10 Reasons Why Organizing Everything is Important

Organizing is a process of arranging things and keeping them into order. It is a part of life and can be performed at all levels. Right from your small wallet to your big family, everything needs to be organized. Imagine a house which is full of clutter and has very few necessary things or a closet with things falling from it or a messed up space where you can’t find your phone. The thought itself causes frustration and stress.  You may not realize it, but a messy and cluttered home can have a negative impact on your goals and sense of empowerment. Everywhere you look, you see a situation that doesn’t ‘sit right’ within you. With a little effort, your home could be another stress management tool at your disposal. Here are 10 reasons why organizing your stuffs is important:

 10. Effective Time Management

Organizing may seem to be a time-consuming task initially but in the long run, taking out the time to organize can help you save a lot of time. Working around clutter and looking for something in a messed up room, which is full of stuff can seriously hinder your productivity. A messy, disorganized home can cost you more than just your inner peace. If you don’t have a ‘home’ for all of your belongings, you spend more time trying to put things away when you’re cleaning up, and waste time looking for items when you need them.  The best tip for organizing is to make sure that there is a proper defined place for everything and the things are kept back to where it belongs to once the work is done. So, next time when you need something, you won’t have to look in a cluttered room. Trying to locate something in a messed up and cluttered area is exactly similar to finding a needle in a haystack.


7 Benefits of Being a Flight Attendant

Thinking of becoming a flight attendant? Curious what the flight attendant benefits are? I previously worked as a flight attendant and it was one of the best jobs I ever had.

There are a ton of benefits to being a flight attendant. Everyone knows that when you are a flight attendant you can fly for free, but there are a number of other benefits of being a flight attendant that should make you consider this as a career choice.

Wondering how to get hired as a flight attendant? Read our best tips for getting hired as a flight attendant >> 7 Tips to Becoming a Flight Attendant

Benefits of Being a Flight Attendant

1. You aren’t the only one who gets to fly for free!

Benefits of being a flight attendant.

Most airline flight attendant benefits are probably better than you think. Most people realize they could fly for free, but they don’t realize that most airlines extend these benefits to spouses/significant others, dependents, and even parents.

When I worked for an airline my parents used the flight benefits way more than I ever did. Lots of airlines even give employees a few “buddy passes” a year so they can get their friends on a couple flights as well.

You only get on the flight if there is an open seat, but with careful planning you can still get on.

2. You get benefits other airlines as well

The perks of being a flight attendant keep getting better! Airlines typically have agreements where they trade benefits between their employees and beneficiaries. I flew completely for free on my airline, but had access to fly 100 others.

When I flew on my airline it was completely free, but when I flew the I had to pay a small fee, generally described as the taxes on the route. Typically the fee for me to fly from Los Angeles to New York on another airline was only about $40.

3. You don’t need a college degree to become a flight attendant

Want to avoid student loans? College not for you? Neither are necessary if you want to become a flight attendant! The age to be a flight attendant varies by airline, but it is almost always somewhere between 18 and 21 so you can start applying soon after high school.

4. Pay starts out pretty lame, but can get pretty good

Average salary for a flight attendant starts out pretty low. Even though pay starts out pretty low, there are a number of flight attendants that make $80,000 a year. That’s a great salary, especially considering the other perks that come with it.

5. Schedule flexibility

Schedules are made by flight attendants seeing all available flights and then “bidding” on the ones they most want. They are awarded based on seniority, so even though it sucks when you are new, once you have some experience you can build a scheduled with tons of flexibility. I had friends that would rush and get their hours in early in the month, and then take the final two weeks off.

6. Overnights allowing you to see the world

Many international flights come with a flight crew overnight. This gives the flight crew time to get off and sleep in a local hotel before flying back. Often times these overnights allow more time to actually do a little bit of exploring before coming back. Even though the trips are quick, if you fly to the same place multiple times you will end up getting paid to explore the world.

7. Meet cool people

One of the flight attendant perks are the people you meet. Not only can you meet people around the globe, but generally people on planes are pretty happy and/or excited to be traveling somewhere, and can typically be a joy to talk to.

Think you could be interested in becoming a flight attendant?



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10 Qualities of an Excellent Team Player

Every organization relies on effective teams to drive it toward success. But what does being a team player really mean? Yes, these individuals perform well within a team, but if we break that down, what components make someone an effective team player? Here are 10 qualities that can make for an outstanding team player in the workplace.


