Daily gratitude as a daily habit

 

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

– Meister Eckhart

If you make time for daily gratitude, you will be amazed by the results.

What it means to be grateful.

Gratitude means thankfulness. Counting your blessings. Noticing simple pleasures. Acknowledging everything that you receive.

It means learning to live your life as if everything is a miracle. It also means being aware on a continuous basis of how much you have been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.

daily gratitude

 

What gratitude does to you.

  • Practising daily gratitude makes people happier and more resilient.
  • Being grateful strengthens relationships.
  • Practising daily gratitude improves health. In the long run, it makes you have a stronger immune system.
  • Having a habit of practising daily gratitude reduces stress.
  • People who practice gratitude experience more positive emotions.
  • Practising daily gratitude makes you feel more alive.
  • Practising daily gratitude makes you sleep better.
  • Being grateful makes you more empathetic. You practice more compassion and kindness.

daily gratitude

Gratitude can be practised any time

Gratitude doesn’t need to be reserved only for some occasions.

Most of us only show gratitude for big things such as receiving a promotion at work.

Instead, be thankful for something as simple as a delicious piece of the pie or a beautiful sunrise.

Research by psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.

How to start?

Think about all the things you could be thankful for today.

Start by looking around you.

Are you in the comfort of your own home? Are you drinking your morning coffee? Enjoying your very own moment when you get to relax and spend some time taking in the calm? Do you have a job that you like? Do you have one special friend that always makes you smile?

Such simple things that you experience daily is what you should be grateful for.

Let’s be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust

Benefits of practising daily gratitude on a personal level

1. Gratitude improves physical health.

Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains. They report feeling healthier than other people.

Grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups. This is likely to contribute to further life longevity.

2. Gratitude improves psychological health.

Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions. These toxic emotions include envy, resentment, frustration, and regret.

Research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.

Still, Things, Items, Vials, Jar, Souvenirs, Gift

3. Grateful people sleep better.

Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep.

Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed. You will sleep better and longer.

4. Gratitude improves self-esteem.

Gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs—a major factor in reduced self-esteem—grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.

5. Gratitude increases mental strength.

For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma.

Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.

Importance of practising daily gratitude to your external life 

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.

Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends.

Whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or send a thank-you note to that colleague who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.

2. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.

Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky.

Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.

 

How to cultivate daily gratitude.

1. Keep a gratitude journal.

Every day before going to bed, write down five or more things that happened that day that you are grateful for. It is not as easy to practice to have. Once you get used to it, you will realize it will transform a lot of situations in your life that you previously viewed negatively.

Keeping a gratitude journal is known to be one of the quickest, easiest and most effective ways to effect change in people’s lives.

Oprah Winfrey wrote a very easy to read book Oprah Winfrey-What I Know For Sure that talks about the joys of practising gratitude. You should definitely get yourself a copy!

 

daily gratitude

 

2. You can also list just five things for which you’re grateful every week.

When you do this for a period of about 3 months, you will realize that you will start experiencing more happiness in your daily life.

With time, this could translate to doing it on a daily basis.

3. Keeping a happy gratitude jar in your room for a year.

Get a transparent jar and colourful pieces of paper (sticky notes will do)

Every time something awesome happens to you, e.g. if you get a promotion at work, write it on the paper and put it in the jar.

Practice this for a year and at the end of the year, read all the gratitude notes that you wrote for yourself.

This will significantly shift your mindset because you will realize that you are more blessed than you thought! This is also one of the best New Year’s gifts you could ever give yourself. A jar of happiness.

4. Make a list of things that make you happy.

Do them and be grateful for having an opportunity to do them. You can also find more fun ways of practising gratitude on Happify!

How to express gratitude to people around you

1. Practice counting your blessings on a regular basis.

You can try it as the first thing in the morning or in the evening.

Every morning when you wake up, choose happiness instead of frustration. Speak positivity upon yourself. Be positive about the simple things such as having your morning coffee or a roof over your head.

Be grateful for having a loving family and friends. Remind them that you appreciate and love them often. This will also inspire them to be grateful as the positive energy will rub off on them.

2. Practice gratitude through giving.

Decide to do a kind thing to somebody every day.

This can be very small things such as helping an elderly person carry their bag up the stairs. This shows that you are grateful for the things that you have been privileged to own or have.

Teach kids to practice gratitude by sharing. Practices like these teach kids to grow up with a daily gratitude attitude. They learn to ‘pay it forward’.

3. Be grateful for what you can give instead of what you can receive.

Thinking of gratitude differently is important. You can practice gratitude by being grateful to people who give you the chance to help them. This is a powerful way of being grateful as the more grateful you become, the more you have to be grateful for!

You deserve happiness. By making a conscious decision to do very simple things such as keeping a daily gratitude journal, you will have made the first step towards your best life.

You are your most important person.

Do it for yourself and see you on the happiness side!

 

 

 

 

 

Tips on how to cultivate a reading culture

Everyone is a reader. If you think you are not a reader, you just haven’t found your right book yet –  J.K Rowling

Yup! you read that right. That leaves you and me with an easier job of just giving you tips on how to cultivate a better reading culture now that you know that you’re already innately a reader.

Cultivating a reading culture, especially for a young person is the single most important factor that will determine how successful you will be.

It is not a wonder that one of the richest (and smartest!) men in the world, Warren Buffet, invests 80% of his time reading.

These tips are going to help you in this journey as you work towards finding your favourite book(s).

If you are already in this journey and are currently stuck with a lousy book, consider dumping it and get an enjoyable one. Life is too short to get stuck in a boring book!

Reading culture

The following tips will come in handy as you work towards cultivating a reading culture:

  • Have a book on softcopy on your phone.

You can buy soft copy books online or ask your bookie friend to send you some. These books come in handy especially when you don’t have space in your bag to carry a hard copy.

Ensure that your EBook is of the right font to avoid straining your eyes.

