13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

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We all reach critical points in our lives where our mental strength is tested. It might be a toxic friend or colleague, a dead-end job, or a struggling relationship. Whatever the challenge, you have to see things through a new lens, and take decisive action if you want to move through it successfully.

It sounds easy, but it isn’t.

It’s fascinating how mentally strong people set themselves apart from the crowd. Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to overcome.

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that mental strength comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, mental strength is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know how much you have and what you can do to improve it if you lack it. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book.

Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid) EQ tests aren’t free, so I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of high emotional intelligence. This data shows that what you don’t do is just as important as what you do when it comes to EQ.

The beauty of EQ is that it’s a flexible skill that you can easily improve with effort. Absolutely anyone can enhance their EQ by emulating the habits of emotionally intelligent people. If you’re up for it, start with these critical things that emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid. They consciously avoid these behaviors because they are tempting and easy to fall into if one isn’t careful.

1. They don’t stay in their comfort zone. Self-awareness is the foundation of EQ, and increasing your self-awareness isn’t comfortable. You can’t increase your EQ without pushing yourself to discover what you need to work on and what you should be doing differently. This is hard because when you take a really good look at yourself, you aren’t going to like everything you see. It’s more comfortable to keep the blinders on, but they make certain that you’ll never have a high EQ.

2. They don’t give in to fear.
They say that bravery is being scared to death to do something and doing it anyway. Many times, that’s true, even when it comes to your career. The fear doesn’t have to come from something as extreme as rushing into a burning building; it can be a fear of public speaking or going out on a limb to try for a promotion. If you use fear as an excuse not to do something, you’ve already lost. It’s not that emotionally intelligent people aren’t afraid—they simply pick themselves up and fight on regardless of the fear.

3. They don’t stop believing in themselves. Emotionally intelligent people persevere. They don’t give up in the face of failure, and they don’t give up because they’re tired or uncomfortable. They’re focused on their goals, not on momentary feelings, and that keeps them going even when things are hard. They don’t take failing to mean that they’re a failure. Likewise, they don’t let the opinions of others keep them from chasing their dreams. When someone says, “You’ll never be able to do that,” they regard it as one person’s opinion, which is all it is.

4. They don’t beg for attention. People who are always begging for attention are needy. They rely on that attention from other people to form their self-identity. Emotionally intelligent people couldn’t care less about attention. They do what they want to do and what needs to be done, regardless of whether anyone is stroking their ego.

5. They don’t act like jerks.
People who act like jerks are unhappy and insecure. They act like jerks because they don’t have the emotional strength to be nice when they don’t feel like it. Emotionally intelligent people place high value on their relationships, which means they treat everyone with respect, regardless of the kind of mood they’re in.

6. They don’t hold grudges.
The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. Researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs.

7. They don’t hang around negative people.
Negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to negative people because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear to someone and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. Emotionally intelligent people avoid getting drawn in by setting limits and distancing themselves from negative people when necessary. Think of it this way: If a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with negative people.

8. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. Here’s the worst thing about feeling sorry for yourself, other than it being annoying, of course: it shifts your locus of control outside yourself. Feeling sorry for yourself is, in essence, declaring that you’re a helpless victim of circumstance. Emotionally intelligent people never feel sorry for themselves because that would mean giving up their power.

9. They don’t feel entitled. Emotionally intelligent people believe that the world is a meritocracy and that the only things that they deserve are those that they earn. People who lack EQ often feel entitled. They think that the world owes them something. Again, it’s about locus of control. Emotionally intelligent people know that they alone are responsible for their successes or failures.

10. They don’t close their minds. When people close their minds to new information or opinions, it’s typically because they find them threatening. They think that admitting that someone else is right means that they’re wrong, and that’s very uncomfortable for people lacking EQ. Emotionally intelligent people aren’t threatened by new things; they’re open to new information and new ideas, even if it means admitting that they are wrong.

11. They don’t let anyone limit their joy. When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself with others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something they’ve done, they don’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself with others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.

