MONEY CAN BUY HAPPINESS: REALLY?

#MoneyCanBuyHappiness #time #money
“If you were given $40 on the condition that you had to spend it on something that would make you really happy, what would you do with the money?”
So asks Jenna Gallegos, who discussed time and money in an article in The Washington Post. The article also was published July 30, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The answer to the above question would be different for just about everyone. Some would buy a piece of their favorite food or beverage. Some would buy that shiny, new object they’ve had their eyes on. Some wise folk might decide to put it in the bank, postponing their happiness for another few years.
Gallegos quotes a study published in the journal PNAS, saying people who buy time by paying someone to complete a household task are more satisfied with life.
We all have a to-do list that includes tasks that someone else can do better and faster than we. If it’s going to take you several days to, say, paint a room, but a professional painter can come in and knock out that job in a few hours, would that be worth it to you?
OK, some folks love to paint, garden, mow the lawn or do household and auto repairs themselves. For many of us, though, those are drudge tasks, or tasks we cannot accomplish ourselves competently. For some people, the “challenge” of doing something themselves rather than paying someone else to do it allows them to brag about it to friends and family.
Gallegos might ask: are those people in that latter category really happy? Across all surveys, Gallegos writes, life satisfaction was typically higher when people spent money to save their time – regardless of their household income, hours worked (at their regular job) per week, marital status and number of children living at home. (Disclaimer: very few with extremely low incomes were surveyed, Gallegos points out).
The point here is that time is money. Most leadership and motivational experts say you should devote the largest percentage of your (work) time to the things YOU do best. The rest, if possible, should be delegated. There’s a trap here, too. Those same experts might also advise that you not ask anyone who works for you, or with you, to do anything you would not do, talking about those menial, yet necessary tasks to get the job done.
So, for the sake of argument, we won’t focus on those work-related things. We’ll focus on tasks you must do in your time outside of work.
Gallegos cites another study, in which 60 working adults in Vancouver were given $40 on each of two consecutive weekends. They were told to spend that money on a material purchase one weekend, and a time-saving purpose another. The researchers found the time-saving purchases were accompanied by an increased positive effect, and less time stress, Gallegos writes.
Yet in another Vancouver study group of 98 working adults, they were asked how they would spend $40 if it were given to them. Only 2% said they would buy more time, Gallegos writes.
In short, time is indeed money and using your money to buy more time for you to do things you enjoy creates happiness. There are many folks out there who have a combination of not enough money and not enough time to enjoy life. If that description fits you, and you are willing to check out something outstanding that will solve your money/time problems, message me.
Understand that time can’t be replaced. You should be spending the bulk of your time doing things YOU do best, if you can. You should maximize your leisure time doing things that please you the most. It will make you happier.
Money CAN buy happiness, if you use it to purchase time.
Peter

