What Parenting Taught Me About Blogging

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When you want to learn about fixing a car’s engine, it makes sense to turn to a certified auto mechanic. When you want to learn about writing your own book and selling it on Amazon, it makes sense to ask a successful published author. And when you want to learn about being successful as a blogger, you’d think that you should heed the insight offered by big name bloggers. And that’s still true, but it’s only part of the picture.

Sometimes, the greatest teachers in our lives have no idea that they’re teaching us anything at all. They may have snot on their noses and a particular affinity for PAW Patrol. You might recall when I wrote about what becoming a dad taught me about making money online. Today, I’m following up with a few more lessons that I learned through my parenting experience these last few years. She’s growing up so quickly!

Focus on the Now

No, I’m not talking about “living in the moment” or “being fully present” or any other overused Oprah-ism (though I suppose that’s still good life advice all around). What I mean is that when you take on the duties of parenthood, assuming you’re not surrounded by all sorts of help (paid or otherwise), you’ll find that you become much more strapped for time. Taking care of a kid (or two or three) is beyond a full-time job in and of itself, a job for which you likely did not receive any proper training before being thrown into the fire.

Add in the responsibilities of your day job (if you have one) or running your own business (like this freelance writer right here), and it can prove incredibly difficult to find enough time to dedicate to your Internet marketing, blogging, vlogging, and other ambitions. This forces you to be much more focused when you do have the time to work on these things. YouTube and Facebook can wait.

The Payoff Comes Later

The Internet is filled with all sorts of “turnkey solutions” and “get rich quick” schemes that look like they’ll suddenly flood your bank account with untold amounts of money, all with minimal to no effort on your part. And that money will come pouring in tomorrow. But of course, we know that this isn’t true. It takes time. It takes effort. You have to stick with it, even if it doesn’t pay off right away.

Maybe you start a blog with a sense of unbridled enthusiasm, pouring your heart and soul into some truly stupendous posts and you market the heck out of the site… but all you get are crickets and tumbleweeds. It’s easy to get dismayed at the lack of immediate results, but you stick with it, you improve it, and you eventually find your way. It pays off in the end if you keep at it and are flexible in trying new things as appropriate.

Parenting is much the same way. Ask any mom or dad about sleep training or potty training. Another good example is that we started teaching baby sign language to my daughter when she was only a few months old, well before she developed the dexterity to sign anything back. But eventually she did. It paid off. And I think this may have contributed to her great language skills today.

Listen to the Experts

When you become a mom or a dad for the first time, you’re going to have a lot of questions. Taking care of a little baby is a monumental responsibility and it’s one that you should definitely take seriously. What does it mean if the baby does this and what does it mean if the baby doesn’t do that? What is the ideal sleeping arrangement for the first month? How often does the baby need to feed? Should I be considering this kind of product or that kind of product? What do all these different terms mean? What is the recommended immunization schedule?

Blogging can be much the same. If you’re new to the arena, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with CSS, HTML, PHP, CPA, CTR, SEO, SEM, and any number of other acronyms. It can be easy to get lost in WordPress themes and plugins. And that’s okay. Just like with parenting, there are experts who can provide you with all sorts of advice and insight to help guide your journey.

Read lots and soak it all in like a thirsty sponge. The wealth of information freely available on the Internet is truly astounding.

Make Your Own Decisions

But do you know what’s the problem with listening to the experts? You will inevitably come across a never-ending list of contradictions. Expert A might tell you one thing and Expert B will tell you to do exactly the opposite thing. With parenting, some say cosleeping is best and others say that cosleeping is incredibly risky.

Recognize that no matter what you choose, someone is going to say you’re doing it wrong. What matters at the end of the day is that you are comfortable with your decision and you based that decision on the best information available to you. This is true of parenting, just as much as it is true of blogging. You’ve gotta do you.

Because, at the end of the day, making money online is mere child’s play, right?

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

The Benefits Of Giving Up Lying.

Posted from https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/the-benefits-of-giving-up-lying/

I used to be someone that would lie. Let’s face it, many of us lie every day and think nothing of it.

The truth I’ve learned is that lying will kill your success. Lying is like putting up a giant sign that says “I’m messed up, please don’t talk to me or listen to me.”

“Never ever lie about anything to anyone. Counterintuitive, but this seems to be a huge social hack and people like you a lot more if you always tell everyone the truth, no matter how embarrassing or hurtful” – Serge Faguet

Quick Example:

Today I went to the market. There’s this one Fruit & Veg store run by a fifty-year-old dude and his three sons who are all teenagers. Every now and then they have deals.

