3 Lessons Every Adult Can Learn From The Movie “Finding Dory”

Written by Salina Jivani

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I’m honestly not big into children’s animations. To be completely frank, I’m not a movie person at all—I just can’t sit still long enough to enjoy a movie. But I do on occasion give into the whims and pleads of my two girls who are enamored by anything that plays on a flat screen. Which explains why I got sucked into watching Finding Dory while agonizingly tapping my toes, stifling my yawns and smiling brightly each time one of them looked at me to make sure I was still there. Although I can’t say I was completely successful in my efforts to pay attention, I will admit that I’m happy that the television time was well worth the great life lessons that this movie taught—lessons that even we adults can use a healthy reminder of.  

Never give up

For those of you who are planning on watching the movie but haven’t seen it yet, I’ll try not to include any spoilers, so, in the vaguest way possible, one of the main things that this movie teaches us is that we should never give up. No matter what challenges lay ahead, no matter how seemingly difficult or impossible a task appears, no matter what your personal limitations, follow your dreams and charge on ahead. If you’re persistent enough, you’ll get exactly what you want. 

Respect everyone

Dory has memory challenges, but this doesn’t stop some of his dearest friends from sticking by him no matter how frustrating it gets to keep refreshing his memory. Those friends are with him till the end and they don’t belittle him, treat him differently or make him feel stupid for his challenges. And the good news is, people like that truly exist. They respect everyone, try to be helpful and stick by you no matter how difficult the war or great the feat. We each fight our own battles, and the more we kick people down or disregard others’ feelings, the more disrespect we receive in return. You never know what struggles someone is facing, so if you can’t find it in you to offer respect, the next best thing to do is to simply walk away.

Family is everything

This is perhaps the most important lesson of all, and as a mother who strives to create that magical bond between her kids, I was warmed to see that the importance of family was the core lesson of this movie. Most of us have a lot to be thankful for, but this movie teaches us that nothing is as valuable or integral as your family. Dory fights for his till the end, traversing all boundaries and conquering all risks. And for this, he’s a hero.  

After watching glimpses of this movie (yes, I cheated and let my mind wander every now and then), I’ve got to say I’m pleased that the creatives behind these films give thought to the morals they can teach the younger generation. Hopefully the lessons these kids learn from these movies will be imprinted in their small minds and remembered well into the later parts of their lives. 

3 Easy Ways to Transform Yourself Into a Better Listener

Written by Salina Jivani

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I’ve met some extremely intelligent people in my life. Some have driven businesses into success and others have amassed millions in the span of a few decades. Still others have built empires from the ground up, throwing thousands of dollars around like chump change. Yet what shocks me is when I speak with these people and realize that they arehorrible listeners.

To me, successful people are good communicators and good communicators have to be good listeners. But it’s amazing how many people lack this key ability.

In 2014, I attended a local APMP conference where a communication specialist delivered an impactful workshop on the barriers to effective listening. And of all the workshops I attended during the conference, this is one that resonated with me the most, because I realized that I was guilty of displaying traits of a bad listener. Here’s what the specialist recommended as steps to take to enhance your listening skills, and I try to use these often in my own day-to-day efforts.

Remove the filter

One of the first pieces of advice the instructor shared was to “lower the barriers in your mind.” I kid you not when I say I literally heard mine collapse. Yes, I know. Shame on me. We all at times have certain blocks and filters in our brains which make us perceive what we want, often at the expense of discrediting or dismissing other people’s thoughts or true intentions. Often in these cases, the walls in our mind hinder people’s words from actually being processed beyond our own thoughts, and right away we hear our brain screaming at them, “Hey, no! What you’re saying is just not possible.” In fact, this reminds me of a relative of my husband’s who follows everything anything anyone says with the phrase “Nah, that can’t be possible.” It’s frustrating and often infuriating to speak to someone like that. And it’s because that filter is up like the Great Wall of China in their minds that they often don’t understand—or refuse to try to understand—what other people are saying.

So the first step here is a difficult one to accomplish for those of us who are preprogrammed to erect that barrier and question or doubt everything we are told. But if this barrier remains up and active, you can toss your chances of being a good listener out the window (or over the Wall!).

