Finding Balance Between Ambition and Lifestyle

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What does success mean to you?

What does it look like?

If we turn our attention to Hollywood and movies like Wall Street, Boiler Room and the Wolf of Wall Street, even films like The Big Short, we are presented with a certain vision of what it means to be successful. These are all coming from the context of working within the financial market and industry in some fashion, but the fundamental principles can easily extend to other professions too.

We Got Ambition Though

We are shown that the successful person is driven by ambition. They have big lofty goals and they are driven by a burning desire to bring in as much cash as possible, typically in as short a period as possible. Indeed, contemporary society has come to fetishize the notion of “hustle.” We romanticize this view of people, particularly entrepreneurs, who put in the extra long hours in pursuit of their goals.

We’ve been told that if you chase these big dreams with enthusiastically intense fervor, if you truly love what you do, then you never have to work a day in your life. Except these are the same people who are putting in 80+ hour work weeks without necessarily showing the big results at the other end of the process. But they’re getting there, right? Even if they are stressed and extended beyond belief. Maybe they just need to take a quick afternoon nap.

This is the life for many professionals who launch or work at an Internet startup. The hours are long, but the visions are bold and the potential is limitless. Who doesn’t want to develop the next WhatsApp, only to turn around and sell it to Facebook for $19 billion? I don’t know about you, but heck I’d probably settle for just $1 billion like Instagram did.

There is nothing wrong with ambition, but ambition does come at a price. Be prepared to dedicate yourself fully to your endeavor. This means working hard, working long, and putting other aspects of your life at a lower priority. Your personal relationships might suffer. Your physical health might suffer. But it’ll all be worth it, right?

But Why Do You Do What You Do?

Now, let’s think about an utterly different conception of what success looks like. You’re soaking in the sun on a tropical beach, sipping on some brightly-colored slushy drink, maybe with a mini umbrella in it. Success is then represented by this life of leisure. Maybe you’re staying at a fancy, exclusive resort. Maybe you flew a private jet to get there. Maybe it’s your own private island.

What if we went humbler, much humbler than that? What if you were no longer bound to the restrictions of a typical 9-to-5 office job? What if you didn’t have to report to some manager you hate at a job your despise, fighting the traffic that abhor to get to a stuffy office you detest? What if you had the freedom to do what you wanted, when you wanted? What if you could have a three-hour brunch on a Wednesday with your family, happily enjoying that eggs benedict at the local bistro?

The “hustle” mindset is diametrically opposed to this perspective. For many of us, this calmer and more relaxed approach to life seems much more appealing. We still have to work, but perhaps we only have to work a couple hours a day to maintain an online business that largely runs itself. Maybe we don’t earn six figures a month, but we earn enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle in a good part of town. Maybe we can cut ourselves some slack.

A Better Way Forward?

Life consists of a series of choices and trade-offs. By developing passive income streams that continue to earn money while you sleep (and eat brunch), you can unlock such opportunities without really earning all that much actual cash. And you don’t have to drive yourself mad with 80+ hour work weeks either.

How will you balance your unwavering ambition with your overwhelming desire to just relax and enjoy life?

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The 3 Step Formula to Get a “Yes” When it Matters Most

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Caveat: This method works best with someone who you’re close to and who you already spend a lot of time with. This article won’t help you butter up your boss for a raise.

You’re going to:

  1. Offer tons of value in the weeks leading up to the big day. That way, when it comes time to ask, she (or he) will already feel karmically indebted to you.
  2. Make the proposal after she has already exercised for the day (preferably after a hard workout).
  3. Pop the question right after she takes the first bites of her post-workout meal.

If this sounds random, trust me, it will all make sense soon. After all, it’s science (the science of reciprocity to be exact).

Step 1: lays the psychological groundwork for a positive response.

Step 2: primes her brain for clear thinking and emotional calm with physical activity.

Step 3: times the question for when she’s most likely to give you a yes.

Step 1: Offer Value. Be Positive. Be Memorable.

Let’s face it; we’re suckers for good energy. Happiness is a commodity few people can say “no” to. In the weeks leading up to popping the question, get on her good side. The trick here is to be subtle, and you’re going to do that by blasting her with positive “passive” energy. What do I mean by “passive”? Be a joy to be around! The good energy she picks up from you just by being your happy self will sneakily win points for you.

