Month: March 2013

How to Get Rich, Slowly but Surely

I should have used the word “prosperous” instead of “rich” but I think people gets drawn to a topic that is about getting rich more than becoming prosperous. Prosperous means a lot more than the usual definition of money accumulation. According to thesaurus.com, the synonyms for prosperous are affluent, flourishing, opulent, sitting pretty, snug, rich, and wealthy. Thereby, we can also conclude that “prosperous” may be synonymous also with having good health, good fortune, good character, proper education, great personality and content well-being.

If you are looking for a get rich quick solution, this may not be the post for you to read. Rich people get wealthy slowly, not quickly. The only exceptions are the lottery winners which get rich in an instant but there’s only a few hundreds of them and in a few years, their wealth will be gone and they are back to the same status as before winning the prize or much worse. Those that inherited their wealth got rich fast too but as you know, their parents and grandparents took a few years or decades to acquire wealth. So what’s my point? If you want to be wealthy, most of the decisions you make everyday will affect your goal. And you have to be consciously aware that there are a lot of distractions and a lot of deceptively attractive proposals that will try to take away your money. Advertising of consumer goods is a good example.

Here are the steps, and you don’t have to follow it from 1 thru 12. You can start improving on a few of them at a time or all at the same time if you wish J

  1. Save enough money for emergencies. It will avoid anxieties and prevents you from having to pay interest on a credit card debt. Most financial counselors say six to two years worth of salary. I say two to three months is a good start.
  2. Spend below your means. Your monthly expenses should NEVER exceed your net income (Salary after tax deductions or business profit after taxes).
  3. Save a lot of your income. 20% to 70% is doable. This means a bit of sacrifice for a better future!
  4. Invest in education. I recommend a college degree in a course that is useful. Sorry if I’m being blunt. Engineering, Accounting, Languages, Medical related fields and Military or Law Enforcement are all good. I may have failed to mention others but these are the obvious ones. If that is too expensive or too long for you, get a vocational training in something that you are passionate or very interested in: plumbing, carpentry, drafting, bookkeeping, woodworking, etc. DO NOT get an education or training just because someone told you that “that’s where the money is”. You’ll hate the job and your life.
  5. Avoid totally the obvious money-eating vice like alcohol, tobacco, gambling (lottery is gambling).
  6. Avoid time wasters daily: Hours of TV watching, facebook, web surfing, computer games adds up to a lot of wasted time. You don’t see millionaires involved in these activities (unless their income are derived from those areas).
  7. Pick the right companions or friends: Don’t hang out with people that will hinder your productivity and you will be a winner.
  8. Pick your activities. Cutting coupons is good but don’t spend money just because you have a coupon for it. That’s counterproductive. Instead, research a few days each week how you can increase your income and limit your expenses.
  9. Eliminate the unnecessary. Do NOT buy things just because there is a 50% off sale. Those department stores won’t be there for you if you lose your job or income. Do you have extra clothes or gear you don’t need? Sell or give it away.
  10. Be charitable. Give to your church, to charity organizations (after you research where they spend donations – there’s numerous stories of charitable organizations whose officers get paid too much money, as an example).
  11.  Have a budget. Allocate what you will spend on some areas. Check your expenses every month to see where you overspend and also where to add more funds.
  12. HELP out other people. Let me clarify what I mean by help. Is it good to help a person if he or she spends her money on cigarettes, alcohol or other vice? Of course not! We’ll that’s an easy one! How about this? How about if you see a homeless person on the street and they look like they are not really a homeless person? Give them the benefit of the doubt and help them a little bit. A $5.00 here and there will give them a meal at least (if they are homeless), and it will not make you poor.

One more thing about giving to charity and helping other people. When you give, you reap back what you sow. That means the wealth you spread will eventually come back your way. It may also come back in the form of blessings – your car or clothes not ageing fast, no unexpected expenses, no accidents, good health and having satisfied lives.

Live long and prosper slowly!

 

 

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21 Ways to Sleep Better

Our overall health is a combination of different factors: diet, exercise, rest, sleep, habits, hygiene, vice, hobbies, income, outlook on life, and daily activities. Among these, I think sleep deserves a vigorous discussion because most of us in this current era sleep less than the people in the 60’s or 70’s. We have so much distractions and information overload that sleep takes a backseat to our priorities.

Well, it’s time to get back to having a good night’s sleep. But what if I can’t sleep? By employing some of these insights, you may be able to sleep better on most nights. So read on, but don’t doze off while reading it.

