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

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

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

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

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

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

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

helping others

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

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

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

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

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

When you approach life this way, people seek you out and opportunities find you. It’s the law of attraction (http://ift.tt/1Rh8yjp).

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

Don’t Do What Makes You Happy

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

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

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

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

Investment In Your Mentality

ROI or Return on Investment (http://ift.tt/2cT3YZS) is when you get back what you put in.

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

Note to self: “Don’t stop here.”

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

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

Creating your future most often means sacrificing time with family and friends, working for long stretches in jobs you don’t enjoy (http://ift.tt/2rfsRpg), studying and saving your money. We all have limited time, energy and funds, but you must invest those limited treasures so that you can create a future of greater abundance.

Teach Yourself

teach yourself

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

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

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

Big questions that can be helpful:

  • What are you most passionate about?
  • How can you give back to the world (http://ift.tt/2sdrcxK)?
  • What would you prioritize if money and time were no objects?
  • Can you speak another language?
  • Is travel important to you?
  • What professional experience do you want to gain?

Today, hundreds of companies all over the world will allow you to travel, learn and give back while you continue to explore your passions, develop new skills and discover new interests. Start by helping in disaster relief abroad through All Hands Volunteers (https://www.hands.org/), offering your time to provide a better future to the kids in Latin America with Maximo Nivel (http://ift.tt/2kXdo86) or help orphaned and abandoned children in Africa and Asia through (http://ift.tt/2fFsNGT). Your role in the world and your preferences continue to evolve over time, so continue teaching yourself and keep learning!

There Is No Right Time

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

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

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

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

 

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5 Instagram Tools That Can Boost Brand Performance

Are you an Instagram user or an Instagram star?

Frankly, becoming an Instagram star from a regular user can be an arduous journey and, unfortunately, 90% of users don’t make it successfully.

Instagram is the holy grail of online social media marketing right now. In fact, this 2017, almost all brands across the globe already have their Instagram profiles and channels.

If you are sitting there and scratching your head, it is obvious you must have fallen off the radar at some point about five years ago.

Let us get you updated:

  1. Instagram has over 500 million active users per month.
  2. Instagram users share about 95 million photos and videos every day.
  3. They like 4.2 billion posts per day.
  4. By end 2017, almost 70.7% of all US brands will be on Instagram.
  5. 96% of US fashion labels are on Instagram.
  6. 60% of all brands use a consistent (signature) filter.
  7. 75% of Instagrammers visit the related website after checking out a post from their feed.
  8. One hashtag contributes to 12.6% more engagement at an average.
  9. 33% of Instagram users purchase products after seeing featured ads on their feed.
  10. 50% of Instagram users become social networkers for the brands they follow. This has increased average engagement per post to 416% since 2015.

These are just a few stats showing that Instagram is the present and the future of digital marketing. If you want your brand to be successful and famous, you need to take advantage of this free platform.

To get started, here’s a list of the top 5 Instagram tools every aspiring brand should have.

Instagram Insights

instagram insights

This tool is ubiquitous to every business account holder’s repertoire. The Instagram Insights can provide you with the basic statistics you can use in assessing your market.

You’ll be able to see the performance of your posts as well as the changes you have made to your Instagram account. You can check your weekly updates, including post reach, website clicks and profile views, too. This one also shows the range of your 24-hour Instagram stories.

Simply Measured

simply measured

Simply Measured is a free report-generating tool for Instagram users. This is ideal for those who have an Instagram business account.

This is one of the few Instagram tools that can handle up to 25,000 followers free. You can check what has worked and what has fallen through in the last few weeks of your Instagramming.

Just log in to authorize the Simply Measured tool to pull information from your account. Follow Simply Measured on Twitter for a free analytics report that will tell you all you need to know about charts, scorecards and appendix.

Like4Like

like4like

This social marketing tool can get you real likes on your Instagram account. This is very necessary if you are a newbie who wants to launch a successful brand.

Like4Like can teach you how to treat your account as a brand in itself. You can get free likes and influential followers who can bring you more business from all corners of the world.

The Pro version of this tool is ideal for entrepreneurs who want to benefit from the company of social influencers and Instagram celebrities.

See Also: How to Increase Your Instagram Followers in 2017

Keyhole

keyhole

This unique Instagram tool allows you to track data from public Instagram accounts. Keyhole analyzes follower growth and engagement of Instagram accounts to get complete data on your marketing campaigns.

