Not Everyone is Like Me

I volunteered at the Flying Pig this year at the Delete Blood Cancer booth to encourage people to sign up to be a marrow donor. Our goal was 1000 swabs and we reached and exceeded our goal! It’s a simple swab of the inside of your mouth, nothing else, to save a life.  (Curious? www.deletebloodcancer.org).

While I was volunteering, thoughts were, what motivates one person to be a giver and the other to not to consider giving in any manner at all? Is it genetic? I tend to give and give of my time, my energy and my thoughts. I share, help and reach out. There are others that I know, even those who I know very well, who have never donated time or money. Ever. I was so angry watching so many people walk by and not even take notice. So often I wonder and wonder why others just don’t care!

We’re all different, and what is especially hard for me is to remember that not everyone is like me. Only I see the world through my eyes. Others have a different view. Their eyesight is their own, and their emotions are affected differently by their surroundings and what is happening to them. Who knows what is motivating each of their steps. Which of them is guided by fear or being influenced by someone else’s choices in their lives.  I need to remind myself that I and they are unique.

Everyone’s situation is unique. Whether it’s how you invest your time or your money. Each situation ought to be reviewed and evaluated so that the individual is comfortable with their choices. Give or not. Invest aggressively or conservatively. We’re all unique and we need to do what will make us happy.

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