3 Things Involved with Discipline in Order to Change

I talked about finding the “why”, finding the motivation as the first step to focus on in taking action to reach a goal. It provides the drive and passion for reaching that certain goal and completing those propositions. With that in mind, I will discuss three intertwined points in order to have an attack plan that draw the fine line between success and failure for you. If you can do the following, you have the basics of discipline down.

Learning Habit – Make something a part of yourself
Often time when you will think about learning or trying something. You consciously or sub-consciously also associate the fact that it is just something extra. The idea that it’s something exra leads you to think that it is not “as important” or dispensable even, which is very very bad. Take for example, you would like to become healthier and thus, need to exercise (and include a balance diet). When you consider it extra instead of a requirement, you will most likely just continue to go home and sit in front of TV. Instead of thinking it as something extra that needs to be done after work, you need to consider it as a required part of your life. Humans ARE animals and thus, daily activities should involve a certain amount of movement to sustain livelihood, just like breathing/sleeping is a part of us. It is not something extra that we can stop doing.

Another example can be that you want to improve your communication skill and for that, it involes becoming a better listener, which involves understanding people and not just hearing words. So instead of practicing and learning tips and tricks on listening to keywords and doing feedbacks, you need to make the principle of always trying to understand other people a part of you. By making the best effort to keep that as a habit, only then you become so natural at it and thus allow you to become good in communication.

Learning a habit takes time, it’s like learning a new sport where we have to drill certain movements into our muscles. Make it a requirement as a part of your being and have patience for yourself to learn it as a habit.

Being Persistent – Focus on the end and don’t give up
As previously discussed, learning a habit is by no means an easy task, nor is reaching a certain long-term goal any easier. They usually involve an extensive amount of time that will take steps after steps to get to it. The beginnning is especially a tough step, which is the reason we need the “why”. Heck, I’ve always doubted myself in learning piano in such an “old” age, but staying persistent and continue to practice is the only way I can get where I want, albeit the frustration and feeling like a failure sometimes. By focusing on the end, I will not give up. You will owe it to your persistence to reach most goals.

Fear Not – Let go, trust, and just be in the moment
This relates to the last point very much. As how I would doubt myself in my piano skill quest, I can feel fear creeps up on me that actually holds me back from practicing at times. It is very strange but that is what fear does to us. “Where is the end? I don’t see all the steps that take me to the goal.” With many possible failed steps in our path to reach a goal, staying persistent is one thing. One thing that will back up the persistence is to let go of the fear and just be in the moment of taking the step, trust that a new step will be revealed, which is somewhat analogous to having the end in mind and having persistence to kee you going. Trust in “the end” and don’t let fear steer you away from reaching it (but this is not saying we don’t take advice from otehrs).

The ideas I talked about is a little difficult to articulate, so you can somehow grasp them and make use of them.

Originally posted 2007-03-23 23:50:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Dilbert’s 9 Points on What You Need to Know About Personal Investing

I’m surprised I’ve never seen this article mentioned in any of the PF blogs out there. It’s the exact same thing that everyone always talk about in the PF blogsphere. Kudos to Scott Adams.

  1. Make a will
  2. Pay off your credit cards
  3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support
  4. Fund your 401k to the maximum
  5. Fund your IRA to the maximum
  6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it
  7. Put six months worth of expenses in a money-market account
  8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement
  9. If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio

Everything except point 8 to the last is a common theme echoing what most PF bloggers emphasize out there, with point 8 being argued that you should tweak the percentage of your portfolio in stocks and bonds as you approach your planned retirement age. Notice he promotes the use of index fund too. Good stuff.

Originally posted 2007-12-05 18:39:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Bad Timing Versus Priorities

Bad timing.
They want the right timing to take action.
They wait and wait and wait.
Meanwhile, they stand still and do nothing.
Maybe they talk about it.
Maybe they think about it.
But otherwise, they do nothing.
Seconds go by, minutes go by, hours, days, weeks, months go by…
They wait and wait and get more and more complacent.
All the while, still telling themselves it’s not the right time yet.
Years passed by and they seem to have forgotten what exactly was that they wanted to do.
Then maybe one day, they realize suddenly as if struck by lightning…
“Oh, I haven’t accomplish anything…”
Or maybe they wont’ realize…
Too comfortable to notice, too comfortable to care.
Or maybe they are too comfortable to make changes anymore…
They continue to wait for the right timing.
There is always tomorrow.
There is always more time.

Aren’t we all familiar with the scenario above looking at the people around us?
Sadly, that’s the majority of the population.
Maybe you are one of them.

