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15 Brilliant Websites That Will Inspire And Change Your Life

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

    duolingo new

      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

                entrepreneur new

                  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

                    rational new

                      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

                            tiny new

                              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

                              mess new

                                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!

                                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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                                Last Updated on June 12, 2018

                                Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                                Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                                A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

                                You know how this looks:

                                • Parents constantly comparing children.
                                • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
                                • Domestic violence.
                                • Adultery…
                                • And many others.

                                For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

                                Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

                                Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

                                This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

                                In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

                                If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

                                How to fix a dysfunctional family

                                In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

                                And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

                                Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

                                It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

                                Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

                                Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

                                There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

                                Dysfunctional… Or just average?

                                Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

                                The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

                                You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

                                A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

                                Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

                                Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

                                • Unrealistic expectations
                                • Lack of interest and time spent together
                                • Sexism
                                • Utilitarianism
                                • Lack of empathy
                                • Unequal or unfair treatment
                                • Disrespect towards boundaries
                                • Control Issues
                                • Jealousy
                                • Verbal and physical abuse
                                • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

                                The link to productivity

                                You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

                                If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

                                Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

                                How to turn it around

                                When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

                                But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

                                One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

                                We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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                                As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

                                What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

                                Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

                                Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

                                Correction is possible

                                In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

                                Verbalize it.

                                All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

                                Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

                                This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

                                But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

                                So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

                                Putting it to work in real life

                                In real life it would be something like this:

                                “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

                                Or:

                                “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

                                Or:

                                “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

                                As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

                                This is what you have to remember:

                                1-Stop.

                                2-Why it’s wrong?

                                3-What you need.

                                And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

                                It’s a family thing

                                A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

                                Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

                                In other words, you will need cooperation…

                                So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

                                Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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                                We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

                                You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

                                It’s not a free-for-all battle

                                In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

                                No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

                                Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

                                And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

                                The method

                                1. Drop the ego

                                Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

                                You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

                                Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

                                What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

                                It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

                                After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

                                Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

                                Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

                                Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

                                And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

                                You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

                                2. Not blame, but responsibility

                                When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

                                But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

                                When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

                                What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

                                Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

                                As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

                                You will do something like this:

                                “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

                                I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

                                You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

                                I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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                                It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

                                What happened here?

                                We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

                                We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

                                We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

                                And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

                                You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

                                This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

                                3. Doing the work

                                What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

                                This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

                                Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

                                If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

                                It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

                                “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

                                I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

                                But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

                                You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

                                Love is all you need

                                You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

                                That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

                                And what happens if it simply is not there?

                                What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

                                What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

                                There is only one thing you can do:

                                To break away.

                                Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

                                There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

                                “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

                                If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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                                Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

                                You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

                                Putting distance

                                So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

                                What do I mean?

                                Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

                                Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

                                Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

                                Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

                                They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

                                Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

                                I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

                                I choose my peace of mind.

                                And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

                                Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

                                Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

                                How to prevent it

                                There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

                                • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
                                • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

                                Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

                                You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

                                Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

                                Priorities and clear thought

                                You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

                                You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

                                You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

                                Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

                                If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

                                And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

                                Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

                                But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

                                Featured photo credit: Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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