You're reading Why Travel Mirrors Life – A Rebuke Of Instagram Perfectionism, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.
Backpacking and traveling are predominantly arduous, uncomfortable, and anxiety-inducing. When we see those picture perfect Instagram posts of people traveling the world they represent 1% of the story, willfully glossing over the other 99% (such as the fact that blood, sweat and tears were shed to get to the top of that mountain summit – all in the pursuit of a dopamine hit from the proceeding Instagram likes). The chaos of finding yourself in an alien culture, where you’ve been stripped of all familiarity, is at the time nothing other than a test of survival. So why then is traveling so rewarding? Because when we travel we submit ourselves to the accompanying s**t in order to experience those fleeting moments of bliss – the moments that we recall when nostalgically reminiscing about our travels. Nobody arrives home from traveling to share their stories of being ripped off by a local taxi driver or how they got so lost in a place that they started crying. Life is exactly the same. What gives our life meaning is our suffering, and what manifests from that suffering. For example when we graduate from university our pride and joy isn’t derived from the fact that we now have a new piece of paper that we did not have beforehand. Instead we celebrate all the hours spent frantically studying late at night, our challenging progress in terms of self-development and maturity, or those lifelong friends we made by placing ourselves in new social environments when we would much rather have stayed at home. Take parenthood. 99% of being a parent involves doing thankless and repetitive tasks that nobody in their right mind would voluntarily agree to. Yet why is it that parenthood has been proven to be one of the most fulfilling pursuits in life? Because that 1% - seeing your offspring grow up – is so rewarding that the sacrifices which contributed to the end result was worth it. What should you take from this post? Embrace life’s difficulties. Don’t feel bad for not feeling happy all the time. Reframe your attitude to all those annoying micro tasks that need to be done on a daily basis because they are ultimately contributing to your desired end goals. Your sense of fulfillment and happiness should be viewed from an overview perspective rather than a fleeting snapshot in the here and now. Nobody wants to go to the bank to fill out endless admin forms, but perhaps that act is bringing you 0.001% closer to the person who are aiming to become. Every single person on this planet is battling inner demons, in one form or another. Empathy and compassion of this fact will go a long way to contributing to your success and well-being. The next time you see that "i have my life together" post on Instagram, take heart from the reality that what you are seeing is a surface reflection of the proverbial iceberg. Keep seeking.
Brian Cronin is the writer behind The Ithaca Diaries – a personal development blog documenting one man’s search for meaning, answers, and a pursuit of the good life. https://www.facebook.com/theithacadiaries/
You've read Why Travel Mirrors Life – A Rebuke Of Instagram Perfectionism, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.
The digital rewards site Swagbucks is holding a big “Swago” promotion starting Monday, September 11th at 9am PDT!
Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you’re filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you’re thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it.
Here are a few tips:
Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Tuesday, September 19th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you’ll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!
The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and expires at the same time.
Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points – if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 300 SB bonus, which goes a long way towards your first gift card from the retailer of your choice.
Click here right now and click “Join” to get started! If you don’t already have a Swagbucks account, you’ll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if 300 SB before the first of next month, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB!
It’s camping season! Many people want to get closer to nature and camp in the wild, but they don’t really know which essentials they need and how to find them at the right price.
Our list is for the camping lover on a budget. You don’t need to pay for luxurious products in order to fully enjoy nature. These pieces, despite their price tags, will ensure that you have a great experience in the great outdoors.
For those of you who love nature, hiking, and all things outdoors, here’s a must-have list of camping gear the Lifehack team has handpicked for you.
1. AmazonBasics Tent
This 100% polyester tent is family-size, so it accommodates up to 8 campers. This roomy tent measure 15 x 9 feet with a center height of 6 feet. Plenty of space to stand up and move around!
It also has essential features to protect against inclement weather: a rainfly for added protection, plus a cool-air port and variable venting system. With shock-corded poles, it’s easy to follow the assembly instructions.
P.S. It also comes with a 4-person size tent if you’re camping with a smaller group.
2. Portable Sleeping Bag by Abco Tech
Designed for near-freezing temperatures, this is perfect for northern climates! This waterproof, weather-resistant sleeping bag will keep you warm even at 20°F.
Light-weight and made with 210T high-quality polyester, it’s easy to travel with in its carry bag and compression sack with straps. You can machine-wash it too!
3. GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier (with filter bottle)
Ideal for global traveling, outdoor adventures, emergency preparedness, hiking, packing, camping, fishing, survival… you name it!
This water bottle is an amazing design. Fast and easy to use, you can simply fill, press, and drink. It removes 99.9999% of all viruses, disease-causing bacteria, and protozoan cysts. It also filters out sediment, chemicals, and heavy metals. Your water will have zero aftertaste, no bad odors, and will run totally clear.
4. AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack with Rainfly
This internal-frame backpack with 55L capacity (50L + 5L extension collar) is made of durable polyester. With its many pockets, large sleeping-bag compartment, and comfy multi-directional compression straps, this backpack is ideal for hiking and camping.
It has a water-repellent exterior coating and integrated water-resistant rainfly for light rain, a waterproof cover is also included for heavier rain.
5. KingCamp Moon Saucer Camping Chair Steel Frame Folding Padded Round – Portable Stable with Carry Bag
Need a comfortable seat out in the wild? This camping chair is uber-comfortable and portable. It has a padded seat, a large pocket on the back of the chair, and a storage bag with shoulder strap for easy carry. It folds up in seconds and has handles on the back of the seat. Its sturdy steel frame has a weight capacity of up to 260 lbs.
KingCamp Moon Saucer Camping Chair Steel Frame Folding Padded Round – Portable Stable with Carry Bag, $45.99
6. Camping Cookware Stove Carabiner Canister Stand Tripod Folding Spork Set
This huge set of cookware will make eating while camping super convenient. This 16-piece camping cookware set includes a folding stainless steel spork/spoon, spoon, knife, mini stove with piezo ignition, anodized aluminum nonstick pot, frying pan, pan cover, and 2 BPA free bowls, BPA free soup spoon, rice ladle, loofah sponge, carabiner, and nylon bag.
All the objects in this cooking set can be stored together in a mesh bag for space saving and convenient carry.
7. COB LED Camping Lantern
This budget-friendly camping lantern works up to 300 lumens and is perfect for space of 30-square meters. You can expect the light to last a whopping 10000 hours. You can switch it to its emergency flashlight function if necessary – in this mode, the light is IW LED and lasts up to 10 hours.
The camping lantern is extendable. You extend it when using and collapse it to store. It is smaller when collapsed and takes little space in your backpack. It’s also built to withstand water, so you can use it even in the rain.
Its brightness and long-time working will make camping and hiking at dusk or nighttime way safer.
8. A2S Paracord Bracelet Survival Gear Kit
You need this 5-in-1 survival tool! This kit includes a high-quality illuminated compass, a flint fire starter, a fire scrapper inside the buckle, emergency knife, and emergency whistle (which creates a sound up to 100 decibels).
Made of ultra-strong, military-grade 550 Paracord (12-ft’s worth), this has a lightweight and comfortable design. It has been tested to a breaking point of 550 lbs.
9. Microfiber Travel Sports Towel (24″ X 48″) for Camping
Made of 100% microfiber, this sports towel is lightweight, soft and gentle to skin. It’s extremely quick-drying, ultra-absorbent, and antibacterial.
You can fold this towel and put it in a compact carrying bag, making it easily portable.
10. Baleaf Unisex Packable Outdoor Waterproof Rain Jacket Hooded Raincoat Poncho
This raincoat/poncho is made of 100% Nylon. It’s lightweight and totally waterproof, offering you water resistance with very little weight. The funnel hood has an adjustable drawstring and elastic cuffs to help keep your clothes dry. Plus, it has a back pocket for extra storage!
Featured photo credit: Finda via finda.photo
The post 10 Must-Have Camping Gear With Low Budget For Nature Enthusiasts appeared first on Lifehack.
posted from https://www.dumblittleman.com/coworking-space/
Public coworking spaces and shared office spaces have become increasingly popular in the last decade. In fact, in over six years, the number of shared office spaces available has jumped from 1,130 to 13,800 — a leap of 12,670 spaces.
This popularity is due to the undeniable benefits of shared working spaces, especially for freelancers and independent contractors. Factors such as energy level, professional ambiance and mingling lend a hand to the success of this office style. However, like working anywhere, shared spaces have their own unique downsides. Sensory overload, random uncontrollable noise and self-management can decrease your work productivity.
