Enjoying the Present and Saving for Later

There is the argument that we should lay it down and stop worrying so much about the future in order to live it up “now.”

However, when people say that, they often say it in the effect that enjoying the present and saving for later are mutually exclusive. Sometimes people are full of crap. Let me correct myself, sometimes is incorrect, it should be often time.

I believe you can do both. It is a matter of juggling and making choices. You may have to make sacrifice and compromise here and there in the now in order to make progress with both. It comes down to knowing yourself and deciding the important things in your life. People need to spend time to think about these — what do you know about yourself and the important things in your life?

And when you think, you need to think beyond the limit of their “norms”, and these norms include years of experience performing the same patterns of action, cultural background, religion, familial influence, peer pressure… And this is where real learning needs to take place. Being aware in everyday experience. Observing the world and the people around them. Seeing the cause and effect. Reading lots of books.

Back to the topic of enjoying the present and saving for later… I think people misconceive consciously or subconsciously that saving connotes pain and suffering. This is due to the consumeristic nature of our society. They got conditioned by advertising and then by power of the peers to have the if-you-don’t-spend-money-to-get-things-now-you-are-not-having-a-good-time mentality. Or the oh-woe-be-me-if-I-don’t-own-these-certain-things mentality. I did say “conditioned”, but people themselves have partial responsibility that they allow themselves be conditioned. They follow instructions because it is easier. Once again, people are not thinking critically for themselves.

And why does enjoying the present now usually mean you have to spend a butt load of money anyways? Yes, trips may cost quite a bit but you are not doing trips everyday I assume. There are many simple things to appreciate. There are a multitude of activities with minimal costs that provide enjoyable experience. People overlook those things. They lack awareness in life. Are you always looking for things to buy to feel excited? Do you often feel bored when you are not doing something? Do you have to have “this” (things or experience) to feel satisfied? I think those are all symptoms of the same — lack of awareness.

And we can also talk about people succumbing to the idea of standard of living. As age progresses, people have adopted so many what used to be luxurious and extravagant things into requirements as the “supposed” standard of living. What is this standard of living anyways? And what is normal? Perhaps they need to be more abnormal and start creating their own version of standard of living, instead of letting themselves fall into this bucket of people deemed normal. They are letting this normal defines them. And note, I am not saying you cannot having normal things and act the norm, just that you are to think for yourself and make the choice to do so. You align your decisions with your priorities in life. You define your normal.

I dare say that most people who have or had debt problems fall into one of the last 3 conditions. You may think the causes should be more complicated than those, and that would be fine. But I prefer to break things down to their bottom lines. I will leave the analysis of the complex human nature to the experts, or the “experts”, and I will continue to keep things simple. Though remember, simple does not mean easy.

Originally posted 2008-08-16 01:31:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

New Year Resolution is Silly

It’s that time of the year again. It’s that time of the year where everyone sets grandeur plans and shouts that those plans shall get accomplished. It’s that time of the year where gym is all jammed, albeit temporarily. Oh, new year resolution, allow me to say a few words about how silly that is.

It’s ok to talk and have fun talking about it… it’s still silly though.

Silliness of Emphasis on Weight Loss

As much as we always talk about positive thinking and affirmations and as much as we emphasize aggression in our society, losing weight on the contrary is such a defensive maneuver while positivity in this context implies becoming healthy. Losing weight does not mean becoming healthy.

While losing weight is usually a natural side effect in the process of becoming healthier, the way people lose weight often neglects the restoration of the body to a healthy state and worse yet, they sometimes do things that further undermines health, JUST to lose weight. As such, speaking, we are missing the point logically and pragmatically.

Silliness of Emphasis on New Year Resolution

What I really mean is not that new year resolution is completely and utterly silly. It is symptomatic for the fact that people cannot act or achieve without setting a goal.

I mean that the way we are emphasizing new year resolution is silly because in doing so, we completely neglect to look at our entire life as a complete process. We are treating our lives as a repeated process of going from point A to point B. It is easier to think like that but it is also far from reality. When we get so narrow-minded by goal, it is equivocate to mistaking a tree for the whole forest.

I mean that because, we had so focused on these small steps, milestones, we never get down to thinking about the character that we want to be as a person and what we really want to in life. The importance of character to a person is like what a wine connoisseur called “body” in wine.

So maybe instead of new year resolution, we should have life resolution and that is to an on-going effort to work on our characters.

The difference in questions is “What am I going to do this year?” vs. “What am I going to do with myself in life?” or “What kind of person shall I become?”. Which one is more aspiring?

A more concrete example is the questions “How do I become president?” vs. “How can I serve my fellow citizens?” Note the difference.

Who you are and aspire to be drives your behaviors and habits. You cannot change who you are without first facing who you are, in its entirety, without self-deceit. And then go from there.

Silliness of Rugged Individualism

It is too easy to say it’s all genetics and that we are born and grown up in certain way and that is that. But genetics and conditions only afflict on us a tendency which does not have to be, and to say otherwise, you are surrendering to the belief that there is no free will.