ECONOMICS: A MATTER OF CHOICE

#economics #NobelPrizeForEconomics #RichardThaler #BehavioralEconomics
People make poor choices about money.
That may seem obvious to some, but Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago has made a career of studying people’s economic behavior. He was rewarded last week with the Nobel Prize in economics.
“Far from being the rational decision makers described in economic theory, Thaler found, people often make decisions that run counter to their best interests,” write David Keyton and Jim Heintz of the Associated Press. Their article on Thaler’s prize was published Oct. 10, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“To contain the damage from such collective actions (like not saving enough for retirement, buying houses as prices soared, or failing to get out of a bad investment even as the value plummets etc.), behavioral economists say, policy-makers must recognize human irrationality,” the reporters write.
Irrationality is part of being human. It applies not only to economic decisions, but also other life choices. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, yet there are still people smoking. Everyone can cite all the foods that are bad for them, but eat those foods anyway.
Not everyone makes bad decisions all the time, and not every “bad” decision is terribly consequential. But a pattern of bad decisions over time – or just one bad decision made consistently over time – can be detrimental, even disastrous.
It hardly takes a Nobel laureate to figure out that if one does not save for his retirement, his life will be worse for it.
There’s good news in all of this. The world has created ways to perhaps compensate for bad economic decisions – ways that don’t involve someone, or something, bailing someone out.
There are actual ways to earn extra money, perhaps even lots of extra money, by spending a few non-working hours a week in their pursuit. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
One always can put himself on a path to good economic decision-making. It boils down to spend less, save more and, to continue borrowing from consumer adviser Clark Howard’s tagline, “don’t get ripped off.”
It requires discipline, of course. It requires rational thinking throughout your life. It requires watching where every penny goes. Yes, even a few pennies saved here and there can add up over time.
It requires thinking less about today, and more about tomorrow, and years from now. That may be difficult to do as a young adult, just starting to build a life. You’ll have expenses, family etc., that will cost you money. But a good way to start is by saving a specific amount every week – even, say, $5.
Save it and don’t think about spending it. As your pay at work increases, save that increase. As your savings grow, get good trusted advice about how to invest it.
Thaler joked to the AP reporters that he would spend his Nobel Prize money “as irrationally as possible.”
“In traditional economic theory, it’s a silly question,” Thaler told the reporters. “And the reason is that money doesn’t come with labels. So once that (Nobel) money is in my bank, how do I know whether that fancy bottle of wine I’m buying (is being paid for by) Nobel money or some other kind of money?” he told the reporters.
In other words, money is money. When it is put into our hands, being a good steward of it is essential. That’s not to say that we can’t have a nice bottle of wine, or some other treat, once in a while. We need SOME irrationality in our lives just to be human. It gets dangerous, though, when one allows irrationality to always trump rationality.
Peter

MONEY DOESN’T MAKE YOU BETTER

#money #PersonalGrowth #HoldYourHeadHigh
“If I had more money, I’d be a better person,” some might say.
Leadership guru Jim Rohn, in one of his newsletters, begs to differ.
“We grow personally and then we advance materially,” said Rohn in one of his newsletters.
Last week, we discussed flaunting your most valuable asset: your earning potential.
Rohn puts a slightly different spin on that premise: success is to be attracted, not pursued.
Some old adages your parents may have taught you include: Work hard. Keep your head down and your nose to the grindstone.
In other words, work hard, but don’t draw attention to yourself.
That advice may have sufficed for the person who wants to simply work, draw a paycheck every week, stay in his comfort zone and out of trouble.
For true success, however, hard work certainly is important. But you see true success when others are attracted to you. The best way to attract others to you is to show that you are truly interested in THEIR success, perhaps even more than in your own.
You see, helping others succeed more than likely will bring you success as well.
How does one do this with a “grindstone” kind of job? First, analyze where this job will eventually take you. If it’s unlikely to ever get you out of the work station you are in, and you want out – at least eventually, you may have to find something that you can do within the confines of your work place, or outside of it, to let people know you want to be successful.
If that’s not possible in the confines of your work station, look at other ways to help people, and perhaps earn a part-time income in your spare time. There are many ways to do that, without taking on a “second job.” To check out one of the best, message me.
You can gain personal wealth at the expense of others. Or, you can gain success by helping others achieve success.
Which would you rather do?
If the latter appeals to you, you might have to find ways outside of your normal activity to accomplish that.
You can certainly be successful without being wealthy. Just observe the story of people like Mother Teresa.
She helped people in a very selfless manner.
But if you are not already wealthy, helping people can be a way of creating wealth – for those you help become successful and, as a result, for yourself.
To do that, as Jim Rohn would advise, make yourself attractive to others. Not necessarily physically attractive, but let your enthusiasm draw others to you. Let your desire to help them want them to help you, or do business with you.
Be the one not with his head down, but the one with his head held high, and a smile on his face. Be the one who knows where he wants to go, and who wants to take as many with him as want to go.
Be a magnet that draws the best to you, then bring out the best in them.
Peter

STOP! BREATHE! : PART 1

stop #breathe #CalmDown #suicides
Waiting in line. Sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. A driver cuts you off while texting.
Life has its annoyances.
How do YOU deal with what annoys you?
Many people show their anger in destructive ways.
Others don’t let annoyances provoke overreaction. They breathe, and deal with it.
Gracie Bonds Staples, columnist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, discussed this in a recent column.
Staples writes that she has honked her horn at distracted drivers at traffic lights. She was simply trying to let the driver know the light was green and it was time to go. It never occurred to her that such a thing could provoke enough anger that the driver wanted to kill – perhaps not literally – her.
“Any perceived offense, not matter how small, can turn bad quickly,” Staples writes.
She pointed to a recent article about a driver honking at another car. The driver and passengers in the vehicle being honked at followed the other car home and fired a warning shot. Those drivers returned to the man’s home two days later and fired several rounds at the man’s home.
Fortunately, a neighbor saw and reported them, so they were arrested.
Staples also talked about a wife who was so angry that her husband didn’t buy her a Valentine’s Day gift, that she attacked him with a baseball bat.
It’s difficult to imagine that such incidents provoke such overreaction. But there could be an explanation.
The economic recovery after the 2008 recession didn’t help everyone. Many people who lost jobs, homes and other financial assets in the downturn have never recovered. These people look at those who’ve benefitted from the recovery with disdain, and want revenge.
That vengeance is so bottled up that they take their anger out on other things and other people. Little annoyances become big offenses. Suddenly, they feel they have nothing else to lose.
The economic downturn has led to an increase in suicides, drug and alcohol abuse and other destructive behavior, according to recent reports.
If you are among those who are mad at the world because your life has changed for the worse, and you see no way it will get better, stop. Breathe. Calm down. Find a place at which you are at peace, sit and relax.
Whatever your instincts tell you, remember that your reaction could make your life worse than it already is – not to mention hurt others who mean you no harm.
There ARE solutions to economic losses, if you are willing to look for them. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll find people who’ve been broke, but found a solution, and are helping others do the same.
No matter your troubles, know that America is still a great place. The future is not dim, but bright. You can recover from your troubles without resorting to misplaced anger. Sure, little things can be annoying, but remember not to fret about things you can’t control, and work on the things you can control.
As sure as the sun rises every day, nothing is as bad as it seems. In fact, the future is something to very much look forward to.
Peter

HOW TO THINK ABOUT MONEY: PART 1

If you had all the money in the world, how would you feel?
There are all kinds of answers, and there are many books out there that try to teach us how to think about money.
Steve Siebold has written one called, “How Rich People Think.” It teaches, much the way Napoleon Hill teaches in “Think and Grow Rich,” or Robert Kiyosaki in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” that we have to look at how we think before we can get rich.
Sure, you can inherit a bunch of money from your late great aunt, or you can win a big lottery jackpot. But, chances are, if you have what Siebold calls “middle class thoughts” about money, you probably won’t have your fortune for very long.
Most of us have been taught that hard work, a good education and keeping your nose to the grindstone for, say, 40 years will help you retire comfortably.
But if you think like a rich person, you are not thinking about having enough money to retire, as Siebold writes. You are thinking about having enough money to make an impact on the world.
In other words, to be rich, you have to think of solutions to problems, and invent them.
Most of us were taught that if we had a job, or something else that was paying us, we had to worry about holding onto it. Rich people will try things, fail numerous times, and try something else. They don’t fear failure or loss. In fact, they don’t fear much of anything. Even if they lose their fortunes, they know they will find a way to make them back.
That may be why it’s difficult to really punish white-collar criminals. They used their genius for evil, and most of us would like nothing more than to see them lose everything. Even if they lost everything, they would find a way to make it back – hopefully in an ethical, law-abiding way this time.
Yes, we all would like to have a lot of money. Some of us believe it is not possible for us to get a lot of money. It’s possible for anyone to get a lot of money, just by thinking the right thoughts. You don’t think about who would give it to you. You think about how you can come up with the idea that people will pay you for.
Then, you think about how you can use and grow that money. As Siebold writes, middle-class people think about how to spend money. Rich people think about how to invest money.
Most of us have been taught to get a good education – get through high school, go to college, get a degree in something that will get you a good job. Rich people, Siebold says, don’t think of education in terms of degrees. They think of education as learning anything that will make them money. Some of the richest people in the world have relatively little formal education. They’ve just thought about ways to make money, learned what they needed to pull it off and gotten rich.
Do you think like a rich person? Do you think like a middle-class person? Do you think of making money via a job, or making money via an idea? Once you get money, do you think more of ways to spend it, or more of ways to invest it?
As you ponder these questions, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You will see how some ordinary, middle-class folks got wealthy, and how you could do the same. The only difference between them and you is how they think. It’s difficult to become rich, until you first learn to think like a rich person.
Give it a shot. Think what you would do to make a lot of money, and to not just preserve it, but use it to help others. Don’t be jealous or envious of the rich. If you feel that way, remember the best way you can help the poor is not to be one of them.
Peter

HOW MUCH IS YOUR CHARACTER WORTH?

It’s not about brains. It’s about beliefs.
Your brains may be worth a given amount to someone else, i.e. an employer or a client.
Your beliefs have a value only to you. What would you sell them for?
Rory Vaden, cofounder of Southwestern Consulting and author of “Take the Stairs,” posed this question in a column in the Dec. 1, 2013, edition of The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
He calls the sum you would command to compromise your beliefs your “character quotient.”
If you have strong beliefs in something, what would tempt you to deviate from those beliefs?
Criminals, obviously, have a low character quotient. Their beliefs are compromised regularly, and they don’t seem to mind. Or, they never had a strong set of beliefs in the first place. Some of them would compromise themselves for very little.
Some business people have low character quotients. Their belief systems have much to do with making as much money as possible. Some of them don’t really care whom they hurt to feather their own nests. Because of these people, commerce and capitalism carry a bad name among many.
Some people in politics have low character quotients. But, there is an exception here. One does not want a politician unwilling to compromise. Governing is all about compromise, and accepting election results. But some in politics are in it for self-gain and, frankly, make no bones about it.
No matter what you do for a living, no matter your faith, no matter your core beliefs, you probably have something you would go to the wall for. No amount of money, in your mind, would make you deviate from that. Let’s look at Vaden’s formula: a quotient is the answer in a division problem. The dividend is what is being divided. The divisor is what the dividend is being divided by.
Your character dividend, Vaden says, represents the self-assigned value you place on sticking to your virtues and doing what you know is right. The divisor is the amount of money or other payoff that would be offered for you to choose NOT to stick to your principles.
In a concrete example, we all hate paying taxes. How many of us tinker with our tax returns to pay as few taxes as possible. Of course, there is legal tinkering that is OK. But illegal tinkering – cheating – is not. How much tax savings would tempt you to cheat on your taxes, perhaps risking an IRS audit etc.?
Perhaps, you may be offered a job that would violate your core principles. How much would they have to pay you to do it? As an example, you may have a place you’ve always wanted to work. You get an offer to work there, but as a strikebreaker. In other words, you’d have to cross a picket line to go to work. How much would they have to offer you to do that?
Or, you discover that your employer is doing something illegal or unethical. You do not want to be a part of it, because of your core beliefs. Would you quit your job over it – actually take something of value away from yourself?
These are questions we may never ponder, or we may ponder constantly. Do you consider selling out as selling yourself? Do you try to justify your decisions by saying you are doing it for the greater good? Again, politicians are the exception here. They must ALWAYS think about the greater good. Have you ever been placed in a bad position, having to make a decision from which none of the alternatives would be good? What are your beliefs really worth?
If you find yourself in a position to make what you feel is a bad choice, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may realize there is a positive place to go when all of the choices placed before you make sense to you, and none would compromise your beliefs.
People who do the right thing usually get rewarded in the end. Those who do the wrong things eventually get caught. Do what make s YOU feel good. Don’t hurt others in the process. The rewards for straying are usually short-lived. Your reward for standing firm may not come immediately, but one day, you’ll find it.

Peter

FOR YOU, IS LIFE A BOWL OF CHERRIES, OR JUST THE PITS?

Cherries are sweet, but they have pits. You can just spit out the pits. or suck every last bit of flavor out of them.
Those who do the latter are looking for something that may or may not be there. The uncertainty doesn’t stop them from looking.
You see, some people presume the worst, and just spit out the pits.
Others wait to make sure they are not missing something good before they spit the pits.
You can look at your situation as a bowl of cherries, or just the pits.
Are you going to realize that there may be something good left in those pits, or just presume there is nothing there and just spit?
When you eat sweet cherries, you can’t help but encounter pits. So it’s not whether you’ll get pits, it’s how you deal with them that matters. Your circumstances are none of your business, to quote a wise philosopher. How you deal with them is completely within your control. You can enjoy good times and spit the pits, or you can see what the pits have left in them for you.
It’s been said that God doesn’t close a door without opening a window. Sometimes, that window is either hard to find, or may not be apparent to you immediately.
Sometimes, someone you least expect — or may not know yet — will show you where the window is. On the other side may be more sweet cherries, but you may have to endure a few pits to get the most out of them.
See who might be there for you. It’s OK not to know what you are looking for, but first know what you want from life. Don’t make life about money. But, rather, make it about what you could do if you didn’t have to worry about money.
Learn to be a better person by seeing what is possible, instead of dwelling on what you believe is not possible. Summon the spirit inside you to see what might be out there, even as you deal with the hand you’re dealt.
No life is without obstacles, and some obstacles are difficult to overcome. Try to overcome the difficulty by conquering despair, hopelessness and pessimism. It not easy to be successful, but it’s possible for everyone who wants it.
If you are such a person, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find the last bit of flavor in a pit you are about to spit.
Life is a bowl of cherries, but the hidden flavor in some pits may lead you to more, and bigger bowls.
Peter

MONEY, TIME AND VALUE

Time is money.
But have you ever tried putting a value on your time?
Better yet, are you deliberate in how you spend your time?
Rory Vaden, a self-discipline consultant and co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, says very successful people are usually very intentional about how they spend their time.
Successful people understand the “money value of time,” as Vaden put it in an April 2013 column in The Tennessean newspaper of Nashville.
Average people waste a lot of time, and may not even know it.
They look for stuff. They sit in front of the television, not even caring what’s on.
Sometimes we waste time and hate it, such as standing in line, getting stuck in traffic etc. We hate it, yet we rationalize that we “have to do it” to get to something we want. — like show tickets, or getting home from work.
Vaden talks about how people are paid for time in the workplace. One hour of work equals your hourly wage. Everyone can calculate how much he or she gets paid for each hour worked. Yes, even “salaried” folks can figure out what they make per hour.
What’s more difficult for many is figuring out how best to spend each hour of the day. What return will a person get for time spent?
For many, if they analyze time spent, the return on investment may be pretty puny.
You may think television gives you pleasure, but if you spent some of your TV time doing something more productive or worthwhile, you can increase your return on your time investment.
What if you could work full time at your job, and part-time on your fortune? Would you be willing to give up some, say, TV time for a shot at firing your boss? Would you be willing to spend your time away from work on something that will help you grow as a person? If so, check out www.bign.com/pbilodeau. This may enlighten you on a better investment of your time.
Time should not all be about work. Time with family, friends or helping others brings tremendous return on investment. But try taking a week, divide it by hours, and see how you fill those hours. Then, figure the ROI for each hour. You might be surprised at the results. They just might make you a little more deliberate about how you spend each hour.
Rethinking how you spend your time may make you the success you want to be.
Peter