5 Myths so Good That They’ve Been Embraced as Truths

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For the past couple of years, rumors have been flying around that this economy is so tough, that the recession has hit so hard, and it’s just getting worse—oh Gosh Molly, it’s so bad. In fact, it’s so bad that people are using their last pennies to buy tickets to Miley Cyrus concerts (FYI those sold out). Geez, yeah, we’ve never seen such bad times. The world was flat, until it wasn’t.

I respect experts and I love conducting thorough research just so I can feel that much more confident about what I “know.” Sometimes after a while, your own birth-given intelligence kicks in and you wonder, “Wait a minute…” Not everything is meant to be questioned, but below are some well-known facts, where, at second glance, are not all that factual.

1. “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Nothing has ever been further from the truth. Think back to RIM’s BlackBerry: they came out as one of the most powerful companies and they did what they did and got 55.3% smart phone market share, they kept doing what they did and that number dropped significantly to about 0.6%. Kodak kept doing what they were doing and filed for bankruptcy. Dinosaurs kept on keeping on and became extinct. You get the picture.

2. “You have as many hours as [insert name of very successful and powerful business man].”

Actually you don’t. Maybe when they were plain and ordinary like you, but think of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft: he has over 90,000 employees. Multiply that by, let’s say they work a normal 9–5 job, so that’s roughly 8 hours (lets exclude workaholics who work weekends and fortune 500 executives who are known for working 80+ hours weekly). When that math adds up, Bill Gates has approximately 720,000 extra hours a day. So the saying here should be, “you have as many hours as the people who are just like you; to get as many hours as Bill Gates, start employing people and buying their time.”

3. “Entrepreneurship means being your own boss.”

It’s a statement that should be taken with lots of salt if your main reason for going the entrepreneur route is to become your own boss. Maybe you won’t have someone micro managing you or someone to report to when you clock in and before clocking out, but try having your customer as a direct boss. You set up your calendar according to their schedule, and you want to make sure they’re happy. Even when you were holding down a job, the customer was number one priority but an unhappy customer didn’t threaten your job as much as it would if it were your company.

4. “Good things come to those who wait.”

“Yeah Molly, so I was just like sitting and waiting and it all just happened. Hey, everything I’ve ever wanted, like, it just like, fell on my lap.” Patience is good; it is a great virtue, but good things come to those who go out there, take action and make things happen and have never waited for anyone to give them the go ahead on their dreams and goals.

5. “Fail your way to success.”

*Disclaimer: failure is sometimes the best thing that can happen to someone. I must admit that this was a tough one to put in. It holds a lot of weight, and it’s true to an extent. I do not believe failure is a rite of passage to becoming successful. Yes, it’s important when it happens, and you MUST make certain you learn everything that lesson has to teach. It can also become an excuse for people to not plan, and then execute poorly. The Internet is packed with information on just about anything, so failure can be mitigated and more manageable. There’s nothing new under the sun, so if you follow and take guidance from people who’ve walked that road, your chances for success should outweigh the possibilities of failure.

Featured photo credit: Jan Erik via unsplash.imgix.net

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Finally, 20 Productivity Apps That Will Ensure Efficiency

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Apps can represent much more than a fun game or distraction. There are quite a few productivity apps out there that can help us carry out daily tasks more efficiently. Let’s delve in to 20 of them:

1. Microsoft Office for Mobile Devices

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Those who love using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their laptops will find it supremely convenient to gain the ability to create, alter and share the same documents and spreadsheets via their tablets and phones. The only drawback is that to use the full power of these apps, they cost $10.66 monthly — but it’s a fee well worth paying.

2. Dial My Calls

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Send a voice or text message to a list of phone numbers in seconds.  Save time on redundant calls by having this app send your message to everyone for you.

3. When I Work

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This app is the answer to scheduling your employees. Find out which of your workers are scheduled to work, where you need to fill in spaces in the schedule when you’re short on help – and use it to review their time sheets. All these factors will help you focus more on your customers and bottom line instead of wasting time on administrative tasks.

4. Chase Mobile app for iPhone

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If you bank at Chase and own an iPhone, this app lets you do just about everything to take care of all your banking needs. From paying off bills to transferring money to checking your balance and even depositing checks without having to go to the ATM – you can snap a photo of them in your living room and be done – there isn’t a big need to visit the bank other than to grab actual cash, if you still carry the stuff. The push alerts are especially helpful for telling you when you’ve had money deposited, bills due – or unfortunately, if your account is overdrawn. There are so many pros with this app, it’s hard to think of cons, but one minor disadvantage is the fact that you must literally click on the alerts screen in order to make the number of alerts on your Chase icon go away.

5. Pocket Informant

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Use this iOS or Android app to pull your calendar, tasks, notes and contact information into one place and make them more useful.

6. Asana

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Asana has been described as being a task list on steroids. Use it to pull your team together and get everyone on the same page without email overload. Users say that swipe gestures that further enable them to perform functions like deleting and assigning tasks would make this app even better.

7. Trello

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Trello looks like a Pinterest for managing projects. For those whose eyes glaze over trying to read long blocks of text inside lengthy emails, this app helps you and your team visualize next steps via cards, comments, checklists, uploaded files and more.

8. Google Mobile

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If you don’t already use this app to check Gmail, download it ASAP in order to clear out all that SPAM and respond to valid emails on the go.