Over the course of the next few weeks, sprinkle in some direct favors. Go out of your way to help her here and there, but don’t overdo it. Too many favors and she might get the impression that you’re sucking up to her. That’s what you don’t want to do, and that’s the reason why it’s important to make her feel good without it looking like you’re trying to.

“Love is a positive, symbiotic, reciprocal flow between two or more entities.” – Inga Muscio

There are two factors are at work here:

  1. You’re establishing a positive association between you and her, good things are happening, and good feelings being felt.
  2. You’re also engaging the principle of reciprocity.

In social psychology, reciprocity refers to the compulsion we all have to keep tabs on favors. Apparently, it drives us nuts when this gets out of balance. Reciprocity also addresses the expectation of treating others as they treat you.

Psychologist Robert Cialdini discusses the principle of reciprocity is in his classic book, Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion. In it, Cialdini explains that reciprocity is a cultural expectation that’s deeply ingrained into the fabric of who we are.

By the time you’re done buttering her up, the favors will be lopsided in your favor, and she’ll be more likely to say yes to your proposal.

Step 2: Make the Proposal When Her Brain is Stress-Free

Exercise is proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improve short-term memory, and stabilize your mood. These benefits are primarily due to the reduction of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Exercise also releases feel-good endorphins and encourages the expression of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the brain. BDNF is a protein that’s critical for memory and learning.

That’s why you’re going to wait to ask the big question until she has already gotten her workout in for the day. “But what if she doesn’t work out very often?” you say. If that’s the case, going for a walk will have to do. A nice stroll is still better than nothing, and the positive health effects of walking on the brain are also well-documented. According to research, when you walk, the foot’s impact helps control and increase the amount of blood that’s sent to the brain.

At this point, you’ve gotten on her good side, her brain is feeling phenomenal, and now it’s time to put the icing on the cake and go for it.

Step 3: Pop the Question While She’s Enjoying a Delicious Meal

What’s the icing on the cake? Cake! Or at least it could be. Ideally, though, she’ll be hungry enough for a full meal. You don’t want her to be famished, but definitely a solid 7 out of 10 on the hunger scale. She’s more likely to say yes when she’s absorbed in the ecstasy of the food she’s been craving. Full people say, “yes.” Hungry people say, “no.”

Psychology Today wrote an interesting article about the fluctuation of parole approvals issued by judges over the course of their shift. Apparently, hungry judges make tougher sentences. As lunch approaches (and the judge gets hungrier), he approves fewer and fewer inmates for parole. After lunch, however, the judge accepts significantly more parole applications. By the end of his shift, the parole rates once again plummet. This guy is keeping people in prison based off of how hungry he is!

We’ve all experienced that warm feeling of relaxation wash over the table when the food is finally served. It’s this feeling that you’re going to capitalize on. When she’s a few bites into her dish, that’s your cue. Don’t be nervous! Success is in your favor. If you’ve done your due diligence over the course of the last few weeks, now is as good a time as ever to let the dice roll.

“Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

Conclusion

Are you asking your wife if you can dig up the lawn and put a dirt bike course in the backyard? Hoping that your roommates will let you get a dog? Whatever it is, I wish you the best of luck. Make sure to feel their energy out as you go. Life isn’t as predictable as a 3-step formula, so if it feels like a bad time to pop the question, it probably is. Trust your gut and only pull the trigger if the positive vibes are going strong. Make sure that there’s a smile on their face, give them a smile right back, and get that ‘YES’!

How will you be using this three step formula to get a “yes” in your life? Let us know in the comments below!

Talent is Just A Tool and It Gets Overrated All The Time

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Our favourite scientist Albert Einstein shed light on the key to talent and genius “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work”; the story of the rabbit and the turtle taught us when we were kids to persist and press forward. Do not worry if you do not believe you have the talent, at least believe you can work hard.

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Can An Affair Ever Help A Marriage?

