Top 5 Strategies To Maximize Your Online Casino Profits

Imagine carrying your casino in your pocket. This is exactly what technology has done for us. We no longer need to travel out of the comfort of our houses to place a wager. Computers and mobiles have brought them all home and that too, on the tip of our fingers. The world of fun excitement and adrenaline has all packed into our mobile phones.

Not just that, playing games can help support your bank balance. But before you do so, we recommend playing for free on online slot portals such as this online review portal. All you require is little help from Lady Luck, some insider’s knowledge and ways and means to beat the banker.

Explore these tips to be successful at online casinos:

Choice of Game

online casino

One way to decipher what games suit you may include checking out all the games, placing a wager on some and betting on a few. The other way round is to focus on one or two games that you understand and are willing to learn them well.

All you need to do is get a grip on the rules and practice as much as possible. Do  trial sessions with possibly different user accounts to learn the exact ways of increasing your chances. This approach is not just applicable to traditional card games but a lot of virtual online games.

Balance the payout

It is important to balance the yin and yang while playing these games! We all know that it is so much easier to win lower jackpots in casino slot games which offer a lesser but a frequent payout.

If you intend to master two or three games, always make an effort to choose one high rewarding and two low rewarding jackpot games to strike the perfect balance between the big wins. The small bonuses will keep you occupied and help you gain good insight and experience to score those big wins.

This strategy works well for all the games. Remember to calculate the odds and weighing them against your weekly or monthly limits to ensure that you don’t go beyond your paying capacity.


online gambling
Via casinotop10

There’s no harm in accepting offers or promotions offering free spins at online slots? Feel free to accept these offers and explore them as much as you can. There have been instances where people have won large sums of money through free offers like these.


Strategy is one thing but knowing your limits is another. Always make it a point to set a daily, weekly, monthly limit on the stakes you intend to indulge in. This is the most important thing for you to remember. This way, you’ll never be shocked shattered when you check your bank balance at the end of your session.

Wrap your Wins

You should always set a limit on your stakes and learn to quit when you are ahead of others. Nothing gives a bigger high than winning a big hand in the game. Learn to wind up your game wisely and pocket your winnings instead of investing them in the same session.

online casino tip

Online gambling can be a lot of fun if you indulge in it within your limits. This, of course, is one of the best ways to beat the banker.

See Also: How Would You Spend Online Winnings?


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How To: Social Media Download


We all know that in 2017 and beyond, the key to your business success is all about social media. Our online community is a testament to the hustle that happens behind the screen. STARTplanner has created a great tool to help you take your social media presence to the next level and we thought it could use a little love and attention. Let’s break down our Content & Social Media download and see how it can help you and your business. 

First, did you know that our social media download is available individually or as part of a dandy little foursome with Start A Business, Business Travel Planner, and Mileage Log? Its just too easy…purchase, download, and use as many times as you want! (If you haven’t grabbed yours yet, you can get it here!) So now let’s make it work.


The first page is laid out by month with a great space to organize your thoughts for each. It is important to think about each month individually, but seeing the whole year at once is awesome for ensuring we are pulling together the “big picture.” For example, at STARTplanner, we have certain months that always have big events. March and September are always preorder months for us. November is “Now Shipping!” So by laying out our year, we can drive social media with events happening each month.

Page two dives into the details by taking page one and breaking it down. The left side of the page has the days of the week with space to map out your daily themes for the week. We love “Monday Motivation: Are you ready to hustle?” Maybe Tuesday is a response to customer email or feedback. Wednesday is a great day for a repost. You get the idea. As your clients or customers move through the week, how do you want your business to stay with them? How will what you write or post ring true for them as they interact with your business? There is plenty of space for you to keep track of your notes and ideas in the Week section. Pull some details out, expand your thoughts.

The third section of Page 2 helps you keep track of your weekly social media goal. Write it down and make it happen. Speaking of reposts, there is a perfect spot in that third section for jotting down where those posts are located. Write down the URL, blog name, author, title, etc. And who doesn’t love a good giveaway? We do and we KNOW our community loves them too! What will you giveaway this week? Love on your people and check those boxes when it is posted, the winner announced, and the prize sent out.

We also love a good checkbox and this big awesome section of page 2 is all about checking things off and getting it out there! We gave you space to jot down your title or theme and – the best part – check boxes for content, images, video, and budget. And when you’re ready to go, the social media icons are there to keep track of where that information is going. Which platforms will you use to share information with your audience? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Circle it, cross it out, whatever. Just get it to the people!

And last but not even close to least, FUTURE IDEAS. This could be the 3 am thought, the idea that grows out of a customer need, or the inspiration that happens when you least expect it. Or maybe this is the perfect place to think outside the box! We know you believe in what you are doing and want to be the very best you can be. Whatever it is, we are here for you with the tools to help you succeed. Give our Content & Social Media Planner download a try and let us know what you think!

from STARTplanner – News

from START Planner

3 Things That Can Help You Start Being Your Best Self

I did a video yesterday for a challenge that I’m doing and I was talking about something that I’m working on in the challenge. A comment from the leader came back and said that what stood out for her was how I’m constantly in “should”:

“I should have done…”, “I should have been able to…” and “I should…”.

Always “I should…”.

