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Got soap?

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the little bars of soap and bottles of shampoo which don’t get used after a hotel stay?

Did you know that impoverished people around the world die every day from acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease because they have no soap? Each year more than five million lives are lost to these diseases with the majority of deaths being among children less than five years old.

This is where http://www.CleanTheWorld.org comes in. This non-profit organization distributes recycled soap products, along with appropriate educational materials, to impoverished countries and to domestic homeless shelters worldwide.

Hotels all over the world are donating millions of pounds of discarded soaps and shampoo to this organization and in the process saving landfill space and fragile groundwater sources. Who knew that a simple bar of soap could do so much?

If you’d like to read about their mission and their success, please visit http://www.cleantheworld.org and see how one company is making a difference. Information on how you can help save the world – just one bar of soap at a time – is also available.

© 2010 Robin Cain, author of WHEN DREAMS BLEED

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Today’s post is supplied by guest blogger, Logan Lindabury.

Sometimes you have bad days. Even the happiest of people experience bad days. To say that any one person is happy 100% of the time would be a lie. Even someone like myself, a happiness coach, has a bad day every now and then. It’s inevitable. And you know what? It makes us better people. It teaches us new lessons. It allows us to be more prepared for the future.

Because life isn’t always easy. The journey sometimes gets bumpy. Learning from the bad days helps us better enjoy the good ones. It helps us realize how great things are. It helps us overlook the negative aspects because we know we’ve seen worse. Or know that it could be worse.

So, fear now the bad days. Be ready for them. For they will come. And sometimes, they will be consecutive. It happens. I know. I’ve been there. I’m sure you have too. And when it happens, when you get one bad day after another, you begin to get tired.

And that’s okay. So sleep. Take a nap. Do something that is out of the ordinary. Go for a drive. Play a game. Talk to your family. Read a book. Do something. Do anything that you feel will ease the situation.

I had a bad day last week. And then I decided I wasn’t going to let that bad day be remembered as a bad day. I was going to learn from it. And I did.

I spent a lot of money on an advertisement that ended up having -100% return on investment. Meaning, of the $1500 I spent, not a single penny came in from that ad. And now, I have $1500 in debt on a credit card that I’ll be paying off for many months to come. Doesn’t sound like much. But remember, I’m a full time college student paying for college myself.

Pretty bad, right? Yes. But, some good can be extracted from it. There is at least one good aspect to every situation. You just have to know how to find it. That’s what I do. I help people find the good aspects in their lives.

So, what is the good part of my situation? For starters, I am going to build my credit. And that’s great because once school is over I am going to be buying companies, a house, and many other things. Many of which I will need loans for. And what do you need to get a loan? A good credit score.

Another good aspect of my situation is that I’ve learned a lesson. Well, I’ve reaffirmed a lesson I’ve known. Be prepared for the exact opposite of what you want to happen to happen. I was hoping for at least 27 people to buy the cheapest service I offer. That would cover the $1500 debt. I really thought that would happen because the ad went out to over 130,000 people.

But it didn’t happen. And I didn’t plan for it NOT to happen. Yes, pretty stupid. But I was excited. I still am, but now I’m more excited about my business and less about the ad.

Anyway, that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about you. You may not have had the same situation as me, but you’ve had a similar one. You’ve dealt with a situation where it seems like the only option is stress. Well, I’m here to tell you that Happiness Can Help.

Happiness Can Help you deal with any situation, no matter how bad, and come out with a level of satisfaction. Sometimes even with a smile. It may take some time before you get to that point; but you will get there. I’ve been in the shoes of not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I get it.

But get this, changing your mindset and focusing on the positive aspect of a situation makes you someone that people look at with awe. It makes you someone people admire. Someone people want to resemble. Why? Because you can be given complete negativity and still put a true smile on your face.

That’s something even you will be glad you can do, once you can do it. It’s just a matter of learning how to do it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
This article was written by Logan Lindabury. He helps people find happiness in their lives when they are having trouble doing so on their own. Do you want to enjoy your life? Do you want to find happiness no matter what happens? Then go to HappinessCanHelp.com and get started today.

Follow Logan Lindabury on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TalkToLogan
Stalk Logan Lindabury on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LoganLindabury

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Some of the problems facing our world aren’t that complicated. With a little effort on everyone’s part, some things can be turned around. When you get up in the morning, consider that cup of coffee you reach for…

The Paradox Facing the Coffee Farmer Submitted by Bethany North

You may have noticed how increasingly expensive coffee is in the United States, whether it is a $4 cappuccino from Starbucks or a $12 pound bag of coffee from the grocery store. That being the case, it’s almost shocking to discover that the coffee farmer is being treated even more poorly, and some are having such a difficult time making ends meet that they are considering declaring bankruptcy.

