Why an investment in knowledge pays dividends

KnowledgeAn investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ~Benjamin Franklin

You don’t get paid for the hour; you get paid for the value you put into the hour. It’s important everyone understands that important distinction dear reader.

You get paid for the value you add.

The more value you can add the more you will get paid.

It’s that simple really.

If you can solve problems for people with the skills you’ve got then you can earn a very good living.

The question is what underpins your skills? The answer to that question would be knowledge of course.

Knowledge comes from learning and learning is a lifelong process.

The quote at the top of this post from the venerable Benjamin Franklin reminds us of the importance of learning. Learning is an investment in ourselves.

We all have enormous capacity to consume and retain knowledge in our heads and that knowledge is then a currency with which we can trade. The more knowledge we have the more value we can add.

When it comes to investing, nothing will pay you a better dividend than making sure you have a good education.

And it’s not about whether or not you go to college or university. Important as they may be, learning can be achieved in many ways.

Knowledge can be gained through reading books; listening to audio and video tutorials; and challenging yourself to master anything that appeals to you. Learning from hands-on experience, making mistakes and learning the lessons you can take from any mistakes you’ve made.

In particular, if you want to master the game of money and all matters financial then you need to become a seeker of financial knowledge and know-how.

You need to become a reader and a keen student of finance. To be successful in investing, of course you really need to know what you’re doing. You need a financial education.

Ignorance can prove to be very costly indeed. And that’s true in every aspect of your life.

Education may seem expensive but it’s nowhere near as expensive as ignorance.

So, if you’re not already, become a reader.

The investment in yourself is well worth the effort and it’ll pay you a handsome dividend.

As the late, great Jim Rohn once said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

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5 questions that’ll help your buying decision process

Buying Decision ProcessHow can you be expected to save money when you don’t earn enough to make ends meet as it is? I’m guessing you may have asked yourself that question at least once dear reader? If you have, you’re not alone. It’s a common cry.

However, whilst some people may struggle financially, it’s also true that far too many people squander their money buying items they don’t need and probably will never use, often in an attempt to impress people they don’t even like.

For such people, their buying decision process is usually limited to whether they still have enough credit left on their credit cards.

Well, the mantra “Have Plastic; Will Purchase” is not a good one if saving money is one of your goals.

You can earn a decent income and yet a lack of money management skills and a poor buying decision process will result in you never achieving financial freedom. In fact poor money management skills will condemn you to a life of being poor.

So it’s essential that you learn to manage your money properly, if you want to avoid long-term poverty.

Avoid the ‘I’ve got to have it’ approach:

Now be honest with yourself, how often do you buy things you didn’t really need?

Stuff that you weren’t even looking for but it was there and it looked nice and you thought I’ve got to have it. Out comes your ‘flexible friend‘ and the item is yours. A brief period of gratification follows and then the item is largely forgotten.

How often do you buy things you never use?

Take a look in your wardrobe. I’ll bet there are a few items in there which still have the store tags on them? Never used and they’ve probably been there for quite some time I suspect? Would I be right?

I’ve got to have it‘ is a great way to waste all your money. With this approach you’ll enrich other people at your own expense. Now how could that possibly make sense?

Credit cards: Weapons of mass wealth destruction

How often do you buy things you can’t afford with money you haven’t got?

It’s true, credit cards can be a convenient means for making payments of course but they can also be weapons of mass wealth destruction. That’s a fact dear reader.

When it comes to the buying decision process most of us are driven more by a desire for gratification then any sensible approach to managing our money carefully.

Most of us are guilty of buying more than we need too. Many of us are guilty of buying items we seldom use, if at all.

If you’re like this dear reader then you’re not alone I can assure you. However that’s not a good thing.

The disciplined approach:

However with a bit more discipline you could hang on to more of your own money and then build capital which, eventually, will start generating an income all of its own through interest payments on deposits  and bonds and dividend payments and capital growth on stocks and shares.

Still we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The underlying message I offer you today dear reader is that you should establish for yourself a buying decision process that will allow you to control your expenditure.

Essentially before you buy anything you need to ask yourself a series of tough questions to gauge whether the purchase really does make good sense.

And what are those questions?

The questions to ask before making any purchase:

There are in fact five questions you should ask yourself before making any purchase, as follows:-

    1. Do I really need it? Honestly?
    2. Will I really use it? Honestly?
    3. Can I really afford it? Honestly?
    4. If I didn’t have it would it really matter?
    5. Does is represent good value for money?