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Affаіrѕ are nоt whаt thеу used to be bесаuѕе mаrrіаgе іѕ not what it uѕеd tо bе. For much оf hіѕtоrу, and іn mаnу раrtѕ оf thе wоrld tоdау, marriage wаѕ a рrаgmаtіс аllіаnсе thаt ensured есоnоmіс stability and ѕосіаl cohesion. Thе Stаtе оf Affairs: Rеthіnkіng Infіdеlіtу by Esther Perel сhаllеngеѕ thе quick соndеmnаtіоn оf the unfaithful аnd роѕіtѕ thе idea that сhеаtіng іn certain сіrсumѕtаnсеѕ саn bе еmрhаѕіѕ on a lіbеrаtіng, еvеn brаvе, асt.

Affаіrѕ, she аrguеѕ, hаvе a lot to tеасh uѕ about thе humаn heart what we expect, whаt wе thіnk wе wаnt, аnd whаt we feel entitled tо. Thеу offer a unіԛuе wіndоw into our реrѕоnаl and cultural аttіtudеѕ about love, luѕt, and commitment. Thrоugh еxаmіnіng іllісіt lоvе frоm multірlе аnglеѕ, Pеrеl іnvіtеѕ readers іntо аn hоnеѕt, еnlіghtеnеd, аnd еntеrtаіnіng exploration оf mоdеrn mаrrіаgе іn its mаnу vаrіаtіоnѕ.

What is an affair?

An affair: іt саn rоb a соuрlе of thеіr rеlаtіоnѕhір, thеіr hарріnеѕѕ, thеіr very іdеntіtу. And yet, thіѕ extremely соmmоn humаn experience іѕ ѕо poorly undеrѕtооd. Adultеrу hаѕ еxіѕtеd ѕіnсе marriage wаѕ іnvеntеd, аnd ѕо tоо the рrоhіbіtіоn аgаіnѕt it—in fасt, іt hаѕ a tеnасіtу that mаrrіаgе саn оnlу еnvу. Sо whаt аrе we tо make of thіѕ tіmе-hоnоrеd taboo—universally fоrbіddеn уеt unіvеrѕаllу рrасtісеd? Why dо people сhеаt—еvеn those in hарру mаrrіаgеѕ? Why dоеѕ an affair hurt so much? When we say іnfіdеlіtу, what еxасtlу dо wе mеаn? Do оur romantic еxресtаtіоnѕ оf marriage ѕеt uѕ up for betrayal? Is thеrе such a thіng аѕ аn аffаіr-рrооf mаrrіаgе? Is іt роѕѕіblе to love mоrе thаn оnе реrѕоn at оnсе? Cаn an affair еvеr hеlр a marriage? Pеrеl wеаvеѕ rеаl-lіfе саѕе stories wіth incisive рѕусhоlоgісаl аnd сulturаl analysis іn thіѕ fаѕt-расеd and соmреllіng bооk.

Coping with infidelity

Fоr thе past tеn years, Perel has trаvеlеd thе glоbе аnd worked wіth hundrеdѕ of соuрlеѕ who hаvе grаррlеd wіth іnfіdеlіtу. Bеtrауаl hurtѕ, she writes, but іt can bе hеаlеd. An аffаіr can еvеn bе thе doorway to a nеw mаrrіаgе wіth the same person. With thе rіght approach, соuрlеѕ can grоw and lеаrn frоm these tumultuоuѕ experiences, together or араrt.

“Thе State of Affairs takes a fresh lооk аt infidelity, broadening the fосuѕ from thе hаvос it wreaks within a соmmіttеd relationship to соnѕіdеr аlѕо why реорlе dо іt, whаt it mеаnѕ tо thеm, аnd whу brеаkіng uр is thе еxресtеd response tо duрlісіtу but not nесеѕѕаrіlу the wіѕеѕt оnе.” (Thе LA Rеvіеw of Bооkѕ)

Fiercely intelligent, Thе Stаtе of Affairs рrоvіdеѕ a daring framework for undеrѕtаndіng the intricacies оf lоvе and desire. Aѕ Pеrеl оbѕеrvеѕ, “Love іѕ mеѕѕу; іnfіdеlіtу mоrе ѕо. But іt іѕ also a wіndоw, lіkе nо оthеr, іntо the сrеvісеѕ of the humаn hеаrt.” Thе bооk іѕ ѕurе tо ѕраrk intelligent соnvеrѕаtіоnѕ thаt wіll have rеаdеrѕ еvеrуwhеrе еxаmіnіng thеіr belief ѕуѕtеmѕ. Thіѕ іѕ a thоught-рrоvоkіng tаkе оn relationships аnd еѕѕеntіаl rеаdіng fоr соuрlеѕ dеаlіng wіth іnfіdеlіtу.

