Saturday, October 09, 2010

Saturday Night Classic Music Video

Kicking off the "U"'s is U2:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click on Pic

Friday, October 08, 2010

More than Staying Warm

Who would have thought that there was more to sweaters than another layer to keep you warm?

Just about 2 weeks ago I was writing a commercial that mentioned big bulky sweaters, and a few days later, I get this from the AOM Blog:

A Man’s Guide to Sweaters

A quality sweater that properly fits is one of the most flattering garments a man can wear. It adds weight to a skinny physique and streamlines a large figure. Functionally it keeps you warm while style wise it can break up the monotonous wearing of dress shirts and slacks to the office. Yet most men know little about sweaters and even fewer take full advantage of all the styles and patterns available. This article will give you a strong understanding of sweater fabrics, fit, and style; the goal being not to change you, but rather expose you to options you might not have considered so you can dress in a manner that best reflects your individuality.

Part 1 – Sweater Fabrics

Sweater Fabric Types

Cashmere Sweaters – The gold standard of sweaters, a pure cashmere sweater can cost hundreds of dollars due to the scarcity of the long downy Kashmir goat hair from which it draws its name. Warm and light as a feather, a cashmere sweater is a substantial investment for any man. My advice when purchasing a cashmere sweater is to ensure 1) it fits perfectly 2) you have occasion to wear it at least four times a year 3) it is of a simple, timeless, dark color and 4) you buy it from a reputable merchant (counterfeit sweaters are a poor investment). Cry once about the price, then wear it every chance you get and feel like a million dollars. If you take care of your cashmere sweater you should get 200+ wears out of it over 10 years.

Wool Sweaters – The oldest and most common quality sweater fabric, wool is the traditional favorite when it comes to looks and function. Wool knitted clothing was historically the clothing of common laborers in rural England; today its proven ability to retain heat, fine hand, and history make it a favorite of men all over the world. Wool sweaters do, however, require great care as they are very susceptible to damage from heat and rough handling, especially when wet (wool loses 30% of its strength when soaked).

Cable Knit Cartigan

Cotton Sweaters – Sweaters made from cotton fabric (all other factors being equal) are going to be cooler than either their wool or cashmere brethren as their cellulose foundation sheds heat faster. This isn’t a bad thing – sometimes you want a cooler sweater and cotton sweaters can be worn directly on the skin with no irritation. Also, the use of cotton has helped to drive down sweater costs.

Synthetic Fabric Sweaters – In line with cotton, the big advantage of synthetic fabrics is that they have driven down the cost of these garments. Depending on the type of fabric being used, a synthetic fabric sweater can mimic the properties of wool or cotton, oftentimes without the problems of having to take special care of the garment when it comes to washing and handling. Be careful though when purchasing a synthetic fabric sweater – it will in most cases be of a lower quality than its wool/cashmere fiber counterpart.

Blended Fabric Sweaters – Oftentimes you’ll see a sweater made from two or more fabrics; the reason most manufacturers do this is 1) to save money and 2) to increase performance and desired performance properties. This cost savings is often seen with cashmere blends, as a company can call their sweater a “cashmere” sweater when in reality a large part of the sweater is made from less expensive wool or synthetic fibers. Neither bad nor good, this is simply a case where the consumer should learn to read labels and understand that oftentimes you get what you pay for. The second part, increasing performance/desired properties, is why I consider this practice acceptable. Simply put, by mixing in other fibers a sweater manufacturer can create a garment that fits and performs even better than a pure fabric garment.

Sweater Color

Sweater color affects the situations in which a sweater can be worn. Darker colors are typically seen as more formal and conservative, although light colored sweaters are more acceptable in the spring and summer months. Brighter colors, due to the fact they draw attention to the wearer, are less formal but can be great for casual wear and giving the impression of not taking oneself too seriously. Extremely bright colors are best avoided unless you are a performer or highway worker.

