“Oh, no. It’s an E-Cig, it’s much Healthier.” – Studies Reveal Health Risks Of E-Cigarettes

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“There’s no such thing as a safe cigarette.” This is a line that has been used to describe menthols, filtered cigarettes, and slims, but it also applies to the latest product for smokers: electronic cigarettes. They have been widely heralded by users and manufacturers as a completely harmless smoking alternative, but there isn’t much research to back up that statement. Recent studies have shown that they still contain tiny particles that can irritate lung tissue and could cause disease.

Modern electronic cigarettes have been available for a decade and have been booming in popularity. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs don’t burn dried tobacco leaves doused in nearly 600 additives; 69 of which are carcinogenic. Instead, a battery-powered device heats a liquid solution (called e-liquid) of nicotine and flavors, creating an aerosol that is inhaled to simulate the physical sensation of smoking in a process known as “vaping”.

Higher end models of e-cigs allow the user to adjust the voltage from the battery, which regulates the intensity of the heating element. As the solution gets hotter, it intensifies the effect of the nicotine hit. Unfortunately, these higher temperatures also affect the glycerin and propylene glycol used as solvents within the e-liquid, converting them to carbonyls found in cigarettes such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde

Earlier this year, a study found that increasing an e-cig’s voltage from 3.2V to 4.8V while using an e-liquid with both solvents produced almost as much formaldehyde as a traditional cigarette. While the human body produces formaldehyde as a byproduct of normal metabolic activity in the cells, it is suspected of being carcinogenic when inhaled. The same study also found that at lower voltages, e-cigs produced up to 800 times less formaldehyde than a cigarette. While this might sound a lot safer, the size of the vapor particles and the delivery method into the lungs heavily impact the risk of disease.

Particles found in inhaled cigarette smoke have a median size of 0.3-0.5 microns. Testing has found that the e-cigarette particles have a median of 0.18-0.27 microns. About 40% of these particles can travel deep into the lungs and become embedded in the alveoli, where gas exchange occurs. Even if the particle itself isn’t toxic, the size alone places a burden on the lungs and can cause disease. 

As vaping is still fairly new, there just has not been enough time to do the necessary long-term studies regarding health risks. Though these early studies do hint that e-cigs are a better option than traditional smoking, that isn’t really saying a lot, because cigarettes are pretty terrible. Even if vaping is better than smoking, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. As its popularity continues to grow, it is important to understand the full risk associated with vaping for both the user and those exposed to the vapor secondhand.

Credit Janet Raloff, Science News

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Happy National Tequila Day!!!

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Pauley Perrette Severe Allergic Reaction to Hair Dye – The Dangers in Hair Coloring and Safer Alternatives

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NCIS actress Pauley Perrette is warning fans about the dangers of hair dye after suffering a severe allergic reaction to her trademark ink-black color.

Many consumers are growing in their watchfulness as to what goes in their bodies, but health can be as greatly impacted by what goes on their bodies. We already realize that chemicals in cosmetics such as skin creams can break through the skin barrier, but what about the chemicals in hair coloring? In response to recent bad press about hair dyes, many have turned to semi-permanent solutions. However, there is reason to question the safety in the substances used in these products as well. If you are among the 50% of women who color their hair, or a man who covers his gray, you might want to do more investigation into your favorite hair coloring.

The most problematic hair dye ingredient is a family of chemicals called Arylamines. Arylamines are a known risk factor for bladder cancer and have been found to cause cancer in experimental animals. One of these is p-phenylenediamine (PPD) which is listed on the box of even non-permanent “natural” products. It is an important ingredient in hair coloring because it lasts through many washings and perming is possible with it. PPD hair dyes usually come packaged as 2 bottles, one containing the PPD dye preparation and the other containing the developer or oxidizer. PPD is a colorless substance that requires oxygen for it to become colored. It is this intermediate, partially oxidized state that may cause allergy in sensitive individuals. Fully oxidized PPD is not a sensitizer, so individuals with PPD allergy can wear wigs or fur coats dyed with PPD safely.

Another factor involves the mixing of hydrogen peroxide with ammonia. Research has found that this combination may create potentially carcinogenic chemicals that don’t normally exist in the two liquids prior to mixing them together.

A third factor is that the darker dyes are more challenging as they contain greater levels of chemicals. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stated that skin contact with PPD should be prevented in order to avoid the allergic reactions, and indeed, the FDA has NOT approved its use for direct skin application. This is an oxymoron, though, as it is next to impossible to avoid contact with the skin when applying hair color.

