Flyer 2017

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The Answer

At some point you have to come to terms with the real change agent in your life. It is not your parents. It is not your spouse. It is not your boss. It is not some politician or government entity. It is YOU. When you stop looking "out there" for someone to fix your problems, you can start looking within, and that is where the truth lies. It is that person in the mirror that will ultimately decide your fate. What you think will lead to what you do and that will ultimately tell us what direction your life takes going forward.

 

Mahatma Gandhi told us, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." He was right way back then and he is right today. Stop looking for someone else to change your life. YOU change your life. Once you make that shift within your mind, behaviors start to change, and habits are created. Instead of seeing problems, you find solutions. Instead of criticizing, you praise. You take full responsibility for your life because you understand who is in charge of it as you look in the mirror and say, "I AM the answer!"

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Black Friday

External rewards will not and have not brought the kind of meaning and happiness that the average person seeks. External rewards? A trophy, a powerful position, a new car, fame, the newest bit of technology, and yes, even money, are not and never have been the solutions to reaching a high level of personal fulfillment. Those external rewards are fools gold for those who chase them. Spending a life seeking pleasure at every turn will ultimately lead to an empty existence. There is a solution to finding happiness and it can be achieved by those who are ready and willing to seek it out. Look within for the answers to life's deep questions.

   

The answer to a fulfilling and happy life will be found intrinsically based on who you become. Here I am talking about an internal reward based on what you do to make the world a better place. This leads to giving. Helping others and providing service to your fellow man, woman, child and four-legged friend can change your life and the lives of others. What can you do and how can you help? This will shine the light that will glow brightly within you, pushing aside those external rewards that quickly lose meaning. This state of being can be achieved by anyone who is prepared to seek the truth hidden in the noise we call life. Make that YOU.

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Life

How does a person create a great life for themselves and the people they love when they find themselves stuck in a life that does not appear to feed their soul? That is a big whopper of a question and the answers could be endless based on who you speak to on the subject. Here is where you should not go to find the answers: The media, entertainers, sports "heroes," and sometimes your close circle of friends and family. Here is what I have learned along my journey of life. Be yourself and that means not letting others "guide" you toward being something they want you to be. Living life trying to please others will never take you to the place you want to go. Find your passion. This will be much easier once you are being true to yourself.

 

Once you find your passion, identify ways to live it on a daily basis as best you can in and around the life you are currently living. Basically, find what you love and do more of it whenever possible and that might very well be separate from your everyday life. Who knows, you might just make a living doing what you love. The more time you spend doing what you love, the closer you will get to finding meaning in life. Happiness will follow as you walk your unique path in life becoming the best version of YOU. Here is the bottom line: Find your path, get on it, stay on it even when life is difficult, don't let others knock you off, if they do, get back on it, and finally, circle back and help others find their path. Enlightenment to follow!

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Action

Action is what defines the successful from those who end up not accomplishing their dreams. Without action, education is simply information. Education is a wonderful thing, but it if is not followed by action, there is minimal benefit to the individual. So, why do some people take action and others do not? Here are some reasons: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking stupid, fear of sticking out from the crowd and maybe the biggest one of all, fear of leaving the "safe" world that your thoughts and actions currently reside. It is easy to play it safe and seek safety in this world of uncertainty, but that does not translate into a life well lived. This leads to the next question. How does a person turn into someone who does take action?

   

You reach a point in your life when sitting still and doing nothing is not going to cut it any longer. Basically, you are at the end of your rope and the thought of change is greater than the thought of doing nothing. This can be different for every person, but the idea is pretty simple. You are ready to take that step into the unknown because it is more important to you than what is currently happening in your life. This means you are ready to take the call to adventure (see Joseph Campbell's description of the hero's journey for a more detailed look into this issue). Pick up that phone that is ringing, calling you to this "new you." Your future awaits as you die a metaphorical death so the new version of you can be created. Enlightenment to follow!

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Enough

It is important to know when you have enough, otherwise you could very easily find yourself chasing after more and more and more in this world of endless gratification. This idea of enough is not a new one, but many people fail to fully grasp its importance. It was discussed in detail in the book Your Money or Your Life and my first book, Financial Happine$$. The question is, "How many people get it?" When I gaze out into the world, I see millions of people chasing illusions presented to them by people who have a great deal to gain by selling a product or service. Enough is about finding meaning in life that goes far beyond money and stuff!

