<![CDATA[EVERGREEN LIFESTYLE GEMS - Blog]]>Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:28:00 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[05 Ways to Deal with Disappointment]]>Mon, 14 Jan 2019 09:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/disappointment
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    The world is filled with things that can result in disappointment be it people or events (natural and artificial), plans change and things come up. Part of being human is being able to navigate our way through issues of disappointment and the pain they bring. Essentially, part of life is dealing with disappointment so we might as well learn how to behave, react or conduct ourselves in the face of disappointment and that’s what this week’s blog post is going to help us do. Let’s gooo!

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 My Recent Disappointment Story...

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   I’ve contemplated whether to talk about this or not because on one hand it’s not a big deal and on the other hand it annoyed me. Ultimately, what happened to me here is where the inspiration for this blog post came from so it will be an utmost disservice to both you and me if I don’t tell you.

   I’ve been talking to a girl for a while (since December 2018), things seem to be going well but she was in another city for the Christmas break so we couldn’t link up even if we wanted to. We called and texted each other regularly and being who I am, I became a little more invested in talking to this girl because it became a regular activity. We talked about linking up when she gets back and she said she was down.

   She came back last week but since then the regularity of our conversations has come down, this is due in part that she says she didn’t have mobile data subscription. Has she been online? I don’t know because I haven’t been checking and I just assumed she’ll hit me up if she’s online. So we were only limited to only phone calls which was cool because being too over familiar too quickly hasn’t gotten me anywhere with the ladies but we live and we learn.

   I called her to make some arrangements so we could link up, I gave her time and place that was convenient for us. The day came and I was excited because I’m excited to have a reason to dress up and live my house and to take some pictures because as my Instagram bio says, I’m a photo enthusiast! I sent her a reminder text 2 hours to the time only to get hit with the ringtone which disturbed the Facebook ad for a podcast that I was listening to.

  I let out a sigh because I knew what that quick phone call meant but I waited to finish listening to the ad before calling back. I knew we weren’t gonna link up that day anymore. Essentially, she forgot and she was home (instead of school that she said she would be on our previous phone call) and wanted to move the time up but still wanted to meet. I couldn’t agree to the abrupt changes in plan because I was a bit busy and I wasn’t even half ready like no shower or anything and she said she had to cook at the time we were initially supposed to meet so it would have been like 45 minutes to an hour and that wasn’t nearly enough time.

   I was a bit annoyed and I had to decline an impromptu link up even though I told her it’s fine. Ultimately, I was disappointed because it seemed like I was the only excited one because she forgot and I was feeling some typa way but I remembered two things. The first was the bible verse from Jeremiah 17:5a “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans…” and the second was this video by Mel Robbins on Instagram even though I wasn't necessarily “rejected” because we rescheduled (see How to Handle Rejection) I felt a bit sucky but knew I had to get over it quickly because life goes on and I've been down this road several times. 

How to Handle Disappointment


  As I've said before disappointment is part of life and there's nothing you can do to completely remove it from your life because humans will always be unreliable in one way or the other and not everyone or everything will be on the same page as you. What matters isn't the situation per se but how you react and deal with it. 

 1. Find a Distraction 
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   Disappointment can be painful, it feels like the ride in the amusement park that takes you up for a bit and suddenly drops down and your intestines come out of your mouth lol. It's basically flying high and suddenly going down and in some case crashing depending on how extreme the situation or delicate the person in question is. 

   This reminds me of a quote by Sigmund Freud the famous German psychologist:  
   "Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear we cannot dispense with palliative remedies...There are perhaps three such measures: powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery; substitutive satisfactions which diminish it; and intoxicating substances (drugs, alcohol, etc.), which make us insensible to it."

   If we don't have distractions we can drown in overwhelming thoughts, this is why people "drink away their sorrows" but sadly that worsens the situation in the long term because they can become alcoholics. Distractions are also necessary because whatever we focus on or give attention to continuously can have power over us and if we focus on the negative thoughts we have (see How to Combat Your Negative Thoughts) due to our  disappointment things can become worse like peeling off healing wounds.

   In my case, my distraction came after getting off the phone and rescheduling because my mum came home soon after and I had to cook for her, we talked about politics and the upcoming Nigerian elections. She left and I went back to binge watching anime because that's my ultimate cure! I won't lie it didn't get off my mind completely but with me I just let my mind think it out and I find other things to do like watch more anime lol. 

  2. Manage Your Emotions
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   Disappointment will occur once in a while on the road of life like a speed bump and it can upset us. When this happens, it is important to feel especially when it's unexpected, maybe you were expecting an award a promotion or something else but you didn't get it. When you feel instead of bottling it up, there will be no cause for later day eruptions because you would've let off the steam. It doesn't necessarily meaning going crazy and breaking stuff even though that may be cathartic for some people. 
 
   Avoid making any important decisions that you may regret because emotional decisions tend to go down that road more often than not. Feel the emotions but try letting them out in a healthy and legal way like if your disappointment becomes anger or frustration you can take your revenge on a punching bag no one's gonna be angry with that. When you're in a better state of mind, this will be a better time to re-evaluate the situation, make proper decisions and take action.  

  3. Check Your Expectations 
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    Sometimes we get pregnant with high expectations and all that is delivered is disappointment (go back and read it again and let it sink in). Some of us just have standards that only rare if any type of people can fulfill, it reminds me of that Drake and Rihanna song, Too Good where they sang "Last night, I got high as your expectations." 

    Examining our expectations may give us a clearer picture of the events that unfolded that led up to our disappointment. Sometimes are expectations are so high that it looks like we expect a fish to know how to fly or a driver to become a pilot and when we crash into disappointment we become frustrated. In other words, we may have unrealistic and/or unreasonable expectations.

