Wealthy, Successful People Who Choose Less over More: 10 Real-Life Stories of Minimalists

Lately, more people than ever are embracing the minimalist lifestyle. If you’ve been on social media at all these last few years, you’ll have noticed several influencers taking part in the increasingly popular trend of decluttering their lives. One of the common ways they do so is by employing the now famous KonMari method described in Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.[1]

If you’re an observant person, you may have seen that millennials, in particular, are placing more value on experience than they do on material objects.[2] Following the philosophy “less is more” helps minimalists succeed both in their business and personal life.

So, how do you become a minimalist in such a materialistic world? Below is a list of famous people who have fully embraced the frugal aspect of this lifestyle. Hopefully, they will inspire you to lead your best minimalist life.

Steve Jobs: Simplify complexity

Apple founder, Steve Jobs, was a firm believer in minimalism. The success of his products is attributed to beautifully simple design and user-friendliness of the software, but Jobs took it even to the higher level. “Simplify complexity” was the main lesson he taught businesses. This technique shows that the focal point is not the sophisticated product you sell, but the way you approach the customer and develop lead generation tactic.[3]

Not only did Jobs apply this philosophy to his business, but it was also very much a part of who he was. Former Apple CEO John Scully once said in an interview, “I remember going into Steve’s house and he had almost no furniture in it. He just had a picture of Einstein, whom he admired greatly, and he had a Tiffany lamp and a chair and a bed. He just didn’t believe in having lots of things around, but he was incredibly careful in what he selected…”

Albert Einstein: Lead a simple life

Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist, best known for his theory of Relativity. However, according to the biography published by Walter Isaacson in 2008 (Einstein: His Life and Universe), he also led a simple life and embraced minimalism.

For Einstein that meant he owned very few pieces of clothing, gave away most of his money, and couch-surfed whenever he traveled somewhere. All of that doesn’t mean he didn’t enjoy a few guilty pleasures here and there, however. He was known for splurging on cigars, coffee, and musical instruments.

Jane Siberry: Live life free

Canadian singer and songwriter, Jane Siberry is a devout minimalist that lives on the road. She carries with her no more than two bags, a guitar, and a laptop while she tours the world sharing her music. Not only that, but Siberry now has all of her records available on her website for free.

Apparently, Jane got tired of being pressured by the major-label executives and cut all ties with them, selling most of her possessions a few years later as well. Nowadays, she owns a single house and spends most of her time roaming the world.

Robert Pattinson: Support charity work

Twilight star, Robert Pattinson, may be a celebrity but it appears that he doesn’t much like spending money and has no interest in material things. The British actor, model, and musician may be a minimalist in his spending habits, but he’s very active in his charity work.[4] He’s a known supporter of several organizations and in 2015 became the first ambassador for GO Campaign.

Vincent Kartheiser: Live a frugal lifestyle

Known for his role on TV series Mad Men, actor Vincent Kartheiser slowly began selling and giving away the things he didn’t want or need. At one point, Kartheiser didn’t even own a toilet, if you can imagine that. Though he did go to some extremes, his frugal lifestyle is quite a rarity in Hollywood.

Currently, he lives in a beautiful minimalist apartment in Brooklyn with his wife, Alexis Bledel. He still doesn’t own a car and prefers to walk or use public transport.

Leonardo Da Vinci: Be generous and feed those in need

As Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” His character was described as kind and appealing by his contemporaries, “…he was so generous that he fed all his friends, rich or poor….”

Michael Bloomberg: Cut down on spending

The former New York City Mayor is very wealthy but apparently, owns no more than six pairs of shoes. Though not much more in known about Bloomberg’s minimalistic choices, he does seem to cut down on spending in spite of his incredibly deep pockets and give away his wealth.[5]

Marcus Aurelius: Support living in minimalism

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor in the 2nd century A.D. He’s best known for his Meditations on Stoic philosophy, a philosophy that supports living in rather extreme minimalism.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking”

Henry David Thoreau: Give up luxuries

American essayist, Henry David Thoreau, was also a poet, philosopher, and a minimalist. Thoreau often wrote about the benefits of living a simple life; giving up luxuries in order to quiet the mind.

“Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.” – 1817

Socrates: Pursue virtue instead of material wealth

Said to be the founder of Western philosophy, Socrates believed that the best way to live was in pursuit of virtue instead of seeking material wealth.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

Reference

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Top 10 Natural Exfoliants That You Can Use For Your DIY Face Masks!

If you want to have perfect skin, you need to start exfoliating.

Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from your face. Normally your skin will shed the dead cells naturally, but sometimes they can stay attached to the top layer of your skin for up to a month. This can make your complexion look rough and tired, and it can even make stop your skin from secreting oil properly. This can cause blackheads, red spots and blemishes, so it is very important to exfoliate.

When the dead skin is removed you will only be able to see skin cells that are alive, so your face will look healthier and your skin will glow.

Why Choose DIY Face Masks?

You can buy exfoliating face masks in most beauty and health stores, but most of these contain microbeads. Microbeads are rough on the skin so they can be irritating, and they are also really bad for the environment. This is because the beads are so small that they don’t get filtered out by water treatment facilities, so they end up back in the water supply. This is harmful to both humans and marine life.

This is why it is best to choose a natural exfoliant.

10 Natural Exfoliants

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a gentle natural exfoliator that helps to absorb oil, so it is ideal for people with greasy skin.

Mix one tablespoon of oatmeal with one tablespoon of brown sugar, then add a tablespoon of raw honey. You can also add Jojoba oil and other essential oils for extra benefits. Click here to see the full ingredient list.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda has lots of benefits, and one of the main ones is being a natural exfoliator. It is very cheap in comparison to other natural exfoliators, and it is very gentle so you can use it even if you have sensitive skin.

Make your own baking soda face mask by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water and one vitamin e soft liquid gel pill. Click here to learn how to make the mask at home.

3. Lemon

Lemon contains alpha hydroxy acid, which helps to remove the glue-like protein that causes dead skin to stick to your face, so it is the perfect natural ingredient for an exfoliator.

Simply mix half a fresh lemon with half a cup of granulated sugar, then add one teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of organic honey. Click here for the full ingredient list.

4. Sugar

Sugar is one of the best natural exfoliators as the grains are small and rough, so they are ideal for removing dead skin. Sugar also contains glycolic acid, which will help to break down dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Make our own sugar exfoliator with half a cup of sugar and half a cup of olive oil. Click here to learn how to make the mask yourself.

5. Yogurt

Yoghurt isn’t just a tasty treat – it is also an excellent exfoliator as it contains alpha hydroxyl acid, one of the main ingredients found in prescription skin care product. Yoghurt will also hydrate your skin as it exfoliates, so it is well suited to people with dry skin.

Simply mix one teaspoon of yogurt with one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of oats. You can click here to see the full ingredient list.

6. Almonds

You may not think that almonds are a good exfoliator, but if they are ground up finely they are great! The texture is perfect for exfoliation, and the nutrient-rich almonds will make your skin glow.

Mix quarter of a cup of ground almonds with three teaspoons of raw organic honey and quarter of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. You can also add one teaspoon of argan oil for added benefits. See the full ingredient list here.

7. Sea Salt

Sea salt is a wonderful exfoliator as the granules are coarse and large. It is worth noting that due to the size of the grains, this is a strong exfoliator so it should be avoided by people with very sensitive skin.

Simply mix one cup of finely ground Himalayan salt with one teaspoon of coconut oil and two teaspoons of sweet almond oil, then add one teaspoon of castile soap. See the full ingredient list here.

8. Honey

Raw honey is great for your skin as it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antiseptic and anti-fungal benefits. This helps to reduce the chance of skin infections and redness, and it can also help to fight against acne. It also attracts moisture while exfoliating, so it is a moisturizing exfoliator that is suited to dry skin.

Make you own exfoliator using one teaspoon of raw honey and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Learn more about the exfoliator here.

