Live Your Purpose and Plan

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Do you have a dream? Have you made the dream into a goal by setting some due dates?

My purpose is good karma, which means trying to live everyday virtuously according to my values so that the after the day I would’ve done more good than harm. This is a bit difficult to assess to be honest, because even with best intentions one can end up causing harm. Knowing this, I try my best to do good and mostly that starts with myself.

My purpose shows in daily actions as following the vegetarian diet, exercising, writing journal, reading books and meditating. I try to apply it to everything I do and work, this is described as “karma yoga” or yoga of action as described in Bhagavad Gita.

After the important daily actions which I mentioned, I still usually have quite a bit of energy left: this goes to work of serving other people. Usually most of my energy goes to my professional work. After my professional work has been done and the daily actions are done, I do not have much energy left for the day. Usually with the reminder depending on the day I spend with friends, family and finally try to write and publish a blog post. Then there is also perhaps a bit time during the week or perhaps weekend for reflecting and planning for the future and reflecting of the past. Especially life planning and financial planning are perhaps weekly themes that I check, if everything is going as I feel they should.

Even though I feel like I am living a purpose, I feel like I must still have some sort of action plan and vision for life. I’ve vision about better future, where we could succeed together in bigger and more audacious projects such as discovering the potential of the human mind, space travel and exploration.

This requires learning and that’s why I am big advocate of learning: I wish everyone would have the opportunities get the basic schooling to be able to read and write. Then get the access to knowledge through teachers, mentors, and coaches. Internet is important place to learn and share the learning,

Civilization, becoming civilized I think is the answer and that happens through learning. With learning there are few necessary skills such as critical thinking and learning and the abilities to learn and required. Then with reading and language skills, access to knowledge such as teachers, internet and libraries we are finally unlocking the vast potential of human curiosity. I value highly projects such as Wikipedia, Youtube and Khan Academy.

Planning and having this positive desire, does not need to mean to having to attach to this plan or the result. Life is prioritization all the time, it’s not skillful to get attached.

Karma yoga

Your work is your responsibility,
not its result.
Never let the fruits of your actions
be your motive.
Nor give in to inaction.

Set firmly in yourself, do your work,
not attached to anything.
Remain evenminded in success,
and in failure.
Evenmindedness is true yoga.

—Bhagavad Gita, 2.47-49

Yet having a plan, means that you’ve given a thought for the future and when the future meets present, you’ve ore options. At best you’ve a different plans plan a, plan b and so worth and then you can choose the closest options or the hybrid of these plans and continue with that. Planning is proactivity and probabilities. Planning means recognizing risks and working to minimize those risks.

Life is rather short and no one exactly knows how much time we have left. Thus living a mindful, present and happy life with a sense of purpose is a sound piece of advice. Yet what could be more inspiring reason to get up than inspiring vision, that today’s actions do good today, but perhaps tomorrow as well?

Because of the shortness of the life, we have to live the purpose every day. Where we spend most of our time we should stay focused there. Yet we should be aware of the future potentials, plan for different skenarios and be awake to take advantage of them. If we could be even greater service through planning, shouldn’t we take advantage of that?

That’s exactly what I had in my mind today as I broke down my previous cash flow calculations into a more actionable goals. About a year ago as a part of the real estate investment coaching I calculated the following cash flow requirements from assets per month to feel secure, wealthy and rich.

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It’s still holds true I feel. However, as I had these stages thought out, I didn’t have much plan to how to achieve them. I had a bunch of separate ideas hanging around, yet crystal clear action plan or scenarios thought out.

Three scenarios I did manage to write for the near future, that was rather rewarding. Then in regards to this stages, I also considered the potential vehicles. Mostly I’ve come to the conclusion that real estate investing is the way to go, the vehicle of the choice so to speak. What now made these stages now really feel achievable was that I was about to calculate with my conservative numbers how many apartments I would have to own in order to achieve these goals. First earned euro from real estate asset is of course the first step, however now I also know that the first milestone is 13 apartments. This feels very energizing and great to know that it is doable number, although there is a bit of how still remaining: planning helps us to visualize the potential outcomes.