It will give you small pieces of advice, including best times to post and best filters for business accounts on a daily basis. It collects real-time data to track hashtag trends. The tool also collects traditional metrics that can give you an idea of the evolution of related search terms on this social platform. It can include impressions, sentiment, activity volume, reach and associated phrases of the trending search terms.

Having Keyhole in tow is like having a personal advisor who has complete knowledge of all Instagram strategies.

Brandwatch

brandwatch

This is a platform that can help you manage your Instagram account in real-time. You can research the market strategies and weigh your target audience using the Brandwatch tool. This is quite the marketing analytics tool of the future.

The Brandwatch can alert you when a follower or potential customer posts about your brand. It can monitor your reputation by listening in on social conversations. This tool offers the most efficient methods of spam filtration and reiterative mentions. It can track demographic data, gender-based data, occupation and the interest of your followers. This powerful tool will help you conquer a broad potential market present on Instagram.

Conclusion

Only opening a profile and keeping it active on social media platforms, like Instagram, is not enough to ensure marketing success. You need working marketing strategies and plans to move forward. If you do not see much profit from your social media marketing efforts, it is time you adopt one or more of these Instagram tools. They address very specific issues of social media, especially Instagram marketing, that brands often face today.

Many of the tools mentioned here are free. The paid and pro versions have more options and accessibility. However, if you do not have a budget for new investments, you should start with the Instagram Insight tool. This gives you a brilliant, real-time and complete view of your account and post activities.

It is possible for your brand to garner millions of followers on Instagram. Sometimes, you might just need a little push.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness

 

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7 Mobile Applications To Help You Find A Job

Thanks to today’s technology, there are now countless job search apps that can greatly improve your job hunting experience.  They make the process really convenient. You can look for a job whenever and wherever you are. Plus, you can get instant access to job postings and be aware of all the recent announcements.

The trick, however, is in finding the best mobile applications. If you are unsure where to begin, here are the most popular job search apps you can choose from.

LinkedIn Job Search

linkedin

Everyone knows that LinkedIn is the number one tool for job searching and, fortunately, it also has a mobile version. Its application resembles the website a lot. It makes it possible to log in with your existing account which makes it quite easy to use.

The service allows you to search for open vacancies. Depending on the industry, salary, location and date, you can apply directly through the app. You can also receive new job suggestions and notifications about the activity of your network.

See Also: 3 Surprising Tips That Will Transform Your Job Search Approach

Jobr

jobr

Have you ever used Tinder? Then, you will not have any difficulties with Jobr as it functions in a similar way. All you need to do is to “swipe right” to apply for a job or to “swipe left” to pass the posting. It makes the job search faster and a lot more fun.

There is also an option to save a job posting so you can check the details later. Before starting the job search, make sure to create a profile and import your resume.

Glassdoor

glassdoor

Glassdoor is an app that allows you to take a look at your chosen company from the inside. It provides the information about your potential recruiter based on the feedback of other employees. You have a chance to learn about the pay, work environment and your possible seniors before you actually apply for the job.

Another great feature is the “Know Your Worth” tool that offers an analysis of your career, development and value on the job market. Glassdoor also has a section for frequently asked questions you should be aware of during the interview.

Rake

rake mobile app

Rake is your personal organizer of your job search process. You can use it the traditional way to search for career opportunities or as an additional tool to improve your job search.

With the help of Rake, you can sort the jobs you saved from other sites and job search apps into categories. An organized search guarantees that you will not miss new opportunities or details. Unfortunately, the app is only available for iOS.

Indeed

indeed job search

Indeed Job Search is a basic app available for all job seekers. This easy app does not offer any special features, but it is well-developed for its main purpose.

A wide choice of vacancies and numerous search filters will help you find your desired job opportunity. It also offers a list of resumes that can help you in creating your own. You can apply instantly or make a reminder to do it later. The company reviews and photos are also available in its app.

Career Builder

career builder

Career Builder is good for someone who likes straightforward and simple job search apps without any add-ons. You do not have to create a profile; just import your resume and start the search.

This app will allow you to keep track of your application history. You can check the job instantly or save it for later. You will get a notification once your application is delivered and when it is viewed.