9. Coffee

Coffee can wake up your skin and help to decrease puffiness around the eyes. It also has a great texture for exfoliating; it is rough but also crumbly so it will remove skin without irritating your face. You can either use fresh beans or ones that have already been brewed!

Combine half a teaspoon of coconut oil with half a teaspoon of finely ground coffee beans for this exfoliator. Learn how to use the mask here.

10. Papaya

Papaya is a great exfoliator as it contains the enzyme papain, which helps to dissolve dead skin cells without irritating the new skin cells. This is very similar to the prescription medication tretinion, but without any side effects such as skin flaking!

You can make your own mask using just four teaspoons of blended papaya and one tablespoon of honey. Click here to see how to make your own papaya mask.

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The Differences Between a Terrible Pick up Line and a Sweet One That Can't Fail

Picking up an attractive woman is a strong desire for some men, but it can also be quite difficult. You may be wondering what you should say to get the woman interested in you, also avoiding embarrassing yourself or getting yourself arrested? Here is a guide to everything you need to know, from the worst pick up line to what can be said to maximize your success rate:

When Is A Good Pick-up Line Most Needed?

The simple answer is that you should always have a good line ready, because you just don’t know when the perfect woman for you may come along. Most commonly, pick up lines are used in clubs or bars when approaching women. However, you may also want to stir up a conversation on a bus or train [1], while waiting in a dentist’s office, or even with a colleague at work.

How Bad Things Can Go with The Worst Pick-up Line?

Bad pick up lines make everyone cringe, men and women alike. The best case scenario of using a bad pick up line is getting ignored or rejected. Worst case, the person you approach may make fun of you or laugh about you to their friends. They may even take their phone out and start recording videos while making fun of you! Worst of all if you are particularly creepy, a woman may even call security or the police if your bad pick up lines make her especially uncomfortable.

Worst Pick-up Lines (You Should Really Avoid Them!)

Here are some examples of bad pickup lines from Uncyclopedia [2] that you DON’T want to use:

  • You really remind me of my ex-girlfriend!
  • You have really nice breasts
  • Nice shoes, we should go out
  • The doctor assures me I’m completely disease-free now
  • You’re like a tree stump, I’m falling over you
  • You’re hotter than my sister
  • If I had a dime for every time a girl said yes, I’d still be poor
  • Blink once if you want to go out with me
  • I’m with the FBI, female body inspectors
  • I’m secretly Batman
  • I’m not Fred Flintstone, but I can still make your bed rock
  • This chocolate bar isn’t the only thing that’s king-sized
  • You’re really beautiful for an overweight person
  • Will you marry me?
  • Are you free tonight or will it cost me?

Hopefully, you can immediately see what’s wrong with these bad lines, but if not, here’s a basic rundown of things to avoid when you approach women.

Some Further Taboos in Pick-up Lines

Don’t comment on their body

It doesn’t matter if you have a positive or negative thing to say about it. Women don’t want a shallow guy who is only interested in their physical appearance.

Don’t be creepy

This should actually be Rule #1. Whenever you’re approaching a woman, you should be observing to see if you are making her uncomfortable, and back off if that’s the case. The most unattractive thing for a woman is a creepy guy who is totally oblivious to how creepy he is.

Don’t be cheesy

No girl is going to want to talk to you if you make her eyes roll herself into another dimension.

Don’t come on too strong

Similar to not being creepy, there is a socially acceptable amount of compliments that you can give to a stranger.

So, What Makes A Good Pick-up Line?

Be genuine – don’t pretend to be a doctor or lawyer, and don’t act super suave. Just be yourself.

Be respectful – Don’t come on extremely aggressive. Respect personal space. Be polite and move on if she says no. Being approached by a random stranger can be scary and intimidating, so smile and be calm and use open body language to put them at ease.

A great pick up line only works if it is followed by real and engaging conversation. Otherwise it is like giving beautiful paints and a canvas to a man with no creative talent. Good start but no art. Before a guy reaches out to a new girl he should write down at least 5 reasons he would be a great person to get to know. No bull. 5 at least. If he cannot come up with 5 then the best line in the world will get him nowhere.

