Why Traveling is Awesome

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Who doesn’t want to travel the world and experience different cultures?

All of us have a bucket list of places to visit before we reach a certain age, or before we die. While we go on with our daily lives, we painstakingly save up for our dream destinations, and often find ourselves checking them off of our list, one after another.

Travel offers priceless experiences that we wouldn’t exchange for the world. Not only does it give us the respite we need from life’s daily hustle and bustle, but it also makes us appreciate life in general. When we travel, we see people and things in a different light. We see meaning in nature, and begin to realize how everything on earth is interconnected. We learn to empathize with everyone else. Simply put, travel widens our horizon and makes us the well-rounded individuals people gravitate towards.

To those planning to put off traveling, here are five reasons why you should start now while you can:

Confidence

What’s a better way to build your confidence than losing and finding your way back to your hotel? You meet all sorts of people along the way – good and bad, young and old. You learn the art of talking to strangers, and become more confident at it. You conquer your fear of the unknown, and begin to trust your abilities to handle things positively regardless of the situation.

Adaptability

There will be instances when you have to deal with delayed or missed flights, food you can barely ingest, wrong train rides and other instances that make you feel down. You can’t give up. You can’t be the whiny little kid you used to be, because no one is going to feel for you and save you. You pull yourself up and adapt your plans to the given circumstance. As you go on, you realize you’re getting better and better at blending in.

Simplicity

When you’re out on the streets, you realize the only things you actually need. You learn that most of the expensive stuff you plan to purchase are not really essential, and won’t help you live a meaningful life. You learn to stick with the basics and become less materialistic.

Street Smarts

When you travel alone, you challenge yourself to last multiple days in a foreign place without any untoward incident happening to you. You get an idea on how people live their lives, and try to think and do things like a local. You familiarize yourself with the surroundings and just enjoy the overall experience. That is not something you can derive from schoolbooks, and can only be learned when you move out of your comfort zone.

Happiness

With all the new things you learn and experience when you travel, how can you not be happy? You get to do things you’ve only thought of a few years back. You get to witness tourist spots, festivals and adventures you’ve only seen on internet galleries. For the most part, the different kind of fulfillment makes you grateful and happy at the same time.

Make Time for Health

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People often complain about not being able to take care of their health. When asked about “ME” time routines, they often throw in on the table how they are so busy with their jobs, household chores and other aspects that contribute to their daily grind. They render overtime almost everyday during weekdays, leaving weekends just for sleeping and catching up on their favorite TV shows. People never ran out of excuses. But in reality, they don’t really exert much effort to listen to themselves and do some health check.

You might not realize it while you go on with your life, but spending time to get to know your body more is of extreme importance. In fact, it is just as important as family, work or school. It’s when you ditch using “there is not enough time” as excuse that you learn how to fully take control of your wellbeing. You get to eat properly and work out – two things that can effectively help you manage distractions and reduce stress.

Keen to get started? Here’s how:

  1. Plan out your exercise routine. Remember, your office planner is not just for work-related stuff. You can write anything down, including your diet and exercise routine. Allocate regular dates and time slots for working out. Since written notes are the best reminders, try to be as specific as possible. Write “1 ½ hour yoga session” or “1 hour brisk walk” than just “exercise.” And most importantly, treat these things like any other important meeting you simply cannot skip.
  1. Get yourself a workout pal, or attend gym sessions to get to know people. The thought of having someone waiting outside the door for you or expecting to see you in class keeps you on your toes. You wouldn’t want to let him or her down by blowing off your routine, so you keep up with it until it becomes a habit.
  1. Come up with a healthy meal plan. You probably have been missing mealtime every once and a while due to your hectic schedule. Note, however, that no mater how packed your day is, you need to eat a healthy and balanced meal three times everyday. For starters, prepare simple recipes and commit to eat them at the proper time. If possible, prepare big batches of meals at the start of the week to ensure you have healthy options on hand for quick grubs.
  1. Get enough sleep. The most common complaint by people nowadays is lack of sleep. Unfortunately, the less sleep you get, the more tired and stressed you become at the end of the day. To ensure a good night’s sleep, keep away from unnecessary distractions such as social media, computer games or late night phone calls.
  1. Learn to say no. Sometimes, it’s just too tempting to forgo your healthy habits for occasional booze and pig out sessions. When your friends, schoolmates or officemates invite you to something you do not really want to do or be involved in, there is nothing wrong with saying no upfront.

