Focus on the Solution

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Love: it’s the most powerful force and emotion in the world. It’s also the answer to fixing what ails our society - but with so much chatter going on, it’s very difficult to capture on a grand scale.

All of the negative topics surrounding love in the image are jammed down our throats every day by the media - because this stuff is what sells. Makes it rather tough to focus on the positive.

You can debate until you’re blue in the face about the political and social elements of these topics. But when this takes place, what you’re doing, in a sense, is just discussing the symptoms of a larger issue. And that’s where tribal thinking and hate start to rear their ugly heads.

It’s time to retrain our minds to focus on the SOLUTION, and not the symptom.

And believe it or not, there ARE positive news sources out there. Good News Network is a great place to start.

The Healthy Competition that Never Ends

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Not sure who originally said this one…but it’s making more and more sense.

Competition is something that many of us grow up getting jammed down our throats. It starts with youth sports (which are very beneficial), continues on into competing to stand out in high school and college, and finally competing with your peers for jobs.

Along the way, we’re inundated with competition all over the media - especially in regards to political topics. It seems like EVERYTHING you hear on political topics has an undertone - if not a blatant shout - of one side of the equation attempting to be superior to the other.

Don’t get me wrong. I think competition can be a GREAT thing when it’s healthy…namely when it comes to sports and games. Striving to best your opponent in a micro sense, when all parties have the same healthy intentions, can really bring out the best in us and teach some very important lessons, win or lose.

But all too often these days, unhealthy competition seems like its everywhere. We compete for attention. We compete to appear “happier” on social media. We compete to have our political party come out on top of the smallest argument only in attempts to put the other side down. We compete for higher pay and for material items, often with no regard to the impact on other people. All of this breeds a negative, confrontational mindset that lies at the core of hate.

If you’re a naturally competitive person, that’s great. I definitely am. But in addition to healthy sports and games, if you’re looking to feed those competitive hungers, look inward. Compete with yourself. Instead of bringing down others (subtly or blatantly) in order to feel superior, channel that inside and find out what YOU can do to improve yourself.

That’s why I love this quote. You can turn your life into an everlasting, healthy competition with yourself by simply striving to be better than the day before. You can easily do this for your life in an all-encompassing sense, or, break it down into categories…fitness, diet, meditation, work, family life, whatever your desired areas of improvement are.

The bottom line is that while competing and “winning” against someone might give us a good feeling in the short-term, that “win” does nothing for society as a collective and over the long term. If we instead look inward, without comparing or competing against others, we can improve ourselves in a way that truly inspires.

Hope Persists Going into 2019

A recent study by the US Census Bureau revealed that fewer Americans are volunteering and giving than any time in the last two decades. Some sombering news for sure…but we’ve got hope that this trend will reverse.

First, let’s look back on 2018 and we’ll start to see that not all news was bad in the world of giving, charity, and spreading peace. There were a number of great stories of the human spirit…including the NFL’s JJ Watt spearheading a crowdfunding raise of $41.6 million for Hurricane Harvey relief via social media. There was also the record-breaking results of Giving Tuesday, the notable increase in popularity of random acts of kindness, and multiple other examples.

But, when it comes down to it, the study is simple proof that we could all be doing more. Whether it’s volunteering your time, providing goods & supplied to people in need, or - perhaps most importantly - just doing a good deed for a stranger - if we all just made a small effort more than we did in 2018, the results WILL be phenomenal.

We believe that part of the problem is a lack of exposure to these good deeds - as many charitable organizations have yet to find a way to reach our increasingly-digital society. If you’re in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, the Advomate mobile app is one way to combat this. It’s a peer-to-peer network that connects those needing volunteer help with everyday people willing to provide it. We invite you to visit their website here to learn more and download the app.

Here’s to positive change in 2019!

To Connect, Disconnect.