     

Identifying when you have enough in your life allows you to stop chasing after more of what you don't need. It really is that simple. You can then pause and reconsider what exactly you want to do with your time, energy and yes, even your money. The man or woman who has enough is profoundly changed. They redirect their life toward other pursuits that brings meaning and fulfillment their way. They get it! Here is the good news: When the individual is "ready" they can stop chasing after more stuff that isn't really that important (and never was) and start identifying those things that are truly important. Financial Happine$$ to follow!

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Enough

It is important to know when you have enough, otherwise you could very easily find yourself chasing after more and more and more in this world of endless gratification. This idea of enough is not a new one, but many people fail to fully grasp its importance. It was discussed in detail in the book Your Money or Your Life and my first book, Financial Happine$$. The question is, "How many people get it?" When I gaze out into the world, I see millions of people chasing illusions presented to them by people who have a great deal to gain by selling a product or service. Enough is about finding meaning in life that goes far beyond money and stuff!

 

Identifying when you have enough in your life allows you to stop chasing after more of what you don't need. It really is that simple. You can then pause and reconsider what exactly you want to do with your time, energy and yes, even your money. The man or woman who has enough is profoundly changed. They redirect their life toward other pursuits that brings meaning and fulfillment their way. They get it! Here is the good news: When the individual is "ready" they can stop chasing after more stuff that isn't really that important (and never was) and start identifying those things that are truly important. Financial Happine$$ to follow!

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The Future

Creating a better life beyond the present requires you to believe in the future when choosing to save and invest in those low cost no-load index mutual funds (in your retirement plan at work and in a Roth IRA at Vanguard). Can this be difficult in a world where charlatans speak to you as if you are a victim and/or indentured servant who has no control over your life? You bet it can. It's easy to hear the doomsayers of the day (P.S. They have been around since man has been walking this Earth) who tell you how the world is "going to hell in a hand basket." They can appear to surround you with the television, internet, friends, and possibly family. Are they right? Hell no!

   

Humans have never lived in a more amazing time. You and I have opportunities the rich only dreamed of decades ago. Remind yourself that the fraudsters have been around a very long time telling you how bad you have it and yet, societies push forward to create more opportunities for millions of people like you and me. Shove the false prophets aside and embrace the unlimited possibilities you have right now. No one has ever been so fortunate as we in this free society that has been created based on the sacrifices made by others (average men and women, not politicians and government bureaucrats). Believe in that and believe in YOU.

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I AM

I am the answer! At some point you have to come to terms with the real change agent in your life. It is not your parents. It is not your spouse. It is not your boss. It is not some politician. It is YOU. When we stop looking "out there" for someone to fix your problems, you can start looking within where the truth lies. It is that person in the mirror that will ultimately decide your fate. What that person thinks, and does with their life with the daily habits they develop will "tell the tale" as they say.

     

Mahatma Gandhi told us, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." He was right way back then and he is right today. Stop looking for someone else to change your life. YOU change your life. Once you make that shift within the mind, behaviors start to change, and habits are created. Instead of seeing problems, you find solutions. Instead of criticizing, you praise. You take full responsibility for your life because you understand who is in charge of it as you look in the mirror and say, I am the answer! 

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Storms on the Horizon

There will always be storms on the horizon and by this, I mean there is no way to avoid risk when dealing with your money. Whether the risk comes from some surprise (Brexit) or some drawn out event (national debt increasing little by little by little), the storms will always be there. It takes wisdom (and an understanding of history) to accept this reality so you can whether those storms when they come AND they will come. We have had storms in the past, we have them in the present, and we will have them in the future. The person who plans accordingly will survive the storms and might just thrive after they pass.

   

It is paramount that you keep your head on straight while others are losing theirs. Finding ways to not let your emotions drive your decision-making is a requirement if you want to see your portfolio grow over time. When you see or hear individuals (especially the blowhards in the media) FREAKING out, you must find a way to steer clear of them. How? Turn off the television, Shut down the computer. Go for a walk with your dog. Play with your children. Embrace the good in life while pushing aside the hucksters and the media elites. Your pocketbook will benefit and so will your emotional state.

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The Crazy Man in the Pink Wig