Wisdom

If you knew you’ll die tomorrow, here’s what’s important to you today?

Life is Short

Life is short:

You’ll often hear people talk about the importance of money to living life in the modern age.

Let’s be honest it’s difficult to live without money today, is it not?

Nevertheless, we must also remember that life is short. And sadly for some people, it’s very short indeed.

So, whilst money’s important to some degree, it’s not an ideal means for measuring success, is it? Not real success in life anyway.

In the modern age, it’s easy to become obsessed with money but the accumulation of money for its own sake should never be the underlying motive that drives us, surely? That can only lead to a life of misplaced priorities I think.

If your approach to life includes an obsession with money then you’ll be doomed to disappointment, I think you’ll realise eventually. One day you’ll look back and wished you’d spent a bit more time with family, friends and loved ones, of that I’m sure.

So what would be an ideal measure of success?

For me, a better measure of success is whether we’re feeling fulfilled by what we’re doing.

If our work is something we’d do as a hobby if we couldn’t get paid for it then that’s a better way of gauging success. As the great Warren Buffett once said, “Look for a job that you’d take it you didn’t need a job.”

A sense of purpose and work which is fulfilling and truly absorbing is a much less stressful way of living.

If you enjoy what we do you’ll do it well and the money will follow anyway. If you do your work exceptionally well then people will notice. And once you get noticed, you’re on our way to genuine success.

Never be driven by money alone.

Never accept a job simply because it’s well paid.

It’s nice to have a good salary, of course. However, once you get used to the money you still have to spend a third of your life doing the work for which you’re being paid well. And doing work you don’t enjoy, is a very big price to pay in terms of emotions, your stress levels and the impact it will have on your central nervous system.

If life’s short then our time is very precious, surely?

What’s the point of working every hour you’ve got just to become rich, only then to die suddenly of a heart attack having had no time to enjoy the fruits of your labour?

What a waste that would be. Being the richest man or woman in the graveyard is hardly a title worth having, is it?

So the underlying message to you today dear reader is to find work you enjoy doing and to make sure you leave a little time to enjoy life too.

No one’s life is perfect.

Everyone faces challenges occasionally. Inevitably your life will have its ups and downs too. However make sure there are more ups than downs in life, as far as you possibly can.

Take some time to smell the roses and have a laugh. As the old Music Hall song used to say; “enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”

You wouldn’t want to live forever, but you should be living your life to the full today. Life is short and it’s definitely later than you think.

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11 tips for improving quality of life

tips for improving quality of lifeLife has never been easy but it seems to get tougher with each passing year.

We’re all constantly juggling the conflicting demands of work and family and trying to squeeze in a little ‘me time’ whenever possible.

It’s that elusive thing known as work-life balance. Most of us aspire to it but few manage to achieve it.

How would you describe the quality of your own life right now?

This is a question we all ask ourselves occasionally.

A reader asked me recently whether I could offer some tips for improving the quality of life. It’s a subject close to my heart, so I am only too happy to oblige.

So here are 11 memorable tips which I hope will help you improve your life’s quality:-

Top tips for improving quality of life:

1. Keep it simple

There really is a lot to be said for simplicity. Complexity can be stressful. So keep everything in life as simple as possible. Ditch the clutter, buy only what you really need and can actually use, and learn to appreciate what you have rather than fretting about things you think you’d like to have but don’t right now.

Nothing matters much and actually very few things really matter at all.

If you’re lucky enough to have family and a handful of genuine friends plus food on your table and a roof over your head then what more do you actually need?

Keeping life simple will reduce your stress levels and that’s important.

2. Treat people with respect

I believe that only people matter.

Yes having a nice house and a decent car is great but as human beings, we’re social animals.

People are not solitary animals like cats. We live in groups and we need other people in our lives. And key to having friends is being a friend and treating other people with respect.

Treat everyone as you’d prefer them to treat you.

Not everyone will appreciate that approach of course but the ones that matter most will and surely that’s what counts.

Treat people with respect and generally other people will treat you with respect. And if we could all treat each other with respect then the world would be a better place, I’m sure.

3. Actions speak louder than words

We’re judged by what we do and not what we say.

Anyone can talk a good game but not everyone can deliver real results and deliver them well.