The day before, another friend commented on one of my posts that no matter how much I did, it was never enough: I SHOULD be doing more, I OUGHT to be doing more.

I don’t go into “Woulda” very much but I definitely do “OUGHTA”…

Actually, I do go into “would” but “would” is victim and I tend to go into blaming: the “ought to’s” and “should have’s”

At least, when I’m talking about myself, I go into blaming myself. I’m a bit more lenient on everyone else- sometimes.

The thing is, I can logically reason a solid basis for going into the “shoulds” and “oughts”. I’m aware that I’m not producing at 100% capacity.

I know I’m not being as efficient with my time as I could be and I know I’m hiding out and not doing what needs doing.

I know that if I just get my act together, I’d be producing way more and be way more effective than I am now.

And I know that I ought to be one of the top coaches and mindset experts in the world right now, but I don’t have my stuff together yet.

I ought to have my stuff together because I’ve been working with a mentor for a year now. Besides, I’ve been a coach for 15 years! I ought to be much further ahead than I am now.

And there’s no excuse! None! Not one! Well, except that I haven’t got my act together and I’m not giving it 100%.

By the way, I hate it when people talk about giving more than 100%: HOW?

How can you possibly give more than 100%? How can you start being your best self?

Be serious.

Not that I’m blaming anyone, you understand?

See how easy it is? See how easy it is for me to slide effortlessly into blaming about not being good enough? I start off well, being all objective and constructive. Then, ever so subtly, I always end up making myself wrong.

It even sounds like a logical step, doesn’t it? There’s no jarring change in tempo or direction. It just flows.

How interesting is that?

Our minds automatically go from detached, open-minded objectivity to pointing the finger, blame and make wrong.

I didn’t even notice it in what I was saying in either the video or the post! I didn’t see it or hear it. Honestly, it didn’t exist for me.

It’s just the truth and it’s just the way things are.

It’s a simple statement of fact.


So, what do you do about it? Because I can guarantee that if you want to create the things that you really want in your life, you’ll have to deal with this.

Notice yourself doing self-blame

First of all, you have to NOTICE it. You must notice yourself doing it so you can catch yourself and do something different. The easiest way to do this is to either journal or video yourself talking about yourself and your life, where it’s at, what you want, what you’ve done and haven’t done so far.

Then, get someone to read or watch it.

Scary, I know, but it’s the best way to do it.

If you can’t bring yourself to do that, you read or watch it. The problem with doing it this way is that we tend to believe that what we write or say about ourselves is the truth. It sounds true and it lands for us as just a statement of fact.

This is why we need someone else to point things out for us.

Notice what you say about yourself:

Are you not good enough?

Do you never do enough?

Should you be doing more?

Are you comparing yourself to others?

Does no one appreciate you?

Are you a victim?

Write it down

writing a list

Pay attention to the wording that you use.

Do the same thing again but this time, write about yourself and your life and listen out for the coulda, shoulda, woulda, oughta.

Now, here’s the challenge: Write about yourself and your life as though you’re a complete superstar who plays all out and always does everything to the best of your ability.

If you keep on catching yourself while you’re speaking, thinking, and writing about yourself and making a consistent, committed effort to support and admire yourself, pretty soon your whole life will be completely different.

Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how differently you’d feel about yourself if you just believe that everything you do is what’s necessary?

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier

Believe you’re being your best self

be amazing

I don’t know whether you’ve ever experienced it, but when you’re in the company of someone who thinks you’re amazing, the whole world is different. You’ll be different. You act differently, think differently, and do different things.

Imagine if you lived in that space all the time, where you’re in the company of someone who thinks you’re totally awesome…

Someone who always speaks and acts in alignment with what’s important to him,

Someone who never lets himself down,

Or someone who knows that whatever happens, he’s done the best he can?

Can you imagine that?

Now imagine if that person were you.

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40 Ways to Create Peace of Mind

“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.” ~Brian Tracy

There was a time when I thought peace was a destination, in much the same way I imagined I’d eventually arrive at happiness or success.

It seemed like something I needed to chase or find—definitely not something I could experience without dramatically changing my life.

I needed to work less, relax more, and generally revamp my circumstances and relationships in order to be a peaceful person.

Despite seeing peace as an endpoint, I also saw it as something passive; after all, that’s why I was so stressed: I had so much to do.

I’ve since realized that peace is always available, and like any desirable state of mind, it requires effort, even if that effort entails consciously choosing to be still.

Sure, our circumstances affect our mental state, but they don’t have to control them, not if we make tiny choices for our well-being.

Admittedly, it’s not easy to choose peace when we’re going through tough times. I still go through periods when I get caught up in worries and stresses, and it can feel like that’s the only available response to things that have happened.

But it’s not. There are countless things we can do to create peace of mind, both in response to events in our lives, and proactively, everyday.

If you’d also like to develop a greater sense of peace, you may find these suggestions helpful:


1. Take five to ten minutes for a simple seated meditation.

2. Take 100 deep breaths, counting “and one,” “and two,” and so on, with “and” on the inhalations and the numbers on the exhalations.

3. Take a meditative walk, focusing solely on the physical sensations of walking—the earth under your feet, the swing of your hips.

