All posts by Ihagh G. T.

About Ihagh G. T.

A versatile writer who writes articles about topics on motivation, environment, real estate, bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, technical drawing, engineering graphics, technology, and futuristic science. Email: godwinihagh@gmail.com

Components of Air pollution

Ambient (outdoor) air pollution consists of a complicated mix of particulate matter (a.k.a. particle pollution), liquids, and gases.

The pollutants that immensely pollute air in many of the world’s cities include the six “criteria” air pollutants (1. particulate matter, 2. ozone [ground level ozone], 3. carbon monoxide, 4. nitrogen oxides, 5. lead, and 6. sulfur dioxide), toxic (hazardous) air pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions which affect the health of living (human, animals, and plants) and non-living (the environment) things, including the stratospheric ozone layer and various ecosystems.

In particular, the six criteria pollutants listed in the preceding paragraph have been identified by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as “criteria” pollutants because the EPA, itself, regulates them by formulating useful science-based guidelines for setting allowable levels of air pollutants or pollution.

All pollutants are generated from a variety of sources—some general, others specific—and can be influenced or affected by weather and local topographical conditions. The components of air pollution, especially the type in heavily polluted urban air, consist of the following:

Particulate Matter

Particulate matter can be defined as any small discrete mass of solid or liquid matter that remains dispersed in liquid or gas emissions. Particulate matter is usually regarded as an atmospheric pollutant.

Different types of particulate matter come from different sources and vary in composition and size, and may consist of a large number of chemicals. The variety of particulate matter can cause major visibility problems and be detrimental to the health and growth of agricultural products, depending on the quantities of the particulate matter, and weather conditions.

Liquids

The liquid components of air pollution come from a variety of chemicals and water and may evaporate into the atmosphere or air in different shapes and sizes of droplets.

The droplets, which have been unknowingly taken deep into the human lungs and body, can cling to particulate matter, reduce visibility, and partake in the formation of acid rain.

Gases

The gas component of air pollution (air pollution constituents) come from a variety of different sources and consists of gases such as ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and various metals that can exist in gaseous form, etc.

Other air pollutants

  • Total petroleum hydrocarbons
  • Fuel oils and kerosene
  • Asbestos
  • Carbon disulfide
  • Benzene
  • Synthetic vitreous fibers
  • Creosote
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Acrolein

We Hardly Consider How Much Worse Things Could Have Been

No matter the situation you’re in, things could have been much worse than they have been. If you unfortunately lose money, take note that you could have lost all your property. If you unfortunately lose your job, take note that you could have lost your life.

That’s just the way it is: generally, we’re not in charge of many things in life and in our lives. So, even if we get into a seriously challenging and trying situation—worst case scenario—we have to hope for the best outcome while being thankful that the trying situation isn’t much worse.

Accepting the challenges posed by your worst obstacles or unfortunate circumstances—rather than rejecting or resenting them—can help you become a different and stronger person who is better adjusted to the reality of the constraints or challenges from terrible situations.

The constraints in life can still lead us to our desired destination

Oftentimes, it doesn’t seem as if obstacles and constraints would work to our advantage—but they can and sometimes do, especially if we accept them and allow them to dictate things a bit or completely.

Constraints force us to go places we’d never want or think of; they push us to develop skills we’d otherwise leave undeveloped. Everybody would like to have developed or many developed skills or virtues, but that isn’t up to us. It is up to Life—to GOD.

Life pushes us: It tells us to go here and there. It places constraints or limitations around us. In the midst of it all, we’d be unwise to argue with or yell at Life. We’d be better off accepting some so-called “unacceptable situations” and forging ahead with optimism, while understanding that situations could have been worse than they are.

If you aren’t the cause of your problem, accept your situation and move on

Moving on from a problem or defeat doesn’t mean you’ve given up. What it means is that you’ve accepted a challenge and—if you are the courageous type—would try to turn it upside down and use it to your advantage.

Appreciate the situation of your problem. Accept what you have. Learn to be at peace with it. Instead of wasting time, wailing, and complaining, accept that failure or constraint and move on. To stress the point further, even if the inconceivable becomes conceivable or presents itself, be ready to accept it and move on.

Many life lessons teach us that anything can happen. Many fortunate and unfortunate events are controlled by fate or better “the Will of GOD”. Fate or the Will of GOD is the unseen power or greatest force that shapes our lives and destinies.

We definitely had nothing to do with being born black, white, or any other color—none of us had any influence on it. The constraints in life make certain things that happen, to happen, and no one else but GOD would ever change them.

In many aspects of life, it could be helpful to consider how much worse things could have been. We should be humble and flexible enough to acknowledge that certain things are just way beyond us, and both the known and unknown could change our initial plans at any time.

The Main Characteristics of Bitcoin

By now, almost everybody in the world may have likely heard about the cryptocurrency that started it all in “cryptodom”: Bitcoin. But presently, Bitcoin is not the only famous or investment-worthy cryptocurrency that exists. There are a number of others too, but they aren’t quite like Bitcoin.

About nine years after Satoshi published Bitcoin’s white paper, its market cap has increased from as much as $320.58 billion in December 2017 to $1.091 trillion on December 1, 2021, and dropped to $822.31 billion on January 16, 2022, at an exchange rate of $43,436.81 to 1 bitcoin.

Anybody who had invested $100 in Bitcoin and bought one Bitcoin at the then rate of a Bitcoin to a dollar (i.e., 1BTC = $1) in February 2011 would have had approximately $4.34 million worth of Bitcoin by January 16, 2022.

Many people who invested in Bitcoin during its early days and purchased and saved as much as 1000 Bitcoins (equivalent to $1,000) in February 2011, would have about $43.44 million at the time of writing.

So far, Bitcoin has been indomitable and is the talk of the crypto world, even though it is not perfect in every regard. Its age and position as a pacesetter among cryptocurrencies definitely gives it an advantage and has helped it to occupy and maintain the number one spot in the league of cryptocurrencies.

Another advantage Bitcoin has is its popularity: the obvious fact that most people have heard so much about Bitcoin, but not so much about other cryptocurrencies, has given it a big edge over the rest.

As a result, even though people could choose from thousands of other cryptocurrencies and altcoins—which may be better long-term alternatives to Bitcoin—most cryptocurrency newbies would prefer to start with Bitcoin.

But despite its age and certain characteristics that place it on top of other cryptocurrencies, surprisingly, some people still think that Bitcoin could be the worst cryptocurrency to own or to invest in.

Because the age, characteristics, and popularity of Bitcoin have made it the top superstar of all cryptocurrencies, it is clearly the frontrunner every year and pulls the entire crypto market along with its volatility.

There are actually a ton of other digital coins or cryptos that are in the financial market and have improved on the characteristics of Bitcoin, in order to highlight their own pros and somewhat expose Bitcoin’s cons.

The main characteristics of Bitcoin are as follows

  • Bitcoin network is decentralized
  • Bitcoin is minable
  • Creation or mining of Bitcoin occurs through proof-of-work
  • Bitcoin’s trading symbol is “BTC”
  • Bitcoin transactions are anonymous—but not completely anonymous
  • Bitcoin transaction time is usually between 30 minutes and 24 hours
  • Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy.

While Hoping for the Best, Also Prepare for the Worst

Your plans may look all set up and geared for success until, out of nowhere, things suddenly go wrong. In fact, on the eve of launching a major initiative, things may go wrong and your project may even fail entirely.

As you hope for the best, prepare for the worst because the worst can show up at any moment; not to hurt you, but teach you how to envision in advance that anything could or may go wrong; it could help you understand why you shouldn’t put all your hopes or eggs in one porous basket.

Many plans fail for preventable reasons, and many people don’t have a second or backup plan because they don’t consider or refuse to acknowledge that something may go wrong out of nowhere.

What we think we deserve is rarely what we get precisely

While hoping for the best, what we mostly end up getting only resembles what we actually planned for or set our minds on in the beginning. Although we know this fact, we still act as if we’re ignorant of it, and we’re repeatedly surprised when misfortune unfolds on the run to the future.

Mike Tyson, a famous boxer, who pondered on the collapse of his fortune and fame, once stated that “If you’re not humble. Life will visit humbleness upon you”.

If we learn how to consider worst-case scenarios while we hope for the best, we won’t get into an emotional mess or catastrophe at critical and disastrous points in our lifetimes.

As we think and work on a plan, it is also important to consider the things that may go wrong, or that things may go wrong and block that plan: storms could arise, and the person we depend on the most may become sick; we may even be visited by the misfortunes of Mother Nature herself—oh, what a world of uncertainty we live in!

Always be prepared to get disrupted; in fact, consider every possible disruption in your plans

The best way to be balanced in a world of uncertainty is to be fit for both defeat and victory—we have to be prepared for the best and worst and consider disruptions as part of life.

Prepare that whenever life sucks, you’ll better manage the situation and be okay. Prepare that, even if you’re dependent on other people, not everyone can always be counted on. Unfortunately, sometimes we’re the ones who are our own worst enemy, not other people.

We and everyone could make mistakes and destroy our personal plans—not every time, but likely some or most of the time. If you assume that everything will always work out, you may become surprised, miserable, and have a difficult time accepting misfortune and moving on with life when disruptions set in.

Contrary to most people’s expectations, things could actually become worse before they become better

Even if people would call you a pessimist, learn to expect the worst and be calm before a storm arises. It’s better to be a pessimist who believes that all terrible things will work for your good, than to be caught off guard by hoping for the best and never preparing for the worst when it eventually arrives. 

In a world of misfortune, put yourself in the best position possible by preparing your mind in advance for adversity. Get prepared for adversity to be as hard as possible and as hard as it can oftentimes actually be.

The fact that the worst thing can happen doesn’t mean the worst thing will permanently remain worse. Expected failure is easier to manage than unexpected failure. If you think that things may go wrong, nothing that eventually goes wrong will catch you by surprise.

The person who is prepared to be disappointed won’t actually become disappointed when the wheels fall off; in fact, they would have the strength to bear disappointment.

While we always hope for the best during times of peace, it is advisable to prepare for the worst; doing so would give us time to raise our inner or emotional defenses and also help us resist breaking into pieces when things don’t go according to our plans.

Be ready for success but also prepare for failure!

Jobs that Would be More Difficult for AI and Robots to Replace or Perform

As discussed in the article titled “Jobs that May Increasingly Continue to be Replaced by AI and Robots”, it is likely that AI technologies and robots will increasingly continue to replace human workers in the future.

However, as can be clearly sensed and seen today, there are still many types of jobs—occupied by humans—that AI technologies and robots are not intelligent enough or well suited to perform.

A study carried out by Oxford Martin School grouped the jobs that can’t be automated—and are thus unlikely to be replaced by AI technologies and robots—into three major classes or groups:

1. Jobs that require active or hands-on participation or manipulation and occupied by:

  • Firefighters
  • Oral surgeons
  • Chiropractors
  • Makeup artists

2. Jobs that require at least a considerable degree of creativity and occupied by:

  • Art directors
  • Choreographers
  • Curators

3. Jobs that require social or societal perception, sensing, or awareness and occupied by:

  • Clergy (clergymen and clergywomen)
  • Coaches and scouts
  • Mental health workers
  • Nurses

The study also determined the probability (in %) of each of the above listed workers’ jobs becoming automated—which is low; the estimates indicate how unlikely it would be for the jobs—occupied by humans—to be replaced by AI technologies and robots:

  • Firefighters: 17%
  • Oral surgeons: 0.36%
  • Chiropractors: 2.7%
  • Makeup artists: 1%
  • Art directors: 2.3%
  • Choreographers: 0.4%
  • Curators: 0.7%
  • Clergy (clergymen and clergywomen): 0.8%
  • Coaches and scouts: 1.3%
  • Mental health workers: 0.3%
  • Nurses: 0.9%

A number of other occupations and skills aren’t mentioned in each of the three major classes or groups listed above. The study by Oxford Martin School is just one case of a research on the types of workers/jobs that would be difficult for AI technologies and robots to replace.

The study by Oxford Martin School provided me with insight which I used to identify various factors that make it more difficult for some jobs to be automated/replaced by AI technologies and robots. The factors include the following:

1. The absence of large quantities of data

None of the workers/jobs under the three major classes listed above deal with the collection and analysis of large quantities of data. In direct contrast, if you consider the types of jobs performed by workers in the financial sector, where trends and figures are a major part of everyday tasks, you would easily understand why most or all the jobs in the financial sector would likely be lost to AI technologies and robots. People who occupy jobs in the financial sector will be easier to replace than people who occupy jobs in sectors that don’t deal with large quantities of data.

2. The need for/presence of human interaction

The jobs that are associated with the types of workers listed above require some degree of interpersonal or human communication. Human beings will always be superior to AI systems and robots when it comes to interpersonal or human communication, and people who have strong communication skills will likely have stronger job security if they’re handling jobs that require human interaction.

3. The need for/presence of minimal repetition or routine

Because AI technologies and robots excel at repetitive tasks, jobs that require minimal/minimum degree of repetition everyday are less likely to be easily replaced by AI technologies and robots.

4. The need to apply intuition or learn through simple observation

AI technologies and robots rely greatly on monitors and cameras to gather data and learn, in order to function according to design or expectation. Therefore, the type of jobs that require a high degree of intuition or flexibility in reasoning/thinking will be more difficult for AI technologies and robots to replace.

Concluding remarks

If you consider the four factors briefly discussed above and think about several occupations that are easier or more difficult for AI technologies and robots to replace, you’d be better placed to understand the skills and jobs that humans would continue to thrive with in the future without facing serious threats from AI technologies and robots.

It has to be noted that jobs that are unpredictable and require intuition, planning, and deep thinking are ill-suited for/not compatible with AI technologies and robots, and can therefore be adequately handled or occupied by competent humans. Such jobs exist in universities and other educational institutions where AI technologies and robots will take the back seat.

Be Ready in Case None of Your Best Efforts Work

At times, no matter how much faith we have, things might not just work out the way we wish. However, this doesn’t mean we should give up trying—or more importantly, our future—when things don’t work out according to our desire.

Each one of us has the ability to always think clearly and do things creatively, and nothing in the world can ever stop us from trying our best or putting in our best efforts.

Despite all our creativity, efforts, and dedication, fortune can misbehave at any moment and create obstacles that may be impossible for us to overcome.

One obvious truth is that we can’t always be in control of the world around us: we can’t always run things the way or manner like. 

Even if we have the greatest faith in the world and act rightly, we may still end up falling short or failing anyway. Therefore, it’s important for us to be prepared at all times in case anything goes wrong!

Some things are or will be bigger than us, but we can still continue to advance or evolve for the better

Yes, some things are and will be bigger than us, but nothing can ever prevent us from trying one thing or another. Some paths may be impassable and some of our actions may be rendered impossible.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are completely unfortunate. Why? Because we can use such circumstances as opportunities to acquire some virtues, abilities, or skills—even if it involves learning to be humble and accept that unfortunate things could happen.

In every situation that helps or hinders our progress—whether it’s fortunate or unfortunate—we are presented with a new path that can open a new or better part of us.

If you love someone, but the person hurt you, a new path could open for you to practice forgiveness. If you lost all you have, a new path could unfold for you to buckle up, face reality, and hustle to gain more than all you lost or ever had in your life.

Problems present chances or opportunities for us to try, do the best that we possibly can, or even become better. But we must be willing to play our part and roll the dice, even if we will end up losing.

At times, no amount of thinking, planning, zeal, effort, and dedication—no matter how hard we try—will change the fact that certain things won’t work at the end of the day.

Therefore, be prepared that at the end of the day, even your best efforts may not work. Anyone who pursues a goal comes face-to-face with this reality, again and again.

Try all you can to get things done, be ready to accept whatever verdict comes, and move on instantly to whatever is next on the path to your future and your destiny.

Types of Models Used in Technical & Engineering Drawings and Designs

Generally speaking, a model is a representation or hypothetical description of a complex process, entity, system, device, or theory that helps to predict its behavior.

A model can also be defined as a small-scale object that is usually built to scale to represent the details of a much larger object.

Models are used in technical and engineering drawings and designs and also preliminary works or construction, as plans from which final products are created; for example a clay model can be created for a real or an eventual casting process.

Models in technical and engineering drawings and designs and preliminary works can be used in testing, perfecting, or honing a final product after understanding and being satisfied with how it behaves; for example, a test model can be created for a solar-powered vehicle.

This article discusses the following types of models used in technical & engineering drawings and designs:

1. Descriptive models

Descriptive models are used in technical and engineering drawings and designs to represent an object, system, entity, device, or process, in either words or pictures.

A descriptive model is a group of written specifications for a design, an object, a system, an entity, a device, or a process.

The major aim of a descriptive model is to describe and provide enough details that can express the image of the final design, object, system, entity, device, process, or product.

Sometimes, descriptive models use representations that are simplified, similar, or equivalent to something that can be more easily understood.

If all the specifications in a descriptive model are adhered to, the final design, object, system, entity, device, process, or product will perform as correctly as expected.

Sketching is another type of descriptive model for the design ideas that are expressed on paper. Two-dimensional (2D) and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) drawings are also descriptive models.

Although, in certain cases, a physical model or prototype is created to be smaller in scale, they are still regarded as another type of descriptive model.

2. Analytical models

Analytical models in technical and engineering drawings and designs help to mathematically or diagrammatically (schematically) represent and predict the future behavior of an object, system, entity, device, process, or product.

For example, an electrical circuit model or simple circuit design model can help to simulate or reproduce the behavior of an actual electrical circuit, or how it would function; therefore, an electrical circuit model is an example of an analytical model.

An effective analytical model helps to determine the best aspects of a system’s, an object’s, an entity’s, a device’s, a process’, or a product’s behavior that should be modelled.

A finite element analysis (FEA) model—such as that used to calculate important properties (for e.g., stresses, temperature, etc.) during the design of a real object, system, entity, device, process, or product—helps to simplify CAD models in a similar way.

