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FIND YOUR PASSION, PURPOSE & POWER

3x3 Power PoseDo you always accept circumstances as they appear to be or do you question what comes your way? When taking everything at face value without asking questions and exploring a better or different option, many doors may remain shut. By opening yourself to others, investigating new ideas, finding new ways to tackle a challenge and visualizing a different perspective, you can make changes in the way you handle decisions.

If you want to make a change, but are not sure what the step is, here are some thoughtful solutions for beginning a new journey of personal assessment and growth.

 

How do you begin exploring personal and financial growth?
· What are your strengths?
· Is your internal view of yourself realistic?
· Do your values align with your goals?
· Are there mental/ emotional barriers that need overcoming to be successful?
· What do you need to take the next step?

Examine your story and ask questions. Does this story (well worn and comfortable) still fit your life? If not, how do you take stock of the past and re-frame that internal vision of yourself?

Reflect on these questions below to determine where you are:
Who are you?
What are your values?
What are you passions?
What is your purpose?

Have you ever browsed through old photos and marveled how people and places have changed so dramatically? Notice the changes in you over time and investigate ways to realign your passion and purpose to reach your goals. Life is about change and knowing who and where you are in life, assists you to move forward in a new direction.
Maybe you allow other people’s stories to define who you are, and it is time to take responsibility for you are. Embrace who you are, own your choices and begin to make proactive decisions and adjustments to reach your goals.

We all have different wants and needs. Some people have a strong desire to invest in their future. Others want to live exuberantly at the moment. We all have distinct levels of emotional tolerance toward our present situation. When we feel pain or guilt, are scared and ashamed of our actions, those negative emotions are a sign that change might be a powerful step into a more positive, meaningful future.

I want to share this video of Amy Cuddy speaking about change, on both an emotional and physical level. If you have ever felt inadequate or that you are a “fake” and it’s just a matter of time before “everyone” finds out, this clip may be life changing for you! In addition to mentally focusing on a new goal, Amy shares scientific evidence that simple changes in your body language can effect other people’s opinions about you and enhance your success! It certainly affected me, and I hope you will also find it valuable.

Video: Don’t Fake it ‘till you make it; Fake it until You Become it!

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STARTING THE JOURNEY

3x3 STarting The JourneyHere are some tools to help you determine where you are financially. Learn what your credit score is, plan how much money you want place in your savings account and start a budget for all the important things in life.

Getting ready to buy a house? While it is always important to set intentions and visualize your goal, nothing will happen until you take action and get some momentum flowing. I always wanted to play basketball but sleeping with a basketball under my pillow and wearing shorts and a jersey with a number on it, will not make me a player! To play the game, I have to learn the rules, dribble a ball and practice making a basket. These actions will get me much closer to my goal.

Keep that in mind when your goal seems to be “just out of reach.” Implementing proactive plans and following up with the best action will always take you many steps closer toward the prize!

To help you have a healthy relationship with money and to learn new habits, we have placed numerous tools on the Money Nerve website. It is my hope that these tools will help you to determine how you are spending or saving your income and assist you on your financial journey. Please see the tools page on the #MoneyNerve website for more options.

Here are just a few:
Determine your credit score: https://www.creditkarma.com/

Explore how much your monthly payments would be for a house, depending on the money you have to put down on it and the amount of time your loan is scheduled for: http://www.mortgagecalculator.org/

If you want more house than you have money, now might the perfect time to bump up your savings and plan a budget to make your dreams come true: http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/home_budget_calculator/

How to create a balance sheet to determine how your assets and liabilities. And as you purchase a house, learn how to determine what your equity is: https://youtu.be/mxsYHiDVNlk

And last, check out this video from Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest.com. She shares 5 principles to live a debt free life:

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POSITIVE FLOW

Positive FlowDo you ever find yourself so completely immersed in what you’re doing that you lose track of time? All of a sudden you look up at the clock and realize that hours have passed and you missed dinner time? Think a minute about this. When does this loss of time and total engagement typically occur for you?

