A Modern Home in Casablanca, Morocco

This house, located in Casablanca, Morocco, was designed by Driss Kettani Architecte in 2016.Its main entrance leads directly to the stairs, which themselves lead us to the main door. This, hidden between a wall painted black and another covered with green tiles, welcomes us. Small, perfectly arranged gardens and a long swimming pool that seem to escort the house stand by its side. Entering the house, we find a spacious..

More…

The 5 Best Podcasts on Kindness

You’re reading The 5 Best Podcasts on Kindness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Paying it forward. The norm of reciprocity. The power of empathy. These are all concepts within the practice of kindness. There are biological responses to kindness, as it releases chemicals in the brain that are the same as those when we experience love. Interestingly, it turns out kindness was a skill that helped our ancestors survive, a key evolutionary trail. There is a certain amount of it that can be cultivated and some that is genetically hard wired within us. The power kindness holds is one of action, for which people can connect with others, and oftentimes, with our own selves in the process. Here are 5 podcasts that touch upon the influence of kindness:

  1. Spreading compassion into the world, one small gesture at a time. This podcast touches on the acts of kindness either toward someone we know or a complete stranger and how it can impact and change our lives for the better.

http://ift.tt/1MAAMgW

  1. This podcast lists 5 big ideas and action items to follow through with afterward. Teaching a child morals is a way of life that starts with the parents. The best way to do this is to make kindness and caring for others a priority, show them by example or have a casual dinner conversation about how you think a decision may impact others. It is also important to make your children show and express their gratitude.

http://ift.tt/2myGUl4

  1. In this podcast the core roots of connection are discussed, to remind us of how loving kindness is intrinsic to all of us regardless of our experience or history. It is to be in a non-judgmental and quiet space within ourselves and toward others. We must be able to drop the obstacles in the way of us being open and able to connect.

http://ift.tt/2m0Fli0

  1. Connection to human emotion, sharing stories that people can relate to is the key to helping a society increase its level of compassion and kindness. In this podcast we hear the story of a young man, who began ‘unsung heroes’ – highlighting stories of everyday people, tapping into the working class, and what their particularly history is. People who watch this project, have helped those who are featured achieve their dreams, or find some happiness. His project has now moved into a full blown non profit organization that helps people through kindness.

http://ift.tt/2myOyMk

  1. This Ted Talk video by Stefan Klein, is different in that it highlights a study that was done that shows that people are happier when they do good things for others. He touches upon the research in science behind how kindness evolved in the brain of our ancestors up to today, and how emotions are our motivations.

 

Being kind to ourselves and toward others is the first step in beginning to connect with the essence of what unites us all. A bonus finding in all this kindness research is that people who care for others are happier, healthier and live longer.

Do you read a great blog about kindness that’s not on the list? Leave a comment on FB!

Larissa Gomes is a breast cancer survivor and single mom to her spirited baby boy! Originally from Toronto turned Angeleno, she has worked in roles from writer, actor and producer for well over a decade. In that time, she’s developed concepts, film and television screenplays, short stories, along with freelance articles, blogging and editing work.

You’ve read The 5 Best Podcasts on Kindness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2myAAdh

5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up

As a business owner, you know your business inside out and are the best judge of its potential. While naysayers will always warn you against taking a business investment loan, it is sometimes nevertheless necessary in order to help your business achieve growth.

Listed below are 5 ways in which a business investment loan can help to expand your start-up.

Finance New Technology or Equipment

new technology investment

As in any business, productivity levels depend on the current level of technology being used. Chances are that when you were first establishing your business, you weren’t able to get the latest or most efficient tech.

Now may be the time to get a small business development loan to get up to date on current technology for your start-up. This may just fuel your business and help it gear up for the next level.

Re-Energize the Face of your Business

Most customers subconsciously judge a business by the office or retail space that it operates from or the kind of branding and advertising it does. Once the start-up is established, it is time to entice new customers with an appealing in-store display, a well-lit interior, easy to identify signage, and other features.

A small business development loan is a great way to fund this renovation or even get ahead in your branding endeavours. A new office, a new logo and allied stationary, or a revamped store may help to attract new talent and new customers since as it shows that your start-up is confident about its growth.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness

Fund the Next Product Development

Have your initial services and products been well accepted by your target audience? It is now time to innovate and add to your existing offerings or develop new products for which you see potential.

Any kind of new development requires capital. With all your capital used up in setting up your start-up, a small business development loan can be just the push your business needs to expand and add more value to its offerings.

Strengthen your Working Capital

Organising and maintaining inventory is one of the largest business expenses. With a working capital business loan, you can make your start-up more agile. Free capital previously invested in inventory can be focused on the growth of the business.

Help with Getting the Right Talent and Retaining Them Too

right people

Every business needs the right people to keep it functioning smoothly and efficiently. As your business grows, it will need more people to keep pace with the increase in demand. Also, the start-up will demand more experienced talent to help the business plough through to the next phase of growth.

Human resources aren’t just tools, but people who need to be respected, nurtured and well compensated for their hard work and talent. A small business development loan will help to ensure that their salary payments are made on time irrespective of revenue income. And this will ensure that your business stays profitable in the future.

See Also: How to Save Your Startup by Hiring the Right People

While these are typical uses of a business loan, lenders understand that every business is unique and capital needs diverse. With this in mind, lenders provides business loans designed to cater to every business need on low interest rates and various other advantages.

