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Questions to Ponder, for Teens (and Anyone Else!) Who Want New Devices

10 Aug

It’s hard.  Everyone has the latest phone, or TV, or tablet, or…?  Will having the latest and greatest device make you happy?  Perhaps. Or…

If you want another new iPhone, Galaxy x, MacBook, tablet, or whatever new device “everyone else has,” taking 1 minute to ask yourself these questions might just make you a better person.  And happier whether you upgrade, or not.

(If you answer more than 15 of these questions “Yes,” you probably do not need a new _____ (fill in the blank).)

  1. Do you have water available for your family without walking more than a mile?
  2. kids getting water
  3. Do you have electricity?
  4. Have you ever been to a doctor?
  5. Have you ever been to a dentist?
  6. Are you safe from dying from almost-eradicated diseases that kill children in countries without proper vaccines and treatments?
  7. Do you have a toothbrush?
  8. Do you have a toilet?
  9. Do you know how to read?
  10. girl reading
  11. Do you go to school?
  12. Do you have a safe place to sleep, with a roof?
  13. Do you have heat and/or fans or air conditioning or covering in extreme weather?
  14. Do you know where your next meal will come from?
  15. vegetables
  16. Do you have a parent/guardian/ loved one who takes care of you?
  17. Can you do basic math?
  18. Are you relatively sure you be alive a year from now?
  19. Do you feel confident that terrorists will not storm your house, your village, or your town in the next year?
  20. Do you feel safe going outside of your home?
  21. Do you feel safe speaking your mind, or telling people what you think?
  22. kids sharing
  23. Do you feel you can share your ideas online?
  24. Do you have friends/ people you care about, and who care about you?
  25. Can you imagine doing almost anything you want in the future/doing any job you want in the future?
  26. Are you free to tell people your opinions on religion or politics?
  27. Can you be friends with anyone you want?
  28. Can you love anyone you want?
  29. Do you feel safe expressing any opinions about the government, including ideas that aren’t supporting the government?
  30. Do you feel free?
  31. freedom

Most importantly, do you feel grateful? Please do.

So many other places in the world do not have nearly (or any) the advantages available here, now. Please realize the blessing, the honor, the privilege we all have today, being born in the United States.

We have the honor of being safe, healthy, wealthy, wise, and kind (to various extents). Let’s please appreciate it.

And while we’re being grateful, let’s also make it a mission to share by volunteering, and pay it forward by helping people around the world who have less.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” ~ Ronald Reagan

Any mentions of organizations within are due to my knowledge of them and appreciation of them only.  No organizations were involved or had knowledge of my mentions, although I do support the organizations mentioned, amongst many others.

A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

16 Jan

Will this year be the best one yet? Of course it will! As Sophocles once observed, “Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”

These are a few quotes to provide some delicious food for thought in 2015. Enjoy them in tasty bites anytime! (Feel free to pin, post, tweet and otherwise share them and use them on your blog; all the photos are mine and so are free to use under creative commons.)

And as you go about each glorious day, remember: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

(If you love quotes, please also download my free “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” for 150+ positive and inspiring quotes at your fingertips!)

Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation - social good quotes book  by Amy Neumann

Free downloadable collection of quotes!

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." ~ William James #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion." ~ Richard P. Feynman #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"It matters if you just don't give up." ~ Stephen Hawking #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it."  ~ Edith Wharton #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~ Anne Frank #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"I'm always doing things I can't do. That's how I get to do them." ~ Pablo Picasso #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." ~ Voltaire #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Don't raise your voice; improve your argument." ~ Desmond Tutu #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle. Happiness never decreases by being shared." ~ Buddha #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Action expresses priorities." ~ Gandhi #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Smile at a stranger, and make two people happy." ~ Amy Neumann #quote on http://charityideasblog.com "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." ~ James M. Barrie #quote from http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." ~ James M. Barrie #quote from http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

Every day of the year can be a best day. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

(That brings us to 15 quotes for 2015. Make it spectacular!)

Amy Neumann is a passionate fan of social good, and is dedicated to leveraging technology to change the world. Follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas and Pinterest as CharityIdeas.

Entrepreneurs Giving Back

18 Jan

This is a guest post by Michelle Gregory.

