Simple Guide To Have Fun

“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.”  ~Katharine Hepburn

Fun is underrated.

As adults, our lives are complicated and often very serious. We are involved in the serious business of grown-up stuff. We work hard. We support our families. We worry about money and higher prices. We fret about the condition of the world, politics, our children. We have endless chores and tasks without much time for fun.

Sometimes when I act silly and dance around the kitchen, my kids look at me like I’m a freak. I know what they are thinking. I can read their minds. “What do you have to be so happy about you loony tune? You’re a grown-up. Stop having fun this instant.”

I used to straighten up right away when they gave me the stink-eye. That was before I grew younger as I’ve aged. Now I just dance some more. I’ve realized that fun is essential. What are we working so hard for anyway?

Fun doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant.

I did learn that from my stink-eyed children. In the summer, they can have fun from morning until bedtime, only pausing for meals. One summer I watched my son and his friends construct what I lovingly named “The Polish Taxi” (no offense to Polish people). The Polish Taxi was a plastic lawn chair duct taped to two skateboards. It took them hours to construct it. Then they spent the rest of the day pulling each other around behind a bicycle. Now that’s fun.

I did something really fun and fairly out-of-character for me recently. I went to REI and bought a bicycle. A pretty nice hybrid bicycle that involves gear shifting and wearing padded pants. (The last bike I owned had a banana seat with flower power stickers.) We live near a bike trail along the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, and I have been riding a lot. Getting on that bike was like a time-travel experience back to childhood. It was liberating fun.

Now I look for opportunities for fun. I figure all of the hard work I’ve done with my career and raising children deserves some pay-off. And even if you’re in the middle of working hard and raising children, you should still have as much fun as possible, because life is short and there’s no guarantee of a Polish Taxi in heaven.

Here is a simple guide to creating more fun in your life:

1.  Take yourself and your life less seriously. Lighten up about the serious business of being an adult. Serious business will always be there whether or not you choose to focus on it all the time.

2.  Embrace the truth that fun is good. You don’t need to feel guilty or embarrassed about having fun. Being an adult doesn’t mean you’ve lost the child-like quality of wonder and joy and wild abandonment.

3.  Don’t be self-conscious. It’s OK to look goofy and unabashedly happy sometimes. Let your hair fly in the wind.

4.  Remember what was fun as a child. I loved riding my bike. Some of the old-fashioned stuff is still the most fun. Here are some other fun things you might try again:

  • flying a kite
  • sledding
  • canoeing
  • skating
  • dancing
  • throwing a ball
  • camping
  • fishing
  • wading in a stream
  • reading in a hammock
  • building a sandcastle
  • having a picnic
  • playing cards
  • jumping on a trampoline
  • riding with the windows down

4.  Nourish your friendships so that you have partners in fun. Some of the most fun occasions in my life have been with my girlfriends. Become the fun instigator of your circle. I’ve recently thought about having a pajama party brunch when Will and Kate (the Royals) get married. Imagine the stink-eye I’ll get from my teenagers! Hah! That will be fun too.

5.  Build time for fun with your spouse or partner. Think back on the times when you were first together and the fun you created naturally. Rekindle those moments. Be playful. Make him/her laugh with silliness or private jokes. Take fun into the bedroom.

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6.  Share fun with your children. It’s easy to go off into your separate corners of the house to do chores, homework, computer surfing. Connect with your children through fun. They are the masters of it, so let them take the lead with a game, a hobby, or a trip to an amusement park.

7.  Be creative and spontaneous. All fun activities don’t have to be planned or traditional. Maybe creating a Polish Taxi isn’t your idea of fun, but come up with something unexpected or surprising. Start a water balloon fight with your kids or have an impromptu scavenger hunt with your neighbors.

8. Make it non-competitive. There are many sports and games that are loads of fun until it starts getting competitive. Then lighthearted fun can quickly morph into an ego-based urge to win. That’s a different kind of fun that stokes a different part of the psyche.

9. Be child-like, but remember your limits. I was urged by my kids to body surf in the ocean a few years back. They were having so much fun, and I wanted to join in. But with the first big wave, I was slammed to the ocean floor face first and sported a lovely abrasion from brow to chin for the remainder of the vacation.

10. Plan fun into your life. It’s easy to forget about fun. It’s been so long since it lived with us every day as a regular companion. Fun may not come knocking at your door, so you may have to invite it in. Plan fun activities with your family and friends. Look for opportunities to experience fun. Find ways to make the tedious tasks of life more interesting and fun to enliven your spirit and brighten your day.

I’m convinced that we are programmed from birth to have fun and enjoy this beautiful Earth we call home. It’s only as we age that real fun is abandoned for the pursuit of it. As proof of this, I’d like to share this video of toddlers having fun before they learn to tone it down. (Please ignore any commercial message.)

I hope you enjoy! Now go have some fun. And share what you do for fun in the comments.

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Are You Trying to Live Up to Other People’s Values

Do you often feel guilty about things that you aren’t doing – or things that you are doing? Do you find yourself saying “I really should…” or “I know I’m supposed to…” or “I must…”? Are you trying to live up to someone else’s values?