Sweater Pattern

argyle sweater mens

Simple solids are the most formal, with patterns, whether woven in or stitched, making the garment more casual. Argyle is one of the most popular sweater patterns seen on men in the winter months; it’s visually distinctive thanks to its lines and colors. The trick to wearing an argyle sweater successfully is to understand that the sweater’s pattern will be the center of your outfit. Match it with simple items that do not compete with it; also, be aware it will be remembered and should only be worn a couple times a month. Personally, I prefer to wear these sweaters a bit closer fitting to the body under a simple sport jacket. Sportswear sweaters and jerseys, with their unique pattern identifiers, make these types of sweaters casual by affiliation. Great for wear with jeans and suede bucks – not for a suit. For advanced sweater pattern wearing, look here.

Sweater Weave

Sweater weave affects the heat retaining properties, fit, and level of formality of a sweater. Typically heavy rib patterns will make a sweater thicker, increasing its ability to keep you warm and enabling a former fit. Plain woven sweaters are going to be less elastic, slightly cooler, but the more delicate look gives them a more professional appearance.

Part 2 – Sweater Fit

A $500 cashmere sweater will look comical if it’s too small; if it’s too big it will look like a hand-me-down from your big brother. What is the key to finding a good fit? Learn which brands suit you best, and stick with them. Every clothing brand uses different models that they build their clothing off of – you want to find the line that uses a person who most resembles your body’s build. A large sweater made by Calvin Klein is very different than a large found at Wal-Mart – high end designers make their clothing to fit one in ten men (fit less, but for those lucky few a great fit) – larger manufacturers build their clothing lines to fit most men (thus poorly fit all). Custom sweaters are an option for those willing to pay a bit more.

Altering sweaters is a mixed bag – less expensive sweaters often have parts that are sewn and can be slightly altered. Occasionally you’ll find a master stitcher who can even rebuild parts of the garment for a reasonable price. Many times though the alterations needed are beyond the skill set of an average seamstress and most skilled tailors will not touch this specialty work. My advice is to make sure the sweater fits at the onset or if you’re adventurous, try this method yourself (minus the flower).

Sweaters can be paired with pants....or a kilt.

Part 3 – Sweater Style

Men’s Turtleneck Sweaters – A dark colored, well-fitted quality turtleneck sweater should be a staple in every man’s wardrobe; paired with dark trousers it will make almost any man look leaner, taller, and more stylish. It can be worn with a suit, with a sports jacket, or simply by itself. Adopted by creative professionals, it nonetheless is at home on a submarine or the streets of San Francisco.

McQueen Turtleneck

All the proof you need to wear a Turtleneck Sweater

Men’s V-neck Sweaters – As the sweater’s name indicates, the distinguishing feature of this style is the low cut “V” neckline. A perfect compliment for a button-down collar dress shirt (with or without a tie), the “V” line cut helps draw attention to the face and creates a leaner profile illusion. This style has been successfully worn by a wide variety of men, from Rock Hudson to Albert Einstein, and is safe for wear in most business settings, assuming the sweater’s fabric is solid. Be careful though of designer V-neck sweaters that attempt to stand out by cutting the V too low – after more than a few inches, the lines start to have an effeminate look and are best avoided.

Mens V-neck sweater

Men’s Crew Neck Sweaters – Of all the sweater styles, the crew neck sweater is the most dominant in terms of what it reveals of the clothing underneath – which is next to nothing. The advantage here is what you wear underneath, as long as it cannot be seen, is inconsequential. That is until you need to remove the sweater. Again, the button down collar is a natural compliment to this sweater (although most of it will be covered). Being the most common style on the market, you should pay special attention to the fabric type to ensure the sweater performs as you’d like it to.

A WWII inspired pull-over makes a handsome choice for casual wear.

Men’s Polo Sweaters – A casual sweater that eliminates the need to wear a dress shirt underneath, it looks best when paired with a sports jacket. Good fit is paramount with this style, and it can be worn tucked into the trousers.

