Volcanic Rock Discovery Calls Theories About Life’s Origins Into Question


Charles Darwin, father of evolutionary biology, wrote in 1871 that life first emerged in “warm little ponds”, which he imagined to be small wells of water and chemicals, heated by the sun and surrounded by rocks and air. With these few ingredients and a big dose of randomness, he posited, the basic elements of life clicked together, leading to simple life forms, like bacteria. Their evolution over millions of years eventually led to the sophisticated life forms that now inhabit the planet.

These days, scientists generally agree with the idea that the original recipe for life was pretty simple, but they’re not sure what ingredients were necessary for those early life forms to make the leap into complex forms of life, like animals. Many scientists theorize that, since all complex life — involving cells that have multiple components — now relies on oxygen to breathe, it must have happened at a time when there was plenty of oxygen in the air. But on Thursday, the scientists behind a study soon to be published in Nature report that oxygen in the atmosphere didn’t rise to significant levels until after complex life arose — suggesting that oxygen wasn’t all that important after all.

“This is significant because it provides new evidence that the origination of early animals, which required O2 for their metabolisms, may have gone on in a world with an atmosphere that had relatively low oxygen levels compared to today,” said study co-author Daniel Stolper, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley, in a statement.

Winter sea
Though all present-day life on Earth requires oxygen to survive, the sea and sky were not oxygen-rich when life first emerged.

In previous studies, scientists determined that complex life first emerged around 700 and 800 million years ago, sometime between huge ice ages. The history of oxygen on Earth, meanwhile, is a bit cloudier. Scientists believe there was no oxygen for Earth’s first two billion years, and then, some 2.3 to 2.5 billion years ago, a little bit of oxygen showed up (they can tell because it turned some rocks red with rust-like compounds). But deposits of fossilized charcoal have shown that it wasn’t until at least 400 million years ago that there was enough oxygen in the atmosphere for forest fires to burn. That leaves a 2.1-billion-year period during which there was minimal oxygen — but, strangely, still evidence of life.

At one point in those 2.1 billion years, the geochemists show, the amount of oxygen in the air reached a concentration high enough that it led to the deep seabecoming oxygenated — sometime between 540 and 420 million years ago. They came to this conclusion by looking at rocks formed by undersea volcanoes — in particular, the iron inside them.

Anyone who has encountered rust on a car knows that oxygen and iron react in very obvious ways, and the reaction is no different in the underwater rocks. Seawater flowed through them as they first formed, so the iron in the rocks carries the chemical signature of the water. It soon became clear, from the oxidation of the iron, when the sea became full of oxygen.

More importantly, it also became clear that complex life had existed on the Earth long before the oxygenation of the sea took place.

One of the world’s oldest fossil animals is Dickinsonia, which lived in the oceans 550 million years ago.

This finding complicates matters for researchers trying to figure out when complex life on Earth emerged, especially those who believe that, since all life breathes oxygen, the event was inextricably tied to the oxygenation of the atmosphere. Since that now doesn’t seem to be the case, scientists must think on different theories, like one posited by scientists in Nature in 2017, suggesting that the explosion of complex life coincided not with a rise in oxygen but with the first big boom in algae growth.

The more we learn about the origins of life, both simple and sophisticated, the more puzzling life seems to be. In some ways, it doesn’t seem to be very complex at all. For the most part, scientists pondering the mystery of life’s origins still think along the same lines as Darwin, proposing that the original recipe really wasn’t very complicated at all — and perhaps could have been cooked up someplace other than Earth. Paul Niles, for one, a planetary geologist with NASAinvestigating the possibility that life could have emerged on Mars, said in a statement in October 2017 that sometimes, life “doesn’t need a nice atmosphere or temperate surface, but just rocks, heat, and water.”

Since abundant oxygen now doesn’t seem to be all that necessary for simple life to develop into something more, there’s now an even greater possibility that complexity exists somewhere other than here.

The 25 Most-Read Inverse Culture Stories of 2017


Looking back on 2017 is probably not something most of us are prepared to do just yet. That being said, taking a glance at the year’s most-read Culture stories definitely reads like a greatest hits on what captivated our attention in this most crazy of years.

Above the cacophony of Trump gaffs and Twitter feuds, Inverse readers gravitated towards stories that could satisfy their curiosities about this big weird world. From the political (can you legally punch a Nazi?) to the whimsical (what is tentacle porn?), Inverse readers had a lot of questions in 2017. And as technology continues to move at a speed that we can barely keep up with, readers also wanted to know about how apps, AI and the internet at large is affecting our social lives — and our sex lives.

Here are the 25 Culture stories that Inverse readers loved in 2017.

25. Why the Internet Turned on Vine and YouTube Star Jake Paul

By Emily Gaudette

An adult’s guide to the young Vine star who has matured into a weird — and problematic — Youtube celebrity.

24. 8 Surprising Images That Were Banned From Instagram

By Grace Scott

When it comes to what imagery is too sexual or explicit for Instagram, female bodies seem to get caught in the crossfire of the debate over what’s appropriate to post online. These images, many of which appear to be quite benign, were still too controversial for the social media platform.

23. A 95-Year-Old “Real Life Tomb Raider” Isn’t a Hero, She’s a Thief

By Rae Paoletta

Joan Howard spent the ‘60s and ‘70s pilfering historical artifacts from the Middle East. Several archaeologists told Rae Paoletta about why Howard’s activities were highly unethical, likely illegal, and deeply offensive.

Artist Isaac Kariuki had this portrait of a woman with a cellphone taken down from his Instagram.

22. ‘Get Out’ Fans Will Love Jordan Peele’s Viral Tweet About Trump

By Paige Leskin

Jordan Peele made a perfectly-meta dig at Donald Trump over Twitter.

