Sunday, November 27, 2016

Things don't always go as planned, but in retrospect they always seem to turn out for the best

Seven years ago I started a financial journey with my kids in the hopes of not only teaching them good financial habits, but also teaching them important lessons in entrepreneurialism as well as in life. I got their buy-in and I helped them each set up a business so they could start earning income. With that income they were to divide it into 4 important categories: Giving, Investing, Saving and Spending.

Well, things started off beautifully. My kids were excited to start earning money and then divide it into the different categories. My kids generously gave to the church and various local charities. I helped my kids invest a portion of their money into a Roth IRA to shelter their money from taxes as well as to start their retirement plans – it’s never too early. We had fun calculating how much it could grow into based on getting different interest rates. My kids set goals to save up for and met those goals – my son saved up for a laptop computer and my daughter saved up for an iPad Mini. My kids had fun budgeting and making purchases with their hard earned money. My son bought his own video games and Lego sets, while my daughter bought her own stuffed animals and dolls.

Fast forward to today and my kids are still doing all of the same things I mentioned above. So, “What’s the problem?” You may ask. Well, the problem is that I envisioned so much more – and who doesn’t envision much more for their kids? I envisioned my kids becoming more entrepreneurial and wanting to and finding ways to make as much money as possible so that there would be higher amounts of money in each of the different categories. I envisioned my kids really wanting to get involved with a specific cause or charity that they really had passion for. I envisioned my kids becoming more goal-oriented and wanting to set and accomplish larger and larger goals. I envisioned my kids becoming more budget-conscious and less frivolous with their spending.

I’m always learning and one thing I’ve learned is that not everything goes exactly as I envisioned in my head. That’s why, especially when dealing with people, it is very important, if you have a vision, to share that vision and keep on sharing it to make sure that everyone involved knows what it is and what the expectation level is. It is always good to remember that people are not mind readers.

So, as I go along on this journey of important lessons with my kids, I have to chalk up this lesson as one they taught me.

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

5 Ways to Increase Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem
Written by Jack Canfield

Do people with high self-confidence achieve greater success?

“I need to increase my self-esteem” is a statement I hear often from my students. Their belief is that once their self-confidence and self-esteem is higher, they’ll be able to achieve more and become greater successes.

While it’s true that a high self-esteem can assist you in creating the life you dream of, the mistake most people make is how they think about self-esteem. It’s not a thing to be increased or decreased, although that is the common terminology. Instead, self-esteem is a verb; it’s the process of esteeming yourself.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, esteem means “to set a high value on: regard highly and prize accordingly.”

In other words, the process of boosting your self-esteem starts with deciding that you are valuable and treating yourself as such.

5 Good Habits to Build Great Self-Esteem
1) Believe in Yourself
The first step in creating greater self-esteem is to believe in yourself. It’s your responsibility to take charge of your own self-concept and your beliefs – including belief in your worth, your talent, your abilities, and your potential.

2) Identify 9 Major Successes
Research has repeatedly shown that the more you acknowledge your past success, the more confident you become in taking on and successfully accomplishing new ones. A simple way to start this process is to take an inventory of your major success. Divide your life into three time periods – from birth to 15, 16 to 30, and 31 to 45. The list three major successes from each time period.

Divide your life into three time periods – from birth to 15, 16 to 30, and 31 to 45. Then list three major successes from each time period.

To really convince yourself that you’re a successful person who can continue to achieve great things, keep going with your list.

See if you can identify 100 or more of your life successes.

3) Keep a Victory Log
Recall and write down your successes each day. This will log them into your long-term memory, enhancing your self-esteem and self-confidence. Whenever you need a boost of self-confidence, reread what you have written. Keeping and referring to your victory log keeps you focused on your successes instead.

Keeping and referring to your victory log keeps you focused on your successes instead.

4) Display Success Symbols
What you see in your environment has a psychological impact on your moods, attitudes, and behavior. Surround yourself with awards, pictures and other objects that remind you of your successes. Create a special place in your home – such as a hallway, shelf or even the top of your refrigerator – to display your symbols. This will subtly program you to see yourself as someone who has consistent successes in life.

5) Keep Your Agreements
One of the most commonly overlooked ways to boost self-esteem is to keep your word. Every agreement you make is ultimately to yourself, even those that involve other people. Your brain registers agreements as commitments. If you don’t follow through, you learn to not trust yourself. You lose integrity and faith in your ability to produce a result. Don’t undermine your sense of personal power – keep your commitments.

Increase Your Capacity to Take a Risk
To understand the importance of esteeming yourself, imagine you were playing poker. If you have 10 chips and I have 200 chips, who do you think will play more conservatively?

You will, of course, because the stakes are higher for you. Two losing bets of five chips each would put you out of the game. I, on the other hand, could lose five chips 40 times before I was out.

Your self-esteem is like a stack of poker chips. The higher it is, the more willing and able you are to take the risks that will lead you to greater success.

Use the ideas shared in this article to create and maintain the high levels of self-esteem you need to get where you want to be.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Happiness Is Not in the Getting, Happiness Is in the Becoming
Written by Jim Rohn

Celebrate what you’ve already achieved as you look forward to the future.

