Enjoying the Present and Saving for Later

There is the argument that we should lay it down and stop worrying so much about the future in order to live it up “now.”

However, when people say that, they often say it in the effect that enjoying the present and saving for later are mutually exclusive. Sometimes people are full of crap. Let me correct myself, sometimes is incorrect, it should be often time.

I believe you can do both. It is a matter of juggling and making choices. You may have to make sacrifice and compromise here and there in the now in order to make progress with both. It comes down to knowing yourself and deciding the important things in your life. People need to spend time to think about these — what do you know about yourself and the important things in your life?

And when you think, you need to think beyond the limit of their “norms”, and these norms include years of experience performing the same patterns of action, cultural background, religion, familial influence, peer pressure… And this is where real learning needs to take place. Being aware in everyday experience. Observing the world and the people around them. Seeing the cause and effect. Reading lots of books.

Back to the topic of enjoying the present and saving for later… I think people misconceive consciously or subconsciously that saving connotes pain and suffering. This is due to the consumeristic nature of our society. They got conditioned by advertising and then by power of the peers to have the if-you-don’t-spend-money-to-get-things-now-you-are-not-having-a-good-time mentality. Or the oh-woe-be-me-if-I-don’t-own-these-certain-things mentality. I did say “conditioned”, but people themselves have partial responsibility that they allow themselves be conditioned. They follow instructions because it is easier. Once again, people are not thinking critically for themselves.

And why does enjoying the present now usually mean you have to spend a butt load of money anyways? Yes, trips may cost quite a bit but you are not doing trips everyday I assume. There are many simple things to appreciate. There are a multitude of activities with minimal costs that provide enjoyable experience. People overlook those things. They lack awareness in life. Are you always looking for things to buy to feel excited? Do you often feel bored when you are not doing something? Do you have to have “this” (things or experience) to feel satisfied? I think those are all symptoms of the same — lack of awareness.

And we can also talk about people succumbing to the idea of standard of living. As age progresses, people have adopted so many what used to be luxurious and extravagant things into requirements as the “supposed” standard of living. What is this standard of living anyways? And what is normal? Perhaps they need to be more abnormal and start creating their own version of standard of living, instead of letting themselves fall into this bucket of people deemed normal. They are letting this normal defines them. And note, I am not saying you cannot having normal things and act the norm, just that you are to think for yourself and make the choice to do so. You align your decisions with your priorities in life. You define your normal.

I dare say that most people who have or had debt problems fall into one of the last 3 conditions. You may think the causes should be more complicated than those, and that would be fine. But I prefer to break things down to their bottom lines. I will leave the analysis of the complex human nature to the experts, or the “experts”, and I will continue to keep things simple. Though remember, simple does not mean easy.

Originally posted 2008-08-16 01:31:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Usefulness of Having Capital

Follow up on Money Can Buy Happiness, I will talk about two reasons why it is useful to have capital or a good amount of money, business/investment/portfolio-wise. They are also the main reasons the rich can continue to get richer and stay rich, IMHO.

Capital Provides Bargaining Power

Having money gives you bargaining power in dealings. People who have more money usually have or obtain more advantages and benefits in business dealings. How?

Here is the first scenario. Let’s say you are moving a good distance away and have to sell your house. The difference between having the money to buy a new place flat out and not having the money, thus have to wait for the sale of your previous dwelling is huge. If you have the money already, you can buy the new place and wait for a buyer who offer the ideal price for the old house. Otherwise, you maybe forced to accept whatever kind of offer you can get within a short period of time. I know you maybe think, “Oh, I can rent…” but this is just an example. If you insist, then let’s say you have to sell an item. If you are short on cash, you maybe forced to accept a crappy, low-ball offer. Otherwise, you have all the time you have to wait for an ideal offer.

Another scenario is one where you are considering about taking a loan for, let’s say, a mansion, but you actually have A LOT of money and therefore you can pay for it in full with cash. The bank, better than not having your business completely, may tempt you with a loan that has very low interest rate, for which is a good idea to accept so you can put your cash to work elsewhere. Now if you don’t have the money, you must take a loan in order to make the purchase, so why would they need to give you a low interest to lure you to into the loan?

Capital Allows Diversification

Anyone who has done some study into investment would run across the idea of diversification. Briefly, the main concept is that you spread your money out into many areas, and by doing that, you run less of a chance of losing all your money by betting in one place. Meanwhile, you hope that more of the invested areas would do well to allow for profits.

