Wisdom

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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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.

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

11 wise sayings about life lessons

wise sayings about life lessonsToday dear reader, I offer you 11 wise sayings about life lessons and some observations about what I think they really mean for your life.

I hope you enjoy them all.

Wise sayings about life lessons:

1. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. ~English Proverb

If you visit a foreign country, with a different culture to that found in your own, then the best way to get along with local people is to respect their culture and their way of doing things.

Essentially it’s all about respecting and adhering to their way of life as far as reasonably possible.

Respect people and they’ll appreciate it.

Learn a little bit of their language and you’ll really connect with them. They won’t mind if you don’t get all the words and pronunciation completely correct but they’ll really appreciate you making the effort.

Treat people with respect and they’ll treat you with respect. It’s that simple.

2. Be contrary and be known. ~Arab Proverb

If you want to get yourself noticed then a ‘me too’ approach to life is unlikely to get you very far. When you’re just like everyone else then how can you stand out in the crowd?

If you really want to get noticed then you need to offer something a bit different, surely?

To stand out in the crowd then you’ll need to dress differently, have an unusual hairstyle or offer something new.

Go against the accepted thinking of the day and you’ll get noticed.

Suggest something which goes against the received wisdom of the day and people might just listen, if you back up your observation with a reasoned argument.

Be different, be contrary and you’ll get noticed.

Back it up with real substance and you will make a permanent impression on public consciousness.

Elvis Presley was like nothing that went before him; neither were The Beatles or The Sex Pistols.

These were people who had a look, style and approach all of their own. They made a genuine impact and they changed peoples’ outlook on life permanently.

In other words, they made their mark and you can too.

3. A beautiful thing is never perfect. ~Egyptian Proverb

There’s no such thing as perfect; certainly not when we are talking about people.

We’re all imperfect in some way.

However that’s what makes us interesting as individuals. And it’s also what makes it easier for other people to live with us because no matter how good we are in some way, there are also ways in which we are not quite so good.

So accept your imperfections. Work to your strengths and minimise your weaknesses and do the best you can with whatever you have at your disposal. It you do that you can succeed.

4. There’s no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out. ~Russian Proverb

How often do people refrain from asking a question for fear that they might look a little stupid? Does that ring a bell with you dear reader?

We’ve probably all done it at some point in our lives, wouldn’t you agree?

However it’s rather silly if you think about it.

None of us can know everything, can we? There will always be gaps in our knowledge, that’s for sure.

So if you don’t know something, surely it’s better to find out? Better to ask a question, even if you appear foolish momentarily.

People might laugh but so what?

Intelligent people ask questions and it’s better to look a fool than proceed in ignorance. You may look a fool for not knowing but you’ll look an even bigger fool if you screw up because you didn’t ask.

Never, ever be afraid to ask a question if you don’t know.

That way you’ll learn. Any other way and you’ll never learn.

5. Experience is not always the kindest of teachers but it’s surely the best. ~Spanish Proverb

Education is a wonderful thing, I’m sure you’ll agree.

However the best teacher by a country mile is the School of Hard Knocks at the University of Life.

Making mistakes and getting your fingers burned teaches you lessons you’ll never forget. And those lessons are invaluable.

That’s what they call experience and experience is a valuable commodity indeed.

Experience is the basis of all wisdom.

It’s also an essential element in finding out what you’re good at and what you enjoy.

And if you can find that sweet spot where what you’re good at coincides with what you enjoy doing then you really will begin to shine. So shine on my friend.

6. Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak. ~Turkish Proverb

How often are we so keen to get our point across that we don’t really listen to what the other person has to say? That’s a mistake.

Listening is one of the most important skills you can develop.

To quote Stephen R. Covey, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

In order to understand someone else’s point you must listen first.

Listening is not the same as hearing.

Hearing is simply being aware of sounds going on around you.

Listening is absorbing what is being said and considering it carefully.

Listening requires both your ears and your brain to be engaged in the process simultaneously.

Naturally you want to feel that your point of view matters.

If you listen to people first not only will they appreciate it but they’ll also start listening to you. If you’re showing them respect then they’ll do the same to you.

