March 29, 2018

Why Faith Is A Virtue All By Itself

Note: This post has been contributed.


Faith is a virtue all by itself. It’s difficult for many modern people to understand this. While religious belief in some form or another has been a core component in all societies around the world, it can be difficult to get that through to someone who isn’t interested. Of course, forcing beliefs on others is never healthy, but it can be worthwhile to discuss the benefits of faith to make it seem attractive to those who might one day need it.

We have collected some benefits of faith that are hard to ignore. They are as follows:

Faith Aims You Towards The Highest Good

The highest good is often the best place to start. None of us stick to the complete ideal as we all are flawed in our own way, but that doesn’t mean having something to strive for is useless. In fact, quite the opposite. Faith keeps us oriented in the best livable reality we can conceive for our lives to be part of. Without this grounding, it’s easy for people to fall into disarray. It might be that reading Jesus quotes in the morning can help you start your day with compassion and strength.

 It might be that trusting in a higher plan can help you through the most difficult of circumstances. The world is complex and overly strange, and having an ethical and moral aim can help us stay strong and sharp in that environment. Faith is not a weakness, rather something that helps us stand up stronger and stay humble in that effort.

Faith Keeps You Humble

Humility is a big part of a happy life. Not because you should feel that your achievements mean nothing in comparison with the grandeur of the world. It’s more that keeping humble allows you to calibrate your intent. Instead of working hard to help people in your community for pride and to get recognized as citizen of the year, you enjoy genuinely connecting to people. You understand that it’s a privilege and a gift to be able to do so, even in the hard times. This keeps you not only well targeted towards what you hope to do, but fills you with an inner richness that any superficial intent can never replicate.

It Keeps You Safe

When you have faith, you have a behavioural framework. You can attribute all your actions within the scope of a certain framework. It’s easier to stay strong in your morals, and prevent being swayed by bad people in your life. It allows you to take pride in your wisdom and maturity, and not be fooled into thinking this is somehow unmanageable or something that makes you naive. It also helps you against the general proclivity of feeling existential dread. After all, we all know that life is finite and difficult. To have something that keeps us happy, connected, progressive, well calibrated with life and filled with meaning is something that many people would love the chance of experiencing. It’s best to be grateful for this, and try to expand it where possible.

In summary, faith is a wonderful thing. No matter who you are, you can derive some value from it. So, be sure to experience this where you can. You’re sure to see the benefit quickly.

March 28, 2018

Dealing With Difficulties In Life? Throwing In The Towel Is Not An Option

Note: This post has been contributed.

There comes a time in our lives where things can get a little difficult. We all have periods where careers and jobs are tough, finances are a burden, relationships are breaking down, and it can feel like everything is just too much. Can you relate? Many of us will have been through something like this in the past, and many of us will go through it at some point in the future. But, it is how you handle the situation and move forward that makes you the person you become. Strong, independent, motivated. So don’t throw in the towel when life gets a little difficult. I thought I would share with you some of the options you could consider to help you through tough periods in life. 


Changing your mindset

Your mind is such a powerful tool. It really can be the thing that is controlling your very reactions to tough times, and in most cases, this might be in a negative way. A negative mindset isn’t something that can easily be cured, but changing the way you think can ultimately change your reaction to situations and help you to take positive steps forward rather than hiding in the dark. It could be as simple as forcing a positive thought. It might be focusing on what you are happy about in life, what your are grateful for maybe. Small actions done consistently can become habits, and once you do develop a positive mindset you may be able to clearly decided on the best actions to take for the future. 

Talking to someone

Maybe you need to think about opening up to someone and talking about your feelings and what is going on. Often speaking to someone who isn’t involved directly gives you a safe place and platform to really open up. It might be something like Christianity-based counseling where you discuss things, or it could be more psychologically based where you try talking therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Whichever option you choose, talking and discussing your feelings and getting them out in the open is only going to be a positive experience, helping you to move forward. 

A lifestyle change

Finally, it could be as simple as changing your lifestyle. Many of us will agree that when we feel down and depressed, or things like anxiety are taking hold of us, we can become more insular and stop taking care of ourselves. We eat the wrong things, we don’t spend time outside, and generally these habits can make us feel worse in the long term. A lifestyle change doesn't have to be drastic. Just start by having a more balanced diet or drinking more water each day. It might be that you have the goal of being active each day, or just getting outside for some fresh air. Implementing positive changes to your lifestyle can help you to feel better physically, which then gives you the energy and focus to start working on the problems that are causing you to feel bad emotionally and mentally. 


I hope that these options help you through a difficult time. 