Workpop

workpop

Workpop is an app that makes job search fun, enjoyable and entertaining. Your personality is the main focus when finding a job through this app.

There are a lot of ways to express yourself there. It can be through profile photos, captivating bios, and short video presentations. This app is focused on perceiving a candidate as a real person and not just a list of achievements and experiences. The service deletes all the job posting older than two weeks which ensures that most offers are valid and fresh.

See Also: How To Make Your Job Search More Productive

 

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Do You Have The Right Mattress For Your Body Type?

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

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

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

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

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs

What Is The Best Mattress?

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

Here are some of them:

Memory Foam

memory foam mattress

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

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

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

Latex Mattress

latex mattress
Via uratex

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

Waterbed

waterbed
Via waterbed-deals

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

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

Airbed

airbed
Via intexcorp

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

Specialty foam mattress

tango mattress

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

How To Choose A Mattress Properly

Know how old your mattress is

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

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

Determine what type of mattress you’ll need

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

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

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

Set your budget

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

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

 

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5 Important Tips Before Traveling Overseas

Flying overseas, particularly if it’s your first time, can be a nerve-wracking experience.

Regardless of which country you are traveling to, there are things you can do and prepare to make the trip not only hassle-free but safe, too. To give you an idea, here’s the best international travel checklist you’ll ever need.

Tip #1 Check Your Passport And Other Travel Documents

passports

Before making any travel plans, you must first know where your passport is. Although you don’t necessarily have to memorize every detail (but that could sure help), you should, at least, check its expiration date.

Your passport should be valid for at least six months before you travel overseas. There are countries that deny travelers if their passports expire in less than six months so check beforehand. If you get stuck for some reason in one of those countries, you’d want to make sure they’ll let you get away with no problems. If possible, try to renew your passport about 9 months prior to its expiration date.

Tip #2 Know How You’ll Get Cash

One of the easiest ways to get money is through an ATM. However, making withdrawals from ATMs that are outside the network of your US bank can mean very steep fees. To cut the cost, you can withdraw a certain amount of money from the ATM at the airport so you’ll only have to pay once for the fees.

This, however, isn’t really advisable since you’ll be carrying a big sum of cash while traveling. There’s also the chance that you’ll be left with too much local currency after your trip. A checking account with no minimum balance is a better option.

Before you actually leave, you should also give your bank a call to tell them which country you’re going to. If your bank sees any unusual foreign charges without any prior notice, it can put your cards on hold which can be quite annoying if you’re in the middle of your shopping.

Tip #3 Prepare Your Devices

Electrical outlets aren’t the same in all countries so make sure you have adapters that can work with foreign sockets. Apart from that, you should also know the strength of the electrical current of the country you are going to and make sure that it’s compatible with your devices.

You can invest in a transformer or just leave any incompatible devices at home. For convenience, you should also pack extra batteries and portable chargers.

Tip #4 Pack Your Things

packing things

Packing is probably one of the most tedious things you need to do before going out for a trip. Aside from what to carry, you also need to know how much you can bring.

If your trip is short, consider packing lightly. Invest in the best carry on duffel bags for traveling, especially if your trip involves switching airports or walking in lots of terrains. They are easy to carry and can fit so many items inside.

Once you have selected your luggage, it’s time to pack your things. Organization isn’t the only thing you need to consider when packing; accessibility matters, too. Remember, airport authorities will still inspect your bag.

Instead of folding, roll your clothes along the length of your luggage. When they are organized in rows, they are easier to check and inspect. It’s a good way to maximize space, too.

Liquids, aerosols, and gels that measure beyond 3.4 oz should be packed in your checked luggage. If the total volume of your liquids and gels is below that weight, store them in clear, zip top bags. Tools, sharp objects and sports equipment go into the same luggage.

The first layer of your luggage should be the heavier items. Spread them evenly to distribute the weight. Your shoes, for example, should be at the bottom of your bag. Pack as many socks as you can in your shoes.

Your jeans and sweaters go over your shoes. Roll and pack them in tightly to prevent them from getting undone while traveling. For fragile items, place them in the middle of your bag, on top of the heavier rolled items.

The next layer should be the lighter clothes, like your shirts and undergarments. Over this layer, place your folded items so you can easily get them out and hang them upon arrival. To prevent wrinkling, you can put them inside a dry cleaner bag.

