying goodbye hurts, but it is important for YOU. You need it to be happy and to love yourself.

If you’re not happy, you know it’s time to pack your stuff and leave. It doesn’t matter how long the relationship lasted. You will always feel heartbroken after parting ways with someone you couldn’t imagine living a day without. You may feel lonely and vulnerable. You may even want to call them back.

The effects of a breakup can last for a long time if you let them get to you. However, you have an option to slide through those effects and get back to being you.

First of all, I would like to inform you that self-harm, alcoholism, grieving for too long, cutting communication with friends and family or anything that doesn’t sound like a healthy way to get over a breakup is most probably not it.

Instead, you should indulge in activities that make you feel more like yourself — the person you were when you were single.

This doesn’t necessarily mean single people are happier. It just means that you need to learn to love yourself again and then, think about dating. Do one thing at a time.

Here, we are going to focus on how to be the better person after a breakup. Some of these tips will directly and immediately affect you while some can make a difference in the long run.

Curious? Read on to find out more.

Accept the Fact And Let It Out of Your System

Realize that shit happens and you are not responsible for it. You are just sad that it ended and you can take your time to feel alive again. Give yourself some time to do whatever it is that you want to do to accept the breakup.

Grieving is not bad. In fact, it can help you move on. However, hanging onto it for too long is not a good idea. Avoid drinking too much or harming yourself because trust me, you may feel like doing it when the agony becomes too much.

Once you have realized that what has happened has already happened, then you have to be okay with it for your own good. You can congratulate yourself for successfully taking the first step to moving on.

Clear The Chaos Around You

breakup tips

A lot of people will tell you to go out and have fun after a breakup. This is a flawed way of dealing with the situation. Hanging out will divert your mind away from your heartbreak but at the end of the day, you will have to come back to the same place. That’s when you’ll start feeling lonely again.

To get your life back on track, you need to make your living space more lively and organized. Clean up well and create a space where you can breathe freely. Open the windows and let the fresh air and sunlight in your room. Make an environment that has no place for grief or sorrow.

You can also look for cleansing incense sticks to create a fresh atmosphere in your room. Get some crystals, like amethyst, moonstone or citrine, that absorb negative energy.

Remove his belongings if they remind you of him. Throw them away if you don’t think he would want them back. It is completely your decision.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

Think about yourself and the people around you. Take the time to invite some of them over for a barbecue or simply to hang out at home. It doesn’t have to be too extravagant.

Having others around you is actually good. You’ll have people to talk to, particularly when you are feeling down

Keep your routine a healthy one because after a breakup, people tend to oversleep, overeat, and avoid going to work. If you notice that you’re falling into that pit, make the effort to work on a healthy routine, diet, and social life. That way, you’ll feel better faster.

Even if you don’t, you will get there. Just keep in mind that you are the most important person in your life and whatever you do, you keep your own best interests in mind.

Treat Yourself

treat yourself

Heartbreaks can make you feel depressed and unable to take care of your hygiene and appearance. So, put in some effort and take time out of your schedule to visit a salon or a spa to treat your mind and body. Spas can feel relaxing when you’re feeling distraught.

You can also go out shopping and get some new clothes. Be inclined towards brighter and more lively colors as those can make you feel a lot more positive.

You can also get yourself some jewelry or a good pair of shoes. Don’t feel guilty about splurging a little if it’ll make you feel better.

Take Comfort In Your Community

All these efforts are of no use unless you cut your ties off completely from the person who broke your heart and settles back into your community.

You can start making new friends, go out with your old friend, and carry out activities you think you were missing out on when you were in a relationship. Spare some time for yourself and the people who care about you.

Conclusion

It is said that the longer you date someone, the harder it is to let go. This may be true at some level, but it is never impossible to let anyone go. All you need to do is exert effort and the first step towards that is ‘wanting to do it’.

Breakups become as difficult as you make them. You don’t have to follow the dreaded routine of over-indulgence. You can let it not affect you by taking care of yourself and putting your happiness above everything else.

See Also: Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up

The post 5 Little-Known Steps To Get Over A Painful Breakup appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How AI Will Make Workflow Easier for Marketers in 2019

We’re not going to suddenly see a robot takeover in 2019. However, we will see the continued improvement and application of artificial intelligence in marketing.

As software gets better, the strengths of AI remain: taking in and processing large amounts of information very quickly and performing tedious tasks without complaint. Next year, we will see marketers ramp up the integration of the application of artificial intelligence in marketing.

Here are some of the areas you can expect to see AI gain ground in marketers’ everyday routines:

Content Creation

content creation

Was this article written by artificial intelligence? Would you even be able to tell if it was?

No, the current and near future of AI does not allow for writing fully creative and narrative pieces. However, many of the sports and finance articles you read are already authored by artificial intelligence. AI is helping marketers speed up and optimize many areas of content creation.

Video

As video takes over your Facebook newsfeed, AI is helping speed up the process of creating videos in a major way. Antonio Otalvaro, CEO of Raw Shorts, sees the value in automation and efficiency and knows that creators are mainly looking for a way to cut down on tedious tasks in their workflow. With video creation becoming faster and easier, he says we’re going to see people in all industries gravitate towards video as the communication medium of the future.

Ad Campaigns

In 2019, you can expect to see a lot more marketers adopting AI for testing ad campaigns. There are a lot of pieces to an ad campaign, like slightly different wording, layout, and background images. An AI program can be given a handful of variables and can test them to see which ones perform best.

Internal Communication

One of the more tedious parts of any marketer’s day is creating and writing internal communication. This includes summary reports and descriptions of their projects. This can be automated fairly easily, as they typically follow a set format and need minimal input from the creator.

Customer insights

Marketers can use AI to collect and analyze tons of data from email campaigns, ads, website visits, and so much more. All of these data help to create much more specific and targeted customer segments.

Understanding

understanding ai

AI will assist marketers in understanding their customers’ behavior better than ever before. Marketers will start utilizing AI to engage existing customers better by tailoring their experience with the brand.

AI can process information much faster than any human. It can take in tons of data about a visitor in no time at all. Then, it can use that information to present the visitor with what he or she is more likely to interact and engage with.

Marketers will also begin applying AI to retain customers. They can implement intelligent software that can learn when a customer is about to leave the page or abandon the brand for a competitor. When this happens, marketers can instruct the software to implement strategies that will help keep the customer engaged and discourage them from leaving. These steps can increase retention.

Targeting

The knowledge AI provides about customers will help marketers target them across all channels more effectively. In ad campaigns, AI can help with targeting viewers based on huge amounts of data, like location, demographics, and what device they are using.

It can help optimize mobile marketing and make it easier for marketers to do the difficult job of demographic research. By showing them a specific, personalized, targeted message based on that information, they have a better chance at optimizing that interaction.

These insights lead to better-targeted segments:

Instead of a 22 to 35-year old female, she’s a 26 to 29-year old female who uses Facebook, loves cats, and is shopping around to invest in quality pieces to create her capsule wardrobe.

The Future of AI

We’ve seen the future of AI. It’s faster, more efficient, and more personalized than ever. Marketers will have more time to be creative as they spend less time doing boring and tedious tasks. Targeted and personalized messaging will become easier and much more common as AI helps marketers get to know their customers better and improve interactions between customers and brands.

The post How AI Will Make Workflow Easier for Marketers in 2019 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Super Easy Skin and Beauty Hacks For Lazy Girls

Keeping ourselves camera-ready every day requires money, time, and effort. The usual Korean skincare routine, for instance, even involves 8 full steps. That is definitely not ideal for the naturally beauty-lazy people.

Fortunately, there are beauty hacks for lazy girls you can totally try to look and feel beautiful even without exerting a lot of effort.

Purchase multi-purpose products

When buying beauty products, it’s a great idea to stick to those that target more than just one skin or beauty problem. For example, you can choose a lip tint that can be used as a blush whenever you are in a hurry.

These days, beauty balms are not only infused with skin nutrients but they also offer better coverage and a wider range of shades. With that, you can also use them as a foundation.

There are many other beauty products that can serve more than one purpose. Most of them require no more than 3 minutes to apply. Find one that will suit your skin type.

Keep hair oils handy

hair oils

Essential oils are no longer just for treating ailments. They also work great for fixing messy hair and dry skin problems.

If your hair has split ends, make it a habit to apply argan oil. It coats your locks perfectly. The oil can also double as your moisturizer when your hands or arms get too flaky.

More so, some essential oils have empowering scents. Use them and you won’t need to constantly reapply your perfume.

Keep a brown eyeliner

Eyes are your face’s focal points. You most definitely need a brown eyeliner, preferably the pencil-type, to hide your tired eyes without being obvious.

Brown is also a very versatile color. It can be worn for a casual look for a daytime event or a bolder look for a nighttime affair. If you forgot to bring your eyeshadow and eyebrow powder, you can use your brown eyeliner to fill in your lids and brows for a sultry look.

While others prefer the lighter shade of brown, you can experiment and go for the darker shade. It’s relatively more flexible and visible.

When applying an eyeliner as eyeshadow, you can either just draw thick lines following the shape of your upper lids or you can draw a criss-cross pattern on your outer eye area and smudge the color for a smoky look.

Carry a toner everywhere you go

Most people fail to realize the magical importance of toner. Ideally, you wash your face first with a cleanser before applying a toner. However, during lazy nights and mornings, you can skip the lengthy process of washing your face and just apply your toner directly.

A toner cleanses, refines, and freshens up your face as easy as 1-2-3. It can also be an alternative to a makeup remover.

You can carry a bottle of toner and a small pack of cotton with you wherever you go. That way, you can clean your face as you wish or in the absence of water. This especially holds true when you have a long-haul travel and your entire beauty set is packed in your checked-in luggage.

As a recommendation, use an alcohol-free and paraben-free toner so you won’t end up damaging your skin. Toners, unlike wet wipes, are specially formulated for facial application. You can be guaranteed that the ingredients are safe and effective.

Invest in a good facial treatment

facial treatment

Skin becomes easily unhealthy with today’s lifestyle and heavy use of makeup. Add that to the lack of time and effort for self-care most women are guilty of. Well, here’s the ultimate life hack– go to a trusted beauty salon and indulge in a good facial.

These days, facial treatments only last for about 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the kind of treatment. It’s basically the perfect treat for time-pressed women.

After a single session, your face will feel significantly rejuvenated, hydrated, and plump. And you won’t have to spend a lot of money just to enjoy a quality facial.

There you have it, 5 easy hacks to keep yourself looking well-kept and healthy every time. They’re super easy beauty hacks for lazy girls. They are not time-consuming so you’ll definitely enjoy trying them out.

 

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Take Up Your Business: How To Pitch A Business Idea

Presenting is probably one of the most common things people are afraid of. Anxiety, headache, high heart rate… All these symptoms are familiar to unexperienced presenters and professional speakers.

You might have an excellent idea which will take your business to a higher level, but if your presentation skills are not developed enough, you are likely to fail. Low self-esteem and anxiety are frequent enemies of young and ambitious professionals.

So, what can you do to pitch your ideas successfully? How can you stand out from the crowd and make people listen to you? What qualities or skills will assist you in this task?

Below are six ways on how to pitch a business idea successfully and draw the attention of your audience.

Face the Fear

business presentation

If you feel nervous while making a presentation, psychologists suggest you look straight in the eyes of your fear. Gain more experience telling jokes to friends, presenting ideas to your colleagues or just speaking to a crowd in the street. But don’t attack people straight away as you might have troubles with the police.

Try to capture the audience’s attention with funny stories or interesting facts. If you can pitch to a stranger, you can conquer the world with your ideas! All these exercises will help you reduce stress and feel calmer while presenting to a bigger audience.

See Also: Overcome Your Fear of Making a Presentation

Assertiveness

“Assertiveness” is a “buzzword” in the world of business. Assertive employees do not hesitate to respond to colleagues’ negative comments or ask for a pay rise. They state their position clearly so that no one can question their authority.

So, next time someone tries to kill your idea with negativity, feel free to fight back with arguments. If you’re assertive enough, others will treat your suggestions seriously and take your opinion into account.

Know Your Audience

There is a substantial difference when you present to a group of colleagues or you try to pitch your idea to a “big cheese”. The structure of your presentation, the choice of vocabulary, and even your look will be different.

It would seem weird if you organize a meeting with a board of directors and start your presentation with the phrase: “Hey, men! What’s up?” or show up dressed in a swimsuit.

Of course, you will bump into your audience’s memory, but your idea will unlikely gain the necessary support it needs. Surely, it would be better to prepare beforehand. Ask your colleagues for advice and get some information about your manager’s opinion. These steps will help you customize your ideas so they will be more appealing to your audience.

Predict Questions

It would be a fairy tale if your bosses accept all your suggestions without a question. Most likely, they’ll be interested in details or ask you to present a business plan. However, you have to stay realistic.

Your boss will not request your marital status or talk about space projects (unless you work for NASA). Financial statements, implementation plan, and profitability are what will make your bosses interested.

Try to get into your manager’s shoes and anticipate potential objections. Perhaps, your idea is not profitable enough or it is too risky for the company. Get prepared to defend your point of view with convincing arguments.

Use Visuals

visual presentation

Did you know that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than a speech or a text? You can be as eloquent as Kennedy or change your communication styles as a chameleon changes its colors, but you will not succeed if you don’t provide any pictures or charts.

The best solution here is to use infographics to briefly present the data. They are entertaining and will likely grasp the audience’s attention.

See Also: 7 Ways To Create a Presentation that Captures Attention

Show Your Personality

You can learn all the rules and still talk like a textbook. The best speakers, such as Margaret Thatcher or Martin Luther King, had a set of distinctive features which set them apart from other public figures.

If you are average, nobody will remember you!

It’s better to show something weird and become a star in the office rather than ramble, making people not want to pay attention to your ideas.

Are you a great joker or an interactive lecturer? Engage your audience in some activity or just tell a fascinating story. Define your peculiarity and show it up!

To wrap it up, you don’t need to spend long hours studying the habits of famous speakers. Just allocate some time, get prepared, remain assertive, and show your personality. Just follow these tips and you won’t have problems mastering how to pitch a business idea to anyone.

The post Take Up Your Business: How To Pitch A Business Idea appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Get Rid of Relationship Insecurities

The best relationship advice for a happy marriage is never to compare yourself or your spouse to someone else. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, especially if you are insecure by nature. Getting over relationship insecurities can be hard for you.

Insecurity often boils down to a deep feeling of inadequacy in a relationship. You may feel like you aren’t smart, pretty, funny or interesting enough to keep your partner’s attention. Insecurity may also stem from a distrust from your partner due to a past indiscretion on their behalf.

Feeling insecure about yourself or your spouse can do some serious damage to an otherwise healthy relationship. Here are 6 tips on how you can start getting over relationship insecurities.

Consider Your Baggage

Some of the best relationship advice you can follow for handling insecurities in your marriage is to pinpoint the source of the problem. Some examples of what led you to this emotional point may be that:

  • You have been cheated on in the past
  • You watched your parents go through a messy divorce
  • Your current spouse has been unfaithful in the past
  • You have experienced a drastic change in appearance (weight gain/loss/pregnancy)
  • Your emotional connection to your spouse feels lacking

The list can go on and on, but it is important to learn where your insecurities are stemming from. Once you know what led to your romantic insecurities, you will be better equipped to handle them.

Stop Comparing Yourself

Always remember that comparison is the thief of joy. The more you compare yourself to someone else, the less happy you will be in your marriage.

It is common for someone who is feeling insecure to begin comparing themselves to their spouse’s former lovers. This can lead to boiling jealousy, hurtful fights, and much irritation for both you and your partner.

If your spouse wanted to be with someone else, they wouldn’t be with you. Your partner is not with their ex-flame, they are with you. They love you, are charmed by you, and choose to spend their time with you because they enjoy doing so. Remember that the next time you are feeling insecure about your partner’s past.

Get It Out of Your System

talking about insecurities

If you’re feeling insecure or jealous and it is bubbling to the surface, don’t wait for it to explode. Let it out!

The longer you hold back your insecurities, the more time they have to build and fester. Instead of letting things spiral out of control, talk to your partner about it. Do that before you start snooping on your partner’s phone, following them around, and having friends check up on them.

Communication is the key to a healthy relationship, especially when you are feeling insecure or jealous.

When you sit down to talk to your partner, don’t snap at them or turn your insecurities into an argument. And trust us, that can be very easy to do.

Instead, speak calmly and reasonably about how you’re feeling. Explain to your partner why you might be feeling this way. You will likely find them to be understanding and eager to help in this matter.

Practice Self-Care

The best relationship advice for building confidence is by practicing self-love. Take care of yourself. Dress up, take a bubble bath or play guitar. Whatever makes you feel great, do more of it!