If you answer ‘No’ to the first four questions, the fifth question is irrelevant. A negative on all or even most of the first four questions means, don’t buy the item. Simple!

And even if you do think you need it, never buy anything if you do not have the money to pay for the item right now. Never, ever incur debt for a discretionary purchase.

It’s better to do without than to run up debt on a credit card to pay for discretionary purchases.

The compounding effect from high credit card interest rates can quickly turn a small debt into a large one.

The ‘value for money’ question is only relevant when you can answer every other question in the affirmative.

Nevertheless you should never buy something that’s not also good value for money. That is, you should never overpay for anything. Overpaying meaning the price is inconsistent with the value on offer.

Let the answers to the questions guide you:

To ensure your buying decision process is sound you must always ask these questions.

Let them be your purchasing guide and you’ll be in a better position to start saving money and watch it grow. Once it starts growing you’ll be on your way to building your own personal wealth.

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3 ways for getting rich

Getting richYou should never take money too seriously dear reader but, equally, you should never underestimate the importance of money either. Let’s face it, in the modern world, money is as essential to sustaining of life as oxygen. That’s a fact, whether we like it or not. So getting rich is a worthy topic for discussion.

By getting rich I mean achieving financial freedom. I think that should be everyone’s goal, if only so that they can enjoy their old age. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with getting rich providing money does not become your obsession. That is, you should have money in your head but not in your heart.

Now getting rich is easier said than done of course. It requires effort on your part and a lot of determination too.

Nevertheless getting rich is also easier than it might first appear to be.

So today I offer you three ways for getting rich which are available to anyone and everyone and they will all help you to achieve financial freedom.

1. Solve problems for people:

Working for someone else may make you a living but having your own business can make you a fortune. The only way most people can become seriously rich is by setting up a business of their own. It can be done and people do, very successfully, and it’s possible for you to do it too.

Essentially business is all about solving problems for people in exchange for money.

Businesses create products which solve problems for customers. The customer buys the product and the business makes money. Obviously you need to ensure that your revenues exceed your overheads but in essence business is that simple.

If you want to make money in business just look for problems to be solved and there you’ll find commercial opportunities.

One person’s problem is another person’s business opportunity.

However do make sure that every product you offer does actually solve a problem for your customers.

That means understanding the needs and wants of your target customers and always asking the question, “What problem will this product solve for my customers?”

2. Risk leads to reward:

If you want to make serious money you cannot avoid an element of risk. That’s a fact of business life.

Entrepreneurs have to be risk-takers by definition.

However that doesn’t mean you taking crazy risks. It means taking calculated risks by doing your homework; proper planning and market research; and using your business skills to weigh up the pros and cons of every opportunity.

Risk is simply the possibility of you getting an outcome you don’t want.

However it’s a fact that risk and reward go hand in hand. The greater the reward on offer the greater the risk you must take potentially to achieve it.

Obviously your attitude to risk is important here.

If a given risk makes you very uncomfortable then it’s probably not worth taking. It will just lead to too much stress for you. Some people have the ability to live with huge risks, whilst others cannot cope with that much pressure.

Either way it doesn’t matter. If you can’t cope with large risks don’t let it bother you. Just look for something with a lower risk and with which you can cope. Even small risks can lead to great riches.

Remember we all need a mix of certainty and uncertainty in our lives. Business requires you to live with the latter, at least to some degree.

3. The magic of compounding:

Once you’ve made some money it’s important you put it to work for you if getting rich is your aim.

And putting money to work is all about taking advantage of the magic of compounding.

Compound interest can have a powerful effect on your money.

For instance if you invest £1,000 at 2% for 10 years with annual interest reinvested and it will be worth £1,219 at maturity.

However if you invest that same £1,000 over the same period at 10% then you will get £2,594, assuming annual interested is re-invested. That’s over 100% difference over the 10 year period.

Over 20 years at 10% your £1,000 would have turned into £6,727, assuming annual interest had been reinvested.

So remember, the interest rate and the longevity of your investment both matter if you’re trying to build a capital sum.

So if getting rich is your aim then start by investing as early as you can, be disciplined and make regular contributions to build that nest egg.

Further Reading:

Obviously a single blog post can only scratch the surface of all you need to know about money.

So if you’re wise you’ll buy some books on the subject to get your financial education moving in the right direction.

