15 Wonderful Airbnb Homes That Will Inspire You to Live a Little Differently

Vacations in a rented home always seem so restful, which isn’t strictly because it’s a vacation; a lot of it has to do with a sense of no responsibility. When you’re out of your own home, you aren’t surrounded by the constant reminders that you haven’t put the dishes away yet, or you need to dust the ceiling fans and do laundry. When you can focus more on resting and less on daily chores and responsibilities, you feel revitalized and more zen.

Change your home to change your perspective.

Just a small change can make a big difference at home. Finding inspiration through homes on AirBnb is a great place to start. Maybe you and a loved one just took an incredible trip and stayed in a tree house. Sure, it may not be possible to go home and turn your home into a tree, but you could still incorporate that airy feel. If you loved the greenery through the window, how about some house plants to bring the outdoors in? Find small things to add and feel free to make changes frequently. If it makes you feel like you’ve just transported yourself, then you’re doing it right!

When you can make those little detail changes in your home, it can boost that happiness you feel — just like when you travel. In fact, the change of scenery in general is a big part of why vacations are so rejuvenating.

Even the color tones at home can make you feel differently. For example, yellow shaded wall encourages a peaceful environment; green is a calming color that is nice to act as a transition from the outdoors; gray color boosts relaxation and serenity; and browns’ natural roots give it a relaxing touch.[1]

Now that you understand how you decorate your home, and the color of your home have a great effect on health and mood, how do you start to work on your home?

The list below is filled with homes in the States that will inspire you to live differently. Scroll through the photos on the site and notice the decorative choices the owners have made.

1. Secluded Intown Treehouse

This incredible home in Atlanta, Georgia provides Southern charm in an unbeatable location. While you’ll feel like you’re completely secluded, don’t worry, there’s still Wifi! Notice the clean, neutral tones and all the natural sunlight. Find out more about this home here:  Secluded Intown Treehouse

2. Malibu Dream Airstream

Talk about galloping! This Airstream in Malibu, California offers visitors an unforgettable escape. Get all the calming blue you could ever wish for with views of the Pacific ocean and gorgeous starry nights with no light pollution. Find out more about this home here: Malibu Dream Airstream

3. The Joshua Tree House

With neutral lighting, clean, open spaces and no neighbors for miles, this beautiful home in Joshua Tree, California is sure to recharge your spiritual batteries. As if the home itself wasn’t beautiful enough, there’s even a hot tub on the property which is perfect for use at night when all you can see are starts. Find out more about this home here: The Joshua Tree House

4. Off-Grid ithouse

This home in Pioneertown, California brings the outside in. Whether you need seclusion or just want to take in the breathtaking surroundings. Find out more about this home here: Off-grid itHouse

5. Dreamy Tropical Tree House

This lush treehouse in Hawaii features bright, clean color schemes and gorgeous views. Find out more about this home here: Dreamy Tropical Tree House

6. Perfectly located Castro

This beautiful space in San Francisco, California offers the perfect balance of warm and neutral tones. The art on the walls is especially great if you enjoy eccentric (and non-stressful) decor. Find out more about this home here: Perfectly located Castro

7. A Pirate’s Life For Me – Houseboat

This amazing houseboat in Charleston, South Carolina will let you live like a glamorous pirate. Wake up to natural light and have your morning coffee while watching dolphins play in front of you. Find out more about this home here: A Pirate’s Life For Me – Houseboat

8. Tiny House in Seattle

This adorable tiny home in Seattle, Washington was built by an architect and a graphic designer. An ideal getaway for a totally new view, this rental is minutes away from stores and restaurants, but you’ll feel totally at peace. Find out more about this home here: Tiny House in Seattle

9. East Nashville Cozy & Cute Cottage

This space in Nashville, Tennessee has so much natural light, you may never need to flip a switch. The white walls provide a clean slate in each room, allowing you to truly focus on doing nothing but relaxing. Find out more about this home here: East Nashville Cozy & Cute Cottage

10. Sweetest Cottage in Venice Beach

With perfectly placed pops of cheery color, this adorable space in Los Angeles, California is sure to reset your happy button. Copy the look with neutral tones and splashes of color. Find out more about this home here: Sweetest Cottage in Venice Beach

11. Stylish Lincoln Park 2BR w/patio

The neutral tones in this Chicago, Illinois space are so soothing. The browns and tans make for a beautiful transition from outside. Find out more about this home here: Stylish Lincoln Park 2BR w/patio