Exercising is a great way to build confidence. Learn to appreciate the unique qualities that make you a lovable and valuable partner to your spouse.

When you exercise, you are feeding your self-confidence.

Exercising triggers your body to release a compound neurotransmitter called dopamine. It’s the body’s natural reward system that causes euphoric feelings of happiness. This mood-elevator can do wonders for your confidence and overall outlook on yourself and your marriage.

Getting fit and stronger is another benefit of working out. You’ll find that the healthier your body feels, the better your mental state will be in. Doctors recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day for the best results both mentally and physically.

Have a Regular Date Night

Emotional and physical intimacy are both integral to a happy marriage. Scheduling time each week to spend a romantic, fun or exciting evening together as a couple is a great way to strengthen these aspects of your relationship.

Studies show that building emotional intimacy and boosting oxytocin is actually proven to boost trust in humans. Having more trust in your spouse will put you at ease about your insecurities. It’ll give you more time to spend enjoying each other’s company.

When sitting down for date night, make sure to put your phones away. Having an electronic-free date night will prevent you and your spouse from feeling snubbed or unappreciated.

Write It Down

writing down insecurities

It’s healthy and wise to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling, but you can’t do that 24/7. Not only is it unhealthy for you to make them the source of your constant reassurance, but it is exhausting for your partner.

Make it a goal to talk about your insecurities for no more than 20 to 30 minutes a week. If you still feel the need to talk about it after this time frame, why not create a journal?

In a study done by the BMJ Journal, patients undergoing stressful situations were encouraged to write about their plans for the day for three 20-minute periods over the course of several days. The results showed a reduction in emotional stress. Just from writing!

Writing down your feelings is an excellent way to get them out of your system without starting a fight or getting upset with your partner.

See Also: 3 Writing Techniques to Increase your Self-Esteem  

It’s normal to have insecurities, even in healthy relationships. Focus on the good in yourself and in your spouse. Learn a healthy way to communicate with your partner about your insecurities and always work to build up your relationship. Following these best relationship advice tips will help you maintain a happy marriage.

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How To Stop Unhappiness Rituals in Your Relationships

I once had a patient, we’ll call her Betty, tell me that every night she would cook her spouse a gourmet dinner. At first, it didn’t look like she was unhappy in a relationship. After dinner, she would ask, “How was your dinner?”

The response was always the same: “So, so.”

Every night, she would find herself angry, unhappy, and resentful. She would focus on how hopeless her situation was. After all, she told herself that all she wanted was to please her partner and to get a little appreciation for her efforts. This woman was definitely unhappy in a relationship.

What is an Unhappiness Ritual?

unhappiness ritual

An unhappiness ritual is a repeated, unsatisfying, cyclical behavior that leads us to unhappiness. There is always a beginning to our unhappiness rituals. Entrance to them is usually initiated by the person who maintains the ritual. As long as we keep our unhappiness rituals going, there is no end to the hopelessness, disappointment, resentment, guilt, and anger that comes as a result.

Over time, unhappiness rituals become automatic. They become habits. We unconsciously include them. The unhappy feelings, which is the outcome of our unhappiness rituals can evolve into a state of chronic discontent and bitterness. Depression often awaits us as we endure with predictable outcomes.

How do unhappiness rituals begin?

Let’s review the patient above.

Her unhappiness ritual with cooking dinner began because she unknowingly needed some kindness, appreciation, and validation from her husband. She didn’t put those needs into words. It was rather a wordless longing inside her.

Then, the idea came to her that cooking nightly gourmet dinners would certainly invite conversation and expressed appreciation from her husband. When her solution didn’t give her the outcome she wanted, she kept on cooking, hoping things would change. She initially became disappointed.

Then, she became sad. Anger and resentment took over. She became stuck in a repetitive unhappiness cycle.

Here is the equation for the inception of unhappiness rituals:

  1. We have an unarticulated, unmet want that is surrounded by a discontent about our need not being met.
  2. We try to get our needs met by creating a solution.
  3. The solution doesn’t work. Our needs are not met. We get stuck in the solution, hoping that one day our needs will be met.

Why do we stay stuck?

Think back to when you learned to drive a car. If you were like most, you paid attention to how you pulled away from the curb. You always put on your turn signal and you checked the speedometer to make sure you were not going too fast. You were aware of what you were doing and what other drivers were doing.

Compare that to how you drive a car now.

After years of driving, isn’t all that you do on the highways and byways automatic? Do you consciously think about how you drive? Probably not, because your driving is now habituated. You do it without even thinking about what you are doing.

We get stuck in unhappiness rituals the exact same way.

We practice them over and over and without knowing, they become automatic. Like Betty, she no longer was aware that every evening around 4:00 she would begin thinking about what she would cook for her husband.

She would comb Gourmet magazine or her recipe books for new and delicious-sounding recipes. Around 5:00, Betty would have selected a meal and she would begin preparing it. Her mantra was, “maybe this time my husband will love the dinner.”

She reported that she was “always hurt when I got the same “so-so” response, night after night.

We become unconsciously and habitually stuck in our unhappiness rituals. Inexplicably, in our stuckness, we expect others to change their responses. It is our fervent hope that others will “get it” and we will be acknowledged, appreciated or feel loved because someone else changed their behaviors.

How to stop being unhappy in a relationship

unhappy relationship

After some therapy and planning, here’s what Betty did:

She stopped putting so much energy into meal preparation and she stopped asking her husband how he liked his dinner! Does that sound too simple?

It took Betty some time to gather the courage to sort out the needs and feelings that were related to her unhappiness ritual. She took quite some time for her to embrace the idea of stepping out of her automatic behaviors. It took creating new ways of interacting and connecting.

How to get out of your unhappiness rituals:

  1. Identify what is causing unhappiness for you. What is it that you repeatedly do that leads to your unhappy feelings?
  2. Name your feelings. Instead of just saying you feel unhappy, name exactly what the feelings are. Are you resentful or in an unhappiness ritual because of guilt? Are you accustomed to being a victim in your life and therefore being in an unhappiness ritual feels comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time? Exploration of your feelings is more easily done with a neutral third party involved.
  3. Learn what you are needing. We enter unhappiness rituals through a desire to get some response usually from another person.
  4. Dissect your ritual. When does it begin? What thoughts go through your mind? What do you tell yourself? Is guilt, retribution, anger, revenge, manipulation or setting yourself up for victimization a driving force? Write it down. Look at it.
  5. Clearly state what it is about your unhappiness ritual that you want to stop.

Action exiting

Change is very difficult as our automatic behaviors are hardwired into our brains. It takes consciousness and perseverance to depart from our unhappiness rituals, especially when they have become entrenched through years of practice.

Betty made a step-by-step plan. She took action!

She identified that around 4:00 pm, she would start planning the evening meal. Her first exodus step was to create activities for herself at that hour.

After some time, Betty decided that she and her neighbor would either play tennis at the local community center or hike with their dogs. In inclement weather, Betty worked out at the gym.

Unhappiness rituals usually fall apart after we intervene on our first step into the ritual.

Next, Betty stopped her subscription to Gourmet Magazine and she boxed up her cookbooks and the recipes that she had collected from newspapers over the years. She put them in the guest room closet.

Then, she considered what types of meals she would make for dinner. Betty decided on some frozen, pre-prepared meals and fresh salads. She had advised her husband.

It went like this:

Honey, I have changed my schedule so I won’t be dedicating so much time to preparing dinner. Just wanted you to know. I’ve got to go right now. I’m going to the gym. If you have any questions, we can discuss it later.

Notice that Betty was brief and respectful. She simply told her husband that she was making a change and then, she exited. No justifications and no explanations. No processing of feelings and no making her husband wrong for not fulfilling her unspoken needs.

To exit an unhappiness ritual:

  1. Write down a plan. Get feedback from an impartial party.
  2. Tell the person/people involved what the change is going to be. Discussing the reason for the change is not necessary and usually leads to a diatribe about our unhappiness because someone else is not meeting our needs (which usually translates into blaming them for our feelings and for making a change necessary).
  3. Plan activities you can do before you enter your unhappiness ritual.
  4. Stick to your change. Practice the change you have selected. Do the change.
  5. Remember, the more you practice your new behavior, the more quickly it becomes automatic.

Finally, get yourself out of your unhappiness rituals. If you follow the steps, you will alleviate emotional pain and find yourself happier and more satisfied with your life.

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5 Reasons a Messy Desk Is Not Good For Your Productivity

Do you feel stressed or distracted as soon as you get to work? Here’s one cause you may not have considered: not having a clean desk at work

Sure, you’ve probably heard things like “yeah, my desk is messy, but so was Einstein’s”. This idea that having a cluttered desk is a good thing has become much more common in the last few years. But alas, that doesn’t make it right and we’re going to do a bit of debunking.

Here are 5 reasons why a cluttered desk isn’t better:

messy desk

It Creates Stress

When you start the day feeling like you’re behind, that can be deeply discouraging. That’s exactly what happens (even subconsciously) when you’ve got unsorted piles all over your workspace.

It’s Distracting

A mess can stop your flow. If you find your eyes drifting to the odds and ends strewn around your desk, those moments are lost time. More importantly, it’s an interruption. This can be particularly counterproductive when you’re “in-the-zone” and cranking out fast, quality work.

It’s Unhealthy

The average office keyboard has roughly 7,500 bacteria on it. Taking care of yourself includes taking care of your work surfaces. An uncleaned desk can have a real impact on how often you’re sick or not feeling well.

It Can Undermine Your Reputation

According to Adecco, a majority of Americans (57%) admit they judge co-workers by how clean or dirty they keep their workspaces.

If you work in an office or shared space, your desk will impact how your colleagues and superiors see you. A messy or disorganized desk can be interpreted as a sign you are disorganized and inefficient in your work. That’s not the type of image any of us want.

It Reduces Self Confidence

In addition to affecting the way others see you, a messy desk can impact how you see yourself. Don’t miss the importance of this. Having confidence can have a profound impact on how you present yourself and pursue your work. A clean desk at work is a very simple step that can have a variety of benefits in your professional life.

Now that we’ve established the negative effects of a messy desk, let’s do something about it. Here are 4 things you can start today to get your desk in order:

organized desk

1. Create a Cleaning Habit

Even 15 minutes/week makes a huge difference. I like to do this on Friday afternoons. It gives me a sense of resolution and paves the way for a positive start on Monday morning. If you want to go bigger, decluttering at the end of each workday can be a great cadence.

2. Purge Based on Frequency

If you don’t use it every week, store it or throw it away. If you use it every week, put it in an easily accessible bin/shelf/drawer. In case you use it daily (or hourly), keep it within reach. The idea is to strategically place files, tools, and materials based on how often you use them.

3. Create a Clear Filing System

This applies to paper files and digital files. The amount of time we waste trying to find stuff is outrageous. Take an hour to establish a clear system. This will save you hours (even weeks) in the long run.

4. Splurge on Organization Tools

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your desk is to add something to it. That may be a bit counter-intuitive but adding something like a shelf or desk cover can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your workspace.

That’s it, now do it! Add a block to your calendar or planner and transform your workspace into a well-oiled machine.

The post 5 Reasons a Messy Desk Is Not Good For Your Productivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The One Post Breakup Thing Women Need to Do

“I’m not happy anymore. I see no future with you. I will never love you. You need to accept that and move on. I’m sorry.”

As cliché as it may sound, that was the last I heard from the guy I was so desperately in love with. He’s the guy who dumped me for his major insecurities, male ego, and limitless tail-chasing.

After some time, he went with a follow up stating that he wanted the possibility of a friendship with me- different from what I had been hoping for with him.

break up

You’d like to think that I immediately jumped at the chance to get back together, even if it’s just on a level of completely platonic pals. Or perhaps one of his many previous conquests-now-turned-buddies.

Well, let me tell you this.

I was not that desperate and pathetic.

Flipping him off was below my ladylike standards, so I told him an outright no.

Naturally, he didn’t understand my reluctance as much as I couldn’t comprehend why he wanted to keep me with him, when in fact he’d expressed openly in different terms that he’d rather close the chapter of his life where I was in it, to begin with.

How to handle a break-up with class

post break up

After a breakup, especially in this sort of situation, no matter how much you think it will work on your favor, never beg or plead. That’s even if you are still completely not over or might never be over him. By never, I mean it would be horrific and downright mortifying once you come to your senses!

Trust me. Begging does not work, even if you blackmail him emotionally.

And, do not accept a “Just Be Friends” proposition from the man who brutally jilted you under any circumstance at all! It would be unfair of him to ask that of you, especially when you didn’t want whatever relationship you had to end in the first place.

Handling breakups are different for the vast majority of us as there are a lot of factors that tend to vary.

However, acting loony will get you nowhere.

Overreacting would be a nasty faux pas.

Blowing up his phone and stalking him on social media would not only strain an already non-existent relationship. It would also make you- and not him- more miserable in the long run.

My dear women, I say, go through the breakup with class and what’s left of your dignity.

Various online dating gurus would tell you this and I can attest that it absolutely works a hundred and ten percent: Lose all form of contact with him, as long as it would take for you to reconvene your feelings and your life in general.

Human nature dictates that pain is unwanted, in every aspect, be it physical or emotional.

Unquestionably, going through your normal routine will prove to be very, very difficult. You may find yourself at the end of some nights tired, weeping, and lonely but don’t fret too much. It’s all part of the process to heal yourself.

The bottom line is for you to get a life where you are happy and secure with yourself. You don’t need him to be in it.

Then, live that life and let things run their course.

If he comes back, then it’s up to you to accept him. If you do accept, set boundaries for yourself, which he has to learn to respect.

In case he doesn’t, well, do you really want a man who wants to stay uncommitted and yet desires the benefits of a committed relationship?

See Also: Let Go of Your Ex: 7 Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

The post The One Post Breakup Thing Women Need to Do appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stay Strong and Extremely Resilient In Chaos

Despite avoiding the news and mainstream influence 90% of the time, I’m still aware that the world is in a state of chaos and that people are having a hard time finding peace in chaos. Especially in the United States’ political climate, we see ongoing negativity, reactivity, and ignorance.

We typically see chaos as a negative concept while order is preferred. With order there’s stability and predictability, thus we know we won’t be challenged. But of course, a challenge is important to an individual’s growth and most of us know that deep down.

The same goes for societies – they must be challenged to either grow or dismantle.

In nature, chaos is generally what happens before growth and change. While yes, chaos can cause an organism to die. However, it is stagnancy and repetition of old patterns that lead to death.

So, what does this mean for the individual who’s trying to stay sane in the midst of (what is often) other people’s chaos and pain?

Here are what I’ve found to be the two most useful actions to take:

Disconnect

disconnect

NOTE: This does not mean give up. Disconnecting isn’t the same as becoming apathetic and complacent.

Disconnecting is an act of self-preservation and restoration. It simply means you are choosing to disconnect from the things that you know to be false. It could be anything that goes against peace, authenticity, etc.

This will probably include a lot of media.

You will need to take long breaks from the news, social media, and maybe even social events in which your friends/family relentlessly complain, argue, etc. By disconnecting, you claim back your power and separate yourself from the endless barrage of negativity – a lot of which is inflated and false.

You get comfortable in your own energy, without the TV blaring or a friend listing all the horrible things that happened that day. This is an especially critical practice for empaths who have trouble holding their own energy around others. Disconnecting doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means you care enough to make a change.

Act from the Center

staying strong

Once you’ve disconnected from the mainstream thought process, you can then have a genuine, positive impact. This is HUGE.

Why?

Because everyone else is so caught up in the struggle – the bickering, the wallowing, the insistence that “my way is the best way.”

In this state, chaos, inequality, and violence will continue to flourish indefinitely. The only thing that holds society together is individuals who step outside the thought stream and say, “here’s what I’m going to do to benefit people today.”

Period.

They act from their center because they’ve disconnected from the outside enough to hear their own voice. These people go on to start businesses, volunteer projects, fundraisers or even just bring their own families back to a place of stability. As a famous musician wrote, “they hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds.”

So, if you’re uncertain of what to do and wish you could have an impact during these times of chaos, try this and see what comes out of it. You might be surprised at how stepping back can actually save time and allow for greater productivity.

The post How to Stay Strong and Extremely Resilient In Chaos appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Tell If You Or Someone You Love Is A Narcissist

We have all known that person, the one who monopolizes the conversations or seems to always have a flattering story to tell – always about themselves. Maybe, we listen politely for a bit and make a break for it as soon as we possibly can. Perhaps, we suffer silently while inwardly rolling our eyes.

But what if that person is you? Would you even know it?