Here are some books I can personally recommend, all of which I own my own personal copies:-

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich is a classic of the genre. Originally written in the 1930s but still around and still very popular. And it’s still around for a reason. It’s exceptional and definitely worth adding to your personal reference library.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

The Richest Man in Babylon is another classic of the genre. Simple but inspiring. You can read this book in a few hours but it will provide you with a series of powerful lessons for acquiring money, keeping money and making money. Again well worth adding to your personal reference library.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is an excellent starting point for anyone seeking to improve their financial knowledge and improve their financial future. This is modern compared to the previous two but it has also become a classic and is well worth the cover price.

One Hour Investor: The Beginner’s Guide to Investing in the Stock Market by Russell Ellroy

One Hour Investor: The Beginner’s Guide to Investing in the Stock Market is recently published and so it’s right up-to-date. If you want to learn about stocks, bonds, mutual funds and much more, then this could be the book for you. Written in a very accessible style and aimed at the absolute beginner.

I have all of these books in my own personal library and I dip in and out of them frequently. You will be inspired by them all I am sure and I recommend you purchase your own copies now. You can check them out by clicking on the links above.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. These commissions serve only to cover the cost of maintaining this site. Your understanding is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

3 things you need to know about money

things you need to know about money

Today I’d like you to think about things you need to know about money dear reader. In other words, think about what it all really means.

It’s natural to dream about being rich of course.

Most people dream about being able to buy whatever they want and go anywhere and everywhere they’d like to go.

The attraction of having that pot of gold is why a lot of people will chase every rainbow.

However, whilst money is necessary to sustain life, there are some things you should really understand about money. Here are three of them:-

1. Having money brings its own pressures:

A great fortune is a great slavery. ~Seneca

It’s reasonable to want to create wealth and build a fortune. As suggested above, we all want to feel financially secure don’t we? Why wouldn’t we?

However being financially secure doesn’t mean you’ll have a life without problems and worry.

You’ll just have different problems and different things to worry about.

No one goes through life without problems. Dealing with problems and challenges is an inevitable part of the human condition.

Put simply, having money brings its own pressures.

Once you’ve got money your biggest concern will be to ensure that you hang on to it.

Inevitably that means you can become a slave to managing your money, preserving its capital value and protecting your fortune.

Being wealthy may be the nice problem to have but it’s no less of a problem for that.

So keep it all in perspective.

2. Money can never be more important than people:

We love to earn money, who doesn’t? It gets you things. ~Katie Price

Earning money is great and it does allow you to buy the things you want and the things you need. However money won’t take care of you when you’re ill.

Yes, it might enable you to buy in some hired help.

However that’s not the same as having someone around who genuinely cares about your well-being. That someone for whom you matter much more than money ever will.

In my experience, whilst money is important, nothing in our lives matters more to us than our friends and loved ones. Human beings are social animals and only people matter to us really.

So never focus on money to the point where you neglect the people who should matter most to you. Forget about them and eventually they will forget about you.

You can have all the money in the world but without friends and loved ones you will have nothing at all.

Go out and earn your money by all means and enjoy it too.

However always maintain a sense of balance in your life and make sure that you allocate some time for the people who matter most to you.

An investment of your time in the people you love is an investment that will pay dividends.

3. Money is a precious resource so use it wisely:

A penny saved is a penny earned. ~Benjamin Franklin

I make no apology for repeating Benjamin Franklin’s money mantra frequently repeated by generations of well-meaning parents to their profligate children. It’s as valid today as it was in his day.

Whether Franklin was referring to money saved when making purchases or money saved from income is not obvious in his statement but that doesn’t matter.

The underlying point is that you have to be careful with your money because saving money is the key to building wealth and becoming financially successful. No one ever got rich by wasting their money.

Money like time is a precious resource, so use it wisely.

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6 quotes to emphasize the importance of time management

Importance of time managementThe importance of time management cannot be overstated.

If you want to be successful, then you have to master time management. Successful people are always good time managers. They would never allow other people to waste their time and nor should you.

Never, ever forget that time is your most precious resource.

Time is more important than money because you can always get more money but you can never get more time. One hour spent is one hour you no longer have to spend.

How often do you hear people say, “I’d love to do that but I don’t have the time.

However the fact is that we all have exactly the same amount of time; 168 hours a week. It all comes down to your priorities and your determination to use your time wisely.

How you choose to prioritize and allocate your time will have a significant bearing on how successful you will become.

No shrewd and savvy person would waste their money, would they? Nor would they allow other people to waste their money for them, I’m sure you’ll agree?

Yet people frequently waste their own time and allow other people to waste their time for them too.

