How to Take Control of Your Destiny

How to Take Control of Your Destiny

It’s stressful, isn’t it – attempting to make the most out of your time on this planet. Sometimes in life, you’re faced with a deluge of challenges and hurdles to negotiate all at one, interspersed with periods of extreme tedium and boredom. Neither of these states is all that enjoyable, and attaining true happiness and inner peace can therefore sometimes seem a world away – a distant dream of utopia as opposed to a state of being in your grasp. If you can identify yourself a little in this passage, then why not take one or all of the productive steps offered in this article to break out of your present into a brighter future.

Conduct Some Self-Introspection

It’s time for you to set out on an exciting voyage of self-discovery. Have a good old think about what it is that you’ve always wanted to achieve, and start making a note. As humans, we love lists, and now’s the time to write your most important one to date: one that recognizes everything that’s both good and bad about your current circumstances. You’ll then be able to maximize the good and reduce or kill off the bad a good deal more easily, over time. It’s also important that you allow yourself time to not take yourself too seriously. Why not visit gokartsreview.com and find a fun and exciting way to get behind the wheel and relive childhood pursuits?

Build a Satisfying Routine

For too many people, lifestyle revolves around a routine that is in turn dictated by the responsibilities of work, study, or raising a family. Over time, this mindset is one that’ll cast you into a state of robotic repetition with little time concentrated on your passions and indulgences. Whether it’s a new exercise regime, scheduled alone time, or taking up a new class, building extra things into your routine that you’ll look forward to is a super way of negotiating your way out of an unsatisfying way of life. Check out some routine recommendations to get you started, and you’ll soon establish your unique daily groove.

Use the Information Out There

There are heaps upon heaps of information flying about on the information highway that is the internet. However, if you stop to read articles instead of using the internet for either work or pleasure, you’ll find some wonderful groups, forums, and pages that’ll school you on how to make the most out of your life. If you’re an artist looking to flourish instead of stagnating, the internet is your tool to connect with like-minded people to inspire you. If you’re looking for a new way of life, in short, it’s going to be on the internet – you just have to find it!

Take the Bull by the Horns

If there’s something that’s been nagging you for weeks, months, even years, it’s something you need to have to confidence to broach. Regret you never learned an instrument or a language? It’s sincerely never too late to pick one up. Getting itchy feet to see the world? Book yourself a flight. Feeling like you’re letting your deepest values and motivations slip by the wayside? Take control by recognizing whatever is leaving you unfulfilled and addressing it once and for all.

Take control of your destiny by using these simple life hacks to get you well on the way to a more fulfilling and brighter future.

Why Having a Happiness Index in School Helps Reduce Academic Stress

Why Having a Happiness Index in School Helps Reduce Academic Stress

It is troubling to see children stressing out about their academics. While it is important to get good grades, making it a priority robs of them of the unique experiences they will only get as a child. This kind of thinking is so similar to the Indian film, appropriately named ‘3 Idiots’, when three friends were faced with the pressure of performing well academically because “life is a race”, and some of them did to their own demise.

Which is why it is so invigorating to see schools spearheading programs that will help reduce and manage the stress the kids are constantly under.

What happens to the body when under stress?

To understand how stress affects a child, let us look into what it does to the body first. When a person is under stress, whether a child or a full adult, the hypothalamus releases a hormone that signals the pituitary and the autonomic nervous system to produce the stress hormones called cortisol and epinephrine.

Epinephrine is what is commonly known as adrenaline, and this accelerates a person’s heart rate and therefore increases the blood pressure. Cortisol, on the other hand, boosts a person’s muscle and memory power by elevating blood sugar.

In most cases, this is acceptable. For instance, if you are in danger, you can depend on those stress hormones to get you out of harm’s way. However, if you put that in the context of school and how it is a constant experience for children, that becomes a problem. The fight-or-flight reaction should be reserved for life-threatening situations; but with kids under academic stress, it becomes an automatic reaction to school.

What efforts have schools been making?

There has been a shift in education in the recent years. Before, test grades are given more emphasis than group work or extra-curricular activities. But with the popularity of what is called ‘holistic education’, other elements of education have also been given a spotlight. This educational framework balances academic rigor and student well-being.

