Monthly Archives: November 2018

How to Get People to Cooperate

Tags :

Category : Life Tips

 

We have all heard the stories and complaints – The parents who can’t get their children to do anything, the boss who can’t seem to get employees on the same page, teachers with kids who “just won’t listen” and the wives or husbands who are “never listened to”. Why does it seem so hard and frustrating to get our point across and get people to cooperate with us?

Often the problem arises because we are not really looking at the situation from the other person’s perspective. We tend to focus on what we want to be done or what we want to accomplish.  We may have a tendency to see the other person (employee, child) as an obstacle or an opponent to our objectives. Also, we have probably developed ingrained action-reaction habits that keep us in the same vicious cycle that we can not seem to get out of.

How to Get Cooperation Quickly

Well, let me say this: arguing or trying to “reason” with people simply won’t work. It never has and it never will. Rather than hammering the person with our point of view, or beating them into submission, we can gently bring them around to being agreeable to helping us.

Get the Ego Out of the Way

There is no useful reason to let our emotions and our tone of voice take control. Intimidation may get some cooperation, but it will only be done begrudgingly. It is natural for us to defend our ego and our pride, and it is a losing strategy to conquer by force.

Also, when we allow our emotions to take over and we give into manipulation techniques (such as shaming, ridiculing, threatening or forcing), we give a clear message to the other person that we are not in control of ourselves and that we certainly do not trust them.

Person to Person

Protect the ego of the other person at all costs. If we attack a person’s ego, we can be sure he will defend it and retaliate. He will do what he needs to do to save face. No person will accept to do something just because we told them they must do it. As the saying goes:

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

On the surface, the person may comply, but deep down they are not happy or agreeable to doing what we have told them to do.

Go Low Pressure

Usually when people ( children are people too) don’t want to cooperate is because they don’t have reasons and/or incentives to do so. Or, they might be lacking crucial information as to why you want them to do what you have asked. Oftentimes, when we give the necessary information as well as show them how it will benefit them. people are more willing to dig in and help.

Let the other person bring in his ideas. Ask for his help as opposed to telling him what to do. Two heads always work better than one, don’t they? And, while we’re at it, help the other person to see it is a problem that impacts him as well. Ask for suggestions and advice- you may be surprised at how beneficial this approach can be.

Have confidence in their intelligence and ability to solve a problem and get a job done. Put the ball in their court and trust in the process. What you want is a result; the process can be whatever works. All we need to do is present the problem to be solved or the job that needs to be done. How it gets done will depend on how much we are willing to let go of the reins and allow for creative cooperation.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Did I mention communicate? Let people know what your expectations are. Have regular times where you can come together (even short 5 or 10 minutes) to do a “State of the Union” address on how things are going. Ask if you have been clear in your expectations. One of the most basic reasons for not getting cooperation is that we simply don’t ask. Sounds crazy, huh?  The reality may be that we think we have been clear and we expect cooperation, when, in actuality, we haven’t even communicated.

Discuss the issues. Put the problems on the table for everyone to see. Engage everyone and get input. By giving everyone an opportunity to help manage and problem solve, egos are salvaged,  and satisfaction and cooperation become a reality and everyone feels listened to and respected. Make sure there is a leader whose job it is to weigh suggestions and make final decisions.

The Power of Numbers

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Get opinions and perspectives and really take an interest. When people put their heads together to solve a problem or to figure out the best way to get a job done, the responsibility is not on the shoulders of one person alone. The benefits are powerful: creativity, bonding, skills development, time effectiveness, better communication and much more.

Let us not forget that a wise person is he who seeks the counsel and participation of others and one who is unwise tries to everything by himself. Everyone we meet has something to teach us. Stay humble. The best teaching environments, the healthiest of families, the strongest businesses all have this in common: they encourage engagement, ideas, and communication from all members, employees or participants.

The Takeaway

Getting cooperation doesn’t have to be a hassle, although most of us are pretty good at turning it into one. It really comes down to a matter of getting our own ego and agenda out of the way and really seeking to work in harmony (as opposed to discord) with others. Communication is key. Asking for help and suggestions will always get better results than demanding, whining or forcing. At the end of the day, who wants a headache from conflict?

Have a great day!

