How Education Changes Lives and Why You Should Seize Opportunities

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

education

Educating yourself is incredibly important no matter your profession, where you live, or where you came from. Education is the great equalizer, and with proper access to education, anyone has the potential to change the world for the better. Even if you’re simply educating yourself by researching a hobby, or just reading a book for pleasure, education has a transformative power that can’t be matched.

Increased Earning Potential

One of the more concrete, tangible benefits of education is that it helps increase your overall earning potential throughout your life. People who have earned a degree consistently make more money over the course of their lives than those who only obtained their high school diploma. While, of course, going to college or university generally means that you’ll have to take out a significant amount of loans, over time college degrees have still proven to pay for themselves.

While education increases your ability to generate income in the future, it’s also the reality that having more income going into college allows people to obtain a better education. However, with the right amount of drive and perseverance, anyone can get into the top universities — educators recognize when someone has the potential to become someone great. Even if you don’t have the head start of coming from a wealthy background, you can still make the necessary moves to get into any college that you choose.

In addition to the potential monetary gains you’ll experience from pursuing higher education, college and university also provide an opportunity to grow and learn about who you are and what you’re interested in. With access to many different courses, higher education allows you to dip your toes into many different fields to see what sparks joy in you. You may go into college sure that you want to be a chemical engineer, and end up becoming a psychologist because you fell in love with it the first time you took a course in it.

Education Doesn’t Have To Mean Going To College

While higher education is certainly a boon to your personal development and career goals, it isn’t always necessary to achieve your goals. In fact, many people have been making the decision to forgo traditional colleges and universities to attend trade schools or community colleges. In the past, these forms of education have been portrayed as somehow lesser than going to college or university, but in the modern era that simply isn’t the case.

Trade schools offer focused education primarily geared towards career training for skilled or mechanical trades. This option is appealing to a lot of people because trade schools cost significantly less and take less time than traditional higher education and give you a skill set that you can use immediately after graduation. This allows you to start making money sooner, and since the debt associated with further pursuing your education will be less significant, you’ll be able to pay it off in less time.

Going to community college is also a more affordable option for those who don’t want to saddle themselves with extreme debt but still want a more rounded education than trade schools provide. Community colleges teach the soft skills that you’ll need for career advancement and personal growth without the price tag associated with traditional colleges and universities. Most of the soft skills that you can learn in community college can even be learned through free online courses, reducing the cost of learning to just your monthly internet bill.

All Ages Benefit From Education

Children and adults of all ages can benefit from even basic education. Literacy, basic mathematical understanding, and general life skills should not be taken for granted, as there are still many populations in the world that don’t have access to the education that can teach these skills. What we might consider a given, like the ability to pick up any book and give it a read, could mean all the difference to someone on the other side of the world.

While education should, by all means, be a right to every living person, it is still very much a privilege that we should be thankful to have access to. Developing countries need education to combat poverty, and while gains are being made, in 2015 there were still nearly 750 million illiterate adults around the world. This lack of education is extremely harmful and is one of the many reasons that poverty persists worldwide.

Technology is changing this situation every day. More people around the world have access to reliable internet connections than ever before, and with that comes the ability to educate themselves in a way that was previously unheard of. As we all become more connected, we provide each other with the collective knowledge of mankind and help each other, young or old, become the best that we can be.

Education should not be something set aside for later. Pursuing an education is one of the most beneficial things that you can ever do for yourself, and it has the potential to drastically change your life for the better. Whether you attend college, go to a trade school, or simply read up on things that interest you, education is truly the key to success.

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5 Personal Hygiene Tips Which Will Improve Your Appearance

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

personal hygiene

We all want to look good and feel good about ourselves. This look can be achieved by dressing properly, applying makeup, and getting the trendy cuts and styles on our hair. However, when the body getting all these is not well cared for, these efforts might be fruitless. You need to care for the body first to improve your appearance. Bad odor and dirt can repel even friends, and they might desert you. To ensure you improve your appearance, here are five personal hygiene tips.