12. Private Apartment Hip Logan Square

This Chicago, Illinois home does a great job of incorporating house plants into the open, sunlit rooms. Copy their style for a modern, yet welcoming feel. Find out more about this home here: Private Apartment Hip Logan Square

13. Designer Flat in Chicago

This Chicago, Illinois flat incorporated a ton of grey hues to make for a really relaxing experience. Steal the style with minimal decor and clean, grey shades. Find out more about this home here: Designer Flat in Chicago

14. Great Space in Heart of Hawthorne

This home in Portland, Oregon is all clean colors, no clutter and an amazing outdoor space. Take inspiration from their color palette and decorating. Find out more about this home here: Great Space in Heart of Hawthorne

15. YURT: Mountain Farmstead, Hot Tub, Hiking Trails

This Stanardsville, Virginia Yurt is everything a glamper’s heart desires. It’s filled with warm tones, gorgeous furniture pieces and you can’t beat the view. Find out more about this home here: YURT: Mountain Farmstead, Hot Tub, Hiking Trails

So, after looking at so many wonderful AirBnB homes, have you got any inspirations on how to make some differences at home? What do you love? What could you incorporate into your own home?

Reference

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If You Want to Read 10 Times Faster, Outread Is the App You Need

An average adult reads about 200 words per minute (WPM). A speed reader, though, reads about 1,500 WPM. The world speed reading champion is about 4,700 WPM, but we’re not going to worry as much about that level in this article.

If you assume the average article is 500-1,000 words and the average book is 55,000-100,000 words, then an average adult reads an article in 2.5-5 minutes and reads a book in 275-500 minutes, or somewhere between 4.5 and 8 hours.

A speed reader, though, could finish three articles in 1 minute and an entire book in 36-66 minutes (so slightly over an hour at most).

Imagine if you increased your reading output at this level. The amount of information you would be able to consume over an average reader is staggering. Across a year, it looks like this:

  • 360 books vs. 30 books
  • 30,000 articles vs. 3,000 articles

Reading is a cornerstone of information-gathering and coming across as intelligent in group dynamics. If you’re operating 10-12x higher on consumption simply because of a change in your reading approach, it could be huge for your career and personal life.

The Fast Way to Speed Up Reading

The app that I want to introduce to you will guide your eyes through a reading list with the help of a highlighting marker. This improves your speed, and you can adjust the preferred speed — and the highlighter size, determining how much text you’ll be shown at once — to either scale back or push yourself.

Outread has a number of features, including a built-in eBooks directory with classic books and sync with Instapaper, Pocket, and Pinboard. A simple switch of reading mode will help you read faster and read more.

Let’s take a look at some of the key features of the app.

Create a Reading List

You start by creating a reading list, which you can do from one of the connected services like Pocket and iBooks, or pull in from stories loaded into Outread.

Adjust the Reading Speed

You can also adjust the reading speed in the top right, as seen here.

The highlighting technique teaches your eyes to move more efficiently through the text. It provides a rhythm, which lowers the number of unnecessary jumps and makes you more focused.

Start Your Training with A Preferred Reading Mode

There are two modes to train up your speed reading skill. You can pick from one of them that fits you best.

Track Your Reading Speed Progress

Outread also allows you to track daily (and other time duration) progress points.

Start your speed reading training now!

Simply install Outread here for $2.99 and you can start your speed reading training and read 10 times faster.

And hey, this article was just about shy of 500 words. So if you were already a speed reader, you’d have been done a while ago … think what you could be onto now!

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Why Empathy Is Both the Hero and the Villain in a Relationship

Most people wouldn’t think that empathy has a downside or limits, but in our relationships it’s not always a positive tool. It’s something that can be depleted, leaving our emotional tanks empty for other family members.

Empathy is just one ingredient in the recipe for deep connections with our intimate partners. We have to look past this tool and understand its negative effects if we really want to create lasting connections.

First, some definitions are in order.

What Exactly Is Empathy

Empathy is our ability to put ourselves in the place of other people. This allows us to understand their feelings and even experience their pain. Without empathy, it’s difficult to have insights into other people’s behaviors.

Everyone has some ability to empathize thanks to mirror neurons in the brain which allow us to feel what other people feel. When we see a soccer player miss the ball only to kick another player square in the crotch, we react instantly to the perceived pain.

We feel what they feel without any effort. We can experience a wide range of emotions for situations we’ve never been in because of these neurons. We can also learn how to do things the same way.

