FREE Financial Classes and Seminars in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo Area
Tutorial Class on the Vanguard Website / This class shows you how to traverse around the Vanguard website. Registration not required. Feel free to bring your laptop, sign in, and follow along in relation to your personal Vanguard investments. / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, November 13th
Fin Heads Meeting / Join us for our monthly discussion on the world of investing and much, much, more. / Facilitator: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library (large room upstairs) / 10:30 - 11:30 / Saturday, December 7th
Change equals growth and growth is what we need to expand beyond where we are right now. This requires action and for some people, it's doable and for others, well, they find themselves "paralyzed" and unable to change. What causes this "paralysis?" It is fear most of the time and that emotion can cost you dearly over a lifetime. Fear of failure. Fear of looking "stupid." Fear of being embarrassed. It can even be fear of falling on your face while your detractors laugh at you. Yet, many people overcome their fears and take the needed action that is required for the growth of self. They stand up to those fears and push them aside. How can you be one of those people?
Take one small step forward today. Not tomorrow. Not one day. TODAY you change. TODAY you do something, no matter how small, that moves you closer to the person you want to be. Don't worry about the future, focus on the present moment. Push your fears aside and tell that person in the mirror that change is required to grow. Find people who will support you and distance yourself from those who will not. Surround yourself with the right people and the right environment as you move closer to your dreams (write them down into short and long-term goals, make them specific, and check them off as you achieve them). Change your world by changing YOU. YOU are the answer!C
Spring 2018 Schedule
[caption id="attachment_4128" align="alignnone" width="232"] The Spring 2018 Schedule[/caption]
At some point you have to come to terms with the real change agent in your life. It is not your parents. It is not your spouse. It is not your boss. It is not some politician or government entity. It is YOU. When you stop looking "out there" for someone to fix your problems, you can start looking within, and that is where the truth lies. It is that person in the mirror that will ultimately decide your fate. What you think will lead to what you do and that will ultimately tell us what direction your life takes going forward.
Mahatma Gandhi told us, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." He was right way back then and he is right today. Stop looking for someone else to change your life. YOU change your life. Once you make that shift within your mind, behaviors start to change, and habits are created. Instead of seeing problems, you find solutions. Instead of criticizing, you praise. You take full responsibility for your life because you understand who is in charge of it as you look in the mirror and say, "I AM the answer!"
External rewards will not and have not brought the kind of meaning and happiness that the average person seeks. External rewards? A trophy, a powerful position, a new car, fame, the newest bit of technology, and yes, even money, are not and never have been the solutions to reaching a high level of personal fulfillment. Those external rewards are fools gold for those who chase them. Spending a life seeking pleasure at every turn will ultimately lead to an empty existence. There is a solution to finding happiness and it can be achieved by those who are ready and willing to seek it out. Look within for the answers to life's deep questions.
The answer to a fulfilling and happy life will be found intrinsically based on who you become. Here I am talking about an internal reward based on what you do to make the world a better place. This leads to giving. Helping others and providing service to your fellow man, woman, child and four-legged friend can change your life and the lives of others. What can you do and how can you help? This will shine the light that will glow brightly within you, pushing aside those external rewards that quickly lose meaning. This state of being can be achieved by anyone who is prepared to seek the truth hidden in the noise we call life. Make that YOU.
How does a person create a great life for themselves and the people they love when they find themselves stuck in a life that does not appear to feed their soul? That is a big whopper of a question and the answers could be endless based on who you speak to on the subject. Here is where you should not go to find the answers: The media, entertainers, sports "heroes," and sometimes your close circle of friends and family. Here is what I have learned along my journey of life. Be yourself and that means not letting others "guide" you toward being something they want you to be. Living life trying to please others will never take you to the place you want to go. Find your passion. This will be much easier once you are being true to yourself.
Once you find your passion, identify ways to live it on a daily basis as best you can in and around the life you are currently living. Basically, find what you love and do more of it whenever possible and that might very well be separate from your everyday life. Who knows, you might just make a living doing what you love. The more time you spend doing what you love, the closer you will get to finding meaning in life. Happiness will follow as you walk your unique path in life becoming the best version of YOU. Here is the bottom line: Find your path, get on it, stay on it even when life is difficult, don't let others knock you off, if they do, get back on it, and finally, circle back and help others find their path. Enlightenment to follow!
Action is what defines the successful from those who end up not accomplishing their dreams. Without action, education is simply information. Education is a wonderful thing, but it if is not followed by action, there is minimal benefit to the individual. So, why do some people take action and others do not? Here are some reasons: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking stupid, fear of sticking out from the crowd and maybe the biggest one of all, fear of leaving the "safe" world that your thoughts and actions currently reside. It is easy to play it safe and seek safety in this world of uncertainty, but that does not translate into a life well lived. This leads to the next question. How does a person turn into someone who does take action?
You reach a point in your life when sitting still and doing nothing is not going to cut it any longer. Basically, you are at the end of your rope and the thought of change is greater than the thought of doing nothing. This can be different for every person, but the idea is pretty simple. You are ready to take that step into the unknown because it is more important to you than what is currently happening in your life. This means you are ready to take the call to adventure (see Joseph Campbell's description of the hero's journey for a more detailed look into this issue). Pick up that phone that is ringing, calling you to this "new you." Your future awaits as you die a metaphorical death so the new version of you can be created. Enlightenment to follow!
It is important to know when you have enough, otherwise you could very easily find yourself chasing after more and more and more in this world of endless gratification. This idea of enough is not a new one, but many people fail to fully grasp its importance. It was discussed in detail in the book Your Money or Your Life and my first book, Financial Happine$$. The question is, "How many people get it?" When I gaze out into the world, I see millions of people chasing illusions presented to them by people who have a great deal to gain by selling a product or service. Enough is about finding meaning in life that goes far beyond money and stuff!
Identifying when you have enough in your life allows you to stop chasing after more of what you don't need. It really is that simple. You can then pause and reconsider what exactly you want to do with your time, energy and yes, even your money. The man or woman who has enough is profoundly changed. They redirect their life toward other pursuits that brings meaning and fulfillment their way. They get it! Here is the good news: When the individual is "ready" they can stop chasing after more stuff that isn't really that important (and never was) and start identifying those things that are truly important. Financial Happine$$ to follow!