If you want to impress people then it is only your actions that will count. If you can do what you do well then you will be well on your way to achieving success.

4. Ask questions

Intelligent people ask questions.

Never be afraid to ask a question or to request a clarification about something.

If something doesn’t sound quite right then don’t be afraid to challenge it.

Ask questions and you’ll learn; fail to ask questions and a life of ignorance lies ahead of you. And 0nly a fool would proceed in ignorance.

5. Look forward; never back

The past has gone and it is important only insofar as the lessons it has taught us and the memories it has given us.

The future’s where we’ll spend the rest of our lives. Therefore we should always be living in the present and looking to the future. And above all our focus should be on forging the future we really want.

Live your life by looking through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror.

6. Create your own future

We can’t change the past but we can influence our future.

We can have a vision of what we want to achieve and how we’d like our lives to be. We don’t have to accept what is given to us. We can go out and get the things we really want.

It takes hard work, of course, as well as determination and discipline but it can be done and lots of people do. So why not you?

Create the future you really want and don’t just settle for anything that comes along.

7. Don’t be afraid to change direction if necessary

There will be times in your life when you head off in a particular direction only to find that it doesn’t turn out to be quite what you imagined it would be.

There’s nothing wrong with that, as no one gets it right every time.

From time-to-time, you’ll make mistakes or perhaps you’ll misjudge a situation. However, once you realize something is not quite right for you then don’t be afraid to change direction, if necessary.

Just take it on the chin, change direction and move on.

Don’t worry about what others might think. They’ll think whatever it is they think but who cares? It’s your life, not theirs.

It’s only what you think that really matters.

If you’re not happy with a situation then it’s better to take action than to live a life that’s a miserable existence because you’re worried about what other people might think.

8. Face your fear and just do it

From time to time we all face challenges in our lives.

They can often seem daunting and more than a little scary.

However, if life was always easy then we’d never grow as people.

By facing up to a challenge we learn and we grow. That’s how we build our character. That’s how we toughen up.

Yes, we’ll make mistakes but it’s always better to have a go and fail than not have a go at all.

Face a challenge and achieve a result and you’ve done something of which you can be truly very proud.

Face a challenge and get an outcome you didn’t really want and at least you’ve learned a valuable lesson. That’s how you build experience. And if nothing else you can be proud that at least you had a go.

Fear is the body’s natural way of warning us to proceed with caution. It’s natural to feel fear but courage is our ability to act despite feeling that fear.

Have courage and face every challenge as it comes. However hard it might appear at first, you’ll be glad you did.

9. Look after your own well being

You can’t enjoy life to the full if you have health problems, can you?

So take care of yourself and look after your health. Eat sensibly, drink in moderation, get plenty of exercise and avoid things like tobacco and other recreational stimulants.

You might think it doesn’t matter but it does.

One puff on a cigarette won’t kill you but the effect of regular smoking will have a cumulative, detrimental effect on your health.

You might think ‘you can handle drugs’ but that’s the wisdom of a fool.

Regular use of recreational drugs will affect you in time. And it is only a matter of time, trust me.

If you don’t look after yourself then no one else will.

10. Learn to manage your time effectively

Time is our most precious resource.

And we all have exactly the same amount of time, 168 hours each week. It’s how we choose to use that time that matters most.

Just because someone wants a piece of your time, it doesn’t follow that you should just give it to them. Allocate your time very, very carefully.

If something doesn’t need to be done, don’t do it. If someone else can do it, let them do it. If it can wait, let it wait. And if it absolutely must be done now, then get on with it.

It is all about your priorities and those actions where you and only you can add the most value. Identify those things that will allow you to be most effective and they will form the basis of your priorities.

11. Have fun; life’s too short

We all need to ensure that we take time out for ourselves occasionally.

We all need a little ‘me’ time; time to recharge our batteries and relax.

Work is important of course, as it gives you a sense of purpose in your life. However, it’s essential that you relax have a little fun too.

Life’s far too short to be constantly working.

So having a hobby or pleasurable pursuit is a very good idea, as is spending some quality time with the people who matter most to you. Have some fun and make sure that you have it regularly. Your health depends on it.

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Productivity Tips: Structure your day for maximum productivity

ProductivityHow much do you achieve each day?

What do you actually deliver in terms of results? After all, results matter don’t they?

