Ready To Pursue Altruism? Four Things To Ponder On

Altruism sounds noble and heroic, a highly commendable act because of the many advantages it brings. By devoting time and energy to worthy causes, you contribute to the betterment of society and improve your overall well-being. The myriad of benefits that you can gain from philanthropic endeavors makes it easy to think that nothing can go wrong.

However there is a thin line between good and bad deeds. As Russian novelist, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it, “The battle-line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.” Philanthropy is meant to create a significant impact on the lives of others, but it will be a careless act if you do it without enough knowledge about a cause or unclear intentions about a charity. Thinking about the following factors listed below can help you prepare for your altruistic endeavors.

Consider your values along with your interests.

The first thing you have to do is decide which non-profit organization  you would you like to support. You can arrive at a good decision by taking into consideration your values and interests. If you are interested in the healthcare profession and want to help people cope with their illnesses, it may be a good idea to join a medical mission. Or if you love children and have a knack for teaching, you can be a volunteer tutor in an orphanage or children’s center. On the other hand, nature lovers can support environmental projects. Aligning your altruistic deeds with your values and interests will ignite your passion for a certain cause. Philanthropy will then cease to feel like work and becomes a very rewarding experience.

Check your intentions.

The reasons for doing philanthropy vary per individual. Some may do charitable work because they want to enhance a skill or simply to pass time. Sadly, there are also people who donate to charities or serve as volunteers because of vanity and recognition. Your reason for going into philanthropy should be clear right from the start. If you clearly define the results that you want to achieve, you gain inspiration to work towards the goals that you set. It will also help you measure the success of your efforts.

The organization and the cause it supports will benefit whatever reason a philanthropist may have for helping. However, if you truly want to gain the benefits of philanthropy, you need to do it to genuinely help others. A number of research studies prove the many benefits of doing philanthropy for others. One study published in Journal of Health Psychology proves the correlation between doing volunteer work and low mortality among old people.

Assess your knowledge, skills and resources.

Upon deciding which cause to support, start to think of the best ways you can help by assessing your skills and resources. If you have money to spare, the amount of financial support you can give will be much appreciated and go a long way. However, philanthropy is not limited to monetary means, so you should also assess how you can contribute with your skills and talents.

Along with this, you should also check your knowledge about the cause. You risk the chance of doing more harm than good if you are ignorant about the cause you are supporting. To gain enthusiasm about a project, you need to be aware of its history and missions. You can set some time to attend the orientation or training that an organization sometimes offer to new volunteers.

Gauge your willingness to commit.

Once you sign up to lend a hand to a group or project, be prepared to commit to the tasks given to you until the end. Your participation will hardly make a difference if you only exert effort at the start. Take a moment to check your schedule and see if other obligations will prevent you from committing to an organization wholeheartedly. You should also be aware of the challenges that come with the tasks so you can ensure you can complete them.

Philanthropy reminds us that we are here in this world to touch lives. That no matter how small, weak or insignificant you think you are, there is always something you can do to help. However, you do not want to be trapped in the middle of doing it for others or doing it for your own selfish interest. So, spend time on self-reflecting to truly feel the essence of your philanthropic efforts.

Brad and Julie DuncanReady To Pursue Altruism? Four Things To Ponder On
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Skills & Traits You Need To Develop To Be A Savvy Traveler

“Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan

People usually associate travel with leisure. Even tasks such as working and studying sound more exciting when done while traveling. For this reason, the idea of visiting different places generally appeals to all. You would usually be thrilled for a chance to do some sightseeing, explore breathtaking places and experience new things.

However, not every trip can be as relaxing as you want it to be. Traveling is a privilege that comes with unique challenges. The ability to handle the hassles along the way is what separates a regular traveler from the savvy one. If you wish to make the most out of every vacation, take note of the following skills and traits you need to develop to be a savvy traveler:

Useful Skills

Language fluency.