   Are you disappointed your date cancelled on you last minute? Maybe if you check through your conversations and also the tone of it you may discover that you were expecting her to be your long time girlfriend and you haven't even had the first date, that's way too much pressure for some people. If you lowered your bar from impossible to possible then things will be different, it's not necessarily settling for less but doing away with looking for the "perfect" partner, job, situation, etc. 

    In some cases, our bar maybe too low like a limbo and people can't play your game. This means that you may have a pessimistic belief in life and people so you have no expectations at all and believe everyone and everything will disappoint you. This may be an insecurity  (see Beefing Up Your Security: How to Overcome Insecurity) due to past events in your life. The truth is that yes many things will end up disappointing you at one point or the other but you need to find a constructive and healthy way to deal with disappointment and pessimism ain't the solution. 


  4. Avoid Taking It Personally
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   If there is one thing I've learnt in life it's not to take things personally, it's like taking the wrong baggage at the airport baggage claim.  In life, shit happens and it isn't always because we did or didn't do something. This doesn't mean completely absolving ourselves of blame because we may be the architect of our own disappointment as I have kind of touched on previously. 

   We shouldn't be too quick to say we deserved the bad things coming our way or we're not good enough because in reality life isn't fair so we don't always have to had done something for bad things to come our way. Sometimes we may have worked hard for something and once it's within our grasp it can get snatched away quickly even if we did everything right. 

   Taking things personally all the time can drastically narrow our point of view of life like no one likes an overly sensitive person, it's too much stress to deal with them. This will prevent such people from appreciating the fact that life is arbitrary and deeper than just individual experiences. It's not all about us and we don't have to be right all the time. At the end of the day, we can't expect everyone to behave like us or have our opinions or beliefs when we clash with others because of that it shouldn't affect us too much. Instead of people too narrow minded and taking things personally, we should try to be more open to other people's ideas and who knows, we may discover some hidden gems in both ourselves and others.

   5. Review Our Behaviour Before and After the Fact
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  Sometimes, our behaviour may be inviting disappointment, for example, I've been seeing this quote float around social media recently "I've seen men pray to God for daily bread but get off the bed and go play video games." Now, if you're one of these type of people, you're inviting disappointment for dinner.

   If disappointment is a guest of honour in our life events on a regular basis, we may need need to go back to the drawing board of our life and re-examine and re-evaluate what's going on. Perhaps the way we behave is the cause of disappointment, how we think and talk can be contributing factors.  I think one of the big factors is not speaking out and demanding what we're worth, we just expect people to take "hints." For example, some girls won't shoot their shot and expect their crush to always take hints and ask them out, I know sometimes even shooting our shot is risky business but at the same time giving the guy hints doesn't always go anywhere. Another example, is not advertising your business but expecting people to know about it simply because you're online.

  After being disappointed especially if it's continuous, it's important to check ourselves and don't let it become worse like a festering wound, don't let it turn into something as ugly as apathy or depression. If it goes down this road, it's going to be harder to get rid of. When we internalise such negative feelings caused from disappointment it can become part of our beliefs and become an integral part of our lives and identity. Yikes!.

   6. Bonus - Try Again or Try Something Else

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Credit: Adobe Stock - Rawpixel.com

    So you've tried all the above steps and you feel pumped up. It's time to make a decision and that is whether to try again or try something else. In some cases, trying again is the right choice, you know what they say about a wall, if you come across a wall you can try to go over it, under it or through it. But sometimes, you can't get past this wall so instead of frustrating yourself, you can follow another route or go somewhere else.

    Trying something else may be a better decision, for example, you may have a crush on a girl but she's friend-zoned you or worse brother-zoned and after trying severally she's not budging like an impregnable wall, you can just go for another girl and hopefully things will work out for you then. 


  QOTD“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”– Henry David Thoreau

    WELL THAT'S IT FROM ME GUYS! NOW...
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   How do you deal with disappointment and will you be trying any of these methods? Comment below. Like and Share this blog post on social media to help them out and to spread the good word! SUBSCRIBE to my blog for weekly updates and free e-books. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. See ya next Monday.
                           Thanks.
                            Ofai.

  Previous Post: How to Live More Boldly in 6 Tips
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<![CDATA[How to Live More Boldly in 6 Tips]]>Mon, 07 Jan 2019 09:30:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/living-boldly
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    Many times in our lives and some more than others, we’ve seen people do things we can only dream of if we can even dare. They are so confident and seem bolder than Simba on top of Pride Rock, they look like giants trapped in human bodies. We may envy them, wanna be like them and covet their boldness to say and do as they please. If we are opportuned enough we may even pick their brain and ask the itching questions: “How do you do it?” “How do you live so boldly?” “How are you so confident?”

​    For today’s blog post we’ll be looking into how we can live bolder lives. Let’s gooo!

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   What is boldness?
  Personally, I feel like boldness is the ability to live and behave honestly no matter the circumstances or consequences. Basically, it is living the "real you."

    An anime I just finished watching yesterday, Bloom Into You has several themes but what of the themes poses the question "who is the real you?" it does this through a stage play which is yet to happen but the plot is basically, a girl wakes up with amnesia in the hospital, the nurse advises her to ask those close to her who she is in order to know how to going on living her life. 

    Her classmate describes her as prim and proper, her brother describes her as cold and her lover describes her as vulnerable. Who is the real her?  She wants to choose one of the three but there's a fourth option she doesn't yet know about, she can start over, she can decide to be whoever she wants. I believe humans are the only earthly beings with the ability to completely reinvent ourselves.
   
   A Timid Lion???
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    In his book The Spirit of Leadership, Dr Myles Munroe talks about a story which was told to him by a village head in Zimbabwe, here’s a summary.

    A shepherd while tending to his sheep finds a lonely lion cub, out of pity he took it in and raised it amongst his flock. The lion grew up and behaved like sheep, it bleated instead of roar, so it was a sheep expect in appearance.