21.How to (Legally) Punch a Nazi Who’s Threatening You

By Katie Way

Civil rights lawyer and activist Dan Siegel spoke to Inverse about the legal parameters of self-defense and Nazis.

20. The Librarian Behind This Tough Topics Poster Says It Will Hang Indefinitely

By Nick Lucchesi

The person responsible for a sign directing teens to books on tricky topics, from abusive relationships to acne, tells us why it’s important that kids get the information they’re sometimes afraid to ask for.

19. Why Google is Celebrating 131 Years of the ‘Essential’ Hole Punch

By Mike Brown

When Google chose to highlight Dutch designer Gerben Steenks in a November doodle, it gave us the perfect excuse to school readers on the fascinating history of the hole punch. It’s actually very interesting!

This poster that helps young people find literature on the more awkward of topics went viral on Reddit.

18. States and Cities Where Weed Won This November

By Sarah Sloat

The November election was a game-changer for marijuana activists, as legislators in favor of legalization were voted in across the board.

17. The Right Hates That Vogue Cover Because They Still Own Patriotic Imagery

By Emily Gaudette

Jennifer Lawrence’s Vogue cover caused a stir back in August as hardline conservatives argued that the background use of the Statue of Liberty was a cryptic dig at President Trump’s immigration reform. Yes, really.

16. New Study Reveals Bartenders, Casino Workers Most Likely to Get Divorced

By Emily Gaudette

Unfortunately, data tends not to lie.

15. Sex Doll Brothel Opens Up in Barcelona

By Cory Scarola

Claiming to be the first of its kind, a sex doll brothel opened up in Spain early in the year. Obviously we decided to write about this, as well as expound upon whether you can get an STI from a sex doll.

LumiDolls, the world’s first sex doll brothel, captured readers’ attentions in 2017.

14. Most Americans Still Lie About How They Want Their Steak

After it was revealed that Donald Trump likes his steak disturbingly well done, we decided to look into how the rest of America enjoys their sirloin. It turns out we don’t like it on the rare side either.

13. The White House Website Under Trump No Longer Has a Spanish Option

By Nick Lucchesi

As the Trump presidency dawned upon America back in January of 2017, people were paying close attention to how government websites might change under new hands. It didn’t take long for the Spanish language option to disappear from WhiteHouse.gov.

12. Watch the Founding Fathers’ Descendants Gather in One Room

By Emily Gaudette

In honor of Independence Day, Ancestry.com gathered living descendants of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence together. For a commercial. Emily Gaudette explores the complicated — and problematic — history behind the advertisement.

11. The Latest Optical Illusion Stumping the Internet Is This Photo of Strawberries

By Gabe Bergado

It didn’t end with the dress. Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a professor of psychology at Ritsumeikan University in Japan, created an image that got the internet seeing red.

This strawberry image boggled minds across the internet in February.

10. JFK Conspiracy Theorists Are About to Receive the Motherlode

By Emily Gaudette

When it was announced that the remainder of the JFK files were to be released, conspiracy theorists had a hey day. We theorized on what new information might come to light — and what probably wouldn’t.

9. Power Outages Coincide in LA, New York, and San Francisco

By Cory Scarola

The trippy coincidence occurred back in April and captured the nation’s attention. We investigated.

2018? 2019? Place your bets.

8. Trump Impeachment Odds Now at 60 Percent

By Jame Grebey

Well, at least as far as an Irish betting house is concerned. Betting odds favoring Trump’s impeachment skyrocketed after Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey and became embroiled in the investigation into Russian meddling.

7. When and How Do Most Americans Lose Their Virginity?

By Emily Gaudette

It’s actually a pretty loaded question and depends very much on what you personally define as virginity. We parsed through the data.

6. The 21 Best Subreddits for Free, Creative Porn

By Emily Gaudette

Reddit is the go-to place to talk about and share just pretty much anything, including porn. Emily Guadette details some of the best subreddits out there.

Tentacle porn made a splash on Twitter thanks to Kurt Eichenwald.

5. A Helping Hand for Finding Great Tentacle Porn Online

By Emily Gaudette

A deep dive (no pun intended) into the slimy, sexy world of tentacle porn, including its origin and history. Inspired by an “accidental” tweet from Vanity Fair’sKurt Eichenwald of tentacle porn, we felt the internet could use a primer on the genre as Eichenwald’s tweet subsequently went viral.

4. Trump’s Tweets Just Went From Bad to Unconstitutional: Here’s Why

By Monica Hunter-Hart

Back in the summer it looked as if President Trump’s bombastic twitter habits were about to land him in the legal hot seat. It didn’t exactly happen, but as we enter 2018 with the President still glued to his feed, anything is possible.

3. What is Saraha?

By Katie Way

In 2017, we had a lot of questions about the app that seemed to go viral overnight, Saraha. Deriving its name from the Arabic word sarahah, which translates to “honesty” or “candor,” the app lets its brave users send and receive messages anonymously, for better or for worse.

Netflix’s Dear White People.

2. People Are Canceling Their Netflix Accounts Because of ‘Dear White People’

By Gabe Bergado

Oh brother. Throughout a year of outrage, the trailer for Dear White Peopleprompted white supremacists to decry Netflix’s “anti-white agenda.” The reason? The trailer showcases the show’s protagonist, black college student Sam White, stating that white students shouldn’t dress up in blackface on Halloween.

1. Pornhub Released a Detailed Map of the World’s Porn Interests

By Cory Scarola

Inverse readers seem to be really curious about porn, because this story was read more than any other in 2017. So where in the world do women watch the most porn? And why do Americans want to watch sexy videos that are Overwatch-themed? We don’t know… but Pornhub has dug up the data, along with so much more about our carnal interests.

History Has Been Made. Female Genital Mutilation Banned In Nigeria.


