CNBC make it 2024-02-19 02:50:53


People in this remote valley live to 100—they follow 5 distinct diet and lifestyle habits for longevity

In a little-known mountainous area called Hunza Valley, located far north of Pakistan, people seem to defy all medical odds.

It is primarily home to the Burusho and Wakhi people, who for centuries have survived and thrived in remote villages — with minimal amenities and rudimentary health facilities. Studies have found that the average life expectancy here is around 100 years.

My husband was born and raised here, and is from the Burusho indigenous community. After we got married, I left the U.S. and we settled down in the Central part of the valley.

Here are some intriguing habits that help the people of Hunza live longer:

1. They consume apricot seeds and oil

Apricot trees are one of the most important local crops in the valley. Studies have shown that apricot seeds can help fight cancer and other sources of inflammation in the body, in part due to a compound called amygdalin.

Nearly every traditional Hunzai dish includes apricot oil. Back in the day, it was made by hand, but now locals use machines to extract it from their harvested kernels.

My mother-in-law told me that 50 years ago, it was all anyone used to cook food with, even meat. Dried versions of the fruit also help with altitude sickness, and are boiled into a soup come winter.

2. They never stop moving

People here are healthy and active throughout their lives, well into old age. It’s very common to see folks in their 80s outside, even in the winter. Elderly family members still graze their cows and sheep, collect wood, and do other household tasks.

They also participate in community activities like “rajaki,” which involves cleaning out the elevated water canals when spring arrives.

Locals of all ages cycle, skate, and play sports like soccer and cricket every day.

3. They drink glacier water

Hunza is filled with dozens of glaciers, all of which melt throughout the summer.

A shiny, dark-grey liquid, “Hunza water” has long held the interest of scientists. Unlike other water sources, this glacial water is naturally filtered by layers of ice and rock and contains precious minerals.

Some argue that the water contains quartz (sillica) minerals in colloid form, which are considered to be powerful antioxidants.

The runoff generally lasts from May to October each year, which is when you’ll find it served at restaurants and in homes. Locals swear by it, and prefer it to filtered water.

4. They rarely eat processed foods

Almost every piece of meat eaten in Hunza comes from a locally sourced animal that’s been recently killed.

People rarely eat processed foods, and you certainly won’t find any fast food spots here. Meals are typically prepared fresh in the home daily, and almost every household grows some kind of vegetable.

Spinach is especially popular, and other favorites like tomatoes and potatoes are grown locally and organically.

5. They have strong community values

Neighborhoods and villages are tight-knit, and the people of Hunza take care of each other, especially the older members of the community.

Retirement homes don’t exist here. Elders are highly respected and attended to by their families.

With essentially zero crime, it’s safe enough for kids to wander about on their own, even at young ages. It’s likely one of the last places where you’ll see more outdoor play than iPad play.

Having lived here for for the past two years, I can happily say that I’ve never had the privilege of experiencing a society as collective as this one.

Samantha Shea is a Polish-American travel writer from Connecticut. She lives and works remotely in Hunza Valley, Pakistan, and runs women’s tours to the region. Follow her on Instagram and YouTube. 

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A shopping trip taught Barbara Corcoran this valuable 7-word career lesson

Barbara Corcoran turned an unpleasant retail experience into a business lesson she still uses today.

Years ago, while shopping with her brother, the millionaire co-star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” encountered a sales associate who left a bad taste in her mouth, she said in a recent TikTok video.

″[I was] trying to pay for a tube of mascara. From what I could see, the lady behind that counter had no intention of helping us. She didn’t even make eye contact,” Corcoran, 74, said. “I said, ‘Ma’am, can I please pay for my mascara?’ And she ignored me.”

Corcoran grew “furious,” she said, wanting to give the woman a piece of her mind, until her brother stepped in.

″[He] put his hand over mine and said to me, ‘Barbara, hold it. Consider: She’s doing the best that she can,’” said Corcoran. “He went on to say, ’You have no idea what she dealt with before she went to work this morning, what her life is like, what’s on her plate, what she has to deal with every day.”

Today, Corcoran thinks about those words often, she said: “She’s doing the best that she can.” And they taught her just how crucial empathy is as a soft skill, which she still uses as an investor and CEO.

″[Those] seven simple words made me a much nicer person,” Corcoran said.

The power of kindness in business

Being nice doesn’t just impact your own outlook: It makes you come across as more relatable and trustworthy to others. Kindness is a valuable leadership trait, according to a 2020 Gallup survey which found that workers have “four universal needs” when it comes to their bosses: trust, compassion, stability and hope.

Mark Cuban, Corcoran’s “Shark Tank” co-star, agrees. “I wish somebody would have told me to be nicer,” Cuban told the “Bio Eats World” podcast last year, when asked what advice he’d give his younger self. “Because I was always go, go, go … Ready, fire, aim. Let’s go. Let’s go faster, faster.”