If you had more money than you could ever need, would you swim in it like Scrooge McDuck or give it away? Most of us will never achieve a level of wealth like that, but entrepreneurs who have made a staggering amount of wealth choose to spread that wealth. Some, like Mark Zuckerberg, pledge large donations publicly and encourage philanthropy among their peers. Others, like Bob Parsons, draw less attention with their gifts, but give nonetheless.

Bob Parsons

Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy.com (and executive chairman) and his wife started their own charitable foundation aptly named the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. They plan to give several million dollars a year, according to AZcentral.com. The foundation was created to facilitate charitable gifts to a variety of organizations. The Parsons give to a variety of causes with personal significance. They also like to patronize charities based in and serving Arizona.

“I made my living here, and I feel we have an opportunity to help out where there’s some really critical needs,” Parson said.

Though Parsons frequently provides video blogs for GoDaddy.com and was the driving force between the advertising campaign that made them a household name, he isn’t actively publicizing these charity initiatives. And while previous gifts were given to causes hand-picked by the Parsons, the foundation does accept funding requests from any organization in need through their website. While businessman Parsons isn’t working full time at GoDaddy anymore, he’s still got plenty to keep him busy. He owns several motorcycle dealerships and has an interest in a real-estate investment firm.

Mark Zuckerberg

MarkZuckerberg

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

Wildly successful Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been very vocal about his stance on philanthropy. In 2007, the then-26-year-old donated $100 million to Newark, New Jersey schools, according to Entrepreneur.com. In the same year, he also signed The Giving Pledge. In doing so, he pledged to give most of his wealth to charity either during his lifetime or after his death. The creator of the world’s largest social network even went so far as to reduce his yearly salary to $1. His 28 percent stake in the company is enough to keep Zuckerberg financially stable for several lifetimes.

Bill Gates

The Giving Pledge was created by Bill and Melinda Gates who, according to Forbes, are unrivaled as the greatest givers in human history. As of early November 2012, the Gates had reportedly given upward of $28 billion in philanthropic gifts. Beyond doing good with their own fortune, the Gates have encouraged some of the most wealthy families and entrepreneurs around the globe to commit the majority of their fortunes to helping others. The Gates foundation, for example, has worked to rid the world of polio, cases worldwide are now down 99 percent over the last 20 years, according to the Gates Foundation website.

What local, regional or world problems would you tackle with an unlimited budget? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Inspiring Quotes on Gratitude, Social Good, and Appreciation

2 Dec

One of the greatest things about the internet, and social media, is how easy it is to find inspiration everywhere you look.  As a Thank You for all the inspiration I’ve gotten over the years, I curated some of my very favorite quotes into a book.  It’s free to download, and you can also get a real, paperback copy from Amazon!

Here’s to you!  Please enjoy 150+ “Uplifiting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation.”  You are very appreciated!

Free download:

AmyNeumannBookDownload.php

Get the pocket paperback on Amazon:

AmyNeumannQuotesBook

From @TheTop10Blog: 24 Powerful Voices for Social Good on Twitter

22 Oct

This article originally appears on fantastic blog I love to read, Tony HastingsThe Top 10 Blog.

A big thanks to Tony for the kind surprise of adding me to the list!

24 Powerful Voices For Social Good On Twitter

SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

There is no doubt that Twitter has changed the world and the way we communicate in so many ways and one of the most amazing benefits has been the way in which it has been used to spread the word about social good causes.

Good people across the world have harnessed the power of Twitter to promote causes dear to their hearts both large and small, local, national and international. Although it would be difficult to measure the effect of this there can be no doubt that the combined impact of all those individual Tweets has had a massive impact.

I wanted to celebrate this phenomenon by drawing up a compilation of many of the powerful voices who help to contribute to this force for Social Good in the world. The names are in no particular order, please click on the image to pay them a visit.

Katya Andresen – @katyaN4G

Sean Gardner  – @2morrowknight

#socialgood

Claire Diaz-Ortiz – @Claire

AnnTran – @AnnTran_

Rev Andy Bales – @abales

Scott Harrison – @scottharrison

charitywater

Alyssa Milano – @Alyssa_Milano

Alyssa Milano

Carol Hink – @CarolHink

Heather Robinson –  @MrsRobinsonNJ

Amanda Hite – @sexythinker

Mark Horvath – @hardlynormal

Meg Garlinghouse – @megarling

Beth Kanter – @kanter

Shaun King – @ShaunKing

See the full list and read the rest of the article at The Top 10 Blog here.