1)    Dental Hygiene

Your breath is determined by how you take care of your mouth. Brush your teeth twice a day to ensure you have removed all particles and food bits. Floss your teeth to remove any remaining bit of food as they cause teeth decay and plaque. This allows you to smile and easily communicate with others. In case you have no idea how to go about it, or your previous practices have failed to achieve the desired results, you can consult a dentist. They will advise on better ways to brush and floss to ensure that you enjoy these benefits.

2)    Bathe Regularly

Washing your body with soap and water helps reduce sweat and dirt attached to your skin. The soap helps kill the germs, and the water rinses it all off. In case you have too much dirt, use a cloth to get it off. Bathing also helps remove dead skin, which can leave your skin looking dry and cracked. It also leaves you feeling fresh and rested, giving you the confidence to face a new day. Bathing opens up the pores and helps in removing the excess water and oil. This reduces the formation of blackheads and whiteheads on your skin.

3)    Wash Your Hands

Our hands touch everything and everywhere. They are also uncovered and attract dirt from all sorts of places. Due to this, your hands need to be cleaned to reduce germs transfer. Wash your hands after visiting the washrooms and before eating. This golden rule is introduced even in school for kids to implement it early enough. Wash your hands once you get back from running errands outside the house and after touching surfaces. It would help if you also washed your hands before handling babies since they are prone to infections more than adults are. Additionally, avoid touching evitable dirt with your bare hands. Use gloves, sticks, or spades to turn or move the dirt.

4)    Wash Your Clothes

Clean clothes smell great. They also give you an amazing appearance. Dirty clothes in most cases are assumed and associated with the homeless. Dirty clothes also harbor lice, which can be spread from one person to the other through contact. This forces others to avoid you. It also impacts negatively on your esteem. To improve how people perceive you through your appearance, wear clean clothes and wash them as soon as they get dirty.

5)    Handle Food With Care

Food is sensitive to dirt and germs. Intake of food infested with germs will lead to stomach viruses and diarrhea. It can also lead to other infections that cause death in severe and extreme cases. Handle your food with clean hands. Wash your fruits before eating and cover food when you are not consuming it.

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How to Break up With Bad Habits for a Happier, Healthier Life

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

bad habits

It’s a mantra as old as the hills: life is about the journey, not the destination. If you’re always focused on the next step, the end goal, or what you currently define as “successful,” you’re likely to find yourself fighting, dragging, and pushing your way through today in order to get there. And, naturally, if today is an obstacle in the way of getting to tomorrow, you’re likely to find unhealthy ways to cope with your current struggles. In other words, you’re likely to form bad habits.

But the truth is, it really is possible to break free from the self-inflicted pressure of worrying about the future along with all of the bad habits that it brings along with it. From mental stress to biting your nails and everything in between, let’s break down a few common bad habits and go over some steps to address each one.

Breaking the Habits

Before diving into individual bad habits themselves, it’s important to take a moment to step back and consider what you’re about to do. Before you scan down the list looking for some quick fixes, take a moment to address your attitude. If you’re going to truly find success with your endeavor and a healthier, happier lifestyle as a result, you need to make sure that you actually want the change in the first place. That doesn’t just mean you want the habit gone. You need to work up the motivation to truly pursue a real change.

You’ll find that many of the habits in this article focus on mental thoughts and processes, as they are often at the root of the habits that we form. If we can address the way we think, it often makes the side effects of those thoughts — the habits themselves — much easier to deal with.

It’s also important to keep in mind that you’re going to want to pace yourself. A smoker doesn’t typically quit in a day, and the same holds true for most habits we struggle with. Finally, consider creating a system of accountability to help keep you honest as you go about making changes.

Some Bad Habits Worth Addressing

Here are a few major bad habits as well as ways to go about addressing them.

The Invincibility Mindset

In a world where everyone is hyper-aware due to sensational reports of worst-case scenarios thanks to things like the internet and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to fall into a habit of thinking that “it could never happen to me.” But while the odds of your catching Ebola may, indeed, be slim to none, that doesn’t mean you’re invincible.

Consider STDs, for example. According to the CDC, millions of new infections occur every year in the U.S. alone. And yet, unprotected sex still continually takes place in casual situations all of the time. Unlike a cold or the flu, STDs won’t just go away with a little rest and time — you have to get treated for them, and some are permanent. Taking the time to protect yourself isn’t complicated, but the commitment to do so requires a deeper understanding that you’re not invincible.