We’re paid to deliver results, aren’t we?

To demonstrate that we’re adding value in our jobs or our businesses, then it’s all about productivity surely?

Being busy is not the same as being productive. They’re very different things, aren’t they?

Most people know that I’m sure but they still struggle to improve their productivity.

Do you ever feel that you could be more productive dear reader?

Do you ever wonder how you might improve your productivity?

Well when you’re not sure what to do, you can always turn to a master. And when I’m seeking advice on mastery, one expert to which I frequently turn is Brian Tracy.

In the embedded video, Brian Tracy offers some very useful tips for becoming more productive.

In my opinion, Brian Tracy always offers great advice and in this short video he offers some real pearls of wisdom I think.

They’re all simple ideas but they can increase your productivity if you apply them regularly.

This video is recommended viewing, so take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and learn from the master. I am confident that you will find it time well spent.

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How to deal with criticism in the workplace

How to deal with criticism in the workplaceHave you ever had a problem dealing with criticism in the workplace, dear reader?

If you have, you’re not alone.

Most of us can be a little sensitive when we’re criticised by other people, particularly in the workplace. That’s natural and I struggle with it just as much as the next person.

However, over the years I’ve learned that criticism comes in two types, as follows:-

  1. Constructive criticism; and
  2. Destructive criticism

What’s the difference?

People who offer constructive criticism are genuinely trying to help, even if that isn’t immediately obvious.

However just because they’re trying to help doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right in what they’re saying. I’ll get back to that point shortly.

When you’re being subjected to destructive criticism then someone is just having a go at you.

That may be to bolster their own ego or they may not like you very much and so can’t resist the temptation to belittle you or just generally make you feel uncomfortable.

Remember there are people who get off on other peoples’ discomfort and having a go a people. These are the haters and the trolls. They exist in the workplace, as well as on social media.

How to deal with constructive criticism:

When you’re on the receiving end of criticism, don’t take any of it personally. Remember you’re bigger than that.

Just remain calm; listen to what’s being said; consider the person saying it; and of course the rationale behind their comment.

As you absorb what has been said to you, ask yourself this question “Is this person being constructive or destructive?

If you feel they’re being constructive in offering their comment then the next question to ask yourself is, “Do they have a fair point?

In answering that question you must be really honest with yourself.

Remember it’s a sign of maturity when you can acknowledge your own inexperience and mistakes.

And you can’t learn from your mistakes unless you recognise them first.

So if after careful reflection you feel that they do have a fair point then take it on-board and use it as a learning opportunity.

At this point thank your critic for the feedback and decide how you might use it to improve and be better at what you do.

You might even ask your critic for suggestions if you think they can help you.

Even constructive critics are not always right:

Not every self-appointed critic has a universal monopoly on knowhow and common sense, however well-intentioned they may be. Even so-called experts get stuff wrong occasionally.

So in reflecting on any constructive criticism offered, your conclusion might be that they don’t have a fair point. And as long as you’re being really honest with yourself, it’s perfectly reasonable to say, “You know what? I think they’re wrong.

If that’s the case then be polite, thank them for their feedback and agree to disagree if necessary.

Accept that they offered their comment in good faith and their intentions were honourable but just move on, without any sense of feeling hurt just because someone had the temerity to question your approach.

They’re entitled to their opinion but you don’t have to accept it.

How to deal with destructive criticism:

If someone is attempting to be destructive in their criticism then don’t rise to the bait. Just smile politely and move on.

Do not give anyone the satisfaction of a reaction or signs that they’ve got to you. That’s the oxygen on which they feed. It’s the dopamine hit which they crave.

You’re better than that so don’t allow yourself to get drawn into their game. They’re unworthy of a reaction or any of your emotional energy.

And never allow such people to chip away at your self-esteem.

That’s what they’re trying to do, so know that and as you’re smiling just say to yourself, “I’m better than you and your attempt to have a go at me won’t get you anywhere. So stop wasting your time and mine.

Conclusion:

Recognise that criticism has two forms. Either way never take any of it personally, even if you suspect your critic is being personal.

If your critic is being constructive, then be honest with yourself and question whether your critic has a point. If they do have a point then you must learn from it.

If your critic is being destructive then do not give then the satisfaction of a reaction. Just smile and move on.

