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Memorial Day Tribute

On this day we celebrate and give thanks to the men and women who gave their lives on behalf of freedom and liberty.   They also gave up their dreams, aspirations, and futures. But that is what makes them Heroes.  Not only heroes but also shining examples of commitment to an ideal.

On this day of remembrance and celebration, honor our fallen heroes by renewing the commitment to YOUR dreams, aspirations and future.  Go forward in implementing your plan of action.  If you don’t have one, today is a good day to create one.

As you walk past a soldier, fireman, police officer, or come into contact with their spouse or children;  say thank you.  Thank them for their sacrifice and shake their hand.  Not only will it make you feel better but it will uplift their spirits as well.  Happy Memorial Day!

Til next time,
“I will prepare and some day my chance will come. ” – Abraham Lincoln

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The Baccalaureate Speech I Would Give

As I type this post I am preparing to listen to the keynote speaker at my only daughter’s Baccalaureate Service. 
As I wait for services to begin, I find myself wondering – if I only had a few minutes (less than 15 minutes), what would I say to the Graduates of this High School. 

My speech would include one main theme. Never forget, always remember each challenge and disappointment.  Remember that you survived each one and don’t forget how you were able to find your way through it.  Never forget the people who helped you (they are your support system) and the people who didn’t (don’t expect their help again).

Remember that you are stronger than you believe you are.  The key word is remember.  It is only the remembrance of what YOU ACCOMPLISHED that will give you the STRENGTH TO CONTINUE working on your SELF IMPROVEMENT.

Remember you are perfect as you are.  As you begin your new adventure in life, strive to be better for yourself.  Remember there is no one else like you and that is not necessarily a bad thing. But remember you can be anyone and achieve anything you desire because after all, we each put our pants on the same way. It’s the type of pants and the choice of leg to put in first which is the difference.

That’s what I would say.  What about you? What words of wisdom would you impart on a graduate?

Til next time,
“All that you accomplish or fail to accomplish with your life is the direct result of your thoughts.” – James Allen, Author

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Millionaire Next Door: Chapter One

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself – and be lenient to everyone else.”- Henry Ward Beecher

Happy Millionaire Monday!  Have you learned anything new about yourself during last week’s questions for self analysis?  I certainly have.  One of the things I learned is that it is so much easier to stay focused on what I am reading when I have to extract questions for self-reflection.  I have also learned that I need to practice self-control in my spending so I think I have finally chosen my one word of 2014.  But more on that later.

This week we begin Chapter 1 of the Millionaire Next Door.  “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly,” Mae West.  That is what we are doing with our joint reading.  Reading a chapter a week is slow progress but it allows for completion of the questions and re-reading of sections for emphasis.  So without further delay, see below:

1.  In today’s society, what does a millionaire look like?

Describe the prototypical millionaire.

Which millionaire would you prefer to be?  Society’s version of a millionaire or the prototypical millionaire.

2.  According to the author, self employed people accounted for two-thirds of the millionaires at the time of publication.  Many of their businesses would be classified as dull-normal.  What type of dull-normal small business could you create based on your expertise and experience?

3.  What is your total annual realized taxable income?

Are you comparable, close, or not in the same ballpark as the average millionaire?

4.  What would 7% of your income amount to?

What would it take for you to begin living off 7% of your current income?

What changes are needed in order for your to live off 7% of your income?

5.  How do you define wealthy?

Do you have at least one or more of the wealth producing areas?

6.  What is your expected net worth?

Are you a PAW, UAW, or an AAW?

Bonus Question:  Why is it that you have not amassed even modest amounts of wealth?  How did you amass modest amounts of wealth?

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Motivation For the Week

Most people, or maybe just me, dread the beginning of the work week.  I am one of those people that enjoy working on Fridays but abhor working on Mondays. 

There was a time when I knew Mondays as Meetings Day but it seems that my schedule has left Mondays wide open for me to pursue the completion of several projects.  So in the hopes that this week will be a productive one, here are a few of my go to quotes which motivate and inspire me.