9. 1Password

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Who has time to remember all the passwords our daily lives require? This app will help store your whole life – logins, credit card info, passwords and more – in one place and promises to keep them safe. As of this writing, the “pro features” of the app cost $9.99, but there are so many 4- and 5-star reviews in the Apple iTunes Store that apparently people love it nonetheless.

10. Voxer

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Voxer brings those walkie-talkie type of instant communicators into the digital age, so much so that companies like Roto-Rooter allow their service technicians to use them. The effectiveness of the app lay in the ability to save all messages – be they text, voice or photo – which helps avoid having to repeat long communications. The app is advantageous because it offers free features for personal users, but pro and business users must pay specific fees per user.

11. Google Voice

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Apparently, Google Voice is so good at letting folks send free texts to others in the United States and make low-rate international calls, that people are using it to do away with their cell phones or cancelling their Skype accounts.

12. AnyList

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This fun-looking app lets you not only make a grocery shopping list, but share it with family and friends, which makes a whole lot of sense for those who collaborate on their shopping needs.

13. MEGA

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People love their privacy, and MEGA’s mobile apps grant users the ability to stream and access their files from the “cloud in their pocket” – otherwise known as their smartphone.

14. Launcher

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Launcher by Cromulent Labs makes it easier to access the apps you use most often in your notification center, without having to flip back and forth throughout your home screen to find them. While this app has plenty of positive buzz, there have been reports of frustration with the user interface.

15. HP ePrint

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How many times have you wished you could print a photo or other document directly from your tablet or phone to your printer? This app makes it possible.

16. MyScript Calculator

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Write out very simple to very complex mathematical equations and this app will perform the calculation for you, interpreting your handwriting.

17. Cozi

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Cozi is a free app that allows you to organize your family’s lifestyle in one place, keep track of your children’s schedule along with your own and use the app to split up chores for everyone.

18. Google Slides

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The free Google Slides app lets users make new presentations, share PowerPoint files and even deliver those presentations directly from your tablet or phone without needing access to Wi-Fi.

19. Prezi

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Speaking of giving presentations on the go, the app called Prezi provides access to stunning presentation software that lets you present your work from tablets or phones when you’re out and about – and sync them across all your devices.

20. Super Notes

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With this app, you can save notes, recordings, images and more – and tag them under color-coded signals that help you keep track of everything. Next, you can either share them via email or download them to your computer as a back up.

Featured photo credit: Social media on smartphone HILVERSUM, NETHERLANDS – FEBRUARY 06, 2014: Social media are trending and both business as consumer are using it for information sharing and networking. Stock Photo ID: 60749657 Copyright: Twin design via bigstockphoto.com

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Why Both Coffee and Tea are Good for You

Coffee or tea? How about both? Coffee addicts and tea lovers have often argued over the health benefits of drinking their favorite beverages, but it turns out each has plenty of health benefits that make the debate moot. These two extremely popular drinks can be part of a vitamin-rich, brain-boosting diet. Just make sure to drink them with a bit of moderation — they still have a lot of caffeine! So as long as you’re not bouncing off the walls, drink up and enjoy.

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Featured photo credit: Why Coffee and Tea are Amazing for You/Greatist via media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

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Ten Examples of Crazy Making in Relationships

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Crazy making in relationships is a subtle dynamic that can leave you full of self doubt, wondering if you might be going crazy. Crazy making is a form of emotional abuse involving things such as mind games, intended to make you question yourself. It destabilises your confidence and slowly allows the other person to gain more control over you and the relationship.Thoughts such as “Is it just me?”, “Am I imagining things?” and “I am not sure anymore of what is wrong or right” all suggest that you might be in a crazy making relationship.

Crazy making in relationships involves calling in to question another person’s sanity, insisting on their ‘version of reality’ all the while projecting their defective inner landscape onto their target. Crazy makers are abusive individuals who try to convince their partners that they are defective in some way, in this way they make the victim more emotional, more needy or dependent. 

Do you experience more self doubt than before, a sense that you used to be happier and more confident than you are now, feeling on edge when in the company of your partner, feeling as if you can’t do anything right, apologising far more than you ever used to, constantly second guessing yourself, finding it harder to make simple decisions, or doubting your perceptions of the world around you?

All the above may be signs that you are in a crazy making relationship. Let me explain it a little more by giving you ten examples of crazy making behaviour. This article might just save your sanity…

1. When your partner convinces you that something happened when it didn’t (or vice versa)

An example of this could be a social event. You might be 100% sure that you were not made aware of an upcoming party and your partner will insist they told you. A one-off occurrence can happen to anyone but when this happens several times it is a form of crazy making.

2. Passive-aggressive behaviour

If you need to be somewhere at a specific time, your partner may appear to be dawdling. They will deny this if you point it out, but subtly they are thwarting your plans. You might ask for something and they will pretend not to hear you. An item that you keep in a regular place might get moved from that spot with denials that they ever touched it. These are all examples of passive aggressive behaviour. It is manipulative and subtle. Crazy making people are too clever to be overt in their actions as they know that their behavior would never be accepted so they find clever ways to undermine you. Ways that aren’t as obvious or could be open to interpretation.

3. Everything is somehow your fault

Crazy making partners rarely admit to doing anything wrong. They manage to twist events around and somehow the blame ends up back on you. Crazy making partners seem to end up as the victim all the time. They may provoke you until you can’t take it any longer. When you eventually react negatively towards them, they will be the ‘hurt’ ones.

