Every moment of every day of your life is made up of decisions. The average person makes around 35,000 decisions a day. EVERY SINGLE DAY! Each and every one of those decisions will take you on a path that is one step closer to success or one step in the opposite direction.
Sounds pretty intimidating, right? That’s life. The ability to have free will allows us to make conscious decisions every moment of our lives. Sometimes these decisions are really small and insignificant like what color outfit to wear or whether to use a blue pen or a black pen. Other decisions are life-changing like whether or not to try recreational drugs, drop out of school, open a business, get married, or have a child.
If you are reading this right now, I want you to know that no matter what your current situation is, you always have the choice in any decision you make from here on out. If you want to start eating better, that’s a choice. If you want to go back to school and get an education, that’s a choice. If you want to get professional help to stop using drugs, that’s a choice. If you want to change professions, that’s a choice. If you want to be a better person, a better spouse, a better parent, a better sibling, a better child, those are all choices. Every single moment of every single day.
Listen to me, as long as you are alive reading this you CAN change, you CAN make a difference, it is not impossible. In fact, it's very possible. You just have to believe it and most importantly, you have to believe in yourself.
Free will allows you to come and go as you please, it allows you to make choices, make decisions that will impact your future and the future of those around you. Now is the time to start making the right decision. It starts here, it starts now. I believe in you.
If you would like to start learning the appropriate skills to help make better decisions in your life, consider working with me as your coach. https://www.releaseyourfullpotential.com/
Daniel D'Elia, M.Ed
Educator, Personal Growth Coach
The question that has plagued mankind for decades. Is growth coaching for me? Before you read this entire article, you must first ask yourself these two questions: 1) Am I performing at my optimum level mentally, physically, and emotionally? 2) Am I in control of my life and feel confident in the life that I am living?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, congratulations! Close out this tab, because it sounds like you are performing at your peak level and it does not sound like you are a good fit for growth coaching.
If you are still reading this article, that means that you answered no to either one or both of those questions. So, back to the point, is growth coaching for you?
If ANY of these questions speak directly to you, then you most definitely will benefit from working with a personal growth coach. Personal growth coaching will get you to realize the obstacles that are holding you back from pursuing the life that you have always dreamed. Personal growth coaching allows the clients to self-examine their lives by using methods that are thought-provoking and trigger your internal motivation. The best way to find the solution is by first identifying the problem(s).
Imagine living your life on your terms; waking up each morning hopping out of bed excited to take on the day. Imagine yourself pursuing a career that you are passionate about, getting paid the money that you always dreamed of making, working smarter not harder, taking a proactive approach towards life rather than reactive, dating or marrying the quality of person who you know deep down in your heart that you deserve. These all may sound like they are wishful thinking but the truth of the matter is that working with a personal growth coach allows you to explore and examine all of the fallacies that society has trained you to belief.
Growth coaching allows the clients to break down the barriers that have been holding them back for years, decades, etc. It also allows the clients to recognize that they have more control over their day to day situations than they have been led to believe and to be able to implement the proper mindset and practices in their everyday life that will allow them to maximize their potential. If any of this sounds appealing to you, it is important to understand the value of growth coaching rather than looking at it from a monetary stance. For example, many of us attend college or trade schools because we understand that we are making an investment in ourselves and that the time and money we put into our education, we will get back tenfold and the sky's the limit. The same goes for growth coaching. By working with a coach, you are investing in yourself. The time, money, and effort that you put into your coaching experience you will get back tenfold.
No one lives forever. Although they are only four words, these words are truly powerful. No one likes to think about their own mortality, or actually come to the terms that one day they will seize to exist, at least to our knowledge. To put it lightly, we all have a countdown clock that begins counting the moment we are born. Many of us procrastinate because we feel that we will always have “later” or “tomorrow” to start. The issue with this type of mentality is that none of us can actually guarantee what tomorrow will bring or even that tomorrow will come. I can think of many friends, family members, coworkers, and individuals alike, who had it in their minds that they would start living their lives the right way tomorrow, until tomorrow never came. Too many of us neglect our health and well being because we haven’t taken the time to address the underlying issues, which in fact, are the root of the dilemma’s or obstacles that we are currently dealing with. Many of us allow ourselves to have vices, making an agreement with ourselves stating, “This is who I am, this is a part of me.” My response to that is that we will always be what we consider ourselves to be and we will remain that way unless we decide to change our opinions of ourselves. You see, the way that you view yourself is the same way that people will view you. If there is something that you do not like about yourself, physical limitations excluded, you have two options: Learn to accept that flaw for what it is and see if you can turn it into a strength, or you can change it. Just because you have been a certain way for most of your life does not mean that you have to spend the rest of your life being that way. Let’s say that for most of your life you have had bad things happen to you and this has caused you to have a negative outlook on life. You would consider yourself bad luck, and say that it’s “impossible” for you to change. The longer you continue to believe this is your destiny and that there is no hope for change or reconciliation, the smaller the window of opportunity becomes. In order to be what you have always wanted to become, you must first do things you have never wanted to do. It's quite interesting to know that success and growth take place right outside of our comfort zone, yet we do all in our power to ensure that we don’t allow ourselves to become uncomfortable. In order to grow you must first become uncomfortable.
