Category Archives: Money

Stop being the problem and Start becoming the solution


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Economic Advices vs Commonsense?


Save, do not spend, but invest, in properties that are depreciating like cars, or invest in banks, insurance companies or energy companies or car manufacturers who will claim bankruptcy and have the Government bail them out using your tax dollars. Save! That’s the Mantra! Save and you shall become rich. Spend and you shall become poor. And it took a decline in the stock market, a plunge in the Dollar value and a chars in Europestock market to realize this. Further, it took the stupid channel on cable having an intelligent looking pretty face read of the teleprompter read out “..now we have an expert in Econocomic who is an author of : Another wise crack quoting flawed statistics to create fear for personal monetary benefits

 So what does these experts and so-called financial and economic Gurus say to the common man? Do not spend, save. Do not buy your fancy phones, cars, and luxuries of life that you so desire having worked your life off and pay a good chunk of it to the government. But do put the remaining pennies you bring home into a jar and “invest” it in companies that will either pay you minimal dividends over time or win your trust to invest more over a short period of time and finally declare bankruptcy once they have got all that they can make off you. Oh yes, do not worry, your tax dollars will bail them out should they fail and keep them afloat to ensure that they continue taking your money.

 Show me a man who became rich by saving and I will show you a few hundreds to one who became rich by earning more. Saving will help you not get poor, but earning more is the only way to become rich. Simple and common logic points to this basic fact. Ensure that your “needs” are fulfilled and put aside some if you have for a rainy day before you go get your “wants”.

The true fact is that the experts were wrong and continue to be wrong. Economy will not collapse, invest in real estate, build and they will come, people will buy anything that is cheap, invest in technology, invest in energy, and so on and so forth are all advice that never stuck. The experts who quoted them now sing a different song.

The common man pays. Pays for the governments blunders, pays as an investor, pays to take his own money out of a bank, pays his taxes, pays for his living, his needs, his wants, his familys’ needs and their wants and pays for his death. The people who find ways to take the common man’s money are those who make money. And amongst them who finds a way to take more money from the common man in exchange for something he needs, wants or places a higher value becomes rich. And those who do this frequently become richer. Trade: at its basic best.

We are forced to pay more of our hard earned money for many basic things that we shouldn’t. Health care, water, electricity, roadways and insurance are some that our tax dollars should cover. Yet we are forced and/or convinced to pay for such basic and rightful needs of ours  by age old philosophies, systems and concepts that are backed up by statistics that are produced by vested interests of the companies that service these industries. Spend! Not save! Yet the so called experts harp away the magic mantra of “Save”! Really genius? You have a platform today to dish out your cheap good for nothing advice because you are getting “paid” to say this and by creating some sort of fear and diversion from the reality where you make more money for fear mongering. When is the last time you saved? And if you did, what has it done to your wealth?

The facts remain to be facts. Not much that diverts from basic common sensibilities and logic.

  • Strive always to make more money. Earn more, innovate, think of ways to make more money by exchanging goods and services that others see value in.
  • Yes, do spend. But spend wisely. But your needs and your wants as and when you can afford it.
  • Save for a rainy day. Put some money aside just in case of emergency.
  • Enjoy life. Be happy and realize that many of these things can be sweeter with more money.
  • You live once, so do not live in constant fear and do not be foolish to pay high monetary value on momentary pleasures.
  • If you have excess, help others and the needy who cannot fend for themselves.
  • Invest only on secure ventures that ensure good returns. And you are willing to take chances, do not crib or cry when they fail you.
  • Make money and then spend it. Not the other way around.
  • Buying in credit with interest is nothing but fulfilling your wants by paying out of a possible income in your future for the product and paying more to the middle man in interest for allowing you to do so.
  • Remember that you can buy for $100 more today than what you can get for the same $100 a year later.
  • Learn to differentiate between depreciating assets and appreciating assets and put your money in the right kind.

Rather live a poor man with expensive experiences than be the richest man in the grave having lived a life of no pleasures.

Many experts have been very wrong. Many experts fail in their concepts. And ideas that seem to be true are dependent to that specific time, conditions, circumstances and period (which isn’t long). It never works if any of these parameters change. Ideas, concepts, theories and philosophies need to progressively evolve. Sadly they seldom do. New changing conditions do not adhere to age old paradigms. And economics is one constant proof of that. The economic super powers of yesterday are the rapidly dwindling debt holes of today. And those who were brandished as the poor nations and a country laden with street beggars are the economic stalwarts of today.

This comical madness of econophobia shall continue as long as we feed them with our money. First make yourself rich by earning more. Then perhaps invest with great caution and for decent returns gradually. Greed will get you. Greed will make the other man richer with your money. If you are greedy that is a great thing. It makes many people become rich and gives you a “chance” to become rich as well. But the “chance” is yours and only yours. For the gains for others are a sure fact.

Earn! Earn more!

Spend and rejoice of the money you earn.

Spend for good returns, or on things you place value in and not on those that give you nothing in return

Save just enough for your future (the future when you will not want to earn and live a retired life).

