By: Eric Ungs

Life gets busy, because of it, we forget about what matters most.

Committing to a journey of intentional self growth starts with slowing down. It’s recognizing and filling your day with the things that align with your values.

Part of determining what you value is through reflection.

Reflection is something I started doing a year ago to think through my emotional baggage. It offered clarity into those deep and dark pockets of who I am. Some were right at the surface waiting to be discovered.

Reflection is a release mechanism.

We aren’t meant to suppress, we are meant to express and connect. When you choose to let go the weight lifts and you feel lighter. It opens the door to discovering yourself and presents space to grow.

Here are 6 questions you need to ask yourself everyday to support a journey of intentional self growth:

What did I do today?

Recount the day in chronological order and put pen to paper; write. This is the foundation to reflecting; it provides fodder for the remaining questions.

During the day you’re in the trenches, where it tends to be complex. When you reflect, you’re able to see it from an aerial view, the simplicity of your life seeps through.

Whether it’s what you want to see or not, the good, the bad; it’s the truth. When you see this, you have choices. It provides a space to learn and grow.

Time is our most valuable asset but yet we treat it like we have an abundance of it. We don’t, so choose wisely.

How do I feel right now?

This is where you surrender and let go; the vulnerability vault opens and you expose the emotions you felt throughout your day.

Asking yourself, and most importantly answering, this question provides clarity into how you are feeling.

It becomes essential for how you approach your day, it equips you to be more self aware on how you spend your days and how you respond to different situations throughout your day.

What did I enjoy?

Think about the things you did and the areas that brought out enjoyment. Think about your work, your job, your interests, what are the tasks or areas that you enjoy most.

Discover the things that make you tick. Find areas in your work, outside of your core tasks and responsibilities, that you enjoy; then do them more often.

Find ways to incorporate them throughout your day. Have them become part of your total body of work.

What did I learn?

Regardless of where you are in your journey, stay curious.

It’s so important to always be asking yourself, and others, questions. To be learning new things regardless of the space it resides in.

It could be something about yourself, your work, your hobbies, your culture; just learn. Consume new information. Gain new and different knowledge. Explore diverse areas.

The exchange of information, learning about who we are, is a core component of self growth.

What’s one idea I had today?

We all have ideas and we’re all smarter than what we think we are.

When you think of an idea, write it down. No matter what the idea is put it in a notebook, in Evernote, or wherever.

Reflecting on this question, or the process of writing down your idea, exercises your idea muscle. It strengthens the muscle to see opportunity where others can’t, or aren’t.

We are all filled with amazing ideas, continue to exercise that muscle.

What are three things I am grateful for?

I like to answer this question in the morning, regarding the previous day.

When expressing the things I am grateful for first thing in the morning, it sets the tone for the remainder of the day. It reminds me of what really matters and what’s important, it sticks with me.

Each day you should have a different answer. It doesn’t have to be big each time. Instead, dive deeper into those tiny moments that often get overlooked and are taken for granted.

The things like finding a pair of gloves in your car on a cold winter day when you need to clean your windshield. Or being grateful for that moment when you were able to witness your son and dog playing together; simply being eachother’s best friend.

It’s all of those big moments, and I think most importantly, those small moments, that we aught to be most grateful for.

It’s as simple as this. Reflect on your day to become more self aware. Be honest with yourself and be intentional about your self growth.

Reflecting on your day surfaces the things that you value most. Do more of those things.

Do you spend time reflecting on your day? What questions do you ask yourself?

About the Author:

Eric Ungs is the founder of the Unless You Care Project. Writing about an intentional journey of self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook. Get your free copy here.

*Source: Pick the Brain *

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This Unique Spanish Home Was Built Under a Rolling Hill and Is Completely Eco-Friendly

You wouldn’t know there was a home resting inside of this rolling hillside were it not for the roof sloping downward over a parked car and bicycles. Known as the Live Garden House, this vaulted home was built into a hillside and features traditional construction techniques practiced in Zaragoza, Spain.

Spanish designers sought to create a fully sustainable home that used locally-sourced materials for its construction. They achieve their vision with this zero-energy structure that lets in natural sunlight, has a natural ventilation system and features a rainwater collection system.

