Personal Development http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/216/all en-US Are You in the Wrong Career? Here's How to Tell http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-in-the-wrong-career-heres-how-to-tell <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-in-the-wrong-career-heres-how-to-tell" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired-businesswoman-179039030-small.jpg" alt="tired businesswoman" title="tired businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to the new normal: The average worker today <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/1802731/four-year-career">stays in a job for 4.4 years</a>.</p> <p>You should probably expect that number to get even lower as 91% of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than <em>three </em>years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Career Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>And while being labeled as a job hopper may make you less attractive to future employers, there's no time to waste if you don't like what you're doing. Here are seven tools to check if you're on the right career path.</p> <h2>1. What Can I Do With My Major In...?</h2> <p>In 2012, there were about <a href="https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb13-153.html">19.9 million Americans</a> enrolled in college. With the <a href="http://projectonstudentdebt.org/files/pub/classof2012.pdf">average student debt around $29,400</a>, students need to take a close look at the career options that their degrees provide. MyPlan.com offers a comprehensive list of jobs according to major through its <a href="http://www.myplan.com/majors/what-to-do-with-a-major.php">What Can I Do With a Major in&hellip;?</a> tool.</p> <p>Taking a look at your career options during your studies is a good way to check what your career path may look like in the future. You can filter your options by using the results from your Values Assessment Test, which helps you understand what is important to you in a job.</p> <h2>2. MyNextMove.org</h2> <p>What if you haven't declared a major yet or what if you are just taking a sabbatical year to think things through? In that case, the U.S. Department of Labor's <a href="http://www.mynextmove.org">MyNextMove.org</a> is a comprehensive tool to help you explore a wide variety of career options and industries. You can search careers through keywords, browse careers by industry, or use the Interest Profiler to find out what kind of careers may be a good fit for you.</p> <h2>3. Occupational Projections Data</h2> <p>If you already have a job or are thinking about switching jobs, then you may be wondering what are the expected employment and wages in a couple years. The <a href="http://data.bls.gov/oep/noeted/empoptd.jsp">Selected Occupational Projections Data</a> from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics gives you data starting 2012 and with projections up to 2022.</p> <p>For example, I looked up that there were 129.1 thousand writers and authors in 2012 and that number is expected to grow to 132.9 thousand by 2022. With a small number of competitors, a median annual wage of $55,940, and a 64.4% rate of self-employment, I am comforted that I made the right career decision!</p> <h2>4. Careerrealism's Quiz</h2> <p>Let's imagine that you are just fed up with your current job. Maybe you haven't been promoted for several years or your work hours are starting to affect your health. To help you decide whether you should quit your job, take this <a href="http://www.careerealism.com/quiz-quit-your-job/#!bB3x78">11-question quiz</a> from Carrerrealism. They also provide you a suggested course of actions based on your quiz results.</p> <h2>5. Glasdoor's Job Finder</h2> <p>Sometimes the root of your job frustration may not be that you are in the wrong career, but that you are just in the wrong city. <a href="http://www.glassdoor.com/jobs/explorer/index.htm%20">Glassdoor's Job Finder</a> allows you to plug in your job title and check how many work opportunities are available across the United States. For example, my search for <a href="http://www.glassdoor.com/jobs/explorer/search.htm?jobTitle1=freelance%20writer">freelance writer</a> showed me that while Hawaii only has two opportunities, New York has 49, California has 375, and Illinois has 99.</p> <p>While the first two made sense to me, I would had never imagined that the Prairie State was ripe with opportunities within my field. The Job Finder also allows you to drill down results per city and find out what other job titles (and cities!) you should consider in your career path.</p> <h2>6. PayScale's GigZig</h2> <p>Here is a really interesting twist on job evaluation. If you already know that the average person stays in a job about four years, then you can leverage that knowledge to predict your career path. <a href="http://www.payscale.com/gigzig.aspx">PayScale's GigZig</a> uses data from millions of people to indicate, based on a job title, what job that person held five years ago and what job that person will have five years from now.</p> <p>Based on those three job titles, GigZig shows you what percentage of people have taken a specific path. Since the median salary is included for each job, you will find yourself exploring the many zigs and zags your career path could take.</p> <p>If you cannot make up your mind between two jobs, then take a closer look at each one through PayScale's chart on the <a href="http://www.payscale.com/data-packages/most-and-least-meaningful-jobs/interactive-chart">most and least meaningful jobs</a>. This interactive chart compares job meaning, salary, and job satisfaction for over 450 job titles.</p> <h2>7. Career Values Test</h2> <p>Finally, if you need a full revaluation of your career path, then you should take a look at your career values. The <a href="http://stewartcoopercoon.com/individual-executive-placement/how-competitive-are-you-2/what-are-your-career-values/">Career Values Test</a> is a comprehensive examination of your career values and your motivations behind them. Having a deeper understanding of what makes you tick in career terms allows you to better evaluate your career path and any potential employer. According to the makers of the test, these career values provide the means to evaluate the merits of any career and negotiate the terms for actual job offerings.</p> <p><em>What are some other useful tools to evaluate if you're in the right career path?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-in-the-wrong-career-heres-how-to-tell" class="sharethis-link" title="Are You in the Wrong Career? Here&#039;s How to Tell" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development career choosing a career job search Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1197957 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Quick Ways to Become More Hygienic http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-ways-to-become-more-hygienic <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-quick-ways-to-become-more-hygienic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child-washing-hands-166620280-small.jpg" alt="child washing hands" title="child washing hands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Right now, at this very moment, there are germs running literally<a href="http://discovermagazine.com/galleries/zen-photo/m/microbiome"> all over you</a>,<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-spots-for-household-bacteria/"> all over your home</a>, and all over absolutely everything you own.</p> <p>Please remain calm.</p> <p>It isn't your fault. In fact, it probably isn't a matter of poor hygiene at all. Although we often think of hygiene as a word having to do with cleanliness, what the word actually refers to is conditions that promote health and prevent disease. And that's actually a lot more complicated than scrubbing the bejesus out of everything you come into contact with. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-dirtiest-germiest-grossest-things-you-live-with-everyday?ref=seealso">The 10 Germiest, Grossest Things You Live With Everyday</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few very important hygiene habits research has shown to be important but that many people overlook.</p> <h2>1. Fine-Tune Your Posture</h2> <p>Try this: Tip your head straight back and look up. Kinda hurts, huh? That's because most jobs &mdash; whether they involve sitting at a computer or doing manual labor &mdash; involve bending forward, looking down and, in general, shortening all the muscles on the front side of the body. That can lead to rounded shoulders, a jutting neck and pot-bellied posture, which can mean pain, stiffness and even more serious back and neck problems. But as if that weren't bad enough, poor posture is also bad for your overall health, and has been connected to<a href="http://news.sfsu.edu/research-posture-yields-insight-treating-depression"> depression</a>,<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1707216/"> constipation</a> and<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC424726/"> circulatory problems</a>. So straighten up for better health! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture?ref=seealso">7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture</a>)</p> <h2>2. Dry Your Feet</h2> <p>Okay, so you probably know that you should wash your feet. (Or I hope you do &mdash; feet can get stinky!) But do you know what's just as important as washing them? Drying them very thoroughly and keeping them as dry as possible throughout the day.</p> <p>A 2012 survey by the Institute of Preventative Foot Health found that about<a href="http://www.ipfh.org/images/research_materials/2012_National_Foot_Health_Assessment_June_2012.pdf"> 20% of people have athlete's foot</a> &mdash; a condition that causes, cracked, itchy feet &mdash; at any given time. The fungus that causes athlete's foot thrives in damp conditions. So, while keeping your feet clean helps, keeping them dry is actually the best way to keep your toes in tip-top shape. Dry your feet thoroughly after washing, change out of wet socks as soon as possible, and go barefoot when you can.</p> <h2>3. Shower Less Often</h2> <p>For many people, a daily shower is a ritual. It's about more than cleanliness &mdash; it just feels good. Unfortunately, scrubbing every bit of oil and bacteria off your body every day isn't as good for you as you might think. In fact, your skin needs a healthy layer of both to be at its best.</p> <p>&quot;Good <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/fashion/31Unwashed.html?pagewanted=all">bacteria are educating your own skin cells</a> to make your own antibiotics,&quot; Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego, told The New York Times in 2010. &quot;They produce their own antibiotics that kill off bad bacteria.&quot;</p> <p>This is part of the reason why people find that skin conditions like eczema &mdash; and even acne &mdash; tend to flare up as a result of too much scrubbing. Your skin needs a healthy balance of lipids and bacteria to be at its best. Showering every day can strip those essential elements away, leading to drier, itchier, more inflamed skin.</p> <h2>4. Change Your Sheets More Often</h2> <p>Most people wouldn't think of wearing the same clothes for days on end, but they'll lie on the same sheets for weeks at a time. Why change your sheets regularly? Well, they're covered in sweat, drool, body oil, dead skin cells, and possibly even cookie crumbs. That's pretty gross, but dermatologists say grinding your face into a less-than-clean pillowcase can also contribute to acne. And no one likes that. Change sheets once a week and pillowcases more often than that if you're prone to breakouts.</p> <h2>5. Wash Your Hands &mdash; Like, Actually Wash Them</h2> <p>The advent of hand washing in hospitals literally<a href="http://www.handinscan.com/2013/04/29/the-history-of-hand-hygiene-a-tribute-to-semmelweis/"> changed the face of infectious disease control</a>. It's that important. However, in recent years we've become so concerned with keeping our hands clean that we've moved beyond good, old fashioned hand washing to coating our hands with antibacterial &quot;hand sanitizers.&quot; I see dispensers for this stuff everywhere &mdash; in airports, in office buildings, in hospitals. Unfortunately, many of these products contain triclosan, an <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/16/health/hand-sanitizer-toxic-upwave/">antibacterial product that's been linked to hormone disruption</a> and antibiotic resistance. Alcohol-based sanitizers are still considered safe and effective when you're in a pinch, but experts say that nothing beats plain, old soap and water. So wash well and wash often!</p> <h2>6. Avoid Antibacterial Anything</h2> <p>While you're washing, skip the antibacterial soap in favor of a gentle soap. It's better for your skin &mdash; and for your health. In 2013, the FDA stated that the <a href="http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm378393.htm">long-term use of antibacterial soap</a> and other products may do more harm than good. That's in response to research that found that antibacterial soap offers few additional benefits over basic soap, and may contribute to the rise of superstrong bacteria that are resistant to the chemicals it contains as well as to many antibiotics. Plus, lathering and rinsing removes most bacteria manual.</p> <h2>7. Ditch Text Messages</h2> <p>You probably know that your cell phone is covered with every germ imaginable, but then, so is your toothbrush, so that may be less of a problem than some of the other ill effects your phone can produce, particularly when you do a lot of texting. In fact,<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-phones/10721014/Texting-for-long-periods-could-lower-life-expectancy.html"> texting for long periods has been found to lower life expectancy</a> because it contributes to poor posture. It's also been shown to be bad<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/too-much-texting-could-be_n_4192051.html"> for your relationships</a>.</p> <h2>8. Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face</h2> <p>The germs that give us colds and other infections tend to take the easy way in &mdash; through our eyes and mouths. In fact, <a href="http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/why-you-need-to-quit-touching-your-face">touching your face less often</a> has been found to be the best way to avoid getting sick. Get used to keeping your hands away from face as much as possible. And if you must rub your eyes or bite your nails, wash your hands first!</p> <h2>9. Clean Up Your Diet</h2> <p>Sometimes when we try to focus on eating &quot;healthy&quot; foods, we can get tricked into buying all kinds of things that are labeled as &quot;high fiber&quot; or &quot;low fat&quot; or &quot;sugar free.&quot; But the healthiest foods tend not to have a label. Sticking to these whole, unprocessed goodies is often called &quot;clean eating.