There are so many pressures on us to conform. You might think that you have your own priorities straight (and that you’re failing to meet your own standards), but chances are, you’re being influenced by a lot of external pressures. These could come from:

  • Society as a whole, and the media
  • Your colleagues, friends or classmates
  • Your parents, grandparents and extended family

The problem with trying to live by someone else’s values is that you’ll never feel as though you’re managing it. You can’t please everyone – and you shouldn’t be trying to. At the end of the day, what matters is that you live up to your own values. (In many cases, these might coincide with those of your community, friends or family, of course; but be clear where differences lie.)

Values from Society and the Media

Using the word “values” might seem odd in connection with modern society and the media (often criticised for not holding values or morals). Sometimes, what we take for common sense or received wisdom is really a value so ingrained in us by society, we can’t step outside and see a different point of view.

 

For example, consumerism is encouraged by the media (because they exist due to selling not only newspapers and magazines and other products, but by selling advertising). Our society is obsessed with appearance – just think of all the ridiculous attention paid to whether celebrities are gaining or losing weight.

If you’ve set yourself a goal of earning an extra $5k this year, or of losing 30lbs, ask yourself whether you’ve done so because of your values – or because this is what newspapers, television and advertisers are telling you to do.

Values from Your Colleagues/ Friends

When I was at school, there was a lot of talk about resisting “peer pressure” to misbehave. Your peers are the people who are like you – whether they’re in the same job, at the same college, or simply your group of friends. The danger is that our social instinct and need to belong can push us to adopt values which aren’t really ones we’d otherwise prioritize.

For example, if all your friends place a high value on entertainment, enjoyment and partying – and you value being frugal and making a contribution to the world – you might end up living what feels to you a shallow lifestyle. If your classmates at college are all focused on career and earnings, your dream of traveling may fall by the wayside. And if your colleagues prioritize getting ahead at all costs, what happens to your values of honesty, kindness, and mutual respect?

When you’re buying a new gadget, accepting an invitation, or stretching the truth to make life easier, ask yourself whether you’re being drawn away from your values by your peers.

Values from Your Family

In many cases, we share our values with our close family members. If your parents placed a high value on family relationships, chances are, you do too. And if your family have always prioritized helping out in the community, you’ve probably been involved in various volunteering opportunities all your life.

Sometimes, though, you might feel pressurized or stressed because of your parents’ or grandparents’ values. Perhaps you don’t want to hire a cleaner because your grandpa would be horrified by the idea of paying someone to do jobs that you could do perfectly well yourself – but you know that having the housework taken care of would give you time to launch your new business.

Or maybe your dad’s focus has always been on making as much money as possible in order to retire young; you’re feeling pushed towards a “realistic” corporate career when, deep down, you want to pursue a more creative calling.

Once you no longer live under your parents’ roof, you have no obligation to living up to their values. I certainly wouldn’t suggest you go out of your way to horrify, offend or shock your relatives, but try not to fall into the trap of second-guessing yourself because you’re worried what they’ll think. And relatives won’t always react how you expect. When I quit my job to freelance, my mother and I kept it secret from my grandma for several months – but when we finally broke the news, my grandma was full of praise for my entrepreneurial spirit!

Ask yourself whether it’s time to cut the apron strings and live your life: your parents and loved ones want you to do what makes you happy – not to simply follow their values.

Whose values are you living up to? How can you start getting back to your own values?

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Top 4 Prerequisites for Living Your Life Purpose Right Now

This moment is a microcosm of your entire life.

If you are . . .

waiting for something better,

waiting to decide,

waiting until the time is right,

waiting for enlightenment,

waiting until you feel better,

waiting until you are sure,

. . . you are wasting your life.

In any given moment, we have an infinite number of choices about what to do. Our choices either serve our life purpose or they do not. If you make enough choices that do not serve your purpose, you are living an unfulfilled, purposeless life.

What is your life purpose?

Your life purpose is to be who you are authentically — the real true self under all of the facades, hurts, expectations, and social conditioning. And then you must strive to live that self  in every moment, every day. If you aren’t in touch with who that person is, then it is nearly impossible to live a purposeful life.

Sometimes to get in touch with your real true self, you have to ask yourself, “Who do I want to be?” You have to define the characteristics, behavior, beliefs, actions, and lifestyle of your ideal self. Most of us aren’t in touch with that person. We aren’t proactive about finding out who we are. Instead, we are reactive and confused, seeking something outside of ourselves to give us direction and purpose.

However, purpose arises naturally from authentic living. It is a gift of grace that accompanies self-actualization.

So how do you find that “real self”? How do you become authentic and certain about who you are so that you can live out your life purpose?

I have learned four essential steps to help you realize your life purpose right now:

  • Self-questioning;
  • Listening to your intuition;
  • Learning from past experience;
  • Managing your time.

1. Self Questioning

Without clear direction, your life and life choices can be entirely at the mercy of circumstances and other people.

To get that direction, you must clear away the “noise” of the world around you and go inside to identify what is most important to you.  Self-questioning will focus you on what you deeply want, who you want to be, and how you get there.

You can try this right now by answering these questions for yourself. Write down the answers so you don’t forget.

