How much to save to prepare for an emergency

Emergency funds can really save the day when you’ll need it. It can be tough however to know how much to keep saved. According to a popular rule of thumb, you should aim for between three and six months’ worth of expenses. But in some circumstances, you may want to save up to 12 months’ of living expenses. Here is how to determine how much you need.

How much money I need for an emergency ?

To determine that, we need to take into account the likelihood of an emergency. For example, what are the chances of your car break down next month? If your roof starts leaking, will you have to pay to fix it? Can you be fired of your job and stay jobless for quite some time?

The rule of thumb

A good rule of thumb to give yourself a solid financial cushion is to have at least three months essential outgoings available in an instant access savings account. For example, if you lose your job, it’ll give you three months breathing space.

So, if you spend 1,000EUR a month on mortgage or rent, food, heating bills and other things you can’t live without, you might aim for 3,000EUR in emergency savings.

But this rule must be changed and adapted to your personal life. Here are some examples:

Your situation is stable: 3 months+

Saving three to four months’ worth of expenses might be enough if:

  • You’re healthy
  • You don’t have much debt
  • You live in a low cost-of-living area
  • You rent and your car (if you have one) is reliable
  • Your job is “safe” and pay regularly
  • You could easily find a job if you lose your current one
  • You don’t have kids or dependents (including furry ones) relying on your income
  • Your job is very stable
  • You have a partner or other family you can rely on for financial assistance

Your situation is stable, but can change rapidly: 6 months+

  • You live in a high cost-of-living area and can’t move
  • It’d be hard for you to find a job if you lose your current one
  • You own your own home (especially if you have an older home)
  • Your rent take a good chunk of your income
  • Your job isn’t very stable or irregularly paying (you’re a seasonal worker, gig worker, or an artist)
  • You have children, a stay-at-home spouse, pets, and/or other dependents you have to support
  • You have a medical condition, or do high-risk activities
  • You lack a financial support network

Your situation is instable: more than a year

  • You have a high income, and high expenses you can’t cut fast enough
  • You have a niche position or specialized job that might require relocation or take extra time to replace
  • You are the sole provider to multiple dependents
  • You are retired or are nearing retirement
  • Your job is on the line
  • You don’t have any insurance

Of courses these are not absolute figures, and you’ll have to adapt to your very own situation and lifestyle, but I hope now you get the idea.

These figures may seems high, but don’t worry, there is a way to build up your emergency fund almost effortlessly. Keep reading and build your emergency fund now, before that decision hit you back at the worst time possible.

How to build up your fund

Now that you know how much you need, let’s soon how you can put it aside. While it’s a good idea to set up your emergency fund as soon as possible, it’s best to keep to what you can afford and try to save regularly. If you try to save that much of money at once, you’ll probably fail and bail out of that idea.

What you need to do instead, is to develop an habit of saving regularly, and saving BEFORE doing any spending. Saving smaller, regular amounts is often more effective than saving larger amounts now and again. This is because you get into the savings habit, and you’re not overcommitting too much money. It also lets you budget your spending from week to week or month to month more effectively.

To stay motivated in the long run, remember that every bit you save can make a huge difference. You can also try visualising your end goal. Whether you’re preparing yourself against a car breakdown or replacing an expensive item like the cooker or washing machine, it will help you keep focused and on track as well. Keeping track with a chart up on the wall might help !

Remember, the sooner you start, the easier it’ll be ! As I like to say, the best day to start was 10 years ago, but the second-best day to start is just today.

How to rest without feeling guilty

When working, especially working on yourself or for your own company, it’s quite common to actually feel guilty during resting times. Let’s see in today’s article how to take a break without feeling guilty.

If you are reading this blog since quite some time, you are probably quite keen on that sort of guilt and see what I mean. But for newcomers, imagine yourself having a full list of things to do and anyway taking some rest after working all day long. Did you never felt guilty for doing that? Are you sure? I can bet you see now what I mean !

First, feeling this sort of guilt is normal. Your mind is trying to adapt from a task focused approach, where doing things equals getting somewhere, to a rest focused approach, where you’ll get there by actually doing nothing! This is especially true if you have a lot of side hustles in your life, as your mind will try to always keep an ever-growing list of things to do in a corner of your mind.

This lead to fatigue and a depressing situation in our everyday life. Just like our phones or computers, our mind and body have some sort of battery life as well. When working, even working on things you are passionate about, this battery get drained. Periodically, you’ll need to rest and relax to fill it up again.

For example, let’s say you have pulled all-nighter shifts through the whole 2020-2021 pandemic. 2022 may be a good time to find a healthier pace for your daily life. Maybe you could plan a small trip to the beach each morning to take a break and relax.

Illustration courtesy of The Woke Salaryman

That’s when it’ll hit you the hardest: the fear of being complacent. You suddenly feel the guilt of not doing anything for your life or your work, not doing anything for your goals. You suddenly feel like all this time is wasted for nothing !

But you shouldn’t let that feeling go a long way, as it’s a loose lose situation: you effectively didn’t achieve anything, but you didn’t rest either. Your battery hasn’t filled up at all, and now you’ll feel both exhausted and depressed, but also guilty of spending all this time for nothing. Don’t blame yourself either for feeling guilty. It’s not actually your fault. Our world nowadays is 100% oriented toward productivity, hard numbers for growth and performance. That’s a thing with our generation ! If you arn’t careful, even hobbies will tend to be seen from the productivity and performance mindset.

So, I’ll write this both as a reminder for your reading this, but also for myself: You are not the problem, and the solution is simple !

  • Remember what you are working for.
  • Zoom out, check if you are where you want to be, and treat yourself fairly.
  • Take a break and make sure to actually enjoy it.
  • Don’t abuse yourself, as work can set you free, but can also enslave you.
  • Time used for yourself is time well spent.

And finally if I can leave you with just one last sentence that will stay on your mind: sometimes, it’s okay to just do nothing.

How to cope with losing money while trading

Trading is a probability game. It’s different from gambling because the actual probability shifts with outside conditions, but also with your own knowledge of the market you are trading in. However, just like with gambling, there will always be times when you will lose money, no matter how much you study and plan for the worst. In fact, trading can even make you lose a lot of money quickly. This sense of loosing can make you quit trading, pull back your investment, eat your loss and never try your luck at it together.

If you came here, the harm is probably already done and your trading account i already well in the red. However, here are some things you should ABSOLUTELY do before taking any further action.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this website is published for entertainment purposes, and does not constitute or be used as financial advice. As all information you can read on the internet, it’s up to you to do your own due diligence regarding tools, actual rules and techniques and decide what you can use and how you can use it.

Take some time to relax before taking action

It’s easy to get overwhelm when getting lot and lots of big red numbers on your trading screen. However, keep in mind that all these losses aren’t real losses until you sell the underlying asset. If you bought a stock of any given company, even if that stock loose 90% of its value overnight, keep in mind that you still own part of the company, and that company will continue to work for you by producing value for its customer !

So with that in mind, your best course of action is probably to just do nothing. If you do not to sell anything at all, you’ll still be invested in a company that will produce value and will have a chance to bounce back in the future.

Take for example the 2020 Covid-19 market crash:

If you bought almost any stock during the whole 2019 year, you’ll have had all your profit wiped during the first 15 days of march 2020. This is a complete market crash. You’ll even had lost quite a bit of money of your initial investment! If you panic sold at the worst time, you’ll have lost all of that money, forever. Poof just like that It’ll be gone. That why taking any action in panic is the worst thing you can do right now!

To understand why, let’s fast-forward 12 months:

Guess what! The market recovered, and even almost doubled since covid 2020 crash. That is, if you just done nothing, held the stock through the whole storm instead of panic selling, you’d have made all your loss back, but also doubled your investment on top of that ! Quite a nice gift for some patience right?

That’s why panic selling is the worth thing you can do especially in case of a market wide crash ! If you trusted any company to generate value with your money in the past, you can probably trust it to continue generating value in the future.

What was your plan? Stick to it!

Before trading any stock, you have to do your own research. You have to build confidence in that company values, assets, and direction. If you had confidence before that the company will generate profits in the future, then does the current crash change that vision? Does the current fear have changed something so drastically that the company will be unable to survive and produce value in the future? Most of the time, fundamentals don’t change as drastically as the stock market make you think it does.

With that mindset, you can be more cold headed and see the real value behind the market value ! With that in mind and as long as you trust a company long term, then if a stock goes up, then great, your conviction was right, but if the stock dips, then great too, as you can buy more at a cheaper price. As long as your confidence was well-placed and realize itself, you can’t lose money long term in the stock market with that way of thinking !

Best trading broker for France

So, you are new or quite used to investing, and just started your new life in France, let’s dig up all brokers available in France for continuing your trading journey. Let’s also talk about french fiscal oddities and how you can save money by using the right french fiscal rules at the right time.