4. Find a guided meditation on YouTube and let it lull you into a blissful state of presence.

5. Practice alternate nostril breathing. Hold the left nostril down and inhale through the right; then hold the breath. Release the left nostril, hold the right one down, and exhale through the left. Now start on the left with an inhalation, exhaling on the right. This is one set. Do up to five of them.


6. Write down everything that’s weighing you down mentally and then burn it as a form of letting go.

7. Write down everything you’ve learned from a difficult experience so you can see it as something useful and empowering instead of something to stress you out.

8. Tell someone how their actions affected you instead of holding it in and building resentment.

9. Call someone you’ve denied forgiveness and tell them you forgive them.

10. Apologize for a mistake instead of rehashing it, and then choose to forgive yourself.


11. Engage in a little art therapy; grab some crayons, markers, or paint and put all your feelings on the page.

12. Create a peace collage. Include images that make you feel relaxed and at ease. (Google “peace collage” and you’ll get lots of ideas!)

13. Meditate on your favorite peace quote and then write it in calligraphy for framing.

14. Take a walk with the sole intention of photographing beautiful things that make you feel at peace, like a tree with colorful autumn leaves.

15. Write a blog post about what gives you peace of mind. (This has been a calming experience for me!)


16. Get up and dance to your favorite song, focusing solely on the music and the movement. Get into your body and get out of your head!

17. Take a long walk on the beach, focusing on the feel of the sand between your toes and the sound of the crashing waves. Cliché, but highly effective!

18. Go for a bike ride in a scenic part of town, and immerse yourself in the calm of your environment.

19. Take five to ten minutes for stretching, syncing your breath with the movements (or if you have an hour, visit a local studio for a yoga class).

20. Declutter a cluttered part of your home, creating a more peaceful space.


21. Muster compassion for someone who hurt you, instead of wallowing in bitterness, which will make it easier to forgive them and set yourself free.

22. Set aside some time to actively enjoy the good things about the present instead of scheming to create a better future.

23. Create a list of things you love about yourself instead of dwelling on how you wish you were different.

24. Focus on what you appreciate about the people in your life instead of wishing they would change (assuming you’re in healthy relationships).

25. Recognize if you’re judging yourself in your head with phrases like “I should have” or “I shouldn’t have.” Replace those thoughts with, “I do the best I can, my best is good enough, and I’m learning and growing every day.”


26. Start reading that book you bought about dealing with the challenge you’ve been facing.

27. Schedule a date with yourself, a time when you don’t need to meet anyone else’s requests, and do something that feeds your mind and spirit. Go to a museum or take yourself to your favorite restaurant and simply enjoy your own company.

28. Sit in nature—under a tree, on a mountain—and let yourself simply be.

29. Be your own best friend. Tell yourself what’s on your mind, and then give yourself the advice you’d give a good friend who had the same issue.

30. Repeat some positive affirmations that help you feel present, peaceful, and empowered.


31. Tell the truth in your relationships. When we hold in our true feelings, we create stress for ourselves. Be kind but honest and share what you really feel.

32. Catch critical, blaming, or self-victimizing thoughts. Instead of ruminating on what someone else did wrong, express yourself and ask yourself what you can do to create the change you’re seeking.

33. Have fun with someone you love. Forget about everything that feels like a problem and do something silly and childlike.

34. Connect with someone online who can relate to what you’re going through and create a mutually supportive relationship by sharing and listening.

35. Let someone into your self-care routine—ask a friend to join a yoga studio with you, or invite your sister to jog with you on the beach.


36. Volunteer your time to help a charity you believe in. Put all your energy into helping someone else, and you will inadvertently help yourself.

37. Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Animals are naturally present, and it’s contagious!

38. Do something kind for someone else without expecting anything in return. If they ask what they can do for you, tell them to pay it forward.

39. Leverage your passion to help someone else (i.e.: if you’re an aspiring designer, design a logo for a friend). You get to get in the zone doing something you love; someone else gets support they need. A win/win!

40. Leverage your purpose to serve someone else, not for money—just because. That might mean helping them pursue their passion, or motivating them to reach their fitness goals. Whatever gives your life meaning, give it to someone freely.

As is often the case with these types of list, this can seem a little long and overwhelming. The important thing is that we do at least one tiny thing every day to create mental stillness. What helps you create peace of mind?

Photo by h.koppdelaney. This post was originally published in 2012.

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

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Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for The Best Auto Insurance in Canada

Shopping for the best auto insurance in Canada can be confusing. This can lead to you making costly mistakes, such as failing to protect your assets with the correct auto insurance policy.

But, don’t worry. With this guide, we’ll outline the top 5 mistakes that Canadians make when shopping for auto insurance. With our help, you’re sure to find the coverage you need.

Failing to Shop Around

This is the most common mistake Canadians make – not shopping for insurance at all!

Many Canadians simply renew their insurance policy every year, without taking a look at the insurance market to see if they can find a better price or coverage.

Tickets and accidents can increase your insurance rates. So, if you have driving infractions on your record, shopping around for a new policy is especially important. If you stay with the same insurer, your current policy may reflect the price of coverage immediately post-accident. This means that you can end up overpaying for your current policy.

Purchasing Only Minimum Liability Coverage

Many Canadians think that “minimum liability coverage” means that they’re protected when they get involved in an accident. In a way, this is true.

Minimum liability coverage allows you to drive legally in Canada. However, it does not guarantee the safety of your assets. It also does not guarantee that an accident will be fully covered by your insurance policy.