I’m 24 now.
Maybe it’s safe for me to say that?
Maybe I can just sit back and relax and do nothing for awhile?

I chose the difference.

I encountered the death of a near-age friend earlier this year. One day I was still chatting with him and then couple days later he’s gone. No sign. No prologue. He just left. I was speechless when I got the news. There is no words to describe.

I took that to the heart. It is not that I am afraid of death. It is actually about facing death. Chinese people avoid talking about death, and I hate it. Death lets me find and identify the things are meaningful to me, the things that I genuinely want to do. Those things are a part of my character. Without them, I am not the person I am. They are my priorities. If I don’t act in accord to my set of priorities each moment, I may not live to the next day to do them. It is precisely facing death that lets us to be not of it because we will start to do the things that define us in the best of our ability everyday. Things like caring for my family, being kind and compassionate to people, always trying to learn, becoming financially stable and independent, playing piano, trainingly myself mentally and physically, doing what I can for the world (You can laugh at me but I’m serious and sincere about it)… I have no regret if I am to die. It is doing with the end in mind. I also believe this helps to put us at ease and let us find that inner peace.

I do still relax and have fun. Sometimes I get tired and slack off, but I remain conscious and mindful of my priorities. Your priorities are your character, and there is no bad timing to act in your character. I am not suggesting to act rashly and bully ahead because there are moments, quite often actually, that require patience depending on situation. It is about consistently making the choice to move forward and contribute to those priorities, despite hectic schedule, despite fatigue, despite difficulty, despite bad timing. It is about making choice proactively to move forward with regards to what you truly want to do and the person you want to be, while staring death straight in the eyes.

So I urge you…
If you are still waiting for the right time…
Stop talking.
Stop thinking.
Stop reading.
Stop finding excuses.
Do something already.

Originally posted 2007-11-30 22:39:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Excess in Our Society, Now is the Shedding Time

A friend sent me link about a new Sony Vaio laptop.

The world’s lightest 8″ notebook, the 1.4-pound VAIO® P Series Lifestyle PC does more than you could imagine–with impeccable style. Email at the airport, IM from the park, or just show it off when you want some attention.

Honestly, who really needs a laptop that is 1.4lb that is mega-expensive? What the F is a person gonna use it for? Throw it like a baseball? It’s not big enough to read and browse and work on it comfortably. It’s not small enough like smart phones, with resembling functions, for you to carry around. If you have trouble carrying around a 4 to 5 lb of very portable laptop, may I say you have a physical condition called weak, and by that I mean, weaker than a 5-year-old.

So in the end, it is all about the last comment — just show it off when you want some attention — that which appeals to the emotional side of consumers. And people will fall for it too, as we have come to adopt the consumeristic lifestyle, which boomed in the past decades. Just maybe less peope will fall for it now, but such things like this laptop are the reflections of the excess in our society.

The lavish lifestyle of the super-rich.
The giant house that’s too big even for a family, let alone just a couple.
The big house that parents insist to buy because they have… TWO kids.
The ultra mega-pixel digital camera, when common users won’t even have practical usage of pictures from a 4MP camera.
The pick-up and SUVs for just-in-case big items.
Uh… Hummer!
Fancy gym memberships that 85% (or whatever large amount) of the people don’t use.
The obsessive of saving this and that, or war on this and that, while each individual has trouble taking care of the self, mastering the self.
Talk shows, reality TVs, game shows.
The amount of lawsuits, blaming, victimizing the self.

And the biggest reflection of excess is… the unhealthiness, both physical and mental, of the general population. Just look at obesity, many terminal illness, depression, people going hay-wired, rising health care cost, general uncaring-ness of each other… I believe are all reflections of the same thing.

The excessive excess we have reflects a general lacking inside. Something is amiss which causes us to be so materialistic, even though it is all about looking inside yourself. Since nobody does that, they never fulfill the lack and continue to chase materials, in the form of money, in the form of a successful career, in the form of owning things. Thus the excess. All the while, without looking at yourself and taking care of the self first, people’s physical and mental condition deteriorate because they only know to chase materials. Thus all the physiological and mental illness.

So until each individual learns to take care of the self and learns to look within rather than without, and thereby shedding the excess, our problems will always be re-occurring, if only in different forms. Look at the past 3000 years. Humans hadn’t really changed. If anything, I think we are in worse shape than ever, despite the entrepreneurship, despite technology, despite all the knowledge and information we possess now.

Originally posted 2009-01-16 01:44:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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