  • What kind of person do you want to be? Describe the top 10 most important characteristics of this person (ie: creative, honest, loving, healthy, adventurous, etc.).
  • Whose life do you admire and want to emulate? What is it about their life that inspires you?
  • What activities (in work and life in general) make you feel most fulfilled and happy?
  • If you could divide your time exactly the way you wanted between work, family, hobbies, leisure, and life maintenance activities (chores, paperwork, errands, etc.), how would you divide your time?
  • How are you dividing your time now? How close is it to the ideal you described above?
  • Are you passionate about your work? If not, what would you rather be doing?
  • Are you happy in your relationships? If not, how are you contributing to the difficulty and what could you do to change it?
  • Are there any ways you are living outside of your integrity? If so, what could you do to restore your integrity?
  • Do you have needs or desires that you are suppressing or putting on the back burner? What are they?
  • Are you spending a lot of time doing things that feel empty and meaningless?
  • Do you have emotions that get in the way of taking action toward being true to yourself? Why do you have these feeling?
  • If you could re-design your life from scratch, what would be the first thing you would change?
  • What is the most obvious place in your life where you are living outside of your authentic, ideal self?

Once you have answered these questions, you have an outline for who you want to be.

Becoming that person is your life purpose. All other meaning and purpose in life arises from being a fully functioning, self-realized, authentic human being.

It is the moment by moment “becoming” that is your life purpose — not the arrival at some final destination. And when you define your authentic self, you have a blueprint against which to measure all of your actions and choices.

But even within the parameters of that blueprint, there are a myriad of choices and options. What should you do first? What actions will result in positive change? What if I make the wrong choice or decision?

That’s where intuition comes in.

2. Listening to your intuition

As life has gotten more complicated, we’ve been trained to be reactors rather than creators. The phone rings and we answer it. The text comes in and we look at it. Someone interrupts and we stop to talk. The TV is on and we are distracted. So much of life is not by our own design but results from something landing on our doorstep. And because it’s landed, we feel compelled to respond.

But you don’t have to. You don’t have to give away your time, your energy, or your true self.

The most beautiful gift you can give yourself is to step back from the reacting mode and allow yourself time for self-creation.

Self-creation requires . . .

  • quiet, uninterrupted time;
  • more questioning;
  • deep listening to your own innate wisdom;
  • a leap of faith.

In those moments of quiet introspection, hopefully at the beginning of each day, ask yourself these questions and listen intently for the answers from within yourself:

~What are the three most important things I need to do today? (Keep it to three so that you can truly focus on them.)

~Are these things in alignment with my purpose (of becoming who I am authentically)?

~If so, what are the actions I need to take right now and for the rest of the day to move forward with these three things?

~If not, must I absolutely do this activity? How could I eliminate or diminish spending time on this now or in the future?

If several things seem important or if you aren’t sure what to do, then take that leap of faith. Just do something that you think might move you toward your authentic self. Even if you are wrong, the experience will provide you information for making choices in the future.

“Living involves tearing up one rough draft after another.”  ~Author Unknown

3. Learning from past experiences

In fact, making mistakes and tapping in to the wisdom from past failures and successes provides a library of subconscious resources for making decisions in the moment.

According to the blog Science Daily (May 15, 2009), research conducted by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has shown that “past experience really does help when we have to make complex decisions based on uncertain or confusing information. They show that learning from experience actually changes the circuitry in our brains so that we can quickly categorize what we are seeing and make a decision or carry out appropriate actions.”

We have a hard drive of past experiences wired in our brains which we can readily access — often subconsciously. Our intuition draws from these past experiences, allowing the “right” decision to rise to the surface.

And of course, we can tap into past experience very consciously to help us decide what we do and don’t want to repeat in our lives — and to help us further define the person we want to be.

Mistakes and failures are stepping stones on the path of becoming a fully realized person. They are a necessary part of personal evolution and embracing your life purpose. When you view them as such, you can release some of the negative emotions (guilt, fear, shame) that hold you back from taking action.

4. Managing your time

The final essential step in living your life purpose right now is practical but necessary. There are 24 hours in a day and only about 17 waking hours. Then subtract the time to eat, shower, and handle the necessary tasks of living. What you have remaining is what you have to work with in living purposefully.

You will have many, many more purpose-driven activities than you will have hours in a day. You have to prioritize – or simply choose. You will need to balance your time between the various important aspects of your life.

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”  ~Elwyn Brooks White

The idea is not to cram as much as you can in a moment or day or lifetime. The idea is to make every moment count, with full focus on what you have chosen to do because you know with certainty that it is part of your “becoming.” When you fill every moment with purpose, you are living a life of purpose.

Your life purpose isn’t something you attain at the end of your life. It is something you live in the here and now by constantly creating your  life in response to your evolving awareness of who you really are.

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6个实用技巧hold住你的好习惯

想改变你现在生生活状况,养成新的生活习惯,却总是没法坚持下去? 以下六个实用且有效小贴士将帮你把整个场面hold住!

你是不是正试着培养一个新习惯?是不是苦恼于无法让一个好习惯坚持下去?