Here are a few tips to making this public space work for you!
Invest in Headphones
Open work spaces come with a lot of noise. Even with the best efforts to keep quiet, keyboard strokes, coffee sips, small chatter, conference calls and more can quickly become a nuisance.
The solution? Headphones.
Using a personalized music playlist or listening to your favorite podcast is proven to be effective in enhancing your focus. However, make sure to cater to your work. If you’re writing, music is usually a better choice than a podcast as it provides too much word input. But, if you’re designing web platforms, a podcast you enjoy will keep your brain busy while you’re completing tedious tasks.
If music in your ear isn’t your jam (pun intended), consider complete silence with a high-quality pair of noise-canceling headphones. Covering up with a pair of these will block out the chitter chatter and clickety clicks, so you can focus on your workload in peace and quiet.
Create Your ‘Office’
Much like audio chaos, visual noise is worth reducing for increased productivity. Avoid having anything chaotic or messy within your sight to help maintain focus. Items like trash bins, cluttered tables, washroom hallways and even busy streets are distracting.
Try facing towards a view with simple, clean lines. It can be a garden window or a wall. It seems boring, but Zen tradition suggests this is a great way to stay on task. If possible, include daylight near your workspace. Increased light exposure is proven to improve sleep habits and therefore increase productivity.
Having a plant nearby can also relax the body and foster creativity. If the space doesn’t have plants, consider commuting with your own or bringing a few to leave in the space. Of course, make sure to talk to the owner of the workspace first to ensure that your greenery doesn’t get tossed out at the end of the day.
If your line of work involves a high level of creativity, you may choose to face the excitement head on and use it as your muse. The saying “to each his own” is appropriate for visual decluttering.
Prioritize Your Time
Most people (64%) who use coworking spaces are better able to meet their deadlines. Time management plays a large role in their ability to do so. To become one of the 64%, it’s suggested that you mute all unimportant notifications. Little beeps for unimportant tasks will take your focus away from larger, more important jobs.
Next, studies show that in order to produce the highest quality of work in the shortest amount of time, people should work intensely for 52 minutes, then take a 17-minute break.
The trick? Staying off of social media, text messaging and the like. Instead, use your break to take a refreshing walk or mingle within the office space. Not only will this help you refocus, but networking never hurts!
Scheduling your own hours is a huge perk that comes along with this style of working. However, if you aren’t disciplined with your time, it’s easy to start working in overdrive. Keeping set hours helps you stay on track, sets the pace for your day and for your potential clients and assures you do not overwork yourself.
One of the reasons shared working spaces are successful is the fact that they provide a structured space to work that is not home. Use this to your advantage and keep work and home time separate.
In addition to these three focus points, maintaining a work-life harmony and keeping procrastination tendencies under control are also important to increasing your productivity in a shared work environment. Once your space is perfected, you will reap the benefits of joining a coworking habitat, including an improved home life, a potential increase in income and added professional flexibility.
Share our awesome infographic on Tips For Getting Work Done.
The post How to Increase Your Productivity in a Coworking Space appeared first on Dumb Little Man.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Gandhi
Pain is and isn’t just like energy. According to the first law of thermodynamics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed but is merely converted from one form to another.
For example, the light energy from the sun can be harnessed by plants, which, through photosynthesis, convert it to chemical energy. Plants use this energy to grow fruit, which we eat. We store this energy for when we need to exert ourselves, when we convert it to kinetic energy. The energy never disappears, but is instead just displaced.
Pain is in a sense the same, creating a parallel to the first law of thermodynamics which I call the cycle of pain.
The manager is belittled by his boss because the boss was frustrated with the latest quarterly results, which disappointed because the customers were unhappy with the product. Upset, the manager comes home and mouths off to his wife, who is carrying her own tribulations from work.
The wife and mother then loses her temper with her son, who is hurt by his mother’s outburst. In pain and having witnessed a bad example from his mother about what to do with frustration, the son then goes to school the next day and causes a fight in the classroom during the teacher’s lesson.
His plans in tatters with the class disrupted, the teacher then exacts collective punishment on the whole class, who then each go and act out the negativity in their own separate ways.
The form of the pain changes, but it doesn’t go away—it’s spread out and perpetrated on new victims in a seemingly endless cycle of pain.