Save for emergency expenses.

Invest in yourself first! Invest in your happiness, life, and quality of life.

Invest in other ventures only on secure and substantial returns.

Gamble! A little risk is good. Simply because the returns are very good!

But do not blame a system or others for your greed!

Do not hate the successful and the wealthy, instead work towards becoming one of them or choose and work towards a comfortable economic state you are happy with.

Lastly, have some realistic expectations. You are not entitled for anything unless you work for it. NOTHING comes for free or easy. Ask your self what have you done or doing to get what you want.

Here are some select quotes:

If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.  ~George Bernard Shaw

 

A happy life is one spent in learning, earning, and yearning.
Lillian Gish

 

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people inAmerica.  If I’m not there, I go to work.  ~Robert Orben

 

Education is not solely about earning a great living. It means living a great life.
Brad Henry

 

Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.  ~Sam Ewing

 

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.  ~Bob Hope

 

Business is the art of extracting money from another man’s pocket without resorting to violence.  ~Max Amsterdam

 

When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.  ~Voltaire

 

Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.  ~Zig Ziglar

 

Economists are coming to acknowledge that measures of national wealth and poverty in terms strictly of average income tell you little that is significant of the health or viability of a society.
Rowan D. Williams

Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man’s lifetime income – which he then spends sending his son to college.
Bill Vaughan

Economic Disparity Complex:

However, we are collectively witnessing a growing sense of self entitlement by the have-nots and a general sense of anger at those who have. As opposed to taking charge and responsibility of their own state of economic conditions, and taking steps to earn more and develop towards becoming successful, many choose to blame those at the opposite end of the spectrum for their lack of initiative or the system. Strangely, those who are considered to be wealthy in USA the now notorious 1% consist of many who crossed the width of economic disparity by making choices and working hard towards building their wealth. They chose to innovate, invent, take risk, work harder, and take advantage of those who spent their hard-earned dollars in exchange for their offerings. For example: It is largely the middle class and to a great extent the lower earning members of the economic ladder who seem to spend their hard-earned dollars on fancy phones and gadgets that are developed and sold by those who become wealthy. The strange and ironic fact is that the remainder of this 99% choose to spend their time to use the same cell phones and online social media to organize protests against those who became wealthy by selling these very tools.

Once again, out comes the “experts” with the statistics and advice on the 1% of the evil “wealthy”. The wealthy own majority of the shares in big companies, they earn more than the 99%, they live in bigger houses etc. Yeah? What are they supposed to do with the wealth they earn? Not invest in business they choose? Dont buy things they like? What about the philanthropic contributions they make? If they have earned it they can choose to spend as they wish. Like wise, those who are at the lower end of the economic ladder have all they need and the freedom to make real choices and actions to become wealthy. They can “get rich or die trying” – right Curtis? If only these half-baked statistics from these so-called “experts” were unbiased and gave the point of view for both sides. Then the number will perhaps indicate towards what the 99% should and could do to cross the economic disparity.

Being wealthy isn’t a crime neither is being self-sufficient and happy where you stand. The “American Dream” isn’t just being a millionaire or wealthy. For many it is owning a house, raising good and balanced children, sharing good and happy memories, a cozy family dinner at Thanksgiving or owning a sports car close to their retirement. And for those who want to do all this and more, there is nothing stopping you from working harder, smarter, taking risks, being innovative, and making more money. The difference is in your attitude, approach, will and choices.

For every person who says they do not have enough money to put themselves through school, there are several who work two jobs and put themselves through school.

For every person who blames the tax system and the amount they pay in taxes, there are several who take advantage of the welfare provided and several more who pay the taxes and still achieve their dreams and ambitions.

For every person who spends time blaming the system and the “wealthy: there are several who work hard and find ways to become wealthy.

For every person who resorts to borrowing money or living on credit there are several who strive hard to earn that money and live within their means.

There is no use of fear mongering and marketing what I call “Econophobia” by the media and the silly statistics put forward by the experts. They are no reliable than the weathermans’ predictions. If the past statistics have proved anything, it is totally unreliable and will change faster than you expect it to change. Your success and economic condition lies in your will, ability and desires. There is no one that can be blamed for your failures but yourself. Stand up and make the changes you need to become successful! 


Personality Progressive Development


 

 

Yes, personality has external and other factors that determine it. Heredity, our respective external environment, personal experiences and specific circumstances have a bearing on our respective individual personalities. However, other than heredity, we as humans can exercise your power to choose and think to make the changes we need to our personalities as opposed to blaming other factors. As we grow older, gain maturity, develop our own beliefs, opinions, ability to think, ability to differentiate between good and bad, ability to choose and disregard, we can make the much-needed developments to make ourselves better human beings in the process. As we all know that personality always changes over time and based on individual experiences, we can surely choose to make these experiences and time to shape ourselves as better individuals. It is easy to blame our faults and lack of ability to progressively evolve into better human beings, but it is imperative for us to take ownership of our own good and change our personalities for the better.  

