Dumb Little Man

5+ Trends for Bloggers to Follow This Summer

Being a blogger is very exciting because you are part of something that is forever evolving. There are always new trends emerging and old trends taking a back seat. It does sometimes become challenging to keep up with these trends, but you definitely should not fear change.

There are many tools online to help you become a successful blogger. You can find anything from a paraphrasing tool or even a topic generator when you’re a little stuck.

We should be happy that we are living in these times wherein we have technology and software available to us for free. Let’s get right into the trends every blogger should follow this summer.

Longer articles

longer article

We have been seeing this trend make its way into the blogging world for a while, but it has become more prominent as of late. Readers are looking for longer and more high-quality content as opposed to shorter posts.

This isn’t a bad thing since it is better to do one long post once a week rather than doing 5 shorter posts a week. Of course, these posts need to add value to the reader’s life and cannot be a simple rehash of common information. Use a text paraphraser to eliminate any badly worded sentences and produce only high-quality content.

See Also: How to Write a Blog Post That Millennials Will Read

No comments

Many bloggers have started to turn their comments section off and those who decide to leave the comments section activated will see a definite decrease in comments.

This does not mean that commenting in blogs is becoming outdated. Rather, the means of communications is simply changing. Social media is becoming the new comments section and it is vital that no blogger forgets this. Being active on social media is part and parcel of the job and you will be left behind if you do not participate.

Email list

This is a typical trend that we have been following for a while, but some bloggers still do not understand the importance of an email list. You cannot simply start an email list without interacting with those who subscribed.

Make sure that your emails are engaging and add additional value to the subscribers, more so than your blog already does. There has to be something extra for the subscribers because they took their time to click that button and fill out your form.

Branding

I am sure that as a blogger, you already know the importance of your blog’s brand. What will become more of a trend this summer is personal branding. Humans interact and relate to humans and you want your audience to get to know the face behind the blog.

There are great benefits in paying attention to your own brand. The face behind the blog is what people are searching for. If the readers feel like they connect with you as a person, you have the ability to build a relationship of trust.

Mobile traffic

attract web traffic

You are going to see more of your traffic coming from the mobile phone. This trend is not going anywhere and will continue to increase. With all the strides in smartphone technology, many will use their phones more for internet activity.

In anticipation of this, you want to make sure that your blog is mobile friendly and navigates at a fast pace on mobile phones. Our generation has become a little impatient in terms of speed and quality. If you want to win them over, always test your websites on various pieces of technology to make sure it is up to standard.

See Also: 5 Proven Strategies That Can Massively Increase Blog Traffic

Forget about ads

Ad revenue has been dropping for a while because consumers have become aware of the money-making vehicles behind it. Unless an ad seriously interests the viewer, they are unlikely to click on that link.

Also, people have become afraid to click on foreign links for the fear of a virus on their computers or cellphones. There are many other way to make money on the internet and ad clicks are no longer it.

Conclusion

Always be on top of trends. Do not sleep on things that can potentially skyrocket your blog to success. It is not impossible for you to become the next big blogger, but you will have to move with the times.

There are many blogs that are honestly fantastic, but fail to reach maximum heights. The cause could be that they are stuck in the past and refuse to change. A lot of hard work goes into a blog and what you put in is what you will get out. Remember there is a lot of competition out there, but they have nothing on you. Stay committed, be persistent and you will see your blog evolve.

 

 

 

The post 5+ Trends for Bloggers to Follow This Summer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Pay off Student Loan Debt by Going Back to School

If you are currently struggling with student loans, you’re not alone. According to Forbes, 44.2 million Americans struggle with student loan debt. For many people, the financial burden of debt infringes upon their quality of life. Thus it is important to pay off loans as soon as possible.

One of the best ways to escape student loan debt is to pursue a degree that will get the highest return on your investment. If you have already graduated college with a bachelor’s degree, you may find that you’re not able to make enough to pay off your debt. Returning to school for a higher-level degree might be just what you need to increase your income enough to pay off your loans faster and easier.

Graduate Degrees Garner Higher Income

One of the biggest advantages of going back to school and obtaining a master’s degree is that doing so will boost your starting salary. This substantial increase in income will enable you to pay off your student loans, as well as get into the career of your dreams.

According to a 2015 study lead by Georgetown University, students who graduate with a master’s degree earn around $17,000 more per year than those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree. As such, students with a graduate degree are able to enter the workforce and earn a higher wage from the start. This significant advantage enables them to pay off their loans quicker.

Of course, this benefit varies across different fields of study. For example, a degree in architectural engineering will tend to net you more income in the job market than a degree in, say, social work. Nevertheless, the Georgetown study found that there was a demonstrable increase in income for graduate degrees over bachelor’s degrees, regardless of the chosen major.

Defer Your Student Loans

If you choose to go back to school, you can temporarily defer your student loans so you don’t have to make payments while attending school. This will ease the strain on your finances while you redirect your mental energy toward graduating in a more lucrative field. Keep in mind, however, that if you have defaulted on previous payments, you may not be able to defer your loans.

Reduce Your Graduate School Loans

working student

Even if you defer your loans, with tuition costs being what they are, you’ll probably have to take out more loans in order to go back to school. This may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re in school to qualify for a higher paying job, it’s actually an investment.

That being said, make the most of this investment by reducing what you take out in loans. You may not be allowed to work part-time, but you might be able to find time to donate plasma, do freelance writing, or apply for scholarships/grants (this last one is HUGE!). Think of anything to supplement your income and lessen what you’ll have to pay back later.

See Also: 7 Ways to Save Money while Earning a College Degree 

Embrace “College Student Poor”

Everyone hates the “poor college student” lifestyle, but college students have a wealth of money-saving life hacks in their repertoire. And don’t worry — you don’t have to live on instant ramen to save money the college way.

  • Cut down on “luxury” expenditures like new clothes, trips to the car wash, and eating out. When you have to go, price-check first and go for the best deal.
  • Attend university events with free food (who knows, you might have fun).
  • Take advantage of the student gym instead of buying a gym membership.
  • Student discounts! They can be found everywhere: movie theaters, museums, car insurance, restaurants, phone plans, etc.

Pay Off Other Debts

pay off debt

Once you’ve graduated and landed your dream job, it might be tempting to live the opulent lifestyle you dreamt of while working your tail off in grad school. But your work isn’t over yet! Paying off smaller debts can make room for paying off another, larger debt (aka your student loans) faster. This is called the Snowball Method, developed by Dave Ramsey, and it really works!

You can also choose to refinance, so instead of making many small payments on various debts, you make just 1 big payment each month that will go toward all of them. You may cringe at such a large payment coming out of your bank account each month, but thanks to refinancing negotiations with each lender, you’re actually paying less than you were before.

Higher Income = Larger Payments

Sticking to the minimum payment on your student loans can cost you thousands in interest in the long term. Put your extra income to good use by making larger payments on your loan—reducing not only how long you will be making payments, but also how much you have to pay off.

See Also: What Can Employers Do About The Student Loan Crisis?

Summing Up

Going back to college for a master’s degree is a surefire way to improve your job prospects, open your career, and increase your income. More importantly, it enables you to pay off your student loans once and for all, granting you invaluable peace of mind.

 

The post Pay off Student Loan Debt by Going Back to School appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Good Web Content That Can Sell For $100

Not so long ago, UX Myths posted an article which demonstrates that people are not too fond of web content reading. In fact, they only read around 20% of all the articles and there’s no guarantee that they actually read everything.

So, it seems kind of unfair that you have to spend hours picking the right keywords, writing and polishing texts only to have readers simply scan through your article.

This, however, should not bother you. As long as you create worthy content and find your audience, you will have no trouble having people that will read your articles. Moreover, you will be able to easily sell this content and make money from it.

Sounds fantastic, don’t you think?

We can almost see you asking us how can you sell your writing for at least $100. And it’s a good thing because we do have an answer.

So, meet this complete guide to good web content writing.

Content is the king

The question of whether your content is read or only scanned through relies heavily on how good the content is. Of course, the style, lists, and visual aids are vital. But, unless your content is interesting and engaging, you will not draw your readers’ attention.

What makes for good content?

According to Kissmetrics, high-quality content is:

  • original
  • actionable
  • accurate
  • engaging
  • though-provoking
  • diverse
  • easy to read

It might sound a bit overwhelming and you might be forced to spend long hours polishing and changing your text. Well, you don’t have to do that. All you need to do is spend some time learning how to create content that will grab readers’ attention.

Identify the audience

target audience

Each one of your articles needs to target the correct audience. It’s the secret of successful writing.

Once you start writing some general articles that talk about everything and at the same time about nothing in particular, you won’t be able to sell it.

People will only want to buy content that is likely to bring them traffic and, as a result, revenue. And for that, it has to speak to a specific audience on specific topics.

So, before you grab a pen or hit the keys, make sure to create a clear picture of who your audience is. Think of why they would be listening to you, what they expect to hear, what pain they have and what solutions you can offer.

Go over each one of these statements if you want to reach them with your message – and voila! – your content will easily be in demand!

Follow the latest trends

You wouldn’t want to be left behind. So, try your best to understand the latest trends these days. Know what people expect to see and what channels you can use to reach out to new people.

For instance, you need to remember that 34% of all online users only read their emails through mobile devices, states the Impact. The same applies to the blog posts on social networks.

Therefore, if you want more people to read your content, you need to optimize it for mobile devices. This means that paragraphs and sentences need to be shorter, the font should be bigger and the formatting eye-catching.

Moreover, keep in mind that more people read content via social media. Posts on Facebook should not be long, must have catchy headlines and contain many visual aids.

All in all, follow the latest trends for better results!

See Also: How To Avoid A Content Crisis When Your Deadline Is Looming

Use the right copywriting techniques

Another important thing when it comes to content writing is to use proper copywriting techniques that can bring your writing to a whole new level.

Among common methods every copywriter must know include:

  • using keywords
  • having one main idea per section
  • adding lists and bullet points
  • using sub-headings
  • writing short paragraphs, sentences, and words
  • inserting links to reliable sources

You will be surprised to see what results such an approach can bring! If you follow these recommendations, that 79% of users that do not read the whole article will be more likely to finish your whole piece. So, why not try it?

Find a good site to sell your articles

find a good site

Thanks to the latest trends, more and more people are willing to work from home. Thus, new sites for freelancers emerge. All you need to do is to find the one that fits your expectations.

We have gathered a list of good sites where you can start your career as a freelancer.

Remember that it is good to have a good and persuasive portfolio at first so that when asked about your experience, you would be able to present good examples of your writing.

To create a portfolio, you might offer your articles to bloggers who can post them in the “Guest posts” section of their sites. You can also start your own blog on any topic you are good at or start writing good informative posts on your page on Facebook.

Good websites to check out

  • CollegeHumor – It’s not hard to guess what this site is looking for from their writers. Should you have relevant content, don’t hesitate to offer it to them.
  • Love To Know – It is a perfect resource for writers focusing on the financial topics, fashion, beauty, technology, and many other subjects.
  • Freelance Writing Gigs – This site offers you a list of openings for writers you can check out as well as helpful tips for the beginners.
  • iWriter.com – This site has fixed rates for the articles. The problem with this is that once your writing is rejected, you get no money.
  • Upwork – This is a place where both freelancers and clients meet. You can find the job you will enjoy here in no time.
  • Tuts+ – If you are an experienced writer, you can write for this website as well.

The list can go on and on. You absolutely have all the chances to enter the niche and make your first $100 in the nearest time. Just learn how to write well or polish your skills – and get paid for the amazing content you are crafting.

See Also: 21 Must-Read Tips To Write Better Web Content

The post A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Good Web Content That Can Sell For $100 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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

You might not believe in ‘the one’ or the idea that there is a perfect person out there destined to be yours. But, maybe you’ve been dating someone for a while now. You love them, enjoy their company and are wondering if they are the one you’ll commit to spending the rest of your life with.

How can you really be sure?

There are the loving feelings you have for them that can give you hints. You may even have thoughts that living without them would be unbearable. Those are both good starts. However, there has to be more than that to know that he or she is ‘the one’, right?

There are. And to help you figure it out, here are 6 tips on finding your soulmate.

You both feel lucky to be with each other

It’s a good sign when both of you think you hit the jackpot with your relationship. You feel like the luckiest person alive to have this person as yours and they feel the exact same way. You’re feeling blessed to have each other and you couldn’t be more grateful.

You have similar priorities and values

Opposites may attract, but if you have opposing life goals and values, the relationship will likely experience a lot of turmoil. On the other hand, if you and your partner share common priorities about family, children, work or even money, then you can know that you can build a future together.

It doesn’t matter what you do together

fun relationship

When you’re with someone you truly care about, even the mundane can be fun. Your time together doesn’t have to be filled with fun or fancy dates. You are just excited to be with the other person and spend time together. You care about the smallest details, like how her day went or what happened at work.

See Also: 7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship

Your friends and family see what you see

Your family members and friends see why you like this person so much and they like the idea as well. If you’re falling in love with a special person and have supportive friends and family, then they will encourage the relationship. Always be cautious if your friends and family aren’t tickled over the person you are dating.

You can have healthy conflict

Every relationship is bound to have its arguments and disagreements. It’s how you handle those arguments and disagreements that show how compatible you are.

Can the two of you respectfully disagree and work through conflict in a healthy, productive manner? Or do fights turn into screaming matches where everything escalates and there is never an end to it?

The two of you should feel like you can tackle anything together in a respectful, considerate and effective way.

You are truly yourself around them

happy relationship

In the early stages of a relationship, we put our best feet forward. But, as we get more comfortable and know someone more and more, our true selves come out. It might be for the better or for worse.

You shouldn’t feel like you have to hide your intellectual or silly side whenever you are with them. When your partner has seen the many facets of you and loves you anyway, it’s a good sign the relationship is a keeper.

Conclusion

Sometimes, you just know. Call it a feeling or a gut instinct, but we often can just tell when something is right. If all the above things are present in your relationship and you have the feeling, then congratulations! It looks like you’ve met your match.

This does not mean, however, that living happily ever after will come automatically. Relationships take work. Finding your soulmate takes effort. You have to be willing to put into and not just take from it.

When you appreciate each other, have similar values, enjoy just being together, navigate conflict in a healthy way and can be yourselves with each other, you are off to a good start. Having these things going for you gives you a good foundation to build from and increases your chances of having a successful relationship.

If you don’t have all of these characteristics, you don’t have to give up. Successful relationships are built, not born. Pick one or two to start working on improving and see what happens next.

See Also: 7 Best Secrets to Building Lasting Relationships

The post Finding Your Soulmate: 6 Ways To Know When You’ve Met ‘The One’ appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Power of Volunteering

In the dictionary, volunteering is an altruistic activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial gain “to benefit another person, group or organization”.

Volunteering, in the form which we would understand, dates back to 1851. It’s the same creation date of the first YMCA in the United States. During the American civil war, educator Clara Barton and a team of volunteers started to provide clothing, food, and supplies for the sick and wounded servicemen. Barton then formed the American Red Cross in 1851 and began to mobilize volunteers for disaster relief, including supporting the victims of the Johnstown flood in 1889.

Today, volunteering is the backbone of many non-profit organizations across the US. Studies by Volunteering in America have shown that young Americans spent over 3.6 million hours for organizations or causes which they felt passionate about.

If you have never volunteered, you may not know what type of volunteering would be good for you or where you can start on your journey to becoming a volunteer.

There are thousands of potential opportunities that can allow you to share your skills and knowledge or learn something totally new. Volunteering posts vary from fundraising and administration, right through to building new schools or sinking wells overseas.

Now, you might wonder what good volunteering can bring you. It may surprise you that, apart from the feeling of being able to do something good for the wider community, there are a large number of benefits to carrying out volunteer work.

It makes you feel better

Research has shown that taking part in volunteering activities can make you feel better, both in body and mind!

A survey of over 3,000 adults by the UnitedHealth Group found that of those people who had volunteered, 76% said that volunteering made them feel better and 94% stated that volunteering improved their mood and self-esteem. It was found that people who volunteered were able to manage their stress more easily and feel a stronger connection to their community.

So, doing something good can do you some good!

“I love the voluntary work I do now and equally loved the voluntary work I did for the Stroke Association a few years ago. It gives me a purpose, and is good for my mental health.”, said Karla, a volunteer for a number of organizations.

You can learn new skills

When you volunteer, you get the chance to undertake training, learn, and practice a number of new skills. Many of these are soft skills which are skills that you are unlikely to learn from any university. These include communication skills, teamwork and the ability to adapt to any situation.

Working with strangers on a project will help you build a set of skills and earn experiences that will be vital for every part of your life. You will have to create links and communicate, understand objectives and even resolve disputes.

Soft skills are difficult to represent on your resume. You can say you have excellent team building or communication skills, but you won’t be able to prove them on paper. By volunteering, you’ll be able to demonstrate how you gained and used these skills.

See Also: Importance Of Soft Skills: Why Grades Aren’t Enough

You can make new friends

volunteer work

This is one of the importance of volunteering.

In a world of online friendships or as you transition from high school to college, you can lose some real connections. Although it might help to read your friends’ status updates, it doesn’t compare to ‘face to face’ friendships!

Volunteering can help you build new friendships with people from all walks of life. You will be meeting in an environment you both support and care about and will be on a shared journey. The people you meet could become very close friends or even more.

You are more likely to socialize with your volunteering colleagues than people who don’t volunteer. The issue is that despite being more connected than ever, we lack real friendships.

Many people find that they have very few friends who they regularly see face-to-face. A report published by the American Sociological Review found that the average American only has two close friends. A quarter, on the other hand, states that they have no close friends at all. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to step out of your usual circle of friends and colleagues and meet new people.

It makes you more employable

A report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that promotes volunteering, found that people who had spent time volunteering had a 27% better chance of finding a job than others who had never volunteered.

An individual who has taken the time and effort to become involved in a volunteer capacity demonstrates a natural work ethic, has a more developed set of soft skills and has gained or updated skills needed in the workplace. This is often referred to as ‘human capital’ which is defined as ‘the acquisition of “of all useful skills and knowledge…that is part of deliberate investment.” Schultz (1961). It is seen as an investment in skills and training which have a measurable economic payoff or return on investment.

Stewart Lucas is the CEO of a major mental health charity in the United Kingdom. He spent a year working for a community project in Manchester in the 1990’s. He said: “I do what I do because of volunteering. If I hadn’t done my year of volunteering in 1991-92, then I wouldn’t be in Manchester and I wouldn’t be the CEO of a leading charity. Most of my staff started as volunteers, and volunteers are the lifeblood of all our work. In fact, most, if not all, charity CEOs started as volunteers.”

Claire looked to find a role in education and found that volunteering offered the experience and contacts which enabled her to find a permanent job. “I volunteered in a school playgroup. This gave me great references, enabling me to get me a permanent job in a school.”

How can I go about volunteering?

There is a multitude of organizations and types of volunteering available both in the US and overseas. As a starting point, you may want to check the Reward Volunteers quiz. It can help you understand the sort of volunteering role that can suit your personality.

Volunteer roles are massively varied and reflect the wide range of not-for-profit organizations. The basic types include:

Formal – It’s generally a long-term volunteering which involves delivering services. This can include supporting care and activities in a care home, leading education session or acting as a volunteer driver.

Informal – This is a less defined form of volunteering. There may not be specific roles but there will be tasks that need to be undertaken when people have the time. These could include community volunteering, such as beach cleaning or volunteering for sporting activities.

Social action – These bring together people with common interests, such as environmental protection or political lobbying. They have a defined outcome for their activities.

The roles you can carry out are vast, from organizing charity events through supporting the charity administration and governance. You can either find a role where you have skills already or work with your organization to develop new skills.

It may be that you are very outgoing and will suit a role that involves public speaking, like fundraising or campaigning activities. If you are hands-on and practical, you could find roles in conservation, building and maintaining paths or clearing bushland.

In case you are a good listener, you may find the role of a counselor as the best fit for you. If you are sporty, you may want to look at coaching or supporting local sports teams or activities. This could include marshaling races or helping the safe running of sporting events.

Volunteering overseas

volunteering overseas

In case you want more volunteering opportunities, there are a large number of possible roles outside of the US. You should be aware that some projects will expose you to extreme poverty and you need to be ready to face such realities.

Remember, you will not be able to change everything by yourself. However, by volunteering, you can make a change by supporting people who truly need your help. As emotional and difficult as some placements can be, they can be equally rewarding.

You should be aware that there can be costs involved with volunteering overseas and this may come as a surprise. The organizations need to ensure that they have the funds available to support their cause. They need to make sure that they can provide food, accommodation and a support network for their volunteers.

The importance of volunteering

Volunteering is a two-way street. You will not just gain skills, experience, and friendships, but you will also be able to give something very precious- your time and energy.

Virtually, every single non-profit organization relies totally on volunteers to carry out their activities and they really make a difference. For example, The Samaritan volunteers give over 5.5 million hours of their time freely. This enables them to pick up the phone to callers and answer texts and emails from individuals who are desperate for advice. Callers contact the organization every 6 seconds day and night.

Volunteering doesn’t always have to involve life and death situations, but you’ll surely influence others’ lives.

In the words of Linda who has volunteered all her life, “It is truly a rewarding experience. Feeling you are making a difference. Giving without taking. Giving back if you have been given kindness. It is so important.”

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

The post The Power of Volunteering appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship

As soon as you stop laughing with your significant other, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find yourself on the miserable road to relationship hell.

The person you were once so enamored with will start to take on the look of a hairless cat that’s been left out in the sun for too long. You’ll hear the cell block doors slam shut on your relationship as you look forward to a dim future with your crusty ball and chain.

And one day, you’ll gratefully fling your carcass into the earthy arms of an early grave.

Ok, we’ve taken a dark turn here. Let’s go back to the actual issue.

The real question is, how can you keep things fun and new? Let’s move on to the humorous portion of this article and explore a few ways to bring the laughter back to your relationship.

Why Laughter is Good for Your Relationship

In addition to the fun and happy moments that laughter provides, there are also some scientific reasons why humor is great for your relationship.

According to a study performed by the University of North Carolina, couples who laughed together reported better quality of relationship with feelings of closeness and support that stemmed from it.

Some of the findings include:

  • While women laughed more often, men’s laughter was found to be more contagious.
  • The female’s reciprocation of laughter had a positive effect on the men.
  • The longer the laughter continued, the greater the men’s rating of satisfaction, commitment and passion toward their partners.

Laughter makes us feel better, both physically and emotionally. This is likely to make us nicer to our partners. When you laugh more often, you’ll typically become less defensive, more spontaneous and you’ll have less inhibitions. In other words, your interactions can become much more upbeat and positive. You’ll end up enjoying each other’s company to a greater extent.

So, how can you tap into the benefits of laughter and use them to improve and maintain the quality of your relationship? Check out these three relationship humor tips you can actually use.

 

Going Back to Your Early Years

relive childhood days

What is your favorite childhood memory? Which places do you remember playing and laughing in when you were growing up?

If you know your partner well enough, it’s likely that you’ve heard about a few of their fond childhood memories. Taking the time to revisit the places or reenact the events together can be a fantastic way to tap into happy moments.

Sneaking off to the park and swinging together under the moonlight, watching an old treasured movie while you’re curled up together or dancing like nobody’s watching are just a few ways to bring back the magic of youth.

The Spontaneous Trick

be spontaneous

Some of the best fun is often the result of spontaneous choices.

Breaking away from the old routine might not be easy, but it’s a great way to bring more fun into your relationship. Some things you may want to try include:

  • Taking an unplanned trip
  • Trying something new together
  • Switching up the sexual routine
  • Saying yes to unexpected opportunities

Whether you are laughing at the ridiculous positions you find yourself in while taking that yoga class for the first time or find yourselves lost in a small town with a suspicious looking clown on the side of the road, you’re guaranteed to create some interesting memories when you make an effort to be more spontaneous.

A Good Old Fashioned Gag

This tactic is powerful, but it’s often neglected.

Most of us can probably remember the last time we picked up some flowers or a thoughtful trinket for our partner. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice gesture. But, how often do you bring home a great gag gift?

Bringing the laughter back into your relationship will probably take less time than you think when you implement a few of these relationship humor tips. Give them a shot today and experience the joy that comes with a good belly laugh.  

Are there any other techniques that you’ve used to amp up the humor between you and your partner? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

See Also: Five Traits Women Want In A Partner

The post 3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Best Secrets To Building Lasting Relationships

Despite all the disastrous relationships we’ve experienced and witnessed in our lives, there’s always a couple that restores your faith in love and lasting relationships.

As a young person, you may not value stability. However, as you grow older and when you’re in the later stages of life, your spouse can be the core of your support system. Numerous studies have revealed that having a happy relationship with a spouse leads to improved health and can prevent loneliness among seniors.

Nail these tips on how to make lasting relationships and you’ll be headed in the right direction!

Share core values and interests

Opposites do attract, but it is better if your relationship has core values and interests you both share. It is important that you have a similar outlook on life.