Reading duration: 6 hours 56 minutes

Get The State of Affairs from Amazon at $17.68

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Using Google Trends for Keyword Research

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I’m always looking for new ways to perform keyword research and have been experimenting with Google Trends. For those of you NOT aware of Google Trends, here something directly from Google:

“Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.”

Basically, you can type in a search phrase and find out how it’s trending in popularity throughout the month. For example, if I type “link building”, I’ll be able to find how popular this keyword is over the last few weeks and also find relative phrases. Some suggestions have search volume and will be awesome keywords for content writing. Google Trends will provide a “Top Rising” or “Breakdown” section, showing which phrases have gained momentum.

Google Trends has worked magic for me and I would like to provide you with a few pointers when using this strategy to find effective keywords for your content. Even though this strategy does work pretty much out of the box, it’s important you know what factors are important when choosing the right keywords. Let’s get started…

Niche Relevant

When using Google Trends, you’re NOT changing your main keyword when searching. I always encourage clients to start with their main keyword because many research tools have been configured to narrow down, providing a handful of suitable results. For example, when I type in “link building” within Google Trends and scroll to the bottom, here’s what the results provide…

Next,

You’ll also notice the results will allow you to narrow by Country and then City/State. This means if you have a geo-location blog, you’ll be able to narrow down to your location to find keywords that way, too. Another trick is to click on various keywords to keep narrowing down.

Once you’ve gathered a cool handful of keywords, you can move to the next step.

Head over to Google Keyword Planner and start punching in the keywords to find out current search volume. Google Trends is awesome for finding keywords, but NOT finding current search volume by month. This is why you need Keyword Planner to really narrow down the keywords you have. Depending on the length of your content, you can use all the keywords but if you have 10-15, then I would suggest using 6-7 of the best keywords.

When I take the following, which I copied from the example above, here’s what the Google Keyword Planner tool provided:

  • seo link building
  • google link building
  • link building services
  • link building service
  • building links
  • free link building
  • website link building

You can see from the illustration above that NOT only did Google Trends provide me with niche relevant keywords, but also those with a suitable search volume each month. You can now use this information to keep researching more keywords or simply start embedding them in your content as long as your post is relevant to “link building”, which is our root keyword.

Google Trends is very effective if you know what you’re doing because it’s pulling information from the search engine directly. It’s pretty much taking a search pattern seen throughout the months and presenting it in an organized manner. Even though you can use this information effectively, you just need to know how to use the tool and narrow down the right keywords going forward. If you can master this strategy, then, you won’t have any problems finding the right keywords for your content and SEO campaigns.

How To Make 6-Figure Monthly Online Income! Download John Chow’s New eBook!

What Has Science Taught Us In 2017?

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Taking a tow down memory lane, the year 2017 held so much spectacular events. No, this is not about President Donald Trump’s twitter fights and all the unimportant confusions and contraptions we were all forced to deal with. The article The Top 10 Science Stories of 2017 by Andrea Gawrylewski gives us a breakdown of the most important scientific happenings witnessed during the year. While we are still trying to grasp many of these events, the list looks interesting and we hope 2018 comes with breathtaking, science happenings like the outgoing year.

The Many Faces Of The Science Events Witnessed in 2017 

Science events happened in several categories. In this article, Andrea Gawrylewski selected the two most important developments in five topic areas, based on editor’s top picks and the most popular articles at shared on Scientific American. It is interesting to see that the list covers:

  1. Space and Physics;
  2. Sustainability and climate;
  3. Technology;
  4. Health;
  5. Mind and brain.

Scientists had a busy year in 2017. A delve into the events will reveal just how much they were busy.

Spectacular Science Events As They Happened in 2017 

On August 21, 2017, the US witnessed a total solar eclipse that travelled through its entire city in 99 years. This event availed scientists with the rare opportunity to observe the sun’s chemistry, Einstenian relativity and other relatively uncharted waters in the study of our solar system. Many of the findings they will find will only be revealed in 2018, so it promises to be an exciting year for science. 2017 also witnessed the collision of two neutron stars by astronomers affiliated to the gravitational wave observatory. 2017 was also hurricane season and it aroused a challenge and call to action as regards our climate and peeling planet. The collection also includes President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord.