Coffee farming is done mainly in third world countries along the equator. Many of these countries are already facing poverty, and the price and value of coffee beans has dropped significantly in the past several years. Coffee is actually the second most traded commodity in the world next to oil, and most recently, Vietnam as a coffee exporter has been pumping the market full of low quality Robusta coffee beans at a very cheap price. Most coffee lovers prefer the higher quality and gourmet Arabica coffee beans, yet they are often marked up as more expensive when sold in the United States. Since Vietnam has produced mass quantities of the lower quality Robusta coffee beans, it has significantly driven down coffee prices all over the world.

This news can be devastating for the average coffee farmer.

Of course, there is the concept of fair trade coffee, which guarantees a set wage for the coffee farmer. However, many people argue that fair trade coffee hurts the overall economic development of coffee farming communities since it omits the rule of supply and demand. The overall market price is very low for coffee right now, yet the fair trade guarantee of a set wage encourages even more people to become coffee farmers in third world countries. This guides people away from pursuing higher paying jobs to instead become coffee farmers, which results in more deforestation and more dependency upon the coffee cash crop as a nation.

Although fair trade coffee provides an excellent concept, it is still important for there to be fairness between the coffee giants in the United States and the poor coffee farmers in third world countries. There are many developing organizations out there hoping to provide this type of equality by encouraging higher standards in coffee farming to improve the value of coffee on the market. Furthermore, US coffee drinkers can do their part by purchasing from independent and local roasters, who are more prone to buy from independent coffee farmers instead of large coffee estates.

For a great selection of the Bunn home coffee maker, check out Bethany North’s website, The Coffee Bump.

Do you have an idea for solving the world’s problems? Submit your article to robin@robincain.com

Shameless self-promotion acceptable 🙂

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In light of the catastrophic events which have unfolded the last many weeks in the Gulf of Mexico, one can’t help but wonder, “What on earth are we doing to our planet?” In keeping with my on-going series, Solving All The World’s Problems, author DiDi LeMay has stopped by to give us her thoughts.

What would you do to save the world? Submitted by DiDi LeMay

When I look at the world today, I think, what a tangled web we weave. Everywhere one looks, there is need of help. Be it in social justice, be in our community, be it in our environment.

Looking around me, I chose to help our environment, because if we don’t have clean air, clean water, trees, oceans and everything else our wonderful planet has to offer, what would it matter that there is social injustice or we don’t know how to communicate with each other.

We have lived a life of wasteful luxury. Using water as if there is an endless supply, using chemicals as if it doesn’t do anything to the air we breathe or creating a great big carbon footprint that stomps on nature in such a way, that it cannot help but be smothered. Where do we begin?

As a writer, I have chosen to tell an environmental story that we all can relate to. We share the earth not only with other human beings, but also with an array of beautiful animals and plants that need our help. We need to learn to co-exist and embrace the world around us. Not destroy it!

I put myself into the shoes of our fellow habitants- the animals and wondered what they thought of what we are doing to our environment. I chose to tell their story -the story of the environment through the eyes of the animals. How do they see what we humans are doing to the planet we all share?

My book, “A Winter Solstice Celebration”, even though originally written for children, has gotten the attention of adults who also get the message the animals are telling us. Let’s share!

I hope that through my writing, I do get the attention of all my fellow humans and that we all start to think about our actions and the consequences of them to the environment.

Find out more about “A Winter Solstice Celebration” at http://didilemay.com/

Anyone is welcome to submit their thoughts on my topic, Solving All The World’s Problems, by sending it to me: robin@robincain.com
Remember, shameless self-promotion is accepted at the end of the submission.

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Have you ever known people that continually walk around with a scowl on their face? Or simply never find the humor in anything? Have you ever noticed that these are the same people who are continually sick or living life under a dark cloud?

Logan Lindabury has stopped by with her thoughts. In the meantime, smile and laugh. It certainly can’t hurt!

IS IT TRUE THAT LAUGHTER IS ALWAYS THE BEST MEDICINE? Submitted by Logan Lindabury

I found this question on Yahoo! Answers and would like to answer it here. First, I try not to use words like “always” because they put a constraint on the situation. You don’t know the full circumstances of every situation that will ever occur. So to say something, even laughter, will “always be the best medicine” is a bit of an overstatement.

