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3 Ways to Start Thinking Outside the Box 

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By Dave Anthony – theunschool.blog

We are in a box, a box not too big. It is claustrophobic, restrictive and debilitating. How do we get out?

The box is a metaphor that sums up much of our lives. All our beliefs, customs, morals, norms and traditions are locked inside the box. We are scared of what might be outside, as it threatens our reality and influences change.

A change of heart, a change of mindset, goals, lifelong beliefs and the status quo as we know it.

The box has clearly defined boundaries and we know where they are. We know the lines we should not cross, the walls we should not breach. However, for some of us, there comes a time when the box gets too small. It begins to drown our creativity, stifle productivity and leaves us lost and left behind in a radical thinking generation.

So, how do we change this and start thinking more open-mindedly? These steps might just help with that…

Learn everything

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There is a very close correlation to the box and the life paths we choose. The box says you will become a doctor or a lawyer, hence, you take the necessary steps to doing just that.

Get good grades in school, get a bachelor’s, and a master’s. Obtain a good paying job, with great benefits, save in a retirement account, retire at 65 and die.

For many that is a life well lived. But, that is also a life very limited.

Many people, once they have reached the pinnacle of where the box limits them, stop learning. They apply what they have learned to get to that point in their lives, but they refuse to or do not see the need to learn anymore.

In a 2008 article entitled The Goal of Learning Everything by Scott H. Young, he says:

“The justifications for functional learning are easy. If your goal is important, you learn what you need to learn. If I want to become a professor, I need a graduate degree. It’s easy to justify spending time and money learning when the outcome is right in front of you.

The justification for lifelong learning isn’t as obvious. Lifelong learning feels important, but when you break it down to practical reality, it isn’t for most people. Most people see a far clearer return on investment for working more, socializing or entertainment than learning unnecessary subjects.”

Learning new things opens up your mind to new worlds, to new realities which you never thought existed. It widens your net and gives you a much firmer footing in your career and personal life.

Lifelong learning does not entail going back to a formal school setting, nowadays you can learn anything online. Learn physics, sociology, psychology, art, health, aviation, dance, writing, marketing, mechanics, etc. Learn and learn well, be varied, be in-depth, be thorough, and absorb everything.

You will be surprised how much of what you learn outside your niche or career bubble can be applied to it. You will begin to think with clarity, make decisions from an informed and diverse standpoint and quickly come up with creative ideas that you never thought you could.

So, learn everything and you will see how much your mind opens up and your thinking changes.

Network outside your niche

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Birds of a feather flock together. We have heard this saying time and time again. This is very true as I expressed in a recent article, however, flocking with the same set of birds all the time may not be so helpful.

In most cases, our friends reflect us. They represent our values, beliefs and our self-identity. Hence, they most likely share our opinions and viewpoints on most things.

As good as this might be, it can also be to your own detriment. One of the first steps in thinking outside the box is to listen and respect opinions different from your own. It is understanding that everyone has a unique mind that is crafted by the way they were raised and the life experiences they have had.

Opening up your network to people who you may disagree with will be hard, but only having “yes men” around you will not help you grow. It will keep you stagnant and guarded.

You need a diverse network. Comprised of people that will be honest, share their real opinions (not the ones they want you to hear), tell you when you are wrong, open you up to new ideas and teach you something new ever so often.

Your network should be an asset to you, your business, your career and your overall growth, not a disservice.

Really travel

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It is the norm to wait for your 2-week vacation in the middle of the year and book it to a hotel in a cookie cutter hotspot like Hawaii. But, that is not thinking outside the box.

We love to play it safe when we travel. We go to places our friends and family have told us good things, we stay in 5-star hotels with walls on all four sides and we go on organized tours booked months in advance.

After your return home, you come back learning nothing new other than the fact that there is a hotel in [location you visited]. You did not really explore, you did not mingle with the locals, you did not try the tasty, authentic food from the mom and pops, you did not visit the beautiful beaches and landmarks that are not in travel guides…

You were just someone who went on a plane or road trip somewhere.

The only way to really start thinking out of the box is to put fear aside. Not saying you will not be cautious, but fear restricts progress and true learning. Garnering an open mind means unlocking the fear that has held you back. Getting rid of the fear that kept you inside the box.

Fear of rejection

Fear of change

Fear of death

Fear of failure

Fear of success

Fear of life itself

It makes you play safe, and many times too safe. To extend your mind and at extension, your thinking, you have to see new things, do new things, create your own realities, your own memories. One of the best ways to do this is to really travel.

Travel deep, travel far and long, learn all that you can while traveling, take pictures, create journals, embrace and delve into other cultures, try new foods, sing new songs, learn new languages.

Travel for fulfillment, but also to open up yourself to different ways of living. To learn acceptance and respect of other norms while acknowledging that the world is far bigger than the box in which you have lived.