Disclaimer: As a french, I personnaly used most of the tools I’ll describe in this article. However it’s also possible I haven’t had time to test the extensively, or havn’t had the possibility to try all of them altogether. It’s also possible these brokers have done an update or changed their rules and this article will not reflect that. As I’m always open for remarks and correction and I’ll try to keep this information as accurate as possible, however please keep in mind that this website is published for entertainment purposes, and does not constitute or be used as finantial advice. As all information you can read on the internet, it’s up to you to do your own due diligence regarding tools, actual rules and techniques and decide what you can use and how you can use it.

Also please note that I don’t provide a link to the brokers. I don’t get any comission if you subscribe to any of these so I don’t have any incentive to make you to do anything. This article are only my opinion and should only be taken as such.

What make a good broker?

This is usually the first step when starting an investing journey, and it’s also at the same time both the most important and the least prepared for. That’s why lot of new wannabe investors get lost in all the options given to them, and just give up their goal altogether.

Let’s start by defining what make a great broker for stock trading and see if it fits for you trading strategy. Let’s also check out which fiscal advantages and penalities your broker can offer you.

As you will see later on, each broker can fit into some trading styles and strategies but wont fit for other. I’ll let you check out my article on how to choose your trading strategy or at least know which one exist and which ones arn’t fit for you.

So to my man point: What make a good broker? Well, for me it’s a broker that’ll:

  • Execute my trades accurately and in a timely manner
  • Hold my funds
  • Give me accurate numbers on the orders I am going to pass
  • Don’t have exaggerated fees and limitations
  • Provide fiscal advantages over my situation

Fiscal advantages

As a French citizen you probably have to pay taxes. As of 2022, taxes are about 30% of your trading income. That can get to a pretty number at the end of the year so every rebate you can have is always good to use.

France is a country member of the European Union (EU), and in europe there exist a taxe incentive to invest in european values. In france this advantage take the form of a special trading account called Plan d’Epargne en Actions (PEA), litterally share saving plans in account. The idea of that whole account is that you pay taxes only when you withdraw (instead of on individual trades) and you get a substantial (around 15%) rebate if you wait 5 years for the first withdraw.

These type of accoun are incredibly popular accross french investors as if you don’t plan to use money for other things for a 5 year period, then you get a pretty nice taxe deduction along with a simple unique number to declare. However, this type of account have limitations: you can credit that account only up to 150 000€, trade only EU values and stocks (almost every stock and ETF that have an official valuation in euros) and if you withdraw before 5 years you have to close all the transactions, close the whole account and pay income taxes on the full amount.

PDT rule in France

Most starting traders in the US face problems with the PDT rule. This rule prevent you from doing more that 5 day-trades in a 4 days window if your account is below 25k USD. I’ll not go into a rant about how this rule doesn’t protect in any way retail traders and why it’s just an useless rule that add just more hoops to jump through as an aspiring trader.

So here is a good news for you. The whole European Union doesn’t have such a rule. So you can day trade or pattern trade as long as you want and with as many money as you want in your account !

PEA brokers

As sayd earlier, a PEA is a fiscal advantageous account type that provide taxes deductions when held more than 5 years and have the benefit of beign automatically transmitted to your fiscal report. As a very regulated account, most EU brokers doesn’t offer this type of account. However, traditionnal banks offer them. Also, please note that PEA broker will keep your cash in euros, and provide only values with a quotation in euros.

I’ll just present two PEA providers that I have personnaly tested:

Bourse-Direct Review

Order prices are inexpensive at Bourse Direct. Both for European stock exchanges such as Euronext Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam as well as for orders abroad. The only disadvantage of ourse Direct on this side is the custody fee of 0.036% per annum while none of their competitors charge these fees. There is also a fee for withdrawing funds, and the interface doesn’t really differenciate stocks available for use inside a PEA and thoses which arn’t available.

I’ve already had problem with transfers taking a long long time to clear with them. Usually a simple message to the support make the problem go away instantly. This is a good point as their support staff is very responsive and have a quick reaction. However it make it seem like the whole process is very “handmade” and thus, error prone.

Fortuneo Review

In addition to providing stock brokerage services, Fortuneo has the advantage of being a bank. If you really don’t want to separate the two, or if you think withdrawals are important and need to be done quickly, Fortuneo may be a good choice even though overall they are more expensive. Fortuneo offers an offer with 0 brokerage fees but a pity only for securities accounts and with an outstanding amount of € 50,000. No withdrawal fees like at Bourse Direct which charges € 6 per withdrawal. Again, this is to be decided according to the use that you will have of it.

The interface of Fortuneo seems a little nicer than that of Bourse Direct and I have never had any feedback about transfers arriving late or to the wrong account. Also their phone support both for the bank part and the trading part is both quick and understanding, and has already provided me with very valuable information.

The only drawback is that the account creation is quite ong if you arn’t already a client. In fact it can take up to 3 weeks to clear. In my case as I was already one of their client, the whole process went through in one week, including me providing some missing documents.

Standard Account brokers

Standard account brokers are unregulated internationnal ones. Usually these account arn’t eligible for any taxes rebate as they operate unregulated and offer all the possibilities of the worldwide market. Your income on these brokers will be subject to the will 30% taxes fee on profits. Please also note that most of these brokers operate internationnaly and will keep your cash in USD. This will incurr a currency exchange fee each and every time you add or withdraw funds from your trading account !

Both fortuneo and Bourse-direct provide internationnal account, however their prices arn’t competitve with standard internationnal accounts.

Etoro Review

Etoro is an internationnal broker based in Cyprus. It operate following the rules of the CySEC, the cyprus equivalent of the US SEC which are a little different. This is, by far, one of the most begginner friendly broker I have ever seen. The interface is quite user friendly and most indicators are outright available directly in the web browser. Just make sure to have a somewhat beefy computer if you want to play with multiple charts and indicators just to make sure your web browser dont hang on you at the worst time. The mobile application on the other hand is quite slow and sluggish, and albeit it has received a much appreciated overhaul these last months, I still find it quit slow to swap between views and stocks graphs. Clearly this broker is perfect for slow strategies like swing trading but not for day trading as you’ll always find the quick 5 seconds delay too much for your nerves.

Find one that fit your trading style

Just like any worker who need the right tool for the job, your trading career need the right broker for your job. Please test some and don’t stay locked into the first. If you are a beginner it’s the only wait to grasp what you’ll want your broker to have and what you’ll find useless. Find one that support your trading style and that wont let you down when it matter the most. Also please consider don’t putting all your eggs into only one basket as a technical problem can always happen to even the best of them !

Stay on the edge and happy trading !

Money Actually Can Buy Happiness

There is an very old saying that tells us that money can’t buy happiness. But in fact, serious studies of the question all come to the conclusion that happiness is directly correlated with earned money up to some point.

More than 10 years ago, some researchers suggested that money can buy happiness. They settled on an approximate earning of $75,000 a year. A complicated and nuanced study by Nobel Prize winning economists explained that the more money earned, the more happiness was perceived. However, that effect tended to plateau around $75,000 a year. Anymore and sadness increased.

The research also made it clear that earning more didn’t add to a sense of well-being. And that well-being was some sort of precondition to this correlation between money and happiness. In other terms, one must find his way of life before earning more money to accomplish this way of life.

The obvious appeal of the idea is that money can buy happiness in the sense that it can provide for basic necessities and stability, but not much beyond that. This means that multi-billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are much richer, but not much happier than the rest of us.

The only problem with this idea is that it may be totally wrong, and that we’d all obviously be much happier if we had millions of dollars. A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that the correlation goes upward of the $75,000, although with diminishing returns for every dollar earned more.

The study, titled Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year, doesn’t mince words. There was no evidence of an income threshold at which experienced and evaluative well-being diverged. This suggests that higher incomes are associated with both feeling better day-to-day and being more satisfied with life overall.

There was no evidence of an income threshold at which experienced and evaluative well-being diverged. This suggest that higher incomes are associated with both feeling better day-to-day and being more satisfied with life overall.

Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year

This new study is from Matt Killingsworth, a senior fellow at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. This study is based on 1,725,994 samples pulled from 33,391 employed adults in the United States. The sampling process was done using the app Track Your Happiness. Basically, this app ping people randomly during their daily life, and ask questions about their happiness and current well-being. This ensures that data can be then aggregated to give a quite good idea of happiness levels for the whole months or even the whole year! The study then just correlated this data with income levels to establish a relation.

Money can’t buy happiness, but can make you earn it!

I have to stress that money isn’t everything. The pursuit of wealth itself isn’t a means to happiness, and will instead lead to an empty and boring life. Wealth is just a small variance. There are plenty of other things that are equally, if not more important for our own happiness. It’s possible to earn not that much and still be quite happy. What matters after all isn’t how much money you make, but how you use it and what are your drives in life! Money can’t give a meaning to your life, but you can just by yourself.