It seems like basic knowledge that every traveler should memorize a few basic phrases in the local language or dialect of the country or place they are visiting. The smart travelers, though, strive to improve their foreign language skills to be beyond basic. If you are fluent or at least have intermediate knowledge about the language of the place you are going to, conversing with the locals would be a breeze.

Language is often a barrier when trying to connect with someone in a foreign country, and when locals hear you speak in their native tongue, it breaks down that barrier. Learning a new language is not easy, but if you want to visit new countries, you can start by studying widely-spoken languages such as Spanish, Mandarin and Hindustani.

Map-reading skills

One of the most important things you should pack when going to an unfamiliar place is a map. Still, a map will be useless if you do not know how to read it. You do not want to get lost or waste time looking for directions, so making an effort to understand different parts and features of a map will be very useful. You can always install GPS apps, but in times when technology is not so reliable, your map-reading skills will come in handy.

Research abilities.

Books and travel guides are a great help, but sometimes your research abilities start when you arrive at your destination. It takes inquisitive skills to quickly know your way about the new location. Apart from being curious, you are also attentive about the new surroundings, so you won’t miss important information. Your exploration journey will help you score the best deals, find a great restaurant or discover unique tourist spots.

First-aid knowledge.

No one wants to think about accidents and other mishaps when travelling. Yet, the smart traveler knows what to do in cases of unexpected incidents. Seasoned tourists know the importance of keeping a first-aid kit in their bags. Moreover, they also make an effort to enroll in first-aid classes to gain knowledge about responding to emergency situations.

Essential Traits

Be positive and patient.

Sometimes, travelers discover flaws that somehow ruin the picture-perfect scenario of a place in their mind. The real traveler, though, first notices the good side rather than the bad things. Moreover, people who love seeing new places do not let slight disappointments get in the way. Rather, they view discoveries as lessons that keep their enthusiasm about the new place alive.

Aside from staying positive, a wise traveler can tolerate trivial things that can easily annoy others. They have self control because they know that losing patience over small matters does not help.

Be friendly and confident.

If you are always too shy to approach strangers, or do not want to meet new people, it is probably better to stay at home. One way to make your travel an enriching experience is by interacting with the locals. Being friendly and confident are key traits you cannot set aside.

Traveling is a journey that is full of surprises and sometimes you cannot fully prepare for it. However, having the skills and traits mentioned above will greatly help you ensure a pleasant trip all the time.  

Brad and Julie DuncanSkills & Traits You Need To Develop To Be A Savvy Traveler
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Creative Ways To Reinvent Yourself & Discover New Passions

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting… – Paulo Coelho

Do you feel stuck in a boring routine that you are no longer excited to face each day? Are you longing for something new to inspire your creativity? If you feel so unmotivated because of doing the same thing over and over, it is probably time to reinvent yourself.

Life offers endless opportunities for growth and learning and the road to reinvention is a path open to everyone. Sometimes it is even necessary in order to keep up with the demands of the fast-changing world we live in. Some people may associate reinvention with drastic changes, but do not let that scare you. With bravery and creativity, small changes can successfully awaken your zest for life and let you discover new passions.

Mingle with a new crowd.

Been hanging out with the same folks for years? You may want to widen your social circle and meet new people. This doesn’t mean you have to break old friendships or cut ties with your constant companions. It just means you should explore new grounds by connecting with other people. One way to do this is by joining organizations that reflect your interests and participate in their activities. New friends or contacts can broaden your perspectives or offer a new way of doing things.

Change your look.

The way you look and dress affects your mood and conveys a message to others. Sometimes, reinvention is as simple as changing your outfit. Donning the same style of clothes or refusing a new kind of hairstyle could be subtle indicators that you dislike change or trying new things.

Change is essential for reinvention to take place, so be bold and experiment with new looks. Of course, you want the style upgrade to increase your confidence and enhance your appearance. Ideally, the positive effects of your new style will also make you feel eager to tackle new tasks.