&quot; <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-healthy-whole-foods">Eating food in its whole</a>, most unprocessed state has been found to improve health, help in the maintenance of a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.</p> <h2>10. Take Care of Your Contacts</h2> <p>A survey conducted in 2012 found that people will use anything from spit to butter or beer to <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/01/09/144885344/why-contact-lens-hygiene-is-important-to-eye-safety">clean their contact lenses</a>. <em>Ewwww</em>.</p> <p>These are your eyes we're talking about, people! And even if you've never resorted to lathering up your contacts with a cold Coors Light, you should probably be taking your contact lens hygiene more seriously. Failing to follow the exact procedure recommended by your ophthalmologist &mdash; including washing your hands, replacing the contact solution in your case daily and using a sterile cleaning solution &mdash; can lead to the growth of a bacterial film on your lenses. And that isn't just gross; it can lead to eye irritation or even serious eye infections.</p> <p>Hygiene is often assumed to be about being clean, but it's really about being healthy. Put health first and you'll be well on your way to your most hygienic &mdash; and healthiest &mdash; self.</p> <p><em>How do you keep yourself clean and inoffensive to those sitting near you? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-ways-to-become-more-hygienic" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Quick Ways to Become More Hygienic" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development cleanliness fitness Health hygiene Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Tara Struyk 1196856 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Hours? 9 Hours? This Is How Much Sleep You REALLY Need http://www.wisebread.com/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sleeping-girl-clock-178708632-small.jpg" alt="sleeping girl clock" title="sleeping girl clock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ask anyone how much sleep they should be getting and most people will tell you 8 to 9 hours. But new research suggests that you might actually need less sleep than that &mdash; possibly as little as 7 hours for full rest and maximum health benefits.</p> <p>A recent Wall Street Journal article examined several sleep studies and concluded that most <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/sleep-experts-close-in-on-the-optimal-nights-sleep-1405984970">people would be better off with 7 hours of sleep</a> than with 8 or 9 hours. Getting too much sleep may be just as harmful or even <em>more</em> harmful to your health than getting too little sleep. So, why is 7 hours better? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Sleep Better in Fewer Hours</a>)</p> <p>One study examined by the article tracked the self-reporting habits of 1.1 million people and found that those reporting 6.5 to 7.4 hours of sleep had lower mortality rates than those getting more or less sleep. Another study used a device to track how much sleep 450 elderly women got and concluded that those women getting more than 6.5 hours or fewer than 5 hours of sleep had higher mortality rates.</p> <p>Perhaps my favorite study involved placing five adults in &quot;Stone Age like conditions&quot; in Germany for over two months. They didn't have electricity, clocks, or running water. The study found that &quot;participants fell asleep about two hours earlier and got on average 1.5 hours more sleep than was estimated in their normal lives.&quot; Their average amount of sleep per night: 7.2 hours.</p> <p>As a sleep deprived mother of a 4-week-old I have a hard time believing that getting too much sleep can be just as harmful as getting too little sleep. (Especially after reading this study that shows that <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/sleep-study-shows-new-moms-dangerously-exhausted-months/">new moms are dangerously exhausted</a> for months after their little ones are born.) But being so sleep deprived, 7 hours of sleep currently does sound like a lot.</p> <p>So, if, on average, people only need 7 or 7.5 hours of sleep, how do you know how much sleep <em>you</em> need?</p> <h2>Factors to Determine How Much Sleep You Need</h2> <p>The following factors influence how much sleep you need.</p> <h3>1. Your Gender</h3> <p><a href="http://blog.bufferapp.com/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-to-work-productively">Women need more sleep than men</a>, by an average of about 20 minutes a night. And pregnant women in their first trimester need even more sleep than that.</p> <h3>2. The Quality of Sleep You're Getting</h3> <p>Anyone who is frequently awakened by the blaring siren from the fire station down the street or the cries of a hungry newborn knows that 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep is extremely different from 7 hours of pieced together, interrupted sleep. Similarly, sleeping on rocky ground while camping or on your in-laws pull-out couch is much different that your own mattress. The better the quality of your sleep, the less you'll need.</p> <h3>3. How Much &quot;Sleep Debt&quot; You're In</h3> <p>If you've been skimping on sleep for awhile you likely will <a href="http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need">need more sleep to catch up</a> than if you are continually well-rested.</p> <h3>4. Your Age</h3> <p>Newborns sleep up to 20 hours a day, toddlers 11-14 hours, twenty-somethings 7.5 hours, and the downward trend continues up to 80 year olds who sleep less than 6 hrs a day. So, depending on your age, <a href="http://jamesclear.com/better-sleep?hvid=5x3MK2">you may need more or less sleep</a> than others.</p> <h3>5. Your Genes</h3> <p>As with most differences between individuals, genes play a role in how much sleep you need. If you're someone who has almost always needed a lot of or very little sleep, chances are your genes are playing a role, too.</p> <p><em>How much sleep do you get a night? Do you feel like it's too little, enough, or too much?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Hours? 9 Hours? This Is How Much Sleep You REALLY Need" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development enough sleep Health sleep sleep research Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:00:08 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1195554 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Powerful Brain Hacks You Can Do in Under 2 Minutes http://www.wisebread.com/8-powerful-brain-hacks-you-can-do-in-under-2-minutes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-powerful-brain-hacks-you-can-do-in-under-2-minutes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-concentrating-493206093-small_0.jpg" alt="mind power" title="mind power" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Brain Hacking, also known as &quot;mind hacking&quot; has become increasingly popular over the last few years. According to <a href="http://www.squidoo.com/mindhacks">Squidoo</a>, mind hacking is &quot;to perform some act that gains access to the fundamental mechanism behind your mind and other people's minds by here-to-fore unknown or apparently mystical means.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-easy-ways-to-improve-your-brain?ref=seealso">13 Easy Ways to Improve Your Brain</a>)</p> <p>Other people see it simply as &quot;mind over mind over matter,&quot; which basically comes down to self-control using techniques that allow you to tap into your mind's seemingly unlimited potential. Now, with these 12 quick and easy brain hacks, you can unlock some of that latent ability and surprise yourself, and your friends and colleagues. And maybe even some new dates.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Smell&quot; Yourself More Attractive</h2> <p>Right now, you can make yourself more attractive to the opposite sex just by <em>thinking</em> one thought over and over in your head. That thought is, &quot;hey, I really smell terrific,&quot; or some variation of it. Researchers at the University of Liverpool conducted tests on men, seeing how they felt about themselves <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19134127">after spraying on deodorants</a> that contained powerful ingredients. However, half of the men got spray that contained no such magic ingredients. The results were the same. By believing they smelled great to the opposite sex, the opposite sex found them more attractive.</p> <h2>2. Reduce Your Pain&hellip;With Binoculars</h2> <p>&quot;Pain is all in the mind.&quot; How many times have you heard that and thought &quot;yeah, right!&quot; If you slice your finger cutting vegetables, or whack your little toe on the corner of the nightstand, it's not so easy to convince yourself it doesn't hurt.</p> <p>However, researchers at Oxford University found a non-medicinal way to make the pain shrink &mdash; <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2008/11/26/distorting-the-body-image-affects-perception-of-pain/">they used inverted binoculars.</a> When subjects looked at their wound through the wrong end, it made the wound <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982208012591">seem a lot smaller</a>, and in turn they felt less pain. It sounds nuts, but it's true. The upshot of this is when you get pain, you have to imagine that pain being much smaller; or simply look away. Focusing on your wound will bring you increased pain.</p> <h2>3. Organize Using Your Imagination</h2> <p>Cleaning. 99% of us really don't like doing it. Whether it's a messy room, a desk at work, or the cluttered basement, the task always seems overwhelming. But there is a very quick brain hack you can do to make that task much easier.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8__3JATQIM">Watch how PJ Eby</a> uses this trick on a messy desk.</p> <p>First, you look at your desk and take in the whole situation. Look at the mess, the chaos, and the disorder. Then, close your eyes and visualize that desk as clean and organized. Next, you need to feel good about what you visualized. Feel relaxed about the desk. Feel proud. Finally, hold that feeling, and the clean desk image, in your mind. Let it wash over you. You should almost be seeing in x-ray vision, looking through the clutter to the clean space.</p> <p>What you have done is kick-start your brain's automatic planning system. By comparing the two images, you are automatically going to see places for things to go, and what to do with them. It's something that takes less than a minute, but can save you hours of frustration.</p> <h2>4. Improve Your Memory With a Mind Palace</h2> <p>If you're a fan of the BBC show <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004132HZS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004132HZS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YGHVABWLWBVIJGLG">Sherlock</a>, you will be all too familiar with the mind palace. However, you don't need to be an egomaniacal genius to make your own. It's a technique that dates back to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci">ancient Rome and Greece,</a> and it's a simple but effective way to store and recall a lot of information.</p> <p>First, you create a layout of a building or town in your brain. It should be composed of memorable places and signs. For instance, you create a shopping mall, and the first store on your right is a jewelers, followed by a burger stand and then a gym. Now, you place items you want to remember inside the different stores. Once inside each store, there will be a similar approach to the layout, with different sections, and shelves. And the key is to always use very distinct and bizarre combinations together, such as the title of this memory book &mdash; <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159420229X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=159420229X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JCLEYWNUGPXF3BFF">Moonwalking With Einstein</a>. You can very easily walk through your palace whenever you want, and pluck items from the shelves with ease. Try it. This <a href="http://discovermagazine.com/2011/jul-aug/14-how-i-became-a-master-of-memory">journalist</a> did, and look how it worked for him.</p> <h2>5. Use Your Eyebrows to Become More Creative</h2> <p>If you ever want to feel more creative, try raising your eyebrows and widening your eyes. This simple technique appears to act as a boost for your creative mind, literally broadening the scope of your ideas as your widen your eyes and take more in. This is all backed by scientific research that was published in the Creativity Research Journal. Two groups of people were asked to come up with captions for a seemingly mundane image. Those with <a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/ayelet.fishbach/research/paper_creativity%20research%20journal.pdf">raised eyebrows had much more creative and funny captions</a>. Try it for yourself at home and see how it works with your family.</p> <h2>6. Write Stuff Down to Remember It</h2> <p>This does not mean, &quot;type stuff down.&quot; No, you will have to go back to that archaic form of communication that uses a pen and a piece of paper. Or better yet, keep a little notepad and small pen or pencil on you as often as you can.</p> <p>An experiment conducted at Indiana University proved that the physical act of <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704631504575531932754922518?mg=reno64-wsj&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052748704631504575531932754922518.html">writing something down stimulated parts of the brain</a> that were not active when simply trying to remember something, or typing it into a computer. Perhaps it is the fact that your hand is hardwired to certain parts of the brain, and as you write you are pressing the words or images more deeply into your memory than the simple act of trying to remember. Whatever the reason, it works. Write it down, you'll remember it.</p> <h2>7. Avoid &quot;Choking&quot; By Singing</h2> <p>This is not the literal lack of breath, but rather falling victim to severe nerves and messing up something seemingly simple. It happens in sports a lot, but it can also happen to us if we have to give a presentation at work, or perhaps give a speech at a wedding.</p> <p>Choking is the result of pressure getting to us, usually because our brain is working overtime on all the &quot;what ifs&quot; and worst case scenarios. The way to beat it is fairly simple; do something to keep your brain occupied. Research shows that singing to yourself gives your brain <a href="http://www.wired.com/2010/09/the-tight-collar-the-new-science-of-choking/all/1">something to do instead of stressing out</a>. By singing, you are holding your brain hostage to a task you have given it, and it cannot concentrate on all the disasters you think are going to happen. Sing until it's your time to do something, be it sinking a long putt, giving a speech, or bowling a strike for a perfect game.