Identifying narcissism in others is one thing. There are some glaring signs that we can all agree upon. However, identifying it in yourself can be more difficult.

Most narcissists have no idea that they fall into this category. They often view themselves as unique, special, outgoing or justifiably confident. What they don’t realize is that those views taken to the extreme can cause many problems in their relationships, work or even their family.

Why Narcissism Is Dangerous

narcissistic person

Although narcissism can be a dangerous trait, it exists in all of us to some degree. In its most mild and most common form, it can be looked at as a desire to feel special. We can all relate to that on some level. Wanting to feel like there is something that makes us unique, interesting or desirable is completely normal.

For some, however, this goes far beyond the general desire to stand out. For certain people, narcissism can become so extreme that they can no longer relate to anyone around them. They feel they are in a category of greatness no one can understand. They may also assume that they are so unique that rules don’t apply to them or that they are more interesting and have far more to offer than anyone else.

The narcissist may become so intent on proving their superiority that they lie, manipulate or hurt those around them. They do these things in order to maintain the feeling that they are better and more worthy of admiration than anyone else. While these behaviors are destructive in and of themselves, they also have an impact that goes far beyond the day-to-day.

Relationships for someone with extreme narcissistic behavior are often either short-lived or unhealthy. A healthy relationship balances the needs of both partners with each respecting and appreciating the other. When your focus is completely on yourself, this isn’t possible. People in relationships with narcissists will often be used as a prop for the narcissist’s ego. This should prompt a swift end to a relationship because it often results in emotional and mental abuse.

Recognizing Narcissism

narcissist

This isn’t really a fair question because almost everyone will answer no. None of us wants to feel like our behavior rises to that level. It is possible, however, that you are or someone you love is exhibiting narcissistic tendencies.

Consider the following questions when recognizing narcissism:

  • Do you often feel like your decision-making skills are better than others?
  • Do you override what others want because you are sure your desires/interests/plans are better?
  • Are your achievements over-embellished?
  • Do you often think, “they will thank me for this later” when you are doing things?
  • Do you feel like you have an undiscovered talent and you are just biding your time until people see it?
  • Are you a good listener or are you just waiting for someone to stop talking so that you can talk?
  • Do you feel like you have a way to get around things you don’t like and that the rules don’t really apply to you?
  • Do you expect to receive special treatment above others in the same situation?
  • Are you looking forward to talking about your achievements?
  • Do you always have an “I can do you one better” kind of story when others have talked about something?
  • Do you reject criticism and feedback as being stupid or a product of other people’s jealousy of you?

If the answer to more than a couple of these questions is yes, you or the person you answered for could likely be classified as a narcissist.

Narcissism can be a disabling trait. It destroys friendships, romantic relationships, careers, and causes a great deal of personal pain and conflict. When a person finally comes to terms with the truth, it can be a difficult road to recovery.

If you recognize these behaviors in yourself or someone else, it is time to initiate change. For a narcissist, change is a big step in the right direction.

That change is possible but it won’t happen overnight. So, if you or someone you love is trying to make positive alterations, be patient. With time, effort, and a good support system it can be done.

The post How To Tell If You Or Someone You Love Is A Narcissist appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Avoid The Regret of Yesterday And The Fear of Tomorrow

“We look neither ahead nor backward. We look straight into the present.”

Stay in the present, be in the now, just for today.

We’ve heard those lines time and time again, but we still struggle to get hold of this life-changing concept.

Why? Why is it so hard to know how to stay in the present?

If we’ve been told that focusing on the present is the answer to all of our problems, then why do we find it so hard to do it?

Why do we insist on continually dragging ourselves back into the past or propelling ourselves forward into the future?

The answer is simple. It’s because it’s easy to say but not so easy to do!

So, here are 5 tips on how to stay in the present.

Focus on one thing and look at it with all of your might

I’m not talking about some random object like a pencil or a chair. Looking at that with all of your might would be pretty pointless and boring.

I mean something in nature. It could be a tree, a flower, your dog or your cat.

Stare at it with all of your might. Take every single tiny detail in.

If you’ve chosen to focus on a tree, watch how each leaf moves individually. Zoom in on the lines and texture of the bark and count how many different hues of green you can see. Listen to the tree whisper to you as the wind dances through the branches.

If you decided to gaze willfully at your pet, watch how its body moves gently as it breathes. Watch how it gazes so simply into space or how peacefully it sleeps. Focus on its nose and how it subtly twitches as it smells the world.

When you focus solely on something like that, you are being 100% at the moment and you won’t even realize it.

See Also: Feeling Stuck In a Rut? Here’s How to Change Your Focus

Do a guided meditation every day, just for 10 minutes

practice meditation

Come on now, it’s just ten minutes.

I don’t believe you are that busy that you can’t throw a quick 10-minute guided meditation into your day.

You don’t have to be a spiritual guru or a yogi in order to meditate. Anyone can do it and it really is the best way to center you into the present moment.

There are some brilliant meditation apps for your phone that make meditation quick and easy. Check out Calm or Headspace.

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

Watch the world like you’re watching a movie

When you are sitting on a train or a bus, sitting in a coffee shop or restaurant or even walking down the street, imagine yourself sitting in a movie theater.

Be absolutely still for a moment and just watch everything that is happening all around you in that very moment.

The movie is called ‘Life’ and it’s a fly on the wall documentary film.

It’s the quickest way to get out of your head and find your way straight back to the present.

Focus on the soles of your feet

A weird one I know, like my other four suggestions haven’t been somewhat odd.

If you find yourself feeling all kinds of yucky because you’re preoccupied with what happened yesterday or what’s going down tomorrow, just pause for a moment and focus on the soles of your feet.

Close your eyes and just zone in. Try and feel the soft skin on the soles of your feet without touching them with your hands. Simply use your concentration.

Feel the soles of your feet against your shoes or how they feel against the tiled floor or the grass between your toes. Pay attention to your toes, the arch of your foot, and the bottom of your heal.

Sounds weird but while zoning out on your feet, you’re actually being completely in the present moment. Your thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow have disappeared.

Dance

dance with abandonement

Dancing with abandonment is the best way to clear your head of overthinking and to just feel joy and pleasure right now.

I’m not saying you have to start dancing with abandonment in the middle of the supermarket or at the bus stop. However, if you have the courage to do that, then kudos to you.

No, I’m just suggesting you put some headphones on, lock your bedroom door, and just have a quick boogie to one of your favorite uplifting songs.

It’s impossible not to stay present when you’re strutting your stuff without a care in the world.

The post How to Avoid The Regret of Yesterday And The Fear of Tomorrow appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Crush Uncertainty And Realize Your Dreams

You know the feeling.

You have a dream or maybe a plan. You’ve been at it for quite some time now. Weeks, months or maybe years.

And yet, the dream hasn’t come true yet. In fact, you feel farther from your goal than ever before.

Doubtful thoughts mess with your head in an infinite loop.

What is it that you’re missing?

Are you not smart enough? Is it about luck? Are you too young/old for this?

You feel you know what it takes to make your dream come true, but what if you’re wrong?

Maybe you’re wrong in thinking that you know how to do this.

And that’s exactly what is holding you back.

The Hidden Failure Of Conventional Wisdom

You’ve heard the advice.

Believe in yourself.

Focus.

Keep a positive attitude.

Never give up.

Whatever your goal is, if you follow all of those, you should be able to achieve your goals, right?

Wrong.

Here’s why.

Imagine you’ve come to a new city. You do not know what places to explore. So, you use a map to guide yourself.

Except, it’s the wrong map.

No matter how much you search for a place, the map will always mislead you. You can keep a positive attitude, reaffirm your self-belief, and try as hard as you can. It wouldn’t get you any closer to your destination.

Unless you realize you have the wrong map, the only place you’ll reach is frustration.

Why Most People Fail To Achieve Their Goals

achieving goals

You learn from life experiences. Take a moment and think about all the things you know today.

If your father is a software engineer, you probably started to code at a very young age. If your uncle is a professional painter, you would know the different color combinations and brush strokes.

In short, your life experiences have been a source of knowledge.

But here’s the problem.

Your life experiences are limited. So, the things you learn are also limited.

What happens when your goal lies outside your life experience?

What if you want to build a business when everyone in your family has had traditional jobs? How to be a creative writer when the only people around you are corporate buddies?

How to make up for what you do not know?

You do the obvious.

You guess what will work and hope that you’re right.

Usually, you’re wrong.

See Also: Your Ability To Fail Without Fear Is A Requirement To Reach Your Goals

What Does It Really Take To Succeed?

Two reasons why the successful achieve their goals:

  • They know things that you don’t know.
  • They do things that you don’t do.

If you study the methods of successful people, it becomes obvious that their approach is unique and counter-intuitive.

More specifically, it’s counter-intuitive to your guesses, because you don’t understand things the way they do.

Here’s a personal example.

Years ago, I started a blog without knowing much about it.

I guessed that I should start a WordPress website and write as well as I can. The readers will happily show up on their own.

What I just described is the fantasy of every blogger on this planet.

Unfortunately, it’s merely a fantasy. It never happens this way.

Today, we have hundreds of thousands of blogs. With so many options for a reader, I’ll probably get lost in the crowd of average bloggers, even if I was really good.

It wasn’t just about writing good content and hoping people to show up. I needed to find my readers and bring them to my blog. I have to learn about them and produce my best work that actually helps them. Apart from that, I should do this consistently and exactly in this order.

See Also: 5 Habits Of Successful People You Should Be Following Today

How To Not Waste Years In Making Silly Mistakes

The real reason you fail at goals is that you have no idea of what it takes- at least initially.

And if you rely on personal experiences, you’ll have to make tons of mistakes and take years to learn what works.

How to learn about things that you’ve not experienced?

“Proactive Learning”.

You learn how to “avoid” making mistakes. You realize the common pitfalls ahead and prepare in advance.

Why wait to learn from mistakes when you can find and avoid them in advance?

You may feel that avoiding all mistakes is not possible. We all falter and that is true.

However, do you really have to make all the mistakes that most people make all the time?

Instead of making 100 common mistakes, would it not make sense to avoid 90 by being proactive? Just because a person walking ahead of you fell into a hole doesn’t mean that you should, too.

Simply walk around it.

Go Back To First Grade

I know what you’re thinking.

“All this sounds great. Sure, it would be great to avoid mistakes instead of making them. But we realize our mistakes after we’ve made them. How to predict mistakes before making them?”

To answer the above question, you need to answer this first:

Who knows more about building a profitable business?

A businessman earning huge profits or an employee of an organization?

It’s obvious.

It’s the businessman.

He knows how to build a business. He’s done this for years now. He made some mistakes along the way but finally, he is successful.

He knows this game.

If you seek his help, he will show you the right way. He’ll tell you what steps to take. He’ll explain what mistakes most beginners make and how you can avoid them.

His lessons can be the difference between your business thriving or turning to dust.

This question points to an important truth.

99% of people never do much in life. So, when they hear about your dream, the best they can do is discourage you. They’ll call you mad for believing in something big.

But there’s also the 1% that actually make progress, achieve dreams, and realize their aspirations.

These people want you to trust in your dream just like they did. These people don’t want you to give up just like how they didn’t. They want you to succeed just like they did because they know it’s possible.

Your job is to become deaf to the 99% and learn from the 1%.

Not everyone’s opinion matters.

Become A Zen Student Of Success

By now you must have realized:

  1. If you chase your dreams on your own, it’ll take you years before you make it (you can still do it though).
  2. You can save years of effort and time if you learn from successful people.

But, you may still be wondering.

How to learn from the successful?

These people are extremely busy. Bill Gates isn’t sitting close to his phone, waiting excitedly for your call so that he can teach you his Microsoft secret.

The answer.

You live in the Information Age.

There are books, interviews, audio podcasts, and so much more out there. You can sign up for premium courses. A little research can find you plenty of resources to help you understand their methods and philosophies.

You want to understand what they know and how they act based on that knowledge. You’re looking to avoid the mistakes which they’ve made when they started out. You’re looking to succeed without falling into the traps that kept them stuck.

As you pursue proactive learning, you’ll begin to see the following benefits:

  1. Stronger self-belief – Learning from the successful will give you success stories affirming that you’re not crazy in chasing your dreams. Their stories prove it’s possible.
  2. Better Focus – When you’re unsure of your plan, you keep wondering if you’ve made the wrong plan. Proactive learning gives you better focus because you know it will work.
  3. Better Planning – You know you’re learning from the best, so your plan is bulletproof. It has worked earlier and will probably work for you, too.

Rise Of The Superhero In You

rise of the superhero

So, now you know.

You know exactly how to find what it takes to succeed.

Like Luke Skywalker, you will blast the Death Star of self-doubtful thoughts. There is “A New Hope”.

You’re free.

It’s not about being smart, lucky or having the right age. It’s about finding what actually works in real life and then doing it.

You no longer have to guess. By learning from the successful, you will know exactly what to do and what mistakes to avoid. No way are you falling for those traps again.

Like an expert driver avoiding most bumps on the road, the way to your dreams will be one pleasant ride.

Buy that book on business principles. Sign up for that writing course. Book that coaching session with your ideal teacher.

Your goal is no longer lost in some distant future. It’s coming true right now. Every action you take is in the right direction.

You’ve found the right map.

Now, your beliefs, attitudes, and focus will skyrocket your growth.

Go live your dream.

The post How To Crush Uncertainty And Realize Your Dreams appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Reasons to Head Over to Seoul Right Now

You might have heard the saying: Go to Seoul to refresh your soul.

It is one of those emerging tourist spots where the new meets the old. If you haven’t visited this South Korean capital as of yet, then you should totally do it at least once in your lifetime.

Why visit Seoul?

Here are 7 great reasons why Seoul should be on your must-travel list.

Exciting Nightlife

seoul nightlife

The Seoul scene does not die with the sun. Instead, it comes alive with the darkening skies.

After a hard day’s worth of work, the South Korean population tends to get out of their houses and become a part of the vibrant nightlife culture. Amidst the dazzling neon lights and the echoes of laughter, you’ll find people clubbing to vivacious music in the Gangnam district and relaxing in the mini-pools of Club Bugatti Syndrome.

Other than that, you’ll see them heading to the famous Dongdaemun Market to get their hands on the latest fashionable items and to shop till they drop. Karaoke in Noraebang is also one hot nightlife activity which you should add to your list.

Historically Rich

seoul historical places

Seoul has a tale as old as time which is inscribed on the artifacts in its museums and embedded in its famous historic sites. One such site is the revered Changdeokgung which is a grand royal palace of the times of Joseon dynasty. It has a neat architecture and sprawling gardens.

Similar in the theme is the Gyeongbokgung Palace. It’s a large 14th-century wonder, having an attached museum and a peaceful landscape.

Free guided tours are offered for these sites.

Seoul is quite rich when it comes to museums, covering both antiquity and modernity. This includes the 1946-built National Folk Museum of Korea, which highlights the customs and culture of the Korean people. There’s the 2005-built National Museum of Korea as well which displays recent military artworks.

You can visit these, in addition to the famous War Memorial, traditional neighborhoods of the Bukchon Hanok Village, and the rehabilitated historical city gates of Namdaemun and Heunginjimun.

Technologically Savvy

Even though Seoul’s feet are dipped in its traditions, it continues to soar through the clouds of digitization. Just take a look at last year’s Olympics that Seoul hosted.

There were multi-lingual robot greeters, virtual reality ski-jumping simulators, ‘ghost skier’ technology and holograms, 5G speeds, and integrated AI to blow the mind of the internationally visiting crowds.

Other than this, Seoul’s passion for technology shows in its architectural wonders, too. Just look at the Lotte World Tower which was constructed in 2016 and opened to the public in early 2017.

It is a major recreational complex which hosts the world’s largest indoor theme park, movie theaters, and shopping facilities. But its most advanced and highlighting feature is its super-fast elevator which covers ten meters per second. It’s covered with animating screens on all sides.

Spiritually Enlightened

Even though the people of Seoul are becoming more religious, they still value their old traditions at heart. They continue to respectfully visit their Buddhist temples of yore.

These quaint places are full of spiritual energy and you can be a part of it by going for the so-called Templestay Programs. It’ll allow you to live like the Buddhist monks for more than one night. You can observe their rituals and even go on a lengthy discussion with the resident scholars. The 7-story pagoda temple of Jogyesa with vast halls should be on your list.

Low-Budget Options

Though it is true that the average cost of living in Seoul is going on the rise, there are still some pocket-friendly options which will not bore a hole through your budget.

The accommodation is pretty cheap. It’s around US $10 a night if you go to an Airbnb. You can also easily book a dormitory or rent a room in a guesthouse online.

