16 Tips for Living a Happy Life Starting Right Now

It doesn’t matter your age, how much money you have in your bank account, your marital status or what you do for a living, we all want to be more successful in our lives. Of course, defining success is different for each us, but here are 16 proven ways that can make you more productive, happy and successful in life.

1. Be committed.

No matter what goals you have set for yourself in life, you have to be committed. It’s through commitment that you’ll continue to make the improvements needed to better yourself. Whether it’s taking a chance on launching a startup, getting a gym membership to improve your physical well being, or taking a cooking class because you want to become a chef, commitment is what drives us all to become more successful.

2. People care about you, not your success.

Let’s be honest. People don’t care about the expensive clothes you wear, how big is the house you own or the car your drive. That’s not to say that they don’t respect your achievements or possessions. Instead, they care you as an individual and they’ll support you no matter what — because they love you. Believe it!

3. Be grateful everyday.

According to researchers Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Michael McCullough, being grateful can result in feeling better about your life, more enthusiastism and more willingness to help others. Being grateful may even reduce coronary artery disease. Take the time to write down what you’re grateful each and every day.

4. Take action.

In an article in The Atlantic, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman share studies on the confidence gap between men and women.  The researchers discovered that confidence is just as important as competence. It was concluded in the article that “[T]aking action bolsters one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed.”

5. Money can’t buy happiness.

As The Beatles famously proclaimed, (money), “can’t buy me love.” You know what else money can’t buy? Happiness. Just because you’re earning six figures doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily content. Sure, money is obviously needed, and it makes some things easier. But, you should be focusing on your passion and not how much your paycheck is.

6. Don’t take rejection personally.

At some point we all face rejection. Instead of taking it personally, use it as a learning experience. Why did a VC reject your proposal? Maybe there wasn’t a market for your product. Perhaps you didn’t have a convincing pitch. Maybe the VC’s partner just called and said he’d spent their extra cash. Accepting and learning from rejection is one way to guide you to success.

With my online invoicing startup I get rejected daily, literally. I talked to 100+ VC’s before I got one that believed in my product. Learn from rejection and use it as motivation to make things bettter!

7. Have a backup plan.

You never know when the unexpected is going to happen, but when it does happen, you’re surrounded by chaos. Being prepared for the worst case scenario can at least make things a whole lot less chaotic. When my last business crashed, had I not had some cash set aside (that my wife kept away from me), we would have been in financial ruin. Having a three-to-six month nest egg will make the difference. I’ve found that having 12-24 months of cash to pay all bills just sitting there has significantly helped my marriage be more positive as well!

8. Improve your social skill.

After analyzing data from between 1972 and 1992, University of California, , economist Catherine Weinberger found that “The people who are both smart and socially adept earn more in today’s workforce than similarly endowed workers in 1980.”

Related: Developing People Skills Is a Brilliant Career Move

9. Travel.

As Yii-Huei Phang states on The Huffington Post, traveling is a great way to “develop a person’s character” and become more open-minded. Additionally, while traveling is a great way to get away from the daily grind, it also helps you appreciate what you have back at home.

10. Don’t multitask.

If you’re feeling constantly burnt out it’s probably because you’re doing too much at one time. Research has found that “when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 percent.” You’re also burning your reservoir of energy. Both of these issues decrease your productivity and prevent you from accomplishing tasks and goal.

11. Embrace a growth mindset.

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck argues that we have two-mindsets; “fixed” and “growth.” A fixed mindset “assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static.” A “growth mindset,” however, “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

12. Balance work and life.

When work interferes with life, it can result in employees getting burned out and decreases base morale in the office. While this may not be an option for employees, it proves that everyone needs time away from the office. If you’re able to spend less time in the office by working remotely or having flexible hours, you should be able to be productive in both your personal and professional life.

13. Don’t hold grudges.

There is really no need to hold onto a grudge. It can mentally wear you out and makes you miserable. And, doesn’t life seem to go a whole lot smoother when you’re not angry?

14. Stick it out.

After years of studying both children and adults, psychologist Angela Duckworth found that one of the characteristics of successful individuals is having grit. During her TED talk Duckworth stated, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

15. Live in the moment

You can’t change the past and you have no control of the future. Live in the moment and enjoy what’s in front of you right here, right now. When you’re busy making too many plans, you’re causing stress that prevents you from enjoying the present.

16. Take care of yourself, then help others.

According to Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota, “People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.”

Additionally, helping others is beneficial for our health. But, how can you help others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first? Take care of your needs first and then begin to help others.



Homemade lemon juice recipe that is healthy, refreshing, and fresh. This lemonade recipe is easy and quick to make. Learn how to make lemon juice or lemon drink from scratch.

lemon juice in pitcher and glass cup displayed.

When life gives you lemons make lemon juice, lemon cake, or lemon water! All of these recipes are sure to be a good use.

Jokes apart, if the question is what to do with a lot of lemons? here is one easy, healthy, delicious, and refreshing way to use up lemons.

