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15 Brilliant Websites That Will Inspire And Change Your Life

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15 Brilliant Websites That Will Inspire And Change Your Life

I have to say that I love living in the world as it is today. Even with all its warts, it’s still pretty great. The main reason I love it is that information about anything is right at your fingertips via the internet. There are millions of people putting out life-changing information because it is their passion, and it’s all available at the click of a button.

One of the drawbacks of this age, though, is that sometimes there is too much information and you have to rely on friends to help you weed out the good from the bad or useless. And that is why I am taking to my keyboard today.

Here are 15 websites to change your life and get you inspired and motivated:

1. GCF LearnFree

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    I have put this one first because there’s still a huge number of people who have no computer knowledge and don’t know how to get started in the new computer-based world. While it is ironic that you need a computer to access this site, if you have a relative or friend who needs to become computer literate, this is a great site that you can use to help them get started.

    It has simple tutorials about computer basics, along with videos. It is straightforward and easy to use. Your friend or relative can get started right away and be up and running in no time.

    2. Duolingo

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      I love this site! It’s a language learning site that first tests you to see where your weaknesses are and then gives you lessons based on the results of your tests so that you don’t waste your time. You can learn English, Spanish, Italian and more! It is set up as a series of little games and it is very addictive! The format is very user and learner friendly. I am finding myself spending more and more time playing on it and my Italian skills are getting so much better. Try it out! If you love games you will love learning with Duolingo.com.

      3. Fierce Gentleman

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        As soon as I read the term “Fierce Gentleman” I had to check out this site, and I love it! Gentlemanly qualities as we knew them seem to have become a bit rare these days. I believe it’s because of the changes we have experienced and the rapid morphing of cultures: it can make your head spin! We needed a new definition for the term “Gentleman.” In his articles, Andrew Long lays out what it takes to be a Fierce Gentleman and even some advice for Fierce Ladies. Fortunately, the qualities that Andrew advocates are qualities that gentlemen have had in days past and they can be brought forward to live again in this day and age.

        In this confusing time of mixed messages about what is cool or good or ethical, Mr. Long lays out just what is needed for you to keep your integrity and be extremely cool at the same time.

        4. The Invisible Mentor

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          Avil Beckford writes for The Invisible Mentor. Each month she spends hundreds of hours of researching and reading in order to bring us the most useful and enlightening information from older and perhaps forgotten writers whose works are still vital today.

          What I love about Avil is that she has the idea that learning and information are not to be reserved for only those who go to school but should be made available for everyone. She also reminds us that those who are the most successful in their fields are the ones who ceaselessly go on learning with a thirsty vengeance.

          Her ideas on learning, I believe, are the wave of the future. Antiquated systems of learning are being replaced by methods that teach people to think and develop judgment rather than memorize by rote. This depends on being able to read a lot and assimilate information.

          On her site you will find articles, great quotes, pieces of advice and all kinds of useful information.

          5. Dumb Little Man

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            Jay White writes for this blog and his purpose is to gather up and present information that makes your life a bit easier. His blog is a mix of great information and tips communicated in an informal and friendly way, which makes it seem like you are sitting with an old friend talking about life.

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            You will find information here about money, relationships, being happy and other related topics. Dumb Little Man is one of my favorite places to stop by for a cup of tea and a few wise words from friends.

            6. Michelle Chappel

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              Michelle Millis Chappel is a Renaissance woman. Initially she studied and received her PhD in Psychology, but then left academia to follow her dream of being a singer-songwriter-producer. She is also a noted motivational speaker and tireless volunteer. Her blog is a delightful mix of childlike enthusiasm and good friendly advice delivered with compassion and understanding. Her purpose in life is to help you find your true passion and calling and then help you achieve it.

              7. Fathom

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                Fathom is a travel website on steroids! I love it. Just looking at the first page fills you with the excitement you feel when you are packing for a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go!

                I’m an avid traveler and I believe that travel and communication with other countries and cultures is our saving grace in a world gone violent. How can we be OK with bombing villages when we know the people who live there?

