Convenient Tips for Life
2012 is the year of the Dragon! Do you have an idea for a product that you've been dying to create? Something you know people would love but you don't have the know-how or the capital to even dream about beginning? Well... guess what? You live in the 21st century so you don't need know-how OR money! One of the latest methods of raising private money for your projects is a concept called "crowd-sourcing". Basically, if the idea is a good one you can create a summary of your idea, with a video, put it out there for the world to see and offer people rewards (that you will give them in the future) or allow them to pre-order a product before it's made in order to raise enough money to make the product come to life. One of the most popular websites out there that supports this type of fund raising is www.kickstarter.com. They have developed a platform that allows people to create "campaigns" for any sort of artistic project or product with any monetary goal for whatever it is you need money for, and people can become "backers" for your idea. They put up a little bit of money and are allowed to pre-order something or they get some other sort of kick-back from becoming a sponsor.
I have recently created a campaign for a dual-language children's book that I am writing and I am offering it on Kickstarter. The books are not printed, but as soon as I reach my goal (of $2400 for publishing) the books will be printed and shipped to all of my backers. Other rewards include things like a kids' puzzle with some of the illustrations on it, a printed book tote bag, a mousepad with the book character on it, etc. But if I don't reach the $2400 goal, all the money is returned to the backers and I don't get to print the book!~ Take a look at this video I made and if you know anyone who might be interested, PLEASE forward it along to them! The campaign has been on the website for about a week and a half now, and I have already raised over $700 toward my goal.
So if you have a project that you've been wanting to get underway, I would strongly encourage you to check out this website for your own benefit. Take a look at what is on the site now, get a feel for the things that are being successfully funded, and try to figure out how your product could succeed in this type of campaign. There are also other crowd-sourcing websites out there like: www.indiegogo.com
There will always be discomfort in your life. On some level, in some facet, either physical, mental, social or otherwise, discomfort will always be a part of our lives. Is discomfort uncomfortable? By definition... yes. Does it have to be all bad? No. Here is a list of items that will hopefully help you to keep your eyes open and see some of the benefits that your discomfort can provide you.
1. Learn about the world around you.
Where does it come from? When did it begin? What are all of its constituents? Can you learn anything on the basis of observation alone?
2. Ponder interconnectedness.
What is the direct and indirect impacts of this discomfort on you? What is its impact on others? Is this discomfort caused by others? Is it caused by you?
3. Realize how your accommodations can improve.
Look around. Are there other methods or strategies that could be implemented that would not require the problem to be solved, but rather would render the situation non-existent?
4. Practice awareness.
Practice bringing attention to the situation in order to really understand it before trying to rectify it. Bringing your attention to a particular sensation and avoiding other thought patterns can help you to isolate the problem. The sensation of having a rock in your shoe is far different than the thoughts of "Why do I always get rocks in my shoe?" or "I really can't afford a better pair of shoes".
5. Understand your tolerance for pain.
This can apply physically or mentally. Ask yourself. "Okay, how much is this really bothering me?" See Pain is Only What You Make It.
6. Increase your tolerance for pain.
While pain is a signal to your brain that your body is in danger of being damaged, it often overcompensates. After understanding what your pain tolerance is, make it a personal challenge to ride that line and accept it as a simple indicator to your brain.
7. Brainstorm a solution.
What can you build/make/modify, to rectify the situation? Think about the items at your disposal. Try to challenge yourself to come up with an inventive and unique solution. By patching the problem with a carelessly thought-out solution or something that won't quite work, you're only giving yourself something to complain about and fix again later.
8. Practice "creative experimentation"
Example: There's a painful wart on my foot. How can I change my stance, foot placement, stride, etc to ease the pain? Are there other objects nearby that I could be supporting some weight on to take it off of my foot? How many helium balloons do I have to hold to alleviate the pain? This will help you with creativity, as well as take your mind off the situation and it may also provide a reasonable solution.
9. Practice acceptance
Harboring "The serenity to accept the things you cannot change" is a very powerful skill. You may need to find something, a phrase or thought, to constantly remind yourself of the goal of being more accepting to avoid getting frustrated with the practice.
10. Harbor compassion
Somewhere out there, there is someone with the same discomfort as you. Somewhere else, there is someone far worse off than you.
How was your day?
What did you do today?
What was your favorite part of today?
Were time and life both pleasant in their passing today?
How exciting were the events in your life today?