Daniel D'Elia, M.Ed
Personal growth coach, educator, transformational speaker, writer.
It's so much easier to make excuses than it is to knuckle down and get work done. It's so much easier to point fingers and blame everyone else rather than to take ownership for your life and your decisions. It's so much easier to be reactive than it is to be proactive and plan out every step of the way. It's so much easier to stay comfortable than it is to face the unknown. It's so much easier to keep a closed mind and to not adapt than it is to keep an open mind and constantly evolve. It's so much easier to stay in bed in the morning than it is to wake up early. It's so much easier to watch t.v., play video games, and play games on your phone than it is to read, or learn a new skill. Its so much easier to live paycheck to paycheck and buy expensive things, go out to fancy dinners, and max out your credit cards than it is to save, invest, and be frugal. It's so much easier to pay someone for their skill than it is to learn the skill on your own. It's so much easier to eat like crap than it is to eat healthy. It's so much easier to stay at a job that you hate than it is to go through the process of updating your resume, go on interviews, or get additional training. Its so much easier to ignore the person than it is to address them face to face. It's so much easier to go to the doctor and get a pill than it is to eat right, exercise, get the proper amount of sleep, and look for alternative forms of medicine. The only issue with this type of mentality is the fact that life isn't designed to be easy. If you do things the easy way all of the time, life becomes difficult. If you do things the right way, can you imagine the possibilities?
Daniel D'Elia, M.Ed
Personal growth coach, educator, transformational speaker, writer.
From the moment we were born, we have been trained to surround ourselves with drama and negativity. Through no fault of our own we have been trained to respond to and to spew negativity each and every day. Think about this question for a moment: When was the last time you insulted or made a negative comment towards someone or something? Can you recall the most recent event when this happened? Great. Now I would like you to think about the last time that you complimented someone or made a positive comment towards someone or something. Take a moment to do this. (Pause) Were you able to think of a time? Were you surprised about how quickly you were able to come up with a time when you insulted or made a negative comment towards someone or something but it took you so much longer trying to think of a time when you complimented or made a positive comment towards someone or something? You see, each and every day we are exposed to constant drama and negativity(especially with the ability to be completely connected through social media simply by the click of a button.)
If you want to be extraordinary, you can no longer do things in the ordinary way. You must invest in yourself on a daily basis, you must reprogram your mind to think positively and to dismiss the negative thoughts and constant temptation to talk talk/type/think negatively towards others. It is important that you take responsibility for your actions and to take the initiative to constantly work on the areas that you need improvement and continue to hone those skills. In my opinion, there are two types of people in this world: Those who make excuses and those who get things done. The question is, which one will you choose to become? Be positive, be kind, be extraordinary.
Daniel D'Elia, M.Ed
Personal growth coach, educator, transformational speaker, writer.
Your limitations begin and end in your mind. These words still send chills down my spine because the mind--your mind--is the most powerful tool you will ever own. Your limitations are created in your mind, you are the one who decides what you are capable of, no one else. So, here is a question that I pose to you: “Are you living the life of your choosing or are you simply holding back?”
About seven years ago, the person who I was meant to be, wasn't the person who I was allowing myself to become. There was an inner battle between my ego and superego. This battle had me torn between choosing a life of comfort, safety, and little surprises or choosing a life of wonder, risk, uncomfortable moments, and many surprises. The number one obstacle that was in my path was myself. I put such a large emphasis on the way people viewed me. I spent more time caring about what others thought about me than I did caring about how I viewed myself. The self-defeating behaviors and negative thoughts ate away at me and interfered with any possibility of actually breaking out of my comfort zone. Society does a fine job of keeping us in check and leading us to believe that it’s in our best interest to abandon our independence and uniqueness and conform to the rules, guidelines, and expectations that were put in place by those who most likely have a hidden agenda. This behavior disrupted my ability to be who I truly was, that was until I finally decided to do something about it.