12. They don’t get eaten up by jealousy and envy.
Emotionally intelligent people understand that the happiness and success of others doesn’t take away from their own, so jealousy and envy aren’t an issue for them. They see success as being in unlimited supply, so they can celebrate others’ successes.

13. They don’t live in the past. Failure can erode your self-confidence and make it hard to believe you’ll achieve a better outcome in the future. Most of the time, failure results from taking risks and trying to achieve things that aren’t easy. Emotionally intelligent people know that success lies in their ability to rise in the face of failure, and they can’t do this if they’re living in the past. Anything worth achieving is going to require your taking some risks, and you can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed. When you live in the past, that is exactly what happens—your past becomes your present and prevents you from moving forward.

Bringing It All Together

Improving your emotional intelligence is the single most important thing you can do to improve your life. The good news is that you can make it happen with a little determination, effort, and a good model to follow.

Source: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Louis Vuitton Offers $10,000 Alligator Wingtips

 By; Han SunLouis Vuitton Offers $10,000 Alligator Wingtips

At an astonishing price of $10,000 per pair, Louis Vuitton is offering what are perhaps the world’s most expensive pair of men’s dress shoes. The Manhattan Richelieu wingtips are finished in waxed genuine alligator skin.

Designed to embody the famed French firm’s tradition of luxury and craftsmanship with a bit of vintage flair, the handmade footwear features intricate stitching and a subtle pattern of perforations.

They are crafted using Blake construction, a shoe-making technique designed to impart immediate suppleness and comfort. The thread is embedded in the outsole, making it less vulnerable to wear and tear.

The stylish shoes have a glove-soft leather lining, a Ruthenium-finish metal LV monogram cube embedded in the leather heel and a hand-painted leather sole.

 

10 Ways Taylor Swift Has Changed On The 10th Anniversary Of Her First Album 

TAYLOR SWIFT
Remember when? 

On her self-titled debut album, Taylor Swift tells us about “Our Song.” You know, the one about the sound of screen doors slamming and window tapping. No one could have known that 10 years and four studio albums later, her songs would become the soundtrack to our own lives. Who hasn’t belted “You Belong With Me” at the top of their lungs or found comfort from a breakup in “All Too Well?” If you’re not raising your hand, you’re lying.

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Swift’s first album, so what better time to reflect on how the country princess transformed into a bona fide pop star? Let’s count the ways in which she’s changed since she name-dropped Tim McGraw all those years ago.

1. The Taylor Swift style evolution.

When the world first met Taylor Swift, she was marketed as a regular ol’ country girl who was plucked off the farm and onto the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. (In reality, Swift was born in suburban Pennsylvania and grew up there until she moved to Nashville at the age of 14, but shhhh ― don’t tell.)

Back then, her go-to outfit could best be described as a knock-off extra from “Nashville.” She regularly sported colorful cowboy boots and boldly patterned dresses. Slowly yet surely, however, Swift and her sense of style matured. She began to make bolder and less conservative choices on the red carpet, ditching the boots for heels and making regular appearances on best-dressed lists.

Each of Swift’s albums corresponds to a different fashion era ― “Red,” for example, gives off retro ‘50s vibes, whereas “Fearless” is all about the princess fantasy. In the year following the release of “1989” Swift finally cemented her place in fashion royalty, rocking body-baring couture looks left and right and co-chairing the 2016 Met Gala.

 

2. From solo to squad.

The concept most commonly associated with Swift today ― besides the snake emoji ― is the squad. After the release of her fourth album, “Red,” and a string of failed relationships, the world witnessed a major shift in Swift philosophy.

On “1989” she was no longer just singing about ex-boyfriends who left her crying in the rain at 3 a.m. (why is it always 3 a.m.?) but shifted the focus to the importance of having a group of girlfriends. Previously, she had eschewed mentioning the word feminist in public interviews. Now she was shouting it from the rooftops, claiming it was a central component to her new album.

“Feminism is probably the most important movement that you could embrace, because it’s just basically another word for equality,” she told Maxim in 2015.

