Want to be SMARTER? …. Be Bilingual….

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We have either heard or read, about how people are learning new languages every day. And seen numerous articles online with reasons to join in on the fun. I have personally met a handful of people on the Bus to work, who are either learning Spanish or German or Italian…and I often wondered why it is such an important thing for so many people.

So, after doing some research, speaking to people and reading a few articles. I decided to bring all those different reasons here on one page, to motivate you as well.

YOU REALLY DO BECOME SMARTER

According to Anne Merritt, who writes for the Telegraph:

“Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognize, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems.”

This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well. The smarter aspect comes in when students who either already know a second language or are studying one, have the inclination towards scoring better on standardized tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of reading, math, and vocabulary.

In addition, you develop four of the key skills linked to learning: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY, PERCEPTION AND DECISION MAKING SKILLS

Because learning a new language increases your brain capacity, you increase your memory skills at the same time too. This is because you are constantly trying to retain the new language, its rules, and vocabulary, in your memory thus strengthening your memory muscles.

Studies have also shown that people who speak more than one language are better at remembering names, shopping lists or any other lists and even sequence of events, a lot easier.  They have also shown that they are more focused on filtering our relevant and irrelevant information, including recognizing ambiguous information.

Further research into this concept has shown that bilinguals tend to make more rational decisions. They showed to be more confident with the choices they make after thinking it over in the second language and seeing whether their initial conclusions still stand up.

INCREASE IN MULTI-TASKING ABILITIES

According to a study done by Penn State University:

Recent research indicates that bilingual speakers can outperform monolinguals–people who speak only one language–in certain mental abilities, such as editing out irrelevant information and focusing on important information, said Judith Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Penn State. These skills make bilinguals better at prioritizing tasks and working on multiple projects at one time.”

Kroll also mentions in this research that when bilinguals speak with each other, they can easily slip in and out of both languages, often selecting the word or phrase from the language that most clearly expresses their thoughts. However, fluent bilinguals rarely make the mistake of slipping into another language when they speak with someone who understands only one language.

IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING A JOB

Whether the job market is tough…or not, companies are constantly expanding globally, and opening offices and branching out to all the different parts of the world. If the employer has a choice of choosing between two candidates for example with the same skills or expertise, but one is bilingual, the chance of being chosen for any job are higher for him or her than the candidate who can only speak one language.

A language study done by the Economist found that by 2050 half the world might be able to speak the English language. In addition, studies show that ‘knowledge of a foreign language, brings economic benefits’. The article states: “

Assuming just a 1% real salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years, a 2% language bonus turns into an extra $67,000 (at 2014 value) in your retirement account. Not bad for a few years ofoù est la plume de ma tante?”

Another study’s numbers, mention how “…salary bonuses vary depending on the exact language in which you’re proficient. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few different secondary languages and their annual bonuses as reported by The Economist:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2014/03/language-study#sthash.EmnmbQNI.dpbs

For sake of time, you can read these studies in the Economist link included above.

Another plus point is, when you get bored with your job or feel like an adventure – having knowledge of a foreign language, might just be the answer to your troubles!

There are lots more advantages of learning another language:

  • You become more open-minded
  • The chance to discover a new culture
  • Meet new people and change the experience of your travels
  • If nothing – you will impress the people around you!

It’s not an easy process and it takes time and possibly some money, depending on your choice of resources. But I am convinced that it is a lifelong investment you will not regret!

There are numerous studies done on this topic. If you would like to read more, below are just a few of the links I found:

Know of any additional reasons you can think of to learn a foreign language?

20 Life lessons learned from traveling

Source: 20 Life lessons learned from traveling

‘Follow your passion’ is wrong, here are 7 habits you need instead

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– BY AARON ORENDORFF –

It’s common wisdom. Near gospel really, and not just among young people and founders. Across generational lines, sentiments like those from Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement at Stanford have been engraved into our collective consciousness:

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” 

In other words, follow your passion. There’s just one problem: “‘Follow your passion’ is dangerous advice.”

That’s a troubling claim, but it comes straight from Cal Newport’s investigation into “the details of how passionate people like Steve Jobs really got started” as well as what scientists say predicts happiness and fuels great accomplishment.