Feeling what other people feel can alter our behaviors in a positive way. We can predict how other people might react when we leave the sink full of dishes, or place chocolates and a card on the bed for a nice surprise.

This means we can avoid certain behaviors or adopt positive ones that make our partners happy.

“Compassionate empathy “is a balance of positive cognitive and emotional empathy, which prompts us to take action, as needed.” For instance, a messy partner, who has compassionate empathy, can imagine and feel how annoying or even distressing it is for their partner to deal with their mess, so they modify their behavior and pick up after themselves, she said.”  – PsychCentral

Arguments can be diffused when we pause to understand someone’s position from their point of view, even when we don’t agree. It allows to see how someone might take a certain stance based on where they’re coming from.

The Negative Side of Empathy

Relying too much on empathy can be an emotional drain. In certain studies, people who used empathy in the workplace had less to give to their families. It’s a finite emotional reserve which can be depleted.

This leads to negative trade offs. Most people wouldn’t make these trade offs consciously if they knew there was going to be less empathy available for loved ones.

Empathy can be used for manipulation too. By understanding other people’s feelings, we can use those feelings against them. In many emotionally abusive relationships, one person may use anger as a tool because they know their partner will do as they want, and attempt to “put out the fire” to make them happy again.

“Both cognitive and emotional empathy can be used in negative ways (e.g. someone might use cognitive empathy to be manipulative; someone who takes on their partner’s emotions might become too burned out to support them).” [1]

Empathy can also be misplaced when we don’t understand context. For example, being nice is generally a good thing. We want to treat others with respect, and can anticipate the same in return. We naturally like people who treat us with some level of respect and kindness.

This can backfire in the case of the “nice guy” who wants to attract a woman. In this context, nice doesn’t equal turned on. She may like him but it will be on a platonic level. He’s putting himself into the wrong person’s shoes and won’t get the reaction he predicted empathetically.

What’s More Important Than Empathy In a Relationship

A good relationship is made up of many ingredients which can be thought of as a recipe. No single ingredient is enough on it’s own, but put everything together and you’re more likely to succeed.

  1. Mutual responsibility – Take responsibility for everything you do and never play the blame game.
  2. Shared values – Connect on shared values such as respect for life, family, success ambitions, lifestyle or any other value which is a big part of your life blueprint. Find out more about how to know your values here: Knowing My Values Has Filled up the Long-Existed Missing Gap in My Life
  3. Trust – Establish trust by being reliable. That means following through on everything you say you’re going to do.
  4. Boundaries – Create boundaries which allow for mutual respect, and let your partner know if they’re being crossed.
  5. Relationship clarity – Don’t make assumptions on the big things. Always be clear by talking about it.
  6. Emotional Intelligence – Work on your own emotional intelligence for better communication and understanding. This includes empathy. Learn from my other article How to Be More Emotionally Sensitive
  7. Shared Passions – Connect on interest which compels you. Mutual passions create deeper bonds than superficial activities. If you have a passion for the outdoors, it’s going be more powerful than watching Seinfeld reruns together (although that’s OK too).
  8. Sexual Polarity – Sameness = no chemistry. It’s important that both partners know where they stand and their roles. Although different context will call for different aspects of our personalities, both the partners trying to fulfill the same role will lead to disinterest.

Three Questions to Ask in Place of Using Empathy

Instead of trying to guess what your partner is feeling, ask him or her instead. It’s true that we can learn a lot about our partner’s emotions through observation and empathy, but don’t underestimate the power of a direct question.

“When trying to empathize, it’s generally better to talk with people about their experiences than to imagine how they might be feeling.”  – Adam Waytz [2]

That doesn’t mean you’re always going to get a complete answer though. This is where asking the right questions comes in. It also pays to ask questions that hit a few different angles so that you can have ‘big picture’ understandings.

Start with these:

  • How do you feel?
  • What do you want?
  • What do you think?

When communication is open, these questions will open up a dialogue. It’s also a lot easier than trying to guess emotions and desires, and will reduce the need for empathy. This means we can save more empathy for situations where it’s more useful without getting burnt out.

Outside of asking, pay attention to what your partner actually does. A person’s actions always speak louder than words.

Featured photo credit: Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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Why Even the Sweetest Couples End Up Breaking Up

The first six months of a relationship are wonderful. There are flowers, candy and hundreds of emoji filled texts that are promptly read and responded to. You leave each other in the evening and video chat a few hours later.

