Monthly Archives: November 2012

‘Tis the season to buy, buy, buy! But why?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. December 1st is rushing toward us at full speed which means Christmas is just around the corner. For some, anxiety…and maybe even dread…is already rising because of tasks and preparations yet undone. Still, retailers beckon us with glorious ads filled with all the must-haves at bargain prices. And, the internet mall (my personal favorite…it’s impulse purchase heaven!) is calling out to us “Come spend with me. I have everything you need for those on your gift list…and unbelievable deals on the things you’ve been wanting too! Just a few clicks. It’s so easy! Don’t wait! You’ll be too late!”

What should we do? Why shouldn’t we take advantage of these excellent purchasing opportunities? Most assuredly, buying at these bargain prices will bring joy and peace and happiness to us and our loved ones. But will it really? Or are we just getting sucked in by those who want to get their hands in our pockets…like carnival hucksters.

Fortunately, a fellow blogger has already proposed a solution in her post How to Silence the Desire to Acquire. Rather than reinvent the wheel by trying to rewrite what she’s already written, I’ll make it easier for all of us. Simply click here to read Courtney Carver’s helpful post.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance this holiday season.

Someday I’ll…

Interesting how I always think I’ll have more time “someday.” The list of things I’m going to do “someday” has become very, very long! Procrastination reigns supreme!

When I was younger, my most common “Someday, I’ll…” conversation with myself was about money…saving money to be precise. I easily convinced myself that I’d have plenty of time to save money…later. After all, I was young and had a lengthy future to look forward to. Therefore, I could spend more money in the present…and save money later.

The weird thing about this repetitious discussion with myself was that I knew better. After all, I was a math major in college! I knew all about the magic of compound interest…and how to calculate it. And how to calculate how much money I would need to retire comfortably at a specified age. I could do the math but I couldn’t bring myself to save and invest.

Before I give you an very informative link that will show you the magic of saving and of compound interest…and the reason to get it working for you now, not someday…there is an even more basic “money rule” you and I need to to take to heart. Here it is…

SPEND LESS THAN YOU MAKE!

Pay yourself 10% of every paycheck if at all possible. If there is absolutely no way you can save 10%, save the most you possibly can every paycheck…without fail. Your financial future will thank you because it will be much more pleasant.

Now, here’s the link: Invest like Einstein. This article will show you why there’s no time like the present to start saving and investing for your future. I wish someone would have hit me over the head with these two simple “financial planning” ideas when I was 25…or even 35!

Now you know…you have no excuse for falling into the “Someday I’ll…” trap. Make your money work for you. You will never regret it.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and a comfortable financial future.

Nourishing, Draining, Looking Forward To

The “Nourishing, Draining, Looking Forward To” exercise comes directly from a seminar by  Marcus Child who is a master at gratitude. It’s s simple three-question exercise that can lead to some very interesting and illuminating results if you give it the time it deserves. Here are the three questions.

In the last three months…

1.  What has nourished you?

2.  What has drained you?

3.  What are you looking forward to most in the next 3  months?

As you answer question one, you may be surprised at all the things that have benefited you and that you are thankful for. The act of writing down the answer(s) to question two is the first step to consciously identifying what is sapping your energy and motivation; the next step is to decide what to do about these draining things. Finally, being specific about what you are looking forward to in the next three months gives clarity, focus and a momentum boost to help you accomplish your desired goal(s).

At the very least, if you are having a “bad day” simply list all the things you are grateful for in your life. This is the quickest, simplest and most effective method you are likely to find when it comes to changing your attitude.

What have you got to lose by giving this exercise a try? If you do and you find it beneficial, I’d like to hear about your experience with it if you are willing to share.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance.

You’re being robbed!

I don’t know the original source of this little “mini-poster” otherwise I would certainly give her/him credit for using Teddy Roosevelt’s quote to create it. It’s message is so important that I sent it out to all of  the employees at my company right after I discovered it on a “Word” Pinterest board. It’s message strongly resonates with me so I want to share it with you too.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years…more than I’d care to admit…comparing: 1) myself to others, 2) what “they” have to what I have, 3) my job title to their job title, 4) what they have accomplished to what I have accomplished, 5) how much they make to what I make, 6) their house to my house, 7) their car to my car, 8) their education to my education, 9) their kids to my kids, 10) their spouse/partner to my spouse, and on and on. What does such comparison get me? What’s the benefit? For the most part, it creates anxiety, a sense of inferiority, and a craving for more and more of almost everything because I always compare myself to those who appear to have more and be more than I am. Why is that? There are millions who are far less fortunate than I am but do I compare myself to them? No, I only compare myself to those “better” or “better off” than me. Why? Such comparison robs me…and you…of peace, joy and satisfaction in life.