Sharing core values means you can agree on the major aspects of life. A good example is the number of children you want and how you wish to raise them.

It can also help if you have similar personalities and that you come from the same background. Not having any common ground with your significant other makes it difficult to get enthusiastic about what interests him. Whether you admit it or not, it’s always nice if you have a partner that can get excited about the stuff you’re interested in.

Place importance on physical attraction

Yes, what’s on the inside matters more. But, physicality and attraction play a huge role in keeping couples together, too.

A relationship is highly unlikely to develop if there was no physical attraction in the first place. Of course, it shouldn’t be the basis of the relationship, but it is vital in keeping your partner hooked and invested in the relationship.

This doesn’t mean you have to look like Hollywood celebs, but keep your weight and appearance in check. Remember, physical attraction is a key component of maintaining intimacy with your partner. Make sure you’re doing what it takes to keep them interested in you.

Communicate

Communication is essential for the health of all relationships. It is, however, that much more integral in your relationship with your spouse.

Ideally, you should be spending the majority of your day with your spouse. Your partner should be the one you turn to in times of peril. If you aren’t able to relay your concerns with them, then expect problems to arise in the relationship.

The inability to trust your spouse with your problems and concerns is sure to place a wedge between the both of you. If your communication line is ineffective, you’ll come to resent each other as the distance between you grows.

Compromise

You can’t have it your way all the time. There are going to be countless occasions where one of you will have to bend in order to accommodate the other.

It’s not right for one partner to be the one making all the sacrifices. Actually, you shouldn’t think of compromises as sacrifices at all, as much as you can think of compromise as a negotiation.

You shouldn’t feel like you’re giving something up. Instead, think of it as adjusting a little for the sake of your relationship. Negotiate with your partner until you reach an agreement that seems fair to both individuals.

Have the conversation only when you’re ready to talk without getting overly emotional and impulsive. Try and come up with solutions that the both of you are somewhat content with. Forcing a compromise at a time where you’re feeling resistant to one another will only worsen the situation.

Make an effort to enjoy your partner’s interests

fun spousal activities

There are activities, movies and music that your partner is passionate about which don’t interest you at all. Despite that, you should still consider giving it a genuine chance. Your partner will surely appreciate your effort in trying it for his sake. The more you can enjoy together, the better it is for your relationship.

See Also: 7 Ways To Inject Romance Into Your Relationship 

Constantly challenge yourself

Making new memories together will always strengthen your relationship. Doing the same activities over and over again can make things mundane.

Keep things fresh, make it a point to go to new places, meet different types people and try new activities together. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is important for personal growth and to keep your relationship exciting, too.

Don’t go to bed angry

spouse argument

The is probably the best relationship advice ever.

The idea of resolving issues as soon as possible is the easiest way of preventing the buildup of anger and feelings of resentment. Do yourselves a favor and resolve your conflicts before you go to sleep. You’ll save yourself a night of restlessness and, most importantly, you’ll wake up without the burden of a fight.

See Also: 7 Ways to Make Your Angry Wife Happy

The post 7 Best Secrets To Building Lasting Relationships appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Achieving The Perfect Balance Between Studying And Working Full-Time

Balancing work and school can be difficult. If you are looking for ways to make the best of your time, here are a few tips you can use.

Review class syllabi

Class syllabi are those small documents created by your instructors, teachers or professors to assist with your studies in the course of the semester. Make a point to go through the syllabi for all your classes. That way, you will have a clear understanding of what will come in the following weeks, including topics to be taught and dates for exams.

Use a good calendar to schedule work and school deadlines

good calendar

Using a calendar, like Google Calendar, can go a long way in keeping up with end-term exams for school or important projects at work. With your entire schedule in front of you, you’ll find it easier to know when you’re available. Setting deadlines for both school and work will also ensure that you’ll never miss any deadlines or fail to prepare for exams.

Start working on assignments the moment they are issued

Avoid postponing school assignments to the last minute. That way, you won’t need to study all night to the point that you get too exhausted to perform effectively at work.

To avoid this, work on your school assignments at the first opportunity. Taking those initial steps, like researching for the assignment and taking a few notes, will help you build some momentum.

Manage your debt to avoid getting distracted by stress

The stress of huge credit card debt, mortgage, car loans or student loans can weigh you down. It can make it difficult for you to concentrate on your education and perform at work. Seek expert advice on debt relief to learn how to take this weight off of your shoulder.

Try out a few different study methods

Use your study time in the most optimal way. To do this, you might need to try a few different methods of absorbing, retaining and synthesizing information.

Some methods include having a study partner, rewriting notes and jotting down some concepts. The only way of finding out which method of study is the most appropriate for you is by experimenting.

Have clearly set out tasks for your studies

study method

While at the office, it’s typical for you to have a defined set of tasks. This can include meetings with your workmates, writing/replying emails, speaking with clients, etc.

You should approach your studies the same way. You should come up with study tasks that are clearly set out, like writing reports and researching term papers. This can help you manage your study time better.

See Also: How to Stay On-Task…Every Day

Schedule your entire week’s study sessions

The last thing you want to do is study in a haphazard manner. Simply opening a random textbook and reading a random chapter won’t help.

So, set aside chunks of time in your calendar for tackling specific topics. These blocks of time can be anything from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on your work/school calendar.

Construct an emotionally supportive network

Have a solid emotionally supportive network both professionally and by and by. That emotionally supportive network can represent the moment of truth you,” says Amy Chen, advertising and correspondence administrator for TINYpulse.

Regardless of whether it’s your administrator, guide or a relative, ensure that everyone around you is energetic about your choice to set off for college.

Time administration is everything

I had at regular intervals of my life (with the exception of Sundays) planned for 30 minutes increases,” says Gabe Lumby, CPA and organizer of Gabe Lumby CPA. Lumby says the way to adjusting classes, examining, work and your connections is dealing with your time purposefully.

See Also: 5 Essential Time Management Tips to Live By

Make your director mindful

Ensure that your director knows that you’re going to school and knows your work limit. Bringing your manager into the discussion at an early stage may even result in acknowledgment or an advancement after graduation.

Adore your learning

When you’re really energetic about your training and vocation, it stops feeling like work all of a sudden. Don’t simply consider it as doing assignments and checking in hours. Instead, consider it as enhancing your brain and propelling your vocation.

“You have been given an open door that few individuals in this world have: a school training,” “Don’t simply take a class, satisfy a fantasy. Cherish what you are doing!”

The post Achieving The Perfect Balance Between Studying And Working Full-Time appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Reason Days Feel Like They’re Flying By And How To Fix It

A lot of people often find themselves wondering why time flies.

Well, time isn’t what it used to be. It seems just yesterday that I started writing this article and yet it was three days ago. At this rate, I fear I will awaken at an elderly home tomorrow morning. And I’m just 26 now.

It wasn’t always like this.

I remember each of my childhood years as lasting an eternity. Unlike the other kids, I never wanted to grow up. It felt like a scam and I was right.

Upon reaching legal adulthood, everything sped up. Days mix with each other to form an indistinguishable blur of events and I don’t like it. I can’t seem to remember what this past Wednesday felt like or what decisions I made on Tuesday that lead me here. Moments like this often make me wonder why time flies.

Three weeks ago, I returned from a trip to Rome for three days. At the end of the first day, I laid exhausted in bed from a thrilling time in the city. That day felt as if it lasted more than 24 hours. The second day felt exactly the same way and so did the third. They were days full of excitement, joy, stress and learning.

As I played back the days in my head while flying out of Rome, those three days felt like twenty. I could recall each past activity in detail. I felt like I lived more in those three days than I had in months before the trip.

The Science

Intense moments, good or bad, feel as if they lasted longer. This is because the brain remembers much more when the information is relevant or if it causes a strong emotional reaction. I’ve washed dishes a million times, yet I can only recall one or two occasions. I would hate to remember the color of every dish soap I’ve ever used.

the_feel_of_timeWe spend more time doing yellow, but we only remember yellow. The varied experiences in colors feel as if they last longer.

In the beginning years of our lives, most experiences are new and important. The brain remembers most of these pieces of information in great detail throughout the day. Remembering days in their entirety creates the illusion of living longer, both during real-time and when accessing memories.

In contrast, as we age, few experiences are new, more mundane and less relevant. Days seem like they fly by that we can’t even remember past eve.

Holding On To Slippery Time

Understanding why time flies or what we can do about it isn’t hard. Intuitively, if our time feels like it’s going by too fast, we need to slow down.

I am aware of two types of feel for time.

Type one is how long each day feels from the moment I wake up. Going through a stressful moment at work would make my day feel longer as I count the hours ahead. Type two is how long the past days feel relative to today.

It is vital for me to have a good control over these two types of time. As often as I could, I try to get out of my comfort zone in an attempt to seek new powerful experiences — a great solution for both types of “time feel”.

I join local groups to talk and share and this often results in an exchange of powerful moments. I travel monthly to absorb new places and their culture.

Every day, I take some time to break the routine and monotony of my daily tasks by replacing them with new activities. I talk to strangers, hear their stories, eat my lunch seating under a different tree or share my stories through the web.

having fun

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

Time Halt Summary

Here are your key takeaways in making each day special and different.

1. Get out of your comfort zone as soon and as often as possible. Take risks as they are healthy in mild amounts.

2. Visit new places. Have you been to the broom closet in your job?

3. Share with people and hear their stories. People appreciate unloading their emotional baggage and an engaging story might be the tipping point in your day.

4. Break your self-imposed discipline. Don’t repeat the same tasks every day.

5. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s not always healthy to feel safe in your daily decisions or the type of clothes you wear. Only with mistakes will we know what works and what doesn’t.

See Also: 7 Ways to Get More Comfortable With Feeling Uncomfortable

The post The Reason Days Feel Like They’re Flying By And How To Fix It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Tips to Stop Wasting Money on Substandard Services When Outsourcing

Outsourcing jobs is a great way to solve problems at work. It can help you deal with heavy work overload, time sensitive deadlines, lack of work competence or having inadequate workforce at a given time.

However, it is still not as ideal as it sounds, especially with all its potential risks. This includes hiring incompetent freelancers or competent freelancers that overcharge their services.

It is in your best interest to avoid both of these scenarios and the following article will help you do so. Here we will provide four tips on how to avoid wasting money on substandard services when outsourcing jobs.

Plan for what is needed

outsourcing plan

The best way to avoid unnecessary expenses is to have a well-laid-out plan for your freelancers. The more specific you are, the better.

First of all, the people you collaborate with are not mind readers. Since you communicate via emails, it’s easy for a project to lose its track due to the lack of necessary information.

Moreover, if you fail to provide detailed information, you risk getting a project that meets your demands but lacks in quality. So, give them online samples of the level of quality you expect to see. Try to be specific about what you do not want to see.

This way, you will be fully covered when asking for a refund if the demands are not met. Moreover, freelancers who lack the competence to meet those demands will back off.

Ask for previous work samples

When you are hiring someone, it is imperative that you go over their portfolio.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell from someone’s portfolio if he can fill in your specific task. So, for that reason, it would be best to ask freelancers if they have a previous work sample of something that is similar to what you are going to ask for.

Maintain communication

maintain communication

Once you select your freelancers and award them the project, it is important that you maintain communication. As we said, you are not sharing the same working space.

If the project is delicate, it would be wise to organize a Skype call. You can also ask to receive screenshots of how your project is going. This way, you can correct any inconsistencies immediately. You’ll be able to see in advance if you have made the right call, too.

Get a referral or test potential candidates

Lastly, if you are not sure in the expertise of your potential candidates, you can test them out. You can also ask for referrals from other trusted users in the same niche as you. You can do the testing if you are down to two or three potential candidates so it won’t cost you a lot.

Focus on these traits

If you want a reliable outsourcing partner, then you need to have a clear list of their purpose. If they can meet these standards, you can count on them.

> Positive results – The Company can help you increase your customer satisfaction and decrease production costs within the desired time frame.

> Compatibility – The Company should share common goals and values as your company. They need to be performance centric, care about their clients and community and use same methods for managing the company.

> Innovative – You need a company that can greatly contribute to your business and that can perform on their own without the constant need for monitoring. They should help you modernize your business regarding technology, equipment, etc.

See Also: How Cloud Technology Can Help Your Business Grow

> Flexibility – You need a company that can adapt to your standards and provide you with a personalized service to meet your demands. They need to consider your needs as a priority and you need to adequately reward them for their devotion.

> Adaptable management – You need a company that can respond quickly and adapt to changes without sacrificing the quality of the end results. In other words, it needs to have a reliable management team as well as competent staff.

> Benchmarking – You are going to know the outsourcing solution is reliable if they can provide you with evidence explaining that you are receiving a high-quality service. They need to create new growth potential and offer measurable success in the field of employee and client satisfaction.

> Resourceful – They need to continuously deliver in-depth content that is innovative and that fits your needs and demands.

> Constant quality improvement – With continuous collaboration, the quality and the performance of your outsourcing solution should improve. Basically, you need a company that can keep up with you. They need to work on their own staff and provide new and comprehensive training courses for their employees in order to achieve these results.

Conclusion

We hope you will end up with an outsourcing agency or freelancer you can trust and collaborate on numerous other projects in the future. Once you find a competent outsourcing company, it will be far easier to handle projects in the future.

See Also: A Practical Guide to Hiring and Managing Freelancers

The post 5 Tips to Stop Wasting Money on Substandard Services When Outsourcing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Movie Locations To Visit This Year

If you liked our previous article on movie locations, then you’ll enjoy this one too.

The best movies have the power to transport you to exciting places or faraway worlds. They can put you in the moment and make you feel like you’re part of the action. What could be more exciting than that?

Well, how about really being there?

We’re not talking about virtual reality tours or amusement park knockoffs. We’re talking about setting your feet on the same places that set the stage for some of Hollywood’s most iconic moments — or at least their real-world counterparts.

You can pretend you’re in the middle of your favorite scenes, so recite some lines if you feel like it or take a few Instagram-worthy snaps.

Bring Hollywood to life by visiting these five inspiring movie locations.

The castle from “Harry Potter”

First of all, there’s the famous Harry Potter series.

You’re a J.K. Rowling fan and you’ve got a wand and a Ravenclaw scarf to prove it. If only you could step inside Hogwarts and get a glimpse of Harry and his wizarding pals’ world.

Well, you can! And we’re not talking about the Universal Studios look-alike in Florida.

Although this movie used plenty of cool special effects to transport you to an ageless time, its makers chose a 500-year-old school as Hogwarts’ inspiration. Hop across the pond and visit Christ Church College in Oxford, United Kingdom. Guided trots around campus cost £13 (or about $17) per person and they’ll give you all the insights you can handle. Even a Slytherin would feel a little giddy about that.

“The Sound of Music” scenery

Unfortunately, you won’t be reenacting Julie Andrew’s iconic opening scene because the meadow where the scene was shot is privately owned. The owner isn’t welcoming to visitors, too.

Fortunately, the other scenes from this classic were filmed on location in Salzburg, Austria. More than 300,000 fans journey each year to this picturesque part of Europe, looking for their own chance to climb every mountain and spot Edelweiss in bloom.

Not sure you’re comfortable exploring alone? No problem. Tours abound for “Sound of Music” aficionados like you.

The Rebel base from “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope”

If you’ve got the skills to bull’s eye a womp rat in a T-16, then you’ll definitely want to check out Tikal in Guatemala.

This archeological site served as the Rebel Alliance base on Yavin 4. You won’t find any X-wings in the site’s temples. However, you can learn all about a civilization from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Tikal was one of the Mayan civilization’s largest cities during the Classic Era — more than 1,000 years ago.

Entry into the park will only set you back $20, but make sure you give yourself plenty of time. The central part of this ancient city covers almost 10 square miles.

The bridge from James Bond’s “Skyfall” thriller

Got a sweet spot for engineering marvels from the big screen? Then, you’ll want to check out the Varda Viaduct. This is where James Bond fell to his apparent doom in the opening of “Skyfall,” the Bond series’ 50th-anniversary offering.

Although train service prohibits tourists from walking the bridge, you can head to the surrounding cliffs in Istanbul and take in its 102-year-old glory. And if you’re going to Turkey anyway, you might as well absorb the culture.

The grate where Marilyn Monroe’s dress went viral

Finally, there’s that iconic white cocktail dress blowing in the air.

Although Marily Monroe is no longer with us, she’s cemented her place in American history and so has the location of her dress “slip-up” during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch.”

Monroe’s husband at the time, baseball slugger Joe DiMaggio, didn’t appreciate the publicity stunt. Fortunately, you can still appreciate one of the most famous subway grates in movie history. It’s in New York City, on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street.

While there are plenty of places we can’t visit (the Death Star comes to mind), there are tons of fantastic movie locations we can still visit. Next time you watch an awesome flick, take note of the scenery and do a little research after. You might be able to see a movie magic come to life.

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Choosing The Perfect Handmade Diamond Ring For Your Engagement

Knowing how to choose an engagement ring is tricky and buying it is quite a challenging task. You would not like to go wrong on any count since it has a lot of emotional significance. It is a symbol of your deep love, dedication and bond with your life-partner-to-be.

Before stepping out to buy the best engagement ring ever, you must have a crystal clear idea of exactly what you are looking for. As a guide, here’s how to choose an engagement ring.

Determine Your Budget

You need to consider several important factors when buying an engagement ring. One of these factors is your financial capability. As much as possible, do not go overboard.

Apart from that, you should also choose the ring style that will perfectly complement your partner’s personality and lifestyle.

Start by Browsing the Web

You could browse the Internet and go through the latest collections online to draw some inspiration. This way, you could visualize the ring style and diamond shape that’s just right for you before getting your diamond ring customized.

By going through an extensive collection online, you’ll be able to find out if you are attracted to square or round shaped diamonds. You can check out multiple stone settings, contemporary designs or vintage ones. You could choose from a stunning collection of handmade rings that are designed to perfection.

Look for Real-Life Inspiration

You could solicit advice from your friends and family. You could draw inspirations from utter strangers, too. Many of them would be happy to let you try out their rings. This could be a great way to start your engagement ring shopping.

Check Out the 4 Cs for the Best Diamond

If you want to know how to choose an engagement ring, you must learn how to check the clarity, cut, color and carat of the diamond.

The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance. A diamond with a better cut would dazzle more. If your diamond seems to be more colorless, it would imply higher quality grade. Color grade depends on the actual lack of color.

Almost all diamonds are known to have some imperfections. Diamonds that have negligible or no imperfections are given the highest clarity grades. Carat, on the other hand, refers to the real measure of a diamond’s exact weight. It is, however, not the only factor that determines the brilliance and value of a diamond.

Keep these 4Cs in mind while choosing the diamond for your engagement ring. Examining the certification is important, too, so buy a certified diamond.

Choose the Right Shape

The shape refers to the form of a diamond from the top view. Rather than the cut, it identifies the genuine geometry, edges and features of the stone. You could get a diamond that has a round, emerald, princess, square, pear, oval or heart shape.

Choose the Best Metal

There are endless metal options. You could choose from the usual yellow gold or the popular rose gold. You could also get your ring made with a platinum, silver or palladium metal.

Choose a metal as per your own personal preference. If most of your ornaments are made from yellow gold, you could stick with the same material. If you are more used to silver accessories, you could opt for platinum.

Choose a metal that looks great on your specific skin tone. With regards to the band, you have an assortment of metals to pick from. One prominent decision is platinum as it’s strong and particularly immaculate. It makes a great decision for ladies and grooms with delicate skin.

There’s gold, too. It typically comes in an assortment hues, including white, yellow and even green. Past platinum and gold, you may likewise consider palladium, which has a grayer shade than platinum. You can also consider a reused metal band, which may incorporate a blend of platinum and gold.

Conclusion

Apart from your personal preferences and unique specifications, you also need to make sure about the ring’s size. It needs to fit your finger snugly and comfortably. Choose a perfect fit so that you could flaunt your engagement ring all your life.

The post Choosing The Perfect Handmade Diamond Ring For Your Engagement appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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9 Smart Investments to Improve Your Rental Properties

Owning a rental property can be a lot of work but wise management can keep it profitable for years to come. Whether you’re new to the game or an old veteran, these 6 modern features can increase property value as well as make it more comfortable for residents.

1. Wi-Fi

If your rental property doesn’t have Wi-Fi yet, better install it quick. Wi-Fi has become the standard for homes and businesses and if you want to stay marketable, a strong Wi-Fi signal is a must.

However, partnering with a low-quality Internet service can actually hurt, rather than help, your marketability.

Here are the top 10 service providers of 2017, according to Top Ten Reviews:Top Ten Reviews:

1. Comcast
2. Time Warner Cable
3. Verizon
4. AT&T
5. Cox
6. Charter
7. Suddenlink
8. Cable One
9. CenturyLink
10. Frontier

2. Solar-Powered Water Heater

Conventional natural gas or electric water heaters can be a substantial monthly expense. More importantly, they can make up a big part of your carbon footprint, too. Investing in a solar-powered heater is a one-time outlay that saves on both money and pollutant emissions.


Photo credit: thegreenmanproject.com

3. Home Automation

If you’re installing a solar-powered water heater, why not go one step further with home automation? Home automation devices like smart thermostats, smart lighting and smart HVAC can save energy, reduce a home’s carbon footprint and boost property value.

4. Home Surveillance

Home security systems, like those offered by ADT, Frontpoint and Armorax, should be next on your list of value-boosting property enhancements. With features like cameras, motion sensors, alarms, 24-hour surveillance and easy-to-use controls, they can protect your buyer and your reputation.

As you compare companies, keep in mind that although quality comes with a price, it pays in the long run.

See Also: 8 Sharp-witted Ways To Protect Your Rental Homes

5. Smart Doorbell

A doorbell may not be the first investment that comes to your mind, but have you heard of smart doorbells?

They’re the new peephole, allowing residents to discreetly view visitors while remaining hidden. Some smart doorbells also offer a monitoring feature so you can see a visitor before they even reach the door. Although small, these nifty devices can also boost property value.


Photo credit: securitysales.com

6. Central Air Conditioning

If your property does not already have central air, it’s time to get that installed. This will not only make your tenants’ lives more comfortable but it can also save energy costs in the long run.

Central air systems cost roughly $0.30 to $0.50 per hour at $0.10 kWh. For comparison, one window unit costs $0.11 to $0.75 per hour, depending on the size of the room being cooled. Keep in mind that most properties need more than one window unit to stay cool.

7. Water Softener

If your property is in an area with hard water, invest in a water softener. Hard water can create mineral buildups in pipes and appliances, like washing machines, dishwashers, and hot water heaters. Eventually, this can substantially reduce performance and lifespan in these appliances, forcing you to pay for repairs or even replacement sooner than necessary.

Having a water softener improves your property’s appraisal value and, as an added benefit, can prevent unsightly deposits on faucets, shower doors, etc.

8. Landscaping

If yard maintenance is not part of your tenant’s rental contract, then the responsibility of keeping the place looking nice falls to you as the landlord. Rental properties with curb appeal are worth more as well as they are better able to attract tenants when you have a vacancy.

Key areas to pay attention include:

  • Weeding flower beds/around shrubs
  • Mowing and watering the lawn
  • Trimming trees and shrubs
  • Raking fallen leaves in fall
  • Clearing snow from driveway/sidewalks

revamp garden

 

Landscaping is one area that can trap you into wasting money. Take care not to go overboard. Additions like ponds, fountains, and even swimming pools cost more than they are worth.

9. Renovations

Are your rental’s appliances getting old? Are the carpets looking shabby? Has the paint lost its pristine glow?

A renovation is an old trick of the trade, but not one to be forgotten. Updating the kitchens and bathrooms is a big one and it can provide about 80% ROI. The right changes can’t only improve property value but also attract higher-income tenants.

Conclusion

As you manage your rental properties, don’t forget that your renters always come first. Take care of them and you will have stable profits for years to come.

The post 9 Smart Investments to Improve Your Rental Properties appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Mind Exercises That Will Teach You How To Build Self Confidence

Are you a confident person? Do you know how to build self-confidence? How can you tell?

Is it because you value and love yourself? Is it because you make sure you have all your ducks in a row all the time so you know what to expect?

Back in the day, if you had asked me, I would have said “Hell, yes! I’m smart. I know my worth and I know I’m an awesome person so yep… I’m confident.”

But, like most folks, I would have been confusing self-esteem with self-confidence.

See, self-esteem is your evaluation of yourself and your worth. I knew who I was, and I didn’t allow any man, woman or child to treat me any less than I deserved. So, self-esteem? Yep, I had tons of that.

But, self-confidence is a whole different story.

It’s not bravado or cockiness as those relate more to insecurity. It’s not throwing your weight around or talking over everyone in a ‘look at me, look at me!’ type attitude.

Confidence is quiet and more subtle than that. It’s that trust in yourself and your abilities that move you to action.

And I didn’t realize I was missing that until I punked out on a chance to be the registered badass expert during a system outage at my job. All the big wigs and my peers were trying to solve the problem and I had a possible solution.