4. Projection

Crazy makers project their internal chaos onto others. The emotional environment around them is tense, not rational and easy-going. Instead, people in their company often feel on edge, waiting to be picked on or judged in some way. When they make you feel anger, they are giving you a taster of what they feel all the time. They may cleverly disguise it, but crazy makers often have a history of tumultuous relationships. Generally, the more passive their partner is the longer the relationship will last.

5. Non-verbal body language sends a dismissive message

Crazy makers will often make you feel as if you are doing something wrong without uttering a word. Instead, they will sigh loudly, roll their eyes (and make sure you see it) or shake their heads while you do something. This sends you a clear message that they disapprove of your actions. Instead of engaging in rational verbal communication, their subtle gestures will become something you are very in tune with. This is perfect for crazy makers as they can then carry on with their disapproving signs even when in public. On an ongoing basis, this erodes self esteem and confidence making a person even easier to manipulate.

6. Making you doubt your perceptions

Crazy makers will say provocative statements and when you react, they will immediately let you know that you are being too sensitive or that you are overreacting and that you should listen more. They will tell you that you have misunderstood them. It will always be your fault, never will they apologise for saying something that upset you – it will be your fault for not understanding them correctly. They will rarely be bothered that they have said something to upset you, instead you will be blamed for your reaction. They rarely see their part in the ‘play’. You may try harder to please them because it feels like you are the cause of all the trouble when in fact, your perceptions are valid but are completely undermined in a crazy making relationship.

7. Hypocritical behaviour

You would think that a crazy maker would be perfect in every way as they seem to have so much to say about what others do wrong. Yet, often, crazy makers are the biggest hypocrites. There is one set of rules for them and another for everyone else. Don’t anyone dare tell a white lie or withhold information yet many crazy makers do this on a regular basis.

8. It’s all about control

Crazy making in relationships is all about gaining control. Crazy making behaviour often develops in childhood. When, as a child their emotional needs are not met, children learn dysfunctional ways to cope. They take these dysfunctional strategies with them into adulthood and try to use the same manipulative techniques in their adult relationships. Their manipulation tends to work better with other individuals with low self esteem although anyone is open to succumbing to this type of relationship depending upon their mental state at the time. Crazy makers are generally insecure people.

9. Subtle brain-washing

This can also exist when crazy making in relationships develops. Again, this is done in a subtle way as crazy makers try to get you to come around to their way of thinking. You may have packed the dishwasher for many years in a way that works perfectly well for you, when suddenly, this method will be challenged. “Why have you done that?” or “Why are you doing it that way?” You begin to question your way of doing things and the process of confidence erosion and self doubt commences. This is a form of control and links in with rigid thinking. Things have to be done in a certain way and if they aren’t, you can be made to feel that you are lacking in some way.

10) Setting you up to fail

This is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You will find that the rules change according to a crazy maker’s fickle wants and wishes. As the dynamic shifts, you will try harder to please them yet nothing ever seems to be quite right. I have witnessed confident people become a shell of their former selves after being in a crazy making relationship. It can happen to the best of us.

How to deal with a crazy making relationship

When you start to realise that it isn’t just you and that there is more going on in the relationship which makes you feel you might be crazy, it relieves the pressure. It also becomes easier to identify crazy making in relationships. Remember that no matter what someone else does or how they try to influence your mood, you still have ultimate control over how you react. Remove yourself from the situation temporarily if you need to but refuse to allow another person to manipulate your mood. This is what helps them to feel powerful. When they see that their subtle ways are causing an emotional reaction in you, they feel that they have won. It’s a sad way to go about trying to feel important and powerful but then again crazy makers don’t think the same way as a healthy normal individual.

Crazy makers have dysfunctional thinking patterns that more often than not begin in childhood. As a child, when parents do not lot allow free expression of healthy emotion or suppress their children in some way, it sends a message to children that they are powerless. Subtle manipulation is one way a child can still feel like they have power – whether they do this by lying, stealing or withholding information, it allows them to cope with the stressful situation. These coping skills stay with these children but unfortunately do not serve them well in adult relationships. Manipulation will never get a person as far as good open communication will. This is something many crazy makers were denied as children. The parents ruled and the children obeyed.

Crazy making in relationships comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be difficult to spot as there are many variations. If you find that you have become indecisive, doubt yourself regularly (whereas before you were quite self assured), have lost confidence or generally feel something is amiss but you cannot put your finger on it, it might be that you are in a crazy making relationship. Learning to interact as adults is key to forming a solid relationship where manipulation is not used as a form of control.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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12 Reasons Why A Relationship Might Not Be The Right Move For You Right Now

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Sometimes it may feel like everyone but you is in a successful relationship. I promise you, you are not alone. Whether you are looking for love or are in a relationship but worry they may not be “the one”, it could be the times not right for you to be in a relationship.

Here are 12 reasons why a relationship might not be the best move for you right now.

1. You are a hot mess and need a savior.

You feel a void in your life and you want it filled. You love the excitement you feel at the beginning of a relationship and convince yourself you will be happy once you’re in a relationship.

The initial feelings in a relationship are short lived. Everything is shiny and new but once the newness wears off you are often left with holes in your apple pie sky.

Trying to fill a void in yourself with another person makes you vulnerable to getting involved with the wrong person. The only way you can fill a void in yourself is through fulfilling your own happiness.

Work on finding things you enjoy doing without a partner. Once you can fill your own void, you will be ready for a relationship.