This could apply to a martial artist completely absorbed in perfecting a flying kick, or a violinist fiercely concentrating on a complex symphony. One may find still greater happiness working towards long-term, meaningful goals. Viktor Frankl, who survived a Nazi concentration camp, once said “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.” (Frankl, 1992)

According to The Pursuit of Happiness this loss of self-consciousness that happens when you are completely absorbed in an activity – intellectual, professional, or physical – is described in contemporary psychology as a state of flow. In order for a flow state to occur, you must see the activity as voluntary, enjoyable (intrinsically motivating), and it must require skill and be challenging (but not too challenging) with clear goals towards success. You must feel as though you have control and receive immediate feedback with room for growth. Interestingly, a flow state is characterized by the absence of emotion – a complete loss of self-consciousness –however, in retrospect, the flow activity may be described as enjoyable and even exhilarating!

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that flow is highly correlated with happiness, both SWB (Subjective well-being) and PWB (Psychological well-being). Furthermore, it has been found that people who experience a lot of flow regularly also develop other positive traits, such as increased concentration, self-esteem, and performance.

In one study, 250 “high-flow” and “low-flow” teenagers were asked to report on their feelings and activities at regular intervals (Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 1988). The high-flow teenagers on average reported more time spent on “active leisure” activities such as hobbies, sports and homework. The high-flow teenagers also measured higher levels of self-esteem and engagement. Interestingly, however, the high-flow teenagers self-reported lower levels of fun than the low-flow teenagers.

Apparently, high-flow teenagers see their low-flow peers as experiencing more fun engaging in low-flow activities, such as video games, TV or socializing. However, the high-flow kids end up having greater long term happiness as well as success in school, social relationships and careers. If flow has such incredible benefits to our happiness, relationships and success, then why do people habitually choose low-flow activities?

Why do people, in the moment, choose another episode of American Idol over a game of pickup basketball? One hypothesis is that the high-flow activities require more initial motivation because they do require skill and concentration. In other words, high-flow activities are work! But work that pays off. Low-flow activities, such as watching TV, could contribute to depression and low self-esteem.

Thus, when we are actively involved in trying to reach a goal, or an activity that is challenging but well suited to our skills, we can all experience a joyful state called “flow.”  The experience of flow in both professional and leisure activities leads to increased positive affect, performance, and commitment to long-term, meaningful goals.

Take a moment to determine what is most important to you and what activities take you to a place of timelessness. Find your flow for a more abundant life!

Bob

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BEING MINDFUL

3x3 Acceptance for what comes to us

You are exactly where you want to be in your life. You may say, “No that’s not right, I wanted to be successful and rich.” Based on your actions, here you are. Well – guess what, you are not alone!

We all have goals and dreams for our life. A large percentage of people feel they somehow “missed the boat” or that “other people’s negative opinions” caused them to be less successful. If you are ashamed of how you spend your money, the good news is that you have the power to change that.

If you are not happy with your life, it may be time to re-evaluate and make some conscious changes. Mindful changes. Being mindful is not some abstract expression that means you chant and sing to empty your mind and then magically life is good. Being mindful is a strong focus on the now – noticing small details, determining why you are acting the way you are and using that information to refine your actions for better results.

Setting a financial intention is a wonderful tool for determining how and when you spend or save money. Being mindful will build your financial muscle as you decide whether the fashionable sunglasses you want right now or the additional education you need to move ahead will create value for you long-term. Pop-up ads and television shows lure us with the promise that more is better. If we allow our emotions to make mindless decisions, then we miss out on the most important items we crave to have in our life.

One aspect of living in a cashless society is that the tangible feeling of money has been lost. It is easy to run a plastic debit or credit card through a machine for instant gratification. There is no real sense of parting with your money because you never felt its weight in your wallet. You did not handle it and give it way. In today’s world you feel financial pain when your credit card is declined or the bank takes all of your cash to cover your bounced checks.

Make a “top ten” list of what is most important for your life. Make a conscious decision to change the way you handle money. This area of focus will help you learn to be aware of the emotional triggers that control impulsive decisions. Once you know why you continue to make the same choices, you can choose a different response. Make a plan and keep your long-term goals in front of you to create a healthy relationship with money.

As you make intentional financial trade-offs, you will learn that choices regarding your money don’t have to be painful. By thoughtfully choosing to invest in yourself, you can jump off the merry-go-round of money madness as your new budget creates financial freedom!

I will leave you with this thought, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Have a proactive week! Bob