But, I froze.

“What if they think it’s stupid?”

“What if they think I’M stupid?”

“Better to have no opinion than having a wrong one and look like a fool, right?”

I’m wishing I could tell you that I stood up and spoke my idea, but you already know how that ended.

I kept my mouth shut because I was scared to be wrong. I doubted myself,  knowledge and abilities. And I felt like a jackass for being scared to open my mouth- like I’d die if I did.

Maybe this has happened to you, too, and you can relate to the missed opportunity of greatness because of self-doubt. Or maybe you already know that your confidence can use a boost.

Wherever you are, know that this doesn’t have to be you. It doesn’t take much to stop doubting yourself. In fact, it just takes a few tips and constant practice so you can get to the place where you can let your badassery fly and just trust yourself and your ability to blow the mind off those around you.

Here’s how to build confidence.

Get Physical

1. Spend a day being decisive

Try spending one day where everything you say is prefaced with a decisive tone.
For that one day, banish unsure phrases, like ‘I’m not sure’, ‘I think’ and ‘Maybe’ from your vocabulary.

Removing such wishful tones from your speech is incredibly powerful, positive and affirming. It forces you to be sure of your decisions, opinions, and choices. Even if you aren’t totally convinced, saying something out loud with a commanding tone helps convince you of your own ideas.

This isn’t some fake-it-until-you-make-it trick. It’s removing your fear of what others may think- a common cause of self-doubt.

You already know what you want and what you think. Sometimes, we just need a cheerleader to tell us that our idea isn’t too crazy. This exercise will teach you to become more decisive and your own personal cheerleader.

2. Take care of your body

When you work out, feed your body well and get good sleep, your body gets flooded with endorphins. You know, those feelings of accomplishment that flood over you when you do something kickass and your body is feeling happy, relaxed and unstoppable.

back pain exercises

When your body is running at its optimal level, you are more productive, able to absorb more experiences around you and more capable of proving to yourself that your body can accomplish more today than it did yesterday. And that’s what builds confidence – collecting successful experiences and believing you can do more than you did yesterday.

3. Rock a Gangster Lean

Did you know that certain poses, like standing with a wider stance, are argued to increase testosterone, lower cortisol and make you feel more powerful and confident?

Sometimes you just need a little nudge. Just like speaking with power and decisiveness, you just need to ‘deliver’ with boldness so you can stop worrying about the impression you’re making on others.

And there is real science behind it. Harvard Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, teaches that power poses can help liberate us from fear in high-pressure moments. They can help us perform at our best and connect with and empower others to do the same.

So, try smiling, standing up straight with your shoulders back and chin up and with a more open relaxed pose to help put on more confidence.

Change Your Motivations

4. Aim to fail every day

Most of the time, we never try anything because we are afraid that we’ll fail. We worry what people will think and what they’ll say. We fear that we’ll be ridiculed.

But, here is a little secret.

No one is watching you or waiting to see if you are going to fail. No one is waiting to laugh at you.

Why?

Because people are worried about the exact same thing! They are too busy worrying about themselves, chasing their own fears and running their own insecurities in their mind.

So, what would you try if you knew that no one would be watching you? The best way to overcome that fear is to aim to fail every day. Aim to fail at least once every day because failure is the real evidence that you’ve tried something new.

Order that Tai Latte from Starbucks you’ve been wondering about. Wear heels to the office or call about that house you’ve been eyeing. Walking around with little fragile hearts avoiding failures means we are avoiding action and life in general.

Failure and mistakes are needed and expected if you want to move on with life. They are lessons that can teach us to look inward, refine our goals and affirm our desires.

5. Reach your bliss point

Ever notice that when you are in a good mood, everything seems to fall into place? It’s not that suddenly the universe opens and people want to give you good things.

When you’re happy, your perspective changes. You become more positive and, instead of seeing difficulties in opportunities, you see opportunities in difficulties.

Your boss asks you to work on a project outside of your given skill set? While others see that as a frustration, you see it as an opportunity to learn.

Think about your bliss point and try to reach it. It’s your sensory profile where you optimize your ‘feel good’ vibes.

The way to do that is to give yourself little pleasures. Stop waiting for the weekend, your success or retirement and start giving yourself a taste of what’s to come.

Whatever you like that can change your perspective, do it.

De-clutter your space, add a fresh coat of paint to your walls, rearrange your furniture, wear a new scarf, get your hair done- whatever blows your skirt up and makes you happy, do it.

The sillier or more frivolous, the better. Happy people are hopeful people. Hopeful people are fearless people.

6. Build your competence

If you want to stop doubting yourself, then you need to have a reference to draw your knowledge from. You can’t speak on what you don’t know. And if you aren’t sure, you are less likely to speak anyway.

So, if you want to build your confidence and improve the delivery of your message when you interact with others, then you must have competence. Go deep spending time studying your craft and go broad when improving yourself.

Whether it’s parasailing, candle making or outdoor hiking, develop new interests and skills that can improve your life and make you interesting.

We are not binary individuals that have natural strengths and weaknesses. We can grow and improve in anything at any stage of our lives.

If you are uncomfortable with public speaking, then read a book, take a class or join a club. Continue working on improving yourself and that’s one of the best ways you can start learning how to build self-confidence.

Mold Your Mind

7. Disappoint your parents

If you are wondering when you turned from fearless to fearful, then look at your childhood. Try to recall how your parents or guardians responded when you did something great or when you failed at something.

Seriously, you can totally pull the ‘blame your parents’ card for this one.

In their effort to protect us from sadness and disappointments, they taught us what they knew and how the world works by their standards. It is usually to lower your expectations and avoid risks.

Years later, you probably noticed that little voice in your head, giving you all the reasons/excuses why you can’t do or try what you want. That is a clone of your parents.

But, don’t be fooled! Your beliefs are incredibly powerful!

If you always wanted to be a writer and the people around you all told you that you can’t write books because you were too young or too dumb, then you might believe that and never even try to write the book of your dreams.

But, what if you hear the stories of J.K. Rowling, Oprah and Les Brown who are wildly successful despite facing difficulties, you might start changing your own beliefs and exploring new experiences.

Think of all the reasons why you ‘can’t’ do what you want and reflect on whether it’s true or not. If it’s not true, then choose to change your thinking and create a new narrative. If it is true, then determine what you need to do to change that.

So, how about we plan to disappoint our parents by dumping many of their teachings to form our own beliefs? Don’t worry, you have my permission.

8. Be child-like

When you were a kid, anything was possible.

Chocolate milk comes from brown cows. The moon is made of cheese and if you climb a ladder high enough, you can get there and see for yourself.

Get that mindset again and adopt the attitude of “why not”.

What’s the worst that can happen if you give it a try? I mean, really?

Most of the things we imagine won’t happen and, if they do, it won’t be as bad as we think.

So, take the pressure off. You don’t know and can’t control what anyone might think, so why not just see how far you can get? Instead of spending your energy thinking of why something won’t work, focus on gaining experiences.

You literally cannot go wrong, because, no matter what the outcome is, you are on the right path to where you need to be.

See Also: Why We Should Look at the World as a Child Again

9. Ride the rainbow

When you succeed, bask in the awesomeness that has occurred from your hard work.
Smile, think about it and remember how hard it was to get here. Post it on Facebook or just tell your friends. Whatever you do, don’t underestimate your success or shrug it off as luck or chance.

Like Spencer Johnson says in Who Moved My Cheese, “Smell the cheese and celebrate the cheese often!”

Each victory helps you to win another and is a testimony you can use to renew your spirit when doubt creeps back in. It also provides evidence that you can achieve if you stay persistent.

10. Renew your mind daily

Confidence isn’t built in a one-time activity. That’s because doubts and fears are likely to creep in all the time. They are like weeds you must pluck every day.

So, bear this in mind:

Continuously taking risks, learning from failures and reaping rewards is how confidence is made.

Get Ready for Awesome

Just imagine not being shy about voicing your ideas – even if it’s not fully formed. Imagine never feeling fearful of what people think and doing what you want because you want it. Imagine waking up tomorrow morning feeling empowered as your feet touch the ground, looking forward to the day ahead and not dreading it.

Sound impossible? No, they’re not.

These simple tips on how to build self-confidence have dramatic effects on your belief in yourself. Do the work, try a new tip every day and flush out the stories that say you are any less than awesome.

You’ve got your road map. Now, all you need to do is follow it. Your new life of being a badass awaits.

The post 10 Mind Exercises That Will Teach You How To Build Self Confidence appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Maintain Your Privacy Online

Threats to online privacy seem to grow every day so make sure you know how to protect yourself. There are a lot of things you can do to stay safe online. Unfortunately, not all of them are guaranteed to work.

Clearing your browser history, for example, can’t really do anything. Installing an ad blocker won’t get the job done, too. If you really want to protect your online privacy, here are the things you need to do.

Use secure passwords and usernames

It seems so convenient to just use the same usernames and passwords for every site. That way, you can remember them even without writing things down.

But, consider this:

If you use an easy-to-guess password for your social media and use the same one to log in to your bank, you’ve just made it super easy for someone to gain access to your bank account.

To protect yourself, choose passwords that are at least eight characters long and make sure they contain different types of characters. Use numbers, capital letters, lower-case letters, and symbols. Change your password for every site you frequent, too.

Writing with Computer

Use a password manager

The next step in password protection is to use a password manager. It’s an app that can generate crazy-long passwords that you couldn’t possibly remember. It encrypts not only your password but also your security questions and their answers, your credit card numbers and their PINs and other vital security information.

Now, all you have to remember is the password to your password manager.

Don’t click on the link

You know better, right? So, why do you click on those links you get on your email?

Usually, it’s because the email came from someone you trust. However, what if your friend clicked on a malicious link? Your friend’s entire address list could have been hacked and that includes you.

As much as possible, don’t click on suspicious links, even if they came from people you trust.

Lock down your social networks

Sure, those warnings that pop up on Facebook every month or so about how the platform is going to steal all your data are indeed trollish. But, even though they’re fake news, they actually have a point.

You need to lock down your social media privacy settings which are often defaulted to Public. This setting means everyone can see everything on your wall.

For your online privacy, change your settings to Friends. If you should unlock a single post to Public, make sure you haven’t inadvertently opened up your whole account to the world.

The bonuses here? Real life bad guys can’t see when you’re away from home to break in and steal your non-virtual stuff and your bosses and ex can’t see what you did on the weekend.

See Also: Don’t Get Your Identity Stolen – Here’s How

Look for a secure connection

When you’re about to log on to a site, take a look at the URL. Does it say “http” or “https”?

That “s” stands for “secure” and it means that your data (including your username and password) are being encrypted as they travel back and forth across the web. This is particularly vital when you’re making online purchases or handling other financial transactions.

Often, you’ll see a padlock icon next to the URL to confirm the secure connection. While you’re at it, secure your own devices by setting and actually using the lock screens on each device.

Block cookies

It’s so cute when a brand you’ve shopped with sends you just the perfect ad, isn’t it? Except, it’s not so cute after all.

That brand or advertiser found you by attaching cookies to your browser and now they’re following you — and not in a good way. In some cases, they can even follow you from all your devices to keep track of your online behavior.

Block those third-party cookies. The advertisers will still be able to track the pages you visit, but they’ll have to work a whole lot harder to do it.

Use a VPN

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is probably one of the best and simplest ways to protect your online privacy. With a VPN, your data is encrypted so your internet service provider can’t see your internet usage — and neither can anyone else. VPNs provide protection against hackers and they keep your surfing safe when you’re using Wi-Fi.


Photo credit: indiatimes.com

Use Tor

Head to Tor to anonymize your IP address automatically. With Tor, your browsing experience becomes private — well, as private as you can be, given that you’re still on the internet. It can hide your information from hackers who want your identity, corporations that want your money and data and government that wants who even knows what.

There are a lot of dodgy people on the internet. Don’t let them into your virtual home. Take these basic steps today to protect and maintain your online privacy.

The post How To Maintain Your Privacy Online appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How Lack Of Integrity Can Affect Your Life

Integrity is probably at the center of my core values.

If I’m not being generous, I’m out of integrity. If I’m not being honest, I’m out of integrity. When I’m not showing compassion, I’m out of integrity.

Another way to look at it is if I’m out of integrity, I’m not in alignment with what’s important to me. And to be perfectly honest, I simply can’t function when my integrity is out. My life just doesn’t work.

Now, whether my integrity is out or not is entirely subjective. Logic doesn’t come into it and I can’t talk or justify my way out of feeling out of integrity. If I’m out of integrity, I KNOW I’m out of integrity and no amount of sophistry, understanding, justification or reasoning is going to change that.

It sounds like I’m being really harsh on myself, but that’s not how it is at all. By working on getting myself back in integrity, I’m constantly moving further into alignment.

Things don’t flow when I’m out of integrity. Stuff doesn’t work and I feel blocked. It’s unpleasant when I’m that way. It feels like I’m wading through quicksand.

Why life feels like hard work

Half the time, it’s not obvious that I’m being out of integrity and that’s where problems happen. Because my integrity so intrinsically links with everything else, all I know is I feel out of sorts and things feel just not quite right.

I’ve felt like that for a few days now and it’s been getting more and more difficult to achieve or complete anything. Even writing has been difficult and, trust me, I usually have no problems in writing something.

Then I realized: I’m out of integrity.

I gave my word to do something and it hasn’t happened. The reasons for it not happening are completely out of my control, but it’s still my responsibility.

My word, my responsibility. No one’s fault, just my responsibility.

I told someone I’d do something and it hasn’t happened. I’ve communicated with the person and reset the event date 4 times now. It’s still not going to happen and I’m not willing to reset the date again. My integrity is out, not just on sticking to my word but also on another of my core values: fairness.

Even though the reasons are completely out of my control, I don’t feel like I’m being fair to the other person for constantly changing the plan. And I’m feeling awful about it.

feeling awful

I’m feeling awful because my integrity is out and I can’t do anything about it. The other person was very understanding, but it isn’t my fault and I’m not the only one to blame.

But, that’s not the point.

The point is that it’s MY integrity that’s out, therefore, it’s MY integrity that needs mending.

I want to feel good about myself, so I MUST take responsibility. The reason is simple.

I’m taking responsibility, regardless of the fact that not all things and people are under my control because I gave MY word that I’d do something.

Living with knowing that I can’t stand by my word is unacceptable.

I could go down the path of justification, reasonableness, and blame. After all, it’s not entirely my fault.

But, if I do that, then it’s like giving the power over whether I’m true to myself and my core values to someone or something else.

I’m giving the power about how I feel about myself to someone else. It’s like letting someone else have control over my life. And no one should have that power over anyone else.

Only WE know whether we’re being true to ourselves or not.

If you feel that something’s “off”, that life is hard work or just a bit icky, take a long, hard look at yourself. Find out where you’re not being responsible. No matter how ridiculous it seems or no matter how much things are completely out of your control, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

take responsibility

Take responsibility for knowing that you’re being true to yourself. Don’t leave it for years like I’ve done in the past. Look at it NOW.

See Also: Taking Ownership: Are You Taking Full Responsibility For Your Life?

Where are YOU out of integrity?

I can pretty much guarantee that if life is feeling like hard work for you, it’s because you’re out of integrity SOMEWHERE.

It might be around your values or because you feel like your job isn’t the one for you. You might have given up on a dream, eating poorly or not exercising. You might be in a relationship that you know is not right for you. It might be due to all the things you’re saying in your own head.

So, have a close look and find out where you are running out of integrity.

Don’t waste any more time not feeling completely in the flow. Do something about it NOW.

See Also: Flow: Discovering The Secret to High Performance and Happiness

The post How Lack Of Integrity Can Affect Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Ways Mindfulness Can Unlock The Door To Your Authentic Life

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

In between work, family and social media, we take few precious moments to reflect upon our lives and realize the importance of mindfulness.

Perhaps, you purposely avoided looking at your life because, if you’re totally honest, it can be brutal. Just think about the tsunami of judgmental thoughts that swamped your mind and caused you a great deal of stress and anxiety.

Not surprisingly, a lot of worries are just byproducts of our society. However, our greater personal dissatisfactions are actually the result of our own internal turmoil driven by confusion.

Are you feeling confused?

You’re not the only one. Notice how confusion is self-evident all over the world.

Research scientist Kathryn Tristan suggests in her book Why Worry that at some time in our lives, half of us in the U.S. will suffer from anxiety, depression or addiction—the very opposite of an authentic life.

But, then something miraculous happens.

On your way home from work or a rushed meal out, the dusk’s rising luminous moon captivates you and you experience a moment of ecstasy and utter peace.

All is right with the world and you weren’t thinking about a thing. You were just alive and brilliantly so!

From mundane to miraculous

What was the shift?

The clouds of confusion lifted. For a moment, you were in perfect balance, consciously mindful of the miracle of life that involves you.

Here’s the big picture:

You were being your best, most authentic self instead of listening to habitual, self-limiting thought patterns.

Authenticity emerges when you live not just from mind and body, but from the heart which is your natural state. Done consciously, it is mindful living. It is the mastery of life.

A life lived without a heart and soul is a life filled with confusions. This can manifest as problems in your personal life.

“If quality of life is important to you, mindful living trades confusion for life’s magical moments—every single day.”

In his book, Living from the Heart, Nirmala said, “What you are seeing, smelling, hearing, sensing, and pondering is limited by and filtered through your thoughts. Your thoughts mediate between you and reality and interfere with seeing it more fully and purely.”

According to neuroscience, what thoughts are and what gives rise to them is still a mystery.

Think of thoughts as one of the many useful tools the brain uses to navigate our physical world. By themselves, thoughts are two-dimensional mind fences.

An expanded awareness that includes the heart means a far richer life that is fulfilling, regardless of the circumstances or what you are doing.

Shocking to some, you don’t have to do anything at all to experience an authentic life.

But, ask yourself this:

Would you rather run through a meadow at sunset with fences? Or the meadow of your life unhindered as far as the eye can see or even beyond?

When we live from the more inclusive reality of our mind, body, and spirit (heart), we open our lives to the miraculous on a daily basis.

How to enjoy the miracle of your authentic life

Slow life down each day

Although you’re not fully aware of the importance of mindfulness, you’ve been actually practicing it intermittently throughout your life without realizing it. Immersing yourself in nature, going for a walk and even hand-washing dishes are forms of mindfulness.

Recall how you felt a sense of calm and well-being within your body. Notice how balanced your world became. Now, do these things consciously and with your heart. Add yoga and meditation.

Life gets immensely satisfying when we let go of our mental expectations and enter the “Zen” or the flow.

Mind the gap for miracles

“When you allow your thoughts to breathe by paying attention to the gap in between, you move out of reactive-ness to being response-able.”

Thought devoid of the heart and soul is a form of insanity. No wonder so many people are confused.

You have the ability to tap into your highest wisdom and determine whether the glass is half empty or half full.

Minding the gap is how you go from continually making lateral moves in life to sky-high vertical limitlessness.

Whenever there’s a challenge, rather than carelessly and spontaneously reacting, surprise everyone by saying you’ll give it some thought. This means giving your initial thoughts some space to breathe.

Silence without judgment is extremely powerful and contains miracles. It shifts, even breaks, habitual destructive patterns.

Give up planning for 90 days

In Western culture, planning is thought to be one of our greatest assets. Google the power of planning and you’ll be inundated with reasons why a plan is paramount to reaching your goals.

Are you willing to open the door to the even higher power of synthesis the Harvard Business Review calls “strategic thinking?”

Strategic thinking lets go of planning initially, integrating intuition and creativity to allow spontaneity to appear naturally.

Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Rather than projecting different possible scenarios, be a blank slate by asking, “What’s next?”

Leaving infinite possibility open is to create a vacuum that life must fill. It’s more powerful than projecting imagined preferred scenarios which contain limits.

Say “I don’t know” often

get comfortable with emptiness

At least to yourself!

Emptiness is very challenging when you are pressured by society to fill every nook and cranny with busyness. Your brain will be sure to scream it to you every chance it gets.

Emptiness removes all barriers, including you getting out of your own way.

I can tell you, based on my experience as a writer, that the muse is within. Any artist or creative person will agree to that. All inspiration arises from the void of emptiness.

Get comfortable with emptiness and learn to play with unlimited possibilities.

I personally prefer being a blank slate every chance I get. Like the unofficial Buddhist mantra goes, “Empty, empty. Happy, happy.”

I can easily put myself into a state of emptiness by watching trees blow in the breeze.

Open yourself to higher consciousness

In Practicing the Power of Now, spiritual teacher and author, Eckhart Tolle, extols the value of mindfulness by acting as witness to your thoughts. To quote, “So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in.”

Have you tried being a witness to your own thoughts? It’s life transforming.

The beauty of learning to be mindful at any age is that it allows you to express your thoughts at your personal level of truth and authenticity while enabling you to dig for deeper understanding.

Don’t stop there. Yes, keep going. There is always more inclusive wisdom to discover.

“Let us honor one another where we stand, knowing we each travel
a unique journey toward higher consciousness.”

Be bigger than your body

practice meditation

Ask any Zen Master or Yogi and she or he will tell you that your identity is not wrapped up in your thoughts. Yet, it’s one of the causes of human existential crisis.

As you climb Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs toward self-actualization, you will come to realize that you are much more than your body. Only in the complete synthesis of mind, body and spirit can you see beyond basic survivalism so that you finally begin to thrive!

Know you are enough

Mind, body and spirit realization is fulfillment in and of itself!

There is no greater authenticity than to know who you really are as part of the infinite. Greater is the gift of YOU, boundaries removed.

As a guiding light, you now offer others, by example, the same freedom and opportunity. No longer confused, doing good naturally follows as you move from a place of selfishness to one of service to humanity.

Are your choices today filled with love?

Your authentic life

As part of evolution, aided by the tools of technology, human consciousness is expanding faster than ever. Living multidimensionally in mind, body and spirit will be your brilliant future.

Embodying consciousness, your new, authentic life will change everything for you. Your mojo is now working for you, instead of the other way around.

You will wake up energized in the morning, excited to be alive because you’re expressing yourself authentically. You will feel empowered like never before as things you despise begin to disappear. Freedom and prosperity will flow more abundantly in your life.

The importance of mindfulness is now completely clear to you. You will see the world and the Universe supporting you every step of the way.

It got you here, didn’t it?

The post 7 Ways Mindfulness Can Unlock The Door To Your Authentic Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Turning Trials Into Triumph

Every success story is riddled with trials and tragedy. Our ability to overcome these obstacles is what makes them so appealing. From small startups disrupting industry giants to a small platoon battling a massive army, there are moments that test our character and build our resolve.

When it seems like there’s nowhere to go is when the fiercest battles take place in our mind, body, and spirit. The ones who triumph are forever remembered and depicted as heroes while those who fail are often forgotten.

So, what’s the difference between these people?

Well, it’s not their position, stature or even wealth. The determining factor that separates the great and the not-so-great is their grit and determination. In one word, it’s perseverance.

This is the quality that keeps us moving forward in a sea of adversity. It’s what pushes us to keep fighting against the current and overcome tidal waves of doubt. We batten down the hatches and weather the storm knowing that it will soon pass and we’ll be better after it.

It’s sticking to the plan when most have walked away — working alone, without pay, and without recognition. It’s this quality that makes us bend, but not break. We face our fears in defiance of the odds, shattering the barriers of reality, pushing the limits of what’s possible and reaching new horizons.

Either placed in these situations by choice or by circumstance, this is when we shine the brightest. This ability to hold ourselves to a different standard and not settling for mediocrity is what makes us stronger. Forever striving for success, we know that failure is not a permanent condition, but just a temporary inconvenience.

Our ability to recognize that nothing worth having comes easy is what encourages us to take a risk. It is what forces us to show up and perform every single day without any loss of enthusiasm.

A Tale Of Turning Trials Into Triumphs

The crew of the Essex knows this quality all too well. When placed between a rock and a hard place, they chose to rise to the occasion. This incredible true story of perseverance and fighting spirit is the inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

essex whaling disaster
Via Mother Nature Network

The Essex was a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts piloted by Captain Pollard and his 20 men in the 1800’s. During their whaling expedition, the ship was rammed by a whale which caused it to sink.

This left Captain Pollard and the crew fending for their lives on three small rescue boats, hundreds of miles away from civilization with no land in sight. With little provisions, much of the Essex crew did what they could to fight off starvation and dehydration. Sadly, much of the crew perished due to these abysmal conditions. Despite this, the survivors did not lose hope.

In such a dire situation, most would succumb to the circumstances. Captain Pollard, however, kept his resolve and encouraged his men. After weeks at sea, the remaining survivors eventually resorted to cannibalism and doing everything necessary to fight off death.

Surviving long enough for a passing ship to rescue them, the survivors were found delirious, starved and a shadow of their former selves. Eventually, the surviving crew members were able to return to Nantucket, where they tried to forget the horrors of the ocean.

Fighting seemingly insurmountable odds is why the Essex survivors will forever be remembered. Their courage and ability to endure the agony of hopelessness are qualities that are admirable and something we should all strive for.

