Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Posted: 12 Feb 2011 01:19 PM PST
Meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and happiness are essential ingredients in our lives.
Sometimes getting more of them can seem impossible. We’re plagued by the uncertainty of the future, and we have no idea what our purpose is.
Those are big questions that cannot be answered in the blink of an eye, and today instead of focusing on them, we’ll look at seven simple ways that will improve your body, mind, and soul.
And we both know that the better you feel, the better you can follow your intuition and eventually find your true purpose.
It all adds up.
- Drink Water
A no-brainer, right? Still most people don’t drink enough water, and it can’t be just any kind of water. Did you know that the tap water in many of the western countries is filled with chemicals and even drugs in some cases? Here’s just one example.
You can buy a simple water filter, or get your water from a spring.
I could tell you to drink 8 glasses a day, but a simpler solution would be to just have water with you as much as possible and sip it throughout the day whenever you're thirsty.
- Eliminate Sugar
Sugar hides in almost everything that comes in a package, and if it doesn’t contain sugar, it most likely contains additives and sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame-k, and so on.
The best way to avoid sugar is to eat a natural diet consisting of organic meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries.
Try going without processed foods for even a week and I guarantee that you will notice a difference.
Gluten is commonly found in wheat, and while many have to avoid gluten altogether, some don’t notice it enough to see that there’s a problem.
Go gluten-free on top of eliminating processed foods and supercharge your energy, sleep, and everything else that matters. In order to get rid of gluten, you have to eliminate breads, grains, potatoes, flours, and pasta, just to name a few.
I personally love going to the gym and giving my muscles panic attacks.
But sometimes you just don’t have time. That doesn’t have to stop you from getting exercise in. You can easily do squats, push-ups, and variations of crunches almost anywhere at any time.
Work needs to get done, kids need to get shuttled (if you have them), and stuff needs to get read.
It’s easy to forget to breathe amidst all this chaos around us. A simple meditation routine has been proven to lower to reduce stress and increase happiness.
And it never hurts taking a time-out and just being.
What are we all looking for deep down? For me it always comes down to connections, relationships, and love—as cheesy as it may sound. Life isn’t worth living alone, and we humans are social beings. We belong in tribes and groups.
We worry, we fear, and we scare ourselves to death.
You might get annoyed at your roommate, or perhaps an avalanche of little things turns your day upside down, which leads to you not being the most agreeable person at the end of the day.
We all have problems, and when we get rid of one problem, another one seems to pop up. That’s the way our brain works. It needs problems to solve. If they don’t exist, it will make them up.
A much easier way to live is to let things go. Breathe and realize that you don’t have to live through the insanity that is your mind, if you don’t want to.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
A week ago, my wife Kathy and I decided to do a weekend staycation. We made a reservation at the new Courtyard in downtown Fort Wayne for Friday night and then it was time to pick a place for dinner.
I decided to ask for recommendations on Twitter and Facebook.
Looking for suggestions for dinner in Downtown #FortWayne Friday evening
Three minutes later the suggestions started pouring in. Here's a few of them:
We went to Bourbon Street (lower level of Columbia Street) a couple weeks ago, and it was great--unique and fun.
Paula's is my fav and Club Soda is awesome too!
Toscani's has an awesome chicken alfredo pizza and such YUMMY breadsticks. You can get wine and beer too! It's more casual than the others have mentioned, but my fav downtown anyway.
I say you can never go wrong with Powers! Maybe you're looking for something a little more fancy? lol
Scott- About 90% of the time I go out, it is downtown so here is my two cents worth:
Toscani - Pretty good pizza. Better than Pizza Hut or Papa Johns. Tables are close and there is little privacy - if that's your thing.
Club Soda - Always good. Food is fantastic, atmosphere is great, especially on weekends with live music. If you sit in the bar and they have live music going on it will be loud. If you sit in their four seasons room you can't hear the music. I always ask for upstairs to hear the music and have a good conversation.
