12 STEPS TO INNER HAPPINESS

happy words

You may have noticed that happiness can be contagious when you’re around happy people. They seem to enjoy life, know how to have fun and experience joy, meaning and purpose in their lives.  Happy people not only appear to know how to be happy but they have the ability to make other people happy also.

This is because their happiness comes from within.

When you take off your blindfold and finally realise that true happiness can be found within, you too can become a much happier person, achieving success of your own making.  This may be a major light bulb moment for you, or a reality check, that the source of happiness and your feelings around happiness can be found at your very own doorstep.

HOW TO BE HAPPY…

Before we get into the ways to inner happiness, it may be wise, if you are continually unhappy, to ask yourself, whether you perhaps have a fear of happiness. Such a fear is fairly common and is known as cherophobia.

What is Cherophobia?

Cherophobia Definition — “A phobia where a person feels afraid of being happy or having fun as it may cause something bad to happen”.

There are those who have an irrational aversion to happiness and suffer from what is referred to as “cherophobia, a fear of being happy. These people seem to avoid, at all cost, participating in anything that might be a fun activity with happy people as it makes them feel anxious and fearful.

There may be many different reasons why cherophobia occurs in some people.  Those who suffer from this fear of happiness may have built up a defence system as a protective barrier against anything that might cause past events, related to happy emotions, to resurface. However, if anyone feels they may identify in any way with these feelings… a fear of happiness or being with happy people, they should seek some professional advice or speak with a counsellor or their family doctor for guidance about the matter.

12 STEPS TO INNER HAPPINESS

We often equate success with happiness and think that only successful people are happier than most. We delude ourselves if we think this to be true. We may conclude that rich people seem to have more rights to happiness than others and that happiness will only come to those who are self-made millionaires.

So, what exactly is it that happy people do to stay happy? 

Here are some tips for being genuinely happy…

1          SET GOALS

Happy People Set Purposeful Goals

Whilst financial success does not guarantee happiness, it is also true that financial struggle can be an inhibiter of inner happiness.

Happiness can simply be the by-product of many years of toil and hardship.  However, happiness may have been reached much earlier if certain guidelines had been followed and specific goals had strategically been drawn up to monitor progress and to avoid any pitfalls that may have occurred along the way.

Goals create purpose. They provide guidelines and structure that permit monitoring of progress toward a specific future outcome.  Goals set the parameters around a specific target, that can be measured, balanced and quantified.

Success, in the sense of fulfilling cherished dreams can provide the basis to a much happier life. Such success doesn’t always happen overnight. Nevertheless, having a plan and setting goals for the future can instil purpose and produce rewards along the way as incentives, as one strives to achieve goals that could well lead to happiness within.

You may have heard this many times before, but it’s true, successful people always focus on the end goal, setting structure, allowing for any adjustments along the way. But it is their commitment to the goal that gives them the energy, willpower, and ability to stay the course.  Inner strength and focus come from your willpower, your inner voice that wills you on to succeed and achieve happiness over everything else.  

Having your eyes firmly focused on the end goal, front and center of your mind every day, is what will drive you forward, with the ability to create your dreams and give you the inner happiness you are looking for.

You need to lay down clear ground rules about how you are going to achieve your dream of finding true happiness.

If your aim is to be a much happier person, one goal might be to get to know happy people and make new friends. Or your goal might be losing weight, getting fit, finishing your uni course.  Or perhaps your ultimate goal is to start your own business.  Whatever it might be, being genuinely happy will take effort, persistence and constantly working towards your goal each and every day.

You need to set achievable goals that you know are realistic and that will produce the true happiness that you are looking for.  Write down your goals and work out a time frame for achieving those goals. Have small rewards or incentives along the way for crucial achievements.  Use a diary or notebook to record your milestones along the way.

Regularly write down happy thoughts or happy words of encouragement for yourself.  Remember that making other people happy is a great way to experience happiness within yourself.  Think of things to make people happy, demonstrate happy emotions to others, and genuinely try to be a much happier person.

2 VISUALISE YOUR DREAMS

Happy People Visualise their Dreams

Many successful and happy people spend time regularly visualising their dreams for the future. This creates more self-motivation. Their imaginative happy thoughts spur them on to achieve their goals and realise their dreams.

Create mental pictures in your mind and don’t limit yourself.  Use your visualisations to create mental pictures.  Imagine the impossible… this is your chance to create big dreams to become happier along the way to success.

Visualise what your path to happiness might look like.  Cut out pictures and place them on your vision board.  When you focus on your vision board daily, weekly or monthly, you will soon be able to see your dream being fulfilled.  If it’s front of mind every day, happy things will come your way.  If you are keeping your mind happy with positive, self-praising happy emotions and thoughts, many more opportunities will present themselves to you.  This is because you are focused on the end result and not being distracted in any way by moments of diversion.  Visualisation of the end goal every day helps you to identify any pitfalls more easily, the everyday distractions and blocking mechanisms that inhibit your focus.