 

The post 5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

http://ift.tt/2mDo6jH

A Mindful Guide to Email in 20 Minutes a Day

By Leo Babauta

I recently did a challenge with my friend Jesse of Samovar Tea: check email just twice a day (at 10am and 4pm) for 30 minutes a session.

In addition, we couldn’t check email in the morning unless we did an hour on a specific project that morning. It ended up that on most mornings, I couldn’t do an hour of that project, so I only checked email in the afternoons.

What amazed me is that I only needed about 20 minutes a day to process email, if I focused and worked efficiently. I’d like to share how to do that, if you’re interested. (I’m continuing the challenge for at least another week, btw.)

To start with, this isn’t about being hyper-efficient. It’s not about optimizing our life or becoming productivity masters. It’s not about rushing through things.

It’s about limiting our distractions (for me, email is one of my go-to distractions) and when we do allow them, it is purposefully. And with focus and mindfulness.

Email is necessary in my life, so I don’t want to cut it out. I do want to keep it to a minimum, so it doesn’t expand to fill my day, or become something I run to.

OK, with that clear, let’s dive into the “how to.”

How to Limit Email Checking

It used to be that I would check email first thing in the morning, before getting out of bed. But I realized that this was a procrastination method that felt productive, that was a way for me to postpone meditating and important work.

Email also was something I’d check whenever I was bored, didn’t want to work on something hard (but still wanted to feel productive), or just had an itch to see what people were writing to me about.

But Jesse asked me a good question: What would happen if you didn’t check email for a week? (My projects would fall behind and customers would think I’m unresponsive.) What would happen if you just checked once a day? (Nothing bad, probably.)

So we made a challenge: just check twice a day, at specific times. If you messed up, you’d have to pay the other person $1,000 (!). That was a ridiculous amount for such a trivial thing, so it was guaranteed that we wouldn’t check email.

There was a small caveat: if you needed to send an email (to get a report to someone, for example), you could send the email only, but would have to pay $1,000 if you checked any other emails.

So I recommend a similar challenge. Try it for a week. Find an accountability partner, promise to pay a really big amount, set specific terms, and see if you can limit your email checking. This won’t work for people in customer service, for example, who need to check email all day long to do their job, but for most of us, email just seems like something we need to check often, but nothing bad happens if we don’t.

Try it, see if you can limit yourself to twice a day. Or be bold, and do once a day!

How to Process Email in 20 Minutes

The “20 minutes” is actually relative to whatever volume of email you need to process, of course. Some people will need 30 minutes. But most people can do it in less, and if you find yourself going beyond 30 minutes, it’s possible you need to do a couple things:

  1. Unsubscribe from as many newsletters, promotional emails, notifications and other fluff as you can (if it has an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email, use it). Get those out of your inbox, so you can just focus on the important stuff.
  2. Decide that you’re not going to get to everything today, just the important ones that you can do in 20-30 minutes. Let go of the rest — getting to empty isn’t more important than other things you need to do.

OK, with those two key ideas in mind, here’s how to process your email in 20 minutes:

  1. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Set your container, and work within it.
  2. Process email top down, and completely deal with each email. One email at a time. Deal with it completely (see next two items) before you allow yourself to move on to the next. Don’t put it off, don’t say, “I’ll deal with that later.”
  3. Take one of three actions. You only have three choices: a) delete (or archive), b) reply right now (and/or take care of the task it requires right now) if it will take 2 minutes or less, c) put it on your to-do list or calendar if it will take longer (see next item) and file in a “to-do” email folder. Basically, do what it takes to get the email out of your inbox. And again, unsubscribe whenever you can.
  4. Put longer tasks on your to-do list. If it will take longer than 2 minutes, put the item on your to-do list. Or if it’s a link that you need to read, put it on a read-later list. Sometimes I’ll reply to the person to let them know I’ll try to work on it today (or by a certain date), and then put it on my to-do list or calendar.
  5. Be mindful as you work. It’s easy to get into the “do this as quickly as I can” mode. But there’s also a mindfulness you can bring to the activity. As you send this email, are you being helpful, kind, clear, truthful, compassionate? How is your body feeling? Are you sitting upright? Can you smile and appreciate this beautiful moment?

When the timer goes off, find gratitude that you had that time to communicate and take care of important tasks. Let go of the rest (for now), close your email, and resist the urge to check it again later. Refocus yourself on something important.

Breathe, and meet the rest of your day with joy.

http://ift.tt/2l55NHR

This week, Grand Canyon National Park celebrates its 98th…

This week, Grand Canyon National Park celebrates its 98th birthday. Long before it became a national park, this landmark’s timeless beauty was well known throughout the country and parts of the world. Today the canyon is no less a source of inspiration than it was for these early tourists. 

As we celebrate nearly 100 years of protecting this special place, check out 13 great facts about this Arizona icon.

Photo from Yavapai Point by Cat Connor (http://ift.tt/18oFfjl).

Sycamore Architects Create a Two-Level Penthouse With a View in Rome, Italy

This two-level penthouse with 295 m2 is located in one of the most important streets in the city of Rome, Italy – the Viale dei Parioli. Its owners have the privilege of being able to see the dome of the Basilica of Saint Peter from the comfort of their own terraces, every single day… We could not imagine a better view! It was remodeled by Sycamore Architects in 2015, creating..

More…