Conclusion

Luckily, we rarely face life and death circumstances. But, many times we are too easily discouraged at the first sign of resistance- unable to say no, stand up, and do what is necessary for the face of adversity. We must learn to channel our inner survivor and fight off these obstacles with the tenacity of a prize fighter.

stand up to obstacles

To do otherwise would be selling ourselves short and conforming to the reality that society has placed on us. Rather than living on our knees, let’s die on our feet knowing that, at the end of the day, we gave life everything we had. Leaving no stone unturned, forever pushing past our comfort zones.

We must realize that life is a bold adventure and to take advantage of it, we must keep moving forward. Let’s make the commitment to strengthen our resolve because if we never quit, there’s no way we’ll fail. And that is exactly how you start turning trials into triumph.

See Also: How To Conquer The Fear Of Success (Or Failure)

The post Turning Trials Into Triumph appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Deal With People: Little-Known Secrets To Make People Like You

“The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you” – Rumi

When I was younger, I often questioned why people did not treat me nicely. I would doubt why they did not communicate with me, even though I was such an interesting and well-versed person.

Probably, I thought, because they are not at my level of education and are just interested in simple things.

Later on, I wondered why men aren’t courting me or showing signs of attention, even though I always acted as a very nice and loving person and tried to always look good. Later, in business, I was also perplexed why clients were not choosing me among others. That is even though I always communicated professionally and did my best to understand their needs.

In situations like these, I was tempted to think that the people around me were wrong, that they did not understand the depth of my nature, the value of my presence or the accuracy of my offers. Though, while such thoughts helped me to feel better, they did not make the people around me nicer.

Until one day, I realized the secret which fixed all the “wrong” people and made them very “right”.

The secret is very simple:

I am responsible for everything that is happening in my life. I am responsible for creating the way other people treat me. And I came to realize that the way I acted in the past, even though it seemed right for me, was not a “winning strategy”. It was simply not the right way!

Here are some of the things that helped me learn how to deal with people.

I thought that being smart was cool

I was always smart and the people around me just didn’t have the opportunity to show they were actually smart, too. The lesson for me was to learn how to be “unsmart” or “foolish”.

I learned to show my vulnerability, ask for advice and reach out for help and support as often as I could. Being able to be smart and unsmart at the same time is such a beautiful combination. It allows me to pour my knowledge when others need it or to empty myself for receiving new knowledge when I need it.

I was always loving

love yourself

What was I doing wrong by being loving? What could be better and more desired by men than that? Why were men still treating me bad?

For sure, something was wrong with them. At least, that’s what I thought to myself. Mistake!

Intelligence is a lot like love. If you are always full of it, then the people around you wouldn’t have a chance to add to it and this makes them very confused. The real winning strategy here is to be attentive whether the love you give is accepted and well perceived.

If you come to the point when you give so much out of your full heart but you receive no response, then it’s a clear indicator to switch off your flow.

For example, every time you think of sending another love message to your partner, send it to yourself and show love to yourself. Every time you want to suggest something fun and entertaining, suggest it to yourself and do this exclusively for yourself.

Do not be afraid to lose your partners. It is just not possible to not love a person who loves and respects herself/himself. The quality of your partners will go up.

Start with making small experiments with this new strategy. Building up this balance between loving your partner and loving yourself is a jewel addition that can promote self-development. I guarantee you will love the effects.

I was so professional

being professional

Why would people not want to work with me? Again, it is not about me being cool, but about how they feel next to me. I realized my strong stand made them feel threatened, low and tightened. I also realized that professional business is not only about the uniqueness and greatness of my product, but about whether people feel comfortable, appreciated, respected, fulfilled and honored next to me.

I learned that maximizing professionalism and maximizing empathy and care go hand in hand.

This is how I approach “inconvenient” people now:

  • When someone is too aggressive – I know they want my modesty.
  • When someone is too manipulative – I know they need my sincerity.
  • If someone is too smart – I know they ask for my appreciation.
  • When someone is too stupid – I know they need my faith.
  • If someone is too untidy – I know they are thirsty for my inspiration.
  • If someone is too depressed – I know they want my naivety.
  • When someone is too negative – I know they need my love.
  • When someone is too egoistic – I know they ask for my vulnerability.

See Also: How To Develop Empathy By Understanding Subjective Hardship

Conclusion

The bottom line is simple:

I came to realize that those people who seemed nasty or “bad” to me came to my life as teachers.

They taught me things I once considered wrong or inappropriate. However, looking more deeply into the issue, I found some brilliant lessons that helped me learn to love myself as well as others. Those lessons helped me give freedom to others and to set the rules, to know how to let go and to appreciate what I have. I also learned to keep my mind flexible and open.

I understood that when I got irritated about someone, that was exactly the opportunity for me to identify and correct my rigid beliefs. Enlightening these “gray” areas of my mind helped me to gain more clarity about all the situations of my life and to become much happier and reasonable.

When life teaches you through other people, do your best to understand the lessons it presents and work on achieving that perfect balance in your personality. Thank these people for making you more aware, skilled, and happy.

People are not bad. All people are, in fact, good. Each of us is born from a divine sparkle and everyone has some goodness. You just have to know how to deal with people and how to bring out the best in them.

See Also: 12 Stressful Things To Let Go Of If You Want To Live A Calm Life

The post How To Deal With People: Little-Known Secrets To Make People Like You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Factors That Can Help You Achieve Success

Success is a word that can easily grab one’s attention because it’s important to each and every one of us. No matter what background we come from, we all want to achieve success. We reach for it in our quest to achieve greatness.

Different people have different interpretations of success, but we all expect the same result: to win. If we had to settle on a particular definition, we might say that success is the realization or attainment of a desire or want.

Earl Nightingale, one of the forefathers of self-improvement, defined success as “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Whatever you’re working towards — a college degree, a higher-paying job or improved social status — if you consider the destination to be worthy, then arriving there constitutes success.

There are five important factors to keep in mind when it comes to achieving success. This list is not definitive as there’s always more to add and each individual’s list may vary. Keep these in mind and you won’t go wrong.

Self Image

In his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz said that an individual’s self-image may be the most important factor in how he or she lives life. Dr. Maltz delves into how our self-image — the image we have of ourselves and how we think others see us — affects our lives.

A reconstructive plastic surgeon, Dr. Matz realized that while plastic surgery only benefited approximately 0.5% of the population and only on a surface level, the other 99.5% had scars that go deeper. These individuals had unresolved and untreated emotional scars stemming from the past.

The way to heal those metaphorical scars is not to go under the knife, but to have those people examine their self-images. Once they are able to treat their inner scars, they will be able to achieve peace of mind.

It’s important to note that self-image goes well beyond what we think of ourselves. What we believe others think of us or the light they see us in play an important role, too.

Self-Esteem

Often confused with self-image, self-esteem is the value that we place on ourselves. Unlike self-image, self-esteem is based on worthiness and not on the actual image that we have in our minds.

The common reason why many people confuse the two is that they’re closely related. In fact, our self-esteem is often derived from our self-image. As Psychology Today states, “Perhaps no other self-help topic has spawned so much advice and so many (often conflicting) theories.”

Whatever value we believe we have or how much we think we are worth constitutes our self-esteem. Stanley J. Gross, Ed.D, a licensed psychologist in private practice, says, “Self-esteem is not set in stone. Raising it is possible, but not easy…self-esteem grows as we face our fears and learn from our experiences.”

Self-Confidence

self confidence

Self-confidence is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the confidence we have in ourselves and our abilities. It’s the belief that we have in ourselves and what we are capable of.

In 1890, philosopher William James wrote in Principles of Psychology, “Believe what is in the line of your needs, for only by such belief is the need filled…have faith that you can successfully make it, and your feet are nerved to its accomplishment.”

This was James’ way of revealing the virtue of self-confidence. This attribute hinges greatly on the two preceding elements: self-image and self-esteem. How we see ourselves and what we believe our self-worth is will have an incredible impact on how confident we are in ourselves.

Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is an attribute that almost everyone knows is important for success. Unfortunately, it isn’t the easiest to implement.

Self-discipline involves taking action to achieve your desired outcome, even in the face of adversity, temptation or any other obstacle. As Mark Tyrrell says in Uncommon Help, “Exercising self-discipline can make the difference between an averagely talented person doing something amazing with their lives and a naturally talented person realizing very little of their potential.”

Discipline is absolutely vital to your success. Ignoring discipline or trying to find a way around it will only push success further and further away.

See Also: How To Improve Your Self-Discipline

Self-Love

love yourself

Self-love may sound like something that appeals primarily to narcissists, but it actually refers to how well you treat yourself. How we treat ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and in any other areas of our lives indicates how much love we have for ourselves.

Writing in Psychology Today, Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. states that “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us.” Self-love is also important in helping us grow as individuals.

Carl R. Rogers, one of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology, wrote, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” Keeping a healthy diet and associating with successful, productive people are both good examples of self-love.

See Also: Yoga Helps You Love Yourself

The important thing to take away from these five factors for success is that each and everyone revolves around one important element: yourself. It all begins from within. None of these attributes relies solely on external factors. They are all within your control. Gain proper control and understanding of these factors so you can take action and achieve success.

The post 5 Factors That Can Help You Achieve Success appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Get Out Of A Rut: 5 Ways To Move On

You may have no idea what your reason for being is. You’re annoyed, dissatisfied and unexcited by everything. It’s monotonous, tedious and frustrating.

And if you think you’re alone, think again.

In fact, you’re part of the largest group of people on Earth. You don’t know what to do with your life and, worse, you don’t know how to find out.

People are not born knowing their role in the world. In fact, we’re all born with endless possibilities and therein lies the problem. How do you even begin and, if you begin, how do you choose?

Can you move past the idea that there must be so much more? What are the ways to move on?

The Future is Yours—You Just Can’t See It

helping others

Life has many things in store for you. Family, friends, health, work, society—all of them change considerably during your lifetime. It’s unlikely that you will enjoy all these changes as not all of them will be positive.

Know this: your life’s journey is your masterpiece.

As you work in life, your purpose unfolds in front of you and your role in the world becomes clearer. Stop trying to meticulously plan your life. Planning is the antithesis to the adventure and improvisation that life requires. You’re in charge and that’s a great thing. A little scary maybe, but still a great thing. Remember that the best way to plan your future is to go out and create it!

Your default mode should be action. Doing [things] is honest philosophy. Stay positive and avoid criticizing others. Above all else, avoid negativity. Work to be helpful and try to look for ways to help other people.

At your job, help your boss. In your community, help your neighbors. For the rest of the world, help those less fortunate. Don’t enter the ugly fray that’s become so prevalent in our society. Always be on the side of positivity.

When you approach life this way, people seek you out and opportunities find you. It’s the law of attraction.

See Also: 12 Mind-blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity!

Don’t Do What Makes You Happy

“Do what makes you happy” is a terrible advice from well-intentioned parents and teachers.

In fact, you should embrace discomforts and frustrations and move beyond your comfort zone. This is the only way to learn. To focus only on that which makes you happy means you avoid a great deal of life and the learning that comes with it.

Every time you move outside of your comfort zone, you learn more. Your role in life and your true happiness become clearer and you have more focus. You find out who you are and everything that you can endure. Each period of great discomfort teaches you about your preferences and that your limits are probably lesser than you imagined. Push your mind and body and then adjust. Do that again and again for that is the journey.

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

Investment In Your Mentality

ROI or Return on Investment is when you get back what you put in.

You already know about moving beyond your comfort zone – that’s the fun, adventurous part. However, sacrifice is tougher. It is the boring and frustrating part where most people choose to stop.

Note to self: “Don’t stop here.”

You need to understand that there is a long road to travel and that life is a marathon. Chances are you’re just beginning.

Humans are hardwired to want things now. It’s called immediate gratification and it’s a very powerful force. You should be smarter than everyone else, so think! invest in your future and reap your returns as you move forward.

Creating your future most often means sacrificing time with family and friends, working for long stretches in jobs you don’t enjoy, studying and saving your money. We all have limited time, energy and funds, but you must invest those limited treasures so that you can create a future of greater abundance.

Teach Yourself

teach yourself

Stop waiting to be trained! The truth is that you can’t gain knowledge without seeking it. Nobody can teach you anything anyway. They can only help you learn so understand that going through the process alone is one of the effective ways to move on.

When you don’t know something, read about it, work at it or ask questions. Read about new places, research careers that interest you and speak to people with more experience.

The more you explore, the closer you come to understanding who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty because that’s the only way to know if you’re enjoying something. Keep in mind that you are your best mentor.

Big questions that can be helpful:

  • What are you most passionate about?
  • How can you give back to the world?
  • What would you prioritize if money and time were no objects?
  • Can you speak another language?
  • Is travel important to you?
  • What professional experience do you want to gain?

Today, hundreds of companies all over the world will allow you to travel, learn and give back while you continue to explore your passions, develop new skills and discover new interests. Start by helping in disaster relief abroad through All Hands Volunteers, offering your time to provide a better future to the kids in Latin America with Maximo Nivel or help orphaned and abandoned children in Africa and Asia through Orphfund. Your role in the world and your preferences continue to evolve over time, so continue teaching yourself and keep learning!

There Is No Right Time

Time waits for no one, so utilize the time you’ve been gifted. As much as possible, avoid falling trap to time wasters, like TV, social media, people who don’t like you and being negative. Instead, try reading, traveling and being with the people who like you.

Your path in life and your role in the world are only discovered as you work at it. So, work hard! A lot of people miss the idea of fulfillment and happiness because opportunity always looks like hard work.

Instead of thinking that way, engage your mind and body in creating your life’s journey. It won’t be easy and it won’t be perfect. That’s completely fine as it’s not supposed to be.

Thinking about it, waiting, being nervous or scared—these are all personal choices. If you want to move out of a rut, move beyond those choices. You will never regret your adventures if you’re learning new things.

 

The post How To Get Out Of A Rut: 5 Ways To Move On appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Do You Have The Right Mattress For Your Body Type?

If you have been frequently waking up with back pains and a bad mood, it’s probably your mattress to blame.

In general, we spend as much as a third of our lives in bed so it’s only right that we invest in the right mattress. It should be able to give you both comfort and support so your spine, ligaments and muscles can relax during the only time your body gets to relax.

So, should you get a new mattress? Check out these telltale signs:

  • If your mattress is already sagging, it’s high time you give it a rest. Over time, springs can break down, fibers can wear out and foams can get softer. These things can mean lack of support to your most vulnerable parts.
  • The presence of lumps can mean uneven density and this can lead to uncomfortable pressure points.
  • Ideally, you should replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years. If yours is more than that, you’re compromising your sleep.
  • The presence of more pains and aches than you had before you went to bed is a clear sign you already need a replacement.
  • Most mattresses can accumulate allergens, particularly mold, dust mites and mildew. If you find yourself sneezing whenever you get close to your bed, consider assessing your mattress.

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs

What Is The Best Mattress?

The best mattress is the one that will work best for your body type. As your body has its own contours and needs, you have to know exactly what your options are. There several types of mattresses you can choose from.

Here are some of them:

Memory Foam

memory foam mattress

The memory foam, particularly the visco elastic foam, is conceptualized by NASA scientists. It’s patterned from the material that was supposed to absorb the effects of G forces during the take-off process.

Compared with other mattresses, this one is special in that it follows the contour of the sleeper’s body. It helps distribute weight to eliminate pressure points. This makes memory foam great for those who suffer from back problems and other body aches.

There are different formulations when it comes to memory foams. There’s the standard memory foam that is temperature sensitive. There’s also the plant-based memory foam which is more breathable and has a faster response. The last type is the gel-infused type which is commonly marketed as a cooler.

Latex Mattress

latex mattress
Via uratex

Latex mattresses are more expensive than other types because of their materials. Despite the cost, this type has one of the simplest constructions. They are highly durable and can last for over 15 years. They feature low-pressure support and can contour to your body’s shape without the heat or chemical odors. latex mattress provide great bounce, responsiveness and cooling, too.

Waterbed

waterbed
Via waterbed-deals

Waterbeds can provide average pain relief. They are designed to mimic conventional beds but with low heat and odor complaints.

There are two main types of waterbeds: the hard-sided and soft-sided. Both feature a water chamber which can either be waveless or free flow.

Airbed

airbed
Via intexcorp

Airbeds are nothing like the ones you use for camping. This type comes with an adjustable air chamber which works as its support system. The good thing about airbeds is that you can adjust their firmness according to your body’s needs.

Specialty foam mattress

tango mattress

This type is a bit unique in that it uses one or more types of foams. It can either be latex, polyurethane, memory or gel. Specialty foam mattresses come in different densities and shapes to ensure you get both comfort and support. If you are wondering what specialty foam mattresses look like, check out this two in one mattress.

How To Choose A Mattress Properly

Know how old your mattress is

In general, if your mattress is already 8 years old or older, you should consider getting a new one. Take note that this doesn’t apply to all types of mattresses since there are some that can extend beyond that time.

If you are unsure about how long your mattress type should last, you should decide based on your sleeping patterns. If you’re restless or you find yourself frequently waking up in the middle of the night, just go buy a new one.

Determine what type of mattress you’ll need

The type of mattress you’ll need will depend on your preference, body type and sleeping positions. Consider the following:

  • If you sleep your side, you’ll need a mattress with lots of pressure relief. It should be able to support your body weight and conform to the shape of your body.
  • If you are a stomach sleeper, choose a mattress with a firm top surface. It’s the best one for support.
  • In case you like sleeping on your back, invest in a mattress that can provide support while keeping your spine in its proper alignment.
  • If you tend to toss and turn at night, go for an innerspring mattress with latex, memory foam or pocketed coils. These materials are great for isolating motions, like when you don’t want to disturb your partner with your movements.
  • If you like a lot of the features of the different mattresses and can’t make up your mind, pick a hybrid style mattress. This type can provide the motion isolation feature of memory foams and the buoyancy of a mattress with an innerspring core.
  • For allergies, stick with mattresses that are resistant to dust mites and molds. Pick foam and latex since they have inherent antimicrobial properties. If you choose an innerspring mattress, you can enclose it in an allergen-resistant cover to make sure you don’t wake up sneezing at night.

See Also: Have a Child with Skin Sensitivities? Here’s How to Deal with it

Set your budget

Mattresses don’t go cheap, particularly those in the luxury end of the market. The good thing is that there are lots of options now that will enable you to find the right mattress at the right price.

In choosing, keep in mind that expensive doesn’t always have to mean better, but don’t go ultra cheap, too. Since the quality of your sleep will depend on your bed, make sure you don’t skimp on your mattress.

 

The post Do You Have The Right Mattress For Your Body Type? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Cure Your Skin Today: The Best Adult Acne Home Remedies

When your face is breaking out, you just want to crawl into bed and not come out all day long. And as you feel embarrassed, you can’t help but wonder: Wasn’t acne supposed to be left behind in your teenage years?

Adult acne is frustrating, embarrassing and difficult to deal with once it develops. Its causes are far more complex than teenage acne which makes it even harder to eliminate.

Fortunately, there are a few great natural remedies for adult acne that you can use to lessen the severity and duration of your acne breakouts. From kitchen herbs to common vegetables, you can help your skin glow again by mixing up a few things at home.

Choose one of these common at-home remedies to improve your skin’s condition!

Crushed Peppermint

crushed peppermint

One great way to treat your skin’s acne is to apply a peppermint paste on the acne-prone areas of your skin. Peppermint is known to have naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

You can find peppermint leaves at your local store or you can even grow your own!

To make a peppermint paste:

Crush up 3 or 4 peppermint leaves.
Rub the paste on affected or acne-prone areas of your face.
Allow the paste to sit on your skin for about 10 minutes.
Rinse your face with cool or lukewarm water.

Always test this paste on a small section of your skin before using it regularly. Peppermint can be irritating to some skin types!

Zinc Supplements

zinc supplements
Via ods.od.nih.gov

Zinc is often used to naturally help regulate hormones. You see, one of the most common causes of adult acne is unbalanced hormones.

By regularly taking zinc supplements, you may be able to calm down some hormone fluctuations that can be causing your acne problem. Simply put, zinc supplements can help treat acne!

Oatmeal and Honey Paste

oatmeal honey paste
Via jewelpie

Oatmeal and honey are two great ingredients that can do wonders when it comes to treating acne.

As you know, oatmeal can absorb liquids. And just as it can absorb water, it can help absorb oil from your skin, too. Honey, on the other hand, can work to tone your skin. It has antiseptic properties, too.

Here are the ingredients you need to make a simple oatmeal and honey paste:

⅛ cup honey
½ cup cooked oatmeal

Mix these two ingredients together and allow them to cool to room temperature. Then, liberally apply to oily skin for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Repeating this technique one or two times a week can help boost your skin’s oil control. This, in turn, can reduce the number of acne breakouts you get.

See Also: 10 Best Skin Foods For Healthy Glowing Skin

Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil
Via keeperofthehome

Tea tree oil is a very popular and effective way of treating acne spots as soon as they appear.

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic and antifungal. This means that it can keep your skin very, very clear of any bacteria!

Before using tea tree oil on your skin, however, you need to dilute it. Using undiluted tea tree oil on your skin can actually worsen inflammation, so you should use a 5% solution instead.

It’s super easy to use. All you have to do is apply a small amount of tea tree oil directly to the problem spots and leave it on overnight.

This home remedy can help reduce the severity of mild to moderate acne breakouts.

Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been praised as a miracle acne solution for years now, and there is a good reason for that. This miracle worker is packed with magnesium, acetic acid, and potassium – all of which can help kill bacteria on the skin!

This type of vinegar has many acne fighting properties. It can:

  • Clear up excess oil
  • Balance the pH level of the skin
  • Work against bad bacteria

Thanks to these three properties, apple cider vinegar can provide you with some relief from adult acne.

There are two great ways to use apple cider vinegar.

For one, you can use cotton swabs to apply it directly to the affected areas. Secondly, you can boil one cup of apple cider vinegar with water and use its steam to treat your skin.

Yogurt & Honey Mask

yogurt honey mask

Another great way to make use of the acne-fighting power of honey is to combine it with a great skin hydrator, like yogurt. A simple combination of these two ingredients can do wonders for your acne-prone skin.

When you have acne prone skin, it can actually be exacerbated if your skin becomes dehydrated. Whether you realize it or not, dehydrated skin causes your face to overproduce oil and that puts you at more risk of acne.

Hydrating your skin is simple with this yogurt honey mask. All you need is:

One tablespoon raw, organic honey
One tablespoon of yogurt (preferably organic, but not required)

Mix these two ingredients together and then apply it to the problem areas of your face, paying close attention to where you break out most often. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before gently removing the mixture using a damp rag.

See Also: 6 Vitamin-Packed Smoothie Recipes for Glowing Skin

Say Goodbye To Adult Acne

Don’t spend any more days hiding at home or piling on makeup just to hide those frustrating breakouts. There is no need to hide if you take advantage of these natural remedies for adult acne.

It’s very simple to work with the antiseptic and hydrating ingredients that we already have in our kitchens. In fact, there are many fantastic herbs that can fight acne. You just need to know exactly how you can use them for your skin’s needs.

Whether you choose to combine oatmeal and honey or work with crushed peppermint instead, your skin will surely say “Thank you” for trying these solutions at home! Get glowing, clear skin with these easy at-home remedies!

The post Cure Your Skin Today: The Best Adult Acne Home Remedies appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Why Shopping Online Doesn’t Have To Lead To Stolen Packages

In the dark ages of the 1980s, people used to have to drive to the store and buy their own toilet paper. They would then load it into their cars and drive it to their homes and carry it inside.

It seems like such a foreign concept today. Just thirty-something years later, we can press a button in our bathroom closet and have a drone deliver our toilet paper to our front porch hours later. Alright, maybe most people don’t have drones dropping off their toilet paper, but that IS an option today, especially with more people buying things, even necessities, online and having them delivered.

There’s almost no reason to leave your house for supplies anymore in most major cities. You can even have your groceries and prescriptions delivered right to your house.

But, there’s just one problem.

With the uptick in E-commerce, there has been a corresponding uptick in theft from mailboxes and front porches.

In the last five years alone, E-commerce has more than doubled. Online sales are expected to almost double again over the next five years, reaching $523 billion a year by 2020. Unfortunately, in 2016 alone 11 million people had packages stolen from their front porches, three-quarters of which happened when they weren’t home.

Because of this, a large number of people say they are worried about having their packages stolen from their doorsteps, particularly when they aren’t delivered on the first attempt. This makes delivery more difficult for delivery drivers. It drives up the cost and, subsequently, extends the amount of time it takes to receive packages. It also makes people wary of ordering online, which is scary for online retailers and delivery services.

online shopping

There are a lot of factors that can prevent packages from being delivered on the first try. And theft isn’t the only thing preventing you from getting your packages on time.

If there isn’t a safe and dry place to leave a package, it can get destroyed by the weather. If something is too big to fit inside a mailbox, a mail carrier might not be able to leave it there. More often, there are items that can’t be delivered without a signature.