AI Sets The Pace

In tech, Artificial Intelligence was a groundbreaking revelation and is set to be the next best thing for businesses. Yes, ISIS witnessed a 22,000-pound bomb dropped, when the US carried out a strike on her Afghanistan base. Who would forget the deadly Florida mass shootings? These events once again underscores the shaky grounds upon which the US gun policy stands and it shed light on the opioid crisis. Marijuana and the legal breakthrough in America and of course, the many concerns it still holds. The last was about Michael Shermer’s methods to convince people about cold, hard facts.

What Does 2018 Hold? 

Many science events happened throughout 2017 that did not make the cut. It will be interesting to see how much these topics would continue to be the subject of discussions in the New Year and how we will venture forward when new events starts to unfold.

Do you agree with this list or not? Moreover, do you accept that these were the most talked about science events in 2017? To read the full article, click here.

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself for a Winning Business

Posted from https://addicted2success.com/startups/3-questions-to-ask-yourself-for-a-winning-business/

“My pleasure”. We’ve all heard this before right? It is probably not implemented more than in the culture at Chik-Fil-A. I can’t tell you how many times I go in there and like clockwork they respond to every request with my pleasure. This is something that, not only separates them from their competition but continues to make them a destination for people to seek out when they are hungry.

This attitude that every employee from the cook to the owner carries is something that we should all learn from and understand the importance of in our daily interactions with people, prospects, and customers.  

Are you conditioning yourself everyday to be in a position of service for your family, friends, clients, and anyone that you come into contact with? Too many times I see people not focused and aware of the potential opportunities walking around them every day. Do you want to know why they are missing them? It is because their attitude sucks and isn’t one ready to be of service.   

1. Are You Approachable?   

Are you presenting yourself to everyone with a smile? This is a simple tactic you can implement right now that will open up more conversation opportunities for you and will have others asking how your day is going and the most common question or response from others will be, what has you smiling today?  Nature guards humans and to break down the barriers they have up, you have to be someone they feel is there to help them or be of service. Smiling first is key to opening them up and start breaking down their defenses.  

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity” – Douglas Adams

2. Are You A Good Listener?

After you create the introduction and start the dialogue with your customer or prospect it is essential to be quiet and listen to them.They will begin to tell you what, how, and why they are looking for help and give you the opportunity to show them how your service will solve their problems and needs. Too many times I see salespeople or business individuals talk right through their prospect or customer and in essence, talk themselves right out of a sale.  

Listening is crucial to being in the customer service business. I mean how you can indeed solve a problem for someone if you first refuse to listen to them and find out their problem/problems in the first place?  

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth” – Muhammad Ali

3. Are You An Action Taker?  

The best of the best take action to service their customers, clients, or others for that matter. Talking points are great but it’s the activity and the action steps that people are looking for and out of you. If you really want to create an environment of service, this is non-negotiable. Don’t just communicate with your prospects how you are going to help them or service them, SHOW them through your commitments, actions, and abilities to solve their problems. This is a major part of the attitude of service framework that is necessary to separate you from the all the rest.   

You must first create an environment of service in your own daily habits everyday to create the atmosphere of service you want your colleagues, clients, and general surroundings to see from you as well. Your attitude is the first thing you have to check to get this mindset in alignment with your habits.  

Create a daily smile that others find welcoming.  Listen to everything going on around you so that you are sharp and aware of your surroundings, and then attack every day with actions of solving problems and elevating yourself as the solution others seek out when they need a product or service to better their situation and business.

What are some things you do that show your attitude of service? Comment Below!

Why My Christmas Day This Year Tops Them All And How You Can Replicate It For Next Year.

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Its taken two years, and this Christmas I finally got to spend it with 300 homeless / disadvantaged / victims of domestic violence. A lot of them have had the toughest year of their life and I have been determined to make a difference.

My opportunity to help came and I took it. I know what it’s like to go through really hard times and I feel that this has given me the tools to help others. So, no more excuses, this Christmas has become everything I dreamed it could be.

After a bit of planning, what followed was the best Christmas Day I have ever had. I changed what Christmas meant to me and I want to share that gift with all of you. I want you to have the best Christmas Day ever, as well as learn some valuable lessons that will change your perspective.