Green Cleveland Tweetup #GreenCLEtweetup 9/14 4pm @TheGreenhouse

6 Sep

Cleveland #Green ‘Tweetup’ – #GreenCLEtweetup

(If you love #Eco, tickets to the EcoWatch Green Gala at the Rock Hall 7-10pm following the event are still available: http://ecowatch.org/2012/green-gala-sept-14/ )

September 14, 2012 4:00-6:00 pm at The Greenhouse Tavern, downtown Cleveland

Ready to have some great food and meet some Twitter friends IRL?  Join me, @CharityIdeas, and @KariMatsko at @TheGreenhouse Tavern (the first certified green restaurant in Ohio!) for a pre- @EcoWatch Green Gala Tweetup!

Date/Time:

September 14, 2012 – 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Location

The Greenhouse Tavern 2038 E 4th Street

Cleveland, OH

Please join us for fun- food – drinks while learning more about sustainability – twitter connections – and the impacts of ‘fracking’ in Ohio!

Discounted food and drinks are cash bar

Directions & Details: http://thegreenhousetavern.com/

About Us : www.ohiogasdrilling.com

Don’t forget the ECOWATCH Green Gala following! http://ecowatch.org/2012/green-gala-sept-14/

The #GreenCLETweetup is presented by:

People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative- Ohio (POGCO– aka NEOGAP)

Amy Neumann’s (@CharityIdeas) NEW book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude…” #Gratitude #Quotes

5 Sep

Yay!

“Amy Neumann’s new book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” is here!” 

My new book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” is here! 150+ of my personal favorite quotes on gratitude, kindness, and social good.

At last!  I am so excited to share 150+ of my favorite quotes to inspire and show gratitude.  My new book is here!  On paperback, or eBook version.  Makes a great little “Thank You!” 😀

More details here!

Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude, compassion, and bright view of the world.  

To follow up after a great client meeting, interview, or event, or as an anytime thank you to colleagues, donors, customers, family, or friends, this book has the perfect inspiring quote for the occasion.

This book is a lot like life:  open it up anywhere, and be amazed at the serendipity!

Thank YOU so much for being you!

Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation By Amy Neumann

Paperback: $8.88
Ships in 3-5 business days
Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude,… More >
Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation – Downloadable By Amy Neumann

eBook (ePub): $1.88
Download immediately.
Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude,… More >
© 2012 Amy Neumann, Good Plus Tech LLC.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – CC 3.0
ISBN:   978-1-300-16079-3

Positive Belief Energy – The Inspiration of @LinkedIn’s Bryan Breckenridge

5 Jul

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

~ W. Clement Stone

Being around positive and optimistic people, in person or online, is something that inspires me on a regular basis.  People like Sean Gardner (@2morrowknight) with his Awesome Blog, Ann Tran (@AnnTran_) with her inspiring blog, and countless others.  One of those people is Bryan Breckenridge, whom I first came to know through his amazing social good work with LinkedIn as their “Nonprofit Success Enabler.”  LinkedIn has long been a favorite and often-used site for me, which you can learn more about here.

BeliefEnergy.com is all about positive energy, optimism, and uplifting ideas and stories.                          Photo by Amy Neumann.

Bryan (@BGBreck) spends a lot of time figuring out positive ways to make the world a better place, and shares it on his blog, BeliefEnergy.com, as well as on LinkedIn, where you can find helpful articles like Why Volunteering Is Good For Your Career.  I had a chance to talk with him in a little more detail about Belief Energy, how people can leverage LinkedIn for Good (and business), and how the two complement each other and provide continuous sources of ideas back and forth.

Bryan sees the world through an energetic enabler’s eyes.  In his career, Bryan has helped thousands of nonprofits operate better using online platforms.  Bryan is also helping people from all over the globe experience more optimal living.  In 2011, Bryan joined LinkedIn to launch their LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions  program.  Bryan also launched his personal development think tank at that time, Belief Energy .  Belief Energy, LLC is committed to helping people experience more optimal living.  Thousands of people from around the world have joined the Belief Energy conversation on facebook.