Ask questions.

The plain old routine you are accustomed to may have worked for years. But it is likely your reliable routine will also benefit from improvements or upgrades. So be brave and ask questions about the existing procedures or routines you are following. Your “why’s” and “what ifs” may sound ridiculous at first, but just maybe, it can start a change that will dramatically improve your way of life.

Think out of the box.

Maybe you have fully mastered a certain craft and you no longer find it challenging. Hang on and do not embark on an entirely new career all at once. Continue to study your craft, push yourself and dare to innovate. The new techniques you may discover along the way might just be the spark you need to revive your interest on your passions.

Have a break.

Examine your lifestyle and you may just see that the reason your days feel dreary is due to exhaustion. So be kind to yourself and take a break. To embark on new interests or pursue fresh goals, you need a clear mind that is free from stress. Taking a trip to a relaxing place or simply having some quiet time will get you ready for new challenges. The new surroundings will also help you see old things in a new light and nurture your inner spirit. After the break, you may find yourself bursting with vibrant energy and cool ideas

Change offers no guarantees so most people choose to stick with the safe, but monotonous way of life. Oftentimes though, this is not the way to go if you do not want to simply breeze through life. The commitment to continuously improve yourself through reinvention will allow you to experience the joys of immense self-fulfillment.

Brad and Julie DuncanCreative Ways To Reinvent Yourself & Discover New Passions
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Free Yourself From These Things To Live A Life Of Adventure

A life of adventure is all about pursuing your dreams and chasing your passions. It is living the life you have always wanted and doing the things that make you happy. But what does it take for you to finally turn the ideal lifestyle in your mind into reality?

What are the essential steps you can take to make the most out of your everyday existence? Aside from igniting that spark within to inspire you to take a different path or deviate from the typical, you also need to free yourself from certain things. If you are ready for an adventure-filled life, you need to be willing to let go of the following:

Let go of fears and doubts

Courage is an essential in any adventure you will take so the first thing that you need to let go of is fear. You need strength to explore unfamiliar places and bravery to fight any obstacle. You can prevent fear from controlling your every move by anticipating and preparing for any adversity that you may have to face. You can also hush your inner doubt by increasing your confidence.

Let go of perfection

Perfectionists delay embarking on a new challenge because they keep on waiting for the perfect timing or the perfect environment. Unfortunately, these perfect settings may never come or come too late. Sometimes the right moment is just when you decide to do it. Adventure is mostly about allowing yourself to be vulnerable to mistakes that will help you learn along the way. So dare to be spontaneous and life may just surprise you with wonderful rewards.

Let go of standards

Society sets standards that may not be in sync with the life of adventure you have in mind. So this may mean that you have to break free from ideal norms as you pursue the extraordinary adventure of your dreams. To take the road less traveled, you may have to ignore the common standards of success. You may also need to forego of the need to follow trends. Instead of relying on society’s expectations, let the things that make you happy define your standards of success.

Let go of narrow-mindedness

An adventure may expose you to a new way of thinking or beliefs. You may also meet folks that are your total opposite. To be a true adventurer, you need to learn to accept and respect diversity. At the same time, you should also open your minds to unconventional ideas and concepts.

Let go of negativity

Instead of boring endeavors, you will see exciting challenges and instead of the difficulties you will see the possibilities. That is if you decide to throw away negativity and focus on positivity. A positive attitude is necessary so you can welcome every adventure with eagerness.

Sadly, not everyone will experience the immense fulfillment that living an adventurous life may offer. For many people, the dangers and hazards that are involved with living on the edge may prove to be too scary or inconvenient. However, you cannot turn your back on risks if you wish to have a meaningful existence. Most of the time, you have to embrace the unknown and gamble on uncertainty. But as they say, “You only live once” so the sacrifices you make in pursuing your dream will most likely be worth it.

Brad and Julie DuncanFree Yourself From These Things To Live A Life Of Adventure
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