You could also consider owning a Kindle which is a device specifically designed for reading EBooks.

Instead of getting stuck in the social media addiction loop, use your phone to read. You’ll soon realize that you are getting smarter by the day 🙂

  • Set Reading Times.

Most successful people recommend that the best time is in the morning when you wake up or at night before you sleep.

Choose time slots that work for you and ensure you read no matter what.

You can read during breakfast, during lunch break at work or dinner if you eat alone.

Better still, read while commuting to work! 40 minutes of reading in a day will change your life for the better.

  • Always carry a book.

Take a book with you wherever you go. Let a book be the one item you cannot leave the house without.

If there is a time when you have to wait (like a doctor’s office or meet up with a friend), get your book and read. It is the best way to spend your time.

This habit will boost the speed at which your reading culture will be shaped.

  • Set a target.

The culture of reading requires discipline.

How many books do you want to read this year? I read one book per week. That is 52 books in one year for me.

Set a goal for yourself and make sure you are enjoying the ride!

  • Make it fun!

Your reading time should be pleasurable.

Have some coffee (or any other drink of your choice) or your favourite snack while reading. Sit on a comfortable chair and have a warm blanket. Thoroughly enjoy yourself as you indulge in your favourite read.

  • Use Social Media to Motivate Yourself and Others.

Make beautiful posts on social media. Inform your followers what you are reading. This way, you will connect with other readers.

They will also give you more recommendations and ensure your reading psyche is always on!

Better still, take cool book photos, write book reviews and start a blog. It’s cool and free! Starting a book review blog that has a following will ensure that you always read and, your subscribers will keep you on toes!

  • Read fun and compelling books.

Read books that leave you laughing out loud in public. Books that leave strange facial expressions on you! Books that make you question your sanity and humanity as a whole.

Even if they are not the most highly rated, read them if they are your type of thing.

The goal here is to read. After you have mastered the habit, you can move to more difficult and challenging stuff.

Reading culture

  • Have a Book Store day.

Make this a weekly/monthly trip. Even daily if you like! Even if you do not buy a book every time you go there, you might bump into a fellow bookie and become best bookie friends ;-). Better still, you’ll always be aware of book discounts!

Going through books that people have donated is fun as you get them for a few dollars. Cultivating this bookstore habit will also keep you motivated to read.

  • Make a List.

Heard of a TBR (To Be Read) list? Every bookworm has one.

Have a list of the books that you intend to read. Have the list in a journal, pocketbook, Excel or Word document-anywhere!

Add to the list when you get a new recommendation from friends.

Cross out or remove from the list the ones that you have read! Visualizing how many books you’ve read will motivate you to keep reading.

  • Make It Social.

Join or form a book club.

Just ensure that people in the club are committed to reading and finishing the book. Ensure that they push you towards the goal of cultivating a reading habit.

  • Give it 50.

If you get to page 50 of a book and you still feel it’s not enjoyable, dump it and move to the next one on your reading list.

I used to feel guilty for not finishing a book especially if it was a recommendation by a friend. But why get stuck in a boring book? It is meant to be fun; reading is not a punishment.

  • Read. Everywhere.

After you have developed the habit of taking a book everywhere you go, move to reading it everywhere.

You could also download the Kindle App on your phone and read a page or two here and there.

I recently discovered that there are so many free audiobooks on YouTube! Go to YouTube, search for your favourite book and listen away!

  • Give yourself an interesting book name. 

A lot of book reviewers on Instagram refer to themselves as bookies, book nerds, bookstagrammers, bookworms…

You are what you tell yourself you are. This will make you read more!

Reading culture

Cool ways to Create more time to read!

  • Show up early for appointments and have a little extra time to read as you wait.
  • Read while you eat or as you relax in a park.
  • Download audiobooks and listen to them as you drive.
  • Read to your kids or younger siblings.
  • Get a book in the elevator and read to avoid an awkward moment!
  • Read while waiting in a long queue.
  • Read on the bus or train as you commute.

 Benefits of Having a Reading Culture

  1. Reading gives you a deeper understanding of a language.

Reading novels will improve your vocabulary and a general understanding of a language.

It is important to have a dictionary (either a hard copy or an app) to use when you come across new words.

If you don’t understand a certain paragraph, simply read it again while paying more attention to the intention of learning!

  1. It is rewarding.

One feels accomplished the moment they finish reading the last page, close the book and reflect on the experience or story.

Once you identify your preferred genre of books, you will not be able to stop yourself from hitting the bookshop!

  1. Reading opens the mind.

You experience new cities, worlds, emotions, and gain new perspectives. You get to understand people better when you get to learn their ways of viewing different aspects of the world.

Better still, you become exposed and you end up being less judgmental. You value diversity!

  1. Reading is fun!

You get to meet great fictional characters and create scenarios in your head that are otherwise unimaginable. Try it!

  1. Reading reduces stress!

When you indulge in a great story, you forget all the worries you have. For the period of time that you will be reading the book, you will be transported to a different part of the world. You feel as if you’re part of the book characters’ lives.

Reading will keep you in the ‘book moment’ enabling you to relax.

Fun Fact: Did you know that reading for just 6 mins in a day reduces stress levels by 68 %?

Reading culture

  1. You acquire education/knowledge

Most people who have an established reading culture mainly do it to gain knowledge. The more books you read, the more equipped with the knowledge you will be to handle day to day challenges.

The bits of information you collect from different materials come in handy later when challenges come your way. At the end of the day, knowledge is the best form of wealth you will ever have.

  1. Reading gives you a serene mind and a sense of calmness.

Reading self-help books helps people suffering from mild mental disorders.

For example, a lack of motivation to work hard can easily be solved by reading motivational books.

Spiritual texts have been shown to bring a lot of calm to people which gives them hope for the future.

  1. Improving one’s writing skills.

Being exposed to a variety of materials through reading exposes one to different writing styles and vocabularies.

Well-written work can inspire one to write as one gains confidence in their acquired knowledge and insights.