By continually focusing on your path to happiness, you have the power to create what may now seem impossible.  When you realise that commitment is crucial to leading you forward to that one big happy life you’re creating for yourself, your inner happiness is inevitable.  Visualise your future self and how your future might look.  Happiness comes from within, so throw off the negative thought processes.  Be committed and change to a positive mindset.  This is where the road to genuine happiness begins.

3          STEP OUT FROM THE COMFORT ZONE

Happy people step out of their comfort zone

Many people balk at the thought of change, because they are safely ensconced in very familiar surroundings and changing in any way would greatly upset the status quo.  However, setting goals makes change inevitable.  Setting definite goals allows the once solid goal posts to be moved to a far better position.  This allows for new creative activities to develop and flourish, bringing new joy, meaning, happiness and the building of new dreams

Shifting from your comfort zone takes courage, determination, planning, goal setting and commitment to change.  However, successful people discover what’s possible in their lives when they take that giant leap of faith and shift the goal posts of their comfort zone.  Happy things happen to those who dare to dream.  Creating your own dream is one of the things that make people happy.

Settings goals for change leads to a happier person.  Opportunities are created when you shift from the old ways of doing things, that stunted growth.   Shifting from your cosy comfort zone, whilst scary, will suddenly make possible a world of happiness where dreams become possible.  But it means moving out of your comfort zone.

4          DEVELOP STRATEGIES

Happy People Create Strategies

Shifting from your comfort zone means setting clear, constructive goals for the future. It means writing down your plans for success, exactly how you are going to achieve your dreams and what your time frame will be. You must monitor your progress on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis to ascertain how long your goals will realistically take to achieve.

By setting out clear strategies that are manageable and achievable and allowing for changes, true happiness will not elude you.  You need to be clearly defining how you are going to manage any setbacks, challenges or frustrations so that you will stay motivated and focused to stay the course.

You cannot change others, but you surely can change yourself.  You need to monitor your feelings around mood, respect, your values, your spoken words, the way your think and those you mix with.  Ask yourself how you see the world around you?… the people you mix with, your work situation, what occupies your mind, what do you take for granted, how many people follow your lead, are others respectful to you, do you have respect for others?  Are you in the happiest place on earth?… if not, why not?

5          SET BOUNDARIES

Happy People Set Boundaries

Setting clear boundaries around how you think, what are your core values, is vital for change.  How is your self-esteem, and do you say what you mean and mean what you say?  Happiness will elude you if you are not true to your values and yourself. We can control what we think and who we mix with.  Write down clear strategies and boundaries around the things that need to change and be specific about how you are going to succeed.

Thinking happy thoughts, speaking happy words, need to become the norm.  You need to surround yourself with genuinely happy people who express real joy, meaning and gratitude in their lives.  These will be the strategic flow-on effects when you set strict boundaries for achieving true happiness for yourself.

6          MOTIVATION

Happy People are Motivated

In your quest to find happiness, motivation is often a key contributor to success. You need strategies around how you are going to stay motivated and keep yourself on course.

Happy people generally know what it takes to recharge their batteries. They seem to know how to create happiness by spoiling themselves every now and then.  They not only know how to recharge their batteries to keep their motivation level up, but regularly reward themselves for any achievements made.  Happy people spoil themselves and others by booking a regular camping trip to their favourite spots or taking a well-deserved massage… or just having an enjoyable weekend away. These are the things that make people happy while they are on the way to fulfilling the dreams.  Happier people create fun activities around how to reward themselves or pamper themselves.

So, what’s it going to take you to keep yourself motivated to reach that one big happy life you are craving?  A good way to keep you focused each day is to collect “happiness within” quotes for keeping you motivated.  This feeds your mind with positivity while creating attractive incentives.  The end result will be that you too will be a much happier person. .

7 COMMITMENT

Happy People are Committed

Achieving goals requires commitment. The first step to commitment is to write down why you want to achieve those goals.  The road to happiness will take both effort and will power.  Success doesn’t usually happen overnight. It takes hard work, staying the course and committing yourself to the objective.

So often, folks get so bogged down with the day-to-day business of work, family or other demanding situations, that they fail to step back and take a closer look at where they are headed. Stress or anxiety can easily take hold of them. They are working so hard that happiness is eluding them.  

However, when you make a commitment to yourself, you will be able to keep on track for true happiness.  Successful people are not always the happiest people in the world, but they generally know what’s required to continually invest in their own personal happiness.

7 HAVE GOOD FRIENDS

Happy People have Good Friends

A strong supportive family and good social relationships are more likely to increase your longevity as well as improve your levels of happiness.  Good friends enrich your happiness. People who have a network of good friends are much happier.

Choose your friends wisely because they can influence you. Seek out supportive, positive friends that you know will strengthen each other’s happiness, by encouraging each other.

