Month: July 2015

Develop Our Conscience

Did you notice when you were young that you kinda knew what’s right from wrong even though no one has told you yet. Then your selfish nature got the best of you, and you got a reprimand, a yelling and even a spanking from your parents. Oh yeah, I got quite a few of all those three.

All of us have been blessed with a conscience. Some better than other and some are swayed one way or the other by outside influences like religion, teachers, parents, friends, TV and video games (yes, I love to mention those two last items always).

To be a good person, we must learn how to develop our conscience. And how do I propose we do that? First, we find people to emulate. I’ve found several people that stood as standards of behavior as I was growing up. I’ve always admired humble and patient people (probably because I needed to learn it). I observe their behavior hoping I could someday become like them.

Another way is reading books that tell you how to behave or act. The Book of Proverbs is a shining example of that and it is one of 66 books in a compilation of books called the Bible. There’s also many books on how to develop your character, boldness, etc. It’s nice to read even one of them at least once a year.

Of course, our conscience is based on the Moral Law which is from God Himself. That’s why there are tribes out there in the most remote areas of the world that are as loving as your next door neighbor or your family. They may have a different understanding of the Creator but they have an understanding of what it takes to be moral.

Ignoring the messages of our conscience gets us in bad situation. It won’t happen in one day, but it’s a slow slide to misery. I remember my first puff of cigarette a long time ago. It slowly progressed over several months to up to smoking a pack a day years later. Then I finally listened – slowly tried to quit smoking and finally did it on the third try.

Did you know that many criminals (especially the notorious ones like Al Capone) refused to listen to their conscience for a long time – that their conscience are almost gone – seared to almost nothingness. What they do instead is justify their behavior.

What’s the effect of a highly developed conscience? For one, the community prospers and live peacefully. Did you notice that the most advanced and prosperous countries are filled with people with good conscience? I’ve been to countries where you can actually feel the danger around you and it wasn’t fun at all feeling you’re always to be on guard for just about anything.

There’s more ways to make our conscience better each day – but I’ll leave it to you to research and ponder.


Time Vs. Money

Remember the time when gas (petrol) prices went way up (about 7 years ago?)

I’ve always smiled smugly (which is not a good thing to do) at people that take their time to find the cheapest gas (around 20 cents per gallon cheaper), drive over 10 miles and spent the next hour waiting on line to get “cheap gas”.

If you do the computation, the drive to the gas station using expensive gasoline and the wait already more than zeroed out the savings. In fact, it added more expense and wasted the driver’s time.

Having that example, I justified my $18 haircut from a professional salon located only three blocks away.  My usual barber costs only $10 but is 11 miles away and a 20 minute drive.  Did I just waste $8? Au Contraire! The $8 cost difference offset the fuel cost, and the wear and tear of the vehicle I planned to use. But the significant thing is that is I saved over 40 minutes of driving.

Several times a week, we often encounter the usual time vs. money conundrum.

Sometimes we don’t realize it – but we pick money over time and sometimes time over money.

So here’s my timely moneyed question:  With all things being equal, would you rather live 120 years with an above average income or have 10,000,000 dollars but live only for three months? Both assumes you’re in good health and fitness and relatively happy  for the rest of your life.  If you picked the first option, you’re like me – I prefer time over money.

Why is that? Because having a lot of money does not give you lots of time. Time is a very limited resource, whereas money (or income) if you have enough time. Can you imagine how rich you would be if you can live to a 1,000 years investing only 100 a month at 4% interest. After a hundred years, you would have 1,600,000.  Too slow?

Invest 500 a month and you’ll have over a million dollars at age 50.

How many moneyed people don’t have enough time for anything else other than work. One very successful CEO prides herself on working seven days a week, 10 or more hours a day. She takes no vacations or breaks, and her tech company was and still is very successful. I scratched my head – is that living? What happens if she dies tomorrow? Money goes to someone and her deeds are forgotten within a few years.

So how can we maximize time and money utilization?

If you’re good at earning money, hire people to do the things you’re not an expert at. Hire people if the labor cost is low enough so you can spend more time finding ways to earn more money (so you can hire more people).

If you have a lot of time, learn and practice skills  (of interest to you) that will enable you to earn more money. You can work or own a business, your choice. Don’t waste your time on superfluous things. There are so many things we don’t have to spend much time in such as:  TV (how did you guess?) and video games (ahem, that hit close to home – but i’m doing better – I cut 50% of playing time).

If you have a lot of time and you use it wisely, you can potentially increase your earnings year after year.

If you have excess funds you should find time to enhance relationships, help the needy and take breaks to be more productive. What’s the point of having money and not having time to enjoy its benefits?

So, the $64 question is: Your money or your time?