Frustrated With Life?? … What is Happiness and How Can We Learn To Cultivate It?

What is Happiness?

This elusive concept seems to be rather poorly defined for how much effort we tend to exert trying to attain it.

I will give you my definition of happiness. Continue reading “Frustrated With Life?? … What is Happiness and How Can We Learn To Cultivate It?”

How to Fake Being More Confident When You’re Just Not Feeling It

Confidence can be an enviable quality. Being completely assured of yourself and your abilities gives you the courage to take risks and accomplish great things. But confidence doesn’t always come easy, Continue reading “How to Fake Being More Confident When You’re Just Not Feeling It”

Don’t Ditch Your Galaxy S7, Give It an (Android 8.0) Oreo

Android: It’s been a little over two years since the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. If you’re still holding on to yours, you’re probably itching to upgrade to a new device—especially Continue reading “Don’t Ditch Your Galaxy S7, Give It an (Android 8.0) Oreo”

7 Simple Ways to Spring Clean Your Home Faster

Looking for ways to spring clean your home in no time? Good. I’ve got some tried and tested ways that I’m going to share with you. Spring cleaning is one of my favorite things about the spring season, but unfortunately, I can’t enjoy it to the fullest since my schedule is always overloaded. So I’ve found a few ways to spring clean my home fast that are also great for those who don’t like cleaning.

1. Clean mini blinds
Yes, I want to start with the worst part about spring cleaning. I’m sure many of you would agree that cleaning mini blinds is a great pain. However, I’ve learned a small tip that makes it really easier. Just take your mini blinds down and wash them in the bath. They’ll be cleaner in no time!

2. Wash your walls
If you used to wash your walls by hand, this spring try washing them with a mop instead. This will save you a lot of time, I promise! Now that I know this little trick, washing my walls isn’t a big problem anymore. Give it a try and you will never think of washing the walls as a great pain.

3. Clean your oven
I don’t understand those people who clean their oven by hand when they have a self-cleaning one. A self-cleaning oven works amazingly and is so easy to operate. If you have a self-cleaning oven, just turn it on and it will do its thing. While it’s cleaning, the oven gets extremely hot and there can be a terrible smell, but you can go outdoors to avoid the smell, or do another chore to complete your spring cleaning faster.

4. Give your carpets to the professionals
If you have carpets, I suggest you to hire them done. It’s better and easier. It’s also incredibly time-saving. The professional knows what they’re doing and they can be more experienced at stain removal than you are. If you can afford, give your carpets to the professionals.

5. Purchase a ceiling fan cleaner
Purchase a ceiling fan cleaner so that you don’t have to climb up and take it all apart. Indeed, there’s a great device that you can purchase that cleans the ceiling fan. It’s like a duster but created to fit over every blade. While you still should clean the globes, it helps save you immense amounts of time and headache.

6. Clean your curtains
If you have trouble cleaning your curtains, I recommend doing all of your curtains at once. Take the day, take your curtains down and wash them. After washing, hang your curtains back up. Don’t forget to check the instructions and learn how to properly launder them. Maybe your curtains are dry clean only ones. Follow the instructions on the label and you won’t have any problems.

7. Don’t do it alone
If you share a home or if you have a big family, don’t do your spring cleaning alone, it’s just too much for one person. Have everybody muck in and help and you’ll get it done quicker and you will even have time for a spring picnic or family BBQ.

Follow these tips and you will do your spring cleaning faster and easier. Which tricks do you use to do your spring cleaning quicker? Share them with me, please, I will certainly try them all!

What It Is Like Working in a Foreign Company

A lot of people ask me now that I have been in a Japanese company and dealing with international clients for a while what the work culture is like. I will not lie and say that it is easy being an expat employed by a foreign company.

Every culture, whether Eastern or Western, has its unique way of dealing with business and enterprise. Japan is already an interesting environment for foreigners, so I know that my experience may be entirely different from another’s.

This is my perspective on what it is like working in a foreign company as an expatriate.

