Dumb Little Man

5 Unique Dating Apps You Might Want To Try

The sun is shining. It is warming up again and the hormones are dancing the Samba: summer is coming. If you want to look for new partners with tech support, you probably think of Tinder first. Despite the supremacy of the app, which has since become popular among love seekers, there are many other unique dating apps which may actually be better.

Read on to find out more about them.

Fuck, Marry, Kill

Fuck, Mary, Kill, FMK in short, is a special app in every aspect. Designed as a game and a place to get to know each other, the title alone can be a deterrent to some.

The basic concept is relatively simple:

Three profiles will come up in your screen and that’s when you’ll choose which one you’d like to sleep with, marry, and kill. That’s where the fun starts!

Time to make a choice, who would you sleep with? Who would you marry? And lastly, who would you kill?

If two users have found each other, they can chat via the app. Furthermore, FMK still offers a ranking in which classification is visible. If we are often selected in the Marry category, we appear in the ranking under the wedding material. The app developers, however, stresses the fact that no one should be killed. Obviously, the category should be interpreted only as fun.

Fuck, Marry, Kill is available for free for iOS as a web app and Android.

Bristlr

Started as a joke, Bristlr is now a real dating app. The application has a very special target group in sight: a beard lover.

Anyone who has a beard or likes this specific genre should put his money to use here. It is not necessary to have an impressive profile. The only distinguishing feature of Bristlr is the beard.

When one registers, there’s not even gender queries. Therefore, the app is also one of the few dating sites that is completely open to all genders and sexual orientations.

Bristlr is available for free for iOS and Android.

Hater

hater dating app
Via datingscout.com

The app for special appointments wants to bring people together because of their dislikes. As with Tinder and similar dating apps, scroll left or right through the appointment catalog. Instead of images, we have a selection of several thousand voting topics.

On the list are food, celebrities, habits, and activities. Those who hate Trump or people who say “Babe” can find partners in similar meetings. If you have reviewed the various topics long enough, you may end up finding your Hater soulmate. Or lover, depending on the definition.

Hater is available for iOS and Android for free.

Whispar

Appointment app of the Austrian company Talk4Date eliminates text messages when searching for a partner. Instead, users learn about the app through voice. Whispar offers five new tips every day. Audio profiles can be monitored and evaluated directly. It takes almost 30 seconds to listen to each profile.

After the usual sliding principle, it can then be decided what to do next. If the other person’s voice is the way you imagined it, you can contact her directly after a game via voice messages. If voice messages are no longer sufficient for entertainment, Whispar also offers calls directly from the app. This has the advantage of not having to exchange numbers and still be able to chat with others.

Whispar is available free for iOS and Android.

Boompi

Boompi relies on the windscreen wiper principle. At first sight, it does not seem to differ from other well-known dating apps. Only when there is no interest on both sides does the game break. If two people rated themselves as interesting, they can chat via the app.

It is rare that not only the two potential lovers of meetings interact but also their respective best friends. Women can talk about news here and test the other person to finally decide if a meeting makes sense.

The function itself is available only for women. Neither men can take part in such conversations nor is there a similar function available for male stakeholders.

Boompi is available for iOS and Android for free.

As you have seen, there are many alternatives to the big players of dating apps. You just have to expand your horizons, and figure out which one is right for you.

See Also: The Truth About Tinder Dating

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Garden

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

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

Plants Do Respond to Sound

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

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

There Are Good Pests

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

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

Butterflies May Like Weeds More

garden butterfly

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

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

Different Kind of Composting

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

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

Gardening Can Equal Happiness

gardening happiness

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

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

See Also: How to Create an Indoor Garden

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10 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting Serious in a Relationship

Happily ever after — that’s what most of us want. Finding that partner you truly click with is simpler than what most of us make it to be.

At the beginning of any relationship, everything is fun. Once it gets serious, things change. We rush things. Thinking that he or she is the one, we often don’t realize that we might just be setting ourselves up for heartbreak.

This is why it is important to consider every relationship you get into as a trial-and-error. Check first if that person is worth getting into a serious relationship with.

If you are excited about the idea of getting serious with your current significant other, here’s a reality check for you – you may be too infatuated to see the reasons that he or she is not the right one for you.

So, here’s a list of relationship red flags that you should consider and reflect on:

Your partner keeps being possessive

relationship red flags

Many of us think when our partners are being jealous and wanting to control whatever we do is a sign of concern. But the truth is, this is not out of concern but out of possessiveness.

If he needs to know everything that you do and your whereabouts 24/7, that’s never out of concern but a sense of control. Sadly, most women find it adorable until it’s too late.

Your friends and family are not big fans of your partner

The idea of a “you and I against the world” kind of relationship may be romantic for some, but there are usually valid reasons why they dislike your partner. While you can both choose to prove them wrong, you should at least consider why your friends and family dislike him or her.

I’m not saying that in most cases, our friends and family’s opinion are right, but have you also attempted to listen to what they have to say about your partner? Being open-minded goes both ways. It pays to listen to someone else’s point of view in a relationship, especially those coming from loved ones.

You constantly feel guilty

If your partner keeps blaming you for everything, even those that are obviously his or her fault, maybe it’s time to rethink your relationship. A never-ending feeling of guilt caused by your partner is not something present in a healthy relationship.

It is always about them, never you

Relationships should be balanced, not just about the happiness and satisfaction of one person. If your partner seems to focus on his wants alone and expects you to give them to him or her, you may be dating a narcissist, and that attitude won’t change anytime soon.

There are so many things about your partner that he or she refuses to tell you

What do you really know about your partner?

If hardly anything, it’s not a good sign. Relationships require openness, and if your partner can’t do that, you should be worried. It is fine to keep a few secrets, but if he or she can’t be open about the small things, what else is he or she hiding?

It’s too good to be true

Whether it’s getting a thousand flowers in a single day, being serenaded by an orchestra band, or hearing ‘I love you’ early on in the relationship, grand gestures may be sweet but they should also be treated with caution.

Some narcissists and abusers are notorious for that kind of behavior until they get what they want. Unless your partner already knows you very well and for some time, don’t easily take those actions seriously.

He or she is rude to most people, especially to servers, janitors, and other workers

They say that how you treat the “little” people reflects your personality. Remember this the next time you go out, especially if you notice how he alternates between being sweet and bossy to you, and consistently rude to any waitstaff you meet.

This applies not just to romantic partners, but everyone in general. Being selectively nice is never okay.

You feel abandoned

If your partner is never there for you when you need him or her the most and seems to be present only during the good times, it is never a good sign.

Relationships involve ups and downs, and if you cannot depend on him or her this early on, how sure are you that he or she is going to be there for you in the future when you have problems and need a shoulder to cry on?

He or she is abusive

abusive relationship

Abuse, not just physical but all kinds of it, should never be part of a relationship. Don’t expect him or her to change once you agree to a serious relationship.

If he or she keeps belittling you or saying nasty stuff, makes you feel worthless, or never made you feel good about yourself, your partner is definitely not a keeper.

See Also: How to Overcome Emotional Abuse

He or she molds you to his or her ideal partner

Everyone has his or her own personality, and your partner should respect that. Sure, there may be some things that need changing, particularly any bad habits, but it should always involve your growth as a person.

If it is not for your improvement but to fit the bill of what he or she wants in a partner, take it as a sign that he or she will only love you when you fit his or her expectations, and not unconditionally.

All these are signs of an unhealthy relationship, and if a lot of these are familiar to you, maybe you should rethink your relationship. While relationships are never perfect, healthy relationships and unhealthy ones are worlds apart.

Always aim for a serious but healthy relationship. Unhealthy ones may make you happy right now, but healthy ones will do so for a long time.

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Learning How To Cook Again

More than a quarter of Americans don’t know how to cook, but why?

Today, our lives are busier than they have been since the industrial revolution and convenience trumps health and budget every day of the week. As a result, people spend more on restaurants than at grocery stores and have for several years now.

Kids are learning how to order takeout instead of how to cook and teenagers are opting to become YouTube stars rather than flipping burgers. It’s no wonder so many people just don’t know how to cook. Fortunately, there are apps and gadgets for cooking that can help you in making meals at home.

Food Safety Often Isn’t Taught At Home

food safety

If you ask the average home cook what internal temperature you should cook various meats on, chances are they would not even know that’s an issue.

Today, there are instructions for safe cooking right there on the packages of chicken meat in the grocery store. But who reads instructions anymore?

Working in a fast food restaurant as a teenager has long been the only introduction to proper food handling procedures many people get, but most people are skipping that life experience altogether these days. Some cookbooks cover this, but most people skip right to the recipe they want to cook and skip learning the basic techniques.

Gadgets Can Help Keep You Safe

We all have that one bottle of ketchup in the back of the fridge that has been there since the Regan administration, but we don’t throw it out because does ketchup even go bad? Fortunately, there are gadgets like the Days Ago Tracker that help you know just how long ago you opened it so you know when it’s time to throw it out.

Do you cook chicken to 160 and beef to 140 or is it the other way around? Knowing internal cooking temperatures for a variety of foods isn’t always at the top of the list for home cooks. The Range Dial Grill Pro can help you figure out the safe cooking temperatures of a variety of meats, helping you to avoid food-borne illnesses.

Apps Can Help You Learn New Techniques

Learning to cook is mostly about learning to follow a process rather than learning individual recipes. Once you learn certain techniques, you can apply them to other recipes. Before you know it, you’re already a great cook.

There are some great apps out there that can help you learn these techniques and build on the skills you have already learned.

Project Foodie is probably one of the best examples of this. Celebrity Chef Daniel Holzman walks you through step-by-step instructions on video so you can see, hear, and follow along. That’s something cookbooks won’t give you.

The app can also help you build a shopping list and adjust the recipe for different serving sizes and number of servings.

project foodie
Via itunes.apple.com

Once you have some basic techniques down, you can start using Chef Tap to collect recipes. That way, when you see something you want to try, you can organize it in one place. Then, when you’re ready to try a new recipe, Chef Tap can help you build a shopping list which you can access from anywhere.

Learning The Basics of Cooking Can Be Fun

Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore. Learning the basics from video tutorials of celebrity chefs can actually be a lot of fun. Once you have the basics down, you can build upon them, opening up new culinary possibilities.

If you don’t know how to cook, now’s the time to get started. You can always use a refresher on the basics, especially when it comes to safety.

We all know we are supposed to wash our hands before cooking, but what about after handling raw food, including vegetables? And is it safe to use a marinade after you’ve taken the meat out of it?

Many of us knew the answer at one time but we may not remember until someone gets sick.

Learn more about tech and gadgets to help you cook from the infographic below.

This infographic brought to you by KitchenByte

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10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way

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

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

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

1. Be Genuine

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

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

2. Be chivalrous

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

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

3. Give her your undivided attention

undivided-attention

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

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

4. Notice her and likes & dislikes

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

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

5. Be there when she needs someone

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

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

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

7. Make her feel special

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

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

8. Keep that element of surprise

surprise-her

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

9. Let her know that you are thinking about her

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

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

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

10. Open up to her

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

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

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

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

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

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

DumbLittleMan’s Ultimate Gift Guide for Mother’s Day 2019

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and finding the perfect gift for such a special occasion can be a really overwhelming task, particularly if you’re a last minute shopper.

That’s why, to help you out, we’re sharing with you the best Mother’s Day gift ideas you can give to every supermom on your list. Whether your mom is into baking, beauty, getting fit or indulging in a relaxing spa day at home, we’ve got you covered.

Baker’s Decorating Pipes: Kootek 42 Pieces Cake Decorating Supplies Kit

This cake decorating supplies kit is a treat for moms who love to bake. With 36 stainless steel icing tips and different decorating patterns, you will surely enjoy using it on your cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. The tips are easy to use and clean as well.

Anti-Aging Serum: ToLB Retinol Serum

Get smooth and refreshed skin with this serum. Perfect for all skin types, this retinol serum can help counter the effects of aging on your skin. It’s formulated to specifially target age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Beer Chiller: Brew House Beer Chillers

Moms deserve a break and what better way to relax and unwind than to have a really cold bottle of beer after a stressful day. These beer chillers are designed with 4 flow holes so you can enjoy really cold beer.

Stationery: Q&A a Day for Moms

This is the perfect gift to encourage mindfulness in moms who are living a really busy and stressful live. Filled with really meaningful questions, it’s a good tool to unload your thoughts and feelings about motherhood and life in general.

Paleo Cookbook: Thug Kitchen Cookbooks

Encourage healthy eating with this cookbook. It features really great recipes that both beginning and expert cooks will be able to use. It includes a lot of instructions to help you make everything from sauce to really delicious meals.

Beauty Soap Bars: Bali Soap – Natural Soap Bar Gift Set

These soaps aren’t like your ordinary bath soaps. Containing an exotic blend of organic ingredients, they are a sure treat to your senses. They create a really nice and creamy lather to moisturize your skin. They also have invigorating scrubs to remove dead skin cells and reveal healthier skin.

Budget Planner: Boxclever Press Budget Planner

Make mom’s life easier with this budget planner. It offers an easy way to organize the family’s savings, budgets, debts, and allowances. It has trackers for monthly bills so it’s easier to see which ones are due soon. It even has a special section so you can easily track the family’s expenses on special occasions, like Christmas.

Salt Lamp: Himalayan Glow HS-1301B Tall Round Natural Salt Lamp

This salt lamp can warm mom’s heart on her special day. It’s designed to purify negative ions so your home can enjoy cleaner air. It can help get rid of dander, smoke, pollen, and other pollutants. The lamp is made from natural Himalayan salt crystals.

Silk Sleep Mask: Asutra, Weighted Silk Eye Pillow

When you’re a mom running a very busy household, it can be challenging to get a good night sleep. So, with this Mother’s Day, give your mom this really comfortable silk eye pillow. It has organic lavender which is known to promote sleep.

Handbag Organizer: ZTUJO Purse Organizer Insert

This purse organizer can be a life changer for most moms. It features 13 total purse organizers, 3 exterior pockets, and 10 interior pockets. With so much storage, mom will be able to keep most of her items in a neat and organized way. No more losing keys, lipsticks or cards!

Makeup Organizer: Sanipoe 360 Rotating Makeup Organizer

This makeup organizer might look small but it actually has a large capacity. It can keep a minimum of 30 brushes and about 20 skincare products. It also has enough rooms for nail polishes, lipsticks, and other cosmetic products. Made of acrylic, it’s easy to clean and use.

Activity Tracker: Letsfit Fitness Tracker

For the active moms, this fitness tracker will make an excellent gift. It’s waterproof and compatible with smartphones with Android 4.4 and iOS 7.1 It tracks the heart rate and vibrates to alert you of a call or message.

Home Spa Gift Set: Lovery Mother’s Day Home Spa Gift Basket

Pamper your mom this Mother’s Day with this home spa gift set. It comes wih a shower gel, bubble bath, bath salt, body lotion, body scrub, and other spa essentials. With a fresh floral scent, this basket promotes deep relaxation. Don’t forget to add a personalized note!

Bathtub Caddy: Bambusi Bathtub Caddy Tray

Make bath time even more relaxing with this bathtub caddy. It holds tablet and smartphones pretty well, allowing you to watch your favorite series or just browse the internet. It can even hold books. It’s adjustable to any bathtub so you won’t have to worry about your things falling into your bath.

Facial Steamer: Zenpy Nano Ionic Facial Steamer

Dry and dehydrated skin can make you look older than you really are. Good thing there’s this nano facial steamer to quickly hydrate and moisturize your skin. Apart from promoting glowing skin, it can also help reduce stress, promote better sleep, and relieve fatigue. The steamer also comes with a blackhead remover kit and a really cute hair band.

Tracker: Tile Pro

Track your phone, keys, wallet, purse, and everything else you don’t want to lose with the Tile Pro. It can detect your items within 300 feet Bluetooth range. Just double press the Tile button and it’ll ring loudly. With its dedicated app, it’ll show you the last place and time you had your missing item.

TV Stick: Roku Streaming Stick+

For a stronger and smoother streaming, get your mom this Roku Streaming Stick. It gives 4x the range and a clear, immersive picture quality. You can search through more than a thousand channels to watch your favorite shows. It even has an app which you can download on your Android and iOS devices.

Hair Curler: CHI Air Spin N Curl Products

CHI Air Spin N Curl can help you create really flawless curls in just seconds. It features a customizable temperature so you can style your hair without having to worry about damaging it. Plus, it also helps reduce static and frizz. It’s a great hair styling tool for busy moms.

Foot Spa Massager: Ovitus Foot Spa Bath Massager with Heat

This Ovitus Foot Spa Bath Massager provides heat to soothe tired and achy feet. It features a fully automatic motorized roller that targets your feet’s acupuncture point. Combining heat therapy and acupressure, it promotes better blood circulation as well.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Giving Up

‘Giving up’ or ‘quitting’ on something has mixed connotations.

For one, giving up smoking is widely applauded.

Giving up on a marriage, on the other hand, well, it depends on who you speak to.

In my life, giving up has not been equated with praiseworthy behavior. To give up or to ‘throw in the towel’ is to be defeated.

I’ve seen myself and others be reprimanded for behavior like this. Giving up my ballet lessons, in favor of Saturday morning cartoons was my decision, age six. I thank my parents for having the grace to let me make the choice, but it was clear to me I’d made the wrong one in their eyes.

Despite the cloud of judgment that hangs over the realm of giving up, I’ve been an active quitter throughout my life. I feel like I’ve earned my stripes in the art of quitting, and now I’m on a mission to advocate for the life-changing magic of giving up.

My Best Quit Ever

My job, age 23.

I was in a position that any fresh graduate would be grateful for. I had landed a role as a junior designer in a digital agency, based in the heart of London’s West End. My colleagues were pleasant, we were always allowed to leave on time, at the crack of 5 pm. On paper, I had nothing to complain about.

job quitting

Inside, however, I was screaming. For some people, the open plan office environment with its bright lights and background drone isn’t for them. The commute wore me out, and I wondered every day how everyone else seems to be coping just fine.

But are they? Or are those other poker-faced commuters also screaming inside? Do we all just agree to this lifestyle, just to pay the bills and live in an apartment within walking distance to the cool cafes and good public transport links?

The Courage to Quit

Maybe some people really don’t mind it so much. But I did. So I quit.

I started freelancing, working from home and built my online business. The work was more challenging, the paychecks less predictable: but I was happy.

My most recent quit has been my home, I suppose. I traded that in for a nomadic lifestyle, taking my laptop and Aeropress on the road and gently stepping off the path that should, society tells us, lead to a happy home, 2.4 kids and a nice man to rub my feet.

Since then my eyes have been opened to the true generosity of many, many humans. I’ve seen first-hand the kind of incredible regeneration work is happening in the forests of Portugal. I’ve hiked in the Cascade Mountain range. And I’ve helped build a mini-golf course. Needless to say, I don’t regret my decision one bit.

why quitting is not bad

These decisions take courage. They are full of risk and uncertainty. When I quit my safe, well-paid agency job I didn’t know what would happen next. I didn’t know how to get my own clients or start an online business. I had to choose to trust myself to figure it out.

Now, I’m reminded of the bravery that takes. To say, ‘yes’ to uncertainty and to gather the strength to move forward into the unknown in spite of the risks, both financial and emotional.

The Stigma of Quitting

Quitting doesn’t have to be applied to something as dramatic as a job or home; it could be quitting sugar or late nights or speaking to that grumpy neighbor. These little decisions we make to put our foot down and say, ‘I quit’, and stand by that even if we’re scared; are life-changing.

If someone tells me they left their marriage of 35 years, I won’t cast a judgmental eye. I know that the courage that must have taken is worth applauding alone, whether or not it was the ‘right’ decision. After all, who are we to judge whether something is the right decision? The best we can do is acknowledge what comes our way and learn from the events we wish had gone differently.

I wonder if dropping our judgment around giving up is something that would actually help more families stay together or more employees stick around for the long haul. If we strip away the stigma attached to quitting, maybe we could talk more openly about that pull we have to bolt.

The conversation can then open up. We can ask ‘what can I do to help?’ In some cases, maybe the decision can be turned around altogether, simply because the person on the edge of leaving is met with compassion and understanding.

In some cases, it won’t. Giving up the past may be the best and only decision for many of us and the only path to a brighter future. Either way, I believe it’s time we drop the judgment around giving up and maybe even celebrate its life-changing magic.

Is there something in your life you can give up?

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Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards: What You Need To Know

Can you use medical marijuana card out-of-state? What do you need to know about medical marijuana reciprocity? Let’s answer these questions and more in the following along with what you have to know about qualifying conditions and patient rights if you qualify for MMJ.

Qualifying Conditions

Per Amendment 2, the following is the list of qualifying medical conditions to apply for and secure a medical marijuana card in Florida.

  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Terminal illness

Here is a list of qualifying conditions per state.