Giving Back: It’s Your Time

Started from the bottom, now you’re here.

You’re already here, and you’re celebrating. God knows how far you have come. Everybody saw how hard it was that you have undergone. Everybody saw how you started from scratch—literally from nothing—and how you tried so hard to stand up with your own feet, struggle, fall, and stand up once again.

And now, you’re here, and you realized that all the struggles were worth it. You’re now embracing the dreams you’ve always wanted to achieve. You’re now living the life you’ve always wanted to have.

And now that you’re here, ask yourself. Does it all end here?

Life After Struggle

They say every champion is once a beginner. Just the same in life, every successful person who is now living the life one has imagined once struggled and fought for one’s life. It wasn’t easy, going through all the ups and downs, all the highs and lows. It was a hard earned success.

You are now one of them: successful and deserving. Now, you have two options: either live a life of bed roses and enjoy heaven or do something worthwhile and help others with what you have.

It is always easy to choose the first one, to embrace success and forget about other people. You’ve been through a lot and you only deserve to enjoy everything that you have reaped. But if you think about it, you now have more than what you have hoped for. You now have more than what you need for your daily life. You now have more to share to others. The only question is, will you take the extra mile to do that?

On helping others

During your free time, go out and take a walk. Look around the community you have been living in but failed to observe because you were so busy making your life better. Only then will you realize how much other people needs help in whatever form. Only then will you be sensitive to the needs of others. You’d be surprised that there are families who don’t even have a roof to spend the cold night with. Some spend the rainy days with nothing in their stomachs and on their tables. Some kids cry in the middle of the night with no one to cling too. Old men and women walk blindly with no one to hold.

Many people are in need, and most of the time, it’s not about money. Sometimes, they only long for care and attention. They only want someone who’d give them time, listen to what they have in mind, and talk to them with their full attention on.

Most of the time, needy people don’t need money. They need love.

And you have all the love in the world to give back.

Why help?

Giving back to the community is everybody’s moral obligation. But more than responding to social responsibility, it is always good to share a piece of yourself to others. Doing something that will make a difference in the lives of people you don’t even know makes wonders. If help comes from the heart and if help doesn’t ask for anything in return, it makes you feel good. It’s like gaining instead of giving: gaining love from others and being a blessing to them is definitely one of the best feelings in the world.

So, why help? Here are a few things to ponder on:

  1. You once needed help. You know the feeling of needing somebody to lean on. You know that lacking feeling when you were just unable to acquire the things you desire and need. You once longed to have someone spend time with you and listen to you. Now, think about the lonely kids, homeless families, and depressed oldies. They need love. They need you.
  2. You have more to offer. Now that you are more established in life, you surely have more to give. Why not spare a little portion of what you have earned to those who have nothing at all?
  3. By helping others, you can make a difference. Imagine making a difference to the lives of people you don’t know just by making them smile at least once a day. You don’t need big efforts to be a miracle to others. You just have to create small things and efforts to, at least, brighten their days, keep them away from the loneliness they’ve been feeling, and to make them feel good and worthy. You’ll be surprised how good it feels when you see them smile.

Now, how do you help?

If you think you have to be rich in order to be able to give back to the community, you are wrong. You don’t need money, just a little time and a big heart. This is what you call volunteerism–your willingness to lend a hand even if you don’t have anything in return.

Here are a few things you can do as a volunteer:

  1. Give care to the sick. Take some time to visit a hospital. Bring flowers and balloons to them to remind them that they are important. Tell jokes to Cancer warriors and inspire them with good stories about battling the disease and surviving it. Help feed the old in the center and tell them how lucky the world is to have been graced by their wisdom. Assist parents of disabled children in their therapy.
  2. Spend time with the kids. Organize a children’s party in the orphanage. Teach them how to draw and make crafts. Read bedtime stories to them as they sleep. Give them small gifts that they will treasure in their lifetime.The Salvation Army
  3. Share what you have to the homeless community. It can be the extra bed sheets, pillows and blankets you have at home, or some extra clothes stuck in your closet. When doing the grocery, you might want to buy extra loaves of bread for those who have nothing to eat.

