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How to Maintain Happiness

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Have you ever felt listless and bloated – unable to step away from the couch and the steady stream of negativity that comes at us from our media choices?

Sometimes, inertia takes hold of us, and we find that it is very difficult to get moving. This can be true with physical exercise, when sitting on the couch for long periods leads us to want to just sit on the couch some more. Hardly anyone is able to move from sitting around straight to running a marathon.

If this is true with physical fitness, it is even more likely with our emotional fitness. Sometimes we get into bad habits in terms of our own mindset. We find ourselves criticizing others, and this is almost always an indication that there is something we don’t love about ourselves. We start to dwell in a cycle of self-criticism and cynicism toward others. And then we add other toxic influences to the mix: unpleasant entertainment choices, troubling news coverage, or sarcastic, argumentative, unhelpful social media.

What we take in is supposed to support and sustain us, but sometimes we find ourselves in cycles of the emotional equivalent of junk food – and it can make us fat with misery.

Statistics tell us that Americans have a weight problem. One-third of all Americans are severely obese, by the numbers, and another one-third are classified as overweight. A full two-thirds of us should work on our physical fitness.

But I’m not a dietician, and I’m not a personal trainer. My field is happiness.

The thing is, I have observed that our nation’s unhappiness problem is even more severe than our national struggle with the scale. If we were to gauge citizens’ level of happiness fitness instead of its physical fitness, we would likely recognize we have an even larger crisis on our hands.

What I’m offering here is a metaphor, but a very useful one – I’m looking at happiness as it compares to our epidemic of overweight. Although health and fitness contribute to our level of happiness – to how we feel, and to what activities we can participate in with vigor – it would be a mistake to link these ideas too tightly. People of all shapes and sizes have happiness as their birthright.

But what we do to lose weight is very similar to what we do to become emotionally fit, in that there are three steps we have to follow to obtain fitness:

1. Exercise

2. Make healthy food choices

3. Get back on track

Weight loss is a mighty struggle for people who have that as their goal, and regardless of the method one chooses, it’s an arduous path. People who haven’t tried to lose weight may think that some of the available surgeries (gastric band, gastric bypass, etc.) are an easy fix for obesity, but these procedures can be risky, and they also require changes to diet, proving that there is no true shortcut to fitness. Persistence is the only way to achieve any kind of fitness, including physical and emotional varieties.

Let’s take a closer look at three steps to weight loss as we think of how they are also the three steps to emotional fitness, or happiness:

Exercise

We all know the role exercise plays in weight loss. It’s a way to burn calories and to burn fat. We must burn about 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, that means that if we burn 500 calories each day beyond what our body requires to function, we should lose about a pound per week. (Research has shown that weight loss is a bit more complicated than this, but this basic understanding is a good starting point for our discussion.)

Normal life functions burn a certain number of calories each day. Beyond the calories required to breathe, sit, stand, walk around the house, and watch TV, exercise burns additional calories, and for this reason it’s a go-to strategy for losing body fat. If you weigh 155 pounds, walking can burn around 167 calories in 30 minutes. Jogging or running can burn 372 calories in the same 30 minutes. There are many lists available that spell out the calorie-burning value of multiple types of exercise, from swimming to yoga to sex. (It turns out that we don’t have to suffer to exercise!)

When we are thinking of emotional fitness instead of weight loss, there are also ways we can “exercise,” each with varying degrees of effectiveness as well.

It’s really about what we do throughout the day to flex our happiness muscles. Do we treat others with kindness? If someone tries to cut us off in traffic, do we scream at them, or do we slow down and let them in? Are our interactions with others uplifting to them, or do we try to cut them down? Are our thoughts, words, and actions good for our soul or bad for our soul?

And we must look further than our actions and words to our life situation. Are our relationships building us up, or are they tearing us down? And in our work lives, have we found purpose and meaning, or do we hate every moment as we focus on negativity at the office?

We can exercise where our emotional state is concerned. If we want to be happy – the emotional equivalent of the physical concept of fitness – there are many exercises we can try. Here are a few:

• We can meditate. Meditation is a powerful tool for focusing on the still, quiet voice within while cutting through the often-negative din of the day.

• We can exercise (literally). It turns out that the value of exercise is not metaphorical; moving our bodies can release endorphins to make us feel better.

• We can go out in nature. Being in the grandeur of nature can help us to put pettiness aside and consider our larger purpose in the universe.

• We can spend time with people who sustain us. Think of how you feel when you spend time with people who have gentle, peaceful souls, and you’ll recognize how this is a perfect “exercise” to lead to happiness.

When we engage in literal exercise, particularly when we are no longer used to doing so, it may hurt a little bit, but afterwards, it feels so good. The same is true with happiness, and those ways in which we can actively participate to improve our lives.