By listening to each other we can begin to understand each other.

And if we understand each other we have the basis for getting along together.

So listen more and talk less.

In this way the world might just become a better place. Let’s hope so anyway.

7. Better to die than to live on with a bad reputation. ~Vietnamese Proverb

Some time ago, a friend of mine was working for a retailer and foolishly did something dishonest. The result was that he lost his job and damaged his reputation in the process.

Only when he began to realise how much damage he’d done to his reputation did he begin to realise how foolish he’d been.

Damaging your reputation can have serious consequences and you can often feel the impact of that for many years after the original indiscretion.

So protect and value your reputation.

It’s one of the most important commodities you have to offer.

Whether you’re in employment or self-employed you’ll always be judged on your reputation. Gain a bad reputation and you’ll be judged harshly.

8. A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. ~Greek Proverb

Your legacy in life will be based on what you’ve done for other people, regardless of whether you’ve benefitted from it yourself.

That’s how you’ll be remembered.

A civilised society depends on each of us making a contribution towards the greater good. We cannot just leave it all to someone else.

If you want your grandchildren and their children to enjoy a well-ordered and civilised society then you must be prepared to do something the result of which you may never see. The payoff for you will simply be the knowledge that future generations will benefit from your altruism.

Leaving something that enriches the lives of future generations would be a real and genuine legacy, wouldn’t you agree?

9. God gives the nuts but he doesn’t crack them. ~German proverb

You can’t expect everything to be done for you.

At some point you have to do something for yourself.

If everything is done for you, you’ll never learn; you’ll never develop new skills; and you’ll never be able to deal with life.

So don’t try to avoid the chore, embrace it with enthusiasm and recognise that it’s in your own best interests to act.

10. A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion. ~Chinese Proverb

Criticism can be uncomfortable, so it’s easy to be swayed by the majority view. However, how can we be sure that the majority view is correct? Perhaps they’re all wrong.

Just because a lot of people think something is so, it doesn’t mean that they have a monopoly on knowledge and/or common sense.

Rather than simply following the herd, it’s much better to consider a situation carefully, weighing up the various possibilities, and then forming your own opinion or making your own decision.

Think for yourself; don’t allow the herd to impose their thinking for you.

11. Every ass loves to hear himself bray. ~Proverb of Unknown Origin

As the old saying goes, empty vessels make the most sound.

However just because someone can talk a good game doesn’t mean they can play a good game.

People who are really good at something will demonstrate it by their actions not by their words. They’ll leave the talking to other people.

You’ll never impress anyone by singing your own praises.

However you’ll win them over if you can demonstrate how good you are by the results you deliver.

So go on, start showing people what you can do.

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15 Things Poor People Do That The Rich Don’t

Can we learn from the habits of poor people when it comes to money?

Yes, when considered against what the rich would not do.

It’s a fact that the choices people make will affect the life they experience.

Quite simply our lives are dictated by the choices we make whether we like it or not.

The video in this post makes some interesting observations about the choices made by people destined to remain poor relative to those who enjoy greater prosperity and the finer things in life.

Now you might feel that some of the observations made here are a little harsh on the less fortunate but actually in my experience the points being made are ‘bang on the money‘, if you’ll excuse the fashionable terminology dear reader.

I think you’d be wise to listen carefully and think about the underlying messages in the video and be honest with yourself.

Just think about it for a minute and I’m sure you’ll agree.

We enhance our value by increasing our knowledge and skills, rather than making sure we know who the latest fashionable celebrity is dating. Why would that matter to anyone?

Listen, learn, and make changes as necessary.

You don’t have to be poor but, if you are right now, then you need to start making some changes.

Nothing will change unless you do first.

Things Poor People Do That The Rich Don’t:

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The 4 steps to financial freedom

Steps to Financial FreedomFinancial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this. ~Dave Ramsey

Many people are searching for the steps to financial freedom. Search the internet and there will be references to seven, eight, nine, and even ten steps but I think only four steps really matter.

However before I discuss those steps, let us first think about the biggest cause of people remaining poor, namely the burden of debt.