Has this post been helpful to you? Let me know in a comment.

Click and share below.

 

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

______________________________________________________

This post was inspired by How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People by Les Giblin, Editor: Les Giblin 1956

Please follow and like us:

How Not to Go Broke at Christmas

Category : Life Tips

photo credit: rawpixel@rawpixel

How can we have a Merry Christmas without breaking open the piggy bank? It’s tough, isn’t it?  Aside from buying gifts for our families and friends, there are gifts to give at the office parties and gifts to give at club parties. It never seems to end. Where do we draw the line?  Where and when do we say No?

The tradition of gift giving at this time of the year is so deeply ingrained. Of course, it is wonderful to give gifts to people, but somehow it has gotten way out of control to where we feel a sense of guilt and obligation to give gifts.  Many, as we know, find themselves overwhelmed with credit card debt simply from succumbing to the pressure of gift giving in excess.

Can this year be different? Can we start off on a new foot? Where do we begin?

Start With a Plan

If you don’t have a plan of action, the Christmas Season and the shopping malls will eat you alive and spit you out. Not having a plan means that the stores and family members will decide how much money you will be spending at Christmas and where you will be spending it. Not planning also means that your time will belong to others and your nerves may be shattered to pieces. Be kind to yourself at Christmas and have a strategy.

Plan your budget and plan your time. Both are important. Make a list and check it twice Side note: check who’s been naughty or nice (sorry, I had to put that in there). But seriously, you are in control of how much you are willing to spend, not the stores, not the Jones’s and not the children.  You are not a money tree and you don’t have to spend money that you do not have, especially on people you may only see once a year. You don’t have to buy everyone a gift out of a feeling of guilt or obligation.

Your time is even more valuable than your money.  Time can be used to create beautiful memories with family and friends. What people appreciate most is the time we spend with them.  Value your time and your sanity.  Ask yourself the question: “Do I really need to travel to shopping malls after work (and fight traffic) and wander around in the overheated, overcrowded, overdecorated shopping centers in quest of that elusive gift that they will “just love?”  All the time spent in these shopping centers could be better spent hanging out with family.

Shopping online is an option and so is thinking outside the box for Christmas gift ideas. Who says that gifts must come from the store? And who says that we have to carry on the annual pilgrimage to the shopping centers?  I like the Icelandic tradition of offering pajamas, books, and chocolate for Christmas. It is simple and cozy. Certainly, kids can do more with books than a Batmobile or a PlayStation.

And, speaking of Iceland, why not look into other cultures around the world to see what they do to celebrate this time of the year? We are not obligated to follow the North American Christmas Debt and Stress Plan. Are there traditions from other cultures that would resonate with you and be fun to try?

Don’t Go Overboard

You do not have to have a community of inflatable characters hiding your house and your home does not need to light up the neighborhood – all those lights will ring up the power bill and I am not sure they are so good for the environment either. You do not need to aspire to be Martha Stewart in your Christmas festivities with a perfectly decorated home and table. Trying to make the season the perfect “Christmas to Remember” will only leave you exhausted and out a whole lot of cash.

Let the Jones’s do their thing; you don’t need to compete with them at any level. Besides, the Jones’s are probably broke from all their spending and dreading their next credit card bill.  Christmas isn’t about having the best decorations, getting the newest electronic/digital gadget/toy or about buying for the sake of buying. We do not have to go on autopilot when it comes to Christmas spending.

Prioritize

What does the season mean to you and your loved ones?  How do you want to spend it and what do you want to focus on? The commercial jungle (advertising and stores) will try to tell us what we should be doing, what we need to buy and where we should buy it and why. They will tell us we can “have it now” and not pay until January. But we don’t need to listen to all their noise.

Why not look at creating memories and doing things together instead of gift giving? It is an interesting alternative and certainly better for the environment. Why not plan activities as gifts? The gift of time is precious.

Alternatively, we can offer vouchers for future service or activities. Maybe there is an activity that works better in the summer than in the winter and you can offer a voucher to do this activity ( such as a reserved camping weekend).

Prioritizing the environment is something to consider as well. in addition to saving money, time and our sanity, we can also be doing our part not to contribute to extra waste (packaging, transportation of merchandise and power usage).