A FEA model breaks a model into smaller elements and reduces a complex or complicated system into a series of smaller systems which helps to solve a problem, or understand and estimate certain properties more easily.

Understanding and applying an analytical model requires a good understanding of the difference between the model and the actual system, entity, device, process, or product, in order to be able to interpret any results correctly.

3. Two-dimensional (2D) models

Traditional paper drawings

Two-dimensional (2D) sketches and multi-view paper drawings represent designs for technical and engineering drawings and designs.

All the information that defines an object can be shown on paper drawing through sketch details, but may require many orthographic views which could take a long or longer time to create than CAD drawings would.

Because paper drawings are difficult to modify, the labor costs involved in producing them usually outbalance or outweigh equipment savings.

Paper drawings are not always highly accurate: their accuracy is approximately plus or minus one fortieth (1/40) of the drawing scale and makes paper drawings not particularly measurable.

2D CAD Models

Although two-dimensional (2D) CAD models share the visual characteristics of paper drawings, they are much more accurate than paper drawings and easier to modify.

CAD models represent the full size of objects, unlike paper drawings which usually don’t. Also, in CAD models you can “snap” to exact locations on objects, so as to be able to determine sizes and distances.

CAD systems have standard symbols which are easy to add and change; in addition, they have many editing tools that enable users to quickly edit and reuse drawing geometry.

Two-dimensional 2D CAD drawings can be easily and quickly printed to any desired scale, and different types of information can be singled onto several layers; this gives the model an advantage and makes it more flexible than paper drawing.

Computer-aided design accurately defines the positions of lines, arcs, and other geometry. If you query the AutoCAD database, it accurately returns information to you in the form it was originally created.

2D constraint-based modelling

Constraint-based modeling was originally started as a method to create 3D models. Constraint-based 2D models provide users with technical aspects that can help them define 2D shapes based on their individual geometry.

Users can add relationships like tangency and concentricity between entities in a drawing, and once a tangential or concentric constraint is added between two shapes or drawings (for e.g., circles), they will be constrained to remain tangential or concentric, and a user will be alerted if they attempt to make a change that will violate a selected geometric constraint.

The dimensions used in drawings constrain the sizes of the features of the drawings, and the relationships defined between components of the 2D model are retained by the software that is used when making changes to any drawing.

Geometric constraints are highly valuable tools, but must be applied with a proper understanding of basic drawing geometry if any benefit is to be derived from them.

Examples of constraints in AutoCAD 2016

The following are the constraints that define 2D objects’ respective geometry in AutoCAD:

  • “Vertical”: This constrains lines or pairs of points on objects to remain parallel to only the y-axis
  • “Horizontal”: This constrains lines or pairs of points on objects to remain parallel to only the x-axis
  • “Parallel”: This constrains two selected lines to remain parallel to each other
  • “Perpendicular”: This constrains two selected lines to be at an angle of 90° to each other
  • “Tangent”: This constrains two curves to be tangent to each other or to their extensions
  • “Smooth”: This constrains a spline to be contiguous and maintain G2 curvature continuity with another entity
  • “Concentric”: This constrains two arcs, circles, or ellipses to retain or maintain the same center point
  • “Coincident”: This constrains two points to stay connected to each other
  • “Collinear”: This constrains two or more line segments to remain along the same line
  • “Symmetric”: This constrains two selected objects to remain symmetrical about a specified line
  • “Equal”: This constrains selected entities to retain or maintain the same size
  • “Fix”: This constrains points, curve points, or line endpoints to stay in fixed position on the coordinate system
  • “Angular”: This constrains the angle between two lines to be retained
  • “Linear”: This constrains the distance between two points along the x- or y-axis to be retained
  • “Aligned”: This constrains a distance between two points to be retained
  • “Diameter”: This constrains the diameter of a circle to be retained
  • “Radius”: This constrains the radius for a curve to be retained

Icons for constraints in AutoCAD 2016

4. Three-dimensional (3D) models

Two dimensional (2D) models must be interpreted in order to correctly visualize 3D objects. Three-dimensional (3D) models are used to convey technical and engineering and designs to people who are unfamiliar with orthographic projection; in addition, they (3D models) are used to evaluate properties of drawings and designs that are undefined in 2D representations.

Physical models

Physical models serve as a source of visual reference and are also called “prototypes” whenever they are created in “full-size” or used to validate a nearly last or final design for production.

Physical models are good visual representations of designs; however, if they are not created from materials that would be used in a design, their weight and other features won’t match the final product.

Physical prototypes help to discover and correct many problems in designs and enable people to interact with physical models and understand how designs would eventually look like, and how they would function.

In certain cases, due to the size of a project, a physical model is created to be smaller in scale than how the final design would be. However, physical prototypes lack flexibility, and once they have been created, it is usually difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to modify or change them.

Therefore, it is advisable to use full-sized physical prototypes late in the design process, when major design changes are less likely to be made.

3D CAD models

Three-dimensional CAD models combine the characteristics of both descriptive models and analytical models and provide the benefits of both a 2D model and a physical (prototype) model.

Three-dimensional CAD models can generate standard 2D multiview drawings for visual representation, as well as rendered and shaded views.

Because 3D CAD models accurately depict the geometry of objects or devices, they can completely describe the shape, size, and appearance of objects or devices in the same way as a physical or scaled model would.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (also called “VR”) refers to the process of interacting with a 3D CAD model as if it were real. In virtual reality, the model simulates how a user would interact with a real object, device, or system.

The term “virtual prototype” refers to 3D CAD systems that represent objects that are adequately enough to enable people, manufacturers, or designers to acquire the same type of information they would be able to acquire from creating and studying a physical model or prototype.

When a virtual reality display is used, users can be able to immerse themselves in the model and move about or through it and view it from several points of view.

If the conditions of a virtual object are altered, it would react in a certain way and provide feedback, or a sensation of its reaction would be provided to the user or person immersed in the virtual reality they subjected themselves to.

Don’t Wait for Chances—Look for Chances and Seize Them by the Horn

The most successful people are not those who have waited for chances, but those who have searched for chances, besieged chances, conquered chances, taken over chances, and used chances to achieve greatness, even when the chances were seriously challenging.

In case you look for a chance and find one that is a negative situation or leads to failure, you can still use that failure as a teachable moment and later on apply any lessons you learn from it.

It is true that while looking for chances, we may run into negative situations. But we have to learn how to absorb the power of negative situations and infuse ourselves with energy that can propel us to success.

If you think it’s enough to only take advantage of the chances or opportunities that come to you, instead of looking for them, you may likely fall short of greatness which is mostly attained by looking for chances, and besieging and seizing them.

One effective thing you must do is learn how to press your buttons and move forward even when everybody around you or everyone in a negative situation sees only disaster.

Never forget that during apparently negative moments, when most people or everyone is besieged and seized by discouragement, you can still act unexpectedly and swiftly and seize chances in a way that can pull off a great victory.

We shouldn’t always ignore every negative situation and allow the crises they contain to become a waste. Crises could provide opportunities for us to achieve things we couldn’t achieve before or without crises.

If you observe the great successes or achievements of the past and present, you will clearly notice that, while looking for chances, some people stumbled across negative events which they seized and used to achieve success or push through much-needed reforms. We all can still do the same in our lives.

If you plan to use the chances you’ve found, but run into accidents or failures, you can still use them to your advantage

Have you become sick and are tied to your bed? Well, you now have time to write or think and develop more or better plans for your future.

Have you lost your relationship? Well, you now have time to look for a better one or even the best one out there.

Learn to look for chances in negative situations, seize their moments, and bring life to the plans that have been latent or sitting dormant in your mind.

While other people are shying away from every negative situation, and avoiding every trouble in a world that’s designed to be full of troubles, do the opposite: become your best version in seemingly difficult circumstances; turn tragedies or misfortunes to your advantage.

Don’t always focus on the negatives in some of the chances you seek for. Stop feeling disappointed and sorry for yourself. And never forget that life always moves on and favors the bold and brave who are able to seize chances even when they contain a ton of negativity.

We complain that we haven’t been given chances or opportunities, but we have—chances always exist, even in seemingly negative situations

At certain moments during our brief existence in this physical life, when we look for chances but run into frustrating or unfair challenges or trials, are we fond of running away from the adversity they throw at us or do we use the adversity to mount an offense that can lead us to success?

More precisely, do we look deeper into our problems and challenges in order to find opportunities or solutions that we’ve long been waiting for? If we don’t do so—in order to look for chances and take them—then it’s on us, and no one else.

When other people are waiting for chances, don’t wait; go out and look for them until you find them. And if eventually, you end up finding them but they are negative or challenging, instead of focusing on the negativity and disaster radiating from them, look further for positives and any opportunities.

The Importance of Evaluating a Lease: What You Should Watch Out For

Successful real estate investors know how important it is to sink into the depths of leases in order to assess the extent of opportunity and potential for higher income and/or stability of tenancy.

Researching, analyzing, and evaluating the leases of specific properties can help you to size up the properties and decide whether to investigate them further or move on to other properties.

But what is a lease? A lease is a binding legal agreement between a landlord and tenant or buyer, in which payment is made and rights are granted for the exclusive use or possession of a particular real property during a specified time.

Although a verbal lease can be used by the parties that are bound by a lease, it’s much more appropriate and even safer to have a written lease which clearly defines the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant or buyer.

It’s important to investigate leases even if you are so excited and overwhelmed by the possibility of owning an attractive or well-maintained rental property or building.

Regardless of the type of real estate property you are interested in buying or investing in, ensure that the seller provides the lease and it contains detailed and all relevant information pertaining to the property.

Don’t just accept a lease based only on a brief summary of it or what you see on the first page of the lease; insist on getting full and complete details along with any guarantees or modifications and written certification regarding the accuracy and validity of the lease/document.

Since you would be legally bound by all terms and conditions of a lease if you buy a property that it is associated with, make sure that you thoroughly understand all aspects of the lease.

A lease could contain a ton of opportunity which, on the other hand, may be detrimental to the property it is linked with and actually bring down its current and future value if it isn’t properly evaluated.

The most common examples of leases that could be detrimental are long-term leases that have below-market rental rates. Some leases could be far above current market conditions; it is advisable to consider or even discount the likelihood that such leases would be in place and legally enforceable in the future.

Also important to take note of is the fact that leases may or may not comply with current laws or issues relevant for specific tenants (or property buyers). In regard to tenants, if one is not careful enough to notice, there could even be charges for late payments, returned checks, or administrative fees; such terms, if present in a lease, may not be clearly defined, or may even be legally unenforceable.

Generally speaking, some leases may be associated with rules and regulations that aren’t be clearly defined, comprehensive, or enforceable. Therefore, in certain cases, one may need to change the onerous terms in a lease, especially upon its renewal in the future.

Tenants or buyers should ensure that they are dealing with property sellers who are honest and can easily disclose every material fact about the property they are interested in renting or buying.

The expiration dates of leases should be noted because leases that are about to expire may have to be evaluated on the basis of current market conditions. Future leases may not be at the same current rent level, and considerations for concessions or tenant improvements may be necessary in order to get leases renewed.

Even if a brief evaluation or analysis of any residential property lease may be fairly straightforward or clear enough, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dig a bit deeper and do your homework!

Therefore, review every lease, especially residential leases, to ensure that you understand each term it contains and there aren’t any hidden surprises that could spring up in the future.

Because some mischievous sellers of properties are aware that certain buyers don’t thoroughly review leases, they include future rent concessions in leases in exchange for higher rents upfront in order to make the financial statements of properties look more suitable.

Even if you have a broker, sales agent, or property investigation team that is assisting you to inspect a property and review its lease during a transaction, remember that you are the one who needs to show the most concern for your best interests.

Overcoming Obstacles by Using Obstacles Against Themselves

Overcoming an obstacle surely requires taking action. Action has many definitions…taking action does not necessarily require force or motion for it to be effective—implying that we can take firm action by not acting as the average person would.

Sometimes, the best or easiest way to overcome an obstacle is by halting, stepping aside, remaining a bit laid back, and even letting the obstacle advance towards you, instead of attacking it when the opportunity arises.

In many regards, inaction or dormancy is enough action. Everything doesn’t need to be as active or forceful as people or society would expect. We are at liberty to act in ways that would make any obstacle absorb its own power and destroy itself, but still work for us on the other hand.

Perhaps, your obstacle or enemy looks really insurmountable, as it did against Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and many others who concentrated on overcoming obstacles by pitching love against hatred, and peace against violence, injustice, and intimidation. 

Some obstacles may be impossible to defeat, regardless of the action you take or the amount of effort you put in. Instead of using your own unlimited resources to attack, why not find a way to use your obstacle’s resources and adversity against its totality—against itself.

It hardly ever occurs to us that, in some cases, standing still or moving backward is the best way to advance

Actually, sometimes we need to take action. But we also have to acknowledge that inaction—restraining ourselves or “holding back”—might be the best action to eliminate the blocks on our respective paths.

Sometimes, each person needs to have patience or a bit more patience than the patience they have cultivated in their life: sometimes, we just need to wait for obstacles to dry up or fizzle out.

Sometimes, an obstacle might not require anything or much from you. As a result, taking any or too much action could become your own worst enemy and get you consumed when moving forward.

We wrongly assume that the only way we can progress, the only way we can win, is by attacking or moving forward, instead of pausing or standing—in fact, doing virtually nothing!

At the end of the day, what matters is whether the approach you use gets you to the place you desire. Although pausing, slowing down, or using obstacles against themselves may seem ineffective, it is different from doing nothing, and can often help to achieve a great deal.

Look closely and you may be surprised to find out that the bigness of your obstacles can, in fact, be an advantage for you and a disadvantage for your obstacles. It can help you push the tide against your obstacles.

Yes, we can use the things that seriously challenge us to our advantage and make them do the hard work for us. Sometimes, this would require us to calm down, leave our obstacles the way they are, instead of stressing ourselves to take every conceivable action.

7 Types of Spam that Can Get Your Site Penalized by Search Engines

When the word spam is mentioned, what usually comes to mind are the annoying and poorly worded emails people receive in their respective inboxes on a daily basis. Although it’s true that that is spam, it’s important to point out that there are other types of spam—spam or deceptive tactics that are generated from websites/web content and designed to trick search engines.

The types of spam discussed in this article can be categorized under “search engine spam”. Search engine spam—also known as “spamdexing”—is any tactic, act, or misleading content/web page that is used to deceive a search engine and give it a false understanding or interpretation of its real intention.

Most technologies used to create and design websites can also be used to deceive search engines. Search engine spammers use a number of spam methods and advanced techniques that modern search engines are often able to detect.

Because search engines are very intuitive and can easily detect what constitutes a spam, it’s somewhat risky and unnecessary to make an attempt to trick search engines which, in modern times, are far much more intelligent.

Search engine companies work hard to bring relevant results to internet users, and they discard spam-filled content because it can damage their reputation.

Because any search engine could lose users/patronizers if its results pages generate spammy results, search engines penalize websites that use one or more search engine spam techniques; in extreme cases, search engines completely remove sites from their index (list of websites used to create a search engine results pages).

It’s important for bloggers and site owners to be aware of the type of spam or deceptive tactics that can get their sites penalized by search engines. If you’re a blogger or site owner who isn’t aware of what search engine spam activity is, or you’re aware but still want to deceive search engines in order to achieve higher rankings, then you’d better think twice because the types of spam, discussed a bit further, can get your site penalized and forever removed from the view of internet users.

Google, Bing, and other search engines are always improving and fishing out the different types of search engine spam. The penalties can be harsh if a search engine finds out that you’ve attempted to beat its spam detection capabilities.

Keep in mind the following types of spam and resist any urge to use them (Unfortunately, using them could put your site at risk and get it penalized or dropped from search engines and internet users’ browsers and sights.):

1. Hidden texts/links

One direct way to make a web page spammy is by inserting hidden texts and links in its content which is usually published for users to see and click, albeit for morally wrong or ethically wrong reasons.

Hidden texts can appear in the form of a long list of keywords; along with hidden links, both are placed in web page content, unknowingly to users, to increase traffic and site popularity—but not by merit!

To avoid wrong attention from search engines, ensure that all texts in your content are visible to visitors or internet users. The following are some examples of hidden texts and links:

  • Texts (content) and links that are somewhat “placed under web pages, veiled or concealed by a layer, in ways that make them invisible to the naked eye or invisible when content (texts, links) is highlighted.
  • White-colored text and links that are placed on a white background, thereby rendering the text invisible to users or visitors, except when the text is highlighted by right‐clicking the mouse and selecting text.
  • Visible links that have no anchor, and thus don’t appear clickable to users, even if search engines can follow such links.
  • Using cascading style sheets (CSS) to place or position content away from or off the web page’s view. This is a major programming trick that is widely used by spammers.

A site that uses veiled, invisible, or hidden text/links can be easily spotted and banned by search engines, and its content would no longer show up on search engines’ results pages. Therefore, all web content should be visible to users, and no hidden texts/links should be allowed to remain in content.

2. Misleading/deceptive redirections

A misleading or deceptive redirection is a link that redirects a user to a location that is off point or different from what they had initially expected when they were clicking the link for the first time.

Imagine searching for an item whose location (web address) you know very well, but after clicking one of the links on the results page, you are unfortunately redirected or taken to some very questionable location and content, somewhere you never expected—for example, shady sites that often deal with betting/gambling, porn, drugs, or have content that is not related to your search query.

3. Keyword stuffing (stuffing content with keywords)

Keyword stuffing is the act of overusing any keyword in a piece of content, with the intention of getting its web page ranked high due to excess or high keyword use.

Keyword stuffing can occur within a piece of content, and also in the Alt attribute text where repeated typing/entry of a keyword, over and over again, wouldn’t help to increase content/page ranking; also, the content/page would likely be dropped from search engine results pages if keyword stuffing spam is detected.