Not only that, if you go around Seoul on public transportation instead of hiring a private cab, you’ll save a lot. Food is also quite budget-friendly and tasty.

So, it is possible to have fun in Seoul without going too much out of your way- money-wise.

Hiking & Mountaineering Possibilities

seoul bukhansan

Seoul is a confirmed metropolis but that does not mean that it lacks natural wonders. There are mountain ranges interspersed throughout the land, offering many hiking opportunities for the locals and the tourists.

Bukhansan is one such range. Having a triple-peaked face, it’s located near Seoul. It’s around 2744 feet in height and is a part of a wider Bukhansan National Park.

Other than that, there is a mountain fortress city to the southeast named Namhansanseong. It’s one of the ideal places to hike through. Inwangsan which means ‘mountain of generous king’ and Gwanaksan are other famous mountain ranges which you should look into.

Culinary Varieties

seoul culinary varieties

If meat-based dishes are for you, then you need to visit the famous Korean BBQ spots.

Imagine carving through the tender marbled cuts of meat lightly seasoned to suit your taste. Brings water to your mouth, doesn’t it?

Head over to Wang Bi Jib to savor such high-quality cuisine. If you’re a vegetarian, then there are Buddhist food options for you, too. One of them is located at the tranquil Sanchon. If you’re a fan of the weird and the extravagant, then Seoul’s themed cafes are waiting for you. Cartooned Hello Kitty or Kakao Friends cafes are some of the most popular sites.

So, what are you waiting for?

Make South Korea’s Seoul your travel destination ASAP.

The post 7 Reasons to Head Over to Seoul Right Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

9 Dental Health Myths That You Should Stop Believing Now

For you to keep your overall health, experts say that you shouldn’t neglect your oral health. It’s because a healthy set of teeth is one of the indicators of your well-being. Failure to take care of it is the same as letting your physical health down the drain.

Thus, it’s not surprising that a lot of people today consider their oral health as one of their priorities for having a healthy lifestyle. However, there are still some folks out there who believe in dental myths. Instead of making their teeth healthy, wrong beliefs cause their oral health to deteriorate.

To clear things, below is a list of dental myths and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: The More Sugar You Eat, The Worse It is For Your Teeth

dental health myths

Yes, sugar can cause cavities on your teeth. However, having tooth cavities is not much about the amount of sugar you consume, but how long it stays in your mouth.

Sugar creates acid that wears away the enamel of your tooth.

So, if sugar stays longer in your mouth, the more it produces acid and the more chances your teeth will have cavities. Thus, after eating sugary food, you should brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.

Myth #2: You Should Only Blame Sugar

It’s not true that sugar is the only bad guy that causes tooth cavity. Starchy foods, alcohol, citrus fruits, and sugar-free carbonated drinks can also cause damage to your precious teeth.

So, if you’re indeed prioritizing your oral health, you should quit eating those foods and start eating fruits and vegetables that are abundant in fiber. Fiber-rich foods can generate the flow of saliva that restores the mineral in your teeth.

Myth #3: Chewing Sugar-Free Gum is as Good as Brushing

Some people believe that chewing a sugarless gum does well as brushing your teeth. If science backs this argument, children would surely be happy. However, it’s not accurate.

Although a sugar-free gum that contains xylitol can help protect your teeth, it still won’t replace your toothbrush in providing yourself with good oral hygiene.

You still need to see to it that you brush your teeth thrice a day to make your teeth pearly clean and to clear away the bad breath.

Myth #4: Flossing is Unnecessary

Some folks out there consider flossing unnecessary and a waste of time. They argue that brushing is enough. Unfortunately, experts say that brushing your teeth is not sufficient. You should include flossing in your oral health regimen.

It’s because there are parts in your mouth that your toothbrush may find hard to reach. That would amount to 33 percent of your mouth uncleaned. To achieve optimal oral health, make it a habit to floss your teeth.

Myth #5: Hard Brushing Will Make Your Teeth Cleaner

hard brushing

It’s not true that brushing your teeth hard can make it cleaner. In fact,  hard brushing can cause bleeding and damage to your teeth and gums. It can chip away the tooth enamel that serves as a shield from bacteria.

So, it will do you better if you brush your teeth gently. If your gums and teeth are sensitive, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing.

Always keep in mind that you should brush your teeth in a 45-degree angle to your gums. Don’t forget to work the toothbrush inside and outside the parts of your teeth. Also, clean your tongue as well as your gums.

Myth #6: Pearly White Teeth is Healthy

It’s a common misconception for many that a set of white teeth is healthy. The thing is that having a set of white teeth is not a standard for optimal oral health. That’s because humans don’t have the same natural color for their teeth.

An individual can have a whiter set of teeth than another, but it doesn’t mean that the person has better oral hygiene. Fresh breath and zero cavity are the primary indications that a person has healthy teeth.

Myth #7: Aspirin is Better at Soothing Toothache

There’s truth that aspirin can relieve your toothache temporarily if the source of pain is from the gum area. However, if the pain comes from the inside of the tooth, aspirin won’t be that effective. It’s because this medicine can’t infiltrate the inside of the teeth to soothe the affected nerve.

It’s also wrong to take too much aspirin to alleviate your toothache as it burns the gums and can cause further complication.

Myth #8: Tooth Bleaching is Bad

There was a time when tooth bleaching is terrible for the teeth. Before 1990, dentists apply acidic ingredients and highly-concentrated whitening gel in the bleaching process that cause damage to the teeth. These ingredients harm the teeth and prompt the enamel to crumble.

Today, however, dentists only apply pH neutral solution in bleaching. A pH neutral solution gives you no worries as it keeps your white teeth while keeping it unharmed at the same time.

Myth #9: A Dentist is Unnecessary When You Don’t Have a Toothache

People who fail to visit a dentist pay the price when it comes to their oral health. Even if you don’t have a toothache, visiting a dentist is a must for the prevention of oral health diseases.

You should keep in mind that you can’t see the progress of oral health problems immediately at the beginning. For instance, you won’t feel any pain when the cavities are just starting to form on the tooth enamel. It’s also true with gum disease.

For you to prevent these oral health problems from happening, you should regularly visit a dentist to check your teeth. Dental experts can give you an oral check-up to improve your oral health.

See Also: Dental Care for Children With Special Needs

Takeaway

There are a lot of proper ways to keep your teeth healthy, but there are also dental myths you have to be aware of. In improving your teeth, it’s essential that you’re cautious about those misconceptions.

The post 9 Dental Health Myths That You Should Stop Believing Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Productivity Secrets Top-Level CEOs Would Rather Keep to Themselves

Ice freezing offices. Social media. YouTube. Fantasy football leagues. There is one thing all of them have in common – they are all primary suspects for causing your productivity at work to plummet. Even the top-level CEOs fall under temptation to watch the latest cat video uploaded on YouTube. The difference is, they found a way to overcome these bad habits with some simple hacks and tricks.

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” –Paul J. Meyer.

Your environment cannot always be controlled, but you can control what you get accomplished. In addition to that, you can always learn from others, mimic their behavior, and discover how they get things done more efficiently. Certainly, there are some easy ways to accomplish more, like turning off your smartphone or blocking access to YouTube.

However, these are all small things that wouldn’t get you far enough. There are far better ways to become the best version of yourself at work. And the best thing is that you can learn these productivity skills by following the good examples of some of the world’s most successful people.

Below are some productivity secrets top-level CEOs swear on.

Develop the growth mindset

You should never be satisfied with where you and your company are right now. You should know that there is always room for improvement in every area. There is always a better and faster way of doing something.

Elon Musk once said: “You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.”

And that is growth mindset at its finest.

This skill separates successful people from everyone else.

When your mind is trained in such a way, you know that anything is achievable as long as you put enough effort into it. And if by any means you fail, don’t take it too personally. Instead, approach the problem from a different angle until you get it right.

Use technology for productivity, not for the distraction

use technology

We bet that now you are saying: “What are they talking about? In the beginning, they said that technology is credited the most for all the distractions at work.”

Well, yes and no.

Technology can be of great help and top-level CEOs know that. There are plenty of mobile apps that can make their lives a lot easier and stress-free, especially for the ones who travel a lot. Business apps allow them to stay productive and work from wherever they are. They can basically bring their whole offices with them through a device that fits perfectly into their pockets.

Therefore, we decided to share with you one very interesting interactive infographic created by the people from Cometdocs. It will show you what mobile apps can completely and effortlessly replace traditional office equipment. Just click on the blue dots in order to find out what mobile app replaces the selected office element.

See Also: 5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018

Schedule your day around when your brain is at its finest

What we mean by this is you should schedule your day around when your brain is at the peak of its power. Postpone all brainless and unimportant activities until it is fatigued.

First of all, there is one question you have to give a precise answer to: “When is my brain at its peak power?”

Let’s say it is from 7 to 11 a.m.

During that period, you should only focus on your most challenging tasks. Your schedule should be blocked off so you could have as little distractions as possible.

What about after 11 a.m.?

Well, continue with your everyday work, respond to emails, do those charts or call people back.

Basically, your mornings or whenever your concentration is at its best should be kept for important stuff and that time should be non-negotiable. Only afterward should you start dealing with your everyday work.

By following this little hack, you will achieve in 6 months what other people wouldn’t achieve in 2 years!

Set limits for everything, meetings, emails, tasks, you name it

set limits

There is no time for wasting time – see what we did there?

Previously, we talked about how you should plan your day around according to your level of concentration. And now, we will let you know how you should manage your everyday work aside from those prime time hours.

Top level CEOs know how to make the most out of every minute and that is easily achievable by limiting your everyday tasks.

For example, you could limit your meetings to 1 hour, 20 minutes for presentation and 40 minutes for the discussion. Nothing less and nothing more.

Or you could set the limit for the length of the emails you send. That way, you could respond to every work-related email you get and save time because you are keeping the responses short. Basically, every task can be limited in some way and you should definitely take advantage of it.

Replace “but” with “and”

Whenever you say “but” in a conversation, you are indicating that everything that you said before the “but” is not relevant. People are subconsciously trained to immediately forget everything you said before the “but”.

For example, someone may say: “I completely agree with everything you said and did, BUT here is what I think.” Have you felt it? Like your brain is preparing to fight.

Replacing “but” with “and” completely changes the tonality and dynamic of communication and this really works. People feel more appreciated and are likely to be open-minded to new ideas and suggestions when you approach them this way. Try it the next time you want to suggest something, you won’t regret it.

Final thoughts

You may try all of these productivity secrets at once or one tip at the time. The case is, all of the top level CEOs focus on doing several things really well each day rather than doing a hundred things poorly.

We truly hope you enjoyed reading this article and we would love to hear about the hacks you use to stay productive in the comments below.

The post Productivity Secrets Top-Level CEOs Would Rather Keep to Themselves appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Little-Known Tips For Writing The Perfect Essay

Nearly 2 in 5 high school students lack the English skills needed to complete a college course. This results in most college graduates lacking the writing proficiency needed to get a job, a fact echoed by nearly half of hiring managers.

Most professors agree that essays aren’t just about writing skills or sharing what you’ve learned. Professors describe essay writing as an essential step in the learning process, taking what you’ve learned through reading and coursework, analyzing and synthesizing that knowledge into a clear opinion or idea, and crafting a piece of writing that clearly communicates your thesis.

In short, writing papers helps train you to think and argue.

Writing a perfect essay requires critical thinking skills, reading proficiency, written communication skills, and the ability to organize your thoughts into a clear and concise narrative. Most of us don’t enjoy writing essays, but knowing how to do it right will make a huge difference in your schooling and in your career.

How To Write The Essay

essay writing

Before you get started with your essay, you have to do some prep work. This is one good way of starting to know how to improve your essay writing skills.

Know The Different Types of Essays

Review any requirements laid out by your professor or editor, including the scoring rubric or assignment scope. Read any examples provided by the professor or editor. You might even want to take notes and make yourself a checklist of what to include in your final draft.

One of the best ways to get a good understanding of the assignment is to be familiar with the different types of essays and when to write each type:

Narrative Essays: Tell a real-life story
Expository Essays: Explain or define a topic
Persuasive Essays: Convince the reader to believe or do something

Develop Your Topic

Now that you know what’s expected for the assignment, you’ll need to pick a topic. Sometimes, your professor may determine this for you. If that’s not the case, you need to spend some time narrowing the topic to a more manageable focus.

The best topics should be broad enough to find plenty of supporting information while narrow enough for the essay to delve deep into.

When deciding how narrow the topic should be, always consider the length of your assigned essay. Shorter essays can deeply analyze a single small aspect of the topic while longer essays may need to address how a few aspects work together to form the whole.

As you develop your topic, explore background information from your textbook and class notes and begin to look for supporting research. You’ll need to pick a topic with plenty of good source materials available. Your background research will also help you develop a working thesis. This is a draft version of the essay’s thesis, which you can refine and revise as you conduct further research.

Research & Analysis

Essays are built on what you read and good research is the core of the perfect essay. Remember to pick credible sources (and cite them) and stick to recent publications that aren’t too biased. As you read, take notes so you can refer back to them.

Tips for note taking:

  • Record key elements that back up an author’s argument
  • Keep a list of terms to look up
  • Note questions to follow up on
  • Summarize what you’ve read at the end of each chapter or article
  • Always write notes in your own words, so you won’t accidentally plagiarize
  • Let your notes sit for a few days to give yourself a fresh perspective

Writing & Revising

Once you’ve completed your research, it’s time to start writing your essay. Consider your working thesis: is it still consistent with the evidence? Does it need to be broader or narrower?

Revise your working thesis into a 1 or 2-sentence thesis statement. Use words like “although” or “because” to indicate how ideas are related.

Begin your essay with an attention-grabbing fact or a rhetorical question. Then, give a brief overview of the topic before ending your first paragraph with your thesis statement.

Your introduction should let readers know what you’re talking about as well as your thesis, but save your arguments for the body of your essay.

The body of your essay should have a well-organized structure: chronological, cause-and-effect or ordered by complexity. Always conclude with a brief summary of your main points, restate your thesis, and end with a compelling final statement.

Get more tips for essay writing in this infographic:
How to Write the Perfect Essay like a PhD
Source: Online PhD Degrees

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How Is an Entrepreneur Different From a Businessman?

“I am an entrepreneur, but I am also a businessman. I can’t be both. There must be some difference between entrepreneur and business owner. Oh, God! Can anyone help me with this?”

If this is the thought going through your mind right now, then you are on the right page at the moment. Many find themselves in this difficult situation when they start a business of their own. I will try to clear all your doubts and help you decide what you are through my points.

So, read this post till the end to entirely comprehend the difference between entrepreneur and business owner.

Originality of idea

originality of idea

An entrepreneur always starts with a fresh and out-of-the-box idea. He wouldn’t even start if the idea has already been taken.

A businessman may or may not have one’s own idea. He only thinks of money and profits which is why it won’t really matter to him if the idea is already out there.

Since entrepreneurs usually have less to invest, they have to emphasize a lot on finding the most innovative ideas, unlike regular business.

The decision of taking risks

When it comes to risk-taking, an entrepreneur doesn’t usually hesitate in taking any risk as there isn’t much choice.

This, however, might not be the case with businessmen. A businessman would usually think hundreds of times before getting to any decision.

Businessmen take well-calculated risks. One may not take the risk if losing money has been predicted. In entrepreneurship,  it’s always a 50-50 chance.

A boss vs a leader

For an entrepreneur, his co-workers are his business partners. He would even take part in the active processes of his organization to lead his team. This eventually motivates his co-workers and improves their productivity to a massive extent. It also serves as a way for an entrepreneur to consistently keep up with the performance of his organization.

On the contrary, a businessman sees every person working under him as a worker and him as the boss. He may not always keep up with the performance of his organization as there’s a pretty thin line between visualizing things from going through reports and experiencing things personally.

Perspective towards customers service

For an entrepreneur, serving one’s customer is a holy duty which one must do with one’s full heart. One is always grateful to the customers and letting them down would be one’s biggest nightmare. Now, these customs would not necessarily fit a businessman.

For a businessman, customers are just the source of income to one’s business. Practically, one does not truly respect them unless one observes a considerable amount of profit from them.

Perception of competition

A businessman is competing with the market on a daily basis to get his company on the top. He’ll take whatever step is necessary to achieve that.

An entrepreneur continually strives to make his startup better. He does his best without having to actually compete with anybody.

Furthermore, entrepreneurship is all about proving that one’s idea really works in making the lives of their consumers better. Once proven, sales will generate automatically. Of course, the process also requires a great deal of promotion.

Definition of Success

definition of success

Entrepreneurship is striving to get one’s vision come true. A lot of startups have come up with many revolutionary ideas over the years. Of course, there’s no denying the fact that entrepreneurs love to make money, too. However, it’s a business generated out of one’s profound faith in one’s ‘out of the box’ idea.