It is so important to be proactive about our emotional fitness. For each activity we engage in, we need to ask ourselves a simple question: Is this something that is adding to my contentment, or is it tearing me down?

Each action we take in life can be scrutinized in this way. Over the years, I have worked with so many people who have longed for improved happiness, and my advice has been pretty consistent. I tell them to meditate, to get out in nature, to take time to consider the beauty of a sunset.

It’s no surprise to me that I have never had anyone come back to me and say how terrible their experience was when they followed my advice. Instead, they always come back and say, “That was wonderful!”

It might be easy to take in a sunset (though hard for some who are trapped in a fast-paced, frenetic life to make time for it). Meditation is somewhat different in this regard. Meditating can be a challenge for those who are new to it. In time, though, it begins to make sense. We realize there may be some good in meditating – we feel it inside – so we decide to keep working on it; we just have to get used to it, exactly like exercise.

If we haven’t exercised in years, it’s going to be uncomfortable at first, and if we’ve never consciously meditated, that will feel hard, too. Soon enough, though, it will start to feel good, and we’ll want to do it on a regular basis.

Making healthy food choices

When we want to lose weight, another strategy we try is making better food choices. Someone with a desire to lose weight will try to limit the calories they take in, since the more we take in, the more we have to burn in order to start working on reducing our fat stores. Remember, it’s necessary to burn 3,500 extra calories to lose a pound of fat, so if we consume an 1,100-calorie value meal at a fast-food chain, we’ve expended half of our daily calorie budget, and we’re nowhere near halfway done with eating for the day!

The basic idea about weight loss – that we must burn extra calories to dissolve fat – suggests that people who want to be fit should eat foods that count. Whole grains have more bang for their buck than white bread does, for just one example.

Most people understand the concept of consuming good, intentional calories for maximum health and weight-loss potential. Remember, though, that we’re dealing with a metaphor comparing the process of losing weight to the process of gaining happiness.

Whether we’re trying to lose weight or gain happiness, we need to scrutinize what we take in all day long. Are we eating high-carb junk food? Likewise, are we exposing ourselves to the equivalent of junk food in our daily influences?

It’s not good for us to spend hours watching the news, especially when our world is in so much crisis. After watching hours of news, we start to feel horrible inside.

And what else are we mentally consuming? Are we watching television shows that include the sort of troubling content that infects our dreams? Are we spending time arguing with strangers on social media so that when we finally leave our computers, we feel beaten up and misunderstood?

When we offer our minds a steady diet of troubling or negative content, is it any wonder we’re out of shape when it comes to our personal contentment? Whatever we consume, our body processes, and it suffuses our entire body before we finally expel it.

The truly unfortunate part of this is that our bodies get used to what we offer it, whether it’s unwholesome food or negative content. I have a friend who gets up every single day at 5 a.m. and turns on a television news analysis show that is two hours of nothing but negative political commentary on the current occupant of the White House? While it’s good to be informed about the world, even to my friend, that feels like overkill – but she can’t seem to tear herself away. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet of negativity.

Have you ever had an ear worm? You walk into the pharmacy, and the music on the overhead speaker includes a song you never really liked, despite its catchiness. Three hours later, you find yourself humming it in traffic. It’s stuck inside your head, and you’re going to have to deal with it until it finally unhooks itself and moves on.

Whatever we feed our minds keeps playing and goes on and on. In this way, whatever we expose ourselves to affects us and sticks, perhaps on a deeper level than we recognize.

What are we feeding our minds? We can tell by how we feel. If we feed ourselves happiness, peace, kindness, and beauty, we can anticipate a beautiful life. For everything we expose ourselves to, we must ask ourselves, “Is this feeding my soul?”

Get back on track

Everybody who has ever thought about losing weight understands the straightforward concepts of diet and exercise. There is a third aspect to weight loss that is discussed far less often, but it is probably the biggest key to achieving weight-loss goals. That is the concept of not giving up.

Persistence is critically important in weight loss. We might diet and exercise regularly, but then one day we give in to pressure or desire. We might thoughtlessly consume food that we know has less value and extra calories, or we might skip exercising. It’s actually quite normal to take a day off from time to time; with exercise, for example, a break is sometimes necessary for muscles to stitch and heal.

But a successful weight-loss plan means that we come back from our break and we try again.

Many people who embark on a weight-loss journey have days or weeks of success with their eating and exercise plans, and they may even lose some of the weight they want to get rid of. Ultimately, though, they may find that they take a break for a day, and that day off turns into a week off, and suddenly they’re no longer doing what they set out to do at all. They’ve given up, not intentionally, but through attrition – a gradual lessening of their efforts – or by stopping cold.