Don Hall's Gashouse - Quickly becoming my favorite downtown. By far the best Hall's in the city. Its not your grandma's Hall's, that's for sure. Food is great, atmosphere is cozy. Definitely a strong choice.
Takaoka of Japan (Upstairs of the Gas House) - Food is good. If you have less than 8 people you will be dining with strangers - I love this part of the experience, but it turns a lot of people off. One BIG negative, especially if you are planning to go somewhere other than home after, is all of the grease from cooking the food in the air. You will smell like grease. Your clothes will smell like grease.
I live and love downtown. JKs is tops or Club Soda....Oyster Bar
My vote is for Club Soda. Oh wait...not a vote, a suggestion.
I love Calhoun Street Soup, Salads and Sandwiches or CS3 as it is called....they have so much more than their name implies and the Jack n Blue Hamburger is to die for!!! It is across from the Oyster Bar by the way.....They have dinner theater, live bands and more on a regular basis
We live in and love downtown too! Oyster Bar, Club Soda, Tosconi's, Paula's, Burbon St. JK's, Calhoun St. Dash In, Powers, Coney Island. But the best...The Counterman's! You need to call ahead for reservations (so I can get a carry out from one of the above mentioned!)
That last one is from an old high school classmate of mine, whom we will get together with in the very near future.
Twitter suggestions were similar with the additional suggestion of Henry's. There were also a few warnings against Champions, the sports bar and grill located in the hotel.
So, what did we do?
We checked in at 3pm, and both Kathy and I were impressed with the hotel. This is the newly built hotel that is part of the Harrison Square project that surrounds Parkview Field, home of our minor league baseball team, the Fort Wayne Tincaps.
Recently, Kathy and I stayed at a modern hotel in Holland Michigan, the City Flats, which is pretty cool. The Courtyard reminded us of that hotel which gives it high marks. The staff is excellent, the food is a different story.
We had a drink and appetizer in Champions. It was very, very warm, close to 80 degrees at the bar, so we moved over closer to the door, so we could get an occasional cool breeze. Portions were small, food was bland and expensive.
When I made my hotel reservations, I bought the breakfast package too, which was a good choice for my wallet. It was an extra $10, but Saturday morning when we got our breakfast, it would have cost us nearly $30 for what we ate, if we had to pay for it. Again, small servings, and nothing special about the food. There are too many other local choices for food within walking distance that I will recommend to out of town guests.
Now, on to the dinner suggestions and what we did....
Due to the walkways that were built, we were able to walk about three blocks inside before we had to brave the winter weather. Our first stop was JK O'Donnells, a place that we've been several time before but they were not able to accommodate our beverage request for a Long Island, so we left.
We walked to the Thirsty Camel, which was a pretty cool place in it's hay day, 20 years ago, but today, it's just a run down below average full service bar with "bar food", wings and burger stuff.
Then we walked back over to Wayne Street and Toscani's. My daughter Rachael was the first to recomend Toscani's to me a couple years ago, but I'd never been there.
It was fantastic. A couple of beers, salad, breadsticks and pizza for $30 including tip. It was so good that on Saturday, after our weekend escape was over, I went back to pick up another carry-out pizza for dinner.
What about the others? We'll be visiting them in the months to come:
Club Soda, CS3, Coney Island, JK, Gas House, I've been to for lunch several times.
Henry's we visit about 10 times a year.
The Deck, outside of the Gas House, we also visit about 10 times a year which is a lot since they are only open for about 4 or 5 months when it's warm.
Cindy's Diner is a good place for breakfast too with it's uniqueness.
For this evening out, we decided to limit ourselves to places we could walk to in winter weather from our hotel and not to bust the bank. (Powers, by the way, is off our list. Not really into sliders).
Thanks to everyone for their ideas!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Well, not always. Like a doctor...
But don't let the lack of funds to go to school to keep you stupid...
