How can we be happier persons? Gift-love may be the answer, which can be described as a sincere love of others that we typically identify with spiritual and moral goodness. We might think a fancy house, a nice car and a high income will make us happy. But in the long run the people that have the least are the most happy. How can this be? These people have more selfless motives. This describes the paradox that underlies human flourishing. When we have a selfless attitude we experience more inner joy and discover a happier and healthier self. How can we learn from them?

We might start by giving away our money. What? Yes! We all stress out when we are low on money, but different studies show that when we give money away our cortisol decreases, which is a stress hormone in our body. This is because if we don’t give the money, we might feel ashamed which causes or body to respond with higher stress levels. In another American study, people received either a $5 bill or a $20 bill and were told to spend the money on themselves or someone else. The people who spend the money on others were happier at the end of the day.

Why does giving away the money makes you happier? Theories suggests that this may foster a sense of social connectedness. The more modest you mean, the more you and your close family and friends may need to rely on one another to get by; hence, the greater focus on generosity. Second, giving money away gives you a sense of making a difference. For example, when you give away money to a homeless person, you are assured he will have a safe place to sleep. I remember myself ignoring homeless people when I was younger. But now after experiencing financial burdens, I feel like I have become a more generous and grateful person. Now, I never leave a homeless person without money. When I have some pennies with me, I always give. Even when I am low on money, because now I really care about them. I also feel like I’m more sparing on food. In the past I would throw a lot of food away, but now I feel grateful I can eat. It is true that having less money makes you value the little things more that we normally take for granted. So are you sometimes worried about money? Just give it away!

You may wonder if giving away will not interfere with personal success. Of course we all want to thrive in this world and lead a successful life, but giving to other people doesn’t mean we have to give less to ourselves. It is important to keep in our minds that we mustn’t hurt ourselves when we help another. Else, it will backfire on us and in the end we will be too exhausted to give help to others. Adam Grant, professor and author of New York Times bestseller ”Give and Take”, reveals the surprising success of givers. During his research he discovered that there is a group of people who are productively generous. These people reject three commons beliefs about giving.

First, giving is not about being nice. Being generous and nice are not the same things. When you think you have to be nice all the time, you might fail in setting up boundaries. Help others, but don’t harm yourself. Dare to say no, if it will cost you. Because being generous is not the same as being a doormat. Second, giving is not about altruism. When you help others, you can’t be completely selfless. Because when you are, you risk becoming too exhausted to keep giving. Of course your act has to come out of selfless love, but it’s important to guard your own resources. Third, giving is not about refusing help from others. The greatest difference between failed and successful givers is the willingness to seek and accept help. Great givers are also great receivers. If you are too afraid of asking help from others, you will lack the support of others. You will need others to thrive. And there’s a great difference between using people and accepting help from people. The last one means, you are willing to pay back the favor when that friend ask you for help. In the end, to thrive, we have to help each other.

And that explains the paradox of happiness. When we help people, people will help us. We will thrive together. And we will be happy, not only because we have thrived ourselves, but especially because we helped thriving somebody else that we love! That is what gift-love is about, what will lead to sustainable happiness; an enduring inner joy.

‘’What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’’ – Oliver Wendell Holmes

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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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