What It Is Like Working in a Foreign Company
Clash of cultures
One thing I was worried about when I was hired at the Japanese company was how the other employees were going to handle an American entering the premises. Every country has its fears about immigrants, such as how many hold jobs, how educated they are, the kind of jobs they are taking, the rights they receive, and what not. I was anticipating weariness and even distrust, because I took the high-level marketing gig from a Japanese person.

The reception I received was far from negative. Everyone was nervous, sure. Japanese people are notoriously shy and always expect the American to be loud and bombastic. Fortunately, we were all pleasantly surprised, especially because I know to bow instead of shake hands, how to accept a business card, and speak Japanese.

Workforce dilemma
Here is the thing. Americans work long hours. The Japanese work even longer hours. A 100 hour work week may actually be normal for some businessmen here. The company becomes more of a family than your actual family, and you are expected to sacrifice a bit of your life for the good of everyone else.

Of course, these long hours are part of the reason may Chinese companies installed nets around the top of their skyscrapers years back and why Japan continues to have one of the highest rates of suicide… because sleep deprivation and depression often lead to an eternal eclipse over one’s life.

To those from a culture that values individualism instead of collectivism, the idea of committing so much towards work certainly sounds absurd. I am still getting the hang of It myself, and I may never truly commit 100% to the group.

Yet, there is a plus-side to this strange and endearing dynamic: your coworkers actually want to help you out. During my first couple of weeks, everyone was extremely helpful, open, and asked me all kinds of questions to get to know me better. The sense of camaraderie is amazing.

Fortunately, the company I work for is a start-up. The structure is unlike a traditional Japanese company and allows for me to have more flexibility to do as I would like.

However, I can’t say for sure whether the Japanese are more productive in their methods or not. The day typically plays out like a scene from a J-drama with people running around, answering phones, greeting guests, asking bizarre relationship-related questions, and staring at the ceiling muttering how bothersome their current project is. It is amazing.

One of the first responsibilities I learned as an employee in a Japanese company is that when shachou (the boss man) invites you to drink, you drink. In many Asian cultures, like Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, drinking with coworkers is widely accepted and almost compulsory.

For example, men in China are expected to keep up with their boss, who usually has a liver of steel. If the boss is weak with alcohol, they are expected to accept alcohol on their boss’s behalf so that he is not drunk in the morning.

Because I knew shachou from outside of work and had gone drinking with him before, he decided to celebrate my employment with a trip to the bar. The ultimate test was walking in a straight line to the train station. I passed, by the way.

Other responsibilities of the foreigner in a company include:

Teaching English to those who are curious… even if you are terrible at teaching languages, like me.
Becoming the unnamed foreign affairs manager.
Acting as a cultural ambassador (or not) for the country you emigrated from. For example, I am often asked about American customs, like what we eat on a daily basis, why our healthcare is such a mess, and why we are so ‘big.’
Learning the cultural customs that are expected of you now as a member of the company, such as what honorifics to use when speaking to superiors.
Smiling awkwardly at visitors from other companies once they realize that they found Waldo.
Being an expatriate is an adventure not for the faint of heart. The need to adapt and think lightning-fast during difficulties is more than necessary, it becomes your way of life.

There is certainly never a dull moment in working within an innovative company, especially as the sole foreigner. But should you find that place that accepts you, weird foreign idiosyncrasies and all, stay and soak up the experience like a sponge. Every moment is worth it.

7 Amazing Ideas to Spend a Girls Day Out

We all look forward to those days when we meet with our friends as we can enjoy the happiest and the most valuable moments of our life together with them. When you plan a day out with your girlfriends, first of all you should remember that it’s a great opportunity to have fun and relax. Shopping and lunch at a café are the most common things I usually do with my friends when meeting for a girls day out. But it’s quite boring to do the same things every time we see each other. That’s why sometimes I want to organize interesting and entertaining activities for me and my girlfriends. If you are looking for wonderful things to do for a girls day out, I think the following ideas are exactly for you.