The release of her song “Bad Blood,” which has arguably flimsy feminist principles (more on that later), put Swift’s female friendships with the likes of Selena Gomez and Gigi Hadid front and center.

3. Goodbye country, hello pop music.

Listening to “1989,” it’s almost impossible to detect any hints of Swift’s country origins amid the electronic and ‘80s-inspired production. With each album, Swift has drifted farther away from the Nashville sound, carving out her own space in the industry and taking control of her voice.

“I think for me it’s really important to constantly challenge yourself, and also I think you have to keep people’s attention by surprising them,” Swift said of abandoning the country twang for “1989.” “As far as my musical direction goes I would always like to keep people on their toes in that regard.”

Perhaps one day, she’ll loop back around and deliver a country album a la “Joanne,” but for now, it’s safe to categorize Swift as a pop star.

4. Her songwriting skills have greatly improved.

No shade on “Teardrops on my Guitar,” but many of the songs on Swift’s first album relied upon trite country themes of heartbreak, high school longing and pick-up trucks. While Swift has always had a hand in writing her own music, her talents as a songwriter have seriously improved since her debut.

Look no further than “Red” to see how she’s flourished as an artist. In our humble opinion, “All Too Well” is the finest track Swift has ever produced lyrically. In the epic ballad, Swift takes a through another love story (heeeeey Jake Gyllenhaal), but expertly uses details like “dancing in the refrigerator light” to paint a picture of relationships that’s so realistic, you can’t help but relate.

And if there’s anyone out there refuting her songwriting ability, just ask Nils Sjober.

 

5 . Welcome to New York.

If her first album was all about Nashville, the Taylor Swift of 2016 is decidedly a New Yorker. As a promotional effort for “1989,” Swift partnered with the official New York City tourism board and the singer herself took up residence in the city ― she reportedly lives in a penthouse in Tribeca. In a series of videos, Swift broke down some New York-specific words like “bodega” and “stoop,” much to the chagrin of real New Yorkers everywhere.

 

6. Don’t mention Katy Perry.

The one person left out of Swift’s feminist transformation was … drumroll please … Katy Perry. Although the two rival pop stars used to be friends, they apparently entered into some sort of blood feud in 2014, when Swift insinuated that a female artist (Perry, duh) tried to “sabotage an entire arena tour.”

“She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, ‘Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?’” Swift told Rolling Stone. But in 2013, her frenemy did something awful. “She did something so horrible,” Swift told the outlet. “I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’”

Swift’s ex-boyfriend later confirmed the rivalry when he accused her of attempting to “bury” him “like Katy.”

 

7. She’s expanded her repertoire ― for better or worse.

OK, it was for the worse.

 

8. She’s apparently dating Drake now.

No one has confirmed the rumored romance, but Swift and Drake have been making headlines this week for their cuddly behavior at his 30th birthday party. She reportedly even met his mom.

The pairing is surprising given how different Swift and Drake are from each other. (Also, in what world would Drake go from Rihanna to TSwift?) Let’s be honest ― Swift was hardly writing her love ballads about a rapper from Toronto.

Actually, while Swift was recording her first album, Drake was probably still a regular on “Degrassi,” so maybe this pairing makes perfect sense?

 

9. Introducing Kanye West.

If there’s any person whose rise to superstardom has paralleled Swift’s, it’s Kanye West. Over the past 10 years their paths have intersected more than once, propelling each of their careers into new and surprising directions.

The connection, of course, began at the 2009 VMAs, when West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech to inform the world that she had been incorrectly awarded “Best Female Video.” The public cast Swift as a victim and West as her aggressor, irrevocably tying their fates together.

In the following years, West and Swift would make amends, even hinting at possible collaborations, and hugging onstage at the 2015 Grammy Awards.

Who would’ve known that a year later, controversy would find these two again when Kim Kardashian released the Snapchat receipts of Swift approving certain lyrics of Kanye West’s “Famous.”

This time, West was the victim ― he called Taylor for her opinion after all ― while Swift was saddled with the reputation of being a master manipulator.