There are also medical conditions of the same class or kind that allow medical marijuana doctors to certify patients. They have medical conditions, which are both similar in nature to the qualifying conditions listed in Amendment 2 and are debilitating, too.
For example, if the patient has a debilitating condition sharing any of the following classes below, he or she may likely qualify for an MMJ card:

  • Immunodeficiency
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Terminal
  • Neurodegenerative and Neurological
  • Psychological
  • Autoimmune

Patient Rights

medical marijuana cards
Via mlive.com

You need to know your patient rights being an MMJ holder. For this reason, you should be well aware of sensible cannabis use and educate yourself about MMJ.

In addition, you must understand not only the benefits but also the side effects of the drug.
Nevertheless, being aware can help you make an informed decision especially in terms of limiting your chances of an encounter with the authorities.

Know that you can become a target of law enforcement by deciding to use MMJ because you’re not spared from avoiding arrest in all instances. For this reason, being educated and planning carefully can help you succeed in fighting charges.

Medical cannabis users might also want to attend the ASA “Know Your Rights” training for more detailed info.

Overall, you should be informed about the basics – having a current doctor’s recommendation and keeping a copy of it and the MMJ card at all times. Memorize or write down your lawyer and doctor’s phone numbers.

Remember, you can still be arrested even with a medical marijuana card especially if you’re found possessing excessive amounts than what’s recommended.

Where to purchase?

There are many medical marijuana dispensaries, including in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami where more than 150,000 patients can fill medical marijuana recommendations. However, it is still illegal to buy recreational weed in the state.

Florida dispensaries sell vape cartridges, THC or CBD oils, topicals, tinctures, capsules, syringes, concentrates like shatter, wax or dabs and flower. They also sell vaporizers, vaporizer pens, and other accessories.

Edibles, when allowed for a complete line by the law, can be the favorites among patients because they do not contain carcinogens from smoke that people can get from smoking or inhaling the herb.

But then under the state law, using marijuana buds or flower as the smoking method is legal.

Where to consume?

out of state medical marijuana

Currently, it is legal to possess up to a 70-day supply of medical marijuana in the state of Florida, while cultivation is not allowed. However, patients can only consume medical marijuana in a private property, nowhere else, in Florida.

It will also be wise to travel safely by not smoking and driving under the influence of cannabis.

If you’re traveling with cannabis, ensure that your vehicle is up to code and that the weed is concealed. You should not also smoke where people can see you. Also, don’t leave medical cannabis in public.

MMJ Reciprocity Program

In addition to patient rights, you must also know about the medical marijuana reciprocity program.

Take note that states may have agreements between each other. For instance, some states accept driver’s licenses issued by other states in their territories and roads, and that’s reciprocity.

In terms of medical marijuana, the same idea applies. Florida isn’t yet allowing the ability to use medical marijuana cards issued by other states, but others do except with some guidelines on how a patient can use his or her medical marijuana card out of the Sunshine State.

For example, in Arizona, they implement a list of qualifying and approved conditions. And for patients with any of the conditions approved by the state, they won’t be arrested for bringing or having their cannabis. However, they’re not allowed to buy from one of the state’s dispensaries.

In Alaska, where both medical and recreational marijuana is allowed, it does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards, but people 21+ years old can buy weed at a recreational weed dispensary.

Final Thoughts

Know the law along with your patient rights and about medical marijuana reciprocity to prevent getting yourself into trouble. Finally, stay on top of the basics and keep yourself informed about the latest changes in medical marijuana laws.

See Also: How CBD Has Improved the Medical Industry

The post Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards: What You Need To Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards: What You Need To Know

Can you use medical marijuana card out-of-state? What do you need to know about medical marijuana reciprocity? Let’s answer these questions and more in the following along with what you have to know about qualifying conditions and patient rights if you qualify for MMJ.

Qualifying Conditions

Per Amendment 2, the following is the list of qualifying medical conditions to apply for and secure a medical marijuana card in Florida.

  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Terminal illness

Here is a list of qualifying conditions per state.

There are also medical conditions of the same class or kind that allow medical marijuana doctors to certify patients. They have medical conditions, which are both similar in nature to the qualifying conditions listed in Amendment 2 and are debilitating, too.
For example, if the patient has a debilitating condition sharing any of the following classes below, he or she may likely qualify for an MMJ card:

  • Immunodeficiency
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Terminal
  • Neurodegenerative and Neurological
  • Psychological
  • Autoimmune

Patient Rights

medical marijuana cards
Via mlive.com

You need to know your patient rights being an MMJ holder. For this reason, you should be well aware of sensible cannabis use and educate yourself about MMJ.

In addition, you must understand not only the benefits but also the side effects of the drug.
Nevertheless, being aware can help you make an informed decision especially in terms of limiting your chances of an encounter with the authorities.

Know that you can become a target of law enforcement by deciding to use MMJ because you’re not spared from avoiding arrest in all instances. For this reason, being educated and planning carefully can help you succeed in fighting charges.

Medical cannabis users might also want to attend the ASA “Know Your Rights” training for more detailed info.

Overall, you should be informed about the basics – having a current doctor’s recommendation and keeping a copy of it and the MMJ card at all times. Memorize or write down your lawyer and doctor’s phone numbers.

Remember, you can still be arrested even with a medical marijuana card especially if you’re found possessing excessive amounts than what’s recommended.

Where to purchase?

There are many medical marijuana dispensaries, including in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami where more than 150,000 patients can fill medical marijuana recommendations. However, it is still illegal to buy recreational weed in the state.

Florida dispensaries sell vape cartridges, THC or CBD oils, topicals, tinctures, capsules, syringes, concentrates like shatter, wax or dabs and flower. They also sell vaporizers, vaporizer pens, and other accessories.

Edibles, when allowed for a complete line by the law, can be the favorites among patients because they do not contain carcinogens from smoke that people can get from smoking or inhaling the herb.

But then under the state law, using marijuana buds or flower as the smoking method is legal.

Where to consume?

out of state medical marijuana

Currently, it is legal to possess up to a 70-day supply of medical marijuana in the state of Florida, while cultivation is not allowed. However, patients can only consume medical marijuana in a private property, nowhere else, in Florida.

It will also be wise to travel safely by not smoking and driving under the influence of cannabis.

If you’re traveling with cannabis, ensure that your vehicle is up to code and that the weed is concealed. You should not also smoke where people can see you. Also, don’t leave medical cannabis in public.

MMJ Reciprocity Program

In addition to patient rights, you must also know about the medical marijuana reciprocity program.

Take note that states may have agreements between each other. For instance, some states accept driver’s licenses issued by other states in their territories and roads, and that’s reciprocity.

In terms of medical marijuana, the same idea applies. Florida isn’t yet allowing the ability to use medical marijuana cards issued by other states, but others do except with some guidelines on how a patient can use his or her medical marijuana card out of the Sunshine State.

For example, in Arizona, they implement a list of qualifying and approved conditions. And for patients with any of the conditions approved by the state, they won’t be arrested for bringing or having their cannabis. However, they’re not allowed to buy from one of the state’s dispensaries.

In Alaska, where both medical and recreational marijuana is allowed, it does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards, but people 21+ years old can buy weed at a recreational weed dispensary.

Final Thoughts

Know the law along with your patient rights and about medical marijuana reciprocity to prevent getting yourself into trouble. Finally, stay on top of the basics and keep yourself informed about the latest changes in medical marijuana laws.

See Also: How CBD Has Improved the Medical Industry

The post Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards: What You Need To Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

15 Signs That Show Someone Is a Real, True Friend

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

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

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

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

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

They support you in everything

true friendship

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

They stick with you at your worst

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

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

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

They forgive you for anything

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

They always have your back

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

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

They constantly keep in touch

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

They keep your secret

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

They make time for you

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

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

They are loyal and faithful

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

They don’t ridicule you in public

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

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

They are open to you

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

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

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

They keep their promises

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

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

They are trustworthy

A true friend should be a trusting and trustworthy person.

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

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

They know and understand you

sign of true friendship

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

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

They will always have your interest at heart.

They remember things about you

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

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

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

They think about you before themselves

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

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

True friendship is about sacrifices.

See Also: 10 Characteristics of A Good Friend

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

10 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively Under Pressure

Do you ever feel the need to be more productive and organized in order to accomplish much more than what you are doing right now?

Time management is one of the most important skills that you need to develop in life. With effective time management, you enable yourself to become more productive at achieving the goals and objectives assigned to you at work. You also get better in achieving the ones you assign to yourself in daily life.

In this particular article, you will find 10 useful and effective time management strategies that will boost your productivity dramatically.

Conduct a Time Audit

To acquire the skill of time management, you need to figure out where you spend most of your time and what you accomplish in that particular time. Track all your activities for a week and evaluate them to find areas that need improvement.

For example, if most of your time is utilized in unproductive meetings and low-priority tasks, try to reschedule your agenda. That way, you’ll bring more positivity in your daily routine so that you accomplish more than what you are currently doing.

Prioritize your work according to the weight and importance that each task carries. The most important and heavy tasks should be performed first so that you can relax your mind whilst performing the less important tasks.

Prepare for Meetings in Advance

When going to a meeting, be clear in the points that need to be addressed in the meeting. This will help you save precious time which you can use in other productive tasks.

In addition to this, share the meeting agenda with your colleagues and subordinates. This will help make sure that they know about the topics that would be discussed in the meeting.

Set Time Limits

Before you start performing a task, make sure that you set a timer for that particular task. This will let you know how long it will take to complete it.

By setting time constraints, you will focus more on your work and you are more likely to complete it on time. In case you still fail to complete your tasks in the given time, examine the workflow. Eliminate the unnecessary breaks to complete the tasks in a timely manner.

Plan Your Week

time management strategy

Plan your week on a Sunday so that you know your priorities. Make a full-fledged plan regarding the activities that you have been assigned so that you don’t forget anything.

After completing the tasks, mark them done in your notepad. This will allow you to simplify your assignments and you will have a better idea about the time you need to put in to complete your work.

Create a Daily Plan

Before starting with your daily routine, take a few minutes to make an outline of the tasks that are lined up for that day. This will enable you to know how much time you can spend on each individual task.

Moreover, knowing the time will help you gain motivation for the day and you will be able to perform better.

Most people find the first hour of their day more productive. If you are one of them, use this precious time to complete the most important tasks of your day.

Block/Ignore Distractions

When working on a high priority task, make sure that you enable the “Do Not Disturb” function in your smartphone and laptop. You can also go offline by logging out of all social media networking sites.

It is worth mentioning the fact that you should not consider multitasking when doing something important. When you multitask, you are dividing your attention into several other tasks and you lose focus.

Don’t Wait for Inspiration

Instead of waiting for inspiration, create the perfect environment for yourself to work. Waiting for inspiration is a waste of time and businessmen do not have time for such things because time is money.

Keep your mind busy and stay away from daydreams because these emotions also tend to waste your precious time. Similarly, instead of striving for perfection, strive for your best performance and perfection will automatically follow you.

Organize Your Messengers

Keep your inbox organized at all times because, with everything classified, you will be able to find the right email without wasting any time. People with cluttered inbox usually lose important information at the time when they need it the most.

In order to organize your messengers, you should:

  • Keep your inbox clean
  • Archive messages that are important but do not require immediate action
  • Store the files attached in the messages in order to access them later when needed
  • Use filters to assign labels to all the incoming and outgoing messages.

Use Your Calendar

time management strategies

Keeping a calendar at your office desk is always a good idea to keep track of your upcoming meetings, routine tasks, and events. Mark the tasks that are done and complete the ones that are left so that you can enjoy your leisure time doing fun activities.

You can also download a calendar app in your smartphone in order to know when exactly a certain task is due.

Balance Your Life

Take full responsibility for your work and take some time out to relax your mind. Research shows that relaxed and peaceful minds perform better than the ones that are always tensed up about work.

The key to a stress-less mind is a balanced life. Have a great time with your friends and family when you are not at work because you deserve it.

See Also: How To Increase Your Productivity By Harnessing Dead Time

Conclusion

Your time belongs to you

Therefore, instead of wasting it in unproductive tasks, utilize it to accomplish the goals that mean something to you. Delegate some tasks on your subordinates and teach them how to perform better. That way, you can spend your precious time doing something that others are not capable of learning and executing.

The post 10 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively Under Pressure appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Fund Your Holiday of A Lifetime

We all have a place in the world that we want to visit more than anywhere else. Usually, it’s a far-flung place, steeped in history and a culture that is the complete opposite to our own.

The one problem though is funding it. Holidays of a lifetime don’t come cheap and if you want to enjoy the most memorable of experiences, you’re not going to be able to scrimp.

There are many ways in which you can fund the ultimate getaway- from innovative ways to make money to playing the lottery and crossing your fingers.

Here’s our guide on how to save money for dream vacation.

Find The Best Value Credit Card

how to choose the best credit card

Credit cards are the most common way of funding a huge trip. Booking flights and accommodation by credit card is not only sensible in terms of finance but will also cover you more should anything happen to your booking.

Many of us just use the credit card we’ve got and don’t make the most of 0% interest offers or cards that offer travel rewards.

There are tons of great cards out there that’ll help to cut the cost of your travels. And paying on a 0% card makes good sense if you plan on paying the card off within the period the card is offering it.

You’ll find some great no interest credit cards on the market, perfect for high-value payments.

It’s well worth exploring if you’re planning on paying with a credit card. After all, nobody wants to be paying huge amounts of interest.

Secure a Loan

Another option is to secure a loan. If you can similarly get one with low-interest rates, it really can be a worthwhile move.

At various stages in our life, there are things we need to do. If it’s before you settle down with children, for example, a loan can give you that opportunity. It gives you the chance to pay your holiday back at a reasonable rate.

It’s an option many take but it can be difficult to acquire if you have bad credit. You also must be sure you can afford the monthly payments. Otherwise, you could end up in trouble.

Review Your Finances

start business budget

It’s likely we’re all paying more than we should be in one way or another, whether that be on our utility bills or the gym membership we haven’t used in over six months.

There are dozens of ways in which you can cut your daily running costs, and you really can save hundreds of dollars in the process.

One of the best ways to do this is by looking at utility bills and deciding whether you could save by switching provider. In some cases, you could cut costs by £300 which is a significant chunk in flight or accommodation costs.

Other methods include changing the way you travel to work, cutting branded products in your weekly shop, and selling anything you have wasted capital in.

Create a Plan

First and foremost, you should create a plan and map out your finances.

You’ll find this more helpful than anything else as it’ll allow you to break down your income and expenses and realistically budget and forecast how long it will take you to save.

This will then give you a clear idea of when you can take your holiday. It will give you clear dates of when you’re going and even the right time to book the trip.

It’ll help bring you a firmer purpose for saving and all in all, make it much more effective. Within the plan, if you can set up a direct debit plan for saving, this will also hold you in great stead and help avoid spending what you should be saving.

The post How To Fund Your Holiday of A Lifetime appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Is It Possible To Find High Quality CBD?

CBD, shorthand for cannabidiol, is one of the fastest growing yet most misunderstood cannabis products. Largely unregulated by the FDA and derived from a substance which has been federally illegal for decades, this compound has medicinal effects often denied by big Pharma.

It’s no wonder there are massive amounts of misinformation and blatant lies surrounding CBD. Plus, there’s a near complete lack of scientific research into it.

Today, 69% of all “CBD” products aren’t labeled correctly. Amidst the sea of mislabeled products, hidden THC content, and flat out fakes, how does one find high-quality CBD?

Look For Availability, Gauge Your Own Needs

cbd

When considering CBD, the first step is to know thyself, so to speak.

What exactly will you take it for? What methods of dosage are you comfortable with or will be effective? And how important is the source of extraction? Should it come from hemp or marijuana?

The decision to use marijuana-derived may come down to a state law level and availability. Cannabidiol is a natural extract from naturally occurring cannabis plants. This includes both hemp and marijuana.

Though the CBD extracted from each source is comparable, there are some important differences in legal and usage levels. Hemp is classified as cannabis strains with less than 0.3% THC content. This constitutes legal levels of THC within federally legal CBD products.

On Different CBD Products

Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states to sell, buy, possess, and consume with no prescription required. However, states and localities may have differing laws on the books.

Marijuana-derived CBD is extracted from cannabis strains with higher than the federally legal amount of THC. It is only legal in selected states and may or may not require an accompanying prescription.

CBD isolate is CBD crystals that are 99% pure and THC-free, but may not offer the same relief and effects as full spectrum. Full spectrum CBD includes additional cannabinoids, may contain traces of THC and has been shown to be more effective than CBD isolate at treating inflammation and pain in mice.

CBD products come in many different forms. The first fork in the road is fast-acting or long-lasting.

For headaches or insomnia, rapid relief from fast-acting effects is a good choice. While for chronic pain, inflammation or arthritis, long-term effects may provide the best course of action.

Oil concentrates applied orally via a tincture or liquid vaping from pen or e-cigarette are among the most popular and effective means for rapid relief needs. Gel caps, infused edibles, and even skin patches that slowly release CBD through the skin are favored by those seeking steady, long-term effects.

Targeted treatments for specific pain respond to CBD lotions and salves. They also work best for skin conditions and localized pain.

Meanwhile, vaping is the most popular method of dosing CBD but among the less discreet options. Oils and sublingual tinctures are more portable and often just as effective. Treatment needs aside, it’s often a personal preference that helps guide product selection.

Lack of Oversight Means Nearly Anything Goes

cbd products

Without the FDA labeling safeguards, content regulations, and legal uncertainty, it’s up to the manufacturers to keep their own products in check. Nonetheless, it’s still the consumer’s responsibility to make informed choices.

But how?

If this were any other variety of vitamins, supplements, prescription medication or even over-the-counter drug, it would be simple to visit the corner store and pick up something that was as labeled. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with CBD.

Without the watchful eye of the FDA, industry standards are not subject to the strict rules of government agency beyond legal levels of THC. It’s this confusion that is passed on directly to the consumer and it’s the consumer’s job to find a manufacturer and retailer they can trust.

Again, nearly 70% of CBD products are mislabeled and this could mean anything from misprints to unlabeled contaminants. Fortunately, many reputable manufacturers of oral CBD products choose to follow the FDA guidelines for supplements and vitamins, much to the benefit of consumers.

However, there are still some best practices to keep in mind when browsing products:

  • How long will it last? Identify servings per container, packing and storage instruction, and expiration date of products.
  • How strong is it? Products should indicate exact CBD content, dosage, and serving size.
  • What does it come with? Terpenes, like other natural plant extracts, may add aroma, sweeteners may enhance flavoring, and carrier oils for tinctures should be food-grade.

See Also: How CBD Has Improved the Medical Industry

Just last year, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp and its cannabinoids for CBD products and manufacturing. But it’s still up to the consumer to stay informed, know the difference, and find quality products on their own. Here’s where to begin.

The post Is It Possible To Find High Quality CBD? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Terrific Books That Can Make You Fall In Love With Math

So, you are a student who loves reading and writing.

You write essays, reviews, and stories. It’s not a problem for you to help peers with their academic papers and you are ready to read tons of books on different topics. Wouldn’t it be great to have reading and creative writing the only subjects in school?

But here come the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

Physics, Economics, Chemistry, and…

MATH!

You wish you could fall in love with all those graphs and formulas, but merely a reference to exact sciences can set your teeth on edge. But what if I tell you that math can be exciting? More than that, it can become your favorite subject!

How?

Easy.

Just one word: read.

To be specific, read the most terrific books providing insights into the world of numbers and formulas. Once you turn to the last pages of the following books about math, you’ll never consider it boring or difficult again.

1. The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life by Jordan Ellenberg

Quote to think about:

“A basic rule of mathematical life: if the universe hands you a hard problem, try to solve an easier one instead, and hope the simple version is close enough to the original problem that the universe doesn’t object.”

Ellenberg shows how wrong you are when considering math as nothing but a dull set of rules to learn at school. Mathematics touches everything we do. It allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the chaotic surface of this world.

Armed with math, you can see the true meaning of information. This book provides insights to encourage your clear thinking about different areas of life. As the author says, doing math is like being “touched by fire and bound by reason. Logic forms a narrow channel through which intuition flows with vastly augmented force.”

2. A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

Quote to think about:

“I’ve made the most important discovery of my life. It’s only in the mysterious equation of love that any logic or reasons can be found.”

Big chances are, you’ve watched the eponymous movie already. It is a biographical story of John Nash, one of the most brilliant mathematicians and a Nobel prize winner who suffered from schizophrenia. Despite that, he was able to elaborate on the game theory underpinning a large part of economics.

Sylvia Nasar describes John’s life, giving an interesting exposition of his mathematical ideas. His struggle with the disease and input in science deserve mentions and respect.

3. The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman

Quote to think about:

“No news is ever as good or as bad as it first seems.”