</p> <h2>8. Stop Stress by Laughing &mdash; Seriously</h2> <p>Fans of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005YVP366/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005YVP366&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=X5TRTSMFUMLPQHWB">The Office (UK)</a> will remember the painfully awkward scene with David Brent laughing as a motivational speaker. (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXytRC0k-K8">If not, refresh your memory here.</a>)</p> <p>Although it was done poorly to showcase Brent's delusions, it's actually a great way to <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456">relieve stress</a> and think more creatively. Laughter releases dopamine, and even if you feel dumb doing it, you will eventually reap the rewards. Of course, these days we all have an instant home entertainment system in our pocket. Just pull out your smart phone, Google a funny video (perhaps something you know has made you cry with laughter in the past) and spend two minutes putting a smile on your face. Your shoulders will lift, you will feel better, and you will think more clearly. Try it out.</p> <p><em>Any other quick mind hacks you'd like to share? Please do so in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-powerful-brain-hacks-you-can-do-in-under-2-minutes" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Powerful Brain Hacks You Can Do in Under 2 Minutes" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development brain hacks mind hacks mind tricks psychology Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 1193088 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Your Mind Can Make You Rich http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-mind-can-make-you-rich <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-your-mind-can-make-you-rich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/french%20photo.jpg" alt="Le baiser de l&#039;hôtel de ville" title="Le baiser de l&#039;hôtel de ville" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was in my early 20s, I had a lovely photograph of a solitary woman hanging in my bedroom. My mother suggested that I switch it out for a picture of a couple. According to a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/knowmore-tv/bedroom-feng-shui_b_4784380.html">theory of Feng Shui</a> that she had read, the way you decorate your home reflects your intentions &mdash; so if you have artwork depicting loneliness in your bedroom, then you're more likely to be unlucky in love.</p> <p>I rolled my eyes at my mom &mdash; but I switched out the picture of the woman for a poster of Robert Doisneau's famous photograph <a href="http://visualthirst.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/the-story-of-the-most-famous-kiss-le-baiser-de-lhotel-de-ville-the-kiss-by-robert-doisneau/">Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville</a>, which I had previously displayed in my living room.</p> <p>A few months after making the switch, I met the man who is now my husband.</p> <p>While proponents of Feng Shui, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_attraction_%28New_Thought%29">law of attraction</a>, and other somewhat off-the-wall theories about cause and effect would claim that the universe responded to my decorating change, science offers an even more intriguing possibility: <a href="https://machineslikeus.com/news/understanding-unconscious-priming">priming</a>.</p> <h2>Understanding Priming</h2> <p>Psychologists have discovered that our behavior and thinking can change based upon the context of information that we receive. This phenomenon is known as <em>priming</em>, and it can affect everything from your behavior to your emotions.</p> <p>For instance, researchers have found that simply hearing the words <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/?&amp;fa=main.doiLanding&amp;doi=10.1037/0022-3514.71.2.230">Florida, forgetful, and wrinkle</a> is enough to cause individuals to start walking more slowly, as if they are feeling the effects of aging. In another experiment, researchers have found that individuals holding a hot cup of coffee when talking to another person felt more positive about the conversation. The warmth of the cup translated into a feeling of warmth about the interaction.</p> <h2>Think Yourself Rich</h2> <p>There are various ways to provide your brain with the kind of stimulus that can help to achieve your financial dreams &mdash; just as I reached my romantic dream. Here are four things you can do to help put your mind to work for you.</p> <h2>1. Visualize Doing It</h2> <p>Athletes have understood the importance of active visualization for some time. They will often spend hours thinking about what it will look like, sound like, and feel like to stick the landing, sink the shot, or hit the ball.</p> <p>In a recent study at the University of Chicago, three groups of participants were asked to make as many free throws as they could. Then, the first group was asked to practice free throws for an hour every day, the second group was asked to visualize making free throws every day, and the third group did nothing. A month later, the first group had improved by 24%. The second group had improved by an impressive 23% <a href="http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/mental/visualization.html">without setting foot on a basketball court</a>. The control group had made no improvement. Clearly, visualizing an activity can help you improve your performance.</p> <p>It's important to clarify that visualizing is very different from creating <em>a vision board</em>. That's because vision boards can actually be detrimental to your goals. Studies that ask participants to envision good outcomes (such as getting an A on an exam or winning a tennis match) have found that the <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-blame-game/201205/throw-away-your-vision-board-0">participants do worse on their exam or match</a> if they have visualized the positive outcome. That's because those types of visions skip over the hard work (and those visualizers do study and practice less), and jumps right to the feel-good ending. This is clearly not helpful.</p> <p>The difference between the type of visualizing that athletes do and the vision boards is action. Athletic visualization is very active and involves multiple senses. Imagining winning the gold or cutting out pictures of the things you'd like to own someday is much more passive and dreamy.</p> <p>If you want to visualize yourself rich, spend your visualization time thinking through how you will handle various financial situations, from salary negotiation to saying no to pressures to spend money. Priming your brain for these situations ahead of time will do much more for your ability to get rich than gluing a picture of a yacht to a piece of poster board.</p> <h2>2. Appreciate What You Have</h2> <p>If you want to use your mind to make yourself rich, take a moment to truly <a href="http://momastery.com/blog/2014/08/11/give-liberty-give-debt/">look at all that you have with new eyes</a>. Isn't it incredible that you can speak to people the world over, learn almost anything about almost any subject, and look at pictures of grumpy cats using a device no bigger than a deck of cards? We really are living in an exciting time and there is an incredible bounty available to us.</p> <p>Reminding yourself of the abundance in your life allows you to step out of the &quot;consume consume consume&quot; culture that we live in and recognize that you can feel rich with what you already have. While this thought experiment will not necessarily add dollars to your bank account, it will leave you feeling richer and more satisfied with your life &mdash; and isn't that the point of wealth?</p> <h2>3. Give Money Away</h2> <p>In his book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QFBXHI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000QFBXHI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZTMUQEI7WVBWYUMD">More Than Enough: The Ten Keys to Changing Your Financial Destiny</a>, Dave Ramsey talks about the difference between having an open hand or a closed fist:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">I see the closed fist often in the area of money: a fist full of dollars tightly held so that those precious dollars never get away. That closed fist represents someone who doesn't know how to give. They think if they clutch those dollars tight enough, never giving, that they are on the path to more than enough. The real world will teach you that the opposite is true: those with more than enough got there by giving.</p> <p>All of this sounds a little woo-woo, but there is something to Ramsey's analogy. Specifically, individuals who are close-fisted with their money tend to have very negative money scripts &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-did-your-parents-really-teach-you-about-money-it-might-surprise-you">unconscious beliefs about money created in childhood</a>. If you feel that you must hold tightly to your money, you probably believe things like there will never be enough money or the amount of money you have reflects on who you are as a person.</p> <p>One solution to dealing with these money scripts is to get in the habit of giving money away. If you change your attitude about money from something that you must tightly hold to something that flows through your life, then you are in a better position to see and accept wealth-generating opportunities when they arise.</p> <h2>4. Repeat Positive Affirmations</h2> <p>Stuart Smalley was onto something when he repeatedly told himself, &quot;<a href="http://youtu.be/-DIETlxquzY">I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me</a>!&quot;</p> <p>As it turns out, positive affirmations can really help prime your brain to make significant changes. That's because <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-wise-open-mind/201108/5-steps-make-affirmations-work-you">your mind does not know the difference between reality and fantasy</a>. This is why your heart races while watching a horror movie &mdash; your mind is empathizing with the characters on the screen even though you know intellectually that they are not real.</p> <p>So if you tell yourself over and over &quot;<a href="http://www.loveorabove.com/blog/wealth-affirmations/">I welcome wealth into my life</a> and I love the positive energy that money brings to me,&quot; then your mind will fall in line with the belief system you are stating. Repeat your affirmations out loud three times a day for five minutes. And be like Stuart &mdash; look at yourself in the mirror while you're doing it.</p> <p>If you find yourself rolling your eyes when you state your affirmations, however, you might see no results from this new habit. That's because we all already have affirmations in our heads, and many of them are very negative. You might be trying to reprogram your mind by stating a positive affirmation, but the negative voice inside is undermining it by whispering something like, This is stupid. You will always struggle with money.&quot;</p> <p>If you do have a negative reaction to affirmations, it's a good idea to examine exactly what that inner voice is saying and poke holes in the negative message. Don't let your negative affirmation get in the way of your wealth.</p> <h2>Harness the Power of Your Brain</h2> <p>The human mind is an incredible machine. It helps to create the reality you live in, and you can give it gentle nudges toward the goals you want. If you visualize, appreciate, give, and affirm, your brain will help to bring you closer to the lifestyle you deserve.</p> <p><em>Have you used the power of your brain to build wealth &mdash; or sink more putts? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-mind-can-make-you-rich" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Ways Your Mind Can Make You Rich" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development affirmation behavior confidence psychology wealth Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1191315 at http://www.wisebread.com People Who Love Their Bodies Do These 12 Things — Do You? http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-their-bodies-do-these-12-things-do-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/people-who-love-their-bodies-do-these-12-things-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-with-yoga-mat-178511306-small.jpg" alt="man with yoga mat" title="man with yoga mat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Instead of waiting until your body is an ideal shape to love it, why not love it now?</p> <p>After all, your body is the way you interact with the world, the thing that lets you hug friends and family, play with children, smell flowers, and so much more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-gain-more-confidence-today?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Gain More Confidence Today</a>)</p> <p>There are people who love their bodies, even though they don't look like the people in magazines and movies. Here are some of the practices they embrace. If you don't do these things yet, you can always start now.</p> <h2>1. Become Conscious of How You Feel</h2> <p>People who love their bodies are conscious about how they feel about their physical selves. They are honest about the things they'd rather change, and they choose to love themselves anyway. When they have negative thoughts about their bodies, they are able to acknowledge those and work to challenge them, rather than burying them deep inside.</p> <h2>2. Be Realistic</h2> <p>You can love your body and set goals for physical change. <a href="http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&amp;art_id=696&amp;sc=4393">Make those goals realistic</a>, though, or you're setting yourself up for failure and for more dislike of your physical appearance. If you're not sure if your goals are realistic, talk to your doctor or a good friend and consider their feedback.</p> <h2>3. Let Your Body Speak</h2> <p>Your body tries to tell you things all the time. It communicates basic things, like whether you are hungry or tired, but it can also tell you how you're feeling if you notice where you are holding tension or where and how you feel pressure and release. Take a few seconds, several times a day, to check in with your body, and you might be amazed at what it will tell you.</p> <h2>4. Treat Your Body With Love</h2> <p>Do you act like you love your body or like you loathe it? Treat your body the way you would treat it if you adored it, and you're likely to feel more positively about it and take even better care of yourself. If you're not sure how to love your body, think about the ways you like to be touched and things you do that make your body feel energized. Incorporate these into your daily life and see what changes.