Was your day as awesome as mine was?
Asking the above questions all basically have the same intention, it's an inquiry about someone's day. But they elicit completely different answers and more critical thinking on the part of the responder. “How was your day?” is such a commonplace question that not much thought really goes into answering it, and there’s a good likelihood that you will get a pretty quick, pretty generic answer. Whereas if you were to offer a more thought provoking question, the answer might take a few more seconds and might be a bit more pensive. Trust me, you will get some strange looks from time to time, but someone having been asked a question will generally try to give an answer.
Another benefit of asking generally unasked questions is that you can come across as asking about someone’s day while implying that something positive should be included in the answer. For instance, “Was your day as good as mine?” is infinitely more positive and healthy to ask than “Did your day suck as much as mine?” Essentially it is the same question, but the implication is very different. Each question exudes a feeling of positivity or negativity, respectively and gets the answering party thinking in one direction or another.
This is also a great way to test your vocabulary and grammar skills. By conjugating sentences that are carefully crafted to elicit certain responses, the questioner must be more diligent about wording.
What are some questions you can use to replace the commonplace everyday questions you might use now?
In ancient China, Shaolin monks developed a fighting style based on the physical characteristics and iconic elements of the personality of the Tiger. They called this Tiger style Kung-Fu. Since a Tiger has very keen eyesight, the monks developed methods of exercising their eyes to improve thier eyesight. These would have been exercises that they trained and developed from a very young age. They would have been performed by eveyone training in the Tiger style regardless of whether they had so-called "20/20 vision". No matter how good you are at something, you can aways become better with more training.
I have been recently practicing the following exercises and have noticed an improvement in my eyesight over just the past couple months.
One exercise was to count the leaves on a far away tree. With meditative patience they would focus in and count hundreds of leaves at a time. (This is a good one to practice in the fall since the leaves are changing colors and you may be staring at leaves quite a bit anyway.) Start up close with some leaves that are easy to make out and count 50 of them. With patience, slowly pick trees that are farther away from you and then slowly increase the number of leaves you count. Work your way up to 200 which will give you a good amount of time with your eyes focused at a distance. Do this once daily.
Another exercise is to focus on an object very close to your face. I usually choose my hand. Get it as close to your eyes as you can while retaining a good focus on it. Look at it for about 2-3 seconds after you've fully adjusted your focus on it, and then pick another object that is more than 20 feet away. I generally pick a leaf on a tree or something else that has some fine detail that will allow me to really focus on finer and finer detail. If you pick a flatt wall or something that doesn't have much texture or detail it will be hard to focus on. Again, look at the object for 2-3 seconds after you have achieved a good focus. Go back and forth between these two objects about 20 times and do this exercise daily.
In order to fully understand what's going on around us and optimize our lives, I believe that it is essential to have a basic understanding of some principles of physics. Get to know how things really work. Instead of learning by trial and error, if you have some knowledge or understanding of how events might actually turn out, you can probably make better decisions.
I think I see the point.. but what exactly are you talking about? Let's say, for example, you bump into a lamp and it begins to topple over. Your tendency would be to grab it any way you can and save it from crashing to the floor. So you grab the lower portion of the lamp because that is the part that is moving the slowest. (assuming that it is simply falling over by pivoting about a point at the base of the lamp) But the lamp is too heavy and you don't can't generate enough torque in your wrist in time and you only end up lifting the base of the lamp from the table and hurting your wrist in the process.
Had you been able to apply the simple principle of leverage at the moment you took action, you may have realized that a much smaller amount of force would be required to stop the lamp if you tried to catch it by a point further away from the pivot. The image above depicts a "second class lever" which means that essentially the closer you apply force to the pivot point, the more force is required; and the further away you are, the less is required.
There are limitless of scenarios where you can observe the principles of leverage. IE: golf, faucet knobs, eating utensils, your forearm, pushups... etc.
There is enough information on Levers and Leverage out there, that I don't need to get into an entire lesson, I just want to make you aware of how knowing and applying these principles can benefit your life. Do some research on your own at the links below.
This one is a white paper on leverage as it applies to biomechanics:
Let me know if this makes sense; was it helpful? Is there a situation you can think of where you may have used physical leverage to your benefit in everyday life and not realized it? Is there a situation where, looking back, you could have used leverage to your advantage, and didn't?