A successful fitness regimen requires that we come back to it after an off day. The truth is, a diet or exercise plan can get hard, and we just say, “Screw it.” Instead, we could offer ourselves another message: “I had an off day, but I’m going to jump back in and keep trying.”

With focused attention on our fitness, we may get into quite good shape, and the same is true with happiness. Our happiness diet can be really good – but then we get off of it. We may find ourselves complaining too much or working too hard or being around people who tear us down.

When we find that we have fallen off of our happiness plan, do we just give up? I hope not. I hope we choose the superior option, which is to say, “I can do this. Today is a new day. This moment is a new moment. I’m going to work toward embracing my happiness.”

What we need to do is to decide once again that we are going to do the things that feed our soul. We can intentionally choose those actions and influences that will create peace and happiness for us. If we’re not sure what to do, we can try things like listening to an inspirational podcast, or reading books about people who are getting things right in terms of their own satisfaction. We can take on habits, like meditation, that help us to find contentment and peace in each moment of life.

And when we get off track, we can recognize that each day is a new chance to start again and to get things right.

I find that it is helpful to keep a list handy to offer options of things that are good for me – things like uplifting books, positive entertainment, or uplifting activities to do with positive people. When we hit a bump in the happiness road, we can consult our list and try one of those activities to get ourselves moving steadily in the right direction once again.

Even though we don’t know what the future holds, we can keep choosing the more positive path to get back on track with our happiness diet. Let this be our mantra: “I will keep working toward finding contentment and happiness in life.” And if we keep making the choices that are good for our soul, we’ll get there.

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6 Proven Ways to Make Your Cities Go Green & Pollution-Safe

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Way to Go Green Your Cities

This era doubtlessly belongs to technology, urbanization, and industrialization. Of course, these have been major contributing factors in evolution that are backed by growth opportunities, yet the other side must not be neglected. With this, we intend to divert the attention towards the harm caused to the environment due to all these activities. Loss of Biodiversity, Increased levels of Air, Water, and Land Pollution, and lack of greenery on which we rely for oxygen, a vital component in the post-pandemic situation, is what we are paying.

Whether a new industry has to be set up, or a residential construction must be completed; both require land. A great deal of jungle property is often destroyed to obtain this, which is never compensated by planting a single tree. Where do you expect the rain to come from or the fresh air to be produced in such a situation? The answer is that we are inviting some severe long-term troubles. Believe it or not, but these reckless activities that we are carrying out without considering the alternatives can be a reason for us to pay a hefty price shortly.

Today, we are witnessing a drastic climatic change due to global warming, which is alarming. The diminishing levels of ice in the Arctic Sea, rise in the worldwide sea level, and increased humidity levels are a few signs that should not be overlooked.

Now, the question here is that what can we do on our parts to help overcome these issues?

The answer is simple; we need to re-evaluate our approach, adopt better & thoughtful strategies, and essentially there is a need to ensure greenery & sustainability. Without prioritizing these, achieving the end goals stands next to impossible. 

Some Unique Ways to Ascertain that Your Neighborhood Never Runs Out of Greenery:

  • Dedicated Park & Garden Areas – This is quintessential for peace and paves the way for mental & physical health enhancement. Also, creating such space in the jungles of the concrete building will allow people to establish interaction, ease communication, and know each other.
  • Invest in Smart Solutions – Particularly, this must be considered when making energy choices. By opting for this, you can significantly contribute to cutting down the pollution level in your city whilst boosting the greenery. Precisely, you can focus on a renewable solution like solar panels or those created with the help of water or wind. This technique can give you access to energy without emitting any harmful gases into the environment.
  • Encourage Carpooling & Bicycle Usage – Have you been stuck with the thought amid flooded traffic of how much pollution the cars and their gases like Carbon dioxide and Monoxide creates? If not, then it’s high time that you should. You are not just inhaling these toxic pollutants but also effectively contributing towards the harm. Here, opting for alternatives like carpooling or riding a bicycle can indeed be wise. With carpooling, the number of vehicles out on the road can be significantly cut down if more people join hands to reach a common destination in one car instead of three or four. On the other hand, Bicycles do not emit any gases, and it also helps to improve your health. Thus, while working on the Go Green Initiative, you can also avail many other perks.
  • Implement the Green Design – Basically, this is a small effort that can be initiated right from your homes else offices. You will have to do just plant trees, add lush vegetation in the open space like the balcony or at the rooftop where proper sunlight or air circulation can be obtained. With this, you will have access to instant freshness, plus you can also be assured of good vibes while you choose to care for nature.
  • Focus on the 3-R Approach – Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse is the 3-R essential for protecting the environment and effectively boosting the greenery in your city. By this, we aim to emphasize the significance of re-using and re-cycling all those products that can be further brought into use for some of the other tasks. This process can be creative & productive on your part. At the same time, we must also make sure to bring down or reduce the usage of products that can cause a potential threat to the environment.
  • Infill Development – This process will effectively ease migration among people and help in land conservation. As a result, this will allow creating countless opportunities in the near future while boosting the overall concept of sustainable building. Hence, this too can be a great way to put in efforts in increasing the greenery of your city.