Newport’s not alone. In recent years, a host of leaders, academics, and entrepreneurs have all come to the same startling conclusion: nearly everything you’ve been told about following your passion is wrong.

Here are seven habits you need instead.

1. Not passion, purpose

Ryan Holiday, author of Ego Is the Enemy:

“Your passion may be the very thing holding you back from power or influence or accomplishment. Because just as often, we fail with — no, because of — passion. … [P]urpose deemphasizes the I. Purpose is about pursuing something outside yourself as opposed to pleasuring yourself.”

Until about a century ago, passion was a dirty word. Classical philosopher like Socrates and Marcus Aurelius saw passion as a liability not an asset: an insatiable and destructive force. Why?

Chiefly because passion is dangerously self-centered. In fact, our own modern descriptions of passion betray this inward bend: “I want to [blank]. I need to [blank]. I have to [blank].” In most cases, whatever word finishes those sentences — regardless of how well-meaning it might be — is overshadowed by the first.

Purpose, on the other hand, is about them, not me. It reorients our focus onto the people and causes we’re trying to reach, serve, help, and love. In The Happiness Hypothesis, psychologist Jonathan Haidt describes this pursuit as a “striving to get the right relationships between yourself and others, between yourself and your work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself. If you get these relationships right, a sense of purpose and meaning will emerge.”

Passion makes us bigger. Purpose connects us to something bigger and in doing so makes us right sized.

2. Not passion, picking

Shaa Wasmund, author of Stop Talking, Start Doing:

“‘No’ is a far more powerful word than ‘Yes.’ Every ‘Yes’ said out of obligation or fear takes time away from the things and people we love. When an opportunity appears connected with your passion, it’s even trickier. Instead of snatching up everything that might get your closer to the life you want, give yourself the space to pick carefully.”

Good is the enemy of great. That’s how Jim Collins put it anyway. Learning to say “No” is easily one of the most vital skills we can cultivate. And yet, even if you’ve mastered “No” to the obvious stuff, passion rears its head.

The blinding effect of passion leads us unthinkingly into projects and meetings that, in truth, are dead ends. Worse, they sap time and energy that would otherwise move us forward. When Tim Ferriss asked journalist Kara Swisher what message she’d put on a billboard for millions to see, her answer was a single word, “Stop.”

And that’s what picking is all about: slow down, pause, evaluate, weigh, and only then make a clear-headed choice. Picking involves, first, putting a time buffer on our decisions, particularly decisions that appear “connected with your passion.” Second, running our choices by an objective third party: a friend or colleague who can call out our blind spots.

Sleep on it. Reach out. The sun will rise tomorrow. And be ruthless with your “No’s.”

3. Not passion, practice

Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance:

“After you’ve discovered and developed interest in a particular area, you must devote yourself to the sort of focused, full-hearted, challenge-exceeding-skill practice that leads to mastery. You must zero in on your weaknesses, and you must do so over and over again, for hours a day, week after month after year.”

We all love shortcuts. The allure of getting more by doing less is seductive. But are there times when doing more equals more? Absolutely.

The classic illustration comes from David Bayles and Ted Orland’s Art and Fear where a ceramics teacher divided his class into two groups. The first was told they’d be graded on quality. The other, quantity. To get an A, the quantity group was required to produce fifty pounds of clay pots. Not exactly an artistically inspired assignment. And yet, when grading time came, “a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity.”

What accounted for this reversal of expectations?

Easy: while the quality group held back — laboring under perfectionism — the quantity group got busy. They practiced. And that’s good news. If greatness came down to passion — or worse, talent — then it’d be reserved for only a select few. Practice means greatness is doable … one tiny step after another.

4. Not passion, planning

Liran Kotzer, CEO of Woo.io:

“Passion is indeed very important, but what most people don’t know is what’s needed to achieve their true potential. Whether it’s to acquire new skills, get a promotion, or achieve what they want, it all starts with having a plan based on real data and real-world options.”

The only word less sexy than practice is planning. And yet planning is a golden thread woven through the lives of artists, leaders, and entrepreneurs alike. The trick here is that plans need not be grandiose. Rather, they shouldn’t be.

Optimism is wonderful when it comes to our dreams. However, when it comes to what’s next — the nitty-gritty actions that’ll get us there — optimism kills. Infected with passion, our plans lose touch with reality. We overestimate strengths and underestimate challenges. Beyond the “real data and real-world options,” we build castles in the sky. That’s one of the reasons platform like Woo, which lets you get feedback from companies and headhunters anonymously, are so valuable.