Most importantly, entrepreneurs are believed to always have something better and new to offer. They aim to revolutionize the lives of many.

However, this doesn’t hold true for a regular business as it is totally profit oriented. In many cases, businessmen even overlook the quality of their services or products as they desperately look for ways to earn more profits.

Success in a regular business, nowadays, is certainly beating the competitors and getting on the top of the SERP. Of course, there’s no denying the fact that there are many regular businesses that have been delivering at their best over the years.

See Also: Top Lessons From Successful Entrepreneurs You Need to Know Now

The Bottom Line

In this post, we have shared some valuable points that should make the difference between being an entrepreneur and a businessman much apparent by now.

Aspects like independence, low capital, originality of ideas and of course, innovative ways of earning is what really make an entrepreneur. Most importantly, it is absolutely based on coming up with the most brilliant ideas to improve lives.

A regular business, on the other hand, runs on the basis of heavy capital and unimaginably effective promotion to beat its competitors even if it has nothing new to offer.

See Also: Tips for New Entrepreneurs: What You Need to Know Before Starting A Business

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Why You Should Keep Your Journal Positive

I’m sure you’ve heard about the wonderful benefits of keeping a daily positive journal.

Journaling is just as great as you think it is. It comes with a world of creative freedom and you can make with it what you wish. It’s a great way to get what’s on your mind down on paper.

All the parts of your day that are eating at you and all that anger that is erupting inside of you can be exploded onto a piece of paper. With it, you can let go of those emotions and raging thoughts deep inside of you.

While the freedom to vent without judgment is one of the many benefits of journaling, it is even more beneficial for you to journal your positive, hopeful thoughts.  Here’s why:

It Increases Gratitude

journaling

We are always so caught up in the negative. We spend too much time focusing and writing down what went wrong with our day than recognizing what went right.

There is an endless amount of beauty in this world and too much we take for granted. Every day, journal about the people you love, the gifts you have, and the fortune you’ve been given. Once you consider all the blessings in your life, even the worst days won’t seem quite as bad.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

Builds an Optimistic Attitude

Getting into the habit of writing down positive thoughts and events will help shift your mindset to become more positive.

For many of us, we’ve fallen deep into the habit of self-deprecation and it has become quite a challenge to break. Changing your perspective won’t happen overnight, but keeping a daily positive journal could be a great and simple way to change how you think forever.

Every time you want to write down something negative, change it to something positive. In time, you will find your mind making this change as well.

What You Put Out Into the World is What You Receive

positive journaling

If you release negativity into the world, you will only receive more negativity.

Journaling can be a great way to manifest your desires or shoo them away. If you want something, write it down.

Write down how achieving this desire would impact all your senses. Write about it like you already have it — as if you are already experiencing the benefits. Putting these feelings out into the world can and will attract a positive outcome that will fulfill your desires. Radiate positive energy and the universe will reward you.

See Also: Inspiring Journaling Prompts To Help Re-Shape Your Life

Start the habit of losing yourself in writing down all your blessings and emitting all of your happiness onto a blank page. Even if you’re feeling deep in a rut, unlucky, and unloved, you can still release some optimism into the world.

What do you have to lose?

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5 Ways To Get Physically Fit Without Spending Too Much Money

According to research by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than 1 in 3 adults are overweight and 1 in 13 adults have extreme obesity.

The findings mentioned above are to be expected in today’s fast-paced environment. More and more people spend long hours at work to maintain their financial resources. Unfortunately, this 9-to-5 lifestyle often affects our food and lifestyle choices. Most adults on a tight budget avoid the gym because they don’t want to spend money on monthly membership fees.

It may seem like a wise investment to some, but let’s be honest. A gym or fitness center can be heavy on the pocket.

However, sticking to your budget doesn’t mean that you have to compromise your health. Getting fit on a budget is totally possible.

So, here are 5 of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to get physically fit without burning holes in your wallet.

Walk 10,000 steps a day

walk daily

Most of us take our phone everywhere. We use it to message friends, take photos, send emails, and much more. So, why not take advantage of this hand-held device and use it to track our fitness levels, too?

iPhones have an inbuilt step-tracker loaded as a standard feature. But the latest study suggests that using our smartphone to track the total steps taken in one day may not be accurate. Researchers found that the iPhone’s built-in pedometer missed about 1340 steps (almost half a mile) in a day.

This is why we recommend you to invest in a physical tracker or a pedometer as it can help you achieve your goal of walking 10,000 steps a day. Walking for 30 minutes a day has tons of health benefits and can help keep chronic illnesses at bay.

Watch what you eat

If you are looking to lose fat and build muscle, then you need to increase your intake of healthy food. Eat a balanced diet that contains protein to help build muscles, fruits and vegetables for mineral and fiber, wholesome carbs to keep those energy levels high, and healthy fats to boost fat loss. Don’t forget to drink ample amounts of water to stay hydrated.

Eating healthy doesn’t always have to be expensive. Whether you are a student or an adult living within a limited amount of money, here are 20 tips that will help you make better food choices on a budget.

Volunteer for a good cause

We are a firm believer in the idea that what goes around, comes around. Try giving a few hours in a week to your nearest nonprofit organization. Help them with physical work like garden digging, trail building or training your local sports team. You’ll experience double the satisfaction. Nothing beats the good feeling that arises after helping others and the soreness that comes from working hard for a good cause.

See Also: The Power of Volunteering

Clean up

clean up

Believe it or not, you can burn a lot of calories by cleaning, especially if it is the intense spring-cleaning sort. The exact number of calories spent during housework and cleaning varies from person to person and depends on the individual’s weight.

Stay away from toxic chemicals and don’t contaminate your environment by using them regularly. Use mild cleaners like soap, water, and vinegar which do an equally good job. Get moving by pushing the couch and cleaning underneath it. Wash the windows and get out all the extra stuff out from the garage.

Catch up with a friend

Catching up with a friend or colleague for a game of tennis, golf or swimming is a great way to combine socialization and exercise. You’ll feel motivated and refreshed after flexing those muscles and spending quality time with a cherished one. Remember, the key is to avoid picking up a pack of beer on your way back and passing out in front of the TV!

Conclusion

If you want to live a long and healthy life on a budget, think positively and work hard to achieve your goals. Visit your physician at least once a year to know more about the workout that best suits your body type. Use a waist trainer to maintain a correct posture during the workout session.

Eat home-cooked food at least five days a week. According to research, home-cooked meals are far more nutritious and healthier than convenience foods. Plus, apply the Japanese concept of living and eat till you are 80% full instead of wiping your plate clean every time. Give up smoking and drink occasionally.

Just make these small changes in your lifestyle and switch to these lifelong habits. You’ll notice a rise in your mental and physical health while staying well within your budget.

Do you have any tips or tricks that can help stay us fit without spending bucket loads of money? Share your best-kept fitness secrets with us in the comments below.

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Six Golden Rules for Successful Project Management You Need to Know

Project management is pretty straightforward – you find the requirements, create a realistic plan, assign the right people on the job, set a deadline, and most importantly, get work done. However, when it comes to the real world, project management is never that easy. The situation often gets too complicated and the team gets confused managing multiple tasks at once. As a result, deadlines are missed and the project faces absolute failure.

So, what can you do to make a project successful? How do you ensure that your project gets completed on time and on budget? Where can you start mastering how to manage a project so that it becomes successful?

Well, it’s your lucky day. Here are a few golden rules that you can use to guarantee your project’s success.

Ensure you have a detailed project scope

The scope of a project comprises of the complete project details ― key milestones, deliverables, deadlines, the overall budget, and more. Now, before a project starts, it is extremely important that you and your team have access to the detailed project scope. If something is missing, don’t hesitate to ask your client or stakeholder to provide the necessary information.

Create a flexible strategy

create flexible strategy

When it comes to project management, you never make assumptions. In order to ensure the success of a project, you need to have a plan for everything. Furthermore, it is also important that you are able to mold your plans and strategies according to the evolving needs of your project. Basically, make sure you are prepared for every situation.

Have the right team

A major factor that decides the fate of a project is the kind of talent you have on your team. That’s why it is important that you hire the right kind of people. Make sure that their skills and expertise are a perfect match for your project and its requirements. Also, don’t involve too many employees. Limit the size of your team to perform more productively.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Set clear roles and responsibilities

set roles and responsibilities

When many people are working on the same project and deadline, confusion and conflicts may happen. This is why it is important that a project manager clearly defines everyone’s roles and responsibilities at the start of a project. Consider using project management and task management tools for this purpose. These tools can make it easier for you to make each team member understand what is expected of them and what tasks they are responsible for.

See Also: Avoid Decision Fatigue: Learn The Steps for Effective Delegation

Never micromanage

If you want to see your projects succeed, you will have to let your team members make their own decisions whenever needed. Don’t over-control or micromanage your projects. Give your team some space and empower them to bring the best results.

Celebrate

Last but not the least, make it a habit to recognize and reward people for their great work. This is a great way to keep everyone motivated and track overall team productivity from time to time.

Managing and delivering projects is a stressful job. However, it won’t be challenging if you keep the above rules in mind. Try to follow them as closely as possible and you’ll soon know how to manage a project successfully.

If you have a rule that helps you manage things better at work, share it with us in the comments below.

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The Alternate Life Commandments

Most humans are in challenged pursuit of (near) universal desires and setting and achieving their ultimate life goals.

Religions, societies, cultures, and individuals apply varying classifications to each. But distilled to their core, most of us lead a life-long pursuit of the following:

  • Physical well-being
  • Clarity of the mind
  • Passion
  • Success
  • A positive legacy
  • Continuous self-improvement
  • Love & acceptance

Commitment to each should come easy in theory. Physical well-being supports a long healthy life. Success generates status and financial wealth to purchase incredible things. And passion infuses elusive meaning and fulfillment into our lives. You get it…sign me up!

So, why do people struggle so mightily to sustain diets, a driven work-ethic, exercise routines, and hobby generation/practice?

Life is remarkably difficult

It’s dynamic as hell and pulls our attention in every direction imaginable day to day. And when we’re not distracted by external forces, hard-coded mental and physical habits (many undesirable) dominate our daily routine.

On autopilot, we often make decisions that are not aligned with the intentions of our “ideal self”. We, as humans, are painfully shortsighted when it comes to our ability to consistently find present-moment motivation to embody a lifestyle that leads us towards the attainment of long-term aspirations.

I fancy myself an expert on the matter. Not at all because I’ve cracked the code and am the self-actualizing master. No, kind of the opposite actually. My specialty to date, rather, is in committing to, starting, stopping, and ultimately missing lofty goals. I’m like a spark factory without anything laying around to catch fire.

I adore self-help materials and philosophies that address the tricky science of habits. I aspire to join the front-line ranks of the biohacking self-optimization movement that’s swelling in popularity around the world. But, as with my unreliable meditation practice, my commitment is spotty. I remain largely unchanged at age 28 despite having what I thought were all the right intentions…

Time to radically shift my mindset. I know that habits form in response to a consistent reward. So, I considered how I can tweak the Action-Reward relationship to tap into “purposes” that are more inherently motivating to me. To create rewards that are attainable in the short-near term. To enjoy rewards that are more consistently tangible and that fortify the richness of my personal legacy. The Alternate Life Commandments represent where I’ve netted out on this thought process. According to these, I defined a clear purpose that holds me accountable to aggressive self-actualization goals:

The Alternate Life Commandments

Exercise to activate deeply memorable experiences

exercise

  • Strong fitness allows us to consistently pursue and conquer life’s epic “summits”.
  • Many of the most memorable places/experiences on earth are far off the beaten path. Never allow physical shortcoming to hold you back from greatness.
  • Anecdote: Fatigue thwarted my first summit attempt of Mt Shasta. Not only did I forfeit the experience, but it weighed negatively on me for years. Last year, I trained hard and blitzed it a decade later. Redemption was so sweet.

Exercise so your body is not a physical limitation to experiencing your dreams.

Meditate to fully internalize life’s wonderful moments

  • Mindful peace and presence gift-wrap our memories. Inversely, a hyperactive mind or addiction to social media spoil them.
  • We cannot fully appreciate a beach chill, sunrise summit or a simple walk in the park unless our minds are engulfed in the present moment.
  • Mid-experience meditation may amplify a moment’s serenity, but we must practice mindfulness regularly to win the battle against our subconscious.
  • Anecdote: When training for a triathlon 2 years ago, I biked across Golden Gate Bridge to Hawk Hill regularly. Every morning, overlooking an identical view, I pulled out my iPhone to capture a few SnapChat panos. This habit was a result of my weak mindfulness. It literally pulled the world into my personal moment, tainting the experience.

Practice mindfulness so your life experiences are pure and deeply memorable.

See Also: How to Meditate When All The Other Techniques Don’t Work

Create career success to pursue and master amazing hobbies

  • One of my favorite quotes, from Jerry Seinfeld, frames the importance of owning strong hobbies: “A person’s coolness is determined by the extent to which they’re about what they’re about.”
  • Success, managed properly, generates leisure time and disposable income to support hobbies and continued learning.
  • We earn days off. We’re promoted to the role that calls the shots. We’re permitted to work from home and we build a business (or team) under our success that is self-sustaining.
  • Success-enabled-passions ultimately generate fulfillment in life.
  • Anecdote: I’m exploring the world for a year while maintaining my job because I earned it through dedicated grinding.

Work hard to ultimately spend more time doing the things you genuinely love.

Purge social media to fortify relationships with those you love

  • Research suggests that humans can maintain 5 intimate relationships at once. This limit is dependent on the time an individual has to invest in deep and consistent connection.
  • Psychology experts confirm that relationship quality is far more important to our well-being than relationship quantity.
  • Next time you pick up your phone to troll social media, call a loved one instead or a friend that feels increasingly distant. The time needed to otherwise check in on 1000+ “friends” across 3+ networks is ample, trust me.

Trade poisonous time spent on social media for relationship-enriching moments with those you love.

Practice frugality to reduce stress

  • Notorious BIG had it all wrong… at least for the consciously frugal. It should absolutely be “mo money less problems” or perhaps corrected to ”mo things mo problems.”
  • Everything we buy/own is something to damage, lose, regret, or neglect. All of which creates a combination of stress, disappointment, and more spending.
  • Focus on the essentials and make select quality purchases (from your basic black T to your first home).
  • Build a rainy day fund to easily brush off the flight rebooking fee, phone dropped in the pool or taxi from the airport because you just want to get home.

Be frugal to simplify life and eliminate crippling financial stress.

Travel adventurously to break the habit of being you

travel

  • We love to travel because it forcefully turns our tired routines inside out.
  • Fresh sites, cultures, and perspectives paired with experiences that push the limits of our comfort zone put us in personal growth mode.
  • Time away from the rat race gives us moments to reflect deeply on the status of our lives and set a corrected course moving forward.
  • Introduce yourself to the local, join the expat couple going on a mountain bike, and chart a course far off the beaten path. Push the boundaries of your habitual self.

See Also: 6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger

Pursue international adventures to accelerate self-actualization.

Eat well for a healthy body and mind. Fuel success in each practice.

Drink less for alcohol poisons the well of each practice.

Finally, there you have it, the Alternate Life Commandments. Which, if any, resonate most strongly with you?

The post The Alternate Life Commandments appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Avoid Decision Fatigue: Learn The Steps for Effective Delegation

Small business owners are no strangers to sacrifice. Whether it’s spending your family vacation tied to your laptop or skipping a paycheck to float the business, owners give their all to help their business succeed. But if you’re working long nights trying to do everything yourself, you’re probably not making your business grow.

Paralyzed Overthinker: Delays making choices, creating more work in the long run.
Overwhelmed Hothead: Easily frustrated and overly combative.
Immediate-Satisfaction Seeker: Takes impulsive shortcuts that favor short-term goals.

Does one of these profiles describe you?

If so, you might be suffering from decision fatigue. Decision fatigue robs your brain of its decision-making powers and has a negative effect on your business. Learning the steps for effective delegation can help you refocus on your long-term goals.

Step 1: Hire the Right Team

hire the right team

Small businesses can struggle to compete with the salaries and benefits offered by larger companies, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find the right people. Focus on what you do have to offer. It can be flexible work hours or better company culture. Try to hire people who are a good fit for your company and are committed to sticking around.

Replacing a single employee can cost nearly a quarter of their annual salary. Specialized employees whose replacements might need additional training can cost even more. The good news is, as freelancing grows more common, you may be able to find qualified flexible staff who can work only when you need them.

