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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

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OPEN to CHANGE

2015-08-25 01.21.13 pmMost people have a mental map of where they live – they are familiar with the area surrounding their town and within even a greater sense about their state. People know where to turn to drive to the grocery store and can give directions to visitors looking for a nearby location. And most of us can give a very good estimate of how much time it takes to get from Point A to Point B. We are able to visualize our surroundings, estimate travel times over long distances and arrive at the proper destinations.

This powerful concept can also be applied to “mentally moving” toward a new goal or destination. By knowing where you are in life and knowing what your ultimate destination is, you can determine what route will get you there and how much time you need to accomplish your goal. You are able to create a clear and conscious path to navigate toward your goal.

”Mental mapping” can be accomplished by writing a list or by creating a visual mind map. You can lay down stepping-stones and build a bridge from one nebulous thought to a structured plan with several options.

Start by writing down one of your major goals and drawing a big circle around it. Now jot down words or ideas around that big circle that could help you realize your goal. These ideas often become the small successful steps that help you reach your goal. Many influential CEOs have built companies or made significant changes in their industry from a simple napkin drawing. By giving form to your ideas, you may now “see” your solution and can make thoughtful choices to move in this new direction.

Connect your circles (ideas) with “branches” to similar or associated ideas. This makes your steps easier to remember and creates a logical connection about how to move forward. If you hate to write, fill your mental map with drawings and images that speak to you. This process is all about realizing where you are and where you want to go. It is a very simple and effective tool for exploring creative ideas and options to make a change.

I have included a simple mental map as an example; there are many variations. Curvy lines, organic thoughts, and bold colors incorporated with free-association style thinking encourage many people to come up with even more ideas. Your free-form thoughts can be streamlined into a strategic action plan. Let yourself be open to new possibilities and experiences. You may discover a brand-new solution you never dreamed of before!

Share your maps on Twitter or Facebook. It would be great to see how others express their ideas!

Bob

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MONEY NERVE SHOW AIRS SUNDAY AUG 23

BOB-3303-Money-Nerve-bc_frontBWouldn’t it be nice to worry less about money and focus more on financial freedom? A healthy relationship with money is freedom. Tune into The Money Nerve Show Sunday, August 23,  and explore your personal decision-making process.

Learn what emotions are driving your relationship with money and create the new financial you! Define your “Money Nerve” and start making positive choices for effective financial decision-making in your life!

Mark your calendar for this Sunday, August 23, to listen to The Money Nerve Show. The topic for this show is an interesting concept,  “How to get Rich without winning the Lottery,” featuring my special guest Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS. Join us as we share tips on building wealth, learning new investment tips and living a life of financial freedom!

Barbara Friedberg is a veteran portfolio manager, expert investor, and former university finance instructor. Friedberg is editor of several books including Personal Finance; An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management, How to Get Rich Without Winning the Lottery, Invest and Beat the Pros-Create and Manage a Successful Investment Portfolio and publisher of BarbaraFriedbergPersonalFinance.com. You can also find her “Young & Oldish Money” podcast on iTunes.

The Money Nerve Show with Barbara Friedberg will be broadcast this Sunday, August 23, at 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET.

Dreamvisions 7 Radio: 1510am WMEX Boston
Re-Broadcasts Weekly Each Friday: Noon & Midnight PST / 3 pm & 3 am EST
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Please join us!
Bob

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DEFEAT FINANCIAL DEPRESSION

3x3 A New DayFinancial concerns can be overwhelming    especially if your friends and family all seem to be doing well.

Ignoring the issue may feel like the  easiest solution, but in reality, when you ignore problems, they can become larger-than-life and multiply. You may feel you have no control and    can’t make a difference. It is easy to slip into a “victim” mode and feel you have no power to change your situation.

When people allow their debt to control their lives, it is easy to fall into a financial depression. That leads some to consider suicide because they are ashamed or feel that family members would be better off. Not true! Statistics show that a suicide directly impacts at least six people and often leaves family members in far worse condition emotionally and financially.

According to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety and depression can lead to serious problems like:
• Headaches, weight gain, digestive problems and other physical problems
• Insomnia or sleeping too much
• Alcohol or substance abuse
• Nervousness and panic disorders
• Conflicts at work and home

Financial coaches can share that burden with you: by facing the problem together, reviewing your bills and making plans to tackle your financial challenges – you can change your mental perspective. You now take control and begin to make small successful steps in resolving and defining what needs to be done.

Admitting there is a problem can provide the first glimmer of hope for many. It is smart to reach out for professional help. Do your research and find a non-profit organization with a focus on your needs, not making a profit for their business.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a non-profit founded in 1951, provides numerous money management services and educational programs, assisting millions of people to set a firm foundation for successful and long-term financial results.

Finding a trained professional that can assist you or a family member in prioritizing the debt and providing sound advice can create a more healthy relationship with money.

You are not alone!
Bob

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Negative vs. Positive

3x3 Broccoli_Love it or Hate itStudies have documented that a negative mindset can make people more susceptible to addiction, lack of focus, health problems or perceived health problems. Learning new ways to cope and overcome negative factors can actually help you live longer and stronger.