Schools that have already adapted the holistic education framework aims to produce students who are not only knowledgeable in key political, social, and scientific concepts; but they must also be able to use that knowledge to help improve society. They should not just be able to recite definitions and terms, but an attitude of social awareness should be ingrained in them.

To do this, schools have created programs that challenge their notion of how the world works. After every class discussion, they are tasked to apply the concepts they have learnt through collaborative projects. These projects ranges from simple mechanical problems to applications in society like solving an old problem in a new way. And then from there, be able to come up with their own ideas about a topic, and then synthesize it with the definitions they have memorized.

International schools have perfected holistic education

International schools have an edge because they have been using the holistic education framework for a very long time. This is probably due to their diverse learning landscape. They cater to students from different nations and with different perspective, and so they must create an environment where students can exchange cultures freely.

A diverse learning environment develops open-mindedness and critical thinking, a trait that the world is in dire need of today. It lets students listen to other people’s experiences and understanding them before airing out their own thoughts.

An example of this school is the Global Indian International School (GIIS) – a Singapore-based international school that believes happiness within a diverse learning environment should be nurtured. To accompany their globally recognized values-based education, they have also created a happiness index.

Exploring the GIIS Happiness Index

There are three factors involved in GIIS’ happiness index:

Physical space

The school believes that the layout of the school helps in enhancing the overall happiness of students and teachers. What they want is for the school to become a safe and secure place for everyone in the campus, much like how your house is your comfort zone. There are a lot of open, green spaces so that everyone can feel relaxed within the walls of the schools. Their classrooms are well-lit, the layout is convenient, and they make use of colors that are easy on the eyes.

Curriculum

GIIS uses their ‘Nine Gems’ model of learning that gives importance to the following key factors:

  • Cerebral learning
  • Social and emotional learning
  • Physical learning

They provide classroom and school-wide activities that will not challenge a student’s mental capacity, but also their social skills and physical prowess.

Faculty

The educators play an important role in cultivating happiness in the GIIS campus. Right from the start, the school makes sure that their attitude fits the philosophy that the school adheres to. But most importantly, they also make sure that educators are happy teaching in the campus.

More importantly, GIIS encourages students, teachers, and parents to give useful feedback on how to improve the learning landscape. With feedback, they are not just providing the students with a conducive place for learning, but they are also showing them that their thoughts and experiences in the campus matter especially when it comes to improvement.

5 Reasons To Shut Down Your Smartphone

5 Reasons To Shut Down Your Smartphone

Smartphones are wonderful things as they help us do so much and help us connect with so many people. Yet that is one of the problems with them; because they are so helpful, they can become a distraction or, worse, an addiction. It’s a good idea to shut them off completely once in a while, to go outside without them, and to limit their use. Here are the reasons why.

They Are Bad For Your Eyes

When our eyes are working well, we often take them for granted. However, too much cellphone use can cause damage to them and reduce our ability to focus on things in the distance. We are becoming so used to looking at screens close up that our eyes are adapting. It’s clever, but it’s not healthy. It’s not just the distance either. The HEV light that is emitted by smartphones can damage retinal tissue.

They Are Dirty

Think of all the places our cell phones go during the day. Think of how many times we – and sometimes other people – touch them. They are covered in bacteria. Then we put them close to our mouths and ears. A study showed that about 13 percent of cell phones have fecal matter on them, and 16 percent carry e. Coli bacteria. It’s important to wash your hands regularly, but even so, our phones will still become dirty.

They Cause Neck And Back Pain

Cellphones cause so much damage to our necks and backs that there is a new medical term for the pain – ‘text neck.’ Heads are heavy things, and when we move about with them lowered (to look at a phone screen, for example), we put a huge amount of pressure on our cervical spine. It can be as much as 60 pounds. If you are experiencing this kind of pain, you’ll need a chiropractor, and you can find one on echiropractor.org. Remember, though, once you have had your back and neck pain made better, reduce the amount of time you spend texting and browsing on your cell phone, or it will start up again.

They Cause Sore Hands

Along with ‘text neck’ there is another new term; ‘text claw.’ This is used to describe the cramping pain that holding a cell phone for long periods of time can cause. The thumb is the most vulnerable digit because it is what is used most when we are texting. You might experience tendon issues and inflammation. One way to stop this from happening is to use a stylus instead, but the best way to stop the pain and repair the damage done is to shut off the phone and stop using it for a while.