Here’s why this year’s Christmas Day was the best ever and this is how you can replicate it:

 

Show that strangers care.

At the Christmas lunch I volunteered at to serve those in need, I heard a story of a little boy whose mum was the victim of domestic violence. She has nothing and her boy doesn’t have much of a Christmas. His one wish was to be able to go to soccer practice with a pair of boots and a ball.

I decided to buy him both these presents to show him that strangers care. It’s not about the gift that I gave him – what I wanted him to see was that strangers care. This gift gives him the ability to have hope that his family’s situation can change.

During the Christmas lunch, one of the volunteers tipped off this little boy’s mother and told her that I had bought the gifts for her son. Unexpectedly, she came over and hugged me. She was very emotional and thanked me for helping.

I didn’t want thanks and I told her so politely. I told her one thing:

“What I’ve done is show you that strangers care. You don’t need to thank me. What you must do when you are able to, is pay it forward.”

I wanted her to understand that giving is about sharing the message and doing the same for others who need help. This one lesson was the highlight of my Christmas Day.

Replicating my Christmas Day requires you not to give blindly to a charity, but to get out there and show your face and help people. The best gifts you can give are your time, your advice, your kindness and your faith in humanity.

 

Make Christmas Day about somebody other than you.

Without a doubt, my Christmas Day was the best ever because I made it about someone other than myself. Every other year has been about what I want and what will make me happy. The decisions I have made on previous Christmas’s have been self-centered and that’s hard to admit.

This year, I made Christmas about helping those who have nothing. It took the focus away from me and put the spotlight on somebody else and how I could make their day awesome. Seeing others happy on Christmas is what made me feel so good and words can’t describe it.

Replicating my Christmas Day starts with taking the focus off yourself.

 

Forget the word “SHOPPING.”

Don’t let any day of the year determine your spending habits or make you spend money. I did zero Christmas shopping this year and chose to buy a few things for strangers instead. Not because I needed to demonstrate that gifts matters, but because the gift I gave these people in need, was hope.

Shopping benefits business and does very little to help the average person. The only gift I got this Christmas was a handmade card, and it was so special and cost zero dollars.

Replicating my Christmas Day involves ditching the whole idea of shopping.

 

Think about the presents you’ve received in the past.

I’m willing to bet that most of the gifts you’ve received on Christmas in the past never got used or at the very least, never made you happy. Ask yourself “Do I really need another gift?”

I can guarantee you the answer is no. You don’t need gifts to have self-worth. The number of gifts or the dollar value of the gifts you get does not validate who you are. Most of us have more than what we need.

Replicating my Christmas Day involves rethinking the idea of gifts.

Image Description: Those in need receiving generous food hampers that were donated.

 

See the good in people.

Many people at the Christmas lunch I volunteered at were from questionable backgrounds. Some had been in prison and many were addicted to illegal drugs. Seeing the good in everyone on Christmas allows you to be compassionate and help others to see what’s possible.

I saw my job on Christmas as not looking down on people. I made it my job to see the best in people despite where they’ve come from.

Replicating my Christmas Day involves you seeing the potential for everyone to be good.

 

Consider what you eat on Christmas.

Is stuffing your face really required? All of us already consume far too many calories. Instead of overindulging on heaps of food while others starve, could you not try something else?

Many of the people I spent Christmas lunch with wondered why I didn’t have any food. The reason was because I wanted them to eat and to resist the temptation of falling for the idea that Christmas should be about overeating.

Replicating my Christmas Day involves giving a meal to someone who really needs it.

Image Description: Setting the table for 300 homeless / disadvantaged.

 

Forget everything you know about Christmas.

That’s what I did this year. I wanted to see if there was another way to think about this special day and I experimented with every aspect of Christmas to challenge the status quo. The end result showed me that what I thought Christmas was, was in fact completely wrong.

I’d been programmed to follow what everyone else did without knowing why. I changed that why and I recommend you do the same. Christmas can be magical if you turn the whole idea on its head and question everything you thought you knew prior.

It’s time to live the real meaning of Christmas. I want all of you to experiment next Christmas.