And if you’re not sure whether they’re being constructive or destructive? Give them the benefit of the doubt, assume they’re being constructive and act accordingly.

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Why passion is the key to success

Why passion is the key to success

Have you ever wondered why passion is the key to success, dear reader?

If success is your aim then received wisdom suggests that you should find your passion. You’ve heard that before I’m sure. However the phrase is now spoken so often that it’s has become a bit of a cliché, don’t you think?

And of course, once something becomes a cliché then it’s hard to take it seriously, wouldn’t you agree?

Then again, just because something has become a cliché doesn’t in itself mean that it lacks an underlying truth.

From experience I can tell you that if you really want to succeed at anything then whatever it is must matter to you. And I’m not talking about mattering just a little bit. I mean it really, really, really must matter to you. It must be as important to you as the air that you breathe.

You can call it a ‘passion’; you can call it something with which you have ‘a sense of connection’; or you can call it your ‘Why’. Whatever you call it, you’ll only have the determination to see it through as far as it goes if it actually matters to you.

How lucky are those people who find something in life that matters so much that it drives them to make their mark? To be recognised for making a significant contribution to their chosen pursuit.

That pursuit could be painting or writing or playing a musical instrument. It may be computers or fast cars. It may be starting a business and making serious money. Whatever it is, it’s that special something which for those people is not only interesting and absorbing but rewarding too.

It becomes so important to them that it would be their hobby if they couldn’t make a living at it. Because they love it so much, it’s not really working at all, for them it’s a pleasure.

It’s something for which they have a sense of enthusiasm or ‘passion’ and instinctively they recognise that it’s what they’re good at. And of course, because they love it, they practise and keep practising. And because they practise they hone their skills and they get even better at it. This creates a virtuous circle.

Constant practise will help you excel and reach the very top of your game.

Sadly for most people, that special something is something they never find.

However, if you’ve yet to find that special something, you must never stop looking. One day you might just stumble upon it and it’s never too late for you to become the person you really could be.

That’s why passion is the key to success.

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Daily Habits of Successful People

Habits of successful peopleIf success is your aim, can you learn from the daily habits of successful people?

Certainly, I believe that we are what we do on a daily basis.

Anything you achieve or don’t achieve, is brought about by the habits you develop over time.

Everything you do is as a result of our habits, good or bad. So surely it makes sense to develop and maintain good habits and make them your master?

Habits, good or bad, are formed through repetition.

Good habits can be hard to form but they are easy to live with. Whereas bad habits whilst easy to form they tend to be very hard to live with. Our lives can become a battle of good habits versus bad habits. Don’t let the bad habits win.

Good habits can be learned and bad habits can be replaced by good habits. Yes, it requires self-discipline on your part dear reader but it can be done and people do.

Decide on the habits you want to develop and focus on achieving them one at a time.

Start with one good habit you’d like to form and then force yourself to repeat the necessary actions daily.

After around three weeks that habit will be formed and it will just become part of your routine. You’ll start to repeat it with little or no thought. Essentially you’ll do it on autopilot.

If you have a bad habit you wish to replace with a good habit then each time you find yourself about to perform the actions of the bad habit, stop yourself and perform the actions of the good habit instead. Again after around three weeks, the good habit will be programmed into your brain.

Successful people are driven to develop good habits. Self-discipline is the key ingredient for good habits to form and for the replacing of bad habits.

Successful people also establish the habit of goal setting on a daily basis.

You cannot hit a target unless you can see that target. Setting a goal is the first step in achieving that goal. Successful people are results-oriented.

Successful people are also people-oriented.

You get what you want in life by helping other people get what they want.

Every product is a solution to a problem. Even if your goal is to sing or dance, to succeed you must always recognise that you perform to and for people.

They have a need to be entertained and your aim is to fulfil that need. To solve this particular problem for them if you like.

In dealing with people you must be honest and show integrity if you are to win the respect of others.

So honesty is a good habit to develop. Dishonesty and cheating will catch up with you and will be a permanent stain on your reputation. You don’t need that now, do you?

And above all, you must look after your health. You have one body and one mind and they must last you a lifetime.

So develop the habit of taking good care of both.

To reinforce the message of the importance of repetition and routine I‘ve included this excellent video from Brian Tracy.