Feeling Lonely Quotes

By birth we humans are social beings and we always want someone to be with us. We have thousands of friends in our social network, but in reality friends you can really count on are very rare. Loneliness is a very depressing situation and there are many quotes about being lonely. So, let us see some of these feeling lonely quotes in this article.

“In life, you cannot always be strong. Sometimes you just need to be lonely, to cry out your fears and worries. At other times, it helps just to let be what you cannot change.”

There is no point in putting up a strong face when you are hurt. Sometimes, it is a good idea to be alone and let ourselves out.

“There are two ways I deal with loneliness. One, I look at the stars. Unlike people, the stars are always there for me. Two, I close my eyes for a while and focus on the people I love. They always make me feel I am not alone.”

The best way to deal with loneliness is to think about your loved one. You can also gaze at stars and wonder how small our feelings are compared to this beautiful universe.

“We need solitude. Because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.”

Loneliness helps us to hear our own thoughts and also helps in understanding ourselves.

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”

When you understand yourself, you understand the world. So, sometimes it is best to be alone.

“I am stronger than depression and I am braver than loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.”

You have to understand that you are stronger than any circumstances, you can win any situation and nothing can ever destroy you.

“The hardest walk is walking alone, but it’s also the walk that makes you the strongest”

Walking alone makes you stronger and gives you a clear path to success.

“To find peace, sometimes you have to be willing to lose the connection with the people, places, and things that create all the noise in your life.”

Being alone can give you a different perception to life and gives you a peaceful mindset. Sometimes it is a necessity to be alone to take important decisions in your life.

“The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.”

If you want to be successful in your goals, you have to embrace loneliness and being alone sets you apart from the flocks of sheep.

“Sometimes it is necessary to be lonely in order to prove that you are right.”

It is always harder to make right decisions and sometimes it becomes a necessity to accept loneliness when you make one.

“Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.”

When you are aware about the hardships faced by people who strive for truth, then being alone does not affect you.

“The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which makes you lonely.”

Loneliness can make you skillful in your professional life and can make you exceptional wherever you are.

“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.”

Being alone make your perception to life much more appealing and enables you to appreciate even small things in life like sunsets and smell of night air.

Conclusion

Although being alone is one of the hardest thing to experience in our life, from the above quotes we can see that there are also many positives of being alone. I hope these feeling lonely quotes will help you overcome this loneliness and use it to your advantage !

Boyfriend Quotes to Spice Up Your Love

Is your love reaching that mundane point where your boyfriend is losing interest on you day by day? The below quotes can help you revive up the feelings within your boyfriend to spice up your love. Quotes can convey deeper messages within few sentences, so these quotes can be of great help to make your love stronger.

Good morning my love, our two souls aflame, with my man I feel two hearts beat the same. 

When you are with your boyfriend your heart beats synchronize with each other and you tend to be nearer together.

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. 

Your love is based on the fact that you are  a better person, when you are with your boyfriend.

It’s been said that you only truly fall in love once, but I don’t believe it. Every time I see you, I fall in love all over again!

Every time you see your boyfriend, your love tends to grow stronger. It is like falling in love again and again, there is no end to this feeling.

Before I met you I never knew what it was like to look at someone and smile for no reason.

When you are in love you tend to do strange things like smiling for no reason and being happy without any cause. These emotions can be experienced only by people who fallen in love.

I love you a lot and what i have accomplished till day is just because of your love.

Whatever you are right now is because of your boyfriend. He is your major motivational factor in achieving great things in your life.

I feel like you’re so much more than just my boyfriend. You’re the one person I need to talk to when I’ve had a bad day, the one person I can rely on not to judge me. You’re my rock, my sweetheart, my best friend. To call you just my boyfriend, would hardly give you justice.

Your boyfriend’s role in your life is more than you think, he is also your best friend and your rock-solid support.

After all this time, you’re still incredible. I feel so lucky to have you in my life.

Time cannot fade your love, even after long time of being together you still feel the same like the first time.

Sometimes your nearness takes my breath away; and all the things I want to say can find no voice. Then, in silence, I can only hope my eyes will speak my heart. 

When you are deep in love words are not necessary to convey your thoughts. 

Sometimes I look at my boyfriend and think… Damn, he is one lucky man.

Your boyfriend is too lucky to have you in his life.

I choose you. And I’ll choose you over and over and over. Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you.

There is no second thoughts when it comes to falling in love with your boyfriend again.

Let’s cuddle, so I can steal your body heat

Yearning for your boyfriend’s warmth within his arms.

You have made my heart brighter than the brightest candle. Thank you for being in my heart and completing me.

Your boyfriend has made your life much happier and you would love to show that gratitude to him.

Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite.

Your love story is the best story ever and is always your favorite.

This is a saying that this type of love is only once in life. And I say for me that one is you. My today and tomorrow is all for you. Love you from the depth of my heart and soul.

This quote expresses the strength of love you have for your boyfriend, your love never fades and deep within your soul.

I know that God has opted some special person for me, I have no need to search him because I have found him. I love you and will continuously do.

Your boyfriend is the best gift the god has ever given to you and you cherish holding it dear to your life.

The above boyfriend quotes can be used to express your unconditional love to your boyfriend. Using these quotes in your life can help you to express your love and make your bond stronger.

Best Sad Quotes That Will Make You Cry

We always love for happiness in our lives and most of the time we forget the value of being sad. Sadness gives us the reality of being alive and helps us decipher someones pain from their shoes. There is even the Pixar movie “Inside out” that deal with the subject of sadness and how it make us feel better and overcome life’s challenges. So let us see some of the best sad quotes that can bring out our inner feelings and can possibly make us cry.

“It’ sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.”

The above quote reminds us that nothing is permanent in our world and many a times the people we loved with our heart could become just a memory.

“Sometimes you’ve got to be able to listen to yourself and be okay with no one else understanding.”

We can understand from the above quote that not many people would understand our thoughts and most of the time we should travel alone.

“Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.”

It is always best to release the burden from our heart and the best way to do that would be to cry out loud.

“The prettiest smiles hide the deepest secrets. The prettiest eyes have cried the most tears. And the kindest hearts have felt the most pain.”

It is not always true of what we see, sometimes the most depressed are the own who wear the smiling mask.

“We all create fictions to hide our pain”

Day dreams can give us just a momentary happiness and we all do that to escape from our pain.

“Crying alone does not show that you are weak but it shows that you are strong.”

Our general perception is that crying is for the weak and people who are strong don’t cry. But the reality is completely the opposite.

“Just because someone desires you, doesn’t mean they value you.”

Most of the times, people you choose don’t value your character.

“There is one pain, I often feel, which you will never know. It’s caused by the absence of you.”

This quote tries to explain the situation when someone leaves us and doesn’t understand the level of pain we feel.

“It’s terrible to lose someone we love, but it’s even worse to lose ourselves while loving them”

This is one of the worst feeling and it becomes pretty hard to get back to our senses once we lose ourselves.

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”

Bottling up pain within ourselves would make the pain larger than it was initially. It is always better to cry out loud when we feel pain.

“Time can’t heal your emotional pain if you don’t learn how to let go.”

We might think that we will become all-right as time goes by, but the reality is we have to let go of the thoughts that keeps us depressed.

“The invisible wounds are more dangerous than the bleeding wounds.”

The wounds that are caused within ourselves is more dangerous than the outer wounds that just bleeds.

“Tears are words the mouth can’t say nor can the heart bear.”

Tears are let out when our heart is unable to cope with the pain.

“Absence from whom we love is worse than death, and frustrates hope severer than despair.”

The level of pain we incur from being far from the person we love is worse than death.

“When you feel like you’ve had it up to here, and you’re mad enough to scream, but you’re sad enough to tear, that’s rock bottom.”

This quote perfectly explains the lowest point in one’s life, at this point the emotions are way out of control.

“So sick of pretending that everything is all right because it’s not.”

This is a situation that we can all relate to, it is always hard to pretend to be happy when we are actually depressed. Sometimes it’s best to not even try to pretend, but let it flow out.

“So it’s true when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.”

Most of the time love comes at a price and that price is grief.

“It’s amazing how someone can break your heart and you can still love them with all the little pieces.”

The reality is it is harder to hate someone you love even when they hate you.

So, from the above sad quotes we can see that we should recognize the sadness we feel in our hearts.

We all have inner feelings that we have to let out in some form. That’s perfectly normal and even healthy. You have to share these feelings with someone you can trust. Letting the pressure out is extremely important and you shouldn’t feel bad about letting sadness come out.

Best Good Morning Messages for Friend

Our Life is sweeter and happier when surrounded by good friends. But many times it becomes hard to find the right message to send to your friend in the morning. Here is a list of best good morning messages for your friend.