Another form of negative thinking that can hold you back is often based on emotions, such as feeling alone in the world or being jealous of those who have more. When self-doubt, fear or anger becomes the basis for making decisions, it can create a downward spiral of poor choices.

In fact, negative thinking can have a very real and damaging impact on your health and your life! There is no magic pill for this, but it is possible to turn things around. I am a big proponent of stillness and writing thoughts down. Make a list of everything bad in your life and everything good in your life. Now begin to focus on the positive aspects of your life and spend some time thinking about how you could enhance or increase them.

By directing your negative energy toward positive actions and constructive thinking, you take away the power of the negative and can channel your thoughts toward a new direction. Just as you might work out your large muscles, you are now working your mental muscles and building strength to pursue an abundant life. As you increase your mental control, you may decide to expand your list of positive actions by setting intentions for your future success.

It will take some effort. One of the ways to begin training your mind is to be more aware of your day-to-day thinking patterns. If a family member or work colleague hurts your feelings – STOP before you fall into an old, habitual response. Explore your feelings and decide if that old habit is still working for you. You may find it’s time to let go of your reactive response and craft a new way of dealing with challenges in your life.

The last tip for creating a more proactive lifestyle is to choose different words. If you absolutely hate broccoli and are served a delicious meal that includes steak, broccoli, baked potato and chocolate mousse, state the positive: I am so pleased, I really like steak, potatoes and chocolate mousse. Forget about the broccoli, you have three foods you like and only one item you don’t. You are in the positive. What a difference! You are enjoying the best and leaving the rest – a wonderful recipe for life!

Bon Appetit!
Bob

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Time to Change

3x3 Caught in the cycle
You may have heard of Napoleon Hill’s book Think & Grow Rich. This book, published in 1937, is one of the most popular success books ever written. Hill’s story is a rollercoaster ride of great success and numerous failures – each faced with persistence and a positive mind-set. Hill’s words have inspired millions to find themselves, believe in themselves and live the lives they never thought possible.

Hill’s top three lessons for a successful life:

Lesson 1: Definiteness of Purpose
Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. Without a purpose and a plan, people drift aimlessly through life. Today we call that mental mapping and setting our GPS for life goals and a financial destination.

Lesson 2: Mastermind Alliance
The Mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common definite objective. Success does not come without the cooperation of others. Finding others who are striving to live a positive lifestyle can help you reach a more successful outcome.

Lesson 3: Applied Faith
Faith is a state of mind through which your aims, desires, plans and purposes may be translated into their physical or financial equivalent. Setting positive intentions for what is most important in life creates the opportunity to seize the abundance of life – when you are open and receptive to opportunity.

The phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” takes on a deeper meaning when you use each new day to initiate action for personal growth. Changing your attitude, your beliefs in yourself and focusing on life goals can truly transform your life!

Start today by changing one small habit that would make your life better. Commit to this one new change for 30 days. Maybe you’ll decide to take your lunch to work one day a week and set that day’s lunch money aside for a weekend vacation or a savings account. Little steps can lead to a defined goal. Be accountable to yourself and use notes or your phone to track your efforts. Being successful with a few smaller goals may inspire you to tackle some larger goals and deadlines.

Here’s Napoleon Hill sharing the “master keys” of his life-changing concept . . . if you are ready!

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvK4RiiJV3w

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Visualize Abundance

Visualize success. Professor of Psychology Dr. Robert Rosenthal has studied the effect of self-fulfilling prophecies for more than 50 years, researching nonverbal responses between people, studying behaviors that change based on how teachers view students, and documenting lab animals rising to researcher’s expectations.

His findings? An encouraging attitude can cause people to rise up to another person’s higher level of expectation.

Let’s apply that on a personal level. How often do we create negative expectations in our mind – then when things go exactly as we feared, we feel validated that we were right? For example, imagine you are walking along a sidewalk and a group of teenage boys approaches you. The four young men are laughing and talking, but you feel they will ignore you and force you to step off the sidewalk as they pass by. And they probably will – based on your expectation and body cues. On the other hand, you may decide to greet them and smile, expecting they will shift to one side of the sidewalk, and again, you are right – it’s a friendly encounter as you pass by.

If visualizing a scenario in advance can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, let’s start using positive visualization to make our lives more abundant each and every day!

Buddha stated more than 2500 years ago: “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”

Set your intentions and visualize your future by writing down and verbalizing daily affirmations like, “I deserve the abundance in life,” or “Today I will be open to new possibilities and take action.” By creating a state of spiritual abundance, you open yourself up to the generous flow of life and embrace all possibilities that come your way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRMogDrHnMQ

Let go of past mistakes or bad habits and visualize your goals. Now you can move forward, making conscious choices that result in positive actions. Believe in yourself.  This fresh approach to making decisions will benefit your financial choices as well. Your goal is set and daily consistent actions will result in better money management with a higher level of financial peace.

Stay Mindful!

