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Month: June 2016

9 Great Quotes (and Lessons) About Failure

9 Great Quotes (and Lessons) About Failure

When the going gets tough, it’s tough to keep going. Whether we’re just going through our everyday lives or we’re trying to accomplish something specific, failure and adversity often arise to make us question ourselves and the path that we’re on.

Sometimes the best choice is to re-evaluate and change our path, but other times the best choice is to simply push forward through the BS and prove all the naysayers, haters, and non-believers wrong.

And for those times that we do fail or come up short, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Failure is not the great enemy that it is sometimes made out to be, but instead a tool and a necessity in life.

Here are 15 quotes about failure that are worth remembering when things get hard.

1. Bounce Back and Correct Course

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“The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.” – Stephen Richards

Failure is simply a fact of life, and the most successful people know and accept that it is something that is bound to happen. When we fail, it doesn’t mean that the game is over. It’s simply time to take a breather. Each time we fail, we simply need to accept it, correct course, and then continue on.

2. Set Your Goals High

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“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success” – James Cameron

Everyone has goals and everyone has failures, so why not add them into the plan? If you set an amazing goal and you only make it halfway to where you want to be, you’ll still have gone pretty far. If you accept that failure is inevitable, and plan for it, you’re bound to accomplish great things.

3. Find Out What Doesn’t Work

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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Although it’s hard to see it sometimes, every failure is a lesson, simply a sign that you’re on the right track. Nobody gets it right on the first try. See your failures as new information, use them as stepping stones, and then continue forward.

4. Nothing Is Permanent

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“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.” – Charlie Chaplin

Failures only really stop us from moving forward when we let them. There are very few things that humans can’t overcome. Although our minds like to play tricks on us and make us believe that whatever situation we’re in is bound to stick, it’s simply not true. We all have the ability to change, to grow, and to overcome obstacles.

5. Be Persistent

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“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie

Sometimes the best course of action is to simply keep pushing forward, even when you’re not seeing the fruits of you labor. Results don’t always come immediately, but sometimes after a long time of pushing blindly forward. Sometimes what it takes is a mixture of persistence and faith.

6. Focus On The Positive

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“Being happy doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It just means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections”  K.B. Indiana

Sometimes the best thing to do when facing problems is to simply look past them and get on with your day. Happiness comes by accepting the problems we have, continuing to walk forward after we stumble, and seeing the big picture.

7. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others

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“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” -Unknown

Unfortunately, many of us constantly compare ourselves to others. It’s pretty pointless since our minds are always very selective about who we compare ourselves to. No matter who you are, you have things worse than some people and you have things better than other people. The better thing to do is to just compare yourself to yourself.

8. Failure Can Lead To Better Opportunities

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“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” – Marilyn Monroe

The truth is, we can’t always see what’s on the horizon in our lives, and usually, we don’t. When we’ve failed at something or when things haven’t gone our way, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a bad thing. When one door closes, another door opens.

9. Recognize That Failure And Success Are Not Opposites

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“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Failure teaches us more than inaction ever will. The most successful people don’t succeed because of brilliance, talent, or skill. They succeed because they have failed and learned from their failures. They succeed not in spite of their failure, but because of it.


What else do you like to keep in mind about failure in life? Anything you would like to add?

Let me know in the comments below.

The Best Ways to Learn a New Language

The Best Ways to Learn a New Language

latin-man-300x225I was really terrible at Spanish in high school. My grades were pretty bad throughout the year and I thought that I would never be able to learn a new language. I had nightmares about “conjugating” verbs. My teacher even suggested that I avoid taking Spanish classes once I got to college. I just barely made it out alive…

Luckily, things have changed a lot since then. I’ve gained a lot more motivation, a lot more interest in other cultures, and I’m starting have a pretty decent understanding of Spanish. I’ve also started learning the basics of German and French, and am genuinely enjoying it.

If you’re like me and were pretty clueless in high school, don’t worry!

There are a lot of great ways out there to either start learning a new language or to refresh your existing knowledge, and most of them are actually pretty enjoyable.

Make It Into A Game Using Duolingo

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This is probably my favorite way to learn a new language and it’s also one of the most fun. Duolingo makes learning languages into a game and you “level up” as you learn more and more. The courses are broken up into manageable lessons in which you translate sentences, transcribe what you hear, and speak phrases into the microphone.

The ability to access Duolingo for free on iOS, Android, or on the web also makes it extremely easy to get started on. It’s a breeze to chip away at languages whenever you’re bored or have a few minutes of downtime.

Spice Up Your Commute With Pimsleur Audio Programs

car-in-commute-300x199Pimsleur audio programs have been around for quite a while and are a great way to learn a new language. In addition to software-based courses, some of the most popular offerings by the company are its audio programs. The audio programs come in a ton of different languages and are a great choice for people with long commutes. Why not be productive while sitting in traffic?

The audio courses guide you through spoken conversations while telling you how to respond and allowing you a chance to reply out loud. Because of that, it’s a great choice for anybody who actually needs to learn to speak a language, rather than just being able to read it or understand it.

Another great thing is that many local libraries have Pimsleur audio courses, so it’s pretty easy to just go grab one and get started for free.

Learn a New Language With Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone software is very similar to Duolingo but instead of relying on text to teach you new words it is a much more visual course. Rosetta Stone immerses you in your chosen language and teaches you through context and visual information. It’s very similar to the way children and infants learn to speak.

I’ve only experimented with Rosetta Stone during brief stints, but I actually like it a lot more than Duolingo. It can’t compete with the price of Duolingo however, as most of the courses cost around $200.

Watch Foreign Television

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Of course, one common way to learn a new language  is to immerse yourself in it by watching TV shows or movies. It’s amazing what you can understand and what words you can figure out just by seeing the context of the words and watching body language.