The benefits of having good, happy people as your friends not only enriches your life, but also improves your overall health and wellbeing, as it reduces your stress levels.  Having supportive friendships generally make you happier than those without good socially connected friendships.

Therefore, it’s important to build social relationships with several happy people, doing happy things together, laughing and having fun.  This is what builds strong lifetime friendships.  Engaging in strong social networks with local clubs and sporting activities is where lots of happy people gather and builds happier connective groups that can support each other.  When times get tough it’s important to have good friends around you. This is when these strong connected friendships are important as they sustain happiness, knowing that there are others out there willing to assist in times of difficulty.

Doing things together is what makes people happy. It not only keeps your mind sharp but strengthens your cognitive ability, while it decreases feelings of loneliness.  Staying connected with good friends is a great strategy for being a much happier person.  

Mixing with happy people who make you laugh and speaking happy words of encouragement is a great way to experience greater happiness.

8 OVERCOME SELF-DOUBT

Happy people overcome their self-doubts and unlearn self-limiting beliefs.

Self-doubt is a huge “stopper” in people’s lives as it cripples their confidence, their ability to get motivated and stay focused, when trying to be in a much happier place than they are now.  Learn to believe in yourself. Create an optimistic mindset where you can overcome your inner self-doubt. Change from having automatic pessimistic, negative thoughts to being a habitual optimist.

REMOVE ROADBLOCKS

Roadblocks congest and obstruct your vision and your ability to move forward and fulfil your aspirations and dreams of success and happiness.  When you allow the negative invasion of doubt to take a strong grip on your thoughts, it cripples any notions of achieving what seems the impossible.  Your doubting inner voice holds you back from achieving what is in fact possible.  If you are frequently being bogged down with negative thoughts, positive affirmations can override your subconscious patterns of behaviour.

You need to talk to your inner voice, that doubting voice that lacks confidence… the voice within your head that holds you back for fear of things perhaps going wrong.

The best strategy is to CHANGE EVERY NEGATIVE THOUGHT TO A POSITIVE…

Fill your mind every day with happy thoughts and happy emotions and say out loud “I am going to be happier today than yesterday”.  

Strive to make someone happy each day by using positive affirmations so that they too can experience joy, meaning and happiness in their lives.  There is an inner power in using happy words of positive affirmation.  It’s a daily reminder that will improve your mental attitude and provide encouragement from within.  

Affirming yourself helps you realise the positive mindset benefits to your happiness, health and wellbeing.  Practice positive phrases every day and challenge any self-doubting thoughts as soon as they arrive. Regularly using positive affirmation not only improves self-esteem but encourages motivation.

“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”—Joe Namath

Believe in yourself.  Shift your mindset and reward yourself with praise and acknowledgement of your self-worth.  This strengthens your self-worth, building a much happier state of mind.  Claiming self-worth affirmations everyday improves health and wellbeing.  It not only lowers your stress levels but creates more energy for increased motivation and commitment for change and opens up the door to a much happier life.  True happiness is worth fighting for, as what was once the impossible now becomes possible…

9 BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

Happy People are in Control

Taking control of your life means being responsible for your thought processes.  You will find happiness within yourself when you take complete control of your life, by taking responsibility for your choices and actions.

Choose your friends wisely, seek to take control of all aspects of your life.  Dreams are realised by encouraging others with happy words and happy thoughts.  Avoid, at all cost, rumourmongering because that can degenerate into obsessive, negative conversation. Such conversation, that denegrates others, can destroy relationships.  Look beyond yourself, showing gratitude to others… being thankful and speaking meaningful, happy words of appreciation that show that you recognise others’ assistance.

10 CAPTURE THE POWER OF FOCUS

Happy People Focus

The power of focus is in constantly reminding yourself of your intentions and focusing on the goal of being a happier person.  

Create a vision board and write down your goals. Write down affirmations such as… I want to be a happy person… I am going to only say encouraging happy words… I am going to think happy thoughts… I am going to strive to make other people happy… I am going to be a much happier person to be around.  You should read your vision board every day to stay focused.  Focusing will lead to you being the person you want to be.

When you set definite goals, you start the process of capturing the power of focus. This is where you leave all the distractions behind.  On your quest for true happiness, setting intentions is often the first step to staying focused.  This may mean eliminating time-wasting distraction that would jeopardise your happiness.

It’s hard sometimes to focus when the world around you would hamper your progress. Achieving happiness will no doubt take effort and old habits could creep back in.  Focusing on your goal may mean changing your behaviour, seeking out new friends, or going on a diet and exercising more.

Live a purposeful life, full of intention, without self-limiting beliefs, to empower yourself, increase your feeling of self-worth and ultimately to lead to inner happiness.  Being a happier person will also lead to you being influential in other people’s lives and make them much happier also.

11 EMPHASISE THE POSITIVE

Happy People Always Emphasise the Positive

To reach your goals, you need to constantly remind yourself why you have set your goals.