2. You are addicted to being the hero.

You get involved with people who have issues. Maybe they are fresh out of a breakup or have other problems such as drugs or alcohol.
In the beginning, they rely on you and appreciate you. Your self-worth inflates with the attention. As they get better, they need you less and less and you begin to feel used.

Self-worth begins and ends within you. Relying on others for your worth puts you at risk of co-dependency. For a relationship to work, both you and your partner need to be emotionally healthy.

3. You have a habit of picking people who are wrong for you.

You pick the wrong type of people to get involved with. Your friends warn you but you assure them you know best. It’s different with you because you are the one that can change the person your friends are warning you about.

You won’t change them. Look within yourself to better understand why your choices are risky. It could be you’re subconsciously not ready for a real relationship so you pick people that will sabotage any chance of a lasting romance.

4. You still put pins in a voodoo doll that has a remarkable resemblance to your ex.

If you’re still fuming about something someone else did to you, it is not a good time to be in a new relationship.

Old lovers must remain in the past for a new love to have a chance. Not only will a new love get tired of hearing how you were wronged, but you are at risk of punishing your new love for something an old love did to you.

Fresh love means fresh start. You have to forgive an old flame and let it go before you can move forward. If you are still holding a grudge, it is not the time to be in a relationship.

5. You think you like him and her.

If you are questioning your sexual orientation you need to be honest with yourself before you can be in a relationship. Trying to be in a relationship because you are supposed to be attracted to the opposite sex is not only harmful to you but it will hurt your partner.

Happiness and fulfillment of life happens when you are true to your heart. You cannot be happy pretending to be someone you are not and a partner will always feel like something is missing.

6. Your clothes still smell like your ex.

If the scent of your ex is still lingering it is probably too soon to begin a new relationship. Put space between old and new relationships so that you can be emotionally healthy to start something new.

If you were with someone for a long time then it will take time to get to know yourself again. Starting a new relationship before you understand who you are is a bad idea.

If you’re already in a relationship and have doubts, it may be time to take a break until you sort out what you really want out of life and a relationship.

7. You’re not ready to tell a new friend how you accidentally spent a weekend in jail for indecent exposure when you were drunk and peed on the sidewalk.

If you’re not ready to fully disclose things about your life then you are probably not ready for a relationship. Relationships are built on trust and secrets hurt both you and your partner in the long run.

That doesn’t mean that you should be an open book before you know if you have a real connection with someone. Too much too soon can backfire.

The right time for disclosure is when both you and your partner express an interest in exploring the possibilities of a relationship. If you are already in a relationship and have things you are keeping secret it’s time to fess up. If you’re not ready, it may be time to break away until you are ready.

8. You have wanderlust and can’t imagine another winter in this sleepy town.

Maybe you feel a calling for new scenery or maybe a job transfer is on the horizon. If there is a possibility you may move in the next few years you should wait to have a relationship.

If you’re in a relationship and your partner does not express excitement over the possibility of a move, you should have a serious discussion about your future. If you are not on the same page, cutting ties may be the best case scenario.

9. Your theme song is I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry.

Many people jump into a relationship because they don’t like being alone. This is no reason to start a relationship or to remain in one that isn’t right. Being in a relationship does not make a happier life and sometimes it does just the opposite. It’s important to love when you are ready, not because you are alone.

Lonely people tend to justify relationships that are not healthy for them or their partner.

10. You’re five year plan includes working your way from your cubicle to the penthouse.

Relationships are a full time job. If you are on a career fast track, realistically you may not have time for a relationship. Getting involved before you are ready will cause conflict within yourself and within your relationship.

Wait until you have time to spend on a relationship before diving into one. Things will happen the way they are supposed to and you will know when the time is right.

11. You want to keep your cake and eat it too.

If you are not ready to fully commit heart and soul to one person it’s not time. Too often we are not over past loves or are interested in two people at the same time.

If you are conflicted and still have feelings for someone, you should consider dating and developing friendships, but wait until you have resolved the conflicts in your heart before you commit to anyone. You’re indecisiveness should not be a reason to break another’s heart.

12. You want your Facebook status to read something other than “it’s complicated”.

All of your friends have found “the one” and you haven’t. This can make you feel pressured to find someone so you don’t feel like an outcast.

Many times, this sets up conditions for an unhealthy relationship by trying too hard to be in that relationship. It can also scare away someone you really care about.

You should be with someone because you enjoy being with that person. If you try too hard to have a relationship, your new partner may feel like you’re in it for the wrong reasons and bolt.

Relationships are hard work. If you are not in a place where you are emotionally secure in yourself and have the time to spend on a relationship it is probably not the right time in your life to be in one. Timing is everything and just because the time is not right at the moment, doesn’t mean it will always be that way.

When the time is right, the relationship will find you.

Featured photo credit: Image by Henning Mühlinghaus via flickr.com

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When You Start Being Yourself, These 15 Amazing Things Will Happen

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I never used to be who I really was. I used to pretend. I used to put on a show. I used to put on a mask. I used to try and be who I thought others wanted me to be. I think everyone’s been here at some point in their lives, and I’m sure we can all agree that it’s not much fun. When I started being myself, it was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. I couldn’t have imagined the changes it would make in my life. Looking back on it, some of the below are obvious, and some less so. So, what will happen when you finally start being yourself?

1. You’ll have more fun

I smile more. I laugh more. I play more jokes. I’m creative. I’m crazy. Life’s just better.

2. You’ll care less about what others think

My decisions are my business. No one else’s. I make them and I have to live with the consequences. I’ve learned the hard way that if you try to make others happy at your own expense, surprise surprise, it doesn’t make you happy.