If you want to make the most out of this you might want to start with subtitles in your own language at first, then start watching with the native subtitles, and then take the subtitles off completely.

Also, I’ve heard of people learning completely from this method, but in my opinion this is probably serves better as a supplement to a more structured language course.

After reading this article on Fluentu.com I’ve started watching the Spanish version of a show called Extr@ on Youtube.  If you search for it on Google you can also find live television streams from around the world, like the one for the Mexican Travel Channel.

Visit a New Place

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You could also be really brave and go for TOTAL immersion. Simply visit a place where they speak the language you would like to learn, and go. Learn how to order food, ask for directions, and get to know the locals.

This method is definitely not easy, but many people pull this off. Many people travel through, or even move to new countries without the slightest knowledge of the language.

You can do a lot more than you may think with body language alone, but immersing yourself like this can really force you into understanding a new language in a pretty intense way.

You don’t necessarily have to leave the country to do this, though. You could also try going to a more diverse part of your own city and throwing yourself into a few conversations. If your city has a Chinatown or a section with a lot of Latino businesses, for example, maybe try taking a little mini-vacation and start practicing.

Take a Class

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You can also go the more traditional route by taking a class on the language of your choosing. If you’re currently in college or high school, you have plenty of options to learn a new language. But if you’re out of school, there are still some options.

Many colleges offer continuing education courses devoted to learning the basics of a new language. You can probably find other basic language classes offered in your community as well, if you search for them. There are also plenty of online courses to choose from.

Join a Foreign Language Club or Group

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Another great way to learn a new language, or to practice one, is to join a foreign language group in your area. If you’re in college you can look for a club focused on the language you would like to learn.

Otherwise, you can try Google and look for foreign language groups in your city. There are also many Meetup groups that meet specifically to practice language skills and are great for getting some practical experience.


So those are some of my best ideas for learning a new language or two. Of course, I think the best way of all is to do more than one of the above. Personally, I still have a lot to learn, but I’m trying to add more of these methods into my life so that the languages I’m learning will become second nature to me.

What do you think? Did I miss anything?

If so, feel free to leave me a comment down below.

Small Instruments for Musicians Who Love to Travel

Small Instruments for Musicians Who Love to Travel

beach-musician-300x199Backpacking with a large instrument like a guitar, a keyboard, a bass guitar, a tuba, or heck, a cello, can be difficult. Although guitars are fairly portable, they can still be a bit too bulky for the constant traveler. Luckily, there are many small instruments that are perfectly travel-sized and ready for any journey. Not only that, many of them are also super cool in their own right.

I’m preparing to take some trips of my own over the next few months and although I’m pretty darn sentimental about my guitar, I’ve decided to leave it behind for now and track down a small instrument to call my new best friend.

This is a great list for guitar players who are looking to scale down, but it’s also worth a look for other musicians who are looking for a more portable option. A lot of skills transfer over between instruments, so don’t be afraid. Many instruments can be easier to learn than you may think.

Whether you’re brand new to music and looking to learn an instrument for the very first time, or you’re looking to travel light while doing some street performing, or you just want to jam with your many hostel-mates and Couchsurfing hosts, one of the below instruments may just be the perfect fit for you.

Ukulele

The King of Small Instruments

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The ukulele is one of the smallest stringed instruments out there, and is great for traveling musicians who want to carry light. Many ukuleles are also available at great prices, many for under $50. On the other hand, if you’re a singer/songwriter who is accustomed to singing emotional ballads you might have some adjusting to do. It’s pretty difficult to make any song sound too sad when the ukulele is backing you up.

Mandolin

The Folk-Lovers Ukulele on Steroids

The mandolin is another small instrument that’s a great choice for travelers, especially if you’re into folk music. The instrument has one of the most unique sounds you’ve heard and works great as a solo instrument or as accompaniment for your voice. Compared to the ukulele, the mandolin has a lot of versatility and can create a much more diverse array of sounds.

Harmonica

The Classic Travelers Sidekick

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If you don’t have any interest in singing while playing, then the harmonica is a great choice for you. It’s also probably the easiest small instrument to carry around. On the cheaper side you can get a harmonica for under $10, but if you’re looking for something that’s higher quality you’ll probably want to go with something like the Hohner Marine Band harmonica.  The only drawback is that you’ll need different harmonicas for different keys, which can become an issue if you want to do a lot of jamming with your hostel-mates or anyone you meet on the road.

Melodica

A Piano Lover’s Strange Mistress

The melodica is a little less well-known, but is a really cool sounding instrument that kind of sounds like a cross between a harmonica and an accordion. This also happens to be one of the best small instruments for piano players who want to keep playing while on the road. Believe me, it’s going to be a heck of a lot better than carrying a keyboard, or god forbid, a piano around.

Violin/Fiddle

For the Cultured Professional

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Depending on how you play it, you may either call this a violin or a fiddle, but regardless, there’s no denying that it can be one of the most beautiful sounding instruments in the world when in the hand of an expert. However it can also be one of the most terrible sounding if you’re not quite up to par. The learning curve for this instrument is a bit higher than many of the others on this list,  but if you’re up to the task, a violin (or fiddle) may be a great small instrument to carry around with you while you trot around the globe.

Backpacker Guitar

For Guitarists Resistant to Change

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If you’re a guitarist and REALLY can’t stand to leave your guitar behind, you do have the option of getting a Martin backpacker guitar. They’re portable, lightweight, and a perfect way to get your guitar playing fix while on the road. Although truth be told, they are a little funny looking.


How have you guys dealt with carrying instruments while traveling? Any tips, methods, or interesting small instruments that you would like to share with the class?

Let me know in the comments below.