  1. Reading improves your memory over time.

This benefit can only be realized once you have established a reading culture.

A book has characters, their likes and dislikes, backgrounds, history and many more. Keeping track of the plot-twists is also keeping your brain active.

Reading often will improve your short-term and long-term memory.

Still need more motivation? Here are a few cool quotes 😉

 With a book, you’re never alone – Bisila Bokoko

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. — W. Somerset Maugham

You are responsible for cultivating your reading culture. You do not have to incorporate the above tips all at once. Start small, start with what you think can work for you now.

With time, keep adding more reading hacks and soon, we will meet on the intellectual bench! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dangers of Social Media Addiction

Research shows that it takes about 27 minutes for somebody to regain the same level of focus on a task after checking a social media site. This goes to show the level of damage social media has on our productivity as a whole.

Social media addiction is a disease in our society today. Most people check and interact on social sites constantly throughout the day. At the end of the day, you will not realize how much time you spend on social media.

The addiction even gets worse because most of the social network companies are in business. The social content creators are working hard every day to make their social networks attractive. It’s hard to resist them.

Social media addiction is a bigger problem than you imagine. It is an addiction like any other addiction such as addiction to cocaine.

There is no official term that identifies addiction to social media. So far, it has not been deemed as a disease or disorder.  The cases are not severe and the habit can easily be maintained or prevented.

Statistics on social media usage;                                                  

  • Teens spend up to 9 hours on social media per day.

 

  • 30% of all time spent online is allocated to social media interaction.

 

  • 60% of social media time spent is facilitated using a mobile device.

 

  • The average person has about 5 social media accounts.

 

  • Currently, the total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming.

 

  • The average person spends nearly 2 hours on social media daily; translating to a total of 5 years and 4 months in a lifetime.

 

  • Research shows that it takes about 27 minutes for somebody to regain the same level of focus on a task after checking a social media site. This affects both personal and professional growth among individuals.

 

social media addiction

 

 The science behind social media.

Dopamine is a pleasure chemical in the brain. Recent research, however, has shown that dopamine actually produces the desire in people to “want”. It is stimulated by unpredictability and small bits of information as well as reward cues. These are the same conditions that social media presents to all users.

The pull of dopamine is so strong that recent research shows that it is so hard to resist tweeting or commenting on a social network. The pull is stronger than the urge to use cigarettes or alcohol.

Habit loop and social media addiction

A habit loop is sort of like a computer program, a very simple one, consisting of three parts: Cue, Routine and Reward.

  1. According to Duhigg, a Cue is a “trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.
  2. The Routine is the activity that you perform almost automatically after you encounter the cue. It can be physical, mental or emotional.
  3. The Reward is what helps our brain figure out if the particular loop is worth remembering for the future. It is actually the feeling we get after doing something.

 The Cycle of Social Media Addiction

So how does the habit loop relate to social media addiction?

Here’s what happens;

1. The social network is the trigger that tells your brain to adapt to the habit of visiting it often.

 

2. Once the brain has been triggered, it becomes a routine for you to be visiting the social network.

 

3. The feeling you get after visiting the social network is what we call the reward, so the reward will determine whether or not the brain will want to repeat the same thing again.

 

Social media will definitely give a pleasing reward. That’s how visiting the social sight becomes a habit hence addiction.

social media addiction

What makes you become a social media addict?

Here are some of the reasons you became an addict without even realizing.

  • Most people end up becoming social media addicts because of loneliness.

When you are lonely you often find that the only way you will entertain yourself is through social media.

You end up spending most of the “lone” time on social media trying to find out what is new, what is trending, commenting on posts and following weird things on the social site whatever site it is.

  • Someone who has more social connections is also likely to social media addict.

This is because most of his/her interactions are based online.

If most of the friends you have are online friends then you will need to be online 24/7 to keep interacting with them.

  • Spending too much time online.

When you spend too much time online you are vulnerable to every kind of change to social sites make.

You also get easily hooked to new social sites that have been created.

By following the latest trends you become so used to them that you’ll keep checking your phone for any new notifications. This is how you slowly become an addict to social media.

  • Unregulated internet usage

This applies mostly to kids. When they have free internet all day every day, with no limitations, it will definitely provoke them to be a frequent user of social media.

They will visit the social sites with no worry that the internet might be off anytime soon. This will, therefore, lead to spending most of the time on social sites.

  • Idleness

Someone who has a busy schedule will definitely have no time to go to Facebook to post pics, check for notifications, and comment on various posts.

Being idle greatly contributes to social media addiction. An idle person is more likely to visit the social sites from time to time, post often and follow everything that’s trending.

Want to know if you are a social media addict or not? Here is a list of signs of social media addiction.

1. It’s the first thing you do in the morning.

You have to check for any new updates. If you wake up every morning and this is the first thing that you do, then you are definitely an addict.

2. Take photos of literally everything.

At the back of your mind, you know that at some point you will need to share them on social media. Maybe post them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest etc.

3. You hear imaginary notifications.

You are so used to notifications from social sites that you hear imaginary notifications. If you often reach for your phone to check for non-existent notification, you are a social media addict.

4. You spend hours looking at nonsense.

You will often find yourself spending hours on some very useless stuff on the internet. Worse still, it doesn’t even bother you that you are following things that don’t make sense. You end up procrastinating on important activities on your to-do-list.

5. Your friends use social media to find you.

Your friends are damn sure that they will not miss you online. This is a clear indication that you are spending most of your time online hence the addiction.

6. Choosing the right status becomes torturous.

If you spend too much time deciding what to post as your status, you are a social media addict.

social media addiction

How to curb social media addiction.

Social media addiction can be stopped in the following ways;

  • Limit yourself.

If you really cannot do without social media then try limiting yourself to a few hours per day.

Decide that you will be spending only a few hours (1-2 hours is ideal) on social media every day.

  • Be disciplined enough to stop when your time limit has reached.