Brian is always a source of great advice for anyone seeking success and aiming to create a successful life for themselves and certainly he’s one of my main sources of constant inspiration.

The video is short but well worth your time and I recommend you watch it now.

Habits of successful people:

Further Reading:

Regular readers will know that I am keen on building a personal reference library of books and audiobooks which I use to inspire and motivate me and to help me achieve my goals. And I would encourage you to do the same dear reader.

In the video, Brian Tracy refers to his book Million Dollar Habits: Proven Power Practices to Double and Triple Your Income. This is an excellent book and would be a good addition to your library. You can take a look at the print and Kindle editions if you click on the link in this paragraph.

However, I must be honest and tell you that actually I decided to purchase Million Dollar Habits: Proven Power Practices to Double and Triple Your Income (AudioBook). Personally I find the audiobooks really useful because I can listen to them whilst I’m driving which means I’m making better use of what would otherwise be dead time. If you’d like to take a look at the audio version of the book then, once again, just click on the link in this paragraph.

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. There will be NO additional charge to you in making that purchase. However these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure that this resource can remain available free of charge to readers everywhere. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

If you’re looking for useful articles on this subject that are free to read then you might want to take a look at The Habits of Highly Successful People that has been published on the Porch website. This is an interesting article and worth a few minutes of your time.

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The Guy in the Glass

The Guy in the GlassIf you’re unfamiliar with the poem, The Guy in the Glass dear reader, then I recommend you spend a few moments to consider it now.

I’m sure you’ll know that life’s not a rehearsal. Whether we like it or not, we’ll live it only once.

So it seems obvious to me that we must make the most of our time and try to enjoy every moment. That’s a healthy personal philosophy by which certainly I try to live, most of the time, at least.

Literally enjoying every single moment is not possible of course.

There will always be good times but, inevitably, there will be bad times too.

Let’s face it, you couldn’t appreciate the good times without experiencing a few bad times along the way, could you?

Now, I am a firm believer in the notion that you only get out of life what you put in.

If you just drift along, with little effort and a lot of unwise choices then your future is likely to be unexciting at best, unless you get very, very lucky.

Whereas making some effort to realise your full potential; deciding what you want and pursuing your dreams with hard work and determination; this approach is more likely to lead to better life experiences.

Ask yourself this question, “When I’m old and frail and reflecting on years gone by, how will I feel if I’ve wasted those years?

The problem with time is that once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t get it back. So, surely time is our most precious resource?

The answer to the above questions matter only to you.

You’re the one who must look at yourself in the mirror each day. You’re the one who must look yourself in the eye.

You may fool other people with tales of what might have been but you can’t fool yourself.

Deep down you’ll know whether you tried or not. You’ll know whether you made a lot of choices you wish you hadn’t made. You’ll know whether you cheated yourself. And let’s face it, regret lies at the heart of cheating yourself.

So my advice would be, don’t do it.

When you look in the mirror each day, ask yourself some searching questions:-

  • Are you making the most of your natural talent, whatever that might be?
  • Are you looking after your body and your mind?
  • Are you developing habits which will be detrimental to your wellbeing?
  • Are you looking after those who matter most to you?
  • Can you reflect on your life so far with at least some degree of pride and satisfaction?

If you’re getting too many negative answers, then perhaps it’s time for some changes in your life, don’t you think?

Reflecting on today’s idea is what got me thinking about the poem The Guy in the Glass, mentioned above.

This poem is included as part of the process Alcoholics Anonymous use to help their client base.

However, I think it’s relevant to us all, regardless of whether we’re alcoholics or not. The underlying message is that your behaviour should be consistent with the need we all have to be able to look ourselves in the eye.

It really is a thought-provoking verse and, despite its title, the message applies equally to men and women. The glass is, of course, the mirror on your wall. The poem was written by the late Dale Wimbrow in 1934 for publication in The American Magazine:-

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George Carlin’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Top 10 Rules for SuccessIf success is your aim then look for successful people and copy what they do. If it worked for them then there’s a good chance it could work for you. This is a firmly held belief and I refer to it frequently in my writing.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to come up with a game plan all of your own. There are plenty of good role models out there. Just look and listen to the good and the bad; the reverent and the irreverent. And don’t forget role models can serve as a warning as well as exemplars of how something should be done. So look around and take it all in.