When hiring contract workers keep in mind:

  • Freelancers only work when needed, but you can always offer a full-time position later
  • Find someone qualified so you don’t waste time training freelancers
  • There’s no guarantee your flex staff will be available when you need them
  • Flex staff are less invested in your company, meaning they’ll bail if a better offer appears

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Step 2: Create a Training Manual

A training or operations manual can guide your employees through procedures and decision making even if you’re not around to provide input. Your manual should lay out procedures that are consistent, proactive, and any staff member can follow. Design your policies and procedures so they’ll scale easily as your company grows. That way, you’ll be able to save yourself from major organization shifts down the road.

When writing your training manual, be sure to include:

  • An overview of your company’s history and story
  • Your mission statement, company culture, and long-term goals
  • Descriptions of major systems and operations
  • Job descriptions for each employee, including their specific responsibilities
  • Instructions and procedures for regular operations and tasks

You can streamline your operations even more by creating form letters for responding to common client questions. With a little tweaking, your staff will be able to quickly answer queries without bugging you for input. Once you have a well-trained staff in place, you’ll be free to let go of daily decisions and focus on the bigger picture: growing your business.

Step 3: Time to Delegate

effective delegation

If you’ve prepared your business and your employees well, beginning to delegate should be natural and easy. Start by considering each employee’s skills and match their strengths to the tasks at hand. Don’t dump a whole set of new responsibilities on the same employee. Give everyone the time to adjust to a new task before asking one to take on even more.

It’s always important to keep in mind how much time each employee has available. It might be tempting to delegate all administrative tasks to your office manager, but if he’s already working late every night, you’ll need to get other staff to help out, too. Asking one employee to do too much is a recipe for disaster. Many workers will simply get fed up and leave the company.

Delegate tasks that don’t require your input or don’t match your expertise, such as:

  • Bookkeeping and payroll
  • Social media management
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Legal counsel
  • Data entry
  • Web design

Regardless of what you delegate and to whom, remember that you’re asking your staff to take on extra work and extra responsibility. Be sure to acknowledge and be grateful for their extra effort. Always offer constructive feedback and give thanks for a job well done.

To learn more about how delegation can help your business thrive, check out this infographic:

The post Avoid Decision Fatigue: Learn The Steps for Effective Delegation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

In Sickness and In Health: How to Cope With A Sick Partner

When you get married, you might write your own vows or you might stick with something that’s tried and true. Either way, you are pledging yourself, your love, and your support to another human being through all of life’s tricky circumstances. But what happens when things go awry and life throws your relationship a curve ball? How do you cope and start dealing with chronic illness in marriage?

What Does Facing Illness or Injury Do To Your Relationship?

love in health

There are different illnesses and injuries that can occur. Dealing with a broken arm is far different than dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Either way, however, even the slightest incapacitation of a partner can change the dynamic of your relationship significantly.

All of a sudden, the daily roles to which you have become accustomed to change and things between you and your partner change as well. You become either a caretaker or the one being cared for. Either way, this can alter your connection with or perception of your partner.

Romance often takes a backseat as you and your partner adjust to your new roles. This change, along with the altered responsibilities, often causes problems for the relationship and each partner individually.

The change in a relationship when dealing with chronic illness in marriage may also lead to emotional issues. Depression is not uncommon and it can affect the both of you.

If you think that you or your partner is depressed, there are resources you can reach out for help. This is critical when the effects become long-term.

Unfortunately, these hurdles can be difficult to jump and can lead to bigger challenges than just romantic issues. The divorce rate among couples, especially younger couples, where one partner faces health issues is much higher than that of the general population.

Dealing with Chronic Illness in Marriage

So, what can you do to protect your relationship and keep it healthy, even if one of you is not?

Communicate. Each of you is going through something difficult and unique. You need to talk about it. Understanding your partner’s point of view is crucial. When you are wrapped up in the changes you are facing, it becomes easy to forget how those changes are affecting your partner. Discussing how you each feel can create empathy and respect for the other’s circumstance. Neither is easy. And although you are each facing tough times individually, you can actually support each other and go through them together as well.

communicate with each other

Seek support. Friends and family are particularly important in times like this. This is true for both of you. Stress during such time can be a lot to handle and people that care for you can provide perspective and relief. And no, you are not likely to be imposing or taking advantage by leaning on them a bit. If they are people that care about you, they will most likely be happy to be there for you. Even just a conversation to get your mind off things can help.

Remember the love. Yes, things are different and they are likely difficult. However, you fell in love and made a life together for a reason. Remind yourself of this. Pledging your life to another person really is for better and worse, in health and in sickness. You have to hold onto the good times to get through the bad. Remind your partner of these things, too. Each of you is likely to get bogged down in the current circumstances and forget to look at the big picture.

Conclusion

Regardless of the seriousness of the health issues – whether they’re temporary (hopefully) or permanent (worst case) – your relationship can survive. Certainly, the severity of the problem will impact the difficulty of keeping things together, but it can be done.

Remember that you’re not alone. Not only do you have each other but you also have resources in the form of your family and friends. Of course, there are also your trusted healthcare professionals to take care of you and your spouse during the tough times. They can help you get through things. Most of the time, all you have to do is ask.

The post In Sickness and In Health: How to Cope With A Sick Partner appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

35 Small Acts Of Kindness To Spread Happiness And Flex Your Kindness Muscle

You want to be happy.

So, you do everything to maximize your happiness. You do the things that make you happy. You set and achieve goals. You make as much money as possible so you can buy your way to happiness.

But, what if I told you that one of the best ways to feel happy is to give it away.

Here’s what I mean…

Happiness is not a scarce resource. The more you give or share happiness, the more you get it back.

The joy of giving love and kindness is one of the best things you can experience as a human.

So, how do you experience the feeling on a regular basis?

I’ve got your back. I’ve compiled the list of 35 best random acts of kindness you can do in your daily life.

You don’t have to think of great ideas to become a kinder person. Every small act counts. As Aesop once said…

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

So, without further delay, let’s get down to the list.

Smile at strangers

smile at strangers

A straight face helps no one. Smiling, however, can change your and others’ day in an instant. You don’t even have to fake a smile. When you’re genuinely happy to see fascinating people around you, the smile comes naturally.

Help a stranger

Helping people may require a donation of your time, money, effort, and energy, but it’s one of the best things we can do to keep humanity alive.

Be kind to anyone who serves you (even if you pay them)

Say “thank you”. Sure, you’re paying someone for their services, but don’t let money be an excuse for not being kind and grateful. Go beyond the transaction and overpay with kindness.

Forgive people

Everybody makes mistakes. You always forgive yourself no matter how big or small of a mistake you make. Do the same with every person who has done you wrong. It will liberate you.

See Also: 5 Reasons We all Deserve Forgiveness

Lower expectations

Expecting someone to do something for us is normal. But if someone doesn’t meet your expectations, remember that it is your job to manage your expectations. When in doubt, expect less. If they do more than expected, be grateful.

Give people the benefit of the doubt

If you don’t know the truth, assume a better judgment. It’s not about finding the truth, it’s about what you choose to believe. You may be wrong, but sometimes, it’s better to let go and choose what’s helpful.

Make someone laugh

Don’t you love those people who can make you laugh when you’re taking life too seriously? Laughing is a free therapy. The best part is that when you make others laugh, you get the therapy, too.

Listen to people

When I say listen, I mean REALLY listen. Like listening to others’ feelings, expressions, body language, and words. Don’t make it about you by thinking about what to say next. In the age of smartphones, giving full attention is rare but we can keep it alive.

Compliment people

Small random words of genuine compliments are beautiful. Genuine compliments come in your mind by training yourself to look for the good in people. Notice what’s good about others and don’t keep it to yourself.

Giving constructive feedback

While complimenting someone feels good, don’t shy away from giving constructive feedback. Because when you really care about others, you help others to do better by telling what they can improve on.

Waste fewer resources

Whether it is plastic, water, food, fuel, paper, electricity or other items, do your best to minimize the waste. When saving resources become a norm, more people will do it. And guess who can turn it into a norm? Us.

Donate or volunteer

Other than donating money, items, and clothes to a charity or a cause you believe in, you can donate your time by volunteering.

See Also: The Power of Volunteering

Inspire or motivate others

Your words have power whether they are verbal or in written form. One of the best use of your words is to inspire or motivate others to do the right thing.

Say good morning

Start off the day well by wishing people a good morning. It’s an excuse to practice gratitude.

Keep plants

Planting a tree, owning a garden or keeping plants at home not only helps the planet but staying in touch with nature is super beneficial for you.

Do an unexpected loving act for your loved ones

Help someone out with laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning or any other chore.

Spend time with someone without being in a rush

We all are busy. However, when you take out the time for someone without constantly looking at your watch, you can give them the best gift of all - your quality time.

Hug

Hugging releases oxytocin which helps us connect on a much deeper level. Some other ways you can connect are by giving a pat on the back and giving a high-five.

Have at least one vegetarian day a week

At least once a week, keep a day in which you won’t eat meat or just eat less meat in general.

Send a thank-you letter

Express love and gratitude by writing someone a thank you email, message or letter. It’s a small but high-impact gesture to let someone know how much you appreciate them.

Share what you have with others

You can share your food, resources, items, and so on. As we all know, sharing is caring.

Choose empathy

We make judgments about people instantly. It’s not your fault; it’s part of our nature. However, you can still choose empathy and let go of harsh judgments.

Cook a meal for someone

If you’re a regular chef, invite someone over. If you don’t normally cook at your home, try cooking a meal for others.

Give someone a book

If a book changed your life, share it with someone you love so they get can read it, too. It’s a small gift but it may have a huge impact on someone’s life.

Take care of yourself

When you take care and manage yourself better, you act less with your impulses and show up in a more positive way. Because if you feel negative, you spread the same vibes around you.

Pick up litter once in a while

If you do that, maybe other people will do the same and throw away less waste on the streets. Leading with an example is a step forward towards better public habits.

If someone’s in a rush, let someone get ahead of you in the line

You can also let anyone with a few items at a grocery store get ahead if you have too many items to check out.

Hold the door (or elevator)

Make it a habit to hold the door for the person right behind you. It’s not only kind, but a mature gesture to do.

Be happy for someone

Whether it’s a big or a small win, when someone achieves something, be happy for them and cheer them up.

Share your knowledge

If you know something that can help someone, teach them what you’ve already learned so they don’t have to hunt for resources to learn from scratch.

Call your parents

They miss you.

Pay for someone

Paying for someone’s meal, ticket or any other item is a great gesture of kindness.

Put gym equipment in its right place

Put in those reps, but make sure you put those weights back from where you picked them from.

Be super kind with a customer service rep

They listen to a lot of complaints all day long. Make their day by treating them really well by being extra kind to them.

Leave a positive comment or review

We consume a lot of stuff on the internet. But so often, we forget to hit the like button or leave a positive comment on the content we like. As a content creator, I know how big of an impact you make with such a small act.

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.“ - John Bunyan

This list is just a starting point. There is no limit to how kind you can get.

Kindness is a therapy. When you feel down or discouraged, come back to kindness. It will give you the strength and the positivity you need to get back up again.

Even when you don’t feel down, it’s best to turn acts of kindness into your habits. Because with these best random acts of kindness, you’ll feel happy spreading happiness around you.

As you become kinder, more people will follow your lead as you set an example of what humanity looks like.

The world has seen enough rage, distrust, envy, and hate. It’s time you show up like a superhero with your superpower - your kindness.

Let’s not let the standards of humanity fall down. Together, we can make the world a kinder place to live.

The post 35 Small Acts Of Kindness To Spread Happiness And Flex Your Kindness Muscle appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

12 Must-Know Things While Designing A Book Cover

Authors pour their heart and soul when they write a book. When the manuscript is finalized, the next critical task of designing a compelling and appealing book cover comes. Some authors outsource the designing of their book cover, while some take the DIY route.

If you wish to design your book cover on your own, you can use online graphic design tools such as Designhill. You can create an alluring book cover design with this AI-based tool within minutes.

Additionally, here are 12 book cover design tips you can try for your next project:

Who will be reading the book?

book reader

While creating a book cover design, keep in mind the intended audience. Who is likely to read the book? The age and gender of your readers are crucial in designing a book cover as well as brochure design.

Does the book’s genre have a traditional cover style?

Each industry and genre has their established design style. For instance, book covers for romance genre have couples while thrillers show the protagonists. The key is to create an alluring book cover while using the traditional style so that the audience can identify the genre with just one look at the cover.

Is the book a single or part of a more extended series?

Books that are part of a series often follow a certain style and theme. Make sure to confirm with the author if the book is intended as a single work or as part of a series. Consider the books for Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings. Since they all belong to a series, there is a similarity and consistency in their designs.

What will make the book stand out?

A book cover is the most influential marketing asset to sell the book. Although it is recommended to follow the genre’s established style, the book cover must have a surprising or eye-catching element that can sway the reader to consider buying the book.

What should be the focal point of the book cover?

Each book has a focal point around which the whole content or story revolves. Identify the focus of the book so that the cover showcases the central point aptly.

Which font is suitable for the genre of the book?

Using the correct font and typography is critical for creating a compelling book cover and brochure design. Cursive fonts may not be suitable for specific genres like teen fictions. They often have whimsical and comical fonts. Book cover designs for thrillers, meanwhile, have classic fonts.

In which format will the book be published?

Today, e-readers have gained popularity as readers can access a plethora of books anywhere and anytime. Check whether the book will be published in digital format or only as a printed book. This is because, in case of an e-Book, the cover must be appropriate for a small thumbnail.

Will be the book sold in paperback or hardcover?

When it comes to hardcovers, the designs can be printed on the jacket or the book itself. For a paperback book, the size can vary depending upon the trim size. A 500-page book, if designed too small, would appear too thick. If designed too big, it can give the appearance of a booklet or magazine.

Does the book cover design work in black and white?

Color is an essential element of a book cover design. Before you set out to create a design, ask if the book cover has to be printed in color or black and white. If the cover is intended to be printed in monochrome, the essential elements become contrast and shadows. For colored book covers, more attention has to be paid on using the correct color combinations which the users find appealing.

What is the author’s vision for the book cover design?

A book cover is the representation of the author and how he presents the book to the world. Make sure you consider how the author envisions the face of the book to create a true depiction of the content. This is the reason why many business owners create their own logo using an online logo maker. The business owners and authors can be the best guides when creating a design.

 What is the author’s budget?

There are many elements to a book cover which need licensing and registration. The list includes custom fonts, graphics, ISBN identifier, barcode, and more. The author and designer must keep in mind the overall budget associated with the design process right from the beginning and to optimize each aspect effectively.

What is the printer’s requirement?

Printers have their own set of requirements for printing a file. Typically, a flat file is required by the printer as all the parts of a book cover or jacket such as the spine, front, back covers, and flaps. The format is another key element to be kept in mind when you finalize the design. Some printers prefer a PDF format while some use .ai or .eps formats. In case the book cover or brochure design requires foil printing or embossed print, another set of files is needed as a guide.

The bottom line

designing book cover

Equipped with these book cover design tips, you are now ready to create a stunning book cover and see your vision come to life. Check a designer’s complete portfolio before hiring and discuss your requirements at length. The key to remember is that your book cover is the representation of your brand. It must be something you are proud of.

Author Bio

Anne Carton is a small business consultant, designer and an enthusiast blogger working with Designhill, one of the fastest-growing custom design marketplace. She has authored several blogs, articles and editorials on various topics related to book cover design, brochure design, interactive content, concerning design, social media strategies, growth hack strategies, digital marketing and e-commerce.

The post 12 Must-Know Things While Designing A Book Cover appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Digital Detox: Should You Switch Off For The Benefit Of Your Health?

We are a nation of gadget addicts and knowing how to disconnect from technology isn’t easy for most of us.

These days, it seems if we’re not quadruple-screening with the television, iPad, laptop, and phone, we’re checking relentless WhatsApp pings in meetings, snatching furtive glances at our iPhone’s glow in darkened cinemas and live-tweeting the births of our own children. It’s like the country – in fact, the whole planet – has hit peak internet. While the magic of the world wide web is undeniable, more and more of us are realizing that it might be time to switch off.

Considering a digital detox? Wondering how to disconnect from technology?

There are a few key stages you’ll need to work through if you’re going to survive this challenge but the benefits could be overwhelming. Here goes…

Admit you have a problem

If you’re considering an electronic detox, you’re obviously aware that your level of screen-time is getting ridiculous. It’s truly admitting that you’re an addict that will set you on the path to digital detox success.

While apps like Moment can help you monitor how much time you spend on your phone and how often you pick it up, a simple hand-written list of what gadgets you rely on, and which apps your eyes dart to again and again will help you see just how much technology rules your life. It gives you a chance to fall back in love with a pencil and paper.