Your vibrant energy and passion for positive change also extends to your personal life.  Can you talk about your site Belief Energy and how your work at LinkedIn and your personal mission intertwine?

Yes, I bring all of myself to work.  It’s not work for me, it’s a calling.  I intentionally integrate my professional and personal life.  It improves both in my experience.  Especially if I follow a surge and rest approach.  Nobody can go 110% all-out in all categories forever.

Belief Energy, LLC is a personal development think tank that I created in March 2011 after reaching a personal plateau in my personal and professional life.  I knew I could live a more optimal life and roll a significant career upgrade into it, as well.  I’d done it before.  Here’s a video I created for more context on Belief Energy and my quick personal and professional reflection on 2011:

I would not have written the LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions program business plan if Belief Energy didn’t exist.  I knew what I did next in my career had to enable the enablers.  I knew what I did had to tap into my inner and outer life (my soul/belief and action/energy selves).  When I interviewed with executives at LinkedIn at the beginning of last year I could have sworn many of them were reading entries from the Belief Energy blog word for word.  I couldn’t believe it.  They let me pitch my passion infused business plan for nonprofits.  They loved it and have supported it from the start.  LinkedIn has been 100% supportive of my Belief Energy work, as well.  LinkedIn supports personal and professional transformation more than any company I’ve ever been a part of.  In fact, I plan to host a global Belief Energy workshop in LinkedIn’s global meeting rooms this year.

LinkedIn is a great place to share your volunteering and giving passion. Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero (Flickr).

Your passion for helping your community professionally started in the mid-90s and led to helping nonprofits on one of the world’s largest social networks:  LinkedIn.  Last  year you helped launch the new “Volunteer Experiences & Causes” profile feature.  Do you have a couple tips on how individuals can leverage this?

The “Volunteer Experience & Causes” profile section was one of our most requested Profile enhancements.  It became available to all our members in September 2011.  Everyone knows that volunteerism is good for the world. But according to a recent LinkedIn survey, we now know that volunteer experience also can make candidates more employable. Intrigued?  Consider this:

·           41%* of professionals surveyed state that when evaluating candidates, they consider volunteer work equally as valuable as paid experience.

·           20%* of hiring managers say they have made a hiring decision based on a candidate’s volunteer work experience.

·           *Based on a U.S. audience.

What you can do to help spread the word?

1.       For starters, please complete the Volunteer Experience and Causes section on your LinkedIn profile with past/current volunteer experience, causes you care about, and organizations you support.

2.       Share the new section with your network and encourage your connections to update their profiles too. You can also point them to our blog post for more information.

3.       Finally, ask the nonprofits you support or work for to encourage their support base to do the same.  Some organizations like Green Peace, The Nature Conservancy, Samaritan’s Purse and may more are asking their LinkedIn Followers to populate the section and highlight their organizations.

What resources are available for individuals and nonprofits who want to make the most of LinkedIn?

Two excellent resources:  Our nonprofit YouTube channel and a group I’d invite everyone to join called, “Nonprofits In Success.”

To learn more about how LinkedIn can help your nonprofit or cause here are 7 short videos about using LinkedIn for Non-Profits.

2011-12-29-BryanBreckeridgepic.jpg

Bryan Breckenridge

You can learn more about Bryan at BeliefEnergy.com or on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter @BGBreck.

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

19 Ways To Be More Optimistic

30 Jun

This adapted post originally appears in The Huffington Post.

19 Ways to be More Optimistic

Have you ever wondered how some people always seem to see the sunny side of things? How missed flights can turn into adventures, bad directions can deliver them to exciting new locales, lost opportunities lead them to new learning, and unexpected changes in plans leave them feeling more spontaneous than flustered? How does that work, exactly?

Perhaps it’s like Henry David Thoreau once said:

“It’s not what you look at that matters,
it’s what you see.” ~ H.D. Thoreau

The same people tend to see the glass as half full.

Photo from Selin Jessa

Many things in life are open to interpretation. Luckily, we each have 100% control of our own attitude about something, regardless of how much or little control we have over that something itself. With that in mind, here are a few tips to make the bright side shine a little more often in any situation.