This book is a kind of the biographical story of Paul Erdős, a mathematician who lived and loved nothing but his subject. It consists of Erdo˝s quotations or paraphrases, which help readers understand his care and affection with everything related to math.

Paul Erdős loved to invent jokes, so you would definitely not be bored while reading the story about this interesting personality.

4. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Quote to think about:

“What did God do before he created the universe?”

Don’t say you never heard of the author and the book itself!

First published in 1988, this work has become a classic of scientific writing already. Professor Hawking tells about the origins and nature of our universe as well as predicts its further development.

Wormholes, time travels, satellites, and the fabric of space – you don’t have to be as smart in physics as a whip to get the author’s ideas.

5. Journey through Genius by William Dunham

Quote to think about:

“One of the genuine attractions of number theory is that conjectures simple enough to be understood by elementary school students nonetheless have been immune to the efforts of generations of the world’s best mathematicians.”

If you don’t believe that math theorems can be creative, this book is your must-read. The author takes each theorem and places it within the historical context.

Archimedes, Gerolamo Cardano, Georg Cantor… How did math influence geniuses? How did they prove theorems, and why did they do it after all?

This work by William Dunham is a rare combination of biography, history, and math.

6. The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Quote to think about:

“Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.”

A black swan is a highly improbable event: unpredictable, carrying a massive impact, and easy to explain once after it has happened.

According to Taleb, black swans underlie everything about the world. But why do we not acknowledge them until after they happen? For years, the author has been studying how people fool themselves.

Read his book to have a look at the black swan theory and decide whether it stands to reason.

7. Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian Stewart

Quote to think about:

“Unless you are genuinely interested in working with someone, don’t. It doesn’t matter how big an expert they are, or how much grant money the project would bring in. Stay away from things that do not interest you.”

Ian Stewart tells what he wishes he had known when he was a student. Philosophical and practical, he described subjects, including mathematics, with reasons why it’s cool, logic with its proofs, the beauty of mathematical thinking, and many others.

Written with easygoing humor, the book is worth reading by all means.

Are you among those in love with math already? Do you choose numbers over words, and would you read some actionable guides rather than fiction stories?

Then, your choice might be the ultimate lists of books about math to learn facts on the subject and get help with math topics.

Whatever you choose, remember:

There ain’t no such thing as boring subjects. There are professors who are unable to disclose the true colors of those subjects when they’re actually much richer than just black and white.

The post 7 Terrific Books That Can Make You Fall In Love With Math appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Ways You’re Actually Inviting Burglars Into Your Home

According to FBI crime statistics, there were an estimated 7,694,086 property crimes nationwide with losses of $15.3 billion in 2017.

Though you certainly don’t want your home to become the next target of potential thieves, sometimes you might be unwittingly inviting burglars into your home and putting your property (your family as well) at risk.

To avoid ending up in a low-hanging fruit in the eyes of intruders, make sure you’re away from these 8 home security mistakes:

Unlocked doors, windows, and other entrances

unlocked door

The shocking fact is that 32% of homeowners leave a window open and 13% leave a door unlocked. This offers a great opportunity for thieves to sneak into your home without alerting your neighbors.

So, take a few seconds before you leave home to double check all your doors, windows, and other entry points. And don’t forget about your storage shed, basement or garage as well!

No lights on at night

A dark home at night can be a clear sign that your house is vacant. Instead of turning all your lights on when you’re away from home (smart burglars will easily see through this trick), it’s better to install timers on interior lamps. That way, you can create an appearance that the house is occupied.

Uncollected mails, newspapers, and packages

If you plan to go away for a vacation or on a business trip, ask a reliable neighbor, friend or family member to pick up your mails, newspapers, and packages in advance. You may request the post office to hold your mails and ask the newsagent to stop delivering your papers until you come back home.

Leaving ladders and tools out

Leaving a ladder, hammer, saw and other tools in open areas is practically inviting trouble for yourself. Once these fall into the hands of burglars, the next thing you can expect, without any doubt, would be forced entry into your home.

Place your tools in your garage or basement after use. Also, make sure that your basement and garage are well locked.

Untrimmed bushes and landscape

Overgrown bushes not only provide ideal shelter for burglars to hide when casing your house but also indicate that you have been away for a long time. It might lure burglars into your home.

Trim the bushes and mow your lawn regularly to make sure no one can hide in it. If you’re going away for a long period of time, hire someone to attend to the landscape during your absence.

Displaying valuable items in plain view

Are you leaving your garden furniture and lawn decorations in plain sight? Or do you just throw away the box of your brand-new TV or computer on the curb? Watch out!

Thieves select homes to break into by taking note of boxes curbed as trash, especially during holiday seasons. A safer way to dispose of the trashes for valuables is to cut them up and toss them in the trash can.

Leaving spare keys under carpet/stones

You might think it is a great idea to hide your spare keys under the carpet or stones but never underestimate the burglars. They’re good at hide-and-seek games.

Doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes, and stones are normally the first places smart thieves would search for. If you’re afraid that you might be locked out, give a set of keys to a trustworthy family member or your friend.

Showing off on social media

It is understandable that you love to share a memorable experience during a trip on social media. But take heed, posting your vacation details on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is basically announcing to the burglars that your home is unoccupied and free to break into.

So instead of posting your real-time vacation moments, wait until you come back home to share the photos online.

See Also: Home Security: Try These 10 Ways to Make Your Home Safer – Without a Gun

The post 8 Ways You’re Actually Inviting Burglars Into Your Home appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Tips For Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes

If you are a company that requires employees to drive as part of their job, you need to establish a fleet safety program. Automobile accidents occur every five seconds with death and injuries as part of the mix. As an employer, you cannot be too careful when it comes to safety and liability. Most fleet accidents are caused by driver error and are preventable.

These tips will help you avoid motor vehicle crashes and keep your employees safe.

Tip 1 – Set up a Safe Driver Program

A joint effort by the NETS, NHTSA and OSHA designed to reduce motor vehicle accidents suggest that employers set up a safe driver program. They even offer a brochure to help you set one up.

OSHA explains that “your program should work to keep the driver and those with whom he/she shares the road safely. And, if necessary, the program must work to change driver attitudes, improve behavior, and increase skills to build a “be safe” culture. By instructing your employees in basic safe driving practices and then rewarding safety-conscious behavior, you can help your employees and their families avoid tragedy.”

Tip 2 – Written Policies and Procedures

Make sure your employee handbook includes detailed information on safety rules and procedures that employees must implement in their jobs. Have them sign an agreement to these terms to make sure they read and understand them.

Tip 3 – Ongoing Safety Training

Motor vehicle safety is not a one-off but an ongoing conversation with employees. Upper management needs to be on-board and committed to long-term safety and results. Hold regular training sessions with updated information on safety issues, proper use of seatbelts, fatigue, and drug and alcohol use when driving. Remember not all employees are the same. Some will need extra training and one-on-one instruction.

Tip 4 – Driver Screening

One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to screen potential employees, review their driving record, and hire only individuals with a clean and safe driving record. The Department of Motor Vehicles can provide driving records to employers.

Tip 5 – Vehicle Maintenance

vehicle maintenance

Just as important as your drivers, it is critical to keep your machinery in good working order. Make sure you have a plan for regular maintenance and safety inspections of all your vehicles. The NHTSA offers lists of the safest and most reliable cars to include in your fleet. Consider technological upgrades to your vehicles to help drivers be safe and more accountable for their driving behavior.

Tip 6 – Rewards/Disciplinary Action

Have not only a disciplinary action plan for employees who incur infractions (even minor traffic tickets or minor scrapes) but also a rewards program for those employees who display exemplary driving records while in your employ. Ask for employee feedback, so everyone is on the same page. Drivers can be your eyes and ears and bring up issues you didn’t even know about.

Tip 7 – Regulatory Compliance

employee background

Make sure you comply with all local, state and federal driving and road safety rules. If one of your employees is in an accident, report it to the police and follow insurance guidelines as well. Consult the agencies below to familiarize yourself with the laws and compliance regulations that you need to be aware of:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)
  • National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Employment Standards Administration (ESA)

Work-related crashes impact both the employer and employee in financial and psychological ways. Implement a robust program to avoid these issues and keep everyone safer and your bottom line healthy.

See Also: Personal Injury Claims After A Car Accident

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How Tech Can Protect Your Home From Hail Damage

In July 2010, an astonishingly large, naturally forming hailstone was recorded in the United States. At a weight of around 22 pounds, 19 inches in circumference, and 8 inches in diameter, though this stone was large, it was quite possibly one of many.

Sizes of hailstones vary from pea-sized to softball-sized. However, any hailstone over 1.5 inches is almost guaranteed to leave some damage behind. For an unprepared roof, hailstones like this are bad news.

Hail Happens – And It’s Getting Worse

Among some of the most unpredictable of weather events, hail can happen virtually anywhere by forming within the lower levels of thunderstorm clouds.

Heavy rain and variable winds keep moisture in the clouds, forming into water droplets that fuse and freeze together. They are kept afloat in the clouds by storm updraft.

Eventually, when the winds can no longer sustain the weight of the frozen pellets, they begin to fall to the ground unmelted.

Though bouts of hail usually don’t last longer than several minutes, the damage they can leave in their wake is serious. The worst part? It’s difficult to see them coming.

Hailstones may fall at speeds greater than 90 miles per hour.

High-velocity winds can make the trajectory of hailstones hard to predict and increase damage, thus making it difficult to insure.

Climate change is pushing risks of hail into Western and Northeastern states.

Across the United States, 2017 is *hailed* as one of the worst years for hail damage, resulting in 11 million affected properties and $1.7 billion in property damage. Damage in Texas alone made up $1.3 million of that damage. In some states, more than half of their properties were damaged by hail, 57% in Kansas, and 55% in Oklahoma.

Hail Damage Is Expensive

hail storm

Nearly every state in the US has experienced at least one major hail storm and we aren’t the only ones. In 2017, extreme weather and its subsequent damage caused $330 billion in global property damage and over $135 billion in insurance paid claims.

Highly destructive and unpredictable weather events are increasing all over the world. In the last three decades, the average number of natural weather catastrophes increased by nearly 175%, hail storms hitting every seven to nine days.

In 1987, the average number of natural catastrophes was 490. Just last year, it was 850. Excluding Alaska, Rhode Island, and Hawaii, every state in the US has experienced threats and damage from falling hail.

Every year, hailstorms cause more than $10 billion in damage all across North America.

Damage Prevention And Early Detection Are Key

In terms of hail damage prevention, there’s currently only so much we can do.

For properties within areas that frequently see thunderstorms and hail, the right roofing material can go a long way. Consider 26 gauge roofing instead of standard asphalt shingles and inspect your roof regularly for damage.

After that point, it’s up to your insurance coverage to help protect your investment: your home.

Yet, compared to other types of weather damage, hail is tough to insure for. Giving consumers the right quotes takes a lot of data and reliable methods of both predicting risk and assessing the damage. Up until this point, this wasn’t always possible. Hail damage is difficult to address immediately and insurers may file claims months after the event itself.

Tech Is The Newest Solution

Further development with IoT and more emerging technologies are helping insurers and homeowners get a better idea of the regional risks for hail and other types of weather damage. As insurance agencies turn to remote AI monitoring of properties, surrounding weather, and incoming storms, homeowners are also utilizing personal home monitors to help detect and stop leaks.

At the end of the day, more and more consumers are getting the insurance coverage they need all the while educating themselves on the best practices for a truly hail-proof home.

From damaged crops to cars to properties to people, the forces of Mother Nature are unpredictable. And while we cannot stop the weather from hitting, we can be ready to withstand whatever comes at us.

See this infographic for more information on the increasing threats of hail damage, how technology is helping us see it coming, and what the next generation of weatherproofing looks like.

Please include attribution to WeatherCheck.co with this graphic.

Hail No! Protecting Your Properties From Hail Damage

 

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How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work Remotely

You’re a 9-to-5 desk jockey chained to your cube.

The ambient chatter of your co-workers has burned into your earholes.

The worst part?

You can do your job from anywhere and be more productive.

Instead, you have to wake up at 6 am. It feels akin to crossing the Sahara desert with no camel.

Take heart and put your party pants on because you’re about to start working from a hammock and enjoy the blue sky.

Here’s what you can do when asking your boss to work from home.

Make Sure You’re a Top Performer

top performer

A whopping 56% of jobs in the US are compatible with remote work.

Yours might be one of them. But before you ask your boss to work remotely, your performance needs to be topnotch.

Chances are, your boss’ management style—we’ll call her Nicole—is based on Andrew Grove’s Task Relevant Maturity (TRM) concept.

I know, the name does not roll off the tongue but the idea behind it makes perfect sense.

Nicole is either hands-off or on depending on your performance:

If you do the job like Elon Musk, you can gallivant all around the globe. But if you’re more like Frodo with his arm broken, you’d better stick to the office like glue.

How do you know if you’re a top performer?

Your recent performance reviews shine green and your boss regularly takes his hat off to your achievements. Your work is in concert with peers.

All boxes ticked?

Crack on.

Decide What You Bring To The Table

You want to work from home in your pajamas but you need a better excuse. Your boss needs to know what’s in it for her.

So, come up with a list of perks Nicole will get when you’re away.

Here are a few examples if you’re a writer:

  • I’ll be able to output more articles a week for the company blog because of fewer distractions.
  • I will be able to start work earlier because I can avoid the commute.
  • I’ll be fully available in Slack and Skype whenever the team needs me and I can come to the office anytime.

Once you can show Nicole you’re better off working remotely, you’ll enter the digital nomad lifestyle with no hassle.

Have the Conversation

convince the boss

You’re killing it in your job and you can take your efficiency to the next level if you work remotely.

Now, it’s game time.

Shoot an email to Nicole. It’ll give her time to reflect on your request.

Here’s what you can write:

Spotlight your successes

Example: My last performance reviews were positive and I feel I’m doing a pretty good job. Two of my latest articles are ranking number one in SERP and they both have been shared by 100+ users.

Emphasize the benefit for the company

Example: If I could work from home, I’d be able to produce more articles because I’ll have far fewer distractions than I do in the office. On top of that, I could start my day at 8 AM because I won’t have to commute.

Address potential concerns

Example: Even though I won’t be physically present in the office, I’ll be available via Slack and Skype. If you want me to attend a meeting, I can come to the office anytime during the day.

Pro tip: If a home office is uncommon in your company/team, ask for small trial runs. If things work out, you’ll be able to up your remote days.

Once you prove you’d better off working from home, consider your request approved.

See Also: 8 Ways To Set Up An Awesome Home Office

What Do You Think?

How would you approach the talk with the boss?

Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

The post How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work Remotely appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Internet Access While Traveling: Tips for Keeping Your Data Safe

Are you tired of unreliable and painfully slow internet when traveling? Do you worry about your security?

It does feel like an endless battle waiting for apps to respond and pages to load. Imagine spending your precious traveling time looking at a blank screen instead of enjoying the beautiful environment.

To ensure you enjoy your internet access without worrying about your security while traveling, we have put together some really helpful tips.

Ensure you stick to secure sites

First, check the website if it’s secure. You can check if a site is secure by going through the security information using a trusted browser like Firefox or Chrome. You’ll know a site’s connection is safe when there’s a green lock on the left side of the URL.

It is important that you try avoiding entering sensitive information on non-secured sites, especially when using a public network. This includes entering credit card numbers, passwords, and other personal details.

See Also: 8 Easy Steps To Your Browser Security And Privacy

Avoid using apps

internet connection while tracvelling

App security is less stringent when compared to browser security. In case you are using apps from popular brands like Paypal, you will definitely be okay.

However, it is important that you try avoiding entering sensitive information into apps from not so popular companies. This is crucial, especially when using a similar password for various websites.

Switch off file sharing

Ensure that your files are secure.

In most cases, when you are using your laptop on the home network, you normally share folders with your parents, siblings or friends. This is okay as long as you remember to turn it off when connecting to a public Wi-Fi.

If you forget to turn off file sharing, every person who connects to the same Wi-Fi can view your files.

The most recent computers are smart and capable of automatically turning off file sharing when you connect to public Wi-Fi. However, it is advisable that you always double check.

Update your anti-virus

It is important that you never connect your devices to any free Wi-Fi network without an updated antivirus. Most smartphones and laptops these days come with built-in software like the Windows Defender. However, you are still advised to step up and download software like Avast, which is capable of giving you an extra layer of protection.

Use VPN

traveling with internet access

You can consider using a VPN, which will act as your private internet bodyguard. VPN will hide your IP address and encrypt your connection to ensure everything you send over the internet is hidden.

VPN is cheap and accessible. You should never have an excuse for failing to use one.

See Also: How to Set Up a VPN

Conclusion

The above measures will not make you bulletproof. However, they will help in reducing your chance of being targeted and improve your internet access while traveling.

The post Internet Access While Traveling: Tips for Keeping Your Data Safe appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Bipolar Disorder Affects Relationships

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition which can cause several changes in a person’s mood. People who are suffering from bipolar disorder fall in two categories — high moods (mania) and extremely low moods (hypomania).

During the manic phase, people lose their common sense to judge anything, while they completely withdraw from everything and everyone when in a hypomanic state. These changes in mood can seriously affect relationships since it contributes to how they interact with others.

Bipolar Disorder and Relationships

If you have bipolar disorder, then your mood swings can cause unusual changes in your behaviors. This can make it more challenging to go on dates or even marry.

Scott Haltzman (Clinical Assistant Professor in the Brown University) tells that this disorder can seriously create problems in any relationship. In his book Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women, he also tells that when people get into a relationship, they want stability. It’s not something you can easily get when you have bipolar disorder.

Dating When You Have Bipolar Disorder

bipolar dating

If you are suffering from bipolar disorder, you may feel nervous whenever you are starting a new relationship.

But, here’s the thing:

There is no need to introduce your psychiatric problems on the first date. You should find the right time to tell your partner that you have bipolar disorder.

Revealing that you are suffering from bipolar is not an auspicious beginning to your relationship. Dr. Haltzman also says that when you feel that there is a strong mutual attraction between you and your partner, that’s the point where you should clear the actual problem.

Dating someone with psychiatric problems can be challenging because you can’t control your partner’s mood swings. If you want to succeed in your relationship, you should concentrate on your partner’s treatment and focus on communication.

How Bipolar Disorder Affects Married Life

Work stress, money issues, and other factors can put a strain on your married life. Stress caused by one’s day-to-day, however, can turn to problems of epic proportions when your partner has bipolar disorder.

Research shows that this is the main reason why 90% of marriages fail.

Like most people, those with bipolar disorders have many good qualities but they may show undesirable behaviors as well. They may show love and affections and be cold and distant at the same time.

These unpredictable behaviors may be very difficult and challenging for all married people. In such conditions, you should cooperate with your partner and make your married life stronger than ever.

How Does Someone Develop Bipolar Disorder

Doctors do not know the exact causes of bipolar disorder. However, experts consider a few factors that predispose one to develop the condition.

Family genes and abnormal brain structures are two factors often believed to cause bipolar disorder. Scientist and researchers are still trying to find out more about it.

How Bipolar Disorder Can be Treated

Educate yourself: Educate and prepare yourself before you start a relationship with a person who has bipolar disorder. Do your research to know how you can deal with and understand this psychiatric problem.

Teach your partner: Teach your partner how to react during different mood swings and what they can do to overcome them.

You have to be patient: When your partner’s mood swings interfere with your romantic or dating plans, you should remind yourself that it’s the condition and not your partner. Sometimes, taking a quick break helps.

Keep an open communication: You should be open with your partner and communicate openly.

Take proper medication: Help your partner to take medicine as prescribed. Show your support and help make sure no doctor appointments are missed.

Manage stress in different ways: You can ask your partner for a long walk or to eat healthily. Exercise regularly and be more active. A change in lifestyle can go a long way.

bipolar relationships

Regular therapy: Regular therapy is an essential component when it comes to addressing psychiatric problems.

Child school support: Children who are suffering from this mental illness can be treated by the school support system. School psychologists, counselors, and other staff should participate in helping children succeed in school.

The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Depression

Bipolar disorder and depression are different from each other. Knowing how they are different can help you plan the right approach.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder refers to the opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. A person may be depressed for a long period of time and show low energy, anxiety, and emptiness. When his energy is high, he may experience racing thoughts and feelings of power that can last for several days or months.

Depression

Depression is deeper than sadness. If you have this condition, you may feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless. You may loss interest in things you used to enjoy. You’ll experience changes in appetite, sleep problems, and even suicidal thoughts or actions.

See Also: 15 Symptoms You Are Depressed (Even When You Think You Aren’t)

Author: Kaitlin Adam

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5 Rules For Effective Packaging Design

Your packaging choices can make or break your brand. After all, your product’s packaging design influences consumer behavior and brand perception.

If you want to start right with design, check out the following rules to follow.

Be honest with customers

Honesty can go a long way in package design. It must be the true reflection of your product or brand.

