Monthly Archives: April 2012
1. Breathing Deeply
-There is no joy simpler than breathing. To breathe is to live.
2. Seeing in Color
-Not all beings are graced with this gift. Be grateful and look at color in a new way.
3. Making Funny Noises
-These aren’t just for little kids, there’s a multitude of strange noises one can make.
4. A Refreshing Glass of Water
-Without water we could not survive. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a cool glass of water on a hot day.
-Laughing releases endorphins in your brain, making you feel good. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
6. Making Someone Else Smile/Laugh
-Happiness is infectious, your smile and laugh can cause huge chain reactions of smiles and laughs. Doesn’t that make you feel good?
-Sunlight not only affects your vitamin D levels but also regulates serotonin in your brain making you feel great! An hour a day is a good amount to where you won’t be increasing your risk of skin cancer.
8. A Soothing cup of Tea
-I personally am a huge fan of tea and feel like everything is right in the world when I’m outside relaxing and having a cup.
9. Watching the Sunset/Sunrise
-The sun rising and setting is also a beautiful sight, when was the last time you really sat down and watched it?
“That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.” - Thoreau
For the past couple days I’ve been reading “The Millionaire Mind” by Thomas J Stanley. I want to bring up the part that discusses the difference between people who are income statement affluent and people who are balance sheet affluent. Income statement affluent people are the ones who have high paying jobs and lots of nice things. (Expensive home, fancy car, and expensive electronics) In reality, these people do not own these things; they have huge amounts of debt and pay thousands of dollars in interest payments every year. Balance sheet affluent people are the ones who have a high net-worth. They own their homes, own their cars, are in little to no debt, and ultimately will retire happily one day. How can you become balance sheet affluent instead of income statement affluent? Here’s how:
Budget and Save
The biggest reason why many people have a low net-worth is because they let their emotions dictate their spending habits. Figure out exactly where your money is going and eliminate expenditures on unnecessary things. Make a commitment to save a certain percentage of your paycheck. 10% is a good start, 50% is beyond spectacular.
Buy High-Quality Items That Will Save You Money
Instead of purchasing large amounts of low quality items that will break and need to be replaced before too long, buy high quality items that will last a lifetime. At first thought this might be a bit counter-intuitive because you are spending more but if you look ahead to the future you will actually be saving a lot of money. You can never go wrong with products with a lifetime warranty.
Live Below Your Means
When most people come onto a raise or a large amount of inherited money they instantly raise their living expenses. They need to have the biggest house they can afford, all the newest gadgets because they have the excess money now. Resist those urges. Imagine how much earlier you could retire or truly move onto your dream, if you save that money now.
Have an Emergency Fund
Without enough liquid funds when unexpected financial costs comes about, they can cost you even more money than it would have originally due to interest on borrowed money and other related fees. Put at the very least 4 months of living expenses in a savings account where money can be withdrawn without any issues.
Individual stocks are risky and stressful. Save the stress for the manager of a mutual fund. Mutual funds combine many different stocks so your risk is spread out vastly. We’re trying to build money instead of losing it all right? The smartest place to invest money is in you. Whether it’s getting a better education or using that money to start a business, investments on making more income are always going to have the highest return.
Take Advantage of a 401k Plan
Many employers offer a 401k plan, the typical employer matches every dollar you invest with $.50. That’s a 50% return on your money right off the bat! It is practically free money so why would you ever turn that down?
Re-Invest, Re-Invest, Re-Invest
When that stock pick really works out and you decide to cash out and count the profit, avoid spending those profits. If you continually keep reinvesting your money it can grow to wild proportions. If you were to invest $1000 and were able to achieve 10% interest every year, after 40 years it would have grown to almost $54,000… Wow, I think you can see the power of reinvesting your money.
Technology can be used to get things done faster or even completely automate them. With the speedy development of smart phones we have the world at our fingertips. Not only can you download thousands of apps that are designed to increase productivity (To-Do lists, etc.) But you can also call your friend Joe now just by saying “Call Joe”. Use advanced technology to completely streamline what you need to get done, making you a productive machine. Now you can access to-do lists, calendars, emails, shopping applications, and much more while even sitting on the bus waiting for your stop.
Most people drown themselves in distractions without even knowing it when trying to get something done. Turn off the loud music if you are doing something that requires a lot of thinking, log-off Facebook, and ignore your phone if need be. It’s not necessary that you respond to all your texts the instant you get them. Once you’re free from all these things you can dedicate all your brain power to what you are trying to get done and actually get it done.