Matthew Anderson, Relationship Coach and Author of The Resurrection of Romance [3]

Best Pick-up lines (You May Follow or Learn From Them)

Here are a few good pick up lines that should give you a better understanding of what works. If all else fails, these will surely get you a laugh, and that’s a great start.

  • Hey, do you have a few minutes for me to hit on you?
  • Would you like to go out sometime? Just smile for yes, or do a backflip for no.
  • I was trying to have a guys’ night out and you just totally ruined it by being so cute.
  • You’re so beautiful that you made me forget my pickup line.
  • If you were a fruit, you’d be a fineapple.
  • Can I take a picture of you so I can show Santa Clause what I want for Christmas?
  • Hey did you drop something? (Ummm What?) Your standards, Hi I’m Nick
  • Rejection can lead to emotional stress for both parties involved and emotional stress can lead to physical complications such as headaches, ulcers, cancerous tumors, and even death! So for my health and yours, JUST SAY YES!
  • Excuse me, I just noticed you noticing me and I just wanted to give you notice that I noticed you too.
  • I need to hop over to Facebook for a second to change my status to smitten.

Prepare For The Worst, Hope For The Best

Just remember to be yourself, and don’t act creepy. Remember not to take it personally if you get turned down a few times; not everyone is going to react favourably when you approach them. But if you try enough times, you’re sure to find the woman of your dreams. If all else fails, just drop the cheesy lines and be honest. A sincere “Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re really beautiful” could be your strongest line of all.

Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

Reference

[1] Older Dating: Non-Creepy Ways to Start a Conversation With a Stranger Today
[2] Uncyclopedia: Worst 100 Pick-Up Lines of All Time
[3] The Resurrection of Romance: Home

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How to Make People Read Your Emails (and Letters) and Reply Every Time

Writing business letters is something we all have to do from time to time, but we don’t usually get any training in school about how to actually do it. Getting your letter format wrong can make you look sloppy and unprofessional, but once you get the basics down and have some examples to work from, it makes business letter writing that much easier.

What’s the biggest “no-no” when writing a business letter?

Probably the most common problem people have when writing business letters is using improper letter format.[1] Within this format there are a few options, but for the most part this is how it is done.

At the very top of your letter should be your contact information: name, company (if applicable), address and phone number. Some people also put their email address here.

Next comes the date and the person you are writing’s contact information: name, company and address.

Then there will be a greeting — usually something along the lines of “Dear Mr./Mrs. Jones.” The body of the letter follows, then a closing (Sincerely, Best, whatever you like) and a few blank lines followed by your typed signature. When you print the letter out you can sign it with ink.

Once you have the format down, it’s the content that can still be a little tricky. Whether you’re writing a letter of resignation or a recommendation letter, there are some basic rules you can follow. Here’s a look at 10 different kinds of business letters you might need to write,[2] the letter format for each and an example you can use as a template.

Complaint Letter: Express Disappointment

A way to formally express your disappointment in an experience, report bad customer service or let a company know their products didn’t meet the expectations.

Some tips:

  • Don’t get emotional or angry; just state the facts.
  • Be cordial, professional and brief. Let them know what happened and what you’d like them to do to make it right.
  • Close by giving them a deadline to respond before getting a third-party mediator or lawyer involved.

Sample complaint letter | Federal Trade Commission

Adjustment Letter: Explain and Apologize

If you find yourself on the business side of a complaint letter, you will need to respond with a letter of your own. A good adjustment letter can help you keep a loyal customer; a bad one might spread like wildfire on the Internet.

Some tips:

  • In most cases you’ll want to actually apologize that your company didn’t meet expectations.
  • Let them know what you are doing to make it right, or explain why you’re not doing what the customer asked if needed.
  • Be professional, concise, friendly and apologetic.

Sample adjustment letters | OfficeWriting.com

Sales Letters: Raise Awareness and Promote Products

Letters writing to solicit business are still important for raising awareness of your company or products/services among potential clients.