Other ways keyword stuffing is used, include: hiding keywords text in a content/page; hiding long-tail keywords or large groups of repeated keywords by using HTML instructions that hide blocks of texts from user sight, usually placing them at the bottom, away from the average viewer’s sight.

4. Uncorrelated or unrelated keywords

Whenever a keyword is not related to the content (text, video, or image) which it is supposed to logically connect or relate to, the keyword is uncorrelated with or unrelated to the content. Using a keyword that is unrelated to content constitutes spam.

Other practices include: placing unrelated keywords in the meta tags of a content/page, in the metadata of a video, or into the Alt attribute text of an image. Doing any of the following is not only unnecessary, but could get your site pulled off from search engines results pages.

5. Link farms

A link farm is a group of domains or websites that are individually connected by their respective hyperlinks to the other domains or websites in the group.

Because Google encourages the use of links and hyperlinks, and its algorithm uses them to assess how popular websites are on the internet, some people use automated programs and services to create link farms which search engines can detect by identifying particular attributes that link farms use.

Search engines even go as far as filtering link farms from index and search results and removing entire domains/sites in order to prevent them from influencing results pages. Note that not all links or hyperlinks are part of a link farm or spam, especially when individual websites that are selectively connected with other relevant websites are not often regarded as spam.

6. Doorway pages

A doorway page (a.k.a. gateway page, bridge page, jump page, or portal page) is a technique in which several look-alike content/pages are created slightly different from each other, but are generally stuffed with keywords and phrases that tricks users by redirecting content/pages with a fast meta refresh command.

Doorway pages are deceptive tactics that use JavaScript to automatically redirect users to another site or page—the site or page the website wants them to visit—in an attempt to spam search engine index rankings and rank high without earning it.

7. Cloaking

The intention of using cloaking is to trick search engines to display content/a page even when, ordinarily, it wouldn’t display it. Cloaking is a technique used to make the content appearing on a search engine different from the one appearing on the internet user’s browser.

This implies that the search engine and user are not having the same/actual information and both are being deceived by the spammer/website which is presenting both the user’s browser and the search engine with different content for the same web page.

Everyday, Life Asks Us Questions; Our Daily Actions are the Answers

As we continue climbing the ladder of life each day, life itself silently asks us questions by creating conditions through siblings, friends, parents, pets, the environment, and almost everything conceivable.

Life may even ask us questions through non-living things. Sometimes, on the road to success or what we want to become, life would even ask us to do certain things that, usually, we’d rather not want to do or entertain.

In any case, and regardless of our decisions, our actions are always answers which can be right or wrong or anything in between the two.

Regardless of any expected outcome, we need to take actions to progress and keep moving ahead. Therefore, it is appropriate or necessary that whenever we need do something that is necessary, and especially good, we have to do it well, bearing in mind that the value of our actions is as real as life’s conditions and demands which are like serious questions.

At any junction, life may ask us to become so low by introducing us to the broom—yes, so that we can get down there and do some real sweeping. Fortunately, but unknown to many people who throw certain opportunities away, whenever life wants to humble you, it also provides an opportunity for you to excel—and learn.

Many people climbed from humbleness and poverty to power by putting in their best—by wholeheartedly doing what life asked and expected them to do. And they did it the right way, with the right sense of pride. In fact, they even did it better than everyone else.

The quality of our actions matter; they are answers to life’s serious questions which also matter as much

Everything we do matters! It is thus important to concentrate as best as we can on the tasks of the moment, noting fully well that everything that life presents is an opportunity to exhibit our best while still chasing after perfection.

Chasing after perfection is our primary obligation or duty. (This might not be wrong or far from the truth.) In other words, what this means is that whatever we are doing, we owe it to life, the world, our profession, and ourselves to do it as best as we possibly can—do it well.

All vanity will fall away if taking high-value actions becomes a priority

We all are given different sets or types of conditions during our respective lives; it doesn’t matter whether they are glamorous or not glamorous. What matters most is how we treat each condition. Do we treat them with utmost seriousness and as a priority?

Therefore, each action we take on the path to our destination matters; hence, we should be careful not to give less than we are actually capable of giving. Whatever we are facing, we should respond with honesty, hard work, and by helping people as best as we possibly can.

Whether we are paid or not, or whether anyone notices our best efforts or not, it doesn’t matter as much as giving our best—regardless of the positives or negatives!

Life is a serious business and the questions that life asks us, along with the actions it expects and prompts us to take, require us to give our best—our all!

No matter what we are doing—whether we are facing bankruptcy or making money, rich or poor, here in hell or there in heaven—we are taking action and making something serious out of life, and this something requires at least some level of seriousness, attention, and dedication.

Health and Environmental Effects of Air Pollution

Air pollution might have been known for ages, but concerns about its effects on the health of living things and the environment were first voiced by the citizens of ancient Rome and Athens.

In modern times, different governments, leaders, organizations, and stakeholders across the world have been voicing concerns about air quality, especially urban air quality, which became worse during the Industrial Revolution.

Mosley (2014) stated that an “age of smoke” has been ushered because of excessive production of coal and widespread discharge of air pollutants from factories in Britain, Germany, the USA, and other countries whose urban areas have witnessed increasing numbers of pollution sources, chimneys, and industrial processes which cause air pollution and air pollution effects on human health, animal health, and the environment.

Health effects of air pollution

Epidemiological and clinical studies and evidence have helped a great deal in assessing the health effects of criteria air pollutants and non-criteria air pollutants (which are similar to air toxics, hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), or toxic air pollutants (TAPs) on human beings.

Air pollution can cause new health conditions or worsen existing health conditions such as: cancer, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, birth defects, eye diseases, cardiovascular disease, genetic mutations, impaired immune systems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc. The particles present in air, when absorbed by the body, may reduce lung function and increase incidences of respiratory illness.

Various air pollutants often test or challenge the strength and immunity of important body systems (brain, liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, skin, nerves) on short- and long-term bases. Living things and their components are always surrounded by environmental exposures including the type of air pollution and concentration/absence of air pollution or pollutants during the day and night.

Severe air pollution leads to increased cases of hospitalization and deaths due to cardiovascular disease linked to air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ozone, tobacco smoke (which is a major contributor to indoor air pollution), and particulate matter, especially fine particles.

Heart disease and strokes are examples that show the relationship between ambient air pollution and its own hurtful health effects on humans over short- and long-term air pollution (exposure to air pollutants), especially the by-products of automobile combustion.

Environmental effects of air pollution

The Industrial Revolution has emitted and an incalculable amount of hazardous air pollutants, toxic air pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and greenhouse gases into the air.

The environmental effects of the air pollution include—but may not be limited to: ozone depletion which damages crops and reduces crop yields; eutrophication (caused by nutrient deposits found in air pollutants) which causes the growth of algae, fish kills, and destroys plant and animal diversity; acid precipitation which damages bodies of water, soils, and eventually trees; and global warming.

Of serious concern is acid precipitation. It is produced when the sulfur that is discharged into the air, combines with oxygen to form sulfur oxide which, in the presence of hydrogen peroxide or ozone, turns into sulfur trioxide. Sulfur trioxide dissolves in water to produce sulphuric acid.

Acid precipitation can also occur when atmospheric nitrogen is heated to the type of temperatures possessed by steam boilers, and it combines with oxygen to form both nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide which dissolves in water to form nitrous and nitric acids.

Air pollution creates haze (light scattered by air particles) in the environment and often affects people’s visibility which is very important in their lives.

Brief History of Global Environmental Sustainability

Although different environments in the past and distant past were not affected by the severe types of environmental problems affecting our present-day world, they would have still attracted the attention of people who had a desire to protect or sustain the environment.

Outside of Athens, the Greeks developed the first refuse dumps around the year 500 B.C. Because the Greeks understood how solid waste and human waste could spread diseases in the environment, they invented sewers, toilets, and placed waste yards or refuse dumps outside the city.

Within the boundaries of other ancient cities such as Rome, poor disposal of human waste increased the already-existing displeasing level of air pollution due to burning of solid waste, wood, and odors from garbage and runoff from household and industrial sewage.

Pollution of rivers is nothing new. To prevent the river Thames from being polluted, King Edward III of England passed a law in 1357 prohibiting pollution of the river. Nine years later (1366) in Paris, slaughterers were forced to discard animal waste outside the city.

And after about a further two decades more, in 1388, laws were passed in England to forbid/disallow disposal of garbage and refuse into trenches, rivers, and bodies of water.

By responding to numerous outbreaks of diseases and environmental problems, and creating laws to protect the environment, the foundations of environmental sustainability were further strengthened and many improvements were being increasingly made in the centuries that followed.

Even now (in modern times), governments, organizations, and people from across the world still show consistent concern for the environment and environmental sustainability. The need to sustain the environment exists globally, and the United Nations has been a major vehicle driving and promoting environmental sustainability.

In preparation for the Stockholm Conference (The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment), which was held in 1972 in Stockholm (Sweden), a meeting was held in 1971: the developed nations expressed more concern about environmental consequences of global development, while the less developed nations, on the other hand, expressed more concern about economic development.

Sustainable development ensued as a compromise between two major conflicting choices: environmental concerns and economic concerns. The Stockholm Conference led to the birth of the United Nations Environmental Programme with a mandate to handle issues tied to both sound development practices and environmental practices.

The International Environmental Education Programme took off in 1975 and was followed by the World Conservation Strategy in 1980.

Then in 1983, the Secretary-General of the United Nations asked the Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, to constitute and lead a special independent World Commission on Environment and Development.

The purpose was to enhance global cooperation on environmental and developmental matters, review and suggest how to handle critical global environmental and developmental problems, and raise different citizens’, governments’, businesses’, and industries’ understanding of and commitment to environmental sustainability and sustainable development.

After many meetings took place, the independent World Commission on Environment and Development produced a report which led to the establishment of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, and Agenda 21 instituted at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and was accepted by more than 178 governments.

Agenda 21 report was created with different sections that targeted different aspects of environmental sustainability. Section I of Agenda 21 report contained discourses on eating/consumption patterns, poverty, demographic dynamics, sustainable development in developing countries, how to encourage sustainable human settlements, how to protect and promote human health, how to protect and integrate the environment into development decisions, and how to take care of needs while developing land and resources.

Section II re-examined the methods of protecting air, water, land, vulnerable or destroyed ecosystems, and sustainable agriculture, and discussed environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, illegal international trading  of hazardous wastes, toxic and dangerous products, solid wastes, and radioactive wastes.

Section III discussed the role of different native peoples, women, children, youths, workers, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, businesses, industries, and the scientific and technological community in sustainable development.

While Section IV discussed implementation of Agenda 21 which is the design pattern or blueprint for environmental sustainability and sustainable development in the 21st century.

Since global climate change started becoming an issue, all countries saw an immediate need to take necessary actions to tackle the major environmental problems affecting the world as a community.

The original “Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” was signed by 197 countries on September 16, 1987, and became effective on January 1, 1989. Its provisions seek to protect the stratosphere ozone layer which is important and contributes to the sustenance of biodiversity and life on Earth.

Based on new scientific information at the time, adjustments were effected on March 7, 1991, September 23, 1993, August 5, 1996, June 4, 1998, July 28, 2000, and May 14, 2008.

Meanwhile, in December 1997, more than 150 countries established the Kyoto Protocol to sustain and protect the atmosphere and the climate, and support research on climate change.

To propel actions that can increase the availability of clean air, clean energy, and safe water, and protect people and the environment from diseases and injuries, various nations, NGOs, financial institutions, UN agencies, and groups from around the world convened at the World Summit on Sustainable Development between August 26 and September 4, 2002, and discussed major issues of biodiversity, water, agriculture, energy, and health.

Once again, the countries of the world convened at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development between June 20 and 22, 2012, and reaffirmed their commitment to take necessary actions to achieve a sustainable future for present and future generations.

The most important concerns discussed were about how to eradicate hunger, poverty, and diseases, and develop natural resources in ways that are environmentally friendly.

The conference re-emphasized that people were the focal point of sustainable development, while governments, industries, businesses, and organizations were partners, and decisions on sustainable development should be based on scientific research.

Defeat is Nothing but Education—Steps to Become Better

Defeat precedes almost all types of success. In fact, it is a preceding feature of almost all successes. Defeat is a great asset when used to learn, improve, and become better. 

So there’s nothing shameful about being wrong or experiencing defeat when it has the potential to be eye-opening and elevate you from grass to grace.

There’s definitely nothing wrong with defeats that open up more pathways, provide new options, and continue to prove that problems are not problems—they are opportunities!

To a certain degree, most successes in life embrace some element of defeat and failure in one way or another. In fact, defeat and failure contribute to great successes.

In an imperfect world where there are many masters, but nobody is truly the Master—nobody knows it all—it helps to keep trying your best while tolerating failures, possibly many times over.

It’s okay to fail or experience defeat. Experiencing defeat may even be a good thing—a blessing in disguise—if you experience and learn from it without allowing it to defeat you.

When defeat or failure comes, go back to the drawing board and ask questions

Questions and answers are two sides of the same coin. Defeats raise important questions and lead to the discovery of many important answers.

Whenever defeat comes, don’t leave yourself to chance and become stuck and paralyzed as many others do. Ask yourself what you’re missing, what can be improved, what went wrong, etc.

Calm down, ask questions, look for answers, then learn and develop. Look at defeats as sources of breakthroughs because they put people in corners or situations that force them to think their way out and become conquerors.

Defeats often led and still lead to the discovery of alternative methods of doing things. It prompts inquisitive people to go back to the drawing board and gain more insight to find items or activities that are more productive or effective than the existing ones.

The only way not to benefit from defeat is by not learning from it

People usually fail in one way or another, all the time, but many don’t learn a thing or two. They don’t pay attention to the details and lessons in defeats or failures.

They don’t listen to the sounds of the problems that defeat or failure exposes. If they would, it could make them better and more prepared to seize many defeats or failures by the horn and achieve more success.

It’s high time we come to terms with the fact that every defeat or failure has the potential to give us valuable lessons and instructions on how to improve and become better, if we really pay attention and get inquisitive—ask questions.

Paying attention to defeats in a positive way can help to turn pessimistic views into optimistic ones, overcome obstacles, turn disappointments into opportunities, and prove what is right by showing what is wrong or unnecessary.

Important Things to Consider before Choosing a Cryptocurrency Wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet is a device that is used to access and manage one or more cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency wallet is a software that enables people to access and manage cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency wallets are of different types. Each type is capable of catering for different user goals which may even require more than one type of crypto wallet to achieve.

Before you eventually settle for a particular crypto wallet, it may be important for you to conduct research on the types of crypto wallet options that exist and their characteristics, and determine how well they can suit your needs and crypto investment goals.

This article discusses some important things you should consider before choosing a cryptocurrency wallet to store, access, and manage your cryptocurrency:

1. Security

Although online (hot) crypto wallets may be more convenient to use than offline (cold) crypto wallets, online wallets aren’t the most secure types of wallets.

If you are an active crypto investor or trader, or have a lot of cryptos, it is advisable to use a highly secure cold wallet to store most of your crypto assets offline.

Even if most of your cryptos are offline, you can always transfer them to an online crypto wallet whenever you want to make use of them for different purposes such as investing and shopping.

Important questions you may ask yourself when considering the most secure crypto wallets:

  • is the website (for the crypto wallet) secure?
  • what type of authentication does the crypto wallet use?
  • are there online reviews about the crypto wallet?

(Note: You may have to search the internet for one or more websites that provide reviews for different types of crypto wallets.)

2. Ownership

Some crypto wallets can handle different types of cryptocurrencies, while some others can’t. Many crypto wallets have their respective official wallets for just one cryptocurrency.

If you’re interested in one cryptocurrency, and not that interested in diversifying among many cryptocurrencies, then you can settle for the official cryptocurrency wallet that is designed to hold the particular cryptocurrency of your interest.

(Note: The official wallet of a cryptocurrency is usually found on the crypto company’s website.)

However, if you wish to have more than one cryptocurrency in a wallet, then go for a multicurrency wallet which is similar to the majority of online wallets that makes it possible for users to store different cryptos and make transactions between/among multiple cryptos.

3. Transaction fees

Transaction fees are a pressing issue for some crypto investors or enthusiasts. If it’s also an issue for you, especially if you’re involved in a lot of crypto shopping, then you need to research and find out the likely transaction fees you may have to be paying if you are using a particular wallet.

Knowledge of the transaction fees is very important to active crypto investors and traders who, when ignorant about transaction fees, may carry out a lot of transactions and end up paying more for transaction fees and earning less from their investments.

What is the point of being an active investor when you are incurring losses because of transaction fees?

4. Anonymity

Although not equally important to everyone, anonymity is another aspect you may consider when choosing a crypto wallet. Why? Because anonymity can give you an extra layer of security by helping you put a divide between your online presence (personal life information) and your crypto funds.

Some crypto wallets offer complete anonymity, while some others don’t. Anonymity makes it difficult for people to track and steal cryptos tied to your personal information.

If you want to be anonymous, especially if it will boost your security, then choose the most private wallets such as Electrum, BitLox, and Samourai, depending on your needs.

Focus on the Moment, Not on the Monsters that May or May Not Appear Tomorrow

Most people start life from a disadvantaged position and, over the course of time, some of them become just fine! By focussing on the moment, taking things one at a time, second after second, minute after minute, hour after hour, they empowered more necessary thoughts, eliminated unnecessary thoughts, and enhanced their individual ability to keep the wheels rolling.

Generally, we are limited by our very human nature and can’t always think outside the box like GOD can. As a result, we usually place ourselves in the most unfair and limited position by focussing endlessly on the obstacles of the past and future of almost everything we can possibly think of, instead of focussing on the moment.