It is my belief that we are all put on this Earth with certain talents, certain qualities, and certain experiences. It is our responsibility to hone these talents and it is our experiences in life that have helped sculpt us into the very people that we are today. It is these experiences and every decision you have ever made in your life thus far that sculpted you into the person that you are at this very moment. We all have the ability to be a the person who we were meant to be, it is simply fear of the unknown that causes us to hold back. We often fear what we have been led to believe that we cannot control--things that we cannot touch,see,hear, or smell. Your limitations begin in your mind and they also end in your mind. All of the excuses and obstacles that you have allowed yourself to believe, the reasons why you feel “stuck” in your situation with no hopes of getting out alive, are completely and utterly made up.
If you are a natural born leader, it is your job to make sure that you do everything in your power to work your way into positions that allow you to lead. Remember, no one ever gets anywhere by sitting back idly allowing others to make the decisions for them. It is your life, therefore, you should be the one making decisions for you. Life is all about living your live to it’s fullest and releasing your full potential. Every single day you must make it a habit to work on improving yourself. We each have qualities and things about us that we're not exactly proud of, do not let these define you as a person. Instead, work hard on yourself every day to enhance your skills so that one day you can break down these barriers that are creating your obstacles. You must realize that you set your limitations and your mind and actions control the results. Know this, you are capable of becoming so much better and doing so much more than you have ever given yourself credit for. The first step to being successful is to make up your mind, decide what you want, and put it to action. This will lay down the foundation and pave the the path towards becoming who you were truly meant to be. So I guess the questions you have to ask yourself are:
What am I waiting for?
Why haven't I become this person who I meant to be?
Is it because I don't have the right game plan?
Is it because I haven't spent enough time trying to actually figure out who I am or who I am meant to be?
Or is it simply because I have not channeled my energy and time correctly?
These answers begin and end in your mind.
Be in the moment. Take 8-10 seconds to let these words sink in. Think back and try to remember the last time you were actually in the moment, I mean really in the moment. I am not talking about a situation when you were physically there and just went through the motions, I’m referring to a time when your mind, body, and soul were 100% connected-- in ways in which you didn’t even know existed!
Have you ever experienced the feeling of being so drawn into the moment where it actually feels like time slows down or even freezes for a few seconds or even several minutes? I’m talking about a situation where, in that moment, nothing else mattered. If you were to examine the world that we are currently living in, it is fair to say that we are living in fast times. It is not uncommon to constantly be in a rush all day, every day. In addition to being in a rush, the majority of us are constantly distracted due to technology. Have you been able to pinpoint a time in your life when you were fully in the moment yet?
Here’s another question that I would like you to think about: “When was the last time you were disconnected from technology?” Recently, my fiance and I made it a point to start being in the moment more. As humans, we have the tendency to obsess over things and become addicted to objects or devices that release the pleasure signals in our brains called “endorphins”. These endorphins are the reason why it feels so good to get a “like” or a comment on your social media status, pictures, or photos. These same endorphins are released in your brain when you eat your favorite dessert or junk food. It is these very feelings that cause us to post and/or check our social media accounts several times a day. This need to check our phones and other electronic devices several times a day, distracts us from our actual lives (friends, family, job, goals, gym, or any other healthy activities).
One of the goals that we decided to set was to designate one day a week where we cannot look at or use our social media sites. The goal is to go the entire day doing other activities that do not involve social media or technology. We are only two weeks in, but the results have been amazing. You cannot truly understand how addicting social media and technology actually is until you go a full day being unplugged.
If you are reading this, the best advice that I can offer you is to invest in yourself and to start being in the moment more often. I truly hope that you will benefit from reading this article and I would love if you were to post some stories of the results you observed while you were unplugged as well as situations when you were in the moment.
This post was inspired by the video above. Listed below you will find the 15 things that poor people do that the rich don't. The 15 things are in bold and my "two cents" is written below each. Read or watch to find out how your life compares.
1.) Watch a lot of t.v.
If you are one of those individuals who is spending hours a day watching television, you have to remember that these hours add up. Sure, binge watching an entire series over the course of three days feels good at the time but what have you necessarily gained from doing this? Take a step back and consider this: what value does television add to your life other than entertainment? Could you be spending your time in a more productive manner?
