Saving Interest Rate Is Not Low Enough

I’m sure that’s what all the banks think. “If only we can somehow make it 0% interest and still get people to deposite their money…”

This post is provoked as I am doing my monthly accounting and noticed this in my ING Direct Saving account.

So 1.5% is not low enough and they make it 1.4%, whaaaa….

They are really being unhelpful for those of us who are saving their money.

There are those people who think, “I will lose my money if I put them in stock market. I will not make any interest if I put them in saving. I will also lose money to inflation if I put them under my mattress. To hell with it, I’m going to spend it all.”

For sure that is not the right mentality to have, respective to saving and being frugal, but surely, we can all see why people feel that way, no?

PS. Hope everyone had a good July 4th weekend.

Originally posted 2009-07-05 16:01:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Four Aspects of Personal Growth

I would like to clarify the growth that can happen to us into four separate categories.

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Financial

I know the line between mental and emotional can be blurry, but I’d like to distinguish them because in this case, mental means personal mental strength and emotional indicates more people-related feelings/thoughts. Already we can see how growing in these two categories can affect each other, and it is not difficult to create links between the four areas. In other words, when we grow in one area, it provides support for us to grow in another. Examples such as, when we grow physically, becomes healthier and more fit, we have an improved sense of confidence that strengthen us mentally. In return, the mental strength provides the discipline needed to continue to exercise, and the discipline we used in that can spill over to let us have control over our money. And then by having control over our financial life, we feel more secure and thus, able to divert our mental energy to better purposes than being stressed out all the time about money. Or when we become more emotionally stable, there will be less situations where emotions take over us and allow our logical side to help resolve the situations for us. Stability in the other three areas help our emotional stability… etc…

As we can see, that is exactly why we need to grow and never give up in all four directions on our paths of personal development. They are closely related. None of the four should be neglected because lacking any of them will weaken the other areas drastically. To visualize this, let’s picture what would happen to a four-legged stool if one leg is missing. You get the idea.

Somewhat related to this, I’d like to quote myself from a conversation I had today, “Only if we’re truly independent, we will make real friends in life.” This is a bit vague, but “true” independence amounts to reaching certain level/independence in each of the four areas I mentioned. What I said is what I fully believe in my heart. “Inter-dependence (friends) is possible only after Independence (self)”.

Originally posted 2007-04-11 20:43:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Returning to the Moment

Last time I mentioned that a good outcome may come for everyone through the way the economy is going and the shedding of excess, if allowed (aka. if people stop screwing with the system). If we ever explore what I mean by “excess”, we will inevitably reach the agreement that such “excess” is related to the pursuit of external, materialistic, glamorous, yet ephemeral, things. The worst part, we have come to want them so badly that we became greedy, and we let our desires take us away from truly living — the “being” part as a human being.

So really, money problem is not money problem. Health problem is not really health problem. Environmental problem is not really environmental problem. All problems we have is but one problem. That would be our way of living, which lead to all those side effects.

There are a lot of names we can call it. Greed. Entitlement mentality. Instant gratification. Attachment to things. It does not really matter what we label it…

In the end, we have simply stopped living. We stop being. Have you ever wondered why we are called human BEINGs?

If you ask me what I am doing with my life now, I will answer you that I am to be present in the moment. All good things happen in the moment, and because I cannot think of a better way to put it, I will quote Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee:

My philosophy on life, the thing that I work on the most is to be present in the moment. My father had a saying, to change with change is the changeless state. meaning, being there in the moment, if you are always in the moment then you are taking life head on and you are changing with every moment that comes. You are present and you are aware. It’s sort of the state of perfection to be in, and the place where all good things happen.

The good that can come out of all these pain is for us to return to the moment.

When you are NOT in the moment, you are looking at the past. You are looking at the future. You want all these things so you focus on your desires. You focus solely on your dreams and ideals (notice I said solely, not that dreams and ideals are a bad things). You let greed blinds your sight. You let emotions and thoughts dictate your decision. It is a state of unawareness.