Statistics suggest that most people these days are heavily in debt. And debt is a burden that enslaves us. Knowing we have debts can be stressful.

What is the underlying cause of such debt? That’s simple. Mostly it’s the overuse of credit cards with little or no thought to how this will affect our financial well-being.

Unsecured debt built up through the excessive use of credit cards is very expensive.

That means even a small sum outstanding on a credit card can quickly become a large debt due to the effect of compound interest if you only make the minimum payment each month.

Are you affected by debt dear reader? Are your finances out of control? Would you like to achieve financial freedom?

Steps to Financial Freedom:

Often I hear people say things like, if only I could increase my income I could pay off my debts.

In fact those same people, if they did increase their income, would probably just spend more. And financial freedom would still remain a distant dream.

If financial freedom is your aim then it’s essential that you take control of your finances. And the steps to financial freedom are as follows:-

1. Spend less than you earn:

It all starts with spending less than you earn. If you spend less than you earn you can work on becoming debt free and then start to build capital.

2. Pay yourself first:

You must always pay yourself first. What does that mean? It means that as soon as you get paid each month you take a minimum of 10% of what you earn and put it away somewhere safe immediately.

Never, ever wait until the end of the month to see what you’ve got left.

If you do that you’ll never save anything.

If you take 10% upfront it will just be another debit on your income like taxes and pension contributions. You’ll quickly get used to having only the remaining 90% to live on.

And what do you do with the 10% or whatever you’ve put away?

3. Eliminate credit card debt:

Initially if you have a credit card debt burden then it makes sense to use that money to deal with paying off your debt first because the interest you’ll pay on the debt is always greater than any interest you’ll get on savings.

To pay off your credit card debt it’s essential that you find a way to eliminate the interest element each month so that any payments you then make go against the outstanding balance.

And how is that done?

Well, when you take out a new credit card account it often comes with a period of zero interest, usually six months. These accounts also usually allow you to transfer in an outstanding debt from another credit card account.

So by moving from one card provider to another and transferring the debt across to the new account, you then have a period of six months to make payments against the outstanding balance without accumulating interest on the old debt.

Never, ever use this card to increase your debt. Use it only for reducing your debt.

At the end of the period of zero interest on your new card repeat the process if necessary. Once again, you move to another card account offering you a zero-interest period. By focusing only on the outstanding balance it will be paid off quicker.

Eliminating the burden of debt is the first step on the road to financial freedom.

Freedom from debt will give you peace of mind. And peace of mind is a good reason for spending less than you earn.

Once the debt is cleared, what next with the money you’ve paid yourself first.

4. Build capital:

Initially put your money into a savings account. Then, as that builds into a larger sum, you can start thinking about other forms of investment like stocks, bonds, and property.

Once you develop the habit of putting some of your money away each month it’s amazing how quickly it accumulates into a decent capital sum and you’ll be on the road to achieving financial freedom.

Conclusion:

Learn to live within your means.

If you live modestly and spend your money wisely, you can ensure that you have enough money when you really need it.

You can also build that nest egg for your retirement and give a little back to those less fortunate than yourself. And you’ll feel so much better about yourself too.

Conversely, gathering too much clutter through excessive spending on things you don’t really need can become stressful, as well as wasteful. The choice is yours.

Financial freedom is achievable and it will give you peace of mind.

You will sleep better knowing you’re debt-free.

The steps to financial freedom are really quite simple. Spend less than you earn; pay yourself first; eliminate expensive credit card debt; and start building capital.

Do this and one day your older self will be grateful you made the effort I can assure you.

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

How to ensure your dreams and goals add value to your life

Dreams and Goals 2I’m sure you must have dreams and goals dear reader. After all, most people do. However, how often do people fail to realise their dreams though? How often do dreams and projects simply never happen? Why is that?

Well in the thought-provoking TED video included here, Bel Pesce suggests how not to follow your dreams. She gives five reasons why you’ll fail, if you adopt the wrong approach.