George Carlin would definitely be someone who would be considered irreverent by those familiar with his work. He’s also very successful in his field. So if you’re looking for inspiration then listening to George Carlin could be a good start. He will probably make you smile if nothing else. In this video, George highlights his Top 10 Rules For Success and certainly I found them inspirational.

This is an excellent series and this episode featuring George Carlin is well worth a listen. I don’t necessarily agree with everything George says but he’s irreverent and he challenges your thinking and that for me is a good thing.

So I recommend this YouTube video to you. Listen and it’ll be time well spent I think. George Carlin offers some great ideas here.

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Valuing people must take precedence in the modern age

Valuing PeopleOne thing you’ll learn as you get older is the importance of valuing people.

We all can get so carried away with our work and careers and we can forget what really matters most.

Now I’m sure that your work is important to you and perhaps you even believe that you’re indispensable to your employer?

If you really believe that then, all I can say is, dream on.

From experience I can tell you that there’s no such thing as indispensable when it comes to being employed.

If you were to die tomorrow then your employer would replace you in a matter of days and the company would carry on without you. You won’t be missed for long and in all probability you’d be forgotten fairly quickly.

That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your life has balance.

Yes, of course, you need to work, to earn an income to put a roof over your head and bread on the table. So in that sense, work’s important. However, it shouldn’t be everything to you. Some things are much more important.

Don’t let time slip through your fingers without having spent some of it on a regular basis with those that really matter to you; the people closest to your heart. That is, your loved ones.

Your employer may not miss you for very long, should you pass away, but the family and friends you leave behind would feel a sense of loss for the rest of their lives.

Work gives us a sense of purpose and a sense of identity too, but only people really matter. So valuing people must always take precedence over work and material things.

So make sure you enjoy some time with those that matter to you before it’s too late.

And, you never know, it could be later than you think.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Types of debt and why they matter

Types of DebtIf you’re starting out with your financial education then a good starting point would be to understand the different types of debt and why they matter.

Personally I categorize debt as either good debt or bad debt.

Understanding the difference between the two is essential if you don’t want to remain poor all your life.

Do you carry some debt dear reader? If you do, you’re not alone.

Now you may think that debt is just part of life, and you may even believe that debt can’t be avoided?

Debt is certainly very hard to avoid, that much is true.

However don’t forget that personal debt is a burden on us because it has to be serviced and eventually repaid.

Yes, it may be a burden you can’t avoid but it’s no less stressful potentially for that technicality.

For emphasis let me repeat, in my opinion, there’s good debt and then there’s bad debt.

The obvious question is when is a debt considered bad debt? To put it another way, when is debt a bad idea?

Let’s consider some examples of debt.

TYpes of debt1. Secured Debt:

Buying a house is an example of a secured debt.

When buying a house, most people need a mortgage, which is of course a debt.

However, as long as you don’t overstretch yourself, mortgage debt is usually manageable for most people. And it’s rare that a lender will allow you to overstretch yourself these days.

With a mortgage the debt is secured against your property, so the risk for the lender is small.

If you fail to repay the mortgage loan, a lender simply repossesses the property and sells it to recover their money.

So because the associated risk to the lender is low, interest rates on secured debt are low too.

Coupled with long repayment periods, typically around 25 years, the monthly repayments on a mortgage are not significantly different from what you might pay if you were renting a property.

However by borrowing to purchase a property, that’s a good debt because eventually you’ll repay the debt and own the property, assuming you repay in full.

It’s a good debt because it results in the long-term acquisition of a valuable asset.

You need a roof over your head, of course, so buying with a mortgage makes good financial sense because at least you’ll own the property in the future.

And with luck, you’ll enjoy some capital appreciation on the value of the property too. That’s not guaranteed of course but historically that’s been the trend for those holding property assets for an extended period of time, certainly in the United Kingdom.

In summary, secured debt bears the lowest interest rates and leads to the acquisition of a valuable asset. So in my opinion that makes it a good debt.

2. Unsecured debt:

So when is debt a bad idea? The simple answer is when it’s an unsecured debt.

And what’s unsecured debt?

It’s a debt against which nothing valuable has been put up as security.