All of its sustainable features are made even better by placing them underneath an undulating green roof (which has plants and vegetation growing on top of it). Not only does the home look beautiful inside, it fits in perfectly with the surrounding landscape.

And the inside is just as welcoming and serene as the outside. Take a look for yourself!

h/t Inhabitat

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The REAL Reason Barns Are Usually Red

Almost every barn I’ve ever seen has been red, and I never knew why. I mean, I love red as a color, but it never really made any sense why every single barn I’ve ever come across had to be red. There are so many other colors to choose from!

The real reason barns are painted red actually has nothing to do with color preference, and everything to do with practicality.

When the very first New England settlers were building farms, many of them lacked the necessary funds to paint their buildings. However, they still needed a way to protect their barns’ wood from the elements, so they came up with their own solution to the problem: by mixing skim milk, lime, and red iron oxide, they successfully created a plastic-like substance that they could coat their farm buildings with to protect them.

Eventually, paint manufacturers would mix in chemical pigment and red was the favorite due to how cheap it was. And, as with many things in this world, people never sought to change it. So, red was how it began and red is how it has stayed.

h/t Business Insider

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Professor Who Predicted Donald Trump Becoming President Has a New Prediction: Impeachment

Image via: Max Goldberg from USA - Trump CAUCUS

Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, has gained quite a bit of notoriety over the years as he’s successfully predicted the outcome of every presidential election to date, starting in 1984. He correctly predicted the Donald Trump would win the 2016 election and is now making another prediction: Donald Trump will be impeached.

"Now, he focuses on the 45th President of the United States and his next forecast, that it is not a question of if President Trump will be impeached, but a question of when," said Shelby Meizlik, spokesperson for HarperCollins.

In fact, Lichtman has written a book stating his argument for why Trump should be impeached. The Case for Impeachment is being published by Dey Street Books and will release to the public on April 18th.

Lichtman made the prediction that Trump would be impeached alongside his prediction that he would be elected and his book will go into detail as to why.

Lichtman told the Washington Post this past September:

"I'm going to make another prediction. This one is not based on a system; it's just my gut. They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook."

It certainly seems as though there is a strong case for impeachment, especially when considering Trump's Russian connections and the multitude of conflicts of interests surrounding his businesses, as Lichtman argues.

Do you think Lichtman’s fortune-telling capabilities will ring true once again?

h/t Time

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6 Bizarrely Beautiful Houseplants You've Probably Never Heard Of

Houseplants are a great addition to any home as not only do they bring a clean, fresh aesthetic to the space, they also help improve air quality. If you’ve ever wanted to bring plants into your home, but think that they’re kind of boring or not worth the effort, try out one of these bizarre houseplants that are anything but boring.

Mix it up a little with these six houseplants that are beautiful, but also a little strange.

Euphorbia Caput-Medusae
Succulents a great option for everyone who’s looking for a low-maintenance plant. They only need watering about once a week and even just once a month during the winter months. The type of succulent shown here is referred to as “Medusa’s Head,” a moniker taken on because of its likeness to the Greek monster with snakes for hair. It is native to South Africa.

The Trachyandra also looks as if it’s some type of snake plant, or maybe silly-string growing out of the ground. This plant is real and you can find it in Eastern and Southern Africa.

If you’ve ever wanted a plant that looks somewhat like it has antlers, grab a Platycerium. This plant, which is often called the “Staghorn Fern”, can even grow on the side of things, such as trees or walls.

Gentiana Urnula
These beautifully-patterned succulents are known as “Starfish Succulents” and are at home in the rocks. These are also a perfect option for those seeking low-maintenance plants.

Sedum Morganianum
These crazy looking plant is often called “Donkey Tail” and its stems regularly grow up to two feet in length. Its leaves are normally a bluish-green and it is native to Mexico and Honduras.

Haworthia Cooperi
This plant looks like some type of glass flower or maybe even some type of gelatin, but these clumps you see here are actually green leaves that simply look as though they’re something else.

h/t Woman's Day

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