Bel Pesce observations relate to the beliefs people hold in relation to how success is achieved. In her view, those erroneous beliefs are as follows:-

1. Believe in overnight success

We see someone successful but we don’t see their back-story. They appear to have gained their success overnight, when in fact it was down to years of hard work mastering their craft first.

No one succeeds without years of hard work first. Nothing happens by accident. It’s all down to determination, grit and an insatiable desire for success.

Opportunity may come overnight, but you have to be well-prepared to grab that opportunity when you see it. Being prepared means mastering your craft.

2. Believe someone else has the answers for you

It’s your life, and no one else knows you and your life better than you.

You need to find your own way, in your own time. In finding a way, it must be a way that suits you well and one with which you feel truly comfortable.

No one else has the perfect answers that will be a good fit with your life.

3. Believe you can settle when growth is guaranteed

It can be amazing just how many people will stop and settle once they’ve reached a goal they’d set for themselves. They get to a point where they think, it’s OK now.

And yet, OK is never OK.

When you reach a peak, you must find the next peak, if you are to continue to grow and sustain success.

4. Believe the fault is down to someone else

If you have a dream, it’s all down to you to find a way to make it happen. You find a way or you make a way. And you never accept No for an answer, unless of course that was the answer you wanted.

The key message is it’s all down to you. If you fail to achieve your dream then it’s your fault and no one else is to blame. Simple!

5. Believe the only things that matter are the dreams themselves

Having a goal is important but life is not just about goals.

Life is a journey with a constant stream experiences and interactions with other people along the way.

The real fun is in the participation. Achievement is just a bonus.

Achievement is a momentary experience but life is not. Life goes on beyond the moment.

Dreams and goals in perspective:

If you’re driven by your dreams then I recommend that you listen to what Bel Pesce has to say. It might just save you some heartache.

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Here’s a truly brilliant ‘don’t quit’ poem to inspire you

Don't Quit PoemIf you’re in search of a ‘don’t quit poem’ to inspire you then I can offer you a truly brilliant one right here.

Many people aspire to success but it can be hard to keep going. You want success but do you want it badly enough to pay the price. There’s always a price and that price must always be paid first. That price is not about money, the price must be paid in blood, sweat and tears.

How often do people quit when with a little more effort or a few more steps they would have achieved their goal?

Now I have no scientific data to back up my conclusion but I suspect it happens quite a lot, wouldn’t you agree?

Certainly from anecdotal evidence I have, from talking to people I know, this is the case.

People start out on a project or goal with enthusiasm and they think it’s all going to be easy. Then it proves to be a bit harder than they imagined, so they quit. Is that an experience to which you can relate dear reader?

Well we must all accept that nothing worth having is ever easy to gain. As I said, there’s a price to be paid.

Nevertheless people do succeed all the time. So if other people can succeed, why not you?

Just decide on your goal, pursue it with determination and energy, and if it all starts to get a bit hard, just don’t quit until you get to where you want to be in life. Don’t quit and you can succeed; quit and you won’t.

The last thing you want is to spend your life wondering what might have been. So keep going.

To inspire you when the challenge gets hard, here’s a memorable and thought-provoking poem by the late Robert Service, the so called ‘Bard of the Yukon’. It’s called The Quitter and it’s reprinted here :-

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5 very powerful quotes with some inspiration you’ll love

Very powerful quotes1. Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well. ~Zig Ziglar

Even the greatest exponents of any skill you care to mention started out as complete beginners. That’s a fact.

Whether it’s a great footballer player like David Beckham or a Rock guitar god like Jimmy Page, they all had to start somewhere.

In the beginning they wouldn’t have produced anything special I am sure.

However dedication to their craft and a determination to hone their skills took them from being ordinary to quite extraordinary.

To be really good, talent helps of course. However nothing matches dedication and determination, if you are to excel at what you do.

If you want to be the best you’ve got to get started and then it’s all about practice, practice and more practice.

Before you can be the best you’ve got to serve your time first.

The very best people will have spent thousands of hours developing their skills long before entering into the public’s consciousness.

People who succeed have paid their dues and earned their success.

You don’t get anything for nothing.