So, if you have to sit around all day waiting for the delivery man, how is that supposed to save you from going to the store?

Online shopping makes things easier for many people. There is a greater selection of merchandise you can choose from and there are search algorithms that can make the process a lot easier. You will never have to leave your house to go out searching for what you need.

Unfortunately, that convenience ends when you get that package stolen off your front porch. All kinds of solutions have been developed to combat this problem, including doorbells that can record videos of people trespassing your front porch. Unfortunately, those doorbells can’t actually stop those thieves. By the time you see their videos, your new dress or your heart medication are already gone.

online shopping delivery

So, why not give the delivery person a secure place, like a smart mailbox, to use for your packages? Having a locked place means no more missed deliveries and a serious decrease in the likelihood of theft.

Secure mailboxes are nothing new. Remember that keyed mailbox at your first apartment complex?

Secure mailboxes are more necessary today than they ever have been before. Today’s smart mailbox can communicate with you when you have a package delivered or when it is en route. It can even give you the option to communicate with the delivery driver in case you don’t want your package delivered on a specific day.

Options for preventing stolen packages include:

Security cameras

Pro: deterrent
Con: once it’s gone, it’s gone

Delivering to Work/Another Address

Pro: someone will usually be there
Con: you still have to schlep it home

Rerouting Packages

Pro: have it delivered when you will be home
Con: longer wait, more hassle for the delivery driver

Smart Mailboxes

Pro: packages delivered anytime are kept secured and safe from the elements
Con: Big and bulky, more expensive than a regular mailbox

More options mean more flexibility and security for everyone involved and that’s just good business. Learn more about how to prevent package theft from this infographic. A better way to deliver packages could even usher in the next big wave of E-commerce ideas. You might find yourself asking, “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”

Snail Mail vs Smart Mail [Infographic]
Source: MailHaven

 

The post Why Shopping Online Doesn’t Have To Lead To Stolen Packages appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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3 Good Reasons Why Planning Just Isn’t For You

Planning. Simply the sound of this word is enough to give me a rage fit and a subsequent migraine.

Whether you want to start a business, do well at college or just become good at any kind of activity, one of the most frequent pieces of advice you will get is to plan everything. Even when it comes to relationships, planning is still considered to be essential.

At first, I became really angry and frustrated when I read all those articles because I am terrible at planning– really. The only thing I have managed to plan so far is my shopping list.

I have a bright memory from childhood. It’s when I decided it was time to get all fancy and organized and created a schedule of the entire following day. I was so serious that I even used an A3 sheet of paper for my schedule and I’m not kidding you.

And now, you can try to guess how much I lasted on my schedule.

I managed to do only one thing from the list and that’s to wake up. The rest of my day went haywire, as usual.

After years of struggling with my hectic and disorganized self, I started to question the premise and had anti-planning thoughts.

Can planning really do miracles to your life? I highly doubt that. I believe that, like everything on Earth, it has its downsides. Here are some of them.

Plans make you frustrated

frustrated planner

I’m a perfectionist- yeah, that’s weird for someone who hates plans- and it backfires so much when it comes to crossing out items from my to-do or even shopping lists. If I can’t manage to find something or if I postpone a tiny errand to the next day, I will feel dissatisfied with myself. No matter how many tasks I do that same day, that one uncrossed thing will bug me.

What to do instead?

If you’re like me and “1 pound of sour cream” in your shopping list can ruin your day if uncrossed, try creating lists of things you actually DO as you go on with your day. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence. At the end of the day, you’ll be looking at a list of things you actually managed to do and not those you didn’t manage.

Plans don’t make THAT big of a difference

A lot of people expect to become time-management gurus the moment they start creating plans. But, guess what?

That doesn’t happen in a snap. It has to be learned much like any other action and habit out there. More than that, though planning helps you become more organized, the main point is that you need to do things. Planning alone won’t get you anywhere, except the fact that you’ll become incredibly good at creating lists.

What to do instead?

Try the immediate action strategy. Planning is preparation, and preparation is usually good. But, let’s be honest. Most of the time, we start making plans to procrastinate and to feel like we are actually doing something good about our lives.

So, instead of indulging into writing another list, choose a tiny action. Let’s say, clean a small section of your working table or finally move all the clothes from the chair to your drawers.

Plans can increase your anxiety

anxious planning

Life goes by its own rules with little regard for our plans. People forget to return a call or even show up, cars break and bad weather strikes unexpectedly. Life is haywire and that’s probably the reason we like plans so much. They help us make a little sense of the mess that’s constantly going on.

When something unexpected and unavoidable intervenes with your perfectly designed plan, it can make you feel like you are out of control and this adds more stress. You have a lot of things to deal with and now you have another issue to solve. In essence, it means less time for more things to accomplish.

What to do instead?

Choose a couple of pivotal actions and make them vital for you. See, there’s a lot going on with our lives, but we don’t forget the basic things anyway. We eat, sleep and drink.

Choose a couple of simple actions and make them an absolute must of your day. Soon, you will be used to them that you won’t need a plan to remind you anymore. You won’t beat yourself up for not sticking strictly to your schedule.

I’m not saying you should totally forget about lists and to-dos completely. They can be useful when you are packing for a trip or having a really hectic time. However, I don’t believe you need a to-do list for every day of your life. To me, they are more of a play-pretend game than of real usefulness.

What do you think about planning and to-do lists? Are they overrated or do they really make a big difference?

Share your insights below and maybe you can help me and other people who are all about anti-planning change our minds.

See Also: Todo List Apps for People Who Don’t Like Todo Lists

The post 3 Good Reasons Why Planning Just Isn’t For You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Tips On How To Prep Your CV For More Job Interviews

If you want to get an interview for the position at the company you are applying for, then there are 6 things you should bear in mind. In this article, we will partially focus on cover letters as well as other important resume writing tips.

So, grab a pen, and get ready to totally change your approach to CVs and cover letters.

6 Tips On Successful CV Emailing Process

Address your email to a particular person

emailing resume

Avoid using general opening phrases like “Dear Sirs” or “To Whom It May Concern.” They are impersonal and cannot impress the recipients.

Most recruiters state that emails which are addressed to a specific person get higher chances of being read and paid special attention to. To know who to address your CV to, you can research the company’s LinkedIn account or company website.

Just think about it:

If you are getting dozens of cover letters a day, you are more likely to pay attention to the applicant who knows you by name than an applicant who simply addresses the company in general. So, if you do not want your resume to get into a stack of other similar “impersonal” letters, then address it to a particular person.

Use Keywords

A lot of companies use state-of-the-art technologies to analyze all the emails they get as well as the resumes in them. These technologies function in such a way that they identify the keywords in a letter or resume they receive.

Thus, after you familiarize yourself with a job description, make sure to check its keywords and major requirements. Keep these keywords in mind as you craft your cover letter and resume.

This will not only help a potential employer see you as a perfect applicant but will also help your letter avoid getting screened out.

See Also: Resume Action Words That Will Get You That Job

Be Original

In numerous resume examples one can find online, we see all the same patterns which candidates repeat time after time. Unfortunately, such clichés and standard phrases do not build up a strong image for you.  They can even do the exact opposite.

For this reason, we highly recommend that you try to be as original as possible. For instance, check out the story of Sumukh Mehta who created a resume for GQ magazine and structured it in the form of the magazine itself. His resume went viral and still serves as a brilliant example of a CV which can get you not only an interview but the actual job.

Find Connections

You probably know the theory about seven handshakes. If not, then you should be aware of it.

The theory says that all people on the planet are connected through seven handshakes. This means that you have connections with almost everyone through other people you know.

All you have to do is find these connections and use them for your own benefit. If you can get a recommendation, then all the better as you can mention this when you write your cover letter. It can make all the difference.

Write a Bright Opening

writing resume

You do not have much time to make a good first impression. In fact, professional recruiters say that they only have around 14 seconds for one resume as they get at least 250 applicants a day per position.

So, if you want to be among the people they will likely invite to an interview, remember to create a bright opening. Take one information from your resume and use it as your winning ticket. You can also mention some experience that you had which makes you brilliant for the position.

Write something like “I used to work as a sales manager for this company for a year, and I increased their sales by 30%.” This can draw the company’s attention and stimulate their interest in your resume.

Demonstrate Your Skills

Even if you do not have all the skills they expect from a perfect candidate, you can emphasize the ones you have and sell them to the company. To do that, you need to provide evidence to support your statements.

You can add some numbers that can illustrate how much you contributed to your previous place of employment. Think of your own unique way to present such experience.

We hope that with our practical resume writing tips, you’ll be able to email your CV correctly. We guarantee that if you follow our tips step by step, you will certainly get yourself an interview.

See Also: 16 Worst Resume Mistakes

The post 6 Tips On How To Prep Your CV For More Job Interviews appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Top 10 Travel Destinations for Movie Geeks

There’s something quite magical about seeing filming locations with your very own eyes. The celebrities and cameras may have gone, but a story’s physical setting stays just where it is. You can consider it as a star in its own right.

Here are 10 travel destinations that should absolutely be on every film lover’s bucket list:

New Zealand

Starred in: The Lord of the Rings trilogy (1999–2001)

lord of the rings

“A rite of passage” is how a visit to New Zealand is described in this interactive map of the world’s top filming locations.One of the most beautiful places on the planet, New Zealand is the Lord of the Rings’ main filming location. The trilogy made full use of the location’s gorgeous natural landscapes and rolling green hills which any fan can recognize.  

London, UK

Starred in: Jason Bourne (2016)

jason bourne

The latest adventure of the titular spy-on-the-run brought plenty of white-knuckle, high-stakes thrills to the streets of the English capital. Eagle-eyed fans will quickly recognize the Woolwich Arsenal train station and its surroundings. These are the areas that were transformed into Athens in the film. They also wouldn’t miss the areas around Paddington Station and Paddington Basin, where Jason Bourne made a particularly tense phone call.     

New York City, US

Starred in: Ghostbusters (1984)

ghostbusters

We could have gone with any of the countless films shot in the Big Apple, but the original Ghostbusters is the one that truly captured New York City in its ’80s-glory heyday. Streets, plazas, skyscrapers, bridges- you name it.

Looking around as you walk through the city will instantly open up a floodgate of pure nostalgia and Bill Murray hero-worship. There are even guided tours available to match the location to the scene!

Toronto, Canada

Starred in: Suicide Squad (2016)

suicide squad

Toronto has ‘stood in’ for many other cities in movies, but Suicide Squad’s Midway City may be its best fictional incarnation yet. Visitors can check out the spots where some of the film’s most iconic scenes happened. Just by walking along Downtown Toronto’s main thoroughfares, you can check out Yonge Street, Front Street West and Bay Street.

Visitors can check out the spots where some of the film’s most iconic scenes happened just by walking along Downtown Toronto’s main thoroughfares. When in the location, you should check out Yonge Street (car chases), Front Street West (Deadshot’s rooftop rappelling scene) and Bay Street (the helicopter crash).

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Starred in: City of God (2002)

city of god

Considered one of the finest films ever made by fans and critics alike, City of God—and by extension, Rio de Janeiro—is a true assault on the senses.

A walk around the city’s famous favelas will give visitors an authentic taste of Brazil. It will also give them an idea of how life must have been like for Rocket, Li’l Zé, Knockout Ned and company. Reminisce and venture into the Cidade de Deus suburb from which the film takes its name.

Namibia

Starred in: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

mad max

Speaking of an assault on the senses, how about a visit to the deserts of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast? It’s the setting of the latest (and brilliantly madcap) Mad Max film.

It’s only a four-hour drive from the Namibian capital, Windhoek. It’s  far more accessible than Max and Furiosa would have you think.

Tokyo, Japan

Starred in: Kill Bill (2003–2004)

kill bill

Although much of the two films were shot in Los Angeles and Beijing, Tokyo is the place to go if you really want to get a feel of the locations and inspirations behind this Tarantino classic.

Navigating this vast, sprawling city can sometimes be tough, but not for committed fans. They can easily find themselves crossing the stunning Rainbow Bridge where the motorcycle chase took place. They can stop by for a bite at the exact restaurant where the infamous all-against-one fight scene was set in Volume 1.

Paris, France

Starred in: Midnight in Paris (2011)

midnight in paris

The City of Light is just as spellbinding in reality as it is on screen. It’s one of the best filming locations and it was brought to life especially well in Midnight in Paris. It’s so great that it even helped Woody Allen win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

A walk along the southern bank of the river Seine will bring fans to the exact magical spot where Gil time-travelled back to the 1920s where the story really began.

Los Angeles, US

Starred in: Back to the Future trilogy (1985–1990)

back to the future

More of a cultural milestone than a movie, the three Back to the Future films continue to leave a massive impression on film lovers worldwide. A trip to LA is like a pilgrimage for any fan.

The Lone Pine/Twin Pines Mall (aka Puente Hills Mall on S Azusa Ave), the suburb of Hill Valley (which still exists as a set in Universal Studios) and Hill Valley High School (aka Whittier High School, East Philadelphia Street) are just some of the locations you can visit while you’re there. You won’t even need a flux-capacitated DeLorean to do it.  

Sydney, Australia

Starred in: Finding Nemo (2003)

finding nemo

While most of the story was set underwater (in the Great Barrier Reef, in fact), Sydney is where most of the action happened for those without the fins. Fans will remember Sydney Harbour as the location where Marlin and Dory went in search of Nemo.

With rows of white sails on pure blue waters, you’ll definitely enjoy Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The real-life version of the film is just as spectacular as you saw it on screen and you’ll find the local seagulls just as loony.

The post Top 10 Travel Destinations for Movie Geeks appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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4 Dating Mistakes You Could Be Making (And What To Do With Them)

Whether you are dating in hopes of finding your first love or are back in the game after healing from a breakup or divorce, dating is a whole world of its own. There are unspoken rules and plenty of personalities in the mix that make the waters less than clear for all of the players involved.

Dating has changed a lot in recent years with the development of online dating sites, apps, and matchmakers. I am often counseling people recently separated or divorced who want to re-enter the dating scene. Faced with these new options, they tell me that a process that used to be intimidating and overwhelming has now also become very confusing.

Beyond the ‘how-tos’ of finding a date are the ‘how-tos’ of behaving on a date. In an area where self-doubt and insecurities can get the best of you, fostering some level of self-confidence is crucial to finding dating success.

To increase your odds of success, take a look at these four common dating mistakes and evaluate yourself. If you might be making any of them, then follow the tips on how you can avoid them.

Putting on a show

great-conversation

What you’re doing: We all feel the need to present the best of ourselves to a date and, in a way, perform for them. We understandably want to make sure that we come across as likable and leave a great first impression. With this, it is easy to cross the line and give a false representation of who we truly are.

How to stop: Rather than focusing on how you are coming across to your date, just try to be present in the moment with them. Be yourself, listen to your date and be engaging. This will help you to be able to decipher how you feel about your date instead of just wanting them to like you enough to go for a second date.

See Also: 5 Ways To Keep a Conversation From Coming To a Dead-end Standstill

Being superficial

What you’re doing: Putting too much emphasis on a person’s looks or income won’t build a lasting relationship. Superficial things will eventually fade away and the relationship won’t have enough of a solid foundation to stand on.

How to stop: Take the time to learn what your date’s core values and morals are. Being able to have a great conversation, along with similar goals and life ethics, will set a better groundwork for a mutually enjoyable and lasting relationship than most other qualities.

Ignoring warning signs

What you’re doing: In the beginning, we tend to ignore the obvious red flags about our date, either because we really like that person or because we really want it to work out. However, it is important to pay attention to their behavior and trust your instincts when dating.

How to stop: If your date is rude to the waiter, talks about himself the entire time or gives you a bad feeling in your gut, trust that as a warning sign and don’t continue seeing them. If something bothers you on an early date, it will really irritate you later on in the relationship.

Putting too much emphasis on chemistry

dating chemistry

What you’re doing: If sparks are flying, then that is great, but don’t equate chemistry to love or compatibility. Things like physical attraction and charisma can all lead to chemistry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the two of you will make a good pairing in the long run.

How to stop: Take the time and ask questions to find out more about the person you’re dating. It’s great to laugh and have a physical connection. Just make sure you are also getting to know who the other is as a person and that the things he cares about are also things you care about.

Early dating should be a fun and a pressure-free experience. The purpose is simply to get to know the other person and learn if the two of you could connect on a deeper level. Don’t worry too much about ‘the rules’ of dating such as when to call the person or the right way to ask for a second date.

Focus on just being yourself and having good conversation, and you’ll make yourself a much more attractive date and potential future partner.

See Also: The Dos and Don’ts of a First Date for Men

The post 4 Dating Mistakes You Could Be Making (And What To Do With Them) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Conquering Fear: Here’s How To Change Your Perspective In Life

We had this great idea: “Let’s step it up. Let’s expand and grow. Let’s play a BIG game.”

I’m talking about me & my husband, John, here.

Now, anyone who knows us will easily realize that when we say “Let’s play a BIG game.”, it’s going to be the kind of game that would send 99% of people running for the hills.

When we say that line, it means we’re going to be so far out of our comfort zone that it won’t even be visible anymore. It’ll be long gone over the horizon.

There will be no going back and everything will change. We will not be the same people after we’ve played this level of game.

And that’s scary. When you decide to play another game or when you decide to expand your life, fear sometimes paralyzes you.

The thing is, in order to be someone different and to have something different, you need to give up who you are, the things you do AND what you have now. You can’t have something else AND be the same person you were before.

If you do something new, you will never be the same person after. You now have new experiences and the whole world will be different for you.

The same goes for what’s possible or not possible for you.

Say, you decide to learn rock climbing (and I’m using this analogy because John IS a rock climber). When you first start to climb, you grab for the big holds because you’re trying to feel safe and secure. You go up a few meters and then you realize that you can’t go any further because you’ve run out of big holds.

By that time, you’re stuck.

If you want to move on and start conquering fears, you have to use smaller holds. You have to learn to trust. As your time, experience and confidence move on, you learn how to plan ahead, look for the paths and see things differently.

conquer fear

When you’re first learning, all you can see are the big holds. You don’t pay too much attention to the smaller, sometimes tinier, ‘holds’. You don’t consider them as something that could hold you up so you skip them.

I use the term ‘hold’ very loosely and it’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

I’ve watched John climb and some of those ‘holds’ are nothing more than minor waves in the rock! IMHO, there’s nothing ‘holding’ about them, but they almost always hold him up!

When John looks at a rock face now, he sees something totally different to what he saw when he first started rock climbing. Everything is different now. As far as rock climbing is concerned, John is not the same person that he was when he first began climbing.

John’s experienced some hairy moments along the way (I’ve seen some of them), but he’s learned to push himself to try new things and to expand what he can do. Each time he’s done that, he comes down knowing different things:

  • He knows himself as someone who can do
  • He knows that… doesn’t work
  • if he sees a particular set of moves coming up, he knows that he needs to prepare for it by doing…

But, before he actually does new moves or takes a fresh route, there’s fear: What if he can’t? What if he falls off? What if he hurts himself?

John climbs with a buddy for the most part. They set up belaying ropes so if they come off, they might hurt themselves a bit, but they won’t die. So, after a while, he began to realize that if he comes off, he’ll still be able to try again and again until he can finally do it.

In other words, he knows he’s safe.

Now, rock climbing is not for everyone, myself included, but the analogy is one we can relate to:

  • When we expand our lives and grow, we will not be the same person when we’ve finished
  • Once we’ve done something — even just once — we realize that things look totally different from having had that experience
  • Doing something new is always going to be scary. The bigger the jump in the level of difficulty, the scarier it will be.
  • We are always safe. We might get a bit of an ouch, but we can learn from it and carry on.

So, we decided to play a big game. We decided to step it up massively to create a huge impact.

It’s scary. It’s an unknown territory and we don’t know how to do it.

But, from the moment we make the decision to go down that path, we’re sure that it’s the right thing to do.

The thing is, you’re not going to be able to achieve what you want to by being the person you are now. You must be someone different.

You need to give up who you know yourself to be and the things you know to be true if you want to do this new thing (like with the holds in rock climbing).

success in conquering fear

Your perspective in life must change if you’re going to see the things you need to see and achieve your goal.

And finally, this is possibly the scariest bit. You must trust that you wouldn’t feel so strongly about something if it’s impossible for you to achieve.

Remember, you put out those vibes into the universe, so everything you need in order to achieve your goal is already there. You just can’t see it by being the person you are right now. The truth is, you can only see it by being the person who has already achieved it.

Give up the fear and step into the future you know is yours.

See Also: How to Find your Buoy of Safety When You are Drowning in Fear

The post Conquering Fear: Here’s How To Change Your Perspective In Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Questions To Ask Your Commercial Agent When Leasing Office Space

When it comes to renting office space, you can never be too careful when signing a lease. Failure to do your due diligence can lead to problems. For instance, the wrong space can hurt your business if it’s difficult for your clients to access your building or if you don’t have the amenities they require.

To minimize the chances of these and other disasters occurring, consider taking benefits from professional property management and asking your commercial property managing agent the following questions:

What happens if the space isn’t ready by the expected move-in date?

Unless your office is ready, you can’t be sure that there won’t be any more problems. To avoid last minute problems, you should double check if your lease is clear about what can happen if your office space isn’t ready by the move-in date.

Read the fine print carefully. Watch out for any clauses that say your landlord can place you in a different office space within the building if your designated area is not yet ready by your moving in date. Being forced to occupy a temporary space will only magnify the costs and other issues associated with moving.

Does the lease come with an option to renew?

After your lease expires, the landlord is under no legal obligation to offer the same space to you – unless there’s a renewal clause in your lease. This guarantees that you will have first dibs on the space when the lease expires.

Will the landlord take on the cost of changes (like new carpet, special electrical needs, etc)?

new carpet

You will probably want to modify and update your new office space to meet your business’ specific requirements. In most cases, you will be responsible for these costs. But, there are some landlords who are willing to amortize the costs over the term of the lease so make sure to ask.

See Also: How Often Does A Landlord Have To Replace Carpet Or Repaint In Rental Unit?

How much traffic does the area get?

office space traffic

Is your building in a central location that’s close to train stations and airports to accommodate heavy business travelers or out of town clients? Depending on your business type, this may help determine the amount of traffic that you will receive. The agent should have information about community demographics, car counts and other essential statistics available.

Do you have “right of first refusal” if the space next to yours becomes vacant?

There are some instances when a tenant is faced with unexpected growth and, when that happens, there are some landlords that will move you to a larger space with no penalty. If there is a “right to refusal” clause in your lease, it will ensure that you get first dibs if any adjacent spaces become vacant.

Is it possible to secure a non-compete clause so that a competitor cannot open up shop in your center or building?

When renting office space, it’s a good idea to consider your business’ security first. Having a competitor in close distance can spell disaster for your business so check if there are zoning laws in place to protect your company. You can try to include a clause in the contract that forbids your landlord from leasing nearby office space to direct competitors. 

Is it possible to enter into a CAM Stop Lease?

A lot of leases today are triple net. For example, you’ll be responsible for paying the rent as well as a share of the property taxes and CAM fees for the property.

A Cam Stop Lease will ensure that you are only responsible for the increase in property taxes and CAM fees above your initial base year. You may also want to ask for a cap on the CAM so that it won’t increase by more than a certain percentage.

What happens if a major system (like electrical, plumbing, or HVAC) fails?

Agreements about repairs and renovations should be in writing and, in the best case scenario, come complete with a detailed floor plan and a cost estimate from a reputable contractor. But, it’s important to note that this standard is different from property to property.

Who is responsible for insurance?

When signing a lease for an office space, we tend to skip over insurance. And, as a result, a lot of buildings, especially those with several tenants, are coverable by insurance policies that are inadequate in some respects and overlap in others. Thus, if a major disaster occurs, like a fire, it can take years for the various insurance companies involved to check out the claims and decide where coverage begins and ends.

Will the office space meet your technology needs?

Most commercial properties offer tenants networking options like T1s, fiber, DSL and Cable. If your business will require a ton of bandwidth to successfully operate, make sure that the property has the infrastructure to support your needs.

Moving to a new commercial space can be a hassle. But, if you ask your commercial agent the aforementioned questions, it can take a lot of the headache out of the process. Good luck!

See Also: One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How Office Space Caters To Each Stage Of A Business Journey

 

The post 10 Questions To Ask Your Commercial Agent When Leasing Office Space appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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30 Best Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of the Day

One thing that successful people share is that they are driven to set goals and meet them every time. There are various techniques that you can employ to feel inspired every day and one of them is getting positive reinforcement from the best motivational quotes.

You can surf the internet for websites that specialize in quotes or you can download a daily quotes app to deliver the best motivational quotes to you on a daily basis. We are rarely ever apart from our mobile phones so it makes sense to use it as a tool to get our daily dose of inspiration.

daily quote app iphone

We’ll share this little tidbit with you. Apparently, there are three things that make inspiring quotes highly effective.