“More than 130 million girls and women have experienced female genital mutilation or cutting …”

 

Nigeria made history by outlawing female genital mutilation. The ban falls under the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 that was passed in Senate on May 5 and recently enacted into law.

This was one of the last acts by the outgoing president, Goodluck Jonathan. His successor, Muhammadu Buhari, was sworn into office this past Friday, May 29.

 Female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) is the act of either partially or totally removing the external female genitalia or causing injury to the female genital organs for non-medical purposes.

According to UNICEF:

“More than 130 million girls and women have experienced FGM/C in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is most common.”

With the help of community activism, campaigns and numbers of organizational efforts to end this practice, UNICEF reported that teenage girls were now one-third less likely to undergo FGM/C today than 30 years ago.

Now with the new law criminalizing this procedure, the hope is the ban will fully eliminate this practice and be strongly enforced to combat any existing societal pressures.

The World Health Organization cites immediate harmful effects of FCM/C that include hemorrhage (bleeding), bacterial infection, open sores, and long-term consequences that include infertility, childbirth complications and recurring bladder infections.

In another UNICEF report, communities who practice FGM often do so to reduce sexual desire in women and to initiate girls to womanhood, among other purposes.

According to “The Guardian‘s” analysis of 2014 UN data, a quarter of the women in Nigeria have undergone FGM.

Stella Mukasa, director of Gender, Violence and Rights at the International Center for Research on Women, explains the complexity of the implementation of the new law banning FGM/C.

“It is crucial that we scale up efforts to change traditional cultural views that underpin violence against women,” she wrote in an article for “The Guardian.” “Only then will this harmful practice be eliminated.”

Under hashtag #VAPPBIll, Twitter users celebrated the bill’s passing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act serves to protect women and violence in multiple aspects. BuzzFeed News cited a 2013 version of the bill that highlights its purpose to eliminate violence both in private and public, and end physical, sexual, domestic and psychological violence.

Safer than riding a bike? Scientists promote medicinal use of psychedelic drugs .


The therapeutic or experimental use of psychedelic drugs is safer than taking legal substances such as nicotine or alcohol, two leading members of a drug research organization have said.

(Reuters/U.S. DEA/Handout via Reuters)

The two Norwegian scientists penned a letter in the Lancet journal claiming the ban on drugs like MDMA (ecstasy) and magic mushrooms are “inconsistent with human rights.” They add that there is “not much evidence of health problems” associated with the hallucinogens.

Tony Krebs and her husband, Pål-Ørjan Johansen, who founded EmmaSofia, a group looking to expand the controlled use of MDMA, wrote that some psychedelic drugs could be used to effectively wean addicts off other damaging substances.

Based on extensive human experience, it is generally acknowledged that psychedelics do not elicit addiction or compulsive use and that there is little evidence for an association between psychedelic use and birth defects, chromosome damage, lasting mental illness, or toxic effects to the brain or other organs,”they wrote.

They added that although psychedelics can cause temporary confusion and emotional anxiety, “hospitalizations and serious injuries are extremely rare. Overall psychedelics are not particularly dangerous when compared with other common activities.”

National and international policies should respect the human rights of individuals who choose to use psychedelics as a spiritual, personal development, or cultural activity.”

Johansen, who worked to provide treatments for anxiety disorders, even claimed that taking psychedelic drugs was as safe as riding a bike.

“Psychedelics often produce profound experiences while at the same time having a safety risk profile comparable to many activities of daily life, such as riding a bike or playing soccer.”

He claims he was able to treat his own alcohol addiction through the medicinal use of MDMA. In an interview with Newsweek he said he believed the drug could also be useful in the treatment of heroin addiction.

“The commonality is that addiction and drug abuse have a function which is to escape from stress and difficult emotions like shame, loneliness, fear, guilt or shyness,” he said.

“Recently our colleague, Matthew Johnson, completed a pilot study which with psilocybin for smoking cessation, also with encouraging results.”

The couple set up EmmaSofia to promote access to therapeutic MDMA and continue to campaign for the human rights of people using psychedelic drugs.

Their crowdfunding appeal raised $30,000 for their campaign to legalize such drugs. They believe certain psychedelics could be used not only to treat people battling addictions, but other medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease.

EmmaSofia’s campaign has found support among a number of academics, including Professor David Nutt, a former drugs adviser to the UK government.

However, a spokesperson for Public Health England told Newsweek it was unethical to treat addiction to illegal substances with other illegal substances, adding such a program would not have support in the UK.

‘Doomsday clock’ still at five to midnight, scientists warn.


The Doomsday Clock has been used by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist since 1947 to represent the perceived danger of a catastophic nuclear event. (AFP Photo / Scott Olson)The Doomsday Clock has been used by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist since 1947 to represent the perceived danger of a catastophic nuclear event.

The doomsday clock – a theoretical device that purports to tell us how close we are to a nuclear apocalypse – has frozen at five minutes to midnight, unchanged from last year. Physicists tell the head of the UN there is little reason to move it back.

The visual metaphor has held its appeal for more than 60 years now. The hands of time are moved in accordance with the analyses of a special board of scientists who ponder international threats, especially those having to do with nuclear armaments.

While a team of physicists writing to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted some positive developments in 2013 – including successful talks on Iran’s nuclear program, and the fact that overall there has been a reduction in nuclear armaments worldwide – they decided there was still little hope for jubilation:

“As always, new technologies hold the promise of doing great good, supplying new sources of clean energy, curing disease, and otherwise enhancing our lives. From experience, however, we also know that new technologies can be used to diminish humanity and destroy societies,” wrote the scientists on the board.

“We can manage our technology, or become victims of it. The choice is ours, and the Clock is ticking,” they added.

The clock was first launched in 1947 by the editors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The wife of one of the researchers on the team, Martyl Langsdorf, had offered her artistic rendition of the object.

