We all have it, but we cannot sell it or get it back. The above video is a quick explanation of what it is and why it's important.
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“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.”
– Tony Robbins
A lot of times people are brought up to believe things like:
Have you ever had one of these thoughts? Do you know someone else who may act in such a way as to embody these thoughts?
People need people. It’s as simple as that. Unless you become a self-sustaining hermit out in the middle of no where … You will have to encounter other people. You need them to barter/trade/sell/purchase things from. You need them to work in collaboration to achieve a common goal.
Throughout my life, I have met a countless number of people. Some have become the most wonderful of friends & chosen family … Some decided to forever leave my life. And with every encounter, I learned an important lesson.
When you’re feeling down, when you feel all alone … Your friends are the ones that will lift you up, make you smile, and want to see you happy. Sometimes we don’t want to reach out and “bother” our friends … But we forget that our friends are our bosom pals who would NEVER want us to feel lonely! We all get busy sometimes, and in those times we may forget to call, but when you reach out they’re there!
We all go through ups and downs in life … Sometimes we seem to have more of one than the other … And while I am a firm believer you can change your own future, sometimes it’s that friend by your side or on the phone who is needed in that moment. They may be a guiding hand to help you through murky waters, a clear head to help you see the light, and sometimes they may be the last leg for you to stand on. Regardless of what role they play on your “dark day” your real friends don’t abandon you when times get tough or emotional. They don’t give up on you – they help you through until you can pass back into the light!
When friends see you through the rough patches, they’ve also seen you when things are wonderful … so they know your true nature. And if you’ve been a friend to them, been open and honest, they know who you really are. So when someone tries to defame, slander, or drag you through the mud, you know that the people who love you will already know your heart and will not be swayed by lies.
I personally would rather someone NEVER lie to me (even to spare my feelings) … But sometimes they may say a little white lie now and then to do so. Sometimes they may never speak up at all on a situation you’re in if they think you’re happy (regardless of how they feel about it). Everyone has their own way of supporting their friends … I personally would rather someone be completely open, honest, and forward — as long as you’re coming to me out of love then whatever you have to say is coming from a good place.
They won’t lie to you. They won’t hide things from you. PERIOD. (Excluding above references … So I guess make your own judgement of the situations as they happen.)
They give because they love you. They give because they can. They give because you need it, and they give because you are friends. Whether it’s putting $100 in your mailbox anonymously, or whether they are giving of their time to help you move … whatever the case may be, friends give.
Bottom line is they care. They care about you. Your well being – in all aspects of your life.
So if you have “friends” in your life that never seem to find any time for you, never keep their word, never seem to be around when you need them, never seem willing to help … Are they truly a friend in the first place?
Previous Post: 5 Lessons I Learned From Being Cynical of Christmas
Several times over the last few weeks (in reality, the last several years) it has come to my attention that the holidays are not truly celebrated the way they were meant to be … Unfortunately, people get depressed and suicidal during the holiday seasons … People get violent and sale-crazy trying to shop for things they don't need, can't afford, or shop for the thrill of it …
I wanted to give something a little bit more meaningful to the holidays for this post. I wanted to give a little bit of background on some of the holidays this season and instead of getting lost in the hype of shopping, I hope I might rekindle the spirit of the seasons. Open up the minds and hearts a little bit …
The first lesson I'd like to share is: Christmas. In recent times, it's the “celebration of BABY JESUS!” A celebration of the spirit of giving. More aptly put, it's a shopper's nightmare and a business's payday.
Don't get me wrong, it's nice to get gifts. But I think gifts should be given because the giver wants to … Not because “everyone else is doing it” or “that's just what you do at Christmas” or even simply because it's “that time of year”. I just feel like the “spirit of giving” should not be held to once a year.
Certain elements of Christmas even have origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity. Many modern Christmas customs have been directly influenced by such festivals, including gift-giving and merrymaking from the Roman Saturnalia, greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year, and Yule logs and various foods from Germanic feasts.
As to Christ's birthday … this is a fallacy that keeps getting propagated by people who spout off opinions as facts without doing their research. I've always been told that Christ was born in the spring … not the winter. And if you're a Christian (or just someone who has read the New Testament) you would be more inclined to agree with this theory than what most “Christians” claim come this time of year.
This site pretty much explains it. The Bible states that Christ was born when the shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks (which they wouldn't do in December) and His parents had gone to Bethlehem in order to register for a Roman census (which were not taken in winter). This same site stated, among several others I found (and through word of mouth I have also been told), that Christ was more likely to have been born late March. So this whole, “celebrate the birth of Christ” bit? Yeah – you're probably a few months too early friends. 🙂
According to Wikipedia, the celebration of the birth of Jesus was celebrated in connection with Epiphany on January 6, and the December 25th celebration was adopted in the East in the 4th century in Antioch, then in Alexandria in the next century. Not only that, but many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Christ's birth.