But the few individuals who go above and overboard aren’t always omniscient or omnipotent! Yes, they aren’t always sure whether their existing problems will disappear or become worse. However, one thing they’re certainly sure of is placing their utmost focus on the situation(s) at hand—the present moment. While concentrating on the moment, they find it easier to handle real obstacles—the obstacles of the moment!

Focussing on obstacles that may or may not appear tomorrow can get you and your emotions worked up in over-thinking, and limit the amount of energy and quality of focus you can actually develop to handle real problems—the problems of the moment.

What matters is “quick-fire” focus on the moment

If you have a pressing problem or obstacle now—at the moment—would it matter whether this moment is the worst moment for you to be alive? Would it really matter if you waste your time conceiving thousands of different thoughts about monsters or problems which may or may not even appear in the future? No, it wouldn’t!

Unfortunately, it is usual for people’s imaginations to sway beyond the present into the past and future, without ever taking note of the fact that projected obstacles—which may never appear in the future—are not as real as the present obstacles which are the ones that require the utmost focus.

Living in the present can be very demanding, but the more we embrace the moment—the present—the easier it becomes to face obstacles, tackle them, and move on.

Obstacles have to be viewed in a different light: we can use them as opportunities to focus on the present moment, take our best actions one step at a time, and be content to focus on/deal with results as they arise from our actions.

Jobs that May Increasingly Continue to be Replaced by AI and Robots

As artificial intelligence (AI) and robots continue developing and becoming more intelligent and sophisticated, many governments and economies have to be concerned about where the trend could lead to.

Yes, it is likely that robots will increasingly continue to replace human workers. But what number and types of jobs will increasingly continue to be replaced by robots?

For sure, nobody can be quite certain. Therefore, it is much more important now—than at any other time in history—for people to be aware of the possibilities that surround the future of jobs that are under the radar of AI.

It’s also much more important for people to study to a greater extent and acquire new and diverse skill sets that can keep them grounded in case detrimental changes occur in work/workforce in the future. 

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee (founder of Sinovation Ventures, and a leading expert on the growth of AI) made a statement regarding the types of jobs that will most likely be replaced by robots: “Every job which takes less than 5 seconds to think will be done by robots”.

This statement can serve as a helpful guideline for people who wish to make projections into the future, especially when considering their personal jobs. Think for a moment about the countless types of jobs that exist and select a few you can do without using up to 5 seconds to think.

In order to have a firmer job security in a future where robots will likely perform tasks that can be done by taking less than 5 seconds to think, people have to acquire the type of skills that enable them perform more creative and complicated tasks that are somewhat outside the league of AI and robots.

But which jobs are within the league of AI and robots and may increasingly continue to be replaced by AI and robots? According to the author of Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford, routine and repetitive jobs will be first replaced by/assigned to robots: “I personally believe that, in the future, we could well get into a situation where jobs simply disappear. And it will be especially any kind of job that is routine or repetitive on some level. A lot of those jobs are going to disappear.”

Most people wrongly assume that routine, automated, or repetitive tasks are not white-collar jobs. However, if we pay close attention to Dr. Lee’s statement and appreciate the potential of robots and AI technologies, we will come to realize that robots and AI technologies can also replace some white-collar jobs.

In fact, several experts in the field of AI once noted that the jobs that analyze data and trends will be the first to be occupied by robots. Unsurprisingly, tasks that were once performed by 600 traders employed by American investment bank Goldman Sachs Group, were later being performed by only 2 human beings and an orderly system of AI tools.

In addition to the financial and healthcare industries, it seems most jobs in the transportation industry will also be increasingly replaced by robots. Self-driving cars are already replacing jobs like taxi driving, and it may even become more common to see ships, boats, and aircraft controlled by AI and robots instead of humans.

Futurist Thomas Frey believes that up to 64 jobs will disappear when self-driving cars eventually become very popular. Among his list include the following:

  • taxi, bus, and Uber driving jobs
  • fire truck, ambulance, and tractor driving jobs
  • delivery and courier jobs
  • road construction/traffic control flagger jobs
  • traffic analyst jobs
  • forklift driving jobs
  • lawnmower and snowplough operator jobs
  • automated fruit harvester operator jobs
  • valet jobs
  • auto sales jobs
  • account managers
  • auto and transmission repair shop jobs
  • etc.

Generally, the jobs or tasks listed above don’t require much use of human qualities such as intuition, complex communication, negotiation, creativity, emotional intelligence, and training/coaching.

But to a great extent, they involve physical labor and their outcomes are direct and predictable, thus making them exceptional candidates that are qualified to be replaced by AI and robots.

Concentrating on the Things Within Your Power, Enhances Your Power

Could you make a list of things that are not within our power as humans? A list of things that don’t depend on us, our feelings, or whatever we think? They may be uncountable, but at least the list would have enough room to include: the weather, the economy, natural disasters, regional or world trends, etc.

Fortunately enough, on the other hand are actually many things that are within our power—things we can control. But most people consciously or unconsciously focus and waste energy on the things that aren’t within their control, and are thus outside their league.

Every ounce of energy used on the things we can’t influence is self-indulgent, a waste, and can lead to self-destruction if one is not careful. A lot of power is frittered away by focusing and wasting time on things that we can’t control or regulate.

Even more harmful is the mental energy many people waste while chasing the winds: chasing those things we think we can change, when all heaven and earth knows that we can’t because their foundations are outside our human league.

That an employer decided not to employ you, is not within your control. It’s not under your power to decide for employers, so get over it and focus on becoming better and ready for a bigger opportunity in the future.

But it’s within your control to become better in your field or profession. It’s within people’s control to fight against their personal drug usage and addiction problems. Many things are up to you, within your power, and depend on how determined you are.

The things under our control are like playing fields in the game of life, while those that aren’t are like rules and regulations of the game of life—rules and regulations that we cannot bend.

No matter how inflexible they are, and how helpless we are against uncontrollable circumstances, you won’t stand much to gain by focussing on them.

But you can gain more momentum and power by using the same amount of time to focus entirely on those things that are within your power or control.

Achieving Success Despite Facing Obstacles that Hold Many People Back

Almost every now and then, we face obstacles—an unexpected, unfortunate, frustrating, and problematic issue—that prevent us from doing what we want to do.

Unknown to many of us, embedded in the issue or problem are benefits—benefits only for the person to whom the issue or problem is unique.

What do most people do with the issue or problem? They do nothing because it paralyzes them. They wish the issue would be just a mere empty thought, but it is reality.

Despite the reality of any issue, there is something that is highly valuable and equally/more of a reality: the possibility for you to succeed despite facing the obstacles that have held and still hold other people back.

Obstacles are usually general but, in a way, unique to each of us

The obstacles that block us are obvious and real. Every obstacle is somewhat unique to each individual because of the different or slightly different types of responses they elicit from each individual: hope, optimism, helplessness, pessimism, frustration, depression, fear, anger, etc.

Obstacles may include but aren’t limited to: race; height; age; size; poverty; high emotional stress; lack of confidence; inexperience; prejudice; skyrocketing costs of education; laws or regulations; crumbling, disintegrating, or decaying public/government or private institutions; etc.

Although we are dissatisfied with our position in the world, jobs, relationships, etc., and blame the economy, our bosses, and politicians when we can’t achieve our goals, we usually forget to fault our own individual attitudes or approaches to the general obstacles that many other people face but only a few overcome and achieve success.

In many instances, we need to face and work to overcome obstacles, instead of dodging them

When confronted by obstacles, and even failure, most people try to hit the road and run away. Even when they succeed in running away, it usually makes them become reactive, disoriented and torn apart.

However, if we look elsewhere, back into the past, or not too far away from us, we would notice that some individuals have turned the very obstacles we face into launching pads for success.

If you look elsewhere, back into the past, or not too far away from you, you would clearly sense and conclude that anyone can still succeed despite facing obstacles that hold many other people back.

If you read a little bit more history, then you would find out that earlier generations of mankind faced much more difficult problems than present or recent generations and were able to use the obstacles to progress, while most of us are still stuck in similar obstacles of the present-day.

Maybe we need to understand, appreciate, and discover how to use the obstacles that life throws at us

If we look elsewhere, back into the past, or not too far away from us and see the unimaginable obstacles and day-to-day frustrations that great men and women had to overcome before achieving success, we may need to change our individual perspectives about obstacles and learn how to use them for our own good.

If we look elsewhere, back into the past, or not too far away from us, and see the resistance, rivalries, stresses, drama, challenges, breakups, economic calamities, and pressures that some successful people had to experience and endure before achieving success, we would have a stronger mindset and more positive outlook on the obstacles of life.

Great and successful individuals find ways to transform obstacles into opportunities and weaknesses into strengths

It is inspiring to look elsewhere, back into the past, or not too far away from us, and see people progress further in life by using what should have held them backward in failure.

It is inspiring to look elsewhere, back into the past, or not too far away from us, and see great men and women of history use obstacles to fuel their ambition and create fortune from misfortune, instead of allowing discouragement and pessimism to take control.

If you conduct thorough research about people who achieved success and were outstanding, you will discover that successful or outstanding people come through obstacles in different shapes and sizes. They could be:

  • basketballers who weren’t tall
  • athletes who were too small
  • members of a race who didn’t “fit in”
  • musicians who were deaf
  • footballers who were initially subpar
  • bastards and immigrants who were “unrefined”
  • dropouts who were initially ill-mannered
  • disabled or dyslexics
  • etc.

But what happened despite their background or the obstacles they faced? They put in more effort. They hustled to grow in areas where they were lacking. They practiced harder! They paid their full dues! They achieved success even though many—maybe, even far too many—in their shoes gave up.

Although the obstacles might have kicked them around a bit, they still used the obstacles as opportunities and flipped each one to their advantage. We can do the same: regardless of whether we experience difficulty in getting a job, while running on less money, fighting against discrimination, locking horns with a hater, etc., we can use obstacles to our advantage if we take a closer look at them.

Types of Coordinate Systems for 2D and 3D CAD Modeling/Drawings

Computer-aided design (CAD) drawings are produced and stored in relationship to a coordinate system, especially Cartesian coordinate system, polar coordinate system, cylindrical coordinate system, and spherical coordinate system.

Regardless of the CAD software system that will be used in 2D and 3D CAD modeling or to produce CAD drawings, it is important to understand the basics of the most widely used coordinate systems in CAD softwares.

Majority of CAD systems use the right hand rule, as applied to coordinate systems. Although it is quite rare, some CAD systems use the left-hand rule.

To get a clear illustration of the right-hand rule, do this: as shown in Figure 1 below, stretch the thumb of your right hand—to represent the direction of the positive x-axis; stretch the index finger of your right hand—to represent the direction of the positive y-axis; and stretch the other remaining fingers of your right hand to represent the direction of the z-axis.

Figure 1: The right hand rule, as applied in coordinate systems (Source: Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th edition.)

The right hand rule is also related to the popular Cartesian coordinate system which can be used to express drawings in 2D (x, y) and 3D (x, y, z). When using a computer for 2D (two-dimensional) or 3D (three-dimensional) modeling, the face of your computer screen represents the 2D or xy plane, and the z-axis represents the axis pointing directly towards you, as indicated in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2: Z-axis pointing towards your direction, as computer screen face represents the 2D or xy plane. (Source: Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th edition.)

Two-dimensional (2D) CAD systems use only the x– and – coordinates of the Cartesian coordinate system, while 3D CAD systems use the x-, y-, and z– coordinates. When representing a 2D system in a 3D CAD system, the line of view is along the z-axis. Figure 3 below shows an orthographic view or 2D drawing produced with only x and y values, with the z-coordinate set at 0.

Figure 3: Computer screen face showing a CAD drawing in 2D or xy plane. (Source: Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th edition.)

Orthographic views show only two of three coordinate directions, with the line of view generally considered to be along one axis—usually the z-axis. Two-dimensional CAD drawings are the same: they are produced with and represented by ­x and y coordinates, while the z-axis is the line of view.

As stated, in a CAD system, the 2D (xy)­ plane is aligned with the computer screen, while the z-axis is pointing horizontally and directly towards the person using the computer. However, in machining and many other applications, the z-axis is regarded as the vertical axis. Regardless of the name given to an axis, the coordinate axes (x, y, and z) must be perpendicular to each other (mutually perpendicular).

It is more important to understand how to use axes or coordinates in a model/drawing than to name the direction of default axes and planes. As shown in Figure 4 below, the structure of a 3D object is identified by its x, y, and z coordinates, with the location (0, 0, 0) taken as the starting point from which other points are plotted.

Figure 4: The coordinates for a 3D drawing (Source: Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th edition.)

Coordinate systems/formats used to specify locations or points

Although 2D and 3D models/drawings are stored in a single Cartesian coordinate system, a CAD user may be drawn into a situation whereby they would be required to specify locations of some features using other coordinate systems.

The most distinctive of these CAD geometry coordinate systems or location methods are absolute coordinates, relative coordinates, polar coordinates, cylindrical coordinates, and spherical coordinates:

  • Absolute coordinates are locations or points that are at a distance from a common point of origin in a Cartesian System. Locations are established using values on the x-, y-, and even z– axes. For example, in Figure 4 above, the absolute coordinate (3.5, 8, 4) represents a location that is 3.5 units away from the x-axis origin (0), 8 units away from the y-axis origin (0), and 4 units away from the z-axis origin (0). In other words, we can say that the location is (3.5, 8, 4) away from the origin (0, 0, 0). In Figure 5 below, the point of origin (point B) is (0, 0) and there are five absolute coordinates located away from the point of origin (0, 0): A (0, ─4), C (─6, 3), D (6, 4), E (2, ─2), and F (─3, ─5). Generally, absolute coordinates express the position/location of the points of an object with respect to an origin of a given coordinate system.

Figure 5: Absolute coordinates in 2D (Source: Siyavula)

  • Relative coordinates are locations that are expressed in terms of their relative distances away from a reference point that is not the point of origin. Instead of specifying a location from the actual point origin, a relative coordinate can be used to specify a location in terms of the location’s distance away from a previous location.
  • Polar coordinates are 2D coordinate systems in which individual locations or points are defined in terms of an angle (in degrees) and distance away from an axis—the axis could be any of x, y, or z Polar coordinates are absolute if they express a location or point in terms of its angle away from an axis and distance from the origin; on the other hand, polar coordinates are relative if they express a location in terms of its angle and distance away from another location that is not the origin.

Figure 6: Polar coordinate (Source: Geogebra)

  • Cylindrical coordinates are locations that are specified in terms of a radius (r), an angle (θ), and distance a (z) which is usually in the z-axis direction. Any values attached to these terms are relevant for conveying information about locations or points that are on the edge of a cylinder. The radius tells the distance of the point from the center (or origin); the angle expresses the angular inclination of the point away from an axis (for instance, the x-axis shown in Figure 7 below) along which the point is located; and the distance expresses the height of the point on a cylinder. The difference between cylindrical coordinates and polar coordinates is that cylindrical coordinates include a height distance in the z-direction.

Figure 7: Cylindrical coordinate (Source: Mathinsight.org)

  • Spherical coordinates are locations that are expressed by a radius (ρ), an angle (θ) from the x-axis, and another angle () from a 2D (example: either yz or xy) plane. Spherical coordinates express the position of a point on a sphere, with the origin of the coordinate system at the center of the sphere, and the radius indicating the size of the sphere.

Figure 8: Spherical coordinate (Source: Millersville.edu)

Nature Has a Purpose for Every Person, Animal, and Thing

Since free will is part of life on Earth, it might be easy to understand why people, animals—and maybe even plants—tend to dislike things that are either dissimilar or similar to their nature or species.

But it won’t be easy for some people and even animals to come to terms with any dislike that is shown towards other people, animals, and things in the environment.

Even if we don’t like/aren’t fond of a particular person, animal, or plant, it’s important to always remember that Nature has a purpose for bringing whatever it has brought into existence.

From the things that can be seen, to things that can’t be seen, such as the uncountable tiny atoms that exist, everything is connected with Nature and has a task and purpose that keeps them interconnected with each other and connected to the whole.

Even the objects and activities inside our world are interconnected with other objects and activities outside of it—in the solar system and cosmos or boundless universe.

Everything exists because Nature, in its greatest wisdom, conceived and brought everything into existence with a purpose attached. It’s not the duty of people, animals, and things to thwart that purpose!

Why the hatred, annihilation, or extinction of part or whole species, especially when nothing is at stake?

It’s disheartening that, because of hatred, jealousy, or some other unexplainable reason, some humans and animals show utter contempt, maim, and exterminate species or races that are different from or even the same with their own.

Why is there the tendency or desire to create nothingness out of the very things that Nature created for a purpose? Why the urge to impose one’s will and do away with an aspect of Nature that was created to be sustained regardless of how some people and animals think it shouldn’t?

Why aren’t we more inclined to view ourselves fortunate enough to have been conceived, created, and brought into have Nature? Everyone has the inborn ability to sustain Nature’s creations. That ability is like a small flame, and we are its guardians!

So, our job isn’t to utterly hate, debase, annihilate, or exterminate what we don’t like; rather, our job is to ensure that Nature’s offsprings are sustained as much as possible and live to the fullest extent possible.

Every individual has their own unique version of Nature’s flame and is responsible for using it, and especially directing it to enhance their own welfare and the welfare of Nature’s creations. If each one of us fails in this regard, the world will become much darker than it is.

However, if our flame flickers and we direct it as rightly as Nature wishes, then there will continue to be sustenance and light in the world. And the light would only become brighter.

Obstacles are Opportunities to Become Better, Stronger, and Successful

Figuratively and literally speaking, life is a battlefield. We have been stationed in different posts. Each person’s life is like a military campaign, confronted by obstacles as it progresses on the way.

Obstacles usually cause uncomfortable twists and turns that prompt us to keep watch like soldiers and do what we’re commanded to, even when it’s not always easy to follow orders—from above.

