Travel and Lifestyle

Learn to be Happy and Achieve Greater Success!


We can all learn a few things from the Quokka, The happiest animal on earth, don't worry-be happy!

Shawn Achor, a Harvard-trained positive psychologist, says the same chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, that allow humans to experience the giddiness of love, also activate the learning centers of our brains. Achor continues, "Your happy and relaxed brain has more intellectual capacity than your brain under stress.” "Being positive actually helps us learn more."

Tips for Positive Thinking

Happy people tend to perform better on their craft, have higher success, cope with difficulties better, and avoid burnout. The great news about these various studies is that negative thinking can be learned, but so can positive thinking. Since our brains are flexible, take a look at the following tips you can try right now that will train your brain and start putting you on your path to positive thinking, happiness, and success.

1. Express three “gratitudes”
Are you thankful for your business? Your family? Your friends? Your health? By all means, express it. Write down your gratitude and/or say it out loud. Say them aloud to your significant other.

2. Keep a journal
Writing in a journal instills positive thinking. Just carry a small notepad or journal with you wherever you go.

3. Get physical
Exercise. Studies have shown that exercise reduced the relapse rate for depression by 9% for the study participants.

4. Meditate
Calm the brain by daily meditation - think about nothing, free up your mind of the usual clutter. If you focus on your breathing just five minutes a day, this will help you, even if you are not meditating.

5. Random acts of kindness
Think how you felt when someone gave you a random act of kindness. Just think how great the person must have felt. When was the last time you did something thoughtful for another person? When you did, how did you feel?

Create a happiness habit!

Remember, the key to creating happiness is to train your brain. The research shows we can do it, so now it is up to you to get started.

Sources: Jennifer Openshaw, a nationally recognized entrepreneur and financial commentator, is author of " The Millionaire Zone ." Through , she offers a youth leadership program at the United Nations. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter @jopenshaw or email at; Fredrickson, B. L. (2003). The value of positive emotions. American Scientist, 91, 330-335.

TGIF-Recipe for Detox Bath

Baths are wonderfully healing, and it is easy to make your own homemade, detox baths.
Hot water draws toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface, and while the water cools it pulls toxins from the skin, according to Naturopath Dr. Hazel Parcells. Epsom salts augment this detoxification by causing you to sweat. Other salts—all highly alkaline and cleansing—used in baths include sea salt, baking soda, clay, and Dead Sea salts.
Basic Salt Soak Bath Formula
Minerals and salts make the bath water feel silky and leave your skin cleansed and soft.

1 cup sea salts
2 cups baking soda
1 cup Epsom salts
1 to 2 tablespoons glycerin per bath

Combine the sea salts, baking soda, and Epsom salts in a bowl. Stir to blend. Pour 1/4 cup or so into the bath while the tub is filling. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons glycerin to keep your skin from drying out (more for dry skin, less for oily skin) and essential oils of choice.
Why it Works
According to The Epsom Salt Council, Epsom Salt is a pure mineral compound (magnesium sulfate) in crystal form that gently exfoliates skin and smoothes rough patches. Mixed with your favorite deep conditioner, Epsom Salt helps to add body to hair. Dissolved in a bath, Epsom Salt is absorbed through the skin to replenish the body's levels of magnesium. Studies indicate this may help to relieve stress in a number of ways, including:
Raising the body's level of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.

Offsetting excess levels of adrenaline generated by pressure and stress; magnesium ions relax and reduce irritability by lowering the affects of adrenaline.

Helping to regulate the electrical functions that spark through miles of nerves.

Lowering blood pressure.

Researchers have found that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts recommend soaking with Epsom Salt at least three times a week to look better, feel better, and have more energy.

Leadership Tips

Seven Enduring Truths about Leadership During Crisis

In these uncertain times when the foundations of our global economic system are being challenged, we need to look beyond the pessimistic predictions, the fads, and the simplistic solutions to what's proven and what's real. It's critically important to remind ourselves of what the evidence tells about how leaders get extraordinary things done. We also need to understand the vital role credible leaders play in restoring confidence and in revitalizing organizations.

1. Challenge is the greatest opportunity for greatness! In these challenging and difficult times, we are likely to see some of the best leadership we've seen in the last two decades. The greatest leaders throughout history are remembered for how they dealt with change and adversity.

2. The most important leader role models are YOU, not "them". Thousands of young people and working professionals, in two separate surveys, were asked who the most important role models for leadership were. In both categories, most people chose family members, teachers, coaches, and community and business leaders. Very few choose politicians, entertainers, and athletes, the ones who seem to dominate our headlines. The leaders who have the most influence are the ones who are closest to us.