Some tips:

  • Keep it brief.
  • Make it about them, but not about you or your company.
  • Call to action, tell them what to do and how to do it.
  • If desired, you can also include your next steps or follow-up actions.

Sales letter templates | Letters.org

Letter of Inquiry: Seek Information

Write this kind of letter when seeking information, such as an interview request, a request for a catalog or a request for a public document.

Some tips:

  • Be specific and brief; make it easier for the person who can track whatever you need down for you.
  • Providing some context and background can be helpful, but not the whole story of why you need a document.
  • Be courteous and show your gratitude.
  • If you are asking about the possibility of work, use the cover letter format.

Inquiry letter templates | Sample Templates

Acknowledgement Letter: Indicate Message Received

Acknowledgment letters indicate that you received something (like a job or scholarship application, or sales materials) but have not necessarily taken action yet.

Some tips:

  • Be short.
  • If there is information every person who sent information needs to know, such as when a decision will be made about hiring for a position, include that as well.
  • It might be used to thank someone for donating to cause, so include in the letter with any attachments.

Acknowledgement letters for every occasion | Template.net

Follow-Up Letter: Nudge and Remind

A follow-up letter is sort of a nudge for people to make sure they received an initial letter and to remind them what you want them to do. They are often sent after a sales letter, letter of introduction or letter requesting information.

Some tips:

  • Be short to remind the recipient who you are, what and when you requested.
  • Include deadline if the initial note didn’t.
  • Include a call to action as a reminder.

Follow-up templates of all sorts | Write Express

Order Letter: Place an Order

A formal way to place an order.

Some tips:

  • Be concise and precise.
  • Make sure you include all the information a person would need to place an order for you.
  • Include all your shipping information and payment method.
  • Show your gratitude.
  • Provide contact information for follow-up.

Order letter samples | How to Write a Letter

Cover Letter: Introduce Yourself for a Job

A cover letter is a way to introduce yourself, especially when applying for a job.

Some tips:

  • Mention the job you are applying for right up front. You don’t have to be fancy.
  • Only cover a few relevant points on your resume, especially any related experiences.
  • Remember to mention your soft skills (e.g. communication skills, leadership skills) too.
  • Include contact information and make yourself available for answering any questions the hiring manager might have.

Cover letter format | Monster

Letter of Recommendation: Help or Reference Someone for Their Applications

This type of letter is often written by a teacher to help a student applying for a scholarship or internship or for admittance into a school or program. You might also write one to recommend someone for a job, fellowship or other opportunity.

Some tips:

  • Be honest about the person you are writing about.
  • Don’t gush or agree to write a letter for someone you wouldn’t support or don’t know very well.
  • Use specific examples to highlight the person’s skills and abilities.
  • Write something about why you would give this opportunity to the person you are writing about.
  • Thank the reader for their time and include contact information should they have questions.

Sample recommendation letter | the Muse

Letter of Resignation: Resign From a Position

Don’t give in to any urges you might have to send an incendiary letter of resignation; you never know when you might cross paths with these people again.

  • Keep it short and to the point: “This letter serves as notice that I am resigning my position as x effective x. Thank you for the opportunity” says enough.
  • Consider your words very carefully if you are in a high-profile position and your letter is likely to be released publicly.
  • You can include a reason if you like, but it isn’t necessary.
  • Thank your boss and/or the company for the opportunities you’ve had there.

Resignation letters for many purposes/reasons | the Balance

For many other possible letters you could need in your business career, check this exhaustive list from the Balance.

Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

Reference

[1] English Sherpa: 7 Common Mistakes of Writing Business Letters). Writing a cover letter for a job application or a sales letter to gain clients is not like writing an email to a friend; certain rules need to be followed.

You also need to make sure that you use proper grammar and spelling, are not too casual in your writing and that you remove all of the parts of any template you may be using that should have been filled in (like a dummy mailing address at the top or the wrong date).

Know the basics of business letters, they are more useful than you think.

If you’re writing a business letter that’s going to be mailed, there are some common letter format rules that will help you get started.((The Balance: Format for Writing a Business Letter

[2] Houston Chronicle: 10 Types of Business Letters

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