For additional items, like your belt, fit them in any available nook. For your toiletry bag, you can place them on top of your folder layer.

See Also: How to Pack Your Suitcase Like George Clooney

Tip #5 Prep Your Home For Your Vacation

home

There are a million things that can happen at home when you’re on a vacation, so it’s only right that you keep your home security as part of your international travel checklist. Before you actually leave the house and go straight to the airport, make sure you’ve secured your property.

Avoid advertising that you’ll be out of the house, especially on your social media accounts. Burglars and criminals can use the Internet to spy on potential victims.

As much as possible, make it look like there’s someone at home. Unoccupied houses are vulnerable to attacks since they pose less threat of confrontation.

Do not leave your spare keys at your front door or under your door mat. Instead, leave them with a trusted relative or consider upgrading to smart locks. They are convenient to have whether you’re a frequent traveler or you’re away most of the time for work.

Don’t close the blinds in every room. Just keep things as they normally are.

Put the newspaper and mail delivery on hold while you are gone. If they pile up, it’s a sure sign that no one is at home.

If your house is monitored by a security company, don’t forget to notify them. Arm your alarms, too and make sure that every device is working. Check and replace batteries as necessary.

Unplug all small appliances. They can still suck up power even when not in use.

You can leave your lights on to deter burglars. However, lights that are constantly turned on won’t trick any attackers. Instead, leave your lights on a timer and set them to turn on and off at the same time each night.

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Are Online Relationships Better Than Offline Ones?

When it comes to dating, you have many available options. You can join an online dating website or simply do it the old-fashioned way. Although you make the usual rounds to the bars and laundry mats hoping to “bump” into someone of interest, you may have better luck dating online.

The expert opinion on online dating

Dating experts argue that while online dating is helpful, it might not be that better than seeing someone offline. One thing they all agree on, however, is that subscribers should take their relationships off of the internet after a reasonable amount of time.

As they complete surveys and studies, dating services are implementing social media and online dating formulas into their business mock-ups. They are finding out that one size does not fit everyone because people don’t always have the same goals when it comes to relationships.

One person may want a long-term relationship with the possibility of marriage while another may desire friendship only. In essence, this means that there will always be advantages and disadvantages to dating online.

Online Dating vs Offline Dating

Pros and Cons of online dating

online dating

Used as an introduction, online dating is effective. However, way too many online daters are extending their experiences to having long-term online relationships. This is not the intent of matchmaking services.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular reasons to date online coupled with the reasons why people prefer not to rely on it.

Pros to dating online

  • You’re not alone. More than 40 million single daters have joined an online dating service. Numerous people are successful finding a match and more people are getting married because they subscribe to one or more dating sites or single groups on social media.
  • Dating someone who lives in another state is possible due to online dating. Because online dating is worldwide, you can meet the match of your dreams even if they live in another state or country.
  • Access to an online dating service is never an issue… they don’t close.
  • Many online dating services use scientific matchmaking tools so your best possible matches are sent directly to you.

Cons to dating online

  • Tons of people have joined but only a fraction are active.
  • People don’t tell the truth about their marital position, income, age, etc.
  • It can become an obsession for some and they never take the relationship to the next level.
  • Many online daters search for singles only in their immediate area or income range.

See Also: 5 Tips for Effective Online Dating

Knowing when to go offline

offline dating

When you’re serious about meeting someone, whether it’s for a hook-up, friendship or with marriage in mind, you must start somewhere. Dating services are available in every form imaginable. There are sites made specially to help you meet your relationship goals. However, at some point, you must take your relationship offline.

Again, keep in mind, the point of online dating is to meet someone special and although you have met them online, it’s not the same as actually having a face-to-face meeting. Keep reading to find out why it might be a good idea to take your relationship offline.

Pros to dating offline

  • The possibility of knowing a few of their friends and feeling safer because of it.
  • Determining if there is chemistry happens a lot sooner.
  • Dating offline means you don’t have to judge their profile.

Cons to dating offline

  • You won’t meet as many people.
  • Some people are shy and won’t come out to mingle.
  • It’s not easy to decide on where to go to meet like-minded individuals.

Only take the relationship offline if you are truly ready. If you decide you want to quit the relationship, you should be upfront with the other person as soon and as painlessly as possible.

