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Monthly Archives: January 2020

Prosperity Isn’t About Money

If I asked you whether a particular person is wealthy, you’d probably estimate how much money they have and gauge the worldly possessions they own. That got me thinking. If prosperity is defined as good fortune, why do we confine our definition to money and possessions? What about the strength of our relationships, the memories that we share, and the peace of mind that we enjoy?

Does Money Make You Rich?

Everyone views money differently. Some folks buy what they need, while others buy what they want. Some people use money to measure their success, while others buy things to prove they’re a success. Some people worship money like it’s the most important thing in life, while others are grounded — and keep things in perspective. In any case, one thing’s for certain…many people are actually poor because the only thing they have is money.

Money is only one form of wealth.

Here are 10 factors, other than money, that contribute to prosperity:

Noble character. Character is the fingerprint of your soul. It’s not what you have, but who you are that counts.

Meaningful purpose. You may not have the control to lengthen your life, but you can do much to deepen it.

Abundant memories. Material possessions get old and wear out. Memories last forever.

Deep relationships. There is no substitute for a close relationship. Appreciate what you have, while you have it, or you’ll learn what it meant to you after you lose it.

Celebrated reputation. Your reputation is like a shadow, following you wherever you go. Protect it like it’s the most valuable asset you own — because it is.

Continual peace-of-mind. Some of life’s greatest treasures are immeasurable.

Strong self-esteem. Make yourself proud. You have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.

Outstanding health. Some things are appreciated only after they’re lost.

Deep spirituality. Open your eyes. It’s so easy to lose sight of the things that you can’t see.

Clear conscience. Follow your conscience. Sleep well.

What Do You Sacrifice for Money?

I am NOT saying that money is unimportant, but it is important to keep things in perspective. If you define prosperity solely on the size of your bank balance or the possessions that you own, you may wake up one day and regret what you’ve sacrificed to obtain that prosperity.

There’s nothing wrong with earning an extraordinary livelihood. The problem occurs when money becomes an obsession and you forgo valuable things to obtain it. Here are two reasons why that occurs:

Enough is never enough. For some folks, achievements deliver only temporary happiness. They’re never really happy unless they’re winning, and when the winning stops…well, you guessed it…like an addiction, they need (or should I say, want) more. These demands force them to work harder and harder to cross a finish line that keeps moving.

Keeping up with the Joneses. For other people, money is a competitive sport. Proving they’re successful is so important to them that they’re willing to go into debt to feed their addiction. As a result, they don’t have the choice of whether to work harder — to satisfy their money addiction, they’re forced to.

If you appreciate what you have, you’ll never want for more.

Being Obsessed with Money Is a High Price to Pay

Life is about tradeoffs. If you spend time and energy doing one thing, you forgo the chance to do something else (unless you can be in two places at the same time). So choose your priorities wisely. Some folks think they can beat the system — and have everything they want — by going faster or working longer hours. They’re sadly mistaken.

Happiness is a result of balance rather than intensity.

Money should never become the cornerstone of your life nor should it define you as a person. If you pursue money at all costs, the price that you’ll pay is real. The fact is, money can buy things, but it can’t buy everything. You’re rich when you learn that some of the best things in life are free. Prosperity isn’t about money.

How Do You Define Prosperity?

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.

Additional Reading:
50 Things Money Can’t Buy
Inner Peace is a Choice
The Secret to True Happiness
Are You Grateful?
Do You Compare Yourself to Others?
Moments Lost
Some of Life’s Greatest Treasures are Immeasurable

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28 Powerful Tips to Relieve Stress

Great reputation, reputation, personal brand, Frank Sonnenberg

28 Powerful Tips to Relieve Stress

We live in a stressful world, bombarded by increasing demands, added responsibilities, and by choices between our professional and personal commitments. Sound familiar? Here are 28 powerful tips to relieve stress.

Make every moment matter. Time is your most valuable asset. Invest it wisely or you’ll be forced to make up for lost time.

Live within your means. Debt is a significant source of stress. Ask yourself whether buying something new, on credit, is worth the added pressure.

Build in “wiggle room.” Nothing ever goes as planned. When planning life’s journey, always have an alternate route.

Know your limits. Cut yourself some slack. You can’t be expected to constantly go full bore or perform well under continual pressure.

Get it right. Do things right the first time to avoid having to redo them later. Remember, problems are best addressed before they arise.

Be open to feedback. Learn from your mistakes. Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.

Be grateful. Don’t take things for granted. Appreciate what you have or you’ll be forced to learn what it meant to you after you lose it.

Take calculated risks. People who live on the edge never fear falling off. But remember, when you bet against the statistics, you’ll eventually become one.

Keep things in perspective. Establish priorities. Spend your time where it matters most, or you may live to regret it.

Manage your expectations. Set stretch goals, but make sure they’re realistic. Talking a good game doesn’t put points on the board.

Reserve “me” time. Give yourself time to pause. It’ll help you keep things in perspective and re-energize your batteries.

Say “no.” If you focus too much on making others happy, you may end up sacrificing your own happiness.

Work hard AND work smart. Stop and think. Being busy isn’t the same as being productive.