From Jim's Marketing Blog:
Posted: 16 Jan 2011 04:57 AM PST
Have you ever heard of the inoculation theory of education?
This is where people go through school or college, get a diploma, degree or whatever, and then use that to inoculate themselves from having to do any more studying. I member the late, great Earl Nightingale recounting a conversation he had with a young man, who had recently graduated. He told Earl he would never read another non-fiction book again. He was done with learning and wanted to start working.
The challenge with that extremely common approach was highlighted by Jim Rohn. Jim used to tell us:
A formal education can make you a living, but a self-education can make you a fortune.
I was a very poor student at school, but committed at the age of 21 to dedicate myself to life-long learning. I determined to read the books, attend the courses and do whatever was required, for me to be the best that I could be. Almost 25 years later, I am still a ferocious reader and am more committed to learning than ever. I can tell you with total certainty that my decision to embrace life-long learning, is directly responsible for every success I have achieved.
In my experience, learning, true learning, means more than just blindly accepting everything you read or hear from an expert. It means gathering information from the best sources you can find, and questioning what they say! Those you see online, accepting and agreeing like drones with everything their gurus tell them, are learning nothing. They are simply gathering information, of often dubious value, from people who are just as fallible as you or I, and treating it as fact.
I see the process like this:
- Read the books
- Attend the courses
- Listen to the audio programs
- Put what you have discovered to the test
- Measure your results and keep what works
What is your approach to learning? Do you set time aside to read? Do you challenge what you learn? I would love to know your thoughts on this!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Posted: 29 Jan 2011 09:03 AM PST
If you own a business, especially one that's entirely online, it is likely that you’ve got a distributed workforce. That means your employees (and contractors and partners) are located in different countries around the world.
Running an online business efficiently--and productively--requires the use of various tools and apps that can help you properly communicate with your employees, collaborate easily on multiple projects and hence compensate for the lack of everyday face-to-face interaction that happens in a real world office.
Following are ten tools that every web based business owner should consider for greater efficiency and productivity. All of these general tools that can come in handy irrespective of the type of business you run.
Basecamp is without a doubt the most popular web-based project management tool. Its interface is simple and easy to use, lets you create multiple projects with various customizations, share files, create to-do lists and milestones, and do much more.
Zoho Projects is usually considered ahead of Basecamp for online project management in terms of features. However, it's viewed as slightly more difficult to use. Zoho Projects has been surging in popularity since it was launched, and you should take a look at it too.
Google Apps is a package of popular Google tools like Gmail, Google Docs and all, allotted specifically for your domain. Needless to say, it is must-have for any online small business owner, at least for Gmail on your domain if nothing else.
Zoho Suite also offers an impressive suite of online tools for businesses (Zoho projects, discussed above, being a part of it). Ranging from docs to wiki, reports to CRM and planner to invoice, there’s a huge number of applications to choose from.
Hipchat is a cool group messaging service that is multi-platform, helps you share files, create chatrooms and lets you collaborate quickly with multiple people in real-time. It replaces the back and forth emails and hence saves time.
Yammer is another tool that aims to foster better communication among a group of people. It is a private social network for your business, and has an interface similar to popular social sites (like Twitter).
Any list that talks about tools for collaboration and conducting business can’t be complete without Skype. Skype remains the defacto method for making audio and video calls online, helping people save tons in phone bills and communicate with friends and colleagues around the world.
Dropbox is a brilliant online backup and synchronization tool that has a host of features to suit individuals as well as small online business owners. It’s easy to setup and has a decent free plan too.
Mozy is another popular online backup service and has a product called Mozypro that’s meant for businesses wanting to do a secure data backup on the cloud.
Most of the online businesses require some form of invoicing and there’s no better tool than Freshbooks. It helps you manage invoices, track time and even manage your accounts. If you are a freelancer or a service provider who manages a team of freelancers, this is an invoicing tool you should consider using.