The first deal was avocados a few weeks back which I bought from one of the sons. I got home and realized they shortchanged me.

The second deal was some oranges. One of the young boys weighed them and then tried to charge me for an extra kilogram. I could see in his eye that he was lying.

The third deal was today when I tried to get the mango deal. The same young boy then told me that I should have an extra one implying it was free to get rid of stock. He then charged me for all three. This time, I let him do the wrong thing. The bad news is I won’t ever visit them again even if they have the greatest deal of the century.

I also noticed that their store is always empty yet they have good produce and excellent prices. My guess is that others have figured out, that this family just lies.

 

Does lying really make you win in the long term?

Firsthand, I’ve seen the answer to be no.

Lying to gain more suggests that you don’t already have enough, and therefore have to cheat, to gain something you didn’t earn in the first place. Long term, you repel the people that could help you be successful, away from you. Lying makes you appear selfish and ugly at the same time.

 

There are no shortcuts.

“Lying is often used to gain progress that has not been earned”

If you steal or sell illegal drugs, then you are being dishonest. In the short term you may get that Lambo which you can do burnouts in, but in the long term, you’ll fail.

As humans, we’re wired to move away from liars and have fewer dealings with them. Deep down, we all hate being lied too. It’s a dreadful feeling that guarantees a once only misplace of trust (sometimes two, in my case of the market).

 

All liars eventually get caught.

You’ll eventually get found out. Technology is everywhere and it can now be used more than ever to bust liars. The only way forward in this fast moving, technological world is via the truth.

 

The truth will set you free.

Free from:

– Lack of fulfillment
– Doing the wrong thing
– Feeling bad about lying
– Failures
– Not being who you were meant to be

 

Lying then becomes a habit.

It’s sort of like being untidy. We hate it, it frustrates us but we keep doing it because it’s all we know how to do. We must break the pattern of lying.

Dreadful habits like lying take us further down the path of misery. What seems small at the start, becomes a giant boulder later on that can run over the top of us and squash us like a tomato – thus resulting in tomato sauce.

Our habits shape who we are today, and who we become – it’s so cliché I know!

 

Even small lies are a problem.

Whether it’s shortchanging someone twenty cents, saying you accomplished something you didn’t or lying about who else you’re sleeping with, it’s all messed up.

“Small lies lead to even bigger lies down the track”

The biggest liars we know all started out with little lies.

First, it was how much money they had.
Then it was how many partners they’ve had.
Before you know it, they’re lying to their own customers and stealing from them.

 

There is no need to lie. Honesty is easier.

The crap thing about lying is it’s hard. You have to remember all the BS you told people and there’s even greater risk you’ll get found out lying. Every lie you tell (especially those you repeat often) get told slightly different.

Our memories are already bad enough. We don’t need the burden of lying to hold us back as well as all the other struggles that life gives us.

3 benefits of giving up lying:

 

1. Not lying makes you vulnerable.

Being 100% honest can be challenging at times and it requires you to be vulnerable. Why? Because the truth often contains elements that are difficult to share with people. Things like:

– You may have been an addict
– You may have committed criminal acts
– You may have been massively obese
– You may have suffered from a health problem like acne

Sharing these truths requires you to be vulnerable and that’s a key ingredient in success. Vulnerability brings people closer to you and helps make you relatable. That’s why your social media feeds are now filled with vulnerable stories because deep down, we love them.

 

2. Not lying is rare, which is why you should do it.

“Doing what everyone else does is the fastest way to be mediocre”

You’ll never solve problems or do the impossible if you just settle for the crap most people put up with. Standing out and being the bright green horse is an awesome way to live.

Being honest requires you to be disciplined and stop the impulse of lying in its dreadful tracks. With this discipline comes a habit that will cross over into other areas of your life like food and exercise.

 

3. Honesty is damn sexy.

People are attracted to honesty. It’s addictive because true honesty is so rare. Honesty makes us feel comfortable, significant and drawn into these damn fine creatures that tell the truth.

 

***My story of lying.

I can admit that I used to tell a lot of small lies. I’m not proud to admit that. Then I took a long hard look at myself and was not happy with what I saw.

I saw someone who was tired, pissed off, unhealthy, anxious, depressed and everything else under the sun. I saw lying as being the seed for many of these frustrations in my life.

I experimented with being stupidly honest. I told the supermarket cashier when they scanned something and entered the wrong price (when it was in my favor). I told my people leader at work about every corporate card expense and refused to charge things to the company even when I could have.