But I do think laughter is an incredible alternative to taking traditional medicines. Laughter heals you in ways traditional medicine may be unable to; and at a much faster pace. Laughter helps clear your mind and focus on the positivity in life; which helps you think about what you really want as opposed to what is preventing you from getting it. And plus, laughter is natural.

However, I am by NO means telling you not to take traditional medicine. There are countless examples where laughter, coupled with traditional medicine, is necessary. You be the judge.

Now, how do you laugh when you’re dealing with such a negative situation such as a serious illness? Start by watching comedians, funny movies, or anything funny on TV. Make sure it’s the type of funny that makes YOU laugh. Because if it doesn’t it’d be like watching a spider climb up the water spout; interesting but essentially pointless.

Read funny books, joke books, or humorous stories. I’m sure you can find some online. Last year around this time I bought several and haven’t finished some of them yet. When I need a boost of happiness I go to them and keep reading. It only takes a few minutes but it works wonders!

Finally, perhaps the one I should have mentioned first, seek help. Talk to people like me, Logan Lindabury, who help you find happiness in your life. Or, if you do not like me then talk to someone else who does something similar. But, you’ve only just met me so how can you already dislike me? Well, it could happen.

Anyway, do what works for you. Find your happiness in ways that make you happy; not ways that make someone else happy. It may take a little time, but it is possible. And if you need help there are people that’d love to help you. Remember that.

About the author: Hello and welcome. My name is Logan Lindabury and I’m the founder of http://HappinessCanHelp.com/. Happiness Can Help is an online happiness coaching service offered anywhere, and to anyone, that has a desire for a better life. My goal with that site, and one of my goals in life, is to help people live happy and fulfilled lives. I’ve teamed up with Robin Cain here to help promote my Happiness Coaching and to also spread knowledge about being happy. With the right help, you too can live a happy and fulfilled life. Just remember, Happiness Can Help.

Do YOU have an idea for something that help solve some of the world’s problems? Please submit them to robin@robincain.com
Shameless self-promotion permitted 🙂

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Mental illness is an ailment that is far more prevalent than many people believe. From depression and anxiety all the way to severe schizophrenia, psychological differences manifest themselves in a multitude of ways.

My guest, Lisa Thomas, has generously offered to share her story and experiences in an effort to help extinguish the stigma so often associated with this all-too-common ailment.

This, my friends, is one really good way to start changing the world…

What I Would Do To Change The World Submitted by Lisa Thomas

I would try to improve and eliminate the stigma of Mental Illness,
specifically Bipolar disorder. I would work with mental health
organizations to gain public acceptance. I would focus on helping those
with a mental illness find balance and a sense of well-being through
effective strategies and methods used to improve the quality of their
lives everyday.

Bipolar disorder is often referred to as “manic depressive disorder”.
This disorder involves wide mood swings between two poles: mania and
depression. Manic being characterized as having periods of extreme
energy, euphoria, elevated, expansive, and irritable mood swings,
sleeplessness, heightened sexual desire often becoming promiscuous,
restlessness and rapid speech and at the other extreme clinical
depression. In more extreme forms bi-polar illness can include
psychotic symptoms which can lead to severe problems and can be life
threatening. The symptoms of depression include excessive sleeping,
lethargy, anti-social, sadness, loss of interest, weight gain,
hopelessness, worthless, pessimistic, difficulty concentrating and in
extreme cases can lead to thoughts of suicide.

You might be wondering why I am passionate about mental illness. I
suffer from Bi-Polar Disorder, a mental illness I will live with for
the rest of my life. I was diagnosed 8 years ago, I’m 51 years old,
divorced and a mother of two adult children. I live a very well
balanced life emotionally and physically. I consider myself one of the
lucky ones. Why? I have never experienced the extremes of Bi-Polar
disorder that many people deal with daily. Mine has been manageable and
has allowed me to lead a healthy, productive life.

I have managed to maintain a balanced life in conjunction with
medication and 5 years of therapy. I also have an supportive network of
friends, family and co-workers who are there to support me when I need
guidance or advice. I keep a very close watch on myself day to day. I
have learned through reading, research and from organizations
including; National Alliance for Mental Illness(NAMI), Depression
Bipolar Support Alliance(DBSA), Mental Health America(MHA), American
Foundation for Suicide Prevention(AFSP), National Institute of Mental
Health(NIMH), and The Anthropedia Foundation have helped me learn how
to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These are non-profit organizations
that give support and guidance to help those of us suffering with a
mental illness. For me it is imperative to be proactive and
knowledgeable about your illness to become healthier mentally.