For example, if your minimum liability coverage policy covers $25,000 in damages and you get involved in an at-fault wreck with an expensive car, you can be held liable for damages above $25,000.

auto insurance

While it’s tempting to only purchase minimum liability coverage to save money, this is usually a bad idea. Do a bit of research and consider your current financial situation. Protecting yourself with a higher liability policy is usually worth the investment – even if it results in a slightly more expensive policy.

Focusing Only on the Price of Insurance

A cheap policy might be a great fit for your wallet but when it comes to coverage, it may not be enough. Instead of buying the cheapest insurance policy you can find, closely check for coverage.

If it’s important for you to have an easy claims process and a high level of customer service, you should consider how much that’s worth. Remember, the cheapest policy may not always be the best policy to cover everything you need.

Choosing a Deductible That’s Too Low

Choosing a low deductible is a very common mistake when shopping for auto insurance. If you choose a low $500 deductible, for example, you may end up paying thousands of extra dollars in premiums over the next several years– even if there’s no accident.

A higher deductible allows you to keep more cash in your pocket while making sure your car is covered in case it gets damaged in an accident. So, while choosing a higher deductible may increase your out-of-pocket expenses during a claim, the savings offered by a lower monthly premium can easily make up for this.

Lying On Your Auto Insurance Application

Some drivers may lie about their driving records while others may lowball the total number of miles they drive each year. Some may neglect to mention that they’re driving their vehicle for business purposes.

Insurance companies will fact-check every aspect of your application. If you do manage to get away with misrepresenting the truth, you’re putting yourself at risk.

If your insurer sees that you’ve hidden facts on your application, they may void the insurance contract. Non-disclosure cancellations stay on your record, which means you won’t be able to purchase insurance through a regular market. Instead, you’ll have to turn to “high risk” insurance carriers, which means a higher insurance rate. Lying is not worth the savings you may get.


auto insurance shopping

By avoiding these common insurance shopping mistakes, you can make sure that you get all of the automotive coverage you need– with no surprises. So, next time you shop for the best auto insurance, consider these tips.


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How Can Virtual Classrooms Enhance Homeschool Education?

In recent years, homeschooling has become especially pronounced. In the United States, government data shows that the number of homeschooled students more than doubled over a period of just eight years.

Whatever the reason is, it’s clear that more and more parents are finding homeschooling attractive. This raises an important question: What’s the best way to ensure that the homeschooling experience is engaging, enjoyable, and optimized for educational achievement?

For many tutors and teachers, the use of a virtual classroom is one of the most effective ways to enhance the learning experience.

Let’s take a closer look at virtual classrooms and how they can be leveraged to improve the homeschooling process.

The Evolution of the Homeschooling Experience

A generation ago, homeschooled students were taught by parents who would make use of paper textbooks, public libraries, and other related resources to round out the curriculum. This wasn’t an ideal scenario since even well-educated parents don’t have enough expertise in all subject matters. With just a single parent teaching, the process was also highly labor intensive, making it a demanding experience for tutors.

As homeschooling has grown and evolved, parents began creating tutoring groups to share the burden of teaching and allow students to get a wider range of expertise from their instructors. For example, a parent or tutor trained in medicine could teach biology while a parent trained in engineering could teach math. This made the learning process more efficient.

See Also: Should I Homeschool My Kids?

Technology, too, has had a critical impact on homeschooling. The days of exclusively using dusty textbooks and libraries are over. Today, tutors can use a wide range of digital tools to reach out to homeschooled students. This makes the learning process more engaging, efficient and effective.

Virtual classrooms have the most impact out of these tools and here’s why:

Face-to-face instruction at home

Via D2L

For the uninitiated, a virtual classroom is simply an online version of a physical classroom. Students and tutors log on to an online learning platform where they can interact with each other, share video and audio and take online courses. Students and tutors interact face-to-face in real time and can collaborate closely to achieve educational goals.

Engaging learning

Today’s students are comfortable in online environments. In fact, they do well with digital learning tools. Advanced virtual classrooms offer tutors access to comprehensive online teaching features, allowing them to craft highly engaging, student-centered courses.

Monitored learning

They also offer social features that keep students focused and in a collaborative frame of mind. They also have tracking tools that allow tutors to monitor student progress as it unfolds. If a student begins to fall behind, a tutor can quickly intervene and correct the course.

International exposure

Scale and access are also key virtual classroom advantages for both tutors and learners. Because virtual classrooms offer a global reach (tutors can log in from anywhere and conduct a lesson), they represent a powerful tool for expanding a student’s access to high-quality education.

Social needs

virtual home schooling

Virtual classrooms also play a key role in connecting people. Many of these platforms include services where tutors can advertise their specialties. Parents can then contact them to arrange lessons.

Those involved in the homeschooling process are often motivated by strong beliefs. For those who live in smaller communities, it may be difficult to find others who share the same motivations. Being separated from the educational community can be isolating and that is where virtual classrooms fit.

They play a key role in connecting people who share similar beliefs and who seek to form their educational communities around the same principles.

The balance between diversity and like-mindedness

We’ve talked about the power of establishing a tutoring group. While this offers tons of benefits, it’s not always easy to find like-minded or qualified people in a given community.