It’s actually a test of your willpower but worth it at the end.

  • Turn off notifications.

You can turn off notifications on your phone to avoid reaching for your phone every time it vibrates.

This will help you to concentrate on other tasks.

  • Get a new hobby.

Get something else to do apart from spending time on social networks. Having a hobby will distract and you won’t have to be on social media to feel entertained.

Plus it will actually help you be preoccupied when you crave the internet.

  • Delete the app.

If you find that you have too many unnecessary social apps that you want to avoid or can do without, delete the app. This will make it easier for you to avoid social media.

  • Reward yourself offline.

You can make social media a treat. When you have achieved something or done something productive, you can use social media as a reward by spending a few minutes on the network of your choice.

  • Learn a new skill.

There are many skills that you can learn just by reducing the amount of time you spend on social media. For example, you can learn a new language on Duolingo.

Finding Help Online

In case you have given the above suggestions a try and you still feel you need some more help, we have courses available online. You can try this 5 Week Flourish Course that will assist you in this journey!

 Impact of social media addiction in our daily lives.

1. Ruins relationships.

Social media addiction will ruin relationships because people spend most of their time on social media as opposed to having real conversations with their loved ones.

You forget that you are supposed to create time for the special people around you. This strains the relationships which end up ruined.

2. Can lower self -esteem.

Reading negative comments about yourself on social media affects your self-esteem.

If you post a photo of you on Facebook and fail to get the number of likes you expected, this makes you feel bad.

Comparing yourself with other people on social media whom you think are better off than you will also make you feel that you are ‘not good enough.’

3. Contributes to eating disorders.

Most people develop eating disorders due to stress, anxiety, panicking etc.

Social media will make you anxious most of the time especially if you are the type who posts often. This anxiety will make you develop an eating disorder.

4. Separation causes anxiety.

If by any chance the battery dies or internet connection is cut off, you experience anxiety.

You might also experience restlessness and be uncomfortable most of the time.

5. Addiction to social media can cause accidents. 

Often people cause accidents when they are busy concentrating on social media. It could be as simple as forgetting to shut down the cooker after cooking which leads to burnt food.

6. Hinders personal growth.

The time you spend on social media for hours could be used to do something more productive. When you spend too much time on social media you literally don’t develop yourself in any way. No personal progress is noticed for a very long period of time.

Take charge of your life. Get rid of social media addiction. Pursue your dreams

Books Barack Obama recommended or bought during his presidency.

Barack Obama officially left the White House on January 20, 2017.

For the 8 years he was president, he not only served as Commander in Chief but also commander in books! Literature, he said, played a significant role during his presidency. He has continually proven that he is an avid reader through;

  • Reading to kids at the White House
  • Giving book recommendations to his daughters
  • Showing up at local bookstores on Black Friday.

books barack obama

The following are the books he recommended for his teen daughter Malia at 18.

  1. The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston
  2. The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
  3. The Naked and the Dead – Norman Mailer
  4. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Obama as a Bookie supports small businesses. On one of his trips to the bookstore with his daughters, he left with several shopping bags packed with the following fiction titles;

  1. Redwall – Brian Jacques. This is a fantasy series
  2. Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson
  3. Junie B. Jones series – Brian Jacques
  4. Heart of darkness – Joseph Conrad. The only classic that made the list!
  5. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  6. Nora Webster – Colm Toibin
  7. The Laughing Monsters – Denis Johnson.
  8. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms – Katherine Rundell
  9. The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan
  10. Nuts to You – Lynn Rae Perkins

books barack obama

The Nonfiction Titles.

  1. Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China – Evan Osnos
  2. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End – Dr. Atul Gawande

Obama’s Childhood Favorite Books

Reading for most bookies starts when they are kids. It is a habit that one has to cultivate. Just like Obama, you should cultivate your reading culture. It’s never too late to get smarter!  Back in the day, Obama enjoyed read the following;

  1. Hardy Boys series. Didn’t we all read and love these?
  2. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  3. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  4. Other adventure stories by authors such as Dr. Seuss.

While he was in high school, he enjoyed reading;

  • Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck
  • The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

books barack obama

Obama’s Summer Reading List

If you always struggle to decide what to read next, Obama has got your back! Every year he releases a list of his favourite reads. In 2016, he released this list that we still feel is relevant to date! 

  1. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life – William Finnegan
  2. H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald
  3. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
  4. Seveneves – Neal Stephenson.

And in case you are wondering, here is what made the cut in 2015;

  1. All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  2. The Sixth Extinction – Elizabeth Kolbert
  3. The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
  4. Between the World and Me – Te-Nehisi Coates
  5. Washington: A Life – Ron Chernow
  6. All that Is – James Salter.

books barack obama

 

Of course, he has his most influential books

  1. All the Kings Men – Robert Pen Warren
  2. Theory of Moral Sentiments Adam Smith
  3. Wealth of Nations Adam Smith
  4. Working – Studs Terkel
  5. Gandhi’s Autobiography
  6. Cancer Ward – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  7. The Quiet American – Graham Greene
  8. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  9. Self-Reliance – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  10. Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  11. Parting the Waters – Taylor Branch
  12. Gilead – Marylinne Robinson
  13. Best and the Brightest – David Halberstam
  14. The Federalist – Alexander Hamilton
  15. Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B Du Bois
  16. The Power and The Glory – Graham Greene

books barack obama

The list that brought about these sentiments? Here you go.

  1. Cutting for tone – Abraham Verghese
  2. To the End of the Land – David Grossman
  3. Purity – Jonathan Franzen
  4. A bend in the River – V.S Naipau
  5. Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
  6. Lush Life – Richard Price
  7. Netherland – Joseph O’neil
  8. Collected poems – Derek Walcott
  9. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
  10. Harry Potter series – J.K Rowling.

What did other Presidents read?

