There is no better feeling than financial security. When you know that you have enough money to take care of your financial needs for the rest of your life, you have peace of mind and, more importantly, you have much more options.
So why are there not more people who are actually financially independent? The majority of people have trouble making ends meet and are living from paycheck to paycheck.
It is not that difficult to build your financial security through saving with discipline and investing your saving wisely. Virtually anybody can become financially independent by using the following well-tested principles:
- Live within your financial means.
This means that you can’t spend more than you are earning. You can’t rent a big house for $2,400.00 per month when you earn $3,000.00 per month. You need money to buy groceries, pay for your utilities, and travel to your work. Rather, rent a more modest apartment for $1,200.00 per month.
- Pay yourself first.
Develop the habit and have the discipline to pay yourself first. Before you pay your bills, save at least 10% of your paycheck regularly. If you can afford it, try to save more. Of course, this depends on your earning capacity and personal circumstances.
- Make your money work hard for you.
Invest your saving in a mutual fund or in an investment like real estate that would make your money grow more than the inflation rate. If you need to, get professional advice from a reliable financial advisor. It’s paramount that you educate yourself about wise investments.
These three steps are proven and guaranteed pathways to financial security and independence. Of course, there are many other worthwhile financial strategies you can use to increase your wealth. However, having the strict discipline to use these three simple principles on a regular basis is not easy, but will definitely grow your financial assets significantly over time. The secret is time leveraging and the compounding effect, so start as early as possible to realize your financial freedom.
What principles and strategies are you using to build your financial security? Your views and comments would be appreciated.
Most of us exercise our physical body on a regular basis either by walking, jogging, swimming or going to the gymnasium. Some exercises are more relaxing, and others are more strenuous. Similarly, our mind needs mental exercise to maintain its wellbeing and fitness.
You can divide at your mental exercise and fitness regime as follows:
1. Mental massage and relaxation
2. Mental exercise and fitness
3. Mental growth and creativity
Mental massage and relaxation
Mental massage and relaxation focuses on thoughts that bring you serenity, contentment, and possibly joy. These consist of thoughts of gratitude and love. In this category, you can also include affirmations, prayers and meditations. You reinforce and nurture your inner peace when you pray and meditate regularly. Prayers and meditation slow down time, gives you a break from the stress of life, and allows clearer thinking and finding constructive solutions.
For mental relaxation, you can visualize your dream life. This visualization exercise helps you manifest the life your truly desire. Read a good book. Play a musical instrument. Sing a song.
Mental exercise and fitness
Mental exercise and fitness will be a bit more rigorous. Mental activities like setting your smart goals and developing detailed strategies for your personal and professional growth and development. Identify and focus on your main priorities. You can also keep brain active with crosswords puzzles and quizzes.
You may want to identify the most urgent and important goal that you can pursue that would have the most beneficial effects for you at this present time.
Mental growth and creativity
Mental growth and creativity include any activity that stimulates your growth, creativity and innovation. These mind activities tend to stretch your mental capacities and may involve learning new things.
Learning new language will fall in this category. Similarly, learning to play a musical instrument will demand much mental effort and concentration. Creative mental activities include drawing a new painting, writing a book or a song, and developing a new business. Look for opportunities to grow on a personal or professional level by being open to new ideas, concepts and processes. Take some risks by accepting new challenges.
How do you maintain your mental wellbeing and fitness? Your comments and inputs would be much appreciated.
Can you imagine your ideal life? Do you know how to empower yourself to achieve it?
If you truly want to manifest the life you desire, first you need to seek and find your purpose in life. Identify your core values and beliefs. Then align your purpose in life with your values and beliefs.
Develop a mental positive attitude by thinking like a winner. Nurture your self-esteem by becoming your best friend. Incorporate good habits in your daily life. Motivate and inspire yourself daily.
Do an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, intellectual and financial assets, and skills and talents. Identify your main goals and priorities. Focus your energy and strategies to achieving them. Develop an effective network. Seek guidance and support for your loved ones, coaches and mentors.
When you have a sincere and burning desire to follow your purpose in life, the Universe usually conspire to guide you to reach your highest callings. When you are ready, the teachers will appear. Think and grow a life of abundance. Nothing can really stop you, except yourself.
Are you living the life you dream of?
As I am retired from work, I have plenty of discretionary time to reflect about living and aging well. It is not just longevity. My first thought and advice is that living and aging well start early, not at retirement.
Life and aging is a continuum. You don’t need to wait for a better time before you start to change your lifestyle. Your lifestyle has a huge impact on the quality of your life. So you need to be proactive. Incorporate good habits in your daily activities as early as possible. Some good habits are as follows:
- develop positive mental attitude
- nurture your self-esteem
- exercise regularly
- nourish yourself with and health food and drinks
- have plenty of sleep and rest
- develop loving relationships
Of course, the above mentioned habits are not exhaustive by any means. For example, if you want to travel and see some interesting places around the world. You also need to take charge of your money and financial health if you want to have more options in life.