我们的习惯,决定我们的生活质量。这个月,我跟我的读者们进行了小组培训,然后我好奇地看到他们中很多人都在有目的地培养一些新的习惯。这些有益的习惯包括:

 每天进行冥想和反思

    每天进行锻炼或者至少一周四次体育锻炼

    每周读一本新书

    每天6点起床

    每天晚上12点前睡觉

其实他们很多人都曾经尝试过培养这些习惯,但是始终没有成功。

我意识到很多人很难坚持他们的新习惯,但其实他们用不着那么费劲儿。我自己已经培养出很多新习惯,其中有些需要我做出较大的改变,比如开始吃素餐以及每天运动。通过采取自觉行动,你的习惯可以很容易地成为你生活的一部分。下面是6个使你成功培养习惯的简单的窍门:

1. 让自己理解为什么你要培养这个习惯

你为什么要培养这种习惯,它能给你带 来什么改变?有些人可能想养成每天反思或者每天运动的习惯,但我们为什么要这么做?如果你没有明确的原因,你是不可能成功的。比如,我养成吃素餐的习惯是 因为我想使头脑更清晰,并享有一种更严格自由(cruelty-free)的生活方式。一个更清晰的头脑有助于我的思考,而一个严格自由的生活方式是我所 尊崇的个人追求。因此,对我来说,为此进行改变就成为顺理成章的事情。我听说过不少人坚持吃了两三周素餐最终放弃了,但是我从来没有动摇过。

找出最能说服你改变自己培养新习惯的理由。想想它当他成为你生活的一部分的时候能帮助你实现什么。想想它能带给你独一无二的好处。把这些理由写下来。

2. 把培养习惯当成21天障碍赛

我们有的人可能在培养新习惯的时候由于生活中的一些事情被迫中断。但如果你只需要把新习惯坚持21天呢?乍一下看来并不是很难。你们大多数人都会说:“才21天,我肯定能做到!”

为什么正好是21天?研究表明21天 的时间正好足以形成或毁掉一个新习惯。同时,通过集中精力于更短的时间,更有助于强力地形成习惯。一旦你在21天后形成了新习惯,你会发现维持它是件非常 轻松的事情。因此,在培养习惯的时候,不要老想着你要一辈子都这样下去,而是想着你要坚持21天。如果你到21天结束的时候发现你依然喜欢这个新习惯,那 么你就坚持下去,否则,就放弃掉。这是双赢的结局,没有输家。

3. 在你的日程上为它留出时间

在你的日程表上为你的新习惯预留出时 间。如果你没有为它安排位置,它就会成为你一天中最后才做的事儿。把机会留到一天的末尾,但那时你已经感觉累了,然后决定把它留到第二天再做。接下来,这 个循环会持续下去,而你最终决定完全放弃它。在另一方面,如果你为培养新习惯留出了时间,每次你看日程表的时候都会被提醒要坚持下去,你也知道不要再同时 安排别的事情来占据这段时间。

我将我的慢跑锻炼定在每天早上五六点 之间。一个很重要的原因是我很喜欢清晨微冷的刺激感,下午对我来说太热了。同时,用体育锻炼来开启你的清晨也是一件很酷的事情。由于锻炼时间被设定在这个 时候,我知道我需要每天5点前就起床。如果遇到任何让我没办法进行我的计划的时候(比如下雨或者我睡过头了),我会把运动时间安排到晚上弥补回来。通过这 种办法,我就能在意外的情况下依然坚持我的慢跑习惯。

4. 找出相互影响和加强的生活习惯

我们的生活习惯并不是孤立存在的,而 是相互关联的。比如,早起和早睡是相关联的,运动与合理饮食也是相关联的。这就是为什么培养新习惯是一件很难的事情,因为你的其他习惯会强化你的固有习 惯。那么,与你的新习惯有关联的其他习惯有哪些呢?丢掉对你没用的生活习惯,采用能帮助你生活得更好的习惯吧。

5. 提前预防意外问题

如果你这是第一次培养习惯,你很可能会遇到一些问题。即使你有计划,每天依然会有太多剧情外的事情发生。重要的方法是预估到一些问题,同时提前准备好应对的办法,这样你就能在出现问题的时候立刻把整个场面hold住。

比如,一个跟我每天锻炼目标相冲突的 障碍就是新加坡经常下雨。因此,一旦遇到下雨,由于跑道上没有遮雨棚,我的跑步计划就得搁浅。过去,我会取消当天的锻炼,同时这就拉开了我跳过每日锻炼的 序幕。我当时可能会想:“反正昨天都没去,今天不去也无所谓”。从以前的经验吸取教训后,如果遇到不能出去跑步的时候,我就在家里做耐力组合训练和健美 操。这样我就能保持始终锻炼的势头。

6. 跟踪你的习惯

跟踪你的习惯!当你记录下你的日常习惯,你就会更有动力地维持它,因为这是一种对自己的问责机制。下面是一些很棒的习惯记录软件,他们能给你一些启示:

∷ 21天习惯养成记录器(Habitforge)-通过21天时间观察记录你的习惯养成情况。如果有一天出现中断,你就从头开始。

∷ 跟踪进度提醒软件(Rootein)- 与Habitforge不同,这个软件始终记录你的习惯执行情况,无论你是否中断。这个软件还有手机版,你可以在路上查看你的习惯记录情况。(支持中文- 译者注)

∷ 小乔的目标(Joe’s Goals)- 一款跟Rootein很像的软件。它可以对目标的完成进行多方便的评判。

你还可以使用传统的记录方法:纸和笔。简单得画一个包含21天空格的习惯养成简表。然后,每当你完成一天的习惯之后,在上面画个勾。当你看到表格上面越来越多的勾的时候,你会感到自豪并愿意继续坚持下去。在你真正意识到成功之前,这些习惯已经成为你生活的一部分了。

你呢?

你想培养些什么新习惯?你能用上面哪些小建议来成功养成新的好习惯呢?把你的想法通过评论告诉我吧!