In such state of unawareness, we want external things. We want things to change externally FOR us. We rarely look to ourselves for change. To change with change is the changeless state. To have inner change accompanying the outer change is the changeless state. When we seek only outer change to force the external state to match our desires, we introduce chaos into the system, which leads to consequence (chaos) in order to restore the system into a changeless state. (kind of like the concept of entropy in physics)

At the current state of global economy, a lot of pain is being felt, and it will probably get worse before it gets better. That is my assumption because as pain keeps increasing and reaches a certain threshold, people either break or make. If people don’t break, they will unavoidably have questions in the line of “What the F is going on? This is not working. Something is wrong? What is wrong? Maybe what we are doing is not what we are to do?”

When people ask those questions, that is the beginning of real (inner) change. That will be the starting point of people’s returning to the moment. A way to truly experience life.

Similar to many examples of individuals’ rebound when their life had bottomed out. At that point, they can crash and burn and they may try to run away. Violence could be one such way. Suicide is another. Violence is an unacceptance of the current state and one’s attempt to destroy it (forcing outer change). Suicide is also a denial of the current state where one sees no possibility of outer change and forget about inner change entirely. Both fundamentally display the attachment of how things should be.

On the other hand, when people bottomed out, we all have already heard how many successful came to be because they dug themselves out of it.

Something similar has to happen to the whole population. We are in the bottoming out phase, and we either dig ourselves out or crash and burn. This has to happen collectively while simultaneously, this process of inner change, toward awareness, a kind of awakening, can only occur by each person on his own, if he chooses to, if he desires it bad enough.

That means we will experience life in our unique manner still, each with our own truth, but in a higher statement of awareness, we will be living quite differently, not so destructively, not so all-to-his-own-ly. This is a state where we are truly compassionate to others and nature, not because we should, not because we need them.

Dare I say, if we look beyond all the bureaucracy, dogma, rules, traditions of all religions, this is the principle they share and try to teach — the principle of living in the moment.

Living in the moment does not mean living hedonistically. It is also NOT a carpe diem mentality.

Read Living in the Moment here. I will revisit it also in the next post.

Originally posted 2009-03-04 23:27:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Mistake on Extremity

I have been pondering about the mistakes that we as people make, whether as an individual, as a group, and even as a whole nation. And I think people continue to make one mistake — extremity.

How do I mean?

Quoting myself from a previous post, “Life is structured a way that allows us to make many mistakes”. As such, in life we continue to make mistakes and that is fine, but even though the mistakes may seem different, there is one thing in common — It’s that they either do and focus on only one thing or they do one thing too much. Hence, extremity.

It may seem that sometimes people are changing, where they are choosing something else in life, yet they are making the same mistake without realizing it.

To become an integrated human and a full person, humans need to work on their body, mind, and spirit. Yet, when we think of all the people we know, we can probably count with one hand just how many of them consciously work on all three aspects of ourselves, of a human being. This days in the information age, people have become very mind-dependent. The other two aspects of life are severely overlooked… hence all the increase in illness, chronic diseases, obesity, harms we are doing to each other, and lack of connection with nature and our own nature.

To speak on an everyday perspective, people take the path of extremity when they choose to focus on one thing in life, such as career, money, romantic relationship, materialistic possession, a hobby, etc. You name it. People would seem to find happiness in that one thing in particular, and like a radar, they just zoom in on it. And then they find themselves with huge disappointment when they have to face the other parts of their lives. As such, they become even more focused and addicted on the ONE thing that makes them happy. What a vicious cycle.

We can agree that people who do that often appear disconnected with parts of their lives. We can also agree on that when people do that, they will eventually run into the face of drama and disaster, and they end up more disappointed and broken than ever. If they learn, they will begin to strike a balance in life. If they don’t learn, they will search the next thing, next addiction, and repeat the pattern.

To sum it up, the biggest problem that people, as individuals, as groups, as nations, encounter are the things that for an extended period of time, they either spend all their time on or that they overlook because they are busy focusing on one thing after next. They mistake on extremity. Excess of anything always creates harm.

That’s my thought of the day. A balance in life is what we really need. It is not that one thing is bad, but too much of anything is almost always bad. Not only too much of one thing will hurt us. The things that we neglect will one day catch up to us.

Do you have a balance in life?

Originally posted 2008-11-12 22:56:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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