If you had not sit down and take the time and effort to re-examine yourself, you are not going to create any real and permanent change. You’ll forever be a random juxtaposition of concepts and ideas that happened upon or drilled into you. You can enforce short-term change that may work for a little while but never lasts. Change by repression without understanding does not liberate. That’s why there’s what is call the “rebound.”

You cannot change who you are until you see who you are. It sounds simple but what is simple is always most difficult. It boils down to…

(And if you continue living your life without ever done a self-examining process, you will forever be either what others want you to be and/or a pretension of who you THINK you are.)

Rugged individualism – to shout “I am who I am” – without ever first discover who it is that you are, is silly and leads to insecurity in ourselves, and insecurity turns us into sheeps and conformists because we will feel that need to band together (and eliminate those who are different) to feel a bit more secure. And that is the state of affair we are in. And that is what we are teaching the next generation by being great “role models”.

Silliness is that rugged individualism leads to conformity.

Self-Examining

People who rebound had never internalize their change… they didn’t really change in the first place because they had not discover the inner character that drives their behaviors.

Who you are shows. As Emerson once said, “Who you are screams so loudly into my ears that I cannot hear what you say.” That is indeed true that your character will be obvious to someone who pays attention and is aware.

Thus, it is helpful to: Focus not on what you said you will do. Focus not on what you think you did. Focus on observing your own action in various contexts to understand who you really are. Likewise, if you care to observe and understand others.

We, national and global populace (even most of our so-called leaders), are so accustomed to focusing on very short-term and “me-me-me” while I sincerely believe, a complete human being (shall we say an evolved, wise, and intelligent human being?) requires also the ability to think far and wide.

The prediction is: Until we, as individual, as fellow earth dweller, as global citizen, go through a period of self-examination and only after follow with actions that is base on self-understanding and thus also our connection with our surrounding world, the world will continue to get worse, before it gets better. There will still be more and more man-made crisis – be it medical, environmental, financial, etc. – (and probably made even worse by natural phenomena) in the coming years, until we had confronted ourselves. That’s the prediction.

Happy new year and I wish everyone a wonderful, peaceful year ahead/
vs.

Originally posted 2012-01-01 00:15:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Getting to the Basics and the Heart of Things

Success is my topic on this blog. Success is not simply one thing and definitely not about money.

That is why I have a tendency to write more about concepts in personal development and less about personal finance. I write much less about in specifics and details in what to do with your money. Besides the fact that there are plenty of info and references on the internet already, the truth is that if you can master the basics, success in life (and therefore personal financial life) will soon follow. Kinda like martial arts practice – the ability to a more advanced move comes from the mastery and understanding of doing a more basic move.

How do I mean? What are the basics? These qualities quicly come to my mind:

You may be thinking, “Compassion? Wha…?” Don’t laugh because compassion IS a basic and requirement in success in life.

Use the “Search” on the right to locate my posts on these topics.

Originally posted 2008-01-30 23:45:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Perfectly Misanthropic

Woohoo, I got my facebook vanity URL with the username that I always use. Now, to do the complete opposite to what social network means, I write this post. I am feeling devious. My blood is boiling. Nevermind, that’s exaggeration. But could be something that you can adopt and it will make your life much simpler, easier.

Let’s say we become misanthropes. Woot! What? You don’t want to be a hater? Well, let’s assume a misanthrope who is harmless to others, so more like an anti-social-ist… not anti-socialist. There’re already plenty of anti-socialists, defenders of democracy… er, moving on.

Anyways, let’s see how it can work to our advantage.

No need to pull words out of your @## with people.
No “strangers” weddings to attend.
No birthday and holidy gifts/cards to buy.
No peer pressure that demands purchase of the fashionable Capri Pants, or crocs (yuck!).
No siblings, relatives, friends who can demand a 0% interest “loan”, which doesn’t even guarantee they will remember you when you die.
No need to be nice, sweet, politically correct.
No more running around like chicken with head to make yourself feel important.

More time and space to relax, check!
Much much less mental and emotional stress, check!
Less detrimental factors (food, drink, late night) to health, check!
Money save, check!

Now, is not being misanthropic an excellent idea?

There are moments when I feel misanthropic where it’s perfect because you realize Earth would be so awesome without us… Don’t you have such moments? I do. Don’t lie, I know you do too. Guess that’s why I love the comic Pearls Before Swine. I see “the Rat” in me.

Okay okay, that is a bit nuts and over board, but we can realize some meanings and truth about the idea. Just that it is unnecessary to take it to extreme to be completely misanthropic.

Perhaps it means for us to re-define who friends are.
Perhaps it is nice for us to meditate on the meaning of connecting with one another. (and all these social networks)
Perhaps it illustrates the importance to be conscious of who, what, and where we are spending our resources.
Perhaps it tells us we each need space to be still, discover, learn, and be responsible to the self better before anything.

Or, perhaps nobody gives a damn.
That it does not mean anything.
That people just want their drama.
But I got my Facebook vanity URL, ha!
And I am going to bed.

Originally posted 2009-06-13 00:39:27. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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