Do not attempt to under-deliver or over-promise. Otherwise, you’ll disappoint your customers by tricking them into something that does not exist or that they don’t expect.

Speaking of honesty, strive hard to depict your product in the best way possible.

For example, why would you put a cookie in melted chocolate if you were just selling chocolate-flavored cookie? Or why would you include many strawberries in the design of your fruit yogurt if yours has little strawberry content?

Just be honest. Don’t depict your product five times better than it is. Otherwise, you’ll mislead and disappoint customers who won’t attempt to buy from you ever again. In all cases, don’t use a misleading package design.

Keep it simple

simple packaging design

Simplicity and clarity go hand in hand.

For one, customers have nothing against inexpensive products, so you don’t have to put many unnecessary elements in the design. It will just mislead customers.

Simplicity is the key to helping customers easily recognize what your product is for and what the brand behind it is.

For example, avoid listing tons of benefits without a clear brand name or try to make your packaging look great on the outside without clearly explaining what’s inside it.

It’s one of the main rules of package designing – it must be clear about the product and the brand.

Make it useful

Think about the footprint of your product’s packaging and factor in transportation and/or international transit cost.

Make sure your box, can or bottle is moderately small. Before the actual manufacturing of your product’s package, deliberate over it along with your product’s shelf life.

With usefulness of a product’s packaging design also comes practicality. It deals with the actual functionality, shape, and size of the jar, bottle, box or container and not just of the wrap or label.

The more sales your product might be getting if it’s indeed a practical product.

Remember Heinz?

heinz upside down bottle

Its sales went up when it turned its bottle upside down because that design simply makes ketchup dispensing much easier

At the end of the day, ask yourself:

  • Does my package feature conveniences or innovations valued by customers?
  • Can it solve a problem?

Finally, you must adhere to the law and ensure that your packaging is recyclable.

See Also: Why The Right Product Packaging Is Essential to Your Business’ Success

Create a WOW customer experience

Another rule for an effective packaging design lies in customer experience.

What kind of impression do you want to leave consumers? How would you make them remember your brand and product while browsing different other products in the grocery shelf with your package design?

That’s why you have to express a unique and clear reason to exist in the first place. If you’re good at this, you’ll create a deeper relationship with your customers because they feel good about your brand.

One way to do that is to appeal to them with your package design. Make equally great packaging choices. Don’t embellish too much or else, you won’t make an accurate representation of your product.

You should also not exaggerate things by making your product seemingly loaded when it is not. As again, you have to be honest with your customers.

Make eco-friendly packaging

Go green with your packaging and show customers you sincerely care for the environment. Make sure that your packaging design has a lower carbon footprint to help you create a positive image for your brand.

And again, ensure it is recyclable and your materials are sourced locally. By using eco-friendly packaging, you can improve your brand’s image, too. This will favor consumers who are environmentally conscious.

Final Thoughts

Remember that your choices influence how consumers will perceive your brand and product. It’s your last chance to convince them to choose you over competitors.

If you want to make an impact — not only on the shelves but also in the minds of consumers — think about the best packaging design that shows honesty, eco-friendliness, usefulness, and simplicity. Finally, it should create a WOW customer experience.

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10 Unstoppable Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice For Success

Being an entrepreneur is never about the end result but the journey you embark yourself on. If you really want to succeed, you must look past your failures and pursue your goals with persistence.

Unfortunately, staying motivated on this journey isn’t easy. Whether it’s online trading or any other business you are running, always remember that there is nothing in this world you can’t do.

Ever wondered how successful entrepreneurs survived and still managed to thrive? Well, it wasn’t easy for them, either. Hear it from themselves.

Here are some words of advice from 10 most influential and unstoppable entrepreneurs:

Elon Musk – Keep Questioning Yourself

elon musk

Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla, Musk is a game-changing innovator. He is the real-life Iron Man. It’s amazing how he keeps running so many projects despite his previous failures.

Musk admits that he hasn’t read many books on time management. Still, he has some great advice to share. He says, “It’s important to have a feedback loop. It will let you think about what you have done and how you can do it better. So, constantly think about how you can do things better. Keep questioning yourself.”

Sheryl Sandberg – Be Yourself

sheryl sandberg

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, is a role model for women and men alike. She has learned so many lessons from her journey of becoming the first woman to sit on the board of the social media giant – Facebook.

She believes there is no professional self from Mondays through Fridays and a real-self during the weekends. This kind of division has never worked for anyone. She has cried at work so many times. She has talked about her hopes and fear and asked people about theirs. In the midst of it all, she tried to be herself.

J.K. Rowling – Believe in Yourself

j k rowling

J.K Rowling, the best-selling author behind the Harry Potter series, has a success story that’s an inspiration for all of us. It’s amazing how she wasn’t always a runaway success.
Rowling says that “You will face rejections but you must dare to believe in yourself. If you can’t do that, then find someone who will believe in you while you work on your ideas.”

Arianna Huffington – Be Comfortable with Failure

arianna huffington

Arianna Huffington, famous politician and founder and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post says you must learn to be comfortable with failure. It is something her mother taught her when she was young.

She said, “Failure isn’t the opposite of success. It is, in fact, the stepping stone to success.”

Arianna has a fair share of professional and personal setbacks. There was even a point in her career when she was tempted to change her profession. Despite that, she kept going with the belief that the best things come from the biggest heartbreaks.

See Also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before Becoming Millionaires

Steve Jobs –Focus on Quality

steve jobs

Steve Jobs may not be with us today but this genius left a very sound piece of advice for young entrepreneurs. He has always given attention to detail and placed quality above quantity.

Let’s hear from Jobs himself – “Quality is better than quantity. One home run is better than two.”

Mark Zuckerberg – Move Fast

mark zuckerberg

Zuckerberg is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs. His advice for all newbies is to move fast and don’t hesitate to make mistakes. When you try to be perfect and move slow, you mess things up. As you move fast, you break things. And if you are not breaking anything, you are not moving fast enough.

Remember when Facebook received negative feedback on redesigning its news feed? The company then chose a middle ground by offering its users to retract to old newsfeed along with keeping the new one. When they rolled out the timeline, they used a similar strategy.

Jeff Bezos – Put Customers First

jeff bezos

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has so many businesses under his belt. What’s his secret to success?

Keep your customers above everything.

He says, “The most important single thing is to focus on your customers. Amazon’s goal is to become the most customer-centric company in the world.”

He’s right simply because customers make or break your business.

Tony Robbins – Psychology Makes or Breaks You

tony robbins

Who doesn’t know Tony Robbins, the famous bookseller, entrepreneur, and philanthropist?

He is best at negotiation, leadership, and organizational turnaround.

What’s his secret to success, you ask?

Robbin says, “Business success is 80 percent psychology and 20 percent mechanics.”

Mark Cuban – There’re No Shortcuts

mark cuban

The owner of Dallas Mavericks says that best advice he would give to someone is to “Do the work. Outthink and outsell your expectations. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success.”

His father was the one to give this advice when he was in high school.

Daymond John – Save Money

daymond john

Daymond John is the founder of FUBU and an investor on Shark Tank.

When he came into the fashion business, an older salesman shared a piece of valuable advice with him. “You must save money in this business. You never know when you would have to invest it back into your business.”

Final Words

There’s always something to learn from the journey of successful people. Make sure you remember these pieces of advice as you move forward.

The post 10 Unstoppable Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice For Success appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Everything You Need to Know about INFJ Dating and Romance

Of all Myers-Briggs personality types, INFJ is considered to rank as the rarest. Only one or two percent of the population fall under the category – introversion, intuition, feeling and judgment. These people are a bit misunderstood because of this fact and because of their personality traits.

These are very imaginative and introspective individuals who, however, aren’t big communicators. This is why INFJ relationships can be difficult to establish. Once they find a partner, however, people who belong to the group form long-lasting bonds characterized by empathy and a deep level of commitment.

Are you wondering about INFJ romance? Whether you belong to the category or you’re dating someone characterized as INFJ, the following guide will shed some light on the biggest opportunities and some of the challenges you will have to overcome.

INFJ Personality Types: Strengths and Weaknesses

Because it happens to be relatively rare, the INFJ personality is somewhat misunderstood. Still, based on the Myers-Briggs characteristics, some valid conclusions can be drawn about the strengths and the weaknesses these people carry.

Let’s get started with the strengths first.

INFJ people are very insightful. They possess an analytical mind and they pay attention to details.

In addition, these people are very creative. INFJs are endowed with an incredibly vivid imagination and they often have creative professions. They are very keen on making the people closest to them happy, which means that they will come up with an intelligent solution for just about any problem that arises.

infj creative

INFJs are willing to sacrifice their own wellbeing for the people they love. An INFJ in relationships is giving, eager to please and selfless. As far as good characteristics go, it’s also important to point towards their conviction in life, reliability, decisiveness and conscientiousness.

Just like carriers of all other personalities, however, INFJs have their weaknesses.

A high level of sensitivity is good but it can also become a bad thing. This is why a good INFJ match is more balanced and capable of addressing such extreme sensitivities in a cool and collected manner.

These people tend to seek perfection in every aspect of life. They can burn out easily, especially if the cause they’re committing themselves to turns out to be something different from what was initially anticipated.

A final hindrance that could stay in the way of successful INFJ relationships is the fact these people can be extremely private. They’re introverts, which means that a lot will remain hidden instead of being discussed with a partner.

See Also: 8 Hustle Tips for Introverts and Creative Souls

INFJs as Lovers

infj romance

An INFJ person could find it difficult to attract romantic partners.

These individuals aren’t likely to approach strangers. Hence, INFJ dating could start in alternative ways to traditional flirts. DoULike and other dating sites have luckily provided opportunities that INFJs have been missing in the past.

Once they open themselves up to someone that’s romantically interested in them, INFJs will demonstrate their kind and loving nature. These people are very considered and gentle. They will work hard to make a lover happy. INFJ love is deep and emotionally-binding, even if it happens to be somewhat lacking in the passion department.

For INFJs, sexuality is not something casual or to be taken lightly. These people don’t find joy in casual encounters because intimacy is very spiritual and emotional for them. Hence, people who are just getting to meet an INFJ type for the first time may think this person is aloof. Under the right circumstances, however, INFJs could reveal their passion, care and desire to please a partner.

Communication with an INFJ Person

INFJ relationships could be difficult at first because of the specific manner in which these people communicate.

Remember that the I stands for introversion. These people are quiet and sensitive. Chances are that they will not speak out when something bothers them. While this characteristic is good in certain situations, it could be detrimental in terms of relationship problem solving and overcoming obstacles.

If you are the partner of an INFJ personality type, you should communicate in a calm and encouraging way. Work towards getting your partner to open up. Once they start trusting you, chances are that you will learn a whole lot about them that previously remained hidden.

It may also be a good idea to give them some time and space. While the relationship is probably going to progress slower than what you’re used to, the bond you will be establishing could potentially become unbreakable. Don’t push them because such a communication approach could get an INFJ to hide even deeper in their shell.

Which Other Personality Types Are Most Compatible with INFJs?

infj dating

INFJ compatibility is not an exact science. These people could get along with many other personality types, as long as these individuals don’t approach INFJ dating in an aggressive or flamboyant manner.

The INFJ best match balances their negative characteristics while gently challenging the private person to come out and to explore new aspects of life.

A few personality types are highly compatible with INFJs.

ENFPs (extrovert, intuitive, feeling and perceiving) is an excellent match. These people are free spirited and laidback. In addition, they possess a degree of creativity and will that will appeal to the INFJ. In addition, ENFPs are outgoing but sensitive towards the peculiarities of others. These two personality types will be willing to make necessary compromises in order to achieve relationship harmony.

ENFJs are known as givers and they could also match INFJs pretty well. The only difference between these two personality types is that one of them is introverted while the other one tends to be outgoing. These two personalities are concerned about similar issues, they possess a lot of creativity and empathy. The fact that the introversion and the extroversion balance each other out could result in a match made in heaven.

INFPs (introversion, intuition, feeling and perception) is another good choice for an INFJ partner. These people are idealists but they are much less punctual and willing to plan than INFJs. They bring a degree of spontaneity to the dating process that can be really refreshing. These people are also likely to remain optimistic about the future of the relationship even when things become challenging.

While INFJs are a rare personality type and they have various challenges to overcome, finding true love is possible. The kind nature and the willingness to understand/please their partners will work in their favor. INFJs will build very satisfying long-term relationships with the right people. While identifying the right match will often take a significant amount of time, such connections rank among the ones that are meant to last a lifetime.

The post Everything You Need to Know about INFJ Dating and Romance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

11 Tips On How To Write A Good College Paper

An essay is an excellent way to showcase what standardized test scores and grades can’t, your personality. Along with giving your admissions counselors and professors a glimpse of who you are, they’re excellent chances to showcase your writing ability. We’re going to outline several great tips on how to write a college paper below.

Open Your Essay with an Anecdote or a Mini Story

Instead of focusing your attention with trying to come up with gimmicky lines to grab and hold your reader’s attention, start with a small anecdote or mini story. The story you choose should give your readers a small hint of your personality, and this is what will grab and engage them from the start. They’ll want to learn more, so they’ll keep reading.

Get Help From a Writing Service

The use of writing services is on the rise, and it’s not because of lazy students. You might be surprised to know that even students with good grades are hiring these services. Apparently, some students’ load are too much too handle that extra help is needed.

If you’re an extremely busy student who needs that helping hand, you can try reputable writing services like Papersowl. They guarantee papers that are 100-percent free of plagiarism. You can also choose your style and subject before the site matches you with a writer.

Just make sure to do the final touches on your paper so that it still has part of your effort in it.

See Also: How to Find The Best Essay Writing Service for Students

Organize Your Writing

essay outline

Many people skip the organization step and dive straight into their writing. While this may seem like a good idea, it’s a fast way to get off track and lost. Create a rough outline that includes as many even paragraphs as you need to complete the essay while staying within the word count. Put an idea per paragraph, and structure your writing around them.

Combine Like Ideas into Sophisticated Sentences

Short sentences are one way to avoid punctuation mistakes. However, they can also make your paper seem choppy and disjointed. You should take your like ideas and combine them into more complex sentences. You should save your simple sentences for when you want to create a lasting impact that goes directly to the point.

Use Essay Hell for Inspiration

Essay Hell is not a writing service. It’s a site that helps students who are struggling with their essay-writing skills. Founded by a journalist and high school English teacher, the site offers tools like brainstorming sessions, writing tips, topic ideas, sample essays, and much more. It’s a place to find inspiration and conquer your essay writing block or fears.

Know Your Formatting Requirements

Formatting is huge, no matter which level you’re writing your essay for. Find out which formatting requirements your essay requires, and do a quick once-over to re-familiarize yourself with the guidelines. MLA and AP styles are both extremely popular, but there are more available. Most professors or teachers pick one and stick to it throughout the year, but it may not be the same from class to class.

Write Boldly and Vividly

Almost all essays follow a five paragraph format with generalized wording and observations. Imagine trying to grade them all. You want your essay to stand out. One way to accomplish this is to write very vividly and make pinpoint observations with sharp wording. Avoid generalized statements, and pack your essay with details.

Get Feedback

No one likes to hear that their writing or essay needs work. However, it’s vital that you get good and bad feedback on every essay you write. Pull a friend, college, or family member and ask them to review your essay and give their honest opinion. Just make sure that you keep the tone of the essay in your voice from beginning to end.

Proofread and Proofread Again

When you finish writing your paper, don’t just hand it in with a quick glance through for spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Instead, put the essay away for a few hours and revisit it with a fresh set of eyes. You can also put it into a program that reads it back to you because it’s easier to catch auditory mistakes than it is to read them. You could also ask a friend to look it over.

See Also: How to Start a Proofreading Business At Home

Consider Keeping Your Essays Short

writing college paper

Unless you have a hard word count requirement, consider cutting your essay down. Shorter essays usually have less “fluff” or filler language because you have less space to fill in your ideas. Shorter essays are also usually more powerful. Cut out sentences that don’t add value to the point or points you’re trying to get across to your audience.

Cut Your Essay Into Three Parts

First starting out can be extremely intimidating when you think about an essay. But, you can cut it into more manageable parts to help create a clear outline. The three parts include:

  • Introduction – The first paragraph will introduce your essay idea to your audience. This is where you grab your audience’s attention and get them interested in your topic.
  • Body – Split the body of your essay into at least five paragraphs. Each paragraph should have one point or example you flesh out when you start to write that supports your introduction’s point.
  • Conclusion – The final paragraph will summarize your essay’s main point, examples, and the supporting points you highlighted in the body. Make sure that you tie up any open ends and reiterate your essay’s main point.

These 11 points on how to write a college paper can help you create a strong and compelling paper from start to finish. You’ll be able to use them to wow your professors or admissions clerks and make a memorable impression that carries through your college years.

The post 11 Tips On How To Write A Good College Paper appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Everything You Should Know About Car Tires

Nobody wants to replace their tires. It costs a good chunk of money, and there’s nothing sexy about the purchase. At best, you’re ensuring that your car stays safe to drive. At worst, you’re experimenting with new tires that don’t work out too well.

That said, replacing your tires is inevitable. Even if you don’t do much driving, you’ll need to replace them eventually.

So how do you know which ones to buy? And how do you know when it’s finally time to pull the trigger?

We’ve answered some of the most common questions about car tires. From when to change them to what type of tires you need, we’ve got you covered.

When to Replace Your Tires

tire replacing

To begin with, let’s take a look at how you’ll know it’s time for a new set of tires.

Most manufacturers recommend changing tires at least every six years. This may seem like a long time, and it is. Most tires will wear out much faster. Six years is more or less their maximum lifespan, though. Rubber wears out over time and will start to lose integrity after six years, even if you only drive on weekends.

Since you’ll probably need to replace your tires more frequently, it’s important to know when they’re no longer safe to drive on. To do this, you’ll need to look at two things: the tread and the sidewalls.

The tread of your tire is the ribbed outer surface that makes contact with the road. Since rubber wears down over time, tires slowly lose their tread and eventually don’t have enough to grip the road.

So, how little tread is too little? A good rule of thumb is the penny test. Take an American penny and turn it upside down, then put it between the tire treads. If they cover the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, you’re safe to drive. If you can see the top of Honest Abe’s head, your tread is dangerously low and you need new tires.

The sidewalls of your tire can also become damaged. Although they don’t make contact with the road and don’t wear down, they can suffer from dry rot, or become damaged if you kiss the curb while taking a corner too tight.

It’s a good idea to inspect your sidewalls at least once a month. Look for cracks or gouges. If there’s a crack or a gouge that cuts deep enough to show anything other than rubber, you’re at risk of a blowout. Replace your tires as soon as possible.

See Also: Basic Car Repair Everyone Should Know

How to Choose The Right Tires For Your Car

So you’ve done your tests and it’s time to throw on a new set of tires. What now?

You’ll need to find the right tires for your vehicle. Since cars, trucks, and SUVs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, it should come as no surprise that there are more tire sizes than you can shake a stick at. So, how do you know which ones you need?

The easiest way is to read the sidewall of your existing tire. There, you’ll see a code that looks something like this: P195/60R16. What does this mean?

In our example, P is the service description. It tells you what kind of vehicle these tires are for. P is for passenger vehicles, LT is for light trucks, ST is for trailers, and T is for temporary tires (donuts).

195 is the tire width, measured in millimeters. So an LT210 tire is a light truck tire that’s 210 millimeters in width.

60 is the ratio of height to width. Higher numbers are for taller tires, which will do better in poor conditions. Lower numbers are for shorter tires, which give you better steering, handling, and mileage.

The R stands for “radial”. Don’t worry about that too much. These days, all tires are radial tires, so they all have an R here.

The 16 is the diameter of the rim, measured in inches. This tells you what size rim the tire will fit.

For example, an LT210/80R20 tire is a light truck tire that’s 210 millimeters in width relatively tall and fits a 20-inch rim.

The other numbers on your tire will tell you the load rating, speed rating, and other features, but all of those tires will be compatible so long as the width, height to width ratio and rim diameter are correct.

Choosing The Right Tires For Conditions

Once you know what size tire you need, you’ll want to choose the right tires for your driving conditions. This will depend on the time of year and where you live.

If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere without much snow, a set of summer tires will give you the best performance and mileage. On the other hand, if you live somewhere with intermittent snow, a set of all-season tires are a good balance.

If you live somewhere with lots of snow, it’s a good idea to have two sets of tires: summer tires and snow tires. The snow tires will give you plenty of grip in the winter, and the summer tires will let you save gas during the warmer months.

