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3 Ways Technology Can Make You Happy

3 Ways Technology Can Make You Happy

In a guest post for Nir And Far, Brendan Kane – who has built technology for MTV, paramount, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and the NHL throughout his career – recently shared three ways you can find happiness through technology:

We all have the power to change our lives. I know this because I found ways to reprogram my inner circuitry and change my perspective of the world. A few simple steps inserted into my daily routine dramatically improved my life. Surprisingly, many of my new rituals were made possible using the technology I carry with me every day.

THINK BIG

“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.”

-Steve Jobs

I was trained to think small and seek comfort rather than risk. From an early age, many of us are told to think realistically and to leave the big audacious ideas to people with more experience and resources. But the truth is, as Steve Jobs said, ““Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.”

We are all born with the same basic brain hardware and though there are variations in intelligence between people, the differences are relatively minor and show little correlation with life outcomes. However, what does make a difference  is how much we believe in ourselves and our capabilities. A much greater determinant of where we will end up in life is whether we have what Stanford researcher Carol Dweck calls a “fixed” or “growth mindset.”

I set out to remove the fixed mindset I had cultivated over the years. I did this through a daily practice of using my iPhone notes tool to brainstorm the biggest and craziest ideas I could think up. These ideas could be anything from starting a billion dollar business to designing a way to live on the moon. The practice of thinking big on a daily basis flexed my mind’s capacity to move past limitation and helped me become a more creative thinker.

USE GRATITUDE TO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE

“Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life.”

-Jack Canfield

One of the most impactful steps in reprogramming my brain was to take a daily inventory of everything I was grateful for. Before I go to sleep each night, I make a list of the positive things that came into my life that day. For example, I might jot down a few words to remember a particularly beautiful sunset, a compliment I received, or even a meeting that went well. I use a gratitude app on my phone to record these moments.

This routine sounds trivial but I found something strange happened when I adopted the practice. After about 30 days my perception of the world began to change. I became happier because I found myself more aware of the amazing things I had in my life. I would stop several times a day to smile in recognition and appreciation of the small things in life. The change also impacted my professional life. I started to attract more fulfilling business opportunities and more positive people to the projects I was working on.

CARRY YOUR DREAMS WITH YOU

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”

– Anais Nin

What would you do tomorrow if you won the lottery? What are 10 things that you would want to accomplish with the rest of your life? Most people can only list a few things that they would do and some people can’t list any. I asked myself what the point was of running so hard toward financial independence when I really had no idea what I was going to do once I got there. If I didn’t know what I wanted, how could I achieve it?

I discovered that one of the best ways to determine what I wanted was to create a dream book of images on my iPad that I could look at every morning and evening. I gathered a list of images that represented the things I wanted most in my life and I put images representing them on my iPad and iPhone.

I often listen to my favorite music while I play a slide show of the pictures I use to remind me of the things I want to achieve, places I want to go, people I want to meet. I imagine what it would feel like if I had each of those things in my life. This exercise created a thought sequence that helped me set new goals in life and provided a deliberate destination that I could envision working and striving for each day.

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PERCEPTION IS REALITY

Einstein said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”. Indeed, we are highly influenced by the way we see things. Changing the direction of our lives seems difficult because many of us have been conditioned to believe it is not possible.

But the truth is, changing our lives is as easy as changing the way we think. Changing my own life was a slow process, but I began to feel more joy and fulfillment by regularly incorporating these simple technology-facilitated habits.

Nir’s Note: This guest post comes from  Brendan Kane who has built technology for MTV, Paramount, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and the NHL. In this article, Brendan describes how he reprogramed the way he views the world using little more than his iPhone and iPad.

Nir Eyal writes about the intersection of psychology, technology and business at NirAndFar.com. He is the author of Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit Forming Technology. For more insights into how products change behavior, join his free newsletter.

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3 Ways To Use Technology For Happiness | NirAndFar

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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