Happy Good Morning My friend. I hope you have an amazing day. May your worries and fears be non-existent. May People see how amazing you are. GOOD MORNING

Expressing to your friend that there is not need to fear for the thing that is not going to happen.

Don’t give up. There are too many nay-sawyers out there who will try to discourage you. Don’t listen to them. The only one who can make you give up is yourself. Good Morning!

You should not give heed to naysayer and you should strive for your success with your best effort.

You can’t achieve the profound things by sitting on your couch. Brace yourself, set goals, and have a superb good morning!

Sitting idle is not the answer to become successful in life, for that to happen you have to take action and achieve your goals.

I wish you sunshine and rainbows. Birds that sing and hope that soar. May all your wishes and dreams come true and happiness fill your heart. Good Morning!

Wishing your friend the best day with good luck in a morning message will brighten his day !

You are my light in a dark night. You are my sunshine every morning. I wish you pass good a day and get all the success that’s you want. Good Morning!

Expressing to your friend that he is a major part in your life and you also wish him to succeed in his goals each day.

Good morning! I hope that your day will be fine and you will not get stuck in traffic like yesterday.

This message is more in the jovial type where a little bit of banter can lighten up the mood of your friend.

Each day brings new opportunities, those who start their day early, grab them before others. Good Morning!

Motivates your friend to not to miss the opportunities and to act with full energy.

Your dreams are now real, something you see with open eyes in the full light so wake up because you have a lot to achieve and a lot more to dream. Good morning!

With this message you can wish your friend to wake up from his dream and to achieve success by following his goals.

A very good morning to you may this day bring a healthy light upon you and you are energized to stay positive for the whole day. Smile the day has just started!

This message helps your friend to keep a positive face the whole day.

Well, who needs a sunrise when I have you by my side. You are the sunrise I would always want to wake up by seeing you. Good morning!

This message showcases the bonding you have with your friend and that you are very much looking forward to meet your friend each morning. Mutual care in friendships are a really important bond.

Good Morning! Today is the future that we worried about yesterday. See, it’s not so bad. Here’s to a happy day.

This message wishes your friend a happy in a plain and simple manner.

Good Morning! Every day, you are given a choice. You can either become a better version of yourself, and do something that will make yourself and your life better, or you do nothing, stay still, not evolve, not become better, but I have to remind you, that being average, being the same as you were yesterday, will eventually start a downward spiral. So come on. What will it be?

This message is more of an advice to your friend to instill the reality of life. This helps your friend to make the right choice to succeed in life.

Welcome to a new day! Grab it, relish it, and enjoy it. 

Wishing your friend a new day in a simple way is also a good way to brighten his day !

Conclusion

The above good morning messages can help your friend to get motivated each day to achieve in life. These messages also strengthen your bond with your friend.

How to Define Success, what is it and how to get it?

Success is often a term which we hear on day-to-day basis and it is also one which every human strives for. But, is there a common definition for success? 

Definition of success is different for different people and there are many reasons for it. Let us see in this article about the term success in an objective and as well as in a subjective manner.

Success Definition

To understand more about the term success, we have to first understand whether it can be viewed by different people through a single lens:

The need for success is different for different people and it is based on the following needs.

  1. Eat food to be healthy.
  2. Home for shelter.
  3. Love from our own family.
  4. Clothes to get recognized and socially secure.
  5. Proper mental health to go through the nuances of this world.
  6. A work we love and have passion for.

Success is viewed in a different way by people with different needs. For many people living day-to-day lives by satisfying all the above needs is itself a success.  

Role of Money in Success

Money can solve almost all needs, other than love and health. So money is very important to lead successful life.

Money is actually a good thing and it gives you freedom of choice in things you want. Money also helps in maintaining a healthy life. 

So can we say if we have accumulated wealth then we are successful. No, that cannot be said.

But, we can surely say that there is no way to lead a successful life without money.

Difference between Greed vs Contentment

We should also make sure that our needs are limited and achievable. So, that there is high probability of being successful in what we want.

But, we should also make sure that we should not be content and lose the point of living. We should strive for a balance between contentment and greed to keep us motivated.

Sharing is caring

We all think that sharing helps the other person who is receiving the thing. But in my experience sharing helps the giver more than the receiver. 

If we have a chance to make change to other life in a positive way then we should take it. Sharing gives peace to our mind and gives unconditional love to our heart. These two things are mandatory to lead a successful life.

Conclusion

So by reading my above viewpoint on success you might have come to an understanding on what I am really trying to explain here.

Success is nothing to lead a happy life till our death, but it is practically not possible if we are adamant about all our needs.

So to have a successful life we have to compromise on some of our needs that cannot be achieved. We have to focus on the ones we have and the ones which we can achieve.

When is the right time to start (and how to get started!)

Whenever we are faced with a difficult task to complete, we always try to postpone it to later. Postponing the task gives us a temporary relief from doing the task, but we always forget that it’ll only get harder and harder to start the task later. And I’m not even talking about the stress of being late! So, let’s discuss in detail on how to overcome this habit, complete our work, and finally how to get started!

Waiting for the Right Time

We always think that we have unlimited time to do our work. In our brain, there is even a false idea that if it’s doesn’t need to be done right now, it doesn’t need to be done at all. This is because, in general, our brain tends to favor instant gratification (not doing the task) over longer term gratification (the task is done correctly).

So instinctively, we tend to wait for the right time to start. It’s a way of removing the painfull idea that it’s our own fault if the task isn’t going to be done. That way, we are just left with the idea that we don’t have to do it at all and are happy with it.

In the short term, I have to agree that we can be happy not doing anything. In fact it’s important to have times where we don’t do anything. However, if not done responsibly, this can lead to serious issues in our life. Issues that will lead to depression, stress and anxiety. We can even stress so much that we will not even enjoy anymore the time were we arn’t doing anything.

So, before this get out of hand, we better start right away right?

Waiting for the right time is just and excuse. There will almost never be a perfect right time for anything. And even if this perfect time exists, you’ll probably miss it or recognize it once it’s too late. Do you really want to take the risk of waiting for something that will probably never happen? Only to miss it? Is your long term happyness and goals that unimportant that you are ready to bet them on just timing?

Do you really want to take the risk of waiting for something that will probably never happen? Only to miss it?

So we should not waste our valuable time by procrastinating the work. Instead, we should start the work instantly and go with the flow. Remember that getting started is the most difficult stage. Once you are over that stage, you can let the flow guide you. You can even envoy the jouney. And most importantly, you’ll feel refreshed that you finally have DONE the most difficult thing: get started!

Once you got that idea that getting started is a good thing, then you have done 90% of the work! Congratulation!

Continue reading this article, and I’ll propose you some techniques that will help you cover the remaining 10% and start your journey to your better life.

How to get started

The 2-minute Rule

This is a good trick to overcome your procrastination, once you get used to 2-minute rule then you can accomplish any task with ease and at the right time. This is basically tricking your mind by making incremental improvements in your task.

You just have to, in your mind, break down your task into smaller tasks and start doing it for just 2 minutes.

For example, you are planning to write a novel. This is overwhelming! Let’s imagine your task for today is to write a sentence. You can just start that for 2 minutes. And here we go, you wrote that sentence, your brain take that as an instant gratification, and now you can work on your next task: writing a second sentence. And before you’ll know it, you’ll be at the 100th page of your brand new novel !

Once you are accustomed to this practice, you can also increase this 2 minutes to 5 minutes or the time you are comfortable with. Start with simple task, even if they doesn’t mean something. All you need is to start!

Productivity Apps

You can also use productivity and task management apps which are available all over the internet to help you with your tasks. Using an app can also help you with tracking your progress in the completion of the task. We also recommend taking a look at our Best productivity apps for 2021!

Writing down tasks to be done on the app is a task.

The goal of these apps is to overcome the fear of uncertainty. If you don’t feel motivated, not knowing what to do can be an excuse for not doing anything. If an app tell you what need to be done, you just have to pick the first item and use the two minute rule to get it started.

Also, remember that writing tasks to be done on the app IS a task all by itself ! It’s often overlooked but trust me, write that task down and start working on it for 2 minutes. You’ll thank me later.

Benefits of starting early

Gratification is important for everyone. Let’s see what instant gratifications we can achieve by starting right now instead of procrastinating.

Reduction in Stress

Starting the task sooner not only helps you to complete the tasks sooner, it also helps in reducing your stress. If you don’t start, then you will always be thinking about the task and this in turn increases your stress and affects your health.

I’m sure everyone had a time where some task was postponed for so much time that it start to overwhelm our brain every second of life. Even times of rest will become painful !

Recognition

When you start sooner, the quality of work is good and work gets completed at the right time. This improves your relationship with your work peers, but also our self esteem. It also helps in getting promotions at your work place. You’ll get recognized for your work.