How to Make Your Tires Last Longer

tire checking

Ultimately, the only safe way to delay changing your tires is to make them last longer. Here are a few driving tips for getting the most possible miles out of your tires:

  • Accelerate in a straight line, not while turning. Accelerating through turns puts extra wear on the edges of your tires, which can cause them to wear out faster.
  • Rotate your tires regularly. This will ensure that they wear as evenly as possible. Not only will you extend their life, but you’ll also prevent wobbling, which puts a strain on your suspension.
  • Check your tire pressure regularly. This is especially important in fall since lower temperatures can cause your tire pressure to drop. Underinflated tires don’t just wear faster; they also lower your gas mileage and cause your vehicle to handle poorly.

By following these tips, you’ll make your tires last as long as possible. You’ll save money, time and a trip to the mechanic.

See Also: 8 Must-Have Car Features That Will Save You Money

The post Everything You Should Know About Car Tires appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Make Your Website More Mobile-Friendly

I could start by bombarding you with statistics on how many people now use smartphones vs. desktops, but you’ve probably heard them. I could talk about the importance of making your website usable and readable on mobile, but you’re doubtless already aware of that.

At this point, there’s really only one thing left to say.

Why isn’t your site already mobile-friendly?

If you’re on WordPress, translating your site to the smaller screen is actually quite simple. I can even walk you through it.

First, either make sure you’re using a theme that’s compatible with mobile devices or a mobile optimization plugin. Second, write and design your content considering how users browse on mobile. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

Finding A Mobile-Optimized WordPress Theme

mobile friendly website

By far, Uncode is one of the best WordPress themes on the market. Not only is it flexible, dynamic, and attractive, it’s designed to have as small a resource footprint as possible.

It’s the perfect choice for a portfolio website or blog. Plus, its high degree of customizability means that no two sites running it will look exactly the same.

If you’re running a storefront through WordPress, you’ll want to go with Hudson. It’s reasonably priced, with a decent update schedule and a ton of advanced features that allow you to create a picture-perfect digital storefront.

Of course, these are just recommendations. You can check out theme directories like Tesla Themes, Theme Forest or Template Monster to see if you find one you like better than the above.

Installing A Mobile Optimization Plugin

If you’d rather not spend time trawling theme libraries or you have a theme of your own you want to use, you can instead choose to install an optimization tool like WPTouch, Touchy, Superfly or AMP. Depending on how heavily your site relies on elements like menus and media, you may want to do both.

Generally speaking, all four of the above plugins have the same feature-set with only minor differences between them. Which one you choose is really up to personal preference. I’d recommend trying out each one to see which is the best fit for your needs.

Tweaking Your Content

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about content.

Most people who are on their smartphones aren’t going to want to spend twenty minutes or more scrolling through a long-form article. They wouldn’t want to watch an hour-long webinar, either.

When someone arrives at your site via their smartphone, they’re probably not interested in staying for any longer than is strictly necessary.

What that means is they want content that’s streamlined, concise, and easy to digest. If you must include longer-form content, make sure it’s broken up into easily-digestible chunks through headlines or subheads.

And for the love of all that’s holy, never paginate your articles. A user on mobile probably isn’t going to wait for a new page to load just so they can keep reading a piece you’ve published.

Take A Mobile First Approach

website more mobile friendly

Smartphones are the future. Of that, there can be no doubt. If you haven’t already optimized your WordPress site to be both usable and readable on them, you need to do so now.

Otherwise, you’re going to be left in the past.

See Also: The Hidden Costs of Developing A Mobile App You Should Be Aware of

The post How To Make Your Website More Mobile-Friendly appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About AI Taking Your Job – Yet

As automation and artificial intelligence sweep through business, predictions for this amazing tech keep changing. Thanks to serious advances in this technology, some managers are looking at a high risk of losing their jobs to automation. But before you imagine your boss as a robot in a suit and tie, understanding the limitations of AI can help you prepare for our eventual future.

AI at Work: What AI Can Do Versus What AI Can’t Do

No matter how high tech automation may be, it can’t do the whole job on its own. Just last year in 2018, Amazon was forced to scrap a state-of-the-art hiring algorithm.

The reason?

Blatant sexism and discrimination in the resumes it favored. Developed in an effort to avoid the intentional and unintentional bias of hiring managers, the system itself began picking up on those bad habits through the data it was fed.

In the already male-dominated industry, the decade’s worth of resumes it reviewed to learn how to identify good candidates for successful hires were, not surprisingly, mostly male applicants.

The results lead to the opposite effect of intentions as the computer began filtering out female applicants and listings of women colleges.

Sure, screening algorithms like this work on the surface level — this means analyzing data, sorting through piles of resumes, and picking out the “best fit” for a position. But, the hiring part is a whole other ball game. More than half of small businesses use tech to help with the hiring process. They rely on it to pick up the slack so human managers can focus on the important parts.

However, machines can’t get a personal feel for an applicant. They can’t predict how well they will fit in with the culture of the workplace. Simply, they can’t make those intuitive decisions. Those are best left to talented hiring experts.

So don’t worry, your next interview is unlikely to involve a robot in a suit, at least for the foreseeable future. Management roles with the highest risk of falling to computerization include:

  • Payroll and benefits, 96%
  • Property and real estate, 81%
  • Administrative services, 73%
  • Transportation management, 59%

See Also: How Artificial Intelligence Will Dominate the Future of E-commerce

Bias In, Bias Out, And Other AI Limitations

artificial intelligence at work

Let’s not get too carried away, however.

If there’s anything you should learn from Amazon’s unfortunate hiring algorithm trial, it’s that placing too much trust and responsibilities in machines can be an algorithm for disaster. Understanding equally the capabilities and limitations is essential to finding the right kind of tech for any business’ needs.

Generally speaking, the drawbacks of AI in business point in the direction of human skills and emotional intelligence. Screening algorithms, like behavioral assessments, may pinpoint the best candidates out of a large data pool. However, it can’t point out which candidates will personally mesh with a team.

AI may analyze data in a way that identifies broken systems or unproductive workers and even suggest changes, but it will always overlook moral, ethical, and emotional factors. Customer service AI algorithms can quickly answer FAQs, direct questions from customers to the proper parties, and use past data to suggest solutions. However, they are unable to build relationships with clients which may be detrimental to customer retention and satisfaction.

How Can AI Streamline Your Business?

So, you may already be considering the idea of stronger and more powerful automation support for your business. What’s the next step?

Nearly one in five businesses reject the notion of new tech, considering it not worth the hassle of implementation or cost. Meanwhile, more than four in five believe that if they found the right kind of tech, their business could benefit from it.

Find the right tech with a quick look under the hood, so to speak. Are there any daily tasks that disrupt valuable work?

  • What responsibilities get downgraded or even ignored when urgent matters crop up?
  • What daily tasks demand too much time and attention from managers?
  • And what would be the ideal main purpose of new tech: mobile access, time-saving options, automation?

The common theme of AI support is obvious and smart business leaders will see a clear takeaway. It’s to utilize tech to the highest potential in data management so that human managers can lead their team more effectively.

Office AI is coming and it’s coming fast and the best and brightest of this tech could be at your very own fingertips. Ready to give your managers some brand new tools?

Take a look at this infographic for more on how to find the right tech for your business, whether or not AI replaces your manager.
Can AI Replace Your Manager?
Source: MBA Central

The post Why You Shouldn’t Worry About AI Taking Your Job – Yet appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Personal Advice on Finding The One

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

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

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

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

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

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

looking for the one

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

when finding the one

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do your homework and share your plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reassure them you will stay in touch

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

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

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

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

Be patient and don’t give up on your dreams

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

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

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

See Also: 6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger

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

Want Better Workouts? Hit the Sack Early

We’re overextended and exhausted, but we have weights to lift, miles to run, and muscles to build.

The problem, though, is that the only time many people have to achieve fitness goals often overlaps with (what should be) bedtime. It’s a Catch-22.

Sleep isn’t something to tamper with. It’s serious business. We need at least seven hours to lower our risks of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. On top of that, getting enough sleep keeps us from dealing with energy-draining hormonal changes.

Plus, when gymgoers miss recovery or rest for the sake of fitting in a workout, they risk losing momentum because muscles recover during sleep. In fact, a lack of muscular definition might have less to do with the weights you lift and more to do with the z’s you get.

So are we doomed to become fit zombies, or is there a way out of this self-afflicted sleep deprivation?

Why We Sacrifice Sleep

Most of us love to sleep, yet we willingly keep ourselves from getting the right amount. We think, “If I can just get enough sleep to function and still get my workout in, I’ll be ahead of the game.”

That’s the wrong outlook.

Without sleep, we start to exhibit negative behaviors. We can’t wind down, concentrate, or regulate our appetites. But just one night with a full eight hours of rest can start to reverse these issues. Still, that can be a tall order for fitness aficionados who are locked in a sleep-deprived cycle.

Bryan Cole, our company’s team manager, knows and understands the power of sleep. After decades of working in the nutrition industry and with elite athletes, he sees sleep and exercise as a two-way relationship. He operates under the philosophy that exercise promotes better sleep and that sleep promotes better exercise. GoPro skier Chris Benchetler and the first free climber of the Dawn Wall of Yosemite’s El Capitan, Tommy Caldwell, are among those who share Bryan’s philosophy.

Bryan aims for nine hours of sleep every night but sometimes settles for eight. Consistent rest keeps his work and athletic performance at optimal levels. Haven’t reached this caliber of discipline quite yet? All is not lost — even if last night’s sleep was.

Training Your Brain for Sleep

Realign your priorities and incorporate these strategies into your habits for successful snoozing and better workouts:

Drink enough water

get hydrated

Simply staying hydrated will ensure you feel like you’re in top shape when it’s time to hit the hay. The National Sleep Foundation notes that people low on hydration don’t sleep as deeply, making them more susceptible to groggy, moody mornings.

See Also: Top 5 Tips On How To Stay Hydrated

Eat dinner early

Eating a big meal before bed is a bad decision. A stomach focused on digestion is not a stomach focused on staying asleep. Need to eat late? Resist the temptation to eat anything resembling a heavy meal. Instead, opt for light foods with fewer sugars and carbs, such as pumpkin seeds, turkey, and avocado.

Limit alcohol

Ever gone to sleep exhausted after drinking a glass or two of beer only to wake up wide-eyed at 3 a.m.? This is why some athletes avoid alcohol altogether. If you do enjoy a drink with dinner occasionally, go easy and stop drinking within four hours of bedtime.

Limit caffeine

Many athletes swear by caffeine in all its forms, from energy drinks to super-robust coffee. Although it can boost their stamina temporarily, it can also destroy a nightly routine. As with alcohol, stop drinking caffeine at least four hours before you climb into bed.

Adjust your sleeping space

Think dark, cool, and quiet when designing a sleeping space. If you’re on the road, a white noise machine, earplugs, or an eye pillow can help. At home, choose pillows and a mattress that offer support. Keep the ambient temperature at 67 degrees, and make sure to keep the electronics out of the bed.

Go to bed at the same time every night

Heading to bed at the same time each night gets you into a sleeping groove. Plus, it makes waking up early less difficult. Don’t make weekends an exception. If you stayed up late on Saturday, force yourself to get out of bed early on Sunday rather than sleep in. While it might not be your most mentally sharp day that week, you’ll stay in sync.

See Also: 9 Sleep Hacks to Elevate Your Mood and Improve Your Health

Sleep without clothes

sleep without clothes

Climbing into bed without wearing clothing allows you to be freer to sleep soundly and comfortably. Worried you’ll get too chilly? Cover your bed with breathable sheets and blankets. It’ll be less difficult than you think to get used to sleeping in the nude.

You’ll never hit your fitness A-game without enough rest. Resolve to place more importance on slumber and kick your athleticism into high gear.

The post Want Better Workouts? Hit the Sack Early appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Coffee Culture: The Origins of Your Morning Cup of Joe

In 1699, the East India Trading Company set up the first commercial exports of coffee from Java, Indonesia. As Europeans became fascinated with the strong beverage, its demand only grew stronger. It pushed global trade at the time to its limits — but this was far from the beginning of coffee culture.

Recalled in artwork done by Dutch painter Adriaen Van Ostade, the first European coffee shops and the start of European coffee culture began in the Netherlands. Brought on by the boom of global trade, Venetians, Parisians, and the Dutch embraced coffee. Since then, they considered it embedded in their very own culture as well.

Many countries lay claim to being the first ever coffee drinkers. While we may never know who really started it, the earliest known records of coffee drinking come from 15th century Yemen. The word coffee, derived from an Arabic word used to describe a very strong wine, already has ancient origins itself. It has changed little through the centuries we’ve been enjoying the brew.

But as any coffee lover will tell you, and perhaps the nearly 70% of Americans who drink at least two cups of coffee a day, there is more to coffee than just being a hot morning beverage. Coffee has a culture all its own and the evolution of coffee is an interesting story.

See Also: The Pros and Cons of Coffee Drinking

The Advent of The Coffee House And The Morning Cup of Joe

morning cup of joe

The way we enjoy coffee is evident in not just the way we drink it, but the places in which we drink it. Coffee houses have long been a hot spot for community gathering, innovation, and even political plotting.

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls coffee houses a “third place”. He categorized them as a setting that’s not quite home and not quite the workplace. The “third place” includes other establishments likes bars and public parks, serving a truly neutral meeting ground for all community members, regardless of wealth or status.

The Tontine Coffee House in New York City, for example, became the initial founding place of the New York stock exchange in 1792. In 1850, the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans lovingly had the distinctly American cocktail, the Sazerac, named after its coffeeshop birthplace.

Earlier still, in response to the earth shaking and politically powerful statements of the Boston Tea Party, many early Americans and revolutionary leaders began drinking coffee instead of tea in direct opposition to the English crown.

  • Second president John Adams took up coffee as his beverage of choice. He chose it alongside other Americans rebelling against English rule and taxation
  • Pioneer James Folger sold coffee to miners during the California gold rush, paving the way for future commercial coffee retailers

The Evolution of Coffee Shops

evolution of coffee shop

Times have changed but our obsession with coffee certainly hasn’t.

In 1971, Howard Schultz opened the first ever Starbucks in Seattle, Washington. It reinvigorated our love for all things coffee. Introducing Italian café culture and European style brews to the west coast, Starbucks now operates almost 30,000 stores worldwide. Most of these houses are concentrated in the U.S.

Though this massive coffee chain remains as popular as ever, the most recent take on coffee culture has a local twist. A far cry from the global trade boom of yesteryear, coffee drinkers are looking for a community feel when it comes to their brew.

In 2017, independent cafés made more than $12 billion in revenue as coffee lovers flocked to their local shops. Millennials and Gen Zers, in particular, are willing to pay more for the unique coffee experience of shops. In 2016 alone, more than six million mobile orders were placed on the Starbucks app every single month. While we may like to sit and enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee once in a while, we expect our brew to be fast, fresh, and piping hot.

  • The number of specialty coffee houses increased 19 times in the years between 2001 and 2015
  • 40% of millennials are spending more on coffee than they are putting in retirement savings
  • Adjusted for inflation, the median cup of coffee risen from $1.95 in 1920 to $3.17 in 2018

How do you take your coffee?

As coffee culture evolves around us, the simple yet at times enigmatic cup of coffee remains. This infographic details the ebb and flow of coffee culture through the centuries, how it reflects the current times, influences change and takes on symbolic roles wherever it goes.
Coffee Culture
Source: RaveReviews.org

The post Coffee Culture: The Origins of Your Morning Cup of Joe appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Tips for a Long and Happy Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

morrie and betty markoff
Via articles.latimes.com

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

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

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

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

Sammy and Macie Waller: Remember Your Vows

sammy and macie waller
Via becauseofthemwecan.com

75 years of love.

What’s their secret?

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

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

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

Warren and Mattie Sanders: Agree To Disagree

warren and mattie sanders
Via southernliving.com

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

Agree to disagree.

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

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

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

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

Bob and Jean Haynes: Laughter

bob and jean haynes
Via southernliving.com

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

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

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

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

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

Frank and Thelma Hoffman: Form A Companionship

frank and thelma hoffman
Via abcnews.go.com

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

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

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

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

Cherish it.

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

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

benny dewitt and joyce smith speares
Via southernliving.com

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

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

Letty and Rudy Sagun: Dancing…a lot!

letty and rudy sagun
Via southernliving.com

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

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

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

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

charlie and sherri sugarman
Via southernliving.com

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

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

“Better half?” There’s no such thing.

Tom and Maureen McEwan: Still Living In A Big House

tom and maureen mcewan
Via smalljoys.tv

For 50 years, this couple knows what it takes to stay together. At the same time, Tom and Maureen understand that they both have their own unique personalities. Even if you two complement each other, there’s always still room to grow with your own interests!

If you’re artsy, sometimes you need some space for yourself. For other people, maybe you have a passion for reading books. You two can have space for your own favorite things to do, and you can have the comfort knowing you’re both there for each other.

Ray and Joan Day: Share and Compromise

ray and joan day
Via southernliving.com

Ray and Joan have been together for 48 years. Sharing and compromising is what has kept them together through the years. When you learn how to meet each other halfway, your relationship gains newfound strength.

Time can do so much. Jobs come up, people have to move, some friends come and go. But if you take the time to truly listen to where you’re both coming from, you can move past these things.

As a couple, you’re joined together in unity. Your marriage to each other is a signal that you don’t want or need to be with anyone else. There’s no one else out there who can replace them.

Remember…

Each relationship is different. These secrets from these 10 couples are simple, but they’re crafted out of timeless wisdom.

There are hearts all over the world, but when you’re in a relationship, only one of these hearts match up with yours.

They mean to you what you mean to them. As time goes by, you’ll have your chances to give them a hug, laugh with them, and kiss them goodnight. Don’t take these moments for granted, because what you have is special.

Master these secrets of what makes a long and happy marriage work, and share with someone what you’ll do to ensure a loving relationship.

Author:

Jessica Santos is a content marketer with a passion for writing and storytelling. You can find her writing on a variety of topics ranging from floral DIYs to rising cybersecurity trends. When she’s not writing or researching for her next project, you find her trying out the latest foodie trends at local community festivals. See more of Jessica’s writing here: http://www.oldest.org/people/longest-marriages/.

The post 10 Tips for a Long and Happy Marriage appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Increase Your Productivity By Harnessing Dead Time

Although the title suggests this post will be a world-changing experiment, dear reader, I have to let you down — it won’t. Stop reading if you expect a new promising model as to how to become a super-productive human being.

However, keep reading if you want to read the narrative of your average workday. It’s a good way to determine how you could build on your dead time to get more out of your day.

Growing as a person and becoming better is what we constantly dream about, but when it comes to taking action, we always have an excuse.

If that’s your case, consider the following strategies in managing time wisely:

Your Average Workday

6:00 a.m. You’re sleeping and experiencing the best dream on your bed. The alarm clock just goes off and it’s time you get to work. Don’t hit the snooze button. Instead, try to get up just 10 minutes earlier than you would and make a commitment to use that time to meditate, journal or read every single workday. Yes, you could skip the weekend.

7:00 a.m. You’re on your commute and watching fellow passengers’ sleepy faces. It’s the best time to consume some inspiring literature. Pull out your Kindle and read something that grows you in mind and spirit. You soon will notice that travel time shrinks to its third.

8:00 a.m. You get to your table at the office. If you’re not in a very busy season or simply can’t begin to work right upon arrival―I see a lot of colleagues fall under this category, but not you of course―please don’t check Facebook, don’t check the news, and don’t socialize with colleagues. You have a lot of other options to consider: read a blog post on productivity, learn two new English phrases, search for potential workshops, etc.

Pro tip: It’s best to start with your most demanding and important task just to gain momentum.

9:00 a.m. You start writing an email to a client. The text is in your head since you’ve already drafted such emails a lot of times. This time, you’ve had a bad night sleep and words are coming slowly.

Wait a minute! Get a text expansion app that enables you to use “snippets” or chunks of words that will unfold into a complex text like email, phone number, link, or whatever you want.

Here is how it works. You save your emails, frequently used email addresses, and links to your text expansion app and label each with a snippet that hopefully, you can memorize. Next time, when you compose a report in MS Word, write an email or perform any text-oriented action in any of your apps. All you have to do is enter the associated snippet and the text will unfold itself. The nice thing is that it works in all your apps. Some good text expansion apps include PhraseExpress, TextExpander, and Breevy.

10:00 a.m. You wonder how much time it consumes to draft your report. Why not learn some keyboard shortcuts to increase your productivity? You can print a list of shortcuts and hang it next to your screen. Over time, you’ll feel comfortable with using the keyboard.

productivity in the office

1:00 p.m. You’ve just arrived from lunch with a full stomach. Colleagues invite you for a cup of coffee and, you know, for some 10 minutes of chit-chatting. Why not go for a short walk instead? Walking can help to gather your thoughts, gain focus, and refresh your mind.

5:00 p.m. You’re on the train and you’re heading home. You feel worn out because you really have had a busy day. Pull out your Kindle and just pick up reading where you left off in the morning. By doing so, together with your morning reading, you can implement a full hour of reading into your day.