Downtime: Finding Your Body’s Power Outlet

Note: This post has been contributed.


Over the last century or so, the way that people work has changed dramatically. With a lot of roles going from being based outside and involving loads of manual labor, to office-based desk jobs. This change is good, as it means that fewer people are having to work in risky positions. But, along with this, it can also create some issues when it comes to downtime, and a lot of people struggle to get what they need outside of work.

Sitting at a desk all day can be surprisingly easy when you have the threat of financial disaster hanging over your head. Of course, though, this doesn’t mean that it will be fun. Instead, as a lot of people find, this sort of job can be extremely boring, and this will impact most people’s ability to do it effectively. If you’re in a job like this already, a little bit of rest wouldn't hurt, and this post is going to go through some of the best ways to get it.

Shooting: If you live somewhere with easy access to firearms, shooting can be a great way to ease yourself after a long day. Being incredibly cathartic, taking down a target or two can relieve a lot of stress, and it doesn’t take much effort. This will be a little less active than the other options, and this means that it might not be for everyone.

Watersports: Surfing, wakeboarding, and loads of other different kinds of watersport can be found around the world. If you live near the coast, sites like Boaters Outlet can be a great place to go when you’re looking for a way to relieve some tension. This sort of sport is very intense, and will use a lot of your energy, making it perfect for those with an excess after sitting at a computer for the whole day.

A Team Game: Learning to work with other people will always be a great skill to have. Along with this, though, playing as a team can do more than benefit your resume, and will be a great way to unwind. Finding a good middle ground between watersports and shooting, this sort of option will be best handled with friends, and will be easy to get started without any investment.

Pushing Yourself: One of the biggest issues people face in desk jobs is stress. Over time, doing the same thing repeatedly will make it hard for your mind to stay healthy, and this can lead to issues in the future. To help you with this, simply pushing yourself harder when you’re outside of work can be a great route to take. Not only will this improve your free time, but it will also give you the chance to improve skills related to your current role.


With all of this in mind, it should be a lot easier to get started on the downtime you give yourself. For anyone working in a stressful or boring role, having a way to release some energy while having fun is a great way to stay motivated. At the end of the day, you’re only human, and this means that it can be hard to do things which you don’t want to.

March 26, 2018

The Shocking Truth About Nursing Home Abuse (And How You Can Protect Your Loved Ones From It)

Note: This post has been contributed.

For younger generations it can feel like we’ve come to accept the world as caring and unkind by default. There are, after all, precedents throughout the natural world of stronger life forms doing everything they must to survive and flourish even if it comes at the expense of other species. Kill or be killed quickly becomes not just the law of the jungle but of the boardroom. In the frantic struggle to achieve success, we glibly take backstabbing, duplicity and betrayal in our stride, shrugging them off as life in the big city. If we’re not careful we can even come to view compassion, altruism and selflessness as signs of weakness that must be quelled in order to survive in an uncaring and uncompromising world… Even though we see lots of examples of them in the natural world too. 



There are some areas in the professional sphere where we do not expect (or even ask for) compassion or altruism and some where it is absolutely essential. We expect those in the healthcare profession to be motivated by compassion as they deal with our quotidian aches, pain and injuries but if there’s one area in which we absolutely demand a sense of compassion alongside professionalism and dedication it’s in our nursing homes. When we commit someone we love to the care of a nursing home, we do so with certain expectations. We expect that their individual personal health needs will be met, but also that they will be treated with respect, compassion and dignity in their dotage. The reality, however is that while the overwhelming majority of nursing home professionals work with tireless passion, dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism, there’s also a worrying rise in elder abuse in nursing homes all over the world. Even if a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney isn’t necessary for your loved ones, it certainly pays to be abreast of the issue as it has serious ramifications to how the system may need to be improved in the future to sustain an aging population, with an estimated increase of over 100% in the world’s population of over 60s from 900 million to 2 billion by 2050. Here we’ll look at the extent of the issue and elucidate you as to how you can detect signs of elder abuse where your loved ones reside.

The scope of the problem

A World Health Organization report last year paints a damning picture of the state of elder care across the globe. The report indicated that a shocking 1 in 6 elderly people had experienced some form of abuse in the past year. In the USA, a staggering 95% of residents claim that they have witnessed the abuse of a peer. There are many different forms of physical and psychological abuse endured by our elders from the physical to the psychological and even the financial. Nursing home residents who are abused face a 300% increase in mortality risk, regardless of which form the abuse takes. 