They Stop You From Sleeping

That temptation to take one last look at your phone before you settle down to sleep is often overwhelming. However, having a screen emitting blue light close to your face can cause problems with your circadian rhythm (your natural sleep cycle), and that means you won’t get the right type or amount of sleep as you should. Lack of sleep will make you grouchy and short-tempered, plus it’s bad for your health; those who sleep less are more vulnerable to heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes amongst other things.

Make a difference with your corporate donations

Make a difference with your corporate donations

These days it’s increasingly important for businesses to be seen as socially and environmentally responsible, by donating time or money (or both) to meaningful campaigns and institutions. Not only can these financial gifts be advantageous in the business to which you’re donating, but they can also be beneficial to your own business by raising your profile or the perceptions of the work you do. Next time you go to make a corporate donation, consider if there’s a charity or worthwhile cause whose values, ethos or ambitions match your own.

If you work in education: donate to a school

Education is fundamental to success, and if you work within the field of education few people will respect that more than you. That’s why, when looking for a beneficiary for your corporate donation, finding a school who could make use of your money would be a great place to start.

Reach out to schools in your local area; it maybe you can donate to a collection of schools across the country or indeed the world. For example, Cognita Schools has a portfolio of educational establishments in three continents including Clifton Lodge School based in London and encourages students to strive academically.

If you work in manufacturing: invest in a product of the future

As a company at the forefront of modern solutions, using your CSR budget to invest in small, trailblazing innovations could be a savvy move on your behalf; it will reflect well on you and help push the industry forward. Of course, you should ensure that the product you’re funding isn’t a competitor, or threat, to your own manufacturing first!

If you work in the medical world: sponsor a fitness event

Corporate sponsorship can be big business, offering a magnitude of publicity opportunities. There are many organized fitness events, such as marathons or triathlons, often looking for sponsors. Generally speaking, you’ll need to put some money in for finishers’ packs and some other branded merchandise, but the pack in terms of visibility can be enormous. Additionally, you’ll be promoting a healthy lifestyle, which is likely important for your brand. 

If you work in hospitality and events: fund care for the homeless

Modern cities are often an image of polarization, such as makeshift tents lining the world-famous Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. As such, organizers of high-end events would do well to donate money towards homeless shelters and other charities looking to help those on the streets. Beyond financial aid, there’s often a large amount of food remaining at the end of an event, which doesn’t need to be thrown in the garbage if there’s somewhere that will make better use of it.

Meaningful donations: a ‘win-win’ for your business

It’s time to be smarter about where you spend your corporate donations. If planned properly, corporate sponsorship or funding can be a strong strategic tool for your business; look for beneficiaries with whom you share a common goal, or team up with a company in a parallel field. It may be the start of a long-lasting, mutually advantageous arrangement.

Tips to Ensure a Successful DIY Remodel

Tips to Ensure a Successful DIY Remodel

(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

When a homeowner decides to tackle a remodeling project, it’s understandable that he or she wants to start right away. However, failing to plan for the entire project often means disappointing results and spending much more than anticipated. Proper planning requires homeowners to create the following types of documentation:

  • Budget
  • Drawings
  • Materials list
  • Price quotes from several contractors
  • Proposed schedule

The next step is to ensure the availability of all items he or she wishes to use. It’s important to order them as soon as possible to prevent delays later if the items are no longer available. Homeowners should also plan to inspect all materials when they arrive.

Consider Getting a Professional Opinion

Even homeowners who intend to complete the project themselves can benefit from the expertise of a professional designer or home inspector. A design consultant can point out potential issues with the homeowner’s plan while a home inspector can uncover safety issues that he or she might have overlooked.

Estimate Time to Complete the Home Improvement Project

While it can be challenging to know exactly how long each part of the project will take, creating a rough estimate is essential. Most homeowners, especially those with little or no experience with home improvement projects, tend to underestimate project length. A good rule is to add 20 percent to his or her best estimate. It’s also a good idea to add 20 percent to the budget. The danger of a project taking much longer than expected is that the homeowner may give up on it halfway through.