   One day as the sheep were drinking water at the river, they came upon a magnificent and terrifying maned beast, it roared majestically and it scared the be-Jesus out of the flock and they all ran away including the lion-sheep and cowered in fear but too bad for the lamb that was caught in the magnificent beast’s mouth. Another day the lion-sheep saw the beast and ran away but the sheep didn’t follow, it was its reflection that scared him.

   One fateful day, they all went to drink water again and the beast appeared and roared and the sheep ran but the lion-sheep didn’t, it now saw two magnificent beasts in the water instead of one, i.e. its reflection and the other lion. The lion roared and the lion-sheep tried to copy it but it could only let out sheep noises but after several tries it got it!

   The other lion was leaving and looked back at it as if to say “are you coming?” After some contemplating and looking back at its old life, the lion-sheep turned full blown lion turned back on its safe life as a sheep and followed the lion into the jungle. In other words, it was bold enough to take a risk and take charge of its destiny! It decided to live honestly. 

  The significance of this story in this context is that mindset is very important, in order to live boldly you will have to sacrifice your comfort zone and take that decisive step (see 3 Reasons To  Leave Your Comfort Zone Today!). 

How to Live Boldly

   Living boldly is no walk in the park it's more like crawling in the park, it can be pleasurable sometimes but other times it's tough af! There a few things you can do to start living boldly and with more confidence and we're gonna look into them right now!

 1. Make a Strong Decision
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    "Indecision is the graveyard of good intention." - Anonymous

  Lasting change begins with a strong decision supported by an ironclad resolve or set of convictions. It is not easy to decide to change your life, to be like that lion who decided to leave behind its life as a sheep. You must be willing to divorce your marriage with mediocrity, excuses, fear (see 5 Tips for Overcoming Fear), overthinking (see9 Ways to Tackle Overthinking), indecision (see Indecisive Much? How to Deal with Indecision in 10 Ways!), procrastination (see 8 Practical Solutions to Procrastination), etc.

   According to Carolyn L. Rubenstein from Psychology Today, " Indecision and uncertainty can be dangerous, as the ability to analyze two sides of a problem and draw a timely conclusion are crucial, especially in the interconnected world we live in today." Think of it this way, a compass or in these days a GPS if it can't decide whether you should take a left or a right is pretty useless isn't it? 
 
    Taking the first step can be very terrifying, it can feel like walking with big rocks tied to your foot. The mind is the what you need to conquer in order to live boldly.  You will need to ask yourself the hard questions to figure out why you're being indecisive or in a state of inertia. Are you afraid of something? Why? What is the ultimate cost of not living the life you truly want? One of them is definitely regret which I'll explore a bit more subsequently. 

    When you've truly analysed the issues with making a decision, make a decision even though it may be a "bad" one. Living boldly isn't always about making good or right decisions it also involves dealing with the consequences of your decisions and actions.  

  2. Accept Your Flaws
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Credit: Adobe Stock Images - Gajus

  A person who lives boldly and confidently isn't one who claims to be perfect, for this is an insecurity in itself (see Beefing Up Your Security: How to Overcome Insecurity). It is one who has accepted themselves as imperfect and with flaws and has learned to love and appreciate themselves flaws and all. 

   Most people who have owned their flaws are happier, I mean sometimes we're jealous of them, like how are they able to say this and do that. For example, someone coming out and saying they're gay isn't easy to accept but many of them will say they grew tired of living a lie and just one day said "fuck it!"

    Those people that decided to study what they wanted to at university despite the wishes of their parents or those people who quit their job to pursue their dreams will tell you that it wasn't easy, they may have been seen as "weird" or "crazy" but they had to listen and dance to the beat of the drums of their hearts.  Essentially, to live boldly, you gotta "own it" whatever it is you doing or who you're becoming. 

 3. Think "Potential Future Regrets"
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Adobe Stock - MarekPhotoDesign.com

    Regret is one of  the most painful emotions us humans can express. It's like a sharp poison arrow to the heart. One doesn't even have to be old and on their deathbed to have regrets. For example, there are many times where I saw a girl I wanted to talk to and didn't out of lack of confidence (see 12 Tips to Boost Self-confidence and Self-esteem), fear or whatnot when I see her talking to another guy, it hurts but I can't be vexed with him because he did what I was unwilling to do. Those who live boldly are not people who don't understand the concept of fear, it is people who take action despite their fears or any other issue.  

   When you go to an old folks home or visit people on their deathbeds you see a lot of regret written on their faces, I could've done more of this and less of that, I would've told her how I feel but..., I should've started that business; there's a lot of "coulda, woulda, shoulda."

​    When you look into the future of you looking back on your life, will those words be on your lips and on your face or will you have a big grin because you're satisfied with how you lived? 

​  4.  Study The Risks and People Who Live Boldly and Take Action!
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    Studying something new is very important. When you get a new gadget there's usually a manual that you should read to get a hang of it and the way to show you've learned it is to take action. When you're in school you get taught, you study and you get tested with assignments, tests, exams, etc.

   The purpose of studying is to gain knowledge and understanding of a particular thing so when you wanna take bold steps in life aka take risks, according to Pick The Brain, you gotta ask yourself these questions: "What’s in it for me if I do this?  What will I gain? What will I lose? Which one has a heavier weight- the advantage or disadvantage?" This way you can calculate the risks involved and weigh the pros and cons and ultimately choose how to proceed and take bold action. 

   The other thing you should study are people who you admire that live boldly. Whether it is a far away or fictional hero or even someone you know personally, there are lessons of boldness to be learned from them. If you get the chance they could even personally mentor you but most likely that won't be the case of a far away hero so you can read their books, watch their videos and listen to their stories. Many of them will tell you how they were timid at one point like the lion-sheep but a turning point in their lives awakened the magnificent beast within, maybe it was a death of a loved one, heartbreak, sage advice, etc.