</p> <h2>5. Remember What's Good About Your Body</h2> <p>Instead of thinking about all that your body isn't, think about what it is. Make a list of what you like about your body, the things it lets you do, and the things it does well. Look at this list every day, or at least when you start feeling down about your body. Eventually, you will start noticing more and more of these good things.</p> <h2>6. Decide How to Handle Weight and Self-Care</h2> <p>Getting to a healthy weight or staying there is a great way to love your body. In the process, though, you will need to figure out your relationship with the scale. Some people need to <a href="http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&amp;ContentID=1613">throw it away</a> completely, so that they are caring for their bodies for the sake of health and not numbers. Others need to weigh themselves every day, so they can see what normal fluctuations of weight look like. To love your body, you need to figure out what your relationship with the scale needs to be so you can care for it well.</p> <h2>7. Never Criticize Your Body Out Loud</h2> <p>Just as you (hopefully) wouldn't criticize someone else's body out loud, you shouldn't criticize your own. Speaking thoughts out loud not only makes them real in a way that isn't the case if you only think them, but it trains your mind to continue thinking that way. Instead, speak positively about your body and let your mind follow that lead, instead.</p> <h2>8. Know and Love the Ways Your Body Is Unique</h2> <p>People who love their bodies realize that every single body is unique, and that each uniqueness is beautiful. Even if you can't articulate what makes your body unique, you can acknowledge that there's no one who looks exactly like you. Revel in that. Take some time to look at portraits online, so that you can see for yourself how all bodies are special.</p> <h2>9. Give Yoga a Chance</h2> <p>Many people who love their bodies practice yoga. This exercise can be as gentle or as challenging as you want it to be. When you develop a yoga practice and see that expand as you get stronger, you will understand your body, it can lead you to a deeper appreciation of <a href="https://yogainternational.com/article/view/how-yoga-helps-you-love-your-body">how your body works together as a whole</a>.</p> <h2>10. Sleep Well</h2> <p>Getting enough sleep allows your body to heal, to repair any damaged tissues, to organize the events of the day and, simply, to rest from work. People who love their bodies know how much sleep they need and they do their best to get those hours in, even when that means turning in earlier than they want to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Sleep Better in Fewer Hours</a>)</p> <h2>11. Rest Every Day</h2> <p>I include this as separate from sleep because many people who love their bodies find ways to rest their bodies during waking hours, too. Resting can mean sleeping, but it can also mean meditating or finding other ways to relax and give your body a break. Figure out what your body likes by experimenting with different ideas, and then incorporate that into your routine.</p> <h2>12. Work to Improve Your Body Image</h2> <p>A lot of people who love their bodies have done hard work to improve the ways they think about their physical selves. This can include <a href="http://www.utdallas.edu/counseling/bodyimage/">developing habits</a> like staying away from popular media that glorifies certain types of bodies, wearing clothes that make you feel good about yourself, and surrounding yourself with people who think about bodies in the ways you want to.</p> <p><em>Do you love your body? How do you practice that in daily life? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-their-bodies-do-these-12-things-do-you" class="sharethis-link" title="People Who Love Their Bodies Do These 12 Things — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Personal Development body image fitness self confidence Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1190937 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Work Habits From Country Music http://www.wisebread.com/5-work-habits-from-country-music <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-work-habits-from-country-music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5-work-habits.jpg" alt="woman listening to music" title="woman listening to music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Johnny Cash once described country music as, &quot;three chords and the truth.&quot; Now, the hard-drinking Man in Black may not have necessarily been talking about work habits, but it turns out country is full of work wisdom.</p> <p>The value of putting in a solid day's work was a consistent theme of my Southern upbringing. We valued a strong work ethic so much that I spent more than one Christmas morning raking leaves for my grandfather (after presents and breakfast, of course). Like almost anything, the workday is better with a soundtrack, and as a kid mine was country music. Lately (and surprisingly), those lyrics have been coming back to me, providing with much more than just different ways to execute a party in the back of a truck.</p> <p>Here are five work habits I've learned from country music.</p> <h2>1. Hold True to Your Own Vision</h2> <p><em>&quot;But you got dreams he'll never take away.&quot; &mdash; Dolly Parton's &quot;9 to 5&quot;</em></p> <p>No matter your boss or the work environment you're in, you can't ever stop dreaming. You have to set goals for yourself and work toward your end dreams. If you're lucky enough, one day you may even get paid to do something you've always dreamed of doing.</p> <h2>2. Work Hard, All Day, Everyday, Repeat</h2> <p><em>&quot;That's the only way I know, Don't stop 'til everything's gone&hellip; Full throttle, wide open, You get tired and you don't show it.&quot; &mdash; Jason Aldean's &quot;The Only Way I Know&quot;</em></p> <p>Every student poised to graduate from college should be required to listen to this before accepting their diploma. Here's what they don't tell you in school about the real world: Everyone is tired, everyone is busy, and no one wants to hear about it. Go to work, work hard, and don't complain about it.</p> <h2>3. A Good Attitude Changes Everything</h2> <p><em>&quot;I can't wait to get up in the mornin' and do it all over again.&quot; &mdash; Brooks and Dunn's &quot;Hard Workin' Man&quot;</em></p> <p>The takeaway from this is pretty simple: If you have to get up and go to work everyday, you might as well have a good attitude about it. Chances are good that you will spend the majority of your life working a full-time job &mdash; try to enjoy it somewhat.</p> <h2>4. Take Time Off</h2> <p><em>&quot;I cashed my check, cleaned my truck, Put on my hat, forgot about work.&quot; &mdash; Alan Jackson's &quot;Good Time&quot;</em></p> <p>Sometimes, you absolutely have to forget about work. You have to be able to turn off your computer, stop checking your email and relax on occasion. The more you're able to do this, the easier it will be for you to go to work energized and enthused for the task ahead.</p> <h2>5. Keep Things in Perspective</h2> <p><em>&quot;Have you ever seen a headstone with these words: if only I had spent more time at work.&quot; &mdash; Billy Ray Cyrus' &quot;Busy Man&quot;</em></p> <p>I haven't. And I hope I never do. Remember, a job is a job is a job and there is always another one around the corner <em>&mdash; </em>especially for someone with a great work ethic!</p> <p><em>Have you learned any lessons about work from country music?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-work-habits-from-country-music" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Work Habits From Country Music" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This post is by Lauren Cowling, managing editor of <a href="http://www.countryoutfitter.com/style/">Country Outfitter Style</a>. She grew up in the South and spent more than one holiday morning doing chores or manual labor. Naturally, she took this work ethic to the Internet where she regularly writes about pop-culture and entertainment. When she&rsquo;s not watching reality TV Lauren is googling facts about things she&rsquo;s seen on TV.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lauren-cowling">Lauren Cowling</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment General Tips Personal Development country music life skills work ethic Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:00:05 +0000 Lauren Cowling 1185009 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/good-posture-office-177784179-small.jpg" alt="good sitting posture" title="good sitting posture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the quickest and easiest ways to feel better both mentally and physically is to stand up straight. We've already covered some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-and-keep-amazing-posture-by-doing-these-10-stretches-today">smart stretches</a> you can do to get your posture more upright and your spine better aligned. But there's more work to do! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-take-better-care-of-your-back?ref=seealso">5 Easy Ways to take Better Care of Your Back</a>)</p> <p>Check out these easy exercises and other methods that will help ease back pain and have you looking and feeling more confident in no time.</p> <h2>1. Wall Test</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/tired-athletic-woman-450797247-small.jpg" /></p> <p>To check your current posture, all you need is some clear wall space. Stand with the back of your <a href="http://www.creatingwellnesschiro.com/uploads/Posture_self_test.pdf">head against a wall</a> and your feet around 6 inches away from the baseboard. From there, position your buttocks against the wall and check to see where your lower back and neck fall in alignment. You should only find a couple inches of space in these nooks.</p> <h2>2. Sit to Stand</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5SbXc7KdX1A" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>While sitting up straight in a chair, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SbXc7KdX1A">raise your body</a> with your legs into a standing position while keeping your neck and spine erect. Repeat 5 to 10 times with little if any rest between, keeping good posture throughout. This exercise is good for your lower half, like a squat, but also trains your body to keep proper posture throughout the day's tasks, which often involve the transition from sitting to standing.</p> <h2>3. Core Strengthener</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TWpbe9nRySc" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>A strong core is one of the keys to better posture, but most of us forget it when our backs start to ache. Doing exercises like planks can engage those muscles in the abs and around the spine that help hold up your torso. Just make sure you use <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWpbe9nRySc">proper form</a> to get the most benefit, drawing your belly button in toward your spine while squeezing your glutes for a comprehensive workout. Start with 30 seconds and work up to a minute or two.</p> <h2>4. Leg Extensions</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/woman-leg-extensions-186306665-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Another great way to work your core is by doing crunches. Take them to a new level by adding <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20419337_7,00.html">leg extensions</a> to your everyday routine. Sit on the ground with your arms behind you, palms on the floor. Then raise both legs up high and slowly lower &mdash; focusing on core muscles &mdash; and raise again just before touching the ground. Work up to doing 15-20 at a time.</p> <h2>5. Load Off</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/man-rolling-briefcase-83066241-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Carrying heavy backpacks and other burdensome items can <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/heavy-backpacks-can-spell-chronic-back-pain-for-children/">wreck havoc on your back</a> and alter your posture. Try using a roll suitcase for especially heavy loads. If you must carry your pack, be sure to wear both straps, use additional waist or shoulder straps, and reduce your load as much as possible. If you regularly carry a briefcase or shoulder bag, consider switching to a backpack or roller to more evenly distribute your load.</p> <h2>6. Chair Master</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jj3BirYh6Wc" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You can work on your posture during the workday from your desk chair. It's all about <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj3BirYh6Wc">opening up your chest</a> and doing the exercises regularly. Sit up and make a W shape with your arms, almost like you're going to use the chest fly machine at the gym. Move your arms backward and forward again, keeping a neutral spine. Do 10 repetitions and work up to more as you feel comfortable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-no-sweat-workouts-perfect-for-the-workplace?ref=seealso">10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace</a>)</p> <h2>7. Practice Pose</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KEpC5ixjDp4" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>And perhaps the simplest way to work on your posture is to learn the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEpC5ixjDp4">correct form</a> to being with and to practice it each day. Your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should all be in alignment. Your spine should be slightly curved at the lower back. If your feel your head and shoulders start to lurch forward during the day, return to the basic stance and bring your awareness back to standing up straight.</p> <p><em>How do you work on your posture during the day? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture" class="sharethis-link" title="7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Personal Development back health core strength fitness posture workout Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1189081 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You a Doormat? 17 Things Assertive People Never Say http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-a-doormat-17-things-assertive-people-never-say <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-a-doormat-17-things-assertive-people-never-say" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-yelling-488692471-small.jpg" alt="couple yelling" title="couple yelling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was born a lot of things, but assertive was not one of them.</p> <p>For years, I would find myself in situations where I had a vague feeling that all was not well, but by the time I figured out that I wanted or needed to stand up for myself (or someone else), the conversation had moved on. Then, I'd replay the conversations in my head whenever I felt discouraged, which only added to my frustration.