Plan ahead. Some things come as a surprise; others shouldn’t. Start saving for retirement beginning with your first paycheck.

Be early. Don’t wait until the last minute. Instead, be a few minutes early. If a mishap occurs, you’ll still be on time.

Go with the flow. Unforeseen events can be alarming and disruptive. But they’re also a fact of life. Expect it. Prepare for it. Remain flexible.

Shoot for excellence. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Excellent is more than sufficient.

Protect your downside. Be optimistic, but safeguard yourself in case the opportunity doesn’t pan out. If you put all your eggs in one basket, any fall will be a messy one.

Learn this costly lesson. Cheaper isn’t always less expensive. It’s better to buy good quality up front than to replace inferior quality later.

Be realistic. Don’t expect rainbows to fill the sky every day. Life is filled with “ups and downs,” so make the most of the “in-betweens.”

Find the right balance. Slow down. Happiness is a result of balance rather than intensity.

Set priorities. Is your plate overflowing? Saying “no” to one thing will enable you to say “yes” to another.

Save for a rainy day. Build a cushion in case unforeseen expenses strike — they usually do.

Do preventive maintenance. Take care of your things so that you avoid unnecessary fire drills.

Let it go. Keeping things bottled up inside yourself is stressful and anxiety provoking. Hate, envy, and revenge are destructive and unproductive.

Learn the meaning of enough. More isn’t always better. Stop working harder and harder to cross a finish line that YOU keep moving.

Chill out. Don’t take life so seriously. Most problems aren’t life changing. In fact, you’ll probably forget most of them within two months.

Listen to your conscience. Actions have consequences. Be prepared to accept them. Follow your conscience. Sleep well.

How Do You Relieve Stress?

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.

Additional Reading:
Stressed Out? You May Be Doing It to Yourself
Precious Moments Come and Go
Are You Busy Beyond Belief?
Doing Nothing is Time Well Spent
30 Habits That Create Enormous Stress
42 Ways to Make Your Life Easier

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6 Key Lessons in Life from a 150 year Old Man

Today, 2nd October 2019, is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

So he would have been 150 years old today had he not been assassinated in 1948.

Gandhi may not be around anymore but his legacy and his message of non-violence lives on and he is indeed the light the world needs today.

He has always been one of my heroes from a young age and I remember crying after watching Richard Attenborough’s famous film Gandhi.

We had made a special trip to London and watched the film in Leicester Square just a few days after its release – watching it was a defining moment in my life.

I have watched this remarkable movie about a remarkable man many times since then.

Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.” – Einstein

I have read a lot about Gandhi since then and also been influenced by my late father who collected a huge library of Gandhi’s teachings.

It is now up to all of us to apply Gandhi’s teachings in our daily life – after all his message about peace and non-violence is more pertinent than ever before today.

On this 140th anniversary of his birth, here are 6 keys lessons for all of us to apply in our life from today

1. Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.

This is possibly Gandhi’s most famous phrase and tells us that before we can go and change the world, we have to change ourselves.

From the being, comes the doing and ultimately the having.

So we now have the message – “Do the change you wish to see in the world”.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world before it’s too late.

Check out this truly inspirational video clip about being the change:-

Focus on changing yourself and being the change you wish – and soon we can begin to look at the bigger picture and solve the world’s challenges.

There is this anecdotal story about how a mother came with her son to see Gandhi. She wanted Gandhi to tell her son to stop eating too much sugar as it was harmful for his health. He asked her to come back a month later by which time he himself had cut down on his own sugar intake.

The point is that before you can get anyone to take on your own teachings, you have to apply them to your own life. There are various phrases to reflect this message such as “practise what you preach” and “walk the talk”.

Let your life be your message” – Gandhi

Is your life the message you want to give the world?

When will you be the change you want the world to be?

2. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

There is enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed” – Gandhi

Even in Gandhi’s time there was vast disparity in the world between the rich and the poor. He could see how the world’s resources were being pilloried to satisfy the excessive demands of the West whilst most people in the rest of the world were barely surviving.

Today I would argue that the way we are all living in the West and elsewhere, there is not even enough for everyone’s needs. We must revisit how we live our lives and truly learn to reduce, reuse and recycle – the 3Rs.

The time has come when we cannot just rely on others – each one of us has to do our bit. Increasingly, more and more people and also businesses are waking up to their responsibilities to the environment, the larger community and the global implications of their activities.

Start today and apply the 3Rs in your life.

3. Live a Simple, Minimalist Life.

Gandhi lived a very simple, frugal life. He died with very few possessions and he preached simplicity and minimalism in all areas of life.

He also dressed simply and even persisted with his simple Indian loin cloth when he visited England and met the King. When asked if he was under dressed for a meeting with the King, Gandhi replied that the King had enough clothes on for both of them!

Minimalism is something I am beginning to apply in my life too. To get you started, please check out this excellent “Minimalist Guide” from my blogging mentor and friend Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.

Leo is a man Gandhi would have approved off for his humility, sharing, compassion and also his hairstyle:-)

Start living a simpler minimalistic life from today – and you will release a lot of time and energy to bring more of Gandhi’s teachings into the world.