3. You’ll know what you want

At the very least, I know what direction to go in. As the dialogue from Alice in Wonderland goes:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

“I don’t much care where –”

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

4. You’ll make decisions with ease

I know what’s important to me. I know what’s more important and less important. It’s quite difficult to not make decisions when you know this stuff.

5. You’ll be more respected

I was more honest and more forthcoming with my opinion and people respected that, even if they didn’t like it. I wasn’t afraid to act like who I really was and, again, if people didn’t like it, they sure respected it.

6. You’ll respect yourself more

This was a bit of a surprise in a way. More because I didn’t know that when I wasn’t being myself I didn’t have a whole lot of respect for myself. And why would I? If, deep down, I knew who I really was and yet wasn’t acting like it, how could I respect myself?

7. You won’t doubt yourself

This is not to say that I think everything is going to always and forever work out fantastically. It’s more that I’m happy with my decisions and so I can live with the consequences, whatever they might be.

8. You’ll love you some you

It’s really hard not to when you’re being yourself and having fun and are happy. It’s just an awesome feeling when you start being yourself, and “I love me some me” sums that up pretty well. It’s not arrogance. It’s knowing you deserve to love who you are.

9. You’ll dream big

I know who I am. I’m confident in who I am. I know what direction to go in. Do I know I can achieve all of my wildest dreams? No. How could I? But am I scared to try? Hell no. The time to act is now. It always is.

10. You’ll want to grow

I’ve been interested in learning and growing and developing for the last 8 years. My passion for it increased over time and was especially intense when I was on the edge of finding out (admitting?) who I really was. Now I want to grow more broadly. I want to learn about life. About business. About money. About relationships. And, when you do this, you can’t help but grow personally. Win win.

11. You’ll feel proud of yourself

It’s not always easy. Like anything worthwhile. It’s easy to be dragged along in life without ever really taking control. For me, that’s no way to live. I want to take control. I want to create my own life. So every time I make a choice that empowers me, that creates something, that the real me would make… I’m proud.

12. Your thoughts will become actions

Thoughts aren’t real. Thinking about something doesn’t make it happen. You have to actually stand up and do something. It’s blindingly obvious, but it’s a truth I rarely paid attention to. When it came to creating the life I really wanted, anyway. I’d always say “yeah, one day.” And I’d think about it. Daydream about it. Wish for it. But never do anything.

Now I’m just being me, I act. I do. I make things happen. I know what I want and I’m decisive. Why wouldn’t I do? What would I be waiting for?

13. You’ll be more relaxed

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

I love that quote. And I believe in it. I used to worry a lot and I think this is why.

14. You’ll inspire people

“You’ve also kind of been an inspiration for me, as a lot of what you’ve said over the past 6ish months has really struck a chord with me and made me think loads about what it is I want from life. So, thank you. Just for being you :)”

This was in an email I received after a girl I worked with had decided to quit and go do what she really wanted. I was ecstatic. I’d essentially helped someone by accident, but it felt amazing. This one isn’t about bragging. It’s about saying that when you start being yourself, people notice. Everyone wants to be who they really are so it’s difficult for people to not be inspired when they see someone who’s doing it right in front of them. I’ve been inspired the same way plenty of times in my life. I hope that continues and I hope I can continue to inspire others.

15. You’ll be happy

This might be the most important one. I was being myself and I was happy because of it. Does anything else really matter?

Featured photo credit: Len Matthews via flickr.com

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Strengthen Your Intuition With These 6 Tips

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Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data. ~ John Naisbitt

You probably know someone who is always ahead of the game. They seem to know intuitively when bad news is coming or when to go ahead with a new project.

What about you? Have you ever had a thought that you didn’t follow up on only to discover later that you made a huge mistake? Then, in comes your inner voice screaming, “I told you to do it.” The gentle inner nudge and this screaming voice is your intuition.

Everyone has intuitive potential. Although, not everyone listens or acts upon the messages.

What is intuition?

Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines intuition as: a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence: a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why.

Kelly Turner, Ph.D says, that intuition is one of two very different operating systems. She goes on to say that research has found intuition to be part of System 1: our quick, instinctual, and often subconscious way of operating. Which explains why intuition comes on rapidly and often does not make rational sense to us. The other operating system, System 2, is our slower, more analytical, and conscious way of operating.

Intuition, Francis P. Cholle states, is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and nonconscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason.

Most people do not trust their intuition for the very reason that it doesn’t make rational sense. So, why should we even consider it?

Why you should trust your intuition?

Researchers have found that intuition often knows the right answer long before your conscious mind does.

The second reason to trust your inner voice, as suggested by Kelly Turner, is that, “trusting your intuition leads to better outcomes than trusting your logical, thinking brain”.

Prof. Marius Usher et al, found that intuition was a surprisingly powerful tool. In fact, he reports that when forced to choose between two options based on instinct alone, participants were correct 90% of the time.

A third reason for trusting your intuition is because intuitively, the human brain has the capacity to take in many pieces of information and decide on the over all value of this input. This is where your intuitive signal happens letting you know this is valuable.

A fourth reason could be considered a plus or a minus depending on the person. Individuals who operate from intuition are willing to take more risks. Often these risks pay off.

6 Proactive ways to strengthen your intuition!

Your intuition is like a muscle and in order for it to get stronger you have to work at it. Much like the muscles in your body, if you don’t use your intuition, it weakens. By being proactive you can strengthen your intuition and get the edge on others.

