Why discretionary spending with debt is a bad idea


Never use debt to fund discretionary spending.” ~Roy Sutton

When you’re young you really want to enjoy life, right? That’s perfectly reasonable, surely? You’re fit, you’re healthy, you’re full of energy and there will never be a better time than now to enjoy yourself. If you can’t enjoy yourself when you’re young, when can you enjoy yourself?

If you’re lucky enough to have lots of money then good luck to you. Live life like there’s no tomorrow. The problem is most people are not quite so lucky. Most people are constrained financially, at least to some degree.

Equally for most young people, earnings are quite low when they start out on the road to independence and there are bills that can’t be avoided.

Everyone needs somewhere to live. We all need food to eat. We all need heating and lighting as well. Then there are all those taxes and municipal charges that must be paid too. So for most people there’s probably not a lot left at the end of the month for discretionary spending.

The temptation then is to borrow money so you can have a good time. Going into debt to fund discretionary spending is a really bad idea. So don’t be tempted.

Spend money you don’t have on anything that is not absolutely essential and you will be on the road to the poor house.

Some things you cannot live without. For instance if you want somewhere to live then you’ll probably have the need to buy a house. Unless you’re a millionaire, buying a house will mean a mortgage which is a form of debt. However that is good debt in the sense that you’ll be buying a home which is also likely to be an appreciating asset. So on that chances are you won’t lose.

Interest rates on mortgages are low because the mortgage provider will secure the debt against the property. You fail to pay and they’ll take the property. In this case risk for them would be low, so that is reflected in the interest rates charged.

Debt for discretionary spending is quite different. That will be unsecured debt and so interest rates on that debt will be very high. If the debt is on a credit card then chances are you’ll be paying in excess of 30%. If the debt is in the form of a ‘payday loan’ then interests rates can be anything from 1,000% to as much as 4,000% or even more. Even a small loan can quickly become a massive debt due to the effect of compound interest.

If you’d like to take a holiday or buy a car or have a party or buy the latest electronic gizmo, then save up for it first. For items like these, you only buy once you have the money in the bank to cover the cost.

Debt when it is unsecured is always very expensive and once you get sucked into a large debt hole it can be a real struggle to get out again. Debt enslaves you; it is stressful; and it will keep you awake at night. The pleasure you might get from discretionary spending can quickly turn into a nightmare if it results in debt.

Getting into debt is easy; getting out again can be both difficult and painful. Don’t allow your better judgement to become clouded by your desire for a little pleasure. Everyone wants to have fun but don’t make the mistake of getting your kicks with money you don’t have.

However big the temptation; you will regret it later. Debt is a burden.

That of course is one opinion. What do you think? Your ideas and stories might help other people, so feel free to comment.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

30 Profound Quotes That Will Make You Think

Here are 30 profound quotes that will really make you think. These are wise quotes that will have you reflecting on the meaning of life itself. Some of the best quotes you will read anywhere:-

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking. ~AA Milne

Education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think. ~Albert Einstein

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. ~Confucius

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are. ~Kurt Cobain.

We all make choices in life but in the end our choices make us. ~Author Unknown

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will. ~Chuck Palahniuk

Those who play by the book will always be beaten by those who write their own. ~Author Unknown

The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why. ~Mark Twain

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. ~Franklin D Roosevelt

The grass is greener where you water it. ~Neil Barringham

The wise man knows that it’s better to sit on the banks of a remote mountain stream than to be emperor of the whole world. ~Zhuangzi

You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you didn’t know. ~William Wilberforce

Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Society in every state is a blessing but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one. ~Thomas Paine

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men. ~Charles Darwin

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people but the appalling silence of the good people. ~Martin Luther King Jr

People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what they do does. ~Michel Foucault

Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong. ~Dandemis

Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong. ~Thomas Jefferson

If a triangle could speak, it would say, in like manner, that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular. Thus, each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped. ~Baruch Spinoza

The shield may be as important for victory as the sword or spear. ~Charles Darwin

Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess. ~Thomas Paine

Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. ~William Penn

Never was anything great achieved without danger. ~Niccolò Machiavelli

It is better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees. ~Emiliano Zapata

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. ~Lao Tzu

We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. ~Marie Curie

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Islad Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

How to set goals and achieve them

What is life really all about? Paying bills and drifting aimlessly through life is not living it is merely existing. Surely living life should be our aim. A life well lived should include some notable achievements, if you are to realise your full potential and leave a legacy behind you. However achievements require proper goal setting if they are to be accomplished.

This article explores goal setting and how goal setting can be translated into achievement. It is by accomplishing goals that you will get a genuine sense of achievement and you feel your life has meaning.

Why are some people successful and others not so? Successful people generally are no more intelligent than unsuccessful people. In fact many highly intelligent people are unsuccessful in life. It’s not whether you’re clever. Successful people know what they want and they’re determined to get it. Successful people set goals for themselves based on what they want and they pursue those goals with determination and persistence.