Here are some ideas to help build a positive personality. Following these can and will help you become more popular, likeable, loveable, and impact your life very positively:

Identify yourself first: Be reasonably self-analytical and critical. Compare yourself to an ideal personality you seek to become and ask yourself why that personality. Identify areas you need to develop or improve. Try to understand who you really are, where do you come from, and what are the good and bad morals and values of who you truly are.

Recognize the need for improvement and progress: Realize your pitfalls and mistakes. List areas of improvement and development needed. See where you what to be, how do you want to be, how do you want people to see you as. And in doing so, ensure you are being realistic and are aiming for honest, moral and positive attributes.

Learn willingly and openly: Learn from others, pick their goodness and good wisdom, and reject their bad habits and beliefs. Search for good sources to learn from all and every experience from your life. Don’t reject anyone or any things you can learn from. Wise wisdom can be found in any place from anyone, so can immoral aspects. Choose the good and keep learning.

Take charge and responsibility: Know that you have the capability and courage to become who you want. Be determined and take charge of your own development. Not doing anything will not get you anywhere. So, become responsible and a confident individual.

Be genuine and honest: Be honest in your efforts. Be honest to self and be honest with others. Your honesty is clearly visible. Do not take others for fools and assume they can’t see your dishonesty. If people do not react it doesn’t mean they believe you. Your honest is very clearly visible in your actions, deeds, and words.

Be considerate and polite: Develop basic skills to behave, talk, act and think in a considerate and polite manner. By respectful of others before you expect them to show these attributes to you.

Follow through your commitments: When you give your word or commit to something, be bold, courageous and honorable enough to follow through with your actions. Weather it is in a relationship or work, one has to learn the value of integrity and consequences of misleading someone and having them pin their hopes, desires, wishes and emotions to their commitment. A person, who doesn’t stand by their word and follow through in actions, will never be able to find true happiness or respect within or from others. 

Be selective and aware of your choice of words: Use positive words always. Speak softly, yet clearly and firmly. Think of sentences and words before you speak to avoid misunderstandings. Use kind and eloquent words when and where possible. Control your voice when you speak. Be aware and respectful of your surroundings. Think how you are coming across to your audience.

Be sensible with criticism: Do not criticize. You may casually be critical amongst your close friends and family, but be aware there is a limit there too. If people laugh along with you it doesn’t mean they approve of your criticism. And remember that there is only a fine line between criticism, condemnation and character assassination.

Be a good listener: One of the key factors is to be a good listener. Learn to be patient, show genuine interest, look them in the eye, and truly listen to what they are saying to you. Ask questions, don’t interrupt, and be considerate.

Motivate and Inspire: Speak words and act in a manner that inspires others and motivates others to become positive and be happier. I call this putting butterflies in their stomachs. Say things to help others that make sense and makes then smile and ticklish in their stomach. Positive words with a smile, smell good, dress good, walk tall, etc.

Recognize Good and appreciate it: If you recognize and appreciate a good behavior in a person, it makes the other person repeat this particular behavior more. When you see good, walk up to this person and express your appreciation. You there by build their confidence and boost their positive behavior.

Be generous and helpful and expect nothing in return: Help others generously. Help by sharing knowledge, teach, share wealth with the poor, share your wisdom, your experiences, share your goodness. And do it with humility by understanding you too take and need others help in life. And do it freely as a good human being and expect nothing in return.

Be humble and grateful: Thank people, give away your ego in exchange for gratefulness. Be nice, and do not show off. Let yourself be known by your character and class. Not as a shameless and cheap loud mouth.

Be honorable and loyal: Keep your, morals, values, principles and honor intact. People will learn to depend on you based on these virtues.

Carry a great sense of humor: This one attribute will help you sail through any problems, complexities, stress and relationships. Take a lighter look at situations and learn to see the funnier side of things. Laugh at them and share the laughter. Learn to laugh at yourself.

Don’t procrastinate: Daily make it a habit to list things, then prioritize them and aim to complete the top three at least in a given day always. This will eventually give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment and impact your attitude positively.

Take care of your appearance: Don’t become careless and disregard your appearance. Always aim to look good, maintain good hygiene, appear to be clean, smell good, dress well, etc. Take care of your health, weight, and appearance.

Earn Respect: Don’t expect people to respect your title, age or gender. Earn their respect by behaving in a manner that contributes to your title, age gender etc. Earn the right to give advice, comment, or speak. Give respect before you expect it from others. And command respect by your behavior, do not shamelessly demand it when you do not get any.