Stop talking in your head

I’ll admit, I’m completely guilty of this one, too. Often times—and more often after I had kids —I find my mind going a million miles an hour in a thousand different directions. Clothes need to be hung, dishes need to be cleaned, the house needs to be vacuumed, plants need to be watered, kids need to be fed…. And with so many things to do, it’s easy to nod along or murmur a quick hmm of acknowledgement while someone talks, but let’s face it. This one’s a no brainer and giving half-hearted acknowledgements is definitely not an attribute of a good listener. When someone is talking to you, shut down your thoughts, look at the person, absorb what they are saying and eliminate all distractions (or as many as you can). A good practice is to engage in the conversation by responding, asking questions and showing empathy, as appropriate.

Stop forming opinions

Your friend just told you he locked his keys in the car and burned his favorite shirt with an iron. And all you can think about is what a moron he is and you’re glad that ugly shirt has finally kicked the grave.

It’s so easy to get distracted in our own minds and forms opinions of people and their actions. But being opinionated isn’t only about secretly mocking and shaming those who confide in you. Forming opinions about a topic or situation to be discussed can equally hinder your understanding as well as your intellectual growth, because you’re too far grounded in opinion to listen or entertain another perspective.

People are often also guilty of harboring preconceived notions or making judgements about others based on conversations or appearances. Stop looking with your eyes and activate your ears. Keep judgements at bay and allow people to completely finish their thoughts before forming an opinion. You’ll find that you’ll learn so much more if you simply listen. Maybe your friend was looking for an empathetic ear about his horrible day or maybe he was having a horrible day because something bigger was bothering him. It’s hard to get to the root of those issues or offer an appropriate response if you’re too busy forming opinions.

If you’re not a good listener and you’re really trying to improve, following these steps can prove frustrating and even challenging. But remember that baby steps or even unsuccessful attempts are better than not trying at all. Start with one step at a time and work your way up until you feel the difference in your ability to retain information and lower the barriers that prevent you from being the best listener you can be.

5 Ways To Be More Confident

Written by Gustavo Camilo

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I believe confidence is the key to be a successful person. That person who everyone looks at and think: wow, this guy is really awesome.

For everyone, there is always a “bridge” to be crossed between the person he is and who he wants to be. A lot of things are needed for cross that bridge, and to be who he really wants to be. One of these things, if isn’t the biggest one, is often a lack of confidence, because it stifles your real potential. The person who doesn’t trust themselves, usually   doesn’t  go very far. You can feel when someone isn’t confident, you can feel it by their voice, you can see it by their gestures.

I’m just a guy who want to learn and be better everyday, so I wrote 5 tips that I believe, can make everyone a little bit more confident, they are:

1 – Do not be afraid to express yourself.

Never be afraid to express your ideas. At first it is a little uncomfortable, but if it’s a good idea, everyone will think “Wow!” If it isn’t, no one will kill you, so don’t worry. Express yourself, let the world know who you are.

2 – Focus on your strengths.

The weaknesses should also be worked out, but they are the background. You need to focus on your strengths. That’s what will make people look to you and think “This guy is really good!”. How do you know what are your strengths? Ask yourself: “What do people tell me I’m good at?” and then, work on it.

3 – Get feedback.

Don’t be shy! You can ask  for  feedback from your managers, superiors, customers, partners and even providers. Use this as leverage to grow on your strengths and improve what is necessary. Talk to people, be interested and it’ll also help you to do a good networking. You win twice.

 

4 – Take a step beyond the comfort zone.

The title is already self-explanatory. Comfort zone is one of your biggest challenges. Is very easy to stay on that zone, and don’t even notice it. But come on, stay hungry, look for the new (never give up to new challenges). How does it help you to be a more confident person? Just by exposing yourself to the new and unknown.

5 – Do the homework, always.

Building confidence is a process that should be continued. Work it every day and you’ll get there. Do whatever you have to do, and one day, success will come.

3 Surprising Ways Reading Helps You Become More Intelligent

Written by Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” blog

065d8cf84455aba96b64b7254937b3dbWho doesn’t want to boost their IQ a few notches? It’s a competitive world out there and with that healthy dose of competition comes a quest for self-improvement and advancement. After all, it’s the intelligent people who can more easily snag the higher-paying jobs and expect to land themselves on the career-path of their dreams. This search for building intelligence has given spark to apps like Luminosity and Quiz Up. Because with intelligence comes more money, luxury and prestige. But you don’t have to indulge in exhausting, mind-numbing activities to sharpen your mind and gain the knowledge you seek. There’s a simpler way to do that: read. Don’t believe it? Read for yourself (see how we did that?). Here are three ways squeezing in that book time will help you become a cleverer more intelligent you.