But, If You Do Decide to Buy Gifts…

Budget.  Decide ahead of time how much you are willing to spend in total. Make a list of all those you are giving gifts to and divide the total $ by this number.

Respect your budget and keep track of spending. Keep the bills and keep a tally. Don’t be afraid to return items when you have overspent your budget. You decide and you are in control.

Factor in the extras such as wrapping paper, bags, and mailing costs, Other costs may include hosting and traveling costs.

Don’t shop last minute. Seriously, just don’t. You will end up spending more than you wanted to. You will be rushing around with frazzled nerves and probably end up buying something that may never be used.

Try not to buy on credit or open up a new credit account just for Christmas shopping. You will feel the crunch in January when the bills come around.

Don’t go dipping or double dipping into the emergency fund. Christmas shopping is not an emergency.

Keep all receipts and check return policies.

My Takeaway

The Christmas Season does not have to be hectic and energy draining. It does not have to involve draining our monetary resources and racking up credit card debt. With a bit of planning and honing in on our priorities, we can take a more reasonable approach to where we will give our time and our money. And then we can say “Merry Christmas and Peace to all” without a ball of anxiety in our chest and a lump in our throat.

Have a great day!

 

Was this post helpful to you? Please leave a comment.

Click and share below.

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Take Back the Money – Breaking the Cycle

Tags :

Category : Life Tips

What comes to mind when you think of the word money?  Do you think “I really could do with having more of it?” Do you think of all the bills needing to paid or the things you need to buy, such as groceries and gas for the car?  How often do you say “I just can’t afford it?” Does the word money trigger positive feelings or memories, or does it bring up images of lacking, even poverty?

The Money Thing

The “money thing” is a struggle for many. One of the main problems or factors is that most of us really didn’t get much of a financial education growing up. We didn’t learn the basic principles and probably learned by trial and error (hit and miss). Many of us grew up with a foggy and somewhat negative idea of what money is, what to do with it and how to keep it.

The reality is that money (getting it and keeping it) really has very little to do with luck and more to do with making good decisions. In fact, financial success does not really depend on how much you earn, but rather on how much you keep from what you earn. It comes down to knowing what to do and then consistently doing what you know you should do.

What Does Money Mean to You?

This is a very important question to ask yourself. We need to clarify for ourselves what exactly money should be used for. If we see it as a pass to do whatever we want indiscriminately, we will have a hard time keeping it. But if we see it as a tool (in the same way as a hammer or snow shovel) to use for things that are important (families, for example), then it will be easier to make decisions as to how to spend it.

Also, we need to need to think of how much time we put into generating money. How many hours, weeks, months do we give in exchange? Time is our most precious resource; it can not be renewed. Money, on the other hand, can always be renewed. Thinking about what money means also means thinking about the cost of time.

Where to Begin?

Everything worth doing begins with education. If we want to improve our current financial circumstances, the best way to start is to learn more about the basic principals. Getting the right information is the first step. Then acting on the information will bring about the changes you want to see. Information can only take you so far. It is not very helpful if it is not applied.

Who gets the first cut of your pay? Do the bill collectors get the first cut? If they do, it is time to change that. Ask yourself the questions “Am I worth being paid?” and “How much am I worth?” Don’t you think you should get the first cut off the top?  What if you took 10% off the top and paid yourself? Think of it this way- if you don’t take care of yourself first, you can not help others. And, you will have more problems keeping up with the other expenses. So, this is the crucial first step: pay yourself first always and consistently.

Have a Vision

It’s not all just about earning and saving money. What is your long-term vision? what are you working towards? Do you have dreams or goals? How much money do you need to accomplish these? What do you want to do with your money? Without a vision or goals, it will be so much easier for your money to just disappear over time on unimportant things. People who are successful with money have a plan.

Keep Track

One of the very basic financial principals is to live within your means. Not doing this will guarantee that you will struggle with money. To do this, you first need to know how much money is coming in (after taxes). The actual income (from all sources) is what is important. Then you need to know what is going out. List all expenses, and, this means all foreseeable expenses Include all payments. Basically, this is a budget.

