What Happened to repairing things?

 

In Today’s culture, even though there is more advocating in recycling and sustainability, we seem to be wasting other things. Do you remember VCRs? What happened when they stopped working? What would you do when the TV suddenly started showing weird lines? The norm was to take them to a repair shop and get them fixed at a price way below the initial retail. We would do the same with our refrigerators, washing machines, stereos, shoes and even our own clothes. Before it was not a big deal to patch a clothing item or put a new sole in your shoes. However, times have changed, how many TV repair shops do you see around anymore? How many shoe repair places are still in business? I’m sure if you look around your neighborhood it would be hard to find any of these places. The main reason for this trend is that these commodities have become cheaper as relative to our income, meaning that our incomes have grown and the cost to produce these items have gone down. So now instead of repairing things, we just go out there and get a new one. The problem with this issue is that it has changed our mentality to “used” not being good anymore. People now hesitate to buy “used” stuff, afraid that they will not work. For example, cars, a lot of people would rather go in debt and be suffocated by a car payment, because they think a used car is not reliable. Believe me, even new cars break down, expensive cars still get flat tires. Another example can be with washer and dryers, you can usually get a pair for around 200$ “used,” but instead we decide to load up our Best Buy card and get a washer and dryer set that cost us over a 1000$. In a culture that already spends more then they make this issue should be taken into consideration. If you make millions of dollars a year then you can probably ignore this post, but if you don’t, there is nothing wrong with nickel and dime.

 

 

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The #1 Cause of Divorce

What is the number 1 cause of divorce in a divorce-ridden culture? Money problems. I’m sure for most of you this is not a big shock. However, the divorce rate, which is around 50 percent, is a big problem in America today. You can throw a coin flip every time a couple weds to determine if the marriage will be successful or not. This is statistic can be somewhat scary for all those engaged or soon to be married. In order to have a higher percentage of success for your marriage, a couple must be in complete agreement on how to handle their money. The very first step is to combine the incomes. The priest or pastor says now you are one, therefore you become one, a unit, a team. If one person is sick, the couple is sick, if one person is in debt the couple is in debt. Once married, you must combine your lives and your money. The second step is having a written plan on how that money will be used efficiently for the benefit of the marriage, and all the things that come with it, for example the purchase of a home. Both persons must be on agreement on how the money will be saved and spend. Couples in which only 1 person is the breadwinner must be wary, because the other person might feel an inferiority complex, however, as I said before is no longer “my income” or “your income” it is now “our income,” so even though the other person might not have a salary, they do have an income, and must be included in all the financial discussions. A great start for soon to be married couples is to look for pre-marriage counseling to discuss the topic of money. Since it is the number one cause of divorce; don’t you think is a good idea to be in agreement on money?

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Check out this book that can help you with money and relationships
Couples Money: What Every Couple Should Know about Money and Relationships

SACRIFICE: GIVE UP TO GO UP

SACRIFICE: GIVE UP TO GO UP

Sacrifice is hard, but is needed for success. In order to go up we must be willing to give something up. We cannot gain something without giving up something else. Think of everything you accomplished, but also note the things you had to give up to reach your goals. We have all giving up one thing for another; this is how life works, there are trade offs. We can’t have it all, so we must prioritize. We must know what is really important in our lives and sometimes must let go of the things that are not.

2 Quick examples:
A) To GET good grades in college, you must GIVE UP time with your friends and sleep. If you want to party and be really social you will be giving up your GPA.
B) To GET skinny you must GIVE UP bad food, and time in order to exercise.

I think is really hard to sacrifice because we want it all and we want it know. It is so hard for humans to have delayed gratification. There was a study done with little kids, in which they were all handed down 1 marshmallow. The kids were told that if they did not eat the marshmallow in 15 minutes, they would receive a second marshmallow. The results? Two thirds of the kids did not wait the 15 minutes and ate their marshmallow. What is even more interesting is that the lives of these kids were followed into adult hood, and the one-third that waited for the second marshmallow became more successful then their peers. These results tell me a couple of things:

1. The majority of the population will not be successful or simply do not have a strong desire to win
2. We must be able to sacrifice or put something off in order to receive a better reward later. The people, who understand this principle will be successful, have no doubt.

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We must be able to sacrifice or put something off in order to receive a better reward later.

ABUNDANT: Is wealth evil?

When I think of the word abundant I picture a glass over flowing, or the ocean waves, which just keep on coming; they are abundant. I believe everybody has to strive to have abundant wealth. Abundant wealth means that you have enough money to take care of you and give away the rest. We have enough to fill our own cup and then our over flow we give it. Sometimes in our culture we think wealth is bad, and that rich people are evil. We think they have done something bad in order to get that wealthy. I like to think of money as certificates of appreciation with president’s faces on them. Meaning that if you have a lot of money you have served a lot of people. The more money you have, then the more people you have served. We all have financial goals right? But how cool would it be to have just 1 financial goal, which would be not how much money you can make, but how much money you can give. Wealth is not evil, rich people aren’t evil. Broke people sure don’t donate new wings in hospitals, broke people don’t donate 10,000 dollars to dig up wells in Haiti, broke people don’t give 3,000 dollars to build a house in Guatemala. It’s not to say that broke people aren’t good people, they just don’t have the money. They have not been intentional with their money, and have fallen prey to instant gratification and consumerism. Broke people tend to be in debt because they want to live on more then they make. I always have this saying that if you make 100,000 thousands dollars, but spend 101,000 you are broke. However, there is hope, I’m not here strictly to judge; broke is just temporary, we can all take action to change that. We need to go out into the market place and serve more people without forgetting to do the 3 things with money everybody must do:

 

  1. GIVE
  2. SAVE
  3. ENJOY

 

 

The more money you have, then the more people you have served

 

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A changing Capitalism: When Money is not enough.