Even in a large, well-organized group, there are often gaps in expert knowledge. Virtual classrooms can end this problem permanently. With the use of a digital platform with global reach, teaching experts are just a few keystrokes away.

Win-win for tutors and students

Tutors who live in areas where their specialty knowledge may not always be in demand can use virtual classrooms to ensure a steady stream of business. In this sense, virtual classrooms play an essential role in connecting homeschooled students with the best and brightest tutors.

Anyone who is involved with homeschooling knows about the dual roles parents fill. That role can expand, however, through the use of a virtual classroom. Many parents have found that their expertise is a valuable market commodity. By using an online learning platform, they can share that expertise with other learners and become part of a global group of educators.

The Takeaway

For a variety of reasons, homeschooling continues to surge in popularity. Fortunately for today’s tutors, parents and students, virtual classrooms are making the process easier, more engaging, and more effective than ever before.

Additionally, thanks to the truly global scale of today’s virtual classrooms, tutors have access to an ever-growing marketplace where demand for their expertise is rising. As homeschooling continues to grow in popularity, virtual classrooms will become even more powerful and refined, making them a tool of critical importance for global educators.

See Also: Technology in the Classroom — Should Technology Take Over The Education System?


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Why We Feel the Need to Explain Ourselves and Justify Our Choices

“You are responsible for your intention, not your reception.” ~Amy E. Smith

I’ve realized that I put a lot of energy into trying to explain my decisions. Sometimes those explanations are an honest attempt to connect with another person or to step a little further out of hiding. Often, they are a result of my own self-doubt and desire for people to like me.

For example, I feel an obligation to say yes to any invitation or request I receive. Sometimes I’m glad to agree, other times I’d prefer to do something else. It gets tricky when the thing I’d prefer to do seems unimportant.

Wanting a quiet night at home doesn’t seem like a valid reason to decline an invitation to go out. So I come up with all the reasons I can’t go—I’m exhausted and maybe feeling a little sick and I have a lot I need to get done the next day and… and… and…

For some reason, “because someone asked” is a sufficient reason to say yes, but in order to say no I feel I have to prove that I have an abundance of important and inescapable circumstances getting in the way.

Recently I had a conversation that prompted me to think more deeply about when, how, and why I choose to explain myself to others. I was explaining my choice, but for very different reasons.

I had decided to step down from a leading a discussion group and agreed to meet with the woman who would have to find my replacement. I didn’t have to explain why I was leaving. I could have given a generic reason or declined to give any reason at all.

Instead, I chose to offer a fuller explanation. I was quitting because I felt like I had to hide part of myself in order to meet the expectations of the role. I didn’t want to keep hiding who I was and, for me, an important piece of being more visible was offering an honest explanation of why I was leaving.

In this instance, explaining wasn’t about caretaking her feelings or making sure she would still like me. It was about saying what I really thought and felt instead of letting her continue to think I was who she imagined me to be. Even if she didn’t understand or was disappointed in me, I wanted to be seen.

We offer (or don’t) an explanation of our choices for a variety of reasons. We can be motivated by fear, guilt, or self-doubt. We can also be honoring ourselves and others.

There isn’t a straightforward answer to the question of how much to explain and when. While there may be some truth to the idea that we don’t owe anyone an explanation, there are still plenty of situations when explaining is the right choice for us.

Becoming more aware of the reasons behind my urge to explain myself helps me make better choices about how much to share. Here are some motivations I’ve noticed. What would you add?

We’re trying to control the other person’s response.

It’s uncomfortable to be around someone who is angry or hurt or disappointed. If we’re giving someone information we fear they won’t like, it’s tempting to pile on explanations. We believe if we can give a compelling enough reason for our choice, we can ensure the other person will see things our way.

If we have a good enough excuse for declining their invitation, then maybe they won’t take it personally and be hurt. If we have enough solid reasons for our choice, maybe they won’t be mad that we didn’t follow their advice.

Maybe if we can make them understand, then they will still like us.

We’re trying to ease our own feeling of guilt.

Choosing something another person might not like can prompt feelings of guilt in us. When we feel guilty about our decision, we often turn to explanations and excuses to convince the other person and ourselves that we have a very good reason for choosing the way we did.

Many of us believe, whether we realize it or not, that other people’s wants, needs, and feelings are more important than our own. We believe saying no or declining an invitation is selfish or rude. We think that in order to be kind, generous, and likable we have to be unfailingly agreeable and accommodating.

We’re insecure about our own choices and want the other person to validate our decision.

No matter what we decide, there will likely be someone who doesn’t agree with our decision. It doesn’t matter if the choice is around career, education, parenting, wardrobe, reading material, cleaning supplies, diet, or paint color. While it doesn’t feel great to have people disagree with us, we’re less impacted by their opinion if we are confident about our own choices.

On the other hand, if we are unsure about our decision, we often look to others for reassurance. We over-explain in the hope that the other person will understand and come around to our point of view. Often, it’s not really about the other person changing their mind as much as it is about needing external approval for our own choices.

We want to foster a closer, more open connection with the other person.

Sometimes we choose to honestly share what’s going on for us with the people we care about most. We take the time to be clear about our reasons and intentions in order to increase depth and authenticity in our relationship.

