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Why do some folks get hired and promoted faster than others - or seem to get their way more easily in other aspects of life? It is not just due to hard work and good luck. According to new studies, confidence is what gives successful people that extra edge.

Confident people are simply more likely to seek out opportunities and ask for what they deserve. Check out these easy ways to feel great about yourself.

Believe your compliments.
Have you ever received a compliment and dismissed it, downplayed it or even argued against it? Each time you diminish a compliment, you lose out on a feel-good mood boost and you send a subconscious message that perhaps they should not compliment you.

Next time you get a compliment, simply answer.
Thank you - period. No arguing or giving a compliment in return. See if you feel happier and more capable!

Do one thing at a time.
It is a fact that we are wired to handle several tasks at one time but just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
When no one task has your full attention, you typically have to repeat several steps in order to finish each task properly - making you less efficient and leading to frustration that can take a real toll on your self-confidence.

Dare to go slow.
Focus your attention on one thing at a time. If you are tempted to multitask just remind yourself of this: two tasks half done are useless compared to one task completed 100%.

Schedule downtime.
Find it hard to relax when there is something unfinished? Join the crowd! Studies show we tend to consider ourselves “on call” 24/7.
Giving yourself some downtime makes you more productive overall. Pushing yourself constantly without a break just leads to stress and burnout.

Set a fixed time when you will “shut off” - no matter what. Turn off the cellphone, do not check emails and give yourself some relax time without feeling guilty. You will be better and more successful for it.

Trust your instincts.
When you have to make a decision, do you tend to weigh all the options - over and over again?
When it comes to big decisions a study suggests you’ll do better not to think too hard and go with your gut. Your subconscious brain needs almost no time to process all your experiences that relate to a particular situation and come up with a smart course of action. Drawing out the process rarely leads to better outcomes.

Next time you have to make a decision, quickly narrow your options to two, and then give yourself a time limit - say 5 minutes - to weigh the pros and cons and then let your instincts be the tiebreaker. The more often you do this, the more confident you will be in general, not only when it comes to decision.

Close your eyes and visualize yourself succeeding at a really difficult task. If, in your mind, you can confidently ask for a raise or give a perfect speech, you’re more likely to accomplish the goal in real life, experts say.

You’ve been hearing about “going green” and how you can help the environment while protecting your family from toxins. But too often, that has meant paying more for everyday necessities. Here are some ways to go green without breaking the bank.

Sweeten your house with beeswax. Many scented candles are made with chemicals that, when burned, emit toxins into the air, including cancer-causing carcinogens.

Experts advise buying pure beeswax candles. They have a sweet nontoxic scent, and create negative ions, neutralizing impurities in the air. They last five times longer than regular candles.

Filter air without a filter. Indoor pollution levels can be more than 100 times higher than outdoor levels, particularly when the windows are closed. While a HEPA filter can clean your air, they can cost over $100 each. The typical houseplant can remove up to 87% of indoor air toxins within 24 hours. The most effective ones are spider plants, mums and Gerbera daisies.

Plug in everything here. Your phone charger, computer, iPod docking station, DVD player; all sap electricity whenever they are plugged in, even if they are not in use. The average home has 30 of these devices consuming energy right now - padding the monthly electric bill as much as 15%.

Get back more than $100 a year just by plugging them into a power strip. Simply shut off the power strip with a single flip of a button.

Would you like to be greeted by a fresh scent when you open your front door? It’s easy - and guaranteed to lift your spirits.

Be picky about cleaning products. They’re the baseline of your home’s fragrance. Those made with natural ingredients have light, fresh scents - with no chemical after smell.

Invite nature inside. Fresh flowers and herbs have gentle fragrances that are stimulating, never overwhelming. And they’re easy to change, so you’ll never tire of them. Boost your mood with essential oils. Choose a favorite and dab a drop onto a light bulb (heat spreads the scent) or add to a bowl of dried flower petals.

A Scent secret. Flower, fruit and herbal scents are all ideal for your living room. Perfume a cotton ball with a drop of rose geranium oil, wrap in a paper towel and tuck behind your sofa cushions.