Unless you are freelancer and don’t own a site or a blog, chances are that your web business is centered around a website (or websites). Pingdom is a monitoring tool that alerts you via emails and SMS when your site goes down. This ensures that you know immediately about downtimes and can take swift action.
Evernote can take notes on the desktop, browser and mobile, enables quick capture of anything on the screen and serves as an organization tools for random ideas, text, images and more.
Last but not the least, we’ve got Nowdothis. This is the simplest of the tools mentioned so far, and yet extremely effective. It helps you get rid of the myriad to-do lists and lets you focus on one thing at a time. And that’s the best way to actually get things done. :)
|Written on 1/29/2011 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. Abhijeet is a blogger and web publisher from India. He loves all things tech as long as it aids in productivity. He edits Guiding Tech, a blog that publishes useful guides, tutorials and tools. Check it out and subscribe to its feed if you like the site. You can also find him on Twitter.||Photo Credit: Company Logos|
Monday, February 14, 2011
My Dad used to call it a merchants holiday, but he always gave my mom the attention she deserved.
Speaking of attention and love, check this out from the DLM Blog:
Posted: 02 Feb 2011 10:28 AM PST
How often have you made compromises in your life and ended up somewhere where you didn’t want to be? How often have you put your dreams on hold, thinking that you’d pick them up at a later point?
There’s always something else that has to be done. We have to ask ourselves if something really has to be done, or if we’re avoiding something, because deep down we’re afraid. We’ve been told that we can’t follow our passion and make a living. There are a lot of naysayers around us, but are they right? Are they happy? In the end, all that matters is how you feel inside.
The most important question you can ask yourself is: “Am I really doing what I want?”
I’m not talking about asking the question superficially. I mean really asking yourself if you’re following your passion. Are you doing what brings you joy?
What Does It All Mean?
What does following your passion mean anyway? The only perspective I can give you is my own, but for me, following my passion means doing what I feel ridiculously excited about. For example, Last year I spent 3-months learning a new language. For those three months, my passion was learning Spanish and nothing else.
You’re probably a lot like me in the way that you have many passions, and many interests. That’s excellent, but the downside is that it can paralyze you. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and afraid of losing out. There seems to be so many roads you could take, but the truth of the matter is that if you don’t focus on something, you’ll end up doing nothing.
Doing what makes me happy is simply doing what I feel like doing. You may have a job to go to. You may have a family to take care of, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow your passion. It’s not an all or nothing kind of thing. We can all make excuses, but the people that are truly happy are those who have taken the jump and are doing what they really want to do.
These people are not super-human. They are not fearless, and most of them feel exactly the way you do. You may not be able to go after your passion full-time, but there’s really no rush. Every journey starts with one step, and if you don’t start now, when will you?
How to Follow Your Passion
In early 2009, I went from being a professional poker player to doing something I was a lot more passionate about, which was building websites and writing. In reality, I started trying to make a living online in 2007, but I failed miserably. I didn’t give up though, because I couldn’t stand the thought of not being able to do what I loved.
Following your passion is a step-by-step process. As long as you’re moving in the right direction, you’re making progress. There’s no doubt about the fact that doing what you want to do takes hard work, but I don’t see myself as having any other options. Besides, I love the work, so I don’t mind working hard.
If you’re serious about making it work, you will succeed. It took me a while to realize what worked and what didn’t, but in the end I was able to start making a living online, which has allowed me an immense amount of freedom.
Right now, I can live and work from anywhere in the world, and it’s all thanks to my perseverance. I’m not saying this to boast. I want to encourage as many people as possible to start taking steps towards their passion.
When I first started, I was confused out of my mind, and to be completely honest, I still am confused about a lot of things, but I do my best, and I keep moving forward. As I began building my own blog, and my own websites, I realized that the best way forward was one step at a time, one day at a time. You can plan and learn as much you want, but nothing really happens until you start taking action.