You cannot hit a target you cannot see. You cannot turn your dreams into achievements without goal setting. However goals don’t set themselves, nor do they accomplish themselves. It requires effort from you. So get started; identify what matters to you; set goals; keep going; and achieve your aspirations.

Goals must really, really matter:

The act of goal setting alone does not guarantee success. Many people set goals which they fail to achieve. Why do you think that might be? The simple answer is that goals often fail because the goal setter didn’t want the potential prize badly enough.

For a goal to be achieved the outcome if it’s accomplished must matter to you. If you don’t regard the outcome as being sufficiently worthwhile then you won’t have the motivation to see the goal through to conclusion.

The goal must mean enough to you if the extra effort to achieve it is to seem worthwhile. Make no mistake any goal worth achieving will require a lot of determination, persistence and hard work. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, that’s for sure.

To quote Napoleon Hill, “Desire is the beginning of achievement.” You must have the desire and the outcome must matter to you.

Change your thinking; change you life:

How we think matters too. You can’t achieve much with negative thinking. A positive mind with a genuine sense of direction will take you as far as you really want to go. There are no limits for anyone with enough self-belief and a real sense of what they really want from life. Believe you can and you will. Believe you can’t and you won’t.

The way your mind is currently programmed may be getting in the way of you getting what you want but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change your thinking and, if you do, it will change your life.

Dream lofty dreams:

Don’t be afraid to have a vision for yourself that is truly inspiring. Don’t be afraid to have dreams big enough to be just a little bit frightening. It is on the edge of your comfort zone that you’ll begin to feel you are really living life to the full.

And your goals should be big enough to stretch you and inspire the desire within you. Be realistic of course but don’t make goals too easy. Anything easy will not give you a sense of achievement, that’s for sure.

Revisit your inner child:

As children there were no limits to our dreams and what we felt we could achieve in life. We all had grandiose ideas about what we might be. Then life took its toll and we all got a little more cautious and a lot less ambitious. Self-doubt crept in and we began to adjust our ambitions downwards. We feared failure and any resulting embarrassment much more than we desired real success.

We didn’t realise that it’s better to try and fail than it is to spend the rest of our lives wondering what might have been. We feared failure but we didn’t realise there’s no such thing as failure, just opportunities to learn and start again.

So goal setting starts with pretending you’re a kid again and sitting down with a notebook and a pen or a tablet computer and start brainstorming. Then just write down a list of 101 of your biggest dreams and goals. Don’t think about whether they can be achieved, just write them down.

From that list identify what really, really matters to you.

And remember this; if the goal really, really matters to you then you will find a way to achieve it. Goals only fail when they don’t matter enough.

Remember life requires balance:

Knowing what you want and why it matters to you will help you achieve your goals.

However never forget your goals should promote balance in your life too. In setting your goals they should benefit you but they should also benefit your loved ones too.

If your loved ones can understand the benefits to them as well as you then they are much more likely to support you in the achievement of your goals. And you will need their support. No one ever achieves anything in complete isolation.

Never, ever lose sight of your loved ones in anything you choose to do.

The art of goal setting:

Start by deciding exactly what you want to achieve and then make a firm commitment to it. You must feel genuinely motivated by your goals.

These goals should be:-

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-limited

This is the so called SMART technique.

Once you have goals you must write them down. This will make them feel much more tangible.

You must share them with other people too, especially your loved ones.

This approach will have a subliminal effect on you and help in the process of achieving your goals.

Then you must plan the steps you will need to take if you are to realize your goal. The planning process will almost certainly result in a big goal being broken down into a series of smaller goals and activities.

Once you have a plan you can cross off each activity as it’s completed.

6 Steps to Goal Setting:

To summarize the goal setting process:-

  • A goal must be specific
  • A goal must be time-limited
  • A goal must be written down
  • A goal must have a plan
  • A goal has a price to be paid
  • A goal must be in your thoughts every day

11 reasons why goals fail:

If goal setting is something you’ve tried with little or no success then you might feel it would help you if you had a better idea of why goals fail. Fear not dear reader help is at hand.

In the embedded video Vic Johnson from Goals2Go.com provides some interesting insight into motivation and goal setting. His words are wise and certainly they will make you think.

It’s a fairly short video but well worth your time if your aim is to improve your goal setting technique and set goals that will result in achievements for which you can be truly very proud.

Further Study:

Brian Tracy has produced an excellent book and audiobook on goal setting. This offers three and a half hours of useful advice and guidance. The book is called:-

GOALS! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.

