Personal Finance Blogging is a niche?

As you may have noticed on my links, I read a lot of personal finance blogs (and those are just the most frequently read fraction of what I have bookmarked). I just like to make an observation. One thing I’ve noticed and am not sure if it’s the case is that a majority of these financial bloggers are either pretty much settled with a domestic partner or married and/or with kids. So I wonder if this “financial blogging circle” mostly only involves the ones who are already moving into the later stage in lives and only a very small fraction is people like me (recently grad, young, no family and such). If that is the case, then does it also mean that the younger generation isn’t paying enough attention to these things? This pertains to comments I have made before on how I cannot or have a difficult time to communicate with a lot of “my peers” on these financial topics.

Hmmm, just a thought. What do you think? (and now I wonder, how old are you, my readers, anyways? and how much interests you have on these personal finance topics? :P)

Originally posted 2007-03-31 23:41:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Life is a Process

In life, we move from one goal to the next. We are told that we need to set goals and to reach these goals is success. So in between goals, our focus is solely on the goals. It becomes all about reaching the end.

Let me ask you, “Are you always in a hurry to ‘get some where’ in life?”

I must say, I’m not so sure if it’s such a good idea anymore. I wonder how many moments we lost by living like that. But the fact that everyone is in a hurry in life, so fixated on the “end”, helps to explain why people are so distracted in everyday life. Their happiness is solely dependent on reaching goals. I’m not sure if I like this either. I am even amazed at how much people enjoy the dramas, both good and bad ones, in between also, but I digress.

People are 100% immersed in this little world of “goals”. They allow the emotions and thoughts that arouse from succeeding or failing at these goals dictate them. In other words, reaching goals and success and emotions and thoughts control them. This explains why people genuinely not give a crap about each other also. They are ready to step on another’s toes to cross the road.

My conclusion for now is that everything in life or more specifially, growth in any areas like physical strength, piano, singing, etc. (what I do) is like climbing a mountain. Just when you think you have gone so far, you realize how much farther you can go. No end in sight. It’s a relentless pursuit. What would happen if you base your happiness on these endless pursuits?

It is great to celebrate when a goal is reached. But it’s so enjoyable also realize in between, that you are travelling because you care to expand the effort, and you possess the perserverance, endurance of pain, acceptance of loneliness, and willingness to change. The moments in between goals are important. It is also extraordinarily enjoyable as I am training in many different areas, and by savoring the moments, I discovered so much about myself and the world, both physically and psychologically.

Essentially, the moment is all we have. To find happiness means you treat the moment sincerely. To have faith in the moment is to have peace. To have peace allows you to do things sincerely. To do things sincerely allows for quality.

It is foolish to take life in a completely goal-oriented way. Not that goal is bad. But reaching for goal as extremety is bad. Not only because you are wasting the moments of yourlife, but also because you will ignore the process. Like the economic crisis, we can say it happened because of greed. However, we can also say that it happened because people wnat this arbitrary end of “enormous wealth” and they want to bypass process to get there. It is the same reason why people take steroids to look big and not for medical purpose. We had a economy spiked on steroids and now we reap the side effects.

In a way, I guess I want to say that modern life is a constant struggle to get to these “ends”. But I am writing this to also remind myself to not get sucked into the incessant chasing, to not be in such a hurry. It is important to stop and rest. I like to stay in the moment. And like I said, it’s a struggle sometimes living in this modern world.

Finally, to not treat life as a one integral process is also the cause of the biggest downfall for many people. Why? Examples would be people who diet/exercise for some deadlines, only to turn into Ms./Mrs./Mr. Dunkin Donuts afterward. Or people who enslave themselves with yet another loan after they paid off the previous one.

To think that you “get there” and you can stop is the stupidest thing people can think in life. To stop is to become rigid and therefore allows no change and that means death. To be alive is to be fluid and ready to accept changes to go with the flow in life. Life is a process.

Originally posted 2008-11-02 23:08:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Stop Being Yourself

Let me ask, if you have heard people say…

That’s just me.
It’s just how I am.
I’m just being myself.
Let me be myself.
Just accept me for who I am.