Promotes analytical skills

Reading every day increases analytical abilities and helps develops logic. Routine readers are able to better pick apart stories, piece together components, deduce and induce logic and make stronger educated guesses than those who don’t read regularly. The more you read, the more you’re able to develop logic, connect the dots, increase comprehension and establish reasoning. And because you’re able to comprehend and piece together facts better than those who don’t read, you’re also able to understand more than them.

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Improves focus

In our technology-driven world, cell phones, laptops and iPads are all the rave—and constantly vying for our attention. As a result, attention spans are shorter than ever before. But focus is integral and one way to develop that focus is by reading. Unlike our technology-driven gadgets, reading requires keen attention, without which you wouldn’t be able to comprehend whatever it is you’re perusing. And, as is the case with any other exercise, the more often you read, the better you’ll become at maintaining that focus.

Keeps your mind stimulated

Just like your body needs exercise to remain in shape and healthy, the same is true of your brain. Reading stretches your thinking and comprehension muscles as your mind works at deciphering words, both familiar and unfamiliar, based on context. In short, reading puts your mind to work, which done frequently enough can help sharpen it, allowing it to work like a well-oiled machine.

The list above is in no way a complete overview of the benefits a regular reading routine can offer. But just in case you’re curious, among its many others are: vocabulary expansion, better communication skills, improved writing and greater empathy for others. Think of it as an all-in-one vitamin for your brain and take advantage of any spare moment you have to skim through a news article or flip open a book. Your mind will reward you later.

 

3 Key Life-Long Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten

Written By Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” Blog

5480b27d0a7fddd318ce35b5a6c3fffcWhen I was a fifth grader in elementary school, I remember reading a poster that said, “Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten.” I’d giggled at the time, thinking how ridiculous it was to think such a thing, let alone slap it on a poster. After all, the only skills I remembered learning as a five-year old were to color in the lines and stretch rubber bands into shapes on geoboards.

Reflecting back on that tickled fifth grader, I realize now how much more truth there was in that saying than my naïve 10-year-old self could ever have realized.

Graduating high school, mastering college and stepping into the real world certainly opens our eyes to life, but one thing I can vouch to is that if we follow some of the basic rules we all were taught when we were wee tiny, there’s a lot of power in them to carry us through the most trying of situations.

As five-year-olds, we were taught quite a bit about the basics of mannerisms and etiquette, so it would be impossible to capture them all here, but if I had to pick the three most valuable that are golden to me even today, it would be these:

Treat others the way you want to be treated

There’s nothing more elementary than this rule, but it truly is a fundamental one if you seek to be both a successful person and valued human. As an adult, you’ll encounter difficult people at work and in life. But if you continuously treat people with respect and genuine kindness, they’ll eventually feel humbled enough to reciprocate. And even if they don’t have an opportunity to return the kindness, they’ll respect you even more for your actions.

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I remember partaking in endless listening and comprehension tests from kindergarten through second grade. Yet today I sit through infinite meetings and conferences trying not to go cross-eyed while my mind drifts off to oblivion. And I have to constantly remind myself that golden rule: LISTEN! It’s difficult to not doze off and let your mind wander to a faraway planet sometimes as friends drone on and on about their complicated lives or colleagues rehash the potential risk of an already-resolved issue, but I’ve found that those who take the time to listen come across as more trustworthy, compassionate and intelligent (because they cared to listen when no one else bothered!).

Never leave anyone out

ab6289a18863ed4437028611fe4cad8eRemember that poor kid who always got left out at recess? Or the nerdy boy everyone always made fun of? No one wants to be the oddball out, but we’ve all been there at some point or another. I’ve learned that making everyone around me feeling included and involved has made me a ton of friends over the years, benefiting me both personally and professionally. And the number of times those connections have turned into something advantageous for me or the other person is astonishing. In fact, when I joined corporate America at the age of twenty-four, I was pulled in by a former manager who I had welcomed and befriended when no one else would. In fact, now that I think back, that’s how I got nearly every single position I ever landed—being inclusive and maintaining connections. Being welcoming not only makes you feel good, but it also can come back to reward you in pleasant and unexpected ways. So respect those around you and make them feel welcome. You’ll get the warm and fuzzies and you also might receive a helping hand when you most need it and least expect it.