The Final Idea on Going Green:

To conclude, it is imperative to understand that in order to make your surrounding green, you must not just be dependent on the respective authorities. Instead, taking this as your responsibility and coming up with several small, mindful and practical initiatives can also do wonders. Remember that the efforts you will put into making your city clean and green are an investment for your safe future. Thus, make sure that no stone is left unturned in the process. Also, spreading the word and helping others understand why this is important for the benefit of society can be a smart move. Rest assured that when everyone is willing to see the change and crucially work to achieve the same, nothing will be impossible.

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How Do You Clean an Escalator?

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What are the different ways to clean an escalator? People don’t think about what a hard and arduous task it can be to clean an escalator. There are many moving components and this type of flooring can be difficult to bring back to new or near new condition. There are three common ways to clean an escalator. The first is by hand which can be a very time consuming and difficult job with poor outcomes. The second is using a small portable auto scrubber with dual rotating brushes. The third and ultimate way to clean an escalator is to use a professional escalator cleaner.

Cleaning and escalator by hand can be done, but requires either a massive commitment of time or an over-whelming amount of man power. The most difficult part of cleaning this ever-moving stairway are the groves on each step. Over time dirt and debris gets caught in these groves and builds up becoming compacted and hard to remove. Using physical man power the only way to clean these groves is to use a brush and clean out every grove one by one, on some escalators there can be thousands of groves which could take days if not weeks to clean.

There are many companies worldwide that produce floor equipment for cleaning many types of flooring. Some of these companies produce smaller auto scrubbers with counter rotating brushes that can deep clean grout lines and groves such as escalator steps. These machines are capable of light duty cleaning of escalator steps but do not have the brush bristle length to reach the into the deep groves of the steps. This is an easy alternative for removing top debris but will only scratch the surface and will not bring the escalator system back to its original appearance.

The ultimate way to clean an escalator is to use a professional escalator cleaning machine. These machines are designed to easily move from step to step and utilize a water pump system that first sprays water into the groves of the step. After water is jetted into the step long rotating brushes clean deep down to remove the toughest debris that has been compacted over time. To complete the cleaning cycle a strong vacuum system is used to extract the dirt and water from the steps bringing the escalator back to its original new looking condition.

Starting any business can be difficult but escalator cleaning is a great way to get into the commercial cleaning industry. There are two major items needed to start your own escalator cleaning business. The first is a professional escalator cleaner. These cleaning machines can range from $20,000 to $50,000 depending on the features the unit has. A good quality escalator cleaner can weigh up to 1500 pounds so be sure to choose one that comes with a transport system so it can be easily loaded in and out of a trailer or van.

Depending on your location and the size of the escalator the average escalator cleaning job can easily cost between $2000 to $5000 for just one cleaning. It is important to have the right equipment to perform the job professionally so that you can build up repeat clientele. Make sure to use a machine from a reputable manufacturer who produces the best and most durable escalator cleaning equipment.

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How Do You Feel About This Christmas This Year?

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Are you looking forward to Christmas this year? It seems that for many of us the thought of something bright and festive to look forward to offers a beacon of hope and optimism.

No-one has been untouched by the global pandemic and many have been affected by serious health, loss or financial considerations. So, the thought of comfortable familiar touches and a home that’s bright and Christmassy provides a definite feel-good factor.

Yes, there are people who have thrived, even seen their businesses boom, but the downbeat mood across the world has cast major shadows. We’ve had time to reflect on what’s really important in our lives and for many we’re realised that it’s the relationships with those closest to us that are the most important thing in their lives.

Nine out of ten people who’ve worked from home have said they want to continue doing so. Putting less emphasis on power-dressing, status and impressive spending and instead being at home, dressing more casually and mostly working their own hours to suit have become more important for many.

After so much time spent in lockdown, being constrained and restricted for much of the year, the thought of celebrating true family values at Christmas offers something to look forward to, a time to spend with loved ones, to appreciate our home, family and friends, even if it’s via online communication.

These months in lockdown have demonstrated that money and expensive gifts aren’t love, even though it may have felt like it in previous years when there was a spending frenzy to buy the latest toys, devices and all the items the children said they wanted. Those times when we spent money we could ill afford to compensate for working long hours, being a single parent or trying to invest everything into making that time special. Some families became so indebted that they needed up to three years to pay it back.