2.) Eat fast food.
Sure, it’s a quick meal and it’s relatively inexpensive. Large fries, a milkshake, and a triple cheeseburger drizzled in a special sauce will surely make your taste buds dance (junk food and soda is included in this category). However, just think of the long term damage that you are exposing your body to each and every time you eat fast food. Remember this, if you’re not healthy, all aspects of your life will be directly affected. Your health should always be your number one priority.
3.) Buy clothes or products that are on sale.
Have you ever been in a store and see that something is on sale and you say to yourself “well, the price is just too good not to buy it”? So then you buy it and never use it? Companies hire marketing geniuses who know how to make people compulsively buy. Next time you see something on sale- pause and think to yourself “Do I really need this?” More often than not you will realize that you don’t actually need it.
4.) Wake up late.
It is a proven fact that there are 24 hours in a day. The most successful people and memorable historical figures all shared the same 24 hours that we do. The difference between us and them is how they used those hours. If you find yourself sleeping more than 7 or 8 hours a night and sleeping past 9 a.m. you may want to consider setting an alarm or getting on a more structured sleeping schedule. It’s not about the amount of time you have in your life, it’s what you do with that time.
5.) Are really into sports (as a spectator not as a player)
I abandoned watching sports when I was about eleven years old. Maybe it was the fact that the players were getting paid millions of dollars whether they won or loss or maybe it was the fact that I preferred to be a player rather than a spectator. Either way, unless you are looking to become a professional athlete, being really into watching sports doesn’t add much value to your life other than for entertainment purposes.
6.)Don’t shower or bathe as often
A bar of soap doesn’t cost much and water is relatively inexpensive. There’s really no excuse to lack personal hygiene. No one wants to be around a smelly person.
7.) Blame others for their misfortunes.
As a personal growth coach I hear this all of the time. If you are one of those individuals who is always looking for pity from others--this message is for you. You control your life, you are the reason for your problems. We all problem, it’s what you do to try and solve those problems. You can either be a victim or you can use is as a way to grow.
8.) Have no money saved.
If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you are not saving. Economics 101, if you spend more money (expenses) than you make (income) you will not have any money. Try to get into the habit to save at least 10% of the money you make each week or each month and put that money away---and don’t touch it. Your older self will thank you.
9.) Use credit cards or take out loans for useless things.
Using credit cards can be pretty rewarding, the companies make it seem very appealing knowing that the more money you spend the more miles, cash back, gift cards you can earn. Credit cards can be great if used properly. The issue with credit cards is that often people will spend money that they don’t actually have. The credit card companies are very smart and they count on giving you loans that you can’t pay back. Rule of thumb, if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it until you can. If you have to charge it, make sure to pay the balance in full.
10.) Tend to have more kids and have them earlier in life.
If you have kids or are planning on having kids sometime in the near future you most likely already know that these little guys (who will eventually grow into full grown adults) are very expensive. On average, If you are living in a more developed country it will cost you roughly
$250,000 to raise a child over a lifetime. Most parents do not take the time to properly educate themselves on how to parent their children, the more they have, the more stressed and overwhelmed they become. If you are planning to have children, make sure you are able to take care of yourself first.
11.) Do not do regular checks with their medic.
As mentioned earlier in number two, you are nothing without your health. As a society, most people are reactive when it comes to their health. They make all of their mistakes for many years by eating poorly, not being physically active, drinking, smoking, or using drugs. It is not until they start experiencing symptoms or having health problems that they will start to think about making changes to their lifestyle.
12.) Spend money before they get it.
Back to economics 101, if you spend money that you don’t have you will be in debt and you will spend more time worrying about paying your bills than actually making money and keeping it.
13.) Surround themselves with other people who are poor.
You know the old expression, you are only as good as the company you keep. Amongst poor people, it is not uncommon to find out that they tend to have poor beliefs, are negative, view themselves as oppressed, and are often dream killers. There’s an old expression, “‘If you hang around the barbershop long enough, you’re going to get a haircut’”
14.) Never follow through on their ideas or their potential.
How much time do these people actually spend working on improving themselves? Often you will find that people haven’t learned a thing since they left the formal setting of academia (middle school, high school, community college, university, etc.) These individuals tend to spend more time talking about how they’re going to do something but never actually take action, and more often than not, this behavior gets them nowhere. Rich people execute, they are doers’ not sayer’s.
15.) Believing that others should help bring you to the top.