You share your food, wipe each others mouths and walk down the street with your hands in each other’s back pocket.

You are happy and so in love with your companion. You can’t get enough of each other.

A year later you’ve broken up…

How You Start Never Matters

But you started off so well. The relationship was perfect. You were so sweet and in love with each other and somehow the passion still faded.

Statistics show that most relationships go from hot, heavy and passionate to “meh” in about 18 months.[1] The feelings people associate with being in love—the butterflies and the longing—dissipate during this time and the couple begins to wonder if they should carry on with the relationship.

New research shows that relationships are actually more vulnerable to demise far sooner than the dreaded seven year itch. The most common time for a couple to split is right around the two year mark.[2]

By then, you’ve most likely seen everything about your partner—their best and their worst physically and emotionally. You have started to get used to each other’s presence and the spark to stay passionate and playful has gradually faded in the relationship because you just no longer feel the same. Lots of couples end their relationship here.

What most couples who end their relationship there don’t realize is that this is just a phase. It’s a part of the process and happens to all couples.

The Five Stages Every Relationship Goes Through

The first mistake couples make is believing that when the “infatuated” feeling fades, it’s a sign that the love is fading as well. They think that when the butterflies are gone, it’s time to end the relationship.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

When it comes to relationships, experts agree there are five distinct stages.[3] Every relationship goes through these stages. The ones that last successfully make it through all five, but most relationships get stuck and fall apart during stage three.

Stage 1: Passion and Romance

This is the honeymoon or infatuation stage. It is filled with lots of kisses and touching each other for no particular reason. It is when you are completely taken by your mate and are blind to his or her flaws.

It is the easiest phase to endure and very intense.

Stage 2: Getting Serious

This is still within the infatuation or honeymoon stage. You are still blinded by love but have the clarity to see that this relationship has long-term potential. This is when the relationship becomes exclusive and you begin making long-term plans with your partner.

There is still lots of hand-holding, cuddling, and you give each other meaningful nicknames. You begin to share yourself more intimately with your mate.

Stage 3: Relationship Plateau

Stage three is when the relationship becomes real. The blinders are off and you see your partner for who they really are. Physical touch like hand-holding, kissing and other forms of physical intimacy may be starting to slow down a bit. The butterflies are gone and your partner doesn’t seem as cute as they once were.

The hardest part about stage three is that you both begin to question the relationship: where is the passion we used to have for each other? is our love fading away? is he/she the one I can be with for a longer time?

Stage 4: Moving Beyond Infatuation

Once you’ve chosen to move past stage three and to stick with the relationship, you develop a deep and intimate bond. This is the time when couples really begin to merge their lives. Serious discussions concerning marriage, kids and finances ensue and plans are made to move the couple forward as a unit.

This is when the relationship is solidified and the couple builds a life together. Many couples make it to this phase and experience a long, healthy and meaningful relationship.

But there is one more phase…

Stage 5: Becoming a Team

Stage five of the relationship is when the couple becomes a solid team. The relationship moves past “me and you” decision-making and the team becomes more important than the individuals.

This is the part of a relationship everyone longs for but few reach. It’s the true love phase.

It’s when the couple has the best chance of making it to “happily-ever-after.” That’s not to say that there will not be challenges, hardships and bumps in the road. But it does mean that both parties are committed to staying and making the relationship work no matter what.

It’s the phase of full acceptance and unconditional love.

Breaking Through the Honeymoon Stage

Most relationships that end do so somewhere within stage three. Other relationships can last for years and never make it out of stage three, but the relationship is not healthy and neither partner is fulfilled.

The first thing you must understand when you began to feel disillusioned is that feelings don’t sustain a relationship. Feelings are unreliable because they vary and are subject to moods and external factors.

Think of when a family celebrates the arrival of a newborn. At first, all of the attention is on the new addition and everything is sweet and cute. After a few months of dirty diapers, spit up and random crying, the initial excitement passes but that doesn’t mean the parents don’t love the baby anymore.

A romantic relationship works similarly. It’s the struggling process that helps both partners grow and this process also helps the relationship grow into something better, something that will last. Giving up at Stage 3 is like declaring the death of a patient with a beating heart.

The duration of each stage is different for every couple. For some couples, the honeymoon stage may last for years and for others a few months. The important thing to note is the length of the stage has no correlation to the viability of the relationship.

When you reach stage three, you have the power to determine how long it lasts. Getting out of stage three requires you to make a decision. You must decide that your relationship is worth it and you must chose to go all in.