  Of course studying isn't complete until you apply it so when you study these people and their success, you should copy them shameless and see if you can replicate their results and learn from their mistakes  but it should be tailored to suit your situation because chances are your situations may be similar but not exactly the same. 

 5. Don't Dwell on Scarcity
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   When you picture a desert, what comes to your mind? My guess is lots of sand, heat, dryness, lack of greenery, no water, etc. These things are true for the most part but yet cacti are able to survive there quite well. A desert is a place of scarcity thus many things can't comfortably survive there yet the cacti are just chilling lol.

   Bold people don't always look at what they lack or what they can't do, they are positive thinking people with an abundance mindset. They tell all the bad energy to stay far awayyyy lol. They don't buy into the negativity on the news and they can be generous and kind people. 
 
   In his book The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale (NVP) recalls a crucial event in his life. He started a monthly subscription newsletter (or something to that effect) with some partners and they ran into financial straits and they would've had to close down. A woman who works with them asked how many subscribers they needed for the business to strive and it was 100k.

  Instead of giving them money to stay afloat in the meantime, she asked them if they could envision them at 100k, NVP couldn't see it but his partner could, his partner was enthused. Subsequently, NVP say the error of his scarcity mindset I think after the fact that they hit 100k subscribers! 

  6. Pray​
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  " For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7

    When we pray, we can be given renewed energy from our source which is our Creator. He gave us dominion over all things. Dominion means control and when we are being timid or fearful, we are not controlling our environment i.e. we are not fulfilling our divine purpose. 

  There are times when common sense will tell us to give up, to be timid, to roll into a ball like an armadillo or hid inside our shell like tortoises but we have to stay strong. For example, black heroes like Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela had trying times where they could've rolled over or given up such as them being imprisoned or their lives being threatened but despite this, they soldiered on.

   MLK and Mandela are celebrated and renowned world wide, Mandela is even seen as a great leader universally. MLK always believed God will come through for him no matter the situation and that's why he was steadfast in his faith and beliefs and that's how he was able to keep black people composed and non-violent on their struggle to gaining their civil rights. 

  QOTD:  “Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” - Unknown

  WELL, THAT'S IT FROM ME GUYS. NOW...
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  What steps will you be taking to live boldly today? Comment below! Like and Share this blog post with your friends. SUBSCRIBE to my blog so you never miss a thing and Follow me on InstagramFacebook, Twitter and Pinterest. See ya next Monday!
                                 Thanks.
                                  Ofai. 

  Previous Post: 12 Ways to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions

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<![CDATA[12 Ways to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions]]>Mon, 31 Dec 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/new-year-resolutions
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   ​ First of all I want to say congratulations on making it to the last day of the year, 365 baby! I hope to see you same time next year and in subsequent years.

  Since New Year’s Eve is here, it is time for the infamous “New Year, new me” statement or should I say trend. Many of us try to do a 360 turn around in our lives in a short period of time and make a million and one changes and/or commitments only to give up on them after the holiday high is over i.e. give or take 2 weeks to a month if I’m being generous. In this blog post, we will be looking at how to get out of that trap this year and actually make your New Year resolutions stick around long enough to do their job. Let’s gooo!

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Why Do People Fail to Keep Up with Their Resolutions?


  According to Forbes, only about 8% of people typically keep their New Year’s resolutions throughout the year. Why is this the case? This is more of an opinion than fact so please take it with a grain of salt. Using myself as an example, I think it is because these resolutions are made based on feelings and emotions and not deep-rooted logic. Emotions can change easily so they are not reliable, for example, you may be angry at your significant other and call them names but when you are clear headed you realise you should not have said what you said and you probably did not mean it.

   “New Year, new me” is such an easy sell, it’s simple, it’s a catchphrase that can easily creep into our vocabulary even if it we do not mean it. It makes sense, the concept of wanting to transform into a new person is desirable but we are humans not Autobots or Decepticons so it will take a lot more time and it starts with bit by bit just like building a house takes bit by bit not a one night transformation and it is not Freaky Friday where you will wake up in another person's body.

     If we take the time to take mental stock and do some proper reflection on the year we just had, the failures, setbacks, shortcomings, breakthroughs and successes, we can really know what to change and also plan on how what to change (see 11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan). Do not get caught in the holiday and the New Year, new me high because like every other high, there is always a come down.

    To illustrate, the ridiculousness of this New Year, new me, high, here is a YouTube skit by 4Yall Ent you can go back and watch other years (please watch it after reading the full blog post). 

How to Stick to Your Resolutions


    I chose twelve ways to represent each month.

   I think what is important is being very clear and intentional about what you want. Avoid taking too much on, you may be able to do them at first but they will wear you out quickly, it is like lifting weights at the gym especially above what you usually lift, you may have the initial momentum to make at most five pumps especially if you just came into the gym but after that your arms will give way.

  1.Take Action Everyday
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    What you do on a daily basis will obviously affect how your 2019 goes and what you are able to change. I like to tell myself that the future you want is here every day. According to Debora McLaughlin, you should “Write down three key goals. Write the three strategies you will use to achieve those goals. Each week, schedule the activities you will do to move toward those goals. When you prioritize your thinking and schedule your time to focus on your goals, you will achieve them with ease and confidence, long before the end of…” 2019.

   2. Seek Information and Use It
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   Chances are your plan for tackling your resolutions may be lacking something but it is usually nothing that information cannot solve. When it comes to planning and overall personal development, information is very essential, it’s like that playing Jenga, if you take out a particular piece, everything can come crashing down like the Wall of Jericho lol.