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

Conclusion

Spend time communicating online, developing trust and establishing the first base. Once you’re ready to move to second base, you can do so comfortably.

The idea for dating online is so you can take it offline and not remain in the cyber community forever. You can build an online relationship but you should make it a point to meet in person. The sooner you do that and the sooner you realize that the other person isn’t for you, the better it will be for both parties.

If this should be the case, don’t let one spoiled online dating experience prevent you from taking the opportunity to meet other people online in the future. Keep a positive attitude and keep it moving! Good luck to you all!

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On A Journey To Build A Dream School Together In Austria

I am a Community Manager and, as part of the job, I talk to our users a lot. They tell me all sorts of stories, from what they enjoy the most about our product to how they recently traveled to Greece for a 10-day vacation. If you’re going to listen to them, you’ll surely feel inspired to start chasing and building your dream.

But, there is one that really caught my attention.

It’s a story about a group of people who were passionate and brave enough to build their dream from scratch– all by themselves.

school at the alm
The alternative school Schule an der Alm in Austria

A school at the foot of the Alps

Situated at the foot of the Alps and in a quiet and beautiful place in Pettenbach, Austria, there is this tiny school right next to a forest- Schule an der Alm (School at the Alm).

In that school, students choose what they want to learn and when they want to learn.

Many classes take place outdoors as children aged 6 to 14 years old concentrate on their subjects of interests in small groups. They climb trees in a race to the top, experience living in a teepee, go skiing, ice skating and sledging during winter.

They have a lot of special activities, too. One particular activity that children excitedly look forward to is Creative Day.

On Creative Day, they have the opportunity and the freedom to go wild with their imagination. They can work with wood to craft their own mini houses or use the sewing machine to design their own clothes.

students of the new school
Students having fun handcrafting on a table outdoor

What makes the school even more unique is that it is built by parents, teachers, and children together!

The start of the dream school

It all started about 10 years ago.

Two young women, together with parents like themselves, had a dream to build a school for their children so they could be educated at their will.

Gudrun, one of the teachers at the school then, worked in a normal primary school before.

When it was time for her second son to go to school, “My son should not be educated the same old way I did,” she told herself. “He should not sit in front of a desk for more than 5 hours a day when half of the time, it’s just his teacher talking.”

With such belief, she and the parents she met at Kindergruppe (children’s group) who share the same ideas, took action and founded their own school.

Michael, a gentle, loving father of two from the Kindergruppe, was Gudrun’s neighbor at the time. They decided to start the school at his home where his 13-year-old son later enrolled as well.

“I already know Gudrun and how she teaches, so did my son. We just like the people and how they worked,” Michael told me during my interview. “And I believe, real good learning has to come from following one’s own interests, something the school believes in, too.”

It was bold and brave of Gudrun, Michael and the other parents to be different and to fearlessly hop on a journey to help children educate in nature, out of their own nature.

And it is a one-of-a-kind dream they did not easily give up or compromise.

“Children should have the right to choose what, and when they want to learn, at their own speed.”
— Michael Praschma, a 62-year-old copywriter and one of the parents

It was not until too many children enrolled that teachers, parents, and students started adapting their new school building, constructing classrooms and school backyard.

The adults were responsible for countless duties like cutting the wood, painting the walls and roughing in electrical wiring. Children, on the other hand, were helping them to carry objects from one location to another.

building the school
Father and son preparing wood for the new school

The role of technology in the school

School at the Alm is like a big family and every single person in the school needs to be involved. Every parent needs to spend at least 100 hours helping out with different tasks every year. And it becomes more each year!

If both parents have a job or if their children have to be looked after, a discussion on which tasks are absolutely necessary or not is a must.

In the early days, they tried to do this via emails, a service everyone is used to. However, it later became difficult for them to tell who was responsible for what, how much of something has been done or what decisions have been made.

“Honestly, emails just resulted in a tsunami. So, we spent about 20 hours looking for a solution,” said Michael, who is responsible for keeping everyone on track.

For me, it was quite surprising how such a “hand-made” school actively looked for and embraced “tech” apps to help them move things along smoothly.

using technology
Parents and teachers using Quire in a meeting

The solutions they found recently are Quire, Doodle, and appear.in.

Quire is a central place for task management, where they break down tasks to smaller subtasks for collaboration and tracking. Doodle, meanwhile, is used to decide a meeting time and appear.in is for arranging video calls in meetings.