4. If No One Walks With You, Walk Alone

Walk your path no matter what others do

Believe in your cause, follow your truth and stick to your journey even if you have to walk the path on your own.

Gandhi at the end of his life was said to be heart broken with the partition of India as millions were killed and displaced. Even then, he still had a message for the world – it takes just one man to make a difference.

If no one responds to your call, go forward alone.
If no one talks to you, oh luckless one,
If everyone turns away from you in fear,
Reveal your thoughts and express your ideas to yourself.
If everyone leaves you while you are travelling a dangerous road,
If no one wants to look after you,
Walk on alone, on the road strewn with thorns, trampling on them with bleeding feet.
If no one shows a light, if in the dark stormy night everyone shuts their doors,
Use your rib as a torch, lit from the fire of thunder.Rabindranath Tagore

So anything and everything you do counts and will make a difference.

5. Get Your Power Through Humility

Gandhi was a very humble, down to earth, ordinary human-being but therein lay his power and authority. His power came from being very clear about who he was, his values and his mission.

So the clearer you are about who you are and what you stand for, the more power you will exert in the world, whilst remaining humble and as down to earth as you wish.

Of course, by power what I mean here is not the power that corrupts but one that changes the world and makes a positive contribution.

6. Start Today

The difference between what we do, and what we are capable of doing, would solve most of the world’s problems” – Gandhi

Believe that what you do matters, and that it will make a difference.

You can’t save the whole world single-handedly, and we can’t all be a Gandhi or a Mandela, but you can certainly make a difference to one person at a time. So look for ways to contribute.

Ask yourself what special skill or knowledge you have that can solve a problem or make the best of a situation and that will help or support others.

And actually, maybe we can all be a Gandhi or a Mandela🙂

Start small – and get started no matter what. They too started small one day at the beginning of their own life journeys.

So fear not – you already have and know enough – new skills will come for sure as you progress on your journey. And whatever you choose to do, it will make a difference.

The point is that everything we do matters and makes either a positive or a negative impact on everything around us.

You can start today to apply Gandhi’s message in your life, simply by focussing on this one question:-

How can I bring more love and peace into my life today?

Just know that every little bit helps and by you being more loving and peaceful, the rest of the world becomes more loving and peaceful too.

After all, we all have a “Gandhi” inside of us, just waiting to emerge.

As for me, I too shall continue to work on letting my own Gandhi emerge, but perhaps not his dress sense!

The Way Forward – Become Crazy to Change the World!

What makes one person a Gandhi or a Dr Martin Luther King? Is it pure coincidence or do such inspirational historic figures have some special powers?

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs, Apple

So just how crazy are you?

And how will YOU change the world?

To get you started right away, please check out this related post at once:-

Feel the Fear and Change the World Anyway!

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35 Questions to Inspire Self-Reflection

When was the last time you paused to reflect on your life? You’re too busy for that, right? Wouldn’t you like to know if you should continue full speed ahead or if you’re veering off course? Here are 35 questions to inspire self-reflection. They will help you identify your values, discover your driving forces, challenge your behavior, and determine whether you should recalibrate your direction. Take some time for self-reflection.

Finding the right answer begins with the right question.

A Moment of Self-Reflection

  1. Do you give it your best or do just enough to squeak by?
  2. Do you place more value on relationships or things?
  3. Do you spend more time thinking ahead or reliving the past?
  4. Do you define good or let others define it for you?
  5. What wouldn’t you do for money?
  6. How is the public you different from the private you?
  7. Do you make as much effort exercising your mind as your body?
  8. Are you a good role model?
  9. Would you choose to be friends with yourself?
  10. What criteria do you use to determine happiness?
  11. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  12. Is your reputation overrated or underrated?
  13. What are your top priorities? (Do you treat them accordingly?)
  14. What are the most valuable lessons that you’ve learned?
  15. Would you compromise your integrity to get what you want?
  16. Are you a giver or a taker?
  17. Do you think for yourself or follow the pack?
  18. If someone wrote your biography, what would it be called?
  19. What mistakes have you made more than once?
  20. Are you more likely to accept responsibility or to blame others for your disappointments?
  21. Do you generally try to satisfy others or to please yourself?
  22. Is it more important for you to be liked by others or by yourself?
  23. Do you buy things because you want them or because you need them?
  24. Do you chart your own course or go with the flow?
  25. How do you know if you’re being true to your values or veering off course?
  26. Would you rather be successful or happy?
  27. Do you appreciate what you have or do you take things for granted?
  28. Who are your role models? What makes them special?
  29. Are you proud of the way you live your life?
  30. Are you living up to your full potential?
  31. What’s holding you back?
  32. What do you wish others knew about you?
  33. If you could live your life again, what would you do differently?
  34. If you could accomplish one more thing, what would it be?
  35. How do you want to be remembered?

Do You Take Time for Self-Refection?

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.

Additional Reading:
Living Life With a Purpose
30 Questions Every Business Owner Should Answer
6 Ways to Know You Need A Course Correction
45 Questions Every Leader Should Answer
The Secret to True Happiness

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