Now, it is important to track all spending. Write everything down (every coffee you buy, every pack of gum). I like to have a plastic folder with pockets into which I put all bills and receipts for the month. I don’t keep them in my wallet or lying around on a table somewhere where I might lose them. So, in my folder, I have a projected spending column and an actual spending column. It is also helpful to use a budget application to keep track of spending. I use an app, which allows me to track spending and print out an overview of my monthly spending.

Tracking my expenses has been the number one action that has allowed me to have a visual of where my money is going and how much I am spending. I can make comparisons from month to month and really see where improvement needs to be made.

What is Your Relationship to Money?

We all have a relationship to our money of some sort. Some of us have a bittersweet relationship and some of us have a fear-based relationship – as in fear of never having enough. For some, money is a complete mystery; they have no idea how to get it, keep it or even how it works. For others, money controls their life – they are always thinking of bills that need to be paid and of how they are just getting by.

Some people have turned money into a monster and it causes anxiety, sleeplessness and basically overwhelms them to the point that they can not function. This can be damaging to their health and their relationships. Other people are so driven by money that all they can think about is how they can make more of it. For these people, success = more money and lots of it. Still, others find that money motivates them to higher achievement.

There are people who tend to tailor their ambitions and goals to how much money they have and not strive to reach other goals. It is a tendency o give up and just accept the current situation. On the other hand, there are the people who do just the opposite. These people make use of their money to contribute to some purpose greater than themselves and to reach their potential.

Some people view money as a way of achieving status or recognition. These people may use their money to pass on their “dominion” to future generations. And, finally, some people use money destructively to nourish addictions or stir up trouble.

One way or another, we all have or have had some kind of relationship with money that has gotten us where we are today.

The Takeaway

Money problems may appear overwhelming and it may be hard to imagine a time when we are able to gain some control. In many cases, we have not received the financial education that we need to get a proper handle on money and make it work for us rather than against us. But, just like getting on the health and physically fit path after a long period of inactivity, we can get on the path of becoming healthier in our finances. It’s all about what we think, what we know and what we do with what we know.

Have a great day!

 

Has this post been helpful to you? Let me know in a comment.

Please click and share below.

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

This blog post was inspired by:

Financial Fitness (The Offense,  Defense and Playing Field of Personal Finance), Chris Brady & Orrin Woodward, Obstacles press, 2014

Please follow and like us:

Overcoming Money Problems

Category : Life Tips , Success

photo credit: Ehud Neuhaus @paramir

Money problems are probably the biggest complaint people have after health problems. Sometimes we are in so deep (with debt) that we figure there is no way out so we may as well live with it. We tell ourselves that it is a normal part of life, a necessary evil. After all, pretty much everyone we know has some kind of debt. We may think that there is no other option, no other way of doing things and meeting our bill payments.

What if I told you that there is a way out of the money problems? It is possible to regain control of our money situation and use it to our advantage. By changing the way we see money and it’s role and understanding that we can be in charge, we can turn our situation around.

There are three main reasons we get tripped up with money and never seem to have enough of it to pay our bills and climb our way out of debt:

Everything Around Us Offers Suggestions On How We Should Live

We almost can’t even get out of bed without someone, or something suggesting that we need this or that. We turn on the tv and we are bombarded with advertising telling us what exactly we can not live without. We go to the grocery store with a list and as soon as we get in, there are tables up front with items we had no idea we wanted and had no intention of buying, but there they are, staring at us defiantly, daring us to say no.

They know what they are doing, don’t they? Advertisers spend millions, sometimes, just trying to get into our mind with alluring visuals, hoping to manipulate the 4 billion neurons in our subconscious mind and get us to buy on impulse. Logically, we know we shouldn’t buy on impulse, but our senses tell a different story. The smells, the visuals, the context and even the season all play havoc on our sound mind.

The advertisements create desires to make us think that we need what they are selling. and we justify /rationalize our spending. Sometimes we can’t even logically explain why we spend. And further, we become desensitized to the advertising to where it becomes normal and expected.

And then, there is social conformity-a kind of social standard for how we should be living, usually measured by what the Jones’ have or how the Jones’ are living. Kids are phenomenal at picking up on what they “need” to have because “all my friends have it or are doing it.” And parents often get “suckered in” to this pressure if they are not careful. Basically, we all fall into this trap at some point.