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Top 26 Simple Ways to Make Your Life More Exciting

If someone were to write a book about your life, would the title be something like The Predictable Tale of (Insert Your Name Here)’s Monotonous Existence — or would it be The Exciting Escapades of (Your Name)’s Wild and Adventurous Life ?

Your real life probably falls somewhere in-between agonizing monotony and wanton exhilaration — perhaps long stretches of boredom (or busyness) interspersed with moments of joy. (And even fun and joy can become predictable with repetition.)

As creatures of habit, our routines are comfortable and comforting. We humans tend to resist too much excitement even while we long for more exciting lives. Living an exciting life appears great in theory, but it’s a bit daunting when we’re faced with the possibility of actually doing something to make it exciting.

What is an exciting life anyway?

Does it mean we have to take up skydiving?

Become a spy?

Drive an expensive red sports car?

Those are exciting for sure, but most of us don’t have the money or the stomach for that kind of excitement on a regular basis. In fact, I think excitement is relative to our individual personalities and life circumstances.

At age 26, excitement for me was moving to New York for a fashion career. At age 36, with two toddlers under age three, my thrill was leaving the house for a couple of hours to walk around WalMart.

You don’t have to do or be something dramatic to have a more interesting and exciting life. Small and simple changes, shifts in thinking, and self-stretches can shake up your world enough to make it more fun, fascinating and adventurous — on your own terms.

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You can get out of the rut of your everyday routine and put some sparkle into your lifestyle with just a little creative thinking and planning.

Want some ideas? Here are 26 simple ways to add some excitement to your life.

1. Make room. It’s hard to add excitement to your life if your life is overflowing with mindless tasks and chores. Can you simplify, delegate, or eliminate any of these boring and mindless tasks to make room for excitement? Sometimes we fill our lives with these things in order to avoid stretching ourselves toward happiness. Is that you?

2. Shake up your morning routine. Instead of following the same wake-up routine every day, do it differently on occasion. Get up ten minutes early and have  breakfast outside. Turn off the TV and put on music.  Make love before work. Drive a different way. Just starting your day differently will give you a little thrill.

3. Be the host. Take the initiative to entertain, and invite friends or family over for dinner or something different — like a wine tasting or game night.

4. Move your furniture. Rearrange or redecorate a room, switching things up enough that it feels new and different.

5. Go cheer. Attend a competitive, fast-paced sporting event like tennis, basketball, or racing where the energy and excitement of the sport is contagious.

6. Get a makeover. Get a new haircut, have your make-up done by a pro, buy a new outfit, or try a new style. It’s even more fun if you do this with a friend.

7. Cut a rug. Now wear that new outfit or haircut to go out to a dance club — or just dance at home with great music and friends.

8. Find exciting people. Look around at people you know whose lives seem interesting and exciting. Take the initiative to get to know them so that you can be included in some of their excitement.

9. Plan an adventure trip. Even if you can’t afford to take a trip now, just researching, planning, and dreaming can give you a boost and build excitement for the time when you can afford to go. Include saving money as part of your planning!

10. Learn something new. Study a new language, a new skill, a hobby. You will open doors to meeting new people who share your interests and abilities and gain a sense of confidence and achievement.

11. Shake up your sex life. Be adventurous. Read the Kama Sutra. Join the Mile High Club. Find a new location. Just do it.

12. Get out of the house. Step away from the TV or computer and do something. Take a walk with a friend. Go to the bookstore and browse. Visit a local gallery or museum.

13. Go on a weekend excursion. Plan a fun getaway for 2-3 days for some outdoor or indoor adventure. REI offers a variety of adventure travel including some great weekend getaways if you want some ideas.

14. Test drive a sports car. Ok, so you may not be able to buy one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try it out. Go take a spin behind the wheel of your favorite car.

15. Arrange a secret rendezvous. Surprise your beloved with a romantic evening or overnight hotel stay.

16. Try an unusual recipe. Cook something that you’ve never tried before or order something unusual at a restaurant that you wouldn’t normally try.

17. Read an adventure novel or thriller. Enjoy your excitement vicariously through a juicy, good book.

18. Go to a comedy club or mystery dinner theater. Have an exciting evening of laughs or thrills to shake up your routine weekend.

19. Write down your life vision. Spend some time thinking about your ideal life filled fun, excitement and adventure. Write down your vision and the actions you could take to get yourself there.

20. Adopt a pet. This is excitement plus responsibility, so be sure you are ready for both. A pet (especially a puppy) will be great company and provide fun opportunities to meet other pet people.

21. Go to a rock concert. Get tickets to your favorite band and take your favorite person to listen to some body-moving music.

22. Go skinny dipping. Night time is best if you don’t want the excitement of an arrest. Find a pool or a hot tub, strip down, and bring a loved one. Add a bottle of champagne for even more excitement.

23. Try a random act of kindness. Do something unexpectedly nice for a friend or a complete stranger. Pay for someone’s coffee. Send balloons. Leave a love note.

24. Be curious about people. Ask people (old and new friends) questions about their lives. Learn what other people do and what makes them tick. You might discover something intriguing about them and yourself.

25. Don’t wait. Don’t wait to try something, to initiate, to take action. Stop playing it safe or looking for someone else to take the lead. Be a creative creator of your life. You can make it as exciting and thrilling as you wish.