In this book Brian Tracy explores the key elements of goal setting and the actions necessary to set and accomplish goals of any size. This book will help you determine your strengths, your true values and goals that will really matter to you. Brian Tracy explains how to build your self-esteem and confidence and how to overcome every obstacle and problem. He explains how to respond to challenges and how to continue moving forward regardless of what’s happening around you. This book is a ‘mental fitness’ program for character development and it can help you become the kind of person who can achieve any goal.

I bought the audiobook version and I listen to it frequently when I’m driving. This would be a great addition to your personal development library and it is well worth the cover price. Buy it today.

You can check it out and buy it from Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Why you should consider becoming self-employed

There are many ways to make money and they all have their merits. Get a job with a big corporation and potentially you’ll earn a decent income and enjoy a few fringe benefits too. Get a job in the public sector and the pay may not be quite so good but the pension scheme is usually the best you’ll find anywhere. The job will be fairly secure too. Become a wage slave in any sector and you’ll make a living. However unless you work on Wall Street or in the City of London, you’re unlikely to make a fortune. If your aim is to make serious money then you should consider becoming self-employed.

We live in an age in which becoming self-employed has never been easier or cheaper. As a result of the Internet there are so many opportunities that were simply not available to previous generations.

And initially you don’t even have to give up your day job. You can start your own business as a part-time venture and keep it that way until the income your business is generating for you is sufficient for you to live on. You can even start one business to generate extra cash and as it makes money you can invest that cash into bigger and potentially more profitable opportunities.

As an employee you’re trading your time for money and that’s fine. However if your firm does well, you’re unlikely to benefit significantly from any extra profit they make. You might get a bonus but regardless of personal contribution, it’s more likely to be an incidental sum rather than life-changing money.

With your own business you can be making money whilst you’re sleeping. In fact it you want to get rich you have to start making money whilst you sleep. I can now hear you asking, but how do you make money whilst you sleep?

Let me give you some examples of online businesses that you could start with little or no money and start making money whilst you sleep:-

Selling Products Online:

Through the Internet potentially you can reach most of the people on the planet. Now think about that for a second. If you create a website or an online store then billions of people around the world will have access to it. And those people can access it whilst you’re asleep. So the potential is there for you to create something that can be generating money for you 24 hours a day 365 days every year.

Still not convinced? Let me give you some examples of businesses you could start to achieve this goal:-

Amazon:

If you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon you’ll probably have noticed that they are not always the actually seller of the item you’re seeking to purchase. Other suppliers sell their own products through Amazon via what is known as Amazon Marketplace.

And when third party suppliers sell products via Amazon they can also use a service known as Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA.

This means if you’re the seller, you simply deliver your stock of products to Amazon and they’ll handle all the logistics associated with product delivery to the buyer.

Fulfillment by Amazon:

So if you don’t want to handle your own packing, postage and delivery you can get Amazon to handle it for you. You can do it yourself of course but the point is that you don’t have to. You can just focus on finding products for your customers and Amazon will do the rest.

And remember this; those products don’t have to be new. They can be second hand items too. If you can find a suitable niche in second hand products there’s money to be made.

Consider this example. Each year graduating students have textbooks to sell. Essentially they just want to get some cash back for books they’re unlikely to read ever again. Shrewd entrepreneurs recognize that there’ll be a ready market for those very textbooks at the start of the next academic year. So they offer selling students a quick way to turn their textbooks into a little cash. And then buying students will be sold those same textbooks at a rate which will save them money on the price for the same book had it been bought new.

You can set up a website to attract book sellers and then through Amazon Marketplace the books you’ve bought cheap  can be sold at a profit. In that way you can create a profitable second hand book business.

You could repeat the same trick with music such as vinyl records and CDs, as well as films on DVD. Second-hand smartphones and other technology items could be another possibility.

Alternatively you could source your own products, e.g. skin care products, cosmetics, household products, et cetera, and then sell those via Amazon.

Plenty of people have created successful businesses with that approach. 

eBay:

When people sell stuff at a boot sale or a yard sale, they usually sell at very low prices simply because they price items for a quick sale. This is stuff they need to get rid of as quickly as possible for whatever reason. And in that there is a potential opportunity for you dear reader.

You buy these items on the cheap and you then resell them on eBay for a profit. More importantly people sometimes sell valuable stuff at boot sales and yard sales for silly prices because they didn’t realise the true value of the item.

On the British television programme Flog It, I saw a woman sell an antique item at auction for £800 having originally bought that item at a boot sale for just £1. That is a very nice profit. Yes such examples would be the exception but shrewd people can make money this way and eBay is a great vehicle for doing so.

Affiliate Marketing:

Essentially affiliate marketing is commission only selling.

Linked with the idea of Content Marketing, what this means is that if you can direct traffic to a product seller’s website which results in a sale then you will get paid a commission for that sale.

The amount of commission can be as low as 4% from the Amazon Affiliate Program to as much as 75% from some items offered through programs like Clickbank and Commission Junction.