Where passion disconnects us from reality, planning — especially planning of the SMART goal and number-crunching variety — drives home the true state of affairs.

That true state rescues us from false expectations, show stoppers, and resentment. As a good friend of mine likes to say, “The question when you’re trying to bring a dream into reality shouldn’t be, ‘What going to go right?’ It should be, ‘What’s going to go wrong?’”

5. Not passion, positioning

Jason Stone, founder of Millionaire Mentor Inc.:

“Passion can only take you so far. After that, if you don’t have the skills, the tools, the resources, the knowledge, and the track-record to move forward, take risks, and expand. Otherwise, you won’t be able to position yourself as an authority. Positioning is key to make sure you are ready when opportunity strikes!”

Humans are associative creatures. We think and act not in isolation but by comparing and contrasting.

“The basic approach of positioning,” wrote Al Ries and Jack Trout in Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, “is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate what’s already up there in the mind, to retie the connections that already exist.” This is especially true when it comes to how other people see us.

Passionate people often come off as self-inflated. They’re legends in their own minds. Positioning means leveraging who you are and what you’ve done as a springboard to what’s next. It embraces the associate nature of other people and — while it still leaves room for confidence — acknowledges that how others perceive us is more real, at least to them, than how we see ourselves.

6. Not passion, peripheral

Troy Osinoff, author of My Bad Parent: Do As I Say, Not as I Did:

“People that think they completely understand their world are the most susceptible to overlook new opportunities. Peripheral is about establishing an unwavering curiosity to use your existing knowledge in uncovering new patterns and trends both for the sake of your personal development as well as the success of your business or career.”

Passion makes us myopic. We become so focused on the desire inside us, we lose sight of what’s around us. Objectivity — the ability to see the world as it truly is — atrophies in the blinding light of passion.

Adopting a peripheral perspective forces us to examine the margins. It widens our view. Rather than rush headlong into disaster, we’re able to spot not just the pitfalls but the opportunities we would have otherwise missed.

How? By cultivating curiosity. Questions like, “What am I missing? What am I ignoring? Who could give me a fresh take?” are vital in every area of life. Likewise, so is putting ourselves in new situations, reading books outside our passions, and intentionally pursuing people who have nothing to do with what it is we think we want.

7. Not passion, perseverance

Brian D. Evans, founder of Influencive and Inc. 500 Entrepreneur:

“The person who calls themselves a student is more a master than those who try to wear the title. Get up when you get knocked down. Come back stronger, faster, and (above all) smarter. The constant desire to learn and overcome has helped me achieve everything. You must persevere.”

Although it might sound odd, perseverance is as much about putting in effort as it is battling ego. Drunk on passion, masters are doomed to repeat failures in the name of “pushing through.” In contrast, students do more than hone their craft; they learn from their mistakes.

Asked if the Patriot’s historic comeback in Super Bowl LI was his “greatest game ever,” Tom Brady replied: “[W]hen I think of an interception return for a touchdown, some other missed opportunities in the first 37, 38 minutes of the game, I don’t really consider playing a good quarter-and-a-half, plus overtime as one of the ‘best games ever’ but it was certainly one of the most thrilling.”

Certainly, Brady persevered, and it’d be nice if that guaranteed success. But sometimes you won’t come back to win it. At least, not in the moment. Jobs will be lost. Pitches turned down. Relationships ended. And reviews harsh.

Failure, however, isn’t just an inevitable stepping stone toward success. Rejection is part of success itself. As Louis CK put it to a budding comedian, “The only road to good shows is bad ones. Just go start having a bad time and, if you don’t give up, you will get better.”

Is passion a bad thing?

Understood rightly, no. But as the be-all-and-end-all? Yes.

Cal Newport’s prescription was skill: passion is the result of excellence, not it’s source.

Far from a magic bullet, passion can mislead us, blind us, and even turn us in on ourselves. Newport was right: “‘Follow your passion’ might just be terrible advice.” Thankfully, these seven habits put passion in its place so that the fire Jobs spoke of doesn’t burn out … but endures.