I discovered I had Bipolar Disorder several years after my divorce in
2002. I had a very stressful time for a few years and was experiencing
many ups and downs. I had been in therapy before the divorce and slowly
my therapist and I saw the signs of Bipolar Disorder.

It started with short periods of depression which I related to the
divorce and the struggles of being single and alone. However, I would
then become a bit energized not sleeping, (which I also contributed to
insomnia due to menopause) then a little too much drinking, spending
and agitation and anger. I had extreme periods of euphoria and a
feeling that I was invincible.

As time progressed I would find myself depressed for months at a time
and it was debilitating. There were times I would stay in bed for a
month or more, not shower, not talk to anyone but my children. Lucky
for me my kids were grown and not at home to see me in such distress.
Even though they knew things weren’t good, I hid as much of my illness
as I could.

The mania or highs were intoxicating. I was very productive and felt
extremely intelligent, at these times, it was a great feeling, but then
I never recognized the destructive behavior that was occuring at the
same time, overspending, drinking too much, and making impulsive
decisions. There were those times when I would dip so far into the
abyss that I wasn’t sure I would ever come to the surface. Suicide is
definitely thought of at those times. Many people in this situation
make reckless decsions including sucide, this not at all uncommon, I
was never suicidal because I was too afraid of the idea and I was
determined to rise above the illness and gain control. I had been on
medication all through these times however, medication is a slippery
slope. The right balance is not always easy to attain and retain. I had
to be diligent about my illness and learned to stay on top of things.
The slightest dip either way would automatically indicate a call to my
Doctor for a visit and together we would come up with another option. I
managed to rise above all the struggles in my life due to being
bipolar. I charged forward to start a new chapter for myself and my
future.

Bi-Polar Disorder is common and present in our society, 80% of the
people who are homeless, alcoholics, drug addicts and criminals are
bi-polar. They have no means or wherewithal to seek help and the
bureaucratic red tape makes it hard for people to get the drugs and
counseling needed.

This is a complicated disease with many unknowns which can take years
to diagnose and get the proper balance of medication. Mental illnesses
are common; they affect almost every American family. It can happen to
a brother, sister, grandparent ,mother, father, aunt, uncle, son,
daughter, friend or co-worker. It can happen to people of all
backgrounds and ethnicities. It can occur at any stage of life, from
childhood to old age. Mental Illness is a disease; like heart disease
or diabetes the symptoms lay dormant in our bodies and manifest over
time brought on by years of stress, and most importantly genetics.

The incidence of mental illness are rising,1 in 3 of us will suffer,
about 5% to 7% of adults are diagnosed with a serious mental illness
and a similar percentage of children, about 7% to 9% have a serious
emotional disturbance. That means millions of adults and children are
diagnosed every year with a Mental Illness.

Mental Illness is doesn’t have to be a weakness. It can give you
strength, spiritual growth and empowerment. This is a disease not a
state of mind. People that suffer with Mental Illness make a lifelong
commitment to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. The diagnosis of a
mental illness comes with the challenge to live a balanced life.
Through education, research, awareness, strategies and simple practical
approaches and methods we all can learn ways to improve our individual
mental health.

Commitment, acceptance, strength and self awareness are powerful tools
that we can incorporate along with strategies and methods that are
simple, practical and effective to achieving mental and physical
well-being.

Their are 3 strategies I have came to learn through my research about
mental illness and have learned to incorporate these into my everyday
life. These methods and strategies are scientifically proven practices
by an organization called The Anthropedia Foundation. The Anthropedia
Foundation has helped to introduce a new approach to health and
happiness. It is an effective approach to improving one’s mental health
and teaches how to take charge of your life and well-being, it is
called The Science of Well-Being.

The Anthropedia Foundation was started by a group of doctors and
professors. They have come together to create educational resources and
personal development tools that are simple, practical, and powerful.
These strategies are important for all people not just those with
mental illness.

The goal for everyone is happiness, peace and contentment. The
ingredients for a life of happiness according to Anthropedia are love,
hope and faith. The 3 practices that all people should try to achieve
to become happy are:

1). Working in the services of others
2). Letting go
3). Growing awareness

Incorporating these 3 practices and learning the concepts of
cooperativeness self -directedness and self-transcendence will bring
you closer to a life of well-being. Love, hope and faith will fill
your life everyday.