Safer alternatives to ammonia and peroxide are being developed. One company’s organic and mineral research laboratory has found a way of making peroxide from avocado oil and it is far less irritating to the skin. They have also discovered an alternative to ammonia. Derived from coconut oil, it isn’t irritating and has no nasty smell. Look for products that are ammonia and peroxide-free and use vegetable-based dyes. A search on the web for “natural hair colorings” should turn up a few good leads. Two examples are Planet Organic and Aveda. Some of these companies state that their formulas provide longer lasting color than the older vegetable rinses.

Many people have tried henna as a solution. Henna’s effect lasts longer than a vegetable rinse and adds a wonderful shine, highlights and bounce to the hair. Henna products, which are gluten-free and animal-cruelty-free, are not always a red color, but all henna contains and imparts a little red. Today this natural dye comes in a wide array of shades, not just red, but will not lighten hair. Henna enhances your natural color rather than totally covering it, which allows some of your natural highlights to come through. The coating and sealing advantages mentioned above are inherent with henna.

As always, it is up to you, the consumer, to do the research and to become responsible for your own health, in regard to what goes on your body in addition to what goes in it.


Credit: Natural News -naturalnews.com

 

Happy National Batman/ Hotdog Day!!! – July 23rd

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What Happens To A 5-Year-Old Girl Who’s Already Consumed 1460 Sodas In Her Short Lifetime? (Cautionary Tale)

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I cried when I watched this video. A frightening reality planted itself in front of me as I remembered that my own grandmother had passed away from diabetes almost 20 years ago. She spent her last years injecting multiple daily insulin shots, in and out of a hospital bed 300 km away from her hometown. I remember my mother telling me that nana used to drink a lot of soda.

The implications of a disease are hard to fully grasp unless you or someone you love has suffered through it. But even more horrifying than my nan’s sole story, is the fact that diabetes is a reality for millions of people worldwide at this very moment. In America alone, over 29 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2012. It stands as the 7th leading cause of death in that country.

Think About The Sugar You Consume

According to these statistics, Americans consume close to 50 billion liters of soda per year, which equates to about 216 liters, or about 57 gallons per person. That is a colossal amount of sugar. And not just any sugar, but some of the worst we know of – fructose, in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Tragically, high fructose corn syrup, in the form of soda, has become the number one source of calories in the United States, and it is very clear that it is the primary cause of the obesity and diabetes epidemic.

Soda companies are masters at fooling customers and masking their products as fun, cool and delicious. Take this commercial for example:

The “Thin Line” spoken poem not only exposes the hard reality about diabetes, but it also raises attention around the specific socio-economic demographic who are commonly affected by this disease,

“Nearly 1 in 2 children of color born in the year 2000 will get diabetes in their lifetime.”

The truth is that most low-income families often end up spending what little they have on these junk food products because they don’t have access to healthier options. The consequences are heartbreaking and pretty terrifying. With the ever-increasing cost of living and declining wages, more and more families are being forced into poverty as the middle class is being eradicated.

It may seem like common sense for some to stray far away from high-fructose corn syrup sodas, but a large majority of the population are not properly educated on the implications of poor nutrition, a vast percentage of these people being low-income families.

If someone you know consumes soda on a regular basis, be the one to supply them with the facts they need to know. Soda is an empty, modified can of death.

Raise your voice today and join the conversation about diabetes.

Credit: Collective Evolution

10 of the World’s Strangest Healthy Foods You Probably Haven’t Tried

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Beef Brains

You don’t have to be a zombie to appreciate the nutritional value of brains. Stick to the bovine variety of grey matter and you’ll take in healthy nutrients like iron and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an Omega-3 fatty acid.
Four ounces of beef brain provide about one-fifth of the daily-recommended amount of protein for an average 150-pound person
DHA can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Blowfish Sperm 



Fox News sent Dr. Manny Alvarez and Chris Kilham, also known as the Medicine Hunter, on a quest to find bizarre but healthy foods. Blowfish sperm was among their discoveries. According to the chefs at a Japanese restaurant, blowfish sperm contains zinc and DHA, which is considered a brain booster. 

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Marmite



Beer lovers may be excited to learn that a byproduct of the brewing process offers some surprising health benefits. Yeast extract is mixed with sodium chloride to create Marmite.
Although the quality of the taste is debatable, there’s no doubt that it offers health benefits. Marmite contains high levels of the B3 vitamin, which produces a white blood cell that boosts the immune system. 

