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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

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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

                            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!

                                More by this author

                                Chris Ellis

                                Successful Author, Life Coach and Musician

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                                Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                Posture

                                First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                Facial Expressions

                                Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                2. Relax Your Face

                                New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                3. Smile More

                                There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                4. Hand Gestures

                                Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                Final Takeaways

                                Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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