About pbilodeau01

Born in Berlin, N.H.; bachelor of arts, major in journalism, Northeastern University; master's degree in urban studies, Southern Connecticut State University; was an editor and reporter at New Haven Register, an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter at The Meriden Record-Journal. Now a freelance writer and editor.

SAVE EARLY, SAVE OFTEN

#SaveEarly #SaveOften #retirement #jobs
In previous generations, people (usually the man of the household) worked, using the money to raise his family.
Couples married fairly young, had children young, and concentrated on giving the kids the best life they could.
When the kids grew, graduated college etc., parents were still working, still fairly young, and began to save for retirement.
In the few years between when the kids grew up and when they actually retired, investing their nest eggs into fairly safe investments, they could accumulate a decent amount of money. Using that savings, plus pension and Social Security – and, if desired, a low-stress part-time job – they could put together a pretty good life in retirement.
That was then. Now, young people, who may or may not marry young, need to begin thinking about saving for retirement as soon as they get their first jobs. But, as life would have it, most young people postpone saving for retirement, and pay the price later.
Two articles from USA Today, both also published April 22, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, take on this topic.
“Wasting just five short years at the start of your career would cost you nearly $500,000 (if you invest $250 a month), reads a headline under a column by Peter Dunn, known at Peter the Planner.
“Too little cash. Don’t know what I’m doing. Not the right time.” These are some of the excuses cited in an article by Adam Shell about postponing key financial decisions in life.
To sum up these articles: save early, save often. Let time work in your favor. Whatever inconvenience one must endure to put a regular amount of money from each paycheck away, not to be touched until later in life, it will be so worth it.
When you analyze the scenario above, you realize that times have greatly changed. Previous generations could bank on a certain amount of job security. Today’s workers have virtually no job security, no matter what they are doing.
The job security of previous generations allowed them to wait until later years to save. They knew they could work until, say, age 65, and save for a comfortable retirement in a few short years.
Today, many workers are forced to retire long before they want to. Younger people may work for eight, nine or 10 employers over their lifetime, without little, or no, pensions. Social Security probably won’t go away, experts say, but in coming years benefits could be reduced.
That leaves the bulk of one’s retirement nest egg up to his or her own decisions.
That means that no matter what you are earning, put some of it away and let it grow. You may only be able to afford, say, $5 a week. Start with that, and keep increasing it as your pay increases – presuming it does. (There’s no assurance of that anymore).
Something else to consider: perhaps you might take a few non-work hours a week to pursue your dream of a comfortable retirement. How? There are many vehicles out there that, with a few hours a week of part-time effort, could produce a substantial income, without interfering with your regular, W-2 job.
To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Since one cannot count on employers or other entities to ensure a good retirement, one must take matters into his or her own hands. Certainly, you want to provide a good life for your family, if you start one. Certainly, you want to pay rent or a mortgage, put food on the table, pay the electric bill etc.
But you HAVE to think about the future. You have to think about what will happen to you if your job goes away. Presuming you don’t want to work until you die, you have to think about, as the TV ad says, not how long you expect to live, but how long you could live.
If you are young, time is your best ally. If you are nearing retirement, and don’t have what you need, you have to perhaps think outside the box on how you are going to make up what you didn’t, or were unable, to do when you were young.
Save early, save often.
Peter

MIDLIFE: A NEW ERA

#midlife #MidlifeCrisis #MiddleAge #MidlifeRelaunch
Midlife, generally defined starting at age 40 to about, say, age 60, has always been a time of change.
Some, particularly men, tend to long for their youth, when their bodies and minds were fit and nimble. They tend to look for love and respect – at home, at work or both – and don’t always get it. So, they may venture out of their regular lives and make impulse purchases or, worse, mistakes.
Others may see it as the best part of their careers. For example, a lawyer who may have spent his entire career since law school in the same firm, may look to become a full partner. He goes from doing the legal grunt work for others, to schmoozing and recruiting clients.
But, alas, midlife is changing in modern times. Companies see older workers as more expensive than younger ones. They may have a good deal of seniority, higher salaries, more vacation time etc. There’s also an attitude of older workers not being as comfortable with rapid change as younger ones.
Jonathan Rauch addressed this issue in a story for The Washington Post. It was also published April 22, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“If you wanted to design a society that exacerbated midlife misery and squandered the potential of later adulthood, you might deliver education in a single lump during the first two decades of life, load work into the middle decades and the herd healthy, happy and highly skilled older adults into idleness. In other words, you would do more or less what we have been doing for the past century or so,” Rauch writes.
That model, he writes, made some sense when people mostly needed a high school diploma, held one kind of job for life and died around 65. “But it offers nothing by way of guidance and support for the kind of midlife relaunch that today’s Americans increasingly demand, and that today’s America increasingly needs,” he writes.
It really hard to jump out of the lives we’d carved for ourselves by our 40s, he writes.
“How can I reinvent my life while meeting responsibilities and making ends meet? What are the options and how can I sort through them all? Those questions and many more clobber anyone who contemplates a midlife relaunch,” Rauch writes.
Midlifers need employers who want to hire and/or retain them, who find them not only useful, but valuable. They need employers who will hire workers who not only want some flexibility in their lives, but also can apply old skills to new ventures, the article points out.
If you are hitting midlife today, it’s a scary place. If you are still working at a job you like, or are using the skills you were trained for, you are indeed fortunate. However, beware. Companies today reorganize frequently, and without warning to employees. Younger managers are coming in, and may not view you in the same way as they view others in his cohort.
If you’ve been pushed out of your good job for one reason or another, and are not mentally, psychologically or financially ready to retire, you may have to think outside the box on what to do next.
Perhaps, instead of taking a job that pays much less than your old one, and underutilizes your skill, you can find a new way to earn an income without having the obligations, headaches and fear of what’s next that a conventional job creates.
There are many such vehicles out there, if you are willing to look for them. To check out one of the best, message me.
If you are middle aged and at a crossroads in your life, try to first see all the good that is in your life. Then, give some thought about what to do next.
If you are younger, say, in your 20s or 30s, you don’t know what middle age will bring. You, too, should start to consider what YOU will do if, or when, your good job – and potentially your career – suddenly goes away. You don’t know when or whether that will come, but it’s best to prepare for it.
Hard work and achievement can get you a long way. But it may not save you when that next reorganization, or bad manager, comes into your life.
Peter

FINANCIAL STRESS? YOU ARE NOT ALONE

#FinancialStress #ImprovingEconomy #FinancialStrains
We hear the economy is improving.
We also hear that companies can’t fill jobs, when just a few short years ago, they were laying people off in droves.
Yet, many are suffering financial distress.
“A growing number of low- and middle-income households are plagued by high debt and have little or no savings,” writes Paul Davidson for USA Today. “The financial strains have especially worsened for those near the bottom of the income ladder,” Davidson continues.
Davidson, whose article on the subject was also published April 19, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quotes a UBS study that says some households could fall behind on loan payments, reduce their spending and slow or even undercut a buoyant U.S. economy for the first time since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009.
In other words, the economic news we hear isn’t telling the whole story.
Though the study focuses on lower-income households, other households, whose income was just fine prior to the recession, have yet to recover. The job they now have pays less than the jobs they lost. The manageable debt they had with the higher-paying job is less manageable now.
The article quotes a Bankrate.com survey that says rents are soaring. One in five working Americans aren’t saving any income, the survey says. Average rents have jumped 30 percent nationally since 2010, the article quotes RealPage.
In other words, paychecks have grown much more slowly than expenses.
What to do, if you’re in this predicament?
Perhaps moving is not an option. More than likely, if you are having trouble paying your rent, your search for cheaper accommodations will be futile, since the studies indicate that rising rents is a universal problem.
A second job? Chances are your first job already extracts too much from you for too little compensation, and the thought of getting a second job, even as a temporary measure, is unappealing. Besides, the second job probably won’t give you the extra financial cushion you need, and will just take more of your time away from your family, or things you like to do.
So what is the solution? Perhaps, instead of a second job, you could check out one of the many ways to make extra money without having to get another traditional W-2 job. To examine one of the best such vehicles – one that could also help you save money on some household expenses – message me.
It’s been said that a rising (economic) tide will lift all boats. It’s also been said that building an economy from the bottom up, is better for everyone than building from the top down.
However you look at things, be it the economy as a whole or your life in particular, you can’t count on someone, or something, to solve your problems, if you are having problems.
You have to look for things YOU can do to make your life better. It’s great to set goals, but they will not be reached without action on your part.
Sometimes, all it takes is meeting someone who can show you a way out that you hadn’t noticed, or thought about, before.
If such a person comes into your life, don’t ignore him or her. See what he or she is offering, and whether it is right for you.
Peter

HOME WITH A VIEW? WHAT’S IT WORTH TO YOU

#HomeWithAView #HouseWithAView #RealEstate #HomePrices
The three most important things to consider when buying real estate, as the axiom goes, are location, location and location.
A house with a view of mountains, water, city lights etc., though everyone would like to have one, comes with a price.
Marilyn Lewis discussed this in an article for Nedwallet.com. It was also published in the April 16, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Views are actually really difficult to quantify,” Lewis quotes Andy Krause, principal data scientist at Greenfield Advisors, a real estate research company.
A view is somewhat subjective, Lewis quotes Krause. There are, for example, lake “view” locations, which are different from, lake “front” locations. They also come at different prices.
There are city view locations, vs. panoramic city view locations, which allow you to see different parts of the city from every window in the house.
Then, there are views from different places. In Manhattan, a place that overlooks green space, say Central Park, costs much more than a green-space view in the countryside, Lewis quotes Mauricio Rodriguez, a real estate expert who chairs the finance department at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business.
So, pricing a view is the difficult part. Here’s what Lewis attributes to Krause’s automated valuation models:
• Add 5 to 10 percent for a home on flat ground, with an unobstructed view of an open space or a park. If an identical home is worth $500,000 elsewhere in Seattle, this view could boost the price to $525,000 to $550,000.
• Add 10 to 30 percent for a home part way up a hill with a partially obstructed water view over neighbors’ rooftops. The degree of obstruction will vary the price.
• Add 30 to 50 percent if the above view is unobstructed.
• Add 50 to 75 percent for a hilltop home with an unobstructed cityscape or open-space vista.
• Add 75 to 100 percent for an unobstructed big-lake or ocean view.

In short, you have to decide, when buying a house, how much you are willing to pay for a view, particularly in expensive housing markets.
Also, if you have a location with a view, you need to find out whether that view is protected, the article says. In other words, if someone will one day be allowed to build something in front of you that will obstruct, or obliterate, your view, that’s worth less than a view that is protected.
The article also advises homebuyers to look for bargains, like a house in which a wall covers a nice view, or adding a deck to take advantage of the view. Those can be fixed with a remodel that will cost you less than the new value of your house.
All this comes down to money. We all want a nice view, but many are not willing to pay for it. Perhaps, instead of settling for less than you want, you need to find a way to make more money. There are many ways out there to do that, without interfering greatly with what you are doing now. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Regardless of what your situation is, if you are looking for a home, know how much you can reasonably afford. Also, look for homes in nice locations or neighborhoods, even without great views.
Remember, too, that a house is a house. A home is what you make it.
Peter

THE DREAM OF BEING YOUR OWN BOSS

#BeingYourOwnBoss #entrepreneurs #BusinessOwners #freelancers
The trend is growing.
Americans say they intend to become their own boss, with all the flexibility that may entail.
According to MetLife study on employee benefits trends, 57 percent of workers say they are interested in becoming a freelancer, according to an article by Charisse Jones for USA Today. It was also published April 22, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The 57 percent, the article says, is up from 51 percent just last year.
Millennials were the most interested in such work, with 74 percent of those in that age group saying they were curious about becoming a freelancer. That compares to 57 percent of those in Generation X and 43 percent of Baby Boomers, the article quotes the study.
Certainly, the lack of job security working for someone else has contributed to this feeling. Younger folks can look forward to a work life of not knowing whether they will still have a job when the walk into work on a given day.
Younger folks, it seems, want more out of life than just working, working, working. But they may not realize that becoming a freelancer has many pitfalls.
First, until the U.S. can figure out how to make health insurance affordable, buying such insurance on the individual market is incredibly expensive.
Second, it’s been said that one doesn’t own a business. A business owns him or her. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you can’t really tell yourself that you are only going to work X number of hours, with certain days off etc. You have to work when work finds you, and, you have to keep hustling to make sure you have enough work to make a living.
Third, there are duties that you have to do – or pay someone else to do – to keep your enterprise afloat. There is bookkeeping, keeping records for taxes etc. – the kind of work you may not like to do, or find boring.
In short, the flexibility you sought by not working for someone else may not be there for you.
Certainly, there are advantages.
There is something to be said for starting a business from the ground up, and making it successful.
Perhaps, eventually, it can be successful enough that you can pay others to do much of the work, so you can be more flexible.
Usually, though, that takes many years to achieve, and many, many hours of being chief cook and bottle washer.
Perhaps there is a happy medium – having a regular W-2 job that pays the bills, while using some of your own time – say, a few hours a week — building a business for yourself – one that potentially could allow you to eventually ditch the W-2 job and be on your own.
There are many vehicles out there that would allow you to do that. To check out one of the best, message me.
No matter how you decide to earn a living, there is good and bad about each. Independence is a lofty goal, but it’s not for everyone, or every situation.
Here’s a rule of thumb, as you contemplate how you construct your life: if it is to be, it’s up to me. Working for someone else has some benefits, but those benefits can be taken away at any time. Working for yourself has many benefits, but you have to know whether your skill has a market and, if you believe it does, be willing to go out to find it.
Write out your dreams for your life, then put together a game plan that will get you to those dreams.
Peter

THINKING ALONE WON’T MAKE YOU RICH

#IWannaBeRich #ThinkingRich #RichMindset #OpenToOpportunities
The duo Calloway sang it best in 1990: “I Wanna Be Rich.”
But, Personal Finance columnist Barry Ritholtz writes that just thinking about getting rich won’t make you rich.
“What’s the main thing that separates the rich from the poor? Ask any of the financially free people, and they will tell you the same: their mindset,” Ritholtz writes in his column, also published in the April 16, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ritholtz calls this thinking, “deceptive nonsense … rampant in the marketing materials aimed at gullible and desperate consumers.”
Still, he writes, Napoleon Hill’s 1937 classic “Think and Grow Rich” sold 20 million copies. “In the context of that very difficult time (the Depression era) we can give Hill a pass for reminding Americans of their can-do attitudes and boosting their self-confidence,” he writes.
For the less cynical, people who succeed first have to believe that they can. They have to have a strong “why” that pushes them to do what they need to do.
So the message in Ritholtz’s column should be: put your positive thoughts into action.
As leadership expert John Maxwell has said, the axiom “if you can believe it, you can achieve it” may not be true in all cases. To be a great opera singer, for example, one must not only believe they can be one, but have the natural talent and put in the hard work to hone that talent. Naturally, without the God-given talent – not just the ability to carry a tune — all the belief and hard work you can muster probably will not get you to the Met.
But positive thoughts, and the desire to succeed, are vital to success. Many of us have been engrained to “settle” for security. A good education gets you a good job, which gets you a good life.
But if you indeed want more than that – if you have a dream you believe you can achieve – you have to have your head in the right place.
You also have to be open to opportunities that may be presented to you, and recognize them as such.
There may be folks out there who want more than just security, have a great mindset, but don’t really have the vehicle to get them to where they want to be. If you are among those, there are actually many such vehicles out there. To check out one of the best, message me.
Ritzholtz is correct in saying that there is a whole industry out there that involves get-rich-quick schemes that don’t include hard work.
For some things, no matter how hard you work at them, you’ll never achieve what you want.
But, most of us are smart enough to know the difference between real and phony opportunities.
Some “millionaire mindset” suggestions have value, Ritholtz acknowledges. He cites becoming goal-oriented, living within or below one’s means, using extra money to invest in yourself or the stock market etc.
“You can become rich – but only if you meet or create great demand for a real service or product,” Ritholtz writes.
To shorten his message, think of it this way: “Just thinking or (believing it) does not mean that you will achieve it,” he writes. “Doing, on the other hand, at least gives you a shot at it.”
Peter

WHAT YOU COULD DO WITH YOUR SUMMER-JOB MONEY

#saving #investing #SummerJobs #stocks
It’s summer, and students (college and high school) are getting jobs as lifeguards, cooks etc. that pay an average of, say, $10 a hour.
In practical terms, most of those students will sock away a good bit of what they earn to pay for college, or some other higher education.
But Rubicoin, an educational investment app., calculated what you could do in the future if you decided to invest that money in the stock market.
Adam Shell wrote a short piece for USA Today on the study. The article also was published June 8, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Rubicoin calculated how much money a worker earning $10 an hour in a 25-hour workweek for 13 weeks, each summer for the past four years, Shell writes.
“If they invested half of their before-tax pay equally on Aug. 31 each year in the four FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google), the $6,500 investment since 2014 would be worth $15,899 today, Shell quotes Rubicoin. If a student favors a bigger bet – investing in Netflix alone – it would have been worth $22,639, or $19,544 if they invested in just Amazon.
Certainly, these FANG stocks have skyrocketed recently. Doing that now, when they are at high prices, would be impractical. Doing it then, when their prices were relatively low, would have been a big risk for a student.
Perhaps planning your financial future would be better after your education is finished. Every dime you earn should be saved for the expenses for school – unless, of course, you come from a wealthy family and can do what you want with what you earn. Most students, however, are not in that position.
So, here’s another thought: what if you could take a percentage of what you earn in ONE summer, invest it in something that might give you the kind of bright financial future that no one will take away from you? A small investment, plus some part-time effort on your part throughout your life, could lead to an income stream that could allow you to never worry about money again.
There are several such ventures out there that could do that. To check out one of the best, message me.
There are few financial advisers who would recommend that a student invest a chunk of his summer income in stocks – despite their potential – would be a big risk.
Young investors should start out conservatively. They should move gradually from a bank savings account – get out of that as quickly as you can – to conservative funds, to stocks with some potential as your nest egg grows.
The important message from Shell and Rubicoin is to start saving your money while you are young. The more you can do at a young age, the more you will have as you get older.
Remember that the job you think is secure now may not be so in the future. Having the discipline to save and invest carefully, with the proper advice, will hopefully prevent devastation later in life.
In short: when you are off from school in the summer, work (more than 25 hours a week, if you can). Use that money to invest in your education. When your education is finished, continue the pattern of saving a certain percentage of your income, progressively investing over time.
If you use the money before retirement, make sure it is for something like buying a house. Don’t blow it on vacations and other non-durable items. Keep saving for a retirement that could come before you want it to.
Remember: the little things you do when you are young will give you more options in the future.
Peter

HOW TO DEAL WITH TOO MUCH MONTH AT THE END OF THE MONEY

#spending #saving #overspending #TrappedByLifestyle
“People … make $250,000, $500,000 a year and they don’t know where their money is going,” says financial adviser Lori Atwood.
How can this be?
Thomas Heath spoke to Atwood, and wrote an article for The Washington Post. It was also published in the April, 9, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“How does a family drop $500 in one month at McDonald’s?” Heath asks. “When you have a husband and wife with high-powered jobs working 10 or 12 hours a day, who feels like cooking?” Heath writes.
Atwood, Heath writes, calls the phenomenon, “trapped by the lifestyle.”
Yes, people making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year – working, working, working – yet have no savings. “It’s true, but ridiculous, “: Heath quotes Atwood, founder of Fearless Finance financial software.
Speaking about folks who live in Northwest Washington, D.C., Heath quotes Atwood as saying many people have “over-housing. They don’t have to have the house they own,” she’s quoted as saying.
Over-housing, she says, is a savings killer, along with child care expenses, private school tuition, student loan payments etc.
“People say getting rid of x,y,z is not an option,” Heath quotes Atwood. “Groceries, electricity and heat are not options. Anything else is on the table.”
Does this sound familiar to you? Is your lifestyle killing your future? Are you living well above, instead of below, your means?
If so, you can do something about it. As Atwood suggests in the article, you can start by moving to more affordable, yet adequate, housing. There are plenty of places you can live in which the schools are perfectly fine, the neighborhood is safe and it’s relatively easy to get back and forth to work.
Lifestyle entrapment also generally leads to being time-broke. If you’re working that hard to make a good living, chances are you are missing out on some things you should be a part of, or present for, i.e. some of your children’s accomplishments.
No one should advocate that a parent should be around for EVERY activity for a child, but you should understand the difference between the important ones, and the lesser ones – the ones you can really skip if something important occurs in your job.
If you find yourself trapped in a certain lifestyle, as Atwood points out in the article, find out where your money is going, what is necessary spending and what is not, and prioritize.
If all this not only makes you financially broke, but time-broke as well, there are many vehicles out there that will let you, by spending a few non-working hours a week, augment your income. There’s even one that will allow you to find ways to spend less on essentials, as well as non-essentials. To learn more about that, message me.
The article illustrates that it isn’t just poor people who are broke. Others who are making good money are making poor decisions on how they spend it. They don’t realize they are, essentially, mortgaging their futures to have certain things now.
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with working hard, making good money, giving your kids perhaps something you didn’t have as a kid, etc. Just understand that the future will not take care of itself. You have to plan for your own future.
Besides, wouldn’t you like to have something to show for all your hard work, long after you stop working?
Peter

LONLINESS IN THE WORKPLACE CAN BE QUANTIFIED

#LonelinessInTheWorkplace #loneliness #workplaces #SolitaryJobs
Some people are lonely at work.
So what? Who cares?
Well, loneliness has a cost to employers, according to an article by Danielle Paquette for the Washington Post. It was also published March 31, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“According to researchers who study the issue, the economic damage caused when employees suffer feelings of isolation could soon worsen as offices become increasingly automated and more people work remotely,” Paquette writes.
“Employers who tackle the issue now – rather than brush it off as a personal matter – will save money in (the) future,” Paquette quotes Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, a psychiatrist and chief innovation officer for BetterUp, a workplace consulting firm in San Francisco.
According to the article, Kellerman’s team crunched data from a survey of about 1,600workers across the country to better understand the risk by profession. The results, published in the Harvard Business Review, alarmed Kellerman: “Sixty-one percent of the lawyers in her sample ranked ‘above average’ on the loneliness scale from UCLA,” Paquette quotes Kellerman.
“Generally, the happiest – and most productive – workers feel like valued team members,” Paquette quotes Kellerman.
So, are you feeling lonely at work? Do you often – or always – work by yourself? Do you get to talk to anyone during your work time? Does your employer ONLY care about what you do, rather than who you are?
What if someone could show you a way to make money that would essentially REQUIRE you to interact with people. What if someone could show you a way that could not just potentially put extra money in your pocket, but also potentially exceed your current income? And, what if someone could show you a system in which advancement depended on how many people you helped succeed? To learn about such a vehicle, message me.
The article quotes a Gallup poll that found 42 percent of working Americans said they did some of their job remotely, a four-percentage-point jump from 2012. It also quotes a recent study from the global consultancy firm McKinsey, which predicted that demand for office workers in the U.S. will drop by 20 percent over the next decade because of technological advances. That could mean smaller or more siloed teams, it said.
So if loneliness at work has a grip on you, get a grip. Look for a situation that will allow you more interpersonal interaction. Oh sure, dealing with people can be a pain. But, as the article says, the alternative not only takes a toll on workers, but is costly to employers in terms of productivity.
The proverbial water cooler, cafeteria or other workplace gathering spots may be going out of favor. Try making it a point of sticking your head into someone’s workplace every day, just to see whether they are receptive to people.
Who knows? Maybe you can find people with common interests that you never knew had the same interests as you. Perhaps you can become friends and socialize outside of work, if it’s not possible to socialize at work.
If you are an employer, you might look at ways to conduct team-building exercises, personal growth seminars etc., for the folks that have solitary jobs. You may get a lot more productivity from them by doing that.
Peter

TAKE TIME TO THINK

#TimeToThink #TakeTimeToThink #MakeTimeToThink
We’ve all seen a person sitting still, staring into space.
That person may tell you that he or she is taking time to think.
That’s not a bad thing. In fact, according to Napoleon Hill, it’s a good thing to do.
He discusses it in his book, “Lessons on Success: 17 Principles of Personal Achievement.”
“One of the ways to increase your flow of ideas is by developing the habit of taking study time, thinking time and planning time,” Hill writes.
“Be quiet and motionless, and listen for that small, still voice that speaks from within you. Contemplate the ways in which you can achieve your objectives,” he continues.
It’s best not to do this at work, lest your employer think you are, well, just staring into space.
Also, everyone has a time of day at which he or she thinks best. For some, it’s first thing in the morning. For others, it may be late in the evening. You know yourself, and the best time that good ideas seem to come to you.
For some, it may be in your sleep. If a good idea wakes you up, get up, write it down and go back to sleep if it’s the middle of the night.
So who in the world has time to think? Every minute of every day is filled with “life” – job, kids, home chores, hobbies etc. For many, there’s barely a quiet, solitary moment, let alone a few minutes.
It may require a life adjustment so that you can MAKE time to think.
Hill, who also wrote “Think and Grow Rich,” and other experts on leadership and success preach that no one can be truly successful unless he or she can THINK success.
Many believe their lives are so “full,” getting by without one crisis after another is considered a success. Most of us want to do more than just get by.
Still others revel in the chaos of life. You may know someone who isn’t happy unless he or she is miserable. Such a person also can’t stop talking about what’s wrong in life.
But experts on success encourage people to look for the positive. Appreciate the good in their lives. Embrace the thought that things are not only good, but will only get better.
If you are among those positive, optimistic thinkers, and are looking for a vehicle that will allow you not only to improve your situation, but allow you to help others improve theirs, many such vehicles exist. To check out one of the best, message me.
So take time to think. It’s best to do so in private, so people don’t presume you are just aimlessly gazing at nothing.
Think about not only where you are, but where you want to be. Cultivate the ability to dream, if you don’t have it already.
Think first about WHY you want to be successful at whatever you are doing, or want to do. Chances are, once you know why, the how will somehow present itself. When it does, you have to be looking for it.
Don’t just get by. Instead, to quote leadership expert John Addison, get after it.
“Life” will continue to consume you unless you make your own quiet time. When you do, think about what you want from life, not what life is taking from you.
Peter