If the borrower fails to repay, the lender has nothing it can repossess to sell on to recover the balance outstanding. So for the lender that represents increased risk.

And because unsecured debt has no form of security then to compensate, the interest rate charged by the lender will be high, and sometimes very high.

The interest rate charged reflects the risk to the lender. The higher the risk the higher the interest rate applied.

Lenders recognize that there’s a risk that a proportion of their clients will fail to repay unsecured loans, so those who do make the repayment in full, have also paid a premium in order to protect the lender from any losses they might have incurred due to non-payment by others.

Now of course there will be occasions when unsecured debt is unavoidable.

For instance, young people just starting out might need some basic items of furniture for their homes. A bed would be a good example. You must have one and if you can’t afford it, then you might need to use a hire purchase arrangement. Handled with care then this shouldn’t be a huge problem.

So when is unsecured debt a really bad idea?

Put simply, when you start buying with unsecured credit that which you could live without. That gadget you couldn’t resist or those shoes that looked really nice in the store. Non-essentials you could have lived without until you had the money to pay for them.

You know the experience, I’m sure. You see something you can’t resist, out pops your flexible friend, and an impulse purchase is made before you’ve thought about whether it was a good idea or not.

The reckless use of credit cards, store cards, and payday loans can be a disaster because this type of debt is not secured against anything, so naturally the associated interest rates applied are very high.

Credit card or store card debt can bear an interest rate of up to around 30% or more.

In the UK, payday lenders have been known to charge interest rates equivalent to 3000%, 4000%, or even 5000%.

I find it hard to believe people fall for these loans but they do. I guess if your desperate sometimes then perhaps it’s a case of ‘needs must’.

3. The magic of compounding:

Why does this matter? The simple answer is the magic of compound interest.

The compounding effect of high rates of interest will quickly turn small sums borrowed into enormous sums owed.

For instance, if you borrow $1,000 at 3% interest, after five years you’ll owe $1,159, assuming nothing was repaid.

However if you borrow $1,000 at 35% interest then after five years you’ll owe $4,484, again that’s assuming nothing was repaid.

The difference is a massive $3,325. And more importantly, the value of your debt has also quadrupled.

So when interest rates are high, even if you make minimum payments, your debt can grow rapidly if you’re not careful.

And that’s when you can become enslaved by your debts.

And that’s why it matters. Ultimately this burden can become very stressful.

4. Manage your money or your money will manage you:

Far too many people borrow money in the form of unsecured debt to purchase discretionary items. That’s items they could live without, if push came to shove.

Wasting money is this way is a really bad move. Not just bad it’s seriously stupid.

I recommend that you follow this simple rule: If you can live without it, never use debt to buy it.

Yes of course it’s nice to have the latest smartphone or the latest television or whatever but is it really worth the pressure of unnecessary debt?

When high rates of interest start pushing up the sum outstanding significantly, you have to ask yourself, will the burden of this unnecessary debt still seem worth it? I doubt it.

Wouldn’t it be better to wait until you’ve saved up the money to make the purchase instead?

Wouldn’t it also be cheaper in the long-term to save up and buy the product when you actually have the money? You’ll appreciate the item so much more too.

5. Debt is a form of slavery:

Being indebted is just a form of slavery. It’s as simple as that really. And, once again, that’s why it matters.

For as long as you owe money you can never be truly free.

If you’re debt-free then you’re stress-free too. Wouldn’t you prefer to be debt-free and stress-free?

Good debt will help you but bad debt will make your life a misery.

6. Conclusion:

Put simply, there are two types of debt, good and bad. Debt is either secured or unsecured. Interest rates on the former will be relatively low, whereas interest rates on the latter can be very high.

Interest rates matter because of the compounding effect.

Unsecured debt can be the road to the poor house, particularly if you use it to buy stuff you could live without with credit that bears interest rates that are very high.

The type of debt that’s bad will enslave you and it’ll become increasingly stressful.

If you only take one message away from this article then that’s it.

7. Please share this post with your friends:

If you found this article useful then please share it on social media with your friends.

When you share, everyone wins.

So please share this post now. If you do, I’ll be ever so grateful. You’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience and that’ll be your good deed for the day.

Thank you.

8. Other articles you might find interesting:

© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2020. All Rights Reserved.