How do you achieve this in practice?

Well despite its relatively low commission rates Amazon offers the easiest opportunity for the beginner. You sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and then identify a suitable niche which interests you.

Let’s say that niche is sports shoes for women. The niche does need to be focused and quite narrow. The category Shoes would be a bit too wide. You need to think about categories for which people will be searching via Google and other search engines.

So once you have a niche, you then create your own website publishing reviews of a variety of those sports shoes for women. And those reviews don’t have to be your own necessarily. They could be a summary of various reviews you’ve read elsewhere with an overall rating based on what others have been saying.

Creating a review summary by curating input from other sources is legitimate as long as you acknowledge the different sources which form the basis of your article. Essentially you’re doing the hard work for your readers and providing them with a summary and most importantly links to Amazon to make their purchase.

Why review sites are a good idea:

Review sites work with affiliate marketing because they capture buying intent and that’s important. If someone searches for a review for an item on Google then the chances are they will buy if the reviews prove to be favourable.

When producing your review articles the crucial action is to embed affiliate links within the text. Getting readers to click on those links and taking them to Amazon is how you’ll make money. If they buy within 24 hours of clicking on a link then you will get paid a commission.

Amazon commissions vary from 4% to around 10% depending on the number and type of sales for which you are credited each month. So in choosing a niche you must think about product value too. Generate low value sales and you won’t make much. However sales for items with a bigger price tag can prove very lucrative.

That said generating some low value sales can be a way of pushing subsequent bigger ticket sales into a higher commission rate. So don’t ignore them completely.

Content Marketing:

Essentially content marketing is the idea of publishing web content in order to provide the means for promoting products and services. Content marketing is closely linked with affiliate marketing but not exclusively linked to so. There are two types of content you can consider, as follows:-

(1) Written Content:

For instance, if you’re producing regular content and publishing it on your own blog then there’s the potential to generate an income through advertising.

Now selling advertising space on your blog or website is only possible if you have substantial amounts of traffic. If you’re just starting out you will not reach those levels for quite some time. However what is known as pay per click (CPC) advertising could generate money for you right from the start.

Perhaps the best known CPC program is one offered by Google Adsense. You sign up for this program, then embed Google’s links in your blog and they will insert advertising on your blog that is relevant to your content.

Every time a reader clicks on an Adsense advertisement you will get paid and it’s not purchase dependent. Readers only have to click for you to get paid.

The trick with Adsense is to have a very narrow focus for your blog. Let’s say your blog is about how to keep chickens and deal with blights like red mite. You’ll attract search engine generated traffic from people desperate to deal with the problem of red mite. Google will insert ads from companies offering products that will help with this problem and desperate people are likely to click on those ads to see what’s on offer. They click you get paid.

As long as your subject matter is focused and narrow, and ideally based on a highly searched keyword or phrase, then this can be a way to generate decent money.

(2) Video Content:

Another way to benefit from Google Adsense is to create your own YouTube channel, produce videos and again insert links from Google so that relevant pay per click advertising will appear on and around the video. Again if people click then you get paid.

Write eBooks:

Devices such as the iPad, the Kindle and other eReaders, provide you with the opportunity to self-publish your own eBooks and sell them through Amazon.

You may not be able to come up with the next Harry Potter work of fiction but there is good money to be made writing ‘How To’ books on just about any subject.

They don’t even need to be that long either. As little as 50 pages or 8,000 – 10,000 words covering a topic of general interest can be enough to produce something that will sell for one dollar or one pound sterling. That might not seem like a lot but sell 1,000 of them and you’ve made a decent sum of money.

Write something on an evergreen topic and it could sell for years. If you then write several eBooks like this, again on evergreen topics, that could become a decent income stream.

And what do I mean by evergreen? These are topics for which people have always looked for solutions. That might be something like tips for good time management or how to lose weight, et cetera.

And even if you’re not an expert you can research the necessary information and pull it together for people. Essentially you will be doing the work for them.

Develop Apps:

If you can learn to write code, and you can learn to write code, then you can also learn how to develop apps. If you can develop a killer app and sell it through the App Store then you can make serious money.

You’d love to but you don’t know where to start, right? Well there are endless videos and tutorials on YouTube and from these you can learn how to code and develop apps. Yes there’s some work to be done upfront of course. However a good app will generate money for years to come. Just think about apps like Candy Crush Saga. Produce something which becomes a real fad and there’s serious money to be made.

11 things to bear in mind:

If becoming self-employed appeals to you and you fancy making money as an online entrepreneur then here are 11 things you should bear in mind:-

  1. Know your target customers.
  2. Know your target niche or niches
  3. Know your strengths and interests?
  4. Apply your strengths and interests to serve customers
  5. Recognise that different markets need different strategies.
  6. Make sure you’re capturing buying intent.
  7. Create an image that will appeal to your target audience.
  8. With a website, traffic matters.
  9. Search engine optimization (SEO) will bring traffic.
  10. Getting back links from other websites will help with SEO.
  11. Be determined, work hard and learn as you go.

