Everyday Philanthropy

We’ve all heard of the philanthropic undertakings of the millionaires and billionaires around the world and hoped to one day be able to do the same. But what if you could, even without needing a six-figure salary to get started? You can. Philanthropy is the act of sharing something, big or small, with someone in need. You have talents, skills and a unique community around you that qualify you to become the perfect full-fledged philanthropist. Here are five ways to practice everyday philanthropy.

Habitual Kindness
Foster a habit of being kind all day, every day. Kindness goes beyond simply being polite, it requires you to take the extra step to be generous and considerate as well. The difference is thinking deeper than superficial niceties by transitioning pleasant words into actionable care. Generosity inspires us to give more than is required. Consideration motivates us to be selfless in our thinking by employing empathy and thoughtfulness.

Use Your Free Time for Good
When a rare free moment presents itself, make use of it! You may only have an hour or even as little as a few minutes, but whatever time you do have can be put to good use. Consider these examples. If you are on the road and pass a fellow driver with a blown tire, pull over and ask how you can help. If you’re driving and have a very limited amount of free time, think smaller and use those spare moments to give a fellow driver time to safely merge in front of you. The goal is to look for ways to help throughout the day because no deed is too small.

Small Frequent Donations
You may not have tons of extra money lying around for the sole purpose of philanthropy and that’s ok. Small donations have helped many people in need. If you are able, vow to allocate a small amount to be set aside on a regular basis for donations. You can then take that money and distribute it how you see fit. Whether you choose to pay for a stranger’s meal, buy lemonade from a young entrepreneur’s stand or donate to a GoFundMe campaign, your dollars can make a difference.

Be a Good Neighbor, Friend, Coworker and Family Member
You don’t have to limit your philanthropic work to major charities or foundations, you can think local and improve the lives of the people in your circle. Many people around you could use a helping hand, but rarely ask out of fear of burdening others. Make it known that you are willing to fill in the gap. Let your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers know that you are looking for ways to help around the community and would love to contribute your time, skills or company. You’ll be surprised by just how many of the people around you are struggling in ways that you never knew.

Be Aware
The last way to expand your philanthropy is to be persistently observant. The more aware you are, the more you’ll start to see the vast number of philanthropic needs that surround you every day. Be an active listener and you’ll start to hear unresolved problems that you may be able to help with. Open your heart to unexpected opportunities that will allow you to contribute to the lives of others. Once you tune in, as a willing ally, your next philanthropic venture will find you.

Kindness is contagious. Why not be the one who starts the chain? It doesn’t take much to make a large impact in someone else’s life. Everyday philanthropist make the world a better place by taking the initiative to create a difference.

Brad and Julie DuncanEveryday Philanthropy
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Pointers to Remember In Raising Brave & Adventurous Children

We live in a big and uncertain world. Thus, it is easy to understand moms and dads who are overly protective of their children. Yet on second thought, the ultimate role of a parent is not to shield their kids from danger, but to equip them with skills that will enable them to cope with whatever challenges that may come their way. As sad as it may sound, parents cannot be by their children’s side all the time or forever. At one point, you will have to let go of your kids and allow them to explore the world on their own. This moment is something that parents should get ready for. Courage is a must if you want to survive and achieve great things in life, so responsible parents should make it a priority to instill bravery and resilience in their children.

Nevertheless, your goal to raise kids with a tough spirit is easier said than done. Most of the time, parents are faced with a difficult dilemma because giving children some degree of freedom is also risking their safety. For this reason, some parents would rather keep their kids sheltered and perfectly unscathed inside the home. So how do you awaken a sense of adventure in your children so they will be eager rather than scared to chart their own path? The following reminders can help you raise brave and adventurous children.

Be a model of courage.

As stressed time and time again, parents should practice what they preach. Parents who want to raise brave kids should also examine their behaviors. Children learn best by imitating and are likely to pick up the habits of those around them, so consciously set a good example. If you manage to stay calm and alert during a stressful situation, your kids will also have the strength to be brave during similar situations. Moreover, a research study from the University of Wisconsin confirms that parents can pass their anxiety to their kids.

Discuss your child’s fears.

Children can be scared of the littlest things and parents can sometimes be tempted to dismiss it as something inconsequential. But if you truly want to help your children overcome this fear, start by discussing it with your child. Try to understand where the fear is coming from by listening intently to your child and be genuinely sympathetic. Instead of laughing off the fear, gradually encourage them to face the things that are causing them anxiety.

Share inspiring stories of bravery.

Storytelling is an effective way to introduce concepts and ideas such as courage and resilience. Share stories about men and women who successfully overcome diversity through braving great odds. Literature and cinema offer a wide resource you can use to inspire children to overcome fear. Give them books that depict the importance of bravery. Or allow them to watch movies in which courage is the prevailing theme.

