Don’t Give Up Your Mind

What are we?
Humans.

What’s the most significant between us and other animals?
We have a mind that allows thorough thought process before we take actions.

Right… if a person take a real close look at the society today, one would wonder if that is necessarily true…
Sadly.

Of course…
Critical thinking is tough.
People don’t like tough.
Thinking requires actual work.
People don’t want to work.
Thinking is boring.
People don’t want to be bored.

It’s so much easier to not think and be told what to do, or just go with the flow.
You can always blame the outside when something doesn’t go well.
No responsibility. No strings attached.
What convenience.
Let’s all give it up!
The mind that is.

But there is a slight problem if you take a look…

Looking at the advertising sector, you can observe the rampant, or shall I said rabid, movement and expansion these days. Remember I talked about why there’s no need for financially aware consumers before? Together with that, another idea that actually encourage the ads companies to continue their push to reach into every corner of consumers’ life is because how little people give thoughts about what they consume.

How are the growth of the ads sector and whether people think related, you may ask? If people don’t give so much thoughts into what products they are buying, what kind of loans they are borrowing, what kind of service they are affording, they are more bound, more easily succumbed to spend money on products they don’t really need, loans that cost them more in the long run, or services that bring little to no significant values. That in turn, allows all the ads campaigns to have such an effectiveness that promotes more use of ads. “It works, why not do it more!” Consumers are letting themselves be told what they “need” when most of the things being marketed are just things they “want”.

Take a look at Apple…
Take a look at all weight-loss programs…
Take a look at all the new drugs coming out…

In addition, if we look at the current society, how many people are not too hesitant to make their voice be heard? But quite often, they are just taking sides without clear thinking or they are simply echoing off each other. They said things but they didn’t say things because there are no substance, no real thinking behind those words. My sincere opinion is that they would not be saying many of those words if they truly see the world and the things that are happening as they really are.

Moreover…
Stress is on the rise.
Depression is on the rise.
Obesity is on the rise.
Nation’s health is on the decline.

Could it be that the whole population has been soaked by the message of materialism, perpetual growth, and flashy life style for too long? That everyone would work work work, in order to earn earn earn, to have lots of money to afford “things”.
Who needs to exercise.
Who needs to spend time with family.
Who needs to hang out with friends.
Who needs to appreciate nature.
Who needs a spiritual life.

Let me end the thought provoking content here, hopefully they are, despite them being very high level
I would not claim myself an expert in the above subjects, but hopefully I got my points across.
Just here to offer my point of view.

And to sum up it up…
You should do your own thinking.
Do not let other people dictate your actions.
Take your life personally and find the values that are important to you.
Understand them, prioritize them.
Then act and live accordingly.
Finally, use your mind wisely.

Originally posted 2007-10-30 01:04:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Terrible June for Stock Market

arrow-down.jpgLet’s be thankful that it’s the 4th of July and the market can take a break from tumbling. The terrible June has left everyone staring at some bloody red balance sheets. Hopefully the market fares better in the 2nd half of the year.

I do not look forward to calculating my networth for June. Oh well.

Now is even more critical to be reminded once again of the important idea of investing long term, instead of dumping the all the stocks and funds at huge loss. As long as you maintain the idea of finding solid investment that provide modest gain and not some get-rich-quick-thingie, whether you went with index fund or not, you should be alright in the long term and hence, best to stay put.

Keyword being “should” because let us not forget that buying into the market does not guarantee return. Even if you buy index funds. Even if you diversify. There is always systemic risk. Perhaps a major catastrophe causes the downfall of the sector of your funds, or the Wall Street somehow disappears, or the global market gets destroyed all together ,or our money system simply disintegrates! Give me your best guess. These are not likely scenario but who knows. Pessimistic? Perhaps. But I am just reminding you that no form of investment guarantees return. It is not a privilege.

Actually, the results of the above-stated disasters may not be that bad. First of all, people are screwed all together in those cases, and as result, we may live in better harmony supporting each other. Yeah, I can be a dreamer sometimes. On another thought, the idea of money may disappear and could return people to the true state of living. Or we may return to an age of the survival of the fittest, which will force people to be physically healthy and capable. Alright, I digress. I am done exercising my imagination.

The current market is a mangled pile of mess that is the result of people desiring unsustainable amount of growth in a short period of time and many of these so-called growth are a result of manual fabrication through layers and layers of abstraction (ie. CDOs). A dozen drunken monkeys in a room probably cause less chaos that that. My opinion is that it will take awhile for it all to untangle. It may even take the next 2-3 years during which we see little to no growth, if no losses, in our investment. But like I said again, we should be looking long-term.

Speaking of long-term, people always quote that the market returns somehwere between 10-12%. I don’t really like that. Past pattern does not predict future, especially the future of a speculative market that is a projection of the ficklest human minds. And when you really think about it, a few decades of data is not even that big of a sample either. People just love pulling statistics out of their donkeys to justify arguments.

Here is the thing, I took a look at the Vanguard Wellington fund that has been around since 1929 and Vanguard’s website said the average return is 8.3%. That gives me some idea and helps set my expectation. I do my diligence in investing — studying, carefully selecting, diversify a good chunk through funs — and I shall be happy if I get a 5-8% return in the long run.

I am in no rush to become rich. The journey is the fun part.

Originally posted 2008-07-03 23:19:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Truth and Untruth

To fully live, to be in the moment is to recognize reality as it is — in other words, the truth. To recognize truth is also to recognize untruth as a condition of life. To comprehend truth and untruth and their relationship fully is the step beyond good and evil. Having a perception beyond good and evil is where genuine, compassionate living begins.
– Kin

Originally posted 2012-02-27 21:18:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Is There A Time in Your Life When You Finally Get It…

I share with you this article that I stumbled upon that I truly enjoyed.

… when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out…ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on.

Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.
You realize that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you… and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.
You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself… and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.
You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you – or didn’t do for you – and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that everything isn’t always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself… and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties… and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.
You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to question the doctrines and values you’ve grown up with, or should never have bought into to begin with.
You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for your next fix.
You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the very foundation upon which you must build a life.
You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing.
You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.
You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.
You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.
You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise.
You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working hard for and that wishing for something to
happen is different than working hard toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance.
You also learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.
You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.
You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom, realizing that a positive attitude is a choice you make every morning when you wake up.
You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people… and you learn not to always take it personally.
You learn that nobody’s punishing you and everything isn’t always somebody’s fault. It’s just life happening.
You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.
You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.
You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart’s desire.
You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can and are extremely thankful for all the blessings in your life.

Author Unknown

Originally posted 2009-01-24 00:15:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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