Leaders always read books that other leaders read. Here is a list that Obama borrowed from former presidents;

  1. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Edmund Morris
  2. John Adams – David McCullough
  3. Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer – Fred Kaplan
  4. Defining Moment: FDR’S Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope – Jonathan Alte.
  5. FDR – Jean Edward Smith
  6. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln
  7. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin 

If you fancy economic and environmental related topics, these 4 recommendations will make you as knowledgeable as Obama!

  1. Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America – Thomas L Friedman
  2. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 – Steve Coll
  3. Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age – Larry Bartels.
  4. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York – Robert a. Caro

You might not want to be Obama. Or the next president of the United States.  But you definitely need some life hacks. Reading as many books as you can give you the advantage of having a solution to most of your life’s challenges.

Grab a book and see you on the smart side of town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear of public speaking – how to understand and overcome it.

Did you know that the fear of public speaking ranks among the most common fears in the world?

In fact, some people say they would rather die than stand in front of an audience.

Sadly, public speaking is one of the most valuable skills in the workplace. It is also a skill that could make you millions of dollars if you are passionate about it and if you took the time to master the skill.

Read on for some tips on how to dispel this fear…

The fear of Public Speaking.

The good news is most causes of fear of public speaking can be solved. Some of the most common causes of fear of public speaking are;

  • You fear that the minute you hit the stage, you will forget the content.
  • Extreme self-consciousness and self-judgment when you’re on stage.
  • You fear that you will appear nervous.
  • “They’re judging me!” is a constant thought when you’re on stage.
  • Your past failures while giving a presentation.
  • Poor preparation.
  • Discomfort with your body and movement. Again, self-judgment!
  • Telling yourself that you not good enough.

fear of public speaking

Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. – Stephen Keague

As you have learned from the above list, the most common characteristic that’s keeping you from flourishing on stage is you judging you! 

Yes, just like everything else in life, working on your self-confidence will play a big role in solving your fear of public speaking.

The phobia of public speaking is also known as…

The fear of public speaking is called Glossophobia.  People who suffer from glossophobia tend to freeze in front of large audiences. As soon as they are tasked with public speaking, their bodies start shaking, their voice becomes weak and their mouths dry.

Facts about the Fear of Public Speaking

Before we dive in, take a look at the following interesting statistics related to the fear of public speaking.

  • The fear of public speaking is considered to be the number ONE fear amongst people. This fear affects 3 out of every 4 people.

 

  • 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety. This fear in men stands at 73% and 75% for women. This prevents them from making good presentations.

 

  • 5% of the world’s population aged between 5 and 50 suffer from the fear of speaking in the open to others. People look for a solution to this by turning to hypnosis therapy and self-help books.

 

  • More men than women seek assistance in speech anxiety.

You are not alone!

Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking

Treatment by Hypnosis

When it comes to public speaking, it is believed that past events can cause one to develop the fear of public speaking. Glossophobia is believed to have its roots in social anxiety.

Hypnotherapy is used as a treatment for this condition.

Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique in which clinicians use suggestions and visualization techniques. These techniques instil positive thinking.

They are designed to help you relax and focus your mind, boost confidence and reduce anxiety.

Ultimately, this will help you feel calm and collected when you hit the stage!

As with most phobias, glossophobia is not something you can control consciously.

fear of public speakingCourage is the resistance of fear, mastery of fear – not the absence of fear. – Mark Twain

How does hypnotherapy work?

Hypnotherapy works with your unconscious part of the brain to find out where the root of your anxiety comes from.

Typically it comes from misinformation gathered from past experience.

Hypnotherapy can help to identify this and use suggestion techniques to correct any misinformation.

People may tell you to relax, but usually, this does little to control your symptoms. This is because the symptoms you experience stem from your unconscious. It is therefore advisable to seek treatment.

Tips to Overcome your Fear of Public Speaking.

We will explore tips around The Content, Your Voice, Posture, Movement, Nervousness, and Notes. If you work on the 5, you will be sure to make unforgettable presentations.

1. Content

One way to overcome the fear of public speaking is by having relevant content to deliver. Your message should be;

  • Easy to understand

  • Relevant to your audience

  •  Of the right length

This is important because people’s concentration spans are very low in this day and age.  This is mostly caused by social media addiction especially among the young generation.

Relevant content gives you the confidence to hit the stage. Do your homework by researching relevant content depending on your audience.

By the time you are done with your presentation, ensure that the content presented gives your audience a reason to care about it and take action.

2. Voice

Your voice tells your audience if you are nervous or not. To improve the quality of your breathing, follow the instructions in this video.

The correct breathing makes you less tensed.

Always remember that if there is tension in your breath; the audience will also be tensed. You control the energy of your audience.

fear of public speaking

It is much easier to be convincing if you care about your topic. Figure out what’s important to you about your message and speak from the heart. – Nicholas Boothman

3. Posture and Movement.

Your audience will trust you if your body language is in sync with your message.

For example, if you say ‘I am happy to see you all…’ but you fold your arms across your chest; this means you are communicating something different.

Do the following help you relax so  your body language can be in sync with your message

  • Make eye contact with your audience.
  • Stand as close to your audience as you can. This shows that you are confident.

4. Nervousness

Symptoms and Remedies of Nervousness.

  • Your hands shake uncontrollably

Hold something e.g. a book, paper, pen, a clicker. This keeps your hands busy.

Do not put your hands in the pocket or carry coffee on stage as it shows that you are not taking the presentation seriously.

  • Shaking legs

Move around the podium or room.

  • Excessive sweating

Bring a handkerchief and wipe it off!

  • Have a dry mouth

Drink water!

  • Wavering voice

Take full abdominal breaths as instructed in the video above.

5.  Notes

One of the greatest fears associated with Public Speaking is forgetting what one is supposed to say.

Most people think that using notes on stage shows a lack of preparation. It doesn’t. Having notes proves that you did your homework. You researched.

By carrying notes, I do not mean having a word for word script. No. I mean having a summary of your presentation.