Once you start getting stuff done, keep getting stuff done. If you tell yourself “I’m just going to watch a little bit of TV before the next chore” you’re never going to get anywhere. Your brain works better and faster when doing related tasks together without interruption. The faster you complete the tasks you don’t want to do, the more time you will have to do things you really enjoy doing.
It’s easy to motivate yourself by giving yourself rewards for completing tasks. For smaller tasks give yourself little rewards. For example, give yourself a couple M&Ms for every math problem you complete. Give yourself larger rewards for larger tasks, like going out to dinner for finishing painting the bedroom. You get the picture.
Apply the 80/20 Rule
The philosophy of the 80/20 rule is that 80% of the work/task gets done in 20% of the time/effort. So in other words, focus on what really matters. There’s no need to waste all your energy and time on being a perfectionist with tasks that do not require perfection.
Compete Against Yourself
If you’re anything like me you are constantly trying to improve yourself. (Isn’t that what life is about?) Rather than comparing and competing with others, try and break your own personal records. Being able to beat your previous self is the true sign of progress.
Do the Hard Stuff First
The To-Do list looks much less intimidating after being able to cross off some of the largest items off it. It’s senseless to spend all your energy on the easy tasks just before you get to the task that will require the most energy, you’ll just decide to put it off untill when you have more energy.
Determine Your Peak Time to Get Things Done
Some people are absolutely useless in the morning, stumbling around like zombies not knowing what’s going on. Others are exploding with energy in the morning and can get anything done but then have issues focusing later on. Everyone has their “best” time to get stuff done, use it to your advantage.
Find Your Inspiration
Inspiration can come from many different places, it can be that album that pumps you up and helps you clean the entire house, or the work of an artist that helps you visualize your next masterpiece. We as humans learn and grow from others, take advantage of that fact. I get a lot of my writing inspiration from books and articles I read online.
Simplify your life.
Life doesn’t have to be as complicated as a lot of people make it out to be. It’s easy to get stressed out by other people’s expectations of you, I recommend only worrying about how you feel about yourself. Live by your own values and virtues. I’m not condoning you be lazy and parasitical, but take care of yourself before you take care of others while sticking to your morals. If you’re a perfectionist try not to dedicate unreasonable amounts of time to menial tasks, it’s only going to hurt you later. I’ll make another post that goes further into this later because this can be elaborated on a lot.
Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. Meditating allows you to connect with deepest inner self, to turn off all the noise around you and truly change your whole perspective on your current emotions and thoughts. Sometimes when people are anxious they want to continue the cycle, lashing out in anger, or feeling self-pity. Meditation forces one to relax and look at things from a more rational, calm standpoint.
http://www.freemeditation.com/ This Website has a lot of information on Meditation and how to start.
Exercise has great value in reducing and preventing anxiety because it increases the activity of serotonin in your brain. An increase in the amount of serotonin in your brain directly correlates to a decrease in anxiety, the same reason why many anxiety patients improve after taking (SSRI) medication. The most beneficial exercise for this purpose is cardiovascular exercise. This can include but are not limited to: Jogging, Power-walking, Swimming, Cycling, Walking, or even playing sports. Exercise should be a big part of everyone’s life because it has many benefits that are not even related to anxiety reduction!
Ask for Help.
It’s many people’s job to relieve the stress of others. Besides talking to a loving family member who can help you through anything you’re currently up against, there are many professionals who can help. Natural Medicine doctors can help determine your personal nutritional needs to help your anxiety. Massage Therapists are taught how to help people reach a state of deep relaxation. I’ve also heard many great things about Acupuncture. If you’re a very spiritual person you might want to consider looking into Reiki. (Energy Therapy)
Valerian – This is an herb that is widely used in Europe to relieve stress and insomnia.
Saint John’s Wort – This is a very well-known herb that has a long history of use. It can be used to treat depression and anxiety (although it has more of an impact on depression)
Vitamins- Just by having a good habit of taking your multi-vitamins you can help promote good health and thus reduce stress and anxiety.
Gamma Amino Butyric Acid – This is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the brain, it helps reduce anxiety by reducing excess neurotransmitter activity in parts of your brain that involve anxiety.
Omega-3s – Omega fatty acids help promote good brain health, it also has been proven to increase the rate of regeneration of damaged nerve cells.
Disclaimer: Always do thorough research and consult with your doctor before beginning to take any supplements.