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I just read a fascinating article by Khalil Smith called,  Why Our Brains Fall for False Expertise, and How to Stop It.  I urge you to read the entire article (click here).  In it he points out the benefit of being intentional about writing down ideas and steps for weighing options and boiling down information from which we can make wise decisions. This goes a long way to insure the best path forward is uncovered.

“Get explicit, and get it in writing. One fairly easy intervention is to instruct employees to get in the habit of laying out, in writing, the precise steps that led to a given decision being made. You also can write out the process for your own decision making.”                       – Khalil Smith

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“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.?

Steve Jobs

Today I heard someone say, “Education without implementation doesn’t change a thing.”  That statement hit me. Most people know what to do, but struggle with making tough decisions and following through to move forward.  They actually know what they need to do to lose weight and get in better shape, but struggle with being disciplined enough to do the work.  They have the information and are educated, but stop short of implementing the education (taking action) to cause the desired results.  Not knowing is not the problem. It’s not doing, that’s the problem.

I’ve seen the same thing happen to people in the area of personal financial planning (or the lack of it).  After discussing some basic principles to follow in order to win with money, a friend said, “Well I get all that.  That’s nothing new; everybody knows that.”  If that’s the case, then why aren’t you doing it? It’s about behavior, not just knowing what to do.

“Education without implementation, is letting education go to waste.”  

I found these statistics pretty shocking.  A GOBankingRates survey finds 57% of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account. Even more alarming is the fact that included in that percentage is the 39% of people with absolutely nothing saved. Wow. Saving a little something consistently, no matter how much, is better than not saving at all. The good news is that saving something, even if it seems like nothing, will add up over time.

 

How do you measure success?  I heard this question a couple of days ago and couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Aren’t we all striving for success in some fashion or another?  Isn’t it what drives us every day to do something or be something we’ve never been before? Or maybe for some people success is just being alive another day. Whatever it is, it’s definitely different for everyone, and we measure it by our own individual metrics.

One thing I’ve come to realize, after years of chasing the approval of people as a way of measuring success (be them corporate managers, personal friends, acquaintances, or others), is that whatever short term ‘success’ that may have seemed to be gained from their approval, fades away quickly. Leaving me disappointed, feeling like a failure, and not successful. The good thing I’ve come to realize is that if I stop looking to external sources to measure my success, and start looking internally, there are a lot of successes to celebrate and be proud of.  Successes like completing college, paying off college, having the courage to move thousands of miles away from family, friends, and everything familiar, by myself, to make a new life; saving and purchasing a home; getting out of debt; getting married; staying active and healthy; etc. The list is different for everyone, but the message is the same.  Recognizing our worth professionally and personally and the unique strengths we bring to the table is what it’s about. Success isn’t about what someone else thinks about you, it’s what you think about yourself.

If you’re like most people (me included), when you get a great idea motivation runs high and you can’t wait to get started.  But then after a while, whether do to a hectic home life, work responsibilities, travel, etc. you wonder how will I ever make enough time to focus on this new thing.  It takes a lot of focused effort and resources to get a business off the ground. I’m constantly thinking about how to better organize my days, weeks, and months, to move things forward. Because after all, the goal is to generate income from this thing I like to do.  People often tease me because I’m very organized and love putting processes into place so that I don’t have to stop and think about what to do next in the course of my day. If I stopped to think about working out or going for a run, I’ll talk myself out of it every time.  But, when I tell myself first thing in the morning, here is what you are going to do today, a, b, and c, I’ll get it done.  For building and running my business, I keep an annual calendar broken out by quarter and month, listing all tasks I need to get done, and the deadlines by which they need to be completed. What does this do? It allows me to ‘not think’.  That sounds odd, but it’s true.  When I’ve downloaded these things on paper in advance, all have to do is execute according to the plan.  There is less clutter in my head. If you want to keep going when motivation begins to wane, put processes into place to keep you on track and moving towards your goal.

I recently heard a great Farnam Street podcast interview with Ed Latimore titled, The Secret to a Happy Life.  Ed touches on this exact topic.  He is a professional heavyweight boxer and physics major.  He talks about boxing, tough love, entropy, the worst that can happen, coaching, relationships, and a lot more.  I encourage you to take a listen.

Ed Latimore on The Secret to a Happy Life


“He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe.” – Proverbs 11:15

PutUpSecurity

While listening to Brene Brown, Researcher, Author and Public Speaker, talk about vulnerability, being brave, having courage, and being happy to just be who God made me to be, I was inspired to create this Life Satisfaction chart. On the Y axis is Financial Satisfaction, which is a basic part of our lives in order to make a living and support ourselves. It measures how financially stable we are.  Are we financially stable now, or are we moving towards being more financially stable so that we can fully support ourselves and give to others. The X axis represents our Soul Satisfaction. Soul satisfaction is how content you are with your overall lifestyle and the level of emotional peace you have.

Every day we make decisions and do things that will put us someplace on this chart. Which quadrant are you in now?  Which quadrant do you want to be in?

LifeSatisfaction

 

Charlie Munger, Vice-Chair of Berkshire Hathaway and business partner to Warren Buffet, suggests identifying one’s own aptitudes is a key driver of success.

“You have to figure out what your own aptitudes are. If you play games where other people have the aptitudes and you don’t, you’re going to lose. And that’s as close to certain as any prediction that you can make. You have to figure out where you’ve got an edge. And you’ve got to play within your own circle of competence.”

Run like others or be different?

One day a hare met a tortoise. The hare said to the tortoise, “Why do you move so slowly? Why don’t you try to run like other animals?” Thus, the hare laughed at the tortoise for his slow pace.

The tortoise said, “I know that I cannot run. But I can beat you in a race.”

“Then come, let us run a race at once,” said the hare.

The race began. The hare ran very swiftly for some time. Then he stopped and looked back. He saw that the tortoise was far behind. So he said, “Now I can take rest. Let the tortoise come here and then I shall run again.”

So the hare sat under a tree to take rest. But soon he fell asleep.

The tortoise went on slowly but steadily. He did not stop for a moment.

Suddenly the hare woke up. He saw the tortoise very near the goal. He ran as fast as he could. But alas! The tortoise had already reached the goal.

From the book, The Tortoise and the Hare, an Aesops Fable story.

Slow and steady wins the race every time, in every area of our lives.

Slow and Steady

Fish3b

 

 

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Art by Christine (Parrish) Barker. © Christine Barker. All rights reserved.

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© Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision 2018. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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