Men’s Cardigan (Zip & Button Down) Sweaters – One of the most versatile and underused sweaters in a man’s wardrobe, they have a stigma of being an “old man’s sweater.” Nothing could be further from the truth – cardigans compliment men of all ages, whether worn over a dress shirt, layered under a sport jacket, or matched with a suit. They are simple to remove and put back on, and are the only sweater type to incorporate a pocket.

Men’s Aran Sweaters – An Irish original, an authentic Aran sweater is a work of art with a weave that declares the wearer’s clan and history. The story goes that these sweaters originally served the dual purpose of keeping a man warm on the open ocean and enabling identification if he was thrown overboard and drowned. Today, they are still made by hand on the Emerald Isle, with each sweater requiring approximately 100,000 stitches! Aran sweaters are best worn over clothing rather than under a sport jacket.

Murphy Oneil

Which is Murphy....Which is O'neil?

Men’s Sweater Vests – Sweater vests are most at home when worn with a suit or sport jacket/odd trouser combination, and they do not have to match the clothing but should rather compliment the trousers and/or jacket. An athletic built man confident in his own personal style can wear one with slacks or quality denim and a dress shirt, where it can give him a more streamlined look by eliminating the contrast between the shirt and pants.

Written by
Antonio Centeno
President, A Tailored Suit
Articles on Men’s Suits – Dress Shirts – Sport Jackets
Join our Facebook Page & Win Custom Clothing

Related posts:

  1. 6 Holiday Style Tips For Men
  2. A Man and the Sports Jacket: A Tailored Suit’s Sports Jacket Giveaway
  3. A Man’s Primer on the Blazer Jacket
  4. A Man’s Guide to Summer Dress Part II

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

I am always open to suggestions for the Fort Wayne site of the day. The requirements are pretty simple: It needs to be a Fort Wayne based person, blog, or organization. Email me your suggestions to Scott @

And Facebook profiles don't count.

In the meantime, for today's site, click on pic.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Change is a process

Yesterday morning I was reading my oldest daughter's blog. Rachael lives in the same city I do and we talk regularly, in person and on Twitter.

She was lamenting this week about how she fell off the wagon recently of healthy living including food and exercise.

She is a very determined gal. She can be hard core when it comes to being disciplined, but the opposite is also true.

Rachael is a lot like all of us. The majority of New Years Resolutions are broken within 10 days.

And it's because we go for broke.

The All or Nothing mindset.

The story of the tortoise and the hare come to mind, the lesson being that slow and steady win the race.

So, here's the advice I left in the comments section of her blog:

Okay my dear, Here's a more realistic plan for you, me, any of us and all of us.

Don't even try the all or nothing approach. It sucks and for most folks = fail.

Pick one thing to eliminate, one thing to add and one thing to do differently.

That's it.

3 things at a time.

Eliminate something that is bad for you. Add something that is good for you that will be a reward that you like. Those two will balance each other out and the habit will help you with your routine.

Do these 3 things for 21 days.
Mark it on a calendar.

Experts say 21 days are needed to transform routines into habits.

After the first 21 days, you will have adjusted and you can add 3 more things like you did before.

Keep this pattern up and you'll turn into a healthy tortoise instead of frustrated hare.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Video Time: Drunk Monkeys?

Yep, watch to the end...

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click on Pic

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Tech Tuesday Tip

Everyone seems to be changing and improving their "stuff".

Twitter, Facebook, and this week I found a guide to Google's latest upgrade to their email service, Gmail from the Mashable website:

Gmail Priority Inbox: 5 Tips for Better Productivity

With the launch of Priority Inbox, a radical new way to sort mail, Google has hugely changed the way you can process and manage email. As Gmail Product Director Keith Coleman says, “Once you go priority, you never go back.”

The set-it-and-forget-it solution has actually existed in various states of completion for years, dating all the way back to pre-release versions of Gmail (). The feature was picked up again 18 months ago, and today we can finally experience it for ourselves.

At its core, Priority Inbox is an algorithmic solution to email overload. Gmail attempts to automatically process your email by factoring in variable such as who the email was sent by, how many people it was sent to and the keywords included in the subject and body of the message.