Back in 1947, the clock had showed seven minutes to midnight. In 1953, things looked the most critical in the clock’s entire history to date: they showed two minutes to midnight, following the US and Russian nitrogen bomb tests, spaced only nine months apart.

Meanwhile, 1991 was in the minds of the scientists the safest year: the Cold War had ended, and there was thankfully an agreement between the world’s then-superpowers, the US and the USSR, on reducing strategic nuclear arsenals.

 

A depiction of the Doomsday Clock is removed following an announcement by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) announcing that it has moved the hands to five minutes to midnight, up one minute from two years ago, at the American Association for the Advancement in Washington, DC (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)A depiction of the Doomsday Clock is removed following an announcement by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) announcing that it has moved the hands to five minutes to midnight, up one minute from two years ago, at the American Association for the Advancement in Washington, DC (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)

All in all, the clock’s hand changed its position 20 times. In 2012 it moved to five minutes to midnight, which symbolizes hypothetical nuclear annihilation.

The scientists believe that Russia and the United States must continue to make progress on eradicating their nuclear arsenals and further negotiate.

Specifically, once there [at the table], “they should take the courageous steps needed to further shrink their nuclear arsenals, to scrap their deployment of destabilizing missile defenses, and to reduce the alert levels of their nuclear weapons.”

They were also not too happy about China, India and Pakistan making strides in the opposite direction with their military developments – including the stockpiling of fissile materials.

The group thought that the Fukushima catastrophe would wake the world up to the necessities of moving away from nuclear energy, but complained that only Germany and Switzerland really made huge strides, while countries like the United Kingdom are discussing the construction of new nuclear facilities yet.

The group is also unhappy with the progress the UN has made in the field of climate sustainability and negotiations on policies in that area. The threat of global warming, they say, is still real. After all, since 2007, they claim the clock reflects not only nuclear catastrophe, but also climate change.

The physicists also wrote that, while there have been leaps in the development and spread of new technologies, the world is not growing fast enough to catch up to them and control them. Amongst them are breakthroughs in the fields of biology and cybernetic technologies – such as drones.

They believe that new bodies must be set up for dealing with all emerging technologies.

“The revolution in information technology is accelerating, and the consequences of such broad and fast-paced technological change cannot be foreseen. Some of the results of this revolution, such as military robotics and cyber warfare, will challenge international law and the norms of war, much as nuclear weapons do. These scientific advances require serious attention and policy action—before our newest technologies fuel another senseless and dangerous arms race.”

7 Things They Should Teach You in School but Don’t.


“It is hard to convince a high school student that he will encounter a lot of problems more difficult than those of algebra and geometry.” ~ Edgar W. Howe

You know what I realized recently? That I don’t really remember much of the things I have learned in school.I don’t know about you, but when I think about the things that shaped and helped me improve myself and my life, the things that contributed to my growth and evolution, I realize that they didn’t came from school but from what I have learned after I finished my studies… I guess Dr. Seuss was right, “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”

What I will share with you today is a list of 7 things I think should teach you in school but don’t. Enjoy.

1. The more positive your thoughts are, the happier your life gets

Most of us have no idea how powerful our thoughts are and how, because of our polluted and toxic way of thinking, we make our lives a lot harder and unhappier than it should be. Just look how beautifully Albert Einstein talks about the power of our thoughts: “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Our thoughts shape and make us who we are. If our thoughts are negative and destructive, our beliefs will mirror our thoughts and based on these beliefs we will craft our lives. If the mind is made pure, everything else will be made pure.

“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.” ~ William James

I wish they would’ve taught me these things in school. I wish they would’ve told me that once you change your thinking you are in fact changing your whole life and that the more positive your thoughts are, the happier your life will get.

2. People will raise and lower at the level of your expectations

When I was a little kid, I didn’t like my teachers very much simply because I felt like they were treating their students differently based on the way we all looked, the way we were dressed and based on who our parents were.

They were placing labels on little kids, treating all of us differently, condemning those who came from less favorable homes to stay stuck in that place while those who came from more fortunate backgrounds to become better and better at everything they did.

The way I see it, a teachers’s job and responsibility is to shape his or her students in a beautiful and powerful way, to raise them up and not to tear them.

One of my favorite quotes of all times comes from Goethe where he talks about how people will raise and lower at the level of your expectations: “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

3. The value of Self Love 

If you ask me, self love is the key to a happy and meaningful life. When you honor and love yourself for who you are and for who you are not, you will know how to honor and love the world around you as well.

Because you have so much love for yourself, you will extend that love outwards, on to your family and friends, your work, the environment and every living thing you come in contact with.

We project outwards that which we are inwards and if we learn to love and accept ourselves we will know how to love and accept the whole world.

“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” ~ Steve Maraboli,

4. A musician must make music, an artist must paint and a poet must write

I studied art for 12 years but because I was lead to believe that you can’t really make a living from pursuing a career in this field, I was “advised” to go study Economics, because you see, that’s where the money are.

As a “well behaved human” that I was at that time and because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I did what the “experts” suggested I would do. I went to University and studied Economics. Biggest mistakes I have ever made.

Being stuck in a place where I felt like I did not belong, studying something that made no sense for me whatsoever led me to believe I was stupid. I remember looking at my books and not understanding anything that was in there. I just couldn’t understand why was it so hard for me to understand accounting, finance, banking and all the other subjects I was studying…

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Einstein

It took me quite so time for me to understand that you you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole and that if you are an artist, you have to create art, and if you are an accountant, you have to do what accountants do :)

I think Abraham Harold Maslow said it best: “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”

5. The importance of being present and engaged in the now

I wish I would’ve learned in school how to be present and engaged in the present moment and how to appreciate life for what it is and also for what it not. To be thankful for whatever the present moment has to offer and if I say I want to be happy, to be happy here and now and not to wait for things to change and time to pass in order to feel those good feelings I say I want to feel.