At the end of the day, the only person who is truly going to care about you is yourself. You have to be your best advocate and realize that your decisions affect your life. You can’t wait for others to change your life for you. It is not their job, nor is it their responsibility, to make your life better. The truth is, your problems are yours and you shouldn’t make them someone else's. If you have issues or want your life or situation to change you have to come up with a game plan and hire someone like a financial advisor, life coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, etc. to help point you in the right direction and help get you to where you want to be.
As humans, we often convince ourselves that the issues in our lives are out of our control. We often think that things happen to us because we have terrible luck, or must have been a terrible person in our last life. I’ve heard plenty of times people say “I don't get it I'm such a nice person, why is there always a black cloud over my head?”
Here is the question that I pose to you: “Are you the problem or are you the solution?” At first glance it would be apparent that the problem is everyone around us. For example, how many times have you said this: “It’s my boss’ fault for not paying me enough, that’s why I’m not rich.” How about this: “If only I were to win the lottery, I would be a good person, volunteer more,
and finally be able to be happy.”
Are you allowing your excuses to dictate your life? Are you constantly trying to shift blame and do not take ownership for your actions or your life? As humans, we are naturally lazy. We like to be comfortable, like to do things the easy way, and like to make ourselves the victim (put the blame on others). Think about the last time someone called you out on your bull$h**, you most likely became defensive and immediately closed them off. You then probably held a grudge against this person calling them a bad name, trash talking them, and refusing to speak to them. Here’s the issue with that, you haven’t corrected the behavior and the issues still exist. Step one is identifying what the issue(s) are. More often than not, the issues that affect us on a daily basis, were either created by us directly or were created by us not dealing with the issue when it was small and minor and allowing it to grow and metastasize. Re-read the last sentence and keep this in mind, more of than not--the issue is YOU. Step two is coming up with a solid game plan to correct the behaviors, this might involve you do some research, hiring a professional to help you, take a seminar, read books/literature, listen to audio books on the topic. Step three is execute (this is probably the most difficult part of the process but is the most important). If step three is not working out, revisit step two, monitor and adjust your plan, and back to execution. In the wise words of the motivational speaker Les Brown, “If you do what is easy, your life will be hard. If you do what is hard, your life will be easy.” The choice is yours--it always is.
Think about the last fancy dinner that you went to--maybe it was to celebrate a special occasion or simply just to try out the new Friday night hot spot. Think about that fancy new outfit you bought to wear to work or to impress someone. The money you spent on those half price appetizers with the pitcher of beer. How about that $700 iphone that is attached to your hand at all times or the hundreds of dollars you spend each month on your cable bill, or what about that gym membership that you have been paying for the last two years but haven’t yet actually made it to the gym. Why is it that we have no issue spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on things that we don’t necessarily need or are throwing our money away to drive in a luxury car. We spend hundreds of dollars a month on fancy meals that are probably deteriorating our health at a mark up rate, but are completely hesitant to pay a fraction of those price buying a book, attending a seminar, taking a college course, or spending money on any other additional personal development resources.
The best investment you can ever make is an investment in yourself--period. As long as you are working for someone else, you will always be relying on someone else. If you are always relying on someone else, you will always be suppressing your full potential. For example, let’s say that you make your income through commission or an hourly wage. If you cannot show up for work, you do not make anything--zero, zilch, nada---not a penny. Therefore, in this situation, showing up to work means making money, and not showing up to work means not making money. Although you may be making a good amount of money hourly or through commission, you must trade your time for money. If you cannot give your time, you cannot earn money. Let’s say that you are making your money through a salary. Personally, I feel that salary jobs are the worst type of income because no matter how little effort or how much effort you put into your job you are paid one set amount.
Let’s say that you are making $50,000 a year and working 40 hours a week. If you take that $50,000 and subtract 30% income tax you are left with $35,000. If you take the number of hours in a week (40) and multiply by the number of weeks you work (50 taking into consideration two weeks vacation) you get 2,000 hours. Then if you were to take that $35,000 (income after taxes) and divide it by 2,000 (total hours worked) it comes to $17.50 an hour.
Imagine that instead of being on hourly wage, commission wage, or salary you invested in yourself and you were able to open your own business or offer a service to people that allows you to make $100 an hour. Take the $100 and multiple that by the 2,000 hours that you are already making you will find yourself making $200,000 ($140,000 after taxes) breaking it down to $70 an hour all by working on your own schedule and investing in yourself.