“Doodle and appear.in, they very much enhance the Quire tool to help us get things rolling,” said Michael.

After 10 years

School at the Alm has now grown into a primary and secondary school. Currently, it has 32 students, ages 6 to 14, 58 parents and 6 teachers.

Before they welcome the new school year which begins in September, the school will be busy- super busy.

An open house day will kick off in May and everybody will be playing a part. Every parent, teacher and, of course, student will be responsible for different tasks. They will be making sandwiches for the buffet, preparing presentations for the information stand and attending little children’s corner to play with and supervise kids.

start of school year
Everyone gathered together for the start of a new school year

This is the story about the school at the Alm.

After reading the story, did it inspire you to make a difference in the world? Did it awaken the giant in your heart? Did you feel inspired to start building your dream? Just go for it!

The post On A Journey To Build A Dream School Together In Austria appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Cure Your Skin Today: The Best Adult Acne Home Remedies

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

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

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

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

Crushed Peppermint

crushed peppermint

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

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

To make a peppermint paste:

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

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

Zinc Supplements

zinc supplements
Via ods.od.nih.gov

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

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

Oatmeal and Honey Paste

oatmeal honey paste
Via jewelpie

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

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

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

⅛ cup honey
½ cup cooked oatmeal

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

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

See Also: 10 Best Skin Foods For Healthy Glowing Skin

Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil
Via keeperofthehome

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

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

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

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

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

Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

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

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

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

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

There are two great ways to use apple cider vinegar.

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

Yogurt & Honey Mask

yogurt honey mask

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

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

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

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

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

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

Say Goodbye To Adult Acne

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

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

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

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

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How To Allow Yourself To Be Vulnerable Even If The Thought Scares You

It’s extremely uncomfortable for anyone to open up to others.

Every time the people around you talk about their true feelings, there is a sense of dread and wishing it would be over.

So, you push them away. Or never let the relationship evolve naturally because you refuse to take it to the next level.

This takes a toll on you because you know you’re being dishonest and treating yourself unfairly. It eats you up inside and you’re unhappy.

Maybe, you have been burnt before and swore to never open yourself up again because everyone else is like the same person who betrayed you.

Makes sense, right?

But, think about how that’s serving you. The only person suffering is yourself. It’s not the other person’s loss if you hold back. In fact, he doesn’t even know what goes on in your head and heart anyway.

Your thoughts and feelings are yours and yours alone and by detaching to others, you’re doing yourself a great disservice by hindering your self-expression.

Fortunately, right now you’ve decided to have enough of that. It might be terrifying at first, but you’re determined to start living in honesty.

Slowly but surely, here are ways to guide you:

Love yourself and know that you are worthy

love yourself

Fear of vulnerability comes from being unable to love ourselves fully.

Learn to embrace your flaws because everybody has them. No one is perfect.

It took a long time for this to sink in for me because I was constantly surrounded by “seemingly perfect” friends, classmates and acquaintances. They looked like they had it all. Good grades, physical appearance, intelligence, talent and they were even kind people.

I found myself constantly comparing their qualities and looks versus my own. However, unlike me, they were aware of their flaws and accepted them. They knew their strengths and weaknesses and they know how to leverage their strengths.

I will never forget what one of the honor students in my high school said and it has stuck with me ever since.

“Instead of competing with others, we should compete with ourselves.”

If we constantly look at others, not to congratulate them but to compare, it will eventually breed resentment.

We have our own traits and nobody in the world is like us. We are unique in our own way and, for that reason, we should know that we are worthy.

Practice positive affirmations every day until you truly believe it. Let love, happiness, warmth and other emotions flow naturally. Knowing how to be vulnerable starts with touching base with yourself.

See Also: Yoga Helps You Love Yourself

Don’t be afraid to expose your mistakes

I’m not saying you should go out and parade your mistakes. What I’m saying is that you don’t have to feel too ashamed of them.

It’s part of being human and part of the learning process. Everybody experiences mistakes, so don’t overthink it. Besides, what matters is that we learn from them.

By admitting our mistakes, we are acknowledging our wrongdoings and this gives us the incentive to move forward.

When I used to struggle with my pride, it was difficult for me to admit anything. I didn’t want to tell people that I was wrong because it would only intensify and validate my insecurities.