This will be a quick one. If you get movies at Redbox (those big red machines at grocery stores and drug stores) you should know about how to get them for free :)
You can use the codes below when you check out the movie - just press "Enter Code". You still need a credit card but it will not be charged unless you keep the movie for more than one day. Each of these codes will only work once per credit card:
This website has more codes, but the three above I have tried many times without fail. Enjoy!
Image by feastoffools via FlickIt's a pain in the EYE to stare at a computer screen all day long. Trust me, I know... Eyes get fatigued and this can lead to discomfort, dry eyes, teary eyes, headaches etc.. Which can, in turn, lead to frustration, stress, unhappiness etc.. Which can, in turn, lead to depression, anxiety and other health issues... need I go on?
Some sources refer to this as "Computer Vision Syndrome". Personally I hate the word "syndrome" because it is used to describe a simple condition and in actuality, it has a cause and resolution just like everything else. The word syndrome invites people to exhibit undue concern... but enough on that for now.
I started doing some simple eye exercises a while ago, and have found that they work great for:
- Relieving eye tension
- Taking your mind off of work for a minute
- Overall relaxation
- Rejuvenating the eyes for the remainder of the day.
Try these quick exercises whenever you can. Once a day would be good, otherwise, just do them whenever you can. If you wait until you've already got a headache, the exercises probably won't get rid of the pain so try them occasionally throughout the day for the best results.
Exercise #1: Trace the screen.
Keep your head facing your monitor, keep your back and neck straight. Moving only your eyes, trace the frame of your monitor. When eyes move, they naturally "hop" from one spot to another, try to keep the movement as smooth as possible. One revolution around the frame of your monitor should take about 8-10 seconds to complete. Do this 5-6 times.
Exercise #2: Stretch your peripherals.
No, this doesn't mean yank on your mouse... Again, keeping your back and neck straight and your head facing forward, look UP with your eyes as far as you can. Hold this for 5 seconds and then look DOWN as far as you can; hold again for 5 seconds. Relax the eyes and close them for 5 seconds. Then look to the LEFT as far as you can for 5 seconds and then the RIGHT for 5 seconds. Again, relax the eyes and close them. Repeat this 5 times.
Then roll your eyes all around in the widest circles you can. Try 10 circles in each direction.
Exercise #3: Blink more often.
Not really an exercise, just don't forget to blink! It's been proven that people blink 5-6 times less than normal when working on a computer, so make a conscious effort to blink more often which simply keeps your eyes moistened and prevents them from drying out.
Exercise #4: Look to the horizon.
Pick an object with a good amount of detail at least 20 feet away, or as far as you can get, (if you're near a window, you can look outside at tree leaves or something) and focus on that object. Take a couple seconds to establish your focus and then take a few more to refine your focus on smaller and smaller details of the object. Remain in this focus for a couple seconds. Then hold up your hand about 6 inches or less from your face and bring your focus to that. Again hold this focus for a few seconds. Repeat this 5-10 times, or until you can feel your eyes really working. Then repeat it a few more times for good measure.
Secondly, if you pick the shows you want to watch and seek them out online you will be much more disciplined about not channel surfing. Most networks are broadcasting their shows online now and they are free to watch. Plus you miss out on lots of commercials. A one-hour show online is really only 40-50 minutes.
I just got back from the Bahamas where I had, yes, a beautiful vacation, but also time to I just got back from the Bahamas where I had, yes, a beautiful vacation, but also time to think and learn. While I was laying on my stomach on my towel in the miles and miles of white sand beach at Half Moon Cay (right), I was turning my head back and forth to keep my neck from straining. I figured there's got to be a more comfortable, less strenuous way to lay in the sun... (sarcasm...)
Then I realized that sand, especially when covered by a towel, is amorphous and can be formed any way you like and it will remain in that shape at least for a short time. I punched a hole in the sand directly underneath my head and made two trenches, one on each side of the hole so that I would be able to breathe. After that my head rested nicely, top and bottom, (forehead and chin) on the soft white sand piles and I was able to enjoy a few more hours of sun with no strain from having my head turned to the side.
Be safe, take care of your body, USE SUNSCREEN!
If you Image via WikipediaIf you need to get out of your driveway first thing in the morning to go on a cruise in the Bahamas, and you know it's going to snow, don't forget to park at the end of the driveway so that you only have to clear a small section behind your car....
Gotta go!! Be back in a week.
Sunshine, here I come!!