Conclusion

Stepping outside the box is very frightening. We do not know what to expect when we do, and that creates a sense of fear and apprehension.

But, once we begin to open up our minds to other possibilities, other existences, other realities, and other ways of life, we will see that the box was all an illusion in the first place.

How do you think outside the box?

Source: 3 Ways to Start Thinking Outside the Box ‹ theunschool.blog ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

Ice cream laws face revamp in the battle against obesity in Ireland

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Irish ice cream laws dating back to 1952 are being revised in an effort to fight national obesity levels.

Health Promotion Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has proposed to revoke the current Food Standards (Ice Cream) Regulations dating from 1952.

The planned changes will revise the content of milk-fat, milk solids and sugar content in ice cream.

One of the stipulations in the 1952 regulations states that ice cream must contain at least 10pc by weight of sugar.

This obviously presents problems for any company wishing to reduce the sugar content of its ice cream products, according to the FSAI.

It says the purpose of the proposed regulations is to revoke these compositional standards as soon as possible.

Having consulted other relevant Government departments and official agencies, it is considered that it is no longer fit for purpose and has largely been superseded by EU legislation, Ms Corcoran Kennedy said.

Recent research found that Ireland has the third highest consumption of ice cream per capita in Europe

Source: Ireland’s ice cream laws face revamp in the battle against obesity – Independent.ie

10 Survival Tips That Kept Your Great-Grandparents Alive

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Unless you are fairly young, chances are your great-grandparents already have passed on. But if they were around in today’s tenuous times, our great-grandparents might have a few words of advice for us.

Survival was something most of our ancestors did well, and a few tips from their success could make a real difference in our lives today.

Our great-grandparents probably survived hard times due to a combination of the right skills and knowledge, the right priorities, and the right attitudes. Here is what they might say to us if they could:

Skills and Knowledge

1. Be able to acquire food by multiple means. Learn to grow vegetables, tend fruit and berry orchards, milk dairy cattle and goats, keep laying hens, raise meat animals, and hunt for wild game.

2. Know how to preserve food for leaner seasons by way of canning, smoking, drying and root-cellaring.

3. Learn to make all of your food from scratch, from bread to butter to noodles to jerky to cheese. Even if you do not do all of it annually, develop and keep up the skills.

4. Be able to repair and maintain what you use. Furniture, buildings, engines, equipment, shoes, toys, kitchen utensils—you name it. It is important to take meticulous care of your belongings and fix whatever needs fixing until it is beyond repair. Buy less, fix more.

5. Know how to treat minor injuries and illnesses at home. Sometimes seeking professional medical advice is the best course, but in a survival situation it is valuable to be able to assess and treat problems yourself if needed…

Written by: Kathy Bernier Extreme Survival [ repost: http://www.offthegridnews.com/extreme-survival/10-survival-tips-that-kept-your-great-grandparents-alive/ ] Unless you are fairly young, chances are your great-grandparents already have passed on. But if they were around in today’s tenuous times, our great-grandparents might have a few words of advice for us. Survival was something most of our ancestors did well, and a few […]

via — How to Provide

Smartphones, tablets and internet killing Irish marriages and family life

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Couple annoyed at each other after argumentCouple fighting

Forget affairs or simply falling out of love, technology is the biggest factor in the breakdown of Irish marriages, it’s claimed.

Family psychologist and UCD lecturer, Dr John Sharry, maintains the overuse of smartphones, tablets and the internet is having a devastating impact on relationships – and our sex lives.

Worryingly, our must-have gadgets are also ruining family life and the bonds between parents and their children.

Dr Sharry’s warnings are supported by counselling body Relationships Ireland, which claims 90% of couples seeking its help say technology is a big factor in their marriage troubles.

Read more: Four things that spell relationship trouble – and how you can avoid heading for the divorce courts.

Source: Smartphones, tablets and internet killing Irish marriages and family life, warns expert – Irish Mirror Online

Why Jet Lag Is Worse than You Think

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If you’re traveling cross-country to run a race or participate in a sporting event, you may want to prepare for the time change in advance. A new study of professional baseball players shows that jet lag doesn’t just affect mental performance—it can also affect physical performance, as well. The authors say their findings can have implications for all types of athletes, and they offer strategies for lessening the impact.

The new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from researchers at Northwestern University, looked at Major League Baseball data from more than 40,000 games spanning 20 years, including teams’ travel schedules and players’ performance in hitting, running, pitching and more.

Traveling two or more time zones before a game affected play in subtle but detectible ways, the authors found. For example, teams from eastern states who had just returned home from a game out west tended to have fewer stolen bases, doubles and triples, and were subject to more double plays, than those who hadn’t traveled as recently.