Change any negative thought process to a new positive belief system.  Positive people don’t listen to their self-limiting thought processes.  Positive, happy people emphasise the positives and eliminate any negatives. Their mindset is focused on positive outcomes and not on limiting beliefs that may hold them back in any way from achieving their goals and dreams. Happy people don’t focus on inner doubts or negative frameworks, but fill their minds with happy thoughts, seeking out other happy people they want to be around and learn from.

Our innate personalities and genetic traits are set from birth from our parents. But our environment also plays an important role in our level of happiness and how we behave.  Our attitude towards other people often tends to develop according to how we ourselves were treated by others, or as we watched friends, neighbours, teachers, our parents.  You may naturally be a fairly jovial person, but your environment plays a big part in how you perceive yourself in the world in which you live.  Your environment also plays an important role in your immediate happiness and your future happiness.

12 HAPPINESS IS A MINDSET

Happy People have a Positive State of Mind

Some people seem naturally to know how to be happy.  They have a genuinely happier outlook on life, to make them happier than others. They think happy thoughts, they speak happy words of affirmation to their friends and more importantly, to themselves.

It is, for them, perhaps a natural way of thinking, but for others it’s a definite decision and thought process that needs to be developed. You can easily change your thinking, despite hardships, setbacks, unfortunate circumstances or the lack of friends or family or even the lack of money, education or opportunities.  We cannot blame the past for how things are in the present. The old saying “we have the future in the palm our our hands” is true.  We shape our own destiny.  Happy thoughts develop happy emotions which build happier people.

Happiness is a Choice

The happiest place on earth could well be where you are, curled up by the fireplace, reading a good book, or perhaps out with friends or family enjoying each other’s company.  It may be while playing cricket, or with lots of other happy people at the beach or doing other happy things that you enjoy.

We all desire happiness and often we cannot get enough of it. However, despite our circumstances, happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy or you can choose not to be happy. The choice is in your hands.

So don’t worry, be happy!

Read more about Happiness

BUDGETING – ITS EASIER THAN YOU THINK

Budgeting

Why do we spend beyond our means?

We are all manipulated to spend more at holiday times… Christmas holidays, birthdays and many other occasions throughout the year.  Men love the car, auto and machinery tool stores, while women love to shop for clothing, jewellery, shoes and furniture items.  Our family, neighbours or friends acquire a new car, boat, furniture, barbecue and it can make us envious and we think we should have one too. We live in an age when we like to have the latest and the best, but it comes at a cost.

You Need a Budget
Every Dollar Counts

In this article, we will show you some budget sheets that you can use as a simple budget planner. 

We live in a world where “shiny objects” are all around and we feel we just have to have them now, without much thought as to whether we need them or can afford them.  Retailers are out there everywhere, ready to take our money and offering all sorts or incentives to BUY their products.  Most people put items on the credit card or use after-pay systems and find themselves in financial difficulty when it comes to paying these things off.  Credit card debt has increased rapidly over the last 10 years as the banks have made it so much easier to borrow money and pay it off later.  However, for many people it is extremely difficult to pay it off.  

The retail stores generate a buying frenzy before the holiday season, during and then after, offering huge sale promotions.  We all need to realise the big department stores and retail chains price their product up heavily for the holiday times when demand is high and generally make good profits, then at the end of the season, reduce their prices to still create interest in their products, as they are wanting to clear their stock and their warehouses to allow space for the arrival of the new season’s stock, while still making money.  This of course is the time to buy if you have budgeted, and often more discount can be gained if you pay in cash.

you need a budget

Many women purchase clothing on impulse.  They don’t need it, they just WANT it and some buy without actually trying on the item of clothing in the store first, place it in their wardrobe, thinking they will wear it at a later date, then months later, realise it is too tight, too large or too small or simply unsuitable, or they just don’t like it.  (Younger women can easily fall into this trap, wanting the latest fashion fad, to impress their friends).  Consequently, the item stays in the wardrobe, cluttering up space or it is eventually donated to a charity store.  This is a bonus for those looking for a bargain.  

When you find your wardrobe is bulging or there are too many things cluttering up the house, garden or shed, its time to declutter and donate these items to charity to be recycled.  These items are generally sold for only a few dollars.  So, get creative, check out the charity stores as they generally receive huge quantities of unwanted items, new and used, but with a good wash or a fresh coat of paint they will serve your purpose.  You will often find an item of clothing with its original tag, that has never been worn.

I knew an older lady who had plenty of money, who would always looked smart and she said she always checked out the charity stores first on a regular basis and said she has saved thousands over the years.

How to make a Simple Budget

If you wish to save your money for more important things, it’s important to have a budget, an itemised list of your monthly expenses with category headings.  This is where you fill out and record all your income and spending and regular payments due on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis, so you can see that you will have enough money, not only to cover these payments and any unexpected bills, but to save for your future wealth and wellbeing.