1. They are committed to the team

Committed team players give their time and energy to someone or something they believe in. However, genuine commitment is much more than that. Team players who are genuinely committed do so without any expectation of return, conditions, or rewards. There is no turning back and whatever the outcome, they support it 100%.


2. They are flexible 

We can’t always predict when changes are going to happen, much less prepare for them. That’s why flexibility is so important. When a team player is flexible, they typically are also versatile, resilient, and responsive to change – all while keeping calm and making sound decisions without unruly outbursts. Flexible team players understand and manage situations by looking at them from different perspectives. When asked, a flexible team player will consider how it will benefit the company, the team, or their career rather than thinking, “Really, more work?”


3. They are engaged

Simply doing your work isn’t always enough. It’s a good thing to get involved and be proactive, as long as you aren’t bothering people with questions to which you should know the answer. Great team players ask questions for clarity and understanding and contribute where they can. Collaboration is essential to the success of a team. Remember, “two heads are better than one.”


4. They are reliable and responsible

An excellent team player completes tasks in order of priority, not necessarily in order that they’re given. When they aren’t sure of what should take priority, they ask their manager. As a reliable and responsible team player, you will be able to manage your time effectively, be prepared for meetings, and be trusted to work on your own without constant supervision. Your manager and teammates will feel like they can rely on you for help and support whenever needed.


5. They actively listen

You are only a team player if you respectfully consider the viewpoints and ideas of other people as well. Active listening is harder than you think. When you hear someone saying something you don’t agree with, listen to understand, not answer. Consider what they’re saying and more importantly, why they believe that.


6. They communicate within their team

Transparency is key on a team, and good team players actively work to keep other team members informed. No one likes to be blind-sided. When team members share information and everyone is on the same page, it could be the difference between the success and failure of a project. Team members who are informed are more likely to trust you, stay engaged, and are more motivated to reciprocate.


7. They lend a helping hand

As a team, we are only as strong as our weakest link. Look for opportunities to help your team members grow. For example, if a member of your team is having trouble with a technology tool that is easy for you, offer to sit down with them and show them what you know. A word of caution: your passion may be confusing and come across as condescending to the other person. Remember to be genuine and respectful.


8. They are respectful

It is important to be self-aware of how you treat others. Respect is earned but can be lost in a moment’s notice. An ideal team player knows how to have fun but would never do it at someone else’s expense. You earn the respect of your co-workers a lot more quickly [LL1] by expressing genuine interest in them rather than trying to make them interested in you.


9. They are problem-solvers

It is easy for everyone to point out problems; however, there is no reason why you can’t offer solutions yourself. Your teammates will appreciate your skills, which can also help you earn respect more quickly.


10. They recognize and acknowledge when they are wrong 

A good team player will back off an idea when it becomes clear it’s not the right path. Acknowledge what went wrong, or won’t work, and then focus on expectations moving forward. Don’t be a stubborn stick in the mud; rather, focus on what may or may not have gone wrong. Keep moving forward.


This article was updated June 22, 2017. Original content was written by Lara Pole.

The opinions and comments expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of ALMA, The American Equity Underwriters, Inc., AEU LEAD or Amwins. None of the aforementioned parties or the authors are responsible for any inaccuracy of content or for any loss or damages incurred by any party as a result of reliance on information contained in this article. Content may not be published or reproduced without the written consent of the authors. Prior articles may not be updated for accuracy as pertinent information changes over time. The AEU LEAD blog is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as legal advice.
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Chinese Kung Fu

Chinese Kung Fu

Chinese Kung Fu

What is Kung Fu 功夫 (or Wushu 武术 / Chinese Martial Arts)?

bruce Lee in the movieBruce Lee

Aside of mysterious dragons and colourful lampions, one of the first things that comes to people’s minds at the mentioning of China is most certainly Kung Fu. This is because from the 1970s onwards, an unprecedented tide of cinematic works featuring stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Lee celebrated the practice, which led its popularity to intensify beyond Chinese borders. Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972) and The Thirty Six Chambers of Shaolin (1978) are few of the many breakthrough movies that provided a platform for Kung Fu to reach international audiences. Ever since, the praxis of Kung Fu has become a passion shared by millions of its practitioners around the globe.