10. She took control of her own voice.

In 2015, Swift penned a rallying cry about Apple’s streaming service changes and how they disenfranchised artists who’d worked tirelessly to distribute their music to the masses. But, in her own words, the letter wasn’t really about her. It was about seeing justice in the music industry and protecting the voice of the artist.

“This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success,” she wrote. “This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt.”

High-powered record companies and men in suits have likely had a big influence on Swift’s career. She probably couldn’t have gotten this far without them. But by standing up for the proverbial little guy, Swift honored those who haven’t been as fortunate, in hopes that one day some other girl with a guitar has the chance to make her voice heard too.

Source: 10 Ways Taylor Swift Has Changed On The 10th Anniversary Of Her First Album 

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Where does Jeff Bezos foresee putting space colonists? Inside O’Neill cylinders

By; Alan Boyle,O'Neill cylinder

Source: Where does Jeff Bezos foresee putting space colonists? Inside O’Neill cylinders

Scientists have just discovered that this one green vegetable might be the key to staying young

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Its not exactly the fountain of youth, but promising new research shows that there’s one particular enzyme that can actually slow down the onset of some of the chronic issues that come with age. Where can we find this enzyme, you ask? Well, in broccoli for starters.

Love it or hate it, we have several compelling reasons to give broccoli some serious respect: lately, it’s been proving it’s a pretty incredible little vegetable. From having some incredibly good effects for the skin, and even being added to coffee to boost your intake of antioxidants, broccoli is kind of the hero veggie of the moment.

In a paper published in Cell Metabolism, a Washington University School of Medicine-led research team found a way to make cells behave as though they’re younger than they actually are.

sc-bcNBC / giphy.comNow, the cells the researchers were working on were in mice, not humans – but it’s still a pretty exciting find. The agent that makes cells act younger is called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), and it’s involved in the production of another compound. That compound is necessary for energy metabolism.

When the researchers gave mice (who were aging normally) infusions of NMN, the bodies of these mice made more of that second compound – and, most importantly, some of the issues that go hand-in-hand with aging basically disappeared. The mice treated with NMN showed improvement in their eyesight and blood sugar levels, and a lowering in age-associated weight gain.

Dr. Shin-Ichiro Imai, who is the senior author of the paper as well as a professor of developmental biology and medicine at Washington University says: “It’s clear that in humans and in rodents, we lose energy with age. We are losing the enzyme NMN. But if we can bypass that process by adding NMN, we can make energy again. These results provide a very important foundation for the human studies.”

NMN is also found in cabbage, edamame, and cucumbers as well as broccoli – however, it’s probably unlikely that you’d be able to eat yourself young naturally.

According to Dr. Imai, “If you do the math, I wouldn’t say it’s impossible entirely but probably very difficult to get the whole amount [you need] simply from natural foods.”

broccoliImgur / giphy.comPart of the research team is based at Keio University in Tokyo and will begin an early study by giving NMN supplements to human participants in pill form. Until then, though, we have to say: Pass the broccoli.

Source: Scientists have just discovered that this one green vegetable might be the key to staying young

Would You Buy A Genetically-Engineered Cashmere Sweater? 

XIAOLONG WANG
The extra-fluffy, genetically-altered cashmere goats at 6 months old.

 

Cashmere is not merely goat hair.

No, no. Most hair on a goat — even a so-called cashmere goat — is coarse and thick, unsuitable for the neck of lady. Cashmere comes from a second undercoat that goats grow only in the winter, where the hairs are fine and soft and downy. But even goats specially bred to produce cashmere grow pitifully little — about half a pound per goat. Hence, your very expensive cashmere sweater.

In China, the world’s top producer of cashmere, scientists have been trying to breed more productive cashmere goats. They’ve now used CRISPR, the genetic editing technique, to disrupt a single gene in cashmere goats. The change made hair in their undercoats even longer and more numerous — but not, crucially, any thicker. The genetic tweak boosts yield by about three ounces.

