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Tips for a Better Lifestyle

*This is a summarized version.

We all know the components of a good lifestyle.

A good lifestyle is the combination of healthy food, exercise and happy relationships.

I assume that you already know about these components and therefore, I will not cover them in this article.

This article answers these questions:

Assuming you have a good and balanced life, eating healthy food, working out regularly, happy in your relationship, and financially stable, what can you do to enhance your life?

What are the things that can make a difference in your lifestyle?

Of course, this subject is very personal, in the sense that what may be important to one person, may not be significant to another person.

Elements of a good lifestyle also differ among men & women, singles & married, poor& rich… etc.

However, I will explain the main elements that can be considered as “universally” accepted. Lifestyle tools that almost all people will benefit from.

Tips for a Better Lifestyle

1-Don’t Take Life Very Seriously:

Some people are serious about life because they believe that life is very serious. They assume that being serious will lead to happiness or success.

I realize that mistakes and failures can be serious, but that does not mean we take life too seriously. Too much serious focus on life means we will miss the fun of life. Life is much more than work or money. Taking things too seriously can drive you to madness. Serious thinking can lead you to be stressed out. You can be serious at work, but at your free time develop humor and sense of fun. Adopt an attitude of cheerfulness and optimism. Act childish sometimes. Learn to laugh and enjoy watching funny movies. Surround yourself with funny people. It is time that you lighten up about life.

Remember life is a journey, and if that journey is serious and boring, then you would want that journey to be short. Have fun and enjoy the journey. Do whatever you want to make it entertaining and joyful. Make this journey entertaining by adding humor to it.

As Mark Twain said once “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

2-Focus Only on the Present:

It is amazing that most people do not live in the present. Some are overwhelmed by their past, and others are day- dreaming about their future plans. Some people try to run away from their problems by not living in the present.

Live in this very moment and enjoy it. Program yourself to not stay in the past. Get rid of any past memories. You feel cheerful and alive when you live in the present moment. The future is always a mystery. You can create plans for the future, but you need to experience the present in order to achieve those plans. Remember that living in the past means you are not mentally or emotionally free. Living in the future means you are dreaming. Happiness is based on the present. One fact to realize is that your past will not determine your future. The present is your link between the past and future. The only and best way to live your life is to live it at this moment.

3- Travel:

Travel at least once a year and go to remote places. Get outside your local environment. Traveling has many benefits. When you travel you break your routine and replenishes your energy, mental, physical and emotional energy. Travel can also be an opportunity to acquire new skills, learn about new cultures and meet new people.

Travel is about variety, adventure and having fun. Your life needs fun. It also needs diversity in terms of new people, new geography and new experiences.

If you have enough money, you can take tours around the world, something similar to Four Seasons Around the World Tour, which costs $115,000 per person. These extravagant tours use private jets and all 5-star resorts.

Stay at 5-star hotels and pamper yourself. Stay at The royal suite of Burj Al Arab of Dubai which has a small cinema and a library. Visit museums like the Louvre of Paris or see the ancient ruins of Athens or Rome. Take a luxury cruise like the Silversea cruise which is offering a $1.500,000 cruise package for two on the Silver Whisper, taking in 28 countries over a period of 115 days. You deserve to reward yourself once in a while. If you don’t have that kind of money, you can travel to national reserves and enjoy the serenity of nature. Travel destinations and options are virtually unlimited.

4-Find a Good Friend:

Substantial research supports the importance of true friends in our lives. A true friend is essential for a happier life. A true friend will confront you about your life problems such as drinking problem. A good friend will correct you when you are wrong.

Your best friend is best to be from the same gender. If you are a woman, it is better that your close friend is a woman like you. A Man’s best friend is also a man. You may have a spouse/partner and he/she is very close to you. However, you need a close friend that is not your partner. What I suggest here is a friend that is not connected to you sexually. A close friend, from the same gender, whom you can share with your secrets. A good friend can give you the needed support, even support for your relationship with your partner. This is why it is important-but not necessary- that your close friend is from the same gender.

One scholar, Carlin Flora, in her book, Friendfluence, demonstrates with many examples the real essence of true friendship. She claims with evidence that true friends are the keys for happiness.

5- Check Your Habits:

Check your habits and make sure you get rid of those bad habits and adopt the good ones.