1). Cooperativeness: see others point of view, agree to disagree, non-judgmental
2). Self-Directedness: take responsibility for yourself and don’t
blame others, be self reliant
3). Self-Transcendence: faith,that which goes beyond us, belief…such as ethics, divine presence, morals, humanism and compassion

Through proper medication, therapy, education and a self-directed
approach mental illness can become a disease that is manageable.
Managing the fear, the self doubt, the denial of mental illness leads
to a balanced life filled with happiness, love, peace and contentment.

Realization, recognition and acceptance of ones’ mental illness is the
first step to improving mental health. Reaching out and being
proactive, seeking out a psychiatrist, therapist, support from family
and friends and making a commitment to yourself to live mentally
healthy is most important. This commitment to yourself needs to include
using medication that is prescribed. Medication is absolutely the
pivotal ingredient for anyone with a mental illness. Awareness and
communicating any changes with your doctor and therapist. A good
support group, connecting with mental health organizations and staying
educated, coming up with a strategy and action plan designed to achieve
a well balanced life for the long term. Anticipating that change will
happen and being prepared to handle that change when it arrives is
truly necessary to manage the day to day challenges of having a mental
illness. When the pieces of the puzzle come together it will offer an
ongoing improved sense and way of thinking, feeling and acting.

What would I do to change the world? I would help educate and teach
people how to better manage their lives. I would create a organization
that would give people the one on one help needed and access to create
a lifestyle that is manageable. I would teach each individual the
skills and tools to become independant, self-reliant and self-confidant
which will lead to an overall sense of well being and a fulfilling life
forever.


If you would like to guest blog on this topic “Solving the world’s problems”, please contact me: robin@robincain.com
NOTE: Shameless self-promotion permitted to some degree 🙂

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It is my intention to open up this space to guest bloggers from time to time. I find that more and more people are looking to increase their networks, reach more people, and have more space to say what it is they want to say.

I asked the question, “What do YOU think is a need or problem in today’s world?” and my first guest blogger contributed the following article.

In our busy and overburdened lives, more and more people have come to recognize the fact that our days are often too short to accomplish everything life demands of us. I think this topic will interest many of my readers and, hopefully, provide some food for thought…

Free Your Time and The Rest Will Follow Submitted by David Wood

Do you have true Time Freedom? I constantly come across people — a lot of people — who want more and more free time.

Is it really freedom if you have to work five days a week, eight to 10 hours a day, 50 weeks out of the year? Of course not! It’s only freedom if you can choose whether to work that schedule, or not.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have actual time freedom, being able to choose how many days you work each week, and how many months you take off?

What’s your passion, hobby, skill or experience? Can it be turned into a revenue stream for you? Yes, it can, whether you like scrap-booking, deep sea diving, nifty new gadgets, lawn care or landscaping, becoming a better parent, personal development, financial planning, or hiking in national parks. Whatever you like or love is something you can spend more time doing, making money at the same time!

You probably believe that you don’t have enough time to start your own business. In most cases, though, you are the one who’s holding yourself back. If you want to start a new business, I suggest you invest a minimum of seven hours a week, or one hour a night. That won’t threaten your day job.

If seven hours feels like too much for you given your current schedule, scale back other activities. What are you willing to drop? If you say, “Nothing,” ask yourself: Is a lifestyle of freedom important to me? If it is, get up early, stay up late, or say “No” to some activities that don’t fulfill you anyway. You can also consider:

• Take time off work — either paid or unpaid — to get your business rolling.

• Negotiate with your boss to work four days a week, perhaps doing a trial period first and being open to taking a 20 percent cut in pay.

• If your boss won’t entertain a reduction in your hours, find an employer who will.

• If you don’t want to change your current work schedule, partner with someone who has a lot of time to devote to the business.

There are many solutions if you truly desire a lifestyle of freedom. We’ll never be able to change how many hours are in a day, how many days are in a week, and how many weeks are in a year. But we do have the ability to determine how many of those hours, days, and weeks are spent doing the things we want to do. Time freedom isn’t wishful thinking; it’s right within your grasp, ripe for the picking.

About the Author: International speaker, standup comedian and Professional Certified Coach (PCC) David Wood is the author of Get Paid for Who You Are and co-author of the best-selling book Guerilla Marketing on the Front Lines. His tried and true methods for freeing oneself from the shackles of the timecard have been the inspiration for many people to gain a lifestyle of freedom and contribution. Learn more at http://www.GetPaidLifestyle.com.

If you would like to contribute an article related to issues surrounding the “world’s problems”, please feel free to email me: robin@robincain.com NOTE: Shameless self-promotion is allowed to some extent 🙂

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