Little children are very good at being present and engaged in the now but as they grow older and older, things change. Their minds start to wonder around, keeping them from being fully present in the now, keeping them from having as much fun as they used to when they were younger. They start to worry, to fear and to stress about the many things that might go wrong with them and the world around them… they stop enjoying life.

At the core, we all know how to be present, we all know ho to be happy,  how to enjoy life but for different reasons, we tend to forget and that’s why I think school would be a great place for us to start remembering and start living.

“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are cause by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

6. Be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else

Since we are all unique individuals with unique gifts and talents, I think it would be great if they would start encouraging students in schools to embrace their authenticity, to teach them that its okay to be who they really are without the fear of being judged, labeled or criticized. Teachers shouldn’t ask their students to be normal but rather to be themselves.

We are all different and we can’t all play by the same rules. Our differences should be celebrated, appreciated and encouraged in schools, not judged, ridiculed and labeled harshly…

We need more authentic people in this world and schools would be a great place to learn about its value and importance.

“Being yourself is one of the hardest things because it’s scary. You always wonder whether you’ll be accepted for who you really are. I decided to call my record ‘Inside Out’ because that’s my motto about life. I don’t think you ever succeed at trying to be anyone else but who you truly are.” ~ Emmy Rossum

7. Never get your sense of worth from outside yourself.

Why don’t they teach you in school not to get your sense of worth from outside yourself?  Why don’t they have a class called “Who you are is more than enough and you should never look outside yourself for approval and validation”?

When I was in school, comparison and competition were strongly encouraged by my teachers. As a result, we were all trying to get the best grades and we were all trying to better than the other students. We were all perceiving ourselves as being more or less valuable based on our grades.

Because I wanted to be the best in my class and because I wanted my teachers to like me, I was studying for the wrong reason. I wasn’t studying because I enjoyed studying or because I was passionate about the subjects I was studying but because I was after their approval.

It took me a long time until I realized that self worth comes from who you are internally and not from how other people treat you externally.

Never get your sense of worth from outside yourself. Don’t let other people tell you how much you’re worth, decide for yourself. It’s called self worth not others worth.

“Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn’t have the time to sit around and talk about you. What’s important to me is not others’ opinions of me, but what’s important to me is my opinion of myself.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

Even though nobody taught me these things in school, I am grateful for the many books I have read and the many great teachers that came my way that taught me all of these things and many others.

7 Things Outstanding Leaders Do Differently


“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” ~ Lao Tzu

What makes some people stand out of the ordinary crowd as awesome leaders?

Why do these people live wonderful lives, while the rest just drag themselves from day to day?

Great leaders shape history. Average people just get by. Greatness, however,  is simply a set of different behaviors and habits. You too can become great if you adopt them. Here’s what outstanding leaders do differently and how you can start implementing these habits into your own life.

lead1

1. They have a vision for their future

Outstanding leaders are the captains of their own boat called life. They know that the boat is following their directions and they take on the responsibility for giving those directions. They are the ones shaping the future by having a clear vision and taking 100% responsibility for whatever happens to them..

A man without a vision is like a boat without a destination. It just sails adrift in the middle of the ocean, being at the mercy of tides and waves.

All great leaders have a vision and they pursue that vision with tremendous passion. They know exactly what they want, so they are able to get others to follow them towards their desired outcome.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” ~ Proverbs 29:18

2. They stay true to themselves above anything else

Outstanding leaders follow their own inner guidance whenever faced with a decision. They know what’s best for them and they will do whatever they think it’s right, even in the face of adversity.

They speak their truth and they act according to what they feel to be true, even with the risk of offending others. Outstanding leaders are authentic and congruent. That’s how they gain other people’s trust so easily. They aren’t afraid to expose themselves just as they are – with both strengths and weaknesses.

They admit they are human and can make mistakes. They cherish their imperfection and use it as an asset. Above all, they value their individuality and aren’t afraid to show it, even to those who disagree.

Outstanding leaders stay true to themselves, even if others demand compliance. They know they are the only person worth appeasing. They have a very strong inner validation system that guides them, so they don’t need the approval of others.

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” ~ Jack Welch

3. They persevere in the face of obstacles

One of the most important traits of outstanding leaders is their ability to slide over setbacks and rejections. Many outstanding leaders have faced rejections before they managed to get their ideas through. Nonetheless, they persevered and succeeded.

What got them to success was their mindset. They viewed obstacles as challenges and growth opportunities, not as indicators to quit. Instead of stopping them, obstacles had the exact opposite effect: they made them even more determined to succeed and to prove they were right and others were wrong.

Great leaders don’t focus on problems and rejections. Instead, they focus on solutions and what they can learn and do better next time. They don’t take setbacks personally. They know that they are right – their internal validation system tells them that – and they do everything needed to convince the world of that fact.

4. They act with courage despite having fear

Outstanding leaders are admired for their courage. Many people who have displayed great courage have remained in history as heroes.

But what made these people different wasn’t their lack of fear. On the contrary. They felt fear just like any other human being. What set them apart was their ability to feel that fear and act despite having it.

Outstanding people have the same fears, doubts, inner conflicts and mixed emotions like everyone. But they have learned to follow their vision, no matter what they feel. They know they’re taking action for a bigger cause and  that vision inspires them to keep going even in the face of fear.

It’s not that they ignore their fear. In fact, they acknowledge it – since they admit their weaknesses and are confortable with exposing vulnerability – but they do whatever is more important for them and they don’t allow fear to paralyze them to inaction. They use fear as a catalyst that propels them in the desired direction.

5. They anticipate obstacles and find solutions

Outstanding leaders have a plan. They don’t just jump into things unprepared. They carve out a path towards their goal. Furthermore, they attempt to predict what can go wrong on their path, so that they can be prepared for any situation.