Of course, the examples go far beyond STDs. The important thing here is to remember that it’s important to take the time to make wise, thoughtful decisions throughout life. Allowing habits of reckless and emotional decision making to influence our lives may provide temporary thrills, but the repercussions can be detrimental in the long-term.

Worry, Worry, Worry

A good follow up to the last point would be the added encouragement not to have a worried mindset. With so many risks and dangers in the world, it’s important that we take the time to address our own inner cares and concerns on a regular basis in order to make sure that they’re not turning into unhealthy mental distortions.

Cares and concerns are a normal part of life, but if we allow ourselves to catastrophize, jump to conclusions, or reason emotionally, it can make it very difficult to feel happy and healthy. Here is a list of cognitive distortions that are worth looking out for.

It’s also easy to fall into a victim mentality. When we live to please others, spend time worrying and fretting over past mistakes, agonize over negative experiences, or daydream continually about how things could be better it can suck all of the beauty out of the present. Once again, it’s important that we take the time to mentally focus on the here and now. Only then can we begin to appreciate our lives.

Of course, for the 18.1 percent of Americans who live with mental illness, a change of mindset isn’t always doable. Especially for those with generalized anxiety disorder, worrying and being overwhelmed by stressors is something they can’t control. In these cases, seeing a mental health professional can help to manage these anxieties though therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Getting That All-Important Rest

It’s easy to excuse late nights and early mornings with the thought that you only live once.

But it’s also critical to remember the importance of giving your body the sleep it requires to properly function. If you allow yourself to become sleep deprived, it can lead to things like irritability, depression, feeling sick, disorientation, and even hallucinations. Make sure to structure your schedule to get as much sleep as your body needs to function. The results will speak for themselves.

Taking Care of the Small Stuff

Finally, while we’ve focused on many deeper bad habits on this list, often there are many smaller habits (some of which are direct consequences of larger bad habits, like sleep deprivation or distorted thinking) that can easily be addressed and can add up to a significant difference in our health and happiness.

For example, sleeping with your contacts in can increase your chance of eye infections by as much as 15 percent. Eating large portions at every meal can affect your weight. Constantly checking in on social media can quickly become an addiction and be detrimental to you mental well-being. Here’s an ultimate list of habits that are worth looking over to see what else you can weed out in order to free up your mind.

Whatever the habit, remember that it’s worth taking the time to focus on the bigger picture as you prepare to take steps to break it. If you seriously commit to both looking for and then addressing your bad habits, chances are you’ll find yourself living a healthier, happier lifestyle before you know it.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Professional Life

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

professional life

Making a living is stressful. We get up early to prepare for the day. We worry about what needs to get done. We wonder if we’re up to the tasks we are set. We wonder if we have enough time in the day to get everything done. We push through the day completing tasks, checking off to-do lists, reporting to teammates on our work. When the day is done, we drag ourselves home to rest and prepare to do it all again tomorrow. This cycle of professional work life can be draining to the point of exhaustion. But there are ways to improve things and increase your ability to sustain the stress of professional life.

Get Educated

Should you find your work stress comes from being assigned tasks that seem beyond your scope of knowledge, the answer is to get education and training to meet the challenge. This education can take many forms. Look for workshops or classes that teach what you find yourself missing. You can even pursue online degrees which can transform your career and provide you better skills and opportunities for advancement.

Get Moving

When was the last time you stood up from your desk to just move around and let your mind clear? Giving your mind a break by engaging your body for a short burst of exercise, say a 20-minute walk out in the open air, has been shown to improve mental capacity for focus and creativity. When you feel your brain slowing down, get your heart beating. Regular exercise outside of work hours helps build a healthy body capable of handling the stresses of professional life.

Get Talking

Open up communication about your worries with people you trust. Keeping your stress to yourself while putting up the facade of a happy face will do more harm than good. Your supervisor is incentivized to help you be successful. Take the time to talk with them about your stress and develop a plan to manage your stressors and maintain your work performance. Be open about your stress with your loved ones. Just talking about what stresses you can lead to meaningful discussions about how to improve your situation. Learn to talk about your stressors not as simple complaints, but in constructive tones, looking for improvement and solutions.