Cuban’s lack of kindness, which he called an “underrated” trait, started to negatively impact his employees — so he made a conscious effort to change his ways, he told Vanity Fair in 2018.

“I went through my own metamorphosis, if you will. Early on in my career,” said Cuban, adding: “I wouldn’t have wanted to do business with me when I was in my 20s [and 30s] … So I had to change, and I did, and it really paid off.”

Kindness is a fairly easy soft skill to develop, experts say. You can start with something simple: During your next conversation or interaction with someone, ask them some questions and really pay attention to their responses.

“Listen both for the words being said and the feeling behind them,” psychologist Daniel Goleman told CNBC Make It in 2017. “Respond accordingly, with a sign that you understand, or offer a helpful comment.”

“One conversation won’t boost your empathy,” Goleman added. “But over time, exercising your curiosity and listening closely to others will help you sense more accurately how others think and feel.”

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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3 simple ways to teach your kid about money and ‘change their life,’ says Harvard-trained investor

Talking to a child about money may sound unnecessary, or even daunting.

But kids can typically grasp concepts about money as early as age 6, experts say, and research shows that they form permanent money habits as early as age 7. Learning how to manage money and plan for their financial future can help ensure their future financial and overall well-being.

That’s why parents need to start teaching their kids financial literacy early, says Alexa von Tobel, the Harvard University-trained founder and managing partner of venture fund Inspired Capital.

Von Tobel, who founded online financial advisory firm LearnVest in 2008 and sold it for a reported $375 million to Northwestern Mutual, recently partnered with children’s media brand Rebel Girls to write a book called “Growing Up Powerful: Money Matters.” It includes personal finance lessons for kids and advice for parents on how to talk to their children about money, and is set to publish on March 26.

It’s primarily aimed at young girls — women are less confident in their financial literacy than men, on average, research shows — but von Tobel notes that “it’s really designed for all children.”

Lacking a baseline of financial knowledge can end up costing kids once they grow up — anywhere from hundreds of dollars per year to thousands, according to a 2023 survey by the National Financial Educator’s Council.

“We can empower the next generation if they understand and control money,” she tells CNBC Make It, adding that a lack of basic personal finance classes in most U.S. schools is “absolutely senseless to me.”

With that in mind, she offers her three biggest pieces of advice for parents on how to teach financial literacy to their kids:

Tone is ‘really important’

Parents need to talk about money in a “matter of fact” way, so their kids grow up with a healthy relationship with it, von Tobel says. Teach them that it’s worth discussing, but not an all-important facet of life.

Money is, simply, “a tool to help you live the life you want to,” von Tobel says. If you work hard, you can earn money. If you’re thoughtful about managing it, you can ensure you always have enough to buy what you need and, if you’re fortunate, what you want. Credit cards aren’t magical items that can buy anything.

“Money is not meant to be worshipped. And it’s not meant to be ignored,” she says. 

Keep it practical

Talk to your kids about money in ways that make sense to them, von Tobel advises. That could mean talking about how much everyday items cost, like noting that a bottle of water costs several dollars at the zoo, versus only a dollar or two in a corner store.

“When you’re walking through a store and your child wants something, pick it up [and] show them the price,” says von Tobel. ”‘This costs $29. Mommy doesn’t have the $29 for this today, but we can think about saving that for your birthday.’”

This approach teaches your children that costs vary, she says: Not everything you need or want is easily attainable if it’s expensive, so be mindful of prices and how much you can spend safely.

Make it fun and empowering

Budgeting can be a fairly dry topic. Who wants to save for the future when you can spend on candy and toys now?

To keep kids excited about saving and budgeting, von Tobel recommends talking about it in an “upbeat, empowering way.” Ask what they’d enjoy spending money on, and discuss different ways they could earn and save the money they need to buy those things themselves, she writes in her book.

The book also includes quizzes, games and exercises — like decorating different-sized jars to collect loose change, which kids can save and put toward small-, medium-, and large-sized spending goals.

Adults often associate money with stress, because they’re only thinking about “the things you didn’t have,” von Tobel says. “Trying to orient kids to have very positive, empowering moments around money early in their lives, we know from data [that] can change their life.”

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This airline announced a special flight with a mystery destination—over 1,000 people signed up

Have you ever considered just packing a bag and catching a flight without knowing the destination?

Scandinavian Airlines, a Sweden-based carrier, recently announced the opportunity for members of its EuroBonus loyalty program to book a flight experience they call “Destination Unknown.”

In a press release, the airline says that “within minutes” of the announcement on February 12, over 1,000 members signed up for the surprise flight. Registration closed 24 hours later and those selected for the trip had an additional 24 hours to confirm their seat on the plane and make a payment.