A company with more capital is able to invest in more areas or projects than one with less, and so long as one of those projects becomes a hit, or most of them do well except a few, they’re all set. The same thing applies for individuals. An individual with more capital is able to spread their money into more stocks, funds, and markets, and as long as most investment do above averages, or if one becomes a hit, he’s all set.

Consequently, people with more money have more flexibility in choosing and allocating their investment portfolio. On top of this, there are investment products that are only available to people with certain amount of money.

Originally posted 2007-10-24 00:44:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Art of Reading, Memorization, and True Learning

Reading is a most obvious and direct act as far as when people want to learn something these days.

As much as reading is being done (or forced to be done LOL), especially in school, it occurs to me that no one, no curriculum ever attempts to explain and teach the art of reading.

In a nutshell, when people do reading these days for learning, it simply equates memorization of a butt load of information.

However, after years of reading on my own NOT for school, I have come to realize that reading is so much more than that. One can never realize the joy and pleasure of reading that way, nor the true nature of learning when we do reading. Nope, not through memorization.

Although, having an encyclopedic mind is very convenient. It can get you pass most education system with flying A’s. At least, memorization is a skill I adopted from Asian schooling, and relied heavily from middle school through high school to get those A’s and 4.0s when my English is as crappy (fobbish?) as it comes.

Real fun in reading, is the connection with the author. A genuine author that is. No, I am no telling you to call the author, or dig him up from his grave. Hmmm, bad joke :P

Behind the words that one such worthy author had penned down, we can only imagine the experience, emotion, and thoughts he had, and only after a process of integration into their own mind, heart, and soul, does he put into words. Thus, if we simply read the words at face value, we may simply pick up 10-20% of what he intendeds to communicate for us to think, feel, and understand.

Once again, this is if the author is genuine. This is especially true if you venture into reading text on religion, philosophy, and also teachings of any art form.

Reading the words of text is like the process of picking up dots. It is up to you to connect the dots, by going through your own process of integration.

Read not just with your mind but also with your heart. Read beyond the words.

Memorization gets you through school. True learning requires more than that.

Originally posted 2010-09-30 23:55:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Weight Loss, iPhone, and Osama Bin Laden

Now you must be thinking, how in the world are these 3 subjects connected? Check out the article What We Want More Than iPhone.

In DietTelevision.com’s poll of more than 1000 members of the Facebook community, 32-percent of respondents said they would rather reach their ideal goal weight compared to 30-percent who said they would most want to get an iPhone. Only 21-percent of respondents said they would most like to see Osama Bin Laden caught, while a mere seven percent most wanted to have dinner at the White House.

Of the women polled, 44-percent preferred to reach their ideal goal weight while only 23-percent desired the new iPhone.

Couple thoughts from reading the article
– I am glad that people still care more about their weight, health, and appearance more than the iPhone.
– It is somewhat depressing that more people care for an iPhone than seeing the world’s top terrorist taken out. Can I say materialistic?
– Women ARE more conscious about their weight than their counterpart, which is parallel to the social trend.

Now I have a question for you.
What do these 3 subjects have in common?

Think about it. Now if you really think about it, these 3 subjects that people want are things that all somehow will enable us to have a happier life.

So in other words, happiness IS our ultimate goal, which we often lose sight of in the midst we wanting all these things.

We often don’t consciously relate our wanting of these materials with our desire for happiness. And it’s exactly the same when we lose sight of the goal to achieve happiness when we are so ferverously pursuing success in personal development and personal finance that we would put ourselves through unnecessary pain. Some pain is inevitable in life and necessary as sacrifice for the future, but focus should be on “the ultimate goal.” We must consciously and critically think about these things that we want and also things that we do, whether they will bring us happiness.

Some personal experience as analogy
When I sometimes become frustrated with learning and practicing piano. I feel that I’m not improving quickly enough. “How come I can’t play this piece perfectly already!?!?” Yes, no doubt I want to get better in playing piano, but I forgot that is not the main reason for me to play. I then remind myself that I play because I enjoy playing the piano and I want to continue to enjoy playing. Getting better is the part of process, not the focus, not the goal. I need to focus on the joy of playing the piano. The improvement will come.

Originally posted 2007-06-30 02:15:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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