First of all is the measure of self-selection. You see, in general, not all people are drawn to those quotes and anecdotes. However, when one feels an extreme connection, it triggers a self-dialogue that pushes us to try harder.

Haven’t you ever read a quote and thought, “This is it. This is my quote! The universe is sending me a message.”

happiness quote

Another factor is good wordsmithing. It’s relatively easy to say a motivational piece. But, once you add good rhyming and arrangement of words, the message becomes a lot stronger and more appealing for us.

Work for a cause,
Not for applause.
Live life to express,
Not to impress.

Finally, in addition to those two things, motivational psychology plays a big role, too. Humans are highly aspirational. We tend to look to others for inspiration. We look up to successful and credible people and we follow what those people say. Think Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, or Nelson Mandela.

How To Choose A Good Motivational App For Your Phone

There are tons of motivational apps you can download on your phone but not all of them can keep you engaged. The best daily quotes app should be able to stimulate your senses so you can stay motivated to improve your life.

It should also have the following features:

  • Gives you the option to set your goals and track them
  • Has a friendly user interface
  • Contains a wide range of quotes from famous and successful personalities
  • Has no typographical errors
  • Has beautiful imagery
  • Features sharing options
  • Sends notifications
  • Has the option to customize and save your favorite quotes
  • Provides the opportunity to come up with a list of goals

One great example of a daily quotes app that has these add-on features is Motive. You don’t just get your daily dose of inspiration, you can also use it as a tool to easily track goals and to-do’s. It is Inspiration and Productivity all in one handy little app.

Here are some example quotes that you can get from motivational apps. Is there any one quote that resonates with you in particular?

30 Inspirational Quotes That Can Change Your Life

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

motivational quote

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
– Chinese Proverb

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

inspirational quotes

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis

“ Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.” – Andre Maurois

inspiring happiness quotes

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Herman Cain

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Ken Robinson

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

fear of failure quotes

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J.K. Rowling

“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” – Mia Hamm

motivational productivity quotes

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

“Being lazy does not mean that you do not create. In fact, lying around doing nothing is an important, nay crucial, part of the creative process. It is meaningless bustle that actually gets in the way of productivity. All we are really saying is, give peace a chance.” – Tom Hodgkinson

“Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.” – Unknown

inspirational happiness quotes

“Whatever you decide to do make sure it makes you happy.” – Paulo Coelho

“Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.” – Denis Waitley

“If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

failure quotes

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” – William Feather

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” – Anonymous

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.” – Anonymous

inspirational motivational quote

“Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful.” – Alexander Kjerulf

“Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.” – Unknown

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.” – Unknown

inspirational happiness quote

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Losers quit when they fail. Winners fail until they succeed.” – Robert Kiyosaki

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

inspirational motivational quotes

If you’re feeling stuck in your career growth or feeling depressed with how things are going in your life, that one special quote heard at the perfect time can be just the very thing to shake you out of your funk. So pay attention! Be inspired and do the work.

 

The post 30 Best Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of the Day appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Killer Tips For Planning A Las Vegas Wedding

Planning a wedding is a wonderful and memorable thing but, beyond the emotions, it is also rather stressful. From finding a perfect wedding dress to booking a reception venue, it can be a real challenge for everyone involved. However, if you are getting married in Las Vegas, this process may become even more complicated.

The good news is that planning a Las Vegas wedding means having no limits at all. Want to tie the knot underwater or get married during a rock concert? The Entertainment Capital of the World can easily provide you with such an opportunity! With so many options, it is always better to have a Las Vegas wedding checklist at hand.

Whether your big day is an intimate one or you want to celebrate in style, here are 7 killer tips that can make the process of planning a Las Vegas wedding much easier:

Vegas wedding dress ideas

You can certainly travel to Las Vegas with your carefully chosen elegant wedding dress. But, actually, there’s no need for that. Since Las Vegas is home to spur-of-the-moment weddings, you can find lots of stores where you can buy or rent any bridal gown, tiara, veil, jewelry, shawl, gloves and crinoline you like.

Most of them are open late so that even those who are planning to have night weddings can have plenty of Vegas wedding dress ideas. If you still don’t have a perfect gown for your special day, you are sure to find it in Las Vegas.

Choosing a date

One of the first tasks that should be in your Las Vegas wedding checklist is choosing a date. There are two important things you should pay your attention to.

The first one is the weather. Don’t forget that Las Vegas is in the desert, so if you want to have an outdoor ceremony or reception, consider getting married in the spring or autumn time. Traditional wedding months (June – October) may turn your big day into a nightmare.

Besides that, keep in mind that Vegas is a popular destination for conferences, meeting, concerts and vacations. Thereby, to check a convention calendar beforehand is never superfluous.

Marriage application

If you are planning a Las Vegas wedding, you don’t need to wait long to receive a marriage license. You can apply for it no more than sixty days before your set date. Besides, you can speed up the process by filling out a marriage application form online.

Please note, however, that both people getting married in Las Vegas should appear in person at the county clerk’s office to receive the license. It will cost you about $60.

Hotel chapel

las vegas wedding chapel

If you want to save some money, a hotel chapel can be a good option for you. The fact is that almost every hotel in Vegas has its own wedding chapel, which gives you and your guests the opportunity to stay in the same place for your ceremony and reception.

Furthermore, any hotel chapel can provide you with a variety of wedding services, including live broadcasting of your ceremony online, limousine transportation, professional photo and video shoots. Most of them offer fresh floral decoration and even a honeymoon helicopter flight. If you book your chosen wedding package beforehand, you are guaranteed to get a good deal.

Venue location

Las Vegas offers plenty of themed, fun and casual wedding venue options for a wide range of tastes and budgets. From sky high weddings and cocktail parties to the ultra-chic nightclub buyouts and wedding venues for animal lovers, everyone can find something to their liking.

However, if you are planning a unique Las Vegas wedding, keep in mind that most popular and unusual venues and vendors get booked up early, so it is better to do everything in advance.

Hair and makeup

Finding hair salons and makeup artists doesn’t have to be a hassle in Las Vegas. Lots of hotels, casinos and spa centers offer these services to those who want their makeup and hair done professionally for the wedding day.

The only problem is that these services usually come at a rather high price. If you are on a budget, you can save some money if you go to a local salon located somewhere off the Strip.

Day-after photo session

las vegas photo session

One more thing to include in your Las Vegas wedding checklist is a day-after photo session. Talk to your photographer beforehand about organizing a creative and funny shoot somewhere in Downtown Vegas or in the desert. Thus, in addition to your beautiful wedding photos, you will also get plenty of awesome Vegas pics to enjoy for years to come.

As you can see, getting married in Las Vegas may require a bit more preparation compared to a local wedding. However, who said you cannot elope without proper preparation and planning? if that’s the case, just make your way towards Las Vegas Boulevard. You will find there everything you need for your perfect Vegas wedding! After all, this city is not called the Marriage Capital of the World for nothing!

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No Shame In Dumpster Diving

A majority of people might feel funny about second-hand recycling or, as it’s more commonly referred to, dumpster diving. The truth, however, is that it’s filled with lots of rewards.

Of course, I’m not talking about just any old dumpster in town. The gold mine comes around this time of year, particularly in college campuses. Those college kids love to throw shit out.

Printers, mini-refrigerators, cameras and even computers. You can find all kinds of gears simply by looking in and around college campus dumpsters. And not just that. You can also find things, like totes, bags, racks, and furniture of all kinds, in that same place.

Now, I’m not advocating one to grab a shovel and start digging to the bottom of any industrial dumpster. Heck, you can, but that’s not what I’m suggesting. Most kids leave their useful “trash” to the side of the dumpster that you won’t need to dig deep. In fact, you can get a good view of things just right on the top.

And to hell with feeling uncomfortable. There’s nothing to be ashamed of collecting perfectly useful items once used by other people. You shouldn’t feel ashamed to be seen near a dumpster just because you’re too afraid that girls or guys won’t go out with you anymore.

There’s plenty of reasonably clean gears within easy reach inside college dumpsters. That is to assume that they haven’t been sitting long and haven’t endured harsh weather conditions. Of course, plenty of things can withstand these elements for a short period and be okay, but there are also those that degrade quickly. Textbooks, for example, can provide easy cash, assuming the condition is adequate.

I like to think that most people recycle daily, though I’m probably wrong. Those who do toss their La Croix cans, beer bottles and milk jugs in those environment-friendly blue bins to be picked up and taken off to recycling factories. There, they are repurposed and transformed into other much useful things. Without a doubt, it’s a very positive thing to do for the environment.

So, why not recycle like this?

The benefits and possibilities with dumpster driving are abundant. You could start a little pawn style business with the treasures you find or even put on a dumpster art show. Nobody will stop you from using “trash” to be your creative outlet.

Food is another, though far more questionable, commodity you can retrieve from dumpsters. It’s relatively common in dumpsters you can find in grocery chains and markets, but not so much on college campuses. While I gravitate more towards household items, there certainly are people who look for perfectly fine packaged food out back.

In fact, I recently saw an American Ninja Warrior episode (I was in a Chicago hotel room with limited channels) and the dude who won the challenge was an avid dumpster diver from California, primarily for food. If an American Ninja Warrior advocates it, you know it’s legit.

Not only can dumpster diving save you money on daily products, you can also get a lot of things that work perfectly fine from the dumps and landfills. If you’re creative and willing, you could even salvage and utilize broken items for other purposes.

Knowing so much working “trash” is tossed out by tons of people is a shame. But there’s no shame in being in the thick of the recycling hustle and doing good for you and for your environment.

See Also: 10 Ways to Enjoy a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

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12 Simple Rules Of Staying Safe On A First Date

Dating is one the most fun experiences in life, but in today’s climate, it can also be one of the most worrying for you and for those who care about you. If you’re dating somebody from your circle of friends, it’s easier to have people’s mind at ease. But what if you’re on a first date with somebody relatively new or somebody you don’t know so much about?

Here are the twelve simple rules of staying safe on a first date.

Tell A Friend Your Plans

Make sure that a friend or family member knows exactly what your plans are for the evening. If they don’t hear from you when they expect to, then they can start to raise the alarm that something might be wrong.

Go Somewhere Public

dating tips

On a first date, it’s particularly important to arrange to meet somewhere very public, like a park or a coffee shop. If your date wants you to go straight to their home for your first meeting, then you should be apprehensive about their intentions.

Take Your Mobile

This seems like an obvious tip, but absolutely make sure that you take your phone with you wherever you go. You can use it to text that the date is going well, but you can also use it for more serious reasons if something feels wrong.

Don’t Be Afraid To Leave

If something about the date doesn’t seem right to you, then do not hesitate to get up and leave. You don’t owe your date anything, especially if they are making you feel uncomfortable. Just excuse yourself and head for the door!

Pre-Plan Your Route

Make sure that you know exactly how to get to and from your date location. You should not rely on somebody else to pick you up or take you home, especially if you want to be out of their company quickly!

Eyes On Your Drink

Keep one hand and one eye on your drink at all times during the date, and never leave it unaccompanied to go to the bathroom etc. It might seem like a cynical thing to do, but you can never be too sure with a relative stranger.

Don’t Meet At Home Or Work

Don’t arrange the date to start from your home or your workplace, as by the end of the night you might realize that you have gone out with somebody who you don’t want knowing such personal information.

Don’t Drink Too Much

dating advice

Of course, it’s a woman’s prerogative to drink however much she wants. However, on a first date, in particular, it is always good to have all of your wits about you, just in case any advances are made that you don’t want.

Don’t Be Driven Home

Don’t let your date drive you home. You might not want to reveal your home address this early on, and you also don’t want thr possibility of them driving you to a place that you are unfamiliar with.

Don’t Go Home With Them

It seems a bit old fashioned to tell someone not go home with their date after the first meeting in 2017, but if there is a strong physical attraction, it will still be there on the second or third date when you know them better.

Get A Friend To Call

It’s always a good idea to get a friend to call you halfway through the date just to check up on you. If it is going well, they will be reassured and your date will know that somebody is waiting up for you. And if your date isn’t going well, then their call can be your reason to leave.

Kiss Outside The Car

If you feel like you want to smooch on the first date, then do so outside of the car so that you aren’t at risk of doors being locked or things being taken too far in the semi-privacy of a vehicle.

So there you have it, 12 of my best tips for making sure that you are as safe as you can be when out on a first date. We hope you have lots of fun, but remember to be safe at all times and trust your gut when it comes to how you feel about the person you are getting to know. Looks and first impressions can sometimes deceive!

We’ve prepared the infographic below for you. Please share it with your friends or relatives.

Source

 

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Instagram Tricks For Artists To Achieve A Successful Career

For any artist to succeed in this highly competitive world, he needs to pay as much attention to promoting his art as its generation. Today, art is accessible to everyone. Because it is so common and accessible, you need to maintain and promote the quality of your work both online and offline if you want to gain an edge.

Instagram is quite a great platform for artists as it fundamentally concentrates on sharing images, paintings, and art masterpieces. It enables artists to demonstrate their painting process and even to sell their unique paintings along the way.

As per Vogue, artists sell their paintings on a regular basis today thanks to their Instagram feed. The platform allows incredible and somewhat unprecedented accessibility to all its users across the world.

If you want to take the same path, here are some secret tips for artists to gain Instagram success.

Make It A Fascinating And Interesting Experience

instagram photo

You must always make it a point to share those photos that are relevant and appropriate to your image as a capable artist. Instagram is an effective way to showcase your creativity, the things that inspire or motivate you, and even the events that are happening in your life.

You must understand that Instagram is definitely not just about your art. It can also be about your daily way of life and your brand. You could consider posting about events, inspirations, studio shots and, of course, your work in progress.

See Also: Top 11 Instagram Users You Should Follow If You Like Photography And Nature

Top Quality Pictures

Remember to incorporate really top quality images that would reflect your work as well as your vision. Instagram users usually expect high-quality and highly curated photographs. With the use of effective filters, you can make your pictures look as awesome as your original paintings. Bear in mind that you cannot post any mediocre-grade pictures on Instagram.

Add An Interesting Caption

You must give a serious thought to captions. Instagram is a platform that is just right for visual storytelling. You must get into the habit of sharing pictures with fascinating captions or an interesting story that can engage and grab the attention of Instagram followers.

We all know that Instagram users love to interact and they would be too happy to like a truly mind-blowing and captivating post.

Promote Your Art Effectively On Instagram

promote instagram

Your chief objective for Instagramming is to promote your unique work. But, if you wish to develop a long-term and robust fan base, you should not solely concentrate on selling your artwork. Many Instagrammers have achieved phenomenal success by focusing more on developing a brand and a distinctive style that is loved by the people. That is how you start using Instagram to your advantage.

See Also: How to Increase Your Instagram Followers in 2017

Highlight The Process

Post your progress on Instagram to effectively promote your work. As an artist, you need to pay attention to each aspect of your project. It is wiser to share some interesting pictures as your work updates and not just the finished products.

Using an effective hashtag, such as #coming soon or #sneakpeek can help, too. This is a great way of creating hype for your artwork.

Conclusion

Instagram is a great way to boost your sales. One good reason is that there is no apparent pressure on the followers to purchase your product. As you see your followers multiply, you would find them re-gramming your unique artworks or even tagging their friends. This is how this interactive platform could help your images go viral or at the least, reach that one Instagrammer who would purchase your work.

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Taking Ownership: Are You Taking Full Responsibility For Your Life?

One thing I’ve always been very keen on is talking about taking ownership of things. I don’t mean physical things. I mean ownership of what you’re doing and who you’re being. It’s about being responsible for yourself and your life.

As someone who’s both been an employee and an employer, I know that the team members that are valuable to the company are the ones who take full and total responsibility for what’s happening around them. The ones who whine and point their fingers at everyone else are — let’s face it — hard work.

We’ve all experienced it.

We go into a shop or restaurant and the person who’s supposed to be serving us couldn’t give a hoot about what we want or make sure we leave the place as happy and satisfied customers. They make us fully aware that we’re an irritation and that we’re asking too much.

Then you go to a different shop and the person assisting you there makes all the difference. You’ll go back there because of the service and because you feel valued. The person who served you took complete ownership & responsibility for ensuring that you have a wonderful experience. He took it upon himself to give you a great experience.

I could, quite happily, go on for hours about this subject and I hope it’s something I drummed into my kids. This is how I see it:

Whatever you’re doing, you take FULL and COMPLETE responsibility for making sure that whatever is supposed to happen does happen, in a way that leaves everyone involved feeling great.

It doesn’t matter if your boss is an idiot or your colleagues are lazy and have a bad attitude. The only thing that matters is that YOU give it your all and that YOU make sure that you’ve done everything in your power to generate that outcome.

In other words, take full ownership of what’s happening around you and take complete responsibility for the outcomes. Not blame, but responsibility. They’re two completely different things.

See Also: Why Criticizing Others Won’t Get Them to Change … and What Will!

What do I mean by taking responsibility?

taking responsibility

Now, it’s really easy to look at this from the perspective of the job we’re in.

If you look around, you’ll see that almost every problem that you encounter in the workplace is potentially caused by your failure and your co-worker’s failure to not take ownership. This can manifest in many different ways, such as:

  • Having a bad attitude
  • Not wanting to be there
  • Someone who doesn’t care
  • Having a goal that isn’t in alignment with the company
  • Someone who likes to bitch and moan
  • Someone who is only on the lookout for themselves

There are lots of ways these things can show. In certain instances, they can come out very subtle.

Now, take a look at your life. Are you taking full, 100% responsibility for your life?

Be honest and consider these things:

  • In which areas of your life does your attitude stink?
  • Which areas look exactly as you want them to?
  • Do you live how you want to live?
  • Which areas of your life inspire and motivate you?
  • Which areas downright suck?
  • Do you go to bed at night completely satisfied with your day?
  • Do you show up exactly how you want to show up for everyone in your life?
  • Are you the person you want to be?
  • Do you do the things you want to do?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of those things or if there are areas which stink or suck, then you’re not taking ownership of your life. And there are a lot more questions I could ask, so don’t go thinking that because I haven’t asked a specific question, you’re off the hook.

You’re not and you’re not being fully responsible. It’s as simple as that.

This is not a blame game

This isn’t blaming and I’m not suggesting that anyone is ever going to be perfect. This is about constantly moving towards your true purpose in life. It’s about trying to get in alignment with who you really are.

Do you see the difference?

Blame is bad and just wrong. It stops you dead in your tracks.

Taking responsibility means you know where you’re going and if you’re not there yet, you just have to keep moving forward.

Let’s go back to employees who take ownership for a minute. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you know who among your colleagues is great to work with and who isn’t. In other words, you know who takes responsibility for their job and who doesn’t.

Take that analogy and think about it in terms of your life.

If that person who takes responsibility makes such a difference to their workmates and their customers, what kind of a difference do you think it will make if you apply the same level of responsibility to yourself and your life?

See Also: 11 Ways To Pick Yourself Up And Bounce Back After Failure

How would your life be different if you took full, complete, 100% responsibility for it?

work responsibility

What kind of difference would it make to the people around you? What would you do differently?

Who would you make sure you showed up as? Would you experience your life differently? Would it feel different?

What if your real job in life, the one that you absolutely MUST take complete responsibility for and ownership of, was to show up as who you really are? To just be 100% fully you?

The universe put you here for a reason. If you want to reflect that reason, you’d better be fully responsible for showing up EXACTLY as the universe designed you.

What do you need to do to take ownership of your life?

 

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10 Ways to Avoid Making Your Kid Resent You

When I was younger, I worked in a nursing home. It was a sad and disheartening place to work. The people you’d normally find there are not in their best condition and it was heartbreaking on most days.

On weekends, the grown children of some of those people would come to visit. They’d sit awkwardly on the stiff chairs, obviously just fulfilling their duty. However, once the obligatory hour and a half were over, they’d quickly walk out looking visibly relieved.

The parents would be left with nothing else but to look forward to when their children would be back next. Some residents had no visitors at all. It was so sad to watch.

On occasion, there would be a special resident, one who always had visitors. The children of this person would stay the entire length of the visiting hours and show up punctually the next week. Many times, his family members would bring dinner. His grandchildren would come on weekends and the halls would turn into a family reunion every Saturday.

And I asked myself, what was the difference between these two sets of circumstances? How were these residents different?

So, I started to look at my own situation and of the people around me. I finally came up with the most important items that would ensure a long and loving relationship with your children.

Let your kid be whatever or whoever he wants to be

Identity is very important to anyone.

When you were young, you probably had a good idea of wanted you to be- a teacher, pilot or doctor. Although you did not grow up to be those things, you were pretty much decided at that time.

Kids, as they grow, change their minds almost as quickly as sand falling from an hourglass. It is what they do. If you do not allow them to be who and what they want to be when they want to be it, they will resent you.

Don’t force them to share their toys

personal toys

I know this is a sore subject for some.

When we were young, we were taught that nice people share. Our parents would take away our toys and give them to another child to play with.

Let’s look at this from another perspective.

How would you feel if your boss or your parent insisted that you give the keys to your new car to your friend just because nice people share? You would hate it. After all, it is YOUR car.

Well, if the toys truly belong to the child, shouldn’t he be the one to decide whether he should share or not? If you take his possessions away, he will dislike you as much as you would dislike someone who takes your things.

Instead of forcing him to share his toys, keep a separate basket of toys that are for everyone. This will make it easier for him to share with his playmates.

Stop finding fault

Some parents never realize that their kids grow up. They continue to correct them all their lives without knowing that it embarrasses and upsets the kids. Nobody likes to be constantly told they are not measuring up. No one wants to be corrected all the time.

If your boss did that to you, you’d probably quit. So, validate the things your child does right instead of constantly correcting the things he does wrong.

Know when there is something very important to your child

When my son was thirteen, he wanted his ears pierced very badly. His dad did not want this. So, my son, being the resourceful and totally badass kid that he is, recruited his little brother to steal sewing pins from my sewing basket and did it himself.

I didn’t realize what had happened until I noticed that he was wearing his hoody all the time- even in 90-degree heat. I pulled the hood off and there were my sewing pins sticking out of his earlobes.

Now, I could have gone ballistic, but all I did was laugh. I told him to take out the pins, let his earlobes fully heal and I would take him to a nurse to have it done right. In short, I knew I was licked.

Now, ear piercing is not a life or death thing so I could afford to be magnanimous. Some things aren’t, so make sure to choose wisely which issues to stand your ground.

Make the ratio of your time together way overbalanced on the fun and happy side

One of my biggest regrets in life was that I was so stressed out trying to work an insane job while raising my kids. I should have given myself more breaks. For that reason, the happy times were fewer.

Everything that happens to us, we will remember as either happy or unhappy.

Summer vacations and birthday parties are some of the events we consider happy. These are times we think of as pleasurable. Dentist appointments, on the other hand, are sucky so we consider them as unhappy.

Don’t give them too much

happy girl

This is a problem for many parents and I’m guilty of this one, too.

I grew up in a house with seven kids. I shared a bedroom with three sisters in bunk beds shoved against the wall. There was little money for buying clothes. It was only when I was thirteen that I could finally babysit and buy the clothes I wanted.

Because of this, I thought it was best to give my kids everything I wanted as a child but could not have. This, unfortunately, made them feel overwhelmed.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that I was making them miserable while trying to make them happy. They felt that there was no way they could contribute back.

When I finally let them work and make money to buy what they wanted, they became resourceful and happy.

You cannot make up for a hard childhood by buying things for your kids. You make up for it by being a loving parent.

See Also: What You Need To Know About Teaching Children Values

Let them make you laugh

Everyone loves someone who finds them sparkling, charming and amusing. When your child makes you laugh, have you noticed how he tries to be funnier and funnier? Making you laugh is a gift from him to you. And laughing at his jokes is a gift from you to him.

Was there ever someone who made you feel sparkling, charming and amusing? How did you feel about that person?

Touch their hair as they pass

There is nothing like physical touch to make a person feel that you really want to share your space with them. Kids love to cuddle and get close.

I have endless photos of me and my son as he was growing up. In each one, our arms are entwined. We were always physically close and that closeness has remained to this day now that he is grown.

Love and protect your own parents

No matter how much we may have resented our own parents, they loved us and they did the best they could do for us. No parents hate or dislike their kids unless they have serious issues. Our parents just got overwhelmed and upset as we were growing up, and our kids, when they grow up, will probably feel the same way, too.

Show your kids a good example and overlook all the upsets for the time you have left with your parents.

See Also: Top 10 Tips to Help Children Develop Useful Habits

Always be willing to start over

My oldest son and I used to have fights. If we had kept it up, we would both have been miserable and upset all night.

At that point, I would look at him, hold out my arms and say “Can we please start over?”. He would tear up, come to me and we would be done.

This is a great way to end an upset. You both agree that it’s the end, and you start over.

Love your kids. Tell them how precious they are to you. Use discipline with love and understanding and you will not be alone in your later years.