“If you can’t manage yourself, you can’t manage your time. Discipline and self-control are what get you on track to execute your plans by managing your time effectively!” – Israelmore Ayivor

“When we procrastinate,  we also put a hold on happiness.” – Charles F. Glassman

“I am told by people all the time that they simply do not have time to read and listen to all the material they have purchased or subscribed to. But time is democratic and just. Everyone has the same amount. When I choose to read with my mid morning coffee break and you choose to blather about trivia with friends, when I choose to study for an hour sitting on my backyard deck at day’s end but you choose to watch a TIVO’d American Idol episode, we reveal much. When someone says he does not have the time to apply himself to acquiring the know-how required to create sufficient value for his stated desires, he is a farmer surrounded by ripe fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and a herd of cattle on his own property who dies of starvation, unable to organize his time and discipline himself to eat.” – Dan S. Kennedy

Til next time,
“You can never learn less, you can only learn more.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

Recommendation of the Month

Millionaire Monday Part 1

Welcome to Millionaire Monday.   My weekly post regarding May’s Recommendation of The Month, The Millionaire Next Door.

I wanted to do a quick recap as to why this book resonates with me.  Oftentimes I have heard myself and others say, if only I had the money I could….  This statement indicates that I am allowing my perceived lack of money from keeping me from pursuing my dreams.  It’s not a true obstacle but its a true statement of F.E.A.R (False Evidence Appearing Real).

That’s what this book is, it is a reflection that the thing we think is holding us back is really ourselves.  So as promised, here are the first few questions from the Introduction to the Millionaire Next Door. 

Questions for Reflection:
1.  Dr. Stanley writes, “Many people who have a great deal of wealth do not even live in upscale neighborhoods.”  What was your first impression when you read this statement?

2.  How do you define wealth? How does your definition compare to the author’s definition?

3.  Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of _______, _____, ____, and most of all self-discipline. 
a.  Do you possess these qualities?
b.  What in your life would need to change in order to obtain and practice these traits?

4.  Are you a good income earner? 
a.  What steps would you need to implement in order for you to become a good income earner?

5. Are you living paycheck to paycheck? 
a.  What has contributed to this practice of living paycheck to paycheck? 
b.  What steps would you need to implement in order to break this cycle?

Til next time,
“Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.” – Socrates

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Happy Mother’s Day

To each and every mother, I say Happy Mother’s Day.   A mother is a person who provides unconditional love, time and attention to a child (children).  A mother is not defined by genetics alone, it is defined by action and choice.  So to all who chose to be moms and perform motherly activities each day, I hope you have a marvelous day.

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Recommendation of the Month: The Millionaire Next Door

Happy May!
One of the reasons I started this blog was to encourage others to pursue avenues by which to live their dreams. 
Last month, my brother in law casually mentioned a book he began reading as part of a team building exercise at work.  He mentioned that he found the book interesting enough that that he has now included it in his mandatory reading for new team members.  I was intrigued so of course I asked for more information.  To my surprise, the book is entitled The Millionaire Next Door.

In my mind I thought he would recommend a book on leadership, personal development, or management.  Not a book about millionaires.  But, I said I would read it and I’d said it in front of witnesses so I immediately purchased the ebook.  Then I proceeded to experience surprise number two – assumptions are like first impressions.  They can sometimes both be wrong.  My assumption about this book was wrong.

The introduction alone made me realize that this was a book that needed sharing.  This was a book not only about the habits and discipline it takes to become a millionaire but also a book about assumptions. I sent an evite out to family and friends to join me in my perusal of this book. Then to ensure I didn’t allow distractions to keep me from my reading, I promosed to send out reflection questions. 

As I sit at my desk preparing to disseminate the first set of questions,  it occurred to me that this book would make a great series for the month of May.  Thus May 2014 will be the start of  a new series of posts called Millionaire Monday.  Each Monday, I will post at least six questions of reflection from our reading.  I would love to have you join us in this self study of what it takes to not only understand but to be the Millionaire Next Door.  

Until next time,
“Every morning we are born again.  What we do today is what matters most.” – Buddha