How to Pursue Your Passion and Become Great – Todd Brison

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(https://medium.com/the-mission/detailed-steps-to-pursuing-your-passion-and-becoming-great-fafc602d61cb#.2inilewqi)

This is the story of two men lost in the woods.

The first man left early in the morning and took a trail right off the back porch of his parents’ house. Between some of the fallen limbs from the night before and the length of time since his last visit, the path didn’t seem familiar to him.

It was a bright fall day, but every once in a while a cold wind blew, cutting right through the man’s jacket.

With a slight shiver, he remembered his parents’ property backed up to a state park. Even though it was later in the year, he wondered if there were any families camping nearby. It would be nice to find one that had a fire going.

So he wanders further into the woods.

The second man needed help. His hunting trip with some of his friends had gone awry. Now here he was, in the middle of the mountains, shaking with cold.

He wished he’d thought to bring a bigger coat or better gloves. Looking west, he realized — the sun was going down. Soon it would be much colder.

Luckily, his pack had plenty of jerky and water. If he could figure out a way to stay warm enough, he would survive until morning and then find his way back to camp.

Which of these two men is more likely to build his own fire?


First, the hierarchy:

> You have an interest

>> You put a lot of activity behind that interest

>>> Then you have a passion (maybe)

Many people have interests. That isn’t the problem. Issues emerge when there is not a good enough reason to put activity into those interests.

We have no reason to believe either one of the two men in the story is better than the other at building a fire. The second man is going to build one, though, because he needs it to survive. That is a very good reason.

A) LEAVE YOUR PARENTS

I live in the South, so this advice is not terribly popular.

“You should be true to your family!” people say.

This is true. You also must be true to yourself.

I probably could have made this header “leave your comfort zone,” but the parent phenomena is on my mind.

Any time I am around my mother, I regress about 30 years. You would think this is impossible since I’m 27, but I don’t make the rules. I ask her for chicken noodle soup, drinks, back rubs, the whole nine. And she can’t really help but give them to me. I’m her baby. It’s embarrassing, really.

When you live in comfort, no matter your level of success, you don’t have a reason to move forward.

Your parents did a good job raising you. Honor their sacrifice by removing them as a crutch.

B) EXPLORE ONE INTEREST

Did you catch that? “ONE” interest.

You have several potential passions. I get that. You are a complex and talented person with many skills. You like to code and read and write and do math.

Pick one of those interests and do it for 30 days. Do not skip a single day.

You may do this 6 times and realize you hate 6 of your potential interests.

The good news is — it only takes one passion to change your life.

C) IGNORE THE UNIMPORTANT

One thing I have noticed about many great and passionate people is they exhibit intentional indifference toward things which don’t matter to them.

Richard Branson has dyslexia — who cares?

Kobe Bryant can’t design a bridge — who cares?

Bill Gates can’t dunk — who cares?

It’s worth pointing out “the unimportant” is different for everyone. Figure out what you don’t care about as much and slowly let those actions fall out of your consciousness.

D) EMBRACE GREATNESS

Let’s pretend you decide to pursue art as a passion. By making this choice, you are walking in the vein of Pablo Picasso, Salvidor Dali, Monet and Manet.

How much respect would you have for the craft if you realized whose footsteps you are following in?

How much respect would you have for yourself?

E) CONSISTENCY BEATS TALENT

Guess what happens when you stop feeding a fire?

Yep.

School does us a bit of a disservice, I think, because we do one subject for 6 months (maximum) and then there is a total reset. The grades reset, the people reset, the teachers reset.

There is no reset button after school — you get what you have and then you choose where to go from there. You can walk down the same career road for 5 years and then “all of a sudden” you are the best by default.

F) BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND

When we are children, we say nice things about ourselves:

“I am pretty.”

“I am good at drawing.”

“I have lots of friends”

Our language typically changes when we reach adulthood.

“I am useless.”

“I suck.”

“I can’t do this.”

It starts when we are teenagers, I think. That’s the first time we start to realize just how small we are in the scope of the human race. We feel insignificant.

The self-loathing gets worse if nobody catches it.

“I always mess up.”

“I’ll never find love.”

“I just wasn’t meant to be happy.”

Cut the garbage right now. Every time you have a negative thought about yourself, flip it upside down and think a positive one.

It won’t happen overnight, but eventually you’ll remember that you are — wait for it — actually an incredible person.