In this instance, we are not as concerned about making someone see things our way. We’re trusting them to support us whether they agree with our decision or not. Our explanation is not a form of persuasion or manipulation but a sign of respect and a chance for the other person to get to know us better.

We have been hiding.

Some of us have a habit of staying silent in order to not disrupt others’ good opinion of us. If we stay quiet, others will often fill in the blanks about who we are with their idea of who they think we should be. It can feel safer to let them think they know us—they might not like us if we share more of who we really are.

But there are times when the divide between who we are and how others see us becomes too great and we’re no longer content to stay hidden. We may be tired of feeling disconnected and unseen or want to practice more visibility and integrity.

As we take steps toward greater visibility, people may pushback against the change. We might try to explain for one of the reasons above—to try to ensure they’ll understand and still like us. We might, instead, decide to be open and honest about who we are and where we are, whether or not anyone else understands.

So how do we know when and how much to explain? Every situation is different and there’s not an answer that’s always right. Taking a closer look at the reasons behind my urge to explain is key but identifying our real intentions can be a challenge. The following questions can help us explore our motivations from a few different angles.

How will I respond if they don’t like my explanation?

How we are impacted by the possibility of an unfavorable response can give us a clue about our motivations for explaining. Imagine the other person disagreeing with your explanation. What will you do?

Will you rush to explain again, more thoroughly and clearly? Will you feel guilty and change your mind? Will you be proud of yourself for being honest whether or not you would be understood?

As a note, the emotions you experience about their response don’t necessarily indicate that what you chose is right or wrong. You can feel sad, frustrated, or hurt by the other person’s response while also feeling proud of your decision and the way you handled yourself.

What does it mean about me if they don’t agree with my decision?

This is where we can gain insight into some of our biggest fears. If we believe their disagreement means something bad about us, we might feel compelled to explain why they should see things our way—even if it means exaggerating or only telling part of the truth.

If, on the other hand, we can see that their disagreement doesn’t necessarily indicate whether our decision was right or wrong, then we can be more confident that any explanations we choose to give are motivated by connection or respect.

What do I hope my explanation will accomplish?

Whether you’re hoping for deeper connection and understanding, to avoid something you don’t want to do, or to win approval, getting clear about your goal will help you understand your reason for explaining.

Are you looking for reassurance about your decision? Do you need to step into greater visibility? Are you trying to decline an invitation without hurting anyone’s feelings?

Try to look below the surface answer. For example, if you hope your explanation will change someone’s mind, asking yourself why that’s important to you may reveal another motivation.

What if the situation were reversed?

How would you feel if the person you invited assumed they needed to make up lots of excuses to keep you from getting upset with them for declining? What if someone was hiding their opinions and preferences and needs in deference to yours? What if they depended on you to validate their ideas when they couldn’t trust themselves?

We tend to hold ourselves to a different standard. Switching roles can help shake up our assumptions and give us an opportunity to treat others as we would like to be treated.

So what do we do?

Explaining doesn’t come with a set of rules, but here are a few thoughts that are helping me make choices about when and how to explain.

Get clear about your intention. Why do you really want to explain? Who do you want to be in this situation? Remember, you don’t have to agree to be kind.

Keep it simple. Longer explanations don’t necessarily bring greater understanding. What is the most important thing you want the other person to know?

“Thanks so much for thinking of me! I won’t be joining you this time, but I hope you have lots of fun.” Isn’t that way simpler (and kinder) than a string of excuses or agreeing with resentment?

This takes practice. Our explanation habits won’t change overnight. Take the time you need to get clear on your intentions and think through how you really want to respond. It’s ok to let the other person know you’ll need to get back to them later.

You likely won’t get your explanation just right every time—I don’t think any of us do. Be gentle with yourself. See what you can learn for next time and keep practicing. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect.

I’d love to know, what are the main reasons you explain your choices? What helps you offer explanations out of respect (for self or others) instead of fear? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About Johanna Schram

Johanna Schram is learning to value wrestling with the questions over having all the answers. She’s sifting through the internal and external expectations of who she is supposed to be to discover who she really is, what she values, and what she has to give. Join her at joRuth and deepen your self-knowledge with her free guides.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post Why We Feel the Need to Explain Ourselves and Justify Our Choices appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

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How Can Retailers Survive The Millennial Apocalypse?

Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in American history. They are the generation that grew up in a serious economic crisis. They went to college at a time when public funding for education was drying up but they still had to go to college to get a job, so they dutifully took on all the expenses through student loans.

Then, they graduated and found out that there were no jobs, so they moved back in with their parents to save money until things got better. They have put off things like getting married, buying houses, and starting families to focus on getting their student loans paid off. This proved to be a much more difficult task than they ever could have imagined.

But, rather than foregoing any sort of human experience in favor of the “work, pay bills and die” cycle, Millennials have come up with some creative ways to thrive under difficult circumstances.

How Do Millennials Afford Stuff?

More accurately, Millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences than on stuff. Rather than filling homes with brand new consumer goods, Millennials opt to share things they want via the sharing economy.

Many Millennials have figured out they don’t need to own cars when they have Lyft. They don’t need to own DVDs and CDs when they can stream movies and music online. They don’t need to own vacation homes when there’s Airbnb. And they don’t need to buy an expensive cocktail dress when they can rent one.