The only winners in this game are those (usually, banks via credit cards) loaning us the money.

photo credit: rawpixel @rawpixel

Cheap Credit is Readily Available

It is so easy to get credit and collect credit cards like baseball cards (if you want).  What bank is not interested in cashing in on unpaid interest?  Of course, there are cultures where this is not the case and the people can not relate to the North American or European problem of debt. But, on the whole, it is incredibly easy to stack up debt to where you are literally drowning under credit card payments and other kinds of debt.

And, in a system where they can print money digitally, virtually out of thin air, -money that doesn’t even exist, it is easy to become upside down in one’s finances.  Anytime we agree to pay with the most valuable asset we have (our time) and lots of it, for something that a financial institution can pretty much rip out from under us in a split second (for example, a mortgaged home), we should probably exercise some caution.

The media convinces us that payments are easy and sometimes there is “no money down” or we can “pay next year.” It is that easy. We purchase on credit (cars, sofas, TVs- just about anything we want to have) because the offer is alluring. Just because it is possible, doesn’t mean we should. And the sad thing is, we actually don’t even own what we thought we bought – the bank does.

We buy things with money we haven’t earned yet to get something we shouldn’t buy with the money we don’t have.

Not only this, as we increase our credit, we increasingly lose control of our life, because our life becomes dictated by what we owe and not what we want to do.

Short-Term Thinking

Quite naturally, we have difficulty waiting. We have difficulting denying ourselves and denying gratification. Patience is generally not our strong point. So, when we add this to the constant advertising pushes to get us to buy, we get caught up in the now and fail to think of the long-term impact of our short-term decisions. Essentially, we buy in impulse.

But. what if we took a long view of things? What if we looked at what we want to accomplish in life – where we want to be financially, in our work or in our family relationships and dreams? When we keep a long-term focus front and center, we can ignore the impulses (the subliminal subconscious messaging) and make decisions more in line with our goals.

What future do you want and what decisions are you ready to make to bring that future into existence?

What is delayed gratification? Many believe it is just not buying what you want. But if you are not buying what you want because you don’t have the money, that is not delayed gratification. It really means making the decision not to buy, even if you have the money to do so because you are making a decision based on long-term thinking.

photo credit Jon Tyson @jontyson

Some Practical Applications

Of course, none of this suggesting that we need to be penny-pinching everything or recycling paper towel to save money. It simply means we can start to become aware of where our money is really going and take steps to cut back on spending that doesn’t contribute to our satisfaction or well being. It simply means cutting back on wasteful or unnecessary spending.

We can think about doing some long-term and preventative planning such as building a “what if” emergency fund to tide us over when things are rough.

Being in control of our money rather than letting it control us can bring great satisfaction. And, for each little victory, we can celebrate in small ways – each time we take a step toward regaining control of our financial situation. We may have to say “no” to ourselves more often at first, but eventually, we will be able to make the purchases we wanted.

What does long-term mean? Actually, long-term is not all that long and will come by very quickly. We may not have the advantage of those who begin good habits early, but we can all benefit from leveraging the power of compounding -getting money to work for us. We can start the snowball rolling in our favor by putting away money and using the power of compounding over time. Albert Einstein said:

Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.

We are all living, so we might as well try to live life debt-free, while we’re at it. Remember, it is not about being a miser or socking away money and never spending; it’s about being pursuing financial health. The thing is, most people are saddled with debt, so why not be the new one on the block who is not going down that path?

Conclusion:

Overcoming our financial difficulties is possible. We can be in control of our money situation and don’t have to be overwhelmed by financial troubles. As the saying goes, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time and I believe the same is true for overcoming money troubles. Taking the steps to be in charge can be enormously rewarding. Thinking long-term, having goals, resisting the pressure to buy on impulse and learning to say no to ourselves can be important steps on the way to becoming financially healthy.

Disclaimer: This post is purely for educational purposes. It is not to endorse or facilitate any financial decisions. Before engaging in any financial transaction, you should always consult a professional advisor. I am not a financial advisor, nor a legal advisor. I do not offer financial or legal advice.

Have a great day!

 

Has this post been helpful to you?  Please leave a comment.

Click and share below if someone you know might enjoy this post.