But they don’t start thinking of all the things that can work out badly and find ways to counter them. It would consume too much energy and time. Besides, one can thing of a million reasons why things could go wrong. That’s not the purpose.

Outstanding leaders have learned to use their common sense and anticipate challenges. They do that by observing how things work and relate to another. They have a realistic view and avoid over- or underestimating their current circumstances. They don’t get too excited, nor do they become paranoid. They succeed in looking at circumstances, situations and people and seeing them just as they are.

Their ability to think clear and not be limited by beliefs allows them to accurately anticipate obstacles and find solutions in advance.

6. They spend time on things which matter most

Outstanding leaders are very efficient. And they have the exact same 24 hours per day like everyone else does. The difference is in their ability to manage time.

Outstanding leaders spend most time on those activities which matter to them and bring them greatest fulfillment. Since they have a vision with a plan, they know exactly what to do to make it a reality. So they invest energy in making things happen and in creating a meaningful life.

On the flipside, average people spend time in activities which distract their attention and don’t bring them any long-term gains. They just seek instant gratification and pleasure as much as possible.

Outstanding leaders will often sacrifice short-term pleasure for long term gain, because they know that’s where real happiness comes from. They have learned to delay their gratification,while keeping an eye on the vision and taking massive action which brings them closer to living their dreams.

“Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” ~ Tom Peters

7. They are constantly improving

Outstanding leaders don’t settle for what they have. They seek to constantly expand themselves, they are continuously learning new skills and developing their abilities. Outstanding leaders are perpetual students and they never get tired of learning.

They also never stop dreaming and setting goals for themselves. They have a permanent vision of how their ideal life looks like and they are always updating this image, as soon as they get close to reaching it.

Outstanding leaders set very high standards for themselves. Whenever they’re close to reaching their goals, they set new ones, so they can keep moving further and further. They are expanding and growing and constantly seeking new challenges to face and new ways to push their comfort zone.

Unlike average people who settle for comfort, outstanding leaders embrace challenges, because they know these are the prerequisites for lasting growth and satisfaction.

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” ~ Harvey Firestone

Your turn

Take one step at a time and make these changes permanent in your life. What will you do starting today to become an outstanding leader? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this.

How to Listen to Your Heart, Even If Your Mind Disagrees.


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~Steve Jobs

We’ve all been there. Stuck in the middle of our decision making mode. Our heart tells us one thing, while our mind tries to keep us safe. Two totally different directions. One feels right, while the other is the most logical option.

What have you been following in the past? Do your decisions sound right or feel right? Take a look at where you are right now. Your life might be filled with logical and safe decisions. Which is great, but it’s leaving a lot of unused potential on the table.

your-heart

You would love to be free flowing, in love with your decisions and place you’re at in your life. For some reason you’re not there yet. You’re close, but always feel on the fringe.

You’ve tasted the times in your life when you’ve been fully immersed in your decisions. Engaging with the uncomfortableness of not having a plan, but at least it felt right. If only you could be here more often.

You Haven’t Given Yourself Time to Develop Heart-Centered Confidence

Living in tune with your heart can be a totally new concept. Today we’re so wrapped up in making decisions based on endless pro and con lists, that we never allow any space for new opportunities or potentials. The notion of living in a “cause and effect” mechanistic world pervades our every thought.

Even though we’re notoriously bad at predicting the future, we pretend as if we have the insight of Merlin’s crystal ball. Not bad, but we can only predict so far. I’m guessing most of your decisions come in the form of receiving an innate feeling you know you should see out, but that’s usually overridden because it doesn’t seem possible.

As humans we love falling back on routine. Our same thoughts and habits pervade our everyday existence. We can either let these thoughts and beliefs, based on our past, direct our lives or we can inject new life into them.

The decision is up to you.

The moment your eyes open in the morning you’re faced with decisions. This route or that route to work. Take the new job, or move across the country. Most decisions aren’t life changing, but still add up to our overall life experience. By adding more space and deeper feeling into your decision making process you bring more possibility into your life. It’s time to start learning how to navigate these new waters.

All you need to do is balance two aspects of your being, the heart and mind.

Logic and Analytic Thought Dominate Our Culture

Logic and analytic thought saturate our world, there’s no way around it. Since the start of the scientific revolution we’ve been on a binge of rationality. A well thought out piece of writing is truly a beautiful thing, but when rational thinking dominates the spectrum of your life, you’re leaving spontaneity and the potential for unseen growth on the table.

Rationality isn’t inherently bad, but since we’re imbalanced we end up playing life with half of the chips. We can see the dominance of rationality, fear and control throughout the world. From global issues such as global warming, to the governments of repression. Worldwide issues can give us a glimpse into where our inner worlds have gone wrong.

In this case, an imbalance of logic over the subtleties of an intuition based language. Instead of following our heart and operating with trust at the forefront we place a higher degree of value on conforming and what makes the most sense. The biggest issue here is our individual nature is lost in fear of rebellion from the whole. We’ve created a cultural footprint that’s almost impossible to step out of.

Rebellion is met with resistance, and a lot of times that resistance wins.

We can only forecast our lives based upon the information we have at the present. By strictly living in the realm of rationality we cut off contact to the deeper source of life and the random events that change us and the course of history. The freewheeling nature of a heart-centered decision reaches farther than the contents of our mind can follow.

It’s time to change course and start navigating the deeper waters.

Bring the Power Home and Awaken the Heart

In utilizing your heart you open an entirely new stream of possibility into your life. By making decisions with your heart wide open you develop the trust muscle. In doing this a new source of self-love and trust emerges where there was only emptiness before.

