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4 Totally Free Ways to Change Someone’s Life

4 Totally Free Ways to Change Someone’s Life


    Most of would like to do something positive to help other people. But unless we’re millionaires with wide open schedules, we’re not sure what we can do aside from donating a few dollars to Salvation Army Santa Clauses or spending a Saturday at Habitat for Humanity.

    But thanks to the wide reach and innovation made possible by the Internet, there are some really unique and inspiring ways you can touch people’s lives on a regular basis, for no cost and with only a small investment of your time.

    Check out the four sites below if you want to spread a little happiness (and feel pretty great about doing it):

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    1. Love Bomb

    Love Bomb’s mission is simple: drop tons of encouragement every week on someone who desperately needs it. It was created by Nate St. Pierre, the founder of the amazing (but now sadly discontinued) Love Drop and also ItStartsWith.Us (see below).

    Each week, Love Bomb’s subscribers are asked to nominate someone they know who is going through a tough time and could particularly use some positive words. That person must have a blog that allows people to comment without having to register for the site (although comment moderation is fine).

    Why? Because each Thursday, when that week’s recipient is announced, Love Bombers are directed to a specific post on the recipient’s website—and it’s bombs away! Within hours, the bomb-ee has hundreds of uplifting and encouraging and comments from strangers all over the world. If a kind word from someone on a bad day can lift our spirits, imagine how an avalanche of unexpected support can help someone who’s going through a difficult time.

    Nominees have included everyone from cancer patients to teens suffering depression to parents who have recently lost a child. To join the Love Bomb squad, click here and enter your information at the bottom of the page.

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    2. The World Needs More Love Letters

    Like Love Bomb, but a bit more tactile and “old school,” More Love Letters’ mission is to lift people’s spirits with handwritten notes of hope and love—sometimes addressed to specific recipients, sometimes totally random.

    Their team of writers has composed individual letters of encouragement to people in need, thank you notes to hardworking New York City baristas—even letters to strangers to be left at favorite childhood places or busy hubs like airports and subway stations. They’ve also sent over 20 Love Letter Bundles to groups like the Ronald McDonald House.

    Want to break out your rusty cursive (or printing) and send some love out into the world yourself? Sign up to get letter requests here.

    3. ItStartsWith.Us

    If you’ve got 15 minutes or less each week, you can turn someone’s day around with what may seem to them like a random act of kindness—but is actually a “mission” from ItStartsWith.Us. It’s a site that believes if we each do one positive thing, we can collectively change the world (or at least someone else’s “world” for a while).

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    Every week, subscribers receive a new assignment. It’s always something seemingly simple, like helping a coworker with something or telling someone how much you appreciate them—but who knows much your simple action might mean to someone? Maybe they’re secretly having an awful day and your gesture is the thing that turns it around. Maybe they’ll be so touched they’ll go out and perform an act of kindness for someone else. You never know how it can spread.

    To join the mailing list and start receiving your weekly do-good task, click here.

    4. 1000 Awesome Things

    Okay, this one isn’t so much a mission you can actively participate in, but it is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and snap you out of a bad mood. Share this site or any of its daily posts with a friend or coworker and you can definitely earn a few points as a happiness-bringer.

    The goal of 1000 Awesome Things is to make you stop and consider the little (sometimes really little) and silly (sometimes really silly) aspects of life that are, when you truly consider it, pretty awesome.

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    Have you ever really thought about a broccoflower? Or thoroughly appreciated the glory that is that bite with all the toppings on it? From common everyday miracles (like when everything you own is fully charged) to the big stuff we all take for granted (like the moon), this site is the perfect way to see the world through a new lens of wonder and gratitude.

    You can sign up for their weekday posts by email or RSS.

    (Photo credit: New Life Start Button via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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