Then it is just up to us to live the life mindfully in the present and enjoy whatever life brings without an attachment!

What Are You Investing Today?  

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Exercise is an investment for tomorrow. Well being of others through comes through your health.

Learning is an investment for tomorrow: what you have learned by heart, you get to keep.

What are you doing today, to make your tomorrow better? When I realized this a couple weeks back, it changed completely the way I view my time.

Exercise wasn’t a chore anymore. Learning is a fun opportunity. Well both of these have been part of life for long, however now I found a new fun way to look at it: as an investment for tomorrow.

Exercise builds physical capacity, which enhances in turn the mental capacities to learn. Both of these capacities are at work at work. Working is therefore essentially building your capacity.

From work you might get paid in a way or another. What do you do with the money you get? Are you researching investment opportunities to make the money work for you?

If not, perhaps you should be. Because best investments for you require deep understanding, which can only come if you are looking at what market has to offer.

Investment becomes investment when the investment sum starts to work for you by returning more money that you put in.

Transcending Financial Ignorance

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On how many income streams you are depending?

Most common reply is one, and that’s job. Here in Finland there is also quite many people who are relying on the job and some government living assistance to cover the outrageous rents that feed the pockets of real estate investors.

There are also people who recognize the trap of the government payouts and rather just rely on their own earned income, then start to save a bit, maybe 5% at first then up to 15 % of their monthly income and start to invest it in assets, that actually bring in some money.

The test for financial ignorance goes like this: define an asset and define and liability. Then determine which is smarter to acquire!

Personally I’ve awaken the importance of finances closer to my 30’s than 20’s. I kept thinking more importantly than starting investing I could just set up some business and get rich that way… Gladly woke up from this day dream and understood that perhaps there is a point in starting now to investing to assets. Assets simply generate more wealth. Getting wealthy means generating more income streams which means educating ourselves about all kinds of opportunities that are out there.

Acquiring assets takes effort, it’s unlike that easy ignorant hoarding of liabilities. There are always risks associated when investing: work to understand and minimize the risks is are the trick that the lazy consumers do not even think of.

Synthesis from Science of Money and Some Other Books

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So I just finished Science of Money by Brian Tracy and I was thinking to write summary. However, just writing a summary isn’t right, because there are so many interesting things from other sources as well which I thought to throw in the mix.

Science of Money gets a big recommendation from me, if you are interested about money. On the measure of how much Kindle highlights I’ve made, this was a great book with a lots of learning as I exceeded the 10% with over five percentage points. The fact that I cannot even highlight and remember everything, is a very good sign that if you are interested, get the book.

Book starts by verbalizing what I have been thinking and experiencing a in my professional life: “Money remains one of the most thought – provoking , emotional , and polarizing subjects in the world.”

Whenever we start to talk about money with people we do not know well, it is a topic that does easily cause strong emotions and polarizes. Conversations can end or light up quickly.

What is money? Money is medium of exchange, the medium to exchange value. Things themselves do not have any value, only when there is someone to pay.

As Yuval Noah Harari put in Sapiens “money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.” Money is medium of exchange, and it’s based on trust and belief that you can exchange it tomorrow too.

More important than money, is however the value. And because we all exchange our services for something, we better be always looking to create more value. Because of this, Brian Tracy puts it well that everybody works on straight commission. To me this was a breakthrough thought that instantly connected with another thought from Daniel Pink’s book to Sell is Human: “selling is moving people”, therefore we are all in sales.  I think this thought by Brian Tracy is really interestingly combined with this thought and creates even greater thought:  we are all in sales with straight commission.

When we begin to internalize this, we start to think more about the value we create in the hours, days and weeks. Brian puts it well that wealthy people work for six days a week. They also keep on investing on themselves to keep on learning new valuable skills.

Earning ability, the skills is important. Even more important is the habit of saving money from what you earn, after that you can scale up.

Parkinson’s Law and How to Use It

More importantly Brian goes through most relevant laws that govern money and earning. They all important, yet in here I would like to focus on Parkinson’s law that says expenses rise to meet the income. Or “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

On contemplating this, I’ve successfully understood why Elon Musk for example divides his time into five minute chunks to get more done. Even bigger chunks such as 30 min or 45 minute will work. Setting a time limit for a task will make sure that it will get done.