Unlike many of other Eastern Asian martial arts, Kung Fu is not a martial art with a single codified tradition. Instead, Kung Fu is an umbrella term which refers to the various, often very distinctive martial art schools and styles that originated in the country today known as China, but yet, are similar in the movement they adopt, because of its emblematic circular, fluid and continuous motion, infinite and in suspense, that attempts to emulate the grace and power of animals in action. Offering the most diverse set of martial art practices as well as a towering number of schools around the world, the philosophy which underlies Kung Fu is multi-layered and complex, the depth of which is only rarely fully grasped by the Western and even Chinese publics.

tai chi diagram with kungfu postures

That Kung Fu plays a prominent role in shaping the spiritual beliefs, identities and every day lives of the Chinese is indisputable; but developing comprehensive understanding of its significance requires a contextualization of the practice within the different shifts and occurrences which, over time, came to sculpt China’s cultural landscape. As such, Kung Fu cannot be disentangled from the range of historical, philosophical and religious forces that the practice sought to either personify or rebel against. Through its different styles and teachings, Kung Fu aims to crystalize the ideals, principles and even traumas of a culture which bears the weight of a spectacular five thousand years.

The Historical Origins of Kung Fu

Kung Fu’s roots can be traced deep into the past, so deep that its very contours are barely hinted at in myth, legends and available historiography. Perhaps, only one thing can be said with certainty: that Kung Fu is as ancient as China itself.

Literature indicates that in those early days, aside of specific techniques that may have originated as part of hunting efforts and rudimentary hand to hand self-defence techniques, combat systems were likely developed for military training purposes, but were not solely exclusive to warriors, as some military martial art elements, like archery and charioteering, were included in the six arts of ancient China. The first recorded mention of Kung Fu -albeit somewhat fragmented- can be found in the Spring and Autumn Annals of the State of Lu which were written up during the reign of the Zhou dynasty. Read more on The History of Kung Fu.

Spiritual Influences

a figure of a little monk in meditation

But it was the embrace of Taoism that saw the practice of Kung Fu spread among the general population, even though as a result of the Shaolin monastery’s fame and influence, and its contribution to Kung Fu theory and practice, Buddhism, and particularly Zen Buddhism, came to be closely linked with the image of Kung Fu, and even more so in the rest of the world. The spirituality of Tao, with its teachings of patience, simplicity, fluidness, naturalness and humility, found a perfect companion in the tamed body of Kung Fu practice. Thus, the Taoist concept of Qi, which refers to the air and vitality flow through the body -a type of energy that generates life itself-, became integral and inseparable from the underlying philosophy of Kung Fu.

Shaolin 少林 and Wudang 武当

Among the many accepted classifications of Kung Fu styles, the Shaolin and Wudang classifications are arguably the most important as they philosophically diverge from the Kung Fu tradition, through the conceptual distinction between the two different -external and internal- expressions of personal force, namely Li and Neijing, as well as their differing scholarly emphasis.

shaolin monastery

On the one hand, Li stands for the external expression of personal force, which is achieved by means of a corporeal development of movement and strength, in a praxis that involves the precise manoeuvring of muscles as well as the algorithmic timing and execution of bodily moves. The Shaolin classification, which focuses on Li, draws its name from the Shaolin Monastery, which is perhaps the most important institution in the Kung Fu world. In that regard, the old adage “all martial arts under heaven originated from Shaolin” speaks for itself.


Lemon Smoothie (Sunshine in a Bottle!)

This Lemon Smoothie is like sunshine in a bottle! Yogurt, lemon, honey, ginger and turmeric will wake you up on a sleepy morning. |

Winter, man. It’s dragging on, isn’t it? At least here in Michigan, February seems to be the hardest month in terms of feeling like Spring will never come again.

The only thing getting me out of bed lately is knowing that this Sunshine in a Bottle Lemon Smoothie is only a few minutes away once I get downstairs.

I even set my blender up on the counter the night before, so I’m all ready to go.

And as you know, lemon is my favorite flavor (I even make a mean lemon margarita), so it’s kind of like I’m waking up to my favorite food.


Every single ingredient in this smoothie (well, except the ice) is engineered for maximal bright, zingy flavor and health benefits.

That’s right, I engineered this smoothie. My husband is a mechanical engineer, and I’m a food engineer.