Pro tip: If you’re driving to your office, you could listen to an audiobook.

6:00 p.m. You’re about to do the laundry, take out the trash, and the list goes on. (If you have a spouse, you know what I mean.) Just put on your wireless headphones and listen to life-changing podcasts to charge your mental batteries. From here, you would never ever do household chores without putting on your headphones.

That’s amazing. There’s not a single minute wasted anymore! You can’t wait to wash the dishes, do the laundry, and ironing your shirts because you know that you’re strengthening your mental muscles.

See Also: How Music Affects Your Productivity

7:00 p.m. You’re blaming yourself because you’ve skipped your exercise this day. You planned to do it but your day unfolded in a way as it always would: With lots of to-dos and seemingly no margins to counterbalance.

Although you clearly missed your full-hour workout, you can take your dumbbells and exercise for 15 minutes while watching your favorite TV show or movie. This time, again, you don’t have to sacrifice your “me-time” while enjoying the benefit of a workout.

Pro tip: Make sure that you don’t exercise too late in the evening because it can delay sleep onset.

Let’s Do the Math

Let’s look back and sum up how much you’ve done over the day without investing a single minute:

  • Meditation- 10 minutes
  • Reading- 30 minutes
  • Learning English- 10 minutes
  • Harnessing technology (text expansion and keyboard shortcuts―well, it’s harder to measure, I leave it up to you)
  • Walking- 10 minutes
  • Reading- 30 minutes
  • Listening to inspiring podcasts- 30 minutes
  • Exercising- 15 minutes

Those things equate to a total of 135 minutes (more than two hours!) of meaningful activities without claiming a single minute from your agenda. Wow!

On top of that, these activities will strengthen your mental as well as your physical muscles. They’ll contribute to your productivity and overall well-being.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Identify Your Gaps

I hope you happened to notice that not a single minute was consumed by your new habits. We just harnessed your dead time to get the most out of your day. Now, it’s your turn to recognize your dead times and build the necessary habits to draw upon.

Experiment with your cues and rewards to find out what works for you to establish the desired habit.

I suggest that you fill in―as productivity experts would call it―an ideal day template to identify your gap. Then, fill those gaps with true content. This template is nothing more than a hard landscape of your day, showing your schedule in half-hour blocks. Take an hour to fill in your template to prevent mind leakage.

Begin the Journey

work productivity

This post doesn’t claim that you not socialize with colleagues or not read the news. It doesn’t cover in details morning or evening routines, essentialism, goal setting or other productivity methods. It does nothing more than shed light to those little things that can make a change in how you perceive your world.

Finally, be willing to change and you’re likely to experience a paradigm shift in your everyday life.

Your one takeaway: Take a deep breath and figure out three things that you can draw upon to harness your dead time.

The post How To Increase Your Productivity By Harnessing Dead Time appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Top 7 Ways To Achieve Legendary Level of Leadership

You must’ve had the pleasure of leading a team or a small group of people at some point in your life. Be it a project or a small campaign, you know how difficult it sometimes get to keep all of your team members on the same page and make them working toward your (common) goal.

Human history is filled with so many great leaders who made the whole world follow them without being distracted or having double thoughts. So, how did those people achieve that legendary level of leadership?

Here are 7 tips on how to improve leadership skills:

Connection

Being a leader, you definitely want your team to understand you better. But don’t you think that you need to understand your team members first?

The key to being a good leader is how good can he or she connects with his or her people.

Yes, your team members are your people. They should be as close to you as your family and similarly, you should be as close to them as their families. You need to know them (not just their names and bio), understand them, and connect with them.

Start talking to your team members or followers more often. Talk about not just about future goals and work-related stuff but also about personal things. Make them feel that you are a friend to them instead of a person who orders them. Share your personal stories first so that they can be more comfortable talking to you. Have fun with them.

Once they start feeling that you’re fun like their friends and caring like their families, you’ll see the difference in their way of working. They’ll start putting their faith in you. They will see you as a leader instead of a boss.

Motivation

Working continuously toward a common goal is what you and your team should be thinking and doing — always. But constantly doing so creates exhaustion due to our limited mental and physical capabilities.

This exhaustion later leads to a decreased level of morale and lack of motivation toward work. Now, it is your job to boost your people’s morale and their level of motivation.

Delivering motivational speeches frequently during meetings is one of the best ways to cheer up your people. If some individual is feeling hopeless, then you have to talk to that person individually instead of calling a team meeting.

For more information on how to deliver a killer speech, you can check this article by John Corcoran on Dumb Little Man.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Teamwork

As they say, “With great power comes greater responsibility!”

Being a leader, you might have a very diverse group of people who are very different from each other. This diversity is good for the exposure and scope of your team as it can bring new ideas as well as creative insights.

However, this diversity also creates conflicts when two or more people don’t agree with each other or their beliefs clash on some topic.

In that case, you need to come up with a solution on how to create harmony in your team while avoiding conflicts. It can be achieved by taking those people for a coffee or dinner to talk things out.

If your people can become friends, they’ll be better at working together. So, you need to introduce this friendship to your team members as it encourages solid teamwork.

Be more active in case a new member joins your team. It can be hard for a newbie to find his place in the team as well as in the social sphere. Introduce your newest member to the team and make him feel good by proudly announcing his achievement among your team members.

You need to keep checking the cohesiveness in your team as it is highly fragile. One conflict or misunderstanding might lead to a collapse.

Greater Goal

greater goal

To keep everyone on the same page, you need to keep reminding them about the greater goal. It is okay if everyone in your team works for their own progress and success. But you need to tell them how important achieving your common goal is.

Connect your goal to a greater good. Shout proudly in your speeches or casual talks that achieving this goal will be crucial for the development of society and also beneficial for mankind.

Hearing this will definitely make your whole team proud of themselves. It is necessary for their self-esteem as it’ll increase their scope of thinking. Knowing that they are working for something bigger will give them the boost they need.

Be Loud and Clear

You know that they don’t call the lion ‘the king of the jungle’ for nothing.

You are their leader and you have the responsibility for everything. So, you need to be loud whether it be a motivational speech or a regular talk with your team member.

You cannot afford to stumble while talking. You need to keep a lion-like image among your team. They should look up to you whenever they need any help.

You should also be clear and straightforward. It is your team so you better clearly assign work and give tasks to your people. Since you’ll be responsible for anything good or bad that happens to your team, better be loud and clear always.

Always Be Humble

Being loud and clear doesn’t give you the right to be rude or arrogant even for once. It simply is unacceptable. The moment you start behaving negatively, you’ll be dragging the entire team down.

Even when your team members are not so humble to you all the time, you need to act in such a way.

Being humble shows a positive attitude. Plus, it encourages your people to practice humility as well.

I understand that you are also a human being who has emotions. Yes, you can be angry but you need to control your negative emotions.

Control your anger by using specific techniques, like counting 1 to 10 in your head. Now, once you have enough self-control, try to be humble as much as possible.

See Also: The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence For A Leader

End on A Good Note

leadership skill

If you’ve ever delivered a speech or did a presentation, you’ll know how crucial it is to end things on a good note.

Just think of someone who is delivering a motivational speech to a crowd and suddenly says ‘Thank you’!

Ending your talks or speech is as important as any other steps of being a leader. You can include any inside jokes which only you and your team can understand. It’ll help ease up any awkward situation and introduce subtle humor.

You can also include any quotes by famous personalities, such as the one below:

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope” – Martin Luther King Jr.

What do you think a leader requires to be legendary? Leave in comments down below.

The post Top 7 Ways To Achieve Legendary Level of Leadership appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Ways You Haven’t Considered to Save or Make Money

Everyone needs money to survive, to grow, and to have fun. And Google turns up with more than 9 billion pages if you search for “I need money”!

In the burgeoning gig economy, we have hundreds of opportunities to earn quick money by running errands, walking dogs, selling artwork, and doing freelance work. You already know about them.

In this article, we will talk about simple actionable tips and frugal living ideas.

Frugal eating does not mean unhealthy eating

Most students in college think eating on a budget means shopping at Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, eating Ramen noodles or peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and drinking energy drinks.

This is not what ‘frugal eating’ means.

The cost of eating unhealthy food is way more than what’s printed on the packaging. If you really want to save money on food, drink only water and buy generic and cheap items. Good examples are potatoes, dried beans, and legumes, eggs, sauce, spaghetti etc.

You might also consider exploring your local Asian and Mexican markets as they offer pretty good deals on buying staples, rice, spices, meat or produce in bulk.

A few simple recipes can save you a lot of time and money and keep you healthy.

See Also: 10 Cooking Tips For Beginners To Help You Master The Kitchen

Try online teaching

One edge that online tutoring assignments have is that it allows you to save up on transportation costs. Moreover, you can choose to teach at any time of the day.

3 easy steps to earn as an online tutor are:

● Register yourself as a tutor on a reputed online tutoring website
● Make a good profile and fill-up as many details as you can
● Take up teaching and assignment help gigs that suit your qualifications, skills, and interest areas.

If you want to teach at odd hours, try teaching international students. It will help you widen your scope and give you better exposure to what curricula other countries are following for a particular subject.

Native English speakers can also make good money by teaching English online as a second language to foreign students since they’re always looking for online tutors for high school and competitive exams.

Sell your notes and old books

Once you complete your course or graduate from your school or college, you hardly have any use for your classroom notes or revision notes you prepared. You can sell them online to students who are about to join the course or the level.

Many websites also allow you to sell your old textbooks and guides and get a good amount of your money back. If you use your books gently, you are likely to fetch more while re-selling them.

Similarly, you can sell old clothes and junk from time-to-time to make some quick money and make your living area clutter-free.

TV/Phone/Social media addictions mean losing money

man watching tv

TV, phones, FB, WhatsApp, Instagram, and YouTube eat up a lot of our time. Most people come back from their college or workplace, switch on the TV, and end up wasting hours doing nothing.

The moment you decide to let go of them, you’ll feel calmer and more relaxed. You will also find a lot of extra time to exercise, meet with friends, take up online gigs at micro-services websites, and do other constructive work.

Hours wasted in watching TV or phone literally mean losing hundreds of dollars per week.

Save your $10 notes

Saving money needs discipline and it’s not an easy trait to acquire. However, you may end up saving a lot of money if you keep saving notes of a certain denomination.

Every time, you get a $10 note, stash it up in your ‘saving’ fund. The loss won’t hurt you immediately and you will be able to see your savings grow as your days pass by.

This only works when you deal in cash. If you make digital payments, you may try another variation of this tip. For example, each time you spend $100 or more, put $10 in a separate saving or investment account.

These days, almost everybody is doing a side job along with a full-time college degree course. These tips can help you alleviate your financial woes as a student and work your way to a happy and contented life.

The post 5 Ways You Haven’t Considered to Save or Make Money appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Smart And Easy Tips To Make Moving A Breeze

Regardless of whether you have few or more items, moving is one of the biggest household tasks there is. It consumes both time and effort for both first-time movers and people who frequently move. From preparations to the moving day itself, it can be a tiring job.

In this article, we will tackle some of the best moving tips and hacks I’ve gathered.

Plan

Before you decide on relocating, you should have a plan first. This will help you achieve an efficient moving experience.

Plan about how the moving should be, your new destination, and what to pack. Know where you are relocating and how you are going to move from your house to your new home.

Are you going to hire some help or can you get some help from your friends?

Make a clear and concrete plan.

Research

Assuming that you’ve already had a destination, the next step is to research about it. Regardless of whether it’s a small move or an interstate move, getting information is always a good idea. Check for schools, hospitals, markets, and other things that can help you describe what and how the area is like.

It’s also advisable to check the area’s employment rate. This is crucial for people who are looking for opportunities in other areas. This is also the right time to choose the right home for you, the right town or suburb, and city. You might also want to check the area’s road policies and other community regulations, especially if you’re moving with a pet.

After doing so, you can hire and schedule a moving service from recommended companies. Make sure to choose a removalist with cheap yet outstanding services.

Organize

Let’s say that you’re done with the research and you’re getting excited with relocating. Now, it’s time to organize. If you’re moving to another city, try to visit your new home weeks before the moving day. This is a perfect time for you to allocate and indicate the number of items you’ll need.

Remember that the fewer the boxes, the better. This is because extra moving boxes require additional payment. There are some moving services that provide a set of moving boxes but in a limited number only. Exceeding boxes require additional costs.

Make An Inventory

Make a list of everything you’ll need in your new home. This depends on how big or small your new home is.

It’s always advisable to leave items that can be bought in your new area. These items include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and other toiletries. You can also leave electrical items such as electric razor and blow-dryer.

An inventory can also help you with determining whether you’ve lost an item along the moving process. Make sure to keep your inventory list before and after moving. If you’re taking your furniture, it’s best to ask for professional help. Hire a removalist.

Pack, pack, pack

Packing also means decluttering. Using your inventory list, pack your things in their designated moving boxes. You should have several types of moving boxes designed for specific items.

See Also: The Super Easy Approach to Decluttering your Home

Here’s a list of the types of moving boxes:

Small Moving Box – This type of box is designed for small but heavy items. The idea here is to help an individual carry heavy items in a faster and more efficient method. It’s best for carrying books and small but heavy appliances.

Medium Moving Box – The most versatile type of moving box. This type of box can carry both small and medium size items. It can withstand a weight of over 60 kilograms. It’s the perfect box for clothes, towels, and other small appliances.

Large Moving Box – Don’t be fooled by its name. It might be the largest moving box but you can’t use it to pack heavy items. Large moving boxes are made to carry small and lightweight items.

Specialty Boxes – These moving boxes are designed for specialty items such as furniture, piano, pool table, antique valuables, and jewelry.

It’s advisable to pack your items weeks prior to the moving schedule. This is to prevent last-minute preparations which always lead to stress and delay.

Label Your Boxes

Although it’s not actually necessary, it’s always wise to label your boxes. Labeling your boxes can help your removalist indicate boxes with fragile items and heavy items. This could also help you indicate which box goes to a specific room for a faster unpacking process.

Move

At last, the big day has arrived and it’s time to move!

If you did not hire a removalist but had your items packed well and secured, it’s better to know the simplest way of loading your things in a van. Removalists always say that what comes in first must go out last. This is where box labels come in handy.

Most of the time, it’s the heaviest box that goes in first and goes out last. There are some circumstances where large boxes go in first.

In accordance with this, it’s also recommended to tell your removalist about the details of your area before you move. Tell them the easiest route for their van to park and the most efficient route to carry your valuables. This is to make an organized moving process and to keep it at a smooth yet fast way.

Unpack and You’re Done

 

packing boxes efficientlyEvery moving company offers a pack and unpack service that makes it beneficial for customers. However, if you did not avail this service, chances are you’re going to spend a whole day unpacking and arranging your items.

There’s no problem with unpacking your items by yourself. However, if some of your valuables got damaged in the journey, you’ll have no one to turn to.

Hiring a removalist and availing some of their services promotes a better moving experience. Insurances are present which gives you peace of mind while your items are being transported.

Whether your items got lost or damaged, the removalist will be liable to replace them or give you a refund. This will depend on the item and the type of insurance you’ve purchased.

Overview

An effective moving process starts with a concrete plan. So, it’s wise to plan ahead.

Prepare and organize your things before you start packing. Updating your removalist for assistance or certain changes can also help promote an efficient moving experience.

The post 8 Smart And Easy Tips To Make Moving A Breeze appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Weight Training Will Affect You In The Long Run

I never had major struggles with my weight, but there was definitely a period of time where I was somewhat out of shape, lazy, unhealthy and unhappy. Not knowing a whole lot about fitness, I just decided to hit the gym and hope for the best.

When I started going to the gym, it was all about the cardio. I started running on a treadmill, then started using the rowing machine. Both helped me to tone up some, but I found that I still didn’t feel confident in my health and certainly not my strength.

Discovering weight lifting was a revelation for me. I watched the people at the free weights for months before I even dared to try the weight machines. Then, I finally plucked my courage and went over for tips of free weights.

Everything changed for me.

The men and women who lifted were more than happy to give me pointers on moves and form. I developed my own routine over time. I broke goals and out of muscle plateaus and I saw my body change drastically. My health improved to the point where I wouldn’t become sick every time one of my children would bring a cold home.

The Benefits Of Weight Training

What I mentioned above were the short-term benefits of my weight training experiences. But, as it turns out, there are plenty of long-term ones we should also be considering.

Building Better Muscles

This one is probably the most obvious. When you weight train, you are working the muscles in your body. While weight machines will target specific areas and help to build them up, free weights work for more groups all at once and do it more effectively than a machine. That’s why you see more results.

Also, remember that building muscle doesn’t necessarily mean building mass. Many women worry that if they start to lift weights, they will form large muscles. That just isn’t the case. What they will gain is muscle definition and less fat percentage on their overall body.

For those who are looking for mass, lifting heavy and in smaller sets, paired with a high protein diet, can get you there. However, it isn’t a mandatory part of strength training.

Building More Strength

Another given but one that isn’t given nearly as much attention is the strength gains that come with weight lifting. Believe it or not, having large muscles won’t necessarily mean you are that much stronger than the average person.

For instance, someone might have really large arms. But if their lower body doesn’t have an equally strong core, those bulky upper body muscles can leave them unbalanced and less strong overall.

Building Protection

When I was a kid, I hurt my ankle pretty badly in a snowboarding accident. Part of my recovery was a series of exercises as soon as I was out of the cast. It built muscles in my legs, ankles, and thighs.

At the time, I didn’t understand what the rest of my legs had to do with it. Wasn’t it just my ankle that was hurt?

Now, I understand that having more strength in my legs overall meant less pressure on my ankle itself. It was also building a protective layer of muscle near the tendons so I would be less prone to another injury.

Building Up The Bones

As we age, we see a progressive degeneration in our bones and overall skeletal structure. It is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fend it off as long as possible and reduce its severity.

Research has shown time and again that bone strength and density can be improved with the use of weight training, even in those who already suffer from the effects. It may even turn back the initial stages of osteoporosis.

Building Brain Power

Another risk of age is losing one’s mental faculties, something that most of us fear. Exercise has always been associated with lowering the chances of conditions such as Alzheimer’s, although the process is poorly understood.

One thing we do know is that resistance and weight training have been associated with better neurocognitive functions in elderly males. The study also shows that the sooner this is started, the better. The results were shown on otherwise healthy adult males who had no signs of dementia.

So, if we get our bodies in healthy shape now, we could be saving ourselves from mental decline later on.

Weight Training: A Miracle Workout

There is no doubt about it, weight training is an incredible tool for health. We can use it to keep our bodies healthy now and protect ourselves from age-related illnesses in the future.

While there is nothing wrong with cardio, and in fact, it is an important part of maintaining proper heart health, adding weight training to your routine now will have big payoffs later.

See Also: 20 Tips For Building the Body of Legend Bruce Lee

The post How Weight Training Will Affect You In The Long Run appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Balancing Your Lifestyle With Your Pet

With the ever-increasing cost of living, one payslip is sometimes not enough for anything beyond putting food on the table. This is why most people often have to work long hours and even weekends. Consequently, finding the perfect work-life balance is a struggle for most of us, which jeopardizes relationships with family, friends, and even pets.

If you’re one of those people, here’s a 5-point guide on how to balance your lifestyle when you are living with pets.

Exercise With Your Pet

You already know that living a sedentary lifestyle can dramatically reduce your lifespan and predispose you to diseases like cancer and diabetes. So, with or without a pet, you should set aside some time to exercise at least thrice per week.

If your free time is not adequate for both exercising and bonding with your pet, you can combine the two for an even better outcome. Take your dog or cat for a walk around the neighborhood every evening or try to fit in a hike on the weekends. Your bond will grow even stronger.

Engaging in these activities sets you towards living a healthy lifestyle that’s beneficial to your health. If you have an active dog, it’s one way to keep it healthy, too.

Don’t Forget About Your Family

Your family needs your love, attention, and presence just as much as your furry, four-legged friend. So, as you make the necessary lifestyle changes with your pet, extend said changes as far as your family is concerned.

For instance, bring your kids along on walks with your pets and use the opportunity to get up to date with their lives. If you have the means and the time, you can also organize outings as a great way to bring the whole family, including the four-legged members, together.

Consider Switching to a Career with Better Work-Life Balance

Sometimes, what you need is not a bunch of lifestyle changes but a complete switch to an alternative lifestyle. And no, we are not suggesting that you start wearing hippie wigs and all that. Instead, consider changing the way you work and live.

For instance, switching your 9-to-5 job for a freelance career will give you a better work-life balance and improve your relationships with your pet and family. Other examples of best careers with good work-life balance as compiled by Forbes include:

  • Corporate Recruiter
  • Data Scientist
  • SEO Manager
  • Mobile Developer

Notably, you may need to undertake additional studies to get a job with better work-life balance, which admittedly and unfortunately is not applicable to everyone.