Millennials are still getting all the things they need and want in life, but they are just doing it in a way that is disruptive to retailers.

How Is This Affecting Retail?

Retailers are scrambling to understand how to sell things to Millennials. Brick and mortar stores are failing at alarming rates. But, there is one sector that is growing faster than traditional brick and mortar retailers – secondhand retailers.

Millennials are solving the problem of having nothing to wear and no money to spend on anything by buying secondhand. They find it easier to find unique and high-quality things through the online secondhand retail sector.

thrift store

According to ThredUp:

  • 78% of women are bored by traditional retail and 63% say they prefer secondhand because of the thrill of the hunt
  • Secondhand stores are growing 5 times as fast as discount retailers
  • 52% of secondhand shoppers do so for environmental reasons
  • 50% of secondhand shoppers say their purchases take the place of discount store purchases

There Is A Definite Environmental Reason For Secondhand Shopping Among Millennials

millennial generation values

Millennials and those over 65 share a love of shopping secondhand for different reasons. Both grew up during economic hardships. While that is the main influencing factor for older folks who shop secondhand, Millennials are strongly motivated by environmental concerns.

See Also: 6 Things That Can Help You In Understanding Millennials Better

How Can Retailers Survive Millennial Apocalypse?

Retailers will need to change their game plan if they want to stay in the game at all. The largest and most diverse generation in American history wants to buy secondhand and major brick and mortar retailers are starting to take notice.

Sure, you’ve always been able to sell back your used video games and accessories at Gamestop, which is probably why the specialty retailer is still in business. But now, more traditional retailers are starting to follow suit. REI and Patagonia have both recently launched online retail sites to sell used outdoor gear and repaired clothing.

We have always been able to buy factory refurbished cell phones from the carriers, so it just makes sense that retailers of all kinds of merchandise could follow suit and offer repaired returns and used items at a discount. After all, that is clearly what the consumers want.

So, is this really a Millennial-induced retail apocalypse?

Only if retailers aren’t willing to listen to what consumers want and adjust their strategies accordingly. Forcing new merchandise on consumers who clearly don’t want it and don’t have the money to spend on it anyway is not going to be a worthwhile business strategy for this generation.

Are you listening to your customers?

Learn more about Millennial shoppers from this infographic.

Millennial shopping habits [infographic]

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Words of Advice To Keep Your Joints Healthy

As a woman, it is only natural that your health is one of the most important parts of your life. Once you pass a certain age, you might have to deal with specific problems, such as arthritis. Left untreated, this condition can cause serious damage to your health and lifestyle. The inflammatory process will lead to symptoms such as reduced range of motion, joint pain, and stiffness.

For this, it is for the best to educate yourself about the condition. So, keep on reading and find out how you can keep your joints healthy.

What is a joint pain?

Joint pain is the type of pain that appears at the level of a joint. This is commonly a symptom of an underlying condition, such as arthritis. However, it can also appear as a result of an injury.

The important thing here is to differentiate acute joint pain from chronic pain. This is important since it will guide you in choosing which treatment to take.

Here are some of the most common symptoms you can experience with joint pain:

  • Reduced range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling and redness
  • Sensation of warmth
  • Tenderness or pain

Types of joint pain

types of joint pain

These are different types of joint pain:

  • Arthritis joint pain – It can impair the quality of life as it restricts movement. In advanced cases, the patient presents severe inflammation and pain at the level of the affected joints.
  • Osteoarthritis joint pain – The pain commonly happens at the level of the hip or knee joint(s). It’s often accompanied by loss of function in the respective joint.
  • Gout joint pain – The accumulation of uric acid leads to pain, inflammation, and redness in the affected joint. It commonly affects the joints of the big toe.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis pain – This pain frequently affects the joints of the hands and feet. It usually leads to pain, swelling, and loss of function.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis pain – This appears as a result of an injury or fracture. It’s typically accompanied by inflammation, redness, and movement restriction in the respective joint.
  • Other types of joint pain – This includes migratory arthritis pain, bursitis pain, neuropathic arthropathy pain (Charcot disease), temporomandibular joint disorder pain, etc.

Causes of joint pain

These are some of the most common causes of joint pain:

  • Wear and tear associated with the physiological aging process
  • Infection at the level of the respective joint(s)
  • Injuries or fractures
  • Inadequate functioning of the immune system (autoimmune disorder – rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Lack of adequate lubrication at the level of the joint cartilage, bone & cartilage destruction
  • Loss of cartilage
  • Accumulation of uric acid at the level of the joint (gout)
  • Nerve ending(s) irritation
  • Intense physical effort & repeated trauma (contact sports)

How can you manage joint pain?

manage joint pain

The first and most important thing is that you obtain a correct diagnosis for your joint pain. Get your symptoms checked by a doctor, so you can get the right treatment.

These are some of the typical ways to manage pain in the joints:

Oral medications


Recommended choices include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These oral medications can cause liver damage, so you should only take them as prescribed.

Acetaminophen is a good alternative to those medications mentioned above. It’s good for less severe cases and has a lower risk of damaging the liver.


This works best for severe cases, such as those with loss of function and intense pain. Take note that opioids can cause drowsiness.

Muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants are the best choice for those who present muscle spasms and reduced range of motion.


These are often prescribed for pain management and also to reduce the risk of depression.