For me, living and aging well is simply the reward of a long and healthy life, filled with purpose, contentment and loving relationships.
“The important thing is not how many years is in your life but how much life is in your years.” Edward J. Stieglitz
Are you living and aging well? What does living and aging well mean to you?
An open and uncluttered mind is optimal for the practice of mindfulness. More and more people are becoming aware of the power of now. Being in the moment is essential to experience the joy and simplicity of feeling fully alive. Concentrate on whatever you are doing right now, one action and/or one task at a time. Whether you are sitting, walking, eating or working, be focused of what you are actually doing.
If you are talking to a person, pay attention and listen to what he or she is saying. If you are cooking a delicious dish, feel the textures of the ingredients under your hands and smell the odour of their fragrance. If you are driving a car, concentrate on the road in front of you while being aware everything around your periphery. If you are working on a project, focus your mind on the task at hand.
The practice of mindfulness is basically a moment by moment awareness. It is not easy to be mindful over an extended time. However its persistent practice can eventually become a beneficial habit for you and your awareness.
What are you doing to remain focused and mindful on your task at hand?
Taking charge of your life implies knowing your talents, abilities and needs as well as your limitations. Be sincere and honest with yourself by recognizing both your strengths and weaknesses. Accept the fact that you are not perfect and that there will be some failures in your life. Now is the time to choose how you want to lead the rest of your life. The first step is to believe that your life is worth the experience of living to its full potential. You have the choice to live purposely right now. Living in the present makes a lot of sense but it is not as easy as it seems. Many people insist on wasting time by mentally living in the past that cannot be changed or in the future which may never materialize as they wish it to. When you are stuck in this mode of thinking you need to alter your way of thinking immediately. Stop and ask yourself, what you could do to take better care of yourself right now. Giving careful consideration to this question usually leads to a change in your lifestyle, behaviour and thoughts. To live to your full potential, you must get into the habit of doing those things which are important to you today and every day, and doing them as efficiently as possible. Ask yourself regularly whether what you are doing at any moment is really important to you. Sometimes your present tasks at hand may not be pleasant but they are your responsibility and as such, you must perform them well. You will have taught yourself a valuable lesson in being responsible and proactive.
By choice through your actions or inaction, you are where you are at present. You may have low self-esteem and think that you are not capable of taking charge of yourself. You may be telling yourself that you are a failure, life isn’t fair and you doubt if reading this book is even worthwhile. The fact is that everyone has problems and adversities, and makes mistakes. Each of us is also a special and unique human being who is capable, worthy and lovable. It takes a lot of inner work to accept yourself as you are. There is really no other way but to start where you are and progress from there. Don’t allow poor judgement of yourself to limit you within preconceived boundaries. Take an inventory of every asset you possess. Begin with self-assessment. Is your greatest asset not yourself? You can shape your own destiny. Assess your present strengths, talents, abilities, skills and circumstances. Consult family members, friends, colleagues and professional experts to learn about and validate your real skills. Determine what your professional, technical, functional, transferable and personal skills are at this stage of your life. Utilize them to the best of your ability. Learn more about yourself, your values, beliefs, motivations, needs and interests.
Take responsibility your wellbeing and good health by caring for your body and mind. You may also want to work on your present weaknesses to build self-reliance and self-confidence. Be patient and don’t expect instant drastic changes. From your present perspective, examine your main purpose in life and give yourself a direction to follow. Look at the realities that are facing you today. Change direction if necessary so that you are in full alignment with your primary goal in life. Knowing where you are going will enable you to understand better where you are now so that you can take the appropriate steps in the direction you want to go next. You must have faith and confidence in yourself, recognizing that you can improve from where you are now.
Have you undertaken your crucial self-assessment recently? How are you taking charge of your life?
Take all the time necessary to think about your life purpose and develop a strategy and an action plan for it. Once you have a clear idea of your main priorities and goals in life. You need to get organized and develop a plan and strategy. Planning encompasses all activities that lead to the definition of objectives and strategies to achieve them. The more thoughts and details you can put on paper the better your chance of success. Think of your plan and strategy as a road map to follow in order to reach your destination. You need to remain flexible and adaptable because plan and strategy do alter according to changing conditions.
The important thing is to think your life strategy through very careful and put in on paper. Seek feedback and advice from more experienced people. Make appropriate changes where necessary at different stages of your life. Set realistic schedule for your action plan. Ensure you have a well thought out strategy and have a detailed effective action plan to achieve your goals. Go for it with all your resources, determination and energy. Good luck!
Your comments would be appreciated. Share with us your life purpose and strategy.