6 things you must do when you’re self-employed:

(1) Register with the tax authorities: Make money by all means but pay your taxes too. Upsetting the taxman is not a good idea dear reader wherever you live. In some countries tax regimes are more benign than in others but it’s always better to keep the tax authorities happy.

(2) Register for sales taxes and VAT: Again it’s all about paying your dues. If you do well financially then you have an obligation to share some of your wealth with the rest of society. Taxes are the price we pay to live in society and you can’t have a successful business without the society in which you live.

(3) Get a separate business bank account: Keep your business activities completely separate from your personal life. This is very important.

(4) Keep accurate and up-to-date records: You’ll need these in any dialogue with the tax authorities. You don’t want to end up paying more in tax than was necessary. Paying your dues is one thing; overpaying your dues is careless.

(5) Insure your business: When you’re in business, you’re required by law to have certain insurance policies in place. Exactly which policies you need depends on the nature of your business activities. Make sure you know your obligations and act accordingly.

(6) Keep it simple: In the early days you don’t want to be spending money you don’t have on things that are initially unnecessary. So keep everything as simple as possible for as long as possible.

Conclusion:

Self-employment can be an attractive proposition and for most people it is the only way you will ever make a fortune. It’s not easy of course but it can be done and you don’t have to ditch your day job to get started.

With an online business you can start small and build it up over time. And you can mix and match options. For instance you can start a website for making money with both Amazon affiliate marketing and Google Adsense.

A good review website can become quite profitable and once it’s generating revenues on ‘autopilot’ it can become an asset which you can sell for serious money. There are plenty of examples where such sites have sold for 6 and even 7 figure sums.

Don’t underestimate the challenges of course but it can be done and people do. Why not you? Think carefully about how best you can exploit the opportunities before you and then have a go.

Good luck and may you be the next Richard Branson.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

21 thought-provoking quotes about relationships

People; we can’t live with them, yet can’t live without them either. While they can be frustrating we are social animals, so we need relationships. So the more we understand the nature of relationships the more likely we’ll be in a position to form and sustain successful relationships. Hence today’s blog post with 21 thought-provoking quotes about relationships to help you ponder and improve your understanding of one of life’s trickiest aspects.

Now some people struggle to form successful relationships, whilst others seem to enjoy perfect relationships. Well don’t be fooled by appearances. All relationships can be tricky because we all have this romantic notion about what the perfect relationship should look like. The problem is perfect relationships don’t exist. Consequently relationships take both work and compromise.

Furthermore you must recognise that for a relationship to work it must be balanced. That’s because within any relationship both parties must feel their needs are being met. Where the dynamic within a relationship favours one side or the other this will breed resentment and frustration. As a result the relationship will experience friction and disharmony.

No one can have it all their own way all the time. Compromise is essential. However compromise shouldn’t be to the point whereby you’re actively working against your own interests. There must be something in the relationship for you too.

Anyway here are those 21 thought-provoking quotes about relationships, I hope they help you.

  1. A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up. ~Mae West
  2. When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. ~Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  3. When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. ~Donald Miller
  4. The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much and forgetting that you are special too. ~Ernest Hemingway
  5. For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first. ~Suzanne Collins
  6. Cheating and lying aren’t struggles; they’re reasons to break up. ~Patti Callahan Henry
  7. I suffer from girl-next-door-itis where the guy is friends with you and that’s it. ~Taylor Swift
  8. I want to be in a relationship where you telling me you love me is just a ceremonious validation of what you already show me. ~Steve Maraboli
  9. Relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside. ~Sarah Dessen
  10. Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike. ~JK Rowling
  11. It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favourite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party. ~Nick Hornby
  12. The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. ~CG Jung
  13. There is greatness in doing something you hate for the sake of someone you love. ~Shmuley Boteach
  14. Every couple needs to argue now and then. Just to prove that the relationship is strong enough to survive. Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys. ~Nicholas Sparks
  15. I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother. ~Martha Gellhorn
  16. People like to say love is unconditional, but it’s not, and even if it was unconditional, it’s still never free. There’s always an expectation attached. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their happiness because they won’t be happy unless you are. I just don’t want that responsibility. ~Katja Millay
  17. To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect. ~Criss Jami
  18. Every couple have their ups and downs, every couple argues and that’s the thing; you’re a couple and couples can’t function without trust. ~Nicholas Sparks
  19. If a girl starts out all casual with a guy and she doesn’t tell him that she wants a relationship, it will never become a relationship. If you give the guy the impression that casual is okay with you, then that’s all he’ll ever want. Be straight with him from the start. If he gets scared and runs away, he wasn’t right for you. ~Susane Colasanti
  20. Women cannot complain about men anymore until they start getting better taste in them. ~Bill Maher
  21. What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else. ~Stephanie Klein

Please feel free to share these quotes with your friends on social media. People love quotes and people struggle to understand relationships. Share this post with your friends and you might just help them a little too.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

How to build character

How to build character? Now that’s a frequently asked question. Whether it’s someone seeking to build their own character or to improve character in someone else, we hear it often. However the supplementary question is, what is meant by character?