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

Please follow and like us:

We Don’t Have All the Time in the World

Category : Life Tips

 

 

Now is now, but later, Now will be gone – just like that, another second disappearing into oblivion. Now becomes history, never to return. So, what are we doing with our Now? What are we doing with our time, with the moments, days and months we are given?

Life is an accumulation of decision making,- big and small decisions. life changing momentous decisions and small insignificant decisions. It is a string of decisions which impact our day, our life, those around us and so much more. Like the butterfly effect where the flapping of wings can impact events in another area of the world, our decisions have an impact and we do not know the extent of this impact.

Life happens, but we don’t need to let life’s happenings control us. We can, to a certain extent, have control over what happens to us or at least have some influence as to how we will be impacted. No matter what we go through, no matter what happens, certain principles will help us to come out stronger and smarter.

Show Up

Yes, that’s right – just show up! Be all there – physically, mentally and emotionally. Show up ready to give the best of you. Whatever your challenges, whatever your goals, just show up and do the best you can with what you have. Showing up also means not giving up and not running away. We need to confront situations, challenges and even ourselves head on and be in for the long haul. If we don’t present ourselves regularly to take the steps we need to take, to move forward each day, to confront situations, who is going to do it for us?

Be Consistent

Show up and be consistent day in and day out. Do something to move towards your goals, towards fixing whatever challenging situations you may be experiencing, or towards accomplishing what you have set out to do. Perseverance will always work in your favor. It has been said that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps ( breaking down the issue into smaller bites).  Just doing something each day will move you forward rather than backward.  The accumulation of small victories will eventually lead to bigger victories and you may be surprised by how much has been accomplished over time.

Take it in Stride

Let’s face it; we’re all going to get muddy in life – life can be messy. Change will happen and the one thing we can count on is that things will change. But, seriously, how many of us really like change? It’s hard and often unwelcome. It means adjusting, changing how we see things, making new plans, dealing with emotions and so much more.

But what if we just adopted the mindset of expecting the unexpected? No matter how well we plan, no matter how regular our routines are, something or someone is going to come along and mess it up. The highway is not going to be straight forever; there will be hills and valleys, there will be traffic and detours. Life is crazy that way; it gets in the way. If we just expect the unexpected we will never be disappointed.

Own it

We all have 24 hours in a day and we are all busy. We all have problems and challenges. Our load is not bigger than another’s load; it may just be different. Life will trip us all up- we have things that get in the way and things that slow us down or knock us out for a while. But it’s up to us to fix our problems, get distractions out of the way, and clean up our messes. Whatever is causing us to spin our tires needs to be dealt with.  We need to get to the heart of issues, of what is causing us to stagnate, so to speak. Just putting a band-aid on the problems will not make them go away. If we want to grow, learn and achieve victories in life, we may need to go in for surgery from time to time.

Talk to the Winner in You

We all talk to ourselves. In fact, we have running conversations with ourselves all the time. We complain, we argue, we beat ourselves up, we negotiate, we question and we doubt. All of these things we do with ourselves. Have you ever wondered what portion of our internal dialogues is positive? My guess is not a big part. Most often we are telling ourselves what we did wrong, questioning our abilities and rationalizing our mistakes.

Why do we waste so much precious time on these kinds of dialogues? Habit-that is why. We have adopted the habit (it’s easy and it’s comfortable). Honestly, if someone were to speak to us the way we speak to ourselves, we would probably be very angry.

So, why not break that habit and break up these dialogues. Why not speak to ourselves in a way we would like to be spoken to? Why not talk to ourselves the way we would like to be spoken to. Speaking encouragingly can also become a habit. What we tell ourselves has power-either negative or positive. Begin today to be kind to yourself, to encourage yourself and to build yourself up.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Be serious about doing what you want to do in life and be serious about being the best version of you, but don’t get your britches in a knot over things that don’t matter. Learn to laugh at mistakes (and learn from them too).  Don’t get too caught up with what other people are thinking, because, quite honestly, most people are not concentrating on you. They are too focused on themselves. Yes, I said it; we are all egoists! Most of the time when we are talking to other people, they are not concentrating on what we are saying. They are likely thinking of some other problem they are dealing with.

Life is far too short to worry and too short to take ourselves seriously. We can laugh at ourselves. We are actually highly entertaining when you think about it.