Get away from it all

If seriously ousting your gadgets from daily life is a prospect too terrifying to deal with, a tech-free holiday might be your perfect compromise.

Grab some cheap and cheerful throw-away cameras so you won’t be tempted to reach for your phone. Head off to some place where the air is fresh and your biggest distraction will be the moo-ing of cows or the rustle of the breeze.

This digital detox guide by holidaycottages.co.uk gives some serious insight into the potential benefits of powering down.

Kick it old school

On the subject of a notepad and pen, one of the best ways to gently ease yourself from the clutches of gadgets is to rediscover the chilled-out, back-in-the-day alternatives to these apps.

The ‘Notes’ app on your phone can be one, for a start. There’s no purer joy than scribbling yourself a ‘To Do’ list and proudly ticking off the day’s essential tasks.

Obsessed with Whatsapp?

Tell friends that if they need you, they should give you a call. You’ll be surprised at the wonders an hour-long chat with your partner can work.

If Candy Crush is your happy place, a crossword or Sudoku may feel like hard work but after a day or two, your iPhone’s garish screen will seem painfully harsh.

Be ruthless with your rules

Set yourself some clear, manageable boundaries and work from there.

Always checking your messages? Push notifications have to go. At first it’s tough and you may find yourself checking just as much to see what’s going on inside your suddenly silent apps.

Set a time of day when you can catch up on your correspondence. If your Snapchat and Whatsapp are clogged with Kardashians memes or friends using the Impossibly Perfect filter, consider deleting the apps altogether.

Leave your phone in one place and only use it when you need to. It’s better than keeping it with you for every tea-break and toilet trip like some buzzing, bleeping security blanket.

Switch off long before bedtime

Scrolling aimlessly before bedtime is a habit many of us are guilty of, but it’s also a dangerous one.

If you need your evening Instagram fix, post or search with the lights on and then put your phone away. Take twenty to thirty minutes to read, meditate, write a diary or shower with your phone out of the way until morning.

A proper old-fashioned alarm clock or a wake-up light will get you up and at ‘em without leading you into a Youtube vortex before breakfast. Imagine!

See Also: The Negative Effects of Technology in Child Development

The post Digital Detox: Should You Switch Off For The Benefit Of Your Health? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Famous Cryptids: Are They Real?

Do you believe in monsters, fairies or supernatural creatures?

Around the world, nearly every culture has stories of cryptids: beings which are commonly thought to be made-up stories. Whether it’s the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot or the Chupacabra, there’s little evidence to prove whether these famous cryptids do or do not exist.

What evidence does exist is usually grainy photographs or accounts of shadowy sightings. While many people believe in their existence, others reject it as simple misidentification and storytelling. Cryptozoologists search for evidence of their existence, while mainstream science insists their existence is impossible or implausible.

Let’s get know some cultural cryptids:

The Invisible Elves

the invisible elves
Via theatlantic

According to one survey, more than half of all Icelanders believe in the existence of elves. The legendary Huldufólk or invisible elves are nearly indistinguishable from humans. Their behavior and appearance are nearly identical to people, but their height maybe anywhere from a few centimeters to 3 meters (10 feet) tall.

The invisible elves are quiet and peaceful, keeping to themselves so long as their lands aren’t threatened. In contrast, the Huldufólk are territorial. They will lash out and disrupt construction and development that threaten their land. When something breaks down or goes sideways on a construction site, many think the invisible elves are to blame.

The Jersey Devil

In the early 18th century, so the story goes, a mother of 12 learned she was pregnant with her 13th child. Upon learning this news, the women cried out, “May it be the devil”. Her wish came true 9 months later when she gave birth to a beast that would become known as the Jersey Devil.

Description of the Jersey Devil alludes to a kangaroo-shaped figure, with the horns, bat-like wings, and forked tail often attributed to the devil. The Jersey Devil might have the head of a goat, horse or possibly a dog depending on the source, but he always has terrible claws hands and cloven feet.

Don’t believe in the Jersey Devil?

Reports say that the Philadelphia Zoo took it seriously enough to offer a $10,000 bounty to anyone who could capture the horrifying beast. Many searched the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey, looking for the legendary monster. Unfortunately, no one was able to catch it.

The Wendigo

wendigo
Via ancient-origins

In the forests of the Great Lakes region, from central Canada to Minnesota, First Nations and Native American tribes tell stories of the same monster. The Wendigo, a shapeshifting monster that eats human flesh is known in the legends of the Algonquin, Cree, Innu, and Naskapi. The giant can grow to as tall as the tops of the trees. It has a heart of ice, matted fur, a lipless mouth, and jagged yellow teeth.

The Wendigo possesses people and uses them to hunt down their family and friends. Its skeletal frame and ill-fitting skin denote its constant state of hunger. Each time it eats, the creature grows larger and therefore, more famished.

Other Cultural Cryptids

Probably the most famous cryptid, the Loch Ness Monster, is a giant sea monster. Believed to live in Scotland’s Loch Ness, it first appeared in 1933 after several sighting and photographs. People believe it resembles a large dinosaur.

The Black Shuck, a large, black dog is said to roam the English countryside. Its ghostly form is believed to be an omen of death. Harry Potter fans may recognize a version of the Black Shuck known as the Grim.

What Do You Believe?

Whether or not you believe in these famous cryptids, their effect on popular culture cannot be denied. From movies and TV to a museum dedicated to strange creatures and psychic phenomena, everyone loves a spooky story. In fact, in the 1930s, taxidermists grafted deer antlers onto jackrabbits, creating the image of a jackalope that persists in stories even up to this day.

Belief in the paranormal goes far beyond the existence of cryptids. More than half of Americans believe in psychic phenomena, extrasensory perception, and spiritual healing. The CIA even launched a program to investigate remote viewing and its possible uses for intelligence gathering.

Are all paranormal beliefs a scam or could some have real truth to them? Learn more about paranormal beliefs and psychic powers in this infographic:
strange beliefs

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Best Rewards Cards For Funding Your Family’s Next Vacation

Family vacation costs can add up quickly, especially when the number of mouths to feed seem to grow with each big trip. Sooner than you realize, the cost of a big family trip can seem like a vacation experience straight from the movies. With that, you have to know how you can start planning a family vacation on a budget.

Whether your family is big or small, saving up for vacation and saving while on vacation can help bear the financial burden of your next big trip while maximizing fun for the whole family. Here are some tips you can use.

Saving Up For Vacation

saving up for vacation

Cashing In On Cash Back

A great way to save for your family’s next vacation is by squirreling away all that cash back earned on everyday purchases. If you don’t own a cash back card already, you may want to consider opening one. Your savings can only be accomplished if you pay off your balance before the close of each billing cycle though.

The best cash back cards to look for are those in which the cash back doesn’t expire, ones that have the highest cashback rates, and those that don’t limit cash back to certain categories.

Also, be on the lookout for special incentives, like bonuses if a certain amount is spent in a certain period of time. For example, Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is offering a $200 credit if you spend $1,000 within the first three months.

Let Your Work Travel Pay For Your Vacation Travel

If you find yourself traveling more and more for work and you’re booking much of the travel yourself, you might as well use a travel rewards card that allows you to rack up miles. Since vacation destinations for your family may require a different airline than what you use for your work destinations, a sure bet is to use a card that will give you universal rewards points redeemable for most airlines, such as Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture cards.

Many cards will give you double the points for a variety of travel-related purchases in addition to 1:1 points on regular purchases. Plus, if you don’t already have a travel rewards card, you can take advantage of bonus incentives by opening a new one.

Saving While On Vacation

saving while on vacation

Making The Choice

While you may not want to have one card for cash back, one for airline miles, one for hotels, and one for resorts; by choosing the best cards for your family, you’ll be giving yourself more opportunity to save up for vacation and continue the savings while on vacation. Take your time, look at your current cards, and decide which points or miles card is right for you.

Hotel Rewards Cards

Another option worth considering is a hotel rewards card, especially if you’ve grown a preference for one particular hotel brand chain accommodations and decor over others. If you’re already a loyal customer to Hilton brand hotels for example, then you may be able to rack up some free stays quickly with the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

You can earn 50,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $1,000 in the first three months, and 7x the points with every dollar spent at a Hilton brand accommodation. If you’re more of a Marriott kind of family, take a look at the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card. They’ll give you 100,000 bonus points after you make $5,000 of purchases within the first three months (which isn’t hard to do for a big family on vacation).

Resort Rewards

One of the most popular resort destinations for families is Disney. Whether it be Disney theme parks such as Disney World, Disneyland, or a Disney Cruise, if your family is seriously Disney, then you may want to consider opening a Disney Premier Visa Card.

Not only will you be able to receive extra savings at these attractions, you can earn rewards points to use at Disney movies and on any Disney merchandise.

International Travel

If you’re planning on taking off to see the world with family in tow, don’t forget to consider which rewards card you’ll be using. Some card companies actually charge a 3% fee for any international transaction. This includes any transaction outside of the U.S. even though you may be making the purchase from your living room couch.

The best rewards card companies, like Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture, will give you rewards for spending money on your international vacation. Consider them when planning a family vacation on a budget.

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Smart Tactics to Resolve and Stay Out of Entrepreneurial Debt

Debt is a part of every business and every entrepreneur knows that. However, not all entrepreneurs are aware of the difference between a bad and good debt and that makes it hard to learn how to avoid the debt trap.

All good business debts are credit lines, mortgages, and loans. They get leveraged for the benefit of the entrepreneur’s business. In other words, they are productive debt.

Bad debt, on the other hand, is the amount that you can’t leverage as your company expands. Financial experts call this reductive debt. Simply put, it’s money which isn’t working in your favor. Generally, this capital gets used to purchase things that are beyond your financial reach. Typically, the results aren’t always favorable.

Reasons entrepreneurs encounter debts

Entrepreneurs find themselves in debt for three main reasons. They are discussed as follows:

The fluctuations of the cash flow

Some entrepreneurs and business owners sometimes undervalue the crucial cash-flow ups and downs. They are unable to predict a poor cash-flow for a prolonged time frame. These entrepreneurs usually switch to credit cards to manage the troublesome cash flow, hoping there’s some balance.

Most entrepreneurs feel that they can repay off their credit card amounts fast, but that’s far from the truth. And that’s the starting point of the crisis. It is here that entrepreneurs contemplate on loan and get caught up in a debt cycle.

Excessive business pressure

Sometimes, entrepreneurs start to live on their business income. It is not a smart call until such time the business can support them.

Most leave their jobs and go all out to develop a business. But most don’t realize that they aren’t yet ready to pay off the monthly earnings that they stay on.

Each company requires investment and it also needs time to invest. It also requires time and reserves for generating a consistent cash-flow. If you resonate with this, have a second line of earning to balance the crisis.

Overconfidence is dangerous

At times, entrepreneurs can be overconfident while using productive debt. Generally, the situation shapes up something like this:

The entrepreneur counts on his earnings and he decides to maximize the business debt to expand his business as fast as possible. However, his lifestyle also gets modified to the new income level.

Here’s where the situations go out of hand.

Due to losing customers or an economy change, a crisis happens. The entrepreneur incurs a financial loss and the situation goes out of control. The entrepreneur incurs a debt to smoothen financial crisis.

See Also: Tips for New Entrepreneurs: What You Need to Know Before Starting A Business

How to manage entrepreneurial debt?

Entrepreneurs who understand good debt go a long way. Their strategies are progressive. Some of these entrepreneurs, who are millionaires, have various thought processes that other business owners don’t possess. They have a unique way to make money and manage debts as well.

Two primary methods have been discussed below as follows. If you want to know more on managing entrepreneurial debt management, you can browse through sites like NationalDebtRelief and others to get better information.

Getting out from a reductive debt

Every entrepreneur wants long-term success. For that, it’s essential to obliterate all kinds of wrong and reductive debt from your business at the earliest.

The spreadsheet strategy or analysis must be familiar to you. It is instrumental in taking you out of any business debt faster than you can imagine. The process is simple.

All you need to do is:

• Develop a basic financial plan
• Adhere to it
• Learn from your experience

You need to start by outlining the monthly earning. Know how much of it you can use on an end-to-end basis to reduce the reductive debt. Commit as much as you can. The amount you decide to pay to remove the deficit needs to stretch you.

Go on and create a reductive debt list in proper order. You may start with a high-value debt amount at number 1 and the least at last. Don’t forget to add in the least payment beside every debt in your list.

Once you do this, you’re all set to execute the plan. Go ahead and take out the exact sum that you promised to remove the debt with on a monthly basis. You may add some extra money to small debt payment.

Keep on making your required minimum repayments for every remaining payment. You’ll notice that the lowest debt gets repaid fast this way. Going forward, you may apply the same process to pay off the high-value debts. In the same process, you’ll see that the high-value debt amounts get repaid. Repeat this process, until such time all the debts get cleared.

Consciously stay out from any debt

It is the ideal way to steer clear of all kinds of business debt. However, precise financial planning is essential. You can count on few of the best business practices to manage and stay away from entrepreneurial debt.

Try and shrink expenditures – Being frugal is smart. Successful entrepreneurs always suggest this practice. You can read books that will be of help.

Avert unnecessary expenditures – Do consider the opportunity expenses when you are arriving at a financial decision.

Recruit people only when it’s possible – You have to pay your staff. So, it’s a smart call to only recruit people when you have the financial capacity to. Else, you will have to apply for a loan and eventually fall into a debt cycle.

Don’t stretch with productive debt – Spending carefully, even with productive debt, is crucial. Making investments that can go against you isn’t a smart decision.

Conclusion

In all situations, it is always advisable to have ample cash deposits. It helps to manage economic downturns and manage other emergencies.

In the recent times, debt consolidation has proven to be a great way to manage entrepreneurial debt. Rather than repaying at various quarters, it is easy to pay off one huge loan amount. That way, an entrepreneur will have one amount to pay off in a month.

Today, there are various financial institutions providing debt loan consolidation services and other financial counseling. You can use it to plan your business cash-flow better and master how to avoid debt trap.

See Also: Entrepreneurship: A Better Career Choice For Generation Z?

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3 Really Crucial Steps To Help You Solve Any Problem In Life

These days, everyone is busy. And with lives overburdened by hectic schedules, people are no longer able to see through their problems. They feel so weak that they just give in to the situation and don’t exert effort in knowing how to solve any problem. They feel overpowered by the challenges that come their way.

Some people attempt suicide when they see no way out. In such situations, they usually seek motivation from others. However, they do not understand the true meaning of that motivation. They believe in others, instead of themselves.

That’s where they are wrong. Motivation is not something that can be given. Rather, it is something we have to accept and believe in ourselves.

The key to solving any problem lies within us. So, we have to believe in ourselves. We have to believe that there’s always a way out. We just have to keep trying and eventually, a door opens up and leads us out.

Here are some steps to solve any problem:

Acceptance

People usually try to avoid their problems. Either they run away from the situation or deny it.

However, they have to understand that the only way to solve any problem is through acceptance. Even mathematicians say that “the first step to solve any problem lies within the problem itself”.

Instead of denying your weak point or running away, accept the situation. It will make the problem a lot easier to solve. Also, we have to accept the fact that we are lacking somewhere so that we can figure out a way to improve that lacking point.

Belief in oneself

Whenever a problem arises, people usually trust others more than themselves. Either that or they simply believe that the problem is quite big for them and that it would be tough to get through it.

Positivity and self-belief can lead you out of the problems. There is nothing in this world if not hope and belief. We have to trust ourselves that we can succeed and surpass even the worst situations.

People usually give up, thinking of their limitations. However, what they should also believe is that those limitations can be overcome.

Thus, believing in ourselves is the second step to solve any problem. If it is not taken into consideration, then we are bound to let any bad situation prevail.

Motivated hard work

motivate hard work

Hard work can help us succeed but it’s not always easy. To reduce its toughness, motivation is required. Fortunately, we can motivate ourselves.

If someone criticizes us, for instance, you shouldn’t let that discourage you. Instead, use it as a fuel to become better. Motivation can make you stronger and more effective.

Conclusion

Motivating oneself can be a tad tricky at first. After all, it’s hard to maintain that ardent belief that things will turn out great in the end. However, trust that you won’t have a hard time understanding how to solve any predicament once it becomes a habit. You need to make it a habit — only then will you able to outperform yourself and continue to grow.

By using these three tips, we can overcome any problem in our lives. So, next time a problem comes up, you’ll know what to do.