There’s a lot of life’s great lessons to be gleaned from those early years of our childhood. And if we each started by implementing just these three simple ones, imagine the beautiful, pleasant, tolerant world we would build for ourselves and for future generations.

 

Signs of a Pathological Liar

Written By Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” Blog

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From the time we’re wee young, we’re taught to never, ever, ever tell a lie. But let’s just be truthful (yes, pun intended), shall we? We all lie. It’s human nature. We’re preprogrammed that way. You lie when you swear to your sixty-year old aunt that no, she’s doesn’t look a day older than forty-three and yes, her meatloaf’s the absolute best, even better than your mom’s. We lie to our moms saying that no, Aunt Bertha didn’t ask a single question about her looks and never claimed her meatloaf stood a flying chance against hers. We lie to our kids when we tell them Santa exists and that the tooth fairy waits hand and foot for their cavity-laden teeth to fall out. And we even lie to ourselves, saying that the little fib we told our best friend was really in innocence. Catching yourself or someone else in a fib every once in a while is expected and, to a certain degree, okay. But when those once-in-a-blue-moon lies turn into something more habitual, there’s something to be concerned about. Weighty lies can tear relationships apart and do a lot more damage than good. And when lying becomes a part of someone’s character, it doesn’t take long for loved ones or friends to begin questioning them. More importantly, it may indicate that that person may be exhibiting signs of a pathological liar.

What is a pathological liar?

A pathological liar, also known as a compulsive liar, is someone who constantly lies out of habit. They focus on even the smallest, most insignificant incidents and turn them into lies. In fact, they’re so used to lying on a regular basis that telling the truth becomes a discomfort, while lying feels natural. (Pathological liars are not to be mistaken with sociopaths, who are calculated liars who hope to benefit something from their lies.)

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Personality traits of a pathological liar

When confronted about a lie, pathological liars may lash out. Usually they lie so skillfully that you may even begin to question the truth, but don’t be fooled. As stated earlier, sometimes these individuals don’t even realize they’re lying and often they start to believe their own lies to be the truth. The lashing out can also be a defense mechanism. Here are some other common attributes of pathological liars:

  • Selfishness
  • Obsessive, compulsive behaviors
  • Uncomfortable, isolated or awkward in social settings
  • Low self esteem
  • Disregard for how their lies affect other people’s feelings

Why should this be taken seriously?

Though it’s not classified as a mental disorder, pathological lying may often clue in to a much larger, more serious underlying mental issue, including obsessive compulsive disorder, narcissism, and antisocial personality disorder. Some pathological liars are aware they have an issue, and others don’t believe it until someone points it out to them, often on more than a solitary instance. It’s common for those who realize they have a problem to feel ashamed of themselves, but even then compulsive or pathological liars don’t know how to put an end to this habit. To them, lying is as natural as it for other people to speak the truth.

How to deal with a pathological liar

Unfortunately many pathological liars aren’t able to maintain strong or fruitful relationships. Eventually, their lies are detected, they are confronted and many times they lose out on great partners.

If you’re in a new relationship with someone who you think might be a pathological liar, consider ending the relationship before you’re too heavily involved.

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If you’re already in a serious relationship, the first step is to decide whether you’re willing to endure the frustrations and sacrifice the time and effort that’s required in maintaining relationships with a pathological liar. If the answer is no, be strong and break it off. You’ll thank yourself later.

If you’re in too deep, have been in the relationship too long or have kids together and choose to stay, prepare yourself for what’s sure to be a long, arduous journey. The lying will not vanish overnight, if ever.

Second, you must help the individual realize that they have an issue. Sometimes pathological liars don’t know they’re lying. Or they lie so convincingly, that they themselves believe the lie to be the truth. Providing evidence of such lies, talking calmly with the person and helping them realize you’re there to help are a few of the things you can do to unveil the issue and show your support.

Once the person accepts they have an issue, he or she should consult a therapist, either alone or with you.