    You need to consume a good amount of information on the area of you want to improve, but not just consumption but also digestion, i.e. implementing said information properly. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, goal setting information will tell you to be more specific (see How to Set Your Goals and Smash Them) such as losing 20 kg through dieting. Then you will also have to do research on your body type, meal planning and ultimately what type of diet will be most effective for you (cough, cough, according to your pocket).

   3. Dream Big!
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   Human beings have shown time and time again that we can do amazing things if we just dream big enough, get out of our comfort zones (See 3 Reasons to You Leave Your Comfort Zone Today!) and put in the work! Becoming a millionaire or billionaire? Check! Inventing something cool? Check! Going to space? Check! And a lot more.

   When setting your resolutions, if you do the proper mental work, you will see that dreaming big is fair game, you can achieve a lot in a year. A year has 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes and 3153600 seconds. People get a lot done in that period of time and you can be one of them if you put your mind to it. The key is to dream big but start small which is leading to the next point.

  4. Start Small 
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    I believe it is better to be underwhelmed than overwhelmed when starting out. A baby must crawl before it starts walking and eventually running around. Making drastic changes to your life within the shortest amount of time is not only hard to manage because you will get tired and tired people do not have that much willpower (see How to Break Your Bad Habits) but it will lead to something like withdrawal syndrome if not the real thing.

    For example, if you want to quit smoking, you don’t stop smoking altogether because you will still be quite dependent on it, instead if you smoke 14 sticks of cigarettes, you cut down to 13 and subsequently reduce your daily indulgence until you get to 0! Drastic change without anything to cushion the effect will probably make things worse in the future, it can be like crawling with bare knees on broken bottles, very painful!

  5. Use Apps
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   Technology is very useful when it comes to sticking to our resolutions even though it can be a blessing and/or a curse. Many people have smartphones these days, there is a 95% chance you are reading this on your phone and if you are not it is obviously either a tab or computer.

   There are loads of apps on the App Store or Play Store that can help us stick to our resolutions, they have loads of info on whatever it is they specialise in, whether it is setting a timer, budgeting and saving money, tracking your progress, dieting or exercise, meditation, etc. For tracking your progress and fitness related resolutions, you can use the Qardio App, for money related issues you can use Piggybank and for meditation you can use Headspace. Have any apps you use that helps you? Please share with us in the comments!

  6. Track Your Progress
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    Keeping track of your progress is also a double-edged sword because there are times when it has motivated me and there are time it has demotivated me and I more or less gave up. But…you are not me and neither am I. There’s the saying that the only time you should look back is to see how far you have come, this is true in tracking your progress. If you do it every day it may end up backfiring because we all want to see big leaps so quickly but we know that is not how things actually work.

   If for example, your goal is to get 10k followers on Instagram and you plan on doing that by putting out more videos and engaging more with your followers, checking your follower count every 2 seconds will leave you disappointed (on that note follow me onInstagram for daily updates *wink wink*) but if you check it weekly or so, you can know what growth strategies are working and which are not and you may end up feeling better.

   7. Third Party Accountability
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Credit: Adobe Stock (imabase)

   When it comes to goal-setting in any shape or form, accountability is one of the pillars. We are humans, we get tired, we get lazy, sometimes we wake up and don’t feeling like doing anything like that Bruno Mars song but if we rely on feelings too often we will end up not being where we should be. Feelings can make us procrastinate (see 8 Practical Solutions to Procrastination), overthink (see9 Ways to Tackle Overthinking), afraid (see 5 Tips for Overcoming Fear), etc. and they can all prevent us from getting the job done.

   This is where accountability comes in, we all have excesses that need to be checked, having to answer to someone who does not take excuses can give us the much needed morale to be on job. Imagine having to submit an assignment but you tell your boss or teacher you were tired, lazy or afraid, they will see them as flimsy excuses and may punish you for it.

​  8. The Carrot and Stick Method
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    You may have heard of the concept of “carrot and stick” and if you have not it is basically another meaning for reward and punishment. As humans we like pleasure but we are even better equipped to avoid pain than seek pleasure. This is still similar to accountability but that was external accountability whereas here it is more about self-accountability.

   When you stick to a morning routine, go to the gym for the supposed number of days or times, when you eat a banana or cucumber instead of chips, when you post 3 blog posts a week instead of 1, you should reward yourself, preferably something equal to what you have done or a bit less but avoid over-rewarding yourself. For example, people that exercise regularly usually have cheat day(s) where they can indulge in the pleasures of unhealthy food but still manage to keep the equilibrium of a healthy lifestyle.

    In the same vein, you should punish yourself when you do not live up to your expectations. It does not mean beating yourself up but it can be just denying yourself the pleasure you would have otherwise had if you did the needful, so instead of having a cheat day you would not have a cheat day for an extra week. Another option is having to pay with your money for not sticking to your goals, maybe like $100 to a friend. Hopefully, it will help motivate you whenever next you are having a flimsy excuse as to not stick to your resolution.

   9. Avoid Calling It a New Year Resolution 
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    According to Caroline Stokes, New Year resolutions are a way to punish ourselves for indulging during the holidays because we feel guilty. It is like looking at ourselves after all the binging of holiday goodness and being mad at ourselves because we have pot bellies lol and we want to change based on that moment i.e. more emotional than logical and it is fleeting. This would not work because it is probably as shallow as the roots of a corn seedling. Instead of putting this sort of pressure on ourselves says Stokes, we should turn the so-called resolution into a new habit we want to create (see 5 Ways to Maintain Good Habits).

   10. Connect It To An Existing Habit
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     When it comes down to it, resolutions are about habit change, whether it is adopting a new habit or stopping an old one. When it comes to habit change, it has become fact that you cannot completely get rid of a habit but you can only change the routine (see Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit).