Whether it’s for summer refreshment, cleanse juice, simple lemon water, healthy juice drink, holiday, barbeque, or party drink, this homemade lemon juice with no need for syrup is a pleaser. It’s perfect for any occasion just like lime juice.


How Does a Dog Win a Dog Show?

Are Dogs Compared to Each Other?

Just as a painter spends time working on a brush stroke or a musician strives to play a perfect chord, a dog show judge also has a skill to perfect: measuring a dog up to its particular breed standard. A common point of confusion for the uninitiated is that each dog is judged on how he or she compares to the breed’s standard and not how the dog compares directly to the others in the ring. For example, when a judge is looking at the Hound Group, he or she is not directly comparing the Greyhound to the Afghan Hound. The comparison is really the Greyhound to the Greyhound breed standard and the Afghan to the Afghan breed standard. A winner should exemplify his or her standard more than the other dogs represent theirs.

To become an AKC-licensed judge, an individual must complete a number of educational requirements (exams, seminars, being a mentee), along with having years of experience showing as a handler. Since becoming a judge is not an easy task (try some of their practice exams here), it takes a dedicated person, with an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a love of the sport to make the cut.

But just because a judge becomes licensed, doesn’t mean the schooling stops. Knowing the breed standards front to back is one thing, but controlling a ring, providing clarity in decision-making to the competitors, and keeping all of your decisions straight in your mind is quite another.

“We can all judge outside the ring,” Hoke says, “but once you step in the ring, it’s a different story. When you’re outside you can focus on one dog you like, but as a judge you have two minutes to make your decision.”

And brushing up on your knowledge ahead of a competition is essential.

“Every judge worth their salt does a review of breed standards before a judging assignment,” Lyne says. “I always remind myself of the disqualifications applicable to breeds I will be judging that day.”

Best Bred By Exhibitor in Show, BBE Terrier Group First, Best of Breed, and Best Bred By in Breed/Variety: GCHG CH Alpine's Lbk Living On The Road BCAT DS CGC TKN (Pancho), American Staffordshire Terrier; Terrier Group judging at the 2019 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

Best Bred By Exhibitor in Show, BBE Terrier Group First, Best of Breed, and Best Bred By in Breed/Variety: GCHG CH Alpine’s Lbk Living On The Road BCAT DS CGC TKN (Pancho), American Staffordshire Terrier; Terrier Group judging at the 2019 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

Visualizing the Picture-Perfect Dog

Great dogs can easily stand out to judges, but what happens when your ring is full of exceptional canines? Seasoned judges make sure to evaluate everything that is presented to them in the ring. However experienced a judge may be, the judging process is not automated; they are still human.

“I wish exhibitors would realize that judges, by and large, want to judge to the best of their ability, to find the right dog, and never, never miss a great one,” says Virginia Lyne, an all-breed judge. “I think people are inclined to look for explanations totally removed from the real process of evaluating breeding stock — thoughts about who likes who, who was wearing the judge’s favorite color — the list goes on and on.”

It can be hard for the public to understand that dogs are not necessarily being judged against each other, but individually as dogs that can carry on the best of their breed’s characteristics to the next generation. A judge’s thought process can easily be related to his or her own breeding programs.

“I always have to ask myself: which one would I use in a breeding program?” explains Elliott B. Weiss, who first entered the ring as a judge in the early ’90s after being a successful professional handler for many years. His judging résumé now includes multiple Westminsters.

“What I think is hard for the public to understand is that you’re not judging the dogs against each other,” he says, “You’re judging the dogs against a picture of perfection you have in your mind of the standard.”

Sporting Group Third and Best of Breed: GCHS CH Random Legacy Dylan Du Revention, English Spinger Spaniel; 2017 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

Sporting Group Third and Best of Breed: GCHS CH Random Legacy Dylan Du Revention, English Spinger Spaniel; 2017 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

More Than a Beauty Contest

To the untrained eye, a conformation dog show can seem like a beauty pageant. However, purebred enthusiasts would be quick to tell you there’s more to it. At its simplest form, a dog show is a place to have dogs evaluated for breeding programs. The decisions judges make in the ring affect how handlers present their dogs and the decisions breeders make when planning the next generations of their breed.

Each breed was bred for a certain reason—many toy breeds were bred to be lap dogs, while hounds were bred to help humans hunt wild game, and these particular functions formed each breed’s standard—a blueprint for how the breed should look and act. In the show ring, a judge evaluates dogs based on how well they fit their standard.

“While judging is about beauty, it is about beauty defined within a breed and about how a breed became what they are and how they look to the judge on that day,” Hoke says. “There’s a lot of history involved about why certain beauty exists in each breed. History dictates what a breed is, and what it looks like.”

Hoke meshed form and function of certain breeds together after experiencing many international judging appointments and exploring various geographic regions.