Look into your past

Have you had moments when you wish you could rewind time and do things over? You had a feeling that things would turn out this way but didn’t act on it. Now, you regret it.

Pay attention to these missed opportunities. Keep track of all the times you didn’t listen to your intuition and should have. This is one way you can get in touch with those signals you may have missed before but won’t miss again.

Ask yourself questions

Ask yourself questions and then listen to the first thing that pops into your mind. This isn’t easy because doubtful thoughts will flood your mind.

Begin with a question or situation where the outcome doesn’t matter either way. For example, the next time you are out for a meal, glance at the menu then pick the first thing that catches your eye. Ignore the barrage of thoughts that will flood your mind. You could be pleasantly surprised.

Then slowly move on to more complex questions and situations. For example, ask something like, “Should I do …?” Pause and wait for that flash of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Then act on it!

Not acting is the same as ignoring your intuition.

Find out how your intuition communicates to you

Not everyone has a gut feeling. Each person experiences their intuition differently. Many people talk about a gut feeling while others might experience a strong inner knowing, a mental picture, repetitive thoughts or ideas and even dreams.

Start paying attention to how your intuition communicates with you. The more often that you acknowledge this communication the stronger it will be come.

Quiet your mind and relax your body

When you have to make a major decision, it is very easy to get caught up in worry and fear-based thoughts. As your mind races from one thought to another it can drown out the voice within ~ your intuition.

By taking time every day to quiet your mind and relax your body you will be opening a space for your intuition to speak to you. You can do this by setting aside some quiet time or meditating.



Keep an intuition journal

Write down any guidance you have received and when your intuition is correct. You might also consider keeping track of any sensations associated with your intuition. By looking back in your journal you will learn more about how to recognize your intuition and also to trust it. This is a great way to build confidence.

Create intuitive games

Strengthen your intuitive abilities and your imagination by creating and playing guessing games. While watching a sporting event, guess who will win. When your phone rings, guess who is calling. Guess the color of the shirt your boss will be wearing. Have fun with your intuition. The more you use it the stronger it will becomes.

Your intuition is a powerful asset!

It just might be the life changer you are looking for. Go ahead give it a try and see what happens.

Featured photo credit: meditation/alicepopkorn via flickr.com

The post Strengthen Your Intuition With These 6 Tips appeared first on Lifehack.

25 Secret Parenting Tips You Won’t Find in Conventional Parenting Books

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I’m sure the majority of parents will agree that being a mom or dad is one of the most amazing and life-fulfilling roles you’ve ever experienced!

But you know what would make your experience even MORE enjoyable? Having someone share with you a few secret parenting tips to let you know you haven’t failed or gone loony, that you will rarely hear about elsewhere. So I’m going to step up and be that someone for you. You’re welcome.

1. It’s okay to break down and cry sometimes.

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Being a parent is an emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting job! Sometimes it’s going to feel like you’ve got so much pent up inside, you’re about to explode. The solution? Cry it out. It’s not a sign of weakness. Crying allows you to release stress, and more often than not, you’ll find yourself feeling better and more relaxed after a good, healthy cry.

2. The newest, most expensive baby toys will actually be for YOUR entertainment.

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Your baby isn’t going to care about the $500 Super Saiyan, Multi-Spin Rider with glowing rims & satellite radio, as much as he does the box it came in. Babies looove boxes. Oh, and they just can’t get enough of the paper cups, orphaned socks, and colorful washcloths!

My kid’s 13. You think he remembers his Super Saiyan, Multi-Spin Rider? Not so much. What he does vividly recall are the times we danced the “Numa Numa” around the family room, and going outside to blow soap bubbles. So invest that extra cash in your child’s future and enjoy your baby getting a kick out of the simpler things!

3. You’re not a bad parent for NOT enjoying “every moment that they’re little.”

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If you suddenly see little monsters with horns sitting at the breakfast table instead of the sweet angels you so adore, don’t panic! Sometimes, even the cutest, sweetest ones aren’t very pleasant company. Know that EVERY parent has had bad days (Yup, even the ones who appear to never have them!), so don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not like you’re going to take em to the animal shelter and put them up for adoption, right? Right?

4. Saying “No” won’t traumatize them.

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Teaching them rules and boundaries is necessary for their emotional and mental growth. They may pout and cry (or throw a full-blown tantrum), but don’t give in to your little one’s plea for a slice of chocolate cake right before bedtime. Constantly saying “Yes” however, will encourage them to grow up to be spoiled, entitled adults. Standing by your “Nos” is also a great lesson in respect, as well as respecting other people’s boundaries.

5. Giving your kids some alone time does not equal abandonment.

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As a matter of fact, this is crucial for the development of independence. Alone time empowers kids to truly enjoy being creative in the moment as well as encourage self-sufficiency. Kids who learn this are able to face time on their own without feeling sadness or panic. For younger children, alone time is when they are able to relax or entertain themselves without help from parents & caregivers who are in the same room.

6. You don’t have to be perfect in front of your kids.

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Here’s a perfect opportunity to teach your children by example. Show your kids that mistakes can be used as a stepping stone to something better, by identifying the lessons in the mistake and making improvements for a better outcome next time. It’ll encourage them to problem solve and grow their self confidence!