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What To Do When You Hit A Roadblock: The Power Of The Subconscious Mind

Many of us know that if you want something in your life, you’ve got to visualize it, hold it clearly in your mind, feel it and be it. In essence, you have to implant that thing using the power of the subconscious mind.

You can spend time each day visualizing exactly how your life is going to look. You can imagine yourself there, living the lifestyle you want, doing the things you want to do and being the person you want to be.

Another way is to journal. It can help you imprint your goals in a much stronger way.

You can try writing out your life in detail, repeating all those things you want to have in your life over and over again. Or you can meditate and spend time each day doing affirmations about who you’re going to be and what you’re going to have and do. You can do an evening gratitude list to get your mind to concentrate on the good things that are happening instead of the not-so-great.

You dream, you visualize and you act.

But, what if something comes along that knocks you sideways?

You see, the thing is, you’re really powerful- unbelievably powerful.

All the tools and techniques that I’ve listed out are just to help you harness and utilize the enormous power of the subconscious mind.

The problem is that we let our subconscious minds get on with things.

For a long time, our minds have ruled our lives. What the mind says, we believe. What the mind tells us to do, we do. The opinions our minds have seem like they’re their own. And for most of our lives, we’ve listened to our minds as though they are us.

We’ve Believed Everything It’s Told Us

And then, you suddenly decided that wasn’t good enough and you want to be in charge. You started exercising your mind on your terms, telling it what to think, where to place its attention, and even – heaven forbid – telling your mind that it’s wrong in what it’s thinking.

Now, you might think that you’re in charge here and that you’re going to get that stuff together and harness the power of the subconscious mind as though it was some tidal power station. Unfortunately, your mind has other ideas.

If you’ve been in charge for all those years, would you let go of control easily and quietly?

Didn’t think so? Your mind isn’t going to either. It’s got way more subtle (sneaky) powers than you ever dreamed possible.

You can visualize and journal and focus and imagine all you like. But, your subconscious mind will test your resolve- every time.

journaling

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

You say you want something? The mind will check if you really do. Your mind will create a massive roadblock that’s going to stop your visualization train in its tracks.

Let’s say you’ve been visualizing a wonderful and relaxing Caribbean holiday. You’re imagining yourself there on the beach. You can hear the waves, smell the ocean and feel the warm breeze upon your skin. You’ve almost saved enough for your holiday. You’re going to go out after your next payday and book your trip.

Then, your car breaks down and what do you know? The repair bill is what you’ve saved for your holiday TO THE DOLLAR!

At this point, you’ll probably think “Why does this stuff always happen to me?” or “I can never get ahead” or “I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this.”

But, consider this:

That, my dear, is just your mind testing you. It’s just your mind at work making sure that you do want all the things you’re thinking about.

How Powerful Is Your Mind?

How powerful is your mind that it can create stuff like that? It’s extremely powerful.

Instead of getting upset (like we tend to), acknowledge the power and creativity your mind has. See it as proof that you’re on the right track and your mind is just making sure. See it as evidence that you really can have everything you want. If not, the things you want are going to pose no problem.

subconscious mind

Your job is to visualize the end result. Leave working out how to get there to your subconscious mind. It knows far more about how to work the universe than you do.

So, next time you run into one of those roadblocks, don’t stop and just keep going. Get straight back into visualizing the end result, journal about it, do whatever you can to get that vibration back to the level you want.

See Also: The Secret Mind Hacks That Can Change Your Life Today

The post What To Do When You Hit A Roadblock: The Power Of The Subconscious Mind appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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11 Secrets To Building High Self-Esteem To Find Happiness

A high self-esteem means you know what you’re worth and can hold your head high when others are losing theirs. This definition is relatively basic but, in life, so many people still don’t understand what they are worth.

Building self-esteem is like forming a new habit. It takes small incremental efforts before it can become second nature. To help you out, here are some of the tips you can use.

Learn To Improve Yourself

Cherish opportunities to improve yourself. Start by acquiring knowledge and living through life experiences. This way, you’ll be able to appreciate your abilities and make good judgments that can inspire other people. Building self-esteem requires you to constantly experience self-improvement.

Know What You Want

Most people who have low self-esteem do not know what they want. They look to other people and wonder how others can be so successful.

If you want to boost your confidence, you should know what you want. Set clear goals and be passionate about meeting them. Even just one cleared goal should improve your self-esteem dramatically.

Believe In Something Worth It

What do you stand for? What do you believe in that is worth protecting and, if need be, dying for?

To build high self-esteem, you need to answer these questions. Unless you believe in something worth it, you will be swayed by anything. As soon as you believe in something worth it, you will be able to understand your limitations and know what to avoid when your belief is challenged.

Exercise Regularly

exercise regularly

Those who engage in regular physical exercise will experience a remarkable improvement in self-esteem. Regular exercises will help you stay in shape and boost your confidence.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Learn To Be Yourself

I have seen so many people try to live their lives as others do, without considering exactly what they want. This is a prelude to unhappiness.

To start building self-esteem, you need to learn to be yourself and not someone else. Those who have high self-esteem are unique people. They do, see, think and act differently. Their uniqueness comes from within.

They are not moved by ephemeral things. They do what they think is right and they do not listen too much to what others might say.

Learn Perseverance

learn perseverance

You need to learn to persevere. This will help you go through those periods when the flood of discouragements, failures and opposition mounts.

Failures and setbacks will surely come, but your ability to persevere is what will see you through. Perseverance will help you appreciate hard work and gain confidence.

See Also: Don’t Be A Quitter: Perseverance Is One Of The Most Underestimated Skills of Successful People

Understand Life

To build high self-esteem, you should fully understand life, its purpose and what it truly means. Many people consider acquiring many cars, houses, jewelry and other material things as being successful. Your inability to understand life will make you hold onto things that do not matter. It’s like chasing shadows and going after the wind.

Avoid Discussing People

Avoid discussing people if you seek to boost your self-esteem. People who put others down or work to discredit others are insecure beings. As humans, it’s normal for people to commit mistakes. This, however, doesn’t mean that they’re bad.

Look at yourself before criticizing others. Will you be happy when people discuss you behind your back or discuss your mistakes in a way to ridicule you? If you will not be happy, then don’t do it. Focus on issues and use your time wisely. Instead of wasting time discussing people, work on achieving your goals.

Help Others Succeed

There is so much competition in the world today and people are competing with one another in almost every aspect of life. As much as possible, do not take part in this trend.

Instead, think of ways to help others. Most people with high self-esteem are adding value to people’s lives and inspiring them to succeed. They are always thinking of how to make the world a better place. When you help others succeed, you will also succeed.

Learn Something New

One way to build your self-esteem is to constantly update and build your knowledge. Reading is a good example. When you read, you learn something new and you improve yourself in the process.

Another way to learn something new is to accept feedback from mentors and colleagues. You can use what they have to say to improve, grow and gain more self-confidence.

Be Generous

What are you giving to others?

Being generous to others can help boost self-esteem. Remember, givers never lack.

These are the ways I have gained high self-esteem over the years. Practice them consistently and you’ll find building self-esteem a lot easier.

The post 11 Secrets To Building High Self-Esteem To Find Happiness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Find The Boring Life Of Your Dreams

Sounds funny, right? Why would you want to make the life of your dreams boring?

There’s just so much to do these days. You can take in a live sporting event, enjoy fine wine, dine on international cuisine or even travel to exotic destinations.

But, do you really want those things? Does a fast-paced, entertainment-filled life bring you real happiness?

My guess is it leaves you feeling depleted.

Yes, you want the best travel, food, entertainment and lifestyle, but you want to enjoy them at your pace. And right now, you just feel exhausted. So, how can you find time to breathe while getting the most out of life? The “boring life” of your dreams may just be the answer.

What is a “boring” dream life?

Simply put, it means living your life at a steady pace- not too fast or too slow. It means to counteract the exciting moments with the quiet, more “boring” ones. But, how exactly can you do that?

Below are 5 ideas to help you get started.

Start a meditation practice

As someone who’s been meditating for 13+ years, meditation gives me time to process my experiences, think more clearly and make better choices.

meditation at work

When life at the office is stressful, my schedule is jam-packed with activities or I just feel too exhausted, meditation provides me the time to catch my breath and reflect.

On a hot summer day, meditation is the cold glass of water that revitalizes me. It helps soften the blow of all the intense experiences, and it can do the same for you.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Schedule unscheduled time

Remember having more “free time” as a kid? You know, that block of time you were given at camp or some other event to do whatever you want? Unscheduled time is similar. It’s time where you don’t plan anything, and you can do whatever you feel.

Unscheduled time is similar. It’s the time where you don’t plan anything, and you can do whatever you feel.

The funny thing about unscheduled time is you have to schedule it—or it’s likely not to happen. Personally, I schedule it in two-hour blocks, and I leave one entire day a week (usually Sunday) as unscheduled.

I never work on Sundays. Instead, I hang out with friends, explore the city with my girlfriend, catch a movie, exercise or simply do what I feel. And without fail, that one unscheduled day revitalizes me, recharging my batteries for the week ahead.

Chill out on the stimulants

Consuming booze, coffee, sugar and even fatty meals on a regular basis can have a dramatic effect on how you feel and your perspective.

Too much coffee can leave you wired and irritable. Boozing frequently can keep you perpetually in hangover-recovery mode, and too much sugar can leave you feeling depleted.

So, I recommend balancing your stimulants.

Drink more water. Eat more fruits and veggies (with less butter and dressing), and don’t overdo it with the stimulants. Yes, these changes can be dreadfully boring, but your body and mind will surely thank you later.

See Also: How To Develop Awesome Eating Habits Without Failing

Stay grounded with habits

Personally, my habits help keep me sane. I meditate every day, exercise 2-4 times a week, eat 2 vegetarian meals a day and go to bed at 10 pm on weeknights. These habits make me feel like me, and they remind me of who I am.

In other words, habits provide stability in your life.

They keep you planted when the going gets tough. If you have a bad day, your habit, whether that’s exercise, meditation, reading an hour in the evening, will be right there waiting for you. No matter how much the circumstances in your life change, your habits won’t. They can be your rock when life gets insane.

Balance your life

Last year, I took a total of 4 vacations, lasting a total of 6 and a half weeks, in the span of 5 months. How did that make me feel?

Awesome at first but, by the last trip, I was sick of vacation. I felt unproductive and bored with the sights I was seeing.

In hindsight, it’s obvious I overdid it. I should have spread out my vacation time more evenly throughout the year. If I had, I would have enjoyed the experiences a lot more.

Whether it’s vacation, dining at nice restaurants or knocking back some beers with your buddies, I recommend adopting the same attitude in every area of your life. Don’t overdo it, and don’t underdo it. Find a balance between the quiet times and the exciting times so you can live the life of your dreams.

vacation

But, how do you find that balance?

Well, that answer is for you to discover yourself. Experiment and find out what works best for you.

And here’s a tip.

If you feel like you’re overdoing it in one area of your life, ask yourself, “How does this make me feel? Does doing this activity so often make me happy?”. If the answer is “no”, then try cutting back on it to find a happier medium. You may just discover a new love for another activity.

The challenge of enjoying the “boring” dream life

There’s no use sugar-coating it.

It can be scary to slow down, especially when your friends start to take notice. Some of them might think you’re acting weird and you may even lose some friendships along the way. Even worse, taking some quiet time for yourself may cause you anxiety.

Why?

Well, you’re not used to it. And that’s okay.

There’s no need to rush though. Take baby steps as you slow down towards the life of your dreams. Once you find time to breathe and balance the adrenaline with the quiet, I guarantee you’re going to feel 10x better. You’re going to enjoy time with friends. You can go out for vacations and parties to eat out and drink.

Start today and take some time for yourself. Start a new habit, like meditating. Do whatever you need to do but just make sure you schedule some time for yourself.

Put YOU first and ask yourself, “Will this activity make me happy?”. Let that question be your guide, and you’re sure to find yourself smiling a bit longer.

The post How To Find The Boring Life Of Your Dreams appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Visual Tools To Boost Your Productivity At Work

Did you know that you can only be productive for about 3 hours in an 8-hour work day?

One good reason is the limited concentration of humans. Aside from that, there are other factors that can eat up your time at work. Just think about meetings, lunch breaks and having small chats with your co-workers.

If you aren’t careful, those 3 hours of productivity can easily go down the drain.

While there are plenty of methods and tools which you can use to organize your work and enhance your focus, not all of them are effective in generating positive results.

Increasing Productivity Through Visualization

Human beings are visual learners. In fact, they can process visuals 60,000x faster than text. This is why a visual tool can truly boost your productivity, especially when you need to organize your work and increase your focus.

But, first, why would visual methods or tools work better?

A tool or a method that is based on visualization has the power to engage both sides of the human brain. Such tools require the skills of the left brain for letters, sequences, lines and numbers as well as the right brain for color, spatial awareness, image and rhythm. This does not only enhance the thinking process, but it also stimulates creativity.

To help streamline your work and increase your productivity, you can use the following visual tools.

Mind Maps


From Northwestern University

A mind map is a tool that you can use to visualize an idea that is sprouting in your head. It provides a framework for gradually developing a concept or a strategy.

At the center of the mind map, you put down the main idea and, as you develop it, you can add the related information on the branches that fork out from the center.

A comprehensive mind map makes it easier to identify and analyze links between details that make up the concept. It is a great tool to use when planning out a strategy, event or a project.  Use a mind map to schedule your day at work first thing in the morning, and you’ll see how it helps you estimate and organize your work properly.

Flowcharts

With a flowchart, you can graphically illustrate the sequence of steps in a process, be it the hiring, sales or the manufacturing process.

How does this help you increase your productivity?

Imagine you are working on developing a new sales process. With the use of a flowchart, you can easily picture how it should work out as well as identify the areas that need more careful planning. Plus, when it comes to pitching your idea to your team or seniors, a flowchart can explain at a glance what you will have to explain in a thousand words.

Flowcharts are also an effective decision-making and problem-solving tool.

See Also: 5 Key Steps That Will Improve Your Decision Making

Gantt Charts

A Gantt chart is a project planning tool. It helps a team visualize the project schedule and monitor and record the progress you make. It can also be useful when allocating resources or setting up deadlines.

A comprehensive Gantt chart provides you a quick overview of all the important details of a project, such as the due dates, task names and those who are in charge of them. When estimating your tasks and tracking their progress, a Gantt chart could be a handy productivity tool.

Organizational Charts

Traditionally, this type of chart is used to graphically illustrate the structure of an organization. While it illustrates job titles and responsibilities, it can also clear the reporting structure within or between departments. It can also be used to identify ideal employees when allocating resources and help new employees in understanding company hierarchies and departments better.

Fishbone Diagrams

Fishbone diagrams (a.k.a. cause-and-effect diagrams) help identify the root cause of an issue. It can be considered as a visual problem-solving technique. Drawn like a bone of a fish, the head of the fish represents the issue that needs to be solved. The bones, one the other hand, can be used to jot down the potential causes.

A fishbone diagram can be considered as a time-saving tool when used to structure a brainstorming session or a thorough analysis of an issue.

See Also: 55 Bulletproof Productivity Hacks 

The right work strategy can help you improve your output by 25% and, with the right tools, you can definitely further the outcome.

How to Increase Workplace Productivity through Visualization

Created with Creately.

 

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Do You Drown Out Your Intuition?

Our higher self

You can call it intuition, inner knowing, the universe, higher beings or whatever works. Everything that exists contains this flow of energy. It’s always there. When you are in that flow, you know that you are safe. You know you can do anything. You know that everything will go well and everything will work out.

There are no mistakes when you’re in the flow. You can’t do anything wrong.

It’s kind of like being in that make-believe world we had as children where we could do anything we set our minds to and nothing could ever go awry.

That’s what being in the flow is like.

We are designed to live in the flow. We are designed to live our lives as powerful beings.

Unfortunately, our minds get in the way

Our minds live in the physical world. Our minds need PROOF. Our minds KNOW…

…that we’re individuals

…we’re not connected to everyone else

…we’re separate

…other people are dangerous

…mistakes are wrong and bad and we must avoid making them or other people will think we’re really stupid

…we measure success by comparing ourselves with others

We live in a world created by our mind.

The Subtlety of Our Intuition

Our minds are so loud that we often miss what our higher self is trying to tell us because our higher self is very subtle, very gentle. In fact, it’s the complete opposite of how the mind is!

Our higher self might give us a nudge to go in a different direction when we think that we absolutely know the way. Synchronicities and coincidences map out the path that our higher self is guiding us along.

The difference between the way the mind works and the way our higher self works is like trying to compare Las Vegas and Vienna. You can bet your bottom dollar that the path our higher self will take us on will be the quickest and most beneficial one for us in more ways than we can possibly imagine.

Our higher self gives little nudges: ‘take the next left turn’ or ‘call Sam’ whom you haven’t seen in ages. Before we know it, something completely unexpected happens. It’s like landing on a ladder square in snakes and ladders: we bypass three rows of squares and catapult forwards.

Can you remember how it feels when that happens in snakes and ladders? You’re way behind everyone else then you land on a ladder square and suddenly, you’re in the first place and way AHEAD of everyone else?

You feel amazing: light, happy, gleeful, joyous.

Anything and everything become possible.

That’s how life SHOULD feel. You SHOULD feel happy, joyful, excited, safe, loved ALL THE TIME.

You’re meant to live your life IN THAT FLOW of energy.

But to do that, you must quieten the mind down to the point where you can hear those intuitive nudges.

Which is easier said than done, to be honest, because the purpose of the mind is to protect you.

And really, all it wants to do is to keep us safe from harm. It works to be KIND to your mind, to not judge it and to understand where it’s coming from.

The more you resist what your mind is trying to do, the louder it’s going to become.

Give your mind a break: its job is to protect you.

Quieten The Mind To Hear Your Intuition

Having said that, how can we quieten our minds to the point at least where we can hear our intuition?

  • Doing something physically strenuous will usually get your mind to calm down: e.g. running, swimming, boxing or an aerobics class.
  • Doing yoga
  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Visualising

Find a method that you can do DAILY to help calm your mind to the point where you can at least HEAR the nudges from your intuition.

Get into the habit of listening out for those nudges. Look for synchronicities, the coincidences, the little hints and suggestions…

And then, FOLLOW them! Now you can hear them, FOLLOW THEM! Don’t ignore them!

When you get one of those nudges, it’s like landing on the ladder square: take advantage of it!

If you were playing snakes and ladders and you couldn’t see where the ladder was heading, you STILL wouldn’t hesitate to take the ladder square, would you?

You wouldn’t take another turn just in case you ended up somewhere you didn’t want to?

You wouldn’t take another roll of the dice just because you couldn’t see what was at the end of the ladder…

Because you’d KNOW that the ladder was heading UPWARDS and by taking it, you’re going to end up that much closer to the end square.

Your higher self wants you to win

It wants you to have everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

You just need to listen to it when it’s talking to you.

Try thanking your mind kindly for its input, give it a big hug, quieten it down and listen out for those nudges from your higher self and follow where they’re leading.

You will end up somewhere completely unexpected and more amazing than where you planned to be!

And I’d love to hear where that is!

 

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17 Easy Positive Changes You Can Make In Your Life Right Now

There are many positive actions and habits we know we should do, like working out, eating healthily and not spending beyond our means. We know the big things that will make our lives better, but the fact that they’re big tasks means they can feel daunting or overwhelming.

And so we easily give up on them.

Life isn’t always about big, bold milestones. It’s also about the little things that can bring you a more positive and fulfilling lifestyle.

If you feel the same way, then you should know that there are small positive changes you can still do to make your life better. Pick one thing from the list below and test it out. If you like it and it’s becoming a regular habit, add another one in.

And the best thing about these small changes? They require no extra money or prep time.

So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down the list, pick a number and start making positive changes.

17 Things That Will Bring You Positive Changes

1. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day as much as you can. However, a spontaneous wild night out every now and then won’t hurt anyone.

2. Watch some comedy every day to keep those laughter muscles warmed up.

3. Have a healthy breakfast to set yourself up well for the day. Oatmeal with fruits, a smoothie or even a homemade granola will do.

healthy breakfast

4. Consider playing the songs you love as you’re getting ready in the morning. It will give your day a great start even before you leave the house.

5. Unfollow people on Facebook. A major factor in feeling bad is comparing ourselves to other people. Seeing your high school buddy’s “perfect” holiday, kids or home isn’t going to boost your self-esteem. It’s best to remove them from your view.

6. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the time for. Make it simple and achievable, like dining at a particular restaurant or trying out a new recipe.

7. While you’re lying in bed at night, think of five things that went well that day. They don’t have to be big or dramatic. It can be a nice lunch, a free gift at the store or a cute baby that smiled at you. As a result, you’ll be able to train your brain to focus on the good rather than the bad.

8. Talk back to your negative thoughts. If your friend told you she’d had an unproductive day, would you respond negatively or positively? Consider it the same for yourself. Being harsh on yourself won’t help you achieve more. In fact, it can only make you feel crappy.

9. Keep a notebook and jot down all the things that make you feel alive. You’d be amazed at how this simple act can switch your brain into feeling good.

10. At least once a week, wear an outfit that makes you feel great. Wear your most fabulous clothes, underwear included. Do your hair in a style you love, put on some makeup, and head out looking good. You’ll be amazed at how differently people will treat you.

11. Send a text once a week to someone you know and tell them why you think they’re awesome. This will boost your positivity.

12. If you want to work out but can’t find the motivation, just go for a walk. It’s better than nothing and will get your blood pumping. The best way to get fit is to see yourself as someone who works out and keeps fit.

walking exercise

13. Drop the word “should”. Keep an eye out for how often you say it and ask yourself if it’s making you feel better or worse. Is it something genuinely important to you? Who said you should do it? Do they know you better than you know yourself? Ask yourself these questions and you’ll know why the word won’t help you.

14. If you’re a procrastinator, introduce the “yucky task, nice task” process. It works just as it sounds. Get your yucky task done first and give yourself a reward or do a nicer task after.

15. Another positive change you can do is clear your inbox of all the newsletters you’re signed up to. Put them in a separate folder, delete them, or pare them down to just the ones you love to receive. The feeling of freedom that comes from an uncluttered inbox is worth more than the sporadic, fleeting bonus you might get from one of your newsletters.

16. Add one more piece of fruit into your day and mix it up with the usual ones you have every day. Make it a daily challenge to see the different kinds of fruit you can eat. In addition to helping you start with some positive changes, it can also help you be healthier.

17. Finally, if you’re a news junkie, set a timer and allow yourself to read the news for an allotted period of time only. Our news has changed over the past few years and they’re designed to hook you in. Generally, we feel worse after watching story upon story of terror and bad news, so limit your exposure. If you’re not a news junkie, why not take a break from watching?

So, there you have it. These are the 17 small changes that can add up to big results. Where will you start?

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Timeline Of A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Understanding a personal injury lawsuit timeline can help a victim cope with the stress and emotional challenges that may arise with the processing of his case. Though the time and process may be different in some states, on the average, the process is complicated and time-consuming.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of Americans are unaware of the workings of the judicial proceedings both for civil and criminal cases. Because of this, it is extremely important that auto accident attorneys, for example, communicate the personal injury claim process to their clients before filing.

Regrettably, some lawyers fail to give clients the right information and instead promise to expedite action on the case to impress the victim to hire them. This practice is wrong and against legal ethics.

It is your right as a person who has a personal injury claim to know every step of the lawsuit. The right knowledge will help you prepare for any outcome since most personal injury cases are unpredictable.

This article will walk you through a step-by-step approach to understanding the personal injury lawsuit timeline so you’d know what to expect.

Seek Medical Attention

Immediately following an accident, it is paramount for the victim to seek medical care in order to minimize the severity of injuries. Whether it is a ‘slip and fall’ or ‘car accident,’ a hospital visit is necessary.

This single action will give you an edge if your insurance company tries to prove that there was no injury at all. Secondly, an immediate hospital visit will prove a point to the jury that you were hurt.

See Also: Personal Injury Claims After A Car Accident

Talk To A Lawyer

lawyer consultation

It is important to consult a lawyer if you suffer significant injury or other losses in an accident. If you are afraid of the cost, then take advantage of law firms who offer free consultations and discuss the situation with them.

It is necessary that you take this step because a lawyer can give you the right advice and help. He’ll guide you on how you can get a better settlement than the insurance companies initially offer.

Commencement Of Investigations

The investigation of the claims and medical records will start immediately once the lawyer agrees that your claims are worth filing in the law court. You can justify this by answering relevant questions from the solicitor and giving him access to your medical records.

Most importantly, you need to give out all pertinent information and be honest about the accident and your medical condition to avoid surprises in the courtroom.

Attorney Files An Insurance Claim

Most personal injury cases get settled out of court. However, it will still depend on the level of damage or loss suffered by the victim. Slip and fall accidents are mostly settled out of court. Auto accidents, on the other hand, are most likely resolved through the court process. An experienced attorney may get a reasonable settlement for his client from the insurance company.

In the case of a car accident, the lawyer should first submit the claims to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. After that, the claim will be investigated and compensation will be paid.