Count your blessings Make a written (or mental) list of things you are thankful for, from very small to very big and anywhere in between.  To really boost your spirits, set a number (like 100) and then just keep jotting everything down til you reach it.  It’s amazing what the mind remembers when focused!

Notice little unexpected things Pay special attention to things you don’t normally “see,” like the expression on kids’ faces when they’re playing, the sound birds are making in the background, or a little breeze.

Your mind maps your path; keep it sunny! Photo by Amy Neumann

Be grateful for the good  Being thankful for what we already have is a tried and true way to feel better.  Sometimes we get caught up thinking of what else is out there, when we have so many big and small things to be grateful for at any given moment.

Help someone else Helping others takes the focus off our own ego and needs, and helps channel our energy into creating a better world for others.  Studies show that helping others has multiple surprising benefits to our health and well-being.  Here are 10 online tools to get you started finding a great volunteer opportunity.

Decide to be happy today  This one is easy.  Change your lense.  Make a conscious decision to see the positive, to be kind to others, to be grateful, and to be nice to yourself.

Smile at a stranger (and make two people happy) Smiling is another time-tested way to feel more optimistic.  Even if you “fake it til you make it,” and smile when you don’t *really* feel like it, your brain thinks you feel better.  People who see others smiling also feel more positive .  Win, win!

Turn a perceived negative into a positive Also know as “finding the silver lining.”  Trip cancelled?  Now there’s time to do that home project you’ve been wanting to do. Raining on picnic day?  Find a creative picnic spot indoors, preferably with candles.  Challenge yourself by filling in this blank:  “One good thing about this situation is __________.”

Read positive news  Proactively look for positive stories and news sources that highlight all the good in the world, like these 15 uplifting, positive sites.

Read uplifting quotes and stories  Social media is great for this.  Facebook and Pinterest are full of fun pictures; Twitter has a never-ending stream of positive #quotes.  Download an uplifting eBook, or borrow one from the library.

Set a small goal, then do it Try something easy, quick, and ideally a bit fun.  Even small chores work.  Make a little list, check them off as you do them, and feel the accomplishment endorphins kick in!

Hang out with positive people  Being around optimistic people helps you see what they see.  Like negativity, positivity feeds on itself, creating more positivity and bolstering that worldview.  Surround yourself with optimism!

Remember that ultimately, almost everything is a choice You can choose your viewpoint, what you focus on, you reaction to a situation, your attitude toward people and events, and almost anything else.  While bigger changes may require more planning and deliberation, they also are choices; you control your destiny.

Laugh The best medicine!  Get a little comedy in your diet.  Here are 8 ways laughter helps with a positive and optimistic outlook.

Move Exercise can be structured, but it’s also great to just grab a quick walk.  Anything to get the blood flowing and more air into the lungs works.  Many people report feeling inspired and even more creative while exercising.

Absorb nature Getting out and about in nature – or even focusing more deeply on everyday things you see outdoors – helps remind us that we’re all in this journey together.  Seeing the amazing intricacies in even the tiniest creatures can help refocus appreciation.

“There are always flowers for those who wish to see them.” ~ Henri Matisse 

Remember simple things  Friends, family, free activities.  Sometimes simpler is better.  The things money can’t buy are often what we remember best.  In addition to doing them, reminiscing through pictures, scrapbooks, or journals keeps happy memories on tap.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~ Robert Brault

Dive into a passion Let your creative inner child out to play.  Somewhere in your mind is that artist, adventurer, writer, dreamer, explorer, poet, sports star, singer, comic, teacher, actor, do-it-yourselfer.  Find out what they have in mind and give it a whirl!

Write down dreams and goals, and how you think achieving them feels Visualizing positive outcomes conjures up positive feelings, almost as well as actually achieving the goals.  Your mind feels the win, creating a feeling of optimism and hope.  Things like vision boards, writing down concrete goals, and keeping a journal can also contribute to this visionary process and sense of optimism.

“For myself, I am an optimist – it does not seem much use being anything else.” ~ Winston Churchill

2012-06-29-RainyDayOrBestPuddleEver.JPG
Rainy day, or best puddle ever? Photo courtesy of Amy Neumann

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

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