3. The one attribute that is the foundation of all leadership - something that has remained the same for that last 25 years and is not likely to change for the next 25 years - is credibility. That is, doing what you say you're going to do, walking the talk, keeping commitments, honesty, and trustworthiness.

4. Start learning how to look ahead, to be forward looking. Being forward-looking was selected as the one quality that most differentiated leaders from team members. It's also the most difficult aspect of leadership to learn and put into practice. So if you're an executive or aspiring leader, this needs to be the focus for your development

5. You can't change people's behaviors by telling them - you have to show them. The leadership quality that has the biggest impact on people's performance is modeling the way - setting a good example.

6. Personal values drive commitment. Helping leaders and employees get clarity on their own values - even if unclear on organizational values - have the greatest impact on commitment. We often put a lot of effort into defining organizational values, yet this has little impact on employee commitment.

7. The secret to success is to stay in love. U.S. Army Major General John H. Stanford was asked about how one becomes a leader. "When anyone asks me that question, I tell them I have the secret to success in life. The secret to success is to stay in love. Staying in love gives you the fire to really ignite other people, to see inside other people, to have greater desire to get things done than other people. A person who is not in love doesn't really feel the kind of excitement that helps him to get ahead and lead others and to achieve.”

Source: Jim Kouzes, co-author of The Leadership Challenge

Money Matters-Feed The Pig!

So you can’t save money? It’s easy as pie! Brown bag your lunch instead of going out. 6 dollars saved times five days a week times ten years is 21,000 bucks!

I just found a really neat website, Feed The Pig that I want to share with you. The site helps people like you and me feed our piggy banks and save money, by understanding where and why we spend it.

Over the past several decades, Americans 25–34 years old experienced significant declines in net worth while increasing their debt. For every dollar worth of assets owned, this group carries 70 cents worth of debt.

The Feed The Pig campaign aims to reverse this trend by empowering younger Americans to take charge of their personal finances by living within their means and saving for long-term financial security.

Statistics demonstrate that this group’s financial behaviors, while less established, tend toward debt accumulation, and this is happening during a period of milestone events such as getting married, having children and caring for aging parents. But there is hope: more working time before retirement means that their current financial decisions have a greater impact (positive or negative) on their long-term financial security. With this campaign, AICPA and Ad Council hope to get younger Americans to establish better spending and saving habits.
The campaign draws upon a traditional savings symbol, the piggy bank, to encourage 25-34 year olds to find the benefits of saving for every stage of life.

Feed The Pig has lots of cool features—you can set up your own personality profile and make a savings plan customized to your day-to-day reality. You can project what you will save over time if you sock away up to 5% of your salary. You can get tons of tips, reminders, or even swap ideas with other savers to make Feeding the Pig easier.

Check it out!

Source: &

Six Tips to Put Your Financial House in Order

Six Tips to Put Your Financial House in Order
By Kim Lankford, Monster Contributing Writer

If you want to spend less time worrying about your money, then it’s time to get your financial act together. These six strategies can help improve your financial situation and simplify your life at the same time.

1. Put Your Savings on Autopilot

If you haven’t maxed out your 401k or other retirement plan at work, add an extra $50 or $100 every month. Increasing your contributions just a little can make a huge difference over time. By adding $100 per month when you’re 25, you’ll have an extra $330,000 in your 401k by the time you’re 65 if your investments return 8 percent annually, which is below the average long-term return for stocks. Since the investments are pretax, your $100 monthly investment will lower your paycheck by $75 if you’re in the 25 percent bracket. If your employer matches your contribution, you’ll get free money to help you save even more. And it’s the easiest way to save, since the money is automatically invested before you can touch it. If you’ve maxed out your 401k, invest $333 automatically every month in an IRA. Ask your IRA administrator to set up automatic payments.

2. Stop Worrying About Your Investments

Instead of poring over your investment options and wondering when -- and what -- you should buy and sell, have the experts do it for you. Most mutual fund companies, and quite a few 401k plans, now offer target funds that match your investments to your savings time frame. If you’re in your mid-30s, for example, you can invest your retirement money in a 2040 target date fund. This fund invests aggressively when you have more than a decade to go before retirement, then gradually gets more conservative as you approach retirement. These funds are diversified, so you don’t need to invest your retirement money anywhere else.

3. Pay Bills Automatically

Signing up to have your bills paid automatically from your bank account saves you monthly check-writing hassles and mail-delivery worries; it also protects you from costly missed deadlines. After one late payment, some credit-card companies boost interest rates beyond 31 percent and charge late fees of nearly $40. And some card companies raise your rate if you miss a deadline on another card, even if you have a spotless record with them.