Become a better Human being as well. Or more importantly be a human being that makes others what to be like you. Be able to respect yourself and see how you come across as a person and an individual to the world around you. Here are a few perspective I like to share to become a good human being first:

  • Love everyone regardless of caste, religion, creed, color, country or culture but for the good in them. The will love you back for the same reasons.
  • Strive to become a moral and responsible individual.
  • Respect all as well and above all do not be critical of the differences. They will reciprocate in the same manner towards you.
  • Be honest to self first. You will be rewarded and others will respect you for that.
  • Build character by actions and deeds, and not by words. You will inspire others and your loved ones by this.
  • You will find common ground with every person you meet if you want to. But you should be willing to communicate and be approachable.
  • Establish your identity by character. Not by your skin color, culture or religion. You will win the love, respect and appreciation of all people you meet all through your life.
  • Take pride in who you are and what you are made of. If you don’t respect yourself, your culture or religion, others will not respect these either.
  • Don’t build a pseudo personality in order to pretend to be affiliated to a popular group or a person to win their love and respect. Real people can see through it. And you eventually will find yourself to be lonely as your pretentious guard will one day fall.
  • Learn and be self-critical! Do not be so pig-headed that you never improve yourself and deteriorate over time in knowledge and wisdom.
  • Lastly, please take time to appreciate what you like in others. It’s a simple phenomenon. The more you appreciate what you liked in one person, the more that person feels like giving it to you and others.

 


Million Dollar Business Idea?


 

No, this is not another pyramid scheme. Neither is this a get rich quick idea.

Everyone seems to have an idea or two to make money other than working as an employee for someone else. And there are many who have the grit and will to put it in action. But not everyone succeeds. And there are many who aspire but never wish to perspire to achieve their dreams. Often there are many obstacles, circumstances, and situations in life that does not allow the time or the energy to pursue such dreams. But, these dreams live on.

There are many valid business ideas that could make a million dollars that get buried in these clutter of unfulfilled dreams and ambitions. With various reasons that hinders or stops one from achieving these dreams there is one big factor that prevails. Failure! The fear of investing their money, time and life in an idea that could fail stops many from going ahead. But, having said that, it is also perhaps one of the easiest of factors to overcome. Here I wish to discuss a few simple concepts in the process of developing the fairly secure million dollar idea that would earn you a million dollars.

*** 

The million dollar dream building:

For ease of understanding, I am breaking this down to the simplest form based on the basic principles of marketing that would help conceive the concept:

The Million Dollar Math:

To make $10,00,000 one needs to understand this in exact numbers. You need to first have a very clear understanding how this million dollar is actually broken down in terms of units/service  (referred to as a “product” here on), and consumers.

A million dollars in other words is ten hundred thousands. That is: $10, 00, 000.

If you wish to make a million dollars for yourself, you will have to sell a product a million times with a $1 profit per unit sold. Simple?

So, if you have a $100 profit margin, then you will have to sell your product only a 10,000 times (ten thousand).

A higher the profit margin, lowers the units to be sold. Remember that this unit could be a tangible product, or a service.

Once you understand this, all you have to do is develop the right product/service and back it with a sound marketing plan. A very good and valuable product with its unique feature at a fair market price based on the target buyers’ affordability will sell. In other words, if you were that target customer, will you buy it and why? As simple as that! In order to make this happen, you will need to know a few simple concepts of marketing. Below are a few simplified yet essential features of a marketing plan.

The Product:

This is where it is all about you, your skills, creativity and interest. However it is extremely important to keep the user of the product you develop in clear focus and the true “need” or “use” of the product to the end user. While developing the idea of this product one needs to consider these five common things:

  • What will the potential buyer want or need this product for?
  • Why will this potential buyer buy this product?
  • What are the key characteristics of these potential buyers demographics? That is, what is the typical age group, sex, income, affordability, lifestyle, culture, where they live, etc.
  • Does your product fulfill a need or a want?
  • And are there similar products already there in the market place. If you do not see it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. A little honest research is very essential.

Next you need to understand the product in detail. The workings of it, the design, the use, the looks, appearance, etc. You need to know your product or service in-depth. You should aim to become a subject matter expert in that product to be safe.

You also need to understand the market and industry of the product or service. You need to study the actual worth of the product. Look for examples of similar products. Understand and learn how they work, why they are priced as such, how they are sold, who buys them etc. You also need to constantly ask yourself why will anyone buy your product or service. What is unique about your product that will compel a buyer to buy your offering from the other seller?

For example: If you think it is a brilliant idea to start-up another On-line Home Rental service offering, where home owners can advertise their rental property and prospective renters can search and rent homes, how does it compare?

  • What will you offer differently compared to the other players?
  • What will be unique about your service?
  • Is that unique offering enticing enough for the consumer to shift their loyalty?
  • How many potential renters are there in your city?
  • How many rental homes are there in your city?
  • What percentage of people go on-line to search rental property from the potential renters?
  • How many such on-line sites are there and how many listings are there per site?
  • Is there room for another player?

These are some question one needs to ask and study when developing a product or service.

The Price:

Disposable shaving sticks with blades are cheaper in price and sold in packs with multiple units. But, the individual shaving sticks, from the same manufacturer, comes with few blades. And the user will have to buy the blades separately which are often more expensive than the shaving sticks. Yet there are consumers who choose to buy the individual shaving sticks and blades separately and willingly pay more for the negligible shaving comfort. So the question is, who is your target customer? The one who wants to save money, or the one who is will to pay more? Remember the million dollar math. Higher the profit margin, lower the units to be sold.