Pitchers from both home and away teams also gave up more home runs after traveling eastward. The effects are enough to erase a team’s home-field advantage, the authors say. They speculate that jet lag may have even played a role in Game 6 of the 2016 National Championship Series, in which the home-team Chicago Cubs scored five runs off the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace pitcher, Clayton Kershaw.

The effects of west-to-east travel were stronger than those of east-to-west travel, supporting the argument that they are due to the body’s circadian clock—not just time on an airplane or scheduling issues in general, says Dr. Ravi Allada, associate director of Northwestern’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology.

The study isn’t the first to show that jet lag can impact athletic performance. Allada says the new findings add to the evidence that jet lag isn’t just all in one’s head. “We know, based on studies in animals and humans, that when you misalign your internal biological clock with your external environment, there can be a lot of consequences in terms of health,” Allada says. “And the circadian clock is present in muscle cells, too, so it makes sense that one might see an impairment in muscle activity or muscle efficiency, as a result of this misalignment.”

Based on these findings, Allada recommends that baseball teams send their starting pitchers to games across the country a day or two early, when possible, so that their internal clocks can adjust to the local environment.

Similar advice could also apply to anyone traveling for athletic events—especially eastward—he adds, like runners going to a destination marathon or adventure race. That also includes people who have been away and are heading home for an event: an aspect of jet lag that people don’t often think about, says Allada.

“The rule of thumb is that the body clock can shift about one hour a day, so if you’re traveling across three time zones, you’d want to ideally give yourself three days to adjust,” he says.

If your schedule won’t allow for an earlier trip, he recommends faking it for a few days by trying to wake up and go to bed according to the time-zone of your event, even while you’re still at home. If you’re traveling west-to-east, exposing yourself to bright light earlier in the morning can help, as well.

Allada says there’s not yet a lot of research to back up the effectiveness of these strategies, but he believes they could benefit anyone looking to optimize their performance. “That’s something we’d love to study in the future,” he says, “to work with athletes and see if these interventions actually have real impacts.”

via Why Jet Lag Is Worse than You Think — TIME

Drive to Bring More International Students Toe Ireland

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Fee-paying schools are expected to enjoy a Brexit bounce, as well as benefit from a new drive to recruit international second-level students to Ireland.

Major financial corporations, such as banks and insurance companies, are turning their eyes to Dublin as an EU base in anticipation of the UK’s departure from the EU.

Children’s education is high on the list of priorities for executives who are being asked to relocate with their families, with school fees a typical part of the remuneration package.

“This is happening anyway, but a lot more is expected post-Brexit,” said one source in the financial world who is already dealing with such queries.

Typically, HR personnel from the companies involved come to check out what’s available, with a focus on the fee-paying sector.

Meanwhile, there is a growing international market in second-level students, similar to what happens at third-level, from families in central and south-east Asia who want an English-speaking education for their children.

Source: Drive to bring more international students here – Independent.ie

Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child’, yet we let it dominate the breakfast table 

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With kids consuming half their sugar quota first thing, it’s no wonder they’re getting diabetes and liver disease. We have to fight corporate interests

Breakfast is considered by most nutrition experts, including Public Health England, to be the most important meal of the day. It gets your brain and your metabolism going, and it suppresses the hunger hormone in your stomach so you won’t overeat at lunch. But in our busy lives, it’s easy to turn to what is quick, cheap, or what you can eat on the go. Cold cereal. Instant oatmeal. For those die-hard “I’m gonna serve something hot for breakfast” types, it’s microwaveable breakfast sandwiches. Gotta get out the door now? Granola bars. Protein bars. Yoghurt smoothies.

Sadly, as the National Diet and Nutrition Survey found, what you’re really doing is giving your children a huge sugar load while sending them on their way: half of their daily intake on average. There’s a reason that the World Health Organisationand the United States Department of Agriculture have provided upper limits of sugar – because dietary sugar fries your kids’ liver and brain; just like alcohol.

Alcohol provides calories (7kcal/g), but not nutrition. There’s no biochemical reaction that requires it. When consumed chronically and in high dose, alcohol is toxic, unrelated to its calories or effects on weight. Not everyone who is exposed gets addicted, but enough do to warrant taxation and restriction of access, especially to children. Clearly, alcohol is not a food – it’s a dangerous drug, because it’s both toxic and abused.

Dietary sugar is composed of two molecules: glucose and fructose. Fructose, while an energy source (4kcal/g), is otherwise vestigial to humans; again, there is no biochemical reaction that requires it. But fructose is metabolised in the liver in exactly the same way as alcohol. And that’s why, when consumed chronically and at a high dose, fructose is similarly toxic and abused, unrelated to its calories or effects on weight. And that’s why our children now get the diseases of alcohol (type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease), without alcohol. Because sugar is the “alcohol of the child”. Also similar to alcohol, sugared beverages are linked to behavioural problems in children

Source: Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child’, yet we let it dominate the breakfast table | Robert Lustig | Opinion | The Guardian

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