Remember back in the 90s - when the internet was still a novelty - how excited you got when you got online? Connecting to the internet via AOL in the early days was not an easy thing to do as technologies were still immature. But once you made it on and heard that “You’ve Got Mail” chime, there was instant excitement.

Since then, it’s been a mass influx of digital connections as most of the world’s 7.7 billion+ people access the internet on a daily basis. Physical connections with other people and with nature have taken a backseat to social media, web browsing, and the like.

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The statement “offline is the new luxury” is now our reality, and a shocking realization to come to. That said, it’s also a reminder as to how many treasures await us out in nature.

The digital revolution of the past two decades may have taken our focus elsewhere for a while; and listen, that’s not to say that these technologies haven’t brought us GREAT things. But every once in a while, we think it’s incredibly valuable for EVERYONE to “disconnect” from their screens and get out into the great unknown.

The impact of getting to your special place in nature is better than any drug, or YouTube video, could ever bring you. It’s far and away the best way to “connect” back to what really matters in your life.

Now go out and explore!

What Was Once Private, is Now Public

Very pleased to announce that the private beta phase for the Advomate app has now gone PUBLIC! It’s now available for download to Tampa Bay-area users on both iOS and Android devices by clicking the following links:

App Store (iOS)

Play Store (Android)

So, if you haven’t yet, we encourage you to give it a download and join our small (but growing) community to start making a difference. We’ll add more and more volunteer initiatives as we go along, and are efforting to partner up with local Tampa Bay area nonprofits to feature their events.

We are limiting the app’s use to the Tampa Bay area only for now, as this is as far as our infrastructure can extend at this time. But we certainly have aspirations to expand into new markets in the future - and as our community continues to grow we will do just that. Just stay tuned!

Keep in mind that we are still in the beta phase so there are likely to be some bumps in the road during your use of the app. With this in mind we are still accepting ANY and ALL feedback you may have to make the Advomate user experience better. So if you have a suggestion, or run into a problem with the app, don’t hesitate to visit www.advomate.com and reach us at the contact info provided.

Thanks and we greatly appreciate your support to this point!

There's Another Way to Live.

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There’s awesome collective power in seemingly small things.

The examples listed above are just a small sample size of things we can do to collectively work towards a more positive, inclusive, and peaceful society. Most of us have opportunities to do things like this everyday, but we don’t - and it’s usually not because we’re mean spirited people, we’re just pre-occupied with life.

But from here on out, let’s try and remember the impact that even one of these small actions can have with just one person. It may not seem like much to you, but you never know how much it might positively impact that other person. And it may not seem like much of a big deal at the time, but if performed with enough frequency and by enough people, can begin to reshape how we operate in this world.

No matter what others might tell you, our society doesn’t have to be marked by greed, war, corruption, personal gratification, and the like. There is another way…and it’s for the good of us all.

A Hall of Famer, in More Ways than One

Houston Texans' defensive end JJ Watt is one of the best players in the NFL.  But once he decides to hang up his cleats for good, he'll be remembered for so much more.

Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the Houston area in August 2017, was the subject of multiple fundraisers and crowdfunding campaigns.  But none were more successful than the one Watt led - by a long shot.  His crowdfunding campaign raised an incredible $41.6 million for hurricane relief, an all time record for crowdfunding.  Nice job JJ.

The financial impact aside, this effort did absolute wonders when it comes to encouraging people to help others.  Whether you're a sports fan or not, chances are you've heard of Watt - and when you see someone as famous as Watt lead an effort of this magnitude, there's a good chance it influences a little inspiration.  Athletes get bashed all the time for off-the-field mishaps, but when they do something like this, the positive power it has on our society cannot be overlooked.

Social media, which Watt leaned on greatly throughout this campaign, also gets bashed in the public eye - but without it there's no way the total gets that high.  It's easy to dwell on the undesirable features of social media and how it might be damaging our society.  But just keep in mind that when used in this way, it's incredibly powerful.  So let's all start using it the right way!