Bloggers Launch TrainforHumanity.org Humanitarian Initiative

2 10 2008
Image by darkmatter on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by darkmatter on Flickr via Creative Commons

Train for HumanityI know that a lot of my readers (judging by the Lifestyle Projects people have been leaving – thanks!) are interested in running and fitness. I myself enjoy am a (very) amateur triathlete, and I like to support charity. Therefore when I heard a few weeks ago about TrainforHumanity.org I thought it was a great idea. I also thought, how the hell does Leo execute so many good ideas! (I think that the point is that he does take action. It’s all very well having ideas but what makes people successful in their pursuits is taking action on those ideas).

Here’s the blurb, I hope you will support in any way you can.

Over the past five years, 200,000 civilians have died due to violence, malnutrition, and disease in Darfur and an additional 2.2 million people have been displaced. We want to do something about it.

Fed up with watching humanitarian crises on the evening news and not doing anything to help, a group of bloggers (most notably, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits) have created and founded the non-profit Train for Humanity, which is an online humanitarian awareness and fundraising organization.

Over 150,000 new blogs are added to the internet everday. Train for Humanity’s mission is to utilize the web, social media, and blogging, in tandem with athletes in training, to support organizations that help prevent suffering and alleviate the pain of children, orphans, and refugees who have been displaced due to genocide or internal strife and war within their country.

Quite simply, they believe – getting fit + social media + blogging = social good

The three pilot project athlete-bloggers, Mark Hayward, Dan Clements, and Leo Babauta are hoping to raise awareness for the current crisis in Darfur and funds for the organization Darfur Peace and Development. All three are training for endurance events of varying distances ranging from a triathlon to a marathon.

They hope to show people that with a little creativity and innovation, anyone can assist and make a difference in the world. If you would like to learn more, have a look at the Train for Humanity website and please consider sponsoring one of them or spreading the word.





Investing in Your Future

23 09 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

I’m on Holiday at the moment so I have for you an article by Lifestyle Project contributor Tom Church. Please bear with me for comment approval whilst I’m away. Enjoy!

Image by Oude School on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Oude School on Flickr via Creative Commons

“Learn the past, watch the present, and create the future.”

Looking out my bedroom window this morning, through the crisp sunlight, I noticed that the first of my garden trees had begun to shed its’ leaves. ‘Already?’ I thought. Recalling in my half-asleep brain the month, I gasped silently. 2008 was nearly over. It seems only yesterday that I was laughing uncontrollably at the dinner table with my family at Christmas. Surely it hadn’t already been 4 months since I finished school for good?

I began rattling my brains for a solution. There had to be some sort of time delusion going on, what had I done with all this time? Bit by bit, I began piecing together my year: the parties, the exams, the girl friend, the holidays, the jobs, the random events, the ups and the downs. And where did all this leave me standing? In the same room I woke up to in January.

After this mind boggling brain storm, I went downstairs to recover with a hearty breakfast. Whilst eating, I thought about how this year measured up in comparison with previous years. Surprisingly, I could not accurately conclude whether this year was better or worse than the years before, simply because they all seemed exactly the same.

This provoked some panic within me, especially as I began working out the percentage of my expected life I had already lived. It had gone too quickly for my liking, and I was shocked. I looked around me at the interior of my parent’s house where I live. All of this stuff was theirs. How on earth did they manage to acquire so much (rubbish) in the small difference between our ages?

Until today, I had always assumed that these sort of things just happen. You study, you get a job, you earn, you get married, you buy a house, you have kids, you die. Yet, as I have just discovered, this isn’t quite the case. With the economic crisis, I have found it incredibly difficult to find a job recently (well, it took me 2 weeks), and now I have one, I don’t really want it. By gaining a job, I am simply ticking off the next thing in my life check list. Next, get married. With every tick, I am becoming closer to death.

What would happen if I did the opposite? Un-learn, leave my job, spend money, become single, travel around, use protection, live. It sounds extremely appealing. At least it did to me at first.

Whilst in the gym today, I picked up a magazine for the first time entitled Psychology. I’d never read in the gym before, but this took my fancy after having read a blog post, Simple Ways To Increase Your Attractiveness which explains that learning the basics of Psychology will increase your attractiveness.

Within this magazine, there was an article about being honest with yourself and living in the present. There was a golden line (not literally) which initiated a huge thought explosion inside my head, it read, “Imagine that you’re fifty. What have you achieved with your life? Compare this to your present.”

And that’s exactly what I did. It was then that I realised material possessions were not the greatest component of my future happiness (although my vision did include myself looking out through the window of a penthouse apartment). I had a wife, a kid, a fire, a comfortable home, a view of the city and a sunset.