7. It’s okay to give yourself a time out.

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Have your kids read a book, color, or build with blocks while you take a few minutes to meditate, catch a show on TV, or just zone out on the laundry room floor. You’ll feel much better after a quick breather—plus your children will learn that when feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it’s healthier and more productive to take a break and come back recharged!

8. Don’t let your child play on your cell phone without first limiting access.

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Unless you’re comfortable with everyone in your phone book receiving a “jir3pwdn $WEhfw Ssssssss” text message from you, put a limit/lock on your phone before giving it to your child. Otherwise, don’t come cryin when your boss gets a hold of that selfie #fail you never got around to deleting.

9. Tell your vegetable hatin’ child NOT to eat his veggies.

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“Finish all your spaghetti and… wait, I’m not so sure you should be eating the spinach. That green stuff can make you so strong, it’ll give you super energy when you’re playing at the park and swimming at the pool… do you think you’ll be able to handle all that awesomeness?”

Answer will almost always be “Yeah!”… and works with almost any food.

10. Nap time is when you get stuff done.

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Most people will tell you to sleep when your baby is sleeping. Sure, if you want to get NOTHING else done in your life! Fold laundry, meditate, take a shower (remember that?), read a book, get updated with all the drama on Facebook—and yes, sometimes cuddle naps with the kids to recharge your mind, body, and spirit!

11. You will be unable to escape from the power of cute.

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You’ll do your best to keep a straight face, but inside, your heart has already melted and is running down your leg. It’s okay to fall under the spell—just don’t forget to take a photo, video, or write about it on social media so you can appreciate their special power forever.

12. Your kid who had nothing to say to you all day will suddenly want to tell you a story when you’re on the phone.

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Give your child an activity such as coloring books and puzzles to keep her occupied while you are on the phone. In all honesty, nothing really worked for me for very long, so I scheduled both my personal and business phone times during my child’s naps.

If you have a trick that’s worked for you, please share in the comments below!

13. You can have fun without the kids and still be a good parent.

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Balance is important in maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. You are a parent with little people depending on you, but that doesn’t wipe out the fact that you are still… you! So don’t feel guilty! Go out dancing, catch a movie, have dinner with your significant other, or a girls night out!

The better you take care of and feel better about yourself, the better you will be able to give to your children.

14. You’ll suddenly know the names of all Pokemon characters.

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Or any other show, movie, or video game your child will become obsessed with. And you know what? That’s OK because knowledge is power. Granted, it’s power that is useful only in their kiddie world, but your child will think you’re the bomb-diggity—and THAT in itself is pretty powerful.

15. At some point you will accidentally hurt your child and you’ll feel like the worst parent to slither across the Earth.

sad baby

Whether it’s by snapping at them after a stressful day at the office, or tripping over them because they blended in with the floor pillows. It happens to the best of us, so forgive yourself. Apologize, make certain your child understands that it wasn’t intentional, give them a big hug, and do something that you can enjoy together to mend the hurt and lift the mood.

16. Always bring a change of clothes not just for your kid, but also for yourself.

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Kids are messy and dirty; they leak goo and other stuff from everywhere. And there is a good chance they will contaminate you too. Always keep at least an extra shirt for yourself in your baby bag—or in a bag kept in the trunk of your car. You’ll thank me for this.

17. You will make noises and faces just to see your baby smile.

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You’ve seen the silly, new-parent portrayals on TV. Well, that’s you. And you’ll do it again and again just to see your little one crackle, smile, and laugh so hard, he farts in his diapers!

18. Your new found interest in baby poop will confuse and frighten you.

diaper change

You’ll be recording the time, amount, smell, color, and the consistency. And don’t be alarmed if you find yourself celebrating a good diaper full of poop at times. Don’t worry, this phase will pass—pun intended.

19. You will have the highest highs and the lowest lows—all at once.

moodswings

Parenting can be highly stressful, emotionally overwhelming, and spiritually uplifting—all at the same time. It’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with you. Just step back, give yourself a time-out like we talked about earlier, and resume. Ain’t no thang!

If you feel you’re unable to deal with the mental or emotional stress, please confide in people you trust or seek professional help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s really a very courageous and responsible thing to do. The earlier you get help, the better it will be for you and your children.

20. No matter how much baby-proofing you do before your angel is able to scoot around the house, she will find the one thing you didn’t baby-proof.

baby_proof

Sure, you might find her feeding your tampons to her dolls and stuffed animals and using your panty liners to cover her boo boo. Just make certain to keep all medication, chemicals, and sharp objects out of your baby’s reach.

21. Sleep deprivation will begin to feel like mental and emotional illness.

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Earlier I suggested you take advantage of your kids’ naptimes to get things done. If you’re sleep deprived and unable to function, scratch that for now and nap with them. It’s OK to put off doing laundry and leave the dirty dishes for later. What’s the point in having a load of clean clothes when you’re not able to function properly? Don’t assume there’s something wrong with you or that you’re not a good parent. Get some rest and re-energize!

As stated earlier, if you’re unable to deal with the mental or emotional stress, please confide in people you trust or seek professional help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s really a very courageous and responsible thing to do. The earlier you get help, the better it will be for you and your children.

22. Time alone in your car becomes a mini vacation/therapy.

a young woman driving a car

Just driving out to the supermarket on your own will make you feel like a brand new person! And discussing life’s most important issues—with yourself, while waiting to pick up your child from school in the car lanes—is OK too! You’ll be surprised at all the clarity and great solutions that results from self-therapy!