What’s Your Spin?

What are you gifted at? What can you and only you do? You may be wondering: “Who me? I don’t have any special gifts to offer. I’m pretty ordinary.” Oh, but you do! Everyone does! You have things that you can do with your own unique spin that no one else can do quite like you. You can see things from a different angle and you have your own unique personality. Two versions of the same painting will never be the same.

Maybe you have been too distracted or overwhelmed by life’s busyness and messiness to discover your unique talents. They are there. Sometimes other people will reveal them. Sometimes other people will tell you what they appreciate about you or what they think you are good at. Remember, we all have something to offer.

There’s No Shortcut

Whatever you are trying to do; raise children, have a stable marriage, excel at a sport or in school, get ahead at work, there is no shortcut to success, to victory. It is not easy, success never is. Between the dream and the victory is the long, bumpy path of the struggle. And we can’t expect everyone to pat us on the back and tell us we are doing a good job.

Many times we have to struggle alone and try to keep our eye on the horizon. The day to day grind may make us think that nothing is working out and that our situation is not changing or improving. But if we lift our head up a little higher and look a little further down the road, we can be encouraged because victory is coming. Expect difficulty and expect opposition, but bring out the velvet boxing gloves and prepare for battle. Don’t back down and don’t compromise; victory is always sweet.

Hold the Bar High

Holding the bar high doesn’t mean setting impossible standards and beating yourself up when you fail. It means to have a standard as opposed to not having a standard. It means having guideposts to live by and measure yourself with. People will always have respect for someone who holds himself to high standards because it shows he respects himself. Your life should be an example, not a copy. Be hard on yourself, but not on others. Your job is you.

Not having a standard, criteria to live by and to guide decisions, will leave you vulnerable to the whims of others. You can easily fall prey to the consequences of poor decision making and unhealthy associations. Having high standards will give you strength and confidence to face any situation.

My Takeaway

Life happens so much quicker than we imagine it will. When we are children, it seems like an endless highway ahead of us. As we get older we become increasingly aware of how short it really is and how quickly it passes.  We know this and yet we get tripped up by it all. We spend a lot of energy on things that don’t matter and will never give us any real benefit. Life is messy, but it can also be simple if we get rid of the distractions and focus on what is essential.

Have a great day!

 

I hope this post has been helpful to you. Please leave me a comment.

Click and share if you enjoyed this post.

 

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Visit Spectacular Panama

Panama: a Land of Discovery

I have awesome memories of our trip to Panama, which is squeezed between Columbia to the South and Costa Rica to the North. Geographically, it is relatively small – you can drive from one shoreline to the other in a day, It is also a country filled with a beautiful diversity (rainforest diversity and cultural diversity). It boasts a pristine rainforest, a strong cultural history, and a thriving modern economy. It has one foot in the past and the other in the future. I hope that you will enjoy this exposé of Panama.

Panama City History

Panama City is the capital of Panama and its largest city. It was founded in 1519 by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dévile. This city was the strategic point for launching exploration and conquest expeditions in Peru, primarily in search of gold and silver. Panama was also the transition site for loading ships with gold and silver and bringing them back to Spain.

Old Panama (Panama la Vieja) contains the ruins of the original city of Panama, which was destroyed by fire in 1671. The city of Panama was rebuilt in 1673 about five miles from the original city.

Panama City Today

Panama City is located between the Pacific Ocean and the tropical rainforest in the northern part of the country. It is a city of cultural diversity. Panama City boasts an ultramodern city center complete with skyscrapers and modern architectural design. The Skyscrapers produce an impressive skyline around the bay. To get across the canal, there are two bridges, the newest being the Centennial Bridge. It gives you a bird’s eye of the Canal. But a bridge is a bridge, so it is  better to find a lookout point such as the Miraflores visitor center

 

Panama’s Old Quarter boasts diverse architectural styles including Spanish Colonial, French and Antillean influences.

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a lock-type canal connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Its length from one shoreline to the other is about 40 miles.

Construction of the Canal was completed in August 1914. It was controlled solely by the United States from 1914 to 1979 and in December 1999, Panama gained complete control over the Canal.

Negotiating the Canal can take about 25 hours, including the wait time. Once a vessel has been authorized to pass, it can take about 10 hours to go from one end to the other.