Identity and limiting beliefs

Brian goes to length talk about limiting beliefs, self-doubt in particular that as he shares in one story, is the tool of the devil as the metaphor.

As a medicine for self-doubt he recommends the inverse paranoia (believing that world is conspiring to make you succeed) that was practiced for example by W . Clement Stone who was worth 800 million $ at the time he died.

Many of us live with kind of (socially programmed) level of self-worth in money and social as well. This is mostly unconscious, we inherit from our childhood and youth environment and strive for it. If we are below the level of our programmed level of living standard, we are willing to work harder. If we are above, we will find ways to spend and get rid of the money.

Changing your identity about money happens as with any habit: slowly and surely. As with getting anywhere, visualizing the success and using the imagination to be actually already there is the first step to achievement. This is the way for example soccer hero’s are born: young boys watching their childhood heroes on the field. Or for any pop star as well, it all starts with a dream – a visualization and then a long journey with many tiny steps towards that dream.

Money is not the end goal, as said, money is just a metric on how much value you are creating. However, be patient, learn, learn and learn. You will be surprised: this is a more probably road than winning a lottery.

“The most important principle of personal or business success is simply this; you become what you think about most of the time.” – Brian Tracy

Since all money just measures how much value is being created, the value creation is critical. All value is created from nothing. This makes life a wonderful adventure, because it means we there is no limit to the value we can create if we are imaginative.

If your work is profitable then it’s worth of your time and effort, a nature’s way of guiding us.

 

Work and Humility

“When you go to work, work. Put your head down and work.” – Brian Tracy

Brian gives about working and understanding that working is exchanging value and then value should be maximized. With the acknowledgement that we are all humans, I like this kind of thinking. When we work, the focus should be working and creating value for the customers. To create value for customers we need to be finding new ways to serve these people in customer organizations.

Then I might add a different point of view as well, that our focus as human beings is rather limited. There are no such things as 12 hour productive streaks. We need to stay focused and productive during our day, however in between there should be smart breaks, a bit of exercise, and why not some laughter as well.

Overall I really like the idea of recognizing when you should be focusing and working and when you should be having fun is a big difference and I like the humility here as an approach.

Cause and Effect

 “All wealth, all happiness, all prosperity, all success are the direct and indirect effects or results of specific causes or actions” – Brian Tracy

To conclude so much content, I would say that value creation, through work and imagination are the basis. One important thing is what is called secondary consequences. This thought really hit me, that I actually see think about this stuff! Most people think only about what happens next, primary consequence if you do this or that. However, there are also the secondary consequences which will happen eventually from other perspectives.

Whatever you want to achieve in life you can either achieve it by chance or doing something differently. Study the cause and effect, and think of the secondary consequences too.

How to Acquire Quality, Riches and Success

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Qualities can be developed and acquired. One way is roleplay, which is essentially a way to fail fast and therefore a fast way to learn.

“If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.” – William James

 

Example 1: Being rich

First question would be, what is a rich person?

Common misperception is merely that there is a lot of money, luxuries etc. While this is correct observation it’s the surface. What makes a rich is in fact the ability to sustain certain lifestyle for infinite amount of time.

Mindset that makes allows you to sustain desired lifestyle for infinite amount of time has some preconditions. First you must understand that you’ve to have sources of income that produce income for you regardless of you working all the time or not.

Spending does not make you rich, investing to assets that produce you more do.

Don’t be fooled by the luxurious lifestyles, pay attention what is happening underneath.

Accept what you have and work from there. You too probably have access to at least one supercomputer class asset: your mind, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this. Literally human mind has been the greatest asset for the humankind for very long time and for you it’s very accessible.

“There are no limitations to the mind except those that we acknowledge.” ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Rich people do not work for the money, they invest in assets that produce money for them.  Therefore being rich is more of a mindset than any amount of wealth. Anyone who is putting effort to create and nurture asset has the potential to become rich. So adopt the mindset and start practicing and learning fast right away.