1. Explore Your Mystical Side
To my mind, this idea sounds really exciting, however, it is not for everyone. Are you one of those people who are interested in mystical side of their life? Grab your friends and enjoy this unusual activity together. For instance, you can visit a medium in your town and get to know your fortunes. What can be more thrilling than this? I should say that people who never believe in such things won’t be satisfied with this kind of entertainment, but if your friends are a bit curious you should definitely try this idea.

2. Go Horseback Riding
It should be mentioned that riding a horse is a fantastic amusement for those who prefer active lifestyle and like different sports. In case you and your friends are not sporty enough, it would be better to stay away from this activity. To go horseback riding you need to have a good feeling of balance because falling off a horse will not be a big pleasure for you. Though, it doesn’t mean that only trained people should ride a horse. Take risks and unforgettable adventures are guaranteed to you. Besides, you will get a chance to have picnic and admire beautiful nature at the same time.

3. Have a Group Event
Nowadays there is a wide range of splendid group deals that are offered at most restaurants. By choosing one of them you will get only pleasant and joyful emotions from your girls day out. Plus, such special offerings are a nice way to save your money and make your lunch date more affordable. I would recommend you to join wine tasting deals at the best restaurants of your town and feel their exquisite and delightful atmosphere.

4. Discover the Nearest Coast
I should say you are a lucky person if there is a coast in your neighborhood. As a rule, people who live near a sea or ocean take it for granted and they never appreciate this great blessing. So, this is a brilliant idea to call up your girlfriends and drive along the picturesque coast admiring its marvelous views. It will be a kind of a mini trip. Make sure you have your camera with you to memorize this unique day out with your friends.

5. Take Part in a “Fun Run”
Participating in a “fun run” is an incredible way for you and your girlfriends to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company. In addition, this entertainment will enable you to do some physical exercises that are so necessary for your body. You can choose from a big variety of events like the Electric Run or the Color Run and have fun. Organize your team and prepare colorful costumes, after don’t forget to sign up for the event that is held and get ready for adventures.

6. Make It a “Dare Day”
Now it’s high time to recollect all the things that you and your girlfriends find difficult to do and dare each other to fulfill them by all means. Nevertheless, try to be prudent and don’t promise your best friend to get a silly hairstyle or a tattoo. Perhaps you will dare to say hello to a handsome man sitting at the next table in a café. Dare to do whatever brings you joy and happiness. Just keep in mind to observe the boundaries.

7. Make Your Small Dreams Come True
Without a doubt all of your friends have some desires and small dreams they would like to make real. Thus, you can spend your girls day out doing those little things. Maybe you have never eaten Chinese food and you are eager to try it, this is the best time to do it with your girlfriends. Don’t miss your chance to experience the most pleasant moments of your life.

I would advise you to take into consideration all the above ideas every time when you are going to have a day out with your best friends. If you do these fun activities while meeting with them, you will see that spending a wonderful time is so easy. Which of these ideas do you like most of all? Would you like to try any of them? What entertaining things do you usually do with your girlfriends?

What Is High-Protein Bread—and Should You Try It?

You may have seen pics of high-protein bread (or bagels, waffles, or tortillas) popping up on Instagram lately. High-protein baked goods are really taking off, as the popularity of protein-packed everything (from snack chips to coffee creamer!) reaches a fever pitch. But what is high-protein bread exactly—and should you be adding it to your shopping cart? Here are a few things to know before you try a loaf.

Different brands use different sources of protein

Some high-protein breads include the same ingredients typically found in protein powders—such as isolated whey protein, pea protein, soy protein, or egg white protein. Other brands use wheat protein, or vital wheat gluten; while others use ground nuts or pulses, such as almond flour or chickpea flour.

You should always check the ingredients

Because there’s no standard formula for high-protein bread, it’s important to scan the packaging for things you may want to avoid. For example, many of my clients with inflammatory conditions (like eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, chronic sinusitis, and IBS) avoid gluten, as well as dairy and soy. Other clients are allergic to nuts or eggs. In general, I recommend skipping packaged products made with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or “mystery” additives (any ingredients you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce).