Topical treatments

Capsaicin ointment

It can block the pain signals, giving it powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It may cause a burning or stinging sensation on the area of application.


Corticosteroid injections

These are best recommended for patients who suffer from more severe forms of arthritis. These are performed every couple of months and they provide temporary relief.

Hyaluronan injections

These are meant to replace the natural fluid of the affected joints.

Arthroscopic fluid removal

This procedure involves the removal of the excess fluid that accumulated in the affected joints. It can be performed at the same time with the corticosteroid injection.

Physical therapy

A physical therapy program can improve the range of motion of the affected joints, reducing both the intensity and frequency of the symptoms experienced. It can be used to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints and also to relieve the pressure on the affected parts. It may be used in combination with heat/cold therapy, ultrasound therapy, manual therapy or swimming.

Home care measures

  • Brace/wraps for the affected joints, joint compression, and elevation are some of the ways you can manage joint pain at home. Resting the affected part can greatly help, too.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting and standing as these can cause quite a lot of damage to the joints.
  • Say goodbye to your sedentary lifestyle and engage in physical exercise on a regular basis. If you are not certain about the kind of physical exercise that is good for the joints, pay a visit to a physical therapist.
  • Avoid inflammatory foods, like refined/excessively processed foods, sugary drinks, sweets, fast food, and junk food. Opt for a diet that is mostly based on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and other healthy choices.
  • If you play contact sports, reduce the risk of joint injuries by wearing the proper equipment. You should also get adequate training, like practicing safe playing and avoiding being too aggressive.
  • Avoid eating too much red meat. This will cause uric acid to accumulate at the level of the joints, increasing the risk for gout and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Give up smoking and alcohol. These are two of the main factors which can accelerate the aging process of the joints, leaving them vulnerable to damage and inflammation.
  • Treat all infections. Untreated infections can cause harmful microorganism to travel to various joints, causing a wide range of symptoms.

Final word

Just because you are aging, this does not mean you cannot keep your joints healthy and functioning. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of inflammatory condition early on and do not hesitate to seek out the best forms of treatment. Pay attention to the prevention methods as well since these can help you enjoy healthy joints for as long as it is possible.

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5 Practical Tips to Help You Save For Your Dream Car

Don’t you sometimes wish you can go around the city driving your car?

We all do at some point. But, you wake up from that wishful thinking into the sad reality that you just can’t afford it. For now, at least.

Buying a car, especially your dream car always comes with a price. Unless you won the lottery and had millions of cash, to buy a dream car would mean a long-term commitment to saving, saving and saving. But with all the bills you need to pay, it might take you years to save up for that dream car.

Fret not! Here are a few tips to help you quickly achieve that goal.

Create a budget

budgeting money

At this point, you’ve probably checked the price of your dream car already. So, it’s time to create a budget plan.

First, consider how much you earn in a month and how much you’re willing to set aside for your car. Keep in mind that you also need to save for your car’s insurance, gas, and maintenance. It would be great to set aside a few savings for these even before you have your car.

Then, project and designate a budget for all your expenses. Aside from your car, you also have bills and other necessities to pay for.

See Also: How To Get The Best Deal From Your Local Used Cars Dealership

Spend less

Think of other ways you can cut off some of your expenses so you can set aside more money for your car. If you are thinking of buying something, ask yourself first if you’re spending for a want or a need. If you don’t need it, maybe you can take a pass at purchasing something.

It would also help to compare prices, like when you’re in the grocery. You can save a few more bucks if you pay attention to prices.

Open a savings account

The bank is still the safest place to keep your money, whether you believe that or not. So, open an account and keep all your savings there.

But, before you do, make sure to look for accounts where you can earn high interests. Also, consider getting a passbook savings account so it wouldn’t be easy to withdraw anytime.

If you already have an existing bank account, it’s still highly recommendable to open a separate one for your car budget.

Apply for Alternative Financing

So, you already saved but you’re still a long way from purchasing your dream car. Why not speed it up a little?

You can apply for alternative financing, like salary or pay-day loans, bank loans, auto loans and car title loans. These can help you acquire fast cash with less paperwork.
You still have to continue saving, though.

These alternative modes of financing could only give you a fraction of the cost you need. You can opt for a car title loan to borrow a higher amount, but this would require a car title in the first place. Also, you should remember that it is still a loan. You will still have a monthly payable even after you already bought your car.

Always try to inquire first on the payment terms, collateral needed and the interest rates before you resort to alternative financing.

Invest Your Money

saving money

Consider this:

You have loaned an amount of money, but maybe it’s still not enough to buy your dream car. Well, how about investing part of it for the meantime?

Look for ways where you can invest around 10% to 20% of your loaned money and expect a good ROI from it at the end of a quarter or even a year. Make sure that your ROI will be higher than the interest you pay each month for your loan.

This way, your horizons expand and your money grows. By the time you’re ready to buy that car, you have more than what you hoped for. You now have your dream car and a great business investment to boot.


With all these considered, are you ready to commit yourself to saving money so you can buy your dream car?

Start saving now and learn to cut off some of your expenses. You’ll see yourself in the driver’s seat, maneuvering that steering wheel in the future.

For now, save and invest. Be frugal, if you must.

See Also: What Science Says About The Car You Drive


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