Except it can go away. After all, pain differs from energy in some important ways.
First of all, pain can be created, added to, and multiplied or increased exponentially.
Above, the frustration that the teacher caused can turn into sadness, hurt, or anger among his thirty pupils, who then have a negative emotional-energetic push to transfer and potentially increase the pain.
More and more people are born and live longer each day, meaning there are more egos to feel and create pain. The internet and other mass communication technologies only expand each single person’s ability to transfer and create more and more pain in more and more people. Weapons of mass destruction have the same function. This is a depressing picture.
The story, however, isn’t all bad, and as conscious human beings we can actively work to stop the flow and creation of pain.
When the husband comes home to vent at his wife, the wife can always ask what the matter is, listen compassionately, and react with love and a desire to help ease the pain.
When the child acts out in school, the teacher can always take a deep breath, draw upon her compassion for whatever is driving an innocent child to be aggressive, pull the child aside, and try and find out what’s wrong.
We can all recognize that another person’s negativity is his or her pain, not ours.
This is very simple to comprehend but extremely difficult to achieve. It takes a lot of effort.
Put yourself right in the moment of a very tense or stressful situation. Your boss has had a stressful week and is screaming at you, blaming you for the entire team’s failure or something that had nothing to do with you. Your mother always favored your older brother and is interrogating you, asking why you didn’t get married and have the perfect job like he did. Pick a real example from your own life.
How did you react—with total serenity and compassion? Did you lovingly embrace this as a spiritual challenge and opportunity for growth? In all likelihood, far from it!
You probably shouted back, clamped down, cried, or otherwise reacted to negativity with negativity, and this in turn negatively affected someone else. Why? Because this is hard—really hard. And yet, it’s the struggle we, as human beings, face every day.
However, when we sit around and think about being our best, about trying to make a difference in the world, we think about legendary figures placed in the fulcrum of historic events. We think about Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. or Mother Theresa. Saving the rain forest, ending poverty, or finding a cure for some horrible disease come to mind.
In fact, very few people will ever even have the chance to be in the right place at the right time to make such a difference. Even if we had the skills and desire, we might not have the resources, the connections, or even be born is the right era to affect such a change.
By definition, not everyone can accomplish extraordinary things. The rain forest needs saving, poverty needs ending, and diseases need curing, but why not start with what you can influence right now—the world’s little daily hurts that, through the cycle of pain, create big problems?
But this is our bias, made dramatically worse in recent years by social media: to overlook or even look down upon the ordinary. And yet, it is the ordinary, everyday flow of life that is so difficult to navigate in a way that does no harm to ourselves or others. Indeed, daily life presents our most obvious opportunity to change the world around us—to end the cycle of pain.
Imagine a world where parents didn’t smack or shout at their children out of anger, where spouses didn’t take their work frustrations home and get passive aggressive with each other, where strangers didn’t project their pent up feelings onto each other.
Imagine all of the infinite little tragedies that could be avoided. Imagine the child who, in a moment of despair, sees a helping hand instead of a fist. Think of what a different place the world would be if one million or one billion people had this same thought all at once.
I, too, once had a head full of grandiosity, all the while overlooking the difference I could make each and every day.
Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York, I was raised like most of the other kids in my peer group—to be hyper-competitive and keep up with the Joneses. I wanted to be a famous academic, a CEO, or the president. I thought about ending wars, saving the environment, and changing the economy.
I was also short on patience. I punched back. I showed off. I overlooked people. It was only after I was brought so low by pain, when I saw no way forward, that I dropped my illusions and really thought about how to move forward in the world. When I felt there was no hope, I stopped contemplating the horizon and instead looked right in front of me.
For maybe the first time, I really saw the people who came into my life and got to know so well who had wronged me, betrayed me. Rather than cursing them or begrudging them, I thought about how they got the way they were—their being bullied or even molested as children or abandoned as adults (true stories!).
I thought about myself, put upon by my siblings and ignored by my parents. And I realized what a difference it would have made if even some minor character in any of these stories would have taken the initiative to break that cycle of pain.
Everything that happens in life is the result of an unknowable series of chance events that happened over centuries. You are here right now because some peasant in the fields a thousand years ago smiled at one of his fellow laborers or some seamstress took the risk of getting on ship bound for America or someone crossing the street didn’t get hit by a car.