23. You will compare your baby against all others and know yours is the best.

stage mom

Regardless of what anyone else might say, this is NORMAL, and you will be absolutely RIGHT! Way to go for having the BEST-KID-EVER! #highfive

24. Always give your kids your undivided attention.

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This will help your child build trust as well as self confidence. Let’s try to avoid the answering while eyes are glued to your text message, or half grunts from behind the newspaper. If ever you are unable to give your undivided attention (work, phone call, guests, etc.) let them know by saying something like, “I’d really love to hear about EVERYTHING you have to say, so will you give me a few minutes to finish this up so I can give you all of my attention?”

My child grew up with this. And now he gives the same respect and consideration to those who ask for his time and attention. It really works—children really do learn what they live. And it’s pretty awesome.

25. Seal your special bond with a secret handshake, dance, or code word.

secret dance

No matter how silly it is, no matter how old they become, this will be something very special just between you and your child! Priceless!

The post 25 Secret Parenting Tips You Won’t Find in Conventional Parenting Books appeared first on Lifehack.

10 Types of Guys Almost Every Woman Dates Before Finding The One

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Before they find The One, most women have experiences with a whole parade of Not The Ones. Although some of these guys are fun, you just know in your heart that they aren’t Mr. Right. But no woman’s dating life is complete without at least a few of these boyfriends to reminisce or laugh about when you’re old and gray.

1. The Hot Guy

This guy is super attractive. Women’s heads turn when you walk into a party with him. It’s a great ego boost until you overhear people wondering why he’s with you. And you never thought of yourself as unattractive before! That’s relativity for you. Also, he focuses on going to the gym a little too much.  Oh well, next.

2. The Cool Guy

This guy has heard of bands, beers, and even countries that you haven’t. He knows everything that’s on-trend, and you know by what he’s wearing right now what shoes guys will be wearing next year. To be honest, it’s a little exhausting to date him. You have to buy a whole new wardrobe and reevaluate your taste in music. So, you move on.

3. The Ambitious Guy

Your mom loves this one. He has an internship at an investment bank, then he becomes an analyst. Or else he’s in academics and on track to get his PhD before age 27. Either way, you barely ever see him. Sorry, Mom.

4. The Brilliant Guy

This guy reads three books a day and still has time to analyze the latest indie film. He excels at work and at leisure, but his leisure is basically reading books and being the smartest commenter on reddit. You leave when you start fantasizing about The Hot Guy again.

5. The Guy Who Always Liked You

This is the guy who had a crush on you since 5th grade. You’ve always stayed friends and one day you gave in and made out with him. Now he is obsessed with you, but you’re still lukewarm on him. We know if this was a romantic comedy, you’d fall head over heels for him, but it’s not. So, you let him down gently and skedaddle.

6. The Partier

You met this guy at a party and ran into him at two other parties that month. When you started dating, you realized that this wasn’t fate at all; it’s just because he goes to every single party within a 20 mile radius.  He’s also always wasted.  You leave when you start stalking The Brilliant Guy on reddit.

7. The Perfect on Paper Guy

Your mom is excited about this one too. You find him online, or you’re set up by a mutual friend.  He went to a great school, has a great job, is good looking and athletic. You don’t feel a spark on the first date, but you feel silly just ending things since he seems so great to everyone else. After a few weeks, you have to admit to yourself that you’re just not that into him. You try to let your mom down gently.

8. The Guy in a Band

This guy seems really awesome, especially when he writes a song about you. He seems less awesome when you realize that he’s 26 and considers his primary job to be playing guitar in his friend’s garage. Also, some other chick said that song was about her. He’s secretly happy when you end things, because it gives him inspiration for a breakup ballad.

9. The Older Guy

It’s refreshing to be with someone who knows what restaurants are good. . . in Italy. He’s also a great kisser and very smart. You always feel like he’s on a different page, though, and he uses full sentences when texting. It starts to feel a little like texting with your dad, so you have to say arrivederci.

10. The One

Not a minute too soon, The One arrives on the scene. Smart, handsome, warm, honest, and kind, you know right away that you’re in love, but you don’t tell him until a few months in. Whereupon he says he knew you were The One for him right away too. Ah, love.

Disclaimer:  sometimes people have multiple “The Ones.”  But for the purposes of this article, we will not dwell on that.  And if you end things with one The One, date some others from the list to get your groove back and then get back out there looking for The Next One.

The post 10 Types of Guys Almost Every Woman Dates Before Finding The One appeared first on Lifehack.

How To Truly Achieve Your Dreams

Shonda Rhimes - Zen Pencils

When it comes to making important life decisions like choosing a career path, we’re often told to “follow your dreams” or to “dream big“. This is great advice, but in all honesty: it’s not really going to get you anywhere.

Don’t get me wrong, finding a career you can truly be passionate about is important. Planning the steps to achieve your goal is probably a smart idea too, but sometimes people get too caught up in the dreaming, the planning, the fantasy of what they want to become or do, that they never actually get around to doing it. If you really want something, then you’re going to have to put in hard work, and lots of it. That’s the part they usually don’t tell you. That’s the part that’s the least appealing. But that’s also the most crucial step to achieving your dreams.

Screenwriter, director, and producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder) relays the message better than I could ever hope to. Check out the comic below to see some of the wisdom she shared while delivering her commencement speech at Dartmouth College this past June.

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So stop talking about what you want to do, and do it. Go out there, put in the work, and make your dreams a reality.

SHONDA RHIMES: A screenwriter’s advice | ZEN PENCILS

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