High-protein may or may not mean low-carb

It depends on the bread’s other ingredients. One product I looked at had a whopping 14 grams of protein. But the first ingredient was whole wheat flour, and each slice packed 12 grams of carbohydrate (which is nearly the same amount in white bread!) with only 2 grams as fiber. Thanks to all the added protein (from added whey and wheat proteins), the bread was higher in calories than traditional whole grain bread, with 50 more calories per slice.

Meanwhile a high-protein bagel I reviewed, also with 14 grams of protein, packed 16 grams of carbohydrate—but 14 of those grams came from fiber (meaning a net of 2 grams of carb). That’s much different from a regular bagel, which may contain more than 50 grams of carb, just a few grams as fiber, and about 9 grams of protein.

How you eat your bread matters

If you enjoy toast with salmon or an egg on top, for example, or you eat it with Greek yogurt, do you really need your bread to pack an extra 14 grams of protein per slice? Probably not.

Remember, simply adding protein to a food doesn’t make it healthy (much like removing fat from foods didn’t make them good for us, and actually contributed to the obesity epidemic). And keep in mind that it is possible to get too much protein. Excess protein can either prevent weight loss or even lead to weight gain.

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The bottom line

The wide variation in ingredients and macronutrient content makes it tricky to say whether high-protein bread is worth buying.

If you’re trying to eat more protein and curb excess carbs, I recommend focusing on whole foods first. Most of my clients easily meet their protein needs by consuming foods like eggs, seafood, meat, Greek yogurt, and pulses.

If you’re vegan, or your protein sources are limited for some reason (maybe due to allergies or food preferences), a protein-packed bread may help you fill the gap. But again, be sure to check the for ingredients you need to avoid, and choose products that are clean and natural.

If you’re Paleo or gluten-free, some of the high-protein bread products aren’t for you. Take the high-protein, high-fiber bagel I described above: It’s low in absorbable carbs, but contains wheat (a no-no for both diets).

If you’re a clean eater, you want to avoid any type of bread that’s highly processed, whether it’s high-protein or not. Instead, stick with whole food options, like sweet potato toast, or homemade cauliflower “buns.” As long as you’re not grain-free, there are plenty of regular breads made simply with whole grain flour (including gluten-free options), yeast, honey, water, and salt.

Finally, if you’re a competitive or professional athlete with protein needs that are higher than the average person, high-protein bread might be something to consider. I work with some athletes who get tired of protein shakes and bars, and can only eat so many eggs or chicken breasts. Just remember quality is king, and strategy is important. Eating protein-rich bread without regard to how the bread was made, or the overall balance of one’s diet isn’t smart nutrition.

Protein may be trendy right now, but it isn’t the only answer for your health, fitness, or weight loss goals. So look beyond labels, marketing claims, and Insta trends before you spend your money or your macros on high-protein bread (or any other buzzy food).

7 Amazing Benefits of Spirituality

Spirituality is a core element of our inner world that has no boundaries and certain rules, but built on individual choice. It is the way of validation of the unknown through various religious circles. Spirituality gives us a sense of freedom, the power to live and be spiritually strong person. Moreover, it helps us find a deeper meaning of life, realize obvious things and break the walls of inner conflicts.

1. Provides happiness and satisfaction
If you are an optimistic person, be sure that spirituality will make you invulnerable to stresses and provide mental contentment. We’d better accept things for the way they are, because we can’t be in charge of everything and change all unsuitable things. It is a great idea to be really happy, getting contentment for good or bad things.

2. Gives reason to live
The purpose of life is a multifarious thing and it’s quite difficult to live without purpose. When you know the meaning of life, then you are automatically encouraged to live a full life and feel an incitement to fight complications. Spirituality may broaden your consciousness and expand your vision and understanding of human existence in general. Furthermore, it forms our own explanations to the meaning of life.

