Why enjoying yourself can never be a waste of time


Enjoying yourselfTime you enjoyed wasting, was not wasted. ~John Lennon

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a great believer in making the most of your time.

In particular, a constant message is that you should not waste your time. However, as with everything, it is important to strike a balance.

As John Lennon reminds us in his observation above, truly enjoying yourself can never be a waste of time.

Enjoying yourself and having fun has positive benefits for your health.

For a start, it reduces stress. Also what would be the point of life if you couldn’t have a little fun occasionally?

Remember the words in that old Music Hall song, “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think. Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink.”

You can’t be serious all the time. Sometimes you’ve just got to have some fun. So go on. You know you want to.

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Why passion is the key to success

Why passion is the key to successIf success is your aim then received wisdom suggests that you should find your passion. You’ve heard that before dear reader 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, would 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 may 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 work 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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The importance of friends to our lives

FriendsFriends are the family you choose. ~Jess C. Scott

Were you a fan of that wonderful American, television sitcom Friends? Wouldn’t it have been great to share their company and all the fun they had in Central Perk?

For me that show highlighted the important role our friends play in our lives.

It is a fact that we don’t get to choose our relatives but the good news is that we do get to choose our friends.

Friends is a relationship of equals.

Friends are the people whose company we enjoy; people with whom we feel a real sense of connection and with whom we share common interests. They are also people we’d be willing to go out of our way to help if we thought they were in trouble.

Family and loyalty go together of course. You can’t really have one without the other. And a relative can be a friend too. As were Ross and Monica in Friends.

However just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you’ll like them or that they’ll like you. Being related is no guarantee you’ll enjoy their company.

Friends are different; friends are special.

If you have a small number of really close friends then you’re very lucky indeed.

Appreciate your friends because they’re the people that make life worth living. They’re the people that add a sparkle to a life that could otherwise be quite dull.

Let me know what you think:

Well I’ve given you my opinion but what about yours?

Do you have any experiences of friends, either the people you like to hang out with or the sitcom, that you’d like to share with other readers?

I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment.

Friends the sitcom:

Friends the sitcom is still available on DVD of course should you want to re-live the memories of this peerless classic. You can check it out on Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

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Disclosure: This post includes Amazon Affiliate links, meaning I will receive a modest commission should you make a purchase from Amazon via one of the links included in the text. However there would be no additional cost to you in making any purchase. These commissions serve only to help with the cost of maintaining and operating this website. Your understanding in this matter is truly appreciated. Thank you.

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

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 judgement 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.

Your experiences:

Dear reader, I’m sure you have your own experience of being criticised. It would be surprising if you didn’t.

I’d love to hear how you dealt with it and whether you found it all difficult to deal with.

Please share your experiences with my readers.

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

The secret to happiness

Secret to HappinessIf you want to be happy with money, first, be happy without money! ~Author Unknown

When you hear news of someone winning big on a lottery, do you ever think that you’d be so much happier if only you could win big too? You’d be happy, if only you had loads of money?

Certainly having money can make life comfortable. It can allow you to do all sorts of things you couldn’t do otherwise. Live in a nice house; wear the finest clothes; drive a nice car; and travel to exotic places.

However there’s one thing money cannot do and that’s make you happy. It’s a fact, having loads of money by itself will never make you happy.

If you weren’t happy without money, then suddenly gaining a substantial amount money will not change the way you feel. If anything it’s impact on your life will probably make you even less happy.

Happiness is a state of mind. It’s the capacity to appreciate life for what it is and not what you think you’d like it to be. It’s being content with what you have, whatever it is.

Happiness is a positive mental attitude; a willingness to see the good side of every situation, regardless of how bad it might actually be in reality; a determination to enjoy the moment; whilst being comfortable in your own skin.

You can work towards creating your own pot of gold by all means but in doing so never lose sight of what matters most.

A lifetime is short and it all goes by in the blink of an eye. Yesterday has gone and you may never know tomorrow. The here and now is the only certainty you have. This moment is your life, so find a way to enjoy it. Get the most out of it.

Enjoy the simple, inexpensive pleasures like having a laugh or a coffee with a friend. That’s when you’ll be happiest. That’s how memories are made too.

Accept that your life will be full of challenges, which is what makes it all interesting. And recognise that in having to respond to challenges you are growing as a person. So it makes sense to respond to every challenge with enthusiasm because you can only win, ultimately. Either you’ll succeed or you’ll learn a lesson.

