Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Living in Moderation and the Good Life

So many people want to live with happiness, wealth, love, and peace but seem to always hit an obstacle in their plans and cannot understand why this happens to them. Why does this happen anyways? There are multiple reasons of course but the main underlying reason is that they have not carefully thought out their plans. This reason may seem obvious but during the time of planning and before hitting an obstacle people overlook many of the possibilities that may significantly effect their plans throughout their journey. They fail to take the time to plan out their ideas and do not adapt their plans to the changes that occur in their own lives throughout the planning stages.

Planning always involves looking into the near future in order to determine the best and worst case scenarios. By making predictions that account for where you are so far in your life and where you are going is the best way to begin planning a new path or change. Without this foresight a person can easily spiral into a path of endless obstacles and end where they started, or worse. There are a number of things that a person needs to analyze during the planning stages in order to determine if their journey or venture is feasible for them: 1) financial disposition, 2) family, 3) work, 4) timing, 5) research.

It is not possible to succeed in your goals if you overlook these five criteria during the planning stages. Many people tend to overlook the most important criterion, money, when they want to make a change in their life that suits their preferences and desires. They feel overwhelmed to even attempt to understand their financial disposition and as a result leave this to the last minute, which almost always causes failure and grief in their lives when what they are trying to accomplish is to make their lives better. I have no sympathy for those that do not budget accordingly because everyone should know how important money, not material things, is in life. When beginning the planning stages you should first formulate an understanding of your financial situation by asking yourself questions like: How much money do I have in my bank account (chequing and savings) and will that be enough to fund my whole journey/venture; How much money would I need to borrow and can I borrow from a friend or family member instead of the bank?; At what interest rate can I borrow from the bank and is it feasible? How much money will I be consistently making and will this be enough to pay my monthly debts?; What are my other financial responsibilities that I will have to manage during my venture (mortgage, prior debts, car lease)? These are all very important questions to ask yourself in order to ensure that your plan will work.

Another criterion that one must not overlook is the family situation. If you have a goal in mind that involves much change in your current lifestyle you must ensure that your partner is also involved in your decision-making and that their lifestyle is also considered in your plans. If not, it will cause tension in your relationship which contradicts what you are trying to accomplish in your life. If you have children whether young or old, it is imperative that you take into account how this change will impact them-- their health, education, emotions, and goals. The whole family must be involved in the planning and decision-making in order to avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding. Everyone has to be on the same page in order to reach the end goal.

Many people make a change in their lives when there are employment opportunities for them. This is normally what helps people make a smooth transition in their lives because it gives them a sense of financial stability, success, and peace of mind. However, it is imperative to be aware of this new employment environment and all the changes that are happening as a result of it. Ensure that your new job is providing you with the same or more benefits as your previous job such as salary, location, work schedule, cost of living, etc. and that you and your family are satisfied with the new change in life. Know where you are going and what your responsibilities are and that it is still in line with your goals or that your goals can be adapted easily with the new change. Also ensure that you are not displacing yourself permanently for a job that you may not want to do for the long-term. Think ahead rather than behind.

Timing is key. Many people do not understand this concept at all but it is one of the criteria of planning a goal. If you are experiencing problems in your relationship, family, finances, employment, or lifestyle think twice before reorganizing or restructuring your life. There are always reasons for these problems and you should first and foremost determine where your problems stem from. Do not start planning a new path if you have problems because they will without a doubt create obstacles in your journey and on top of everything else cause you to feel dissatisfaction and discontent which is what you are trying to avoid. This is the time to ask yourself questions about the roots of your problems. If you hesitate to accept your problems and work on them you will never find satisfaction in your life and the changes you make to it. Denial and worry are not things that you want to live with while you are trying to make life better for yourself. Be honest and open with yourself and your partner/family before reaching any conclusions and reformulating your goals. Don't leave anything unsaid or undone or your timing will be off, I guarantee it. In addition, don't do something because someone else has done it. It is fine to be motivated by someone else's accomplishments and success but if you want to follow in someone's footsteps it is imperative that you understand how they succeeded before you jump to any conclusions.

This brings me to the final criterion, research. Do your research! Determine what you are doing, where you are going, when you will do it, why you are doing this, and how you will accomplish it. If you can't answer these five points then you have not thoroughly done your research I'm afraid. You must ask yourself what the best and worst case scenarios are; and there are always worst case scenarios. If you know this beforehand you will always have a plan b or c to get you out of your predicament and can easily overcome that obstacle. Do not rely on others to help you achieve your goals-- this is not how business works and this is not how life works. You must know for yourself what you need to do to reach success. Doing research and being prepared can get you to where you want to go. Ask a lot of questions and listen to the responses-- you will always find something useful to help you reach your own goals. Everyone is different and comes from different backgrounds so it is important that you don't follow but rather learn from others. No one knows you better than yourself.

Many people feel a sense of dissatisfaction or envy when they see someone else achieve their goals and you wonder how they did it. It's simple. They are good planners that always consider these five criteria in their plans and preparations. They make accurate predictions because they know what they want in life, think about their future all the time, and can avoid problems before they happen. They live moderately so they don't have to give up too much when they make a change in their lives and are satisfied with what they already have. They are good listeners and make good observations so they are aware of how others live and what others want in life so they know what advice is good and what is bad. They are supportive and are supported by their family and/or partner to reach their goals in life. Lastly, they are patient. They don't make rash decisions which can jeopardize their path to success. They are moderate so they take the time to think everything out and act on their plans in a step-by-step process. This process may take several years but it is worth the wait for good planners.

If you do not live in moderation and are not a good planner you will never understand these types of people unless you learn and grow to be one of these people. You have to want it to achieve it but if you do not have foresight you will fail.

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