A-Get Rid of Bad Habits:

Some habits are very serious to the extent that they can be fatal. Smoking, alcoholism and drug addiction can be dangerous for your health & life.

If you have millions of dollars but you are addicted to drugs, do you think you have a good lifestyle?

If you are healthy and young, but chain-smoke 30-40 cigarettes/day, do you expect a healthy lifestyle?

The big problem with habits is that you may not be able to get rid of them because they are addictive.

Some bad habits can be a sign of suicidal behavior.

Whatever bad habits you have, just remember that those habits can destroy your life.

In spite of the difficulty of getting rid of a bad habit, it is important to know that they can be eliminated.

You will need the right techniques and tools implemented by a qualified coach.

B- Develop New Good Habits:

Once you get rid of a bad habit, it is time that you substitute it with a positive habit.

If you quit smoking, start a healthy habit instead, such as exercising or walking.

Even if you don’t have a negative habit, you can adopt a new habit that is useful for your lifestyle.

There are many types of habits that are useful for our lifestyle. Another good habit is to practice meditation daily. Meditation will slowly build your energy.

6-Surround Yourself With Only Positive People:

To live a positive life you need to get the sources of positivity. Emotions are electromagnetic energy. This energy is infectious. This means if you are around people that possess one type of energy, you are likely to get that type of energy from them and store it in your body.

This explains why when you surround yourself with negative people you become negative as well.

The first rule is therefore, to stay away from negative people and negative sources.

Stay away from negative news and negative media.

Be connected with only positive people.

Positive persons will feed your thoughts with positivity.

Positive people have the ability to be optimistic about life. Their positive emotions will enable them to enjoy a better lifestyle.

Another remarkable behavior of positive people is that they never compare themselves with others. This behavior can lift their self-esteem.

Remember that positive expectation leads to positive results.

Even the aura of positive people is different.

7- Find a Mentor/Life Coach

Life will have its challenges and problems. Life journey is long.

Some people when faced with problems try to solve those problems on their own. They resist the possibility for outside help, for many reasons.

No matter how intelligent or experienced you are, some problems can not be solved by yourself.

Why?

Because when you have a problem, you tend to think inside the box. Your solutions are likely limited and irrelevant.

This is the notion behind “Think Outside the Box.”

It is not a shame to ask for advice. It is not a sign of inferiority.

It is a fact that most successful persons have advisors, and they are not hesitant to seek advice from outside resources. Even the President of the USA can not function effectively without advisors.

The best advisor is a mentor or a life coach.

Your mentor might be a neighbor, relative, teacher, friend, co-worker, someone from your community, or a professional consultant. Mentors are good to have throughout your life.

A mentor can motivate, inspire, guide you in the right direction, and help you through personal and work challenges.

A life coach has many useful roles. Not only he/she can give you the right advice, but more importantly, they can find out what is right for you based on your personality and skills.

A mentor can also develop your skills and provide specific guidance for your personal development.

Life coaches or mentors have become important even for children. According to the National Mentoring Partnership, children and teenagers who have had a mentor do better in school, are less likely to be involved with drugs and alcohol, and are more likely to go to college.

Life coaching has become very important for moderate and big companies worldwide.

The rising importance of life coaching has made it one of the fastest growing professions in North America. According to the International Coach Federation, there are over 15,000 professional life coaches currently operating in North America in 2012.

Because of higher demand, life coaching fees are increasing. The International Coach Federation found that, on average, life coaches charge $214 a session and make $47,900 annually.

8- Make Some Time for Yourself:

We need time for many things such as career, social activities, family, and sports. However, you also need to have time only for yourself.

Try to spend some time alone every day. Spend your time alone doing something you enjoy, such as reading, taking a bath, or being outdoors. It’s a time to clear your head and be quiet with yourself.

Solitude has many benefits. It allows you to rediscover yours. It is a good way to disconnect from others.

As the famous poet Rumi once said, “A little while alone in your room will prove more valuable than anything else that could ever be given you.”

Your life journey is no doubt in need of many things. It definitely deserves all the care and attention that will make it a better journey.

Please be kind to yourself, and get the tools that make your lifestyle a better one.

Do not be frugal on yourself.