You can use Priority Inbox with its out-of-the-box default settings, or you can tweak it to your liking by using the plus and minus symbols atop the inbox to “teach” Gmail which emails are important.

We’ve also identified a few more complex tips for those of you looking to maximize productivity and use some of the less obvious features of Priority Inbox.

1. Prioritize Filters

With Priority Inbox, Google () has also enhanced the functionality of filters. This means you can define whether or not your filters are important and tell Gmail how to automatically process them in your new inbox.

When creating or editing a filter, you now have two new options: “Always mark it as important” or “Never mark it as important.” The former option will ensure that email messages meeting the criteria of your filter will always show up as important and hence in the “Important and unread” section. The latter option will ensure the opposite; it’s a perfect way to create and manage your own rules for less-than-important messages you’d rather not waste the time of teaching Gmail to ignore.

2. Customize Sections

Priority Inbox presents you with three default sections: “Important and unread,” “Starred” and “Everything else.” These are great starting points for working with the new view of Gmail, but you can also tweak what each of the sections show. There’s even a hidden fourth section that you can create and define, if you so choose.

Next to each section title is an arrow. Click it to view a drop down menu of available options for that section. Here you can adjust your preferences for each section. Should you wish to view all “Important” messages instead of just the unread ones, you can specify that here.

You can click “More options…” to use the section to view messages with a particular label. You can also reconfigure the Starred section to show all Starred conversations, and not just the ones still in your inbox, from the “More options…” menu. Further, you can specify how many messages to show per section: 5, 10, 25 or 50 for each section.

To display the hidden fourth section, navigate to settings and select “Priority Inbox.” Here you’ll notice that the number three section is marked empty. Click the “Add section” arrow to create a fourth section for your Priority Inbox.

3. Start With a Clean Slate

Gmail designed Priority Inbox to be a better system for processing emails. In order to reap the full rewards, you’ll want to leverage the “Starred” section as an area for emails that require next actions. Whether you choose to leave the section as is (in inbox and starred), or customize it to show all starred messages (i.e., to include those that have been archived), the best way to start is with a clean slate.

To do so, click “View Starred” to the right of the Starred section, or type “is:starred” in the search field. Then use the checkbox drop down menu and select “All.” That action will select all the conversations shown on the page, but to grab all the messages you’ve ever Starred, you’ll want to click the “Select all conversations” option. From there, select “More actions” and hit “Remove star.”

It’s a drastic maneuver that will eliminate all starred conversations, but it could prove incredibly handy in helping you better mange your email via Priority Inbox.

4. Use Your “Inbox” for Folders

Just because you’ve switched to Priority Inbox doesn’t mean you have to completely ignore the traditional inbox. In fact, avid users of Multiple Inboxes, a nifty Google Labs () feature, can still employ their inbox-filtering skills to better sift through and organize email.

For these users, we suggest you try using the Priority Inbox as your main work center and using Multiple Inboxes in your regular Inbox to highlight action items or semi-important emails in a folder-like fashion. The goal would be to configure Multiple Inboxes to compliment your use of Priority Inbox so you can still keep an eye on messages based on their labels or level of importance.

For this approach, enable the Multiple Inboxes feature in Labs, and set up the alternate panes to appear above the inbox. Treat each of the five panes as folders for emails of varying significance. In each pane enter the search query to pull the appropriate emails. “Label:xxxx” or “is:xxxx” is an easy to way to create a pane or inbox for messages with particular labels or status. “Is:unread,” for instance, will show all emails that are unread.

5. Test Priority with Multiple Inboxes

If you want to test the Priority Inbox waters without fully committing to the new view of your Gmail, you’ll still want to start by enabling the feature and then configuring your regular Inbox to display “Important” messages. The idea here is to create a workaround to uncover priority messages in your standard inbox.