Monthly Budget
Budgeting Worksheets

We need to educate ourselves and learn the skill of managing money wisely.  Sticking to a simple budget comes down to being disciplined and getting into the habit of routine record keeping, while putting money aside for holiday spending, school fees and contingencies such as an unexpected repair on the car or house.

Why does budgeting always seem so difficult?

Spending is all about feelings and emotions and making yourself feel good, but we need to use reverse psychology on ourselves and reward ourselves when we overcome the temptation to buy the impulse items, and we need to take the emotion out of the buying experience.

BUDGETING – IT’S EASY ONCE YOU GET STARTED

A lot of families just don’t talk about money and the importance of saving or budgeting.  We generally don’t talk about money to each other as it’s looked upon as being too nosy and prying into others’ financial affairs.  But children need to be educated about money.  This is the main reason for parents giving them pocket money.

What you need to make budgeting work…

1 First, you need to set goals… have a reason to budget.  You need good motivation and you need to be accountable… 

2 You need a parent, housemate, friend or partner to be accountable to.  They need to understand your aims and objectives and will be an encouragement, a support in trying to save money and eliminate unnecessary waste such as credit card interest and fees. They don’t need to know exactly where you stand financially, but they need to have your best interests at heart. 

3 You need forward thinking because the future is in your hands and your spending habits must change accordingly.  You will sleep well at night knowing that your finances are very much in control.

4 Most importantly, you need to KNOW ALL YOUR ESSENTIAL YEARLY RUNNING COSTS — Be very aware of what all your regular bills are….

  • Car costs… registration, regular maintenance and running costs and when they are due.
  • School fees for those with children.  Make allowances for uniforms, books, tuition fees and school activities.
  • Household running and maintenance costs. Check regularly as you may be entitled to a discount. If so, change suppliers if it works out cheaper and if no fees charged. Many people are not aware of the discounts that maybe available to them, saving lots of money each year, spent unnecessarily.  If you don’t ask or inquire you will never know.
  • Allow for garden, pool, lawn, gutter-cleaning costs
  • Allow in the budget for dental, medical and pet costs.

If you put enough aside, when payments are due, the money will be there, and an unforeseen bill won’t leave you out-of-pocket. 

3 Simple Steps to Creating a Simple Budget

Step 1

Budget Spreadsheet

The first thing to do is to total up your expected combined income for the coming year, from all income sources… wages, bank interest, share dividends etc.  Once you have your total figure, divide it into three categories… 

50% will be allocated to needs, essential expenditure such as food, shelter, energy, transport and loan repayments.

30% will be allocated to your wants… all those things that are nice to have but you could forego if you had to.  This might include entertainment and social outings.  You must take note of this figure because it will place a firm limit on your discretionary spending.

The remaining 20% of your income is to be set aside for your longer-term goals.  This might include travel, debt reduction or a buffer for unexpected events (such as a world-wide pandemic).  It will be very important that you do not spend this money.

This is known as the 50 30 20 Budget.  Some banks will assist you to create separate accounts, making it easier to deposit your income into the three separate categories.

Step 2

It’s important to know what your monthly expenses are. 

It will take time, but you must WORK OUT A WEEKLY, MONTHLY OR YEARLY BREAKDOWN OF EACH EXPENSE.  Your household expenses can be determined by calculating your average grocery bill over a month.

It will take self-discipline to make this work.  Get into the habit of recording each day’s expenditure the same day.  Here is a simple budget layout you can use for recording all weekly expenses.  This one is available in a pad form with tear-off sheets for each week.  At the end of the week you can enter the totals into a simple table.

Budget Planner

There is no need for fancy software.  You can do it with a calculator.  Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth.  Once you have done this for a whole month, you will be in a position to draw up your budget for the coming year.

List your annual, quarterly and monthly expenses.  Total up your expenses for the month and multiply by twelve.  Write these totals into a new Budget Planner sheet.  A simple Excel budget spreadsheet may help.  This will give you your targets for the year and you will know how much you can save from your yearly income.

Step 3  – Your End Goal

Now, the fun part is to decide what is the big important item that you want to save for, and you will know how long it will take.  It may be a holiday… start planning for it.  It may be a car… start researching it.  It may simply be clearing your debts… Start making extra payments off your loans. 

Every Dollar Counts
Know your end goal

Commit yourself to your goal. 

Agree on it with your partner.  Visualise it and stick a picture on your wall.  This will become your motivation to stick to your budget.  Continue to use your Budget Planner sheets to ensure that you remain on track.  This is where your accountability partner can help. 

At the end of the year, conduct an annual budget review as your income, expenses and goals may change.  You may be able to trim a little off your household expenses to improve your weekly budget.  The weekly grocery budget can vary but taking advantage of specials in the supermarket will greatly improve the average grocery bill.  These are simple budget measures that will become a habit as you watch your finances improve.

Now Take Action and Make it Happen!

If you would like to use your computer to help with your budgeting plan, there are some software tools available.  The most popular budgeting programme is called YNAB (You Need a Budget).  And the bottom line is that… You Need a Budget!       