  1. Make your bedroom a sleep room. Try not to have a TV in the room because the constant radiation from the screen is not conducive to sleep. If you happen to watch a horror or an action film before bed, it may take a while for you to sleep.
  2. Don’t exercise hard in the late afternoon or evening. This of course doesn’t affect some people who are used to doing workouts in the evening.
  3. A nightcap of wine or hard drink doesn’t really help you get a good quality sleep. It may get you to sleep faster but you will have less of the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) deep sleep which is essential to getting rest.
  4. Have your bedroom clutter free. It helps to know that if you get up at night you won’t trip from anything on the floor.
  5. Buy the best mattress, sheets, pillowcases and pillows you can afford. You get what you pay for in this category. You don’t need to buy the highest priced mattress but it pays to research.
  6. Try to keep the temperature at a constant 70 degrees fahrenheit (or 21 celsius).
  7. Keep the room as dark as possible with no blue or white lights emanating from DVD players or other electronic equipments.
  8. Replace your mattress every 6-7 years or so. If you start feeling the springs on some areas, replace it immediately. It may cause some aches and pains in your body too.
  9. Put a pillow in your legs if you sleep in your back.
  10. Try not to sleep in your stomach. If you prefer this position, put a pillow in your hips and not in your head.
  11. A really warm (close to hot) bath or shower can really relax you just before bedtime.’
  12. Don’t overeat at dinner time. Avoid foods that you may give you an upset stomach.
  13. Eat light or skip dinner. Or at the very least, do not eat within 2 hours of bedtime.
  14. It’s obvious you need to avoid caffeine. Coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks or chocolate will keep you awake.
  15. Avoid going to bed hungry. You will hear tummy grumblings and you will have hunger pangs which will keep you awake. Eat a very light snack of carbohydrates – not protein – 2 hours prior.
  16. Chamomile or Peppermint Tea (decaf of course) helps you relax.
  17. Put on a soothing sound like a recorded CD of surf, rain, wind, etc. It may help. For me, the noise of a navy ship’s ventilation is the best sleep sound aid.
  18. Exercise regularly. Ideally, you should work hard physically during the day, but most of us are office-bound or in front of computers all day.
  19. Try going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday including the weekends. This programs your body to expect to rest at certain times.
  20. Get some sun during the day. Your body produces melatonin when exposed to the sun which helps you get a good night’s sleep.
  21. Count sheep Or practice some deep breathing so it will relax you. Try to avoid thinking negative thoughts because you need to rest now. Tomorrow is another day so today’s problems should take a backseat to your sleep need

I think some of these recommendations will help you sleep better. If it doesn’t I will write a part II to this post, and that should really make you sleepy.  :)

Sleep tight!

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Positive Thinking, Positive Action

I used to take the term “positive thinking” loosely. When my wife says I had to think positive about people and things, I always reply that opposites attract – therefore, my negative thinking will attract positive things to me.

Does positive thinking really work as advertised?

There are dozens of positive thinking gurus and motivational public figures. I’m sure you know of at least one. People like Anthony Robbins? Thousands attend their speaking engagements and millions read their books and watched their DVDs or listen to their CDs. They generate tens of millions of income for these speakers! No wonder they’re always thinking positive!

Does positive thinking workshops or books really help people?

I think they do. Like in my previous post, what you feed your brain will of course affect it. I’ve read of a few authors and bloggers that were living “miserable” or senseless lives in their youth before. Then they got exposed to these motivational speakers and after months of listening to them, they start turning their lives around dramatically. They went from playing video games for hours, or watching TV for days on end to productivity factories that churned out products for people to enjoy or utilize. In the process, they begin to earn lots of money. The money was the icing on the cake but they claim that their biggest reward is being able to mentor other people and teach others productivity.

Is positive thinking all we need to be successful?

No. Positive thinking without positive action is just half the battle.

Consider the following sentences which Paul said to the Philippians: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think of these things”. Isn’t that a sublime advice?

Having positive thoughts produces an optimistic outlook in life. But to produce them, we need to limit our input of negative thoughts.

Producers of Negative Thoughts (which we need to limit exposure to):

  1. Violent movies
  2. Daily News
  3. Violent video games
  4. Obnoxious people
  5. Gossip and Rumor Mongers

To get started with this positive lifestyle, we need to immerse ourselves in motivational books, CDs and DVDs. No need to buy them. Check them out from the Library, borrow from friends, read them inside bookstores (not all bookstores allow you to do this but the big ones normally does).

Negative thoughts will still try to infiltrate our thoughts, and it is OK. We need to be aware or be conscious of our thoughts. A good question to ask is “am I thinking positive or not?” If it is not a positive thought, then we imagine that we put it in a virtual box that we launched into outer space. Then we substitute a positive thought in that void created by that discarded thought. Easy? Not really! But with practice, we will get better.

What’s next? Take action. With positive motivation, it is a lot easier to get started. All the positive thinking we do will be useless if we don’t turn it into positive action. Sometimes all we need is start something in order to get things going. A body in motion will stay in motion until stopped by an outside force. So keep going until you meet the first obstacle. Fix it and move on. More obstacles will come, but we need to keep pushing forward (at a pace comfortable to us)

Continue this pattern of accomplishment: Plan, revise, execute.  Repeat! Once you acquired the habit of Positive action, there is no stopping you!

 

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