Sounds familiar, eh?

Well, I’m gonna tell you.
We need to stop being ourselves.

So stop being yourself
When “being yourself” means “I’m always right and everyone else is wrong”.
When “being yourself” means “I don’t want to listen to you”.
When “being yourself” means “I don’t give a crap about other people feel”.
When “being yourself” means “I don’t need to learn something new”.
When “being yourself” means “I just simply don’t want to change”.

I already feel like I want to strangle this person.
Just kidding, I’m very tolerant.

Maybe you believe you are striving for what you desire most, searching for the love of your life, or just trying to be happy or happier.
Or maybe you are just too darn complacent and comfortable.
Or maybe you are just too fearful of changes.

There is time when you need to wake up from “being yourself”.
Stop hiding behind this excuse.

When you feel you just reamin unhappy, unhealthy, unwealthy, unfulfilled, unloved, un-whatever…
When you are brimmed with negativity and are spreading your own negativity into the world of people around you…
And you are doing these continuously…
Maybe it’s time to stop being freakin’ yourself.

We need to be able to acknowledge our problems and accept the responsibility.
When you are “being yourself” but are hurting yourself in process, you are responsible.
When you are “being yourself” but are hurting others simultaneously, you are responsible.

It’s time for a change.
Either stop “being yourself” and change.
Or be ready for the consequence, eventually.

If you get to that point, at least don’t use the same darn phrase as excuse.
If you do use it, I may just have to land my fist on your face.
And smash it against a break wall.
Despite being a zealous pacifist.
Please don’t make me go there.

Enough joking.

Let me ask you:
Should your significant other accept you when you are being your inconsiderate self?
Should your children suffer physical or mental damage just because you are being your temperamental self?
Should your friends accept you when your are being your selfish self, where your actions are causing damage to them?
Should your boss and colleagues tolerate you when you are just being your “unconstrained” self?

And despite you are just “being yourself”…
Do you still insist “being yourself” and remain intractable?
Is the “yourself” what you really want to be?
Do you really know the qualities and attributes of the “yourself” that you want?
Why should you confine yourself for “being yourself”?

I leave you to think and answer these questions.

Originally posted 2007-08-29 02:02:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Health Care Crisis Is Actually Not A Health Care Crisis

I am amazed. Why? Because I have yet come across any article to realize and articulate the fact that our health care crisis is not actually a health care crisis. Perhaps because it sounds politically incorrect, blasphemous, and anti-Obama? That aside, I am also amazed that no one seems to realize the one simple underlying fact to this crisis, which is merely a symptom of this simple underlying fact, is in fact…

Our health!

Long Lost Health

We have gradually come to behave the ways we are today such that we have forgotten what it means to be healthy. We have forgotten that our body has amazing intelligence to do what is best for us. We have become oblivious to when our body tries to communicate to us. It is the same as how we have become unaware of our own thoughts and emotions and mistaken them as who we are.

Our Silent Body

Actually, our body is not so silent. Here is what we do. When our body feels pain, we pop pain killers. When our body makes us sneeze, cough, diarrhea… we pop anti-histamine drugs. When all else fails, we swallow antibiotics or remove the ailing parts of our body. But alas, there is always a reason why our body feels that way. There are reasons for symptoms to happen!

Instead of trying to help, we do everything to tell our body to shut the hell up, and we wonder why we are not healthy. We silence our body.

Basics of Supply and Demand

We wonder why are health care costs going up?

Well, we are paying a shit load of money because on the average we are un-healthy and are on our way becoming un-healthier. And we will continue to get un-healthier if we don’t stop and reconsider what it actually means to be healthy.

As the un-healthy trend stated above develops, there becomes no wonder that health care cost is shooting up exponentially. There are many factors involved, but we play a part in the increase because we are increasing our demand because we need them (actually, it’s that we THINK we need them). Because we think we need them, they can push the price up on us. Basic supply and demand rule in capitalistic society.

Perverted Capitalism is not Helping

Today, our capitalism has become perverted in the sense that profit is of higher priority to quality products and services. Therefore, on average, it is not in the medical and health care industry’s best interest to make you healthy. I said on average because there are still good doctors and kind physicians out there.