You can find some tips for reducing your weekly expenses here.

Read more about Creating and Managing your Wealth

The Secret to Happiness

happy words

We need three elements in our lives to make us happy. 

The three ingredients for a happy life are:

Purpose

We all need a purpose in life, something that engages us and helps us look forward to the day.  It doesn’t need to be paid work, so long as it is an activity that gives us connection and interaction.

Relationship

We need someone in our lives to share the good and the bad.  Someone who cares about us, someone to love.

Money

We don’t need heaps to make us happy.  We just need a modest amount to feed, clothe and house ourselves with a bit left over for pleasure and to save.

Healthy and Happy
What makes for a Happy Life?

If you are lacking in any of the above three elements of happiness, you must first BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

The Power of Giving

giving to others

Many people go through life accumulating wealth and that’s great, but if it’s not coupled with giving to others, then what is it for?  It is more about themselves than about others. They need to discover the power of giving.

Giving means offering something without expectation of receiving something in return; or more specifically the act of giving generously of time, money or work without expecting return favours.  If we want our lives to count for something, we should live our lives to advance our knowledge and abilities so that we will have money and time to use for the benefit of others as well as ourselves.  This has been described as “win-win”.  Life is not just about getting for ourselves and taking at the expense of others.  Life is so much more.  A full and meaningful life includes the joy of giving.

It can take only one person to influence another person’s life and this can impact on the whole family or the whole community and beyond, for the benefit of so many people.  One person’s giving can change a whole community or even change the world.  Giving to others generously and graciously can not only advance and improve others’ situations in so many ways and for generations into the future, it also does so much for our own sense of worth and well-being.

We should never give to others simply so that we can gain.  We need to give with gratitude, with no strings attached, no paybacks required and certainly no future reminders of how generous you were.  By giving from a gracious heart you will find you gain back so much more.  It will enrich your life beyond your wildest dreams.

The Benefits of Giving:

  • Giving to others strengthens our own health and well-being.
  • It impacts on all parts of our own lives.
  • We are happier people for giving to others.
  • It improves our own sense of worth.
  • It gives us a sense of contentment, a warm and fuzzy feeling and we in turn reflect on our own self-worth and gain a sense of pride and achievement in contributing something worthwhile and of value to the world.
  • We gain depth of character.
  • It creates a desire within us to be more open to others and their social and economic needs.
  • We gain from giving to others and we then look for new ways to give of our money, our knowledge, our wisdom and insight.
  • It gives us a greater understanding of others and their real needs and a greater desire to resolve issues for them, that impact on the lives of others.
  • It gives us a stronger sense of love and kindness for others and brings serenity to our lives beyond what we could ever imagine.
  • It creates patience, tolerance and acceptance of others and gives us an inner desire to advance others.

Giving will make your own world a better place.  Be generous and give of yourself to others.  If you have a heart to give to others, you will want to grow your own assets so that you are able to give.  Boosting your income is a way of increasing your own wealth and thereby your ability to give to others in need of help.

Read more about Growing Your Wealth

Managing Personal Debt

Make Money Online

by Chris Sheldon

Do you have your credit card under control?

Having a Credit card can often lead to racking up huge amounts of debt, well beyond your capacity to repay within the month required by most credit cards.

The holiday season, Christmas time, can be a particularly dangerous time for over-spending.  “After pay”, credit cards, tap and go, all are fraught with problems for all of us.  Using these easy-pay systems feels so easy and we think we can pay these items off at the end of the month.  But the end of the month comes around quickly and we have forgotten about all the other items we also have bought, with absolutely no thought to keeping track of our spending.

Retail stores make it so easy for us to part with our money. We can pay the furniture or TV item off in two years’ time, but that time also comes around very quickly and huge fees can start applying, with no chance of paying it off quickly because in the meantime we have bought several large items, also on the pay-later scheme.  

It’s such a trap for us all.  Retailers just want our money whether we can afford it or not.  We often know at the time of purchase that we won’t be able to pay these items off, but the desire for the product outweighs affordability.  We just don’t realise how quickly debt can grow and often these items are things we don’t really need or could put off until we have the cash.

Many of us have been down this path of over-spending and built up credit card debt that has gotten out of control.  If you cannot pay back your credit card debt each month, then you have a problem. If you are spending more than you earn, your debt will escalate.

The Solution to over-spending

The answer is simply to BUDGET. We all must learn the skill of budgeting properly, writing a list of the things we spend on each month.

The first step is to open an account for a DEBIT CARD.

We live in an age where things are changing very quickly and we want everything now. We don’t want to wait… we want all things bright and beautiful that we see every day. We want the brand-new car, and a lovely house to show off to our friends, along with the latest new furniture, of course.  This can look very impressive to others but deep down we know that being up to your neck in debt can cause stress, leading to some long-term health issues.  Our neighbours, friends and family may also be suffering from a similar debt crisis. Living well beyond our means is a major problem. From the outside, it looks like we earn a great wage and manage our debts.  Some of us might be paying off the debt each month, but it is a huge issue for most people.  Banks or finance companies lend money so easily and retail stores have sales all the time and we are tempted to buy the latest and greatest. We live with an ”I WANT IT NOW” age.