I told my girlfriend every time my ex-girlfriend messaged me asking for favors.

As a result, people trust me. I am able to earn trust like it’s up for sale with a $0 price tag.
I don’t have to remember what I told people because the story is always the same – the truth.

In the last five years, I feel much better about who I am. I can honestly say that I’m trying to be the best version of myself and help people. This pattern of honesty has also made me attack goals that I previously ignored.

For example, I was never doing any charitable work and I told myself that I was. Charitable work has taught me so much about the people I used to put down in my own mind. Just because you are a prisoner, or homeless, or have tattoos, does not mean that you don’t deserve respect and to be listened to.

It’s time to cash in all those lies you tell and exchange them for the benefits of the truth.

The truth is the number one way to attract people into your life who can help you reach your goals.

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

The Top Reasons Your To-Do List App Doesn’t Help

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I’ve always recommended bloggers create a schedule to stay organized. I encourage the use of To-Do List applications or even simply writing down what they have to do and stick to the list throughout the day. However, I’m surprised at the number of people still having a hard time keeping to their schedule. I try and figure out why they are having such a hard time and know it’s mainly because they have approached the concept the wrong way. For example, no matter what you do in life, if it’s NOT approached the right way, you’re going to have trouble sticking to it later in the future. I decided to do a little research to find out why some bloggers find it hard to stick to their to-do lists and was surprised at what I found.

Here are some of the common reasons many people fail with their to-do lists…

Mixing Up Lists

When building your to-do lists, it’s important to NOT mix up tasks that are irrelevant to your work success. You have to stick to the tasks that help you succeed in business and help you reach your ultimate objective. What good are items on your list that don’t add to your bottom line? For example, will I add “complete yard work” to a to-do list on my business? The answer is: Of Course NOT.

When you start adding irrelevant tasks to your list, you end up creating a massive, never ending list that makes you anxious and feel like your work is never going to finish. This can play as massive de-motivation and is NOT good for your bottom line.

Misplace Your Lists

Another reason people have a hard time keeping to their list is because it’s NOT visible every morning when they sit to do work. You have to make sure it’s visible and ready for you to get started with. I use an application that alerts me by email and pops up on my browser first thing in the morning. Having this system in place will ensure I see my list in the morning and I can get started with the MOST important tasks. You’ll learn about the importance of prioritizing a little later but in the meantime, make sure your list is visible.

Too Many Items

I’ve read many people fail to follow their lists because they simply have too many things on it. This means you keep adding to it even when the tasks are very small and make no difference to your business. I’ve made it a point to add only the most important tasks on the list so I can stick to it and complete it by the end of the day. What good is a list that continues to keep going and going WITHOUT an end in sight? This is why it’s important to have just the right set of important tasks on the list.

If you have too many on your daily list, to a point where you don’t complete them throughout the day, then you have to redesign your to-do list and your priorities. It’s that simple!

NOT Prioritizing

One of the biggest reasons people fail to use to-do lists is because they feel it’s ineffective. They feel as though it doesn’t produce results adding to your bottom line. However, I’m here to tell you, if it’s organized the right way, then you’ll be able to check the last item off the list in the end of the day and add to your bottom line. Here’s the best tip I can give you…

Only add the most important tasks to your list so by the end of the day, you know you’ve accomplished something GREAT. If you keep adding tasks that are a priority, then after about 2-3 weeks, you’ll notice you’ve made some positive steps forward in your business. You’ve essentially been more productive and taken care of the MOST important tasks, which will increase productivity, profits, conversions, and growth.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

4 Ways to Remain in One Piece When Entering a Cut Throat Industry

Posted from https://addicted2success.com/entrepreneur-profile/4-ways-to-remain-in-one-piece-when-entering-a-cut-throat-industry/

Once again rejection knocks on the front door. It’s probably the 27th time within just a few weeks that another potential client, editor or customer has figuratively taken a hungry bite out of your soul and meticulously chewed it for a while before spitting it back out because of the unappealing taste.

There is only one thing that matters when this happens and that is how you handle it. Will you lay down, cry and get back to that safe, but unpromising 9 to 5 job that you despise? Or will you get back up, put on your boxing gloves and fight with your heart and soul for what you want? I suggest the latter option. Take it from someone who’s persistently tried to enter the realm of freedom that comes with being a freelance writer.

Here are 4 ways to stay strong in a competitive marketplace:

1. List your positive attributes

Innumerable rejections naturally take their toll on the human mind. Despite your first-rate efforts, admirable persistence and self-consciousness, eternally being exposed to this may lead to lack of conviction, fading passion and loss of focus.