And remember this; as your life passes, you won’t remember expensive clothes you bought but you will remember experiences you had with the people who mattered most to you.

Enjoy life for what it is and don’t fret about what it isn’t. The secret to happiness is contentment.

If you can be happy without money then having money is just a bonus.

Now that’s what I think dear reader but do you have any suggestions as to what you believe is the secret of happiness?

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How to ensure you’re a satisfied customer

Pay beforehand was never well served. ~English Proverb

Have you ever been in a situation where someone is trying to sell you something and seemingly they can’t do enough for you? They promise so much and they seem so keen to ensure that you enjoy a ‘great customer experience‘.

Then you buy, part with your money and suddenly everything changes.

They’d love to help you but that wasn’t included in the sale price, despite you having been given the impression that it was.

This is particularly true with a service.

If you have a tradesman or woman doing work for you, for as long as they haven’t been paid, they’ll do just about anything and everything you ask.

Once they’ve been paid, “they’d love to help you but they’re far too busy”.

The moral of the story is that paying for a service before you’ve actually received it is always a mistake.

You won’t be well served if they’ve already got your money, undoubtedly that’s a fact I’m afraid.

So my message to you is clear dear reader. You pay as little as possible upfront and retain as much as possible until the work has been finished to your complete satisfaction.

Do that and you’ll always be sure to get a job well done. Part with your money first and you’ll be a hostage to fortune.

Tell us about your experiences:

Have you had any bad experiences when making a purchase or with tradespeople?

I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure other readers would love to hear from you too.

So please, add a comment and tell us all about it. Your experience can help someone else avoid being ripped off.

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

Why investors shouldn’t ignore stock market sentiment

Stock Market SentimentBuy when the blood runs in the streets. ~Nathan Rothschild

If wealth creation is your aim then investing at least some of your money in the stock market can be a great way to achieve above average returns, if you know what you’re doing.

The problem for most people is that they don’t really know where to start, so they avoid the stock market altogether. And that’s a shame really.

However if the stock market does have some appeal to you and you’d genuinely like to know where to start then my advice would be to take a close look at successful investors, the professionals, and see how they approach the process.

Look at what they do because if it’s worked for them then it’ll probably work for you.

The legendary investor Warren Buffett once observed that markets are driven by fear and greed. And greed always trumps fear.

When stock markets start moving quickly on an upward trajectory, amateur investors are tempted to join the party, particularly when the return on cash deposits is low.

The problem for amateur investors is that by the time they notice what’s happening in the market, all the real bargains have gone. So they tend to join the party at the wrong time and then over-pay for the stocks they buy.

Stock Market SentimentMy underlying point here is that market movements tend to be exaggerated, in both directions.

The collective herd behaviour of investors tends to cause the market to overshoot fair value when it’s rising and then fall way below fair value when it’s in decline.

Stock prices are driven by the economics of supply and demand.

When lots of money is chasing a relatively few stocks then the price of those stocks keeps going up. Until professional investors realise that the stocks have become overpriced, relative to the underlying fundamentals of the businesses involved.

At this point fleet-footed professionals sell and bank the profits.

Amateurs tend to be slow to notice a downturn but when they do, they lose their nerve and sell. Usually that means they sell at a loss but also, as the index has by now hit an exaggerated low, they actually sell for less than the underlying value of the asset. Thus creating more bargains for professional investors.

So what signs are professionals looking for to allow them to bag a few bargains?

The answer to that is simple. Successful investors know that the best time to buy is when everyone else is heading for the hills. When there’s a panic going on.

That’s when you’ll find the real bargains.

The market is always volatile of course but had you invested in 2008 for instance, when market conditions were as dire as they get, and you held your nerve, then you’d be sitting on some very good returns over the past 10 years.

And what sign tells successful investors it’s time to sell?

Well they know that the best time to sell is when the ordinary man and woman in the street are starting to talk about the stock market and the shares they’ve just bought.

When everyone has bought into the market, then professionals know that demand must start drying up and without demand prices can’t keep going in an upward direction. So they know it’s time to bank some profits.

Personally, I view the market through a contrarian lens and so far that approach has served me well.

I look for value but it gets harder to find the more market sentiment lifts prices to levels which defy sound investment logic.

Again to reflect on Warren Buffett’s investing philosophy; he suggests you should be greedy when people are fearful and fearful when people are greedy.

Stock Market SentimentThe key to successful investment is that you must never lose sight of stock market sentiment and signs for when the market might turn, either up or down.