3. Encourages to make better choices
Spirituality usually encourages people to become better in different spheres. Being spiritually rich means to avoid illegal activities, help people and stick to a healthy lifestyle. Such people often avoid unhealthy behaviors and make respectable choices. Plus, spirituality creates sympathy for the world and people can give you a hand when you are in need.

4. It gives us hope
Almost everyone has faced a hopeless situation at least once in lifetime. The best doctor that cures your mind and fights despondency is spirituality. It can even heal hurt and terrific pain. In moments of falling down we should recognize our problems and try not to isolate, but treat our troubles as an experience that makes us psychologically inflexible.

5. Inspires peace and combats stresses
It is important to have a sense of internal well-being that makes you resistant to trials and troubles, which usually hit the thought process of emotionally weak people. We can feel emotional ascension with a help of meditation or prayer. A prayer is good at relieving pain and stress. When meditating or praying, we can lessen depression and other states dealing with health problems.

6. Helps us subdue the inevitability of death
We often fall in panic when we are mulling over the inevitability of death. We need several reassurances in the sequel of life after death. Some people believe in heaven while others see the solution in reincarnation. Everyone has different views and beliefs as for the existence of life after death. Spirituality helps us subdue thoughts of the inevitability of death.

7. It unites people
People who have common interests, views and activities usually create a fellowship to communicate and grow spiritually. We have different faiths, outlooks and philosophies but we are free to find like-minded people to get mentally rich together.

Spirituality is a unique way to make a new step into a higher level of mental development. It motivates people to go forward, unite into groups and believe in something wonderful and majestic. Moreover, spirituality can heal and relieve horrible physical and mental pain.

7 Powerful Ways to Overcome Envy

Like Harold Coffin said, “Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” It usually comes from people’s lack of belief in their own abilities and accomplishments. This feeling is peculiar to everyone. Some people struggle with it, while others suffer from envy and can do nothing about it. If you find yourself starting to feel envious over what others do or have, here are 7 ways to overcome envy.

1. Find positivity within yourself
It’s terrible to be envious of people, because you can lose control of your inner self. You should be happy for the person you are envying. It is possible to change your thoughts. If you replace them with positive ones, you will have an opportunity to rid yourself of envy. Let people enjoy their advantages, otherwise envy will destroy good and healthy relations within the circle of your friends.

2. Think of your own success
Don’t compare your achievements to other people’s goals since it makes you miserable and envious. All-sufficient people usually focus on what they have. Comparison develops critical thinking, but steals joy and buoyancy. That’s why, mind your own blessings, if you want to obtain peace of mind and become more successful.

3. Life is not fair
Life is a wonderful thing, but unfortunately it’s not fair at all. You should accept it, because it’s hard to disprove this truth. Try to do your best to reach your goals and make your dreams come true. Don’t worry about things you can’t change, accept them and you will definitely feel yourself happier.

4. People may have worked hard to be successful
We usually focus attention on what do others have, but we don’t realize how hard they may have worked for what they have. Some of them had to go through fire and water to become rich and successful. Others can be still head over ears in debt and continue taking chances to make a go of it. Don’t hanker after one’s prosperity and realize that everyone gets what they deserve. This exhausting feeling usually makes people’s mind weaker.

5. Don’t let it spoil your inner self
If you are not careful, envy can eat you up. This terrible feeling can easily destroy you. Sure, it takes practice and time to overcome envy, but it will make your life much happier. Motivate yourself to achieve all your goals and stop thinking of someone’s success.

6. Your time will come
Don’t become disillusioned with your dreams. Every person usually faces ups and downs. Good fortune is not a constant thing. Let other people celebrate a bit of good fortune. Keep in mind that your time will come and then others will be bursting with envy.

7. Think about other things
If you can do nothing about your obsessive feeling of envy, then turn attention to something else. Occupy yourself with various activities to free the mind of redundant thoughts. Why not plunge yourself into a favorite hobby? This can help you overcome envy and spend time doing things you like.