The 3rd lesson I'd like to share is Yule. Also know as Yuletide (“Yule time”), it is a pagan religious festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later being absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas. It was an indigenous midwinter festival celebrated by the Germanic peoples and Christmas was absorbed into the 12 day Yule celebrations in 336 AD when Pope Julius I declared the birth of Jesus to have been on December 25. (Sound familiar?)
Some celebrate in a way as close as possible to how they believe Ancient Germanic pagans observed the tradition, while others observe the holiday with rituals culled from numerous other unrelated sources.
We all have the right to worship in our own ways, and just like any other holiday or religious ritual, just because one person celebrates or worships differently than another doesn't make them wrong.
The fourth lesson I'd like to share is on caroling. Let's be honest — who doesn't like to be serenaded by beautiful voices?
Did you know that the earliest “Christmas hymns” appeared in 4th century Rome (about the time that Christmas began to be celebrated around December 25th) and that a Perisian monk in the 12 century began to derive music from popular songs, introducing something closer to traditional caroling?
Me neither. But that began to be a strong tradition by the 13th century thanks to Francis of Assisi (who you should totally look up — he's pretty interesting) and Christmas carols in English first began appearing in 1426.
Singing of carols initially suffered a decline in popularity after the Protestant Reformation in northern Europe, and largely survived in rural communities until the revival of interest in popular songs in the 19th century (1800s).
I personally love to go caroling! Being able to meld with the beautiful voices around me, seeing the pure pleasure on someone's face when we go from house to house (or shop to shop) … I just love it!
The 5th lesson I'd like to share is about decorations! A lot of the decorations used during Christmas actually come from “pagan” rituals … For example …
The Christmas tree is considered by some as a Christianized version of pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs. The modern Christmas tree tradition is believed to have begun in Germany in the 18th century, though many argue that Martin Luther began the tradition in the 16th century. By the 1870s, people in the United States had adopted the custom of putting up a Christmas tree.
In some homes you may see displays of “Christmas villages”, holly (which at some point in history was believed to keep you safe from pagans), mistletoe (which is a parasitic plant people have used to steal kisses from people in “spirit of the season” … sounds about right for a parasite huh?), as well as an array of different plants traditionally used during the season.
You may even see bright lights or rolls of beautifully colored paper … All to bring about that magical feeling of Christmas.
Don't get me wrong … I know a lot of what I have said may come off as cynical, negative, and the like. But I truly LOVE Christmastime. I love the occasional snow where children might have the chance to take a day off from school and build snowmen or make snow angels. I love that (for the most part) people are in a more giving and thankful mood.
I love the closeness and warm feelies you get with the season … the love that can be felt … I just don't agree with the consumerism of the holidays, nor do I like that once the holidays are over, for the most part it seems people just go on with their lives … Like the rest of the year people don't still need help outside of the “giving season”.
So my call to action to you today is EVEN AFTER the holiday season … Find some way to continue to give throughout the year. Even if it's not a monetary donation, donate your time to a soup kitchen. Call up old friends you haven't spoken to in years. Be part of Big Brother Big Sister (because Lord knows our future is in the hands of the young who need guidance)… Do something to keep the spirit of the season strong all year long!
I'm sharing these “hacks” (as it were) because a lot of times people want to give but don't know how … Either it's too hard, or takes too much time, or perhaps they simply don't know what they can do to make a difference.
“Every little bit helps” … And you'd be amazed at what very little you have to do to make a huge difference!
There's 2 ways to do this particular “charity hack” … And although it might do the most monetary good immediately, I put this as the lowest on my list because it does take some effort on your part in order to get this to work.
Talk to your employer and find out if they have this option available. This may be the easier option and possibly the better one, as I'm not sure how the site I'm about to provide really works.
The other way is via some online options, but the one I was introduced to only gave donations to one particular place, so I did not feel that sharing the information would be beneficial to the general populace. However, if you're interested anyway you can click here.
I first heard about this type of thing when my ex told me about it — it was something he had on his Playstation 3 and it was super cool! He would just leave it on and it would help unravel information on DNA or something like that … Don't remember the exact specifics, and after re-reviewing their site it looks like they're doing a lot more these days.