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5 Lesser-Known But Highly Effective Hacks to Achieve Sales Success

Sales is one of the most crucial aspects of a business and the art of selling is a sought-after trait. In fact, as competitive individuals, humans go through a continuous process of selling. From selling delegated products to selling our skills and unique personalities to our superiors in the office, we regularly undergo the sales process in our daily lives. This makes it important that we become extremely aware of the best ways to boost sales.

“No matter how big (CEO) or small (a salesman) is the job, experience in sales is a must”, said Naeem Zafar, former CEO of multiple unicorns including Bitzer Mobiles and the founder of Telesense, in an interview.

Now, to ensure that you become successful in the process, here is a list of 5 lesser-known ways to boost sales.

Tune in to your prospect’s frequency

Grabbing the attention of your prospect is the most important thing in the sales industry. More than speaking about the product, you need to ‘listen’ to the customer and suggest to him the right product.

This typically requires building a certain amount of trust with the prospect. The best way of doing that is by tuning yourself according to the potential customer.

Mirroring the customer’s actions is how you can pair yourself with his frequency. If he talks slowly, slow your speech down. If he is a conservative, serious person, hold your dad jokes and be serious as well.

Understanding customer psychology and showing familiar ground between you and him is crucial to furthering the sales process. After all, like attracts like, right?

Foresee objections and prepare answers to them

Anticipating is the key and preparing accordingly is your best bet.

The most embarrassing part of sales is when your prospect throws an objection or problem at you and you have no answer to that.

To prepare yourself, you must start by thoroughly researching the product you are selling. Keep track of the competitive landscape and know the pros and cons of your product so you can demonstrate its unique offering when compared with rival products in the market.

To know how to handle prospects, make a list of hurdles already thrown your way by previous prospects or customers and come up with turnarounds for them. Having done that, you will automatically feel more comfortable talking to customers. That can make you look more confident and approachable, setting you on the road to speedier sales success.

Unleash your emotional chameleon

As mentioned above, you need to let the customer do the talking and exercise patience when it comes to sales. In fact, you have to take the back seat and let the prospect drive if you want a successful deal.

Start by letting the customer narrate his problems. Throw emotional darts at him and pinch his pain points. Then, slowly take the leash and guide him towards the solution– your product! And voila, you have your deal signed!

The key is to be sophisticated and subtle while you do this. Genuinely try to understand the customer’s pain points.

Take note of feedback

Customers tend to share feedback in creative ways. From Facebook posts to spitting venomous words in person, customers tend to be brutally honest when it comes to sharing feedback and reviews.

Quite naturally, this can be a huge blow to the seller’s ego, causing the salesperson to get offended and switch off from the conversation. However, ignoring the issue can only lead to dissatisfied customers leaving your product/service subscription and a needlessly high churn rate.

To counter this, think of such unpleasant customer interactions as a golden chance to understand current issues. Use them to come up with things you need to improve or work on.

Grab an in-person meeting

Phone calls and emails all work fine but if you want to hook the big fish, get a face-to-face appointment.

Again, you need to be creative here and not seem like you are imposing yourself on the customer. A light, cheery, ‘I’m in town next week, want to meet up?’ or ‘I’m free tomorrow, can I pop in?’ will work much better than saying outright to your customer why they should purchase your product/service.

Once you get the opportunity, you can pitch your product in a far more relaxed setting than the four-walled sales setting of your office. This can increase the probability of signing a deal sooner than you thought possible. To maintain professionalism, bring a prototype along. If you can get the product itself, there’s nothing better.

In Summary

These are just a few ways to boost sales. The key lies in understanding that your customers and prospects need to see value in your product/service. Critiquing your product is the first step towards understanding the crowd. Once you understand the mindset of the person buying your product or subscribing to your services, you will be in a much better position to sell.

The sentence ‘How can I help?’ should be your signature line and a smile on your face should reflect your empathy, understanding, and conviction. After all, persuasion is the key to sales success.

Happy selling!

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How to Find Happiness Within Yourself?

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

Happiness is a state of mind. We can keep ourselves happy in every situation; we only need to make up our mind.

There are people who have a limited income and simple lifestyle and yet, they are happy. There are people who have big houses, expensive cars, loving families, stable jobs, and great health but they don’t feel happy at all.

Ever wonder how the principle of happiness works?

This article can give you a clearer idea on how to find happiness within yourself.

Root Cause

Most of the time, we want others for love and approval. We continuously feel that something is lacking within ourselves and that the outside world can complete us.

If we want to be and stay happy all the time, however, it is essential that we learn to value and love ourselves. Instead of finding happiness here and there, find your confidence. Happiness comes after such ‘self-care’ behaviors.

Start believing that your happiness is more connected to you and your behaviors more than any other circumstances. Follow these simple yet powerful tips and start learning how to find happiness within yourself.

Decide

decide happiness

This step is the very first thing in learning how to find happiness within yourself.

You have to decide and you have to choose to be happy. Change your state of mind and distract it from sadness.

Define the road to happiness. Write down your meaning of joy in a diary. Keep all your senses open and try to observe triggers which lead you to any positivity. Eliminate negative thoughts by imagining something useful and write it down. Choose to believe that you can be happy.

Visualize

You must show the world that you want to be happy and will never fail in that. Convince yourself that you are on the right track to finding happiness. Visualize the best version of yourself and work for it.

Set some goals for your life that can make a difference. Such goals can tremendously help you in reaching your fullest potential. Stop ruminating and thinking about the moments and things which other people have said to let you down.

Develop

Finding happiness within yourself is not rocket science but just like any other habits, we need to cultivate it, too.

Cultivate happiness by developing an optimistic outlook. Optimism brings positive change to our mind so that we can overcome issues. Also, show your compassion and develop the skill to deal with negativity. Challenge your negative thoughts and never allow them to control your mind.

See Also: Four Surprising Yet Effective Ways To Tune Into Your Soul

Forgive and Forget

Forgive yourself, no matter how bad your mistake was!

If you have realized it and now want to take a fresh start, forget it and forgive yourself. Don’t make your past ruin your present.

Try to forgive others, no matter what they did to you! To forgive someone is not for them; it is for you and your peace of mind. That can lead you to the happiness.

Practice active gratitude. Accept the good and imagine the best. Stop blaming others and be open to change. Forget any bad memories, listen to your heart, and find purpose again.

Appreciate

Frederick Keonig once said, ‘We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.’

It is essential to take a few minutes to consider where happiness comes from. Always focus on what you have in life and not on the things which you have lost in the past. Start appreciating all the positive things around you, including people who work hard to make you smile.

Meditate

meditate regularly

Meditation is powerful. It can heal a lot of things.

After closing your eyes and when you focus on the center of your forehead, you will feel that many problems and plenty of negative thoughts are trapping you. But after practicing for a few sessions, you will surely feel peace.

Meditation can calm your mind and may give you some direction. It helps you to listen to the inner voice and declutter the chaos. A few minutes of exercise are also helpful to stay positive and energized.

Choose Wisely

Be with others who make you smile and not the ones who have a hugely negative approach to life.

You can help them but when you are struggling with yourself, choose to stay away from any form of negativity. Hold on to your values and never compromise your self-esteem.

Remember that it’s hard for you to gain the confidence to find happiness within yourself. Treat yourself well and do things you love.

If you want someone, you can also take professional help. It is FINE.

See Also: 5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

Go out and explore my friend. Take pictures of beautiful things and convince yourself that it is okay to BE YOU and it is okay to be alone than to be with someone who doesn’t treat you right.

It’s Not Complicated!

To find happiness is simple. Anything from the chirps of birds to a bandstand can make you happy. Even paper boats, snowfall or your childhood memories can do that.

There are 1000 reasons to be happy and only 10 reasons to be sad. But still, we focus on the ten and don’t see the brighter side.

Take a break from televisions or cellphones and write down all the things that can make you happy. Whether it is a meal, beach, mountain or some silly jokes, write it down.

Feel everything, whatever it may be – happiness, sorrows, laughs, tears, pain, heartbreaks, anything!

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Let it go and treasure yourself. The universe will help you find happiness within yourself. Just live with the flow and keep smiling.

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4 Sure-Fire Steps That Will Make Your Home Shine for Selling

Whether you’re trying to sell your home or you want to spruce things up, a little bit of effort can go a really long way. You could either spend a lot and have someone else do it all for you or you could muster a little bit of elbow grease and do some home improvements to make before selling.

Either way, here’s a list to help you out.

Take Care of the Exterior

Not many people will start here but addressing the exterior of your home is pretty significant. Impressions matter and the outside is the very first thing visitors and potential buyers will see. Invest a little bit of time to take care of little details.

If you have a yard, this may be the best time to mow it. After this is complete, check on the overall health of the lawn.

Does it have a mostly uniform appearance? Are there brown spots or has crabgrass begun to take over?

Buyers who have maintained a lawn before can quickly spot an unhealthy lawn, so you may have no other option than to kill these weeds rapidly.

In addition to the lawn, trimming other plants like shrubs, bushes, and hanging tree branches can make a huge difference.

After addressing outside greenery, start looking into cleaning the exterior. One of the best tools you can turn to is an industrial style power washer which you can rent at a decent price.

Power washers that utilize pressurized, hot water are the most effective way of removing impressive amounts of stains and dirt. These machines are best suited for blasting away stubborn stains on concrete.

Driveways and walkways are the best places to start but be extremely careful when using a power washer on the actual exterior of the house. They are quite powerful and have the ability to cause unintended damage.

See Also: 10 Important Home Features That Home Buyers Want

Easy Cleaning Hacks

cleaning hacks

Of course, if a listing is squeaky clean, it has a better chance of selling than a “kind of clean” house. This isn’t groundbreaking but you need to visit every single room to be entirely sure that the rooms are spotless. At a minimum, every separate room should be as clean as possible to entice buyers.

Don’t go crazy with cleaning supplies. Here are a few cleaning hacks to tackle some problems you may run into:

  • Grimy showers: Residual soap scum isn’t exactly the best way to sell a bathroom. It looks terrible and is painfully apparent on showers with glass doors. Combine ten parts water to one part muriatic acid. Then, pick up some steel wool and you can wipe away soap scum with ease.
  • Cleaning mold: Mold is both unappealing and potentially unhealthy to be around. By combining one part water with one part bleach, you can effectively wipe down surface mold. If you aren’t the biggest fan of bleach, you can also try a blend of vinegar, sugar, and water to clean surface mold.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: One of the most useful and innovative cleaning products ever released is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Able to scrub away stubborn stains better than traditional sponges without being as abrasive, it’s a must for any deep cleaning job. Strong enough to tackle wall stains like scuffs, crayons, and markers, they’re pretty cheap if you get them on Amazon.

See Also: The Six Best All-Natural Cleaners for Your House

Treat Bathrooms with Care

Like it or not, bathrooms are a huge deciding factor for home buyers. This may come as a shock to first-time home sellers, but it is one of the most important rooms to address.

Upgrading bathrooms is an investment of both time and funds. The good news is that there are a few easy ways to maximize your investment without sinking too much cash.

  • Replacing hardware, fixtures, etc. – A sure sign of a dated bathroom is how old the toilet and other fixtures look. Painting is easy but updating the stuff future homeowners will be using on a daily basis will not go unnoticed. You don’t have to get the best available but this investment will pay off nicely.
  • Mirrors and other small upgrades — Replacing cabinets and countertops can be an expensive, exhausting job. You can look at other cosmetic upgrades instead to save some money. Your best bet is to shop around for stylish, contemporary mirrors to replace what is in the bathroom right now. These mirrors – as well as towel bars – can be easily mounted to the wall for a fresh, modern look.

Strategic Painting & Staining

home improvement

Your ambition may get the best of you when considering what to paint. There’s no sense in going overboard when you can be strategic with your painting targets. With intelligent application and just a few coats, the impact new paint can have on a room is impressive.

Before diving face first into painting the exterior or large rooms, consider a few smaller jobs to try out first.

  • Kitchen cabinet revival: This could potentially save tons of money, removing the need to replace older kitchen cabinets. By stripping and staining old cabinets, you can spruce them up at a low cost. The trick here is to also swap out any cabinet hardware (knobs, handles) with contemporary selections.
  • Minor cover-ups: Keep your eyes peeled for areas of the house where minor touch-ups can be applied. It may seem superficial, but you never know how detail-oriented buyers might be. In particular, try to find opportunities to cover up cracked or chipped paint. Bonus tip – paint the garage door! If you think about it, this isn’t necessarily a huge undertaking unless you’re trying to take on a six-car garage. With some fresh paint, you may be blown away at how much of a difference it can make.
  • Ugly fireplace: Fireplaces can be a great feature to promote. There are times where an existing fireplace has become outdated and unattractive. One remedy for unappealing fireplaces is to slap several coats of paint to the surrounding room. Another option is to paint the fireplace with a contrasting color to make it stand out.
  • Ceramic tile painting: No matter how you slice it up, replacing tile can get pretty expensive. Not to mention it’s a labor-intensive endeavor. As a significantly cheaper alternative, consider simply painting over old tile. It does require a special technique, so make sure to do it right.

Final Thoughts

Preparing a home for sale doesn’t have to be a costly effort. By making these home improvements to make before selling, you can whip your home into shape in no time.

You could go to the extreme by taking on substantial renovation projects or buying brand new appliances since these activities will always pay off. Just make sure that you put into account what you can afford and get a feel for the local housing market.

Even if you aren’t selling your house, these tips will make your pad shine and instill a sense of pride. Putting in just a modest amount of effort will prime your home for guests, future homeowners or for your own satisfaction.

The post 4 Sure-Fire Steps That Will Make Your Home Shine for Selling appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Millennials Still Go To The Movies?

Over the last 20 years, nearly 1 in 4 movie theaters have closed. Many people feel the days of the movie theater are behind us, with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu providing premium content from the comfort of home.

In reality, there are more big screens in the United States than ever, despite the lower number of theaters. The days of the small, dollar theater may be behind us but the multiplex is gaining popularity. And it may surprise you to learn that millennials are driving this trend.

But what’s with millennials and movies?

Movie theaters are far from disappearing. Box office revenues have grown over the past three years. In 2017, box office earnings hit a record high at over $40 billion. Of the top ten highest grossing films in history, six were released in the last five years. Moreover, two of these films, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, were out in the first half of 2018 and four are from the Marvel franchise.

Highest Grossing Films Worldwide

  • Avatar
  • Titanic
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Jurassic World
  • The Avengers
  • Furious 7
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Black Panther
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Who Goes to the Movies?

The people most likely to go to the movies are millennials who are nearly twice as likely to frequent theaters as any other age group. Common knowledge might say streaming devices are replacing trips to the cinema, but frequent moviegoers actually own more technology than the average adult. From smartphones, tablets, computers to gaming systems and personal assistants, nearly 80% of moviegoers own at least four different types of technology.

All of that tech might not be replacing the big screen, but it’s changing our media consumptions. Millennials and younger adults are the biggest users of online streaming services. Rather than replacing trips to the theater, streaming services are just another way to consume media. Young adults are watching, listening, and streaming more than ever.

Why Choose the Cinema?

movies and millennials

In 2017, more than double the number of Americans went to the movies as those who attended major-league sporting events and theme parks combined. These 1.2 billion moviegoers picked an outing that costs less than half the price of visiting an amusement park or basketball game. While the price of tickets is going up, movies are still an affordable option for those looking to treat themselves to a little luxury.

Compared to the cost of installing a professional-quality theater at home, a family of four could visit a luxury theater every month for 9 years and still spend less. Movie theaters are adding to the luxury with more amenities as well. Adjustable, reclining seats offer comfortable seating with more elbow and leg room than traditional theaters. And many theaters offer dine-in options or full-service bars that give you dinner-and-a-movie all in one place.

What’s So Great About the Big Screen?

Seeing a movie in the theater isn’t what it used to be and it’s not just the seats that are getting better. Theaters are switching from old, film-based projection systems to digital screens that offer better, brighter pictures. And new 3D technology makes movies more life-like.

The latest tech dual-laser projection brings a film to life with brighter displays, more vivid color, and a million-to-one contrast ratio. Today’s screens can display more nuanced tones and a greater spectrum of colors for the ultimate theater experience. What’s more, the newest and greatest technology can be added to existing screens, from the big screen to your home computer, with little more than a firmware update.

Surround sound is making strides as well, with 64 speakers installed on each wall of the theater. There’s even newer theater tech that does more than just place sounds in different speaker channels, like earlier versions of surround sound technology.

This new tech allows filmmakers to place each sound in a specific location in the theater, creating soundscapes that are even more nuanced and creating the same effect across theaters with varying speaker setups. Sound can pan around the room, moving seamlessly from speaker to speaker.

Check out this infographic to learn more about millennials at the movies and the numbers behind the big screen’s continued success:
Afordable Luxury: the summer blockbusterDolby

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