Don’t Forget About Safety

Some homeowners get so excited about tackling the project that they forget to invest in safety gear. This should include steel-toed boots, a hard hat, goggles, and work gloves at a minimum. Additionally, it’s important to avoid wearing baggy clothes that could become stuck in moving parts or tools and to make sure the work area remains free of clutter.

Avoid Fines for Building Violations

Homeowners sometimes feel tempted to skip applying for permits to save money and because they figure no one will know about their home improvement project. While it might seem like unnecessary bureaucracy and expense, safety is the real reason behind the permit requirements. A city building inspector will make sure the project meets compliance and that the homeowner and his or her family remain safe. Here are three common violations that anyone considering a do-it-yourself project should avoid:

  • Incorrect venting in the bathroom: Building codes require bathroom fans to vent humid air outside through a vent pipe four inches in diameter. Failing to follow this code results in rotting wood and mold in the attic.
  • Handrails at the wrong degree: When installing a wall-side handrail, it must create a 90-degree turn and a dead-end leading to a wall. This helps to prevent purses and clothing from snagging on the handrail and causing a fall.
  • Out-of-code junction boxes: All junction boxes for electrical outlets must be accessible and visible with a minimum wire length of six inches inside of the box. The wires entering a box must be clamped to prevent it from moving.

Additionally, taking care of construction debris removal on a regular basis will help prevent unwanted attention from neighbors. An unsightly pile of old drywall and/or appliances in the front yard is a sure-fire way to generate calls to the local building department.

As long as homeowners take the time to plan their project and learn local building codes, everything should go just fine.

Prevent Colon Cancer in the Elderly by Keeping Your Colon Clean

Prevent Colon Cancer in the Elderly by Keeping Your Colon Clean

Colon cancer in the elderly is on the rise gradually, and more and more aged people are getting diagnosed with a similar form of the potentially dreadful disease. Many years back, colon cancer was considered to be an ailment prevalent among the elderly, but nowadays even younger people are being diagnosed with this specific kind of a disease. According to Caringpeopleinc.com, one reason for having this disease is adherence to an unhealthy lifestyle such as lack of exercises, unhealthy eating habits, and several other factors. Nowadays, because of busy schedule, people have a tendency to consume junk food items and dishes that are over-processed and contain a high proportion of sugar and fat. This causes the chemically-laced food items to sit in the colon of your system for a longer time that leads to cancer disease. Food items with preservatives have a damaging effect on bowel tissue and this result in the growth of polyps, the earlier stage of colon cancer. In the United States alone, colorectal cancer accounts for the death of approximately 50,000 men and women annually.

With the rise in the incidences of colon cancer in the elderly, it is even more important nowadays to decide as to what type of treatment facility shall come in really handy. Though age alone should not be the sole criterion of elderly for benefitting from radical treatment options, there are many aged persons who shall not respond that well to standard therapies available. These are the patients who ought to be assessed properly prior to proposing any treatment that is deemed fit for them. An individualized and tailored approach offered in a multidisciplinary setting assumes paramount importance in a similar scenario. Undergoing timely screening for small precancerous growths – better termed as adenomatous polyps is one of the best ways of preventing a similar form of the dreadful disease. Symptoms such as rectal bleeding, sudden weight loss, cramps, irregular bowel habit and narrow stools clearly suggest that colon cancer is probably in the third or fourth stage. The best way of detecting colorectal cancer is through fecal occult blood testing and colonoscopy. This is really helpful in reducing the incidences of colon cancer and mortality rate too, presumably through early stage detection and removal of pre-malignant polyps.

There are several things that can be done to lessen the probability or incidences of colon cancer in the elderly. Cleaning internal organs on a timely basis is an important step to keep the body in a good condition. Strictly adhering to a balanced diet including fruits, protein, fats, vegetables, and diary shall help the body to benefit from wholesome nourishment. If you feel that you are unable to benefit from adequate nutrition, it is always a judicious thought to take certain mineral and vitamin supplements. The need of the same has been emphasized in Caringpeopleinc.com. Daily exercise proves to be equally important in lessening the incidences of colon cancer. To stay away from a similar form of an ailment, you need to go through annual medical check-ups once you reach the age of 40 years. With the right amount of care, your colon should be able to do its job for the rest of your life.