I believe there is a major shift happening in our Capitalism in which profit has stopped being the sole purpose of doing business. Traditional Capitalism is just strictly focused on making a buck, ignoring even your own team members and customers needs. However, this new Capitalism that is boiling, has intertwined profit with purpose. New business leaders and entrepreneurs are looking for a higher purpose, they want to make the world better, as Steve Jobs once said, make a “dent” in the Universe. Furthermore, not only are they looking out in delivering greater value for the customer, but also they want to be servant leaders, and actually improve the lives of their team members and the community. I believe this will take our business culture in a better path and create a society that will use profits to shape a better world. It will create a world that promotes giving and generosity. They use to say that at the end of the day you take money to the bank not the customer’s smiles, but I think in the future we will need to have customer’s smiles in order to take money to the bank.

 

What can we take from this new approach in Capitalism, and make it relevant to our personal jobs or careers? We want to be doing something that has a purpose. We want to know we are making a difference, and our efforts are appreciated. Money cannot be the only motivating factor dragging you to work, because I will almost guarantee it will lead to job dissatisfaction and burnout. Surprisingly the top 3 reasons people quit their jobs is not because of the money, the top 3 reasons are:

 

1. Lack of appreciation

2. Inability to grow

3. The co-workers

 

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PS- My sincere apologies for not being as active in my blog. I will not make excuses or say I didn’t have time, because saying “ I didn’t have time” simply means it wasn’t important enough.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

 

I have asked myself this question all of my life and now at this current stage in my life, I am 100% convinced that it does. Let’s think about our lives and about all of the stuff we have been through; and all the decisions we have made have led us exactly to the point in which we are right now at this very moment. We have to understand that we are not the victims of our situation; we are the architects of it. We, through our choices, have created our life and are directly responsible of where we are sitting at today.  Think of everything you have gone through and all those goals you have accomplished, and I’m willing to bet those goals were not easy to achieve.  As a matter of fact, think of anything you have accomplished in your life and I bet accomplishing it wasn’t easy; furthermore you shouldn’t be expecting things that are coming into your life to be easy. Is not easy, if it were easy everybody would touch greatness. My intention for this blog is just for you to take some time and as one of my friends said recently, “take time and smell the roses.” Take some time to appreciate and evaluate everything that has happen throughout your life; see what you did right and see what you did wrong, but don’t regret anything, because if you change something from the past your life wouldn’t be how it is now. Also, remember that every time there is a new beginning there is a new hope, a new hope for a new tomorrow. Sometimes when we make those tough decisions to move on in our life we are daring to be great, we are daring to take new steps in our lives, we are daring to have a different life, that’s what we are doing, and that’s what life is about; imagining something greater than us, imagining and daring for a better life. I believe the best is yet to come for all of us and even thought there will be some rocks and stones along the way, just remember if there were no rocks in the stream then the river wouldn’t sing. Thanks for reading, please evaluate your life and don’t look so much to the past, but look inside you and look towards the future. I would like to leave you guys a great quote for adversity, I am going to paraphrase the best I can because I can’t remember it exactly, but it says something like this—Sometimes you don’t know when the storm will hit, when it will actually hit, the damage it will do, or how will you get out of it, but the only thing that is certain is that you are a different person now than when you went in.

 

 

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I have my goals. Now what?

Last blog, I wrote about the importance of having goals in the 7 different areas of our lives. (Career, Financial, Physical, Intellectual, Social, Family, and Religion) So what’s next after setting up your goals? WRITING THEM DOWN. It is crucial to write down your goals because you need something to aim at, if you don’t have a target you will miss 100% of the time. Secondly, and more importantly, is actually creating a plan of action in order to achieve those goals. It is the how and the what, How I’m I going to hit those goals? What do I need to do in order to achieve them? Napoleon Hill said that action is the real measure of intelligence, so the best metric for our intelligence is not our IQ or GPA, but rather it is the actual action we take towards achieving our goals. I am sure we all know smart people that don’t do anything, so in order for us to prove how smart we are we must DO something. I believe that we are not measured by school degrees, but rather by the way of our thinking and our actions. Everybody wants to win in life, but how many of us are actually taking action. We all have goals, but we need a plan of action in order to achieve them. I read that a plan of action will separate you from the 97% of the people you meet. And I believe this is true; about two years ago I started to see that most people want certain things, however they absolutely do nothing to attain them. Everybody wants to lose weight, everybody wants to make more money, everybody wants better quality relationships, but what are you actually DOING daily in order to achieve those wants? Furthermore, remember that is really important to track your progress in order to get traction. Goals are usually attained gradually by building certain habits; rarely do they happen from one day to the other.  In short, here are 3 steps that can help you achieve your goals:

1. Write down your goal- You need to know what you’re aiming at

2. Create a plan of action- Have a plan and work diligently

3. Track your progress- Set deadlines and review goals daily

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