As individuals, we live to fight in one way or another! We fight to pull through and remain alive in a world that consists of people who are mostly indifferent and don’t care enough about their fellow human beings’ welfare and survival.

Every now and then we fight obstacles and challenges that are against our goals, our dreams, and the unique person we are working hard to become.

Although obstacles can impede our actions, it can’t impede our attitudes which have power to adapt and use obstacles as opportunities

We cannot evade all obstacles. If not today, then certainly in the future, one obstacle or another will appear in direct or indirect opposition to our plans. The obstacles may even threaten the foundation of the things we’ve erected or succeeded in putting in place.

Fortunately, we will always have a chance to study obstacles, adapt ourselves to them, and use them to develop higher, become wiser, and even succeed where people have failed.

We will have the chance to take a negative situation, turn it around and use it as an opportunity to develop a skill or unintended virtue, and become better prepared or more resilient when facing other types of pressing challenges in the future.

Use your obstacles (opportunities in disguise) to strengthen your personality

If an obstacle is preventing you from achieving your dreams on time, then your time of waiting might be the best time for you to use to practice or cultivate patience. Patience is important. Having more patience can keep you more grounded in certain areas or aspects of life.

If an employee has made a mistake and created an obstacle that is causing delays, then maybe it’s time for you to use the mistake or obstacle as an opportunity to teach other employees an important lesson from the mistake.

If someone has betrayed you or hurt your feelings, then maybe it’s time to learn how to forgive or be more forgiving—practice forgiveness.

If a situation is too difficult or hard, but we are too soft, then maybe it’s time for us to face the obstacle, squarely, and become stronger. When obstacles arise and we must face them, then we need to have an attitude that believes we will benefit from the obstacles! We need to see the positive side of things!

If we are able to reason along these lines, we will come to realize that in some cases, if not many, we can gain something valuable (a virtue, a skill, a new idea, etc.) by facing those obstacles we need to face.

The Value of Real Estate Cycles: Understanding Buyer’s & Seller’s Markets

As it happens in other fields, it also happens in real estate: some real estate investors don’t monitor real estate market conditions, locally or globally, and end up losing ground where they could have won it.

Some investors make the big mistake of not continuously conducting research that can update them with information about recent economics of the local or global real estate market.

Some investors are only concerned about the money aspect of real estate; as a result, they aren’t even aware that real estate cycles exist and the tides of any real estate market can change when they least expect.

Lack of awareness about any change can lead investors to failure after investing their time and money and making so-called “juicy” or “promising” investments.

The old news (for those who know) and new news (for those who don’t know) is one and the same: the real estate market and criteria that influence people’s decisions are dynamic and do fluctuate. And their value deserves people’s attention.

Therefore, even if you’ve been successful in the past, or you plan to buy and hold real estate, you need to pay attention to/be up-to-date with the real estate cycle or market conditions.

Intelligent real estate investors always find time to monitor their markets to look for signs of real estate cycles which can open opportunities for real estate businesses.

On the other hand, lack of awareness of real estate cycles can stunt or halt the growth of a real estate business.

The fact that real estate markets are cyclical—they have cycles—is one major reason why you need to keep track of real estate market conditions and the timing of buyer’s and seller’s markets.

What is buyer’s market?

In real estate, a buyer’s market situation occurs when property owners aren’t able to sell their properties quickly because supply is higher than demand—i.e., the demand for properties is lesser than the supply.

This condition makes sellers more flexible with their prices and gives buyers an advantage over sellers. It opens great opportunities for investors to seek seller financing.

What is seller’s market?

A seller’s market situation occurs when property owners are able to sell their real estate properties quickly because the demand for them is higher than the supply.

This condition makes it possible for property sellers to receive multiple offers in a short period of time and even sell properties higher than their respective asking prices.

Real estate cycles, influenced by demand and supply

A real estate market may have either more demand, or more supply, or a comparably equal level of both. More demand for properties causes shortage of supply, increases rents, and appreciates the value of properties.

This can expand real estate businesses and lead to building of more properties. It other cases, it can even lead to overbuilding—meaning, high or excess supply of properties—and subsequent decrease in rents and property valuation when the real estate cycle changes—supply becomes higher than demand.

Some property investors believe that regardless of the economic situation or level of demand and supply, they don’t really need information concerning real estate cycles.

They believe they’ll be able to make it and expand their businesses, unhindered, because people will always search for places to buy or rent and live in.

Although this could be partially true, it is important to note that demand and supply fluctuate in different regions of the world, and the economic base of a region greatly impacts its rental rates, occupancy, and even tenant and buyer quality.

So, even if people are always going search for properties to live in, certainly, the same people would hardly ever demand for properties located in regions that are known or becoming known for issues such as fighting, wars, or being blown away by floods and earthquakes.

Various conditions can cause demand to be low or missing and create opportunities for investors to fall or rise, depending on the decisions they take.

Follow the path of knowledgeable and successful property investors who are aware that real estate has cycles and, with good timing, the real estate market can yield great dividends from wise decisions after tracking cycles and acquiring valuable information.

Better be Flexible Instead of Sticking to a Script

One of the most important abilities to acquire in life is the ability to train the mind to adapt to or be flexible about any circumstances, especially the ones that push you to the edge or put you on the cliff.

Even if certain difficult or challenging circumstances take you off your plan or script, the ability to be flexible and adapt—if present—can keep you balanced and grounded until tides turn in your favor. 

But, as the case seems to be for a handful of us, for one reason or another, we don’t want to adapt, we aren’t ready to flex ourselves when the straight roads of life become crooked, even beyond our wildest expectations.

Actually, it would be very helpful if someone informs us about what would happen ahead of time. It would be awesome if someone shows us exactly what we need to do in every type of situation, regardless of whether it’s good or bad.

But, as we all know, the world doesn’t work that way for almost everybody: we don’t always have premonition about what will happen to us in the near or far future, neither thus anyone tell us (most of the time) exactly what we need to do correctly in every situation.

We spend an appreciable part of our lives preparing for the future so that we can be equipped and ready before time, but plans often change suddenly and beyond our control. Really, as great boxer Mike Tyson once remarked, “plans last only until you get punched in the face”.

After having plan and expectations in place, if you can’t adapt or exercise some degree of flexibility when the rough and crude adversities of life raise their heads and punch you in the face, then you will become handicapped or fall off the path.

It’s good to have plans but not always good to stick to the scripts for plans. Why? Because, as humans, the number of things and plans we can control are limited or even very limited. Major things or events can change at any moment.

We don’t always have an answer for every question or a plan for every contingency. Our scripts or plans can be changed a bit or completely by forces beyond our control: they can be edited or deleted without our consent.

But this doesn’t mean we can’t adapt or be flexible. It doesn’t mean we have to cave in.

We need to be confident that we’ll adapt, be flexible and change for the better, depending on the circumstances

If you seek for answers to all questions or perfect plans for every contingency, you’ll not always find them. However, you can be able to find the confidence that you’ll be able to adapt.

Some people may need to adapt by looking for more knowledge. Other people may need to adapt or be flexible by cultivating more skills or creativity.

Yet, a different category of people may need to adapt by being more independent and developing the ability to solve problems on their own instead of depending on the crowd.

We all are on different stages of evolution or development. By adapting in whatever way we may be required to, we become more resilient instead of rigid and stand in a better position to weather the storms of life.

Conclusion

Be flexible instead of sticking to a script!

Regrouping After Failure

Getting back after failure. Starting after quitting. Winning after losing. Regrouping after failure! No matter what you call it, it’s important not to allow setbacks or failures make us quit permanently, even when we temporarily give up on our dreams.

Quitting doesn’t mean you’ve permanently given up on your dreams; in most cases, it means you should quit using strategies and plans that are obviously not working for you. It means you should accept failure at the moment, temporarily, and stop to regroup on a more promising foundation.

Maybe you need to re-evaluate your product, target market, or overall marketing strategy. Maybe you’re focussing too much on customers who are not interested, so you need a change. Maybe your service or product doesn’t solve people’s problems, so you need to bring something else that solves problems.

No matter the area you’ve failed in or number of times you’ve failed, you can regroup to succeed elsewhere if you play your cards right. No matter what you’ve done right or wrong to attract failure, you can always regroup after failure. It’s never too late to start on the road to success.

Many people need to regroup by either fine-tuning their marketing strategy, finding a different or more promising product, or scrapping their entire service and concentrating on the things that really matter—the things that can keep your dreams alive.

As most successful people do, do whatever you need to do

No matter the necessary changes you need to make to get or keep the wheels rolling, go ahead and make them. It is better to quit, put aside all your past irrelevant effort, and start all over instead of continuing on a failed path that is destined to remain unproductive.

Many successful people experienced failure even after doing all they needed to do. Their failures prompted them to quit and regroup in another way, or elsewhere, and under a more profitable and promising setting that eventually attracted success later on.

Traf-O-Data (Bill Gates’ first company) failed because Gates and his partners weren’t able to make the company’s product work. Despite this, Bill Gates didn’t quit permanently.

Richard Branson was almost sent to prison when establishing his first Business, Student Magazine. He didn’t quit. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple in 1985 but regrouped instead of quitting, and found continuous success along the way.

Each person is likely going to fail at some point

Many successful people usually try a lot of things, but some or many of them eventually don’t work. Regardless of the positive or negative outcomes of their activities, successful people understand that may fail at some point; however, they don’t give room for failure to make them quit, permanently.

Successful people have the popular Japanese proverb at heart, “fall down seven times, stand up eight”. You should too: no matter how you fail, regroup after failure. Regroup with all you’ve got left on you.

Regroup and continue with what you were working on, or regroup and focus on something else that has a higher chance of yielding success. Regroup, stand up, and have great expectations for what comes next.

Conclusion/Advice

From the earliest of ages, it’s important to always realize that failing, falling, quitting, and regrouping are all parts of becoming successful or achieving success. In fact, failure is part of success.

Although failure is part of success, on the other hand, it could also be part of failure and lead to greater failure if we continue engaging in things that won’t/don’t work, instead of quitting and focussing on things that could work.

When to Stop an Internet Business Even if You’re Determined Not to Give Up

The internet is filled with many businesses, blog owners, and site proprietors that have varying degrees of success and failure: good, bad, and anything in between.

While many people have had success in their respective internet businesses, it is likely they have also tried some things and failed, maybe even woefully.

Many people had dreams to gain more control over their time and become financially independent; they started out but came to an abrupt halt, not because they wanted to quit, but because staying on course would be futile and self-destructive.

Some people created websites for audiobooks and shut down after eventually believing that there wouldn’t be any profitable way to market their product.

Others created a database of educational materials and dumped their online project because they believed it wouldn’t help any of the countless visitors that tour the internet on a daily basis.

And yet others started other types of internet businesses, but quickly stopped after eventually realizing how much effort and time would be required to get it up and running.

Regardless of what happens after you start an internet business, there will always be two options for you: to continue doing it or quit and focus on other things that have a higher potential to help you achieve your goals.

Quitters can win after quitting and starting all over

There is a popular saying that “winners never quit and quitters never win”. In the internet world, this saying doesn’t really convey or depict many possible or real-life scenarios because the truth of the matter is that in many other instances, winners or “quitters” can win by quitting and starting something different when they realize that what they are doing at the moment is not working.

Sometimes quitters—those who quit and start somewhere else—become winners after leaving what was working years ago but isn’t working today, and starting elsewhere or something different. What was working tremendously well some months or years ago, might work slowly today, or it not even work at all.

But this doesn’t’ mean that in all instances we have to give up. We don’t! However, if a technique was making a highly successful business to be very productive 10 years ago, but doesn’t work today, then it may be unnecessary to continue using it—except if you don’t wish to make money from it.

Also, it is unnecessary to start an online business and stay glued to it when nothing about it—according to your taste or desire—is working. You should have had enough when nothing is working; you need to take a bow, stop or quit, and start somewhere or something else.

Winners often quit in order to free up space and start again before they eventually win. By quitting and starting elsewhere, many “quitters” ended up reversing their situations and becoming winners.

Winners do what they need to do. They know when to start all over instead of continuing on a failed path that’s doomed for permanent failure. Winners understand the value of time and won’t continue investing time and effort on things that don’t attract certain types of valuable tangible or intangible values.

Winners know that though they are determined not to give up, whenever it is necessary, they have to stop engaging in activities that don’t make their internet businesses work; they don’t need to continue failing at something over and over when it’s destined not to bring different or successful results.

Understanding the difference between a brief setback and lasting failure—when not to quit and when to quit

It is easy to understand when to quit if one knows the difference between brief setbacks (challenges), and lasting failure which would be better to quit from and face something else that has higher potential to boost our lives.

Brief setbacks bring out the best in us; they can make us become much better and create meaningful and lasting changes. On the other hand, lasting failure can annihilate us if we continue working over the same stuff without seeing any positive or expected changes.

If you’ve tried all you can, but still see hope or shimmers of light at the end of the tunnel, then, don’t quit! It’s advisable to push forward beyond the dip. However, if you cannot see and make success after doing everything possible and necessary, then maybe it’s time to quit and try something different with your available time.

In other words, if you’ve put a lot of effort into your internet business, especially for an extended period of time, but don’t see progress and the potential or possibility for progress, then you may do yourself a lot of good by quitting and trying something different.

Remaining stuck is not the best option. Even though many people know the strengths, weaknesses, and detailed requirements to achieve success in their business, they behave like novices and remain stuck instead of quitting and looking for success elsewhere.  

Advice

The decision to quit your internet business is a serious one. Don’t just give up because you don’t want to do the things you need to do to get your engine rolling. Stay on track and continue doing all that is required of you, but quit when you feel you’ve exhausted all important ideas and there is little or no possibility for your internet business to actually work.

Stop Caring about What People Think

It’s almost always surprising to see how difficult it is for us humans to ward off feelings about what other people think about us. Even though we love and pay more attention to our own selves—individually—than we pay to other people, we end up putting more attention on other people’s opinions and just can’t stop caring what they think!

We are immensely happy with our own lives, but start becoming discontented immediately we find out that someone else or other people have a problem with ourselves and our possessions.

We think a shoe looks good on us at the store, but view it with shame and disgust when peers and people make fun of it later. Why is it easier to quickly disregard our own thoughts and feelings about something and adopt someone else’s thoughts?

Despite the appreciable or high degree of self-love we possess, we seem to give way too much credence to the opinions that our peers and other people have of us.

Such credence, if allowed to get out of control, could make us lose focus on our destiny as individuals, the aim which is to be an individual who doesn’t have to care or depend on what people think.

Why feel good about our talents and achievements only when people validate them?

Most people feel good about their abilities or potentials only when they are validated by third parties whose opinions are usually out of our control. Maybe, most people don’t know that even though each person can control only their individual opinion, they can’t exert complete control over what other people think.

Therefore, it’s dangerous and time-wasting to put our usually heavy hearts at the mercy of other people’s opinions, trying to gain validation from other people based on what they think of us.

Don’t waste all your time thinking about what other people think of you—how they evaluate your looks, actions, plans, activities, etc. Only think and deeply care about what you think.

Instead of thinking about what other people think, think about the positive results you expect, the impact you expect it to make, and all the right things you ought to be doing.

Expect to Change Your Opinions

It may take a short or long time for you to change some of your opinions about different things. It may even take longer! On the other hand, you may not change your opinions altogether, especially if you’re not in accord with obvious reasons why you should change them.

Maybe because most of us are too lazy to get to work and query our opinions, we tend to take the easier path of not wanting to consider some opinions further—talk less of changing them when necessary—so that they don’t become liabilities which they are.

For in many regards, if not all regards, wrong or faulty opinions are liabilities! Quite often, we start a project thinking we know how everything will go, and we meet people every day and assume we know who they are, but we end up finding out that some assumptions prove to be completely and utterly incorrect, and many opinions (initial opinions) are shallow or wrong in the first place.

We have to fight our wrong or shallow opinions the right way

To change our opinion from wrong to right or better, we must fight our preconceptions and biases by considering some angles around our opinions, especially angles that we haven’t explored or considered before.

To get a good or high-quality opinion, we may need to ask ourselves or other people questions: who, why, what, where, when? “Who broke into their office?”, “Why haven’t I thought about this?”, “What makes do it that way?”, “Where did I get it all wrong?”, etc.   

If you cannot get answers for all the questions tied to any opinion, be contented with any answers you get and use them to strengthen or change your opinion about aspects of the opinion that the answers are relevant to.   

We are not as wise or knowledgeable as we think we are

One lesson that life continues to teach is that no one is too young or old to learn something and increase the whole knowledge they have. We learn every day. Even if we don’t, there is always something available to learn every day.

The more we learn, the more we come to understand that we could possibly continue learning for all eternity; therefore, we should never believe that we are actually as wise or loaded as we assume we are. Asking questions and probing will change many or most of our opinions, if not all.

To become wise or wiser, we have to ask and probe when necessary and while in different situations. Asking and probing—without basing opinions on arrogance, mistrust, and any certainty that is not backed by substance—can help to change one’s opinions for the better, especially if they are applied in the right way.

History of Environmental Sustainability & Environmental Laws in the USA

From the very beginnings of the USA as a country, concerned individuals, leaders, and the government had made and still continue making efforts to prevent environmental degradation and land, air, and water pollution. The country’s efforts over a few centuries have laid a strong foundation for present-day environmental sustainability practices that have been taking an increasingly firm grip on the world.

As far back as 1634, when the term “environmental sustainability” was still light years away from seeing the light of day, regulations on public sanitation were enacted in Massachusetts. To prevent water pollution, the city of Boston decreed that people ought not to leave garbage or fish near the bridge or mutual landing between two brooks.

About 3,500 sanitary/medical practitioners lived and worked in the colonies that existed in the USA back in the day. Some of the duties they often performed, included the following:

  • Supply of pure water and prevention of polluting substances from contaminated water
  • Enforcement of practices aimed at keeping the environment clean
  • Control of inconveniences from filth and trades that had the potential to harm physical or mental health
  • Drainage of swamps, low-lying wetland that had grassy vegetation, and stagnant small lakes or bodies of water
  • Disposal of wastes, trash, excrement, etc.