    According to Debra Russell, “The easiest way to change a habit or behaviour is to attach it to one that is already established. Want to floss your teeth every night? Do it right after you brush. Want to take vitamins? Put them next to your coffee maker and take them while it's brewing. Attach the new habit to a well-established habit in a way that makes sense to you.” 

  11. Don’t Beat Yourself Up 

  Humans are imperfect creatures and due to that we cannot create perfection, it is simply unattainable like the Z in a PPC curve (Economics students know what I mean lol). On the road to making your resolutions a reality, you are going to encounter setbacks, you are going to be rejected (see How to Handle Rejection), failures, etc., just keep in mind that it is part of the journey and it is fine, you can moan about it but avoid dwelling and wallowing for longer than necessary. 

   Do not give up completely because you missed one day at the gym because work was crazy or because you lost some followers or could not post 3 times a week as you had attended. Your inner critic will raise its ugly head but you have to tell it to shut up! You are not worthless because you missed one or two days (see How to Combat Your Negative Thoughts and Quieten Your Inner Critic). What is important is that you try to correct these issues and keep going!

   12. Ask for Help
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   According to the American Psychological Association Help Center, “Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviours and address emotional issues.”

  QOTD: “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.” - Lynn Bufka, PhD.

   WELL, THAT’S IT FROM ME GUYS, NOW…
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  What are some of your New Year resolutions and how do you plan on sticking to them? Comment below! If your resolutions includes reading more or perhaps you are seeking for ways to better yourself then you can get a free sample of my e-book THE STARTING POINT. Share this on social media so it can help others and SUBSCRIBE to my blog so you don’t miss a thing! Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for frequent updates. See ya next Monday and Happy New Year in advance!
                                      Thanks.
                                 Ofai. 

   Previous Post: 7 High Income Skills You Can Learn Online for 2019
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<![CDATA[7 High Income Skills You Can Learn Online for 2019]]>Sun, 16 Dec 2018 19:22:58 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/high-income-online-skills
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     As a fairly recent graduate from university, I have become disillusioned with the societal promise of  "go to school, get good grades, get a degree and you will easily get a decent job after you graduate." It is not that this statement is wrong, at the time of our parents and their parents it was true but nowadays it has not been updated. These days, to have a fighting chance, you will need to equip yourself with some high income skills which can set you up for a better life. We will be looking into some of those skills today. Let's gooo!

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 Does the System Still Work?
 The system can't really support everyone, it's like downloading the Windows 10 OS for a computer that used to run on Windows XP. It may work but the capacity will be too much for the poor PC, everything will be extra slow.  It is fair to say that everyone and their mum has a degree these days so its value has drastically reduced. The system is like a scale that can only hold one side up at the expense of the other. If you don't manage to be light and easy by distinguishing yourself, you'll end up being a heavy burden on the system and like a scale you'll be on the down side. 
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Credit: Z Gallerie

 7 Skills You Can Learn Online

     I am slowly coming to the realisation that maybe I'm not cut out to be an 'entrepreneur' but we'll see in the future. Being an entrepreneur or owning your business is in vogue and it is painted beautifully and that 9-5 is bad, having a boss is bad, you can't be rich under a boss because boss means "being over someone's salary" or something like that.

   Regardless of the outcome of whether I end up being an entrepreneur or working for someone else, it is evident that as a young person, most jobs will be insecure and it is important to have a side hustle or freelancing gig and in order to do that, there are some skills which can be learnt or sharpened. We'll be looking onto some high income skills which you can learn in the upcoming year which can help you as a side hustle or something which you can make into a business.

​ 1. Copywriting 
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  I believe the name really doesn't do it justice if you separate the words into two "copy" and "writing" but in this case copy is a homonym.   At the core of it, copywriting or writing a sales copy is about effectively convincing an audience through written words to take a desired action like subscribing, signing up, downloading freebies or to buy something from you.

  We've all come across copywriting in some way, shape or form in our daily online activities whether it's an ad on Facebook or Instagram talking about the latest product which you scroll down to the end to click on the big BUY NOW button, the thing you read at the beginning but scroll down toward the end to see the price and then buy it is copywriting.

   Now, if you've bought anything online due to a sales copy whether it's a brand you're used to or not, you can appreciate the potential effective copywriting has because best believe you're not the only one who bought a product based on how they sold it to you.  

   With all this in mind, you can imagine how much companies are willing to pay to get their hands on solid copywriting. A copywriter is more or less a digital salesperson and they can make money through helping companies as a freelancer (or employee) by writing blogs for them to use as effective marketing material, writing content or restructuring it for better SEO so their website can rank well in the search results or even running a business and using copywriting to sell your products.
  
  It is very evident that the power of copywriting is not going anywhere anytime soon and it is something you can learn online wither for free or even at a price. You use
Copy Blogger as a go-to resource for copywriting. As for what to start with, Sean Meyer recommends  SEO copywriting which he describes as  "...a blogger that understands SEO, and once you get a decent understanding of this…companies pay pretty well."
 
   2. SEO Consultant & Social Media Manager

   Back in 2016, I used to sign up for free webinars and trainings by OMG (One Man Gang) and they were big on consultancy but more so SEO consultancy. Basically, they teach you how to rank well on Google (1st page and preferably at the top) and you can go out to meet businesses and help them rank well for certain keywords.

   For example, if you sell Brazilian hair in Lagos but are not getting that much customers because your business is on the 10th page of Google or later which is the coffin of businesses, the SEO consultant comes in and helps you rank for the keywords "quality 12 inch Brazilian hair in Lekki" your sales will be boosted and you'll pay said consultant to keep getting you results.  For SEO tips, you should check out Neil Patel

   This same premise can be used for a social media manager, if you sell hair, you know you have to be on Instagram because there are more women on it (at least in my experience) and they wanna see your product in use. The social media manager is there to run your social media page effectively, i.e. when to post, how many times, what they are posting, quality of the pictures, the captions, discussions, and overall driving engagement.  