Notes come in handy in that;

  • They will reduce the anxiety that is brought about by fear of forgetting your content.
  • Great form of preparation! It shows that you took time to research.

Here is a list of different ways you can access your notes;

  • Notecards.
  • Slides – The more visual they are, the better!
  • Using a notepad.
  • Flip charts – This is a reliable and low tech method which comes in handy especially if tech malfunctions causes you more anxiety. You can also use them to write down what your audience says. This will earn you points as it shows them that you value their suggestions and participation.

fear of public speaking

The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid. – Lady Bird Johnson

While using your notes on stage, do not hide them. Do not overuse them as this will show your audience that you aren’t fully prepared. Also, don’t memorize your presentation word for word. It looks unnatural.

The fear of public speaking Quizlet

The quizlet is a cool online education service that you can use to learn how to conquer your fear of public speaking.

You can take a fear of public speaking quizlet here.

And maybe tell us how the experience was on the comments section?

Courses to help you overcome the fear of Public Speaking

There are many courses available to help you get better at public speaking.

The courses can either be online or through a live coach.

You can also make use of many YouTube videos available for you.

Amongst the most popular courses is the one by www.dalecarnegie.com

Conclusion

Do you feel that I have given you great tips to help you shine on stage?

The first step is to practice all the tips, then go ahead and use them. Tell us what worked best in the comment section!

As always, see you on top of the success ladder! 🙂

Watch this great TEDx talk by Dave Guin on eliminating the fear of public speaking.

 

Accepting yourself just the way you are.

Who amongst us doesn’t grapple with self-acceptance? I think we all do; at least every once in a while, and sometimes, most of the time.

Accepting yourself for who you are and how you are can improve your life in different ways.

In this article, I will explain why it is important to accept yourself. The article will also show you different ways to achieve this.

Why is accepting yourself unconditionally important?

Self-acceptance is tied directly to our self-esteem, our motivation, and our perception of every area of life

As Anaïs Nin famously wrote; we do not see the world as it is, but as we are.

If one spends time hating themselves, then it is expected that their life loses a bit of colour, energy, and taste.

accepting yourself

Practices that make it harder to accept yourself

What are some of the things that you do, that makes it harder to accept yourself, and ultimately harder to love yourself?

  • Comparing yourself to others

  • But John is 6’12” and I’m only 5’0” 🙁
  • But Mary is so pretty and looks good in everything that she wears and I don’t 🙁
  • I’m not as good at football like John 🙁
  • Why can’t I dance as well as Mary? 🙁

If you compare yourself unfavourably to others, especially without the aim to improve yourself, it makes it a little harder to accept yourself as you are.

Statements like these can only make you feel worse about yourself.

And besides, no one can ever win the comparison-with-others game, not even John or Mary. There will always be millions superior or inferior to you in some aspects.

  • Dwelling on believed personal deficits

Often, the times we struggle with self-acceptance are when our perceived shortcomings are highlighted.

And this will happen quite often in the course of your life.

accepting yourself

If you were to spend time focusing on these incidences and paint over it will a lot of negative energy and emotion in your mind, then it can impact your self-acceptance quite severely.

  • Lacking goals in life

If you do not have short-term and long-term goals, you may lack a reason to motivate yourself and feel like your life lacks purpose.

Having goals will give you energy, a reason to wake up every morning.

Watching yourself get closer to your goals will definitely make it easier to accept and love yourself.

  • Carrying too much responsibility, pressure and/or expectations

While having big goals can be a good thing, they can have a negative effect if you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.

This can make you feel like you are destined to fail. Like you are not good enough to satisfy everyone in your life. And how can you be at peace and accept yourself if you are going to be a failure and let everyone down?

accepting yourself

Self-acceptance vs self-improvement.

It is possible to think that accepting yourself contradicts the very concept of working on yourself and making yourself better.

But this is not true.

Accepting yourself means being consciously aware of yourself; your limits, your deficits and knowing and accepting that they are an important part of the definition of you as a person.

It is only after you acknowledge the weaknesses that you can work on them and improve them.

For example;

  • I am not as physically strong as I wish to be, so I will start a workout routine.
  • I am easy to anger, I need to start work on my temperament.

Notice how different this is from;

  • I am not physically strong, this is how the creator wanted me to be, so everyone must take me the way I am or leave me.
  • I am easy to anger, everyone needs not to piss me off.

Accepting yourself can set the foundation to build a greater version of you. It does not mean settling on your current state, but being at peace with how you are now.

accepting yourself

Self-acceptance and happiness.

Is it possible to be happy without accepting yourself?

Is it even possible to love yourself without appreciating your different strengths and weakness?

These questions would definitely make nice topics for a debate, and there would be a lot of arguments for and against both.

But, one thing for sure, the possibility for you to be truly happy increases with self-acceptance. The more you accept yourself, the more likely you are to be happy.

In other words, one of the foundations of happiness is self-acceptance.

Self-acceptance and loving yourself.

One of the most common ideas about love is that to be able to love another, you must be able to love yourself first.

Loving yourself is not optional. It is the solid foundation on which you will build all your other relationships.

It is easier to accept and love yourself when you are doing well; when you accomplish a goal. But what about during the low tides of underachievement? What impact does it have on your important relationships?

One of the more important aspects of self-acceptance is that it needs unconditional love for self.

But since you cannot start at the top, you can take small steps on your way there. Take small baby steps towards where you need to be. And celebrate progress with each step.

Even if you fail or make a mistake, you are still you. You still need to love yourself. Accepting yourself unconditionally will make loving yourself so much easier.

accepting yourself

Tips you can practice to help make accepting yourself easier.

Please understand that these tips are not quick fixes to help you feel better about yourself immediately after you read them. You have to practice for some time and make them a normal part of you for them to be effective.

  • Put first things first.

You need to allocate the most of your time and other resources to your most important activities and relationships.

Make a plan on how you intend to spend your time. Prioritize your activities. Put the most important and urgent activities first.