As the United States continued to enlarge its size westward in the nineteenth century (1800s), people freely used natural resources; on the other hand, they indiscriminately discharged all types of pollutants on the land and into the water and air.

But between the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century (1900s), people started realizing the need to use natural resources more sustainably and conserve them for future generations.

This mindset helped create the Conservation Movement (also known as Nature Conservation) which was an environmental, social, and political reform movement whose goal was to preserve natural features and resources (such as animal species, plant species, and their habitat) in ways that would leave the environment in a more sustainable or better condition for the benefit of future generations.

President Teddy Roosevelt stood out and became an exemplary American leader who knew that the country’s development depended a lot on preserving natural resources and taking good care of the environment.

Sensing that the country would be depleted of natural resources, especially trees, and that pollution would threaten human life, especially in big cities, Roosevelt sought after the protection of water and the promotion of effective and sustainable land development. Civic associations, The Sierra Club, and individuals such as John Muir agreed with Roosevelt’s initiatives and efforts.

Because of the dangerous environmental and living conditions that existed in cities and which people were exposed to, anti-pollution programs were established and made a considerable impact from around the end of the Civil War (in 1865) to 1915.

The governments that were in power during that period, took some actions that are still being practiced in present-day environmental sustainability programs: they protected water sources, constructed sewerage/sewer systems, cleaned the streets, gathered and got rid of solid waste, set up parks, and started regulating air pollutants.

Care for the environment continued receiving increasing attention to a point that environmental laws were being passed in the form of “Acts”. The “Rivers and Harbours Appropriation Act” was passed in 1899; it prohibits “the discharge of refuse matter of any kind into the navigable waters, or tributaries thereof, of the United States without permit”.

Congress passed another environmental law, the “Pure Food and Drug Act” in 1905, to protect consumers or people from adulterated or contaminated and harmful food and drug products. Subsequent amendments—such as the “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” of 1936—regulated the pesticides used in the environment and—the “Food Quality Protection Act” of 1996—guaranteed that standards for the pesticides applied to foods, were instituted and enforced.

The “Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act” (FIFRA) Act was passed in 1947 to control the use or application of pesticides and ensure that, whenever they are applied, they won’t pose unreasonable risk to human health and the environment. The FIFRA was amended in 1972 and further amended in 1988 and 1996.

The “Atomic Energy Act” (AEA) was passed in 1954 to regulate the production and use of nuclear energy, nuclear power plants, and nuclear weapons facilities, and protect the health and safety of the public and environment.

Senator Gaylord Nelson created “Earth Day” on April 22, 1970, and about 20 million people throughout the USA showed their support for Earth Day and environmental protection after constantly seeing people living side by side with environmental pollutants. The first Earth Day in 1970 expressed people’s desire to see the general public take much better care of the environment and their own health and lives.

United States Congress passed the “National Environmental Policy Act” in 1969 to establish a broad structure and national policy for protecting the environment and preparing an environmental impact statement whenever the environment would have to be affected by certain actions or changes.

Programs were brought together from 15 different agencies and departments in order to create the “Environmental Protection Agency” (EPA) in 1970. And many additional environmental laws were passed in the form of Acts in order to protect people and the environment, at both federal and state levels.

To ensure sustainability was also applied to the coasts, an environmental law named “Coastal Zone Management Act” was passed in 1972 to permit the federal government and states to protect United States coastal areas from actions and overdevelopment activities that are regarded as “environmentally destructive”.

The “Marine Mammal Protection Act” was passed in 1972 to protect marine animals (such as sea lions, seals, dolphins, whales, manatees, seals, etc,) from becoming endangered. The “Endangered Species Act” was passed in 1973 to protect habitats that are havens for species of wildlife, fish, and plants that are becoming endangered in the United States. The “Fisheries Conservation and Management Act” was passed in 1976 to keep fish stock in a healthy state and prevent people from over-harvesting fish in the future.

The “Safe Drinking Water Act” was passed in 1974—and amended in 1986 and 1996—to establish drinking water standards and protect groundwater or underground environments that are saturated with water. And the “Federal Land Policy and Management Act” was passed in 1976 to protect federal lands that have ecological value.

The “Resource Conservation and Recovery Act” was passed in 1976 to establish standards for managing and properly disposing hazardous waste and preventing the creation of toxic waste dump sites in the environment. The “Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act” was passed in 1977 to ensure coal mining is regulated so it doesn’t degrade or destroy the environment and human and animal life.

The “Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act” was passed in 1980—and later underwent subsequent amendments—to ensure that sites contaminated by toxic wastes are cleaned up, even if the toxic wastes were placed there many years prior to the creation of such sites.

The “Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act” was passed in 1986 to ensure that industries or companies that produce toxic chemicals, inform communities or residential areas about the toxic chemicals they discharge on land and into the water and air.

The “Oil Pollution Act” was passed in 1990 to ensure that the organizations or people who pollute the environment through oil spills/spillage, take responsibility for any damage they cause to the environment or any natural resources.

Conclusion

Since each environmental law was passed or created by United States Congress, a lot of actions, scientific research, studies, environmental sustainability best practices, and programs have been pioneered throughout the country in order to promote sustainability and ensure that the environment is protected, and injuries and illnesses are prevented or abated.

Environmental Sustainability—Definitions & Brief Insight

Generally speaking, “sustainability” can be defined as the characteristic or attribute of being sustainable. Sustainability can also be defined as the ability of an object, thing, or individual to be sustained or maintained without becoming degraded, deteriorated, or weak.

The term “environmental sustainability” can be defined as long-term sustenance or maintenance of the environment by interacting with and treating it in ways that can conserve, protect, or avoid depletion/degradation of its components which include all the renewable and non-renewable natural resources and ecosystems that support the wellbeing of all life-forms, now and in the future.

Human, animal, and environmental wellbeing are closely linked with how well the environment and its constituents are treated, and how well the environment is maintained or sustained in a healthy state. One of the aims of practicing environmental sustainability is to ensure that today’s world and its population are utilizing resources to a great extent without putting the needs of future generations in jeopardy.

According to WHO (World Health Organization), about 24% of deaths around the world are caused by avoidable environmental factors—note the word “avoidable”. As the world has been experiencing the long-term negative effects of increasing energy use and industrial growth, its inhabitants have to act or behave in sustainable ways that can halt/help avoid or prevent further damage to the environment.

The practice of environmental sustainability demands that appropriate and adequate methods are implemented and skills are employed in creating and sustaining or maintaining environmental conditions that can make it possible for living and non-living things to exist in harmony with nature, while at the same time halting or eliminating harmful actions and substances that may affect the natural environment and cause sicknesses and injuries.

The practice of environmental sustainability considers and integrates all levels of environmental, social, and economic factors in ways that can help create and implement programs aimed at educating the masses about the environment, improving air quality, destroying things that contaminate the environment, developing a green environment, and efficiently using technologies to preserve all life-forms, land, air, water, ecosystems, minerals, and forests.

If properly implemented, environmental sustainability practices can reduce or halt hunger and poverty, create economic stability and growth, conserve natural resources much better, and help to achieve other conditions that can improve the quality of the environment for present and future generations.

Environmental sustainability can be implemented on a global scale through teamwork and the combined effort of different populations, businesses, industries, and governments at local, state, national, and international levels. The groups of individuals or governments that wish to achieve environmental sustainability, need to develop a clear-cut vision—based on any existing situation—with long-term or short-term aims and objectives, and implement programs using the best field-tested practices which need to be backed up by necessary budgets.

The Value of Being Ruthless to the Things that Don’t Matter

From childhood to adulthood, it usually takes a considerable time or number of years before some people become aware of the fact that certain things just don’t matter and aren’t worth a minute or second of one’s precious time.

Many people have wasted their destinies because they lost time and pace while following the crowd and engaging in greedy desires, pointless heartbreaks, foolish pleasures, and certain types of empty or unnecessary social amusements.

No wonder, after years of indulgence, it finally hit many people hard: they eventually found out how little or nothing of their own was left to them; at long last, they realized they had been digging up their graves before their time!

One of the most difficult things to do in life is to say “no” to certain things

It’s difficult for most people not to follow the crowd. It’s hard for most people to say “no” to the masses: it’s almost impossible for most people to say “no” to invitations, obligations, requests, and stuff that everyone else is indulging in.

It’s even much more difficult to say “no” to time-consuming emotions such as lust, anger, obsession, distraction, excitement, and many unimportant things that are unimportant because they can’t be changed in the future.

Although time-consuming emotions and impulses don’t look like they can be controlled from the outside, they run amok on the inside and make many people become committed to a point of no return.

If you aren’t careful, the things that don’t matter will consume your life

If we focus on things that don’t matter and become sloppy on the road to our destinies, then the things that don’t matter can become our Achilles’ heel and uncalled-for burdens that have the potential to consume or ruin our lives.

So, how can you get some of your valuable time back and put yourself back on track? How can you become more focused and concentrate on what you can change and ignore what you can’t change?

Start by being ruthless and saying “no” to things that don’t matter. You don’t always have to be a yes-man, especially to things that don’t matter. Learn to disagree and say a blunt and outright “no”—as in “no, thank you”, “no, I won’t gain something valuable by being part of that”, “no, I don’t want to get caught up in that”, etc.

Your “No” may turn people off, hurt some feelings, and ruffle some feathers, but the more you continue to say “no” to things that don’t matter, the more it will be easier for you to say “yes” and concentrate on things that matter. In return, this will help you focus on your destiny and enjoy your life—the type of life you desire!

Focussing on What You Can Change & Ignoring What You Can’t Change

The need or desire for change is part of life. Most people want to change almost everything Mother Nature has given them. They aren’t satisfied with many or most conditions in their lives; so they need changes which might even marvel Mother Nature who knows why she bestowed each person with certain abilities and conditions in the first place!

We all are quite aware that it’s impossible to change many things, and it’s easy to want something so bad, even when we’re completely aware that we can’t influence or change situations to get it!

Depending on how eager we are, it could be easy for us to focus on what we can’t change and difficult to focus on what is within our reach, which we can grasp or change.

Time wasted on things we can’t change is equal to time not spent on a number of things—probably many—that we can change or improve in our lives.

In order to have focus and be efficient in life, one should be able to recognize the difference between what they can change and what they can’t change, and focus on what they can change or influence, especially for the better.

If your flight is delayed because of a heavy storm or bad weather, raging over the pilot or storm won’t end the storm or make the weather better. No amount of concern over how tall or short you are, would make you taller or shorter.

Regretting about your country of origin won’t make it possible for you to be reborn in a different country. No matter how much you try, it won’t be possible for everyone to like you to the extent you desire!

A drug addict cannot change the influence of the neighborhood they were exposed to during childhood, nor can they change or undo the bad choices they made or problems they caused months or years ago.

Time spent on shouting and hurling yourself at immovable objects is time not spent on things that are within your control—the things you can change.

Good enough, through the chance and power we have in the present moment, each person can change some things in the future: we can actually control a number of choices we make today.

If we focus on the things that are within our control and ignore the things that are out of our control, we can have more control over our emotions and be happier than people who fail to understand that they are fighting an unwinnable battle by focussing on the things they can’t change.

May we always understand and accept the difference between what we can change and what we can’t change, and may GOD give us the power and serenity to accept the things we can’t change and focus on the things we can change!

Best Practices for Securing Your Cryptocurrencies & Crypto Wallets

Because cryptocurrencies have become highly valuable and continue to rise in value, it is crucial that best practices be employed to secure them along with the cryptocurrency wallets that store them, especially when hackers are knowledgeable enough to sometimes bypass high-level security in softwares and on online exchanges, and succeed in hacking people’s wallets.

No matter how secure you think your cryptocurrency wallet is, it is important to ensure that extra or all available steps are taken to enhance its security level, just like you would probably go the extra mile to ensure that the credit cards in your physical wallet are secure.

Cold or offline wallets are generally safer than hot or online wallets; however, if you are an active crypto trader, hot wallets are a better option because successful trading requires that traders be regularly online via hot wallets. This characteristic isn’t a feature of cold wallets, even though cold wallets are highly secure and can’t be as easily hacked as hot wallets.

Although hot wallets are more convenient to use, they aren’t the most secure types of wallets. Cold wallets, on the other hand, are much more secure and a great fit for storing larger amounts of cryptocurrency assets that won’t be used or touched for a definite or indefinite time period. If crypto assets are stored in cold wallets, but later have to be used for investing, trading, shopping, etc., they can always be transferred to hot wallets.

After selecting a cryptocurrency wallet that is aligned with your goals, it is important to consider the following tips which could help keep your crypto assets and wallet highly safe:

(1) Acquire many cryptocurrency wallets

We live in a time when it’s extremely important to be diverse—or diversify—instead of putting all our eggs in one basket. Acquiring a number of wallets and storing different amounts of crypto assets in each, is a great way to secure most of your total assets, especially if one or two of the wallets get compromised.

By having many wallets, it would be almost impossible to become bankrupt of cryptocurrencies if only one or two wallets are hacked, out of many. Preferably, you may want to save larger amounts of crypto assets in a combination of two or more hardware wallets, and keep the rest in smaller amounts spread across a number of different wallets.

(2) Back up your cryptocurrency wallets

Whether you decide to diversify your crypto savings or not, it’s important to enhance your cryptocurrency wallet security by backing it up just like files, documents, and photos are being widely backed up on computers.

The following information—including others, if available—should be regularly backed up in a secure local cloud: recent crypto addresses, PIN codes, usernames, passwords, and any important piece of information related to your wallet’s features.

Saving and backing up information would save you a ton of time and untold problems if you forget information like PIN codes, passwords, etc. Generally speaking, backing up can protect you from losses due to human errors, computer failures, or phone and computer theft which nobody can rule out with all certainty.

(3) Add more or all available security levels

Some cryptocurrency wallets have more or extra options that can be used to strengthen or tighten their security level. Here are some suggestions:

(a) Create a strong password and change it periodically

Although short passwords are easier to remember, when it comes to creating passwords for cryptocurrency wallets, it’s advisable to create a strong password of, if possible, not less than 16 characters long. It should consist of a mixture of lower- and upper-case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. Avoid creating passwords that are recognizable English words and contain only letters.

(b) Use two-factor authentication (2FA)

Depending on the type of wallet you acquire, “two-factor authentication” may or may not be present, but most wallets likely have this feature. If your wallet enables or allows “two-factor authentication”, use it to further heighten your cryptocurrency wallet security.

Two-factor authentication is a double authentication method that works in different ways: a combination of both email/password and phone number is one way, while a combination of both username/password and an app like the Google Authenticator app is another way. Google Authenticator app provides a six-digit code that is changed every minute but is still unique to you.

(c) Encrypt your wallet

Encrypting your wallet may require some technical familiarity, so you may have to contact your wallet provider if you need information on how to encrypt your wallet. Encrypting a wallet—and important backups, if necessary—would enable you to protect your wallet with a passphrase and against dubious people who may attempt to withdraw your cryptos without your consent.

(4) Update your wallet software as often as possible

Whether they exist on your desktop or mobile phone, it’s important to ensure that you’re always using the latest versions of your wallets. Therefore, watch out for updates and immediately them whenever firms send out updates that contain security and stability fixes. By regularly updating your wallet software, it would have the latest security features that can help prevent minor and major problems.

You Must Start With an Audience of One Follower Before Growing an Audience of Many Followers

A number of things have to come into play—especially, determination, consistency and longevity—before any blogger and site or domain owner can really amass an audience of many followers within a short or long period of time; regardless, each blogger or site owner must start with an audience of one follower before growing an audience of many followers.

Many people who acquire a domain or start blogging, lack patience, and wrongly assume that an audience of many followers can be amassed within a short time period—especially a few days, weeks, or months, etc.

A lot of bloggers and domain owners even lose determination and give up on blogging/their domains when they haven’t yet acquired a large following or popularized their brand name as fast as possible.

It’s important to note that, when it comes to attracting followers to a blog, site, or domain—usually—you can’t just attract an audience of many followers overnight or out of thin air, and achieve overnight success! You must first start with an audience of one follower before gradually growing an audience of many followers!

If we don’t ignore the phenomenon of gauging a blog’s or site’s success based on the number of followers, we may lose focus of content quality and production longevity which are very important

It’s unfortunate how many bloggers and site owners have been losing their blogs and sites because of the discouragement that surges within them, as a result of their small or stagnant audiences which could have grown after a certain period of time, if they hadn’t given up.

When starting a blog or site, most bloggers and site owners focus too much on the number of followers. If you do the same, especially during the early stages of your blog, and concentrate too much on the number of followers, you could lose long-term focus and be taken completely off course—away from growing a blog or site with many followers.

Usually, most bloggers and site owners base their blog’s or site’s level of success or failure on the number of people who feed off of their content: they tend to value their content and sites only in direct proportion to how small or large their audiences are.

Having this type of mindset can pose a great threat to any efforts we make and lasting impression we hope to make on the internet’s boundless landscape where content quality and quantity and lasting content production hold the most weight at the end of the day.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Living a New Story

Each one of us starts life as a baby, not a grown-up! Moving our bodies bit-by-bit and stretching our thoughts beyond our minds or imagination are the first steps we take in letting go of the baby we were and may have unconsciously thought we may continue to be.

Regardless of the conditions we lived in as babies, we never thought or assumed it was too late to start living a new story. That’s the same mentality we have to apply at any stage or age of life we get to, even if we don’t have full knowledge of the new or final identity that would await us after we start living a new story.

Each one of us becomes who we are by living a new story—here and there—along the way

In the journey of becoming ourselves, we don’t just live a new story once in our lifetime; we continue living a new story a number of times and never complete our overall story. Life is our craft; even at death, none of us actually becomes a master.