Are you robbing yourself by comparing yourself and what you have to others? If so, what’s the benefit to you of doing so?

Here’s another assignment for you. Take ten minutes at the end of each day for the next 21 days to write out the answer these three questions.

Who did I compare myself with today and what comparisons did I make?

How did the comparisons I made make me feel…about myself and about my life?

What can I learn from my answers to the above questions that will help me live a more authentic life…to be happy with who I am and to celebrate my life and my uniqueness?

After 21 days, review your responses and see what themes are there. There will be at least three. These themes are your keys to freeing yourself from continuing down the endless path of personal comparison that steals what is truly good and right in your life.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance.

What possibilities do you bring to the world?

Every person born in this world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique and every person’s foremost task is the actualization of his unique, unprecedented and never-recurring possibilities. — Martin Buber

Each time I read this statement by Martin Buber, I stop and think about what the world would be like if every single person was encouraged to discover their unique possibilities and figure out how to bring them to life. More than that, what would it be like if I understood and realized my own unique possibilities.

For the most part, society, organizations and other people tend to try and push us into nice, neat well-defined boxes…a carpenter, a banker, an artist, a social worker, a teacher, a soccer player, blue collar worker, white collar worker, unemployed, etc. The interesting thing is that those boxes are formed by what we do not who we are as a person. Even more interesting is that most of us tend to accept being defined by what we do.

But what if we didn’t? For example, I currently work for a bank, therefore, I am described as being a “banker” by those around me even though my day-to-day responsibilities have almost nothing to do with banking per se. But who am I really? And who are you really? What possibilities do you bring to the world.

Not sure? If you can answer these three questions…and feel really good about the answers…you’ll be moving in the right direction.

How would you like to be remembered by those who knew you when you are gone from this world?

What made you happy in your childhood and in your teens that you would like to do again?

What makes you feel most alive?

Your assignment: Spend ten minutes each day for the next 21 days writing your answers to these questions. You may be surprised where this little exercise takes you!

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance.

Need a mulligan?

A mulligan? A mulligan is the same as a “do-over”…meaning you want another chance to get it right. I’m getting up in years now as my daughter likes to say and as I look back on my life there are many words, actions and decision that I wish I could do over.

Examples? Well, I have three adult children that would agree that I could have done a better job of parenting in some instances. I took a job that was ill-suited to me because I was too anxious to “move up” the corporate ladder. I’ve made impulse purchases that I’ve regretted. My biggest goof up was that I just let life happen to me. I failed to live my life on purpose.

How about you? Anything in your life that you’d like a mulligan for? Are you on the proverbial treadmill of life? Is most of your time spent reacting to the people and happenings that surround you? Does it seem like there just has to be more to life than this?

Now that I’ve “matured” a bit, I’ve discovered tools and insights that would have helped me avoid at least some of the errors I’ve made…and would have made a huge difference in how I approached life, relationships, work and recreation. My life would have had more purpose and balance.

My goal here is to share those tools and insights with you in the hope that you will begin living your life on purpose much earlier than I did. Most of the tools and insights you will find here are not original with me; they have been developed by others much smarter than I am. The important thing is that they are practical and they work.

Over the coming days, weeks, months…and hopefully…years, you will find useful tools and information here that address the ten key areas of your life: 1) Home/Physical Environment, 2) Partner, Love, Relationship, 3) Health/Fitness, 4) Growth/Learning, 5) Career/Business/Work, 6) Money/Finance, 7) Family, Friends, Social Relationships, 8) Community, 9) Fun, and 10) Spirituality.

This blog is one of the ways I want to be of service in helping others enrich their lives through the wisdom and insights I’ve gained from others. I’m a rookie at this so  your comments and feedback will help me course-correct as we go along. Constructive criticism is welcome so please let me know what you think.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance.