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)

Tears’ Shed and We Must Create the Meaning of Life

Today was the funeral service for our friends. I didn’t know what to expect from how I was going to act before then. I was calm to a certain point but next thing I know, tears were coming out unstoppably as the service went on. I am still not quite sure what exactly it was but I understand it’s a combination of things.

Of course there was the initial sadness of losing a friend(M), especially one whom has a very kind heart and joyful personalities. I am not a person who goes around calling people kind. In fact, I’m pretty critical about it. It was through interaction and conversation that I realized how M is so thoughtful and really think about the thoughts and feelings of people on “the other side”. Something I consider as true kindness. The next thing really contributes is that the church where the service was held is the place where M and I were together groomsmen for our good friend(V) just a few months ago. It was also during that time that I got to know M even better. As the service went on, I was watching the parents…their expression – pain, sadness, helplessness – having to say goodbye to their only son. Then the last thing that broke the barrier, was V, who had to make special endeavor to come due to important personal affairs, rushed into the service later and was completely lost in tears on his knees… (as M and V were such great friend since college who reunited in the area after some career changes) Together with V and other friends, I just couldn’t help it any more.

Despite all that happening…life continues to move on and earth contines to spin. I still went to work after the service. All that’s happened only serves as reminder and reinforcement on my believes of the things I need to do. As we see here, life does not wait for us. If there is one less kind person like M in this world, then we need to fill that void with our own. We shall continue to strive for the people who have gone and make the world a better place for the ones to come. As such, we all have to be strong for the people who need us. We cannot hesitate on things that should be done now. Strive to be better and becoming stronger is the only option. I don’t believe in after-life, which is good because that leaves no room to be complacent now and f we are make things better, that means we have to act now.

Life’s too short – Find its meaning now

Difficult things keeps happening around me… (well, I don’t mean to overlook good things either but this is just…)

Yesterday a good friend passed away. It just came out of no where and I was at a loss of words when I was phoned. It’s very difficult to accept because for most of us, we’ve just spoken and seen to him just days ago, joked and laughed together. There was even a biking trip in planning…

This friend is a cheerful person, despite his often cynical but funny comments, and I always feel that he has such a good heart filled with kindness, especially after seeing his family and hearing from them about him and how he treats his nieces. He’s a great guy!

That’s when I think about what life all means (and by no means do I claim I understand). I think that everyone of us came into this world without a purpose and meaning. No meaning is given to us and we are a void at that point. However, it is with our hands, our time, our hearts, our thoughts, our daily act that we begin to carve meaning into it. And when we think about meaning, just as a meaning of a vocabulary, it provides people with a definition. As for life, the meaning is no different. Only that, what our lives mean to someone, could be a definition like vocabulary, a thought, or certain feelings and emotions. And most importantly, we create that “meaning” ourselves with our own hands, action, and choices.

With this friend passing away, it reminds me how life is too short, and we need to work on that meaning that we want our own lives to represent without hesitation. Right now, I’d like to think about celebrating how my friend has lived, rather than mourning for loss and drown in sadness… he has provided meanings to all friends, colleagues, and families.

Rest in peace, my friend… We will miss you dearly…

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.

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