Why would anyone think it reasonable to waste their time? And why would anyone allow someone else to encroach on their time, resulting in more wasted seconds, minutes and hours.

Just because someone asks for a piece of your time, doesn’t mean you have to agree to their request.

You have to ask yourself first whether agreeing to such a request would be the best use of your time.

And of course, the supplementary question would be whether there’s any obligation on your part to comply with the request?

Every second of your time is precious, so you have to be miserly when considering requests for even a very small part of it.

Before you begin every day make sure you have a short list of all your absolutely ‘must do’ items written down, and then make sure you focus on getting them done.

When you’re working, your focus should be on what you’re meant to deliver. That is, those things that will allow you to add the most value.

However remember this also; a life well lived is a life with balance. You work to live and not the opposite.

So when your working day is done, make sure you have a little time left over for yourself and those who matter most to you. After all, success is very nice but it wouldn’t mean much without family and friends.

Here are six quotes to emphasize the importance of time management:-

Quotes to emphasize the importance of time management:

  1. Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. ~Theophrastus
  2. Lost time is never found again. ~Benjamin Franklin
  3. My favourite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. ~Steve Jobs
  4. Time is what we want most but what we use worst. ~William Penn
  5. If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? ~John Wooden
  6. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent. ~Barbara Bush

Please share this post with your friends:

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How debt prevents you from achieving your dreams

Achieving your dreams

For far too many people ‘achieving your dreams’ is a luxury they feel they can’t afford.

Now dear reader, have you ever wondered what you would do with your money if you didn’t have any bills to pay?

Imagine that just for a second. How does it feel?

It can be fun to imagine occasionally and dream once in a while but most people think achieving your dreams is something for other people and not them.

Most people quickly return to their daily routine thinking it could never happen to them so why bother?

It’s a fact that as long as you bear significant levels of debt you’re a prisoner within the walls that such debt effectively builds around you.

The only way to see outside those walls is to change your mindset and realize that getting rid of your debt is the only way to real freedom.

Have you ever found yourself wishing you could take a nice vacation, put more money into a savings account, or maybe just have the ability to use your money to help others?

To have the freedom to use your money in any way you choose?

Wouldn’t that be a nice feeling? It’s called financial freedom.

Dreaming is one thing but when reality kicks in and you realize you that can’t do any of these things because you’re actually broke then it probably feels like a big letdown, doesn’t it?

Debt is nothing less than a dream stealer:

The problem with debt is that it can take control of your life.

And once it has taken control of your life it can cause you to lose hope. And of course, once hope is gone, your dreams will start to die and you can experience a vicious circle of misery.

The question is how can you regain hope?

How can you break out of the circle of misery?

It is possible, of course, but only when you realize that you do have a choice.

Change can happen but only if you’re prepared to change. If you make a positive decision that you’re going to change and do something about your situation then that can be the beginning of where you regain hope.

The problem with personal debt:

Debt can limit your life options in all sorts of ways. For instance it may prevent you from pursuing a career path that you would otherwise be passionate about.

I’m sure you must recognize that work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money.

That money then allows you to live and pay your bills.

However if you’re bearing high levels of debt, that money must also go towards servicing the interest and repayments you’re obliged to pay on that debt.

As your debt level grows, to keep financially afloat you must earn more. To put it another way, you must run faster just to stand still.

This is where debt limits your options.

It’s an irony but true, more options tend to open up for you when you aren’t constantly pressured to ensure you have a certain level of income each month. Debt has the ability to keep you stranded in a job you hate just because you cannot risk having insufficient income.

Why is that so?

Well suppose you make a decision on your ideal career but you realize it will mean you re-training or taking another professional qualification. Perhaps it would mean you returning to full-time education for a period of time, say a few months or even a year or two years.

In the long term that may increase your earning potential but when you’re carrying debt your focus is on the short term and making sure you can meet the interest and debt repayment schedule. So you can’t go off in the direction you’d like to go because you can’t put your current income at risk.

Essentially debt is a form of slavery. That’s a fact dear reader.

It’s financial slavery.

Yes there are times when debt cannot be avoided of course. Taking out a mortgage for instance to ensure your family has a home in which to live.

However all too often people experience a significant debt burden for no other reason other than they’ve spent far too much money they didn’t have on things they didn’t need or could have lived without.

And in doing so they’ve used unsecured debt like credit cards with extortionately high interest rates.

Remember; the compounding effect of very high interest rates can quickly turn a small debt into an enormous mountain of debt.