There’s no evidence that this condition can ever be cured, even after the person seeks professional help. Living with someone who has these tendencies is not easy and requires a lot of patience and even self-sacrifice; however, if remaining in the relationship is the only option for you, continue to offer help, do a web search to find local support groups, and be there the best you can. But in the process of being supportive, don’t lose sight of yourself and your needs. Because to successfully care for someone else, you must care for yourself first.

3 of Georgia’s Best Last-Minute, Romantic Getaways

Written By Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” blog

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If you’re anything like me, you live for the summer. It’s that time of year everyone looks forward to jetting away to those exotic vacations that have been in the works forever. And of course the summer months are popular for wedding anniversaries, so maybe you’re even planning something special to celebrate your union. Or perhaps the two of you are just looking to enjoy some alone time (if you’re lucky to catch a break from the endless family barbecues, reunions and weddings) to snag a last-minute getaway without spending a truck load of money on plane tickets. And if that’s the case, you don’t have to venture very far. The Peach State has got plenty of places that boast romantic ambiance. Here’s our list of the top three:   

Chateau Elan

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Yes, we couldn’t leave it off. Probably amongst the most reputed and famous getaways for couples, Chateau Elan has earned its worth. And you’ll know why when you see this spectacular resort with its magnificent entrance, romantic vineyards, rolling-green golf course, luxurious rooms and mesmerizing interior. Of course the luxury comes at a price, but it’s still better than paying for last-minute plane tickets! Depending on just how much you’re willing to dish out, you can choose from several packages, which fall into one of four categories. Whether it’s a quiet evening inn, wine tasting, spa dates, golfing or breakfast in bed you desire, this resort has something for everyone—and then some.

Helen, Ga

Helen is one of the lesser thought of spots, but ideal for couples who want to spend at least some time in bed and appreciate small, antique-style towns. Famous for its unique-looking shops and plazas, Helen is known and appreciated for its German inspired architecture. And if it just so happens that you’re planning on hauling the kids along, don’t miss the city’s summer fair, which boasts rides and treats. Feeling hot? Cool down at one of Helen’s greatest attractions: Helen’s Tubing and Waterpark, full of tubing rides and fun, long water slides. But wait, let’s go back. If it’s just you and your honey, there’s still plenty to do. Be sure to trop along the cobblestone streets in a horse and carriage ride or even enjoy the city’s picturesque view in a hot air balloon. Feeling hungry? Choose from a variety of cuisines and after you’re done eating to your heart’s content, walk off that fullness by enjoying a languorous stroll through the plazas and shops. If you’re looking for a relaxing, short trip filled with just the right pinch of touristy activity, Helen is just what you’re looking for.

Jekyll Island

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Love the beach, and want a piece of the shore all to yourself? Look no further—Jekyll Island was made for you. This little island in the state’s corner is a quiet piece of heaven where you can enjoy the isolated beach stretching into the Atlantic like it’s your very own. Star gaze at night, eat dinner on the pier with live jazz, and find time to ride a horse carriage through the home fronts of some of the most famous American names, like Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan. Ideal if you’re looking for an extremely affordable, quick vacation.

Summer won’t stay forever, so grab your shades, pack your bags, and enjoy that sun with your loved one while it’s still here!

3 Ways to Make Your Sure Your Relationship Stays Rock Solid

Written By: Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd Blog”

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Relationships are like caring for a baby. They take time to nurture and grow and require a ton of effort to maintain. We live in times when people are intolerant of imperfections, have limited patience, and are quick to walk away without a backward glance. Realistically speaking, every person is flawed, so expecting perfection from a union of two flawed creatures is not only foolish but can also set a relationship up for failure from the onset. 

 

If you’re willing to accept your partner’s shortcomings and want to work toward deepening your connection with each other as a couple, then you’re already one giant step ahead of many others. And because it’s important you succeed, here are three (yes, only three!) basic fundamentals that must be maintained to create that rock-solid love you’re looking for.

 

Communicate

This is by far the most obvious and one of the greatest factors in establishing the framework for a successful relationship. I grew up with parents who would completely shut each other out when they got angry. Days, weeks and even months would pass without a single exchange, as they sought opportunities to demonstrate just how upset they were through cold shoulders, altered sleeping arrangements, and messages conveyed vengefully through me and my brother, which would serve their purpose by further infuriating the offended party and leading to another more vicious round of revenge.