 

Example 2: Being successful

By definition success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, so one must first have internal aim or purpose which then can be achieved.

Misperception of success if often the attention of the big audience, i.e. when you get attention you are successful. However, if this is true then the success does not last very long time and this kind of success is rather unhealthy and addicting.

While the attention is the language of power and love, which we all in the end crave for, real success should be measured by the achievement of internal standards, the achievement of aims and purposes.

To achieve success by this definition again we need to change and learn something to produce different results. To achieve success in our aim or purpose we probably need to change what we are doing. If we do not, we have set the bar too low to begin with.

To succeed, again we need to learn. Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.

Studying mind is necessary to challenge the status quo, what has been learned before and to test if it is indeed true. Often the big breakthroughs happen through a paradigm shift, a new understanding that can only happen with the mindset of a student.

However, a student would be fool, not to leverage the wisdom who have come before us. Over 108 billion people have lived before us, and some of them have accomplished feats that no-one has ever since managed or bothered to do. You can still access to some of these brilliant people through books.

In whatever effort you want to be successful in, study those who have already accomplished what you seek to do. Seek inspiration, guidance and mentorship. Measure your success against your own metrics, quit only when you are done.


There you go, a short introduction on what does it mean to achieve a certain quality in life. Discovering what it is you want, then living and breathing everything about it, seems to be the key. As long as you do not quit, you might succeed.

Like I said, failing is learning. If you try and fail that’s alright. If you do not try, then you are stuck.

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” ― G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man

Breaking Out of Financial Dependency

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“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Since I was a teenager I’ve thought out that the world of adults is kind of stupid loop: from caffeine dose to caffeine dose, from nicotine dose to nicotine dose… I too was wired, wired for sugar back then big time and I didn’t even see it.

What’s curious about addictions is that they do not even have to include substance, we get addiction can occur through our own hormonal system and often will. Examples are games, thrills or sports.

Well since then I’ve overcome quite a few “bad” habits and even so called addictions. It hasn’t been until more recently, maybe about a year ago that I started to think of the monthly salary as a form of addiction as well. Probably the idea I understood when I was reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Being dependent on monthly salary is a bad idea, bad habit, an addiction. It might be necessary for sometime, in the longer run it’s not viable option.

So how exactly it is possible? Well, don’t work for the money. It’s as easy as that mentality, yet what is difficult for many is the mentality of putting the money to work. That actually takes a lot of work, to find the opportunities for money to work.

When is X?

Thinking and especially questioning the routines we are running is beneficial to attempt to look at the life we are living with different set of mindset. When we living the routines, everything is automatic and more focused to the present and short term, with actually thinking we can entertain ourselves with silly thoughts without necessarily taking on them as habits seriously. Questioning is also very good tool to ensure that what we are doing still matches what we want: it can happen that we’ve changed and the world has changed, however we still keep doing that which does not apply any longer.

Today I had such privileged morning that I was able to go through my walking, thinking and questioning, in other words I had the time and space for it, which was lovely. Results surprised me, I pursued one question for hours and as a result I did get different ideas sketched down on what to do. I did not get yet to answer to the question I was pursuing, yet I am very satisfied with this result.

The whole thinking practice started today because last week I understood that I need to answer myself: “When is X.”

I’ve had this process of continuous improvement, and a system for it in place. Yet I’ve been quite literally blindfolded about until when I am going to do it. Also although I’ve been improving, I haven’t been making any leaps, mostly it has been just small and incremental improvements on the way. Therefore I had decided I need to answer this question now.

Following image appeared:

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Sketching this I understood that what my current process in earning income lacked, was the breakthroughs. While I’ve so ambiguous ideas when there might be such breakthrough, because finances have to do with numbers I could fairly accurately predict already with the current process when I am going to do the breakthroughs. Most importantly when I know when is the X I could actually start thinking about more creative ways to make it happen earlier.

SMART goals are great, just need to remember two when’s: when you are going to work towards it and when you are supposed to finish.

What Do You Do First With Your Pay?

 

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A thought just occurred to me today after about twelve hour work day, it is pay day.

My colleague immediately asked me am I gonna hit bar or smth?