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Raw Catfish Nuggets 



Many Americans prefer their catfish battered and fried. Instead of frying up a whole filet, go for the catfish nuggets instead. Catfish nuggets are cut from the filet and often found in the seafood section. They’re high in protein, low in calories, and provide healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. 

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Millet



If you’ve ever told someone that they eat like a bird, you’re paying them a compliment. Millet is a type of grain that is used as a main ingredient in packaged bird food. 

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Dandelion Greens



The next time you’re pulling weeds out of your garden, throw the dandelions in the good pile with your harvested vegetables.Dandelion greens are surprisingly healthy thanks to the high levels of folate, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. Dandelion greens also contain vitamins like A, C, E, K, and B6. 

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Enoki Mushrooms



Enoki mushrooms may look like a weird plant found in a video game but they’re very real and very healthy. Some studies have linked them to a reduced risk for cancer. They are high in antioxidants and contain little to no cholesterol. Enoki mushrooms have also been used for development of cancer immunotherapy and vaccines. 

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Romanesco



Romanesco is a close relative of cauliflower but resembles some kind of fractal pattern that you might see under a microscope. In spite of its unusual appearance, romanesco provides numerous health benefits. This bizarre vegetable is rich in vitamins C and K and carotenoids. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber.  

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Blood Pudding



Blood pudding, a type of blood sausage, is a common dish served in England and Ireland and the name is an accurate description of its contents. Also known as black pudding, blood pudding is made from oatmeal and pork blood. It is high in iron, which can reduce anemia and help treat chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and arthritis. 

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Hemp Milk

The hemp plant has numerous uses, one of which is hemp milk made from the seeds of the hemp plant. The seeds are ground and soaked in water. The beverage contains high levels of essential fatty acids as well as nutrients such as potassium, calcium, fiber, iron, and magnesium. Its high protein content makes it a popular choice for vegans.

Credit: Answers

Smokers or Past Smokers : Six Ways to Cleanse and Revitalize your Lungs

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It’s been observed that even former smokers who quit years ago have traces of lung damage.

Even if one has never smoked, second hand cigarette smoke, industrial pollution, vehicular exhaust fumes and now chemtrails with downward drifting heavy metal nano-particles all contribute to some level of lung damage for almost everyone.

So whether you once smoked or never puffed on chemical-laden, radioactive (from the fertilizer) tobacco, detoxing and regenerating lung tissue may still be appropriate for you.

By the way, the notion that lung damage is irreparable is not true. With proper nourishment and nurturing, your lungs can repair damaged tissues eventually.

Right now is a great time to quit smoking. Why? In as little as 20 minutes you’ll start to feel the benefits of not smoking.

There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer.

The best way to avoid most chemicals, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), excess sugar and bad salt is to eliminate junk and processed foods and sodas. Minimize meat, dairy and wheat to reduce excess mucus. Adding ginger, onions, garlic and cayenne helps eliminate excess mucus as well.

1 – Exercise more outdoors, away from traffic if possible. Breathing exercises can be used to help strengthen lung tissue. Yoga offers some, and there are others as well.

2- Eliminate household toxins that are part of detergents, cleansers, bleaches and chemically scented “air fresheners”.

There are many chemical free substitutes available at health food stores, even Target has a few on hand. Ditto for cosmetics and bodycare products. Buy only aluminum free deodorants for starters.

Pesticides must go as well, and there are alternatives that aren’t toxic for humans.

All toxic commercial pesticides emit caustic gases or vapors (off-gassing) that irritate the lungs.

3 – Improve your indoor air, which can be even worse than outdoor air.

Try to replace carpeting with other flooring or at least vacuum and steam clean often. Beware of furniture or clothing that’s been fire proofed. Flame retardants off-gas carcinogenic compounds.

You may want to look into commercial air cleaners. Or simply get some nice indoor plants that add life to your dwelling while removing toxins.

4 – Herbal remedies for lung issues are abundant. You’ll need to determine which type of herb is appropriate for your situation.

Antitussive herbs reduce respiratory spasms; expectorant herbs loosen mucus; demulcent herbs sooth irritated tissue; and antimicrobial herbs resolve infections.

Here’s a good overall guide for respiratory healing herbs.

Licorice root is one that pretty much covers all those attributes. It can create side effects for some because of its glycyrrhizin content. But licorice extract products are available with the glycyrrhizin removed. This is known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL licorice.