This will leave you with a feeling of satisfaction and achievement. Ultimately, it will raise your self-esteem.

  • Be grateful.

Be thankful for everything and everyone you have in your life. You have heard it a million times and it is still true; yes, millions in the world do not have what you have.

I wrote an excellent article to help you get started on this.

  • Focus on your strengths.

When you think of yourself, the picture that comes into your head needs to consist of your strong points and not your weaknesses. See yourself through a positive filter.

  • Set clear goals.

There are few things that can make you feel better about your life each moment than having a purpose-driven life.

If every second of your life is spent planning, working and progressing towards some specifically defined goal(s), then accepting and loving yourself will not be a problem.

  • Do not compare yourself to others.

While comparing yourself with others can be a source of motivation to improve, it can also hurt your confidence.

Personally think it is best to avoid it and focus on your own personal goals.

Accepting yourself

  • Learn from your mistakes.

Instead of beating yourself up over past failures, use them as lessons taken from life to build a better you. You have to make mistakes to learn, that is part of life.

Accept that perfect is an unattainable ideal, and embrace mistakes as chances to create a better version of yourself.

  • Celebrate your milestones and achievements, even the small ones.

Any success you get in your life is a result of you being yourself; working hard, being at the right place at the right time or even just by surrounding yourself with the right people.

You should take a moment to consciously acknowledge each achievement and milestone and congratulate yourself for it appropriately.

  • Have fun.

Take a break from working towards your goals, from the hustle and bustle of life, and do something you like.

You are like a motor engine, you need some time to cool down to be able to function properly in the long-term.

  • Accept your life and your situation, and try to better it.

Many people tend to complain a lot about life. They feel it is so unfair to them, that they’re carrying a heavier load than everyone else.

It is important to know that the only thing that counts is what you do with what you have. Accept and make the best of your situation.

accepting yourself

  • Your body is your own, accept it, love it, improve it where possible.

Our physique is most often the subject of most of our negative feelings about ourselves because it is one of the more rigid parts of us.

You need to accept your body as it is today, then maybe, if you find it necessary, take some steps to better it. These could be:

  1. Invest some time and resources into grooming yourself.

  2. Hit the gym.

  3. Find the best dress code for your body type.

  4. Find the best hairdo for your face, head and hair type.

 

  • Do some good for others.

One of the best feelings is knowing that you are of some positive value to the universe

It is no wonder that most successful people participate heavily in charity.

  • Accepting your sexuality.

No one can ever understand you better than you understand yourself.

Irrespective of the views of those around you or society, you need to be true to yourself.

In different parts of the world, people face different obstacles, like legal or religious resistance to expressing their sexuality. If you are faced with these, it is very important to be prudent as you accept and express your sexuality.

  • Seek professional help.

It is always an option to see a professional when you feel that things are getting out of hand. A trained one who has spent their life helping people out of negativity into self-acceptance can help you.

Quotes on accepting yourself

Here are some nice quotes that relate to accepting yourself:

  • There is you and you. This is a relationship. This is the most important relationship.” – Nayyirah Waheed – Salt.
  • You have peace when you make it with yourself.“- Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven“.

  • Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.– Heath L. Buckmaster, Box of Hair: A Fairy Tale
  • Friendship with oneself is all-important because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.Eleanor Roosevelt; Former United States First Lady, Diplomat and Human Rights Activist.
  • Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. If one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu
  • You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Anonymous  (This quote, is commonly attributed to Buddha, but several scholars and followers have rejected it as a blatant lie.)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tkkL9w2pw8

Public Speaking Tips

“I just secured my first job in my dream company! My first task? A presentation to management on how I plan to accomplish the first 5 tasks on my Job Description. I have never done a presentation for such an audience. I’m low-key panicking. I think I might screw it up and lose the job. Please help!”

Does this fear sound familiar? I received this text message from a close friend. Thought I should reply in the form of this blog post. I hope it’s also useful for you.

Most of us panic as soon as we get such assignments either in school or at work. The good news is, there is something you can do to reduce, or entirely get rid of your fear of public speaking.

Public Speaking Preparation

If there’s one piece of advice that everybody gives or knows, is ‘practice makes perfect.’ You know it too.

The amount of work and hours you put into going through or practising the presentation is what will determine your success rate. 

The magic wand when it comes to excellent presentations is in the preparation process. That’s it. You got it from me! 

Most people ignore this bit. Why waste time on preparation?

Your goal is to have 100% clarity. To communicate with your listeners.

You have to be intentional about allocating time to prepare.

It’s okay not to prepare if it’s a social setting. But seeing that my friend’s task is a formal presentation, preparation is essential.

She has no room to freestyle like most people do and hope that all goes well. It never does!

You have to strategize your way into nailing your presentation and leaving the stage with a mic drop moment.

Shall we?

Public speaking

Public Speaking Preparation Tips

Mastering what you are going to say is important. However, it is more important to know your WHY. Why do you NEED to say it?

There are 3 key things you should pay attention to while preparing for public speaking:

1. The Goal

What are you aiming at? What are you supposed to accomplish at the end of your presentation?

Define the goal you want to achieve. Write it down.

The clearer you are, the easier it is for you to achieve it. Be specific.

This will ensure that you don’t give your audience useless, redundant or even unnecessary information. Can you imagine how awkward that would be?

If you don’t know what you want to say, you might end up wasting your time and the audience’s time. The only way to avoid this blunder is by being clear about what you aim to achieve.

In a stellar presentation, there are 3 possible goals;

  • Your listener gains new information.

With new knowledge, they start perceiving things and situations differently.

  • The audience makes a decision based on the information you give them.

The decision may be made at the moment or later.

Example: If your presentation is about environmental degradation, your audience may decide to reduce the amount of trash they produce.

  • Your audience takes action.

E.g one signs you a cheque to fund your business or one decides to become your business partner.

 

Public speaking

2. Importance

If I was seated in a room where somebody was making a presentation about fishing, I’d be on my phone throughout. Why? Because I don’t care about fishing.