“I’ve judged overseas, and it’s nice, because you get to see the breeds in their countries of origin,” he says. “When they say ‘high mountainous terrain,’ you see what that terrain is and why (the breeds) were built that way.”

However, a good judge will not only see a dog’s appearance, but his or her breed personality, as well. A dog that displays a breed’s true temperament can help him or her stand out in a sea of great dogs, especially at larger shows.


17 Ways To Live Trash-Free & Adopt A Zero-Waste Lifestyle In 2017 (Kitchen & Food Edition)

The concept of living entirely waste-free takes a bit of getting used to, as our modern lifestyles constantly demand that our attention is focused on consuming for the sake of consuming. The seemingly endless cycle of consumerism has led to us forgetting many of the important things in life. We generally work very hard, and spend less than an ideal amount of time with family and friends, sacrificing doing the things we love.

Living without waste doesn’t mean you have to live without life’s luxuries, it just means a more conscious approach to your consumer choices. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by saving money on unnecessary purchases and ultimately reducing your own ecological footprint Ultimately. you’ll be doing the planet a favor by reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

Composting Food Scraps

Here are 17 Ways To Live Trash-Free & Adopt A Zero-Waste Lifestyle:

  1. Ditch Plastic Packaging. Glass and stainless-steel containers of all shapes and sizes can be cleaned and reused over and over again, and easily transported.
  2. Eliminate Disposable Paper Products. Rather than paper towels and napkins, choose reusable cloth versions. You’ll quickly save money over costly disposables.
  3. Avoid Using Potentially Toxic Styrofoam. Instead, use regular reusable dishes. If you need a single-use option, several retailers offer certified compostable paper plates, bowls, cups and napkins.
  4. Minimize Food Waste. Revive leftovers, repurpose food scraps into jams and sauces, and stretch your food dollar by meal planning.
  5. Set Up A Countertop Compost Bin. Once the small bin is full, remove compost to an outdoor compost pile. Or put food waste into compostable trash bags, which can be turned in to municipal compost centers.
  6. Try Vermicomposting where red wiggler worms quickly transform organic matter into usable compost. These clean, simple, efficient systems are useful for those who don’t have space for an outdoor compost pile.
  7. Compostable Items: fruit and vegetable parts, eggshells, coffee grounds, unbleached paper, tea bags, disease-free houseplants, and much more.
  8. Cook Up Biodiesel. We can’t pour used cooking oil down the drain (it causes clogs) or compost it. However, you can donate cooking oil to be recycled into biodiesel fuel.
  9. Municipal Composting. If you don’t have an outdoor compost pile, look to see if your community offers a curbside or drop-off composting program.
  10. Avoid Plastic Bags. Start using big shopping bags made from canvas, mesh, cloth or recycled/recyclable plastic. You can buy these for about $1 at most natural supermarkets.
  11. Stop Buying Single Servings. Buy the largest size available or in bulk and divide into smaller eco-smart containers.
  12. Bring Mason Jars. Use reusable containers such as mason jars for bulk loose items such as rice, granola, grains, oatmeal, dried fruit, and beans.
  13. Multipurpose Cleaner. In a spray bottle, combine 1⁄2 cup white distilled vinegar with 1 cup water, and add 10 to 20 drops of tea tree, lavender, lemon or eucalyptus essential oil. Shake well before using.
  14. Bring Your Lunch. And Utensils. Disposable lunches (to-go packaging, traditional plastic utensils, etc) generate 100 pounds of trash per person annually. Bring your lunch in a reusable lunch box, and if your company doesn’t use compostable utensils, bring your own SelfEco compostable cutlery!
  15. Water Bottles. Use metal or glass water bottles throughout the day for water or coffee.
  16. Separate Your Waste. Keep food and kitchen scraps, garden waste, and recyclables separate.
  17. Recycle Everything You Can. all unbroken glass, some plastics, paper and cardboard, tin and aluminium cans

5 Types of House Plants Every Home Should Have

If your goal is to turn your home into an indoor garden but you don’t have an endless amount of time to care for your plant babies, then you’re going to want to be strategic about the plants you buy. If you diversify your plant picks and place them thoughtfully (some hanging up near the ceiling, others in large pots set on the floor), you can give your home a lush green look without caring for dozens of plants each week. In both the 2018 and 2019 Real Simple Homes, you’ll find five types of houseplants the designers used to give the impression that the houses are filled with greenery. Follow the ideas below to turn your own home into an indoor oasis.

Credit: Christopher Testani

1A Large Potted Plant

To add interest and dimension, a large floor-standing potted plant is a must in every home. Several small plants can look bitsy by themselves, but one large plant grounds the room and adds a touch of drama.

Want a plant that makes a statement, but is also low-maintenance? Opt for a palm plant, which is generally easy to care for and can tolerate some neglect, unlike the popular, yet notoriously fickle fiddle-leaf fig tree. No matter which variety of plant you opt for, use good potting soil and make sure to set it in a location with the right amount of light. Your new potted palm plant (or bird-of-paradise or monstera) will thank you.