Now there’s a difference between being ‘a character’ and being ‘of character’. Whereas the former just means being a little bit eccentric, a wit perhaps, or even a raconteur. That’s not the subject of this post, despite all these being admirable qualities, of course. The point being considered here is how to become a person of character.

So what does it mean to be a person of character? First of all people of character usually do what is right regardless of whether they’re being watched or not. They also display traits such as honesty, integrity, courage, manners, self-reliance, commitment, and determination. The comedian Will Rogers once jokingly observed that to be of character people should “live in such a way that they wouldn’t be ashamed to sell their parrot to the town gossip.

So being of good character is an important thing to be. If achieving sustained success is your aim them talent alone isn’t enough. Talent might get you into the limelight briefly but without strong character you’re unlikely to remain there for too long. The process of developing good character is one that is on-going. So you have to keep working at it.

Essentially character is composed of 3 things:-

  1. Values: Having the right values and knowing what matters most.
  2. Doing what is right: Even when no one is watching.
  3. Being a decent person: Showing wisdom, honesty, integrity, love, humility, loyalty, courage, compassion, empathy, self-awareness, and a willingness to recognise fair criticism.

Everyone has at least some work to do to become a person of good character. This is an area where constant improvement is necessary, however good you are now. Some people may be well on the way to being of good character, whilst others may have a lot of work to do yet. However those that are still some way off can change and they can grow in character. You can be better if you want to be better and you can practice the behaviours necessary. These include:-

1. Decide you will be better:

As mature adults our first duty is to take care of ourselves and to be the best people we can be. To live lives worthy of respect. So decide to be the person you really could be.

2. Life-long learning:

It doesn’t matter how good you are, there’s always room for improvement. Improvement comes through education and learning, whether formal or informal, and experience is gained by doing, making mistakes and learning the lessons from mistakes made.

3. Work on yourself:

To quote the late Jim Rohn, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” We’re all works in progress. Make sure you keep getting better.

Don’t leave them saying, “He used to be really good.” When they speak of you, make sure they say, “He just keeps getting better. He’s an example to us all.

4. Pursue excellence:

If anything is worth doing then it’s worth doing properly. The way you live your life is no exception.

5. Add value:

Our contribution to society is the value we add. That might be in the example we set or the work that we produce. We don’t get paid for the hour. We get paid for the value we put into the hour. Leave every situation better than you found it.

6. Be determined:

If success is your aim, it won’t happen without hard work and determination. Being good is not enough. Being determined to get to where you want to go is everything.

7. Be persistent:

Never accept an answer unless it’s the want you want. Never accept an outcome as the final outcome unless it’s the one that you want. Never, ever quit until you get to where you want to be or you’ve achieved the goal you set for yourself. Remember; winners never quit and quitters never win. Be the winner you can be.

8. Accept every challenge:

Never underestimate the importance of taking on a challenge. A challenge provides us with experience through which we’ll learn lessons. It’s also a means through which character is developed in the process. Not only will we learn more about our own character, we’ll learn about our capacity to achieve.

9. Ask yourself some searching questions:

It is a fact that too many people go to their graves with their full potential unrealised. Never quite developing their characters to the point where they leave a genuine legacy and an example for others to follow.

Ask yourself this question, “If you were to die tomorrow how will you be remembered at your funeral?” What will they say about you? How would you prefer to be remembered? What would you like people to say about you? And how can you change now to ensure they do?

Depending on the answers to those questions, you may well decide to make a few changes in your life.

Where to go from here:

If that proves to be the case, start with value. What values will you live by and what value are you going to add from now on? Be a person with values and of value.

Then think about challenges you could take on to build your character.

In taking on a challenge we can often surprise ourselves in terms of just how far we can go. Through a challenge we can also learn new skills and improve our self-confidence.

A challenge is an opportunity to grow; it’s an opportunity to learn; and it’s an opportunity to make progress towards becoming the person you really could be.

It’s true that challenges are hard and they’re meant to be. Challenges push us out of our comfort zone and that’s the whole point. Unless we move out of our comfort zone, how can we possibly grow as people?

So embrace challenges but never fear failing at a challenge; your only fear should be never realising you full potential because you failed to move out of your comfort zone.

Do well in a challenge and it can provide you with benefits you couldn’t have imagined before you started. At the very least every challenge makes you that little bit stronger and builds your character, so you really can’t lose.