Get Passionate

Forcing yourself to do things you aren’t interested in or passionate for is a guaranteed track to stress and dissatisfaction. You can improve your professional life by following your passions and applying your skills to things that make you happy. Ask yourself what parts of your job do you engage with the most? What can you do to augment that aspect of your work? Then analyze the aspects of your work you struggle to engage with. How can you reimagine those parts of your work to more deeply engage with them? How can you connect those tasks to a sense of higher purpose and passion? Becoming more passionate in your professional life isn’t necessarily about making a career out of your hobbies, but finding meaning in the job you have and the tasks you complete.

Get Balanced

Keep track of how much time you spend on work. When you find yourself spending more time in the office getting work done than developing your personal life, you will find that your personal relationships suffer and cause even more work stress. Give yourself the time to nurture and enjoy your relationships with your friends and family. Those relationships will become a source of comfort and help reduce your stress instead of increasing it. You will find your work productivity improved when your life outside of work doesn’t add more stress to your mind.

Improving your professional life requires honest introspection. Your career will become more fulfilling as you learn to manage the stress it causes in your life, to develop the knowledge and skills to complete your tasks, to talk openly about what isn’t working, to pursue solutions, to choose to be passionate, and to balance your work with the other facets of your life.

About the Author

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Henry Ward Beecher | Wisdom, Quotes & Inspiration

Listen to episode 363 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Henry Ward Beecher | Wisdom & Quotes. Edited from the works of Henry Ward Beecher.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest patron Sharmaine Jennings. Coming up this Sunday, I’ll be starting again the series Our Sunday Talks, exclusively for patrons like Sharmaine. The first 13 episodes will be a complete reading of my book The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life, a thought-provoking and non-dogmatic meditation of this beloved prayer. Learn how you can become our patron at: LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the writings of Henry Ward Beecher.

 “‎Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard taskmaster to yourself — and be lenient to everybody else.”

“No person can tell whether they are rich or poor by turning to their bank book. It is in the heart that riches lie. You are rich according to what you are, not according to what he have.”

“If you harbor any sort of fear, it percolates through all your thinking, damages your personality, makes you landlord to a ghost.”

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”

“Never forget what someone says to you when they are angry — for that reveals their hidden feelings.”

“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house…A little library, growing larger every year, is an honorable part of a person’s history. It is our duty to have books. A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life…..Books are the windows through which the soul looks out. A home without books is like a room without windows.”

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The Pursuit of Happiness: Living A Sober Life

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

living a sober life

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Written in the Declaration of Independence, that phrase can also be an analogy for those of us who have struggled with addiction. Living a sober life changes us for the better. We feel free and liberated. We begin to go on the endless pursuit of happiness that we could never find throughout our addiction.

Life in Sobriety

The thought of living without substances is frightening, especially in early sobriety. Discovering who we are as a sober human being is a challenge. We feel lost and confused. We have no clue who we are without substances. Drugs and alcohol were our medicine and our escape from reality. Sobriety is not about the destination, it is about the journey. Self-discovery is the best part of this journey. We do take on a whole new identity as a human once the substances are gone. A better, stronger, resilient, selfless, sympathetic and caring human.

We become a person we never imagined we were capable of being. We are given another chance at life that is not to be taken for granted. A chance to live a better, honest, more meaningful life. Sobriety allows us to reinvent ourselves. Over time our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health improves. Getting sober allows us to rebuild bridges with family, friends and loved ones. We get to learn and grow from our mistakes. As a result, our mistakes and experiences are used to help others. We can give back what has been freely given to us. Life in sobriety is a life worth living

Liberty in Sobriety

Sobriety is one of the most liberating experiences one could ever have in life. No longer enslaved as a chemical prisoner, sobriety gives us a  new found freedom. So many solid, rewarding doors open once we close the revolving doors of our past. We are capable of functioning as a normal human being. We become much more responsible and accountable. And we can accomplish things that we have never thought possible in sobriety. Many people achieve success after getting sober. Goals such as going to school and obtaining college degrees, opening a business, buying a house, getting married and starting a family becomes a reality. The possibilities are endless in the pursuit of happiness in sobriety.