</p> <p>I finally learned how to assert myself through a process of acknowledging my frustration with the whole situation, planning ahead what I might say or do in certain situations, and being willing to go back to someone and say that I needed to revisit a previous conversation because I wasn't satisfied with the outcome. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-habits-you-must-break-to-become-more-self-confident?ref=seealso">5 Habits You Must Break to Become More Self-Confident</a>)</p> <p>Over time, I overcame my fear of being assertive and stopped clamming up in the moment. Along the way, I learned to never, ever say these things (at least not in the contexts discussed below).</p> <h2>1. &quot;You Hurt Me&quot;</h2> <p>While this may be true, the person on the receiving end of a statement like this will often feel accused of something, and will therefore respond defensively. Instead, use &quot;I&quot; statements, like &quot;I feel sad because the tone behind your words seemed angry.&quot;</p> <h2>2. &quot;Yes, of Course I'll Do That (Even Though I Don't Want To)&quot;</h2> <p>Agreeing to do something that you don't want to do, or that you don't know if you want to do, is one of the key characteristics of a doormat. Saying &quot;No&quot; or &quot;Let me think about it&quot; is hard, but you will feel better about yourself in the long run.</p> <h2>3. &quot;I Don't Know If That's OK With Me&quot;</h2> <p>Letting people know that you don't know what to think gives them tacit permission to decide for both of you. Instead, ask for some time to think and come up with a <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201210/speak-18-all-purpose-assertive-phrases">policy statement</a>, so that you can not only handle the current situation but any similar ones that come along, too.</p> <h2>4. (Nothing)</h2> <p>Even if you aren't sure what to say, if you're uncomfortable with a situation or not sure what to think, say something. Try, &quot;I don't like that, and I want to tell you why, but I'm trying to think of the way to say it that makes the most sense.&quot; This tells them that you have a dissenting opinion and makes room for you to bring it up again later.</p> <h2>5. &quot;What I Want Isn't Important&quot;</h2> <p>No matter what is going on, you have a right to ask for what you want. The person you're talking to can still disagree, as is their right. Even if it causes a bigger disagreement, though, it's worthwhile to voice your desires, because you will feel better about yourself and you open the door for a win-win situation, rather than just the one where you lose.</p> <h2>6. &quot;It's My Way or the Highway&quot;</h2> <p>Sometimes, when people are trying to move from being a doormat to being assertive, they feel like they have to hold aggressive positions instead. This method isn't any better, though. Instead, think of yourself as being on a team with the people involved in your situation. You could even say, &quot;Can we pool our resources to solve this problem?&quot;</p> <h2>7. &quot;Do Whatever You Want (To/With/Around Me)&quot;</h2> <p>It can be hard to bring up your boundaries when you're afraid it will cause more conflict or even sever a relationship. However, without boundaries, you are a pushover. Even if you have them, if you don't bring them up, no one will know, and they won't have the opportunity to respect you for stating them.</p> <h2>8. &quot;I Don't Need Any Help&quot;</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive, but <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://cmhc.utexas.edu/assertiveness.html">asking for help when you need it is actually a way of being assertive</a>. It lets people know that you are not okay with things the way they are and that you know what you need. It also invites them to see your needs, attend to them, and maybe get to know you a little better.</p> <h2>9. &quot;I Don't Care About You&quot;</h2> <p>Another move that people tend to make when they feel like a doormat and want to be more assertive is to feel like they have to stop caring about others. They fear that this caring will get in the way of standing up for themselves. However, it's more-than-possible to be <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/08/how-to-be-assertive-without-lo/">assertive <em>and</em> caring</a>. For instance, you can be engaging and happy even as you are stating your needs or asking for help.</p> <h2>10. &quot;I Don't Know What Is Going On Here&quot;</h2> <p>Okay, so realistically, we all get into situations that we don't understand. But, as much as possible, prepare for situations where you will need to be assertive. If you often get run over in work meetings, do your research and write out the bullet points of your argument so everyone can see them while you speak.</p> <h2>11. &quot;Sure, We Can Do That Again (Even Though I Hate It)&quot;</h2> <p>When you're in a relationship pattern that you don't like, it can be hard to figure out what you want and voice it. Try to <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20568071_6,00.html">start with something positive</a>, then add an &quot;I&quot; statement, like, &quot;I love that you know your granddaughter so well. I'd like it if you didn't talk to my daughter about her weight, though.&quot;</p> <h2>12. &quot;We Can't Fix This&quot;</h2> <p>Whether the problem is relational, situational, logical, or otherwise, giving up will undermine your assertiveness. Assertive people see themselves as important parts of the groups they're in, and they have faith in the problem-solving abilities of those groups. Instead, say, &quot;This is hard, so let's take a break and come back when we're refreshed.&quot;</p> <h2>13. &quot;I Don't Really Need a Raise&quot;</h2> <p>If you're thinking seriously about a raise, it's probably because you don't feel like you're earning what you're worth, and you will feel bad about yourself if you don't at least ask for more money. Plan ahead, so that you have examples of ways you've added value to your company. And if you get shot down, make sure to ask if you can revisit the topic of your performance in six months or a year. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-your-own-raise?ref=seealso">Create Your Own Raise</a>)</p> <h2>14. &quot;Come On, Guys&hellip; Please?&quot;</h2> <p>If people aren't following you, then you aren't leading them assertively. Instead of begging them, take a look at yourself. Much of assertiveness has to do with your body language, so make sure you are looking people in the eye and standing up straight when you're giving instructions.</p> <h2>15. &quot;I Guess I Need to Do This All Myself&quot;</h2> <p>Being able to delegate is a sign of being assertive. Unless all of the tasks on your plate are truly yours (in which case, you probably need to ask for help anyway), there are usually people who can help you, or whose job it is to help you. If you're concerned that they are overwhelmed, ask them, and then figure out a way to solve the problem together.</p> <h2>16. &quot;Please Don't Be Mad at Me&quot;</h2> <p>Sometimes, being assertive will mean that others end up upset. This is their right and their problem. They are free to tell you what they need, as well, and work with you toward a solution that will work for everyone. You are not responsible for the ways that they feel in response to you being assertive, as long as you are kind with your requests.</p> <h2>17. &quot;You Insulted Me&quot;</h2> <p>When I feel insulted, I always take a step back to determine whether the person was actually insulting me, or whether they were offering constructive criticism. When you're a doormat, it's easy to be insulted and overcome by criticism that was meant to help you grow. If you're not clear, you can always ask the other person to be more specific or ask them why they made the comment.</p> <p><em>Have you worked to become assertive? What would you never, ever say?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-a-doormat-17-things-assertive-people-never-say" class="sharethis-link" title="Are You a Doormat? 17 Things Assertive People Never Say" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development assertiveness doormat passive behavior passivity pushover Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1184373 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Self Help Mantras That Actually Hurt http://www.wisebread.com/6-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bored-reading-479704303-small.jpg" alt="bored reading" title="bored reading" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, self-help isn't.</p> <p>While there are loads of excellent strategies out there for improving yourself and your life in all kinds of different areas, there are a few fairly common self-help mandates that may not work as well as they should. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-mantras-that-will-transform-your-life">10 Mantras That Will Transform Your Life</a>)</p> <p>Take caution before blindly throwing yourself at new goals like these.</p> <h2>&quot;Get Up Earlier&quot;</h2> <p>It's common to tell people that if they want to improve themselves, they should wake up earlier. This is supposed to give you time to get things done before you have to officially start your day.</p> <p>However, many Americans don't get enough sleep. And not getting enough sleep causes all sorts of problems. Lack of sleep makes you fat; it can cause illness, and lower test scores and grades.</p> <p>The obvious answer to getting enough sleep and still waking up earlier is to also go to bed earlier. However, some people have <a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/early-bird-night-owl">longer circadian rhythms</a> and, therefore, find it almost impossible to sleep early.</p> <p>Thus, if getting up earlier is going to cost you sleep and going to bed earlier isn't really an option, then rising early could hurt your life more than it improves it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-benefits-of-being-a-night-owl?ref=seealso">13 Benefits of Being a Night Owl</a>)</p> <h2>&quot;Focus on Your Strengths&quot;</h2> <p>It's been said that successful people focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. While I think it is absolutely necessary to know your strengths and to work to develop them, putting all of your energy there can leave you vulnerable.</p> <p>There's good research that shows how <a href="http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/559/are-you-afraid-of-your-weaknesses.aspx">we tend to over-focus on weaknesses</a>, and the push towards refocusing on strength makes sense in light of that. However, while we may not need to focus on these weaknesses, we do need to address them, because some weaknesses can lead us to failure.</p> <p>Simple awareness can take you far. When you know where you are weak, then it is less likely to sneak up on you. From there, determine whether your weakness is essential, and if you can outsource it. If it's not essential, you don't need to worry about it. If it is essential and can be outsourced, that's a great way to address it. If it's essential and cannot be outsourced, then you will need to take the time to make sure that it is not a liability.</p> <h2>&quot;Meet New People&quot;</h2> <p>Is meeting new people or expanding your network essential for self-improvement? Not necessarily.</p> <p>Research shows that <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?pagewanted=all">solitude enhances creativity</a>. People who work alone when generating ideas or making new things tend to be more innovative than those who work in groups. Thus, if enhancing your creativity is part of your self-improvement plan, you might want to pass on forcing yourself to meet new people.</p> <h2>&quot;Improve Your Self-Esteem&quot;</h2> <p>Developing a greater sense of self-worth, or self-esteem, is another common idea when it comes to self improvement. The idea is that, if you take the time to feel better about who you are, you will be happier and more successful.</p> <p>While this sounds like it should work, it actually tends to feed our egos and make us hungry for more and more esteem. Instead, it seems that <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/self-esteem-overrated/">focusing on others' needs</a> actually makes us happier and does more good in the world.</p> <p>In fact, there is <a href="http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/05/24/is-self-esteem-over-rated/852.html">no causation</a> between higher self-esteem and being happier, or being a better person. This means that thinking highly of ourselves doesn't improve us or our lives. People with high self-esteem can be as happy (or as unhappy) as those with low self-esteem.</p> <p>All of this seems to point to the idea that it isn't <em>how we</em> think of ourselves that is important, but <em>how much</em> we think of ourselves. When we think of ourselves a lot, we tend to be less happy than we are when we think about other people first. So the true way to invest in ourselves might be to find people or causes that we care about and invest our time and our hearts there.</p> <h2>&quot;Read More Books&quot;</h2> <p>Another popular method of self-investment involves reading more books. Some people will tell you to focus on self-help books, and others will tell you to read whatever you can get your hands on.</p> <p>Now, I will be the first person to tell you that I love books. And there's good evidence that reading is good for your health and happiness. However, I know other people who don't like reading. While I don't understand this, there are at least a few of these people who I respect deeply and whose lives have influenced my own, all with very little time spent flipping pages. This seems to indicate that, at the very least, reading is not essential to self-improvement.</p> <p>If you just start picking up books for the sake of picking them up, then, you won't necessarily improve yourself. So, if reading isn't your thing, why not invest your time doing something <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/29-scientifically-proven-ways-to-be-happier-this-year">scientifically proven to make you happier, instead</a> &mdash; like helping others, or working with your hands..</p> <h2>&quot;Embrace Change&quot;</h2> <p>So often those who want to improve themselves are encouraged to welcome change. After all, things WILL change in life, so why make it harder than it has to be?</p> <p>However, experts are coming to understand that <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2012/09/04/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-change-the-social-change-adoption-path/">resisting change is part of the overall change process</a>. The path toward eventually accepting change seems to be rejecting it at first. Thus, working to embrace change without first resisting it (and accepting your own resistance) can actually circumvent the entire process, leading you farther from your goal.