We aren’t designed to remain babies and continue living along a path that doesn’t suit our life calling. In many regards, living a new story is better than still living an old story and remaining in an irrelevant or less relevant spot.

Like babies of all animals do, you can and should stretch for the stars: stretch for what is out there where true changes occur, and start living a new story, no matter how scary the path may be.

Although we grow from babies to grown-ups in some areas of life, we still find out that we are babies that have to grow in other areas of life

Life is a process of continuous reinvention that has no end; for it is not fixed! Along the path of life, we are either following our life calling and becoming our true selves, or we are drifting away from our life calling and becoming a fake self.

Life takes us up and down and then up again; however, at different points in time, we usually arrive somewhere with a new set of abilities or skills and, more often than not, we find out that we have to start all over in some other regard or areas of life.

So, in order to continue growing, we must realize that it’s never too late to become who we are, and we must always be willing to start living a new story, especially if we find out that the old story has stopped suiting our life calling.

When living a new story, our priority should be to stretch out like real babies usually do: stretch out and away from what you know, and go in search for things that are new, things that you haven’t yet explored!

In doing so, you will continue to grow, build on who you are, and evolve in your being and outlook about life, without becoming stale in our wealth or fame or whatever you achieve!

The Possibility of Many People Losing Their Jobs to AI and Robots in the Future

The jobs that were done by people in bygone decades, centuries, and ages, were actually done only by people—through and through! But that hasn’t been quite the case in this age because modern-day AI technologies and robots have been taking up many jobs or job positions that were performed by humans decades, centuries, and ages ago.

With the exponential rise in technological advancements and the use of artificial intelligence and robots (or robotic and automation technologies) in this age, perhaps, one important question that has to be asked is: will many people in the world’s workforce be replaced by artificial intelligence and robots in the future?

What is the possibility that many people—not just few—could lose their jobs to AI and robots which have the capacity to do the same tasks as a large number of humans or manual labourers?

The possibility is actually there, and it seems to be on the high side. According to a report titled “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?”, two researchers, Michael A. Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey, noted that over the next two decades, up to forty-seven percent of workers in the USA will face the danger of losing their jobs to robots or AI technologies.

A study carried out by McKinsey Global Institute, titled “A Future That Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity”, predicts that by the year 2055, almost half of the tasks usually done by human beings, will be performed by robots; however, the study focused on specific tasks that are likely going to be automated; it didn’t focus on non-specific jobs. In another study, McKinsey Global Institute reckoned that, by the year 2030, AI technologies could take over the jobs of between 400 and 800 million workers.

If between 400 and 800 million people could lose their jobs to AI technologies in about a decade from today, then it is crucial for people to be learning skills that would enable them to engage in specific tasks that aren’t automated or aren’t likely going to be automated.

Because the possibility exists that many people could lose their jobs to AI technologies and robots in the future, people and governments should concentrate on other avenues of earning income (basic universal income, supplemental income programs, etc.) and easing themselves from financial burdens so that they won’t be in an awful situation if AI technologies and robots take up their job positions.

Advancements in AI technologies and robotics could pose a threat to people’s job security

Artificial intelligence has really helped mankind a lot; on the other hand, it has left bits of a sour taste in its train: one of the toughest challenges that people’s job security may face in the future could be due to the rapid changes that have been occurring in technologies that are aimed at enhancing artificial intelligence.

If left unchecked, this is an issue that may force countries, governments, public and private sectors, and experts in various fields to put heads together in order to find a balance that can permit maximum use of AI technologies and robots and prevent serious or any threats to people’s job security.

Although it’s not always possible to predict how new or newer technologies will increase the number of jobs in working places, it is important for the world not to neglect the possibility that continuous increase in AI technologies and robots could outnumber any additional jobs due to technological advancements; moreover, it’s important for the world to know how to handle it if it actually ends up happening, turning into an issue, and becoming detrimental to human welfare.

Stealing Away Little Time from Each Day can Still Help You Achieve Your Goals

Once we identify our goals and are ready to pursue them with all we’ve got, we have to take practical steps that may even require us to go through some form of “wear and tear” in order to achieve our goals. No matter what you need to do to achieve your goals, you will need time—probably sufficient time!

Some people who have sufficient time usually go all-out to achieve their goals, while some people who aren’t fortunate enough to have sufficient time usually slow down too much or stop moving towards their goals. So, if or when we don’t have sufficient time on our hands, what can we do to keep on covering ground and moving towards our goals?

If we still have our determination intact and on fire, we can still achieve our goals by stealing away a little time from each day and working on our goals while watching them take shape until they become reality.

Often, we think it’s the big steps that achieve immediate goals, but usually, it’s a series of small steps that eventually do the job

Careful observation of every great achievement proves that a series of steps—usually small ones—make up big steps and create great achievements. More often than not, dreams aren’t achieved overnight; they gradually take shape until they are eventually achieved in their entirety.

If you are someone who doesn’t generally have sufficient time, you can still do bits of stuff for some minutes or hours each day—or every day—and eventually end up achieving that big or great goal you so much desire. Never forget the saying: “little drops of water make up the big ocean”.

When you don’t have sufficient time on your hands, find a way to forcefully steal away little time from each day—or every day—and take “small small” steps which, when added together over time, create big steps and help to achieve goals.

Although the effort you make every day may seem small and even insignificant, it adds up over time and produces something great! Surely and eventually, “small small” steps and changes over time create massive results.

You Don’t Have to Assume an Identity Given to You by Other People

We live in a world where it is easier to conform to what people expect of us; we dwell in a sphere of the universe where it is more difficult to do what our heart or life calling expects from us.

We grow up in societies where it is easier to assume an identity given to us by other people; we work in environments where it is more difficult to stick out and stand out from the crowd when necessary.

However, it is important to note that uniqueness and greatness aren’t usually attained by assuming an identity given by other people; a life calling isn’t usually followed in the right way by being a copycat of a lifestyle that belongs to a crowd.

Acquire a self-constructed identity, instead of assuming an identity given by other people

From birth to later years in life, each person acquires an identity, either a self-constructed one or an assumed one: we start from harboring thoughts and believing in an identity until we end up radiating it!

A self-constructed identity is the realest thing we should aim for, even though we may have to pick up one or more things and get ideas from other people before we eventually settle for it—a self-constructed identity.

To truly fit into your life calling, you have to avoid assuming an identity given to you by other people; make up your mind and strive towards eventually becoming a self-constructed identity—the type of identity that can truly befit your life calling’s unique make-up, even if you have to make some changes, when necessary, before becoming that self-constructed identity.

How to Enhance Your Creativity in Technical & Engineering Drawings

Although some people are more naturally gifted in creating technical and engineering designs and drawings, everybody has the ability to create at least something significant, no matter how little, and enhance their level of creativity or design ability if they consistently use certain tools or apply certain techniques over a period of time.

Enhancing creativity in technical and engineering drawings is synonymous with enhancing creativity in any type of sport: study and practice is a necessary requirement. Everybody can start at any level of creativity and improve if they are willing to put in an appreciable amount of effort, both mentally and physically.

So, how can anyone develop new ideas or their creativity in technical and engineering drawings? By consistently and conscientiously engaging in technical or engineering drawing visualization, communication, and documentation and producing drawings (traditional and CAD), anybody can be able to develop a higher capacity to generate more ideas and become more creative and competitive in the world marketplace.

This article discusses the following five proven ways that can be used to enhance creativity in technical and engineering drawings, and make it easier to generate new ideas for drawings:

1. By consistently studying the natural world

The easiest way to enhance creativity is to be a student of the natural world: make it a regular practice to meditate on, ponder upon, and draw the objects that exist in the natural world.

By imagining and analyzing how objects are aligned and living things function and interact together in the environment, it would be possible to obtain so much information and inspiration from the natural world and set a firm foundation to unleash and enhance one’s creativity.

It’s important to note that objects such as spiderwebs and beehives have inspired many structural designs, and birds’ wings have inspired the design of aerodynamic structures. There is quite a lot to learn from nature, just by taking time to study living things and natural objects.

2. By learning from mentors or being part of design groups

In today’s world, most people handle technical and engineering drawings in working or team environments which usually have leaders, experts, or knowledgeable people who are usually more creative and familiar with design drawings.

Being part of a design group and having regular interaction with people who are very creative can play an important role in enhancing one’s own creativity and broadening their understanding of what it takes to generate new ideas.

3. By studying artificial or manufactured products

Artificial or manufactured products contain a great deal of information that can be interpreted by studying or observing them, regardless of whether their parts are assembled or dismantled.

By assembling or dismantling manufactured products, one can make evaluations and acquire a greater understanding of how their parts are designed and work together.

By being inquisitive and seeking how to do things differently or making improvements (in efficiency, performance, speed, etc.) in already-existing manufactured products, one could be well on the way to developing new ideas and enhancing their own creativity.

4. By conducting research on patent drawings

Patent drawings for products are great resources for ideas; researching on/studying patent drawings can enhance one’s creativity and broaden their imagination.

People still have access to patent drawings, even though patents, which are issued by governments, protect drawings and grant their respective owners certain rights to exclude other people from using, making, or selling their products for certain periods of time.

Anybody can search a government’s patent office—if available online—for the current design of a product or an idea. For instance, the USA Patent and Trademark Office’s website (www.uspto.gov), which has strict regulations on how drawings should be presented, contains design drawings that researchers can easily reproduce.

5. By surfing the Internet and examining designs or drawings

There are many outstanding sources for designs and drawings on the Internet (World Wide Web). By spending time to visit engineering and technology sites and read/study technical and engineering drawings, any interested individual can become more familiar with drawings and develop or enhance their own creativity.

The following websites can be useful for studying technical and engineering designs and drawings:

i. www.engineeringtoolbox.com

ii. www.practicalmachinist.com

iii. www.howstuffworks.com

iv. www.engnetglobal.com

v. www.mcmaster.com

To Follow Your Life Calling, You May Have to Break Certain Rules

Following your life calling may be easier said than done, and in many instances, if you want to follow your life calling, you certainly have to break rules—“the rules”—or the status quo. Usually, it is in this manner that many creative people best unfold their creativity.

To follow your life calling religiously, you don’t always have to remain in familiar territory and just continue doing what is expected of you. At a certain point in time, you have to break rules or deviate from tradition and forge a different or completely new path for yourself.

Many creative people find it difficult to cope in places or systems that require them to follow rules

History has shown that a lot of creative kids and grown-ups are quite impatient with rules which they usually tend to bend or break in order to unleash their creativity as much and as freely as they possibly can. Many creative people don’t see the purpose of following rules that pose a threat to their life calling and make it difficult for them to climb the ladder of success.

Following rules doesn’t always produce brilliant or awesome creative work, and genuinely creative people aren’t always willing to comply with rules that make it more difficult for them to be as truly creative as they wish; so, most times it pays creative people more when they bend or break rules to uplift or make the most out of their creativity.

To unleash your creativity’s full power, you may have to create a different or new path for yourself

Quite often, some people are caught between two or different worlds and aren’t able to reconcile them: they feel they are never quite thorough enough to follow one path and also never quite thorough enough to follow another or other paths.

But, one thing they are certainly sure of is that they need to concentrate thoroughly or completely on one or more paths, instead of remaining in an irreconcilable position and experiencing tension—or even risk.

If you want to leave one path for another or fully concentrate on one path more than another or others—in accordance with your life calling—you need to weigh your options and may certainly have to break some rules.

You may have to break established rules of society or rules of other people—or even rules you’ve imposed yourself—which may state that “you have to always keep doing what you’ve been doing”; “you can’t change your direction during midcareer”; “you can’t just walk away from something”; “you can’t just do this or that”; etc.

No matter what the rules state, you just have to bend or break them. In exchange for following a system of rules or the status quo, you have to create your own path—your life calling—and let go of another path or other paths. You have to forge your own path and wear a new identity.

This means you have to walk away from what people expect of you and what they say you should do; do something better, which is following your life calling in the best way you believe it should be followed.

Following your life calling may inevitably mean that you have to break certain rules: rules of society or rules you’ve imposed on yourself. Regardless of the source of the rules, you will observe that they are always in disharmony with your inner voice, life calling, and creativity; therefore, you have to bend or break them to reach your true destiny.

To Start a New Chapter in Life, We Must Let Go of what is Expected of Us

Sometimes in the journey of a life, the narrative or script we’ve been given, or people’s expectation of us, no longer fits with the type of lifestyle we want to live; it no longer rolls in harmony with our dreams and what we wish to become or achieve!

It’s easy to get confused when we reach such a crossroad where the realization dawns on us that certain rules passed to us—rules that we may be expected to follow—were dictated by someone or people who didn’t actually have our best interest at heart.

When hit with this realization, we can and must do something to change the script or narrative for our own good, especially when we gain conviction about what our respective life calling requires from us. To start a new chapter, we must let go of what someone, people, or society expects of us and do what we expect from ourselves.

We have a choice to stop or start becoming who we want to become

We are at liberty to continue going in the direction of what is expected of us or stop and start becoming what we expect from ourselves, especially when we realize that the path we are on isn’t leading us to where our life calling expects of us.

So, at any point during our life journey, we can enter a different world of possibility and change our future or narrative. Nobody was born as a doctor, writer, artist, or any other type of professional. We become professionals or practitioners of one or more professions. We become something!

I can become the person I want to become and you also can become the person you want to become, even if it means leaving an old identity for a new one, or reverting back to a much older identity. Follow your heart or life calling with conviction.

But you must be careful at the crossroad because any decision can keep you either in line or out of line

When the time for decision-making comes—to continue being who you are or change into what you want to become—you must be careful about what you do next and the choices you make, because they could send you to either a perfect, good, average, or bad path.

Along the journey of life, many people came to realize the fact that what they had been dedicating much of their lives to, was not their actual life calling and not what they wanted to continue doing.

If you’ve had a similar experience, it’s never too late to flip the page. The best thing to do is start a new chapter by completely letting go of what someone, people, or society expects from you, and start doing only what you expect from yourself!

Important Questions You Should Consider Before Investing in Real Estate Properties

Real estate investing has a lot of benefits and anybody can succeed in it if they make up their mind, put in appreciable effort, and do their homework which would consists of some necessary tasks.

However, as is applicable to many other endeavors, an interested individual has to ask themself some important questions and provide reasonable or good answers before making a final decision about getting involved in real estate investing.

This article discusses the following important questions you should ask yourself in order to be in the best position to know whether you have what it takes to succeed if you make real estate investments which involve managing properties:

1. Do you have interest in real estate investing?

The best and most successful real estate investors have interest in real estate investing and are always striving to expand or maintain their businesses. If you don’t have interest in real estate—or anything—it will be difficult to succeed at doing it. Real estate investing, like many other ventures, is not for everybody; you have to be interested and feel comfortable with it so that you can be in a good position to make any progress or achievements.

2. Do you/will you have adequate time for real estate investing?

Acquiring real estate is often time-consuming: it usually takes considerable or even a lot of time to establish any type of real estate investing business; it takes time to find ethical and competent real estate practitioners; also, it takes time to investigate neighborhoods, zones, and properties to assess whether there are any issues that have to be resolved before investing.

From the onset, it’s not always possible to foreknow the amount of time that would be required to seal a deal; if you fail to do your homework properly before purchasing real estate properties, you may end up making mistakes and overpaying or purchasing properties that have issues.

Even if you hire a property manager to assist you in evaluating prospective tenants, managing your properties, solving problems in properties, and collecting the rent, you would need to create some amount of time while paying for the property manager’s services.

If you have many other responsibilities and don’t have enough time, it may be more preferable to look into the aspects of real estate investing that are less time-intensive or time-consuming.

3. Do you have what it takes to handle real estate investing issues or problems?

Issues, problems, or challenges are part of everyday life, and problems may inevitably occur in real estate investing, especially when you want to buy or invest in properties. At all times you have to be prepared beforehand for problems which could arise from anywhere during negotiations, purchases, or investigations that are tied to properties.

If you don’t have enough steel or guts, then you won’t be able to manage properties and the type of tenants who don’t take proper care of the properties that are entrusted to them. If issues or problems cause you to be out of sorts and unfocused, then you might not be able to succeed in real estate investing and may need the services of a property manager.

Financial rewards can come after all the headaches, but you really need to ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable owning and managing properties along with tenants and any unforeseen issues that could arise in the future.

4. Can you/will you be able to handle downturns in the real estate market or activities?

Real estate can be fun when prices and rents are rising, but not a whole lot of fun when real estate market downturns occur! Consider what happened when the prices of real estate properties in the market declined in most communities during the late 2000s.

Although many people experienced losses, other people who had cash and courage or guts, saw the decline as an opportunity and cashed in and reaped good benefits much later. Can you/will you be emotionally and financially balanced when the real estate market experiences rough times?

The truth is that real estate investing can face difficult times, especially when there are downturns or declines in real estate business activities and property prices. Do you/will you have the financial wherewithal to handle any possible downturn? Will you be able to handle your real estate investments when their values fall?

You probably don’t have the gift of clairvoyance to predict how prices may rise or fall, or how properties may appreciate or depreciate; so you need to be prepared to handle your property carefully, especially if property values drop, the real estate market goes haywire, or recessions occur and it becomes more difficult to find and keep quality tenants.

The Best Product You can Offer the World is Your Gifts, Abilities, or Talents

Regardless of your position in life, you have something valuable to offer the world around you, even much more than you might have ever realized! History has ample evidence to show that many people who were in a similar position to yours and had your gifts, talents, or abilities, offered a lot to the world. They changed many lives and even the whole human race.

So, it’s crucial that we all try our best to offer the utmost we possibly can with our gifts, talents, or abilities, even if we can do so by offering for free without expecting anything in return. If we live by the rule of giving without expecting, we will eventually discover that money and other material blessings will locate us without any need for us to pursue them.