If the accident results in permanent disability, the lawyer will activate the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) aspect of the law. This will help the victim get a resounding victory and much higher settlement in the case.

The Attorney Files A Lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit comes into play when the insurance company does not settle claims out of court, and your attorney sees no other option than to file a lawsuit.

The preliminary timeline for filing a personal injury lawsuit is as follows:

  • Serving appropriate documents to the defendant should take from 30 to 60 days.
  • The stipulated time for a response from the defendant, meanwhile, is within 30 days. In some cases, they may ask for additional days.

The parties will then exchange information related to the accident and this will involve complaints and counterclaims

Discovery

This stage of the legal process is meant to dislodge surprises that may arise during the main court sessions. At this juncture, each party (the plaintiff and the defendant) investigates one another using the documents and evidence submitted.

It has two major processes: interrogations and depositions. The first one requires parties to provide documents which will be useful during the court sessions. The latter, meanwhile, involves questions and answers from any witnesses.

The Mediation Stage

Following disclosure of the interrogations and depositions, attorneys may agree on certain terms. This can potentially lead to a peaceful settlement which is why this stage is also called as the ‘alternative dispute resolution’ stage.

Trial

personal injury trial

This is the last stage of the personal injury lawsuit timeline. All the parties must be present in court for the jury to go through the documents and interrogate the witnesses. The length of such cases can last for weeks or months.

 

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11 Ways To Pick Yourself Up And Bounce Back After Failure

Success is not always what it seems.

Steven Spielberg had his share of failures and setbacks before becoming successful. So did Walt Disney and Michael Jordan. Arianne Huffington, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates experienced many ups and downs before they became successful in their respective fields. Henry Ford and Steve Jobs also had a bumpy journey to success. These icons are perfect examples that the road to success is anything but smooth.

Failure is inescapable and inevitable. There is no denying it or escaping it. No one is immune to it. No matter how good you are in your field or area of expertise, there is no guarantee or immunity against failure nor is there a surety that you’ll succeed the first time around or make it every single time.

Failure is bitter no matter how you see it. The sting of a letdown, the agony of experiencing disappointment and the pain of defeat is hard to endure. In plain words, failure sucks. It crushes you, hurts you deeply and leaves your ego bruised. There is no feeling worse than having hit rock bottom. No wonder everyone dreads failure, but keep in mind that no amount of hating or detesting it can help you avoid it.

Failure is a part of life and the success process. J.K Rowling, the bestselling author with the phenomenal rags to riches story, has beautifully summed it with this line: ‘It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all. In which case, you fail by default.’

But, failure doesn’t have to discourage, demoralize you or end your success journey. Looking at it in the right perspective, failure doesn’t mean it’s all over. It just means that you didn’t succeed this time around.

Sometimes you’ll face situations where the odds are stacked up against you. Other times, despite your best efforts and preparation, you will still experience failure. You have to train yourself to be tough, take the hits and be able to deal with it all.

Failure can work for you big time if you look at it the right way. It, by itself, is not detrimental. What is damaging about failure is its paralyzing effect once you let it get to you. Your chances of recovering from failure and regaining lost confidence depend heavily on how you approach it.

Failure doesn’t care about how you feel. It makes no concessions. It only throws two choices in your way: either give up or fight again. It’s up to you to decide and take the call. You can choose to opt for the easy way out, step back and quit or make the hard choice of picking yourself up, getting back on your feet and starting all over again. The right choice will help you steer yourself towards success and transform your life.

Here are 11 ways you can bounce back from failure and get back on track again.

Accept what happened

The first thing you should do after you have failed is to accept it and come to terms with it. Don’t ignore, deny or hide it. You have failed and there’s nothing you can do to reverse it now.

Accept it and know that it’s okay. Failure happens all the time. It’s no big deal if you accept it and decide to do something about it. That’s how you start learning how to overcome failure.

Take total responsibility

Own your failure. There’s no shame in it. Everyone fails sometimes.

Things won’t always pan out the way you want them, but the sole responsibility should always be yours to take. You must be accountable for your actions, choices, and decisions. Never blame others and hold them responsible for your failures. Passing the buck is a sure recipe for disaster.

Analyze what happened

You cannot undo what happened, but, by taking stock of what happened, you can dispassionately assess and gain insight into what went wrong and where. It will also enable you to understand what worked and what didn’t so that you can begin with a whole new approach.

Analyzing can help you in revising your strategy, preparing yourself, working on your weak points and improving your future performance. It will also give you the confidence to bounce back and begin more confidently.

Learn from your mistakes

There is much truth in the words of Henry Ford when he said that the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. Failure teaches you like none other can teach you. You must learn from your mistakes and ‘heed the lessons of failure’, as Bill Gates put it.

Make the best of your mistakes. Embrace them, learn from them and never repeat them. Identify your weaknesses, work on them and turn them into your strength.

See Also: 9 Powerful Lessons from the Success Story of Bill Gates

Don’t dwell on failure

dont dwell on failure

The worst way to deal with failure is to take it to heart. What has happened has happened. No amount of crying, complaining or regretting can help you overcome it.

So, stop ruminating over it, re-running it in your mind and feeling sorry for yourself. It will not serve any useful purpose and will only take you deeper into sorrow and unhappiness.

Get over it; Move on

Failure is ‘a temporary detour, not a dead-end’, as Denis Waitley, the American bestselling author is once known to have said. Failure only lasts until you succeed again. So, don’t let it become permanent and scar your psyche.

A negative feeling cannot have any positive outcome. It is best forgotten. Wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. Look ahead, move on, and give yourself a chance to recover and rebuild yourself.

Develop mental toughness to triumph over failure

Setbacks should not dishearten or break you. Failure is not an end in itself so, don’t let it steal your confidence. Train yourself to take bad hits in life. Use failure to learn, grow and better yourself. Maintain a positive attitude in the face of failure. That’s how you can strengthen your mental toughness.

Jump into a positive frame of mind

When you face defeat, you are engulfed by fear and self-doubt. Failure brings with it a dark cloud of negativity. You begin to question yourself and start to doubt your ability. Positive thoughts are the last thing on your mind and that’s how it is. Recovery and rebounding

Recovery and rebounding take time. To facilitate and make the process faster, you must fight all negative thoughts that cross your mind and fill yourself with positivity. Look back and reflect on your own life how you faced past failures and overcame them.

Nothing can inspire you more than your personal experience and your own success story. You know you have dealt with it before and can do it again.

Let go of fear

let go of fear

When you experience failure, one thing is sure. The worst has struck you, but things can’t go bad from there.

When you fall down, you can’t go further down. So, what is there to fear?

From there, you can only move towards the positive direction. So, get up, gather your broken pieces and start building yourself again. Success is achieved by those who don’t fear failure. Don’t let failure hold you back or stop you from realizing your dreams.

See Also: How To Conquer The Fear Of Success (Or Failure)

Focus on bettering yourself

Everyone faces failure but how you look at it and what you do about it is what makes all the difference. In most cases, failure happens because a person wasn’t able to prepare well, didn’t plan properly or was ill-equipped. It can also be because he’s just plain unlucky.

Disregarding the last one, everything else can be fixed. So, make a list of all the things which you think contributed to your failure and start working on them, one thing at a time. Do everything within your power to rectify, resolve, improve, develop and put right.

Begin again

Failure can devastate you if you allow it to. It can also help you rebuild yourself and restart your journey if you choose to.

Failure shouldn’t be the end of your dreams, goals, and aspirations. The power of failure should motivate you to chase your goals, take a fresh start and make a new beginning. Let failure make you stronger, tougher and more resilient so that you don’t just survive it but you’ll bounce back stronger.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -Nelson Mandela

The post 11 Ways To Pick Yourself Up And Bounce Back After Failure appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Effective Ways To Sound More Human Over A Customer Support Live Chat

Not all good call center agents can be great live chat experts. Talking through a live chat requires a special kind of training and it’s more than just typing responses.

For instance, a call center agent providing support via phone is expected to sound patient and relaxed. A live chat agent, on the other hand, should be a multi-tasker who can handle multiple chats and tasks at the same time.

To help you develop those skills, let’s examine the best live chat customer service tips.

Make the most out of the initial seconds

friendly customer support

As a lot of people say, “ the first impression is the last impression”. You should bear this statement in mind, especially if you are into a customer service job.

Some might argue that working as a live chat customer service representative is easy since clients won’t be able to see or hear you. The truth is it’s the other way around.

Creating an impression when you are just typing words can easily lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding. Because of this, you need to be extra careful when chatting with a customer.

Here are a few tips you can use:

• Be cheerful and friendly. Your words and sentences should reflect positivity and politeness. These things can help a customer stressing over an unresolved issue.

• Never be sarcastic even if the customer is. Stay helpful and never joke irreverently with anyone.

• Avoid being blunt and use complete sentences, grammar, phrases, and punctuations. Always reply with a complete answer, even if you believe it’s not necessary.

All you want is good feedback from the customer, and that can only be obtained by using the right tone and the right words.

Speak the customer’s language

Having a refreshing and cheerful attitude is important, but so is speaking in a way your customer feels most comfortable in. For example, if a customer is direct and formal in his/her tone, you should reply accordingly.

On the other hand, if the customer seems to be a conversational-type, then you can start the discussion by asking him how he’s doing. This will help both of you to feel at ease.

In addition to that, you should also know how to approach a customer that’s not too familiar with the English language. In such cases, it’s best if your department can invest in language translation tools or use agents who are multi-lingual.

Avoid jargon

When communicating with a customer, most live chat agents often make the mistake of assuming that the customer is very familiar with their products or services.

To avoid confusion, assume every customer is a new prospect to your offerings. Avoid using jargon or overly complex terms to describe the product’s features and benefits. Instead, keep the conversation as simple and clear as possible.

The point is to make the customer understand the nature of the business and products without making them feel intimidated by their technical aspects.

Remember that you’re not a robot

To counter language and other communication issues, most companies have a defined ‘style guide’ that teaches agents on how to talk to their target audience. Such style guides may teach you the basics of communication within your industry, but you shouldn’t rely on them too much. Remember, you’re not a robot!

Since most companies tend to hear the same concerns over and over again, they believe that creating standard responses to such concerns can save them time. Unfortunately, not all customers will have the same concerns.

Ideally, it should go well if the customer asks something that is exactly in the style guide. If that’s not the case, you have to be prepared to come up with your own resolution. Get used to modifying each reply before sending it to the customer. Keep in mind that agents are there to solve each customer’s issues!

Unlike robots, humans are naturally sympathetic to the specific needs and emotions of their customers.

Take product A and product B for example. A customer might be interested in product A, but as a professional having a clear understanding of what the customer needs, you think product B would be a much better choice for him. So, instead of explaining the features and benefits of both, you try to emphasize why and how product B would meet his needs more than A.

Be honest and work it right

customer support

Continuing the above discussion, you suggested product B over A to the customer because it was a better problem solver. But, what if product A was more expensive than B, and its sales could easily uplift your revenue figures? What would be your preference in such a situation?

No matter how much it tempts you, you should avoid misleading a customer into making a wrong purchase. Always express the most authentic and honest opinion to your customers. The clearer the facts, the easier it will be for them to make the right decision. In the end, a satisfied customer is most likely to be a repeat customer.

Also, if you aren’t thoroughly informed about a product or an item, never lie to your customers. Some live chat features allow the agents to redirect the call to relevant personnel who might be able to provide your customers with the information they need. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if the situation requires it.

See Also: 11 Key Tips for Improving Customer Support

Conclusion

If you are currently working as a live chat agent or you’re undergoing a related training, take those live chat customer service tips into consideration. They won’t only help you build a long-lasting relationship with your customers, but they can also helo boost your sales.

See Also: 5 Steps to Creating a More Productive Sales Team 

 

The post 5 Effective Ways To Sound More Human Over A Customer Support Live Chat appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Easy Tips On How To Find Happiness

Knowing how to find happiness is easy, but actually attaining it is a different story. If you have been chasing happiness without positive results, read through the tips below to open yourself up and to let happiness come to you.

Understand That Happiness Can’t Be Defined

Happiness is something that we must define for ourselves. What one person may find happiness in, others may see sadness or contempt.

For example, many people consider high-paying jobs and large houses to be the definition of happiness. For other people, happiness is being with their family and spending time with them even in a small house.

Happiness can be found in all things, but it is up to you to discover which things should hold a special place in your heart.

Realize That Happiness Is in Your Life Already

happiness in life

Happiness is already in your life. Just think about the way you feel when you hug your friend or when you feel that hint of fresh air when you step outside. Think about that moment when your head hits the pillow after a long day of work.

We often overlook the small bits of happiness in our lives because we are so focused on obtaining objects and titles that we believe will make us happy. In reality, the key to being happy is in realizing that happiness is already around you and within you. You just have to be receptive to it.

Open Yourself Up to the Universe

You will not be able to fill a cup of water if you’re holding your hand over the opening of the glass. Similarly, you will not be able to allow happiness to fill your life if you are closing yourself to the universe.

Pain and hardships will come into your life from time to time, and they will make you want to shut yourself down. Fight this instinct. Only fighting through the pain and darkness will you be able to find the joy and the light.

Express Gratitude to the World

Have you ever wondered why we teach children to ask politely and say thank you after receiving something?

It’s because we all know that we should show gratitude to those who have been good to us. Much like those people, we should also express our gratitude to the world around us. Thank it for anything and everything. The world will be much more willing to provide you with what you need if you express gratitude for what you have.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

Meditate Daily

meditate daily

More often than not, we allow our emotions and our thoughts to dictate our behaviors and mindset. Meditation helps you become more grounded, mindful, and peaceful.

Through becoming more grounded and aware of yourself, you will be able to find happiness around you much easier. A simple 10 minutes a day is all you will need to begin experiencing the benefits of meditation.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Seek to Better Yourself

People who are happy with themselves and their lives are constantly seeking to become better people. Search for resources and people who can help you achieve these goals.

Bettering yourself will help increase your self-awareness giving you the ability to know what areas of your life are lacking happiness so you may improve upon them.

Know That You Can’t Always Be Happy

Those who chase happiness are under the impression that once they find it, every moment of their lives will be filled with overpowering happiness. This is absolutely not true. Not every day will be happy, and it shouldn’t be.

Happiness is special because it is something that you can’t experience all the time. That being said, you can find pieces of happiness every day even in unexpected places, and you shouldn’t allow yourself to give in during times when it seems as though things won’t ever get better.

Happiness is like the air around us. You can’t always see it, and it’s not always obvious that it’s there, but if you sit still and stop seeking it, you will be able to find it. If you use the tips in this article properly, chasing happiness will become a thing of the past.

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Responding To Pain With Positivity: Unleash The Stronger You

We all have had our share of pains, bruises, and bumps. These things are what make life more meaningful and memorable.

For me, things were pretty bad and so out of hand that I wanted to kill myself. However, with time, everything fell back into place and life looked way better than before.

Trust me, attracting pain is usually beyond human control. If we are destined to face the harsher realities of life, no protective measure would come in handy. At the end, it will all depend on the will of an individual and how he or she will use that pain to grow stronger.

There are individuals who give in to the pain and trauma while there are superheroes who use these roadblocks as motivation. They start learning, moving towards a positive direction and growing beyond their limitations.

Today, we will be talking about the approach used by these winners to unleash their stronger side.

Understanding The Will And The Lack Of It

There are two types of individuals: one who breaks down upon experiencing a barrage of hardships and the other who moves on towards a better life despite the pain.

It took me twenty years to get over nephrotic syndrome, an ailment that nearly damaged my kidneys. I witnessed my father’s death. There was my girlfriend who stood by me during the tough days but later on cheated on me with a few other men. All those things happened within a span of two years, leaving me twisted, broken and beyond repair.

However, facing all these wasn’t the difficult part. My father’s absence made me feel lonely and her betrayal made me an insomniac. I was confused as which pain should I lament to and there were no answers.

Just a blank slate with my teardrops on it.

I am not ashamed to admit that I cried and I cried a lot. This actually helped me vent out the anger for her and the gut-wrenching pain and sadness associated with my father’s absence. As a result, my work suffered. I found it hard to concentrate on anything constructive.

I got three huge scars even before I could turn 25. The heart can take only that much but mine kept on asking for newer challenges.

Getting fired from the workplace due to frequent mistakes, getting my right leg fractured, and losing a pet were some of the other roadblocks that sabotaged my growth. There was even a time when I took medicines for depression.

See Also: 15 Symptoms You Are Depressed (Even When You Think You Aren’t)

Fast-forward to 5 years later and at 30, I feel that my life has never been better. I have a beautiful wife, a growing business empire and a lovely daughter. Things do look bright but I wouldn’t be complacent. Then again, this isn’t my story to share. It’s ours.

You can never learn the right way to deal with pain. You must experience it. Therefore, enumerating points wouldn’t make a lot of difference. However, I believe that reading on can help a lot of readers in dealing with emotional pain.

Pain Is Not Everlasting; Glory Is

 

Trust me, the pain isn’t going to last forever, but your inner toughness will. Yes, I admit that certain experiences can haunt us for years but every pain-filled moment has an expiry date.

A Hint of Narcissism

Be self-obsessed. Be in love with yourself. Be a narcissist.

Yes, you won’t find motivational speakers recommend these traits, but they can do you good. The love for your own body and attributes will overshadow the pain which you might be finding hard to deal with.

Keep Changing Things

keep changing things

When in pain, monotony can be the biggest tormentor. This is why you need to hustle down the alley and play a sport, go to the gym or do both. Never allow yourself to be stagnant in situations that haunt you. Become the free-flowing stream which never stagnates or sits at one place.

Cultivate Acceptance

The day you can accept everything that has happened to you, nothing in this world can torment or torture you anymore.

I could only accept the sudden demise of my father 3 years after the incident. I know he had to go someday, but, sadly, it happened when I least expected it.

My girlfriend cheated on me and this was actually harder to accept because of my ego. However, I love myself way too much to spoil my health and sleep over her betrayal.

Pain often brings disappointment and fear with it and we should stand and face these things head on. Running from them can actually make the pain a lot worse but eventually, we’ll be able to go ahead of them.

The Wrap

Believe me, there is no quick fix to killing the pain and the reasons associated with it. You need to live through each and every moment of anguish— all by yourself.

There can be friends and family members to support you, but this fight is all yours and nobody else can join the combat for you. Pain, inflicted upon us by people or circumstances, is a medium to make us stronger.

Have you ever seen how a piece of iron is forged into something unbreakable?

It needs to undergo massive amounts of heat and pressure before it becomes strong. Similar to that, you can imagine yourself as that piece of raw iron that needs to be strengthened with pain.

See Also: Why Pain Is Necessary To Help You Progress

The post Responding To Pain With Positivity: Unleash The Stronger You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Be Successful: The Surprising Tip You Might Not Know About

Different types of people achieve various levels of success. While some seem to be lucky enough to be successful in an instant, there are people who have to work really hard to achieve their desired status in society.

It all comes down to the Hierarchy of Needs, how you approach each tier and how you can make the Law Of Attraction work for you. Once you understand these things, crazy levels of success can be yours!

The Hierarchy of Needs breaks down human nature into these five facets:

  1. Physiological Needs

The first requirement for humans is our physiological needs. They are the basic things we need for survival, like oxygen, shelter, and food. Once we meet these needs, we can then move on to seeking the second tier.

basic survival

2. Security and safety

This tier includes employment, money and being able to proactively provide for yourself and your family. If we fail to achieve the first two needs, we, as humans, can bend our morals and values to obtain them. Take, for example, stealing food so your family can eat.

3. Love and belonging

This level involves love, intimacy, family and friendships.

A lot of us have our physiological and security needs handled most of the time. Once those things are obtained, we’re free to go for the next need in the hierarchy.

4. Self-esteem

This includes gaining confidence, achievement and respect.

This is where gaining recognition for your work and what you do play a big role. This is where you achieve real wealth which you can freely enjoy as you go higher in the hierarchy.

5. Self-actualization

The top part of the hierarchy is self-actualization. This is the full expression of your creativity, where everything you do is an expression of your deeper self.

self actualization

Before you can reach the top tier, you have to go through the lower levels first. You’re not really going to be worried about self-actualization when you can’t feed yourself.

The hierarchy of needs explains a lot about life.

Today, we live in a world where we can easily find like-minded people who can lift us up and allow us to be who we really are. This has made tier 3 much easier to obtain. No matter where you live, you’ll find other people you feel connected to.

But, culturally, our thoughts and behaviors are still stuck in the past and they won’t make progressing that easy. This is where those bold, driven and extreme people surpass many in their pursuit of their pie-in-the-sky goals.

There’s a hidden system within this structure that, once known, can allow you to transform your life. Once you apply the Law Of Attraction in relation to the Hierarchy Of Needs, you’ll attract circumstances, people, and opportunities that will allow your life to go where you desire.

My tip: Skip tier three, focus directly on those top two levels and let the Law Of Attraction go to work. Once you put this life hack to work, everything else will be easy.

By shifting your attention to the self-esteem and self-actualization levels, you’ll instantly start attracting the people and vehicles that will help you be successful.

Be bold, driven and a bit crazy as you focus on gaining self-esteem and reaching self-actualization.  The rest of the hierarchy will fall into place for you in the most wonderful way. Knowing how to be successful is only a part of the process. You also need to put in a lot of work to reach the top of the hierarchy.

See Also: 4 Things Highly Successful People Do Differently

The post How To Be Successful: The Surprising Tip You Might Not Know About appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Important Things to Check Before Buying Furniture

How much do you know about the quality of the sofa you invested your money in? Did you get what you paid for?

Let’s face it.

There are tons of things you need to consider when you’re buying a piece of furniture. With so many considerations, it’s easy to feel confused, intimidated and frustrated. In the end, we just stick to things that make sense.

Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers and retailers aren’t really honest about their products. There are things that they choose not to tell their customers. As a result, buyers often pay more than the quality they get.

To steer clear of overpaying for furniture, you need to have the right knowledge and ask the right questions.

Aesthetics aside, the first thing that consumers should consider is comfort.

In general, there are four principal components that can contribute to comfort: frame, spring system, cushion, and tailoring. If all these four passed the standard of quality, comfort would follow.

Here are the things to look for:

Framing and Cushioning

Let’s start with the framing.

If the frame is hardwood, ask if it has undergone kiln-drying. It’s the process of removing the moisture content of timber by using heat and airflow in a controlled environment. Kiln-dried wood lasts longer despite changes in humidity. It keeps wood from buckling, cracking or weakening.

To check the quality of the frame, feel the thickness of the board on the side of the sofa at the bottom. The standard width should be 1 and ¼ inches. Thinner boards will squeak if people move around it.

When it comes to cushioning, the heavier, the better. This is regarding the relationship between weight and quality.

For the spring system, sinuous wires or S-type springs are the standard and should run from front to back. You should be able to feel the spring when you push down on the sofa.

The Tailoring

Checking on how well the fabric of the sofa is tailored is equally important. Check if the seams are even and the piping ( tube-shaped edging ) lines up.

For printed sofas, the patterns should match both on the sides and front. For high-end pieces, the fabric should wrap the entire piece, including the back skirt. Patterns should start from one segment and continue to the next. There should be a seam in the center of the sofa’s back.

Quality of Leather

quality of leather

It is important for the buyer to listen to the salesperson when buying leather pieces. If he says that it’s a leather-match or leather-like, it’s not leather at all. The way to tell the difference is to look at the base of the sofa and see if it is dyed all the way through.

Next, ask if the leather is top grain. Top grain is the highest quality of leather, and furniture pieces made from this material are really expensive.

Non-top grain leather pieces could be split and they don’t wear much. They need to be moisturized and be kept away from the sun.

Drawers and Veneering

Dining sets, bedroom sets, tables, and lounges should be proportional to each other.

For pieces with drawers, check how they are hung. If drawers are tilted, the buyer will have an idea right away about the quality.

To check, take out the top drawer and check if its interior feels rough. Rough drawer interior means low-quality. Furniture pieces with excellent craftsmanship usually have dust panels that stop you from looking onto one drawer from another.

Check also the corner of the drawer and see how the veneers match. Veneer is a decorative covering of fine wood applied on top of a solid material, like plywood.

Good quality drawers are made with binders while cheaper ones are made with rollers. Checking the drawer on the upper left-hand part, where the manufacturer’s name is stamped, can give you a feel of the furniture quality.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

manufacturers warranty

The warranties on wood furniture typically cover cracking and splitting for one year. As for upholstered furniture, warranties generally include the frames. High-end types of furniture, meanwhile, should have five-year warranties on spring systems and cushions.

Consumers should check if they have a manufacturer’s warranty or retailer’s warranty. If it only shows the original address in tiny print at the bottom of the contract, the warranty will be void if they will move.

Takeaway

Consumers should be prudent when it comes to furniture shopping. The bits of advice above will help in finding the best furniture at the best price. So, go out and look for good furniture that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come.

See Also: Top 10 Tips for Buying Stylish Furniture on a Budget

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