You will also need the actual and real cost to market or serve. This means what will it cost you to manufacture this product and bring it to the stage where the potential user/buyer will make the purchase. These typically involves these common costs to consider:

  • Cost to develop and make the product
  • Cost to package and make the product look desirable
  • Cost to sell it (marketing, selling staff, advertising, etc.)
  • Cost to deliver (transporting to the place of sale or the customer)
  • Over head costs (staff salaries, real estate-rent, utilities etc)

Now once these costs are detailed add-on a realistic profit margin to it. Do not be greedy and over price it, or do not make it too cheap and decrease its value. The price is based on what the target consumer is willing to pay for the product or service based on the value it has for them. It is called “fair market value” or FMV. It simply means that, it is a price a knowledgeable and fair potential buyer will be willing pay for the product or service you offer.   

 

The place you sell or do business in:

I love food. I enjoy all kinds of food, such as Japanese, Arabic, Italian, Indian, Chinese, etc. Hence I love to cook. I can get any recipes from books, Television, internet and my wonderful sister in-laws ultra fantastic recipes and create some amazing and delicious food. But I hate cleaning up. Perhaps that is why many of us choose to get food delivered home. And every once in a while, we choose to go and dine out. Although, we can make many good and great dishes ourselves at home, we choose to go out and pay for it. We opt to dine out, have someone cook some great creations, and serve it to us. And we will pay a price that we fully well are aware is at least 200% more than the cost of it and still leave behind a handsome tip to the waiter. And we do all this for the “experience”!

I walk into several restaurants and wonder why did they even bother? The décor is at best drab, the tables/furniture pretty bare, service is just short of being shot at, and often the food is worse than what I can make if I were drunk out of my senses. And to add to this condition, if one dares to jump over the fence of baffling curiosity and converse with the owner of this business, they will unwaveringly express their disappointment at their customers. They will blame the market, economy, the government, culture, weather, and the dog at their home but never themselves or the state of their place of business.

One of the essential parts to a successful business is its location. Where do you sell your products or service? Is it on-line, is it in a business district, does it have customer parking, does it have a steady or good flow of your target customers, or is your product sold at a retail location, does it have a prominent shelf space etc. These are some of the things you seriously need to consider.

Always remember that the environment or atmosphere usually has a huge impact on the business. There is a very good reason for the kids of music that is played in a supermarket, a fashion retail outlet or in a hotel elevator. Which begs the question, why do some Indian restaurants play sad and depressing music? It usually kills my appetite.

How will you promote your business?

How will you make the customer come to you, see your product or service and make the purchase now? How fast do you want to make your million dollars? Will a one dollar a day pace suffice or do you have a fixed time frame to make your first million dollars? If so, how will you sell those units within that time frame?

There are several creative ways to do this. But no matter how you plan to do this, and come up with new ingenious ideas or traditionally proven methods, you will always have to keep asking yourself this; why will the customer buy from me? Or, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see if your promotional idea invokes you to make the purchase. Until the numbers shows in sales, keep developing these ideas. Whether it is a free promotional offer, a special discount, a limited time offer, a free gift, it has to make sense to the buyer.  

I remember a Photography Film Processing Lab not so long ago before the digital photography industry killed their business. The owner of this lab came up with a new and different idea to promote his business. He bought a consignment of promotional products from a liquidation dealer. And he charged $0.50 cents more per print to process a film roll and would give each customer a random number to pick. Based on the number the customer could win anything from a key chain, to a television. His store will packed with these floor to ceiling promotional goods and a beeline of customer all through the mall. 3 months later the promotion died, but the beeline lasted a few good years.

Similarly, you would buy your child a Kids meal at McDonald’s knowing that they won’t eat the food, but the free toy will shut them up for a while.

That’s promotion in a nutshell.

 

 So, what is your Million Dollar Idea?

It doesn’t have to be what everyone does, or something that has never been done before. It has to be good, realistic, and positioned appropriately. More than anything else, you will have to believe in it based on realistic numbers and research.  There are several brilliant products and services that were once laughed at or criticized but is one of the most successful ideas or products in today’s world. A personal computer in every house was once such a dream of a famous individual. Build your million dollar dream and make it happen!

 

Some select Quotes to remember!

 

And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.
Andrew Carnegie

As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.
John Greenleaf Whittier

Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.
Gary Ryan Blair

Do not trust people. They are capable of greatness.
Stanislaw Lem

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.
Howard Aiken

Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality.
Henry Ward Beecher

Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.
Robert H. Schuller

 If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.
Robert H. Schuller

If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.
J. Paul Getty

In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn’t know what he is doing.
William Wordsworth

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
Dale Carnegie

No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
Niccolo Machiavelli

Not for nothing is their motto TGIF – ‘Thank God It’s Friday.’ They live for the weekends, when they can go do what they really want to do.
Richard Nelson Bolles

Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.
Thomas J. Watson 


Power of Choice


 

 

 

Amongst all the wonders we are blessed with, one of the most powerful abilities we have got distinctively from other living beings, is the unique power to choose. Here I am talking about choices we make in life on a day to day basis between good and bad and as human  beings as opposed to be possessed by emotions, ego and pride which often is not necessarily the right choices. I must also say that I am aware that choices are at times limited to people based on the circumstances they live in, thus I am talking about those who can still make better choices in lives in an effort to have a better living and happier and meaningful lives regardless of their circumstances.