Debt can be a source of stress:

Another way to think about debt is that the burden loads you down with stress and frustration.

This can make it impossible for you to focus on those things that really matter in life such as spending time with family and friends.

It can also mean you miss out on some of life’s more exciting experiences such as travel to interesting places.

Whilst carrying a debt burden, you’re not able to save, invest or give.

And of course, it can be highly rewarding to give and help those people less fortunate than yourself. However with the burden of debt you’ll simply be further enriching those people who are already very wealthy.

Debt will steal your dreams and it can steal your life.

It’s a form a bondage you can do without, so quit digging yourself into a hole and start a new chapter in your life.

Get out of debt as quickly as you can:

Whatever your mindset regarding the debt that surrounds you, remember it doesn’t have to be this way. You have the ability to change everything starting right NOW.

Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Get your act together, make a list of your debts (no matter how scary this is), and start working on a plan of action.

Discipline yourself. You’ll make mistakes of course but don’t give up. Financial freedom and the ability to dream big can be within reach.

Further Reading:

At this point some further reading might appeal to you. If so, one book I recommend you read is The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.

This book is a very easy read and it’s a timeless classic.

It’s one of the most useful books I’ve ever read and essentially it contains the financial success secrets of the ancients.

This classic holds the secret to personal wealth and financial freedom.

This book holds the secrets to acquiring money; keeping money; and making sure your money is earning you more money. It will also provide you with a cure for empty pockets or a lean purse.

It’s well worth the cover price and you can check it out on Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. These commissions serve only to cover the cost of maintaining this site. Your understanding is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

Please share this post with your friends:

Did you find this article interesting and useful? If so, then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins.

So please share it now. If you do I will be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you.

Other articles you might also find interesting:

© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

How to build character

How to build characterHow 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?

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 then 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 too. 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 recognize fair criticism.

We all have at least some work to do if we are to become people 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:-

How to build character1. 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, great 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, “She used to be really good.” When they speak of you, make sure they say, “She just keeps getting better. She’s an example to us all.That applies equally to ‘He’ of course.

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 in 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. So make sure you 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 really, really 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 quit until you get to where you really 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.

How to build character8. 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 the 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 unrealized.

They never quite develop 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 you recognize the need to change, 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 realizing 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 really could be.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

3 of life’s lessons learned you really should know

Lifes Lessons LearnedMany regular readers will be familiar with these three of life’s lessons included here today but that’ll not be true for everyone. It all comes down to experience really, doesn’t it?

Well dear reader, please don’t feel that you must make every mistake yourself in order to learn.

You can learn from the experience of others, and you can choose to bear in mind the lessons others have learned.

So here are three of life’s lessons learned that you would do well to bear in mind:-

1. Money can’t make you happy:

If you’re not happy without money then having money won’t change how you feel about yourself.

We experience happiness not through the things we purchase but through our personal philosophy, as well as our relationships with other people. People are social animals.

If you want to be happy you must never lose sight of the most important people in your life, i.e. family and friends.

Spend time with them and enjoy their company, especially your children. Make the most of every minute you have with your loved ones.

Yes of course, go out there and make some money. I’m not suggesting money doesn’t matter because it does. It’s up there with oxygen for sustaining a life worth living.

So you must manage your money carefully and invest some of it too.

Enjoy your some of your money and buy nice things occasionally too. Life’s too short not to enjoy some of what you have from time to time.

However never focus on money and work to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important but the people in your life are far more important.

You could have all the money in the world but without you friends and loved ones you’d have nothing.

Lifes Lessons Learned2. Life is too short to do a job you hate:

You should never do anything for money alone.

Yes you need an income and yes it’s nice to have plenty of money in your pocket. Let’s face it we’d all like to have plenty of money, wouldn’t we? That’s human nature.

However no amount of money will compensate you for the drudgery of doing a job you hate.

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t do it well. And if you don’t do it well eventually you’ll come unstuck. It will all end in tears. Now is that really what you want dear reader?

And then you must always remember that one day, like everyone else, you will die. You’re not going to live forever, nor would you want to.

What a shame it would be if on your death bed you felt you’d completely wasted your life. Now how bad would that be?

So find a job you enjoy.

That really is important. You’ll spend one third of your life in work and that’s a long time to be doing something you hate.

If you haven’t found a job you love yet then keep looking.

Don’t focus on money. Find the right job; do it well and add real value; and the money will follow in time.

3. Greed can lead to expensive mistakes:

There’s a classic telephone scam, which never fails to catch some people out.