So are you thinking what I’m thinking? How do you sell cashmere from GMOs? Conventional genetic engineering in the 90s took on commodity crops like corns and soybeans, and even more recent CRISPR experiments, like the bulked-up pigs in South Korea, are aimed toward large potential markets. Cashmere is a luxury product, its value derived precisely from its rarity. What does making more cashmere — through a process as widely misunderstood and disliked as genetic modification — do to its value? What happens to a luxury product in the age of genetic engineering?

Cashmere is a luxury product, its value derived precisely from its rarity. What does making more cashmere — through a process as widely misunderstood and disliked as genetic modification — do to its value? What happens to a luxury product in the age of genetic engineering?

 

It’s worth considering that CRISPR’s recent discovery is the reason we’re even contemplating this question. Just a few years ago, a couple papers on gene-editing potential of CRISPR set off a firestorm in biology, expanding the imaginations of geneticists. The new technique makes it relatively easy to edit genes in virtually any species. And while much of the hype has focused on CRISPR’s potential to cure human diseases or to rid the world of malaria mosquitoes or revive the extinct wooly mammoth, an unappreciated effect of genetic engineering is how it changes the way we get stuff — stuff we eat, wear, use, and break. After all, conventional genetic engineering changed the face of modern agriculture for a commodity crops; for better or worse, CRISPR could do the same to niche markets, including cashmere.

So I called up Karl Spilhaus, longtime president of the Boston-based trade group Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute. Spilhaus was circumspect. He says the industry could be open to hair from these genetically modified goats if the quality was there. It’s just way too early to tell.

But he also pointed out why the Chinese would be interested be creating a higher-yield cashmere goat. Lately, China’s dominance of cashmere market has gotten shakier. The goats graze on windswept grasslands in China’s northwest, and they grow their cashmere undercoats in response to harsh winters. As China modernizes, the cashmere-goat-herding lifestyle is falling out of favor.  “People no longer want to pursue the nomadic way of life,” says Spilhaus. “And China’s diet is going more toward meat, and goat meat is a big factor. It’s a lot easier for a herdsman to raise goats for meat than for very fine cashmere.”

Cashmere production has also taken a toll on the environment in Central Asia. Goats are destructive grazers, and their hooves destroy the root systems of grass. This double whammy has contributed to desertification in China and Mongolia. Environmentalist groups have taken stances against cashmere, which has in turn prompted efforts towards a “Sustainable Cashmere Standard.”

Here, perhaps, genetically-modified goats could find a niche. Loro Piana, an Italian company that specializes in high-end wool and cashmere, has launched a sustainability program to increase the yield of cashmere goats in China through traditional selective breeding (not gene editing), in hopes of raising fewer goats without sacrificing yield. If gene editing could accomplish the same — and achieve gains greater than through selective breeding — than perhaps you just might see a new “green cashmere.”

“Genetics always goes hand-in-hand with the environment and the production system,” says Scott Fahrenkrug, cofounder of the livestock genetics company Recombinetics. In other words, a means to alter DNA is a means to alter the living systems that create our food and clothes and everyday objects. To win over the public to this new wave of genetic engineering enabled by CRISPR, though, you need to alter it for the better. That is Fahrenkrug’s argument for Recombinetics, which uses genetic engineering to create hornless dairy cows, eliminating the painful process of dehorning cows.

Fahrenkrug is skeptical that yield gains currently reported in the genetically altered goats are enough to sell it. And to be clear, the Chinese scientists have no immediate plans to commercialize their gene-edited cashmere goats. Xiaolong Wang, a biologist at Northwest A&F University who worked on the goats, says the team is still studying the effects of the mutation. They want to know, for example,  what other consequences it may have on the long-term growth of the goats. “It may take years of work,” he wrote in an email. For now, the only genetically modified cashmere goats are the ones in a research lab.

CRISPR research is still only a few years old, and the full spectrum of its applications barely explored. As scientists try out new ways of using CRISPR, the effects will likely ripple outward, touching more species, more markets, and perhaps even more items on your Christmas list.

Source: Would You Buy A Genetically-Engineered Cashmere Sweater?