Serving Homeless

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army

These are just little things you can do every single day, and you wouldn’t even feel like giving. Giving back to the community makes a difference to those who need time and affection. You’ve been there before. It’s now high time to give back.

Smart Way to learn a New Language

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We live in a global village, where interactions with different people and exposures to different culture are commonplace, especially if you travel frequently. Moreover, speaking and understanding different languages is a skill that adds value to your personality. With the internet on your side, learning a new language is not as difficult as it used to be. The only thing you need is the will to learn a new language.

Find a Partner

Learning a new language might seem as a tough task when you do it alone. The same thing turns into an interesting activity if you make it a combined effort with your friend or relatives. If you find a good, motivating partner, they will push you to learn the language faster when you start to lose hope. Therefore, keep your spirits high throughout the process. Furthermore, it will create an environment of healthy competition. As such, find a compatible partner to learn a new language.

Buy a Dictionary

Learning a new language starts from simple words. Start with most commonly used words and progress further. Buying a pocket dictionary will simplify the process of learning new words and help you find their meaning.

You will start to see improvement in your language skills when your vocabulary starts to increase. Additionally, a vast vocabulary gives you enough words to form sentences and convey your ideas. Spend some time learning new words and learning the meanings with a dictionary.

Practice

“Practice makes perfect” holds true for learning a new language as well. Do not expect to achieve instant perfection because learning a new language does take time and plenty of effort. However, if you constantly strive to improve, you will see results quickly. Ensure you practice what you learn so that you do not forget it quickly.

Experiment with Sentence Construction

Experiment with and learn how to construct sentences and use these sentences in your conversations regularly. Try using these sentences in a conversation with a person who knows the language better then you as it will prove to be beneficial. Do not get bogged down by the mistakes you make because once identified, you will not repeat them again.

Always Listen Carefully

Last but not the least, you need to always listen carefully. If you are unable to speak the language quickly, listening is your best bet as it will improve the way you pronounce different words. Additionally, you can learn new words from the conversation.

Remember, you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to. Don’t give up and keep going!

Ways and Means to Keep Saving Money

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We’ve all heard before how we need to save a portion of our earnings whether for an emergency fund or for our retirement. It’s easier said than done. With a more demanding lifestyle and a higher cost of living, it has become harder to save up.

But it can be done – with a little strategy, discipline and even patience.

Reap your rewards

While the warnings against the over usage of credit card are not imaginary, there are still advantages to swiping your transactions with a plastic card. There are credit cards with reward points and cash back offers if you simply use them. The rule of thumb is you have to pay on time to avoid finance charges. Also, take time to read the fine print.

If you have a previous unsettled credit card that you are slowly trying to pay, consider the use of balance transfer credit cards.

Be on the lookout for online coupons and promos that are circulating the Internet as well. There are numerous legitimate offers that present significant discounts. But it is vital to research to avoid scams.

The online marketplace

Technology has made it easier to make online purchases. But in order to get the most value for your money, do a comprehensive review of prices from different merchant websites. Read reviews to avoid rip-offs as well.

You don’t have to be the buyer always. You can also sell your unused belongings online if you feel like recycling your stuff. With millions of people online, you will surely find the perfect buyer for your things.

The threat of global warming

Global warming is no longer an imaginary concept. The signs are real and countries are working together to find solutions. As far as individuals are concerned, our energy consumption has a direct effect on global warming – not to mention, it is more expensive to consume more energy.

Energy efficiency as a lifestyle can help contribute to more savings for your monthly bills. You can also cut down on your transportation cost if you go green and increase your usage of the renewable energy.

Other ways of cutting back on transportation costs would be a thorough search for promo fares or travel sharing schemes. You just need patience to search for the best available deals online.

Cost efficient lifestyle

Your mindset in life will significantly determine how much money you can save. If you make it a commitment to be wise and cost efficient in your ways, you will succeed in this goal.

There are various ways to help you cut down on your expenses. You can prepare your own meals instead of devoting a handsome sum of your salary for restaurant food. Not only is this more practical, it will also sharpen your self-confidence and culinary skills.

Challenge your expenses and regularly monitor where your money goes every month. Continually ask yourself if your transactions are actual needs or whimsical luxuries. Discipline is key but it will be worth it down the road if you have financial security.