The Pursuit of Happiness in Sobriety

Everyone wants and deserves to find happiness. Those who have struggled with addiction are able to appreciate and be grateful for the simple, little things compared to a normal person. I believe that is why former addicts and alcoholics are able to find happiness that few will ever know. We know what rock bottom feels like one or more times. We have been to dark places that seemed impossible to crawl out of. I call these black hole experiences. The black hole experiences are necessary in order for the white light experiences that are common among the recovery community to occur. The endless pursuit of happiness begins on the last day we pick up a drink or drug.

About the Author

Kevin is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He writes for websites in hopes of encouraging and inspiring others who struggle with addiction. He has found purpose in guiding other addicts and alcoholics on the path of sobriety.

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Reasons To Have Dental Implants

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

denture implants

Despite constant care and dental attention, tooth loss is still a rampant issue for so many people around the world, through no fault of their own. This can be a very debilitating loss. Teeth can sometimes be one of the most important features of our faces and people can become very self-conscious about their appearance if their teeth are not what they perceive to be perfect. This can be a very troubling time and people can become sheltered and embarrassed and not know what their options are. However, all is not lost. Dental implants can help people claim back their confidence and fill in the missing gaps in their gum lines and restore their smiles. There are slight disadvantages and rumors because of scares, however, this article will disparage any concerns that seem too farfetched. This article will attempt to get rid of any misconceptions that you may have about dental implants and surgery.

The first thing that people may ask themselves about dental implants is what they are exactly. There are a few stories and rumors that can seem scary and daunting for someone who has never been through the procedure or who has heard bad things about the surgery. These common fears can be allayed with some simple research and time to speak to those who have already gone through the surgery. So, to speak briefly, dental implants are simply just replacement roots for your missing teeth. This means that the implants are there to create a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are catered specifically to look like your natural teeth that are still in place. This makes things look more natural and will blend into your smile. Iit will create the most natural appearance and the best smile possible.

There are many advantages to having dentures implanted as an option when you lose your teeth Iit comes as a highly recommended and common procedure. One such advantage of having dentures implanted is obviously the caliber of your new appearance. Things within your mouth and with your smile will look one hundred percent natural and aesthetically pleasing. There is absolutely no need to feel self-conscious or upset whenever you smile when you have your dental implants done as everything will look as it should. Another benefit of dental implants that is actually not well known is that when dentures are implanted they actually help to improve your speech. When a person is missing their teeth, their speech is affected as there are obvious gaps in their teeth and their tongue is not moving in the ways that it should. This naturally will affect speech. With dentures, the gap is filled and speech can be restored to the way it was before, thus stopping any potential embarrassing or troubling situations where you have trouble with your speech and communication.

Another huge benefit to dentures is that eating becomes a lot easier and less messy. Again, this is because any missing gaps have been replaced with teeth, which in turn make chewing much easier. When chewing is easier then so too is eating. The implants make things so much easier and much more convenient; it also gives people back the luxury of eating whatever they like as well as saving them from any potentially embarrassing situations. Without dentures, the mouth can feel a little sore and uncomfortable but dentures can make your mouth feel much more comfortable. This can make life a lot less distracting and even a lot less painful in the long run.

But what has to be one of the biggest advantages to denture implants is the improved oral hygiene. Denture implants do not require the existing teeth to be removed or fiddled with as well as also allowing more space between teeth. This all allows for healthier oral hygiene and the general health of teeth. Finally, another great advantage of having denture implants is the overall convenience.

Dentures are removable and can be put in and taken out whenever you wish, thus giving you more control over your implants.

There are several other concerns that people have before they sit in the dentist’s chair ready for their denture implantation. The main thing being the safety of the procedure or any possible difficulties or dangers of the procedure they are about to undergo. However, this is a common procedure that dentists and orthodontists do perform on a regular basis. There are of course things that could go wrong but, generally speaking, it is not a particularly intrusive procedure and there is very little to worry about. These things will always vary so it is best to make sure that you trust the clinic you are going to and that most importantly you have one hundred percent faith in the dentist.

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