So whether you use your Playstation, PC, MAC, Linux or even Android … you can use your idle time to help do the following:
— cure diseases
— study global warming
— discover pulsars
— help with other scientific research
There are several brands out there who allow for part of the proceeds to go to a good cause … For example:
A) A portion of Product(RED) merchandise goes to help fight AIDS in Africa. For a while now, Apple has been working with this company and has some products that are specifically used for RED … Yet they recently announced that on CyberMonday / World AIDS Day (December 1st) a portion of ALL proceeds (gift cards, accessories, products, etc) will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.
B) Susan B Komen Foundation also partners with companies to provide products that support their cause as well — obviously breast cancer awareness.
Did you know that every time you search the web you could raise money for a cause of your choice? I didn't – until today. The searches are powered by Yahoo, and through the sites you go to you can raise up to 30% of your purchases, and up to 6% of your dining at participating partners.
Be sure to click here to find out how they do it.
I know a lot of people shop using Amazon. I myself have found some pretty awesome things that I was told I would never find by using Amazon. But why not also have part of your purchase automatically go to charity? That's what AmazonSmile does. So every time you make a purchase, 0.5% will go to a charity of your choice. It may not sound like much, but that's basically $0.50 for every $100 spent. And that can add up!
While AmazonSmile may donate 0.5% of it's ales to a charity of your choosing, this site will allow you on average to be able to donate 3% to a charity of your choosing! And it's for over 1,500 stores (not just one site)! And something even cooler that I saw on their site is that if you don't see the charity you want to donate to, you can list it!
This one is higher on my list because it's closer to my entrepreneurial heart.
Too often, small businesses are unable to get loans from big corporation banks. And these small businesses are the ones that need it the most … And too often the loans they get have too high of an interest that it may be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to repay.
Kiva is a ompany that aids small businesses in the developing world. The idea behind Kiva is simple: you're helping others to help themselves. Just find a business you'd like to help, select a loan amount that you're comfortable with, and then you'll start getting updates as things progress. While Kiva doesn't promise the inflated dollars that we all hear about these days, it sure is a good way to help your fellow entrepreneur and do some good!
What is a voluntourism? It's basically a vacation where you also volunteer your time.
This one's not quite “effortless,” but by booking a volunteer vacation both you and the community you visit to lend a helping hand benefit. You can save a ton of money on your travel and have some amazing experiences all while supporting a good cause.
I'm part of a lifestyle and vacation club that has a cornucopia of vacation options to choose from, including specific vacations that are geared for this exact thing! You can find out more about what our nonprofit does by clicking here and if you're interested in going on these kinds of vacations (or if you simply want to take dream vacations at dream prices and save on everything you do) then you can click here for more information.
But if all of that isn't for you, then there are other ways to achieve a similar goal. You can learn more by checking out this LifeHack piece on it. (Definitely worth a read!)
I was introduced to a site that would allow you to use your “spare change” from purchases to be directly sent to a charity of your choice … But it looks like the site is closed to new people AND I heard that it incurred other charges from your bank or had issues with credit card companies … So I found something else for you!
I found an app via this post that allows for “a three-tap, easy way for donors to give to any cause from their smartphones. However, there’s much more to it, like donation tracking for users (think taxes) and a web portal for registered nonprofits that allows them to customize their presence on Givelify, track donations and receive donation payouts.”
So click here for more info on this app, check it out for yourself, and when you decide it's something you want to do, download the app and start donating!
Previous Post: 6 Fitness Bands to Improve Your Health
If you like the information I have provided, here's something you can check out that you can do from home. It's a way for you to earn additional income online, and whether you use it to donate to your favorite charity or pay off a bill (or replace your income), that's up to you!
Individual Results Will Vary, & Not All Results Are Typical. Please see our average income earnings at http://ipasearnings.com
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I am sharing this information today because:
As my readers know, I have a few businesses – but they are mostly businesses I can do from home or from some place where I don't need to be active. However, at this time I still also work for a tech company. And I found that I am rarely active.
They say that in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, you should walk at least 10,000 steps a day. But when you work in a cubicle job, you rarely get that many steps in.
So I started looking for devices that would help me lead a more healthy lifestyle.
The biggest things for me when looking for a health/fitness band are the following:
Everything else I found were either superfluous or were awesome perks!
The reason I needed a heart rate monitor was because I actually have a heart condition. And although I have an ICD implant, I need to be able to monitor my heart rate when working out and doing strenuous activity to ensure that I'm not only staying in whatever zone I'm trying to focus on, but also to ensure I don't get into the “danger zone” as it were.
As for the step counter — well, I live a mostly sedentary lifestyle and need to change that. So if I know how many steps I'm taking over the course of the day, I can do something differently to ensure I hit that goal.