Beauty in the bath. Scented soaps, oils and lotions will permeate your bath with your personal fragrance. Add sweet-smelling flowers for extra freshness.

Peaceful bedroom. The sanctuary of your bedroom is the perfect place to indulge yourself. Proven sleep-enhancing scents are lavender, jasmine and vanilla.

Food and soap scum can really gunk up a dishwasher.
Cleaning the dishwasher isn’t something we tend to think of, but debris builds up over time which reduces its performance. Here are a few tips that’ll help keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape:

1. Get rid of Gunk. - Clean the filter to get rid of caked on food and other debris to help with drainage and general cleaning.

2. Clean Up. - Pour a cup of white vinegar into your dishwasher to wash away grease, grime and calcium deposits.

3. Freshen Up. - Sprinkle a cup of baking soda along the bottom of your dishwasher then run it on a short, hot cycle.

4. Accessories. - Don’t forget about the racks and cutlery baskets as they can also accumulate grease and food pieces.

Your garage vehicle door may be the largest moving object in your home and could weigh up to 400 pounds. For your safety make sure it’s in good condition.

Overhead garage doors have gravity to deal with. In the absence of some type of balancing mechanism, the door would slam shut as soon as you let go of it. Older garage doors may employ a weight and pulley system to balance the weight of the door however virtually all modern systems use springs. Regardless of the method used, the door should balance. If you open the garage door about half way and let go, it should balance there.

Spring failure
The springs used to balance the weight of the door are under enormous stress. If a spring were to break, flying pieces of metal could cause serious injury. Modern spring systems incorporate safety features to prevent flying metal in the event of a spring failure. Extension springs should have a cable running down the middle of the spring to contain the spring upon failure.

Automatic opener
Automatic door openers are not a replacement for a properly balanced door. The opener is not powerful enough to lift the entire weight of the door. The opener works with the help of the springs or counter balance system.

An automatic garage door opener should stop and reverse on meeting an obstruction.

Many systems manufactured prior to 1982 may stop but not reverse, these older systems should be upgraded. Today, some form of external entrapment protection is required. An electric eye is the most common system used. If your garage door opener does not have an electric eye system, you may be able to upgrade it without replacing the entire system.

Emergency release
During a power failure the garage door may be impossible to open. Most automatic garage door openers have an emergency release to disengage the garage door from the opener. Once disengaged, you can open the door by hand. It is usually a short rope hanging from the unit. Pulling the rope disengages the door from the automatic door opening mechanism.

From poodles to Shih Tzus, every dog has its own personality, and the breed you love best can say a lot about your personality. Research consistently proves that people attribute certain characteristics to you based on which breed you own.

For insight into how people see you, just find your best friend below.

If your best friend is a…

Terrier: You’re an ambitious innovator.

Labrador Retriever: You’re a relaxed person.

Poodle-esque Pooch: You’re an adaptable smarty.

Sporting Dog: You’re serenity plus strength.

Toy Dog: You’re a cosmopolitan sophisticate.

Freshen your home the natural way and let the spring air enhance your living space.

1. Erase the trace. Cooked a strong smelling dish? Simmer some lemon slices in a pot of water to freshen your kitchen.

2. Twice as nice. Deodorize your carpet and vacuum cleaner - instantly. Sprinkle baking soda, wait overnight and vacuum up the smells the next day.

3. Cure your cutting board. Soap won’t lift some food smells, but parsley will. Chop a few sprigs of parsley and rub the pieces over the board then rinse.

• Keep it in good shape: Your garage door will always require periodic lubrication and adjustment. An overhead garage door that is poorly maintained may pose a threat to your safety.

• Pinch hazard: Sectional overhead garage doors pose a pinch hazard to fingers. Never put your fingers in the space between door sections to close the door, use the provided handles.

• Security: The remote control for your automatic opener is like a key to your garage. When you move into a home, you should change the remote control settings just as you would change the locks on your doors.

• Educate children: Kids need to know that garage doors are dangerous. Mount the door activation button five feet from the ground, out of reach.


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