For this trick, you’ll need to enable the Google Labs Multiple Inboxes feature in your settings. Once that’s enabled, navigate to your Multiple Inboxes settings panel and create a pane to highlight just the messages that Gmail deems important. Enter “is:important” in the search query field and title the section. The end result is an alternate inbox inside your main inbox designed to filter just the important emails.

The only caveat with this method of testing out Gmail’s priority algorithm is that you’ll still need to use Priority Inbox to train Gmail to better distinguish between important and unimportant email messages.

Do you have other tips for using Priority Inbox? Be sure to share them with us in the comments!

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

They moved last month. Click on Pic to find out where.

Monday, October 04, 2010

When you screw up...

from the DLM Blog:

How to Build Self-Discipline

Posted: 19 Sep 2010 08:54 AM PDT

You've been on your diet for two days … and you've already given in and eaten a giant slab of chocolate cake.

You've told yourself you'll tidy out the garage this weekend … just like you've been saying for the last four months.

You're determined that this is going to be the month when you get that business plan done … except you've not written a word of it.

You swore you wouldn't check your email till lunchtime … but it's ten am and you've already cracked.

Any of those sound familiar? Maybe you've told yourself that you need to be more self-disciplined. Perhaps you're convinced that you just need to keep trying harder, dammit. Or maybe you secretly fear that you're never going to manage to pull yourself together and stay focused.

It's frustrating, because without a certain amount of self-discipline, you know your goals are going to slip away. But there are strategies for building up your strength and will power:
  1. Don't Beat Yourself Up
    First, don't keep guilt-tripping yourself. It's not very productive to get angry and upset every time you fail to do something.

    What is helpful is to figure out where it went wrong:

    • Did you jump straight in, without thinking about your strategy for facing possible problems?

    • Did you have a clear plan of action?

    • Did you get swayed by another person?

    • Did something unexpected crop up?
    You might spot patterns. Perhaps you have great intentions, but they crumble in the face of reality. Maybe you stick to your diet when you're feeling good, but you turn to chocolate every time you're stressed.

    Rather than spending a lot of energy trying to power on through these situations, focus on coming up with ways to deal with them before they crop up next time.

  2. Focus on Specific Behaviors
    It's really difficult to be self-disciplined if you're fuzzy about what exactly you're trying to change. For instance, telling yourself "I won't eat any junk food ever" is overwhelming. But saying "I won't stop at McDonald's on the way home from work today" is much easier.

    Often, half the battle is just getting started. If you're really struggling to focus on your goal, tell yourself you'll just spend ten minutes cleaning the garage or writing the report or whatever it is. Once you've got going, you don't have to overcome your initial inertia – you can keep on without much extra effort.

  3. Find Tools and Techniques Which Help You
    When we think about being self-disciplined, we have a tendency to assume we need to do it all ourselves, by the sheer force of willpower.

    This isn't generally necessary. There are all sorts of tools and tricks which can help you stay on track. For instance, if you're on a diet, try keeping a food diary – it makes you more accountable and gives you a boost to your will-power. If you're trying to check your emails less often, make it difficult to open your email program (or switch off your internet connection altogether).

  4. Keep Track of How You're Doing
    As your self-discipline gets stronger, it's a good idea to track how you're doing. This can be really encouraging when you see the progress you've already made; it's easy to forget how far you've come.

    The way you keep track will depend on the particular goals you're trying to achieve, but you might try:

    • Keeping a journal where you write down your successes each day (e.g. "turned down chocolate cake at mum's")

    • Marking successes on your calendar so that you get a string of Xs (e.g. mark each day that you go for a 20-minute walk)

  5. Seek Support From the People Around You
    We're social creatures and easily swayed by other people. Want proof? Think about any time that you've ordered dessert (or not ordered it!) just because everyone else at the table was doing so.

    It really pays to surround yourself by self-disciplined people who'll encourage you. Maybe your friend goes for a run every day, and can encourage you to exercise. Or maybe your spouse always does his/her chores without fail, and you want to match up to that example.

    Don't just look for inspiration, though. Tell other people what you're trying to accomplish. If your friends know that you're trying to start up a business, they can support you – by offering useful contacts, or by encouraging you, or by celebrating your successes with you.