Here are a few things you can do to help move your relationship out of stage 3:

Recognize that questioning your relationship is normal and necessary.

Allow yourself time to assess whether or not your concerns are simply connected to a loss of passion or if you have legitimate concerns about your partner and the relationship.

Talk about your concerns with the right person.

Make sure that you share your concerns with your partner. Saying something as simple as “I feel that our relationship is getting a bit boring these days, I think we should do something about it,” could be the juice the relationship needs. It will start a dialogue and assist you both in actively addressing your concerns.

Sharing your concerns and seeking advice from others during this time is normal and acceptable, just be careful who you listen to.

Make a decision and then put in the work.

Once you decide that the relationship is viable, do something about it. Don’t make your decision and then hope things will get better.

Actively work to move your relationship further. Try new things. Do things your partner likes to do. Be romantic on purpose.

Relationships take heaps of effort. It’s time to put in the work.

It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Journey Through

All relationships take time, energy and targeted, intentional effort.

It doesn’t matter how “lovey-dovey” cute and cuddly you are in the beginning. The honeymoon will end. And when it does you must work in order to make it last. Stage three doesn’t have to be the death of your relationship. You control whether to relationship lives or dies.

Will your relationship become a stage fiver?

Featured photo credit: Jordan Bauer on Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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Creativity Doesn’t Appear as Flash Even for the Most Creative People

People often talk about creativity and inspiration as if it is a thing totally distinct from them. That ideas generate themselves spontaneously, or as if it is a trait that some people are born without and can’t ever gain. These ideas are commonplace, but are totally untrue.

Some think creative works exist in a vacuum, and are, by their nature, totally original, and entirely the work of some lone visionary. This again is untrue. Nothing comes from nothing, and even some of the most creative people of all time were inspired by countless works, and everything they had ever done or seen. For example, William Shakespeare, almost all of his plays like Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet were inspired by other works, or were retellings of history. His stories have transformed our artistic landscape, and they wouldn’t have existed if he didn’t work on his creativity or inspiration.

In fact, creativity can be developed, it always is. It is useful to think of creativity like a skill, and like any skill, you can build on it, work on it, and increase it. In this way. Someone who thinks themselves as uncreative today may one day become a great creative.

These myths about creativity are damaging to our culture. It isn’t hard to imagine how these myths begin. As children, we are not taught to be creative, and those who are taught to do creative things, like painting or creative writing are taught in such a rigid way that true creativity can never blossom.

In an art class, children are taught how to draw, they may also be told to express themselves in art. Yet, as these classes tend to have set standards and aims, if their work doesn’t meet these vague standards, they may get a bad grade. This can easily lead someone to believe that they simply aren’t creative enough.

To counter the creativity myths, I have devised a framework for developing creativity. I have identified four levels of creativity that can be developed. Think of it as a ladder leading to great creative potential.

The Four Levels That All Genuine Creatives Must Go Through

With this system, you’ll be able to measure your own increasing creative ability, and by doing so, becoming more creative would stop seeming like an abstract aim, but a concrete, and attainable goal. With this model of creativity, it becomes far easier to measure your creative improvement.

It is also a great idea to consider where you would like to improve creatively and use these levels of creativity as a way to help define your path to improve your skills. If you want to improve your writing skills for example, work your way up from the basics to more advanced techniques. Get a feel for everything and work your way up.

Level 1: By-Chance Creativity

This is the most common and base form of creative ability. On this level you are still very much able to produce great creative works and think creatively. But being not too knowledgeable about creativity or your own creative ability, it is difficult to replicate any creative success you have. This of course can be improved through developing your creative ability.

Level 2: Learned Creativity

On the second level, your understanding of creativity and your own creative potential has increased. On this level you will find you are able to relate more to great creatives, you are able to learn from their experiences as well as your own. You can replicate creative success as many times as you like, but there is a sense that your works rely on the works of others too much. That you are replicating them and their success.

The above painting is by Picasso when he was 15. Picasso was a level 2 creative at the time he painted this. A great piece of work, but pretty unoriginal in style. Many people have painted pictures like this.

Level 3: Creativity Goes Wild

Here the supports are severed. Level two gave you the ability to distill creativity from others, there you learned the rules. Here, with that understanding you get to break or ignore the rules according to your preferences.

This is when you produce creative works you notice that you have a voice or style that is unique to you.

