By now, you're probably familiar with the term life hacks (simplified quick tips to make your life easier). Here are 10 of my favorite life hacks for you:
1. If you want a low cost airline ticket, then purchase your ticket on Tuesdays. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are also the cheapest days to fly, either the first flight out in morning and last flight out at night (red eye).
2. Want to make sure you wake up in the morning? The snooze button app on the iPhone will donate to a charity each time you hit the snooze button.
3. Instead of scrapping ice off of your car, spray it with 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water. The ice will melt right off.
4. Have a problem remembering if you took your pills already? Flip the bottle upside down every time you take them.
5. If you have a tendency to forget what you need to buy at the grocery store, take a picture of the inside of your refrigerator with your cell phone. It’s easier than writing a grocery list.
6. When making cookies, replace butter with avocado. It tastes no different and makes the cookies healthier for you
7. A bit of toothpaste can successful fix a scratched cell phone screen.
8. Trying to learn a new language? Try to find a translation of your favorite book in that language.
9. If you’re in an area where you should have cell phone service but you don’t, put your phone on “air plane” mode and switch back. This will cause your phone to register and find all the cell phone towers in your area.
10. When filling your car with gas, hold the trigger half way. You’ll get more gas than air in the tank.
This is perhaps my most personal blog post ever, but I had to share because I knew in my spirit that someone could benefit from my story. Long before I worked with people on personal development and business growth, I was (and still am) a national public
anti-sexual abuse advocate. This work is a huge passion for me because of my own experience surviving childhood sexual abuse at the hands of my older brother and cousin. For years I worked on my own recovery, but had not seen either of my perpetrators in more than 20 years. Well that all changed on a recent visit to my hometown of Boston.
While out with my mother, we ran into a gentlemen who looked disheveled. He appeared to be close to my mom’s age so I assumed he was an old friend of hers by the way she greeted him with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. The man looked vaguely familiar, but I could not figure out where I knew him from, so I introduced myself, but the man did not tell me his name. The disheveled man and my mother talked a few feet away from me as I sat on a bench poking at my phone, waiting for them to finish up.
However, the man was only half-heartedly listening to my mother. It appeared, he too was trying to figure out who I was. Just as his bus pulled up (he was waiting at a bus stop), he turned to my mother and asked, “Is that my sister Sylvia?” I peered up from my phone, startled by question, but realizing he was right. It was my brother, who looked nothing like his former self. He had lost quite a bit of hair and his face had sunken in and aged considerably.
Immediately, I thought back to the letter I had mailed to him years ago -- it was my way of acknowledging what he had done and releasing myself from the pain of that experience. My brother has a clinical diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia that he once self-medicated with drugs. Though he is now clean and on prescription medication for his illness, I could see how the effects of the drugs had diminished his appearance and aged him considerably, making him barely recognizable. It was evident, he was still trying to wrap his brain around our unexpected "reunion" and quite frankly, so was I. He boarded his bus, and as quickly as he appeared, he disappeared.
As I sat processing the encounter with my mom, I realized I was not sad, nor angry or bitter. In that moment, I realized I was FREE, no longer a victim, no longer pained by the abuse I experienced at the age of 5. This unexpected encounter with my brother helped me see that all of my hard work in therapy and support group had paid off. I was free! It makes me proud to know that I no longer felt the need to shrink, retreat or carry around the pain from what he did to me. It was EMOTIONAL PROOF that I was truly no longer his victim!
Why am I sharing this with you? To show you that you too can break free from whatever is holding you back
from getting out of your comfort zone and live the life of your dreams. Neither of my perpetrators have power over me, and I share that message whenever I participate in anti-sexual abuse awareness campaigns. My perpetrators will never have a front row seat in my life, but I don’t have to carry around hate for them in my heart. If I did, that would destroy my emotional health. And I’ve worked too hard on my recovery to give my power away.
Recovering from sexual has enabled me to share my story through Oprah.com, NPR, Ebony magazine, Essence, and so many other media outlets. And now I am helping others identify and get rid of the experiences that prevent them from getting out of their comfort zone so that they too can pursue their passion. I hope that you are inspired to do the same! To read more about my recovery from sexual abuse, check out the video on my home page or go here.
Be so good they can’t ignore you!
Sounds simple doesn’t it?! I was contemplating this advice as I began to think about what makes truly successful people successful. What propels them to the top of their
field? What is the secret sauce that makes them SO GOOD that you can’t ignore them? Here’s their recipe:
THEIR PASSION IS CONTAGIOUS: In other words, they are over the moon, hopelessly IN LOVE with what they do, and their passion catches the attention of those around them. One woman, who had grown weary of doing social work, came to me to figure out her passion. She told me her boss often had to make her go home because she kept coming in on her days off to plan and decorate the special events for the residential center. Though it was obvious to me, she never considered her true passion was event planning.
THEY SHARE THEIR GIFTS WITH EVERYONE because it makes them and others feel good. And they can’t stop talking about it. When asked what they do, not only can they not stop talking about it, guaranteed, they will leave you with a business card, book or some example of their gift to take home with you.
THEY WORK ON THEIR PASSION DAILY and feel incomplete if they don’t do at least one thing connected with that passion on an almost daily basis. Singer Jennifer Hudson says he son often
asks her, "Mommy, why do you play music EVERYDAY?" She replied, "Because music is a part of EVERY thing I do."
THEY ARE UNSTOPPABLE. Setbacks, no matter how big or small, are only temporary. They get back in the saddle quickly. In fact, for many, engaging in their passion IS a big part of their recovery.
THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN BY MONEY. I know. This sounds inconceivable considering we all need money to pay for our living expenses, but for these individuals doing their passion is what quenches their thirst. It is as essential as the air they breathe. Money followed as they truly mastered their craft to a level that could no longer be ignored by the masses.
THEY CONSTANTLY PUSH THEMSELVES OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE: This one shouldn’t surprise you. LOL! Will Smith said it best, "I fear, fear. I hate being afraid of something. The fear of fear makes me want to do it, to overcome it so that it no longer has power over me."
All this makes them so good, that we simply can’t ignore them! Do you have that same drive and passion? If not, here’s a good place to start: http://tinyurl.com/mx72mgv
LESSONS ON SUCCESS: For several years, Netflix struggled to compete against movie rental giant Blockbuster. At the time, the cost of a DVD player was too high for the average American family, thus making it virtually impossible for families to invest in
Netflix’s DVD movie rentals by mail. However, Netflix founder Reed Hastings remained PERSISTENT and had FAITH that Netflix would one day be a winner. Hastings was right. A few years into the business, DVD prices finally began to drop. Hastings took advantage of the price drop and negotiated a deal with the
manufacturers of DVD players to put a FREE trial subscription to Netflix in EVERY box as an incentive for customers to buy the DVD player and to grow Netflix’s subscription base. Sales skyrocketed IMMEDIATELY. Today, Netflix nets more than $3.61 billion. LESSON: If it seems you have tried virtually everything to make your goals come true, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and “think outside the DVD box.” Perhaps it’s time to partner with someone, like Hastings did, to create a win/win partnership for BOTH of your goals come to