Achieve your goals

If you start today working on your goals, you’ll always be nearer your goals tomorrow! Each day will be a little victory and one day, before you’ll know it, you’ll reach your goal and feel accomplished.

So? when is the right time to start?

There is a saying that the best time to start was yesterday, but the second best time to start is tomorrow !

By seeing the above points we can see that solving our procrastination can solve every problem in life. So what are you waiting?

If you still have trouble starting, don’t worry ! This work on yourself take time. But you are better prepared now that you were before reading this article. If you still have doubts on your ability to start, let’s meet again on my article how to stop overthinking. I’m sure it’ll help you further!

Is TikTok good or bad for our happiness?

TikTok  is not just an app but a platform to showcase your talent for the sake of fun and entertainment to its users. Earlier, it was known as ‘Musically’ the Chinese app TikTok  has gained a lot of attention in a very short period of time. Its popularity has spread among the youngsters and teenagers like an addiction from which people have got so much influenced. 

Nowadays, TikTok  has become a major part of people’s life to let them gain popularity over the internet and experience new things. There are many creative contents that you’ll find out coming up from all over the world. 

This app doesn’t just restrict people to enjoy only the funniest videos and for entertainment purpose but also provides many useful things and news that has to be acknowledged. 

Sensational news starts to go viral in no time. It is very easy to share your creative side rather than just connecting to people like all other social media platforms. 

It impacts people in many ways, it has received many bad presses in recent times. There are also many concerns with TikTok  promoting dangerous challenges and also allegedly censoring creators. Let us discuss these issues in detail.

Dangerous Challenges: 

There are many challenges in TikTok  that starts going viral, even when it is dangerous.

Many TikTok  users attempt these dangerous challenges and many of those even include children. This results in getting hurt. For example, the penny challenge in which dropping a penny between a phone charger and the wall plug. This challenge went viral in many places and has claimed to start fire resulting in disastrous consequences.

Another dangerous challenge is called skull breaker challenge. The goal is to trip somebody so that they fall and smack their head on the ground. This challenge can probably cause serious injuries to innocent people. 

Censorship: 

TikTok  has also been alleged in censoring posts. In this past November, a 17-year old girl from New Jersey has alleged that TikTok  has censored her video that was related to the Uighur interment camps in China. Uighurs are a Muslim community who belongs to north western China. The video was made to bring light over these struggling people staying in Uighur internment camps in China. 

Entertainment:

TikTok  is a social media platform for entertainment, it does not limit it’s content to a specific niche. Any user can upload any content through dance and music. 

Almost all users in TikTok  posts their content either by dancing or singing. This helps in getting recognition for their talent and make them popular. 

Most of it’s audience are young in age and post videos based on their interests. This also helps in showcasing their acting skills to the world. These popular users call themselves influencers. They are even approached by big brands to advertise their products to users.

Privacy & Security: 

In recent times there were also many allegations against TikTok  with respect to security and privacy concerns. TikTok  has been fined by US government for $5.7 million for illegally collecting children’s data.

In October 2019, the U.S. government launched an investigation into ByteDance to find out how the data gathered on TikTok users of all ages is being used. US senators are worried about the information collected and suspect that it can be used to spy on Americans. This data may even be used to influence political decisions. 

Stranger Danger:  

Although, the community guidelines of TikTok is deeply committed to child safety. They use a policy of zero tolerance for behaviour that could lead to child abuse or sexual exploitation. TikTok  has been a place where teen girls receive creepy and actively upsetting messages from many users. These users are often much much older than them. 

In recent times, the situation has improved slightly by policy like restricting child user who are under 13 to only view the content and not to share or create them. 

TikTok  announced a new feature on Feb 19 called family safety mode. This feature allows parents to link to their teen’s accounts. This feature let them curb out their child’s screen time, limit direct messaging and restrict some content that may be harmfull. But, this feature is only available in UK and is set to launch in all other countries very soon. 

Indecent & Harassing Content

This is one of the major disadvantage for TikTok  users. Many users in TikTok use it to spread their prejudice ideas to targets certain sections of the people.

Many videos are done just to harass and discriminate people on the basis of color, race or religion. Also, indecent and inappropriate content which could be criminal in nature gets popularity in TikTok.

Addiction

Another major con of using TikTok  is the addiction that the platform brings with it. TikTok users get addicted to it in such a way that it even starts affecting their day-to-day life. For some, it act like a drug to their brain.

There are many users who use this platform even during work and driving. This not only affect their performance in work, it can also cause accidents when used while driving. These users may be so addicted to the app that they don’t even recognize the dangers of their behavior.

Career

Not all is bad with TikTok , Some influencers are genuine and have build their career out of it. There are many examples like Loren Gray, Jacob Sartorius and Ariel Martin who have build their career through TikTok. They also transitioned to other media platforms like YouTube and Spotify

Not only in music, but many other users in other careers started growing their business with the help of TikTok. TikTok  can provides huge number of following users in a very short span of time. If the original message add value to the society., then Tik-Tok is a great way to gain traction and spread that message better. 

Conclusion:

Now coming to our initial question whether TikTok  is bad or good, we have to view this with a larger viewpoint. Although TikTok can be used to build ones career, get instant publicity and spread good messages. Still it doesn’t add much value to the common user. Instead it seems to be filled with bigotry, inappropriate content and harassment.

As there is a saying “Prevention is better than cure”, we are better off without using TikTok rather than using it.

If that article was a fun read to you, I recommend reading my article on Facebook impact on our life.

Is Facebook good or Bad for our Happiness

According to google Facebook has more than 2.45 billion users around the world. Facebook has changed the way we interact and socialize with other people. 

Facebook is not only a social media platform, there are also many other features in Facebook like marketplace, groups, pages and many more. So, it is very important to discuss about the pros and cons on using this social network.

Connections

Facebook helps in making friends and share your day-to-day life events with your friends. You can also have updates on what your friends are doing in their life.

This helps in maintaining connections with your friends for a long time. Even after many years you can contact your childhood friend with just a single message.

Users also get options to mark themselves safe during times of disaster like floods or earthquake.

At the same time Facebook also allows strangers to send unsolicited messages to people. This in-turn leads people to get scammed or harassed.

Privacy

This is the major concern for Facebook users for a long time. Facebook has been caught in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, through which more than 87 million users data has been compromised. FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has also imposed a $5 billion dollar fine to solve these privacy concerns.

Now Facebook seems to have taken a lot of measures in solving these privacy issues. So if you can go through it’s settings you can control the data you want to share with the world.

It also works the other way around, lack of privacy on our friends lives can lead to jealousy and resentment on our side, which will definitely make us unhappy if you let these thoughts wander.

Addiction & Waste Of Time

Facebook can also be addictive for users who are using it frequently. It becomes very hard to not login into your account every day.

Improper usage of the social network can also result in wastage of your valuable time. So you have to limit it’s usage and you have to use it only when it does not affect your work.

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups can be very helpful in many cases, you can find people with similar interest as you in any field. There are also groups to search for jobs, through which you can also find work. Using theses groups wisely can help you learn many things related to your interest.

There are both public groups and private groups, public groups are much more eventful when compared to private groups. But, in private groups there is higher level of probability in meeting people with similar interests. There is also less number of spam posts in private groups compared to groups which are public.

Grow Your Business

Facebook Ads can be used to advertise your business at an affordable cost. Still it doesn’t seems to be the cheapest medium to acquire customers for businesses because most users on the social network going to spend money on a business.

You can target your customers using different options and can showcase your ads to them. There are many internet businesses which are running successfully solely based on ads.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook marketplace is a new feature through which you can list your product or services for sale. Right now there are thousands of products listed on Facebook’s marketplace.

As a user, it is also easier to find products at a cheaper price.

This marketplace works more like a second-hand marketplace, where most of it’s transaction are between it’s users. We should also be careful on not getting scammed, since Facebook does not provide secure services like Amazon. The probability of getting scammed or getting a defective product is higher compared to other popular E-commerce websites.

Updated News

Like Twitter, Facebook is also a medium to get your news updates. There are many news pages in facebook where news gets updated instantly and you can like and subscribe to the pages based on your region of interests.

Nowadays you get to see only news feeds or ads in your Facebook account, Since many users are not updating their status. Yet, everyone keep scrolling on the feed like they are addicted to it.

To conclude

Although there is still not a straight answer to whether Facebook is good or not. We can come to an understanding that using Facebook wisely has many advantages and there are ways to reduce it’s disadvantages. But these disadvantages must be kept in check regarding our overall happiness.

So, we can conclude by saying that Facebook or any social media platform is good if used wisely. And as with everything, if something doesn’t make you happy, then just leave it behind !

If this was an interesting read to you, I recommend you to read my article on the impacts of Tik Tok in our lives.