Mind your warnings and reminders.

As parents, you may often hear yourself saying the phrase “be careful” to your child numerous times. In an attempt to avoid any untoward incidents, there is nothing wrong in reminding your kids to be careful. Still, constant notice to stay safe does not really accomplish anything and may even incite fear to kids. According to university professor, Ellen Beate Sandseter, parents can effectively help their kids stay safe by using specific and action-oriented terms. For example, in a playground where a kid is playing on monkey bars, a mother can say terms such as, “stay focused” or “take your time” rather than “be careful”. Instead of presenting the dangers that may happen, you teach kids ways to tackle the challenge with ease.

From day one, parents should already be aware of the importance of fostering independence on their children. Courage is an essential trait to survive and achieve great things in life. Making a conscious effort to raise brave and adventurous children is one of the best gifts you can give your kids.

Brad and Julie DuncanPointers to Remember In Raising Brave & Adventurous Children
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How To Stay Adventurous & Cautious At The Same Time

To start an adventure is to embark into the unknown. Most of the time, it is impossible to decipher the outcome of your action. The risk and uncertainty involved may scare you but these are also the same  factors that make an adventure fun and exciting. If you are willing to go through something without knowing what lies ahead, you are taking a step towards discovering your life’s purpose.

Sometimes you just want to rely on your instinct and leave everything to fate. However, this does not mean that you have to plunge into every adventure that comes your way. An adventurous spirit may require bravery and ardor but no one said that you have to do it without carefully weighing the pros and cons. Here are three questions to ask yourself to wisely assess if an adventure is worth taking.

Are you truly prepared?

Every great adventure starts with thorough planning and preparation. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Some adventures, such as moving to a new country or starting a business, can be life-changing. These ventures can be the way to fulfill your dreams, but will require you to work doubly hard or stretch your strength to the limit. So before taking a leap to an uncertain journey, take your time and and think if you are mentally, physically and emotionally prepared for it. Your financial status is likewise an important aspect to consider.

Are the benefits greater than the risks?

It is unlikely that you want to go on an adventure without a purpose. An adventure becomes a worthy pursuit because of it.The benefits that you believe you will gain from it can help you decide if you should entertain or abandon your plans. Setting your sights on the rewards that will come after a successful adventure can inspire and motivate you.

On the other hand, the possibility of failing remains no matter how much preparation you do. So your focus should not solely be on the rewards. Make sure that you are also aware of the things you can lose before deciding on an adventure. At the end of the day, seeing that an action offers benefits that far outweigh the risks can give you confidence to take a bold step towards an adventure.

Can you bear the possible consequences?

If you are aware of all the possible risks of a decision you will make, you also get to ponder if you are ready for it. Can you picture the worst case scenario and imagine its effect on you? A backup plan will be like a cushion that will soften the blow of failures. So you should also prepare a contingency plan in case an idea does not work. If just the thought of all the possible negative outcomes look unbearable, the adventure may not be a good idea after all. Consider your lifestyle and personality to determine the impact of being in particular situation.  

Adventures are like doors that lead to either a pleasant or terrifying destination. Opening either door can teach you invaluable life lessons. ut wouldn’t it be better if you managed to open the correct door with less tries? Taking some time for self-reflection can greatly minimize the risks and increase your chance to succeed. Always remember to seize every opportunity for adventures with a realistic mindset and wide-open eyes.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow To Stay Adventurous & Cautious At The Same Time
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Easing The Transition To Leadership: Survival Tips For New Leaders

If you consistently excel in your line of work, you will surely be a top choice for a leadership post. There is no question that you deserve that most coveted promotion. No one else in the team deserves it more than you..But how certain are you that being a top achiever and a great team player will adequately prepare you to be an effective leader?

Leadership will bring in new tasks and more responsibilities. Thus, it is not unusual to feel anxious when stepping up to a higher post. Loads of worries may pop into your mind. Am I capable enough to guide a team? How can I motivate the people under me? What should do I to earn their respect and trust? Your new role will surely not be easy, but the transition to a managerial position does not have to be difficult either. Read on for strategies you can use to quickly adjust and adapt to leadership.   

Make an effort to get to know everyone.

One of the first things you should do upon accepting an offer to lead is to get to know the people in the entire organization. Especially the people that will be under your wing. You want to observe their work ethics and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Adequate information about the background of each of your staff will help you come up with effective management strategies. You can only do this by spending time and closely working with your team. This will be time well-spent because as you get closer to your team, you can also build trust and camaraderie.

Clearly relay your expectations.

Good communication is always a two-way relationship. So just as you know your team, you also want the staff to get to know you as well. You want to carve a clear direction for the team to follow and you can start by letting them know your expectations from each one of them. Aside from avoiding confusion within the team, it is also a gentle reminder of their duties and responsibilities. You can also establish accountability in the group.

Strengthen teamwork.

Instead of focusing on personal growth, your goal as leader will now shift to the development of a team. You want to build a team where the members support each other and diligently contribute to the betterment of the group.You may discover past issues and conflicts as a new leader, but it should not stop you from resolving to create a high-performance team. As the head of an organization, one of your duties is to inspire and motivate everyone to do their best. Setting achievable goals for the whole team to accomplish is one way to do that. You also want to boost the morale of your staff by encouraging them to share insights and ideas.

Take care of yourself.

You need to build stamina in order to cope with the demands of your new position. Take care of yourself by staying healthy. You can easily maintain a positive mindset and be a good example to your staff if you see to it that you get enough rest and exercise. To gain confidence in your new role, you may also want to invest time in self-improvement. You can start by enhancing your look, outfit and style.

Widen your knowledge.

Your scope of work is no longer limited to a specific task or area and this implies a greater challenge. Your desire to rise above competitors and succeed in the industry you are in should also be stronger. So find ways to gain more knowledge by attending training or seminars. You can also join organizations to grow your network and enhance your skills.

Encourage feedback.

The best way to know if your leadership style is working is by directly asking the opinions of your staff. So encourage the team to share their feedback or ask questions. It is important to let them know that you are open to any criticisms because this will help you become a better leader. You can also welcome suggestions and discuss it with the team.

Brad and Julie DuncanEasing The Transition To Leadership: Survival Tips For New Leaders
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Five Tips To Safekeep Your Belongings During Travels

Travel is a great option for people who want a break from life’s routines and to have a breath of fresh air. Seeing amazing sights and trying new activities sounds like a perfect way to unwind and have fun. However, to keep your vacation smooth and relaxing, there are just a few things you want to avoid. One of the biggest things you want to avoid  is losing your belongings.

You do not want to taint your vacation with a bad memory of losing an item, especially if it is a valuable one. But since you are out and about, the possibility of losing a thing or two is high. If you become careless, you might even lose your whole bag or luggage. But of course, you do not have to experience this travel nightmare. Safekeeping your things during travel is just a matter of being extra careful with your belongings. The following five tips to safekeep your belongings during travels can help:

Bring only the essentials.

Guarding your things starts with packing. Remember to pack light by bringing only the things you need. Keeping an eye on your things becomes more difficult with the more stuff you bring. So think twice and ask yourself if the item is really necessary before adding it to your bag. In the end, you free yourself from the burden of carrying heavy luggage and at the same time, lessen the risk of losing things on the road.

Keep highly important items with you at all times.

There are some things you cannot afford to lose while traveling such as a passport,other important travel documents or a gadget that is necessary for your work. To avoid the trouble of losing these highly-important items, it is advisable to keep it in a bag that you can conveniently carry on you at all times.

If you are traveling overseas, these items should always be in your carry on bag instead of the check-in luggage. You can take care of important items more closely if they are always with you. Likewise, you will easily notice the moment anything goes missing. One of the things you usually carry with you when traveling is a camera. Avoid the chance of losing it by adding a strap so you can conveniently wear it like a necklace.

Keep your cash and cards in different bags.

It is not a good idea to store money or credit cards in a single wallet because you do not want to end up penniless in case you lose the purse that contains all your cash and cards. To make sure you will not lose all your cash in one go, divide your money into different purses or bags. You can keep some money in your carry on bag then stash some bills in a secret purse in your other bags.

Label your bags and belongings.

One simple way to protect your phone, bag, camera or other important items is by labeling them. With information containing your name and contact details, you make it easy for your lost items to make their way back to you. It is also a good idea to add an identifying mark on your bags or items so you can easily identify it such as a ribbon or a sticker. Some bags or gadgets can look identical, so it is wise to add something that will make it easy for you to instantly identify or spot it from a distance.

Double-checking before leaving is a must.

Going back to a hotel or any accommodation you stayed in just to retrieve lost items can be such a hassle and the possibility of getting your things back can be grim. So make it a habit to thoroughly check the area before checking out. Do not rush and inspect every nook and cranny of the room, especially the areas where you can accidentally leave things such as drawers and closets. It would not hurt to also look for items under the bed.  

You deserve a great, hassle-free vacation, so spare yourself the burden of looking for your lost belongings. Save precious time and make the most of your leisure time by taking necessary precautions to take good care of your things.  

Brad and Julie DuncanFive Tips To Safekeep Your Belongings During Travels
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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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