What is this ability to choose? What is choice?

It is the mental process which helps us to judge and analyze from multiple options and selecting one of them based on preference. Choosing from these multiple options usually results in a consequence or a need for action that would eventually derive at a desired consequence.  In any given day or human beings are subject to making several choices that affect their living. They may be from the simplest forms to complex in nature. The consequences of these choices or decision to choose one from another may affect their lifestyle, religious affiliation, political position, finances, attitude towards others, reaction to situations, and health.

Our life essentially is nothing but a collective result of the choices we have made along the way. There choices were made at several moments in life, based on several experiences and circumstances, but nevertheless these were our choices and we face and live the consequences of these very choices. We each have the power and freedom to choose right from wrong. Often as humans we end up choosing easy from hard and sadly the hard ends up being the right one to choose. The righteous and just thing to do often involves hardships, disagreement from common folk, against certain odds, and at times contrary to common thinking. But it is in such choices that great accomplishments lie. Greatness has never been served on a silver platter, but it has only been earned by the choices made against all odds with the will, determination and perseverance. But it begins with the choice. And the power to choose is in your very power.

We are always faced with such choices in our lives. We are always given these options and choices to choose from in almost every aspect of our life. But we need to have the wisdom, integrity, and the will to make the right choices for ourselves and in an effort to make our world a much better place. The life we live is designed to challenge you to make the right choices in life. And each of your day to day choices result in a continuous change in the resulting consequences that shape your living. It may seem hard to imagine right at this moment, but you can change your life by simply making the right choices in life. It’s entirely up to you. You can get rid of old habits, change unwanted situations, make better lifestyle choices, better diet, choose better food, better friends, better reactions to situations and problems, and give yourself permission to achieve great things in your life by making good, educated and right choices in life.

Here are some chosen inspirational quotes from some well known people that will help you understand the power of choice:

“Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation.” – James Allen (1864-1912, author of As a Man Thinketh)

“You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in the that field of possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” – Deepak Chopra (1946-…, physician and author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success)

“Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise” – Stephen R. Covey (1932-…, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”- Denis Waitley (1933-…, motivational speaker and author of The Psychology of Winning)

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. – George Eliot

 Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable. – Peter F. Drucker

It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny. – Jean Nidetch

In today’s world, many of us are also spoilt with choices. We do not know what is good for us and what is not. Young high school kids have trouble picking a profession, university and ambitions. Young graduates have trouble picking jobs, or company’s to work for, others have to choose their life partners, financial options, cars, life style, cell phones, televisions, computers, and even a simple cup of coffee is from a list of options and variations. There were times where I can walk into a Café and ask for a coffee. I would get a cup of coffee, a jar of sugar and a pot of milk. Today in the name of quality service, brand and marketing gimmicks for an extra $4 weather you like it or not, you are forced to pick from Columbian, American, Costa Rican, host of other gourmet beans, ground, coarse, fine, Grande, Venti, Tall, milk, 2% milk, cream, black, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, sweetener, and still end up with just a coffee to kick start your morning. But often these wonderful choices for many are bigger problems than convenience or luxury.

One key factor that disturbs me most is the choice and decision of young kids today. They are very quick to choose, decide and almost demand the best and often most expensive when it comes to their clothes, video game units, laptops, mobile phones, and girl friends. But in their key and one of the most vital times of life they deliberately choose the most vain, aimless, lazy, and easy way out of them all of education, profession and future. They either, opt out of school, defer university entrance, choose other vain interests over scoring good grades at school, learn, aim for a easy degree to graduate in, or a comparatively lower ambition in life. This way they dwell in a world where mediocrity is considered the norm. They do not choose to get the best of grades, make it to the best of universities, get the best of professional qualifications, excel and specialize in their professional qualifications, get the best of jobs and live the best of lives.