Maintaining Your Momentum: Health Tips to Keep Up Your Success

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No matter how high your salary may be or how influential your job may have become, you can achieve nothing if your health is deteriorating. The old adage is really true: health is wealth. And it’s worth the investment.

If you really want to sustain the success you are enjoying, it pays to devote time for your overall health – not only the physical aspect but your emotional well being as well.

A holistic approach to health

For some, fitness is all about weight loss. But this is not a game of numbers involving how many kilograms you lost. For beginners, a healthy workout regimen should have the go signal from a medical professional. The program should also be at a pace that is comfortable for the person.

I recommend at least three 30-minute walks each week. This will help jumpstart the entire body for physical activity at a sustained and steady pace. When these walks become a part of a person’s routine, it will be easier to increase the physical challenge as days go by.

Muscle workouts

But although cardiovascular training is important, some fitness enthusiasts tend to ignore muscle-strengthening exercises. It pays to be familiar with the basic exercises that target vital muscle groups in the body. For instance, push-ups for the chest muscles, lunges for the legs, curls for the arms, sit-ups for the abdomen and deadlifts for the back muscles.

You don’t even have to purchase expensive gym equipment. Body weight exercises are effective because they engage muscle groups that way they should be used. Even in a bare room, anyone can perform these exercise sets. This is why some call these routines as prison workouts

But on the flipside, don’t get too caught up in muscle building. Some forget to devote a day for leg exercises and in the long run, this will cause an imbalance in one’s physique. The end result: huge upper body, tiny legs.

Healthy frame of mind

The health of your mind is as important as the state of your body. Sometimes, the confidence and peace of mind of a person can be reflected in his or her posture. Proper posture is essential. Pay attention to these minor details because this can reflect your personality.

Spend time with people who matter as well. Eating a healthy diet is vital but it is best to devote time to dine together with your friends and family. Never leave them out of your life and you’ll be surprised how much they can enrich your lifestyle.

While you’re at it, leave precious time to detach away from the hustle and bustle of technology. The irony of gadgets is that it may connect us to the entire world but at the same time it can make us lose sight of life.

Prioritizing your physical and mental health should be done at the soonest time possible. This will pay dividends for your continued success especially as you grow older in the future.

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Business Insights and Tips to Give You the Edge in 2015

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In a competitive business environment, you can’t take anything for granted anymore. There is a need to think three steps ahead of your competitors and to scout for trends and innovations.

Outperform with effort and fun

Work is never boring at all when you’re enjoying. This should be your mindset when you’re handling a business. Squeeze in as much fun as you can even when you’re working long hours. If the field you are in is your passion, this will be very easy to do.

Fun does not automatically equate to laziness. Rather, it should be more about receiving fulfillment for your output. To help keep the momentum of your energy for the company, it is best to hire people that are a good fit to your values, vision and mission.

Calculated risks

Risks are part of life. A risky decision may end up badly for your company. But one of the deadliest decisions you can do for your business is to stagnate.

It is normal to fear situations when loss is possible. But if you calculate the pros and cons of a scenario, you can wisely make choices. Determine the strength of your business and focus on these.

Innovation is the name of the game now especially with the emergence of technology. New breakthroughs in drilling technology are the reason why the American economy is stronger than ever.

Maintain your reputation

This is the game changer in any business: reputation. Any improvements a company may have worked hard for years will just go down the drain with one wrong move. It is a golden rule that a business should highly value its brand – or the way its customers or clients view your company.

Analyze your target market and try to understand where you can most effectively communicate with them. With the onset of mobile technology, it is easier to set up sites or web pages to reach your customers via smartphones.

You are not alone in this endeavor as well. Consult with specialists to receive all the support you need for your business endeavors. With the right information, it will be easier to plan ahead and to chart the trajectory of your company.

Sell or stay

For start-up companies who have started to make a name, there is the temptation of selling the company at the first hint of success in order to break away from the stress.

But you have to be cautious in these decisions. The mere fact that other companies are interested in buying yours is an indication that they see immense value in what you started. There are instances when it is smarter to keep your company especially if this business will become your legacy for decades to come.

During situations when you are faltering in your stamina to run your business, draw inspiration from the creative concept or idea that was the foundation of your company. It may be hard but the work is all worth it.