30 January 2013

The Rich, The Poor, And The Middle Class In Between

Today I found this quote from Kiyosaki on my Facebook wall. It says, “There’s the rich, the poor and the tax payers…..also known as the middle class”.

So simply stated, but a hard hitting fact. I then took some to ponder on this subject, and felt that this middle class considers itself to be most vocal and harbinger of change, however it is also the one which is most afraid of taking risks. It accepts to follow standard practices, desires change but without having to work for it (better if someone else could do it for them), prefers to credit everything to destiny, and with a tendency to ridicule those who try to think and do different in order to break away from the herd. And, traces of these tendencies are even more distinctly visible when the subject relates to money and wealth.

Those were my personal feelings, something which I filtered out from my experiences and from the environment in which I have ‘stayed’ for all my life, so far. However, I needed to also know what others felt on the related subject. So, I turned to the internet for my rescue and started surfing.

I started Googling, with different search words, and reading whatever I came across. Not surprisingly, I came across articles/blogs/book excerpts which echoed my sentiments. One link led to the other and so on, and I finally stumbled upon something which nearly summed up the subject for me.

The first input was received from the book ‘Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind’ written by T Harv Eker. It was a summary of sort of what he writes in his book. Eker believes that we each possess a “financial blueprint”, an internal script that dictates how we relate to money. Our blueprints are created through lifelong exposure to money messages from the people around us, he writes. Unfortunately, Eker says, most of us have faulty blueprints that prevent us from building wealth. Out of context, some of this advice seems glib and facile. However, the article stated that in the said book Eker explains each point, demonstrating how successful people discard limiting beliefs while the unsuccessful succumb to them.

This is what Eker says in his book wherein he lists seventeen ways in which the financial blueprints of the rich differ from those of the poor. According to him:

1. Rich people believe: “I create my life.” Poor people believe: “Life happens to me.”

2. Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.

3. Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.

4. Rich people think big. Poor people think small.

5. Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.

6. Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.

7. Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people.

8. Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.

9. Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.

10. Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.

11. Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.

12. Rich people think “both”. Poor people think “either/or”.

13. Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.

14. Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well.

15. Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.

16. Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.

17. Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.

While Eker made distinctions between the rich and the poor, I chanced upon the work of Keith Cameron Smith, wherein he has made an effort to analyse the differences between the millionaires and the middle class. This related to me. In his book ‘The Top 10 Distinctions Between The Millionaires And The Middle Class’, he has listed out hose ten differences as under:

1. Millionaires think long-term. The middle class thinks short-term.

2. Millionaires talk about ideas. The middle class talks about things and people.

3. Millionaires embrace change. The middle class is threatened by change.

4. Millionaires take calculated risks. The middle class is afraid to take risks.

5. Millionaires continually learn and grow. The middle class thinks learning ended with school.

6. Millionaires work for profits. The middle class works for wages.

7. Millionaires believe they must be generous. The middle class believes it can’t afford to give.

8. Millionaires have multiple sources of income. The middle class has only one or two.

9. Millionaires focus on increasing their wealth. The middle class focuses on increasing its pay-checks.

10. Millionaires ask themselves empowering questions. Middle-class people ask themselves disempowering questions.

I haven’t had the chance to come across these enlightening books earlier, but today’s surfing finally made my day, and reinforced my thoughts about the middle class, and added information about the mindset of the rich/millionaires and the poor, in a clear and concise manner.

Ironically, at the end of it all I was left questioning myself, “What’s your mindset?”

What’s yours???

20 January 2013

The Importance of Vacations, for Stress Relief, Productivity and Health

Chanced upon these two wonderful articles, signifying the benefits and importance of vacations. Reproducing them for benefit of the wider audience.


Vacations Are Important For More Than Just Fun...

Many people don’t take vacations often enough. In fact, according to a poll on this site, around half of readers don't take annual vacations; in fact, many readers never take them! And now with increasing frequency, when we do take vacations, we often bring work along with us, keeping ourselves essentially still in the work mindset we’re trying to escape. This is unfortunate for several reasons: 

  • Vacations Promote Creativity: A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves, operating as a vehicle for self-discovery and helping us get back to feeling our best.
  • Vacations Stave Off Burnout: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
  • Vacations Can Keep Us Healthy: Taking regular time off to ‘recharge your batteries’, thereby keeping stress levels lower, can keep you healthier.
  • Vacations Promote Overall Wellbeing: One study found that three days after vacation, subjects' physical complaints, their quality of sleep and mood had improved as compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacations.
  • Vacations Can Strengthen Bonds: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong, helping you enjoy the good times more and helping you through the stress of the hard times. In fact, a study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
  • Vacations Can Help With Your Job Performance: As the authors of the above study suggest, the psychological benefits that come with more frequent vacations lead to increased quality of life, and that can lead to increased quality of work on the job.
  • Vacations Relieve Stress in Lasting Ways: It should come as no surprise that vacations that include plenty of free time bring stress relief, but research shows that a good vacation can lead to the experience of fewer stressful days at least five weeks later! That means that vacations are the gift to yourself that keep on giving.
The bottom line is that taking a good amount of time away from the stresses of daily life can give us the break we need so that we can return to our lives refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.

While not everyone is able to take a vacation, for those who can take several days or a few weeks off for a trip, I’ve compiled the following resources from some of About.com’s travel sites. These can help you plan the best type of trip for yourself so you can come back feeling ready for anything. (For those of you who can’t take off enough time for a traditional vacation trip, keep reading; I’ll have resources for you, too.)

Take a Vacation – You and Your Brain Might Need It!
By Karen Merzenich  

I love to travel, and I somehow manage to squeeze in a lot more trips than most people I know. So when I see hard and fast research supporting the health benefits of vacation, it really piques my interest.

I recently read a somewhat unscientific article that talked about why vacation is good for your brain, and it mentioned the work of Adam Galinsky and William Maddux. Digging into Galinsky and Maddux’s research further, I found there is a fascinating body of work about how traveling affects creative thinking. Maddux et al have published research findings showing that multicultural learning experiences enhance creativity, and that living abroad improves creativity measures of insight, association, and generation. Jonah Lehrer reports that research conducted by Lile Jia shows that merely thinking about faraway lands increases output in a creative task.

Further research shows that vacation can have recuperative health benefits. A study in middle-aged men at high risk for heart disease showed that those who took annual vacations had a significantly lower mortality rate (over a 9 year period) than a non-vacationing cohort. In a Japanese study of white-collar workers, Tarumi et al concluded that leisurely vacations could be beneficial in maintaining health and controlling fatigue in workers. A follow-up study showed that the white-collar workers who took vacations were also less likely to be depressed and less likely to miss work.

All of this has me thinking that I had better plan another vacation so I can be even healthier and more creative! Of course, I should take into account the work of Strauss-Blasche et al., who found that how you organize your vacation can affect the health outcomes. For example, participants in that study who experienced enjoyable free time, warmer locations, exercise, good sleep, and meeting new people on vacation reported feeling better afterwards, while people who experienced vacation stressors like health issues, colder climates, and bigger time differences were more exhausted when they came home.

And finally, there’s neuroscientist David Eagleman’s view about why it’s important to travel to new and different places instead of the same place over and over again. He has reported that our  perception of time quickens with age, and says “travel[ing] to novel places… essentially puts you — neurally — in the same position as when you were a child.” That makes sense to me, as I’m always looking to visit a new and exciting place.