And never listen to anyone who tells you that it’s different this time. It’s never different.

Markets fundamentals never change, not in my experience certainly.

So that’s what I think but what’s your opinion?

Please share your thoughts and experiences with me. I’d love to hear from you dear reader.

However if you’d like to know more about legendary investor Warren Buffett and his approach to investing then you’ll find plenty of books on Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

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

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Other articles you might also find interesting:

Disclosure: This post includes Amazon Affiliate links, meaning I will receive a modest commission should you make a purchase from Amazon via one of the links included in the text. However there would be no additional cost to you in making the purchase. These commissions serve only to help with the cost of maintaining and operating this website. Your understanding in this matter is truly appreciated. Thank you.

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

Why anxiety about spending money is pointless

Anxiety about spending moneyIf you can afford to go first class and you don’t, your heirs will. ~Mike Spinelli

I am a firm believer in the need to manage money carefully and I have made that a constant theme in this blog. You really must look after your money.

If your aim is to create wealth for yourself, then you have to manage your money with great care, otherwise it will disappear faster than you can say “stone broke’.

However as with everything in life balance is very important too.

If you can’t enjoy a little of your money then it all becomes a bit pointless, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Putting off enjoying your money until old age is a bit like putting off sex until old age. Why would you?

We’re all going to die one day and you can’t take anything with you when you go. So if you don’t enjoy some of your wealth now then your heirs will; of that you can be sure.

My message today therefore is create wealth for yourself but don’t stress when you’re tempted to do something nice for yourself. It’s perfectly reasonable to reward yourself occasionally.

Why?

Why not?

You’re worth a little enjoyment occasionally, surely? Ultimately, anxiety about spending money is pointless.

It’s never a good idea to waste money but it’s a good idea to ensure you enjoy the fruits of you labour now and then too.

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The real cost of being a fashion victim

Fashion VictimYoung people need to develop a sense of being responsible with money. ~Joseph Crosby

Dear reader, are you a slave to fashion? If you are, you’re not unusual.

Young people in particular are often driven by fashion, as indeed are many not quite so young people.

People feel a need to fit in with their peer group, so they feel the need to dress like their peer group.

However the fashion industry exists ultimately to drive the sales of new clothes.

Fashion is an essential part of the clothing industry. It encourages people to buy new clothes constantly, despite the fact that they may have plenty of very good and serviceable clothes in their wardrobe already.

Fashion says, “Oh, you can’t wear that anymore, it’s so last year.”

And so people are encouraged to spend their money on things they don’t really need and could easily live without.

Next time you’re thinking of buying the latest fashion item, ask yourself this question, “Should I part with my money and make someone else rich or should I start being more responsible with my money and then I could start building wealth and financial independence for myself.”

If you line the pockets of other people by spending your money on things you don’t need then you’ll always be poor. That is a fact dear reader.

So start taking more care of your money. If you don’t waste it then you can start building your own wealth and one day you could be financially independent.

People looking back at photographs taken during their youth usually cringe at the fashions they wore. I know I do. How about you?

A nod to fashion is fine of course but being driven by fashion is a serious mistake and one that will prevent you from ever becoming financially independent.

Dear young reader, your parents were fashionable once. Do you look back at the fashions your parents wore and think to yourself, “Hey, don’t they look cool?” I rest my case.

Don’t be a fashion victim.

You’ll cringe when you look back at the clothes you wore but you’ll never, ever cringe when you look at a healthy bank balance. Trust me.

Calculate the cost of your improvidence:

We’re all guilty of buying clothes we don’t wear or wear very little.

So here’s a little task for you reader.

Take an inventory of your wardrobe and identify all those items you’ve never worn or worn very little. Then calculate the original cost of these items. Then ask yourself, “Was this money well spent?”

Share your conclusions with me in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.

Polite request:

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

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

5 short inspirational quotes that’ll really make you think

Short Inspirational QuotesDon’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

On days when I don’t work I am working on maintaining my image, just like an athlete. ~Linda Evangelista

I would perceive three years at university as a waste of time. I would have made £200,000 by then. ~Lord Sugar

You have to rule the money. Don’t let the money rule you. ~Fil Adams-Mercer

Marriage is an investment that pays dividends if you pay interest. ~Bob Monkhouse

Please share these short inspirational quotes 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 now. If you do, I will be ever so grateful. Thank you.

Other articles you may also find interesting:

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

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