So do you have some changes to make? If so, what and by when? Write them all down and make a plan. Now! It’s never too late to be the person you could be.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

21 Very Corny Jokes

Life can be stressful for everyone so it’s important that we all laugh every day. To help you with that I’ve been collecting some very corny jokes. These all made me smile and I hope they will make you smile too.

Unfortunately, despite best efforts, it hasn’t been possible to identify the original authors of these very corny jokes, so for the moment they remain ‘Author Unknown’. However if you’re able to help with that, do let me know. My aim always is to acknowledge the work of others when it is possible.

1. What do you call a midget psychic who just escaped from prison?

A small medium at large.

2. What’s the difference between a cat and a complex sentence?

A cat has claws at the end of its paws. A complex sentence has a pause at the end of its clause.

3. What do you call two Mexicans playing basketball against each other?

Juan on Juan.

4. Why did the jaguar eat the tightrope walker?

It was craving a well-balanced meal.

5. What did the big bucket say to the smaller one?

You’re looking a little pail.

6. What did one hat say to the other?

You stay here and I’ll go on ahead.

7. How does a duck buy lipstick?

She just puts it on her bill.

8. What do you do when you see a spaceman?

Park your car, man.

9. What do you do with epileptic lettuce?

Make a seizure salad.

10. Why was the poor guy selling yeast?

To raise some dough.

11. Who does a pharaoh talk to when he’s sad?

His mummy.

12. How much does a pirate pay for corn?

A buccaneer.

13. How did Darth Vader know what Luke got him for Christmas?

He could feel his presents.

14. I just wrote a book on reverse psychology.

Do not read it!

15. Why can’t you trust an atom?

Because they make up literally everything.

16. What does a grape say after it’s stepped on?

Nothing. It just lets out a little wine.

17. What happens when a frog’s car breaks down?

It gets toad away.

18. How come oysters never donate to charity?

Because they’re shellfish.

19. Why did the pig leave the party early?

Because everyone thought he was a boar.

20. Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil?

Because there’s no point.

21. A man got hit in the head with a can of Coke.

Thank goodness it was a soft drink.

If you enjoyed these very corny jokes dear reader then please share this blog post on social media with your friends. Share the fun and everyone wins. Put a smile on someone else’s face and you’ve done your good deed for the day. So go on, share now.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

21 Witty One Liners

Now do you fancy a bit of a laugh? Would you like something to make you smile? You’d love a laugh but you don’t have the time to enjoy anything too long? Well fear not. Here are 21 witty one liners guaranteed to make you smile. They made me smile and I’m confident that at least a few of them will brighten your day too.

If you enjoy a laugh which is concise and razor-sharp then this collection of witty one liners is just for you dear reader. So go on have a laugh right now and enjoy them all.

  1. I think the worst thing about driving a time machine will be your kids in the back always moaning ‘Are we then yet?‘ ~Paul F Taylor
  2. If you don’t know what introspection is, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.” ~Ian Smith
  3. Crime in multi-storey car parks? That’s wrong on so many different levels. ~Tim Vine
  4. As a kid I was made to walk the plank. We couldn’t afford a dog. ~Gary Delaney
  5. I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting! ~Stewart Francis
  6. I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa. ~Rob Auton
  7. I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. ~Nick Helm
  8. I’m not a very muscular man; the strongest thing about me is my password. ~Rory O’Keeffe
  9. Is it possible to mistake schizophrenia for telepathy? I hear you ask. ~Jordan Brookes
  10. One thing you’ll never hear a Hindu say, ‘Ah well, you only live once’. ~Hardeep Singh Kohli
  11. My Dad told me to invest my money in bonds. So I bought 100 copies of Goldfinger. ~Nick Hall
  12. If you arrive fashionably late in Crocs, you’re just late. ~Joel Dommett
  13. People say I’ve got no willpower but I’ve quit smoking loads of times. ~Kai Humphries (2014)
  14. My friend got a personal trainer a year before his wedding. I thought: ‘Bloody hell, how long’s the aisle going to be’. ~Paul McCaffrey
  15. It all starts innocently, mixing chocolate and Rice Krispies but before you know it you’re adding raisins and marshmallows – it’s a rocky road. ~Olaf Falafel
  16. I was watching the London Marathon and saw one runner dressed as a chicken and another runner dressed as an egg. I thought: ‘This could be interesting’. ~Paddy Lennox
  17. Whenever I see a man with a beard, moustache and glasses, I think, ‘There’s a man who has taken every precaution to avoid people doodling on photographs of him’. ~Carey Marx
  18. What’s a couple?’ I asked my mum. She said, ‘Two or three’. Which probably explains why her marriage collapsed ~Josie Long
  19. I think the bravest thing I’ve ever done is misjudge how much shopping I want to buy and still not go back to get a basket. ~Stuart Laws
  20. Jokes about white sugar are rare. Jokes about brown sugar, Demerara. ~Olaf Falafel
  21. Hedgehogs – why can’t they just share the hedge? ~Dan Antolpolski

Hopefully these will have made you smile. If they did then pass them on. Please share this post to all your friends on social media. Give them a laugh too.