</p> <p>In addition, not all change is good. Some change is just bad, like the loss of people who are close to you. Even if good things eventually come out of these situations, that doesn't make the change itself good. To ask yourself to embrace this negative kind of change seems, at least, counterintuitive and, at most, potentially <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fearless-you/201310/6-damaging-beliefs-about-grief-and-what-you-can-do">psychologically damaging</a>.</p> <p>Instead of moving toward embracing change, try managing change instead. This approach accepts that change is almost always painful, at least on some level, and that we need to accept and deal with that pain.</p> <p><em>Any other common self-help goals that haven't worked out so well for you or someone you know? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Self Help Mantras That Actually Hurt" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development mantras personal growth self help self improvement Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1178257 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-drinking-water-185640317-small.jpg" alt="woman drinking water" title="woman drinking water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;I'm gonna make a change, it's gonna feel real good!&quot;</p> <p>No song gets me in as good a mood as Michael Jackson's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEQAie8ABLE#t=68">Man in the Mirror</a>. This tune not only packs a motivational punch, but also drives home the point that true change in this world starts with you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person?ref=seealso">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now to Be a Better Person</a>)</p> <p>So, crank up this MJ classic, start practicing these 20 habits and make that change.</p> <h2>Health</h2> <h3>1. Drink 8 Glasses of Water Every Day</h3> <p>You lose plenty of water every day, so to stay on top shape you need to take enough fluids. The eight glasses of water could actually be more or fewer, as long as you reach your daily two-liter goal. If you need some motivation, here is some &quot;water&quot; for thought. (See also: <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/8-reasons-to-drink-more-water?ref=seealso">8 Reasons to Drink More Water</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Adequate hydration prevents risks of chronic kidney disease.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The more water in your belly, the fewer snacks you will crave.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://khsaa.org/sportsmedicine/heat/exerciseandfluidreplacement.pdf">Drinking about 17 ounces of water</a> about two hours before exercise improves your performance.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Water helps you <a href="http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/water-a-fluid-way-to-manage-constipation">manage constipation</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>2. Walk 10,000 Steps Every Day</h3> <p>Several health organizations, including the <a href="http://startwalkingnow.org/">American Heart Association</a>, recommend walking 10,000 steps a day. Walking is one of the simplest ways to keep your weight in check. Buy a simple pedometer for less than $10 on Amazon or score a free one from most health insurance carriers and start accumulating steps by:</p> <ul> <li>Skipping lunch at your work desk and leaving the office to eat outside.</li> <li>Having more <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/nilofer_merchant_got_a_meeting_take_a_walk/">walking meetings</a>.</li> <li>Taking the stairs.</li> </ul> <h3>3. Pick Up a TV Fitness Game</h3> <p>Instead of doing shots every time that your favorite TV character says his catchphrase, start doing squats, pushups, or planks. By turning your favorite TV shows into mini workout sessions you increase the chances of sticking to the &quot;program&quot; (get it?). On top of your favorite shows, you can also watch some high adrenaline shows, such as <a href="http://tv.esquire.com/shows/american-ninja-warrior">American Ninja Warrior</a> and <a href="http://tv.esquire.com/shows/boundless">Boundless</a>, for inspiration.</p> <h3>4. Make Light of Your Problems</h3> <p>Got anger issues? Use these effective techniques that even a two-year-old can do them.</p> <ul> <li>The next time you get frustrated, burst out into singing a silly song, such as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2TbrRz8pLo">Shakes Your Sillies Out</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__An65QQPvc">how to take a deep breath with Dr. Oz</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create a scream-free zone: If you yell, others will join you in the yelling, so stop it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use humor to roll with the punches and brush off troubles.</li> </ul> <h3>5. Chase Your Cup of Coffee With a Nap</h3> <p>Here is a hack to make the most out of your next coffee cup.</p> <p>It takes approximately 15 to 45 minutes for caffeine to reach its peak levels in your bloodstream. Researchers point out that 20 minutes is the sweet spot, so maximize your caffeine rush by taking a 20 minute nap after finishing your cup. You will awaken fresh from both the nap and be ready for action with peak caffeine levels.</p> <h3>6. Take a Hot Bath or Shower At Night</h3> <p>Just like when you were a kid, winding down before bedtime helps your body relax better. Given that your body temperature <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9322266">decreases about two hours before bedtime</a>, taking a <a href="http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/healthy-sleep-tips-women">hot bath or shower</a> is a great way to maximize this relaxing &quot;cool down&quot; effect and enjoy a better night's sleep.</p> <h3>7. Eat Low Glycemic Snacks Before Working Out</h3> <p>Continuing with the topic of maximizing benefits, here is one for the next time you go for a run or hit the gym. British researches claim that eating low glycemic snacks before working out helps you burn more fat. Skip the candy bar and choose low glycemic snacks such as hummus, nuts, and hard boiled eggs. If you don't have time to grab the right snack, then use this <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm">list of portion size for 100+ foods</a>.</p> <h3>8. Wait 30 Minutes Before Brushing Teeth</h3> <p>Most people follow the rule of thumb of brushing their teeth at least twice a day. However, according to the American Dental Association, the timing is also important. Brushing your teeth right before or after eating or drinking something acidic (e.g. orange juice, coffee) or sugary does not only give you a yucky feeling but also weakens your teeth enamel (a protective coat for your chompers). The ADA recommends to wait 30 minutes before or after a meal to brush your teeth so that your mouth's pH has time to balance out.</p> <h3>9. Go Dancing</h3> <p>Getting your groove on has several benefits:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm">Boosts memory and prevents dementia</a>;</li> <li>Helps with with <a href="http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/dancing-shown-help-boost-happiness-and-mental-health">anxiety and stress problems</a>;</li> <li>Has comparable health benefits as walking and biking, according to an Italian study;</li> <li>Is a low-impact and <a href="http://circheartfailure.ahajournals.org/content/1/2/107.full">safe form of exercise</a>.</li> </ul> <p>So, pick up a class to learn a new dance, or join a group to show off your moves.</p> <h2>Financial</h2> <h3>10. Raise Contributions to Retirement Accounts</h3> <p>The clock is ticking. If you haven't started saving for retirement or are saving too little, you need to ramp up. Given that people are living longer and debt levels are on the rise, people need to raise their target retirement savings goals. For example, members of Gen Y are starting to use $2 million as the new goal instead of just $1 million. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-didnt-know-about-retirement?ref=seealso">12 Things You Didn't Know About Retirement</a>)</p> <p>Increase your contributions to your retirement account by:</p> <ul> <li>Adjusting your paycheck withholdings for your 401(k) or IRA;</li> <li>Making catch-up contributions of $5,500 per year if you are age 50 or older;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-know-what-annuities-are-you-might-be-missing-out">Evaluating if annuities would make sense</a> for your retirement goals;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-dumb-habits-that-are-keeping-you-in-debt">Keeping your debt levels in check</a> so you have more money left for savings.</li> </ul> <h3>11. Save for Holiday Spending</h3> <p>Consumer counseling agencies see a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=88539">25% increase in people seeking help</a> in the first two of months of every year due to out of control Christmas spending. One of the easiest ways to keep your annual budget in check is to set a spending goal at the beginning of every year, and make a weekly contribution towards that goal throughout the year. This way you will not only prevent credit card debt, but also have less financial stress at the beginning of the next year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-for-christmas-7-things-you-should-do-today?ref=seealso">Get Ready for Christmas: 7 Things You Should Do Today</a>)</p> <h3>12. Get More Freebies</h3> <p>Whoever said that there is no such as a free lunch, surely did not check out our calendar of annual free stuff days. Create a reminder in your agenda or smartphone so that you never miss these freebies year after year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days?ref=seealso">Never Miss Free Ice Cream Again: Complete Calendar of Annual Free Stuff Days</a>)</p> <h3>13. Shop Groceries Smartly</h3> <p>Don't let groceries be an afterthought. The average American family spends about <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/average-american-grocery-bill.htm">$6,443 per year on food</a>, which makes the average grocery run about $60. Are you getting the most out of your buck? Make it a habit to:</p> <ul> <li>Skip boxed mixes of anything: you save more by buying items individually;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check the clearance shelves for items;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search for alternatives to expensive items (e.g. Pecori Romano and SarVecchio instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Find out what times your favorite stores mark down products, especially the meat department.</li> </ul> <h2>Productivity</h2> <h3>14. Give More Speeches</h3> <p>The ability to communicate verbally with people is among the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/10/11/the-10-skills-employers-most-want-in-20-something-employees/">top 10 skill employers seek.</a> Public speaking is a skill that is useful, no matter what job you pick up. So, start volunteering more often to give a toast, talk on behalf of your company, present a report to a client, or say grace before a family dinner.</p> <h3>15. Spend Less Time on Your Phone</h3> <p>The more time that you spend on your phone, the <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/12/college_students_who_spend_hou.html">more anxious and less happy</a> you feel. Both sensations make you less productive. While going an entire day without your cell make not make feel any better, using it less than usual will help you feel less anxious and more happy.</p> <ul> <li>Turn your phone to silent or completely off during meetings so that you can focus better.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Leave the phone in your car when heading to a lunch or dinner with clients that you have not seen in a long time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create an out of office email notice during weekends to reduce the need to check your inbox.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Engage in more face-to-face conversations.</li> </ul> <h3>16. Listen to Music the Right Way</h3> <ul> <li>Take advantage of the Mozart effect: <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15296685">lower your blood pressure</a> and calm down by listening to classical music.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Boost your workout through power playlists cured by experts on <a href="http://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/6iJ9O8TnK67NKl3W6BWLT4">Spotify</a> and <a href="http://www.pandora.com/music/workout">Pandora</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have a sharper focus with &quot;chillout music,&quot; such as most of <a href="http://open.spotify.com/artist/7MSUfLeTdDEoZiJPDSBXgi">Brian Eno's work</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>17. Use the Two-Minute Rule</h3> <p>Multitasking can be detrimental to your productivity, except for a single exception. If a brand new task arrives to your desk and you're able to fully finish it in two minutes, then go ahead and do it. The rush of completing an action item so fast gives you a boost to get back on your to-do list for the day.</p> <h3>18. Exploit Your &quot;Golden Hour&quot;</h3> <p>Just like you have a &quot;witching hour,&quot; you also have a &quot;golden hour.&quot; This is the time that you are at your peak of concentration and are able to tackle the most difficult tasks with the greatest of ease. The great news are that most people have more than just one golden hour. Learn to identify your golden hours and protect them at all costs so that you can get the most done every day.</p> <h3>19. Delegate More</h3> <p>The easiest way to protect your golden hours is to delegate. You don't have to do everything by yourself. Learn to trust others because it makes everybody more productive and builds trust among members of any team.</p> <h3>20. Get Up Early</h3> <p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3013856/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/why-productive-people-get-up-insanely-early">Productive people get up insanely early</a>. Get a DVR recorder and catch your shows during the weekend. By going early to bed and waking up before the competition, you will be on top of everything and find out that a day has more hours than you think. Join the early bird (and successful!) crowd, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.</p> <p><em>What are some other good habits that need to be in this list? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development bad habits good habits habits self improvement Thu, 07 Aug 2014 11:00:13 +0000 Damian Davila 1177365 at http://www.wisebread.com Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bags — Do You? http://www.wisebread.com/successful-women-have-these-7-things-in-their-bags-do-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/successful-women-have-these-7-things-in-their-bags-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/handbag-177715317-small.jpg" alt="woman handbag" title="woman handbag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>First of all, it's a <em>bag</em> &mdash; not a <em>purse</em>. The successful woman can't possibly tote around all her must-haves in a dainty little purse.