Lockdown has reinforced many family bonds and values, shown us that home, relationships and time in nature are what truly matter. So, this Christmas, even if we’re ‘just’ exchanging homemade cards and inexpensive gifts, or maybe because of that, the true spirit of Christmas will be especially evident. And, what’s lovelier than receiving a card that’s been made with you in mind. Or a jar of preserves, a homemade cake, a knitted scarf. All these things that have been made, given and received with selflessness and love.

Thoughtful gestures make all the difference too. When someone gives you a Christmas present that will really benefit you, perhaps a voucher for babysitting, an offer to cook dinner, to help in the garden or with decorating, tuition in a foreign language or in playing the guitar you know that it’s been given with some thought. Far more relevant to you than an expensive fragrance picked up in a department store.

Gifts for our partner may also be extra thoughtful this year. When a loved one gives us a compilation of ‘our’ special music, a scrapbook of our time together told through tickets, souvenirs and mementoes or a special photo gallery then we can feel especially loved and cared for.

After the year we’ve had many of us have come to realise what’s really important. We’ve recognised how much of what we’ve previously strived for is no longer as important to us as it once was. We don’t need all the trappings and may not care to spend money on things that are now seen as wasteful or which require excessive expense. Especially when previous Christmases have seen many families overspend so much that it’s caused them serious anxiety and hardship.

So, Christmas this year can be a time to celebrate our homes, families and friends and make for a festive, comfortable and welcoming holiday. We can take some inspiration from US Thanksgiving, a time when more families travel home to celebrate together over a family meal and yet no gifts are exchanged.

I may be wrong, but this year I’m guessing that many of us will be keen to display our Christmas decorations and trees with gusto! Let’s celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!

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How Do I Act Confident Or Self-Assured Around My Unfaithful, Cheating Spouse?

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It’s almost universally accepted that a woman who has a cheating husband is a woman who is going to struggle with confidence and self esteem. I have to admit that I HAVE known women who remained steadfast in the knowledge that they were wonderful individuals who did nothing wrong. A neighbor and close friend once said of her husband and her self esteem: “why should I change my view of myself? The problem is with him, not with me. He is the one whose self confidence should take a hit. As far as I am concerned, I hold all the cards. I get to say what happens to our marriage and to our life.” I used to envy this outlook, especially initially. Because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t adopt it for myself.

Intellectually, I knew that I wasn’t at fault. I also knew that, technically, nothing about me had changed and so I should not feel “less than.” But I could not help all of those nasty concerns creeping into my mind, like: “I am getting older and there’s only so much you can do to turn back the clock.” Or “maybe I have gotten boring and am not as exciting to be around since I became a mother.” Or “how can I compete with younger, more enthusiastic and naive women at my husband’s office?” All of these concerns whittled away at my self esteem.

And I know that I am not alone. I have wives reach out to me who tell me that their self esteem and confidence have taken huge hits after they learned of their husband’s affair. They might say things like: “I will admit that I don’t look exactly the way that I did on the day that my husband married me. But who does? And normally, I would give myself a break about this. But I feel like my looks may have come into play in terms of my husband’s affair. I wonder if he would have looked outside of our marriage if I had been thinner or more attentive. I admit that most of what I talk about these days centers on child care. And now I wonder if my husband just thinks that I’m brainless and boring. He says that he wants to save our marriage and he says that I am as beautiful and interesting as I have always been. He seems to be trying to communicate with sincerity. But I just have a hard time believing him. If all of this were true, why would he have cheated? When I am with my husband, sometimes I have a hard time looking him in the eye. I have caught myself starring at my feet sometimes. My husband is a successful person. He is very smart. His brain is always working. I feel like he may look down on me because all I do is stay at home with the kids. When I told my mom this, she told me that I needed to drop this attitude and raise my confidence level pronto because no man is going to stay attracted to someone who doubts herself. She says when I act as if I am not good enough, my husband might eventually start to believe this.”

I do agree with your mother. Presenting yourself as “less than” to both your husband and to yourself doesn’t help anyone. It’s not fair to you and it isn’t accurate, either. That said, I know how difficult it can be to act or pretend to be confident when you are feeling anything but confident. But I learned that you really must try. In this case, you really do have to fake it until you make it. If you go around presenting yourself exactly the way that you feel, then you’re walking around as someone who is unsure, broken, and only partially whole. That’s not who you are and not how you should see yourself (especially when you are not the one who did something wrong.)

