The Hope Effect: Giving Orphans (And Yourself) a Brighter Future

The Hope Effect: Giving Orphans (And Yourself) a Brighter Future

Everyone deserves a chance.

A chance at health and happiness, love and community. A chance at deeply meaningful work that you can be proud of. A chance to start over, at any age or circumstance, and pursue your curiosity and passion wherever they may take you.

These are some of the guiding principles in my business and I’ve worked hard to extend those chances to as many people as possible. But it’s not just about chances, is it?

It’s about having the capacity—the mindset, confidence, and resilience—to recognize and capitalize on life’s opportunities. To avoid the feelings of helplessness when you suffer setbacks. To believe in your ability to navigate the unknown or uncertain.

These things aren’t easy for any of us, but few factors are as important as the environment you experienced during your formative years.

That’s why I’ve decided to team up with my friend Joshua Becker in support of his nonprofit, The Hope Effect, which aims to bring a better life to orphans around the world.

8 million children live in orphanages. But there is growing research that the traditional, institutional care that most orphans receive may do long-term harm. When children do not receive adequate personal interaction within a loving environment, development is stunted and learning abilities are delayed or lost. Many kids age out only to face a future of crime, prostitution, or trafficking.

The Hope Effect aims to change that by rethinking the orphanage design. Family-style homes for two caretakers and eight children in a campus-like setting provide opportunity for each child to flourish and thrive. Access to health, dental, and social care is provided while each child is prepared for the future through education, responsibility, support and the structure that parents were designed to provide.

I’m asking the Everyday Bright community to help me raise $2000 to extend the chance at a better life to orphans in Honduras. If just 100 people donated $20 (the same amount many of us spend on silly gifts for the office holiday party), we’d hit the goal.

But as a fellow big-hearted citizen of the world, I know there are many, many worthwhile causes asking for your support, so I wanted to find a way to make this a bigger win-win for everyone involved. Here’s what I’m proposing: (more…)

What Holds You Back Can Propel You Forward: An Interview With Tim Lawrence

What Holds You Back Can Propel You Forward: An Interview With Tim Lawrence

There’s something that’s holding you back, isn’t there?

Maybe your parents weren’t kind or supportive, and you’re still trying to prove you’re worthy of their affection. Maybe you were bullied or abused, and a part of you still believes the taunts. Maybe you made some poor decisions in life and you worry you always will.

You don’t dwell on it much. After all, we all have our hurts and you’re just trying to move on. But the more you try to bury the pain and shame, the heavier the load you have to carry becomes.

Tim Lawrence understands your pain. He’s been experiencing it most of his life.

Tim was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, essentially a massive stroke, at birth and nearly died. As is common for those with the condition, he also suffers from epilepsy. Given up for adoption, he went through years of intensive therapy followed by occasional and massive setbacks.

Tim’s life could have easily been a typical tough luck story–a guy who just never catches a break. Instead, he is living one of the most inspiring and authentic lives I know. (more…)

5 Unexpected Challenges of Financial Freedom

5 Unexpected Challenges of Financial Freedom

Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Tara Schiller.

Although most of us aren’t anywhere close to financial freedom, I think you’ll find these suggestions make sense no matter how much money you currently have in the bank.
We all want to be financially free, right?

I mean, who wants to be told what to do, where to go, when to wake up, and who to be? In fact, we value freedom so much it’s considered an essential human need.

So how could there be a downside to something as wonderful as being free?

Well these 5 challenges may surprise you.

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The Best Way to Get Perspective on Your Problems

The Best Way to Get Perspective on Your Problems

I thought I would break.

I felt overwhelmed. Over my head. I thought the pressure to deliver on my own promises would engulf me.

I don’t even remember what I was working on at the time. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed until everyone forgot about me and what I said I’d do. Which would never work, because the only person who was actually tapping her foot and demanding more results was me.

That night, I attended a party where we were all instructed to write notes of encouragement to our future selves. The party organizer would return our letters in six months time.

Frankly, it all felt a little hokey to me, but I played along.

Here’s what I wrote: (more…)

10 Nifty Ways to Beat Procrastination

10 Nifty Ways to Beat Procrastination

You’re stuck. Again.

You’ve been trying to make yourself work on that book/your fitness/decluttering the house for what seems like ever, but the harder you try the harder it is to resist the siren call of Facebook or Twitter. Before you know it, you’ve run out of time — and steam.

Funny, isn’t it, how much work it is NOT to do the work we’re resisting? It’s exhausting. If you had just put all that time and energy into your goals, imagine where you would be by now.

But you know that. It’s not as though you don’t beat yourself up about your procrastinating ways every day. How’s that working for you?

Don’t feel bad. We all do it.

Why do we resist? Because there is something we fear about the task at hand.

It could be as simple as a fear of the aches and pains of starting to exercise or the discomfort of doing a chore we dislike. It could be as obvious as a fear of failure. Or it could go deeper than that, like a fear of success.

Well, good news: I have battled procrastination all my life and in the process, I picked up a few tricks. (more…)