And as for the sleep monitor … Our bodies require 6-8 hours of sleep (this is debateable, but for most people it's true). And due to our lifestyles, we rarely get 6-7. We like to stay up late, have to get up early for work, and try to squeeze out every little drop of time we can for our days. But if we don't get enough sleep, we overwork our bodies and can cause some pretty damaging things to occur. So being able to track my sleep, see how I feel when I get plenty of sleep vs just enough (or too little), and see how being active can cause my sleep patterns to change is not only informative it's just plain cool!
Some of the brands / companies listed have other devices that might be of more interest to you, but I've only listed ones I've considered purchasing, and those would include devices with a HR monitor. So be sure to check out the accompanying websites!
The FitBit Surge is the one of the newest of the line from Fitbit. It's not even out yet! But I've provided you with a link to compare the products they currently have with what they are coming out with.
Although it's a pricey tag on it ($249.95) here are the features it has:
— Calculates steps, calories, distance
— Sleep Tracking
— Auto Sleep Detection
— Silent Wake Alarm
— Floors Climbed
— Active Minutes
— Continuous Heart Rate
— Caller ID
— Text Notifications
— Music Control
— GPS Tracking
It's basically a smart watch with health benefits, honestly. And based on the image I'm sharing on the FitBit line, you could probably get away with the Charge HR, since the only differences between it and the Surge are:
— $100 difference
— No text notifications
— No music control
— No GPS tracking
One of the cool things listed for the Garmin device that wasn't on the FitBit chart was that there was a personalized daily goal. FitBit may have this, but it wasn't listed in it's chart.
Price Tag: $199.99
This items totes “advanced heart rate technology” that is based on your blood flow. Algorithms and fancy science speak says that as your heart beats, your blood ebbs and flows and changes the amount of light that is reflected. Using this, the device from this company can apparently provide a better heart rate detection.
WHEN YOU'RE EXERCISING:
— Gives a more true account of the number of steps for walks/runs
— Uses HR and motion detection to provide “proper credit” for calories burned
— 24/7 HR monitor (no chest strap required)
— Checks perspiration levels to give you a better understanding of your physical exertion
— Detects skin temperature so you can see how your body reacts day & night
It looks like this is mostly focused on running, walking and cycling but you should check the site for more information as I'm not sure how well this device works with other forms of exercise.
WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING
— Says it's the “only” tracker to automatically detect your sleeping cycles (including REM and deep sleep … but I know other devices tote the same thing)
— Offers in-depth data on sleep quality
— Automatic sleep detection
— Both HR and accelerometer data combine to provide rich sleep insights
— Understand sleep trends based on your ongoing average
— Set habits to build consistent sleep patterns
They also say on their site that this sleeping part of the device was developed in partnership with leading academic institutions, so I'm a little more inclined to believe what they're saying.
WHEN YOU NEED A PUSH: This device uses a “habit system” to help you make small but powerful changes to your sleep or activity patterns.
— Automatically adjusts weekly goals based on your performance
— Habit notifications when you’re on track or need a nudge
FUTURE FREE UPGRADES: On wrist alerts coming as a future upgrade, such as …
— habit notifications
— smartwatch notifications & alerts
One of the other super cool features of this device is it's ability to be water resistant up to 5 ATM (which I believe is 50m).
This one was a little tricky to share, because they have several items to choose from.
SAMSUNG GEAR S:
— map run
— track steps
— HR monitor
— count calories burned
— get vital health info over time
— integrates with “S Health” and “Nike+ Running” and “MapMyRun”
— SmartWatch Features
SAMSUNG GEAR LIVE:
Seems to be similar to the above, but with limited features … I would go to their site and compare to see which is best for you.
SAMSUNG GEAR FIT:
Nothing super fancy … Seems to be a basic step counter but with some SmartWatch features. Also has HR monitor.
For this device, They used to have the Jawbone UP and UP24 … Now they have the UP24 and 2 new devices, but no original UP.
I personally tried out the UP24 and for the most part I was ok with it (although it didn't have a HR monitor … their UP3 does though) … The only major issue I had with the UP24 was it kept snagging on everything … So I'm really glad they had a 60 day money back guarantee, because I really tried to be ok with the snagging… Just couldn't take it in the end.
One of the cool things about their new UP3 is that it has advanced sleep tracking (similar to one of the previous products where it reads your HR and skin temp) AND it also apparently learns your activities.
Here was their IndiGogo page to get funding that goes into more detail about how this all works.
The only things that bother me about this particular device is that:
— it doesn't have that sleep function
— no GPS at device launch
— if the screen cracks you must purchase a new device (but I think that's the case with most fitness devices)
— some kettlebell exercises could potentially damage the device