Whatever you spend on your lifestyle, one day you will notice the rewards of this spending, in terms of higher achievements and stronger happiness.

I hope my tips are suitable for you.

I hope I have contributed something useful for your life.

Good Luck.

Travel Planning For Beginners

Travel planning can be exhausting and cause anxiety days before the trip. Here are a few tips that can cover most of your needs and that will allow you to enjoy your trip.

The first thing your travel planning list includes is that you should consider the place you are visiting. If there is a passport required, make sure you and everyone that will join you in the trip have a valid passport. The same goes for a visa. The other thing related to the destination is that if the destination is an exotic place, you might need to have some medical preparation like injections for diseases. Now check your ticket and you have covered the first part of the list. Make sure to get all the information on the country you are visiting. You are safer if you have an understanding of the situation as a foreign country has many hidden dangers. You should be informed of the political situation, the way people act and react to foreigners, their culture and things you are not allowed to do. Some places have limitations that you wouldn’t have thought of and can be very strange. If you are visiting a country that has a different religion, you have to be very well informed.

Travel planning requires some actual planning. Search for information on the place you are visiting and things that you can do while you are there. If you are going alone and you are on a business travel, you can still get some information on the sights that are around your area. Even if you won’t have time to visit, you should know where you are passing from, or have an idea of the city’s history. This will help you understand the architecture of the houses, the culture and the way people lead their lives. If you are travelling with your family, check for exciting things your children can do. Keep in mind that children are bored easily and are also going to be tired. They will be tired sooner that when they are at home as the whole environment is new and they might be nervous and feel insecure. So make sure you have this part covered by making a nice and adventurous program that has frequent stops. Children under the age of five might trouble you more and you should not forget their favorite toy. Keep talking to them to explain what is going on and don’t change the habits you had at your house.

The last thing on your travel planning list is to get insurance. Travel insurance might seem expensive to you and many times unnecessary. However, the truth is that you cannot avoid this cost and you should also pay some attention to what is included. Many countries require visitors to have travel insurance before they enter the country. This insurance is basic. Check all of your options as health systems can vary significantly from your country and things you thought were easy might trouble you especially if you have your children along.

Online Education Graduate Degree

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that a person who holds a graduate or master’s degree can expect to earn about $55,000 per year. People holding a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn around $46,000 per year. The average benefit for holding a graduate degree can raise a person’s income about $225,000 over a period of 25 years. This rate of return clearly shows that it is a solid investment to pursue a online graduate degree. Online education graduate degrees enable busy adults to attain a higher education while still maintaining employment to earn a living.

Requirements to Pursue an Online Education Graduate Degree – To earn a graduate degree online, students need to be well-organized self starters who can manage their time and review course material independently. Online students also need full access to a computer with a 56 kbps modem or better, with Internet service and virus protection. Students attending school online should be able to use email and basic Internet functions to communicate with professors and take online exams. Online education graduate degree programs are delivered in a web-based format that is available 24 hours a day for the convenience of working students seeking success.

Validity of Online Education. In the 1994 study of R. Clark, and in the Pew Learning and Technology Study ‘Innovations in Online Learning’ by Carol Twigg in 2001, they concluded that if the online course was designed with the same rigor as one taught in a face-to-face environment, the outcome is likely to be equivalent. Further, the standards for undergraduate education are defined by the Seven Principles developed by Chickering & Gamson (1991). These seven principles were updated to show how to implement these ideals in online education (Chickering & Ehrmann; Graham, et al. 2001). In 2002, the Ohio Learning Task Force issued a report that recommended principles derived from Chickering & Gamson were to be used to design, approve, assess and review all courses, whether in person, or online, or a blend of both. The Seven Principles a) encourage contact between students and faculty; b) encourage active learning; c) encourage cooperation between students; d) give feedback promptly; e) communicates high expectations; f) emphasizes time on task; and g) respects diverse ways of learning and talents. Therefore, online education graduate degrees follow the same criteria as those earned at a physical college campus, so they are equally viable.