The only thing you can do here is to stop beating yourself up, remove your sight from the long road ahead for a little while and think about how far you’ve come by listing all previous successes. However small or irrelevant you think they are, all of them matter. It can be a quality you like about yourself, an attitude your friends admire, a skill people praise, a good grade or why not even a hobby you’re exceptionally good at.

The point about this is to strengthen your mind, regain and maintain your confidence and most importantly, find countless reasons not to give up rather than listing all the things that have gone wrong. Most of the time it’s not about you, so it’s essential to not take it personal.

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” – Arnold J. Toynbee

2. Take a break

You might be on the verge of breaking down and starting to contemplate about whether you should quit or not; Don’t. Instead, go and do something you particularly take pleasure in. Read a good self-help or fiction book, hang out with friends or spend a day strolling around the city and revisit your cult places or discover new ones. As long as you completely tune out from social media and your business and allow yourself to unwind for a couple of days. Or even a week if you feel like it is of vital importance.

A trip to an unexplored destination might just do the trick. Whether it’s a long car drive to the capital of the country, a train ride to an idyllic small town or flight to the neighbouring country or even across the globe. Bring some good reading, your kick-ass, self-titled playlist (we all have one) and hiking gear, and prepare for a treat for your soul while you take the time to unwind from your worries.

It may sound like the last thing you’d want to do, but trust me on this one. You’ll realize how much you needed it once you get back to your grinding with a fresh mind and revitalized spirit.

3. Get back in there

Your mind and body are now well rested and you’ve hopefully recovered from the door slamming and soul punching that took you down in the first place.

Start fresh – preferably on a weekend – and outline a few things, thoughts and goals that have to happen by the end of the following week. Don’t make the list too long or the tasks too demanding, otherwise you’ll get the urge to give up again, which is the last thing you want!

Split your tasks in between days. Monday may include calling to set up meetings throughout the week, the following day you might want to spend one half of the day working on your main project while the other half you’ll be enhancing your proficiencies by studying your line of work. Attending several meetings on Wednesday and attending seminars and networking within your chosen profession might be ideal for a Thursday and so on. I think you get it.

“I didn’t want an unsatisfying career. And I didn’t want to commit to one place – either one company or one location. I wanted to make my own decisions.” – Rocco Baldasarre

4. Regain focus, then maintain it

If you’ve not just read this and paid attention, but also actually executed all of these steps, you should be well on your way to regain focus. Now is the next challenge. To maintain it. It’s not as hard as most people think.

Create a clear vision for future goals, not just the title on your business card. You need to see, feel and even smell your true purpose. See yourself sitting in your own office overlooking the majestic city skyline, feel the pristine white sand lingering between your toes if you dream of having a job that includes traveling to exotic resorts, and smell the fresh paint as you decorate your newly built penthouse.

Once your mind is fully fixated on your final destination, get to work on it. Relentlessly, unapologetically and with such force that people start thinking you’ve gone mad.

What are some other ways to stay competitive? Comment below!

5 Simple Steps to Master the Art of Brainstorming

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Everything that you see around originated from an idea. It is that idea that takes the form of anything, from a product or solution to deciding what you are going to do next with you life. Sometimes we get ideas that are so great that we even doubt if they came out of our own head.

Other times, we are plainly frustrated over the mediocrity of our ideas. There is an art behind coming up with really great ideas every time you brainstorm by yourself or with your team.

Here are five simple steps to master the art of brainstorming:

Step 1: Avoid the trap of the favourite idea

An idea enters our head, and it becomes our favourite idea. Although it could be a pretty good one, it blocks the incoming of any other idea — which could indeed be much better.

  • Make a list of ideas for the given purpose. Do not pick one yet. Put your idea on the list and detach from it, no matter how good it seems at the moment. Then, move on to other possibilities.
  • Break the brainstorming session into segments. Schedule other important work in between, so that you begin with a fresh mind. This is how you can avoid getting trapped in a single thought pattern.

“When you come to a roadblock, take a detour” – Mary Kay Ash

Step 2: Dumb down your standards

You might hold yourself in high regard. But in order to excel at brainstorming, you have to let go of your intellectual self. Realize that your critical mind cannot efficiently confront the situation in front of you. It is time to wake up the child within you.

  • Include every single idea that enters your head, no matter how stupid it sounds. Sometimes, the most genius solution is hidden in a very stupid idea.
  • Prioritize dumbing down. Dedicate an entire session or two to think about all the worst ways you can think of doing the task at hand.
  • To dumb it down even further, consult someone not directly related to the project. That will add greater variety to your list.

