Delayed Gratification

What? Delay gratification? What are you talking about?

In The Marshmallow Experiment researchers gave small children a marshmallow and told them that if they could wait for 15 mins and not eat it, they could have two when the researcher returned. Then they found by checking on those children later in life, that those who were able to wait longer for the reward tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scoreseducational attainment, body mass index (BMI),  and other life measures. These kids were successful in life. 

We try with all our might, but most of us will eat the marshmallow. 2 out of 3 of us will not wait. 

Self discipline…the most important factor for success. Whether it is in training, learning or understanding the hard work that goes into eventual success, self discipline is the key to making choices that will last a lifetime. Health and wellness, education and finances.

In this world of instant gratification, I wonder what our kids will be like as adults? Instant messages, instant information, Instagram, INSTANTLY. Facebook, Twitter, Texts, Tumbler, Fast food.  How can we teach our kids and ourselves to be disciplined in a world where “instant” is the “name of the game”?

Retirement is a long way away. Putting away money for our future now instead of buying those expensive shoes, purse, watch, car….equals great retirement. To truly discipline ourselves to put money away today, tomorrow and on a regular basis in order to ensure that tomorrow will be a great day, even better than today, we must be disciplined and know that the reward is worth the sacrifice today. 

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Life Balance

I was reading an article about re-balancing. It was about retirement accounts (IRA’s and 401(k)’s) and how to re-balance, when to re-balance, and which percentages you should use at which age to have the perfect balance in your portfolio. Interesting. As a financial advisor this is something I do regularly.

However, my thoughts went further. What about the balance you have as a human being in your everyday life? Are you creating enough time for the things that are truly important to you? Family? Friends? Fun? Relaxation? Worship?

I have always made enough time for family. But is it the right amount of time? Am I giving too much? Doing to much? I needed time to reflect and decide what is right for me. I also recently had to throw out a perfectly good friendship because it was draining my energy. Energy that I needed for other things. Friends should encourage and uplift. Motivate and support and create a little drive! Not constantly complain and whine. I  had to create a calendar in order to make room for fun. Seriously, it had become a problem, I was working all the time. I’m still trying that one on for size and need to work on it harder! I had to time block downtime, time to do nothing but reflect and look inward at what can be improved and be grateful for what I love about me. Also to take time to focus on exercise to help me manage stress. I had also gotten away from taking out time for gratitude and prayer. My life needed serious re-balancing! 

As the song says, take a good look at you now. How much has your life gotten out of balance? Reflect on what you could do better and give yourself a break! Your whole world will be better if you yourself are in balance.Image

My tidbits of Wisdom (Inspired by my children)

We live in a world of choices and it’s crucial to make good choices through out life. Although we will all make mistakes, we ought to keep getting back on track and fight until we reach your goal. Never give up.

Present yourself to the world in the best way that you can. Look at yourself in the mirror each time you leave your home. You NEVER have a second chance at a first impression. IMPRESS the world! Sorry, but we do indeed judge the proverbial book by its cover. It’s just instinctive.

Surround yourself with people you can rely on, who will lift you, encourage you and PUSH you toward your goals. Take a helping hand along the way, but make it your way and work hard to be a success. No matter what you do, do it right. At times you may feel discouraged and angry since things aren’t quite going the way you had planned. You may not like what you hear from your “team”…get over it, they are trying to help you, and fight anyway. Keep going and keep your chin up. It’s not easy, not for anyone. Take a positive attitude toward your challenges and just keep going.

Listen to suggestions from people who have experience. Who may have been there, or who are just older and more knowledgeable than you. They may not be smarter, but they might know a thing or two about how you can make your way easier.

When you have arrived. Share your experience. Help someone else. Pay it forward.

What are you worth?

So, I heard this story about a speaker who holds up a $20 bill and asks “Who wants this?”. Not surprisingly, all the hands go up in the room. He says, “I’m going to give this to someone, but first let me do this.” He proceeds to wad up the bill and asks again…still the hands were up in the air. “What if I do this?” as he drops the bill on the ground, pours coffee grounds on it and steps on it. Still some hands stay up in the air. From his antics we learn a valuable lesson. No matter what he did to the money, it didn’t lose its value. It’s still worth $20. He says that we are like that $20 bill.

So many times in our lives we are dropped, crumbled, trashed and stepped upon. We survive the evil stare, the trash-talk, the looking down upon, the lies and gossip and walk away feeling worthless. BUT, no matter what happens in our lives, just like that $20 bill, we never lose our value. We are priceless to the ones who love us, to our family and friends, and to God, we are precious, loved and adored.

Our value is not in where we live, what car we drive or who we know. We are not defined by where we studied, if we studied or where we send our kids to school and where we vacation. We are defined by who we are. How we live our life. What we teach our children and how we treat others. Our value lies not in our possessions, but in the grace through which we live our lives.

You are special. You are beautiful. You bring value, love and insight. You are loved by your friends your family and by God, in whose eyes you are perfect.

You-are loved

Procrastination by Preparation

You plan to get things done and then??? Nothing.

What are you waiting for? What’s keeping you from just doing it? You know you need to.

OK, so what am I talking about? Well, just about anything. You tell me.

Procrastination by preparation.

You need to have more time to learn how to knit. You need to by the right wool, you need the right needles and you need to find an easy pattern. You need to read a book about it and decide if you want to knit socks or a sweater. You have to find someone to show you how, and then THEY have to have the time. So now it’s been a year, and you still haven’t learned to knit. Or, what about painting the spare bedroom? Huh? Why isn’t that done yet? Can’t decide on a color, which brand to use, or whether or not you should try that new frog tape to tape off the trim. So now the guests are coming and the room is still flat white. What about your retirement savings? First, you need to save for a car, a house, the baby furniture, the big screen TV, the new kitchen, the college fund? So where are you now with all that? People who know me know my favorite saying is: You can take out a loan for all that. Can you take out a loan to retire? Hm?

Stop all the preparation. Just get started. Knit a straight scarf, move the furniture and start on one wall, get moving on your future and put something away for yourself and your future!

Stop waiting until everything is perfect. Just throw it out there and work on it while your Progressing, not Procrastinating. Just do it!

 

 

 

Holding On and Letting Go

There will come a time when you find you will need to let go of the past. Let go of ideas, projects, friends, investments. There may be sentimental value to what needs letting go, and the underlying thought that circumstances might change, will make it hard to separate what you need to do, from what your heart is telling you. You’ve tried to follow the recommended guidelines, but you held on anyway. “The market will come back.” “It’s such a great idea!” “She needs me.” ~ Get real.

Let it go!

Remember, you aren’t married to that idea, that friend or that investment. If something is telling you that you need to get rid of it, start over, or cut the ties with a draining relationship, then you need to do that. For your sanity, and the sanity of those who are near you, love you and believe in you. 

Trust your instinct and just let it go.

Why am I starting out my blog with this? Fresh beginnings are how I got to where I am today. My life changed drastically over the last years, and I have survived and grown through all those changes. Holding on to something only held me back from growth! Growth in my job, my family, my finances. Growth in my ideas, my ambitions and my values.

This blog will be a reflection of my life beliefs and thoughts on what I value. I want to reach out to help you, guide you and maybe my suggestions, ideas and thoughts on various subjects may encourage you and help you along your path. 

May you find growth in change.Image