    And don't underestimate the power of accountability. If there's something you're really keen to get done, tell your friends that you're going to do it – and you'll find it's much harder to weasel out.
What tips do you have for improving your self-discipline?

Written on 9/19/2010 by Ali Hale. Ali writes a blog, Aliventures, about leading a productive and purposeful life (get the RSS feed here). As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.Photo Credit: *Zara

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Concerts going on this weekend. Click on Pic.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

It's not Life, it's You.

Life is neither good or bad. It's your attitude that makes circumstances appear positive or negative. The following is one example of that from my life.

2001. Thanksgiving Day. My Mom had finally moved into a two bedroom condo-style apartment 3 years after my Dad passed away and we were going to have the first family holiday get-together with my new wife, my kids, her kids and my Mom.

I go to her apartment to pick her up around 3pm. No answer. I go in with my key and all is quiet. Her car is in the garage.

It is deathly quiet and eerie.

I call out for her and there is no answer. So I start looking around.

I walk into her bathroom and turn around and see her behind me.

She is half sitting, half laying on her bed with her back to me. I realize she is either paralyzed from a stroke or dead.

I stare for a moment to see if she is breathing and she isn't.

I'm not sure who I called first, 911 or my wife. Instantly my life changed and in the days ahead the overwhelming feeling of being a 41 year old orphan hit me.

Later we found out she had died from a heart attack the night before. How do you place a positive spin on these circumstances?

First, there's my mom. She had been in a state of grief for 3 1/2 years after my Dad died. Now that was over.

As an only child, all the responsibilities of taking care of everything was in my lap. During the year before she died, I had helped her in many, many ways including her will, finances, sales of a home, all the things she didn't want to do, but knew she needed to do.

And now it was up to me to move things forward without her. With the loving support of my wife, it all worked out.

Since my Mom had just moved out of her house 3 weeks earlier, most of what she had was still boxed up, either in the apartment or a storage facility. The task of moving her things was so much easier due to these circumstances.

Financially, things worked out too. There were some funds from life insurance and investments that I inherited that went to help others including my Mom's grandchildren as they went thru their high school and college years. And while we miss both her and my Dad, as well as my wife's parents, we can look at the positive side of these circumstances too.

One week from today, my son Josh will be getting married. (That's his picture at the zoo several years ago). For his wedding ring, he has chosen to wear a ring that my Mom wore around her neck constantly for the last 3 1/2 years of her life on a chain.

That wedding band was my Dad's wedding band and now it is being passed on to another generation of Howards.

Now how about some practical advice from the DLM Blog on how you can look at your life with a positive attitude, despite the circumstances:

The 15 Timeless Secrets of Happy People

Posted: 02 Oct 2010 07:37 AM PDT

happiness How we achieve happiness can be different for each one of us. Our passions, expectations, life experiences, and even our personalities all contribute to the level of happiness we experience in our lives. Some people find happiness in their careers while others prefer the bliss found in their marriages or other intimate relationships. No matter how you define happiness for yourself, there are certain universal and time-proven strategies to bring, and sustain, more happiness into your life. These 15 timeless secrets of happy people can be adapted and even customized to fit your needs. Over time, these strategies will become positive and life-changing habits that will begin to bring more happiness, joy and peace into your life.
  1. Notice What’s Right
    Some of us see the glass as being half-full, while others see the glass as half-empty. The next time you are caught in traffic, begin thinking how nice it is to have a few moments to reflect on the day, focus on a problem you have been trying to solve, or brainstorm on your next big idea. The next time you get in the slow line at the grocery store, take the opportunity to pick up a tabloid magazine and do some “guilty pleasure” reading. Take all that life throws out you and reframe it with what’s right about the situation. At the end of the day, you will be more content, at peace and be happy. Take the time to begin to notice what’s right and see the world change.