Best productivity apps for 2021

We all have equal 24 hours each day, but without a good organization, we may not be able to achieve our full potential in the different tasks we have to perform in our day-to-day life. However, we can solve this issue by finding simple way to increase our productivity.

No matter if you are on android, iOS, ipad, or any other platform, here is a list of different apps in the market to help us solve this issue. Let us see which are the best ones among them.

Trello Review

If you want to plan your own tasks in advance, or are running a small team of freelancers, Trello could be a very good choice for your tasks. It has a good user-friendly interface which is easy to learn and use. Signing up is also pretty easy, you can sign up with just your email and start using it instantly.

The interface is designed in a card format, and you can separate the tasks in the form of cards. You can give your cards a label as well as a due date. A reminder is configurable, so you can remind yourself when it’ll matter the most to you. There is also free plan through which you can create up to 10 boards and unlimited cards. If you need more, or need advanced synchronisation across multiple accounts, then you can choose their business class plan or enterprise plan.

Todoist Review

Todoist is more suitable for individual usage and it’s interface is more similar to Gmail. You can add and schedule your tasks with just few steps. You can give priorities to your tasks and as well as create sub-tasks and sections.

You can also save your tasks as projects and share it with someone else. Progress in completion of tasks is saved, and you can review it in the form of charts. Todoist also allows integrating with many other popular apps such as Dropbox, Zapier and more. This helps in keeping all your activity and progress in a single platform for review.

Toggl Review

Toggl is another time tracking software used by more than 5 Million users. It is free to use for up to 5 users. The User-interface is very intuitive where you can plan your projects both in a calendar format as well as by creating boards. You can create tasks and checklists for your work. You can also change status based on the completion status of your work.

Through in-task comment feature you can also communicate with your team on your work progress. You can also use the drag and drop feature to move around the created boards. This app is best suitable for teams and helps you make a good plan.

Monday Review

Monday is an enterprise level productivity app that helps in collaboration, organizing and improve your work efficiency. According to their website they have more than 100,000 teams. Valuable brands like CocaCola, Adobe, Universal use this software to plan their work.

The interface accommodates many features keeping simplicity in mind. You can use all the features within a single dashboard. You can also integrate with many popular apps like linkedin, slack, github and more. You can also automate repetitive work and visualize the work progress in the form of charts.

The customer support is also pretty good and it is 24/7. You can use their free 14 day trial to check out the features.

Any.do Review

Any.do is another popular productivity app used by millions of users around the world. It is a simple to use app through which ypu can organize your tasks in the form of lists and reminders. You can also use this app in a calendar format to track your work progress. 

You can use this app across all type of devices such as mobile, laptop, desktop, tablet and watch. Tasks get automatically synced across all your devices.

How to Avoid the 3 Exercise Mistakes Beginners Make

Beginning an exercise routine is one of the smartest and most beneficial things you can do. You’ve only got one body and it has to last a lifetime.

There are lots of misconceptions about how to start. Expectations of how to progress are often out of alignment with reality. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. None of that helps. The hype coming from magazines, online articles, and even the buff guy in the gym locker room, can all mislead.

In this article, we are going to talk about 3 of the most common mistakes that people make. We want you to start off on the right foot and help you find your groove in the gym!

Too Much, Too Soon

It’s likely you will begin with an immense amount of enthusiasm and motivation. You’re ready to get your diet dialed in, throw some weight around and carve out the ideal physique. But this same passion can lead to burn-out before you even get started.

It’s important to realize that you’re making a significant change in your lifestyle. Not only will your body need time to adapt to these new demands, but so will your schedule and mental energy!

A gradual start will be more productive. Don’t completely disrupt your life from day one. Instead of demanding yourself to hit the gym 7 days a week and eat nothing but chicken and rice, start smaller.

Allow yourself a much-needed change period as you begin your fitness journey. Get into the habit of working out 2-3 times per week and being more conscientious of food choices. Get your feet wet first, instead of diving in headfirst. This will prevent you from a crash and burn a month or so later.

Have A Plan

When you join a gym, you can either go solo or use their staff to map out an exercise plan. Use the guided approach unless you have been around a bit and know what you need to do.

Knowing the various machines and exercise classes available gives you the chance to establish a routine that works for you. It also allows you to track your progress. Seeing how far you have come is incredibly motivating.

Giving In To Your Ego

Comparing ourselves to those around us is an unfortunate part of human nature. As you begin working out, it is easy to notice how much weight someone else is lifting, or how cool a particular exercise looks. Realize that every single person in the gym was in the exact same position you are right now at one stage.

Trying to manage too much weight or perform some crazy exercise before you are ready will leave you embarrassed or, even worse, injured.

Believe it or not, the vast majority of people in the gym are not judging you! Gyms need members. They are in the service industry, so should have a welcoming, respectful atmosphere. Most try to encourage and support people of all fitness levels.

Working out, much like any new challenge, has a necessary learning curve. Don’t let your ego put a damper on the enjoyment it can bring or the benefits that follow.


How to Not Overthink – This Challenge Will Improve Your Life

Does your mind ever stop? Do you think too much? Do you want to know how to not overthink? When this happens, we go over the same stuff over and over, and can lose perspective. Then it turns into worry and stress. That is not good!

Overthinking is a big part of the reason so many people get stressed. If you can’t stop your mind from going around and around, it limits your ability to control your life. It uses up a lot of energy and brain matter, so much so that it can crowd out other thoughts. You have no room left, no spare capacity for other thoughts, or more important things.

Related Posts:

The Theory Behind This Challenge

There are three challenges presented here to give your mind a break – and help you to not overthink. If you try them as suggested, your life will improve, and you will have more control over your life.

These challenges will train your mind to give you more control. They involve automating some of the daily decisions you have to make. This removes the inability to make decisions by overthinking it, or by paralysis from analysis.

There are so many tips and articles around on how you can create a better life, and every one of them hinges your total commitment. If you overthink it, you will fail. When you feel you have no capacity for new things, any resolution will fail.

To succeed in establishing new habits, or making changes in your life, you need the desire and discipline to follow through. Changes y will only happen if your will power is up to the task. Whatever strategy or technique you intend using is less important than this.

If you aren’t committed, then it won’t happen. There is no silver bullet.

Why do Most Resolutions Fail?

Most people fail with their resolutions. It might be a gym program, a better diet, reducing your alcohol intake, losing weight, having a better relationship, or being a better person. The list of things people look to change is long and varied, yet many people have been promising themselves the same things for decades without success.

So why can’t you achieve what you set out to? What gets in the way? I’ll give you three reasons:

  1. Lack of conviction – There’s no real urgency or imperative to make the changes. Your thinking goes something like this – “it’s a good idea, but I’m not convinced about it. Deep down I don’t think it’s that important. Yes, I could make some improvements, but really, it’s not that critical.”
  2. Going outside your comfort zone – When this happens you feel scared or unsure about it. You might be able to go there for a day or a week, but it’s a bit scary to make it permanent. There are risks to consider – it might mean a different take on life; you could lose friends or miss some of things you enjoy.
  3. Lack of self-belief – You don’t believe you can make the changes you are thinking about. You decide to give it a little push, but don’t have a lot of confidence in your ability to complete it. You don’t expect to succeed. It’s a relief when you give up and don’t have to try any more.  

If you want to get past these thoughts – or this way of thinking, you need to train your mind first. Take on a short-term task. You don’t need a deep-rooted conviction about this, and the risks associated with it are less, so it’s less scary. Success will boost your self-confidence and give you the belief that you can make the changes you want in your life. You will have trained your mind to be more amenable to change. You will be in more control.

My challenges demonstrate this. They give you a way to get you into the groove a bit tighter. They also give your mind some breathing space, and will reduce your overthinking.

The Challenges

The challenges I propose aim to give your mind a rest by automating some common decision points. They are an easy way to prove to yourself that you are in control of your life. Strangely this occurs when you take your foot off the throttle and put your mind on autopilot.

When you overthink things, you focus on and dissect the changes you are looking to make – and get in your own way. An example of this is giving up smoking. If you tell yourself that you are giving up, you continue to define yourself as a smoker. Your attempt to give up won’t work because of this mental disconnect. It is more effective to stop thinking about it and train your mind to accept it as a done deal – i.e. “I am not a smoker, I don’t smoke”. By not overthinking it, you achieve a new reality more quickly.

There are three challenge exercises. Each of these calls for an automatic response. They each give your mind a break, a bit of free time, so it can focus on other things. Try each one for a month (you can’t do all three at the same time), and see how your brain processing has altered. It will surprise you!

You’ll feel liberated and more in control of your mind. The secret to a more efficient brain is to give it less work. As an example of how full our brains can get, Einstein had a terrible memory. He couldn’t remember his phone number or street address – the filing cabinet of his mind was full of more important data. Stop overthinking, and give your brain a bit of spare capacity.