The way it works is a salesman or woman working in a ‘boiler room’ somewhere offshore calls you with an offer for you to purchase an asset at a price which they’ll tell you will guarantee you an enormous profit.

It might be stocks and shares or it might be plots of land in some faraway place but the underlying message is always the same.

Essentially they’ll tell you that next to no one knows about the availability of this asset just yet but when they do the price of the asset will go through the roof and keep on going.

They’ll tell you that whatever they have to offer is a steal and that you have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and make an absolute killing but you have to buy today or you’ll miss out.

The sales people always sound friendly, very plausible and they’ll make it all sound very professional. They’ll even take a little time to make you feel that really they’re trustworthy.

This scam plays on our greed and our gullibility.

We believe what we’re being told because we want to believe it. We just love the idea that we might get something for nothing.

However if you part with your money that‘s the last you’ll see of it.

The asset will be worthless or even non-existent. You’ll have been scammed.

Furthermore, if you’re foolish enough to buy, you’ll also be put on a ‘sucker list’ which means you’ll get inundated with similar calls from other high-pressure sales people offering similar ‘deals‘.

In reality any deal that sounds too good to be true will prove to be too good to be true.

There’s no easy money to be had anywhere. And anyway, if it was that good a deal why would they be telling you? If there really was a killing to be made, they’d simply invest their own money and bag the ‘profit’ for themselves, surely?

Never allow yourself to fall for it.

And never, ever allow yourself to be bounced into buying anything just because they tell you that this deal is only available today.

In sales language that’s known as a ‘call to action‘. It’s the oldest sales trick in the sales handbook.

The idea is to bounce you into making a purchasing decision before you have time to think it all through properly.

Don’t be a mug and don’t be foolish enough to line other peoples’ pockets at your own expense.

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13 Ways to Increase Your Personal Happiness

Personal HappinessYou’ll be as happy as you choose to be.

Yes, life can be challenging. Yes, life can be full of frustrations and disappointments. Yes, people can drive you nuts. No one’s life is perfect and everyone has problems.

However your level of personal happiness will be dictated by how you choose to look at life.

You can let life’s challenges make you feel miserable or you can refuse to let anything get you down.

You can just say to yourself, I’m going to be happy and nothing is going to stop me.

You will find that being happy isn’t as hard as it appears to be at times.

Here are 13 ways that will help you increase your sense of personal happiness and improve your life too:-

1. Talk to yourself positively:

One of the greatest contributors to unhappiness is what’s going on in our heads.

Everyone is prone to self-doubt and feelings of not being quite good enough.

Everyone worries about being ‘found out’ in their job.

It’s easy to assume that in some way you’re not really very good at what you do and you think eventually someone will notice. Have you had that experience dear reader?

We all struggle to appreciate that we’re actually better than we think we are and that if we really couldn’t do the work for which we are paid, someone would have noticed already and they would have said something.

Negative self-talk can really grind you down. So stop it now.

Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

Tell yourself constantly that you’re better than you think you are and that you have every reason to like yourself.

And adopt this saying as your personal mantra; I’m as good as anyone and I will show them all that I’m better than most!

Repeat it to yourself frequently and every time when even the slightest hint of doubt pops into your mind.

2. Value the people in your life:

Your social network, i.e. the people with whom you interact, and your relationships are essential to your personal happiness.

Human beings are social animals. We’re not solitary creatures like cats. We need other people, frustrating as some of them can be at times.

Remember we’re all different. We’re all individuals. So accept people for who they are and what they are. Everyone has many sides to their individual personalities. No one is perfect.

So look for the good in people and don’t judge their less flattering sides too harshly. Never forget, we all have a less flattering side.

However keep away from personality clashes and arguments. Let go of any resentment you may feel towards individuals. Just remember they’re not perfect, just like you.

If an argument seems inevitable, seek first to understand and then to be understood.

By understanding the other person’s point of view and why they feel the way they feel, you just might find you get along with them so much better.

And even if after you’ve listened carefully, if you still think they’re wrong, so what?

You can always agree to disagree.

You don’t have to prove you’re right and they’re wrong.

It doesn’t have to be about you proving you’re right all the time.

Peace and harmony are of much greater value to your personal happiness than being proved right.

So just let it go. 

3. Be grateful:

Being grateful for whatever you have, is an important part of your personal happiness.

Being thankful is a great attitude to develop.

If you think about it, I’m sure there will be at least as few things for which you can be truly thankful. Simple things like having a laugh with a friend whilst having a coffee or a meal.