Big changes and shifts in your life seem a little less scary as you begin to become familiar with the presence of uncertainty in your life. By living in tune with the part of yourself that always has your greatest interests in mind you’ll bring more of what you’re looking for into your life. This isn’t woo woo law of attraction imaginings, but instead, a way of viewing and feeling through the world instead of judging and analyzing yourself into a box.

When you first begin to make decisions from the deeper part of yourself you’ll feel massive resistance. The feeling of uncertainty is simply the mind trying to grapple with your decision. The amount of evidence currently in your palm doesn’t compute with the path you’re about to take. Your decision might go against the grain of your peers and family, but if the decision feels right then it’s what you have to do.

Obviously, this is easier said than done. The process of building your inner trust muscle takes time and can only blossom through action. Just as an iron sword is forged in the heat of a fire. Your life’s path can only unfold through coming into contact with the realities of life. In bringing your heart to life you awaken a fire within that has more force than all of the willpower you could ever muster.

How do I begin to unravel the hidden yearnings of my heart?

Start to Lay the New Decision Making Foundation

A house won’t last very long without a proper foundation, especially if you’re building a cabin to withstand the elements. A gust from a big bad wolf will knock it down in an instant. If you want your new decision making power to last longer than the first gale force wind thrown at you then it’s time to get to work.

The following steps will start to build a momentum of their own if you engage with them daily. For some that means building routines, while for others that means setting aside some time or space, or even setting a reminder on your phone to step back into your new decision making mechanism.

1. A proper foundation takes time

Trying to make any lasting change takes time. Especially, if it’s worthwhile. We all wish for habit changes to be as simple as turning on a light switch, but sadly this is never the case. If it was we wouldn’t value it as much.

Think about it, what holds more value, a handcrafted good, every stitch made with love, or a mass produced burlap sack? I’ll leave that judgement up to you.

If you were to start weight lifting or any kind of training, it would be impossible to start lifting heavy or training intensely right away. You need time for lasting growth.

Set aside some time every day and commit to it. You can’t build momentum by rolling a ball once. Every day push it a little farther. The first few times you’re priming your heart and it will feel awkward, so be ready for this.

Start the process by continuously asking yourself the following questions:

Where do I feel this decision?

Am I doing this because I feel it’s what I “should” do?

Is this in tune with the best version of myself?

How do I feel moving forward?

By consciously playing in the realm of the heart you’ll start to be able to see patterns and actually see if you’re living in tune with your highest self. By asking these questions you start to allow the mind and heart to play together nicely. You enable the mind to take a back seat through asking questions laced with deeper purpose and feeling.

 2. Think of it as learning a new language

If you’ve ever tried to learn a foreign language you know firsthand how confusing the process can be. Or maybe you’ve even experienced being dropped into a country where you don’t speak the language. Definitely, a sink or swim moment!

Think of this process along the same vein. If you really want to become fluent you have to immerse yourself as frequently as possible. You must cultivate drive, persistence, and inner-trust, soon it will become easier to flow through life and your decision making process.

Instead of having a decision come in the form of a weighing of good and bad, it will show up with a feeling. You need the courage to let this deep feeling impulse direct you. Make sure to watch out for the emotional swings we all feel. You have to overcome these and realize these won’t lead you where you want to go.

You’ve gotta’ go deep, my friend. You can’t assume your hunger pains or fatigue are telling you to quit your job and grab a burger. The deeper current is where you want to swim.

When you have a deep feeling you’ll know it, it feels like love, lightness, intense fear, deep unknowing, or nervousness you’ve never felt before. For everyone it shows up differently, I can’t give you the details of your inner experience.

That’s where the trust muscle comes in. Feel it and run with it.

3.  Start small and develop a toolkit of feeling

As you continue to ask yourself questions on a daily basis certain patterns might start to show up. Try to take notice of these. Maybe when you immerse yourself in writing, time dissolves and you’re left feeling refreshed after the experience. This wont happen every time, but if it happens more often than not, then it’s where you need to be.

Life is a grand experiment anyways, so you might as well conduct your life in the same manner. In doing a series of mini-experiments you’ll learn to distinguish your fleeting impulses from your heart-centered callings. In this case action is key.

You can either act based upon these or let them float by. The choice is always in your hand, when you let your mind override these feelings. Discounting them as silly, childish, or impossible, you’re really not valuing your own innate potential and value as a human being.

Before you start to rationalize why you shouldn’t take action, do yourself a favor and take a baby step. Try recognizing your deeper feeling current and act from it. See what happens. As you take action, confidence in your ability to trust the greater workings of the universe will begin to arise.

You can never trace your steps going forward, only after you’ve taken action will patterns begin to emerge.

4. Reflect on the direction and ask questions

We’ve all had the feeling of falling off, doing things not in alignment with who we truly are. This can happen even when we’re attempting to follow our hearts if we never check in and see how far we’ve come. Our mind is a tricky beast and has the ability to allow us to diverge from where we truly want to be. All while thinking we’re still on track.

You must make time to reflect, on the process, on your life, and on your new path of learning. By following the process of engaging with deep questions, seeing when deep feelings arise, taking aligned action and taking notes you’ll be well on your way to developing the ability to listen to your heart.

The strength of this way of feeling through life will allow you to override your mind. You’ll be able to lean on yourself and trust your decisions, even if your mind says they’re irrational. You’ve learned to trust and navigate the deeper current.

Reflect on your path as often as possible. Your decisions may look like a smattering of stars dotting the sky, but after a while you’ll be able to build constellations out of your own life.

purposefairy.com

Are You Doing Things in Life That Don’t Really Matter?


Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

What exactly ARE we striving for? A Car? House? The girl? The guy? Family? Vacations? Career? And then bigger and better of these? Is this ALL there is to life? At a time in my life where I had a wakeup call by simply asking if this is all there is, came the realization that there is more, a lot more. While I’m not saying these things are NOT important, of course they are and nice too, however the question (a very important one is WHY do you want these things in life anyway.