Lobelia, ironically known as Indian tobacco, helps clear the airways for easier breathing. It even works for asthma attacks.

5 – Detoxing is necessary for any regeneration or rebuilding.

Eliminating or reducing your toxic load relieves your immune system and allows the process of growing new tissue to occur.

Item (1) of this article is an absolute prerequisite to detoxifying. Then, foods such as chlorella and cilantro consumed often can help detoxify heavy metals, especially from the liver. Zeolite in its raw powder form (not liquid) is very useful.

Make sure you drink plenty of purified fluoride free water and find ways to sweat more. If you can, use a far infrared sauna somewhere; you’ll have the best level of sauna. But conventional sauna’s still do the job.

6 – Serrapeptase enzymes are very powerful enzymes capable of eating up scar tissue, heavily calcified tissue or hardened mucus deposits.

Credit: Underground Health

The Physics of Olympic Bodies (Science is Awesome)

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The Olympics is able to capture the imaginations of countries around the world. Though sometimes due to, in no small part, how freaking buff these people are. Every historical trend in world record performances has been positive, meaning that we (a very subjective word) as Olympians have only been getting harder/better/faster/stronger every year! It boggles the mind to think that every year someone one-ups the past by just enough to progress the world record.

What I find even more fascinating though, is how each event in the Olympic event defines the physique of the athlete in question. Training so hard for one event that, for some, you only get one chance to make your mark, it makes sense that the muscles required for your sport will be, shall we say, enhanced… I don’t know if you’ve seen Olympic cyclist thighs (sort of NSFW), but HOLYGEEZUSWOAH that’s intense. Swimmers need to be tall, long-distance runners have a low BMI (body mass index), sprinters have jacked arms to balance out their jacked legs, and power-lifters are just jacked all over. In the end, it’s simply amazing what human beings can achieve with their physical bodies and minds to be living titans on Earth. 

 


Credit: Daily Infographic

 

 

 

10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon

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You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you?  The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.

This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…

1.  The average human life is relatively short.

We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know.  It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step.  You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.

LIVE your life TODAY!  Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either.  Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action.  Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive.  Be bold.  Be courageous.  Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

2.  You will only ever live the life you create for yourself.

Your life is yours alone.  Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you.  They can walk with you, but not in your shoes.  So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.

Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.  Be productive and patient.  And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.  This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices.  May your actions speak louder than your words.  May your life preach louder than your lips.  May your success be your noise in the end.

And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it.  Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3.  Being busy does NOT mean being productive.

Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect.  Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time.  We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.

Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days.  Just take a quick look around.  Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin.  Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time.  They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc.  They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep.  Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations.  Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance.  But it’s all an illusion.  They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.

Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term.  We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.

4.  Some kind of failure always occurs before success.

Most mistakes are unavoidable.  Learn to forgive yourself.  It’s not a problem to make them.  It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.

If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful.  The solution to this problem is making friends with failure.  You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner?  The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.  Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.

Bottom line:  Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will.  Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  (Read The Success Principles.)

5.  Thinking and doing are two very different things.

Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.  Knowledge is basically useless without action.  Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals.  Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.

And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.

6.  You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive.

Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got.  The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative.  It’s taking a step back and saying, “Thank you for the lesson.”  It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.

Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep.  When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self.  It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.

7.  Some people are simply the wrong match for you.

You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down.  You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material.  If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them.  If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition.  There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self.  It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.

8.  It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours.

It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.  So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you.  Know your worth, even if they don’t.

Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are.  Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU.  (Read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.)

9.  What you own is not who YOU are.

Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person.  Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need.  That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.

You have to create your own culture.  Don’t watch TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t consume too much of the evening news.  Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences.  The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered.  You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way.  This is tragic, this kind of thinking.  It’s all just Hollywood brainwashing.  What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.

Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is.  “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.”  And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked.  And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of the brainwashers who want to turn you into a drone that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that isn’t important.

10.  Everything changes, every second.

Embrace change and realize it happens for a reason.  It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.

What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow.  You never know.  Things change, often spontaneously.  People and circumstances come and go.  Life doesn’t stop for anybody.  It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day.  It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.

Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives.  A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth.  Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event.  And these events are always happening.

However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So when life is good, enjoy it.  Don’t go looking for something better every second.  Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have while they have it.

Your turn…

What else would you add to this list?  What important life lessons do you often forget?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Credit: MARC CHERNOFF

Wisdom Wednesdays – It’s not how well you start, its how you finish that counts…

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