I can and will share some things that helped me to regain some of my confidence, but you have to just play around with different things until you find what works for you. I took inventory about things that bothered me individually – (and not things that I perceived might bother my husband.) For example, when I evaluated the worry that I was too old, I looked at things objectively and told myself that this was something that wasn’t really valid. Other than looking my best and trying to maintain my enthusiasm and energy for life, I just was not comfortable pretending to be younger than I was or trying to be someone that I am not. My husband is well aware of my age. I can’t fool him into thinking that I am younger. I can look as good as it is possible for me to look. And I can stay in shape to be healthy. But part of being healthy is not to become obsessed with this. And it isn’t respecting myself to begrudge my life experience.

However, one thing that I did not discard was the feeling that I was becoming isolated because of parenting. Please don’t misunderstand this. I adore my kids and consider parenting as one of the primary reasons that I am on this Earth. But I did decide to take some classes just to continue to use my intellect in other ways in order to boost my confidence. It felt good to know that, if something should happen to my marriage, I could take care of myself. And I think that made both my husband and myself respect me more.

I did address parts of my appearance and my dress that made me happy. I did not make changes based on what I thought my husband might want. I made changes based on what I wanted. I believe that this is a very important distinction. I made changes that made me feel good. When you feel good, it is much easier to project confidence because you genuinely feel it.

Again, these things are going to be very individual. I can’t know what bothers you when you are objectively determining where you lack confidence. But we all have these places. The affair just shines a light on them. They were already there, but now they are intensified, of course. So now is the time to address them and to know that you never have to let anyone see you or treat you as “less than,” and that includes yourself. Do your best to hold your head high and to project confidence – and eventually true confidence will follow.

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How Do I Pair a Samsung Galaxy S3 to the Ford Sync System?

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One of the hottest phones this Christmas season is the Samsung Galaxy S3 and for many users, they will need a quick tip on how to “pair” a Samsung to a Ford Sync System.

First, go to your phone’s App menu.

Tap the Settings folder

If it isn’t already on, Tap the Bluetooth box to turn it on.

Start up your Ford vehicle, go to the Phone Menu.

On the basic Sync System, use the “Seek” arrows to go to the System Settings folder. Then go to Bluetooth Devices, press OK, then use the arrows to find Add a Device, then press OK.

Press the OK button to begin “pairing” and your Sync system will create a 6-digit PIN. If you can, use the Seek Arrows on the steering wheel to toggle the screen until it says “Special PIN.” Push OK and select/create a number such as 0000 or 1234.

On the MyFord Touch system, on the lower left of the Phone page is the “Settings” button. Select that, and on the next screen, push the bar that says “Bluetooth Devices.” On the next screen will be the list of your connected Bluetooth Devices. Tap the “Add Device” to add a new one. The system will say “Search for Sync on your device and enter the PIN provided.” Samsung phones prefer a 4-digit PIN, so you can use the touch screen to “create” the PIN of either “0000” or “1234.”

Go to your phone and select “Search for Bluetooth Devices.”

In a moment, it will either “find” and automatically connect to Sync, or, you may have another screen appear with a place to enter the PIN number. Enter the PIN number and hit “Pair” on your phone.

This confirms the pairing process.

In a moment Sync should come back with a few more questions. Such as “Make Primary Phone?” “Turn on 911 Assist?” Push the OK button on your Sync system to approve the questions. Use the Seek buttons to toggle the “Yes” to “No,” if you’d like.

When you push OK to begin “Download Phone Book” your phone will make a chime.

If a sub-menu appears, tap the box to “Always Connect” the Sync connection.

If no box appears, “pull down” the menu from the top of the phone screen. It is referred to as the PBAP screen. Once again, tap the box to “Always Connect” the Sync system.

For most Sync systems, push the voice button and say “Bluetooth Audio” to access the music files on your Samsung. It may take up to 30 seconds for the system to start playing music on the phone. If it does not, go to your phone’s App menu and tap the icon for your music player. Or, tap the icon for an App such as Pandora. Your Pandora App will start streaming music through your dashboard.

Here is a Samsung and Sync video. (Special thanks to the folks at Phones4U – and you’ll like the English accent!).

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Blank Canvas Blues: How Do You Begin a Painting?

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You just finished setting up an interesting still-life. You placed a couple of apples, a vase of flowers, and some grapes on a lovely piece of fabric, carefully making some folds here and there. You’ve arranged your still-life in front of a very dark background. Since you positioned a light source coming in from one direction, there’s an interesting pattern of darks and lights. Your palette is loaded with colors and all of your supplies are at hand. You’ve chosen just the right size canvas for your painting and it’s properly prepared and placed on your easel. Now, you sit down to paint—and you draw a blank. You’re faced with this vast, white canvas staring back at you. You reciprocate with a blank stare back at the canvas.

Now what? At one time or another every artist faces this artistic version of “writer’s block”. Almost every beginner faces it out the gate. The wiring in our brain that has evolved from prehistoric times that protected us from predators and each other triggers our “fight or flight” response when we face fear. And fear is the root cause of artistic or creative mental block.