26. Do that one big thing. Is there one big action you’ve been holding back on that could turn your life from boring to amazing? Maybe it’s a job change, a move, a proposal, a change of scenery, a new person in your life. Whatever it is, take the first step. Action creates momentum, and momentum builds excitement.

For the most part, an exciting life doesn’t happen to you. (And when it does, it may not be the kind of excitement you want!) You need to find ways to jazz up your life in small ways by shifting your perspective — and changing some of your daily actions.

Small and fresh change can enliven you and create a new and exciting outlook on life.

What have you done to add excitement into your life? Please share you adventures in the comments.

See Also

5 “facts” from a freshman

5 Fundamentals for Success in Life

10 Blogs For Learning Something New

How To Improve Your Life Starting Today

7 Habits that Will Make You Happier, Healthier & Way More Likeable

Autumn Inspired Top Apps and Gadgets

I don’t know about you, but when I think of autumn the following thoughts comes to mind: crunchy leaves, peeling branches and cozy wardrobe. The fall is, by far, my favorite season. It evokes a sense of serenity and warmth (more so than the scorching hot SoCal Summer) that truly make me happy. There is also something to be said about the autumnal colors (oranges, reds, yellows, etc) that bring a smile to my face. Needless to say, I’m in love with the season.

With that said, what kind of autumn-lover would I be if I didn’t find some tech to match the season. So I’ve rounded up some of my favorite autumn-inspired gadgets and apps to take you into my favorite time of year.

Is there one piece of tech that you are looking to pick up this Fall? Share it in the comments below!

1. bark turntable, $1,298
2. plaid iPod case, $35
3. phone cases, $34.99
4. beats orange headphones, $299.95

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1. tree trunk lamp
2. orange amp, $899
3. orange tablet case, $45
4. plaid iPad case, $49.99

Foliage Leaf Peepr, Free
Keep up to date on the changing leaf colors around the US with Yankee Magazine’s fantastic Foliage Leaf Peepr app. Share photos from your neighborhood, check out the leaves from around the States, and help plan your fall foliage road trip based on the feedback.


Treeid, Free
Setting out on a fall foliage trip or simple autumn nature walk? You can now use this app to help educate yourself and others on the various types of trees that surround you. It’s also very useful for finding out what plants may cause allergic reactions or may be harmful.

Alton Autumn Road Trips, Free
You may not be familiar with Alton, IL, but it happens to sit in the path of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway and is the perfect location for fall foliage drives. This app helps outline several trips for you to take around the scenic area.

How to Find Real Love

“A strange passion is moving through my head. My heart has become a bird which searches the sky. Every part of me goes in different directions. Is it really so that the one I love is everywhere?” ~Rumi

Are you searching for love?

Perhaps you are single or perhaps in a committed relationship. But you long for love.

I think one of the loneliest places is to be in a relationship in which you still long for love. When you are single, wishing for love is acceptable because you are unattached. When you are in a relationship, it is assumed by most people around you that you dwell in love. But that’s not always true. You may know this yourself.

Either way, a desire for love is one of the core principles of our existence. And the desire is not only to feel loved by another but to share love with another — to give and receive in equal measure so that both people can thrive and live to their fullest potential. That is the essence of a mature, loving connection.

If the desire for love is elemental to the human condition, why is it so hard to find love — and even harder to sustain it? Relationships are failing left and right, and certainly one of the main causes for this is that we enter them for reasons that can’t sustain us.

  • We are looking for security.
  • We fear being alone.
  • We feel an urgency to have children.
  • We desire to fulfill something missing from our parents.
  • We want to stroke our egos.
  • We don’t know what we want.

Years ago, some of these reasons may have been acceptable for entering into and staying in a marriage — especially for women. But this is no longer the case, or at least it doesn’t have to be.

Entering into a relationship for any motivation other than love and mutual respect is a recipe for eventual discontent and potential disaster.

You cannot create a loving relationship within the context of fear, ego-based desires, and unmet childhood needs. Nor can you sustain a relationship without the mutual willingness to place your love and respect at the forefront of your life together.

Of course this is often easier said than done. Our lives and emotions are complicated and potential landmines are everywhere. Finding and sustaining love is a work in progress — a shifting, undulating canvas that requires the steady hand of commitment to its ongoing creation.

When you are committed to love, to real and mutually-fulfilling love, it will find its way to you, because nothing less will be acceptable. It will require some inner work on your part, and it may require some pain and heartache. But once you prepare yourself to find love, you may well discover it at your doorstep.

For those who are single and seeking love . . .

Understand what constitutes a soul connection. Often we just don’t know what real love is. It hasn’t been modeled to us by our parents. We believe that having our needs met constitutes love. We think that romance will sustain us. You wouldn’t enter any important commitment without doing research and gaining understanding. Learn about love so that you know the elements of a deeply loving relationship. (See the resource list below.)

Resolve Issues and Patterns. Examine your own life to recognize what might sidetrack you from finding real love. If you have fears and insecurities, identify them and seek to overcome them so they don’t drive your love decisions. If you have wounds from your childhood, seek help to deal with these so they don’t wreck havoc on your relationships. If you have hurts from past relationships, address these fully and learn to recognize your negative patterns so you don’t repeat them.

Become whole on your own. The healthiest and most loving relationships begin with two people who are emotionally mature, have solid self-esteem, and who have created full lives of their own. One of the first steps in finding love is loving yourself and savoring life. Work on becoming the person you want to be for your beloved.