If I didn’t do well in a particular test, I would automatically assume that I was dumb. Worse, when my friends started to ask each other their scores and I had to lie about mine.

And I hated myself for lying.

As I grew older and wiser, I learned that it was better to be open about what I didn’t know.

The more we cover up for something, the bigger the chances of a problem arising out of it. The more we’ll feel the need to lie until it becomes too big and everything just explodes.

It’s so much better to improve now than hide and suffer later.

Breathe and let yourself feel

breathing feeling

Resist holding back any of your feelings. If you suppress any of those feelings, you might find yourself doing something destructive and irreversible one day.

You won’t be able to thrive and grow because you’re stopping a part of you from participating wholly in life.

So, breathe. Let the feelings come and go. Just be you and embrace it.

In relationships, I knew I was the jealous type. I would lash out when I couldn’t take it anymore. Despite that, I was still unable to admit that I was jealous. This caused wounds towards the people I was dealing with and to myself because whatever I said and did, I can never take back.

Applying the lesson that I’ve learned because of those mistakes, I now try to politely inform people that I do get jealous.

We can’t control how they’ll respond, but taking initiative results to more transparent relationships and a healthier way of communication.

Letting myself feel has had multiple benefits for me and I count it as one of the reasons why I am able to do what I want today.

There’s no point in living a life where something is holding us back.

While it’s true that vulnerability opens you to the possibility of getting hurt, it also allows you to be authentic. You start to attract people who you know love you for the real you and might actually be inspired by your courage.

Through embracing our vulnerability, we are able to establish a deeper connection and have more meaningful relationships with others and ourselves. So, from this day forward, make a commitment to allow yourself to be vulnerable.

How can you enjoy life if you are not living it as yourself?

The post How To Allow Yourself To Be Vulnerable Even If The Thought Scares You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Hector Elizondo: Caregiver – The Toughest Role I’ve Ever Had To Play

During my 50+ years as an actor, I’ve played the head of a hospital in Chicago Hope, a wise hotel manager in Pretty Woman, head of security in The Princess Diaries and a fierce boss in ABC’s Last Man Standing. But, the toughest and most rewarding role I ever had to play was that of being a caregiver for my parents.

It was my mother who first needed care. She developed Alzheimer’s disease and my father stepped up to care for her. He even took her to work with him so he could make sure she was safe during the day. Eventually, my father felt overwhelmed and left his job to devote himself completely to her care. He was there for her every minute of every day, without a break to focus on himself and his own needs.

As a loving husband, my father never hesitated to take on this responsibility and he never complained. But, he also never reached out to the rest of the family to let us know that it was getting too much. We checked in with him every day but we didn’t realize the toll it was taking on his health. So, it came as a shock when he suffered a nervous breakdown and his immune system collapsed. Suddenly, it was not only my mother who needed a caregiver but my father as well.

I stepped in to give him more support. It started with simple tasks, like scheduling doctor’s visits or helping with daily errands. Gradually, over time, my role expanded. Before I knew it, my whole life had changed and my world was revolving around my parents’ care.

Now, I look back and wonder how I did it all.

At that time, I was starring on Broadway and was young and healthy. I didn’t recognize how exhausted I was. Caregivers often risk compromising their own health, like my father did, because they focus so much of their attention on another person.

In honor of my parents, I’m spreading the word about a national campaign from AARP and the Ad Council to help the 40 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. get the support they need to care for themselves and their loved ones.

Many caregivers, especially men, don’t think of themselves as caregivers. They see themselves as sons, daughters, spouses and friends just doing what families do for each other. Like my father, they may not reach out for help until they exhaust themselves. They may not even know that there are resources available that can help.

AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center at aarp.org/caregiving offers practical tools and tips, such as Care Guides tailored to specific topics and challenges. It includes guides on how to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. There’s also information about local caregiving resources and an online community for sharing advice with other caregivers.

I wish my father and I would have known about resources like this years ago. Caregiving can be tough, but it can be a lot easier if you don’t to face it alone.

Author’s Bio

Hector Elizondo is an American film and TV actor who has been Golden Globe-nominated for his performance in Pretty Woman. He has written this post to help spread awareness of caregiver strain and burden and how help is available.

The post Hector Elizondo: Caregiver – The Toughest Role I’ve Ever Had To Play appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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