  When the social media manager does their job well, everyone is happy both the customers, business owner(s), your bank and you the social media manager of course.  Good thing is you don't have to look too far to learn these skills, for now, look no further than How to Become a Social Media Guru in 20 Steps

  3. Video Production and Animation
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   Videos are the most engaging form of content and they're easily digestable and they involve both words and actions and we can learn some things better by watching, for example, reading how to dance versus watching a dance tutorial on YouTube, you'll learn better on YouTube. 

   Making and editing videos is a great skill to have in your back packet and it requires good knowledge in video editing software such as After Effects, Adobe Premier, Apple iMovie, Nero Video, Lumen5, Corel VideoStudio etc. it also invloves knowledge of related equipment such as lighting, green screen,  audio equipment, etc. and being able to mix both video and audio properly, good video with poor audio ain't gonna cut in 2019. You can make money off your videos through platforms like YouTube, Instagram or by freelancing your skills elsewhere. 

    When it comes to animation, you can stretch it as far as you can imagine and that's the beauty of it  but you're constrained by your budget and skill level. Most of the content I consumed is anime or anime related content and I can always appreciate the high quality of the videos. HD videos will always do better, I've tried to watch anime from around the 90s but I really can't stand the video quality. 

    Video is also how brands make their money more these days, why does Nike spend so much on their "JUST DO IT" ads? Because those videos evoke a feeling and effective selling will have to evoke a feeling that will transfer into you buying their product. You won't be able to evoke this feeling if your videos are crappy. For example, in movies even if the plot and acting is bad, if the editing is good, the shots are beautiful, people will be more willing to sit through it because they can appreciate the beauty of the videos. 
  

 According to My Salary Scale, you can learn video editing for free in these places, AlisonLyndaVideocopilotRedgaint and Premieregal. In some aspects of video making, you will have to spend some money, education can't be totally free for everything but you start getting paid well you won't be complaining. 

   4. Language Translation  
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   Like I said before in my related post 009 Skills You Need to Survive in the 21st Century, Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world and China's global influence is increasing.  Even if you take China out of the equation for a second, the demand for people who can speak, understand and translate not just the words but also the subtleties of one language into another is a skill in higher demand. THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION COMPELS US! Lol.

   Being able to effectively translate content in another language or multiple languages means opening up a business or your own brand to a wider audience. For example, if you can effectively translate your digital products, sales copy, website content, etc. from English to Spanish, you've effectively expanded said business to Spain and almost all of Latin America and other Spanish speaking areas. 
  
​   You can use Duolingo to learn languages such as French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, etc. My friend is also working on a language app for some African languages and you can check him out at The Aflang Project


   5. Web Development
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   The internet is an explosion which was once thought to be a temporary thing until people move on to the next thing, time has shown that the internet has a lot of staying power and won't be going anywhere in a long time.  Just like the Big Bang theory, this explosion of the internet has created vast opportunities for personal development and avenues to make money. One of such avenues is web development  which is a big business and there is a huge demand for developers that have a wide-range of skills in different web development languages. 

   Albeit contrary to popular belief, web development is not just about website development, it also includes aspects such as website maintenance, creating online solutions, security testing, site testing, web applications, etc.  

   For a comprehensive learning experience designed to take you from zero to hero, you can check out this course on Udemy, The Complete 2019 Web Development Bootcamp. If you're looking for some free resources to start with, Google is your best friend. When we speak about 

  6. Coding
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    Don't be on a codeine diet, be on a coding diet, lol bad pun, it's a Nigerian joke.
  Coding and programming can be daunting tasks, most things online run on codes and programming such as video games, apps, websites, etc. as someone who've seen a fair share of computer students complain about python, C+, C++ and whatever, it makes me feel bad for them.

   If you think in order to be good at coding you have to get a computer science degree then you're sorely mistaken, more so these days, big tech companies like Google, Apple and other Silicon Valley big shots couldn't really care less about your degree these days as long as you can do the job. If you want to learn coding at your own pace for free you should check out Codecademy

​   7. Graphic Design
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  David Ogilvy said that people read 100% of images. Images are how our brain processes information, when we read a book and something is being described, we tend to visualise it and the result will be mental pictures. 

  The result or effect of graphic design is all over, it's on billboards, signposts, big screens, posters, music artwork, etc. The more incredible an image is the more we tend to be attracted to it. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.

​   With social networks like Instagram and Pinterest (follow me by the way) which are heavily visual, the need to stand out is increasing and companies, businesses, brands, etc. are looking for great graphic designers to always give them a competitive urge. I use free tools like Canva and Piktochart to make some incredible designs like Instagram posts, infographics, logos, etc. There are also tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, CorelDraw, etc.  which  are important to a graphic designer. 

  Bonus
  - Digital Marketing/Online Advertising
  - Forex Trading
  - Music
  - Data Analytics
  - Creative Writing
  - Editor/Proofreader 
  - Photography
  - Advanced Excel Skills
  -  Cloud Computing

  There are more high income skills which you can learn online but this is where I stop, if you're interest in learning some high income skills online as we enter the new year, if you don't find it here then don't hesitate to further your research online, like I said before Google is your best friend, comprehende? 

   QOTD: "It's simple arithmetic: your income can grow only to the extent that you do." - T. Harv Eker

   WELL THAT'S IT FROM ME GUYS, NOW...
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   Which of these skills will you try to learn in 2019 or which of them are you already learning? Comment below! Subscribe to my blog for for updates and to get my free e-books. Share this on social media so more people can be aware of these skills and Follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest. I'm also creating a new e-book for you guys and need your input, please take this  Short Survey to help me help you. See you next Monday. 
                                       Thanks.
                                        Ofai. 