If I was made to listen to a presentation about writing, investing or personal finance, I would forget that my phone exists. Why? Because the three topics are of absolute importance to me. I care about them.

Now, think of your audience.

Why should they be attentive? Why listen to you? Is paying attention to your presentation a NEED?

What would they win or lose if they do not act on your message?

Your audience has to care. Ensure the message in your presentation matters to them.

Otherwise, it’ll be a war between listening to you and their social media addiction.

3. Point

Have you ever sat in a presentation, and after the presenter is done, you sat there wondering ‘what was his/her point?’

Did you try to look around the room to establish if you’re the confused one? And after some time you actually realize that yeah, there’s a confusing mood in the room. Nobody knows what the key takeaway is.

You want to avoid this feedback when you’re done with your presentation.

This is also a part of your preparation where clarity is key.

Your point should be in one memorable phrase or sentence.

Public Speaking Skills

Great work! You have completed the preparation phase.

You are now ready to start the process of rocking the stage!

For the best results, break your presentation into 3 parts;

  • A beginning

This is aimed at capturing their attention. If you do this from the beginning, the audience will keep listening.

  • Middle

This is where the content or information you want to pass to them goes.

  • An end

This enables listeners to make a decision. It should be an emotional ending with a call to action.

The three parts are all important. After you have done the prep work, as shown above, it’s easy to come up with the three parts.

Public speaking

The Beginning

Start your presentation with a bang! Have something that grips the attention of the audience.

You should be able to;

  • Establish a personal connection with your audience.

For example, narrate a short personal story. This should be related to your presentation.

  • Make them know that for sure, you are there to help.

Yes, they need to know this so that they feel their time is valued.

Tip: People have a lot of distractions especially mobile phones that they are addicted to. Your introduction should be strong. Make them look up from their phones.

The Middle

Your content or information they need to know goes here. This is also referred to as the body of the presentation.

Nowadays, people battle with a lot of distractions. As a presenter, it’s important to make it easy for your listeners to follow your presentation. To help them understand your content fully, subdivide the information into subtopics.

Example: A presentation on the degradation of our environment could be divided into subtopics such as;

  • The causes of environmental degradation.
  • Safe ways to take care of the environment.
  • Ways we can teach children to take care of the environment.
  • How to manage and reduce waste.

Public speaking

The End.

This is the bit where you have your Call to Action. You’ve seen the abbreviation CTA in presentations, right?

In the example of Environmental Degradation presentation above, you could ask people to stand up if they would want to make a pledge to reduce the amount of waste they produce.

Another strong way to end is by asking a strong, thought-provoking question related to your topic. This gets people to think and reflect on their actions or current situation.

Conclusion

All these handy tips take practice.

Practising often makes it easier for you to make epic, thought-provoking and actionable presentations that leave your audience saying ‘we get your point!’ or better still ‘we’re ready to join you in your changemaker journey!’

Did I teach you some presentation lifehack? Please do tell me in the comment section. As always, see you on top of the success ladder!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AykYRO5d_lI

True beauty lies within you, remember that.

What is true beauty?

In this world of Snapchat and Instagram where people spend more than three-quarters of their day on social media, what true beauty really is has been forgotten.

All we care about is correcting the flaws that are unacceptable by society. You have to possess arched eyebrows, high cheekbones, straight jawline, pointed nose, an ass, and curves just to mention a few.

Women have gone to extreme measures such as skin bleaching, not knowing the importance of melanin in their skin.

They enlarge their assets, do corrective surgery and worse still add a thigh gap to look like Kim Kardashian.

Did you know that these celebrities are in the business of selling fantasy? Thus, they thrive on social media comments from strangers they barely know. They live to impress.

True beauty

The real beauty of a woman lies within

Most women forget that true beauty is self-acceptance.

It comes with accepting the good and the not-so-good parts of you. It is about taking the time to accept the physical scars life has left on you. To view them as marks that show when life was cruel to you but still, you thrived.

True beauty can be attained by taking the time to write down your own story; accepting it and concentrating on the positive memories that come with who you are.

It is about spending time with yourself and making peace with your inner being. Your true beauty is more felt than seen.

Making peace with your beauty

Your scars are not something to be ashamed of.  Make peace with every inch of yourself.

Do not allow the world to make you choose a part of your body that you (and they) think is most beautiful. You are a whole package, not pieces. Choosing one part is objectifying yourself to suit a certain beauty standard.

You do not have to look a certain way in order to be beautiful. Start uncovering the scars by talking to people who see the best in you. The people who make you laugh.

Go where the love is. With time, you will realize that your memories are your greatest strengths.

True beauty

Talk about what hurts. Shed a tear or two. Talk about your greatest fears. It is only by talking about it that we begin to move on and become stronger beings.

Beauty closet essentials

Beauty is not the clothes a woman wears, it is knowing who she is and accepting it. A beautiful woman is comfortable in her own skin.

A woman’s beauty closet should have one essential item called ‘CONFIDENCE.’ This means being able to express yourself and your beliefs. It comes with the ability to express yourself and the inner definition of you. It comes with a  bag of unconditional love for yourself no matter what you’re going through. Take time to work on your confidence-it is your most essential makeup item!

True beauty

What is the true beauty of a woman?

If we concentrate only on our outward appearance and keep seeking compliments, does it mean that true beauty is only what the eyes can see? Certainly not!

Quotes about true beauty

  • No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful – Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself. Comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty – Steve Maraboli.
  • Ads featuring real women and real beauty are such a necessary component to offset the potentially dangerous programming out there for little girls – Rashida Jones.
  • True beauty lies deep within. No matter what you look like on the outside, if you know you are beautiful, nothing can change that – Amy Davis.

Want some evidence about the perception of true beauty? Have a look at the research done by the guys over at dove.com

I found a stellar article on The Kewl shop blog on how to embrace your natural beauty. It’s worth reading!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVvpgwx3_r4


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