The airline is no longer accepting reservations, according to Travel + Leisure.

Instead of money, travelers needed to redeem 30,000 miles for a seat. If someone was selected and didn’t have enough miles or points, they could purchase the remaining ones required. The trip will fly from Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 5 and return to the same city on April 8.

According to The Street, there is a waitlist for anyone who signed up but didn’t get a spot. They’ll have the chance to move up on the list and maybe even get a coveted seat if someone cancels.

The only clue travelers will get before they takeoff is that the flight will last a few hours. The destination will be announced at some point during the flight. As the date of the mystery flight nears, those with a confirmed spot will get guidance from Scandinavian Airlines on what to pack.

“The prospect of embarking on an adventurous and mysterious journey with fellow enthusiasts, finding new connections and friendships along the way, is truly exciting,” Paul Verhagen, EVP & Chief Commercial Officer at Scandinavian Airlines, said in a press release.

“These are not just trips; they are extraordinary journeys that will stay with you for a lifetime,” he added.

Mystery flights are seeing a spike in popularity

Scandinavian Airlines isn’t the first airline to embrace mystery destinations.

Lufthansa currently offers travelers a program called the “Lufthansa Surprise,” where you can select your home airport and a general theme of the kind of vacation you’re looking for.

Once your ticket is booked, the airline reveals the destination and they cannot be changed or canceled.

In 2023, Wizz Air, a low-cost airline, did a mystery flight from Venice that took a plane full of passengers to Saudi Arabia for a few days.

Representatives for Scandinavian Airlines did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

35-year-old who makes more than $5,000/month in passive income on her best career advice

Jen Glantz wasn’t sure which career path to take when she graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. “I graduated college with a degree in English, poetry and journalism,” she says, “so I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do.”

She dove into a series of odd jobs including as a consultant for a sorority, public relations for Jewish nonprofits and copywriter for a startup. But outside of her professional life, Glantz noticed she was constantly being asked to be people’s bridesmaid. She took the role pretty seriously.

“I showed up on time, I did what I had to do, I didn’t create any drama,” she says. And she realized there might be money to be made around this skill. In 2014, she posted a “bridesmaid for hire” ad on Craigslist. Within days, she received hundreds of inquiries.   

That’s how Bridesmaid for Hire was born, a business that now offers services including hiring a bridesmaid like Glantz and getting help on the maid of honor speech. Glantz, 35, has since also parlayed her success into three book deals, including one for her memoir, “Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire),” as well as a podcast, a newsletter and online courses. Altogether her various income streams bring in more than $5,000 in passive income per month.  

Here’s her career advice for recent grads trying to forge their own career path.

‘Try to find yourself different communities’

To begin with, Glantz would recommend young people surround themselves with folks from all sorts of industries.

“Try to find yourself different communities of people who are doing alternative types of work or just unique things in general,” she says. “And that can help you spark inspiration and ideas” for where you might want to go yourself. You can do this by joining Slack groups for various types of professionals, for example, going to talks for different industries or attending conferences.

As far as conferences go, Glantz likes South by Southwest, which takes place in Austin, Texas, in March of every year. “The people who go to these conferences are often seeking networking, meeting new people, community,” she says. “There’s also events usually that happen outside of the conference around the city so that you can get to know more people as well.”

‘Supplement what you’ve learned in college’

Glantz would also advocate that recent grads keep learning.

“Supplement what you’ve learned in college with other information out there,” she says. You can do this by taking online courses like those on LinkedIn Learning or Udemy, taking in-person courses at a local college or university or by doing some one-on-one coaching with a professional in a skill you’re looking to hone.

“I majored in creative writing but a lot of the skills I’ve used in the past 10 years have been digital marketing skills,” she says. “I learned a lot of those skills by taking online courses, a lot of them free courses that I found just to teach me the structure and the baseline.”

When she applied these marketing skills to her own projects, she was able to build more of an expertise.

Ask yourself, ‘what skills do you already have?’

Finally when it comes to figuring out how to make money, whether that be full time or on the side as you figure out your path, Glantz encourages young people to lean into their existing skills.

Ask yourself, “what skills do you already have? And then how can you optimize those skills?” she says. “And what I mean by that is not just skills that you learned in college, not just skills related to your degree, but also personality skills, character skills, hobbies.”

Bridesmaid for Hire is a good example of that. It started when Glantz realized she was good at this particular role, and maybe that could be more widely applied. She did the same with public speaking.

“I realized I was good at public speaking,” she says. “So I started to offer an online course that people could take teaching them all the public speaking techniques that I had.”

Ultimately, when it comes to your career, remember that “people will value other experience that you’ve had that was outside of what you studied,” she says. So think big picture about what that experience might be.

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