Stop Talking, Do Consistently

It is not rare for me to run into someone, or hear indirectly, where the conversation goes like this…

I have cut my spending by half in this last month!
I have control my diet (Whatever kind: low-carb, Atkins, full-vegan…) in the last 2 weeks! (Sometimes they celebrate 2 days! Woot!)
I have gone to the gym or exercise everyday for the past week!

Following all these are usually..
“I’m awesome! Time to celebrate! Reward Time!”
To which my response is… *chuckle*

My prediction for these people is, with almost certainty, that they will not last. They will not keep up whatever they are doing. Because they had just demonstrated that they are five-minute enthusiasts (more on why later). And indeed, that is what most people are.

Inevitably, if I do run into those people again in a few weeks or months and ask them about “how they are doing with…”, nearly 100% of the time, they had stopped whatever they were doing. This is excluding those who didn’t even start with all their talks, which there are many. Quite sad.

Am I being pessimistic? I’ll let you decide, but only after you consider the following situations that surround us now. Maybe you are part of it.

The amount of health problems and the issue with obesity.
The amount of people struggling financially.
The amount of people with all kinds of mental, emotional, personal issues.

It is a fact that these difficult situations are with us now. It is also a fact that we have more information than ever on what and how to do to help ourselves. Such irony.

What happens? Inconsistency. We are good talkers. We know the right thing to say. We memorize all the great tips and theories. Yet, we don’t do. And for majority, if we do at all, it is only for short period of time, which does not lead to learning.

So, I mention above about people who celebrate their milestones are more than likely five-minute-enthusiasts. It is not that celebration is bad. A little celebration, patting yourself on the back is all good and dandy, and sometimes necessary encouragement.

However, these celebrations are over dramatization. It is excessive drama of a small step on a journey to become something better, or further, something great — that is, if they truly aspire to be better or great. They had expended more efforts in celebrating than focusing on what they need to continue to do and thus completely miss the point. Therefore, such excitement, celebration, over dramatization is a sign that their effort is doomed to inevitable quitting.

Another problem with over excitement and over dramatization is that people binge on whatever they need to do and then burn out in no time. Not only will that not help but often make matters worse.

They binge on saving for a month, only to spend more than they ever did before the month.
Or they binge from eating for a month, only to eat a crate of chocolate afterward.
Or they binge on exercising for a month, only to burn out and quit, or had overdriven to the detriment of the body causing more harms.
Or they binge on abstinence, only to sleep with 10 people in one night… uh, wait, is this possible?

Anyways… just don’t binge!

Whatever tips, methods, doctrines you follow. Give it your consistency without binging. I can assure, whatever you did, right or wrong, after you’ve given it some time and effort PLUS sincerity, you will learn something. And it will be a type of learning that stays with you forever. And that, will allow you to decide what’s next and how to improve beyond your current self.

Perhaps it is a good idea for you to start doing consistently, and not just reading, thinking, talking, celebrating consistently.

Originally posted 2009-08-04 00:16:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Financial Industry Extracting Values from Us

Financial industry, if we shall even call it industry, as it is now, does less than contribute values to the general community. That much is clear.

I am not saying they cannot turn a profit. I really don’t mind them making profits, even off from me. We all need to make a living after all because money buys us food, shelter, and all. But moderation is always the virtue and what they had done and are still trying to do is by no way reasonable.

What is a concrete example you may ask? Well, look here.

trans_fee

This is the result of a transaction through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (oh what a long name) that I must use in order to deal with company’s restricted stocks. Instead of one reasonable transaction fee, we got Commissions, Other Fee, Transaction Fees, and Service Fee. And this is not including the Proceeds Delivery Fee of $25 if I had chosen to do a wire transfer to my own bank account. Instead, I choose to be patient to receive the proceeds by mail.

My question is, why all the fees? And commission with service fee on top? How much did they do for me? We all know all these are done electronically now. Sure, you need to pay people to maintain the systems, but instead of being sensible charging one single reasonable transaction fee, we have all these. And this is exactly what our financial industry, our banking system does. On top of interest, they charge all sorts of fee for all sorts of occasions and transactions, or just about any time money passes hands, to drive up profits unreasonably and forever.

But we all know perfectly well that nothing in this world can go up and grow forever.

This is exactly what has driven the market to the ground. In a nutshell, the banks and investment firms make billions off transaction fee for creating/underwriting CDOs ranging from 1-1.5%. So they went nuts to lend out mortgages, and then hype up the demand and price of CDOs backed by these [unreliable] mortgages (bubble) to sell and exchange a shit load of them so then they get those fee. In between, banks and companies add financial products such as credit swaps and insurance for these derivatives which result in even more profits through fee while providing them the illusions that they are protected from the CDOs’ risk… But finally they run out of people to lend mortgages, plus unreliable lenders start defaulting, plus themselves and others realizing this cannot go on forever and BAM. (I may not be fully accurate and politically correct with these terms but this is the gist of it.)