Acknowledge all of the love around you. Love is everywhere around you, and somewhere in that love your beloved is preparing for you as you are preparing for him or her. Rather than feeling jealous of another person’s love or sad because of your lack of it, bask in gratitude for the love you have. Keep loving feelings at the surface of your mind and heart. Show love to your family, friends, pets, and others in your circle. Feel love for the world around you, for nature, for God if you believe.

For those who are in a relationship and seek love within it . . .

All of the above. If you haven’t addressed the points above, you can still do this within the framework of your relationship — but involve your partner. Even if you began your relationship with the wrong motives or have stepped on the landmines of old patterns or past wounds, you can work together to create a new, more soul-fulfilling relationship. Of course this necessitates the commitment and work of both partners.

Draw from your early feelings. Hopefully you started your relationship with some foundation of real love. Over time, as romance and chemistry fade, our wounds, expectations, and negative patterns chip away at our feelings and respect for each other. Our intimate connection is weakened as we build defensive walls around ourselves. But you can find your way back to those early feelings of connection if you try. Remembering the powerful feelings that brought you together in the first place can potentially reunite and heal you.

Know when to say goodbye. When you open yourself to real love and a true partnership, you may discover you must say goodbye to your current relationship. You may come to recognize that your initial motives for the relationship aren’t enough to sustain you any longer. As hard and painful as this may be, it is a courageous and healthy decision. Remaining stuck and lonely in a partnership for reasons that serve your ego rather than your soul will ultimately lead to despair.

Read More

Simple Ways to Make Change Stick

10 Blogs For Learning Something New

How To Improve Your Life Starting Today

爱的越简单越深 (佳文推荐)

《小王子》温情语录

8 Simple Ways to Make Change Stick

When you start out on a new direction in life, you probably feel fired up and enthused, ready to do anything. For a few days, that motivation lasts.

But change is often a long, slow and – let’s face it – rather tedious process.If you’ve ever been on a diet, you’ve probably noticed this! And even goals that you might be excited about, like writing a book, require a surprising amount of slogging through on days when you’re unenthused.

So, how can you keep up your motivation over the long-term?

    1. Tell Other People About Your Goal. Accountability is a surprisingly strong force: if you tell everyone that you’re writing a novel, then you’ll be more likely to stick with it past the first few chapters. Plus, telling friends/family about your goal may bring practical help: if your grandma knows you’re trying to lose weight, she’s less likely to insist on baking cakes for you…
    2. Write Down Your Reasons. Whatever you’re trying to change in your life, you’ve got good reasons to want to. Those might be things you’re trying to avoid (“I don’t want to be in debt any more”) or things that you want to reach or accomplish (“I want to run a marathon”). Whenever your motivation flags, you can re-read your list for a guaranteed boost.
    3. Set Mini-Goals and Milestones. Some changes take years (perhaps even a lifetime). If you’re struggling to make headway on a huge change, set yourself smaller goals along the way – milestones on your journey. That way, you’ll be able to see the progress that you’re making much more easily. If you’re still struggling, break your small goal into individual steps.
    4. Join a Club or Group. Perhaps you’re trying to make a huge change in your life, but no-one in your family or friendship circle seems to care. Look for a local (or online) club where you can find like-minded people – they’ll be able to support you both emotionally and practically. For instance, if you’re trying to improve your presentation skills, look for a branch of Toastmasters in your area.
    5. Don’t Rely on Willpower Alone. Once your initial surge of enthusiasm for a new goal fades, you’ll be relying on willpower to get you through. That takes a lot of mental energy, so look for ways to make things easier – for instance, head to the gym on your way home from work rather than trying to get up the enthusiasm to go back out later.
    6. Make Time For It. Almost every change requires consistent effort on a regular basis. That means devoting sufficient time to your goal. For instance, if you want to eat more healthily, you need to allow time for buying and preparing food. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up eating junk again. If you’re struggling to find sufficient time, read Creating More Time for some great tips.

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  1. Track Your Progress. Keeping track of your progress doesn’t just help with motivation – it also lets you see what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re studying for a new qualification, keep track of the different things that you’ve learned, and of the techniques you used to learn them. If you’re trying to get fitter and shape up, record details of your workouts and keep a record of your weekly measurements.
  2. Ask for Help. When you’re implementing major change in your life, it’s a mistake to think you need to go it alone. There are scores of people who can help you – from family and friends to trained professionals.Don’t be afraid to ask for some support, advice or assistance. Even if you spend some money hiring a professional to help you, this may well work out cheaper than struggling alone and making mistakes.

What works for you when you’re making big changes? Have you got any more tips to add?

Read More

Focus on Who You’re Being

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Look Back on Life with No Regrets

It is 16 years this fall that I packed the car and headed west from a town on the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border.

Not sure if it was watching too many Brady Bunch episodes as a kid and always dreaming of living in that cool house they had, watching the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High one too many times, or my disdain for winter weather. Heck, it may have been all three.

Whatever it was, I had this fascination with moving to Southern California one day as a kid. That dream carried through into my high school and college years, then when I began life in the workplace back east.

Finally after tossing and turning on the decision, I pulled the trigger on the move at age 30 and away I went.

With 90 percent of my possessions loaded in a moving truck, and the rest of them jammed in my car, I hit the freeway and began a week-long journey to California.