In today’s world, money and finance are usually given in exchange for people’s gifts, talents, or abilities which are invaluable and hence the best products that can be offered or sold to the world. The best way to achieve financial fulfilment is by offering your gifts, talents, or abilities!

Even your accumulated experiences can be of great value to other people

The experiences you’ve accumulated during the course of your life can be of great value to other people, even if you think those experiences are worthless. Maybe, because you grew up in negative circumstances and were lonely and unloved or had to endure difficult hardships, you don’t really value your experiences.

Nevertheless, your past—and probably present difficulties—and the priceless lessons you learned from them can be of great value and provide guidance to other people who have gone through or are going through the same or similar harsh conditions. You have experiences that no one else has or has ever had, and nobody else has lived your exact type of life.

The world has a lot to gain from the priceless experiences of your hardships, mistakes, and successes; it has a lot to gain from the totality of your life experiences, regardless of what they are. Sharing your tragedies, hardships, mistakes, and missteps can provide a lot of invaluable insight and help many other people by making them see things from a completely different and relevant perspective.

Don’t bury the gifts, talents, abilities, and experiences that GOD has deposited in you

By using your gifts, talents, abilities, and experiences to serve the people and world around you, you could eventually become famous and very successful: by going all out to discover people’s problems and help those who are hurting and needy, the universe can give you much more than you’ve ever dreamed of achieving.

But, you must live up to GOD and your life calling’s expectations; if you don’t eventually use your gifts, talents, abilities, or experiences to serve other people and uplift them, you would likely live a shallow life regardless of how successful you become according to the world’s definition or standards of success.

You Become Great by Discovering other People’s Problems & Finding Solutions

People become great and famous in the world because of discovering other people’s problems and finding solutions for them. The most trusted way to become great is by serving people—by proffering and providing solutions to their problems.

Due to the imperfection in our humanity, we have the tendency to be constrained or bound within limits and not become great when we evade our true calling which lies in serving each other.

Many people and professions have become very popular because they’ve been focussing on and addressing people’s needs, thereby revealing their true calling just by providing solutions to people’s problems.

To become great, build your life around the principle of loving other people, regardless of who they are

Serving people means solving their problems. The more services you offer, the greater or more popular you become. If you build your activities on the principle of loving other people and serving them, then success and greatness will naturally follow you in life.

If you serve a few people, only a few people will know you, but if you serve many people, many people will know you; therein lies the difference between successful people and great people, and the difference between different levels of success and impact.

The person who serves a few or lesser number of people is successful, but the person who serves many or a greater number of people is more than merely successful—that person is great because of the impact they have on a greater number of people.

There are unlimited ways to help people and become great: everything the world needs lies in everybody’s hands

There are limitless ways you can use to solve people’s problems and earn love and reverence and become great. If you serve without expecting anything in return, the universe will reward you much greater than anybody could.  

But before you can help people by offering your services, knowledge, or experience, you, first of all, have to find out what people need; once you do that, then you’ll be able to know the particular type of service, knowledge, or experience you can offer, and proceed to offer it.

Successful and great people are consistently looking for problems to solve and people whom they can offer services and wisdom in order to solve their problems. If you use your gifts, talents, or abilities to help people, the Creator of the universe will send spiritual and material blessings your way.

Your Site or Blog Doesn’t Need a Perfect Domain or Sub-domain Name

When developing a domain or sub-domain name for your site, blog, or internet business, you don’t need to stress yourself to get a domain name, a sub-domain name, or any name that has a popular keyword or hasn’t been used in the past. Domain and sub-domain names are just names for identifying your online platform—and nothing more!

Since dot-com (.com) started booming in the early 2000s, many online businesses and entrepreneurs have been going to great extents to acquire perfect domain or sub-domain names; in fact, some businesses and entrepreneurs have paid lots of money to get what they believe are “perfect domain names”.

It’s even on record that there had been at least 25 instances whereby each dot-com domain name was sold for more than one million dollars. A domain name called “VacationRentals.com” was sold for $35 million in 2007, “PrivateJet.com” was sold for $30.1 million in 2012, and other five- and six-figure domain sales have been made in past years.

Having a perfect domain or sub-domain name doesn’t matter as much as the services, products, or information offered

Although online businesses and entrepreneurs have wanted popular and single keyword dot-com domain names—mainly because of their popularity on search engines and dot-com is the most popular top-level domain (TLD) name that businesses use and people search for—internet users and online customers are getting used to the reality that a domain or sub-domain name just doesn’t matter.

The most important thing that matters is whether valuable services, products, or information are offered under a domain or sub-domain name, regardless of whether it bears TLDs such as dot-ly (.ly), dot-tv (.tv), dot-co (.co), dot-technology (.technology), dot-academy (.academy), dot-trade (.trade), dot-foundation (.foundation), etc.

At the end of the day, it’s the quality of services, products, or information offered that makes a domain or sub-domain name “perfect” and attractive to a vast majority of people. Having a “perfect domain name” in the present day won’t do anything outstanding for your business, especially if it has nothing valuable to offer visitors.

So, even if you have enough money to buy a perfect domain name, it would be more profitable to use that money to develop or grow your business, instead of squandering it on getting a perfect domain name.

Regardless of your domain or sub-domain name, provide quality services or information and solve people’s problems

The key to having a “perfect domain or sub-domain name” is to provide great services, products, information, or solutions to people’s problems. Internet surfers or customers will happily visit and even go ahead to pay money for services, products, or information that solves their problems or challenges.

As an online entrepreneur, if your online platform identifies pressing problems and provides quality services or information that addresses issues, its domain or sub-domain name won’t matter to customers who will definitely regard the domain or sub-domain name as nothing but “perfect” because of their experience.

How to Identify Your Life Calling

If we observe the lives of many people, especially those who have made a great impact in the world, it will be easy to agree and conclude that each person has a life calling that has been designed to meet GOD’s or Mother Nature’s expectations in significant ways.

But, how can you know or identify your life calling? What steps can you take to discover your life calling, especially if you have a predominantly negative mindset or you’re surrounded by circumstances that could make it difficult or impossible for you to know or identify your life calling or GOD’s plan for your life?

The first step is to examine your talents and abilities

The first step to identify or find your calling is to look at your heart and carefully examine all the talents and abilities you have at your disposal. Your gift(s) and calling are linked to your abilities and talents which lie within you. Take a close look within your heart because your calling actually lies right there, not outside.

Everything that GOD created has a seed within itself; each creature bears fruit or seed according to its life calling, according to its own kind. You have talents and abilities within you; they can help you produce fruit in accordance with your life calling, and make you great.

The second step is to take note of activities you’re attracted to

The second step to identify your life calling is to take note of the activities you are attracted to; evaluate the things that bring out the best in you, while giving you fulfilment or satisfaction at the same time! When noticing the activities you’re attracted to, you may be surprised to discover that your present job or occupation is not actually your life calling.

More often than not, many people’s hobbies are actually their life calling because hobbies are tightly linked to interests, gifts, or talents which are capable of bringing out the best and utmost happiness and fulfilment, if properly utilized.

Each person has abilities that can be used to carry out the most meaningful activities and achieve greatness or become famous and even rich. In fact, certain talents and activities can bring an individual before leaders, presidents, kings, and the world’s most important and influential people.

Remark: your life calling was designed to meet people’s needs

Regardless of your occupation, you can serve people by using your life calling in some capacity. By noting your gifts and identifying your life calling, you can easily establish your purpose in life and use your gifts to help people handle their challenges and meet their needs, and make the world a much better place. And while providing one form of service or another, Mother Nature can compensate you with money, wealth, and different types of material blessings.

GOD Usually Starts at the Bottom, Not the Top

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from the extraordinary achievements of many people who found their life calling is that GOD usually starts working at the bottom, instead of the top in people’s lives.

If we aren’t yet at the top but want to make it to the top, then we have to start serving with the least we have and start serving the least people whom many consider to be the least important and least valuable in life.

In case you were born at a bottom or very low position in life, don’t be discouraged! You’re destined to be happy and great if your lifestyle is in harmony with GOD’s will and you obey His laws as He expects.

The fact that you are at the bottom doesn’t mean it’s not part of GOD’s divine scheme

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you…”—Jeremiah. 1: 5 (The Christian Bible); therefore, contrary to what many people believe, none of us were born by chance, and GOD planned all the events in our lives before we were born.

So if you were at the “bottom” of the ladder or are still at the bottom, your situation is in complete accord with GOD’s divine scheme which has all answers to questions you may be asking in regard to why, what, when, who and where.

GOD is in control of anything that is in accordance with his will, and He has reasons, plans, and purposes for your situation, even if it is at the bottom or bottommost level you’ve ever experienced.

You might not have a father, a mother, brothers, sisters, or anyone to help and elevate you, and everything might be stacked against you and has made you believe you will remain at the bottom and never realize there is a reason for your existence.

But it doesn’t matter whether you’re really at the bottom because that’s exactly where GOD usually starts from, instead of the top where most people think that GOD should start from.

GOD’s plans are perfect

You might be unhappy and unfulfilled as a result of being at the bottom, but never forget that GOD plans everything perfectly and doesn’t make accidents; so He understands why you have to experience that bottom level in order to get to the top level in the best shape possible.

The apostle Paul couldn’t have put these inspiring words together any better when he said: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love GOD, to those who are called according to His purpose”—Romans 8: 28 (The Christian Bible).

Before you were born, GOD had planned that your life’s bottom and top scenarios would all work for good; as a result, you came into this world to eventually hit top form even though you might have been at the bottom for the greater part of your life.

GOD has definite plans for you to be great

Although GOD has plans for you to be great, it must not be interpreted that GOD plans for you to be great in the worldly sense—according to the material or worldly meaning of being great—which usually implies having great possessions of numerous expensive cars and houses or mansions, and attracting attention from all over the world.

You can actually be great at whatever you do without attracting attention from all over the world and being in possession of numerous expensive cars and houses: you can be a great teacher, a great writer, a great doctor, a great athlete, a great cook, a great dad, a great mum, a great neighbor, etc.

You may never become a world leader or the president of your country, but you can be great in your calling with the abilities and talents GOD bestowed on you, even though you may find yourself at the bottom which you will eventually come to realize is a temporary position that was put in place for a great purpose.

Techniques & Strategies for Environmental Conservation

Due to the causes of environmental problems, the global environment which provides us with basic necessities of life is degenerating year in and year out; water scarcity and environmental pollution are greatly hampering mankind’s progress.

Decades of drastic changes in land use and the extravagant and unreasonable exploitation of natural resources have led to rapid degradation of the natural environment in many parts of the world.

Each person is part of the international community and needs to help create a society that would protect the natural environment or restore it to its natural or original state and ensure there will be continuous harmony between human activities and natural ecosystems.

18 Best Ways to Save the Environment Much More

The techniques, methods, or practices used to conserve the environment are many and varied. Some of them are expensive while others are inexpensive and require people to apply and become familiar with them; others are temporary, while others are permanent; still yet, others are widely useful, while others are limited to specific conditions.

The following techniques and strategies can be used to maintain or preserve the natural environment:

1. Tree planting, supply of more vegetative cover, and sustainable forest/vegetation management

More trees, grasses, plants, dense vegetative cover, and sustainable forest management are needed in critical places of the natural environment around many parts of the world.

Appropriate plantings and management should be effected on steep slopes, odd corners, or other problematic areas that provide food, stable water supplies, habitation for wildlife, and help to control soil erosion, conserve soil fertility, absorb and accumulate greenhouse gases, and mitigate natural disasters such as landslides and floods.

2. Crop rotation, narrow row spacing, and strip cropping

Crop rotation is an important and necessary environmental conservation technique because it uses series of different crops to protect soil against erosion, considerably reduce erosion, and also provide more income. Crops that are strictly grown for the purpose of protecting soil are known as cover crops.

The practice of narrow row spacing is equally an important and effective environmental conservation technique because it enables row crops to provide better soil cover much earlier and improve both crop yield and soil erosion control.

In addition to crop rotation and narrow row spacing, there are various forms of strip cropping that can reduce wind erosion, water erosion, and environmental pollution.

3. Contour tillage & no-tillage systems, and mechanical methods

The practice of certain types of tillage systems—which are usually inexpensive and don’t require investments unless equipment is required—are effective environmental conservation techniques because they hold more crop residues on soil surfaces and considerably reduce erosion.

For instance, by employing contour tillage, erosion is often reduced to half of what it would be if straight-line tillage is employed in place of contour tillage. The no-tillage system is even more effective and rapidly expanding because modern herbicides are making it unnecessary to use tillage (till the soil).

Mechanical methods could be either metallic structures, wooden structures, and concrete structures which exist in forms such as dams, terraces, chutes, drainages, channels, or any object that can limit erosion and environmental degradation by controlling water flow, holding soil, and preventing surface water pollution.

4. Less intensive land use

Inappropriate use of land constitutes a major problem: most lands are only suitable for some purposes, while others are unsuitable, and vice-versa. One of the best ways to conserve land/soil and the air and water environments around it is to use each land/soil within its capabilities and prevent intensive land use when it can degrade the environment.

Some lands are suitable for intensive cropping, especially if they have deep and fertile soil that has favorable texture and structure. On the other hand, other lands are only suitable for wildlife and other non-disruptive purposes because they are stony, shallow, steep, or too steep, and limited in ways that make them only suitable for specific purposes.

Therefore, it’s advisable to be prudent when using a particular land, while acknowledging fully well that some land uses conserve the environment, while others can degrade it.

5. Sustainable uses of natural resources

Cooperation or ties need to be established or strengthened between various governments, NGOs, and international organizations in order to promote activities that can reduce over-exploitation and excessive usage of natural resources; sustainable use of natural resources need to be commenced, enhanced, or maintained in different parts of the world, especially developing countries where the majority of inhabitants rely on local natural resources to sustain their lives on a daily basis.

6. Biodiversity conservation by protecting certain areas

In addition to buffer zones and national parks, more protected areas need to be set up to promote environmental education, support and promote the harmonious coexistence of nature and humans, and reduce the risk of species extinction due to overhunting of wildlife, growing or breeding of alien species in new environments, climate change, and other factors.

7. Effective solid waste management

In many parts of the world, the existing sanitation, public health, and pollution control schemes tied to recycling and solid waste management need to be improved in order to reduce the environmental impacts of the solid waste that is being generated increasingly and in large quantities.

8. Effective air, water, and land pollution control

Assessments of pollution situations need to be made, institutions have to be developed, and regulations have to be enforced or re-enforced in order to reduce and prevent cases of air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution due to mercury pollution, chemical substances, oil spillage, and lack of environmental management in urban and rural areas.

Major Challenges Faced by Environmental Conservation

Air, land, and water environments consist of numerous vital natural resources that have been used to produce food and other necessities of life, and sustain the majority of living organisms since the Earth came into existence.

Human activities tied to the use of natural resources, especially during the past few decades, have degraded most air, land, and water environments and caused a ton of environmental problems that have held a firm grip on the world.

The negative impacts of environmental problems have always necessitated the call for effective implementation of environmental conservation practices which are aimed at managing, protecting, and preserving natural environments (land, air, and water) and ecosystems, or restoring degraded natural environments and ecosystems to their natural state.

However, attempts to implement environmental conservation practices usually encounter stiff challenges that have made it difficult to eliminate or remediate environmental problems such as soil erosion, desertification, climate change and severe weather, increased droughts, global warming, increasing ocean acidity, environmental (air, land, and water) pollution, loss of biodiversity, aquifer depletion, etc.

Generally speaking, the efforts that have been made to achieve environmental conservation goals have faced the following major challenges:

1. Ignorance and lack of concern

Many people who work in or interact with the environment have short-term view-points regarding the future uses of the environment, and they are often ignorant, apathetic, and unconcerned or unaware of how some of their activities are degrading the environment.

As a result, air, land, and water environments degrade so gradually and insidiously that the impacts are easily ignored or overlooked until they become big environmental problems long after preventive action should have been taken by implementing environmental conservation practices.

The environmental conservation practices that are required to prevent environmental pollution and degradation are delayed or not employed because of indifference; at times, some landowners or communities that own a particular natural resource (like land or water) claim that they have the right to use it as they see fit.

2. Economic obstacles

Generally speaking, the unwillingness of people, governments, or organizations to employ environmental conservation practices is mostly based on economics. Before major decisions are taken to apply environmental conservation practices, economic considerations are made; this usually involves evaluating the total cost that would be required to conserve an air, water, or soil environment.

The costs for conservation are usually on the high end. In many instances, because of insufficient funds—especially in developing or less developed nations that have low standards of living—people, communities, governments, or NGOs find it difficult or impossible to finance and implement environmental conservation practices.

3. Unreadiness to deviate from traditional or cultural practices

Some people or communities have inherited cultural or traditional practices that continue to be practiced in their environments; unsurprisingly, they aren’t ready to relinquish such practices in order to eliminate or reduce their environmental problems.

Take for instance, situations whereby many farmers continue to plough farmlands in ways that completely cover crop residues and make it easier for rain, runoff, and wind to wash away topsoil and nutrients, and thus cause nutrient depletion and soil erosion.

Because some people or communities place a great deal of pride in certain traditions or cultural practice, they aren’t ready to push tradition or culture aside and employ scientific or conservation ethics that can help to retain residue and consequently reduce or prevent soil erosion and water pollution. 

4. Insecurity and uncertainty

Many people in developing countries struggle to make a living while employing long-lived traditional or cultural practices that have degraded the environment in the long run.

Some people usually feel insecure and uncertain about modern conservation practices, and believe that—although science has proven that the practices would benefit the environment in the long run—the practices may end up making people become poorer or financially worse in the short run.

Napier and Sommers (1993) noted that, if the benefits of environmental conservation practices are expected to be delayed or distributed over several years, then the people who are asked to apply them should be guaranteed that they won’t starve to death if the environmental conservation practices fail.