Likewise, the gang member might not be in jail if that teacher had taken a chance on him. The cheerleader might not be bulimic if someone had taken the time to notice her eating habits or cared enough to say anything.
Even when we aren’t causing it, so many of us shut our eyes and turn our heads to other people’s pain because we’ve been hurt ourselves and don’t want to face more pain if we can avoid it.
To come to and maintain the level of consciousness necessary to actively counter the cycle of pain requires a spiritual vigilance that is profound and yet so simple. To break and not perpetuate the cycle of pain, to purify and not pollute our emotional environment is so mundane but can be so impactful. To me, this is what it means to be the change I wish to see in the world.
Once I recovered from the deep, crushing, suicidal depression that I suffered, I left my high-flying job. I moved countries. I extricated myself from destructive relationships. Coming from a life in which I interacted with senior politicians and CEOs, I instead dabbled in coaching and tutoring and other endeavors I saw as making a small difference. I slowed down and, instead of chasing grand visions, became much more conscious of what I was doing each moment.
This was a difficult transition to make, and it is a challenge each day to remember the cycle of pain and my role in it, and, more importantly, not to perpetuate it. Nevertheless, I find life so much more rewarding now. Though my path is littered with mistakes and small failings, most days I am able to see the incremental positive differences that I make.
I don’t know what all of this will amount to, but what I do know is that I feel so much more rewarded and empowered.
About Joshua Kauffman
Joshua Kauffman is a recovering over-achiever and workaholic. Leaving behind a high-powered life in business, he has become a world traveler, aspiring coach, and entrepreneur of pretty things. Amateur author of a recent memoir Footprints Through The Desert, he is trying to find ways to share his awakening experience, particularly to those lost in the rat race like he was.
“I’m soooooo bored.”
Aside from the weather and politics, boredom is one of the most common complaints that I see online. This is true whether the person is a full-time student, works a conventional 9-to-5 kind of job, or is making their attempt at making a full-time living on the Internet. They’re soooo bored, because they have “nothing” to do.
This kind of grumbling and moaning really bothers me, which is why I never complain about being bored. I simply do not have the luxury to be bored, because there is always something for me to do. I could be working on client projects as part of my freelance writing business. I could be writing up posts for my own blog. I could be taking care of some errands or housework.
There is always something to do.
And this becomes especially true when you go into business for yourself on the Internet, no matter what it is that you choose to do. Whether you’re a freelancer, an app developer, an affiliate marketer, an e-commerce store owner or just about anything else, there is always something to do.
It’s only natural that after you’ve been pursuing a particular type of online career for some period of time that you may grow tired of the day-to-day grind. Believe me, I’ve been a freelance writer for more than 10 years and there are days that I’ve thought about throwing in the towel. But I’m still here. And one of the biggest reasons why I’ve been able to survive and avoid what may seem like an inevitable boredom is because of the freedom that an online career can provide.
The possibilities are, quite literally, unlimited.
Let’s say that you’ve already been blogging for a number of years. In the context of this argument, it doesn’t even really matter whether you’ve achieved any real success with the blog. After all that time, you might start to feel bored with writing blog posts every day, especially on the same topic.
So, change the topic. Start a new blog in a new niche with entirely new subject matter. If you’ve been running an Internet marketing blog, maybe you want to launch a gaming blog or a sports blog or a lifestyle blog. The power to do that is you and the barriers to entry are minimal.
But maybe you’re just bored of the blog format and you want to try an entirely new dynamic. Then, why don’t you write a publish a book? Learn all about the ins and outs of Kindle and marketing on Amazon. That should reinvigorate your enthusiasm.
But maybe you’re bored of the actual act of writing itself. That’s fine too. Think about starting a podcast or participate in a 90 day video challenge. Again, you have all sorts of new things to learn, all sorts of new equipment to consider, and all sorts of new audiences to approach.
What we all need to understand is that the “honeymoon” period with any new venture is always going to be the most exciting. It’s when you get sloshed down in the same tired routine that you may suffer the pitfall of getting bored. You have no excuse to be bored. There is always something to do. There is always something new to do.
And when you do something new, you learn something new. And that new knowledge can be funneled back into all of your existing skills to further bolster your success all across the board. Boredom is for losers. Be a winner and never stop pushing yourself forward and in new directions.