See Also: 7 Tips to Happy Coworking with Your Pets

Choose a Pet that Fits Your Lifestyle

Some pets require lots of activities while others can do just fine with minimal exercise. It is, therefore, imperative that you consider an animal’s personality and how it fits in your lifestyle before bringing it home.

For instance, if you have no free time on weekdays, you may want to keep off dog breeds like terriers as they need lots of activity to stay healthy. Similarly, if you happen to travel a lot for work and can’t take your dog along, you’ll be better off looking for a breed with an amiable temperament.

The number of kids you have and their ages should also be considered when selecting pets. If your kids are below 5 years, avoid toy breeds like poodles and chihuahuas as they’re known to be too nervous around small kids. Instead, go for bigger breeds like bulldogs.

Nonetheless, toy breeds are amazing if you live a minimalist lifestyle with limited floor space. You’ll need a much larger house if you like breeds such as St. Bernard and Great Dane.

Assess the Costs of the Required Lifestyle Changes

After figuring out the type of pet that fits in your existing lifestyle, the next step is to consider the amount of time and money needed to maintain it. Remember, the key is to balance your lifestyle and your needs without one overwhelming the other.

The costs to consider include:

  • Food expenses
  • Medical costs
  • Toys and accessories
  • Grooming costs
  • Recommended exercise time

For instance, common breeds like Beagle and Chihuahua are manageable even on a limited income. Others, such as Chow Chow and Rottweilers, are a struggle financially and physically. You may also find that small pets are more expensive and difficult to handle than bigger pets.

Conclusion

We all love pets for one reason or another which is why it doesn’t make any sense for either animal or man to have lifestyles that are not in sync. Whatever your professional life is like, strive to create a balance in your life when living with pets. That’s one way to increase the bond between you and your furry companion while also augmenting your lifespan as well.

The post Balancing Your Lifestyle With Your Pet appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How The Student Loan Bubble Affects The Economy

Surpassing the market value of media giants Microsoft and Facebook combined, the national student loan debt ceiling is coming up on crisis levels. The United States is no stranger to financial disasters; the Great Depression still within living memory, the mistakes of the past are perhaps going unheeded as we approach yet another potential crisis.

Reaching $1.4 trillion, millions of Americans from recent grads to Gen X continue to struggle to make monthly payments. To make it worse, there’s only a lifetime ahead for this to go on.

What’s The Problem With All This Debt?

money management

College graduates leave their hallowed halls of learning with more than just a degree to show for it. On average, recent college grads are in the hole for nearly $30,000 and just ten years to pay it all back.

Monthly payments come out to around $400 a month, not a small amount for fresh-out-of-college graduates. The burden of an extra, hefty bill every month doesn’t just put pressure on an individual’s bank account, it also has huge ramifications for the economy at large. This is especially true since many Americans struggle to make payments.

Millennials are spending less and less on discretionary purchases every year. Average daily spending by 18 to 34-year-olds is down by $19 since 2008. By the time they reach age 30, millennials are less likely to start their own business. 42% are citing that they do not have the financial means to enter entrepreneurship.

It takes a recent college grad, on average, 12 years to save enough for a down payment on a home. Over 80% of people aged 22-35 that have not yet purchased a home blame their student loan debt. On the other hand, 47% of Americans are putting off buying a car. One in seven American couples are waiting to get married as a result of financial roadblocks

From A Drag On The Economy To The Next Bubble

So, how are we going to manage this bubble that’s about to burst?

how to manage money effectively

For those living and struggling with student loan debt, there are options to help make repaying these loans easier and faster. Income-based repayment, rather than fixed repayment base on loan amount plus consolidation options means lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and avoidance of deferring loans. Deferment rates are highest amongst young and recent graduates, with 26% of millennials and 77% of Gen Zers choosing deferment.

Additionally, American graduates are given just one-third of the time to pay back their student loans in comparison to other countries. Extending the period of time in which to repay loans helps in the short term by lowering monthly payments. It also gives young people more options for saving money and stimulating the economy.

In 2013, Congress made moves that actually lowered the general interest rates for student loans, but these changes were not made immediately available to individuals who had taken loans out prior to the change.

  • Repayment period in the US is ten years; in England, it is 30 years
  • Extending the time provided to pay back loans will lower monthly payments, but may increase interest
  • The pre-2013 rate was 7%; 2018 rate was down to 5.05%. Lowered interest rates even by just a few points can help save the borrower thousands of dollars over time and potentially help pay off loans quicker.

However, some experts agree that it will take more aggressive and even “radical” changes to make lasting progress. This calls for a massive overhaul to not only loan policies but educational standards as well. The outright cancelation of loans, while not entirely unheard of, is rare and only available to certain careers.

Nurses and public school educators have the option to cancel their loans after a period of time. However, canceling all student loan debt could change the game completely. Loan forgiveness would encourage consumers to spend more of their money on economic goods and services, rather than on repaying on debt and interest, to stimulate the economy. On the other hand, it could increase taxes for everyone.

How Could Less Student Loan Debt Affect The Overall Economy?

A step further from loans canceled outright, some experts suggest hitting the issue right at its source is the most effective solution: free public college. Existing in several European countries, the precedent for free college has already been set and acts as a living, working “experiment” in Germany and Denmark.

From Senator Bernie Sanders’s proposed 2017 College for All Act, it was estimated to cost $47 billion per year to manage free college and states. Things are looking up in such states as New York and Tennessee as they’re already working on free tuition for in-state students in public colleges.

Canceling student loan debt would increase GDP by up to $108 billion per year for the next decade. Canceled student loans would add up to 1.5 million jobs into the economy. No tuition costs would dramatically reduce the financial burden of earning a college degree, influencing the economy as a whole.

Learn more about the student loan bubble from this infographic.
Student Loan Debt
Source: Student Loan Review

The post How The Student Loan Bubble Affects The Economy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Meal Prep

While many people can access helpful information on choosing a healthy diet, just a few implement the tips. You should realize that acquiring healthy eating tips is futile if your execution is wanting.

We are not here to accuse you; in fact, we understand the difficulties that you undergo to choose a healthy diet for your family amid your busy schedules. For this reason, this article will give excellent meal prepping tips.

Meal Prepping: What Is It?

Meal prepping is the act of preparing all your meals in advance. You’ll have the opportunity to prepare the meals during your free time. Most importantly, you will have all the time to shop for healthy and unprocessed ingredients.

This exercise will save your time. It’ll also ensure that your family feeds on healthy meals, as opposed to the processed and prepackaged foods which could have undesired health effects.

How Do I Start?

While you may be enthusiastic about this exercise, you should be careful not to be overwhelmed. You shouldn’t start by trying all the new healthy recipes you’ve read about recently. Instead, use the recipes that you’re conversant with and you’ll progressively move to the newer and more complicated ones.

Follow the tips below for successful meal prepping:

Pick your Day

You need to determine the specific day that you’ll prepare your meals. We recommend that you pick a day when you don’t have work!

Most people prefer Sunday and Wednesday to prepare healthy meals for the entire week. You should take charge and independently choose a day that you’re comfortable with.

We recommend that you begin by preparing meals for a few days before you can expand the meal prepping to an entire week.

Pick the Meals

You need to select the meal that you’ll prepare first depending on your needs. A person with a family would give preference to dinner, while a single person may choose breakfast. When choosing, you need to ensure that you prepare meals that are easy to prepare in bulk but slow to prepare a day at a time.

After picking the meals, you need to choose the recipe. While you can cook using a similar recipe, we recommend that you use different recipes for each day.

You should never forget to consider the nutrients composition of each recipe. You’re obliged to ensure that your family gets a balanced diet.

Use Good Containers

This is the foundation of a successful meal prepping plan. Ensure you have separate containers for each type of meal to avoid a mixture that may scare your children.

What is a good container?

Make sure that the container is segmented to allow you to place different meals in different sections. This can help prevent cross-contamination. You can save by buying these in bulk around November, when they often go on sale for Thanksgiving.

Below is a checklist for a food container you should have:

  • Divided and air-tight sections.
  • BPA-free. Never compromise on this requirement! Check the bottom of each container. If it has a triangle with number 7 written in it, then you should avoid it. When it’s BPA-free, you can safely microwave your food.
  • Clear containers. This will enable you to identify the contents easily.
  • Reliable and safe. Your container must be stackable, microwavable, freezer safe, and reusable.

In the Kitchen

Before you become an expert in meal prepping, you should start with a few meals. These tips are helpful in achieving success quickly:

Begin with simple meals. Use meals that are easy to prepare, easy to store, and are freezable. Many starters prefer chicken!

Be ready to multitask. Remember that you’re cooking meals for several days. You will have to launch your multitasking skills to achieve this in a single day. You can use multiple ovens. If you do not have enough utensils and ovens to accommodate multitasking, you may need to shop for the items.

Fruits. Including fruits in your recipe is an excellent way of achieving a balanced diet. You will need to wash different types of fruits, cut them up, and store them just like any other meal.

While this is a great idea, you need to research the effect of certain activities on the fruits’ nutritional value. Cutting some fruits can deplete some nutritional components. Some will be oxidized which will cause undesirable color on the fruit’s surface! As such, you should only implement the ideas that will not affect the nutritional value of the fruit.

The Crockpot. While this may appear obvious, many people ignore it. You can use the appliance to prepare some meals for storage. You can use it for cooking as well as for storing the food.

Bottom Line

This guide offers excellent tips on how to start meal prepping. It’s your duty to research the best recipes to try out in your kitchen. However, you should always ensure that what you feed on is nutritionally balanced and healthy.

The post How to Meal Prep appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Know What Changes You Should Actually Make In Your Life

These days, the internet is full of confusing mixed messages. There is the message of “Be yourself! You’re beautiful no matter what you look like!” Then, there is the message of “You must look this exact way in order to be considered beautiful.”

Neither of those are necessarily true. Beauty is a standard and everyone has his own idea of what that looks like. You don’t meet everyone’s criteria and not everyone meets your criteria. That’s just how the world works.

This makes personal improvements tricky. When we hear things like “get in shape” or “get dressed up” or anything relating to becoming beautiful, our minds often go straight to models of some kind, whether Instagram or Victoria’s Secret.

We’re often overwhelmed by what we want to change about ourselves. We want to be perfect, but no one is perfect. We don’t like ourselves, but we don’t know what or how to change what we don’t like.

Instead of saying to yourself, “I want to be beautiful. I want to be skinnier. I want to be happier. I want to look like a Kardashian”, ask yourself this: What does being the best version of yourself look like?

This question takes all outward influences out of the picture. You don’t have to look like the models you see everywhere you look and you don’t need to look like anyone else. You can look like you.

Being The Best Version of Yourself

The best version of you might be ten pounds lighter or ten pounds heavier. You might have zit-free skin or you might have the perfect winged eyeliner look.

Maybe you drink more water and eat more bacon. Maybe you write in your notebook every day or smile at strangers more often. Or maybe you give your friends gifts more often or call your parents more. Perhaps you go out only Saturday nights, instead of Friday through Sunday. Maybe you finally do that thing you’ve been dreaming about for months.

People will still have their judgement to pass on you, even when you’re steadily working to better yourself. If you listen to them at all, take what they say with a grain of salt. What you do does not concern them and your happiness does not rely on them.

The important thing is to remember that you don’t look like anyone else, inside and out. There is a “best version” of yourself in you somewhere, even if sometimes it’s hard to find. Think about what you want to see from yourself, not what anyone else might want to see.

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

The post How To Know What Changes You Should Actually Make In Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Overcome Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse isn’t the easiest thing to deal with. Compared with physical abuse, it leaves pain that lasts for a longer time. It creates a lot of grief and unhappiness that tend to torture the victim every single day.

Emotional abuse happens when the other party erodes your sense of self esteem and literally, has a hold over your mind. Your sense of self worth shrinks so much that you no longer dare to challenge what is being said about you. You believe in their stories.

Unfortunately, most of them are not true to begin with.

Your partner spins a web of lies to control your behavior and for his own selfish motives. It is possible that he has an inferiority complex to begin with.

Perhaps, there comes a time when you decide that enough is enough. You refuse to be held hostage by your mental torture and you want to move on. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome emotional abuse and regain the confidence and control that you may have lost to an abusive partner.

Here’s how:

Dissociate from the past

There is no point lamenting about what has happened in the past. It is over.

However, you shouldn’t deny it either. Just accept that it has happened and that you are now on the road to emotional health. You may not have exercised control over your past but you can take charge over your own future from now on.

Look at the past as lessons that point out what you no longer want for yourself. Admittedly, it will take time to heal from the emotional trauma caused by an abuser but gradually, you will discover an inner strength and resilience to build a bright future. A change in environment may be helpful for you to de-associate from your past.

Build self-esteem

Abusers are constantly hacking away at your self-esteem. When you come out of an abusive relationship, it is essential that you rebuild your sense of self-worth. You need to recognize that you can be strong and capable of independent thought.

Surrounding yourself with people who value you is an important part of the healing process. Form your own support group or join an online community that helps support its members to gain strength. It is vital that you remember what makes you a unique and valuable person.

See Also: Feeling Low? These 7 Mental Hacks Will Help Boost Your Self-Esteem

You hold the power

Emotional abusers do what they do to gain power over you. Consequently, you feel that you are being controlled and watched over every single movement that you make.

You fear making decisions. In fact, you find it difficult to make one without consulting your partner. You lose confidence in your own abilities and you feel incapable of rational thinking.

The important thing is to understand that you are the only person who has power over yourself. One reason why you have been subjected to emotional abuse is that you have handed your power over to your partner.

In reality, no one can make you do anything if you do not let it happen. Realize that only you hold the power. Look for ways to empower yourself.

You know what is right for you

how to deal with depression

You are the only person who knows what is best for you. An emotional abuser will want you to make decisions that are self serving for his or her interest. However, such a decision may not be in line with yours. As much as you care for a harmonious relationship, you need to take an alternate decision if your inner knowing tells you otherwise.

Hence, it is your job to take care of your own needs. It is not about being selfish, but about establishing certain boundaries. No one leads your life for you. Do what feels right. Trust your intuition.

You can only control yourself

One reason that many women stay in abusive relationships is because they think they can help their partner change. Time will lapse and they would find that they remain stuck and with no signs of improvement in their partner.

The truth is that you cannot make anyone change. You can only control the way you react to them. So, focus on improving your own life. In doing this, you will discover your own self worth. You can then decide whether or not your partner is compatible with your new lifestyle.

Spend Time Setting boundaries and expectations

People often expect a speedy recovery after being in an abusive relationship. If they do not allow themselves enough time to heal, they will often fall into another abusive relationship.

It is clear to see that they have not learnt their lessons. They continue to attract the same kind of relationships that have them feeling needy.

Hence, it is important that you spend time setting boundaries and expectations for treatment in future relationships before diving into a new one. Commit to a decision that you do not want to enter into any unhealthy liaisons any more.

If you are clear in what you want, you are more likely to attract a loving and kind partner, unlike the one that you have been used to.

Do what makes you feel good

Initially, you will feel free from coming out of an abusive relationship. However, you may start to experience insecurity because you do not know how to occupy your time. For this reason, it is important that you do not hang around by your phone, hoping that your partner will call and beg for forgiveness.

how to be happy everyday

Instead, find things to do that makes you feel happy. Take a class or pick up a hobby. Try to recall what it is that you have always wanted to explore. With no one telling you what to do or holding you back, the possibilities are endless.

Conclusion

It is important to have a vision of who you would like to become once you have regained control of your life. If it helps, look for role models. No longer will you be controlled without your permission. Most definitely, do what it takes to gain a sense of self empowerment.

Do not be afraid to ask for assistance from others either. You need time to heal and getting some form of support is always a good idea. You have the choice to make things right. Your future is bright; do not let anyone take that away from you!

See Also: The Ultimate Stepping Stone to Personal Freedom

Written by Evelyn Lim, a certified NLP practitioner and life coach. She wants to be rich, not only monetarily, but in life, love, health, etc. Visit her popular blog at Attraction Mind Map.

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How to Remove Skin Tags with Duct Tape

Skin tags can be quite embarrassing.

Also known as acrochordons, they are the small flaps of skin that appear on the body. People who are very young, very old, pregnant, and diabetic are more prone to developing them. While they are typically harmless, they aren’t that pleasant to look at.

If you have a few skin tags and you’re thinking of removing them, you can get them surgically removed. There are also a couple of home remedies you can try. Among those remedies, the use of duct tape for skin tag removal is probably the most popular one. After all, it’s cheap and it just works!

Below is a step-by-step guide you’ll find handy in removing those stubborn skin tags

Gather your supplies

In this case, they are simple. All you need is a skin tag, or more than one, and a roll of duct tape.

Wash and dry your skin completely before covering the area around it with a piece of duct tape.

Smooth it completely to ensure that there are no bubbles or wrinkles that will let air into the area. The theory behind duct tape removal is that it suffocates the skin underneath, causing the skin tag to die. Because of this, it’s a good idea to not make the tape around the tag too big, so that the skin you want to keep isn’t damaged in the process.

Wait until the tape begins to loosen, then check the skin tag

If it is still alive, it will remain attached. If it is not, it will fall off. If one round of duct tape doesn’t work, replace it with a fresh piece after washing and drying the area again. Do this until the skin tag finally does fall off.

If you want to speed the process, try a second method to help move things along

Some popular choices include painting the skin tag with nail polish to suffocate it and tying a string around the base of the skin tag as tight as you can. Do this before placing the duct tape to the skin tag. Repeat it each time that you replace your piece of tape.

A Word of Caution

Though this may work the first time, sometimes it takes multiple times to work. If your skin tags grew while you were pregnant or ill and you are now healthy, they are unlikely to return. If you are in the same health as you were when they grew, they may return.

See Also: How to Get Flawless Skin: The Best Tips You Should Know By Now

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How Toys Can Boost Your Child’s Development

How a child views their world starts from the arms of their caretakers. Their views are closely guarded with what you put in front of them. From the time they are in your womb until the end of their teens, they act like a sponge — absorbing everything around them and creating impressions that suit their mind.

This thing can be a boon and a bane in differing situations. However, if you do build the foundations strong, you would be able to inculcate the good values of being human into your child.

Nurturing them into a healthy and responsible adult is what all parents and caretakers want. If you identify yourself with this role, then read on to know how you can use toys as an important child development tool to pave a better way for them in the future.

Let’s explore how toys and child development are related:

Children learn more by playing than studying

This is why most of the playschools adopt a mix of play and learn to teach kids and it works!

Children who enjoy what they are doing learn more out of their activities rather than handing them a book and expecting them to absorb it all.

Visuals triumph over text

Yes, you might find that your child likes to read but they would enjoy something more visual. Be it pictures, videos or any brightly colored toy, they interact with visuals more.

This is why most of the toys aimed at kids are brightly colored. It helps them identify colors and things.

Toys enhance motor skills

When they play with something that would make them get up and play, they develop healthy motor skills. This would help them be active which is what their growing body needs. The more they play, the more enhanced their hand-to-eye coordination will become.

So, get them balls and doll prams that will get them moving. Find them at BabyUniqueCorn.

Toys enhance cognitive skills

Toy puzzles help children in their cognitive skills. The very challenge of figuring it out themselves enables them to become critical thinkers. Rather than throwing a book on them now, give them interesting and fun toy puzzles.

They help them understand relations

Children understand relations through role-playing. They look around their home environment and enact the same with their toys. They role-play with their toys and playmates to imitate what they observe.

Make sure you leave a good impression on them so that they understand the essence of relationships. Play with them sometimes to also guide them.

They help them understand the society

When you get them toys that represent a profession, they would be able to understand society little by little. With role-playing, they would understand the process, decorum, and manners that go with it.

Toys are instrumental in developing that attitude and learning curve. Make sure you have adequate toys that would develop their mental health.

It helps them express themselves

Toys, especially the ones they identify with, become instrumental in helping them to express themselves. Talking to themselves or personifying toys is a healthy way on how they express and understand themselves.

These internal monologues, which they express overtly, are a sign of healthy self-expression. Give them the toys, some colors, and a sketching pad and see their thoughts on canvas.

They generate stereotypes

Society and media mirror each other so much that sometimes it is difficult to tell them apart. Some toy manufacturers infamously generate negative body image or impose gender roles on the impressionable minds of the children.

Therefore, try to avoid toys that heavily stereotype people into specific roles. Instead, give them neutral toys that would help them understand that they are not defined by their gender but by their ability.

One study found that feminine toys enhance nurturing and caring personas through role-playing. The same study also found that such toys reinforce unnecessary obsession with external standards of beauty and lowers logical and mathematical skills.

In contrast, masculine toys or toys endorsed for boys promote aggression and violence but enhance spatial skills and logical skills.

So, the only way to break away from it would be to identify such toys and make sure you never purchase them. Get your children both types of toys. Expose them to empathy and balance in emotions and skills. Promote kindness and talent with the right toys!