Step 3: Let your ideas rot

By now you’d have a long enough list of ideas and absolutely no idea what to do with it. It is time to leave your idea list for a while. Go out hiking, or maybe just a coffee, if you are chasing a deadline. Carry your list ideas along with you.

This is the part where magic happens. This is where ideas intermingle and get refined. They also mix up with other experiences of your life. For example: In the 1980s, while Steve Jobs was working on the revolutionary Macintosh, it’s ‘just-plug-in-and-use’ feature was inspired by a newly born calf that started walking within a few minutes of its birth; a scene that Jobs had once witnessed. This is how life makes our ideas incredible by flowing in from unexpected places if you let it.

Just like different ingredients rot together and ferment to produce a great wine, our ideas also transcend into something else if you allow them to ferment. Life colours them in different flavours. They get refined. Stupid ideas combine with brilliant ones, making them even better. In a short while, you will have developed clarity over your ideas. And unworthy ones simply wither off.

Step 4: Find patterns

Once you are done with the process, the ideas on your list would not be the same as before. When you get back to them, they are not the same bunch of random thoughts. Interesting connections would have been formed among things in and out of the list. Pick up the ones that seem to be standing out. Figure out which other ideas seem to be supporting or enhancing the good ones.

“No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered with a searching but at the same time steady eye.” – Winston Churchill

Step 5: Analyze the solutions

Then comes the last stage where you finally apply your critical mind that you had switched off in step 2. Analyse your results. List the pros and cons with each of the few selected ideas on a piece of paper. Look at the efficiency, scalability, implementability and other factors that might count in your scenario. And choose the best idea, which would be pretty obvious by now.

What not to do next

Once you have gone through the entire process, the solution you would have at hand shall be many folds better than the one formed directly through practical thinking. This time you thought as an artist. But being an artist has its cons.

Since you have set your brain on a stormy mode, it will keep coming up with ideas one after the other. This process will continue even after you have decided upon a particular idea. It is really like choosing the best rose from a 2 acre rose plantation. You have to understand that there is not one way to do something. Otherwise, the lizard brain will start using your perfectionism as an excuse to procrastinate.

Make a mental note for yourself before you begin the entire process that you are going to avail as much time as possible for a thoroughly elaborate brainstorming, but once you are done with that, you will shut down the thinking machine. It is time to put in the hard work to manifest your golden idea into a breakthrough reality.

What are some things you do to make brainstorming more effective? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

4 Things You Can Do Right Now to Change Your Perspective and Live a Better Life

Posted from https://addicted2success.com/life/4-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-change-your-perspective-and-live-a-better-life/

To everything in life, there’s always a positive and a negative side. The thing is, it’s so damn easy to focus on one over the other. Some of us tend to focus too much on the negative side – as you know, it’s usually easier to forget the positive over the negative.

But here’s the good news: you get to choose which side you want to focus on! It’s simply a matter of shifting your perspective or, in other words, shifting your thoughts.

Here are 4 things you can do to help shift your perspective:

1. Focus on the lesson not the issue

Easier said than done, right? Well if you’re reading this article to begin with, you are ready to embrace change. We all go through good and bad experiences along the road. We are either in control of them or not. But the necessary thing to remember is that, every experience is a good experience.

The key is to finding the silver lining. Once you know this, it is fully your responsibility to do so. Now, I’m not saying all experiences have positive aspects, but it’s what you think or make of them that matters the most.

There is always an opportunity to evolve.  If you look a bit closer, you will find a way to positivity more often than you think. Let me give you an example.

It’s a little personal, but it proves exactly what I’m trying to explain. I got diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder three years ago. Long story short, once I knew, instead of telling myself, “I’m a total emotional wreck, there is no hope” I thought, “Now that I have the knowledge, I will find the tools to help me find a solution.” And it felt so damn good!

Now, don’t get me wrong, this ‘positive’ perspective didn’t happen overnight. Good, efficient and long-term changes take time. But what I want to prove with this example is that you should take each problem or circumstance as a positive opportunity to change and to evolve.

At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason – you either have to find the reason yourself or it will become clear by itself after some time.

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” —Walter Hagen

2. Remind yourself that positive attracts positive

You most definitely know the quote, “Smile and the world smiles with you.” At this point, it’s almost evident how much gratitude is important. Expressing gratitude everyday will boost your positive attitude in so many ways.