Other Articles:

What is the key to success?

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Life is short and it’s later than you think

Powerful words change lives

11 tips for improving quality of life

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

21 Clever One Liners

In my post ‘Here are 21 brilliant one liners’ I promised I would share more of the funny one liners I’d manage to collect over the past few weeks.

Again I haven’t been able to identify the original authors, so I must classify them all as Author Unknown. However I’d be happy to add acknowledgements to each individual quote where readers are able enlighten me accordingly.

So if you know who wrote them originally please do let me know.

Today I’m sharing what I think are some clever one liners. Again they all made me smile, so I hope at least some of them make you smile too.

Here are the 21 clever one liners and I hope they brighten your day. Assuming they do then please share the post on social media. Please share the fun. If it makes you smile pass it on.

  1. Education is important but other stuff is more importanter.
  2. Arguing with your wife is unwise. Even if you win you lose.
  3. I can keep secrets, of course. It’s the people I tell them to who can’t.
  4. Don’t you hate it when someone answers their own questions? I do.
  5. When I found out my toaster wasn’t waterproof, I was shocked.
  6. Refusing to go to the gym counts as resistance training, right?
  7. My mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with facts.
  8. Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.
  9. You can’t make me do what you want me to do, you’re not my cat.
  10. Support bacteria. They’re the only culture some people have.
  11. The best way to get back on your feet is to miss a couple of car payments.
  12. If you take away looks, money, intelligence, charm and success, there’s no difference between me and George Clooney.
  13. I really hate it when people ask for likes on social media. Like if you agree!
  14. You know you’re fat when you step on a ‘speak your weight’ scale and it says “one at a time please“.
  15. When I was at school 52% of the class were good at maths. I was one of the other 38%.
  16. My resolution was to read more, so I put the subtitles on my television.
  17. I wonder what my parents did to fight boredom before the internet. I asked my 17 siblings but they didn’t know either.
  18. The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.
  19. I got called pretty yesterday and it felt really good. Well the full sentence was “You’re pretty annoying” but I like to focus on the positive.
  20. You can’t lose a homing pigeon. If your homing pigeon doesn’t return then what you’ve lost is a pigeon.
  21. My wife just found out I replaced our bed with a trampoline; she hit the roof.

I have yet another instalment of one liners to follow, so please be sure to check out tomorrow’s post when I will share them all with you.

Other Articles:

What is the key to success?

Visibility: Does it matter?

Life is short and it’s later than you think

Powerful words change lives

11 tips for improving quality of life

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Here are 21 Brilliant One Liners

A few weeks ago I shared 21 funny one liners in a post which proved to be very popular with readers. So it seemed like a good idea to collect a few more. Since the original article was published I’ve been collecting more one liners and I will share with you all over the next few days.

Today I am sharing what I think are 21 brilliant one liners. They all made me smile and I hope at least one or two of them will make you smile too.

I must confess that though I’ve collected these from various sources I haven’t been able to identify the original authors. So I must classify all as Author Unknown.

However I would be happy to add acknowledgements to individual quotes where readers are able enlighten me accordingly.

In the meantime I hope these 21 brilliant one liners will brighten your day.

  1. I hate people who use big words just to make themselves look perspicacious.
  2. All those who believe in telekinesis raise my hand.
  3. What’s worse than raining cats and dogs? Hailing Taxis.
  4. Always give 100 %, unless you’re donating blood.
  5. I hate Russian dolls. They’re so full of themselves.
  6. The first time I got a universal remote control I thought to myself, “This changes everything“.
  7. I asked God for a bike but I know God doesn’t work that way so I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  8. I refused to believe my road worker father was stealing from his job but when I got home all the signs were there.
  9. I recently decided to sell my vacuum cleaner as all it was doing was gathering dust.
  10. I want patience. AND I WANT IT NOW!!!!
  11. It’s a day for firm decisions! Or is it?
  12. Am I ambivalent? Well, yes and no.
  13. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  14. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  15. Being a hypochondriac is going to save my life one of these days
  16. I started with nothing and I’ve still got most of it.
  17. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  18. I once dated a girl with a twin. People asked me how I could tell them apart. It was easy really. Jill painted her nails purple and Bob had a beard.
  19. Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.
  20. Talk is cheap. Until you hire a lawyer.
  21. I sent my photograph to a Lonely Hearts Club. They sent it back saying they weren’t that lonely.

If you enjoyed these brilliant one liners then be sure to check out tomorrow’s post when I will share some more with you.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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