Let’s take things a step further. Let’s say that you were making $100 an hour actively (meaning you are doing something to make that money) and you were pulling in an extra $100 a day through passive income (investments, dividends, real estate, interest paid out, etc.) you will bring in an additional $36,500 ($25,550 after taxes) Add up those two numbers and you will be pulling in after taxes $165,550 a year.
Now, keep in mind this is based off of a 40 hour work week with 50 weeks a year. If you work more than these hours and continue to invest in yourself, your income will go up. It all depends on your lifestyle and how you would like your time to be spent.
Life, if we allow it to, will become stagnant and repetitive. Do this long enough and an internal void will begin to develop--and metastasize much like cancer. You will turn into a bitter, angry, resentful human being who is filled with decades of regret. We often program ourselves to look forward to the weekend so that we can get away from our weekly 9-5 job, tricking ourselves into believing that if we can just relax for the weekend and get away from the demands that each week puts on us, that our lives will somehow miraculously get better. Here’s your wake-up call: You can’t expect life to just happen by sitting back idly and waiting for it because it never will happen---you have to make life happen. It needs to start today--right now--this very moment.
If you constantly wait for the right time, the right day, the right week, the right temperature, the right month, the right year---you will miss out on God’s greatest gift to you--your life. You will look back years from now and wish that you could travel back in time and kick the younger you---the one who is reading this very insight---right in the butt and say “Get out there and start making it happen.” I ask you, what is the point of waking up every day, doing the same thing you did the day before, going to sleep, and then waking up to do it all over again? Is there a point to this redundant behavior? Are you living your life to the fullest? Have you released your fullest potential? Are you happy with your current situation? Are you the best version of yourself day in day out?
If you continue to re-live the same day over and over--I promise you, do this for long enough and your life will pass you by in the blink of an eye. If you feel like you are caught in a rut, YOU have to dig yourself out. If you need help, by all means, start asking for it--read books, listen to motivational videos, higher a life coach/mentor, attend seminars, travel, do what is necessary to allow yourself to TRULY LIVE. By sitting back idly waiting for things to happen to you---you’re going to be waiting for the rest of your life. There are two types of people: those who wait for life to happen and those who make life happen to them. Living the same day over and over again for 80 years isn’t a life. Life isn’t about the number of breaths we take, it’s about the number of moments that take our breath away. It starts with YOU. The power of YOU can be more powerful than you can ever realize. It starts with your ATTITUDE. It starts with breaking out of your COMFORT ZONE.
When was the last time you spent a few minutes asking yourself...What do I want? How badly do I want it? It’s time to get rid of the “same s**t, different day” mentality. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present! Don’t wait until it’s too late to enjoy your gift. So, ask yourself---what is your why?
Money--it truly makes the world go ‘round. I have been thinking about writing this article for awhile now, I was just trying to figure out a way to address a topic that is on most people’s minds more often than any other topic--unless you’re Bill Gates, Donald Trump, or Oprah-- because they have plenty of it.
From a young age, I was always fascinated with coins. I enjoyed the different markings that you can find on coins, how shiny they were, and the fact that they were actually worth something always intrigued me. I started a coin collection when I was five years old, I began to take an interest in where the coin came from, how much each one was worth, and what metals were melted together in order to make each coin. Around the same time my interest began to grow in money, my father told me a story about this little mouse named Pinch Penny. “Pinch Penny Mouse” is a story about a little mouse who wasn’t too proud to pick up money off the ground. He made it a point to save every penny that he would earn or find. His friends would laugh at him for saving all of his money--but one day the town went bankrupt and needed money--and good old Pinch Penny was there to bail them out. This story inspired me to pick up change off the ground--to me it made so much sense because it was FREE money that I didn’t have to do anything for. To this day, at thirty one years old, I still pick up change off of the ground--and you should too!
By the age of five, I began to receive money for my birthday in the form of dollar bills--I would get a $100 from my grandparents. I really thought I hit the jackpot when I made my communion when I was seven years old and received several hundreds of dollars from my family members. Unlike most seven year old children, instead of thinking about all of the ways I could spend my money--on candy, sports cards, toys-- I began to think about all of the ways I could KEEP my money. I decided to keep my money in a piggy bank so that it was safe.
As I grew older and more birthdays and Christmases passed, I began to accumulate more and more money. By the time I was eleven years old, I asked my father if he could come with me to start a savings account so that I could start making money on my money. I had learned that money doesn't grow on trees and that if I wanted to have more--I certainly couldn’t just rely on Christmas and my birthday to obtain it. As I grew older I began to ask more questions about how to get more money. I started a few small businesses (a candy machine business, a business drawing henna tattoos, etc.) and decided to up the ante by putting my money in a mutual fund. I had grown the utmost respect for money--and I was only twelve years old.
The reason why a good portion of those who are reading this article do not have money--is simply because you have never learned to respect it. You receive your paycheck each money--or every two weeks--and before you even have a chance to make physical contact with your money--it’s usually gone. Online banking is very convenient, however, it takes away from the idea that your money actually exists. Instead of holding physical change or physical cash in your hands--we often just swipe our debit card, credit card, or click a button online and POOF!--the money is gone. This convenience of money transaction has distorted your idea of the value of money. Often I see people dropping pennies, dimes, and nickels on the ground and not even make an attempt to pick them up because their philosophy is: “it’s just change, I can’t buy anything with that small amount of money anyway.” I see the same people buying a large dunkin donuts or Starbucks coffee several times a day--all year long! If you do the math, that amount adds up pretty quickly! Another huge expense people can avoid is paying a ridiculous amount of money on their cell phone and cable bills. What’s funny is that these same individuals will be the first one to tell you that they have money issues--and are barely getting by to make ends meet. In order to have money, we first NEED to respect it--whether the currency is in the form of a penny or a hundred dollar bill. Instead of spending all of our free time thinking about all of the ways that we can spend our money, we should spend the time thinking about ways that we can save our money--and how we can make money with the money that we currently have.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this article, and I truly hope that you were inspired. Remember, the next time you see change on the ground--pick it up--it’s free money!
LET ME START OFF BY SAYING THAT BY NO MEANS DO I CONSIDER MYSELF A MORBID PERSON. HOWEVER, THE THOUGHT OF DYING ONE DAY CROSSES MY MIND MORE OFTEN THAN I AM PROUD TO ADMIT--AND I’M QUITE CONFIDENT THAT I AM NOT ALONE WITH MY THOUGHTS. THE IDEA THAT ONE DAY WE WILL CEASE TO EXIST (AT LEAST IN A WAY THAT WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH) CAUSES US DISCOMFORT AND ANXIETY. DUE TO THE FACT THAT DEATH IS INESCAPABLE, I FEEL THAT IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE START CHANGING OUR ATTITUDE AND OUR APPROACH WHEN DISCUSSING OR THINKING ABOUT DEATH. THE NEXT FEW PARAGRAPHS WILL HOPEFULLY GIVE YOU SOME INSIGHT AND MIGHT EVEN HIT A NERVE OR TWO. LIKE ALWAYS, I ASK THAT YOU PLEASE MAKE SURE TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND WHILE READING THIS.
OFTEN, WE TEND TO SHY AWAY FROM THE FACT THAT WE ARE MORTAL AND THAT DEATH IS A PART OF LIFE. WE TRY CONVINCING OURSELVES THAT DEATH IS ESCAPABLE AND TRICK OURSELVES INTO BELIEVING THAT “IT WON’T HAPPEN TO ME”. BY DOING THIS, WE CREATE A FALSE SENSE OF REALITY AND TEND TO COME UP WITH ACTIVITIES THAT WILL TAKE OUR MINDS OFF OF THINKING ABOUT THIS INEVITABLE FATE. I SUGGEST WE USE OUR MORTALITY TO MOTIVATE US TO LIVE EACH DAY THAT WE LIVE TO THE FULLEST. ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION, “WHAT WILL MY OBITUARY SAY?” BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER, TAKE THE NEXT COUPLE OF MINUTES TO ALLOW YOUR MIND TO PROCESS THIS QUESTION. WHILE DOING THIS, MAKE SURE TO ALLOW YOUR MIND TO WANDER, DO NOT TRY AND STOP IT--LIVE IN THE MOMENT AND EMBRACE IT!
SO, WHAT DID YOU COME UP WITH? WERE YOU QUITE IMPRESSED AND CONTENT WITH THE LEGACY THAT YOU WILL BE LEAVING BEHIND? OR WERE YOU DISAPPOINTED AND WISHED THAT THERE WAS MORE SUBSTANCE AND MEANING TO YOUR LIFE? WERE YOU ABLE TO COME UP WITH ENOUGH ACCOMPLISHMENTS? WERE YOU PROUD OF THE LIFE YOU HAD LIVED? IF YOU ANSWERED YES, NO, YES, YES. THEN, THIS INSIGHT DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU. YOU HAVE BEEN DOING A SWELL JOB SO FAR, KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! HOWEVER, IF YOU ANSWERED NO, YES, NO, NO-- THEN NOW IS THE TIME TO CHANGE THAT! TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO DECIDES WHAT WILL BE IN YOUR OBITUARY, NO ONE ELSE!
