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Your Life Will Change When You Own A Personal Website, This Is How…

Your Life Will Change When You Own A Personal Website, This Is How…

The benefits of having your own website are surprisingly diverse. For one, a personal website a powerful tool in your professional life, often providing you with new job opportunities and a better way to introduce yourself. But it’s also very much an outlet for you to share a little more about yourself and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Here are twelve benefits of having your own website.

1. You Can Showcase Your Work

The most obvious professional use of a website is as a portfolio for your body of work, whether that be in the form of art, writing samples or something more or less eclectic. This is particularly advantageous for someone in a creative field, but a portfolio can be useful in a number of industries.

2. You Can Show Your Experience

Because you’re not limited by the constraints of a Word document, the web is a much more exciting way to demonstrate your experience than a simple resume. Benefits of your own website include uploading videos to give people an idea of your skills and posting commendations you’ve received from grateful clients/customers.

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3. You Can Show Your Expertise

With a blog on your website you can prove yourself to potential employers that you’re a valuable source of information about a whole host of topics. Write about things you know well that fit into the same career niche until you build up enough credibility that employers will be dying to get you on their team.

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    4. You Can Share MORE

    Resumes are supposed to be no more than two pages, and lately the trend has been to trim it to one. With a website your space is virtually unlimited. Don’t fill any one web page with too much content, but link to other pages on your website in case readers want more detail about an aspect about you or your experience.

    5. You Can Control The Google Search

    If you spend enough time developing your website, you may be able to get it to the top of search engine results for your full name, and a website is a much more interesting and unique introduction than, say, a Facebook or LinkedIn profile.

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    6. You Can Demonstrate Your Transparency

    If you put links to your social media accounts on the website, you’ll prove to recruiters that you have absolutely nothing to hide!

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      7. You Can Show That You’re Tech Savvy

      This is especially useful for workers close to or past standard retirement age. Show anyone looking into you that you know a thing or two about how to use new technology.

      8. You Can Make A Better First Impression

      Not super social? Less of a problem with a website. Design (or hire someone to design) a snazzy site that lays out who you are and what you can do for an employer so that you’ll be a desirable hire even if you aren’t particularly socially adept when you eventually meet face to face.

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      9. You Can Be Found

      Put simply, a website is another opportunity for an employer to find you during their search. If you’re looking to cover all angles, well, a website is one of those angles.

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        10. You Can Find Yourself

        You don’t necessarily have to limit your website’s blog to the industry you’re working in. You can branch off into new subjects that interest you and experience some real personal growth from sharing your passions with the world.

        11. You Can (Possibly) Carve A Career Out Of It

        It’s a bit of a long shot, sure, but a number of people have successfully turned a personal website into a full-time career. Popular blogs generate some ad revenue, you can sell e-books and other products to your readers or you can utilize crowdfunding tools like Patreon or Kickstarter to turn your readers’ support into revenue.

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        12. You Can Have A Voice

        With a website/blog you can raise awareness about subjects and causes that are matter to you. A personal website can be a powerful platform to help the world understand things about you they might not even be able to discover if they shared a meal with you. Sometimes it’s just nice to be heard, and if you put enough effort into creating something special with your website, you can be heard loud and clear.

        Featured photo credit: Steve Bridger via flickr.com

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        Matt OKeefe

        Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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        Last Updated on July 17, 2019

        The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

        The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

        What happens in our heads when we set goals?

        Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

        Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

        According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

        Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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        Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

        Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

        The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

        Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

        So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

        Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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        One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

        Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

        Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

        The Neurology of Ownership

        Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

        In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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        But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

        This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

        Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

        The Upshot for Goal-Setters

        So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

        On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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        It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

        On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

        But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

        More About Goals Setting

        Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

        Reference

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