Toys teach them about possession, maintenance, and sharing

When you gift your child with some toys, you are teaching him how to value them. In the process, he learns about possession and maintenance. It teaches your kid that if he fails to take care of his toys, he’ll lose or break them.

Apart from that, it teaches kids how to share and encourage their friends to care for their toys, too.

The toys you give your kids make a difference in the way they develop. Make sure you supervise what comes into your house and how your child interacts with it.

See Also: Connecting With Your Child: 5 Things You Can Do To Stay Close Despite Your Work

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5 Simple Tweaks to Make Your Home More Attractive

Designing or furnishing a home is never an easy task. In fact, it can get taxing most of the time, particularly for people who have no idea how to make a house beautiful and attractive.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to give your home the look you desire. You don’t need to break the bank right away to get that dream aesthetics for your home. There are free and practical resources offline and online that you can use as references for your home improvement project.

That said, here’s a list of top 5 doable and easy tweaks you can do to make your home look more attractive.

Be Creative

If you want to add details in your home but can’t afford to buy expensive materials, you can create your own decors to make your home look more presentable. If you’re into paintings but has no budget, you can try doing some art on your own. All you need is a big canvas and some paint to make beautiful paintings.

DIY decors can lessen expenses and it allows you to discover new things that could upgrade the look of your home.

Elegant Look

Some people want to have that glamorous look in their home that they willingly buy expensive things. If you have the budget for it, then you should consider adding furniture to give more life to your home.

One good example is a coffee table. It gives out that elegant vibe because of its structure. It’s also handy, especially if you have a lot of visitors coming to your house every day.

Nature’s Essence

Natural things are always health-friendly.

If you’re a nature lover by heart, then you should try putting up plants. They can give your home that natural and warm vibe.

Besides, having plants inside your home has a lot of benefits. For one, they can clean the air inside by removing toxic vapors.

Keep It Simple

Some people who live in apartments have trouble when it comes to spaces. Most apartments are designed with a limited floor area. Hence, it’s challenging to store and sort your belongings, particularly the bulky ones. Adding wall shelving can be a big help.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. You just need the right materials for you to make one. You can also ask local carpenters for tips.

Make It Look Big

If you have a small room and you want to make it look bigger, then you should try adding a big mirror inside your room. It’s recommended that you buy floor length mirrors to incorporate a spacious, open atmosphere.

Adding dimension to the room can also be done by positioning a mirror near the window where it can catch some light. By doing it, you would be able to make your room look bigger and broader.

Thinking of getting one? You can try searching for sites such as Craigslist and other online stores.

Takeaway

Buying new things or just repainting your home to make it look more attractive can be a great deal of fun. But, if you want to stick to what the experts have to say and you have the budget, consult your local contractor or someone with interior design expertise.

See Also: Top 11 Ways On How to Increase Your Home Value

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Why Drinking Soda Is Bad for Your Health

Guzzling down one can of soda over another might be great for your taste buds but it can severely damage your health. Regardless, today’s youth is still obsessed with these sugary beverages. We’ve formed a habit of drinking a can almost every day to beat the heat or just because dinner is incomplete without it.

Not only does soda bring along zero nutritional benefits but the drink is filled with chemicals. The high content of caffeine and sugar in these beverages gives them an addictive quality. However, even if you feel you are hooked to the habit of overdosing on soda, it’s not like there is no redemption for you. You can kick the habit and reduce excess intake of these fizzy drinks.

If you are still not ready to ditch the habit, here are some great reasons why you should.

It raises the risk of getting overweight

Soda can make you fat.

These drinks contain sweetening agents that result in spiking glucose levels. Even diet soft drinks don’t cut down this risk. Their artificial sugar content just makes you feel increasingly aware of your sweet tooth.

Soda doesn’t keep your appetite suppressed for long. It ultimately leads to more cravings and exhaustion.

It can cause diabetes

Who wants to live the rest of his life avoiding delicious foods only because his health is at constant risk?

Diabetic patients are forced to live like this. Soda can take the risk of diabetes type 2 up in men by 26%. It can also cause metabolic syndrome to develop as well.

Did you know these soft drinks exceed the limit of sugar intake set by WHO?

It can cause heart disease and stroke

Soda can raise bad cholesterol levels, triglyceride markers, and also blood pressure. This all increases the chances of being inflicted by ailments of the heart. Since soft drinks can cause weight gain, this can alert the liver to produce even more cholesterol. A study found that a single serving of soda could take the risk of stroke up by 10%.

It puts your kidneys at risk

Excess intake of soda can harm kidney functionality. A study by Harvard Medical School carried out on more than 3000 women concluded that diet cola can snowball the risk of kidney decline by two times.

Soda can cause kidney stones and kidney-related diseases because it contains high amounts of phosphoric acid fructose corn syrup.

It makes you age before time

Sodas don’t only make you stack on additional pounds, but they can also cause premature aging. Research says that people who consumed sugar-based beverages had shorter telomeres. Shorter telomeres equate to slow cell regeneration which means faster aging. Soda intake is accompanied by several health risks which can also shorten one’s lifespan.

It can damage your bones

If you are an avid soda drinker, know that it can cause osteoporosis. The high phosphoric acid content in most colas forces the body to draw out alkalizing calcium compounds from bones.

This increases the risk of fractures as well. Drinking sodas a lot can also decrease bone density. Studies show that teenage girls who consumed acidic soda faced 3 to 5 times more fractures.

It can cause tooth decay

No one wants a druggie’s smile, yet no one is ready to sacrifice soda intake. Academy of General Dentistry says that regular soda consumption can lead to tooth erosion similar to that caused by illegal drugs. The acid in the drink harms the enamel and depletes minerals. It can lead your teeth to rot. Unfortunately, damaged teeth don’t heal as bones do.

Some healthy alternatives to soda

The adverse impacts of regular soda intake on your health are vast. With this in mind, you must reduce your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages that offer no nutritional value. You might be thinking what options you’ll be left with if you remove soda from your diet. There are actually plenty of options.

Switch to natural, homemade alternatives. Iced tea, sparkling water, fruit-infused water, coconut juice, plus homemade healthier sprite and sodas are some options you can explore. These are not chemical-filled and hold better nutrition for you. However, don’t forget to follow the moderation mantra.

Conclusion

At first, you may find it difficult to leave soda at once, but slowly and gradually, you’ll be able to get rid of the habit. However, it’s not necessary that you don’t drink a can ever in your life — just don’t be an addict to it. As Heather Mangieri, owner of a nutrition consulting business says, “If you’re drinking one soda on occasion … that doesn’t equate to it being necessarily unhealthy.”

Therefore, devouring soda once in a blue moon shouldn’t be a problem.

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Fake Productivity vs Real Productivity

Putting in work or “hustling” is the most widespread maxim for success in the world of entrepreneurship. But the question is this: Are you really being productive with your time or is your work merely a heightened form of procrastination?

The three levels of productivity:

The first level of productivity is outright procrastination

It is zero productivity. It’s neglecting your priorities and responsibilities in lieu of the dopamine rush of a Netflix series or a video game. Procrastination is a killer of success and deserves no further mention.

The second level of productivity is work

However, it is not productive work but it is the work you use as an alibi against procrastination. It is cover-up work.

When you are engaged in cover-up work, it may seem like you are being productive and putting in the sweat necessary for success. In reality, you are running a hamster wheel, making no discernible progress.

An example of cover-up work is the salesman who is making 100 sales pitches every single day, closing one. His approach is self-pitying and self-centered. Rather than focusing on the potential customer, he focuses on his own deep desire to sell. His egocentric mindset shines like a flare gun.

Nevertheless, the salesman sits at his laptop in the evening and posts on Twitter “Putting in work! The hustle is real!”

People engage in cover-up work to feel better about their lack of progress. If you are doing cover-up work, you are stuck in your comfort zone.

The third level of productivity is the only work that will take a person towards their entrepreneurial aspirations

It is level-up work at the very top of the productivity pyramid

Let’s examine.

Level-up work means doing the tedious work. It means digging up the roots, getting dirty, and planting new seeds. It means dealing with the grit. Real productivity is hardly exciting.

If the aforementioned salesman engages in level-up work, he will spend his evenings learning about human psychology. He will start going from house to house and website to website to learn about his customer base. He starts reading books and magazines that help to increase his social acuity. As his knowledge expands, his percentage of converted customers increases exponentially. Rather than closing one out of 100 cold-calls, he closes 10 out of 20.

Level-up work requires spending unromantic hours in your room filling your head with all the knowledge that you will require in your field and then some. It means building the backbone of your business. It means becoming more than your next competitor. In the end, it is the only path towards true success.

To engage in real productivity, start mastering level-up work: Become more than your competition. Be smarter, better practiced, more up-to-date. Put in the hours that matter.

See Also: 6 Strategies to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

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How to Take Care of Your Garden in Winter

Don’t let the winter ruin the beauty of your garden. Take care of it using the tips you can read in the following section. Maintaining your garden in this cold season, after all, can also prepare it for when spring and summer come.

So, if you’re ready, let’s begin highlighting the things you can do to maintain your winter garden.

Removing spent plants

Cleaning up finished and rotting plants is one of the best ways to keep your garden healthy in the winter. Removing old plants will not only tidy it up but also prevent the spread of fungi, pests, and diseases.

Getting rid of spent plants and then burying those disease-free finished plants can prevent most garden pests from spreading when the spring comes. In addition, burying them will also improve soil health as they can add organic matter to it.

Pruning in winter

Pruning helps remove dead plant in order to promote the growth of larger shoots for the coming growth season.

When pruning shrubs and flowering trees, you must prune the autumn and summer flowering shrubs and trees in the early spring and late winter. You must also prune those when their flowers started fading.

Also, you should be pruning deciduous plants for their spring re-growth because many of them are inactive or dormant in the winter. And as the foliage of the plants is gone, it is easier and faster to see their shape.

For best results, keep the following in mind:

  • You should first prune out diseased or dead branches.
  • You must also consider pruning on a dry day.
  • In order to increase both the air and the light at a tree’s crown, you should remove smaller and overgrown branches.
  • Also, don’t remove the branches that keep the tree’s structure and that are developing.
  • You should also cut branches at the part wherein a twig or branch is attaching to another.

Planting bulbs

This winter, you should also learn how to divide and plant bulbs.

Bulbs, including daffodils and tulips, should be planted early in the winter because they require much time before blooming in the spring. These bulbs also need cool temperatures which can speed up their flowering.

For fall-planted bulbs, you should soak them in warm water for 12 hours before planting them, especially for tunicate-type bulbs that have teardrop-shaped or enclosed, round bulbs. However, this method is not suitable for lilies and other bulbs with fleshy scales.

By soaking them, the bulbs will absorb enough water to grow fast, saving you three weeks of time, especially if you’re in a northern climate location. Divide and then fertilize the bulbs to promote their blooming.

For bulbs that have few or no flowers, you might want to divide or fertilize them first. You can also consider using slow-release bulb fertilizers to keep its effectiveness in the early spring.

Planning Ahead

Use these tips to prepare your garden for the next gardening season. These tips will improve your yields in the end aside from helping you keep a lovely garden in the spring and the summer.

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9 Immediate Tips To Stay Focused on Your Goals

Honestly, do you still remember the new year’s resolutions you set at the beginning of this year? How are you faring in them right now?

If you’re like most people, chances are you’ve long abandoned those goals. Some of you may not even recall the goals you have set and that’s really unfortunate.

Goal setting works and it has never failed anyone. The only reason why goals would stop working is because the person who has set them chose to give up on them mid-way.

During the past few years, I’ve been working relentlessly on my goals – be it blogging, setting up my new business, improving my diet, losing weight, making like-minded friends, improving my relationship with my parents, and so on.

Over the course of the past 2.5 years, I’ve made significant progress on those goals.

For example, I lost about 7 to 8 kgs this year. Currently, I am at my desired weight. I’ve switched from an unhealthy, junk food diet to a healthy, vegan diet which I’m proud of.

I created my personal development blog and built it from 2 readers a day (me and my good friend) to over 600k page views/month, making it one of the top personal development blogs online. I’ve created a successful business out of my passion in personal development and am earning a steady, passive income from it.

I resolved a deep-seated emotional eating issue which I’ve been struggling with the past decade. My previously sour relationship with my parents has dramatically improved for the better in the past 2 months.

I’m not sharing the above to distance myself from you or to put myself on a pedestal. It’s quite the opposite. I’m sharing the above to let you know that because I’ve achieved my goals, you can achieve your goals, too- no matter what they are. It’s all a matter of staying focused.

If you constantly get distracted in your goal pursuits, here are 8 tips I have for you to stay focused:

Concentrate on 1 to 3 goals

If you constantly have trouble sticking to your goals, maybe you’re spreading yourself too thin. Pick 1 to 3 goals that are most important to you and stick to them. Don’t bother yourself with any other goals until these goals are achieved or unless your priorities shift.

focus on one goal

For me, my top priority goal is to reach out to more people through my blog. So, I ensure all my daily actions ladder up to this one goal. Majority of my time in the week is spent either writing new articles for the blog, maintaining my Facebook and twitter account, maintaining the blog and forums, processing my emails or creating upcoming plans. If I’m caught up with something else for a long period of time, it’s a cue to me that I’m off-track.

Such laser focus has allowed me to make much more progress, compared to when I juggle across 4 to 5 goals and make little progress in them.

Create a vision board

A vision board is a collage of pictures and images that represent your goals and dreams. Creating a vision board helps you to visualize your end goals more clearly. Inevitably, it will inspire you to take consistent action. It also serves to remind you of your goals every day when you see the board.

I’ve a vision board in my bedroom which I see every time I’m in my room. Every time I see my board, it reinforces my goals to me and reminds me to take action and move forward. 

If you’ve yet to create your vision board, I’ve created a video tutorial which you may find helpful. You can watch it if you want to know how to create your vision board.

Create milestones

If you just set one huge goal, it can be discouraging, especially when you don’t achieve it after a short while. When that happens, some people may procrastinate on the goal altogether which is quite unfortunate.

identifying one goal

I find it helpful to break a big goal into smaller goals. Just like when you go on a long road-trip, you set pit-stops to rest/recuperate throughout the trip. 

Create a plan

If you have a plan worked out for your goal, it becomes much easier to stick to it. All you have to do is to follow the actions you have planned for the day. The best time to work out your plan is when you set the goal because that’s when your motivation is the highest.

Usually, I create my goal action plans right after I set my goal. I take action immediately and that helps create a positive momentum. 

Track your results

It’s important for me to track the results of what I do because otherwise, it feels like my actions are not making a difference. Hence, every time I work on a goal, I will identify 1 to 2 performance metrics, then track those metrics daily/weekly.

They are my connection to the end goal because they let me know whether I’m on track or off track. They let me know whether to tweak my actions or not. 

Have goal buddies

Goal buddies are people who share similar goals with you. They help to remind you about your goal, spur you on when you feel unmotivated, give you new ideas on how to achieve your goal, keep you on track, among others. Your goal buddies can be your friends or people whom you meet in interest groups. Since you already share similar interests, it’ll be easy to find people with the same goals.

Start a journal documenting your goal pursuit

Having a blog or private diary to document your goals can be a therapeutic experience. A lot of times, we abandon our goals because we get frustrated mid-way and we are not sure what to do about that.

However, when we write out our thoughts, it helps us to get clarity on our issues and renews our interest in the goal. Many readers at my blog created their life journals in the blog forums and have found that to be tremendously helpful in keeping them focused on their goals. 

Be clear on why you’re pursuing the goals

If you keep giving up on your goals halfway, perhaps you were never serious in them to begin with. For me, if I’m really serious about a goal, I’d never give up on it – I’d keep hammering away at it, regardless of the obstacles, until they give way and I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor. 

I once had a coaching client who would embark on many new business ventures only to stop within the first 2 to 3 months. He never knew why.

When I drilled into the issue with him, he found out it was because he just wanted to start a business to earn money. Well, he was already earning good money with his current job and that gave hi little reason to move out of his comfort zone.

After that, I recommended him to identify a business idea which he was truly passionate about and he did. Today, he has been working on this same business for the past 1.5 years, the longest he has ever kept to a business venture.

Learn to say no

Do you often put your goals aside for other people?

It’s okay to do that once or twice but if you keep doing the whole time, something is seriously wrong. You can’t forever put your life on hold for others!

I used to have trouble saying no to others. That’s until I realized I was just doing myself and my dreams a disfavor when I say yes to something that’s not what I want. Learn how to say no and you may find a bigger pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

Check out my related posts at Dumb Little Man that will help you stay on track in your goals:

Written by Celestine Chua, a writer at Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed directly and add her on Twitter @celestinechua. If you like this article, you will enjoy one of her top articles: 101 Things To Do Before You Die.

Photo Credit: lululemon athletica

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Alien Landscapes: Places on Earth You Should Totally See

Planet Earth has more than its share of magnificent spectacles, many of which tourists queue to see. Earthly wonders like the Niagara Falls and spectacular man-made miracles such as Egypt’s pyramids are fascinating for sure, but they keep our feet and imaginations planted firmly on the familiar ground. Postcards, textbooks, and holiday brochures make us feel we’ve seen these sights before even when we haven’t.

But we needn’t venture too far off the beaten track to encounter some truly alien landscapes right here on Earth. Our planet is home to bizarre and magical sights which would seem perfectly at home in a sci-fi movie or gothic fairy tale. Jagged mountain ranges shrouded in fog, gaping holes churning with molten lava — these are mysterious places that can stir your soul.

Marble Caves, Chile

via The Times

The hypnotic swirling patterns which adorn the walls of the Marble Caves have been formed over thousands of years as wind and water chiseled away at the rock face.

Known locally as ‘The Marble Cathedral’, its space has an ethereal quality caused by the plunging shards of rock, which looks like it’s been painted with a cosmic paintbrush. Experience the glorious cavern on a boat trip with winds beneath the voluptuous blue rock.

The Singing Sands of Liwa, UAE

via Expedia

As wind and heat combine, the desolate sand dunes of Liwa in the United Arab Emirates vibrate. And with their frantic movement, it creates a haunting song. The low-pitched wail seems to emanate from the entire desert.

To be surrounded by this choral hum is to be transported to another place and time. With the dunes undulating before you in shades of peach and gold, the roar of the sands is a rousing soundscape that will make the scorching desert impossible to forget.

Abraham Lake, Canada

via Feel The Planet

Nestled snugly in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Abraham Lake might look stunning, but it can be as dangerous as it is bewitching. With frozen bubbles suspended just below the water’s surface, the Lake appears like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.

The icy orbs, however, are actually pockets of trapped methane gas which is highly flammable. At a distance, these bubbles resemble frosty lily pads or jellyfish frozen in time beneath the lake’s glassy surface.

Tianzi Mountain, China

via World Atlas

These ragged peaks of rock are often wrapped in a dense grey fog, so the shards stick up like cacti on some faraway misty planet. Sedimentary rock was eroded over millions of years, leaving craggy formations of quartz sandstone towering in the gloom.

It created an alien landscape that was otherworldly enough to inspire the floating Hallelujah mountains on the planet ‘Pandora’ in James Cameron’s blockbuster movie, Avatar. The giant mountains reach a peak of more than 1,200 metres and are considered sacred by local communities.

The ‘Gates of Hell’, Turkmenistan

via The Times

The churning Darvaza gas crater, found in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan, is a fiery field of natural gas. A Soviet drilling operation opened an underground cavern in the 1970s. It has been known locally as the ‘Gates of Hell’ ever since.

When the rig collapsed, engineers set fire to the gas lake. They hoped that it would burn off in a few months. Almost 50 years later and it’s still going strong. Filled with scalding gases and glowing orange embers, the crater certainly looks like the fiery entrance to Hades and must be seen to be believed.

Grand Prismatic Springs, USA

via Independent

The third largest hot spring in the world has rainbow-striped layers of color. It’s caused by layers of microbial organisms around the edges of the mineral-rich pool.

Ranging from a spellbinding turquoise to a deep, hypnotic green, the central pool is wrapped in rings of yellow and red, depending on what time of year you visit. Surrounded by lush alpine forests, the spring is an unexpected drop of otherworldly color against a picture postcard backdrop.

Cappadocia, Turkey

via Wikipedia

The pastel skies and peculiar clusters of rock in Turkey’s Cappadocia make it a mesmerizing spot like no other. With tall spires of rock known to locals as the ‘Chimneys of Fairies’, the landscape will set your imagination free and you can see how the area has inspired myths and folklore passed from one generation to the next.

If the unfamiliar landscapes weren’t enough, a gentle shoal of hot-air balloons floating across the sky at sunset should do the trick. The mounds of autumnal colored earth and stone are actually home to a huge community of around 10,000 people. They have built underground dwellings in this magical terrain.

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