See also: Shift Your Mindset By Saying Less of These Four Things

G) GO IT ALONE

Allow me to quote a great, passionate person:

“When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.” — Darth Vader

Greatness is started en masse, but enhanced in solitude. You can be taught the basics all day. Understanding them is a different story. Mastery is lonely, at least for a time, but investing in yourself will always yield returns.

By the way, the root for the word “invest” is influenced from a Latin root which refers to “giving capital a new form.”

Without investment, there is no new form.

Stay focused. Stay balanced. Learn, and most importantly:

Do.


And one more letter..

The “H” to this is probably “generate new and interesting ideas.”

Without ideas, you run out of gas to execute on your passion. You get stale. You get bored. You stop having fun.

And when you stop having fun, the game is over.

Over the last few years and 650+ posts, I have found a pattern for coming up with infinite ideas. The process helped me write the #1 post in the world on CNBC not too long ago.

I’ve captured the steps I use in my ebook — The Ultimate Guide to Infinite Ideas.

Get your copy right here.

— TB

On Writing: When and When Not to Use an Exclamation Point! – Larry Kim

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Are you on fire? You may want to rethink your (over)use of this punctuation mark.

Business communications don’t have to be stuffy, but they should be professional.

One way to make sure you look super unprofessional in your written communications is to display overt excitement or extreme emotion about everything!!! Is the lunchroom out of coffee again!?! We have another design meeting this afternoon!!! I have to go to the doctor tomorrow morning!!!! I AM ON FIRE!!!!

These are all pretty banal things (okay, that last one could be pretty serious, but why are you writing about it?).

If what you’re trying to convey is more important than it sounds, it’s because you’re not using all of your words.

HubSpot lays the ground rules for acceptable use of this useful but often overworked punctuation point in a chart aptly titled, Should I Use an Exclamation Mark?

Who should use this chart? If you’ve ever used two or three (or even more, shudder) exclamation marks together in a row, you need to check this out/ If your coworkers stop by to check on you after receiving your emails — or avoid you because they think you’re angry all the time after reading your writing — you may have an exclamation mark problem. If email responses from your employer or colleagues include, “Tone it down,” “Relax,” or “Are you actually OK right now?” you just may be abusing exclamation marks.

Overusing this one piece of punctuation gives your communications a distinctly middle school flavor and kills your credibility. It makes you seem melodramatic and will give employers pause about allowing you to represent the company to partners or clients. You know, because you might freak them out!!!! Are you guilty of abusing exclamation marks in your emails, memos or even blog posts? Have a peek and see.

How to Build a Meaningful Life And Make It Incredibly Amazing -Thomas Oppong

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Life and living it is a project and changing your life is the beginning. It’s a never-ending quest to share our best work with the rest of the world. You are responsible for that change. You need to define yourself, plan your change, make it happen. What you don’t want is spending the rest of your precious and short life, doing everything you absolutely hate.

To build the life you want, create the meaningful work you love!

We should all strive to find and do meaningful work that excites us. Work that brings out the best in you. Without it, work is boring, just something we do to pay the bills — which means we’re spending somewhere around half our waking hours (sometimes more) doing something we don’t like, just to pay the bills. Is that a life you want to live?

Your work fills a large part of your life, do everything in your power to make it awesome. If you haven’t found what makes you come alive yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Everything else is secondary.

How to Build a Meaningful Life And Make It Incredibly Amazing

You shouldn’t dread Mondays. Meaningful work doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or solve a global problem. It doesn’t have to cure cancer. Amazing work can be any kind of work; if it’s fulfilling your potential, and makes you lose yourself, you’ve found exactly what you need to live the life you want.

Ryan Robinson of Buffer says:

If your work is something you love, it will give clarity, drive, and happiness to all aspects of your life. If your work is meaningful, you’ll be more likely to stick with it in the long run, which means you’re more likely to be successful as a result.

Research has shown that finding meaning in one’s work increases motivation, engagement, empowerment, career development, job satisfaction, individual performance and personal fulfillment.

It can be anything from creating something new, improving an existing product or service, building something awesome, helping others, inspiring others, teaching others, setting in motion something that will make the world a better place, making something beautiful, creating something useful, moving the hearts of others.