According to the report 11.6% of the world’s elders are subject to psychological abuse in the form of bullying or psychological torment, 6.8% are subject to financial abuse including theft and identity fraud, 4.2% encounter neglect with their basic needs going deliberately unmet, 2.6% encountering physical abuse and 0.9% encountering sexual abuse.


Since many cases of elder abuse go unreported (with an estimated 1 in 24 cases actually being reported), this already shocking figure may only be the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous reasons why elder abuse may go unreported. It could be that the nursing home has insufficient preventative checks or whistleblowers could be silenced by threats and intimidation. Many abuse cases also go unreported as in many cases the abuser is actually a close friend or relative. If you have a parent or other loved one in care, this is likely very worrying reading. However, you can arm yourself against this grave and worryingly widespread injustice by spotting the signs. 

Knowing the signs of elder abuse

If you visit your relatives in care regularly, you are well placed to identify any untoward changes in appearance or behavior that could demonstrate signs of abuse. While we may be tempted to react strongly to the sight of bruises, it’s important to remember that even with the best of care, nursing home patients can encounter trips, falls and bumps just like the rest of us. As we get older, our skin loses the protective fatty layers that protect blood vessels, and as a result we bruise more easily. That said, recurring bruises can be indications of physical abuse. 

Other signs of physical abuse

Physical abuse takes place when carers strike patients or tie them to beds or wheelchairs. In some cases they may also be deliberately burned or cut. Signs include persistent cuts and bruises that fade then reappear in the same places, sprained or broken bones and a pronounced reluctance to report any injuries to a doctor.

Signs of sexual physical abuse include torn or bloodied clothes or bedding, bleeding from the genitals or anus, bruises around the body including on the breasts and genitals and evidence of sexually transmitted diseases.

Signs of psychological abuse

As the most pervasive form of abuse, we must be particularly wary of the signs that our loved ones have been abused in this way. While psychological abuse leaves no cuts or bruises, it leaves equally profound scars which can be determined by changes in behavior. If you notice any of the following it may be an indicator of psychological abuse;

  • Sudden quietness and lack of enjoyment in favorite activities.
  • Seeming frightened or withdrawn.
  • Rocking back and forth, or biting or sucking on sleeve.
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood swings
If they have been neglected they may bear signs such as persistent bed sores, dirty clothes, unkempt hair, sudden weight loss or loss of appetite. 



Signs of financial abuse

Financial abuse is becoming increasingly common as carers and fellow residents try to take advantage of wealthier residents. Signs to watch out for include;

  • Unexpected transactions on bank statements
  • Missing bank statements
  • Missing legal documents
  • A new friend or romantic partner who may be taking financial advantage
  • Unpaid bills
  • Signatures that look different and could possibly be forged.


If you see any of these potential indicators of abuse, report them immediately to the nursing home and request a consultation with an elder law specialist.

March 24, 2018

What Could Affect Your Chances Of Success?

Note: This post has been contributed.


When it comes to the world of business, it would be great to know that you’re going to find success. If you’re someone that has always dreamt of having their own business, you may agree that you see big things in your future as an entrepreneur. So much so, that you don’t really expect to fail. But when this is the case, when you first launch your business, you will need to be pretty prepared. Because when you’ve not make a proper plan, there could be a bunch of things that go wrong. This means that you have to have thought of pretty much everything that could hold you back. And it’s really not always that easy to know exactly what can hold you back. So let’s take a look at some of the things that could affect your chances of success.

Your Mindset

Whether you realize it or not, the very first thing is your mindset. If you don’t have the right attitude or approach to your business, you may struggle to even get it off the ground. You really do need to be determined to succeed. Sometimes, business can be hard - and when you let it get to you, you’re going to find that you struggle and you may even fall at the first hurdle. So you have to keep your drive and passion up. Getting your mindset on track is a great way to seek out success.

Money

Next, you have money. Right now, you may not think that it matters. And it may not. It’s perfectly acceptable to bootstrap your way to success. It’s often what a lot of people will do to find their successes. But depending on the business that you’re starting, you may also need money to get off of the ground. So, you’ll want to make sure that you are making the right plans if you’re hoping to find financing.



Your Experience

You may believe that your lack of experience will hold you back. However, it won’t always. In that scenario, again it’s more likely to be that your attitude does. As long as you’re willing to learn, put the work in, and keep on trying, you should find that you can gain the experience you need to succeed.

Your Credibility

One thing that may impact your success if your image and credibility. So you’ll want to get this in line by finding the right resources. There are many that can get you out of sticky situations, such as A Be Out Bail Bonding and a good PR firm. You can definitely always build up your credibility too - so don’t let your past define your future.