My Skeptical Mind…

And let me say this… that one cannot help but wonder, if the medical field today has deterred from the true meaning of doctor, if we read the original Hippocratic Oath, and then we look at the side effects and deaths related to drugs, and then we also look at the health care system being one of the leading causes of death.

Wait, what about “never to do harm”? I don’t think that is one thing too much to ask for from a doctor… Hmmm, yeah, I do wonder. Doubts aside, I know one thing for sure, which is intuitive, and it is that drugs are not to be a norm in everyday life, and doctors are best performing their jobs when they are least visited.

Back to Health

Let’s set aside my skeptical mind. And Yes, if you broke a bone or have some serious conditions, do go to a doctor. However, it is your responsibility to ask intelligent questions, to learn about what’s happening to your body. Your health is your own responsibility. That is the truth, and it is worth repeating.

Your health is your responsibility.

Only you can help yourself to be healthy.
The key is not health care.
The key is our health.

Therefore, no policy, no plan can solve our “health care” problem because our problem is not “health care”. That is missing the point.

And therefore, we must re-establish the concept of health. First, let us revoke what we seem to think it is but not.

Health is NOT Non-Disease, Non-Illness

We need to truly start looking after our health, which again, does not mean non-disease or non-illness. More technology, medicine are not going to make us healthy. They probably can keep us alive longer. They probably make us feel better in short term, which is synonymous to our irresponsible and instant gratification desiring mentality that also is manifested through our subprime mortgage, consumerist-related issues.

But technology and medicine making healthy for us? Nope. They can help, but for now, they are not really helping because of our misuse.

By the time you start having symptoms, and full-fledged illness, you are already quite far from being healthy, and one last stress factor to the body has brought you over the edge.

Real Change

We need to change. We don’t need the health care system to change for us. We don’t need change that creates a health care system that allows and validates our indulging behaviors in lifestyle and diet. We need to accept that we have developed a lifestyle that is against our own body’s nature, our health.

We need to stop delegating our responsibility to experts. And definitely stop using our genetic disposition as excuses. (Yes, there are unique and extreme cases but most of us are not.)

Being Kind to Others

You may ask, what about being kind?

I understand the concept of being compassionate and charitable. That is why I would ask you, “Is validating other people’s bad behaviors, enabling irresponsibility of one-self a compassionate and charitable action?”

100% Responsibility to Health, to Life

Until you take full responsibility for your health, for yourself, you will always be in trouble. Until you look at your life holistically — body, mind, and spirit — your life will always be “in pieces” because that is how you are treating it. So we have a unique different approach/pattern to treat each piece; meanwhile, we completely overlook that those pieces are all connected. Life is all aspects as a whole!

Final Summary

Health is not difficult. If I must sum up what one needs to do to become and stay healthy, I’ll say 3 things and a few sub-points for each:

  1. Balanced lifestyle
    • Are you constantly stressed out?
    • Do you spend more time working than sleeping?
    • Do you vegetate in front of TV for many hours and claim you don’t have time to exercise
    • Do you take time to connect with others (while not worrying about other things)?
  2. Balanced diet
    • How much processed and junk food (mostly empty calories) do you eat?
    • Do you rely on supplements and disregard your regular meals?
    • Do you drink enough water?
    • How much real and/or organic food (useful calories with things body can use) do you eat?
  3. Thoughtful and sufficient exercise
    • Do you exercise regularly?
    • Do you exercise with mindfulness (vs. just going throught the motion)?
    • Do you challenge your body to fix your physical weakness?
    • Do you ever dig deep enough to understand what exercise you need? (ie. knee pain could be caused by incorrect use of the ankle or hip joints, etc.)

Health only requires a bit due diligence on our part, related to the 3 aspects above, to assist and support our body in what it does. Each of us has to realize what health truly means. Each of us has to rediscover what healthy feels like. Each of us has to relearn how to listen to our body.

And nope, no one else can do it for you.

PS. You don’t have to agree and believe everything I wrote, but don’t you think at least some of them are worth considering? Your health is up to you.

Originally posted 2009-06-18 21:21:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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