In the process of such a move, I left behind family, a full-time job, security and more. In turn, I was getting no guarantees of work, living in an area where I knew no one, and lots of questions with few answers. On the bright side, there was that Southern California weather that always looked so appealing.

So what were some lessons to be learned from this experience? Among them were:

Lesson #1: Be prepared for some setbacks

Nothing typically goes the way we plan it, heck that might actually be a good thing. If everything fell into place just perfectly, we might just find this world a little too boring for our tastes. It is the setbacks and challenges in life that define who we really are and what we’re made of.

Lesson #2: Avoid the naysayers

Whether it is out of jealousy and/or the fact they were too scared to do it themselves, don’t let others get you down when you take such a big risk in life. Other than my parents full support, I had plenty of people telling me I would last at best six months in California and would be returning home soon. I don’t want to say they didn’t care about me, maybe it was just they thought I was irrational for making such a move or would be disappointed when all was said and done?

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Lesson #3: Remember why you’re doing this in the first place

Any adventure in life takes fortitude and the willingness to stick it out. There are plenty of opportunities to throw in the towel when taking risks, but is that what you really want? I’ve always lived by a simple adage that goes…. “Quitters never win, Winners never quit.”

Lesson #4: See the light at the end of the tunnel

As I made that cross country drive into the unknown, there were always opportunities to turn around and go home. You have to see the big picture in life and not just live the moment, especially when those moments are challenging. Taking months to find a job, bills piling up, no familiar faces around etc. can prove challenging for anyone. Remember, though, what is your ultimate goal and can you see it taking place?

Lesson #5: Reap the Rewards

They say you have to live through some tough times to enjoy the good times. While I do have some belief in that thought, it doesn’t mean life has to be pure hell before you get to the good stuff. When some good things do come along, appreciate them because you earned them.

It has been over a decade now since the packed car left the driveway of my parents’ home one fall morning and I’m still in Southern California.

I’ve been through a divorce, a job layoff, several relationships, some tough financial times and more.

Through it all, not only have I had the support of the best parents a guy could ask for, but I’ve had the support of one other person: me.

Whenever things get a little rough, I remind myself of one thing, I’ve lived my dream. I don’t say this out of arrogance, but how many people get to say that in this one life we get? For me, the term regrets isn’t a part of my life.

Whether I’m in Southern California one more day, 10 more years, 20 years etc…. I could die tomorrow at peace knowing that I got way more out of life than I ever could have dreamed of. Oh, yes, I got my dream too!

See Also

Focus on Who You are Being

5 Fundamentals for Success in Life

5 Keys to Transformational Success

10 Tips for Living a Better Life

10 Blogs to Simplify Your Life

How To Improve Your Life Starting Today

11 Incredibly Simple Ways to Infuse Your Life with Bliss, Happiness and Joy

Focus on Who You’re Being

One of things we have really backwards in personal development is the way in which goals, dreams and desires are approached. As a result people make far less progress than they are capable of and eventually get frustrated and stop trying.

Today I want to talk about a simple shift in approach that will dramatically increase the likelihood you accomplish your goals and  and realize your dreams.

Traditional Thinking

  • Do: The first thing we’re told to do is to take action. I’m all for taking action, but if you’re doing it from a very negative mindset the effectiveness of it will be subpar at best. This is the default way in which most people approach taking action in their lives and for the most part this can turn into a personal development hamster wheel.
  • Have: If we do what we need to do, we tend to think that we’ll have whatever we think we’re going to get. Occasionally it does work, but it’s only if you’re in that select few who manage to make it off the the hamster wheel of continuous action. By the time you actually have what you were trying to get you’re completely exhausted by the pursuit of it.
  • Be: We have a tendency to think that once we do what we need to do, we’ll have what we wanted and we’ll be how we wanted t be. To clarify with an example, we save the money for a new car, we buy it and we’re now satisfied, fulfilled or happy.

The problem with this approach to living life is that everything is dependent on the external circumstances of your life. If those circumstances don’t line up or go according to plan your way of being is negatively affected and your next actions will align accordingly.

A More Powerful Approach

  • Be: As I said the title of the article indicated don’t worry about what you’re doing and instead focus on who you’re being. This is something you have control over. You can choose to be happy, fulfilled, or anything else you want to be. You can choose to be the type of person you want to be.
  • Do: The interesting thing about starting with being the person you want to be is that your actions will align accordingly. Thus you’ll be taking all your actions from a much more empowering place. You might refer to this as what is called inspired action. I’ll give you a personal example. At the moment I’m unemployed and for the last few weeks I was being a guy who is unemployed again, living at home again, and every other lousy thing I could pile upon my mountain of self pity. A friend called my attention to the person I was being and suddenly I asked myself “if I was being a guy who was successful already how would I see this situation?.” Instantly I started to see opportunity in my presentation situation and all of my actions since have aligned accordingly.
  • Have: The interesting thing is that with this approach to things we not only see the world through a much more powerful lens, we still get to have the things we want. Not only is it more effective, but it’s much more fulfilling because we’re not so tied to the external circumstances of our lives in order to be fulfilled.

Determine the person you wan to be for the next 30 days and just be it. Take note of your actions that you take and the results they generate. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Read More

How to Use Subconscious to Change Your Life

How to Hack the Thoughts Keeping You From Your Dream

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