Level 4: Redefining Creativity

On this level you are operating at the highest level of creative ability. This is the level of people like Steve Jobs, Picasso, Alan Turing, and Vincent Van Gogh. These are people who know their own creative potential intricately, know all the rules, and as such are free to utterly re-invent them .

People one these level work in ways that most people can’t match or imagine. They do a lot of experiments and make a lot of creative mistakes, but are able to learn from these mistakes for the betterment of their work.

This is Weeping Woman by Picasso, here with his own distinct, and bold style, Picasso is operating at a high level of creativity. Picasso, having developed his creativity over his lifetime, has redefined the rules of the game. Nobody comes close.

Climbing the Four Levels of Creativity Ladder

If you want to work through the 4 levels, no matter what your current creative ability is, it is important to work from the bottom. You can aim for reaching level 3 first, but start with the foundation. By doing so you will be able to better measure your success.

From Level 1 to Level 2: Log Your Experiences and Knowledge

Develop a library of experiences and important influences that you can draw from. Think about what inspires you and why and think deeply about it. Study the works of creative people you admire, and read deeply about them. By doing so you should be able to work out their techniques and replicate them.

Make sure you get feedback for any creative works you produce. Pay attention to anything people say. Especially the more critical. Maintain a logbook throughout the process to measure your progress. Log everything.

From Level 2 to Level 3: Learn the Rules And Break Them

Exploit each and every opportunity to expand your knowledge. By doing so learn the rules of creativity and your trade.

Once you feel you understand the rules, consider how they can be best implemented, see if you could change and adapt them to suit your goals and intentions. Don’t break the rules for the sake of breaking them. Eventually you’ll start to see beyond the ordinary ways of doing things.

Find like-minded people, people who you can share ideas with. In retrospection and discussion your knowledge will increase further. Steve Jobs wouldn’t have been the man we celebrate today without the early collaboration of Steve Wozniak.

From Level 3 to Level 4: Experiment And Create New Rules

Every time you see a piece of creative work, either your own or someone else’s, ask yourself this question “How was this done?” “How can it be improved?”

Never stop looking for ways to increase your knowledge and understanding. If you are in a race and stop before finishing, others will overtake.

Using all of your developed knowledge and skill, try to think of ways to use what you have learned to produce works, or be creative in ways nobody has before. Originality can only come from influence, this seems like a paradox, but it is true.

Welcome failure. See your failures, and the failures of others as learning experiences. The great politician and Lawyer Robert Kennedy once said

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Creativity Doesn’t Come as Flash, It’s a Journey

Creativity is like life, it is a quest for constant self improvement. It is a quest that can only be undertaken though, with knowing the rules, then breaking them, then re-inventing the rules.

Now you know what you need to do to boost your creativity. Follow the four levels of creativity, and work your way up to becoming a true creative person.

Featured photo credit: Gabriel Barletta on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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10 Stylish And Durable Power Banks You Can Buy for Under $50

People have been complaining about the battery life of their phones. With heavy use, a fully charged smartphone can still hardly last a day. I’m sure you’ve experienced the trouble of having to use your phone, and being unable to as you’ve ran out of battery. As such, many have found it useful to invest in additional power banks.

One issue with this is that many of the power banks on the market are too big to be easily carried around, are ineffective, are too expensive, or simply look bad. However, there are some power banks that are so well designed, and work so well with your phone that they completely change the way you use it.

Thanks to these power banks you’ll never need to worry about running out of power again.

1. The Nifty X – Wearable Cable with Powerbank

The NiftyX is unlike any other power bank on the market. Where many power banks are cumbersome and tricky to carry around, the NiftyX couldn’t be easier. This is a power bank you wear.

From the outside it looks like a cool decorative bracelet, in actuality it’s a high functioning and dynamic power bank ideal for the use when you’re out, usable whatever the weather. With it you can charge and sync your phone, wherever you are with ease.

It’s definitely one of the better looking and more versatile power banks.

Back this project NiftyX Bracelet Cable at Kickstarter, $33

2. Lifecard – The World’s Thinnest Powerbank

In 2016, Lifecard won iPhone Life magazine’s best of the prestigious Consumer Electronics Show (CES).The Lifecard is beautifully designed. It is just the size of a credit card, brilliantly compact, fitting in your wallet with ease, plus its stainless steel finish gives it a sleek, futuristic appearance and great durability. Though extremely thin, you don’t need to worry about it breaking.

What’s more, it can charge up to 80% of an iPhone 5s and 65% of an iPhone 6.