Well such questions couldn’t be farther from my mind at that point, as I was thinking on where should I invest the money. Actually I do not even invest the money right away, I just put it to my investment account until I am certain what to do with it.

However upon realizing that it is indeed pay day the thought of investing, and the fun process of researching potential investments came to my mind.

I am quite glad about this, because it has been just a short while since I’ve acquired the habit of investing and paying myself first. I think the first thoughts that appear when thinking about extra money or pay day for example represent very well the habit: these days I would’ve clear idea what to do with the money next, where as before I didn’t.

Now I would use extra to invest more first, before it would’ve been some silly doodad purchase perhaps or maybe even a gift. For sure I would’ve found some way to do something special

What comes to your mind when you receive the pay?

Work is an Investment for Tomorrow

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Work converts energy into a services and products, which will further benefit people who receive and use those. In short, work creates value for others.

Also because working is a process, where we serve and get feedback immediately we keep on learning, through the feedback. If we do not learn while we work, then we are mostly wasting our own time. However, the responsibility to learn is not our employers, it is our own. It is our own responsibility, because although we provide the service for others the most valuable thing we can gain from there is that learning and improving at what we do, because that is the basis for our future income in a way or another.

The way we use time today, determines how successful we are tomorrow. The anguish felt today, becomes from the wasted yesterday.

Time is the most precious thing we have in life. Although work is a big part of the life, the mental process of working aims of course to the liberty from “working for external” and strives for “working for internal reasons.”

I think we can bring these internal reasons right away in the game, even though we would start the work from external necessities. If we keep this in mind we will transform inevitably transform the work into just that.

Time is our ally, and we need to make use of it: working today becomes an investment for tomorrow.

Five Financial Lessons to Build Wealth

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Thanks to my upbringing I’ve I always been kind of sensible with the money: the lesson I’ve learned from my parents was simple: earn more than you spend. To do this simple budget sheet has been valuable tool that I’ve ever since applied in that.

My first lesson has been useful, however not quite enough by itself. It does not really advise what to do with the surplus I’ve so hard worked for. Without the proper guidance to for that one cannot expect, but to keep working hard in order to earn more than one can spend. However, as we grow old and tired we are able to work less and less, so it is indeed worthwhile to think what to do with the surplus.

What to do with the surplus?

Invest 10 % of what you earn each month, is a mantra that I’ve heard from my oldest brother and as some echo like voices from seemingly successful people. This makes sense, yet without the proper definition for investing one cannot hope to succeed.

Second lesson I’ve learned only recently, first I caught the reference of this in Robert Kiyosaki’s books, later I found it very well laid out in the book Richest Man in Babylon. There was a clearly instruction that we not only ought to invest 10 % of what we earn, but we should also keep it and make it work for.

Working hard and creating the money is easy.

Keeping 10 % of the surplus is easy.

How to make the 10% work for you?

Robert Kiyosaki defines investment clearly as something that will create more money for you. Unless it has brought more money for you it is not an investment.

You bought new shoes? Unless you sell them away with more, they are not an investment.

You bought a new house? If you rent it out, and it creates passive income for, it is an asset.

What if you buy an house, which you are hoping to sell with higher price, but you’ve to pay for it each month? Not an investment, it’s a liability.

You invest money for assets that generate money for you. They are not investments unless they generate money for you, no matter what your accountant tells you.

The key to make investments work for you, is to put some initial work there as well. So you do not only to work to earn the money, you work to keep the money by studying  and investigating carefully exactly what are you going to do with it. This thought to investigate the opportunity as long you worked for the money you are about to invest, I picked up from Brian Tracy and I think it’s absolutely brilliant!

How do you know when to invest? Once you are sure you won’t lose money. Warren Buffet’s two rules for investing are: “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.” As a guiding principle for your study, find out the trend at which you are buying, never forget that winners buy low and sell high.

Recap:

  1. Earn more than you spend.
  2. Keep 10 % of what you earn.
  3. Investigate investment opportunities
  4. Calculate your hourly salary, divide the sum you are about to invest with that and set time aside from your calendar for systematic study of investment opportunities.
  5. Never lose money. Buy low, sell high.