They don’t have to be big things.

Little things that put a smile on your face are far more important to your personal happiness than any amount of material possessions.

In fact material possessions don’t make you happy at all. Mostly the resulting clutter they create is just a source of stress and extra work.

Take the time to thank those people who provide you with even the smallest things. Making a point of saying thank you will help you realize just how abundant your life is in reality. 

4. Avoid doom and gloom:

The media tends to focus on bad news.

Unfortunately bad news attracts more attention than good news and media channels are focused on ratings. They make money from eyeballs watching and ears listening.

They’re in the business of making money not cheering you up, so they’ll focus on bad news always.

It is a fact that most news is depressing and stressful.

With 24 hour rolling news channels our lives are filled with a lot of stuff that can fill us with doom and gloom if we’re not careful.

Watching, listening to, or reading the news will detract from your personal happiness.

So, if the news is just a source of doom and gloom then it’s a good idea to get less of it, don’t you think?

Switch it off and find something else to do that will cheer you up.

5. Manage your time wisely:

Your time is precious and it should be used and managed wisely.

Just because someone expects a piece of your time doesn’t mean they’re entitled to it.

Only you can judge whether they’re worthy of your time. And it’s perfectly reasonable to say No if you think that’s appropriate.

No one has an unlimited amount of time. We all have just 168 hours per week. So we all must make the most of our time because time is far too important to waste.

If someone requests a piece of your time then make sure they have a very good reason to justify it. Otherwise just say No politely but very firmly.

It’s your life, so live it your way. 

6. Find something to make you laugh each day:

Let’s face it, life is far too short to be serious all the time.

Occasionally we need to laugh to alleviate our stress levels.

Laughter is the best medicine, or so they say. And I think it’s true. A good laugh can really cheer you up.

So make sure you enjoy a good laugh at least once a day. It may be watching a sitcom you love or a funny animal video on YouTube. Whatever puts a smile on your face then that’s fine. You need to smile because it will help you relax.

It may be a funny joke that makes you laugh.

And if that happens, remember to share the joke with family and friends. That way you get to laugh twice. Once when you hear the joke and again when you share it.

Laugh and laugh vigorously every single day. 

Personal Happiness7. Let people know what they mean to you:

If people matter to you then be sure to let them know occasionally.

Don’t be afraid to communicate your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you.

Being open about your feelings is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.

It’s a sign that you’re confident enough in yourself to let people know what they mean to you.

It’s a sign that you recognize how important it is for people to know that they matter to you. They’ll appreciate it and that will enhance the bond between you. 

8. Don’t bottle up your negative emotions:

Pent-up feelings of anger and frustration are bad for your health.

Yes, we all feel angry occasionally but suppressing it is counter-productive.

If you’re not happy about something it’s better to say so.

Occasionally you may need to say so forcefully too. However never say it in a way that’s mean and hurtful. That’s just being unpleasant.

And if you do say something which you later recognize as mean and hurtful then apologize. Never be afraid, or too proud, to apologize.

You won’t be the first person to say something you later regret but don’t compound the offence but failing to offer a sincere apology.

At the very least that will show you’re big enough to recognize when you’re in the wrong.

If you can learn to express your anger and frustration in a way that will not cause injury or hurt to anyone then you’ll be on the road to being a very decent human being. 

9. Have a sense of purpose:

It’s important to have a sense of purpose.

To work each day at something in which you excel and which gets you out of bed in the morning.

Working hard at something you love can bring you great personal contentment.

Your work is your contribution to society and potentially the legacy you leave behind.

For instance, John Lennon left a wonderful collection of songs that we still listen today almost 40 years after his death. That’s a fantastic legacy.

Work gives you a sense that you have the capability to finish tasks.

Work is a source of satisfaction when you take on a challenge and use your skills and know-how to complete it. In this way you grow in character.

Through your work you use your time profitably and when the working day is done you feel you’ve earned your rest and recreation.

Work well done, with a sense of purpose, will make you feel good about yourself. 

10. Never stop learning:

Learning does not finish when you leave school or college. Learning is a lifelong process. And it does not necessarily involve formal tuition.

You can be self-taught and learn by doing.

You can read books and watch instructional DVDs or video tutorials on YouTube.

You can listen to audio-books and podcasts in your car or whilst travelling on public transport.

So be a committed student and work constantly on being a master of your craft.

Working constantly on achieving mastery will increase the value you can offer in the workplace and it will make you a very attractive proposition is the job market.