Automating a part of your life can be fun; it will open new doors and give you a whole new perspective on your life. It may feel risky, but you do have ultimate control.

Of course, taken to the extreme, this can be dangerous, which is why I recommend a one-month trial of each. The results will surprise you! At the end of the month you will most likely incorporate some of this approach into your daily life.

The first challenge is to say yes to everything. The second is to always select the 4th item from the top of a list from which you must make a selection (for instance, a restaurant menu). The third challenge is the opposite of the first – say no to everything.

You can do the first and the second at the same time, but it is better to do them one after the other. It is also important that you do the third challenge (saying no) last.

Challenge # 1 – Say Yes to Everything

Jim Carrey’s popular movie “Yes Man” follows on this concept. The plot involves a recently divorced man who has become withdrawn and negative. He builds a new and more positive life through a series of events where he says yes. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look.

Of course, if taken to the extreme, this can lead to bizarre and dangerous circumstances, but it’s worth a try for a month. Use some prudential judgement if needed.

By analysing situations less, you open yourself up to new experiences and people. This one-month challenge gives you a taste of what is possible when you let yourself go a little. It is liberating, and could become the start of a new life.

Being more adventurous not only opens your mind, it gives you more confidence and readiness to tackle the world. Your social circle will welcome the new, more approachable you.

Challenge # 2 – Choose 4th From The Top

My second challenge is to choose the 4th item from the top of any list where you have to make a selection. The classic for this is a restaurant menu. Rather than studying it, and worrying about how to make the right selection, choose the 4th item from the top. Your dinner companions will see you as decisive and informed.

I’ve been using this technique for over a decade and a half now, and on only one occasion did it fail me. This was in a French Restaurant in rural France. The menu was in French, a language I do not speak. My plate of offal, enjoyed by the locals, was no to my taste! But only one fail in 15 years is a pretty good statistic! One fail does not ruin the system.

You have to trust the restaurant – they are not going to put something on the menu that patrons are not going to enjoy.

The reason for selecting #4? Well, it won’t be the cheapest and it won’t be the most expensive. There will be no embarrassment by looking either cheap or a show –off. This is very useful for wine lists.

I have applied this to almost any list. If the selection doesn’t make sense you should look immediately above and below for other options. One of those selections will work just as well.

If you discover new tastes – congratulations, you have expanded your horizons, and that is not a bad thing.

Challenge # 3 – Say No to Everything

Most time management books or self-help guides will suggest that you learn how to say no. They mean this to be selective, but it’s easier said than done. Like most things in life, it takes practice.

This exercise gives you that practice. It trains your mind (and friends, associates and so on), to not expect you to do everything asked of you.

I propose that you train yourself by saying no to everything for one month. This could include party invitations, a dinner date, a movie, or assignment at work. If you need to come up with an explanation for this from time to time – make something up. But say no unless you have no choice (which can be the case at work).  Use your personal judgement, let common sense rule the day.

By the end of the month you will be surprised at how easy it is to say no. When you realise this, you will see how liberating this can be. This will give you more control over your life, and free up an enormous amount of time.

It is easy to become overwhelmed by agreeing to do too may things, or by agreeing to do things that we don’t enjoy or want to do. Learning to say no is a very powerful tool in your arsenal to control your life. In practical terms it is not easy, which is why this exercise is for a one-month trial only. Think of it as a Dry July type of challenge.

After a month of this, you’ll find it easier to say no selectively in the future. Take back control.

How To Not Overthink After The Challenge

Completing these three challenges will train your mind and give you more confidence in taking on new things. They will broaden your horizons and give you more control over your life.

After you have completed these challenges, you will have trained your mind to accept or deny requests, and you will have learnt how to trust others. The lessons from these three exercises are applicable in other ways as well. They provide an important lesson and training in learning how to not overthink.


3 Tips to Teach Your Child How to Read

By: ChildrenLearningReading.com 

Learning to read at a young age is important for the development of the child. It helps them develop a better understand of their surroundings, allows them to gather information from printed materials, and provides them with a wonderful source of entertainment when they read stories and rhymes. Children develop at different rates, and some children will develop reading skills quicker than other children; however, what’s important is that as the parent, you are keenly aware of your child’s maturity and reading level to provide them with appropriate books and activities to help them improve.

As parents, you are the most important teacher for your children. You will introduce your child to books and reading. Below we have some tips to help you teach your child to read.

Teach Your Child How to Read Tip #1

Teach your child alphabet letters and sounds at the same time. Studies have shown that children learn best when they are taught the letter names and letter sounds at the same time. In one study, 58 preschool children were randomly assigned to receive instructions in letter names and sounds, letter sound only, or numbers (control group). The results of this study are consistent with past research results in that it found children receiving letter name and sound instruction were most likely to learn the sounds of letters whose names included cues to their sounds. [1]

When teaching your child the letter sounds, have them slowly trace the letter, while saying the sound of the letter at the same time. For example, if you were teaching your child the letter “A”, you would say:

“The letter A makes the /A/ (ah) sound.”

Then have your child say the /A/ sound while tracing the letter with his or her index finger.

Teaching a Child How to Read Tip #2

When teaching your child to read, always emphasize with them that the proper reading order should be from left to right, and top to bottom. To adults, this may seem so basic that anyone should know it. However, our children are not born with the knowledge that printed text should be read from left to right and top to bottom, and this is why you’ll sometimes see children reading from right to left instead – because they were never explicitly taught to read from left to right. When teaching your child how to read, always emphasize this point with them.

Teach Your Child How to Read Tip #3

Teach final consonant blends first. Teaching words such “at” and “and” can lead your child directly to learning words that rhyme with these. For example, for “at”, you can have:

Lat
Pat
Mat
Cat
Sat
Bat
Spat
Chat

For “and”, you can have these rhyming words:

Sand
Band
Land
Hand
Stand
Bland
Brand
Grand
and so on…

You can start teaching blends once your child has learned the sounds of some consonants and short vowel sounds. You don’t need to wait until your child has mastered the sounds of all the letters before teaching blends.

Learning to read is a long process, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Broken down into intuitive and logical steps, a child as young as two years old can learn to read, and older children can accomplish even more.

>> Click here to for a simple, step-by-step program that can help your child learn to read, and watch a video of a 2 year old child reading

Notes:

1. J Exp Child Psychol. 2010 Apr;105(4):324-44. Epub 2010 Jan 25.
Learning letter names and sounds: effects of instruction, letter type, and phonological processing skill.
Piasta SB, Wagner RK.
Preschool Language and Literacy Lab, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


How to Recognise What Narcissistic Behavior Is

Narcissistic behaviors come from an excessively high self focus. Having high self-esteem is an essential element in living a successful and happy life, however there is a line that must not be crossed. Knowing what narcissistic behavior is will help you avoid stepping over it and going into the wrong side.

High self-esteem is a positive trait, one that exudes confidence and attracts people to you. But when you become obsessed with yourself, and begin putting your needs and interest above those of everybody else, you become a narcissist. Your behaviors focus on your needs with no regard for others. They have the opposite effect and can cause people seeing you in a negative light. You may get some short-term wins, but many people will be less supportive. This is contrary to the formula of a successful life.

There are many distinctions between high self-esteem and narcissism. While narcissists often (but not always) have a very high opinion of themselves, the link between this and narcissism is unfounded. It is not true that everyone with high self-esteem is a narcissist, or that being narcissistic comes only about having this trait.

Let’s look a little more closely at narcissism to see how it differs from healthy, high self-esteem so we can dispel any lingering myths.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

What is Narcissism?

First up, it is important to recognise that there is a difference between being narcissistic and having a narcissistic personality disorder. The latter is a mental health condition. In this article, we are referencing the general personality trait.

Narcissist behaviors result when you are excessively interested in, or admire yourself. This obsession may be your personality, physical appearance, or both. Some words used to describe narcissistic tendencies include self-obsession, conceit, and egotism. For most people with this attitude, their behavior reflects this. These include acting selfishly, having a lack of empathy towards others, being (or acting) entitled, and having a need for admiration from others.

To classify narcissism as a full personality disorder, the behaviors must be more extreme. In these instances, the behaviors interfere with the person’s ability to lead a healthy life and to have productive relationships with others.

Narcissism and Self-Esteem

A common misconception is that all narcissists have high self-esteem. Most times, the opposite is true. A lack of self-esteem can cause some to seek approval from others and become obsessed with themselves to make up for their lack of self-worth or confidence. Those with high self-esteem might not be narcissistic, because their high self worth is grounded in healthy, productive views of their abilities and value.

While people with high self-esteem often feel confident in their own abilities, narcissists take this a step further and feel superior to others for their talents. To feel superior, you are always comparing yourself to others. This can cause you to put down anyone who threatens your perceived status as being “the best” at something. Those with high self-esteem need not compare themselves, as they are confident in their own capabilities.