Why Budget?

The top 4 things that most people want when they retire are …

  • To be debt free, their house fully paid off and to have a nice car
  • To be comfortably retired with enough money to enjoy a great lifestyle, being able to make lots of choices for themselves
  • To be able to travel frequently in their own country or overseas.
  • To be able to help their children financially.

This all sounds so familiar and to many so very unachievable, but by changing our ingrained spending habits, it can become achievable.

For a lot of us, most of our money each week is going out as soon as we get it, having to pay for all these items …

  • The loans for the cars,
  • Credit card repayments for the things we can’t afford right now
  • A 25 to 30-year loan for the new home, paying interest to the bank at a much higher rate than we are earning on our savings account.

Over spending creates so many issues.  We struggle to live in balance, causing much unnecessary worry and anxiety for ourselves.

Borrowing more is not the answer, as the cycle starts all over again.

Leakage and wastage

Wealth Management

We need to look at where exactly is the leakage or wastage happening. The money that is going on STUFF we really don’t need or can do without. The one item that give us no pleasure and we don’t feel happy about is CREDIT CARD INTEREST.  And this is one of the biggest causes of leakage. If you are still paying for the holiday you have not long taken, you obviously could not afford it in the first place.  If you keep putting items on the credit card and you never pay it off, just keep paying the monthly fee, your debt compounds.

Sound familiar?  If so, you need to take a good look at the monthly interest that you pay on each credit card or any other items you are paying off.  To seriously address this leakage or wastage, you may need to take out a loan for paying off all the items you have listed and reduce your credit card limit and only use your credit for emergencies or services charges only.  Then, take out a debit card where you put in each week an amount you can afford for food, petrol and essentials each week, to get your spending back in check.  

Then, look around your house and yard and see what items you could sell that you are tired of that could bring in money to help reduce debt.

To be continued [OTHER AREAS OF WASTAGE]

Dream BIG

Dream Big

Most people spend their time, energy and resources.in life doing anything but their hearts’ desire.  A lot of people talk about what they are going to do one day but never really focus on their dreams and what they really want.  

Some people waste their time and their lives on frivolous things, trying to get from A to B to C but they often don’t have a purpose or a long term outcome… where they would like to be in the future.

Some work towards bringing them about.

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”—Christopher Reeve.

Dream Big

You need to dream BIG to achieve BIG.

Why not sit down today and write out your BIG dream?

Dream big

Read more about Accumulating Wealth


Believe in Yourself

Self belief

Your Belief System

Our beliefs are generally formed in childhood. We have learnt these beliefs from our parents, our environment and the world around us.  

Our patterns of behaviour and attitudes are formed when, as young children or teenagers, we watch and learn about attitudes and behaviours from our parents, teachers and any outside influences we are exposed to.  We learn about what is acceptable and what is not, and we start forming our own opinions and belief systems, based on our own experiences.  These are our shaped and learnt behaviours.  We learn that being polite is rewarded and that being rude is not acceptable.

When processing new information or experiences as an adult, those core beliefs systems that we have formed and adopted in our early years can sometimes be challenged, but mostly we go back to our core beliefs as that is where we feel secure.

The Problem of Self Doubt

Self Belief

Core beliefs of parents are handed down the generations and they form the basis for our sometimes flawed, incorrect belief systems.  When this happens, we can become self-doubters, feel insecure and unnecessary anxiety can take hold.  We begin doubting ourselves and fighting against these ingrained beliefs proves to be very difficult.  To work through these, we need to have a positive mindset because overcoming limiting beliefs can be challenging.

In life, we limit ourselves with these learnt limiting self-beliefs that somehow we focus on when faced with new challenges, like entering a new career or trying out something completely different.

Also, others can influence our thinking very easily, if we let them, putting up blockers for our vision for the future that we have set for ourselves.  Peer pressure can play a role in confusing us at times when we want to break out of the mould and set our sights on something personally challenging.  Others will have their own limiting mindset, so don’t be influenced by them.  We can listen and may take their advice.  We can ask others but we must draw our own conclusions.

Don’t let others stand in the way of what you really want to do.  Parents, friends and associates may criticise, or their comments may come from the best of intentions, but do your own research and listen to someone who has a more open mind.  If they are someone that you can bounce ideas off, you will respect their advice.  Listen to them and ultimately make up your own mind.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!

Our dreams can come true

Don’t let go of the dreams, passions and values you have set down for yourself.  Having put these in place, ultimately the decision is yours.  The sky is the limit when facing new challenges.  Anything can be achieved if you believe in yourself.