Market Conditions


And finally, there are also market conditions that could contribute to the success of your business venture too. And these are a lot harder to control. So be sure to do your market research and do it well! You’ll want to make sure that there is a market for your idea, so that you can then make a success of it, rather than see it fail.

March 21, 2018

Headspace: Why Getting Away From It All Is Crucial To Your Success

Note: This post has been contributed.

Life seems to be getting more hectic by the second; if you’ve got a busy career and family life, it can be a challenge to find the time to switch off and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. However, more people are having to take leave from their jobs due to stress and fatigue, because they weren’t making themselves a priority. Therefore, it’s crucial to the success of your future lifestyle, to know when it’s time for a breather and to get some much-needed headspace. Whether it's a couple of days and nights away or a regular vacation with your loved ones; a getaway and break are just what you’ll need to recharge, refocus, and give yourself a boost for whatever comes next.

Your calendar and diary might be heaving, but there’s no time like the present to schedule in some you time and work around the moments you’ll be spending away alone, with your partner, or with your family. Now is the time to think about those place where you feel most at ease, and know that you’ll be able to benefit from some fresh air and relaxation time to read a book or partake in your favorite activities. It’s not necessarily about lying back for the whole of your getaway and doing nothing, but more about a change of scenery, and taking your mind away from the craziness of everyday life. The following are some ideas and inspiration for those who need a push to go and get some headspace for their health, happiness, and wellbeing so that they can continue succeeding at what they do.


Out On The Water

Traditional jobs in business and offices don’t tend to leave much time or room to spend some quality moments enjoying the open water. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about booking a getaway somewhere you can enjoy an open expanse of H20. Check out sites like themarinebattery.com before you visit your lakeside retreat, and think about investing in a kayak for yourself, or you and a loved one. Inflatable ones will fit in your car with ease, and you can look forward to hours of relaxing kayaking on the water ahead. Or, hire a boat on arrival for some sailing or fishing; whatever you decide to do, maker the most of the environment around you, breathe in and out, and blow out those cobwebs for clarity and a clear head.

Nourish Your Body


You’ve probably got yourself into a routine of a quick coffee for breakfast, whatever fast food you can grab for lunch, and late dinners. Therefore, you should be making the most of fresh local produce during your time away; cooking from scratch with quality ingredients is another way to concentrate on something simple, and your body will reap the rewards when it’s time to serve up. Book somewhere with a BBQ, and take some simple recipe ideas from pinterest.com along to fuel your time away. You’ll return feeling refreshed and keen to book your next mindful getaway. 

March 09, 2018

Hiring The Right People: It’s Not Just About Qualifications

This post has been contributed.

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It's a time-tested theory that has been long proven- it's the people that make the business. And, specifically, your employees. For all the entrepreneurial skills you have to get people on board, it's your employees that you will lean on during tough times, and it is their motivation as individuals that will see you through to the end. This is why you need to get your hiring chops up to speed. The hiring process, for many people, is the best way to find the best person for the job. But, various factors can go against a potential employee in an interview, nerves, for example. So what can you do to hire the right people for your business?

Make Your Job Descriptions Detailed
If you are hoping to nail down a specific roster of duties, you need to make sure that this is represented in the job description. Lots of people apply for jobs because of the vagueness of the main details, meaning that you have to wade through piles of pointless resumes. Instead, make it crystal clear, itemize every single duty the job entails, and what you expect from the candidate.

Structure The Interviews
Many interviews can be informal affairs, but are you going to get a good impression of who the potential employee is through this method? Instead, if you can structure the interviews in a certain way so you can evaluate their personality, skills, and if they fit into the company culture, this is going to benefit you and the person being interviewed. If you aren't used to interviewing people, it can feel like a bit of trial and error to get it right. But this is why you need to know exactly what you want out of your employee.

Check Their Background
It's not just about finding the right person on paper, it's about assessing their trustworthiness. This requires a bit of rooting around in their past, you can either assess their compatibility with the job via their LinkedIn profile, social media, and so forth. But you can also dig even deeper, and hire a private investigator. There are private investigator services like John Cutter Investigations that provide pre-employment screenings. Essentially, they would do the equivalent of rooting around through the metaphorical trash. And if you're looking for someone who is inherently trustworthy, but you have niggling doubts, this process should help to alleviate any concerns. It's part and parcel of the research process nowadays, going via their LinkedIn profile or social media accounts, and it's a process you should integrate into your employment strategy.