Being aware of who you are is one important part of maintaining this balance.

This distinction between self-esteem and narcissism is important. Most self-esteem stems from accomplishments we have achieved, skills we have mastered, and the values to which we adhere. The opposite is true of narcissism. It is based on fear. The fear of being seen as weak or of failing is a driving force. It creates an unhealthy focus on yourself and wanting others to see you as the best. Most narcissists are, at their core, insecure and feel inadequate, which is the opposite of having high self-esteem.

Those who are narcissists will often be envious or hostile toward rivals, while those with high self-esteem most often use compassion and cooperation with others. We can see them as two ends of a spectrum, ranging from dominance (narcissism) to equality (self-esteem).

Final Thoughts

Knowing what narcissistic behavior is allows you to see the difference between these two. This is key to understanding why having high self-esteem is essential and does not mean you will become a narcissist. Wanting to work on your self-esteem is a laudable goal. It should not be deterred by fears of becoming a conceitful monster.

By the way, remember that it’s never too late to take care of yourself, and then you can take care of others.


Surprising Facts About Stress You Need to Know

It’s Only Bad If It’s Bad

The most surprising fact about stress is that it isn’t bad per se. Stress is a normal, natural reaction. Small amounts of stress keep us focussed, alert and productive. It is part of our natural instincts that keep us going forward against adversity ! So a bit of stress in your life is essential while having no stress at all can be a bad thing for your goals. This article aims to help you to focus on keeping your stress levels to a healthy level.

The simple truth is that if we hadn’t developed certain instincts during our evolution, we wouldn’t be here today. Stress is no more than your body’s natural defense mechanism kicking in. It comes when you feel threatened – whether the danger is real or imagined. But it can be overwhelming and prevent us from acting rationally.

To show an example:

Think of the adrenalin rush you get when you realize you’ve slept through your alarm and are now rushing at warp speed to get dressed and catch the bus to work. This is an example of good stress!

But if you’re doing that every morning – then maybe there are other lifestyle issues at play. Or a need for a different alarm clock.

But if your stress levels stop you getting out of bed at all, or going to work – then that’s a different matter. When stress interferes with your daily routine, then it’s a problem ! And you must address it before it goes even further !

Your level of stress will range from having heightened senses to debilitating feelings of anxiety and depression.

Feeling butterflies in your stomach before an exam or a big game? That’s natural stress at work. It boosts the adrenal glands and gets you ready for action. Worried about a work deadline? Again, that’s a normal stress, keeping you focussed, and shutting out distractions.

Most adults experience physical or emotional symptoms of stress at times. As well as raising your alertness, other effects are less productive. These can include headaches, feeling tired, or changes in sleeping habits.

When we suffer these negative stresses it can feel like we have no control, that they can get away from us. If uncontrolled they can dominate your life and turn it upside down, and you don’t want that.

But the surprising fact is that we do have control over these stresses. There are things we can do to manage it. We may not be able to remove it, but we can control it, and prevent it from becoming debilitating.

As we have said, the surprising fact of stress is that it’s only bad if it’s bad. You can manage many stresses before they become destructive. To help you do this, it makes sense to know a little more about the different types of stresses that you may face.

Recognising Different Types of Stress

There are two different ways of classifying stress. The first looks at stress categories – the causes or nature of stress. The second looks at stress severity – the effects of stress and its severity.

Four Categories of Stress

Stress factors fall into four categories:

  1. Physical stress;
  2. Psychological stress;
  3. Psychosocial stress; and
  4. Psychospiritual stress.

Physical stress

Your body experiences physical stress. Overworking or injuring your body to the point it cannot cope causes physical stress. Other common causes include traumatic events, the effect of pollutants, dietary imbalances, or substance abuse.

Psychological stress

Psychological stress relates to emotional or cognitive stress. This includes feelings such as resentment, anger, worry, guilt, self-criticism, anxiety, and a sense of being out of control. It also includes perceptual stress coming from beliefs, attitudes, and the like.

Psycho-social stress

Psychosocial stress comes from relationships. It includes marriage or family problems, work issues, social networks, and financial problems.

Psycho-spiritual stress

Psycho-spiritual stress comes from a questioning of values, meaning or purpose. It is often manifested as a lack of life satisfaction or misalignment with core spiritual beliefs.

Three Levels of Stress Severity

Psychologists recognise 3 types of stress:

  1. Acute stress;
  2. Episodic acute stress; and
  3. Chronic stress.

Acute Stress

Acute stress is usually brief. It is the most common and frequent form of stress. It generally relates to negative thoughts. Examples include dwelling on a recent argument or concerns about an approaching deadline. Removing the cause leads to the stress receding as well.

Episodic Acute Stress

Episodic acute stress is the term used where there are frequent or recurrent stress triggers. This is more common amongst people whose lives are chaotic or crisis-ridden. They are always in a rush or feel pressured. They may take on too many responsibilities but are unable to organise conflicting demands.

Type “A” personalities are more prone to this type of stress. They have a strong competitive streak, with an aggressive nature. Often they have a deep-seated insecurity about performance, and a sense of urgency. These personality traits are more likely to experience episodic acute stress.

The personality type known as the “Worrier” is also more likely to experience episodic acute stress. They have a negative view of the world and tend to see disaster or catastrophe everywhere. They tend to be over aroused and tense, but are more anxious and depressed than angry and hostile.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is the most harmful. It can cause significant damage to both physical and mental health.

Chronic stress comes from prolonged negative physical and environmental factors. These include inter-generational unemployment, substance abuse, or a dysfunctional family or childhood. It can set in when a person feels that there is no escape over a prolonged period and gives up hope.

With chronic stress, behaviours and emotional reactions become ingrained. It is a grinding form of stress that wears people down. Chronic stress destroys lives, bodies, and minds. It can lead to a physical and mental breakdown, suicide, violence, heart attack or strokes.

An Approach to Stress Resolution

Another surprising fact about stress is that controlling it is much like any other behavioural change program. It is best achieved by a planned and deliberate approach.

Stress can come on gradually due to life changes, or due to a specific incident or experience. Either way, you shouldn’t let stress stop you from doing things that you used to enjoy.

Managing stress involves making thoughtful and considered, deliberate changes. The idea is that you build habits and attitudes through repetition. Resolving your stress begins with a plan, and the best place to start is to look back at your life before stress.

Investigate what causes your stress and where it comes from. Recognising the source is an essential first step.

Is your stress preventing you from doing things that you enjoyed in the past? It’s natural for stress or a stress disorder to make new things seem scary. But it can also have this effect on experiences that we enjoyed in the past. For example, a slow stress build-up may cause you to not want to spend time with old friends. Or a car accident may make you want to avoid driving or even riding in or being around cars.

It’s important to remind yourself that these were easy or enjoyable in the past. Seeing them from a different perspective now doesn’t change their nature. Even if it was a bad experience for you once in the past, as with the car accident, you should recognise that it was only one of many incidences. Recognise that other times it went well.

If stress is causing issues in your life you will need to make some changes to manage it. Any life changes need a personal commitment. We refer to these as stress resolutions. They spell out the corrective behaviour needed to maintain stress at acceptable levels.

Looking back over the last few years to see where things did and didn’t work out the way you wanted will clarify the changes you want or need to make.

You can make resolutions for almost anything, from weight loss, to learning, to better social interactions. A resolution becomes a commitment to change. And a written resolution is more powerful than a mental note. It acts as a reference point, a motivator and a guide.

The intent of a stress resolution is to help you reduce your stress levels. Make one when you feel that stress is damaging your life.

To make your stress resolutions, begin by planning. Take notes on what troubles you. Identify where your stress is coming from and how you can change this. Make a note of what you want to achieve.

When you focus on potential remedies, consider the impact and difficulty of each. Create resolutions, write them down, and determine the best ways to fulfill all your goals. Then set priorities.

Remember that if you try to do too many things at once you will almost certainly fail. Focus on one thing first. Set a routine and create a habit. Once you establish your routine and it becomes a habit, you can move onto your next item.

Make periodic assessments of your journey. Map your progress. It is inspiring and motivates you to keep going.

One of the surprising facts about stress that we have covered is that you can manage your stress. You will be surprised at how effective it is to set resolutions as a path to change.

That’s it for today. I hope this little article will help you overcome bad stress. Enjoy your journey to a less stressed life!

Related articles that you might want to read: Stress and Anxiety Symptoms to Watch Out For and The Causes of Panic Attack


Revealed – How to Know What a Balanced Life is

The following story reveals what a balanced life is. It is a simple story that shows what the key aspects of life, and how we can balance our lives by being aware of priorities and perspective.

We can all learn from this simple story.

Photo by willsantt from Pexels

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house, fix the disposal or deal with things from your job.

Photo by Tembela Bohle from Pexels

Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’

The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.