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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

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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
Dream Visions Logo

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