Comparing this to my present life, I sighed, concluding that I had none of these things. It seems that my ‘opposite-life-list’ of being single and spending money won’t lead me to my desired dream of when I am 50 years of age.

My vision showed that I wanted comfort when I was older, secure surroundings for myself and my family. It included a nice place with a view over the city, accurately representing my love of city life and the buzz of people. This means that I have to begin to invest in my life. I hate to think of living and dying alone, it scares me. Online dating sites show that the life check of ‘get married’, just doesn’t happen automatically. You have to work hard to find someone you can share love with.

Now that I have realised this (and hopefully you have too), I can start taking an active role in investing for my future life. This doesn’t mean putting huge amounts of cash into a high-interest bank account, although I would love to if I could. I am starting simple by developing an ‘investment attribute’ within my characteristics. Investing into projects that have long term benefits, for example, exercising every day or eating healthily, will develop a greater level of wisdom and foresight.

These returns should aid me in turning my dream into reality. For now, despite no sleep in the last 38 hours, I am going out to show my appreciation to my friends one last time before they go to University. Who knows, maybe one day, one of them will return this appreciation and save my life.

This article was written by Lifestyle Project contributor Tom Church of The Life of Change blog. Click here to subscribe to his blog. You can also find Tom on Twitter.

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Lifestyle Project | Friday Fun & Roundup | 19/09/2008

19 09 2008
Image by desevilla on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by desevilla on Flickr via Creative Commons

Last week I received comments that readers like the Friday Fun and Roundup…so here’s another one. However, there will be none next week as I am away on holiday and as it is collection of stuff I’ve seen in the preceding week it would just be pictures of beer and tapas. There is a guest blog post coming your way next week so keep an eye out for that, it’s a good one.

This video is both nuts and cool!

Links for you:

Have a great weekend!





Our Lifestyle Projects (and the future)

17 09 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Image by Vermin Inc on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Vermin Inc on Flickr via Creative Commons

“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” John M. Richardson Jr.

Without doubt, I think that the part of my Blog that has triumphed is the “What’s your Lifestyle Project?” page. It was a slow start, but once a few people posted the confidence of the community grew and now the flood gates have opened for people sharing their Lifestyle Projects. This is excellent, thanks to everyone that has shared.

If you haven’t shared your Lifestyle Project yet, please take a moment to think about it and do so here.

I have to be honest, I’ve been on a bit on a mission with Twitter recently and whenever someone follows me I send them a thanks notice via Tweet Later which invites them to share their Lifestyle Project on the Blog. This has been a great success, with 50 people so far sharing their Lifestyle Projects. I have done a short response to every single one, but plan to contact some individuals in the future to do some more in depth responses, actions plans and posts. Drop me a line if you would be interested lifestyle [dot] project [at] yahoo [dot] com.

What I have noticed so far is that there are a number of similar projects (or goals) amongst the submissions. I guess to an extent this is to be expected as readers of my Blog, and my followers on twitter are bound to have similar interests. There is a strange comfort in knowing that other people are striving for the same achievements as yourself and I’m sure we can all help each other realise our dreams.

My plans now are to improve this area of the site and refocus the Blog content more strategically towards helping myself and my readers pursue their Lifestyle Projects. I will be analysing the responses so far and aiming to increase submissions. I want to keep that area of the site simple but I am going to pursue options for managing people’s submissions of Lifestyle Projects better. I am aware of various sites that people can use to track their goals, but really all you need to track your goals in a list of what you are prioritising.

I’m on holiday next week, in part to research options for moving abroad as mentioned previously. Once I get back I plan to move the Blog properly on to a hosted wordpress.org platform, with a site redesign and more content focus.

So over to you my readers, how would you like to see this area of the site (and indeed the blog as a whole) progress? I have some ideas but would be interested in your feedback. Please do leave a comment below and let me know.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your kind words about the blogs so far, and taking time to interact with the Lifestyle Project community! The futures bright, so stay tuned!

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Thanks for your feedback on my Friday Fun & Roundup posts. For the moment, I’m going to stick with them and try and make the posts as interesting and useful as possible.

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The Last Friday Fun & Roundup? | 10/09/2008

12 09 2008
Image by Ben McLeod on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Ben McLeod on Flickr via Creative Commons

In the grand scheme of things, I think maybe my Friday Fun & Roundup posts are perhaps not the best things to put on my blog (maybe they feature better on a site that is purely personal?). I think that my readers (who are great people) deserve richer content rather than me being lazy and just posting up some links? However, I do like my link posts as I spend far too much time on the web and find many things that I think my readers will be interested in.