Learning is a joyful exercise, particularly if it’s a subject you love.

The more you learn, the greater will be the number of skills you can offer. The more skills you have the more value you add. So learn something new each and every day.

And remember; learning will also broaden your horizons. Learning is a positive experience, so never stop learning. 

11. The power of faith:

Faith can be a great comfort in times of trial. Believing there is some higher power helps us to appreciate our place within the universe. We are nothing more than specs of dust in a great cosmic cloud.

Faith adds discipline to your life. Whichever faith you choose is not important, I don’t think so anyway. However being part of a spiritual group with its singing, sacraments, chanting, prayers and meditations encourages inner peace and personal well-being.

It also encourages the idea of service and putting others first.

Never underestimate the power of faith. 

12. Don’t let pollution take its toll on you:

Pollution comes in many forms but it all takes its toll of your personal happiness and well-being.

Life is full of toxins, hazardous places, loud noises, light pollution and much more.

Minimize your exposure to these negative elements because they’re an assault on your senses and they’re not good for you if you’re over-exposed to them. 

13. Regular exercise improves your health and well-being:

A sedentary lifestyle is not healthy for anyone.

Our bodies were built for movement. So exercise daily.

That doesn’t mean you must go to the gym. Neither does it mean you must participate is formal sports teams or clubs.

You can exercise in simple ways like running, jogging, a brisk walk or even an informal game of football or tennis with friends in the local park.

Even if you’re just taking your dog for a walk then that’s exercise too.

Alternatively perhaps you could walk to and from work rather than using your car or public transport.

Just do what your body was made for and you will feel a bit more alive.

Conclusion:

Today’s underlying message is that you can choose to be happy or not. It all depends on how you choose to look at life and the slings and arrows that life sends your way.

There’s nothing to be gained by being miserable and a sense of personal happiness is better for your health and well-being.

So choose to be happy and develop habits that will lead you to a state of personal happiness.

It’s not easy of course and it does take some work but it’s well worth the effort.

Please share this post with your friends:

If you found this blog post interesting and useful then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins.

Please share it now and I’ll be ever so grateful. You’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you.

Other articles you might also find interesting:

© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

The A – Z Guide to Success

Guide to SuccessLooking for a guide to success? We could all use one, right?

Well here is a concise A- Z guide of the things you will need to bear in mind.

Perhaps it’s a little over-simplified, if I’m honest, but it does cover all the bases, of that I’m sure.

If you need a guide to success then print this list and pin it above your desk and refer to it constantly:-

  • (A) Achieve your dreams. Avoid negative people, things and places.
  • (B) Believe in yourself and in what you can do.
  • (C) Consider every angle and look at things from both sides.
  • (D) Don’t give up and never give in.
  • (E) Enjoy. Motivation happens when you’re happy with life.
  • (F) Family and Friends. Never, ever lose sight of them.
  • (G) Give more than what you believe is enough.
  • (H) Hold on to your dreams. These should drive you onward and upward.
  • (I) Ignore those who belittle your ambition. If you believe you can, what they think is irrelevant.
  • (J) Just be you. The key to failure is trying to please everyone.
  • (K) Keep trying no matter how hard life may seem.
  • (L) Learn to love yourself. You’re as good as anyone.
  • (M) Make things happen. The harder you work the luckier you’ll get.
  • (N) Never lie, cheat or steal. Always play a fair game.
  • (O) Open your eyes. Be aware of what’s going on around you.
  • (P) Practice makes perfect. Be a student of your craft and work towards mastery.
  • (Q) Quitters never win and winners never quit. Be a winner not a quitter.
  • (R) Ready yourself. Be prepared and be ready when opportunity strikes.
  • (S) Stop procrastinating. Get on with it. It’s later than you think.
  • (T) Take control of your life. Discipline and self-control are key to success.
  • (U) Understand others. Seek first to understand and then to be understood.
  • (V) Visualize it. What will success look like to you? How will you recognize it?
  • (W) Want it more than anything. It must matter to you if you’re to keep going when it gets hard.
  • (X) X Factor is that little bit of magic that makes you different from all the other wannabes. When you’re truly motivated, you’ll deliver that extra something that will help you shine like a star. Shine like a star and you’ll get noticed. Get noticed and you’re on the way to achieving success.
  • (Y) You are unique. You have special qualities no one else has. So work to your strengths and do the things that only you can do.  That way you will begin to shine like a star.
  • (Z) Zero in on your dreams and just go for it. Don’t stop until you get to where you want to be.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.