Here’s an example of a really easy exercise you should start practicing: This can be done at night or first thing in the morning. When you wake up, ask yourself, “What are 3 things I am grateful for this morning?” or, when you go to bed, “What are 3 things that made me happy today?”

This will help your ‘computer’, that is, your mind – in escaping any negative ‘viruses’, that is, your thoughts. Being grateful unfolds in so many positive ways. It will help you have the right, positive energy which will attract positivity.

Because positive attracts positive! The more you focus on having a great day when you first wake up in the morning, the more you will attract it. You will start noticing small details that you hadn’t before, like the beautiful petals in your neighbor’s garden, or simply the way the sun reflects on your skin. It’s also part of living in the now… All yogis will tell you about it.

On the contrary, negative emotions just make everything seem even more negative and then it just becomes a vicious cycle. The important thing to bear in mind here is that your emotions determine your perspective.  In other words, if you control your emotions better, you will control the way you see things better. You have the ability to change – your inner strength will help you in changing focus.

3. Take some distance with any source of negativity

It’s so necessary especially when you start changing your everyday routines and thoughts. Escaping all sources of negativity will give more space to attract positivity. This also means attracting more positive situations and people.

Whoever is toxic in your life or seems to slow you down, you need to put a cross on. You don’t have the time or the space to keep them. This also works for ‘toxic’ situations. Are you working a 9-5 job that you hate? Quit.

When you decide to change your emotions and your perspective, you don’t have any more space for negativity. Simply put, don’t expect positive change when you are surrounded by negative circumstances. 

“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

4. Reward yourself with positive self-talk  

You already took a positive action to read this article in order to become a better version of yourself. Give yourself a little tap on the back! It’s important to shift your thoughts, but it’s almost twice as important to give yourself rewards for it.

It’s not that easy to accept and to embrace a change of thoughts and of perspectives. Realize that what you’re doing is sign that you are taking good initiatives into becoming a better person. Not everyone does it! The world would be a better place if they did.

A simple change in how you look at things and events can completely change your life. Perspective is all about what you decide to focus on. If you decide to focus on negativity, chances are, your life will be negative. On the contrary, if you choose to realize all the good things going on in your life, the quality of your life will necessarily get better. It’s not about what happens but how you deal with what happens.

Remember, it won’t happen overnight. But if you want it enough, like for everything – you will take the necessary time and efforts to make it happen. And then you will never perceive things the same way you used to.Every day is a new chance to start again. Embrace it!

What are some things you do that help you change your perspective and put you in a more positive state? Comment below!

How to Emulate Life’s Genius: Introducing Biomimicry

Posted from http://www.lifehack.org/661525/how-to-emulate-lifes-genius-introducing-biomimicry?ref=rss

Have you ever noticed the most effective and efficient human creations are modeled from nature? From buildings designed like termite mounds to self-healing buildings developed using bacteria in the concrete; biomimicry is phenomenal approach to solve problems in a sustainable way.

Biomimicry (also known as Biomimetics) was coined by Otto Schmidt in the 1950s and describes the transfer of ideas and analogues from biology to technology. [1] It is the imitation of models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems. Biomimetics and biomimicry derive from Ancient Greece: bios (life) and mimesis (mimetics) is imitation or to imitate.

Using nature to solve problems

Nature has already solved our problems for us. It is up to us to discover how. Nature is a fascinating source of inspiration. It demonstrates how every organism is unique and how it is able to adapt to its own environment. [2]

“Nature is imaginative by necessity and has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with today.” – Janine Benyus

Nature is able to respond to its own needs and find solutions that work. In doing so, nature evolves and lasts through countless generations. Furthermore, biomimicry can be applied to completely transform the way we operate, conduct business, and even communicate. Let’s take a look at how biomimicry can be applied on three levels: [3]

  1. The natural form of organisms are used for inspiration. For example, mimicking the structure of a seashell leading to stronger buildings.
  2. Natural process leading to more sustainable materials. For example, mimicking chemical processes such as photosynthesis.
  3. The ecosystem. For example, mimicking the functional principles of an ecosystem.

Run an organization like a redwood forest

Jay Harman writes in his book The Shark’s Paintbrush, that a business should be run like a redwood forest. Harman informs us that a mature forest is a fully self-sustaining producer of diversity and abundance. He says that,

“Many businesses function more like an invasive weed, where their strategy is to spread rapidly into an area, lay down shallow roots, and use more than their share of local resources.”

Essentially, we overwhelm and destroy our habitat. In her book Biomimicry, Janine Benyus outlines how we should run our company like that of a redwood forest. In the image below, I have outlined her thought process for running an organization like a redwood forest.