Lifecard – The World’s Thinnest Powerbank, $42.95

3. Pearl Compact Mirror Battery Pack

This is a product that is wholly unique. It merges the two worlds of fashion, and smartphone technology in such a way that is both unexpected and extremely inventive. The Pearl Compact Mirror Battery Pack is both a makeup mirror (two of them actually) and powerful USB recharging station. As such it is the perfect companion for a night out.

As a charging station, it is effective thanks to its 3000mAh lithium polymer battery. And as a make up station, it is fantastic with two mirrors (one ordinary , and one with 3x magnification) and a ring of LED lights around the mirror enabling you to apply makeup in low lighting.

Pearl Compact Mirror USB Rechargeable Battery Pack, $17.99

4. Power Bank Compact by FREEWISE

This power bank is slightly larger than others on this list, but its built in battery powers is as huge as 10,000 mAh. This multiple times the power of many other power banks. With this huge power output, you can charge more than one device at a time.

It’s perfect if you travel with multiple devices. You won’t need to worry about running out of power at all.

Power Bank Compact by FREEWISE, $19.99

5. Ankler Power Core Slim

The Ankler Power bank is sleek and slim in design, meaning it can be carried around anywhere with ease, and is largely unnoticeable until you need it.

Despite it’s slim design, it carries a significant amount of power, enough to fully charge an iPhone 6s twice, or a Samsung Galaxy S7 fully once. So it is ideal for getting a full charge easily wherever you are.

On top of this, it is protected by a silicon shield, keeping it well protected and scratch free.

Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 Portable Charger, $29.99

6. PocketFuel Power Bank Battery With Solar Panel

This power bank has built in sensors to detect if your device is fully charged, and if so, will shut off, meaning that it doesn’t waste any power by over charging your phone.

It gets its power from a highly sensitive solar power system which can charge from your house lights or overcast weather. It is perfect for the more adventurous users who want to keep their phones charged when hiking. It is fully waterproof, extremely tough, and has a built in flashlight. It also comes with a carabiner, so can be easily carried anywhere.

PocketFuel Power Bank Battery With Solar Panel, $39.90

7. Mophie Juice Pack Wireless and Charging Base (for iPhone 6/6S)

Where virtually all power banks need cables and wires to charge your phone, the Morphie Juice Pack charges your phone wireless. All you need to do is place your device on its charging base and your phone starts to charge automatically, so you don’t need to worry about carrying extra wires with you.

The pad is magnetic and it attaches to your phone smoothly and securely, keeping itself in place as it charges.It’s surprisingly small in size so can be taken with you easily.

It also senses if your phone is charged and reacts accordingly making sure your phone isn’t over charged, or overheats.

Mophie Juice Pack Wireless and Charging Base, $28.85

8. Monteverde Powerbank Ballpoint Pen

This is like something out of a James Bond movie. As you might expect by the name, the Power Bank pen is a power bank that also functions as a ballpoint pen.

Admittedly it doesn’t pack too much power, it houses a 650 mAh battery (which is good for an emergency charge). This isn’t so much of a problem because as it is a pen too, it is good to carry around with you anyway.

Most of the power banks on this list are easy to take with you, but this is a power bank that you’ll want to carry with you.

Monteverde Power Bank 2.0 Ballpoint Pen, $40.77

9. i.Valux Unique Designed Stand Shockproof Bumper iPhone 6 Plus/7 Plus External Power Bank Charger

This power bank is small in size so it can be easily taken with you. This power bank is also magnetized, and it comfortably attaches itself to your phone (though this uses wires). It is designed in such a way that you can use your phone, headphone jack, and camera easily, even while it is charging.

It is built out of high quality plastic, so it keeps your phone protected. Even if you drop it, it won’t sustain damage.

On top of everything else, it protects your phone from over charging, overheating, short circuiting, or discharging.

i.Valux Unique Designed Stand Shockproof Bumper iPhone 6 Plus/7 Plus External Power Bank Charger, $19.49

10. Powrtabs Disposable Power Pack

This power bank is by far the most environmentally friendly. It is 100% recyclable (even the battery) and each one has been made from recycled plastic. They are great for providing a quick blast of emergency power as they charge quickly.

They are designed strictly for emergencies and are single use only. This isn’t as big a problem as it sounds though, as they are far cheaper than any other power bank on this list, and as mentioned, you’ll find no problems getting rid of it.