What you get out is in direct proportion to what you put in.

That’s the first law of achievement.

2. You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis

Age is just a number. It doesn’t have to be a constraint on your life.

You’re not on the scrapheap just because you’ve reached 50 or 60 or 70 or whatever.

You can still learn something new and there are still places to go and explore.

Perhaps you’re too old to play for Liverpool FC but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t get involved in football (or soccer as many prefer to call it) in some way.

You may never be able to play the guitar like Jimmy Page but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t learn to play a musical instrument.

You may never win an Oscar but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t get involved in amateur dramatics.

And you may never outsell JK Rowling but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t write a book and get it published.

With the Internet, eBooks and social media, the opportunities for making your name have never been greater.

Today you can write an eBook, self-publish and sell it on Amazon. I’m told that’s exactly how EL James of ’50 Shades of Grey’ fame got started.

If a book seems to be a big step, then how about writing a blog?

WordPress is fairly easy to master and you can set up a blog very quickly.

One of the advantages of age is that you’ve learned a lot along the way. So you can share your wisdom and experience.

You can make a real contribution if you want to.

So why not have a go?

It’s never too late to become the person you really could be.

You’ve got a lot to offer. Don’t keep it all to yourself. That would be such waste and there’s still an opportunity to leave a legacy.

3. With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Yesterday’s dead and gone. However good or bad it was, it’s now nothing more than a footnote in history.

So leave the past where it belongs, in the past.

Today is different.

At the beginning of a new day anything is possible.

Learn from the past of course but don’t dwell on your mistakes, your bad luck or disappointing outcomes you wish had been different.

You can’t change the past, so focus on what can be achieved today and in the future.

Take strength from the present and think positive thoughts.

A positive mental attitude will carry you further than you think.

Remember: You’ll never have today again, so make sure you enjoy it.

4. Be miserable or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. ~Wayne Dyer

Now life may have been mean to you dear reader but so what? The reality is that life’s been mean to a lot of people.

However much life’s let you down, you’ll find that no one’s impressed by self-pity. No one wants to go to a ‘pity party’.

Self-pity’s an unattractive quality, to say the least.

Everyone’s struggling with their own lives, so they don’t need your misery to bring them down even further.

If you want to be appreciated then you have to be positive.

It all comes down to the choice you make. It’s better that you add something to the lives of other people, rather than take something away.

You can choose to ignore your troubles and be positive or not.

It is a fact that your outlook, sunny or otherwise, will have an impact on how you’re treated by other people.

Cheer them up and they’ll love you.

Make them feel depressed and they’ll head for the hills the moment they see you.

So what are you going to be? Remember, it’s a choice.

You can be the person who makes people smile when you enter a room.

Alternatively you can be the person who makes people smile when you leave?

That choice is yours but I know which one I prefer.

5. The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. ~Epictetus

How often do other people put us down?

They belittle our ambitions and tell us we’re getting above ourselves.

You’re not good enough for that,” we’ll people say.

You don’t have the brains or the talent,” will be their next response.

Then you’ll be told, “Oh people from your background can’t do that, it’s not for you.

Eventually if you’re not careful you start to believe it all.

And then you’re destined for nothing more than a life of mediocrity, just like those people who were putting you down.

And that’s the point.

The real issue is that they resent your ambition because they don’t have any ambition or they lack the confidence to try anything new.

They dislike the idea of you going places and getting on in life because they’ve never achieved anything.

Their opinions are presented to you as well-meaning advice, of course. However they’re jealous, really.

They deliberately put you down in the hope that you won’t achieve anything more than them.

So, don’t be fooled.

Surround yourself only with people who encourage your ambitions.

People who will offer you guidance to help you get to where you want to go.

Don’t allow the negative Nellies to put you off.

If you want to do something, then you have a go at it.

If you stick with it, you can succeed.

However, even if you don’t, it’s better to try and fail than never to have tried at all. At least you’ll know for sure whether something was right for you or otherwise.

Don’t allow the years to slip by with you wondering what might have been.

Believe in yourself and keep company only with positive people. The negative ones will just ‘do your head in’.

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