Benyus describes ten key ways to operate like a forest in order to create conditions conducive to further life.

  1. Use waste as a resource.
  2. Diversify and cooperate with other species to fully use the habitat.
  3. Gather and use energy efficiently.
  4. Optimize rather than maximize.
  5. Use materials sparingly.
  6. Don’t foul your nest.
  7. Draw up instead of down on resources.
  8. Remain in balance with the biosphere.
  9. Run on information.
  10. Shop locally.

Examples of biomimicry

Let’s take a brief look at some examples of biomimicry in action.

Gecko tape

The bullet train

Cement like corals

Passive cooling in buildings

Self-healing buildings

Harvesting fresh Water

A paradigm shift in how we think

Biomimicry offers us a unique way to see and solve problems. For example, by examining a forest, we find that a forest is actively communicating.

“Biomimicry is basically taking a design challenge and then finding an ecosystem that’s already solved that challenge, and literally trying to emulate what you learn.” – Janine Benyus

Similar to how the internet operates, fungal connectivity is taking place between plants. Yet, like the internet, it is also susceptible to cyber-crime, terrorism, and even warfare. [4]

So, why not examine cyber-crime by examining the threats of fungal connectivity? How could we do this? By using biomimicry as a problem-solving methodology. Let’s take a look at how this could be accomplished.

Biological strategies and inspired ideas

AskNature.org is a powerful and free resource to use to explore biomimicry. It offers a way to find biological strategies, inspiring ideas, and resources to problems using nature.

For example, let’s say we want to find solutions to cyber security. By simply typing “cyber security” we are presented with unique strategies using nature to solve the problem (see image below). One such strategy is to look at how glands in Sea Hares secrete two compounds protecting the organism from predators by reacting together to create an unpalatable mixture of hydrogen peroxide and organic chemicals. Let’s take a quick look at how this could work with cyber security.

Step #1: Clearly define the challenge we are trying to solve

Improve cyber security vulnerabilities.

Step #2: Search for biological analogies and/or metaphors

Step #3: Determine whether the problem is related to form, function, or ecosystem

Form follows function (hence, form always comes before function). Think of form as the design of a building, where function is how we use the building.

Step #4: Ask what plant, Animal, or Natural Process solves a similar problem most effectively

Using AskNature.org I was able to find the following potential solution: Sea Hare or Sea Snail.

Step #5: Map-out the biological model

Step #6: Design a solution

Using an abstract len, we could potentially use the sticky ink secretion of a Sea Hare as a cyber security protection concept that sticks to dangerous cyber intrusion and completely prevents it from infecting the network/system/device.

When we look to nature for solutions to contemporary problems, we find that biomimicry provides us a fascinating and unique way to truly improve everything around us. It offers us an opportunity to redesign everything in existence. In essence, biomimicry brings about answers because it forces us to ask the right questions.

Reference

[1] Julian Vincent, Olga Bogatyreva, Nikolaj Bogatyrev, Adrian Bowyer, Anja-Karina Pahl: Biomimetics its practice and theory
[2] Rasha Mahmoud Ali El-Zeiny: Biomimicry as a Problem Solving Methodology in Interior Architecture
[3] SlideShare: Biomimicry Civil Engineering Applications
[4] Timewheel.net: Plants communicate using an internet of fungus

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This Increases Your Sleeping Time by 30%! The Ultimate Cure For Your Bad Sleep

Posted from http://www.lifehack.org/657091/this-increases-your-sleeping-time-by-30-the-ultimate-cure-for-your-bad-sleep?ref=rss

Do you have trouble sleeping? Many issues can cause sleep deprivation including stress, hormonal imbalance, or even unfavorable sleeping environments. Some people tend to hear and feel everything around them when they sleep, while others sleep deeply.

This makes it easier for the former to wake up suddenly during the night to any slight noise or movement. Alternatively, it reduces productivity and creativity since the brain and body do not have enough time to rest. Nevertheless, the dream band is here to remedy this situation.

Your ultimate sleeping solution

This sleeping solution aids in improving sleeping patterns during sleep. The beauty of this product is the fact that it works in a personalized manner through sensors that respond to any brain changes as the user sleeps.

It was created by Rhythm, a neurotechnology company based in San Francisco and Paris. Through a team of seventy people, this amazing product was created with further input and consultation from ten research labs that are located in the USA and Europe.