I do not mean that everyone has to be successful or be the top achiever in life although each truly carry the ability and can if they want. Being ordinary, mediocre is fine as well, but only if you can be happy and do not eventually become bitter and a burden on the rest of the society, and your loved ones and a total waste of life. Often such vain individuals who often seek the easy way out continue to take poor decisions that end them up assimilating a string of bad actions, and resulting consequences due to their poor state of living. They will rather choose to get a fat loan or more than affordable car where they have the means to fill the gas to run it or not, but will use educational loans as an excuse not to study further, they will choose to spend their parents and their meager earnings on their cell phone bills and testing fees but never on a clean pair of jeans or clothes. They will choose to take advice and rest on the opinion of some half ass, semi educated, pea brain school councilor or the worst amongst the lot, overly friendly irresponsible teachers advice who will encourage dropping off from school and taking a hike across the country or to another country, smoke weed and have fun or get into a get rich quick dot.com business or buying their share of the pyramid scheme they themselves got suckered into, before they get back into the groveling and hard and difficult life of books and professional qualification. But they will hardly choose the advice of their selfless, hard working, sacrificing and extremely caring parents and well-wishers who will often be willing to support their ambition, best quality of education, universities, and help along the way by helping or paying off their tuition fees as opposed to bank loans, get them a vehicle, give them a house to stay, etc.  I once was told that a person will invariably choose the best and eventually become very successful in life, if he or she is given only the best option as the only and last option to choose from. I guess today’s youths must be given a course in high school on the realities of life and the consequences of human choices and their options to choose their future, designed especially to systematically break their stupid and life wasting unrealistic dreams of getting rich quick with very little efforts by highlighting the notoriously proven schemes such as, pyramid schemes, peddling drugs, doing business without qualifications, etc. Instead they need to be educated of the resulting proven consequences of such choices and to indulge in creative thinking and strategic planning and development of ideas for the real world that will help them succeed.

Educated and quality choices about self, others, life, and character will only result in success, happier life and great achievement


Your world is a result of your “reactions”.


 

Stress and difficulties have been my best buddies all through my life. In fact they are buddies with every one of you.  But regardless of mental stress and the troublesome  circumstances life has taken me through, I have been fortunate to realize my own behavior and often laugh at the things I do. Especially when I find myself or others under pressure, I find we do many silly and often stupid things. Our rational and cognitive self disappears and instant emotional responses take precedence which invariably stands tall opposing our basic logic.

Allow me to explain myself by sharing one of my such irrational responses to a situation: I once got on a popular diet recommended by someone close which promised a drastic weight loss in a week – 10 days time which would be a good kick-start to get on an eventual balanced diet program. Having stuck to my diet from day one which involved consuming copious amount of bland vegetable soup and low-calorie raw fruits and vegetables, I arrive on my 4th day successfully. I had dreaded this day because it involved me surviving on partly skimmed milk and bananas. Of course, I hate milk!  But as my luck would have it, my morning began with my daily dose of senseless comedy and needless stupidity.

Here is a short version of what I mean: A customer with an annoying disposition calls me when I was in the washroom and left a message for me on my voice mail. I see the message on my mobile phone and decide to listen to it once I am out of the door, on my way to work. Meanwhile, he calls my boss asking him where I was and that I didn’t pick up his call. By the time I was heading out my boss calls me asking me why my customer was calling him and why didn’t I pick his call. Having explained to him my obvious reason, I call up my customer to help his query. During which my boss calls me to check if I had called him. He gets my voice mail as I was still on the phone and thus leaves a message to call him back. He assumed that, perhaps my phone wasn’t working and all calls were going to the voice mail directly. After I was done with my customer, I picked up my voice mail again and then called my boss to let him know that I resolved the customers concern, and my phone was just fine and I am furious with his impatience and micro management and my this annoying customers behavior.  Phew! No, this isn’t an exaggeration. It is exactly a day in the life of a Senior Manager in the corporate world of today.

Anyhow, in this madness and my rage, I stop by at the gas station to pick a couple of bottles of my hated milk for the day. I rushed in and walked past the puffed up shiny bags of potatoes chips wearing their contents proudly on their chest, and those gleaming bars of chocolates screaming for my attention. I got to the refrigerator and quickly scanned through the neatly stacked stout cans of soft drinks in all colors and shapes and calorie counts looking for my milk. And there again there stood several of them in different colors, flavors and shapes and sizes. I quickly scanned and saw one in blue which read “French vanilla”. Yes, perhaps this flavor will help me guzzle it down with some relative ease and thus grabbed it, paid for it and got back into my car. As I began drinking it on my way to work, I found the flavor to be rather strong and thick. But as I couldn’t take my eyes off the road to read the fine prints I continued consuming its contents until I finished it. And once I reached my work, I looked at the bottle and the writings in small letters. It said “Coffee creamer” and when turned it around to see its calories I realized that I just had consumed the whole 1000 calories of its contents.  There crashes my diet plan and three days of sacrifices.

 It is amusing how we react to such simple daily pressures. And what is even more amusing is how easy it is to avoid such reactions. If I had only cooled down and controlled my anger I would have been a bit more focused. If only I realized there was absolutely no need for me to rush to work, I could have been a bit more diligent in picking up the right bottle of milk. I could have very well done that. But I didn’t and hence ended up doing something totally stupid.

 It is so odd to see us; intelligent beings do such stupid things in life. Many of our problems and unpleasant situations are created by us and our instant reactions. And we would be the first to see such stupidity in others and either correct them or laugh at them. But we seldom think about our own such behavior. No matter the external situation or circumstances. The choice of how we react to it is absolutely in our control.