Bob

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LIVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE

Living an abundant life is about making thoughtful choices to increase the inner wealth of everyday living. It is a life based on a positive attitude, being aware of the abundance in the world and making decisions based on the best long-term outcomes.

To begin the journey toward financial freedom, set your goals with a strong focus on empowering your life.

Keeping your focus on these life-goals will assist you in creating a healthy relationship with your money. Being rich is not a destination!

One of the ways to see the abundance in your life is to be present and mindful of what is going on around you. Studies have shown that you can change your life for the better with one simple new habit: begin a daily journal to write down what you notice, what makes you happy, what you are grateful for, and where you see yourself tomorrow.

In fact, a research study at Duke University studied whether the power of writing – and then rewriting – your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.

The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health. ~ New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/19/writing-your-way-to-happiness/?_r=0

Your life journey may be comprised of six, eight, or ten stages, with many steps in between – and the possibilities are not always visible. People sometimes make judgments based on a snapshot of life (their own or someone else’s) without taking into consideration past history or potential for the future.

Finances and money decisions will always be a part of your life. It is part of the journey, with multiple paths and a constantly evolving landscape. It is not realistic to think you can learn a new financial skill one time and then be done with those pesky decisions. Rehashing old mistakes, letting emotional baggage dictate your actions or feeling financially lost are all the symptoms of a pinched money nerve.

Visualize the things that truly matter. This will be the basis for your financial decisions. Your goals will now predetermine how YOU will manage your money, creating financial freedom!

Begin your walk toward proactive abundance today. – Bob

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FACE YOUR FEAR

3x3TMN Head In SandI know many people who are afraid their entire financial life is going to fall apart at any minute. Sometimes, their fear does not correlate to their financial reality. It is an irrational emotion, based on what their family taught them or based on the unpredictable economic world we live in today.

I have friends who make high incomes; they have stunning homes, numerous cars, and staff who make their lives easier. Some of them have built their lifestyle through speculation and grand impulsive decisions. With all the material symbols of “success,” you would think they live a charmed and worry-free life! Yet, that is not always the case. Often there is a constant worry that the next project may not make it. Their mindset is, “We’re going to end up on the streets. We’re not going to make it” They are unable to enjoy their financial goodness and they live in fear.

Until recent years, America’s younger generation never feared they might lose everything. They have grown up in an era of abundance with no concept of scarcity. The media tells everyone that we all deserve nice homes, plenty of name-brand clothes, and the ability to buy almost anything we want at the store. Sometimes reality can be scary. When people see their friends losing jobs and realize that minimum wage can’t provide the lifestyle they grew up with, or see colleagues losing their houses, they start to live in fear themselves.

In the current economic reality, many people I interact with on a daily basis are afraid of losing everything they have worked for. Financial fear can make you stop in your tracks. Not taking a look at your account balances, not making any decisions, ignoring your family, and disregarding sound financial advice are a few examples of how people start to freeze up.

Don’t stick your head in the sand! Turn your fear around:

  • Take personal inventory. Knowing where you are makes it easier to plan your “next step” for the future.
  • Make your choices when you are at your best. Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry.
  • Face your fears. Write them down and explore ten new ways to find a solution. Circle one solution and begin to work on that.

Have any questions? Let me know via Facebook or Twitter and I will answer you. I bet many other people have the same question, too!

Let me know your thoughts – Bob

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WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

Most people are familiar with the phrase, “What’s in it for me?” And many may think it is the cry of a selfish or immature person. This phrase can be a valuable stepping-stone to determine where you stand financially, and an effective process to review your goals! Cost-benefit analysis weighs the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of your actions, in order to choose the most beneficial option.

Many people think of cost benefit analysis as something large corporations do annually for their board and stockholders. It is also a great tool for you to weigh your personal financial choices. It is important to take out the emotional responses and express all benefits and costs in monetary terms.

There are some people who regularly deny themselves life’s pleasures; typically they come from a generation that has experienced hardship. Saving is very important, but taken to an extreme, even saving can be harmful. An extreme saver risks losing the joy of living today by planning for a future that never comes.

Current American culture, on the other hand, teaches that all desires can be met with a credit card. We live for the moment. Not only do we neglect to think about the future, but we also sacrifice future stability for instant gratification. It is important to find a balance between saving and spending.

***Spoiler Alert*** You are going to have to budget to see this in action!

For example, you may say, “I really need a vacation in Hawaii. It’s going to help me relax and feel less stressed.” If you charge a package trip to Hawaii now, are you willing to give up some weekly luxuries and put 200 dollars monthly toward the credit card until it’s paid off?

If you can commit to that plan, take the vacation and keep your promise to yourself! Since there are no physical reminders to make the payments, you need to be disciplined enough to follow through with your budgeting choices.

Now you’ve made a conscientious choice. Either way – Hawaii or a “stay-cation” – you set your parameters ahead of time and empowered yourself financially. When you tap into your own financial power, you no longer wait for a lucky break or hope that you win the lottery – you are actively taking charge of your life. What a great way to end the day!

Bob