Increase your sleeping time by 30% 

This band has numerous features that increase the rate of sleeping by thirty percent. It provides the user with subtle sounds as they sleep to prevent them from interrupting their deep sleep. This reduces the chances of the user experiencing issues such as memory consolidation, cellular regeneration, or even hormone regulation. This amazing device also senses the right time for the user to wake up and facilitates this. It offers the user ways that can help him or her improve their sleep.

Accurate and Safe to Use

Its accurate sensors and distinct features make it one of the best sleep improving inventions in the market. Its personalized approach to remedying sleep deprivation caters to the needs of all the users as opposed to a holistic approach.

The band recognizes that each individual has different issues and works to remedy the situation. The brain activity at the time of monitoring aids in controlling the features and triggering sounds that improve sleep. Forbes stated the following with respect to the product, “A cure for all this bad sleep, one that you can literally wrap around your head.”

The band uses five dry polymer EEG electrodes to detect the sleep stage that the user is in. The bone conduction technology used by the machine aids in stimulating and transmitting safe sound to the bone to facilitate the specific sleep stage that the user is in. Apart from this it also uses learning algorithms,  accelerometer, and Pulsoxy sensor to monitor the heart rate and frequency of breathing of the user. The band wraps around the head with the sensors in the fabric band and the internals on the top of the head to aid the user in achieving comfort.

Cool things website reviewed this product and thought that its design is comfortable enough to wear in bed. In fact, they advised users to equate wearing the device to wearing an eye mask as they sleep. For more information on this product, visit this website.

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How to Make Your Haters Like You

Posted from http://www.lifehack.org/659474/how-to-make-your-haters-like-you?ref=rss

Having haters is a part of life. Hate comes in a variety of forms and can come from friends, family members, coworkers, classmates, associates and even random internet trolls.

Haters are the ugly side of success. If you have anything going for yourself, you’ve experienced hate. Whether you are intelligent, thin, curvy, in a relationship, single, have kids, or love your job, you are going to have haters. You hear the snide comments, see the random side-eyes, read the hateful comments under a social media post. You feel the tension when you try to discuss a recent win with a friend and then you find out that there are people dogging you behind your back.

Most people will tell you to just ignore your haters. They say that it’s just a part of life that you have to learn to deal with especially if you plan to do big things. And while that is accurate and sound advice, there is a way to turn some of your haters into friends.

The magic of asking for a favor

The quickest and easiest way to turn a hater into a friend is to ask them for a favor. It’s a well researched psychology technique called the Ben Franklin Effect[1]. When you ask people who dislike you to help you out, it shifts their perception of the relationship and makes them view you as a friend instead of a foe.

Favors are for friends. You don’t usually do a favor for an enemy or someone you deeply dislike. It all has to do with cognitive dissonance. According to cognitive dissonance theory,[2] there exists a tendency for people to establish consistency in their beliefs, values and opinions. When attitudes and behaviors become inconsistent, dissonance occurs.

The brain needs to eliminate the dissonance. The brain behaves as an outside observer. It continually watches and evaluates your actions and then contrives explanations for why you do what you do. Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions. So, in this case the reasonable belief is that favors are for friends. When you ask a hater for a favor, you create dissonance and the hater has to change their perception of you in order to perform the ask and eliminate the inconsistency.

Asking for a favor is also a subtle form of flattery. Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People suggests that requesting a favor allows the hater to feel that they have something we don’t. It levels the playing field in their mind. It also makes the hater feel admired and respected. They then not only want to help you but will also begin to see you differently. The hate dissipates.

Turn haters into friends

Asking a hater for a favor requires humility and a bit of thought. The favor should be something small enough that it is easily performed but not so trivial that it seems more of an insult than a favor. This means that you should consider the strengths, weaknesses, intellect and ability level of the person you are asking.

If it’s someone you don’t know, keep the ask simple. Borrowing some change at the vending machine or some other small item, asking them for assistance with an app on your smartphone or asking them to recommend a restaurant or other establishment are all great favors to ask for.

When you make your request, remember to ensure it sounds like you really need the favor and value the person’s help. Keep your tone humble and your body language open. And be sure you express your appreciation and gratitude for their help.

This technique is not just for haters. It works well with people you may not know well such as a colleague, mild acquaintance and even your secret crush. The simple action–making a small and reasonable request–can be the catalyst that transform a hater into a friend.

Experiencing hate as you work to become your best self is inevitable. Turning every hater into a friend isn’t a practical goal but you can befriend some. Simply humbling yourself, and asking for assistance in the form of a favor, is the first step in changing them from foe to friend.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

Reference

[1] The Science Dog: The Ben Franklin Effect
[2] Instructional Design: Cognitive Dissonance (Leon Festinger)

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