4. Streamline Your Files

Go through your financial files and toss what you don’t need. In general, you should keep your tax returns forever, but you can get rid of supporting documents after three years (six years if you have self-employment income). You can also get rid of monthly investment statements after everything matches with your year-end summaries and ATM receipts as soon as the transactions appear on your monthly bank statement.

5. Protect Your Identity the Simple Way

Instead of signing up for expensive services that monitor your credit records for identity theft, do it yourself for free. You can now get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) every 12 months ( Stagger your requests so you get one report every four months. Review each one carefully for errors or unauthorized charges.

6. Get Out of Debt

The best thing you can do to improve your financial health is eliminate high-interest debt. Try to use any bonus, raise or tax refund to pay off credit cards in full. Even adding a few hundred dollars to your payments can make a huge difference, especially if you can get your credit card company to lower your rate. If your minimum payment is 4 percent of your debt, a $5,000 balance with an 18 percent interest rate would start with a $200 monthly payment, which would take 32 months to pay off and cost $1,314 in interest. If you pay $500 per month on a 5 percent card, you’ll cut your interest charges to $118 and pay off the balance in just 11 months.

How does this simplify your life? Once you’re out of debt, you won’t have to juggle minimum payments, and you’ll save a ton in interest, which frees up extra cash to reach the rest of your financial goals.


Volunteering is an opportunity to make a difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. It’s a chance to apply your skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in your community. Organization like Habitat For Humanity, American Red Cross, AmeriCorps, and Peace Corps are driven by volunteers that offer help in times of need. Volunteering can offer leadership opportunities, personal development, professional development, and improved community relations.

During this economic downturn it may seem unconceivable to donate time and skills for free but the opportunities and benefits can be very rewarding. Volunteer benefits can include money for college, grants, loan repayment/forgiveness, job placement, cross cultural development and expanded knowledge of global markets and communities.

I learn the value of volunteering at an early age. My mother worked at the Savannah Association For Blind, Inc.—a non-profit organization that provides rehabilitation services designed to help blind and visually impaired individuals in all walks of life function independently in their homes and in the community. I would volunteer during my summer break and was responsible for setting up recreational supplies, preparing meals, and general office duties. This experience was very rewarding and instilled in me the compassion to help others that I value to date. Getting your kids involved at an early age to volunteer teaches them a valuable lesson of servitude, responsibility, builds self confidence, develop work ethics, and gain valuable job skills. Also, it provides a great opportunity to earn scholarships. Programs like Learn and Serve America offers a unique opportunity for youth to get involved by integrating community service projects with classroom learning. Learn and Serve America provides direct and indirect support to K-12 schools, community groups, and higher education institutions to facilitate service-learning projects and recognizes outstanding youth service through the Presidential Freedom Scholarship, Presidential Volunteer Service Award, and other programs.

Want to travel abroad? The Peace Corps, inpsired by John F. Kennedy in the 1960s, was created to offer individuals the opportunity to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. The peacecorps offer volunteers educational benefits, financial benefits and loan deferment, medical benefits, job placement support, and advantage for federal employment. If your unable to travel, AmeriCorps members address critical needs in communities all across America. Full-time members who complete their service earn a Segal Americorps Education Award of $4,725 to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans; members who serve part-time receive a partial Award. Some AmeriCorps members also receive a modest living allowance during their term of service.

These are just a few examples of volunteer opportunities available. You can also donate time to a local community group, shelter, non-profit organization, and your church.

-right Michelle Obama dishes out risotto and volunteer spirit at Washington D.C. homeless shelter Mar 05, 2009



Too many times people let their dreams, aspirations, and hopes wither away in the night. But No Longer!! TODAY, I challenge you to break your regular chains of bondage and embrace the warmth of possibility. I push you to go beyond yesterday’s disposition of despair and complacent attitudes and into Today’s beauty of uncertainty. For if we do nothing our dreams will drown in a sea of apathy.

Here are six easy steps to grasp hold of a dream:

1. Write down your vision
2. Break your vision down into a workable yearly goal, and then that year down into monthly goals, followed by weekly goals, and lastly daily goals
3. Believe that you can accomplish your goals
4. Only tell those whom have faith that you can succeed
5. Find examples of those who have already made it
6. Move, ACT, Execute, Evaluate, and Improve

Those six steps should help you move forward. If you need any help with writing or publishing a book visit

When can no longer let our lives evaporate before our very eyes. TODAY IS OUR DAY!

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