Many questions race through your mind when you first sit down in front of that blank canvas and are confronted with that vast, white nothingness. A beginner may think “What if I mess this up?” “What if I make a mistake?” or “What if people don’t like it?” An experienced painter—and this does occasionally happen to them—might wonder “Will this painting be better or worse than my last one?” or “What if the selection committee rejects it?” or “Will this one sell?” Sudden fear can set in whether it’s related to failure or success.

There are some strategies that may help you overcome this fear, whatever the cause. Step away from your canvas, grab an 18″x24″ newsprint pad and some soft pencils (4B or 6B) or soft charcoal and begin sketching your subject in very loose, gestural strokes. Cast aside any thought of careful drawing of shapes and detail. This is an exercise to loosen you up and force you to not only see the subject’s overall shape, but the relationships of the shapes within and the shapes between (negative shapes). Spend no more than 1-2 minutes on a series of theses quick studies. You’re not trying to capture a “picture” of what you see, but rather the essence of what you see. Keep your strokes fluid and moving freely around the page. After a few of these quick studies, begin to think positive thoughts about what can happen as you begin your painting like “Creating is a lot of fun!” or “I love making art, making something out of nothing!”

Once you feel fully engaged in the process, sit back down in front of your canvas, and using a number 4 or 6 round brush, mix up a lighter blue, green, or gray color, and begin loosely sketching in your still-life laying it out on your canvas in an interesting way. There are no rules stating that it has to look exactly like what you see. This approach should get you to focus more on the process of seeing and composing. You’ll have time later to think about the finished product as you paint in areas and arrange your colors so they make sense to you.

In the meantime, you may notice that your fear has turned into joy!

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Lung Cancer Symptoms: How Do You Know If You Have Lung Cancer?

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Lung cancer is a typical health condition that causes an uncontrolled growth of abnormal or cancerous cells in one/both the lungs. It primarily affects the cells that line the air passages. The cancerous cells multiply rapidly and form tumours. When the tumours spread to a wide area, they start undermining the lung’s ability to provide blood and oxygen. There are majorly two types of lung cancer – Primary and Secondary. The first one begins in the lungs while the second one originates somewhere else in the body, metastasizes and reaches the lungs. The symptoms are not noticeable in the initial stage of the disease. Listed here are some of the early symptoms that may help you to perform an early screening to minimize the fatal consequences –

  1. A cough that won’t quit – A cough that occurs due to cold or respiratory infection and goes away in a week or two. However, the cough that persists longer than 2 months can be one of the common lung cancer symptoms that you mustn’t avoid. Whether it is dry or produces mucus, it is highly suggested to get a test done at the earliest.
  2. Changes in the cough – Any major changes while coughing should be paid attention to. If the cough becomes chronic in nature, deeper or sounds hoarse or if you are coughing up blood, it is suggested to immediately visit a doctor.
  3. Severe pain in the Chest – Along with coughing, one of the major lung cancer symptoms include pain in the chest, shoulders and back. Consult your doctor, if the pain is sharp, constant, dull or intermittent in nature. Chronic chest pain may result in enlargement of the lymph nodes or metastasis to the chest wall. This condition is known as Pleura.
  4. Breathing Changes – Shortness of breath or breathlessness can also be a possible symptom of Lung cancer. The tumours tend to block the air passage of the lungs. This causes breathing problems such as shortness of breath or breathlessness. Make a point of noticing this major change along with other above-mentioned symptoms and consult the doctor at the earliest.
  5. Sudden or Excessive Weight Loss – Weight loss can occur due to a plethora of reasons. One of them is Lung Cancer. An unexplained weight loss of 10 to 15 kgs can be associated with major cancer problems. It is one of the most common early lung cancer symptoms that you must not ignore or avoid!
  6. Pain in Bones – Secondary symptoms may cause pain in bones especially pain in the lower back. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to differentiate between bone and muscle pain. Bone pain mainly occurs at night and increases with movement.
  7. Excessive Headache – Though very uncommon in nature, but in extreme cases, excessive headache may related to lung cancer. The tumor present in the lungs may create pressure in the Superior Vena Cava. It is a type of large vein that moves the blood from upper body to the heart. This pressure can, in rare cases, trigger headaches.
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How Do Wickless Candles Work?

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No romantic scenario is complete without a pair of candles. If you are one of those who want to do everything perfectly then imagine a situation when it is early evening, you are dressed for the occasion. There is soft music playing you have your perfect partner, your Mr. Right, has proposed to you with a big diamond ring, sitting on his knees, there is champagne and caviar. In this, candles only complete the picture. You cannot think of the moment without the soft glow of candle lit dinner!