Live the true meaning of Christmas. Make a difference. Inspire strangers.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

5 Ways to Become a Remarkable Person and Always Get What You Want in Life

Posted from https://addicted2success.com/life/5-ways-to-become-a-remarkable-person-and-always-get-what-you-want-in-life/

When my dad was alive, he would give my elder sister dozens of gifts, like ten times a day! He gave her chocolates, ice cream, snacks, ribbons, perfumes, you name it. He said, “she’s the top student in her class; she helps her mom with house chores; and she comes to greet me every day.”

Nabila still enjoys gifts from her employer, friends, and community, because her kind spirit and intelligence still shine through today. She’s just a remarkable young lady. Very remarkable.

Do you want to become a remarkable person and always get what you want in life? Then follow these tips:

1. Identify your weaknesses

You’re not perfect. No one is. Maybe you struggle with procrastination, maybe you have a hard time waking up early, or maybe you suck at time management. In one way or another, you have some shortcomings as a human, and that’s fine.

What is not fine is failing to recognize and identify them. Smart, remarkable people know who they are because they understand their strengths and their weaknesses. They know in order to become exceptional, they need to be true to themselves and do the things that make them uncomfortable. So, they struggle daily to replace their bad habits with good ones.

2. Wage a war on yourself

When you identify your weaknesses, you might find a number of problems in your life. They can be anything from laziness to waking up late to extravagant spending to gambling. However, can you face these problems on the battlefield? If you want to become a better you, you have to change your life.

In order to change your life you must revolt against your old habits—break the bad ones, and instill the good ones—with consistent practice, discipline, and commitment.

For example, when Eleanor Roosevelt became First Lady of the United States in 1933, she was scared to speak publicly at first. However, realizing that there was no other way, she learned to do it, challenging us to fight our insecurities and “do the things we can’t do.”

“The only proper way to eliminate bad habits is to replace them with good ones.” – Jerome Hines

3. Position yourself on the foundation of honesty

People won’t just wake up one day and start respecting you, seeing you as a unique person, and responding to your queries with excitement and regard. You’ll have to earn their trust first. You’ll have to portray yourself as a person of integrity. You’ll have to respect them, do good to them, and help them succeed.

To achieve all of that, you have to be willing to make sacrifices because, as my friend once told me, “life is like a business. Your personality is your brand, and you need to make a good impression out of it, just like a manager hands over a professional, impressive business card at a business meeting.”

When you give a good first impression and reveal your integrity and honesty over time, you don’t even have to inquire about anything. People will grant your request without your even asking. Why? Because you’ve already earned their trust.

4. Do the things that scare you

You want to start a business, win that job, or beat that bulging belly once and for all, but you simply don’t have the energy to do it. You try, yes, starting and working at it for days or weeks. Then your motivation shrinks. You lack the courage and confidence to pursue your goals, because you’re scared.

“Starting a business is risky,” a voice may echo deep inside your mind. “What if I fail?” “That digital marketing position is damn competitive,” another voice shouts from within. “I won’t waste my time applying. I’m not good enough.”

On the surface, these excuses might seem logical, but in reality, they are mere hallucinations; tales narrated by your vulnerable soul.

The Bezos and the Beckhams hear these words just like anyone else. However, they brush them away as fairy tales, moving on and doing the work that matters, getting the trophies and accolades they deserve.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

5. Embrace the art of giving

One of the secrets of becoming remarkable and earning credibility is the art of giving. Giving something, whether material (like money or gifts) or immaterial (like assistance or information) has a symbolic meaning.  Giving depicts love, depicts caring and depicts friendliness.

The good news is, anyone can cultivate this simple art. You can be a student and give your all to your teachers. You can be a startup founder and give massive value to your consumers. You can be a junior employee at a small company and go all out for your employer.

When you give your all to your people, they’ll recognize you, reciprocate the gesture, and give you the special attention you deserve. Why? Because giving begets respect.

After you have followed these steps, try to request something from your friend, boss, or teacher—I don’t mean extra marks or special favors here—and see what they’ll do for you with passion, love, and excitement.

Which one of these habits do you need to work on the most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

How to Detect a Dumb Who Is Faking Smart

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/oPCEJ2COG0s/how-to-detect-a-dumb-who-is-faking-smart

Have you noticed that some people pretend to be busy at work? I’m sure you have, as it’s certainly not uncommon. However, some people practice a bigger deception, namely, they pretend to be much smarter than they really are.