Until CEOs, bankers, and all these investing “experts” and “gurus” and “managers” learn to be reasonable and sensible, or be replaced by ones who are, we are in it for a turbulent ride where they will do anything and everything to hoard and extract money.

I say in this blog title that they extract values not simply because they hoard money. They extract values from society because:

  • They are hoarding money beyond enough for themselves, meaning either they have little to no values or they are destroying them in process of hoarding.
  • To hoard, they would make others not have enough money, and how much energy, time, and money can people afford to develop values when they are preoccupied about surviving.
  • Eventually, they would have destroyed money, wealth, values, and lives for everyone including themselves.

And let’s be honest with ourselves, beyond a certain amount of money for food, shelter, other life necessities, and perhaps some indulgence, what more do you need money for?

These are things that will never be taught or promoted by mass media, social institutions because as of yet, our so-called economy is kept alive by irrational and excessive consumption. Enough and reasonable be damned. Intelligent populace aware of how everything works and are inter-connected be damned.

Originally posted 2009-12-16 01:27:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Reality is actually very simple. It is so simple that almost all of us miss it all the time.

It is simply the experience of being in the now. Really, indescribable. Once you start describing it, it is no longer. However, continuing from past post “A World of Patterns and The Limit of Language”, patterns are a necessary facts of the human life for convenience, for communication.

Most fundamentally, we can view everything as a play between 2 sides of a coin (or more eastern and traditional, the symbol of Taichi including the yin and the yang).

The key to remember, is that it is ONE coin. But we forget, so we play against ourselves saying, “crap, the head is going to beat the tail”, or vice versa. So it is said, we live among illusions [that we created].

Thus, once you have full realization of the said key, you can see through illusions and learn to observe the play between 2 sides of the same coin. And ultimately, begin to see through most things in life. What you do with such realization, it’s your choice.

Two points to be taken as to how we get lost in illusions.

1. We mistaken all the complex, artificial patterns that are derived from two sides of the same coin, or the coexisting opposite yin and yang, are indeed reality itself.

2. We forget the two sides are indeed the same coin, or that yin and yang exist only because of each other. Or put another way, we believe the seemingly opposing forces are mutually exclusive when they are really two of the same thing. And then we tell ourselves, “Uh oh, we cannot let tail wins. We must beat the other side”.

The results are — We forget reality. We desire illusions. Furthermore, we desire to make illusions real and permanent. And we desire so badly that we’d do anything, leading ourselves into a incessant losing proposition. And we feel unfulfilled and insecure.

Some of us had taken sides with the head, and some of us had taken sides with the tail. Now we battle each other. Over and over and over.

Imagine we keep this up, what happens to the coin? And what do you think will happen after what may happen to the coin? If you can sense the answer, you are getting warmer.

Originally posted 2009-12-08 20:51:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Find Out Why, Realize Your Motivation and Desire

With all the talks about personal improvement and taking control of personal finance, one may wonder how on earth can we consistently stay disciplined and not to be distracted by seeking momentary pleasure and a hedonistic lifestyle. Or just take some other easy way out. To which, I quote and I believe…

When there is a will, there is a way.

This applies to all scenarios in life. Sometimes you face problems in life. Sometimes you want to get rid of a bad habit. Sometimes you have a dream yet accomplished. Sometimes you have a hobby you want to pick up. When you encounter all these scenarios, and you frequently would think, “How should I go about this?” But you also frequently skip a most important initial step.

Find Out Why, Realize the Motivation, Dig Up Your Desire

People often start themselves off in the wrong foot by losing focus and asking the wrong questions. It is not really about how, fundamentally. It is about why. You need to ask yourself why you want to do that certain things first. You NEED to clarify to ourselves the reasons behind the action. You need to find that flaming desire inside, light it up, and pour gasoline on it, by crystalizing the why. ONCE you are able to grasp the why, the how will come more naturally because you will keep trying and you can follow through with much less difficult because there is a driving force behind the action.

You must think clearly about and define the “why” because sometimes you think you know but the idea is only vague in you mind and not certain, if you don’t spend time trying to grasp it. When you know precisely why, you become more passionate, energized, driven, and willing to understand and follow through with the how. If the why does not exist or is not a crystalized thought, it is likely you will not be able to finish what you are trying to do.

Like I said, this applies to all aspects in life. Some examples…

  • Want to get rid of bad habit? Find out why. (ex. mal-effect on health, dislike by closed-ones…)
  • Want to have your finance under control or save money? Find out why. (ex. retiring early and luxuriously, buying a house…)
  • Want to learn something? Find out why. (ex. current job sucks and must have a career change, or just want to feel better about myself! etc.)

I think you know what I am trying to get at by now. It is the main step in the process to make up your mind and commit to do something 100%. So next time you are trying to decide if you want to do something or you face a delimma. Ask yourself why and find that desire inside yourself first. If you can’t, then maybe you should not be doing it. If you can, the how gets a lot easier knowing why.

Originally posted 2007-03-20 22:37:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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