We’re all afraid, worried and confused. It’s normal. You can acknowledge those feelings and move forward.
Even now, when I am making a living through doing what I love, my mind is constantly trying to worry. The mind will always create new problems.
It doesn’t matter if you’re poor or rich, if you let it, your mind will create problems, because that is how the mind works.
Sooner or later, you have to ask yourself how much longer you can put off going after your passion. The reality is that you can start following your passion today, if you really want to.
Ask yourself what you can do right now. It doesn’t matter what it is. It may even be the wrong step, but that “wrong” step will be a stepping stone towards success.
So ask yourself: “Am I really doing what I want?” If the answer is no, it’s time to change something.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Here's a way to show yourself a little love, from the DLM Blog:
Posted: 23 Jan 2011 09:47 AM PST
Some days are just golden right from the start. You get up bright and early, you have a good breakfast, your coffee is perfect, and you get through your most important work first. By lunchtime, you’re feeling great: you’ve covered significant ground and you want to push yourself to get even more done during the afternoon.
Other days don’t go quite like that. In fact, for many people, these days are the more typical ones: You hit snooze repeatedly and get up late. You rush breakfast (or worse, skip it altogether), and you spend the first hour of your workday trying to find that really important file, or answering emails. By lunchtime, you feel as though you’ve not accomplished anything – and you can’t see the afternoon getting any better.
If your morning goes well, the rest of the day is probably going to be a success too: once you begin to build momentum, it’s easy to keep going. So here’s how to start your morning as you mean to go on:
- Get Up On Time
I won’t say “get up early” – because we’re not all morning people. Getting up on time means setting your alarm early enough that you don’t feel rushed right at the start of your day. Often, just getting out of bed ten or fifteen minutes earlier transforms a stressed, harried morning into a much more relaxed one.
The best way I’ve found to get up on time is to go to bed on time. Yes, it’s obvious – but it’s surprising how often we seem to forget it! Many people need more sleep: are you one of them?
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast
We all know that it’s important to eat breakfast, though many of us don’t – or if we do, we eat all the wrong things. If you’re trying to lose weight (and a staggering two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese), then eating breakfast will help you do so.
Even if your weight isn’t a concern, you still need to give your brain some fuel first thing in the morning ... so eat a healthy breakfast that’ll give you the energy you need for your work. Good options are wholegrain cereals with skim milk, wholewheat toast with eggs, or oatmeal.
- Plan Your Day
When you arrive in the office (or, if you work from home, when you sit down at your desk) – resist the temptation to check your emails. Unless you work in tech support, it’s very unlikely that anyone needs a reply at 8.30am.
Instead, spend just five minutes planning out your day. What major projects do you want to make progress on? This is what you should work on for at least the first hour of the day. What small but urgent tasks need to be done today? Batch these together and knock them out in a bunch – or get them done during those “gaps” in the day, like when you’re waiting for someone to phone you back.
- Minimize Interruptions
When you’re working on something that’s mission-critical – like that mail-out to new customers – do you really want to keep stopping to deal with trivia? Let your calls go to voice-mail, leave your email program closed, and shut your office door.
It takes several minutes to refocus on what you’re doing after an interruption, so you’re wasting a lot of time if you’re constantly stopping to deal with people’s queries.
- Stay On Track
Productivity can become a positive spiral if you stay focused: the more work you get through, the more energized you’ll feel. You’ll be encouraged to keep achieving and to keep doing meaningful work (rather than busy work or low-value tasks).
To stay on track, learn to recognize and control your impulses. Don’t give in to distractions like Twitter, Facebook and other socializing websites – save these for your lunch break or for after work. If you find yourself losing focus on a task, take a five minute break from your computer – then get straight back to it. In many cases, mono-tasking is more effective than multi-tasking.
|Written on 1/23/2011 by Ali Luke. 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: Perfecto Insecto|