Therefore, I’m currently thinking of a way to still deliver these, but without diluting the overall content offering of my blog.

Anyway, here are some links I’ve enjoyed this week and I hope you will too (I’m sure they say a lot about what I’m thinking about a lot at the moment!) :

What do you think? Please do let me know in the comments your honest opinion (your comments mean a lot too me).





How to Achieve Greater Things

10 09 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Image by mundocuadro on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by mundocuadro on Flickr via Creative Commons

Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.” David Schwartz

I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between a positive and negative attitude in working towards your goals. I am the worst person for finding reasons why things can’t be done. If everyone had this attitude we would not have the many great products, achievements and events in the world. Unless you think Big and aim high you will never achieve great things.

Last night I watched Mission Everest. This is a documentary about Bear Grylls and Gilo Cardozo and their attempt to fly Paragliders over the height of the summit of Mount Everest 29,035ft (8850m).

Here’s the intro from their web site:

Reaching the ‘ceiling of the impossible’
Conventional wisdom says that technology has tamed the elements and removed risk from almost every human activity. GKN Mission Everest turns conventional wisdom on its head. Pitting a team of aviators against the forces of nature, the mission seeks to achieve a first: to a height above the summit of the world’s highest mountain using just powered paragliders – and reaching what explorers call the ‘ceiling of the impossible’.


Impossible?

Here are some things to consider, before this attempt no one had taken a paraglider above about 20,019 feet. They had to cope with temperatures of -60 °C and dangerously low oxygen levels to reach 29,500 feet, and they had to design and build specialist motors that would be capable of achieving this feat at these altitudes, as conventional paraglider motors could not cope at this altitude.

Now, how many people (including paragliding enthusiasts) would have said this couldn’t be done? Or not even tried? The answer = 99.99%.
Believe

The reason they achieved this is because they believed it could be done. Despite all the risks (including death) and reasons why it perhaps could not work out they still went for it, it is an admirable way to approach things.

Think and believe BIG and you will achieve great things. Set your sights low and small scale and you’ll achieve small things. They say ‘you are what you eat’, well you achieve what you think. This is important to remember in all areas of your life. If you think you will get ill, you probably will. If you think you can’t get fit, you probably won’t. If you think you and your new business will not work, you will fail (or worse, not even try).  Ask yourself: Do you not achieve things because you think that they can’t be done, or do you not even try because you don’t believe in yourself?
Aim Higher

There is a theory that it is easier to get $100 million than $1 million? Why is that, well the competition for $1 million is greater, there are more people trying to achieve that aim, more competition and lower odds. Less people are going for the $100 million goal because they think it can’t be done. The competition is therefore less and if you are going for it and believe in it then it is highly likely that you are the type of person who thinks big enough to achieve it.

Look at your goals and ambitions? Are they easy to achieve? Surely the hardest things to get are the best things to go for because the reward is so much greater. If you set yourself mediocre dreams then you will never be truly happy.
Start Today

Here’s a plan to get started on your road to achieving bigger and better things:

  1. Remove the word “can’t” from your vocabulary.
  2. Believe in yourself and what you can do.
  3. Set your goals high.
  4. Overcome challenges, don’t be defeated by problems.
  5. Increase your energy, eat well and be fit.
  6. Eliminate negativity (both internal and external).
  7. Talk the talk (say “we will approach it in this way”, rather than “it won’t work that way”).
  8. Smile more, look, feel and be positive.

Go for it!

“Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.”

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There is a complimentary post to this on my other blog Lists for Life called ‘Principles of Thinking and Achieving Big.’

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Lists for Life

8 09 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Since I started reading blogs and subsequently blogging myself, I’ve always been a fan of list posts. Why? Well lists are simple to understand, they get you straight to the point and it’s a great way of getting the core messages of the post quickly by scanning the titles. I’ll be honest, I only really scan most blog posts as I don’t have the time (and often the focus) to read each one work for word. List posts allow the reader to scan the content quickly and delve in to the points that they want more information on. However, increasingly I find myself just reading the points, understanding them instantly and moving on.

(Modifed) Original Image by Nocas on Flickr via Creative Commons

(Modifed) Original Image by Nocas on Flickr via Creative Commons

This is why I have launched a new blog “Lists for Life”. This is basically a collection of lists about anything and everything. My aim is to post one list per day. The lists will likely be a varying length and subject matter. I’ll be looking to put up “Guest Lists” from other bloggers, commenters or readers. If you are interested in a submitting a list please contact me.

Please check it out here and let me know what you think!

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Thanks for reading.

I hope you enjoyed my post. I’d love to hear your comments below or get a Digg or Stumble!

Also be sure to check out my other blog Lists for Life.