Also imagine you are feeling one with the Lord Almighty you are kneeling in front of him and there is this mixed aroma of old teak wood and burning candles. The picture is complete. Now also imagine a festooned room full of kids and a huge cake in the centre of the room and several candles burning and a well-known scent of the burnt out candle with the birthday wishes. Candles therefore have a special place in every occasion.

Candles have come a long way from being traditional white slender sticks to the designer personalized ones. Nowadays they are even wickless. The question that is frequently asked is “do wickless candles burn?” Yes they do. How do they work then if they have no wick? Wickless candles are any other candle except a wick. They are placed in the centre of scentys. There is a small bulb glowing at its bottom that warms the wax. As the wax burns, it gives out an aroma.

The bulb gives the desired light. This is the candle that creates an atmosphere of a candle without the smoke and the soot. It also gives out an aroma that is very refreshing. The aroma is in all shades of scent woody, spicy, flowery and fruity. Wickless candles could be called as the eco-friendly candles.

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How Do I Get Rid Of My Annoying, Squeaky Voice – 3 Effective Deep Voice Training Tips And Tricks

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If you search around the internet for effective deep voice training tips and tricks, you will find so many people complaining about their voice tone/quality. You will fine so many people asking how to get rid of an annoying squeaky voice. Well there are some few things you can do to get rid of a squeaky voice and in this article you will discover some of these things, so read on. But before we get there, I want to talk a little bit on this: why do people want so badly to deepen their voice? Why is a deeper voice tone so good to have?

There are so many advantages of having a deep strong and sexy tone when you speak. Just to name a few, I would say that people with deep voices turn to command far more respect than people with normal or high-pitched voices. They turn to be respected more in the society, and have an upper hand when it comes to dating. As you might already know, women say deep voices are attractive than normal or high-pitched squeaky voices. With all these advantages of having a deep voice, more and more people are looking for effective deep voice training tips and tricks to transform their annoying squeaky voice into a deep strong and sexy one.

If you have a high-pitched squeaky voice, then here are some few things you can do to fix that:

1- For getting a good voice tone, you can always get a coach to help with that. However we all know how expensive these voice coaches are. So as a cheaper alternative to getting a voice coach, you can download a deep voice training eBook on the internet and practice on your own, at home.

2- Another good way to get rid of your annoying squeaky voice is that you do this deep voice training exercise: Try to lower your voice by reading aloud with plenty of practice in front a mirror. Try to slow down your debit or speed when talking and emphasizes more on the pronunciation. Do neck exercise on a regular base to strengthen your neck muscles.

3- Also slow down when you talk. Don’t panic too much. If you don’t panic, that might usually help in lowering your voice tone. Also, eat a lot of beef. It has testosterone. This will help deepen, or lower your voice tone too.

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How Can Poor Customer Service Affect A Business

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Today, potential customers have wider choices than ever in making a purchase. It’s easier to compare services. With visible online reviews and customer engagement in a variety of channels, your company’s performance is under scrutiny. Clients and prospects have no problem switching over to a competitor if they consider them fit.

It’s more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an existing one, so customer retention is crucial for business success. And customer service has a drastic impact on customer retention. 89% of customers have stopped doing business with a firm after a bad experience and 58% will never deal with that firm again.

Loss of Business and Returning Customers

No matter how great your products are, if you don’t meet the service expectations of your clients, they’ll never be happy with what you’re offering them. Not listening to your customers and ignoring their needs will not just annoy them, but it will also make them leave your company. If your customer service is poor, you’ll have poor customer retention rates and you’ll never meet your business goals.

Bad Reviews Online

If you don’t take your customer’s complaints seriously and you don’t resolve those issues immediately and sincerely, you’ll lose customers and this will impact your company’s reputation. Most of the customers will reveal the truth about your poor customer service on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Negative comments and bad reviews spread quickly across social media and this will affect your reputation and your business’s goals.

New Customers Stay Away

New customers seek companies based on recommendations from people they know, and they’ll avoid a company when they hear first-hand accounts of poor customer service. People give more weight to negative reports than positive reports and they believe first-hand experience from their friends and family more than they believe impersonal sources such as advertising.

So if your customer service is poor, prospective clients may find your business but they’ll choose what your competitors offer.

Employees Leave

Employees know when things are not right in the company they work for. If they see frequent occurrences of poor customer service, they’ll start looking for opportunities with other companies. This is because dealing with dissatisfied customers makes their jobs hard and it makes the working environment toxic.

Management that doesn’t treat its customers well probably doesn’t care about the well-being of its employees either. High staff turnover tarnishes a company’s name. It creates more costs because of the increased need for recruiting, hiring and training of new employees.

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