Blue Zones of The World: Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

July 24, 2017 / in Blog, Costa Rica, Job Happiness, / by Number8

Blue Zone in Costa RicaThe Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica could contain all the secrets to living a long, healthy life. There are regions of the earth specifically identified by their inhabitants. Blue Zones are areas in which the world’s longest-lived people reside. People who have lived beyond the average life span are concentrated these areas because of the resources and the communal way of life. The five Blue Zones that have been discovered and researched include cities is Italy, Japan, California, Greece, and Costa Rica. According to the Blue Zones website, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica holds the record for lowest rates of middle age mortality, and the second highest concentration of men who are over the age of 100. To achieve this status, the Nicoyans, along with the other members of the Blue Zones, follow these nine practices

Move Naturally

Exercise is obviously extremely important when pursuing a healthy life. However, those who live in the Blue Zones rarely use modern techniques when it comes to working out. Instead they take advantage of their surroundings by spending time outdoors and using the earth as their gym

Find Purpose

The Nicoyans refer to this as “plan de vida” or “why I wake up in the morning.”  Having a sense of purpose in life will allow you to operate in a meaningful way. It can also increase your life expectancy by an extra seven years.

Down Shift

Stress is an inevitable part of life. However those who take steps to be proactive and avoid situations that incite unnecessary pressure, are less likely to develop illnesses such as heart disease, or alzheimer’s.

80% rule

Those living in Blue Zones follow an ancient Confucian mantra to not eat past 80% full. They typically only eat a few small meals a day, and never surpass the 80% mark. Diet in Blue Zones often includes lentils

Plant Slant

Diets vary across the world, but the people who live to be over 100 all share a few main staple dishes in their meals including: a variety of beans, lentils, soy and occasionally pork. They also limit their serving sizes to about 3 or 4 oz.

Wine @ 5

Alcohol may seem like it would have many negative effects on health, but when consumed in moderation it can actually be beneficial. It helps if it is consumed with friends, and/or with food.

Belong

Out of the 263 centenarians interviewed by the National Geographic researchers, all but 5 of them belonged to some kind of faith-based community. The type of faith didn't matter in terms of benefiting the people. Instead it is the sense of community and togetherness that aids in lengthening life.

Loved Ones First

Family structure is very important in these regions. Many of the people in Blue Zones live in the same home with their extended family. According to a National Geographic article: "Nicoyan centenarians tend to live with their families, and children or grandchildren provide support and a sense of purpose and belonging."

Right Tribe

Many of these practices include the core value of community. This also includes the idea that it is helpful to surround yourself with people who will help you develop healthy routines. Studies show that obesity, unhealthy habits, and even loneliness can be contagious. To lead a longer and better life, it is helpful to be around people who bring out the best behaviors. At Number8, our community is made up of employees in Louisville, Kentucky and throughout Costa Rica. Our team travels through Costa Rica both for business, and for pleasure. We understand the value of leading a healthy, happy life. And we strive to learn from all the practices adopted by those residing in the Blue Zones. If you are looking to learn more about our company, and the work we do in Costa Rica, and in America, give us a call today at (502) 890-7665!

How to Identify a Team Player for Your IT Department

February 15, 2017 / in Careers, IT Team Player, / by Number8

Everyone is familiar with the phrase “there is no ‘I’ in team” and the meaning behind it. We’re all taught from a young age that achieving a goal is much more probable when you work with others. This school of thought is usually applied to sports; however, teamwork is crucial if you want to succeed in the world of IT, too. Often in the field of IT projects are not assigned individually, but in more of a scrum approach. This approach to product development and problem solving makes it impossible to avoid working as a team member in order to complete the assignments at hand. To have a successful work environment where teamwork is embraced and applied to daily tasks, employers must hire team players. This begs questions to any company looking for great tech help. What is a team player? And how do I look for one? Looking for a team player?It’s hard to identify a team player if you don’t know what to look for. Unfortunately, in most situations, employers aren’t able to see if their hires have the qualities of a team player until they are put in the group environment where those qualities are used. Most team players do share certain qualities, though. And if employers can identify those qualities through the interview process then they will be able to identify potential hires that would work well in a team environment.

Three Traits of a Team Player

  1. They work well with others.

    The most tell-tale sign of a team player is their ability and willingness to work with others. If an employee resists working with co-workers then teamwork is going to be very challenging. By working together, coworkers build relationships and strengthen communication skills. These qualities can take a team far in the work environment. By having a better sense of community through strong relationships, employees are able to act as one in many situations. Whether that situation may be supporting one another in tough client situations or coming together to address a company-wide issue – being a strong team as a whole will make those hurdles easier to jump over. A team comprised of players that work together effectively also brings more focus in meetings and throughout the work day. If one employee does not want to be a part of the team then this has the potential to cause a rift in the social settings of the work environment. This usually leads to distractions on an interpersonal level among coworkers.
  2. A focus on common goals.

    Another trait of a team player is willingness to help others in order to reach common goals. When set in a team based environment, projects are presented to groups of employees. If a new hire is a team player then working in this situation will be beneficial to them. Furthermore, employers will watch them flourish. A team player that can set aside personal goals for the common good is optimal for an IT team. Even better is a team player who helps with common goals as well as others individual goals. Helping others speaks volumes about a person and guarantees success within the team environment. By helping others to reach their goals and group goals, the sense of community becomes even stronger.
  3. Being able to handle disagreement effectively.

    A third trait common among team players is the ability to listen to a coworker’s point of views. Even if they may not agree with them, they can come to an agreement on issues within the work environment. If a person is too stubborn to give way on issues then the team environment is not one that they will flourish in. Putting aside personal issues when in the work environment and also having the capability to listen to other’s points of view and find a middle ground is very important in a team-based office environment.
Offices that are built on collaborative team environments and focus on a building teamwork oriented cultures are becoming more popular. Seeing how effective the ideology of teamwork is when applied to sports, CEOs are borrowing that concept and applying it to office environments. In order for this to be a successful approach, hires and contractors must be team players. Finding good team players means focusing on skillsets that include: working with co-workers, helping others reach their goals, and being able to concede on personal points of view to come to mutual agreements in the work environment will guarantee success for the new hire in the office environment. At Number8, we provide high quality IT talent to businesses of different sizes and sectors. Our success comes from how our team works best as an extension of our client’s team in their office environment. We are a company built on team players and this is an important part of what makes our entire business model a success. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8, or hiring a Number8 IT team player to join your team, give our offices a call at 502-890-7665 today!

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