                Reading through the articles on Fathom will start you dreaming, then acting, then packing! In the meantime you can take mini mental vacations anywhere on the globe just by clicking over to this site.

                8. Entrepreneur

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                  If you have ever dreamed of starting your own business or franchise, this is the one-stop shop for you. On this site they have articles and advice on every aspect of starting or running a business, from hiring your first employee to how to smartly lease business equipment.

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                  If you are unsure where to start on Entrepreneur.com, check out the tab entitled “Answers” and it will give you some ideas.

                  Have fun and get started on your new venture!

                  9. Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills

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                    My favorite chef EVER, Jamie Oliver, has developed a website devoted to educating everyone about the joys and necessities of learning to cook. Jamie has recognized that poor food supply and lack of food education has had a dramatic effect on the health of entire populations and he is on a campaign to put food education into schools.

                    He has now developed this website that gives you valuable basic information about how to cook. He has created videos and recipes that are easy and accessible and yet tasty and nutritious. Everyone should have rudimentary cooking skills and know how to prepare delicious food.

                    My view on life is this: We only have a certain number of meals available to us in our lives. We had better make them all good! Jamie’s site will give you the training you need to really up your standard of living by allowing you to have delicious food for every meal simply because you can create it yourself!

                    10. Rational Optimist

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                      This blog, written by Matt Ridley, is described as, “A counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, and proves, however much we like to think to the contrary, that things are getting better.”

                      In his blog, Matt gives real life solutions for the problems of the world. Many of these are available now if we just access them. This blog is as interesting as it is practical.

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                      11. App Treasure Hunter

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                        App Treasure Hunter is a site dedicated to finding and testing out educational apps. It has been developed by a handful of parents and educators with a passion for great education applications. App Treasure Hunter gives you in-depth reviews performed by educational experts and practical advice for handling and educating your children. The pros at App Treasure Hunter save you a ton of work. The site is fun and interesting to browse.

                        12. The History Blog

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                          I love this site because it is so darned interesting! You can go there while waiting in line at the Starbucks, or while in your doctor’s office. History is such a fascinating subject and this blog provides you with history, art, culture and photos, along with their wider historical context. Learning history gives you instant experience for living today’s life. The history here is not delivered in dry and boring prose. As the writer states on his homepage: “My name is Livius. I shall endeavor not to suck. That is all.” I can tell you that he has fulfilled his promise and doesn’t suck, not even a little bit.

                          13. Brainy Quote

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                            I love this site and have used it for finding quotes for my blogs. This site compiles and publishes quotes from really smart people and there is always something there that pertains to your specific situation. Go there to find some helpful tips or just browse. It is entertaining and insightful!

                            14. Tiny Buddha

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                              One thing I love about each new website is that each one has a specific feeling associated with it. Tiny Buddha, as you can imagine, has a sweet and compassionate feel to it. There are great blog posts as well as a forum where you can get help from others. I have browsed the forum and helped a few people. I even made a great new friend on the other side of the world.

                              15. A Beautiful Mess

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                                This is a charming and fun-packed website. I love it because it gives you amazing recipes, beautiful photos, great projects and has a really fun feel to it. You could spend hours poking around and come away with ideas that will keep you busy for days. Check in on Elsie and Emma and get a glimpse into their lives. They are adorable!

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                                Now that we are entering a new year with exciting new possibilities, I am hoping that these will prove to be websites to change your life and provide you with ideas and assistance finding your dreams!

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                                Chris Ellis

                                Successful Author, Life Coach and Musician

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                                Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                Warming up

                                If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                Stay hydrated

                                Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                Meditate

                                Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                2. Focus on your goal

                                One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                4. Understand your content

                                Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                5. Practice makes perfect

                                Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                6. Be authentic

                                There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                7. Post speech evaluation

                                Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                Improve your next speech

                                As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                • How did I do?
                                • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                • How was the flow of the speech?

                                Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                Reference

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