</p> <p>Perhaps U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, said it best when she told the New York Times this: &quot;I think most of us, while we may look at the cute little purses, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/fashion/purse-politics-tote-and-vote.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/fashion/purse-politics-tote-and-vote.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">our lives don't fit a cute little purse</a>. Our lives fit something that is in between a purse and a briefcase, and that's what I carry.&quot;</p> <p>The kind of handbag you'll find on the arm of the successful woman is big, durable, and is itself reflective of her personality. What the heck &mdash; maybe it's a shade of bright pink.</p> <p>&quot;I do love a good handbag,&quot; Hillary Clinton told Harper's Bazaar in 2011. Her favorite bag at the time was indeed the color of a flamingo. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-chrome-messenger-bags-carry-everything-you-need-for-biking-and-beyond?ref=seealso">Stuff We Love: Chrome Messenger Bags</a>)</p> <p>&quot;This is like a deep psychological need,&quot; Clinton told the magazine. &quot;It's a desire to kind of organize and contain that which is important to you in your daily life. I have a philosophical view about this, and I have this Ferragamo hot-pink bag that I adore. My view was that I would carry it around only in spring, but it makes me so happy, I'm even now lugging it around in January. I mean, <a href="http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/hillary-clinton-interview-2">how can you be unhappy if you pick up a big pink bag?</a>&quot;</p> <p>Yet the successful woman's love affair with the handbag is rooted not so much in the bag itself but in the items inside. Here's our list of the top seven things successful women carry in their almighty bags.</p> <h2>1. Mobile Gadgets &mdash; With a Portable Charger to Match</h2> <p>Time is money &mdash; and it saves time to stay connected. So a successful woman always has a smartphone or tablet at the ready, so she can field calls and fire off emails anytime, anywhere. But these gadgets won't do her any good without juice. And when she's hailing a cab or taking her children to the park, the chances of there being a wall outlet in reach is slim to none. That's why portable chargers are every successful woman's must-have device.</p> <p>We recommend <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A35KPQQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A35KPQQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QC7YHFGMTCVIGB63">IOGEAR's GearPower portable battery line</a> (Pros: Allows for multi-device charging. Cons: Too big for your clutch) or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AANQLRI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AANQLRI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=64MBQTAPKNYR4WAS">Jackery Giant</a> (Pros: Cheaper than most competing brands. Cons: It's a bit heavy).</p> <p>But our favorite, albeit more expensive, pick for on-the-go juice is <a href="http://empoweredbag.com/">the emPOWERED bag</a>. These tech-forward leather purses come in all colors and sizes, each with a hidden charger sewn right inside the bag.</p> <h2>2. A Memorable Business Card</h2> <p>You never know who you'll meet as you go about your day. A future client, collaborator, or investor may very well be in line behind you as you await your double shot of espresso. And every successful woman knows that if your personalities are clicking as you chat her up, the go-to next step is a business card hand-off. That's because a well-designed business card is well-remembered. It's a snack-size representation of you and your brand. It should scream, &quot;You!&quot; from the style of the font to the coloring of the logo design. Trumping even the Twitter feed, the business card is the most influential marketing tool you have.</p> <h2>3. A Notebook</h2> <p>Nothing compares to the freedom and ease of being able to scribble down your spontaneous doodles, to-do's, and ideas. Not even the iPhone Notes app can compete with the good, old-fashioned pen and pad. That's because scholars have found that when we write down our ideas rather than type them we <a href="http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-using-pen-and-paper-not-laptops-boosts-memory-writing-notes-helps-recall-concepts-ability-268770">boost our ability to recall them</a> at a later date. Whether it's her grocery list or notes from the board meeting, a notebook is the best way for the successful woman to go about jotting down the information she wants to retain.</p> <h2>4. A Healthy Snack</h2> <p>The successful woman needs fuel to perform her best. And she knows it makes all the difference whether that fuel consists of processed sugars or healthful, natural ingredients like protein and vitamins.</p> <p>The natural fiber in apples and bananas will keep her full and focused between meals.</p> <p>Nuts like almonds and dried fruit like raisins are high in protein, which will prevent her energy level from dropping during that mid-morning slump.</p> <p>But perhaps the most important edible item in her bag is a bottle of water. Water is the ultimate hydrating beverage &mdash; a natural energy source that <a href="http://www.garycrusader.com/chicago/news-detail.aspx?cityID=1&amp;typeID=6&amp;newsid=6401">fends off fatigue</a> and helps regulate appetite. Experts say she should <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/09/13/the-truth-about-how-much-water-you-should-really-drink">drink half her weight</a> in ounces each day for optimal performance.</p> <h2>5. A Gym Membership Card</h2> <p>Exercise is a staple of the successful woman's regular routine. And not because she's trying to drop pounds or get chiseled abs. A <a href="http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/exercise/">good workout boosts energy</a>, relieves stress, and releases those feel-good endorphins that make her feel like she can most certainly conquer the world &mdash; and smile while doing it.</p> <h2>6. A Pair of Flats</h2> <p>The successful woman has no time for blisters. But she's not altogether willing to give up the high heels. The solution? She has a pair of flats at the ready to change into between meetings or when discomfort strikes. Studies show one in three <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2049056/1-3-women-carry-comfortable-shoes-handbag-high-heels-bite.html">women carry a comfortable pair of shoes</a> in their handbags. It's the only fool-proof way to wear heels with no regrets.</p> <h2>7. Lipstick</h2> <p>&quot;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/fashion/purse-politics-tote-and-vote.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">I have to have lipstick</a>,&quot; U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth of Illinois once told the New York Times.</p> <p>Duckworth is among the strong contingent of successful women who recognizes what a splash of color on the lips will do for her confidence. Just a quick swipe of blush and she's put-together in three seconds flat. And the benefits don't stop there. Studies show that <a href="http://www.marieclaire.com/hair-beauty/lipstick-benefits">women who regularly wear lipstick actually have better posture</a>. A lip color that compliments a woman's skin tone will also improve the appearance of her skin, making her <a href="http://www.janefardon.com/benefits-of-lipstick/">look healthy and well</a>.</p> <p><em>What's in your bag? Please spill it in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-women-have-these-7-things-in-their-bags-do-you" class="sharethis-link" title="Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bags — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development gadgets handbags stuff to carry success Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1167984 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Generosity Is Key to Everything — Including Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-teamwork-466223211-small.jpg" alt="teamwork" title="teamwork" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>True generosity means giving without expecting anything &mdash; zero, zilch, nada &mdash; in return. Generosity takes many forms, both tangible and intangible.</p> <p>You donate to a specific cause, volunteer at a food pantry, offer to help the intern write a press release, give away free copies of your recently published book&hellip; Opportunities to brighten someone's day abound. And yet, although it may seem paradoxical, being generous can also brighten your day &mdash; and your career. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good For You</a>)</p> <h2>Generosity Can Boost Your Career &mdash; and Happiness</h2> <p>Giving makes people happier, increasing their productivity at work and leading to long-term success.</p> <p>A 2008 Harvard Business School study found that participants who gave money to another person resulted in <a href="http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5944.html">greater feelings of happiness</a> than those who spent money to buy something for themselves. While this study specifically focused on participants giving something tangible (money), the same logic can apply to intangible gifts of generosity, like time, advice, and mentoring.</p> <p>Happier people make <a href="http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_study_shows/">better employees</a> because they work harder and tend to be more productive. Just ask the folks at Zappos and Google, two companies well known for their innovative corporate culture based on happy employees.</p> <p>The positive feelings that result from acts of generosity can be traced to <a href="http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_events/news_articles/brain_activity_during_altruism.htm">biology</a>, according to an earlier study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust are activated when people contribute to charity, according to the research.</p> <p>&quot;Charity&quot; in your career may take the form of leading a networking discussion group, offering a free podcast, or introducing a recent college graduate to your company's hiring manager.</p> <h2>Team Players Win the Networking Game</h2> <p>Karma aside, the selfish ones usually finish last &mdash; and alone. By contrast, in life and at work, generous people generally build supportive networks. They are seen as more likable, and people are attracted to their presence (perhaps because they are so happy!).</p> <p>Generosity also helps you exude confidence. When you offer to mentor the new hire on your sales team, you send a positive message: &quot;I know I'm good at what I do, and I'm not afraid that you'll overtake me in sales if I show you my trade secrets.&quot;</p> <p>Confident people often believe that knowledge is like the flame of a candle; it shines just as brightly no matter if one person or 10 people are enjoying its beauty. Therefore, they don't feel a need to &quot;hoard&quot; information due to any insecurities. They are true team players.</p> <p>Eleanor C. Whitney, author of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1621060071/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1621060071&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6MHFANJKY3GEGXV5">Grow</a>, said that &quot;when you <a href="http://idealistcareers.org/how-being-generous-can-help-your-career/">act with generosity</a> you are consistently open with your skills, ideas and knowledge. When you are generous you don't just give of yourself, but acknowledge the contributions and needs of others. The result is a network of people who are also willing to help you.&quot;</p> <p>Networking &mdash; and its multiplier effect &mdash; can be one of the most influential factors leading to professional success. It is often listed as the number one way to find a job. And the importance of networking &mdash; in person and online &mdash; extends throughout your career, by increasing your exposure (and, thereby, perhaps sales) and by building and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships.</p> <h2>Generous People Make More Effective Bosses...</h2> <p>&hellip;Which in turn inspires more successful employees.</p> <p>It may be one of the least-touted qualities of a good leader, but generosity may well be one of the most important. Communications expert Jodi Glickman explains that if a manager or leader is generous, he or she is generally well-liked.</p> <p>But it goes much further than that. &quot;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131209165135-14770338-generosity-the-key-to-getting-ahead">Generous bosses get 10x the productivity</a> from their employees; generous employees' stars rise in tandem with their bosses'.&quot;</p> <h2>Small Gestures Go a Long Way</h2> <p>Being generous doesn't necessarily mean donating a million dollars to your favorite charity (although that would indeed be generous!).</p> <p>Giving your time to mentor a new employee may take just an hour out of your day, but could set your new colleague on a solid path for success. Contributing $5 to the kitty for the mailroom employee's 10th anniversary at the company won't break your bank, but the collective efforts of your department breed feelings of social connectedness and goodwill.</p> <p>Thanks to social media, we are more up-to-date than ever when it comes to our friends' and colleagues' professional news. That means plenty of opportunities to send a congratulatory email to a former co-worker on a new job, refer a friend for a vacant position in your company, wish your new client all the best as she goes on maternity leave, or offer some insightful tips to a group discussion on LinkedIn.</p> <p>Being generous with your thoughtfulness in ways that you might deem &quot;insignificant&quot; could have a very big impact on someone else.</p> <h2>Win-Win Doesn't Get Any More Classic</h2> <p>When you give to others, the world gets a little brighter. Generosity is about more than karma &mdash; what goes around comes around &mdash; and its ripple effects can boomerang back to you in many positive, often unexpected, ways, especially in your career.</p> <p><em>How has generosity boosted your career? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career" class="sharethis-link" title="Why Generosity Is Key to Everything — Including Your Career " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mardee-handler">Mardee Handler</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development career charity generosity leadership productivity promotion Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:00:06 +0000 Mardee Handler 1164532 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Stop Wanting More Without Settling for Less http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-wanting-more-without-settling-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-stop-wanting-more-without-settling-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-businesswoman-466482869-small_0.jpg" alt="happy businesswoman" title="happy businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people invest their hope for a happier life in future achievements. For you, this could be a higher salary, a family milestone, or a more relaxed lifestyle.</p> <p>In reality, there will always be another achievement on the horizon. Happiness can only be enjoyed today, in the present moment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-you-settle-and-how-to-stop?ref=seealso">This Is Why You Settle (and How to Stop)</a>)</p> <p>Accordingly, we find ourselves in this daily tension between pursuing more and enjoying what we have. Here are a few tips for being happier with what you have today.</p> <h2>1. Identify Your True Sources of Happiness</h2> <p>It's all too easy to mistake money for happiness. After all, there is a certain fulfillment and excitement that comes when larger and larger amounts of money are acquired. Unless your passion in life is green paper, you really have no interest in money. You desire what money <em>can buy</em>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-lot-of-people-dont-understand-what-money-really-is-do-you?ref=seealso">A Lot of People Don't Understand What Money Is &mdash; Do You?</a>)</p> <p>But then again, unless you're an extreme hoarder, you don't really desire to own things. You desire the enjoyment you derive from using the things you own. What's the point of all this? Understand what you actually want and don't waste your time on anything else.</p> <p>If your goal for more money is spending more time with the family, stop worrying about the money and start spending more time with your family. There are ways you can cut straight to the core desire, and the fewer middlemen, the better.</p> <p>Take the time to actually write down your priorities. Create a budget based on those priorities and begin identifying where you are spending money but not deriving any enjoyment. You can then shift your allotment of time and money to align with your true priorities.</p> <h2>2. Set Attainable Goals</h2> <p>Achievement is a relative term. For one person, getting featured positively in the local newspaper is a once-in-a-lifetime type success. For another, getting elected to Congress is the minimum entry for their ultimate ambition.</p> <p>The personal fulfillment we derive from our achievements depends entirely upon how we view them. By setting finite, attainable goals for ourselves, and then celebrating each victory, we allow ourselves to enjoy the journey instead of bemoaning what we haven't yet attained. Break down your ultimate goal into quantifiable steps, so that each step you take is an accomplishment you can celebrate.</p> <h2>3. Celebrate What's Meaningful</h2> <p>You'll find &quot;enjoy the little things&quot; on a lot of these lists. That sounds nice, but it's not as though we can just make ourselves enjoy things we don't find enjoyable. We can, however, celebrate the moments that are truly meaningful to us.</p> <p>The key is living in the <em>now</em> and recognizing when it's time to stop and celebrate. Your responsibilities and pursuits are always a text away. Your ability to enjoy what you have depends on your capacity to stop and celebrate what is meaningful today.</p> <p>Go back to your priority list. Spend a few moments each day thinking about your top priorities and what they mean to you today. If family is the most important, spend a few moments celebrating your family each week and verbally affirming each member and why they mean so much to you.</p> <h2>4. Prioritize Your Community</h2> <p>If there's one thing I've found to be true in my life, it's that <em>what</em> I'm doing and <em>where </em>I'm doing it aren't nearly as important as <em>who</em> I'm with. Your community will account for much of your satisfaction and happiness in life. And just like the <em>what</em> and the <em>where</em>, you have complete control over the <em>who</em>.</p> <p>Don't invest your time in negative people. If you find yourself connecting best with negative people, there are probably some painful wounds in your life that need healing. Spending time with positive, uplifting people is contagious. Spending time around people with correct priorities rubs off. Spending time with people who are deeply committed to their friends and family prepares you to foster those same meaningful relationships in your own life.</p> <h2>5. Give &amp; Receive</h2> <p>It's not all about us, and understanding this truth allows us to be happy with what we have. By investing in others, we allow their accomplishments to increase our own happiness and satisfaction. By receiving from others, we allow ourselves to realize we aren't alone &mdash; it's not us against the world &mdash; and we set ourselves up to benefit from the victories of others.</p> <p>One practical way to do this is by giving to charity. Research shows that those who give and volunteer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you">are actually happier</a> and more deeply satisfied with their lives.</p> <p>But you don't have to invest only in strangers. What are your friends' dreams? What is your cousin's dream? What is your son's dream? Invest in their success. Invest in where they want to go, and you'll find their success as rewarding, if not more so, than your own.</p> <h2>Happiness Is Not a Quest</h2> <p>The most important thing to understand is that happiness is not a quest. You will never find or achieve it. You can be happy today or you can not be happy today. In many ways, the choice is entirely yours.</p> <p>You can never &quot;arrive&quot; at happiness. If you can't enjoy life with $30k a year, you won't enjoy it with $50k. Spend a few minutes today thinking about what is truly important to you and allow yourself to enjoy what you already have.</p> <p><em>Are you happy with where you are right now? Why? Or, why not?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-wanting-more-without-settling-for-less" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Stop Wanting More Without Settling for Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jacob-mcmillen">Jacob McMillen</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development happiness satisfaction value worth Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:00:02 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1161541 at http://www.wisebread.com The One Word You Need to Get Rid of for a Better Life http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-word-you-need-to-get-rid-of-for-a-better-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-one-word-you-need-to-get-rid-of-for-a-better-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-talking-176558909-small.jpg" alt="businesswoman talking" title="businesswoman talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you want to start living a better life today? I mean, right this very moment?</p> <p>Then stop saying &quot;<em>should</em>.&quot; That's it.</p> <p>Don't just stop saying it out loud, but stop repeating it in your thoughts, too. Don't tell yourself what you should be doing instead of what you're actually doing or what you should have done in the past. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-doing-less-helps-you-get-more-done?ref=seealso">How Doing Less Helps You Get More Done</a>)</p> <p>If you do this, your life will improve faster than you'd have thought possible.</p> <p>This isn't a trick or a gimmick, and it's actually harder than it might seem to change the way you talk to yourself and to others. But it's based on research and on the experience of people who have changed their language and, in the process, changed their lives.</p> <h2>How We Speak Shapes How We Think</h2> <p>The words that we use every day play a powerful role in determining how we think. Words and the images they portray shape how our minds deal with everything from emotions to abstract concepts.</p> <p>For instance, different cultures have different ways of thinking about time. Most cultures discuss time as something that passes, either right-to-left or left-to-right, or back-to-front. However, there's an aboriginal culture in Australia that ties the <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/11/1635.abstract">passage of time to movement from east to west</a>. This gives people in that culture quite a different understanding of time, as well as of direction.</p> <p>Language also shapes how we remember. English tends to use an active, agented voice more than Spanish does. If both an English speaker and a Spanish speaker view a car accident, the English speaker is more likely to think, &quot;The blue car hit the red car,&quot; while the Spanish speaker will often think something like, &quot;The cars hit each other,&quot; or &quot;The cars hit themselves.&quot; This difference in language means that <a href="http://psych.stanford.edu/~lera/papers/who-dunnit.pdf">English speakers often remember WHO</a> did something (especially something bad) more often than Spanish speakers.</p> <p>If <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/12/30/258376009/how-language-seems-to-shape-ones-view-of-the-world">words are so formative</a> for the human mind that they shape the concepts we can and cannot grasp and shape our memories, it seems to follow that they would have power in our daily lives, as well. Some people go as far as to say that &quot;the <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121026164951-101706366-change-your-words-change-your-life-the-simplest-tool-i-know-for-immediately-transforming-the-quality-of-your-life">words we attach to our experience</a> become our experience.&quot; If we choose to describe a negative experience with intense words like &quot;horrible&quot; or &quot;furious,&quot; we will feel more negative than we would if we use words like &quot;annoyed.&quot;</p> <p>It makes sense, then, to do our best to get rid of the words that are making us miserable and replace them with ones that will make us feel better.</p> <p>And &quot;should&quot; is one of the worst offenders.</p> <h2>What's Wrong With &quot;Should&quot;</h2> <p>There are several key problems with &quot;should,&quot; and they all have to do with the way it shapes our thinking in negative ways.</p> <h3>Should Is Indecisive</h3> <p>&quot;Should&quot; is, inherently, <a href="http://www.theminimalists.com/deciding/">a word of procrastination</a>. How many times have you said something like, &quot;I should go exercise&hellip;&quot; and then ended up sitting on the couch watching TV instead? A should is more like a wish than an action, and so we often don't actually DO the things we think we should do.</p> <h3>Should Is Negative</h3> <p>When we say that someone should do something, we are implying that they are not currently doing it. There's almost always an unspoken end to sentences that include &quot;should.&quot; Think about it: &quot;I should eat more vegetables&quot; can almost always be followed by &quot;&hellip;but I won't.&quot;</p> <h3>Should Denies Reality</h3> <p>When we say that we should do something, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hannah-braime/stop-saying-the-word-should_b_4790797.html">we aren't accepting the current reality</a>, in which we aren't doing whatever it is. <a href="http://tinybuddha.com/blog/the-power-of-acceptance-stop-resisting-and-find-the-lesson/">Accepting reality, however, seems to be a key to happiness</a>. Even if the reality isn't what we want it to be, accepting it is the first step to real change (as opposed to simply <em>wishing</em> it was different).</p> <p>If saying &quot;should&quot; forms our minds in these negative ways, it's no wonder we're unhappy when we say it a lot. But what else can we do? What works better than &quot;should?&quot;</p> <h2>Replacing &quot;Should&quot;</h2> <p>Follow these steps to eliminate &quot;should&quot; from your vocabulary.</p> <h3>1. Notice Where &quot;Should&quot; Pops Up</h3> <p>Take some time to pay attention the to the ways you think and speak, so you can see when and where you are most likely to say &quot;should.&quot; While it's a pervasive word in our culture, some people find that they are more likely to use it when they are tired, upset, or in stressful situations. Knowing when you use &quot;should&quot; will help you pinpoint exactly what needs to change.</p> <h3>2. Choose Replacement Words</h3> <p>Depending on the situations where you use &quot;should,&quot; there are a lot of options for replacing it. You might replace &quot;should&quot; with &quot;could&quot; or &quot;get to&quot; &mdash; thus, &quot;I should exercise&quot; becomes &quot;I could exercise&quot; or &quot;I get to exercise.&quot; If you use &quot;should&quot; a lot when discussing the past, maybe you need to come right out and say, &quot;I regret that,&quot; rather than &quot;I shouldn't have done it.&quot;</p> <h3>3. Find a Reward</h3> <p>When you want to change a behavior, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-change-your-habits-and-your-life">coming up with a reward is key</a>. Feeling happier is definitely a reward in and of itself, but it may help you to choose something tangible, like a small edible treat or a couple minutes with a good book, that you can give yourself every time you successfully catch yourself and replace your &quot;should.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Give Yourself Time</h3> <p>It takes <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits">about a month</a> to replace an old habit with a new one, and you won't be successful every single time. Since thinking in terms of shoulds is something that we often do unconsciously, changing this habit might take even longer than changing other habits, like making your own lunch or exercising. First, begin to notice your shoulds, then figure out the best way to replace them, and finally, let that habit become as ingrained as &quot;should&quot; once was.</p> <p>As always, changing a habit is hard work. In this case, you stand to feel more positive, more decisive, and more accepting of yourself as you actually are. These benefits outweigh the amount of work you'll have to put into it to make the change.</p> <p><em>When do you find yourself saying &quot;should?&quot; What do you want to replace it with? You should share with us in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-word-you-need-to-get-rid-of-for-a-better-life" class="sharethis-link" title="The One Word You Need to Get Rid of for a Better Life" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development goals habits should words Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1157887 at http://www.wisebread.com