But whether it’s attempting to look busy or look smart, it’s obvious that these people are super-conscious of how others see them.

And while pretending to be something they’re not can work for a time – eventually they’ll be caught out, as the vast majority of people overestimate themselves in the ‘acting skills’ department.

Faking Smart Makes People Look Smarter?

When it comes to faking smart, these pretenders fully believe that their ‘act’ can change the way others see them.

For example, an ambitious office worker might look and sound smart as they’re keen to climb the career ladder. However, as you’ll discover in a moment… appearances can be deceptive!

I’ve thought long and hard about these pretenders, and I’ve come to the realization that they don’t understand that the quality of smartness needs to come from within. It’s not a characteristic that can just be put on a like a jacket or a scarf.

Clearly, these people are ‘acting’ from a surface level and playing the role of someone who is seen as smart (although that will be their own interpretation of smart).

Even the Best Actors Have Their Bad Days

Just think for a moment about a person who you once thought was smart – but later realized was really just an average person with a gift for selling themselves. If you recall some of the conversations you had with them, you’ll remember that they loved to give lots of opinions on things, but could seldom express the reasons for these opinions.

Simply put, they dominated conversations by talking a lot – but most of what they spoke was nonsense.

I’ve encountered so many of these people over the years, that I now feel sorry for them when I see them pretending to be something that they’re not. It’s quite sad as they’re emotionally and mentally desperate for others to see them as smart people who know lots of things.

How to Spot a Pretender

I want to share with you now my techniques for spotting mediocre people who are pretending to be smart people.

The first and primary technique is to ask these people lots of questions. When you do this, you’ll quickly begin to unravel their ‘lines’.

What I mean by this, is that an average person acting smart will only be able to mimic the surface qualities of a genuinely smart person. Once you start probing the pretender with questions, you’ll immediately begin to find holes in their stories and responses.

I recommend asking simple questions such as:

  • “Why do you believe that? “
  • “What’s the reason for taking that decision?”
  • “Can you tell me more?”

When you ask questions like these, an actor will struggle to reply, as they won’t have a genuine back story to call upon.

But be careful, if a pretender feels that they’re close to being exposed, they may react with anger and aggression – as this will be their only way left of showing that they still have control and power over things. And even if they’re not aggressive, you can be sure that they’ll argue with you and insist that they’re right.

To give you a real-life example of this, I remember working with an ‘average Joe’ who talked smart – but was in reality, quite the opposite. One time when we were discussing technical details of a project, I noticed he started using terminology that was not just irrelevant, but was in fact, completely off track.

When I mentioned this to him, he suddenly became super-defensive and said that he had simply misspoke. However, it didn’t end there. After making his excuses, he abruptly switched the attention from himself to me. He started accusing me of all kinds of things – none of which were true. Luckily, his falsehoods were noticed by others on the project, and it wasn’t long before he was no longer a part of it.

When you know what to look for, you’ll find it incredibly easy to spot the actors and pretenders. When they are faking smart, they won’t have done their research, and this means that they won’t have the proper perspectives on an issue. This is why asking questions will expose them. When trying to respond, they will fail to explain things properly or convincingly.

Hollywood provides a good metaphor. For instance, you’ve probably seen actors playing expert lawyers. On screen, they look and sound impressive. However, if you had the opportunity to ask the actor some legal questions (outside the remit of the script) they would almost certainly just look at you blankly. In other words, they only have a surface knowledge. And this knowledge is very limited indeed.

Seeing Instantly Through Someone

It’s vital that you know how to spot people who are faking being smart. If you allow them to fool you, they’ll lead you down a hazardous road littered with bad ideas and bad decisions.

Clearly, a person faking smart, doesn’t have the genuine knowledge or experience of someone who’s actually smart. And because of this, they’ll always lack the proper perspectives on issues, causing them to make inferior choices.

Whether they’re your subordinate or your boss, don’t let their pretence negatively impact your work. Either help them to bring out their authentic self – or if they’re unwilling to do this – take steps to distance yourself from their delusions.

Knowing how to spot a pretender will be a fantastic skill that you can use in all areas of your life. Never again will you be taken in by people who claim to be something they’re not.

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