 The power to choose our reaction:

It is the mental process which helps us to judge and analyze from multiple options and selecting one of them based on preference. Choosing from these multiple options usually results in a consequence or a need for action that would eventually derive at a desired consequence.  In any given day as human beings we are subject to making several choices that affect our living. They may be from the simplest forms to complex in nature. The consequences of these choices or decision to choose one from another may affect our lifestyle, religious affiliation, political position, finances, attitude towards others, reaction to situations, and health.

Our life essentially is nothing but a collective result of the choices we have made along the way. There choices were made at several moments in life, based on several experiences and circumstances, but nevertheless these were our choices and we face and live the consequences of these very choices. We may choose to blame the circumstances, but nevertheless the choice was ours and we are solely responsible for those choices and the eventual outcome. We each have the power and freedom to choose right from wrong. Often we end up choosing easy from hard and sadly the hard ends up being the right one to choose. The righteous and just thing to do often involves hardships, disagreement from common folk, against certain odds, and at times contrary to common thinking. But it is in such choices that great accomplishments lie. Greatness has never been served on a silver platter, but it has only been earned by the choices made against all odds with the will, determination and perseverance. But it begins with the choice. And the power to choose is in you.

Here are some ideas on changing the outcome by changing your reaction:

1. When someone can not understand your point of view, try rephrasing it differently with calm. Do not express frustration or anger but instead express patience and stage what you are trying to say differently. Do not brand them as stupid or crazy if they cannot understand you. It could be your choice of words and demeanor is confusing to them. It may be easy for others to understand you but it doesnt mean that this person would also be able to do the same. Remember that each person, their experiences, comprehension, and demeanor is different. You have to match their understanding to make your point. It is not necessary for them to meet your style of communication.

2. When faced with an aggressive or pushy person, do not push back or try to retaliate with more aggression or rage. Instead, try walking away and avoid a futile attempt to communicate with someone who is obviously has lost their mind in anger. Allow them to cool down. Life doesnt end at that moment. You can always return to discuss the concern or issue later again if it is worth your time.

3. In an argument, state your point calmly and patiently try to explain. There is absolutely no point in raising your voice or expressing anger which makes one deviate from the point of concern to a battle of rage and ego. Remember that a disagreement is often with a certain issue and work or discuss to agree or agree to disagree. Do not turn it into a battle of egos or who can shout louder than the other. The volume of your voice or the choice of harsh words has never helped driving a point through. It has only helped aggravate the emotion. (I thank my sister for this lesson). 

4. When someone is stubborn in doing something that you believe is wrong and they do not listen to your advice, learn to let them learn by their mistakes. As you learn from your mistakes and people need to learn from their failures, let them go through the process. Some people choose to learn this ay and it is better for them. And also remember that some people may choose to do something which they fully well know could result in getting hurt. But they have their own reasons. For example: I know those who go out of their way to be nice to people who could hurt them because they belive that their nice and loving behaviour may help inspire the other person to become a better person.  So learn to be supportive of such people. Allow them to do as they seem fit after having explained your concern. But be there to support them with your love and understanding if they get hurt.  

5.  Do not stop yourself from reacting to any situation. By staying silent to avoid possible discourse, you invariably position yourself as a victim in your mind. Instead try to react in a manner that you express your point respectfully without hurting anyones ego.  Remember that as your react to a given action. Your reaction provokes others to respond too. So try to react in a manner that will invoke a positive response from others. In other words, your reaction can calm things. Your reaction can aggravate a situation. And your reaction can inspire others to be like you.

  • React to a problem with a solution not stress.
  • React to anger with calm and composure not anger.
  • React to stupidity with humor nor ridicule.
  • React to adversity with empathy not rage.
  • React to authority with compliance not aggravation.
  • React to injustice with polite defiance not violence.
  • React to ego with class and humility not disrespect.
  • React to confusion with patience and rationality not impulse.
  • React to arrogance with avoidance not submission.

Remember that your reaction can inspire change. Be inspirational! The world is often nothing more than a result of your reaction to any given situation!

I leave you with some chosen inspirational quotes from some well-known people about choice and reactions:

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results. ~Wade Boggs
~

“Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation.” – James Allen (1864-1912, author of As a Man Thinketh)

~

 For some reason I did something where I realized I could get a reaction. That was when I broke out of my shell at school, because I really didn’t have any friends or anything like that and I just kind of was going along, and then finally I did this zany thing, and all of a sudden I had tons of friends. ~Jim Carrey 

“You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in the that field of possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” – Deepak Chopra (1946-…, physician and author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success)

~

Reaction – a boat which is going against the current but which does not prevent the river from flowing on. ~Victor Hugo~
“Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise” – Stephen R. Covey (1932-…, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

~

That’s what takes people out of the fight half the time. They get hit and half the reaction is your ego is saying, ‘I cannot believe that person just lit me up – how humiliating.’  ~David O. Russell~

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”- Denis Waitley (1933-…, motivational speaker and author of The Psychology of Winning)

~

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. ~Carl Jung
 
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 Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable. – Peter F. Drucker

~

It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny. – Jean Nidetch


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