TODAY IS THE PERFECT DAY TO START TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. ON A DAILY BASIS, WE MUST MAKE IT A POINT TO REMEMBER THAT WE ONLY HAVE ONE OPPORTUNITY AT LIFE. THERE ARE NO DO-OVERS. THERE ARE NO TIME OUTS OR REWIND BUTTONS. TOMORROW IS NOT A GUARANTEE, AND YESTERDAY ALREADY HAPPENED. LIFE IS A GIFT, A GIFT THAT WILL ONE DAY EXPIRE. THE NEXT TIME YOUR MIND BEGINS TO WANDER TO THAT MORBID PLACE, REMEMBER TO ASK YOURSELF “WHAT WILL MY OBITUARY SAY?”
We are all guilty of eating fast food from time to time. What’s your favorite? Mine is the spicy chicken sandwich. Whether it’s the savory taste or the convenience of a quick meal, the majority of us are no strangers to eating fast food. Not only does it taste amazing, it’s extremely affordable! Nowadays, I can get myself an entire meal--chicken sandwich, large fries, and a large coke for under $10. So, here is the question I am presenting to you--is your value meal really at a value?
The recommended number of calories a person should consume on a daily basis is 2,000-3,000 calories depending on your age, size, and activity level. A chicken sandwich from any of the fast food chains starts at 340 calories. And let's be honest, the chicken sandwich alone won't fill you up, so it's usually accompanied by a side of fries (roughly 350) calories. All this food usually makes us parched so we need to wash it down with a drink--let's say a large Nestea (since most of us are trying to be healthier and not drink soda) The large Nestea contains 230 calories. If I did the math correctly--your value meal adds up to 930 calories. Remember, the daily recommended number of calories per day is between 2,000-3,000--and you're nearly halfway there--and it’s only been one meal! “The typical American diet is too high in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, and does not have enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, and fiber. Such a diet contributes to some of the leading causes of death and increases the risk of numerous diseases”
Let’s break it down a step further. On the side of each package there is something called a Nutrition Facts label--most people either don’t look at this label or haven’t been educated on how to read one. This nutrition fact label was put there to give you a breakdown of all of the ingredients, sugars, carbohydrates, fats, etc. in that package. For foods that do not come in a container, you can search for their nutrition facts on Google.
Let’s take a minute or two to break down exactly what you have just put into your body during this scrumptious meal. The amount of sugar you have just consumed during this meal totals 8 grams (chicken sandwich) 59 grams (large Nestea) Large French fries (0) totaling 67 grams of sugar.
Let me take a quick detour to explain to you how much sugar we are “recommended” to consume on a daily basis. “For most American women, no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men).”
Rule of thumb: 3 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon.
During just this one value meal, you have consumed twenty-two teaspoons of sugar--the daily recommended amount is 6 teaspoons for women, 9 teaspoons for men. Now that you are aware that you have consumed two and a half times the daily recommended amount of sugar in one meal--let's take a look at the saturated fats. There are 2.5 grams of saturated fats in the chicken sandwich and 3.5 grams in a container of large french fries. “The American Heart Association recommends aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat. That means, for example, if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them should come from saturated fats. That’s about 13 grams of saturated fats a day.” Sodium intake is another issue with fast food consumption. The daily recommended amount of sodium is: “For optimal heart-health, the American Heart Association recommends people aim to eat no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.” Your chicken sandwich (1,020 mg) of sodium, large french fries (290mg), large Nestea (15mg) total 1,325mg. As you can see, you are almost at the daily recommended dose.
Your body is the greatest tool you will ever own. Make sure to feed it the best foods possible--foods that are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. A good rule of thumb to follow is that you should be able to identify each and every ingredient before you even consider putting that food into your body. Preparing your meals ahead of time and eating meals regularly (breakfast, lunch, dinner) with the proper amount of fruits and vegetables (6-8 servings daily) will help fuel your body and your mind. The long term benefits of eating this way will outweigh the value in your value meal. So, the next time you decide to grab some fast food, remember to ask yourself, “Is this value meal really at a value?”
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010. (https://www.cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/nutrition_policy.html)