Michael Steger, Ph.D., a faculty member in the Counseling Psychology and Applied Social Psychology programs at Colorado State University sees meaningful work as consisting of three, central components:

First, the work we do must make sense; we must know what’s being asked of us and be able to identify the personal or organizational resources we need to do our job.

Second, the work we do must have a point; we must be able to see how the little tasks we engage in build, brick-by-brick if you will, into an important part of the purpose of our company.

Finally, the work that we do must benefit some greater good; we must be able to see how our toil helps others, whether that’s saving the planet, saving a life, or making our co-workers’ jobs easier so that they can go home and really be available for their families and friends.

Give yourself something to pursue

“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.” — Tim O’Reilly

Right now is the best time EVER in human history to pursue your life’s work. Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. People who never give up on their life’s work. You have something to share with the rest of the world. Be an optimist. And make an impact in your own small way possible.

Kevin Kelly (co-founder of Wired magazine) explains:

“There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside, than now. Right now, this minute. This is the time that folks in the future will look back at and say, “Oh to have been alive and well back then!”

People who choose well and focus on building something that matters to them first always go that extra mile. They never give up on their first try. There is always a second or even a third try. Embrace the fact that invention is a creative process. Come to terms with its presence, learn to accept the sting of it and keep moving.

Don’t fail to exercise your right to try something. Get into the habit of questioning the rules, of becoming curious about where you could try something different and where you could throw the windows open. You will be surprised at you are capable of.

Start with something you can do today or this week, even if you can commit a few minutes to it. And tomorrow, do it again. Maybe for a few more minutes. And so on.

Take no less than 100% responsibility for your life

Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. Your life is a sum of the choices you made yesterday. If you want a different outcome, change your behavior and habits.

Making a change is uncomfortable and can be overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. But it’s the only way to get what you want.

Many people have so many things they want to do but they end up wishing all year round without taking action. Write what you want to do down and be guided by it.

Take even the smallest step every day to make that wish a reality. Make a decision to start somewhere. And when it’s time to get on with it, don’t postpone it. Do what you have to do.

Once you commit time to it and begin to put things on paper, every other idea about the people and resources you need to make it happen will begin to be clear to you.

Invest in your life’s work

Start a blog, write at least a little each day. Write a book. Or an ebook. Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook. Write poetry and publish it on the web. Create interesting, lovely or funny videos, put them on YouTube.

Create an app that will solve a problem in people’s lives. Become a watchdog to replace the faltering newspapers. Explore the world, and blog about it.

Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly. Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well.

Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks. Put your heart into something.

Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do. Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better.

Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create. Inspire others by being inspiring. Teach young people to do amazing things. Write a play, get others to act in it, record it. Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.

Read, and read, and then write. Love, and love, and then help others to love.Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound. Find focus in a world without it.

Become minimalist in a world of dizzying complexity. Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach.

Meet new people, become fast friends. Dare to be wrong. Take lots and lots of pictures. Explore new cultures. Be different. Paint a huge mural. Create a web-comic. Be a dork, but do it boldly.

Interview people. Observe people. Create new clothes. Take old stuff and make new stuff from it. Read weird stuff. Study the greats, and emulate them.

Be interested in others. Surprise people. Cook great food, and share it. Be open-minded. Help someone else start a small business. Focus on less but do it better.

Give people a ride in your car. Use Uber to your advantage. Start an online shop on Shopify. Create and sell stuff on Etsy.

Help others achieve their dreams. Put a smile on someone’s face, every day.Start an open-source project. Make a podcast. Start a movement. Be brave. Be honest. Be hilarious. Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot. Start now. Try.

If you’re willing to take the risk of sharing yourself and your ideas with the world, you can create value you will be proud of.

What you choose to do now matters

Everything around you, the place you live, your means of transport to work, the tools you use at work, technology for both learning and leisure were all made by people who are no smarter than you. You can add to human development and progress in your own small way. Choose to create.

If you’re already doing amazing Work, keep doing it. But if you feel like there’s nothing amazing on your to-do list, then it’s obvious the work you’re doing doesn’t excite you, and you don’t feel it matters. There are now insanely great and even free resources out there that can make it easy to show your work. Take advantage of them.

You don’t need permission to show the world what you are capable of. Right now, this minute, you can decide to start working on your most important work. And guess what, the world is ready to try it out.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be ready. The real world rewards those who get stuff done. You don’t even have to get it right.As long as you are ready for feedback, you can always iterate and make it better.