  2. Show Gratitude
    How many times do you say the words “thank you,” in a day? How many times do you hear these same words? If you are doing the first thing, saying the “thank yous,” the latter will naturally happen. Learn to be grateful and you will be open to receive an abundance of joy and happiness.

  3. Remember the Kid You Were
    Do you remember how to play? I’m not referring to playing a round of golf or a set of tennis. I’m talking about playing like you did when you were a child – a game of tag, leap frog, or street baseball when the bat is a broken broom handle and the bases are the parked cars. One way to find or maintain your happiness is to remember the kid you were and play!

  4. Be Kind
    There is no question that by merely watching acts of kindness creates a significant elevation in our moods and increases the desire for us to perform good deeds as well. Kindness is indeed contagious and when we make a commitment to be kind to ourselves and to others we can experience new heights of joy, happiness and enthusiasm for our lives.

  5. Spend Time with Your Friends
    Although an abundant social and romantic life does not itself guarantee joy, it does have a huge impact on our happiness. Learn to spend time with your friends and make the friendships a priority in your life.

  6. Savor Every Moment
    To be in the moment is to live in the moment. Too often we are thinking ahead or looking ahead to the next event or circumstance in our lives, not appreciating the “here and now.” When we savor every moment, we are savoring the happiness in our lives.

  7. Rest
    There are times when we need the time to unwind, decompress, or to put it simply, just “to chill.” Life comes at all of us hard and fast. Time, as do the days on the calendar, keeps going forward at its own natural pace, which is not always the pace we would choose. Fatigue, stress and exhaustion may begin to settle in on us faster than we may think, or notice. The best remedy for this is indeed rest.

  8. Move!
    The expression a “runner’s high” does not infer an addiction, but a feeling or a state of mind - a state of euphoria. There is no question exercise, or any physical exertion, elevates your mood and enhances a more positive attitude as well as fosters better personal self-esteem and confidence. Indeed, one way to increase your happiness is to move!

  9. Put on a Happy Face
    Sometimes we have to fake it until we make it. I’m not suggesting that we not be honest, real or authentic, but I’m suggesting, sometimes, we just need to put on a happy face and keep moving forward. Researchers claim that smiling and looking like we are happy will indeed make us happier. Studies further show that if we act like we are happy then we can experience greater joy and happiness in our lives.

  10. Pursue Your Goals
    The absence of goals in our lives, or more specifically avoiding to pursue our goals, makes us feel like we are stuck and ineffective. The pursuit of goals in our personal lives, in our relationships, or with our careers, is the difference between having a mediocre life or a life full of passion and enthusiasm. Pursue your goals and watch your happiness soar.

  11. Find Your Calling
    Some find meaning in religion or spirituality while others find purpose in their work or relationships. Finding your calling may be much more than accomplishing one simple strategy for increasing your happiness, but having a sense of purpose – of feeling like you are here for a reason – can perhaps bring the greatest joy of all.

  12. Get into the Flow
    Flow is the form of joy, excitement and happiness that occurs when we are so absorbed in an activity we love that we can lose ourselves and time seems to stand still. What creates flow is unique to each one of us. To find and sustain true happiness in our lives, we must get off the sidelines and get into the flow.

  13. Play to Your Strengths
    One way to achieve flow is by understanding and identifying our strengths and core values, and then begin to use these every day. Once we aware of our strengths and we begin to play to your strengths we can better incorporate them in all aspects of our lives.

  14. Don’t Overdo It
    Know when to say when. What gives you joy and happiness the first time may not work the second time. Too much of a good thing may begin not to feel as good if the “thing” becomes more of a routine, or an expectation. Set healthy and reasonable boundaries for yourself and don’t overdo it.

  15. Appreciate What You Have
    Want exactly what you have and know that what you have can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Hold on to it, treasure it, and let it cover you with love, comfort and happiness.
Written on 10/02/2010 by Alex Blackwell. Alex writes for his incredible readers at The BridgeMaker, an honestly-written blog about faith, inspiration and personal change. To receive twice-weekly articles subscribe here. Photo Credit: Scarleth White

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click on Pic