Powrtabs Disposable Power Pack, $9.99

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Friends Don’t Have to Grow Apart as You Grow Older

When you were young, the friends you made tend to be defined by common experience, for example living in the same neighborhood, going to the same school, having parents who are friends, riding the same bus, or participating in the same sports or extracurricular activities.

As you grow older, though, these elements change. You and your friends may move to different towns, have different works, come across different challenges in life, and may even lead a different lifestyle. Some may already get married and have their own children; some maybe traveling around all the times; some may always be busy making money.

This is when you realize your friendship with these friends has changed.

Research has shown that three main factors of developing adult friendships are proximity, repeated/unplanned interaction, and settings that encourage conversation.[1] If you’re constantly moving and working, though, these friendships can be harder to sustain.

A Shared Life Is Not Enough to Maintain A Lifelong Friendship

Too often, people focus on having a shared life with others. It’s actually less important for friends to physically be in the same life space. Friends need similar core values, which refers to subjective perspectives and beliefs on topics. You can align core values with someone who lives down the street or someone that lives 2,000 miles away.

Think about it like this: if you know someone who lives down the street (proximity), and you see them a lot at events (repeated/unplanned interactions), and it’s often in settings like bars and parties that encourage conversation, theoretically you should become friends with this person, right? Not necessarily.

If you and that person’s core values are completely misaligned, communication will be nearly impossible. Both of you may try to constantly prove the other person wrong and conflicts will be common.

Core values for humans are not easily changed, without an alignment there, it’s very hard for two people to become — and remain — friends.

Only the Values We Hold Can Build True Bondings

Humans are social animals. This is the core of the human experience. Humans came to dominate the world because we were the only species that could collaborate well, and form bonds, in large numbers.[2] We don’t seek just physical company; we seek mental company and an exchange of ideas and values.

Sharing your core values with another, and attempting to understand theirs is akin to sharing a piece of mind. This exchange of value and idea is crucial to satisfying basic human need. You can have a friend who you consistently have fun with, but if this core value exchange isn’t there, the friendship will erode when the environment changes. If you have a friend who’s fun and you’ve exchanged life values with, that friendship will remain despite the change of the environment.

Not every core value needs to overlap, it’s nearly impossible across any two people. For example, one friend can value punctuality and the other friend can constantly be late. This will make hanging out and communicating harder. But if the friend valuing punctuality is also flexible and adapts to different situations, now the timing is less relevant.

It doesn’t have to be a perfect alignment of core values between two people. But there needs to be some, and it needs to be shared.

Find out the Values of A Potential Friend

To find out whether you have shared values with another person, talk openly about your values. Of course, don’t say “What are your core values? My core values are.. blah blah blah…” This will sound awkward and the other person may feel uncomfortable about the question.

What you can do is asking “why” in conversations. “Why” leads to deeper answers and discussions then “how” — which primarily goes to process, and  “what” — which are only the basic facts. “Why” is the pathway to the thoughts and values of a potential new friend for life.

You don’t have to dig into the very deep philosophical questions at the beginning, start with something light like “what’s your hobby and why do you like doing it?” or “what’s your favorite place and why?” will be enough to get you to understand a person.

To help you have a better idea of what kind of things you can talk about, I’ve got you a list of questions to try with a potential friend:

  1. Why did you decide to move here?
  2. What’s your favorite podcast/book and why?
  3. Who’s your favorite author/artist and why?
  4. What’s your favorite movie/music and why?
  5. What do you do and why do you do what you do?
  6. Who’s your biggest inspiration, and why?
  7. What do you think about when you’re alone?
  8. Are you closer with your mom, dad, or neither? Why?
  9. What makes you happy and why?
  10. What upsets you and why?
  11. What do you like to do during weekend? Why?
  12. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever seen, and why would you say it is?
  13. What motivates you the most, and why?
  14. Are you religious, and why?
  15. Who’s your best friend and why are you guys so close?
  16. What’s the main thing you’d like to change about yourself and why?
  17. Are you proud of some accomplishments so far? If so, why?
  18. Is there anything you’re afraid of and why?
  19. Do you like traveling and why?
  20. What’s your idea of a perfect vacation and why?
  21. Do you want to get a tattoo? Why?
  22. What are most important to you and why?
  23. If money were no object, what would you do all day and why?
  24. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you do?

Save this article and take this list out when you’re trying to make a new friend. Understanding the core values of another person is the first step to a strong and lasting friendship.

Featured photo credit: Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The New York Times: Friends of a Certain Age
[2] Ted Idea: Why humans run the world

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