By now your probably asking “so are you saying these things don’t matter”? My answer is NO. They do.

Are-You-Doing-Things-in-Life-That-Don’t-Really-Matter1

But I will tell you that if you aquired all the physical and material things you ever wanted, you still wouldn’t be completely fulfilled. Ever have the feeling that there’s something missing in your life? What happens is, let’s say by the time you were 40 you had all you wanted and did everything you set out to do. What then? would you repeat your life over in a more elaborate way? Perhaps you would re-marry, earn even more money, take bigger vacations, buy a bigger house, better car and so on. Do you think this will make you happy and fulfilled? Don’t get me wrong this is all nice & you deserve all this and more but at some point you may discover this ‘stuff’ is not fully ‘doing it’ for you anymore and somehow you don’t feel complete.

At this point you will begin to experience an inner voice telling you something is wrong, incompleteness, that there should be more, there MUST be more, you will ask ‘is this all there is to life’?

So what is it all about? What does matter?

YOUR LIFES PURPOSE, YOUR TRUE IDENTITY, THAT’S WHAT TRULY MATTERS.

To find your purpose you will need to look within, find a quiet place ask questions, talk to God or your higher self, do this often until things begin to unveil.

Try measuring your wealth by what you are than by what you have. ~Anonymous

Questions like these will help your discovery:

Why am I here?

What is life all about?

What is my mission/purpose in life?

You will realize your awakening when:

1. You realize there is more to life.

2. There is more to the self – you will realize there is more to give to others because there is more to yourself.

3. That there is a ‘oneness’ – the realization that everything is connected.

I want to share something with you, when people grow old in life and perhaps are reflecting, it often becomes clear what life was really all about. It wasn’t just the material ‘stuff’ but rather meaning and experiences life had to offer. I have observed many people who regret not doing the things that really mattered the most to put it off to a ‘someday’. You are here for more, a life full of purpose instead of regrets and to do this requires you to find your true identity.

How to move forward

Begin to continue to ask the questions about you life’s purpose and find out your values and set goals and make decisions based on your values. The rule is you live by a set of values anyway even if you are aware of them or not, the key is however to find the values that are right for you and what you want to accomplish this will help you realize your true identity. Take action on your goals and ‘experience’ all life has to give then you will know by all of your new experiences what you are doing is right.

‘Listen’ to your feelings they will guide you and let you know what is right for you when you are feeling happy, beautiful, generous, caring, loving and grateful you are on the right track. When you feel fear, anger, resentment & hate something in your life is wrong, use this as your compass that will guide you when you are unsure.

People love others not for who they are but for how they make them feel. ~Irwin Federman

Material possessions are nice, really nice but they are not the only thing that matters. The hard hitting realization is that there is more to life and more to YOU.

Are you doing things in life that don’t matter? Why? Do you think you can let go of them? 

How to Follow Your Passion when People Doubt You.


DREAMZS

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Ni

I’ve been so incredibly lucky recently. I’ve (finally!) discovered my absolute passion, the thing that makes me sprint home from work, makes me jump out of bed in the morning (I know!) and gives me natural energy. Writing and reading about all things inspirational and communicating with my readers is what keeps me going.

If you’ve been reading Purpose Fairy for a while, you’re probably in this category as well.  If you’re anything like me, you probably have people in your life who respond to this is various ways:

People who think you’re a bit weird and just leave you alone.

People who are curious, but don’t want to ask about it in case someone else finds out.

People who ask and then have huge ‘a-ha’ moment as you speak.

People who are crazy interested and completely on the same wavelength.

People who think you’re just going through a bit of a phase and roll and their eyes at you.

People who laugh at it and joke that you’ll end up in a hippy commune before you can say ‘incense’.

However, for years, I was unwilling to tell anyone know that I was interested in self-improvement and spiritually. I even managed to fool myself for a while and pushed it away for as long as possible. I didn’t want to look like I had my head in the clouds and definitely didn’t want to explain any of my reasons for dive-bombing into my passion and going full-steam ahead with it.

Would everyone say ‘I told you’ so if it failed? What if they spoke about me behind my back? What if they criticized me?

I’ve learned over time that the universe will bring people and events into your path for a reason. It’s so easy though when you’re totally ‘in the zone’, to ignore all these comments and fire on through because you want it so badly. But often the universe guides you through the messages of those close to you.

There will be times when you will encounter resistance from those around you, there will be moments when nobody will believe in you and your dreams but if

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~Steve Jobs

If someone chooses to ask about your interests, see this as a gift- they are giving their time and are genuinely interested in your life. Don’t presume they just being nice- you’ve obviously sparked something in them.

Hear their answers as much as you’d like them to hear yours- they might have some golden wisdom of their own, and they might even be able to help you or connect you with someone.

Listen to their concerns- they’re not always doing it to discourage you. Do you really need to spend thousands of dollars on that course when you could just start today? Are you procrastinating out of fear? Sometimes people see things that we don’t when we’re in our heads, and it’s these things that can real turn projects and ideas into game-changers.

Meditate on your passion and be sure it’s what you really what in your heart of hearts- are you doing it for you, or for someone else? Is this what you really want or are you doing it to prove a point to someone, or to yourself?

If people seem to be laughing at you, laugh with them- don’t take it so personally. All my friends know I’m vegan, a metaphysical book freak and I love wearing 80′s clothing, and I’m fine with that (more importantly, I realized, so are they). Passionate should be joyous, liberating and harmonious, not serious, rigid and stifling.

Listen to others and thank them for their words. Sometimes, people have a funny way of showing it (cue family!), but they always have your best interests at heart. But just think, are they reallyholding you back or are you using them as an excuse not to blossom?

 

Source: purpose fairy

 

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