George Leonard, in his book Mastery, talks about “enjoying the plateau.” This is an important point. So often, we find ourselves racing to get ahead, thinking so much about our next achievement that we can’t appreciate the time in between. We find ourselves losing our motivation.

Happiness is not in the getting; happiness is in the becoming. Happiness is a universal quest. Happiness is a joy that comes as a result of positive activity. It has a wide variety of meanings, a wide variety of interpretations. Happiness is both the joy of discovery and the joy of knowing. It’s the result of an awareness of the full range of life. It’s opening yourself to experiences, sounds, harmonies, dreams and goals. It’s the joy that comes from designing a life that practices the fine art of living well.

Happiness is being able to explore all that life offers. Happiness is quite often found in having options—options of doing what you want to, instead of doing what you have to. The option of living where you want to, instead of living where you have to. The option of looking like you want to, instead of settling for what you have to look like.

Happiness is receiving and sharing, reaping and bestowing. Happiness is found in taking the time to enjoy what you’ve accomplished: enjoying the plateau, giving yourself credit when credit is due, patting yourself on the back for a job well done. Happiness is the here and now. Happiness isn’t the end result; happiness is part of the journey.

There’s an old saying that goes, “The road to heaven, is heaven.” The happiness that you’re searching for in the future must be found today. The success you’re after in the future will only be found by working on it today. Motivation is generated when there is a balance between the need for active achievement and the satisfaction in taking the time to acknowledge what you’ve already achieved.

Take the time to reflect while you’re enjoying your plateau. And while you’re reflecting back on your past accomplishments, think about something else. Think about the potential within you that’s still untapped. Consider the following questions during your time of reflection.
  • What could I have achieved in the past, had I been more diligent?
  • Could I have been more disciplined?
  • Worked smarter instead of harder?
  • Said no more often to social functions and community commitments?
  • What could I have achieved in the past, had I tried things a little different?
Only you can answer this question. It’s very personal.

While you’re reflecting and enjoying your plateau, all I’m asking is that you dig a little deeper and see if you can’t be just a bit more effective next time. Work a little smarter instead of a little harder.

If you take some time to thoughtfully answer question No. 1, you’ll probably have a clue as to what’s needed in the future.

Do you need to work more diligently? Do you need to be more disciplined? Do you need to work smarter instead of harder? Do you need to say no more often? Do you need to manage your time better?

That’s one of the keys to reflection. You can put down on paper what worked for you in the past and figure out ways to translate this information into action. You can design your future better if you can learn from your past. You can face your future with more excitement, more anticipation and more motivation when you design a future worth getting excited about. You can see your future and have it pull you forward. Just don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for what you have done so far.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2015. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Achieve Financial Freedom By Becoming Mindful About Your Money
Written by Jack Canfield

Most people are unconscious when it comes to their money. For instance, do you know your net worth? Do you know how much money you have in savings? Do you have a financial plan? These are just a few of many questions you should be asking yourself regularly.

If you want to achieve financial freedom, you have to become conscious about your money. Not only do you have to know precisely where you are, but you also need to know exactly where you want to go and what’s required to get you there.

Here are 4 tips to financial freedom that will make you more mindful about your money.

1) Determine Your Net Worth
If you don’t know your net worth, you can work with an accountant or a financial planner to calculate it or use any of the free tools available on the internet. Knowing your net worth will give you a baseline for where you currently are.

2) Determine How Much You Need to Retire
Calculate what your financial needs will be when and if you retire.

Be aware that retirement, by its very nature, requires that you have financial independence. A good financial planner can tell you how much in savings and investments would be required to produce enough in interest, dividend, rental, and royalty income to live your current or future lifestyle without having to work.

Financial freedom frees you up to pursue your passions, travel, engage in philanthropic endeavors and service projects—or do whatever else you might wish.

3) Become Aware of What You’re Spending
Most people aren’t aware of what they really spend in a month. This is a very important step to developing a millionaire mindset.

If you’ve never tracked your expenditures, start with these steps:
  1. Write down all your normal fixed monthly expenses such as your mortgage or rent, car payment, any other installment or loan payments, insurance bills, cable bill, Internet provider, health club membership, and so on.
  2. Go back over the last 6 to 12 months and calculate average monthly expenditures that fluctuate—utilities, phone bills, food bills, clothing expenditures, automobile maintenance, medical expenses, and so on.
  3. Keep a record for 1 month of everything you spend money on during that month, no matter how big or small—from gas for your car to coffee at Starbucks.
  4. Add up everything at the end of the month so that you are consciously aware—rather than unaware—of what you’re spending.
Check off those items you must pay for and those things you have discretion over. This exercise will make you aware of what you’re currently spending and where you could cut back if you chose to.

4) Become Financially Literate
Not only should you stay conscious around money by reviewing your financial goals every day and tracking your spending every month, but I recommend that you also proactively learn about money and investing by reading at least one good financial book every month for the next year.

Go online and do some research on books that will teach you about money and help improve your financial literacy. Commit to reading at least one of them this month.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.