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<![CDATA[06 Christmas Gift Ideas for Personal Development]]>Mon, 10 Dec 2018 05:30:23 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/christmas-gift-ideas
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     'Tis the season to be merry, 'tis the season to be jolly, 'tis the season for gift giving. December is probably the most festive time of the year around the world, you have holidays like Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc. With holidays such as Christmas, gifts are involved, people buy a lot of stuff so shops and stores make a lot of money while keeping the people happy. The problem with gift giving though is that sometimes we don't know what exactly to get someone. What kind of gifts do you get someone who is into personal development? Someone trying to improve themselves be it on a specific or general level. Well, that's what we'll be getting into so let's gooo!

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 Gift Ideas for Personal Development/Self-Improvement

   
​    If I'm being honest, gift giving is not my forte because the culture I grew up around din't indulge in Christmas gifts all that much, when we were little we should to get "Christmas money" when we simply greet someone on Christmas day but that soon stopped. What I know still sticks around is "Christmas clothes" which our parents would buy for us and we wear them on Christmas, that was when we usually got new clothes, I suppose the clothes were our gifts. As a young man, Christmas clothes are a product of the past. For someone like me, these are more appropriate today.  
1. Books/E-books
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   Books have been shown to give light aka knowledge to the dark places of our lives. A confused person in the dark just needs a little flicker of light to know where to go. Books are handy mentors which you can carry around because they carry around the spirit of the writer(s), they can fascinate, amaze, encourage, entertain or engage you. If you can squeeze in at least 15 minutes to read daily, you'll see you'll go from 0 to 100 real quick! 
   Self-help books particularly lay down the ground work for how to improve certain areas of your life, I mean who wouldn't want that right? They don't answer all your questions of life nor do they even solve all the problems in a particular area, the books will be too long and one or authors ain't got all the answers, Sway! So if you're interested in buying a book as a gift for someone or yourself, you should invest in a self-help book because it is like investing in someone's future and betterment. Some popular self-help books include: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. You can also buy my self-help e-book, THE STARTING POINT: A Beginner's Guide to Personal Development which is catered to showing the three parts young people need to focus on to get the best results in life, it comes in both a Nigerian version and an International English version. 

   2. Online Course
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   The world we're living in today thrives on information to survive, people are making millions by releasing information products, people are building their tribe because they have the right information people are looking for. Google is the biggest search engine platform followed by YouTube because people are looking for what? IN-FOR-MA-TION! 
  When looking for solid information about a particular subject or something you want to learn, you really can't go wrong with an online course. Many of them are certified (because people looove their certificates) and they can be done from the comfort of your home and your devices. 
  Courses are sometimes expensive but December is one of the best times to buy them because they go on sale, I know Udemy are doing a sale at the moment, so if you don't have too much cash to splash (hehe I just rhymed) seize the moment. Get an online course for someone you care about, today! That someone might even be yourself.

  3. Journal
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   Journals are excellent for recording our thoughts or to keep track of stuff such we're hoping to achieve of what we're grateful for. Using a journal for daily gratitude is good way to stay positive and look deeper into your mind for things to be grateful for and this in turn is great for your mental health (see 11 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health). When buying a journal for someone, I suggest you personalise it either on the cover of the first page. It can be a photo of you guys or a personal message. Since a journal can be used for recording a journey, it is a way to show them support that you wanna see them win in life. 

   ​ 4. Juicer/Smoothie Maker

   Sometimes all we need is a cold glass or OJ or some smoothie to feel refreshed. Whether you've just come back from a light or hellish session at the gym or just tired from work or school, a glass will do you some good to ease the stress plus it's healthy. Healthy food is expensive enough then imagine the electronic devices used to make them cost? Not everyone can easily afford it, so if you can afford it for a friend then why not go ahead and give it to them as a Christmas gift? Especially the fitness junkies or the ones trying to get into it. Invest in someone's health because "health is wealth." 

  5. Camera or Phone Holder

   Content creators know that videos are the most engaging form of content because they show you instead just to leave stuff to your imagination. Movies are gonna keep flooding the market because they engage all different emotions and they are visually appealing plus they carry both the power of words and images. 
   If you know someone who is a content creator of wants to start a YouTube channel, one thing you can do for them is to get them a good video camera like a Go Pro because theses days if your videos are not HD you can't really compete. I'm sure you might find hard to watch an old movie you've never seen before because the video quality is poor by today's standards. 
  Oh you can't get them a vidcam? Errrm how about a phone holder? All smartphones have video cameras so if the person has a good phone holder with a mini light (like the one I'm about to get), it can be like a mini studio and it can go a long way to help them. You can also chip in a mini microphone so the audio is great as well. 
 
  6. Buy Them an Experience 

   Sometimes an experience goes a long way more than a product. An experience widens one's horizon, perspective, etc and it has a story attached to it. A great first date isn't good because he bought you dinner, it's where you went, how the food tasted, how he smiled, what was said and what was done. There's a feeling that comes from it and that's what experiences are about, they can make you erupt with emotion like a volcano. 
   You can take someone to an art gallery, take them travelling, to the spa because they've been too stressed, to a party because they need to make new friends and have a good time, etc. If you give someone a great experience this Christmas, they'll be more likely to remember it than if you buy them something. 
   In conclusion, you should think properly about the gifts you wanna get some because it can go a long way in improving their lives!

  QOTD: "The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value."

   WELL, THAT'S IT FROM ME GUYS, NOW...
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   Which of these gifts are you gonna consider buying for someone? Comment below! Subscribe to my blog for for updates  and to get my free e-books. Share this on social media so more people can be aware of these suggestions and Follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.      I'm also creating a new e-book for you guys and need your input, please take this Short Survey to help me help you. See you next Monday. 
                               Thanks.
                                Ofai. 

   Previous Post: 009 Skills You Need to Survive in the 21st Century!

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