We all choose our own path to move on in this life. You need to overcome the feeling of envy, because you just waste your energy and your precious time. I hope these tips will help you to fight envy. Do you know any other ways to overcome envy?

7 Ways to Throw a Wonderful Birthday Party for Your Toddler

Birthday is the most favorite and desirable event for all people. We look forward to this great event that is usually celebrated with our family and friends. When it comes to your toddler’s birthday you become especially concerned. It is necessary to think over every detail and plan everything beforehand in order to have an unforgettable birthday party. Surely, all parents want to arrange a perfect celebration for their kids, but they often make some mistakes that can lead to stress and disappointment. I’d like to say that planning a birthday party for your toddler is not as difficult as you think. Consider the following tips that will certainly help you to throw a wonderful birthday party for your little one.

1. Keep It Simple
The main idea you should bear in mind when preparing for your kid’s birthday party is to make it simple. You don’t need to complicate things and search for sophisticated ways of celebration. Actually, it’s very easy to impress toddlers and bring them happiness. First of all, I would recommend you to plan some funny and enjoyable activities that will please your kids, but not the ones that will create a show for adults. On this special day all your attention should be focused on your children and the major goal for you is to give them only bright and positive emotions.

2. Plan Time Properly
One of the most important rules you have to stick to when organizing a party for toddlers is to remember about the time. It will be nice if you plan the total time of your party and decide how long every activity will last. Moreover, you should choose carefully the time for your celebration since your toddler may need a nap during the day. So, you’d better arrange the party at a time when your child is fresh and active. Make sure that kids have enough time for fun and entertainments but don’t tire them much.

3. Involve Them
This is your kid’s birthday and you should plan its celebration together. Try different methods to make your toddler participate in the party planning. For example, you may discuss with them a theme or color scheme that will be used for this event. If you speak with your children about their birthday party and all the amusements that are waiting for them, you will create a delightful and festive atmosphere in your home. Your toddler’s emotional state really matters on this day and you must do everything possible to provide them with a good mood and excitement.

4. Let Others Help You
The process of the party planning is rather backbreaking and it takes you much time so that you can’t do it without the help of other people. If there is someone who will eagerly help you with cooking or serving, you should definitely accept this offer. Otherwise, when the party finishes you will feel completely exhausted and unable to smile and enjoy with your kid. You will benefit from any help that can be suggested to you, even if it seems very simple like pouring juice into glasses. Accepting help is not shame. Besides, you’ll have the same opportunity to assist other parents when they organize a birthday party for their toddlers.

5. Get Ready for Everything
A birthday party for your little ones may bring you a lot of surprises and you can’t be relaxed till this celebration ends. That’s why I advise you to get ready for everything. One way or another you will not avoid mess and spills in your flat. It would be better if you prepared all the tools that may help you cope with some unexpected things. Emergency supplies in your home will enable you to protect your kids in any hazardous situation.

6. Entertain Them
All parents should clearly understand that this is a party for their children and it is aimed to make them cheerful and happy. A great number of adults forget about their mission at this event, communicating with each other and eating cakes. When you behave this way your toddlers will be bored and even naughty. Interesting and entertaining activities prepared in advance are an excellent way to keep them busy. Those parents who lack imagination can simply play some merry tunes for their kids to dance. You’ll be amazed how quickly time passes.

7. Make It Short
As it has been mentioned above, time is the most crucial thing that must be taken into account when planning a party for toddlers. I think it should last maximum two hours if you don’t want to lose their interest and attention. During this time little guests will be able to have fun, eat desserts and watch your child opening birthday presents. Two hours is the best time for toddlers to feel comfortable and satisfied.

Planning a birthday party for your toddler requires time, responsibility and enthusiasm. For some parents it may turn out to be a real problem. By following these key steps you’ll throw the best party for your kid without stress and worries. What are the most effective ways you use to organize a memorable party for little ones?