How Upgrading Your Company’s Tech Can SAVE You Money

How Upgrading Your Company’s Tech Can SAVE You Money

It may sound counterintuitive at first blush, but in practice, you can actually save money by upgrading your company’s tech. Indeed, many businesses soldier onward with outdated or outmoded technologies at their own detriment. And while it may be understandable that business owners are reticent to shell out hard-earned savings on new technologies, it will actually prove more expensive to hold out in the long run.

Make Productivity a Priority

More so than ever before, the modern worker relies upon their cell phone and their laptop to get their assignments done. That’s partially because the contemporary workspace has shifted from the office to –– well, anywhere and everywhere. So you need to be mindful that your employees need the technology to allow them to work remotely. In terms of tech that could mean anything from purchasing new smartphones, to replacing old monitors, or even installing a cloud-based phone system. The good news is, according to Votacall, a Hosted VoIP system can prove more cost-effective than traditional landline options anyway.

Perception is Reality

Whether it’s fair or not, the harsh truth is that people believe that older technologies and ways of doing things are less effective than modern methods. Though that might not always be the case, you need to recognize that holding onto archaic tech is going to make you look bad –– not only to clients, but also to potential hires and partners.

Cut Out Repair Costs

Even if you’re no longer paying off your current tech products, they still might be costing you money. If you’ve had to dip into your business capital to cover repairs to old modems or monitors –– or if you have to pay an exorbitant amount for IT support –– you’re really not saving any money. Rather, you’re creating a problem by ignoring it.

Competition Never Sleeps

The corporate world can be a ruthless environment, but the reality is if you don’t spring to find the newest and best solutions to your problems, someone else in your industry will. So there’s little sense in continuing with ineffective resources simply because it helps balance the books. (Which makes loans all the more important for companies to explore.) Without a boost in tech-power from time-to-time, you won’t have any books left to balance. In the end, it all goes back to a tried-and-true business axiom: you have to spend money to make money. Keep that in mind when it comes to making important purchases around the office and you’ll be on the path of success soon enough.

4 Reasons You Should Take a Vacation ASAP

4 Reasons You Should Take a Vacation ASAP

Consider the dentist. He works hard five days a week; he fills in cavities and removes wisdom teeth. He has good days and bad days, but in the main he likes his work and the people he works with. He may even have just completed a big project –– like retooling his dental office design, or  installing new, upgraded equipment. Still, something is gnawing at him. He has trouble sleeping. Feels tired. Looks forward to the weekend only to see it come and go in a flash. So what’s wrong? If this sounds at all familiar to you, don’t fret. Chances are all you need is some time off to yourself. And there’s no better time than now to take that trip you’ve always dreamed of. Here are four reasons why you should take a vacation ASAP:

Unique Timing

It may not sound like the ideal time to travel (February), but actually the “off months” for traveling can prove the best times to go. Not only will you receive the best rates from airlines and hotels, but it will also provide you with an opportunity to mingle with locals rather than other tourists. So unless you’re planning a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, February is a splendid time to budget in vacation time that goes beyond the norm.

Undue Stress

We all experience hectic times at work. It’s part of being a professional. However, there’s a difference between “normal stress,” and driving yourself into the ground. If you find yourself strung out and beaten down for weeks or even months at a time –– take a trip. It’ll vastly improve your well-being and energize you when you do return for work.

Limited Engagements

The only constant is change. So don’t assume that just because you have an opportunity to travel somewhere now, you’ll always enjoy that luxury. That’s not the case. Personal and professional commitments will pile up if you let them. And if you want to see something that has a limited running time, you need to grab that opportunity with both hands. Even majestic, prehistoric sights like the Great Barrier Reef won’t last forever.

You Can’t Recall Your Last Trip

Quick, without thinking, when was the last time you traveled solely for pleasure? If you can’t rattle off exactly where and when you last had a vacation –– you’re likely to be in dire need of one. Of course staying dedicated to your work is important. But recharging your batteries and indulging in adventure once in a while is vital to your mental health. Don’t deny yourself a great experience –– get going today!

3 reasons to take up fishing as a hobby

3 reasons to take up fishing as a hobby

Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies both in the United States and all over the world. There are about sixty million individuals engaging in this pastime on a yearly basis, at least in the U.S. Apparently, approximately 13% of the American population goes fishing or hunting regularly, which means that these two sports have won the hearts of U.S. inhabitants.