 

When I got married at the age of 22, I practiced the same behavior with my husband. There were times he would do something that bothered me and instead of trying to talk to him, I’d give him the silent treatment, expecting him to read my mind. The first time, he didn’t understand my silent treatment and refusal to speak with him. The second time, he finally caught on and sat me down. What he said to me totally changed my outlook on what a solid relationship really means. “If you stop talking to me every time you’re upset, how will I ever know what I did wrong or understand how to correct it?” And, I realized begrudgingly, he was right. The next time I felt upset, I took heed to his advice and forced myself to swallow my pride and actually communicate (but only after he picked up on my anger signals and asked me what was wrong. I’ve got a little bit of pride to maintain, after all!). And the difference was pleasing. We actually carried on a level-headed conversation that lasted hours. And I found that I’d bottled up so much over time that a lot of my frustration had been stuck inside me, just waiting to be released. Which of course is completely unhealthy and not at all fun. 

 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s natural that right after a blow up, the last thing you want to do sometimes is redirect your frustration into calm collected communication, so it’s not a bad idea to walk away and give yourself a moment to clear your head. But once the fog has lifted, you most definitely should approach your significant other and have some calm, composed dialogue.

 

Think about what it is that angered you, how the situation could have been handled differently and what changes could be made for the future. Be sure that you give your significant other the same courtesy you respect as they share their feelings and thoughts. Lift all barriers, judgements and prejudices from your mind to make sure you’re practicing effective communication and really trying to comprehend and empathize with the feelings of your significant other.

If you’re used to giving the silent treatment, just remember that the first time will be difficult in putting your precious ego aside and actually taking that first step toward opening the lines of communication, but as is with most things, practice will make perfect and you’ll find it easier to make candid communication a natural part of your relationship.

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Go to bed mad

No, that’s not a typo—you read it right. I’ve heard it a million times—I’m sure you have too. But the phrase “Never go to bed angry” makes me want to tear my hair out one by one every single time I hear it at wedding toasts, bridal showers and even in casual conversation. In my personal relationship, I’ve always found that the later my husband and I are up trying to sort out our disagreements, the more challenging it is to understand each another and the more exhausting it is to keep trying. Why? Because after a certain point, you burn out and just need to cool down your mind.

 

And I promise once you wake up in the morning, it’s a whole other ballgame, rendering the argument from the night before insignificant, even silly (on the occasions you even remember what it is you were fighting about!).

So take that pesky saying and dare those who preach it to try this new alternative and I promise you’ll be deemed a relationship guru. Getting a good night’s sleep and giving your mind a reprieve from the tiff will buy you time to cool off, and (I bet you my entire tub of Double Chocolate Chunk) that once you wake up, you’ll be more willing, and even eager, to move past the temporary road bump in your bliss, come to an understanding, and put it all behind you like the mature adults you are.

 

Be honest

A home’s foundation is its most integral component. In the same way, the most important part of a relationship is trust. Without trust and truth your relationship’s foundation is as reliable as quicksand. It doesn’t matter if you’re the envy of every man or woman because your sig-fig always remembers your anniversary, showers you with praise, hangs on your every word and treasures you in front of the world.  Without trust, all of those attributes mean nothing. Think of it as similar to garnishing a pile of rubble with beautiful shutters, paint and stone—what’s the point of the lovely add-ons if the slab of concrete that’s to hold up the house itself is diminished? 

 

And let’s just quickly clarify that when we’re talking about being honest, we’re not talking about that occasional white lie that sneaks past everyone’s lips—because let’s face it, we all lie sometimes. However, excessive lying is a concern and certainly not okay.    

 

The truth can sometimes be difficult to tell, but it’s more than likely that admitting the truth will result in a temporary fight whereas a lie, if later detected, will create a permanent fissure in your relationship. So be wise and be true.

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In the end, nearly every defect in a relationship (aside from abuse and dishonesty) is mendable—and no matter which couple you admire, don’t fool yourself into thinking that their relationship is any less imperfect than anyone else’s. Instead of focusing on which couple you wish you could be most like, focus on practicing positive habits and cultivating your relationship to be the very best it can be. Trust me when I say: the grass really isn’t greener on the other side (it’s just that your kitchen window needs cleaning!).