Build what brings out the best in you! Then, things cannot go wrong. Even if they do, you would have at least tried doing what excites you.

A side project has the potential to grow into something meaningful a lot of people could benefit from. Getting there may take some work but it takes a decision to get started. Something you do for fun on nights and weekends could turn into your new full-time dream business or invention.

Today and tomorrow are open with possibilities. All you have to do is decide to make use of them to start working on stuff that matters to you, and live the life, that you really want. It’s time for a healthy dose of practical optimism. Be bold and take a decision right now to start something you deeply care about.

The first key: start looking

If you don’t ever look for it, it’s not likely to just fall into your lap. Be curious now. Once you start looking for your amazing work, you’re much much more likely to find it.

That sounds kinda obvious, but it’s surprising how many of us will go through our work days (and years) without trying to find our Amazing Work, for many reasons. Maybe we don’t believe in ourselves, maybe we don’t think we have the time, maybe we’re putting it off until someday.

Well, start believing in yourself. Make the time. Make someday today.

Start by looking at the work you’re already doing: how can you find something in your work that excites you? Why did you get into it in the first place? When have you ever been excited about your work? What part of your work do you look forward to the most? How can you take it to the next level? What you do after work?

If you’ve really looked long and hard at your work and can’t find anything at all, nothing, nada that excites you, that might become exciting, then start looking elsewhere. What other work have you done that you love? What have you done that has made a difference?

Have you had any previous jobs that had exciting work? Do you have hobbies that excite you — perhaps those can be turned into amazing Work? What do you read about — online and off? Do those things excite you, and if so, can you find something in that line of work?

Talking to others can spark ideas — ask the people who know you best what they think you should do. Ask co-workers about things that excite them. Talk to people online.

Once you come up with some ideas, it’s time to start doing them, trying them, testing them out. Sometimes something can sound fun but not be as fun once you try it. Sometimes something can sound uninteresting, but once you do it, there’s much more fun to it than you thought.

It’s a process of experimenting — try things, give them a chance, and then pursue them if they’re exciting. If not, try something new. One thing to keep in mind, though — things can be more fun if you’re good at something, and it can take awhile to get good at something. The key is to enjoy the learning process as well.

Now here is the most important part

Start working on the thing you need to be doing right now, this minute. No matter how slow you work on your most important work, you will still be ahead of everyone else who isn’t trying to fulfill a dream. Stop letting yourself procrastinate.

Action begets outcome. Outcome begets more action. You can only create or build when you make a move. Momentum builds through action. You can’t see the results you expect until you overcome your fear of starting and begin to take the first step at actually creating a new business, starting a new project or building the life you want. The only thing worse than failure is not starting.

Don’t discount the power of action no matter how small.

Start going through the motions of making progress. At first it might feel forced, but eventually you’ll get in the groove. In the words of playwright Samuel Beckett:“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Your journey towards meaningful work begins today, if it hasn’t already!How to Build a Meaningful Life And Make It Incredibly Amazing

On Free-ing yourself…

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member: Nina Medina Founder & Owner of: The Happy Life 101 Millionaire’s Digest Staff Team, Author, Successful Living Writer “Forget Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. It’s YOUR Choice!”- Anonymous There are times in my life when I am scared to try a new thing just because I […]

via Free Yourself from Fear! (1 min read) — Millionaire’s Digest

On writing and Finding Inspiration

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Bloggers reflect on what drives them to hit the “Publish” button time and again.

via “I Write Because…”: Six Bloggers on Finding Inspiration for Their Sites — Discover

On the place & food I Love…

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“Grade A Spanophile” Caitlin is a New Yorker who fell in love with Spanish food. At Back to Spain, she interviews chefs, shares recipes, and posts gorgeous photos of her dishes.

via Back to Spain — Discover

On Yummooo food!

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An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented superfood, kimchi. Kimchi is a big ask for some. Even more so for those with families to feed. For starters – not to put too fine a point on it – kimchi stinks. To highest Heaven. Even hardcore kimchi fans would have to admit this. In fact, […]

via 15-Minute Kimchi Fried Rice – A Family-Friendly Introduction to Fermented Foods — food to glow