Believe in yourself, believe that things will happen.  Change will take place as you grow and learn.  Don’t go through life missing opportunities.  Grab them with both hands when they come along; learn, act and inspire others to do the same.

How to Change your MINDSET

Having made the decision, don’t doubt your abilities. If you need to take steps to improve your skills, do so.  Do everything in your power to achieve your dreams.  Your abilities are unique to you and belief in yourself is the first step in your journey to success. You are on your way to YOUR FUTURE SELF.

Every morning of every day, say to yourself, “I BELIEVE IN ME.  I am capable of so much.  I am willing to learn everything it takes to be successful, for I am going to succeed and go forward in my life, because I am ME.  I am Positive and Confident”.

Think positive

We all suffer from nerves.  It can happen to anyone.  It happens to famous musicians before going on stage.  We actually need such feelings of fear to spur us on to overcome things… when we are starting a new job, meeting new people, taking on a new challenge, sitting for an exam, having to give a speech in front of a group of people, maybe your peers. These nerves can affect us in everyday life and can cause ANXIETY and SELF-DOUBT and it can affect some of us more than others.  

I am a strong believer in SELF-TALK .  Look in the mirror and tell yourself how good you are, what skills you have, how you are so capable at particular skills.  Look yourself in the eye and say you can overcome what’s holding you back with thoughts of SELF DOUBT.  Tell yourself you are going to change, you’re going to be a more positive person who always looks for opportunities and is grateful and thankful for opportunity and everything around you.  

Your attitude towards everything should be from a positive mindset and this is critical to your success and belief in yourself.

Dream Big

The Power of a Positive Attitude

Healthy and Happy

How do you face a new day?

Our lives each day can be so affected by the past day’s events that they stop us from moving forward in our lives.  Each day should be viewed as a new beginning, a chance to change and grasp the future. Don’t be bogged down by yesterday’s events.  Start the new day with new opportunities to make new friends, start a new project, a day to invest in new ideas for the future.

A New Day

I am fortunate to be a person who wakes up in the morning ready to go, with lots of energy and enthusiasm.  Each day to me is about advancing, finishing a project or getting started on something new.  I look forward to each day with anticipation as I love creating and designing.  

Don’t worry about the future. 

 If you have a positive attitude, the future will take care of itself.  Don’t hanker for the past either but create your future in the present.  Life is a gift – make the most of it and don’t waste a moment of it.  Look forward, not backwards, unless it is to cherish the memories that you create each day in the present.

Tomorrow is a New Day

Decide that tomorrow will be the day for change, a new start to your future.  This attitude will lead to a new way of thinking and looking at tomorrow’s events.  Tomorrow is a new day, the first day of the rest of your life.  Face it with excitement and anticipation.

What prevents you from facing each day with anticipation? 

For many it is a lack of money. If you wish you had more money, you are not alone.  Most people don’t have enough money so life is a struggle, but it is possible to be happy with the resources that are available.  Don’t allow a lack of money to stop you from doing what you really want in life.  Money is just a means to an end.  Many people find a way to generate more than enough money, not just to survive, but to go on and live their dream and help others to live theirs as well.  And this is the key.

“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar

Ten Principles of Success

Success

1. You are the only person responsible for your success.

self confidence
quotes about self image

You need to reach a point in your life where you, and you alone, start to take full responsibility and are in full control of your future. It will be a highlight in your life when you let go of leaning on others, relying on others or blaming others. Decide to let go from the control of others and start to be the master of your own ship. The future is in your hands.

2. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel

Success can happen when you put your own creativity to work on something that perhaps already exists and put your own creative twist or feel to it, whereby giving it its own unique selling proposition.

3. There is no progress without taking action

No action always results in 100% failure rate. If we never start, our dreams are never realised. Action requires determination, which results in progress.

Dream big

4. Persistence always wins.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” A river cuts through rocks because of its persistence overtime.

5. Focus is key.

Focus is everything. Clear focus leads to efficiency. Multi-tasking can lead to distractions along the way. Individual tasks need individual 100% focus.

6. Failure is necessary.

If we never fail, we have never learnt anything. We need to experience these failures and disappointments to help us refocus and interpret each failure as a learning experience that will lead down the road to success.

7. Positivity fuels productivity.

Success comes from positive energy. You can choose to get caught up with negativity, but Positivity is a choice. Surround yourself with positive people, read positive books and choose positive surroundings.

8. You must believe in yourself.

Find the place inside yourself where dreams start. Dreams become a reality, when you write them down. When you are fully determined, committed and take positive action, your dream will become a reality.

9. Helping others is part of being successful.

Successful people always help those around them, inspiring and encouraging them to also fulfil their dreams and passions in life. Find a way to help, assist and serve your community and others in your life.

10. Success is a journey of countless small steps, one at a time.

Growth and success come when we take one step at a time towards our dreams. We need to hold fast to our principles, always striving for a higher standard than others and constantly seeking to improve.

You are the only person responsible for your success

Discover The Power of a Positive Attitude