Don't Just Look At Their Resume
Yes, qualifications are all well and good, though you could get a good feeling about someone, but they don't have the necessary skills on paper. Maybe they're covering letter stood out to you, or they feel like they would be a perfect fit. Skills are something you can train people up in anyway! Yes, qualifications are handy, but if you're looking to hire people who will go the distance, and will progress further up the ladder, and maybe be business partners with you in the future, hiring the right person isn't just about qualifications. Look beyond the resume!

An Environmental Business: Should Companies Care More About Our Planet?

This post has been contributed.

When it comes to the environment, we make an effort to do what we can. The picture is, after all, looking increasingly bleak. Global warming has done enough to prove it definitely isn’t a myth. Our energy resources are fast running out, and our oceans are in a sorry state, too. But, we all have a vested interest to make a change and, for the most part, we’re stepping up to the responsibility. It’s now thought, for instance, that a massive 4.6 million American homes have solar panels. What’s more, we all try to switch off lights and reduce the waste we produce.

No one can deny that these are all moves for the better. The risk we were taking before these alterations was just too high a price to pay. After all, the state of the planet impacts future generations as much as it does us.

But, should the buck fall at households? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that large corporations do much more damage to the environment. Yet, for the most part, businesses fall under the environmental radar. The efforts of individual households have been a drop in the ecological crisis. But, the same alterations from firms could make real ripples.



Of course, not all companies are guilty of turning a blind eye. Many make efforts to recycle and use naturally sourced energy. But there are companies out there who short of what we might expect. Even those who do make efforts may not be doing as much as we’d hope.

So, what changes could we realistically expect such companies to make? For the most part, these aren’t dissimilar to those we make in our homes, but on a larger scale. For instance, waste in our oceans is a significant issue. While we try to counter that by reducing the plastic we throw away, companies could do the same and also install something like these oil water separators. Then, they can make sure all harmful chemicals are removed from anything going back into the ocean. What’s more, businesses could make our job easier by using alternative packaging. Paper options which are biodegradable would remove the chance of getting waste disposal wrong.

And, of course, businesses should step up when it comes to the energy they use. A large company is sure to use more energy than, say, a family home. What’s more, many companies leave lights on overnight, whether to light storefronts or assist overnight workers. This behavior needs addressing. Indeed, those who leave lights on unnecessarily may want to reconsider that action. After all, few homes would now leave a landing light on. For companies who rely on overnight workers, it may be more realistic to suggest a change in energy source. Instead of using limited resources, such companies would do better to use solar energy.


If changes like these become widespread, perhaps we would see much more of a positive impact. One thing’s sure; it’s past time we held large corporations more accountable.

March 06, 2018

5 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

This post has been contributed.

The best entrepreneurs are multi-talented. They are able to put into practice the various skills that they have to further their companies. Though there are plenty of skills which could be useful, we are going to talk about five of the most fundamental ones in this article.




Of course, there are plenty of ways that you can refine and develop including internet sources such as Training Connection's business skills resource. But here are just a few of the areas which you can focus on.

Sales

Your sales skills are what you will use to get people buying your product or service in the first place. While marketing may get people into your store in the first place, your sales acumen is what will ensure that they walk away with something under their arm. Of course, in an internet-driven world, face-to-face selling isn’t as necessary as it once was, but if you want to grow your business, you need to be able to present it positively to potential partners and investors.

Planning

You need to have a clear idea of where you are heading and what you want your company to achieve. When you are making your business plan, you need to make it as detailed as possible including information about every risk, benefit, and cost of the decisions that you make. While you want to be able to stick to the plan where possible, you also need to be prepared to make adjustments and improvements where necessary. 

Communication

Good communication skills will come in handy in various aspects of your business. First of all, they will help you to gain loyal employees who stand the test of time at your company. They will also play a big role in ensuring that you get clients coming back time and time again, as well as forming crucial relationships with suppliers and other companies. And as new methods of communication are created and used, you need to be adept at using all of them.

Attention to Detail





It is the little improvements that you make to a company which can make all the difference. Noticing what your competitors are doing and working out ways that you can get the better of them. Listening to your customers and tailoring your business to suit their needs rather than providing what you think is best. Improving conditions for your staff members to make it more likely that they will stay with your company in the long-term.

Curiosity

The best businesses have always been built on a level of curiosity. This desire to keep learning and finding out new things will keep you at the top of your game and will ensure that your company stays ahead of your competitors. 


Though there are plenty of skills which will come in handy in the world of entrepreneurship, these are just a few of the fundamentals. If you think that you have them already, there are always improvements to be made, and if not, learning new skills is something that you can do at any stage of life.

How To Make Winter Fun Again

Note: This post has been contributed. When the winter comes, there is a general feeling amongst us of sluggishness. Why bother...