Cost of Online Education. Getting an online education graduate degree can be more affordable than attending a physical college campus because there are no costs for transportation or housing. In 2004, an online resource site took a sample size of 120 online master’s degree programs and found that the cost for education could range from $2,760 to $110,000 for an accredited degree. However, graduate degree students can explore several options for tuition assistance, including:

Tuition Reimbursement. The National Center for Education Statistics found that almost 20 percent of all graduate students receive aid from their employers. Potential online education graduate degree students should consult with the human resources director of their company about tuition reimbursement programs and company scholarships they may qualify for.

Labor Unions. Over 60 labor unions, through 38,000 national chapters, offer $4 million dollars in educational financial aid. If a student belongs to a union, the web site at http://www.aflcio.org can offer leads to Union-Sponsored Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Financial Aid. There is even state and government financial aid available for certain distance learning programs. The free government aid directory at http://www.ed.gov/programs can help students locate resource centers in their state and offer information about financial assistance to pay for college.

Loans. There are government-backed Stafford student loans that typically carry the lowest interest rate. For example, the interest rate for a Stafford education loan in 2003 was only 3.42 percent. Students seeking Stafford loans should consult the free annual publication, the Student Guide to Financial Aid. Private student loans are also offered through finance companies such as KeyBank or Citibank, but they usually charge higher interest rates and require students to pass a credit check.

Tax benefits. There are also significant tax benefits available to online education graduate degree program students. Interest on student loans may be tax deductible during the first 60 months of the period to pay them back. Eligibility for this tax benefit can be determined by checking the IRS Publication 970: Tax Credits for Higher Education. Further, under the Lifetime Learning Credit, students may be eligible to deduct up to 20 percent of the first $10,000 of graduate tuition from federal taxes. Also, some or all tuition expenses may be deducted if an employer requires additional education to maintain the student’s current professional status. Students can review IRS Publication 970 for guidelines, or consult with an accountant to see what portion of tuition for college can be deducted from their taxes.

When a potential student considers the ease of earning an online education graduate degree, along with the improved financial status as a result of attaining this degree, it is clearly a wise decision to pursue virtual learning.

Playing Online Poker For a Living – 4 Simple Tips That Can Help You Play Cards For a Living

Card game addicts can soon start dealing out cards no matter where they are, before you could even say “Indiana Jones”. These people love this game, and no matter what, they will always find a plain simple excuse to play it. Some play online for a livingIf you are quite in their league too, it is no wonder if your fingers itch all the time to try out your luck and fortune at the card games. Well, the solution to itching fingers is only a few clicks away. You can find many web sites where you can play poker online and also win money if you are a host to good fortune and tricky skills.Card players find it easy to play card games online, since here, the ambience is quite relaxed and quiet. You never know with whom you are playing. It could be an old man or woman, or a child as well! But one thing is for sure- here no one will be able to peep and have a look as to whether you have a winning hand or not. Here, no one is there to rush you, no one to call the shots but you. But even though this seems as if the rules here are quite easy and relaxed, actually, they are not. You have to abide by certain laws which if you neglect, will result in your disqualification.o Before you start to play, you must try to decide if you are willing to play poker for your entire income. To do this, you will have to look back at the games that you played in the past, and how you handled your bankroll after a big win. Did you jump into the stakes or invest your winnings?o Then again, if you had never the chance to see so much money while playing poker, but lost about ten tournaments in a row, you have to remember what your action was. Did you move down or up in stakes? These reactions of yours are necessary to judge whether you will be able to make a living on poker.o The main trick is not how much money you win, but how you win it. When you do not have a winning hand, you have to see that you lose very little of cash. But when you have the best hand, you have to try to call the right shots at the right time to milk in a lot of money out of your opponent’s pockets. To maneuver the game carefully you have to assess the situation accurately and rely on your gut instincts.o Another key skill that you need to hone is patience. You might be able to rely on your instincts, and make quite sharp decisions at the crucial moments in the game; you might be able to calculate thoroughly the result of every move of every player around the table; you might be able to tighten your purse strings when you have no winning hand, and get the best odds to win the most when you turn out to be the lucky one, but there is still a chance that someone might come about and upset your plan and shatter it to rubbles. During these times, it is necessary that you do not lose your head, but start to build another plan, so as to win back what you have lost.These rules will help you to get to the very peak where you can earn a lot of money, and there will be no stopping you as well. Remember, rules are important in a game, so that you do not get disqualified, and you can always use them to your advantage.