3 Free Apps That Will Keep you Organized (and sane)

Written By Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” blog

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If you’re like most people, you know how difficult it can be to keep track of all the moving parts of your life: paying bills, juggling appointments and making time for the people you love. But worry not, in this digital age where “there’s an app for that,” you can rest assured there are plenty of tools out there to help you remain organized and stress-free of ever losing track of another appointment or event. So whip out your cell phones and get ready to change your lives for the better with these apps, which promise you’ll never skip another beat in the mumbo jumbo of daily life.

Evernote

Remember Everything—that’s Evernote’s tagline. And it’s exactly what this tool helps you do. For the longest time, I’d heard so much hype around this app, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I actually downloaded it and realized, heck, I don’t know how I’d ever lived without it! If you’re the type of person who is constantly thinking of things that quickly need to be jotted down before they’re forgotten, this app was designed for you.

So exactly what is Evernote? It’s an app that can be used on multiple devices (desktop, cell phone, tablet) and enables you to stay organized by allowing you to save articles and images from your browser, create to-do lists, (which can be check marked once completed), manage notebooks, set reminders and even share notes or projects with others. The best part? Storage space is absolutely UNLIMITED!

As a mom, entrepreneur and writer, my mind is constantly swimming with ideas that I forget within the span of time it takes for me to twist my grocery cart from one aisle of Publix to the next. Evernote makes it possible for me to whisk out my phone, punch in whatever idea or inspiration is floating through my brain and carry on with my grocery trip without later being on the verge of rupturing a brain nerve trying to recall whatever it was that was oh so direly important.

If you get super addicted and desire added features like being able to access your notes without an internet connection, having the luxury of an online support staff, or synching your notes across multiple devices, you could consider upgrading to the Plus, Premium or Business plans.

Cozi

Don’t you just hate it when your significant other completely forgets about dinner reservations? Ever find yourself wondering whether your daughter really told you about soccer practice two weeks ago? Things really start to get complicated when you’re trying to manage multiple people’s schedules around your own. If you’ve got grown kids and a spouse to keep track of and are looking for a family-friendly app that can help your entire household stay on point, make friends with Cozi. This app allows family members to sync calendars, making it easy to keep track of everyone’s appointments, rehearsals, practices and endless commitments. Need to file away a recipe or jot a grocery list? Cozi’s perfect for those as well.

24me

Forgetful? Wish you had a personal assistant who could juggle it all and cost not a penny? Wish granted. 24me is an all-in-one, one-stop shop tool that holds your notes, to-do lists, payment due dates and calendar. Plus, it integrates with other apps like Facebook to automatically send birthday wishes to your friends on their special days (not like you’d ever forget, right?).

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So let’s see. Between these three brilliant apps, we’ve got you organized with grocery lists, recipes, bill payments, to-do lists, projects, family schedules and even birthdays. What’s left? Well…maybe one day some genius will create an app to tackle dinner and the laundry? Until then, upload these monkeys to your phone and enjoy being the beast of organization and order!

“Woman What Are You Worth?”

Written by Alesia Watley

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We have approached that time of year where love is in the air.  It’s cold outside, so we are cuddling with our “boo thangs,” and posting pictures of that feeling that he gives you, but what about those of us that don’t get that February 14th love? Instead you get that 13th or 15th phone call. Let me stop you there and pull the focus back.  As women, we look for how much a man values us through posting our status on social media, the gifts, the dinners, or even meeting his family. Reality check is needed girlfriend! Numero Uno (that’s some Spanish I learned,)  a man shouldn’t show his love for you 1 day when there is 365 days in a year. Number two you would rather a man open his heart and his mind to you than just his wallet as if you can be bought. Finally, number 3 as a woman you wear a crown that should never be tilted for anyone or anything. If a man finds you worth pursuing and worth his time, you will not have to pursue, chase, beg, or bribe him to see your worth. Ladies you are the prize and should make that man work for your glory. Make him respect your temple, because  you only get one, and most of all, respect yourself and hold yourself to a higher standard. If he is the right man for you he will strap up his boots and rise to your standards. Moral of the stories ladies, when you learn what your true worth is you will stop giving discounts!!!

This has been psych in heels delivering real talk to a real audience!!!!