Let’s go through a series of reasons you should consider taking up fishing. They might help you better make up your mind in understanding whether it’s a good hobby for you.

Fishing can help you get in touch with nature

Given the hectic lives most of us lead and the number of hours we spend at work, spending time outdoors can be a real challenge. Fishing can help you get back in touch with nature by understanding the basics of fish anatomy and habits.

If you plan to go angling during the summer, you will also be exposed to the sun, which means that your body will be capable of synthesizing vitamin D naturally. Just make sure that you bring plenty of sunscreen on your trip, because the rates of skin cancer are on a rise. Always wear protective equipment to avoid hurting yourself.

It’s an educational hobby for kids

Few children have the necessary patience when it comes to learning how to fish, and that’s because some techniques might be overly complicated compared to others. Given that it is a somewhat static activity, fishing will involve parents spending quality time with their kids.

On the other hand, the child has a lot of opportunities to learn more about the type of fish that should be caught, its anatomy and biology, as well as fishing regulations and why it’s a bad idea to fish at certain times. If you do not want to hurt the catches, you can simply release them back into the water and explain to the kid all there’s to know about the catch and release policy.

Your research won’t be daunting

Whenever you might be thinking of taking up any sport, you might end up feeling a bit baffled as to what you’re supposed to do. Rest assured as fishing is one of the easiest sports to learn due to the immense variety of resources you’ll find online. You can even find out more about bowfishing from online videos and websites.

Plus, there’s always the option of your subscribing to a fishing magazine to keep up with the latest trends in terms of angling. On top of that, several fishing books can tell you absolutely everything you need to know as a beginning fisher. This information can mean anything ranging from your techniques and how you can better them to the type of angling gear you need to use to reel in a certain species.

Some of the best fishing magazines, according to some sources, are Sport Fishing, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal, American Angler, Fly Tyer, and Marlin. These and others will tell you that fly fishing is one of the simplest techniques you can employ at the beginning of your fishing learning adventure.

How to throw perfect children’s birthday parties

How to throw perfect children’s birthday parties

Throwing a great birthday party for your son or daughter can be a daunting task. There are so many themes to consider and the amount of resources you should check out is practically endless. You need to make sure that everyone is having a good time, which means that both the adults and the little kids have to be entertained in some way or the other.

To make it slightly easier for you to get rid of the stress that a birthday party can involve, we have created a short list of tips and tricks you may want to bear in mind. Check them out below.

Who’s coming?

First off, you need to know the age of those who are invited to the party, both because your child might be friends with someone who’s either two years younger or older than them, and because the kids are likely accompanied by their parents or another family member that acts as a chaperone.

The reason you ought to know the age of those that are coming to your house or the location of the event is that they have different preferences in terms of pastimes and foods. It goes without saying that adults like regular food, but kids would more likely gorge on soda and snacks.

Try to keep it short

This goal is pretty much impossible because everyone should be able to have fun and shouldn’t be pressured by a curfew. However, you should keep everything as realistic as possible and explain to the accompanying adults that you would like to organize a party that ends in two to three hours top.

Think of it this way. When everything’s over, and everyone’s gone, you might have to spend another couple of hours to clean your yard or living room, depending on where the party has taken place.

Themes

For birthday girls, you can go for themes that range from Peppa Pig to baking parties. For boys, you can do the same with superheroes, animal themes, as well as minions.

But that doesn’t mean that the party should have to speak to a particular gender. If your kid likes creepy stories, you can rent a couple of vampire costumes for girls or boys and maybe let them have fun with several spooky board games.

Zombies are particularly popular with children, but so are ghosts and other supernatural or paranormal creatures. Being afraid can be fun, under certain circumstances and when an adult is always present to make sure that everything is all right.

Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a son or daughter who was born around Halloween, you can get all of these supplies for cheap every year.

Decorations

It goes without saying that you can purchase decorations and create a unique design in any room where the birthday party is going to happen. But you can also let the kids decorate their own faces if you buy some face paints, hand stamps, or washable tattoos.

Many children like to be as creative as possible, so even though they were invited to the party, they might have to color their own hats or put stickers on them.