Panama Canal is one of the very rare examples of synergy between a vast engineering project and rainforest preservation. The rainforest has been kept in pristine condition and it provides the water and hydroelectricity needed for the Canal’s operations via the Chagres River.

The Embera People & the Rainforest

The Embera tribes are the indigenous people of Columbia and Panama. They originally lived a semi-nomadic life in Darien province (South-Eastern part of Panama) However, due to the increasing dangers of Columbian guerillas and drug traffickers, they moved north to the Chagres river region of Panama. The Rio Chagres is one of the most vital rivers in Panama. It feeds into Lake Alajuela, which provides 45% of all the water required by the canal.

A National Park

In 1985 this region was turned into a national park in order to protect the Embera people and their customs as well as protect the rainforest and the flow of water into the canal.

This new development meant that the Embera had to change their semi-nomadic activities such as hunting and raising large domestic animals due to new land restrictions. Their main source of food and survival was restricted so they had to turn to other ways to help the economy of their villages.

They have recently adopted or embraced cultural tourism as a way to provide for their needs. This means that they invite visitors (tourists) to visit them in their communities to share their way of life.

Traditionally, the Embera wear very little in the way of clothing and will only really “cover-up” (tops for the women and short skirts for the men over their loin cloth) when they are expecting visitors. They wear traditional body paint which serves as both an insect repellant and an antibiotic.

Meeting the Embera Locals

On our visit to one of these villages in the Gamboa Rainforest, we were picked up and escorted in a dugout canoe to the village.

The village people greeted us warmly and then the men of the village took us on a tour through the rainforest.  They showed us the plants and trees and educated us about their medicinal uses. We learned about the techniques for hunting such as using the poison of the dart frog on their arrows. We saw and learned about leaf-carrying ants as well.

 

 

 

Following this tour into the rainforest, we were welcomed back to the village with a traditional meal of plantain and fish presented on banana leaves and prepared by the women of the village. We were then shown and invited to participate in traditional. dance.

 

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend Panama as a destination to discover a warm, friendly culture, an introduction to the biodiversity of the rainforest and beautiful landscapes. And to see the engineering feat of the famous Panama canal is worth it. I encourage you to discover all the beauty Panama has to offer.

Have a great day!

Have you enjoyed this post? Please leave a comment.

Click and share below.

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
Please follow and like us:

Essential Oils Through the Ages

 

Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema @kellysikkema

Essential oils have always had an integral and important role in natural (holistic) medicine as well as having played a significant religious role.  History shows that they were sought out in early civilizations to heal and fortify the body. The mind, the body and the spirit were quite significant in religious practices as well, and essential oils enhanced all three.  Essential oils were foundational in commercial trade between cultures, which contributed to economic stability and growth as well as to the sharing of knowledge between cultures.

Knowledge of the properties of the oils virtually placed practitioners in a different class: those who knew the mysteries of plants. Practitioners were almost an elite class consulted by political and religious leaders for religious and medicinal purposes.

Essential oils have a colorful and fascinating story to tell across time. Let’s travel into the past together and discover their story.

Photo credit: Leonardo Ramos @leonardoeron

Ancient Egypt (circa 4,500 B.C)

It is fairly safe to say that ancient Egypt with its fertile Nile valley was the birthplace of aromatherapy and related practices. As far back as 4,500 B.C., the Egyptians were creating ointments, perfumes, aromatic oils, and developing cosmetics using plant oils (cosmetology). They exploited the plants found along the Nile River for medicinal purposes and well being. They also made resins, aromatic vinegar, and spices from plants growing along the river.

One interesting practice was the wearing of a solid cone of perfume on the head. The cone would gradually melt and cover the person with fragrance.

Two oils, myrrh, and frankincense were highly prized.  Myrrh was widely used in rejuvenating facial treatments and frankincense was charred and ground into a powder to make the kohl eyeliner for which the Egyptians were famous. Both of these oils/spices have been traded throughout the Middle East and North Africa for over 5,000 years. And, as the Bible states, myrrh and frankincense were two of the three gifts given as gifts by the Magi from the East.

Religious practices and essential oils were intertwined. Egyptians held the belief that essential oils were needed to be “one with the gods” Each deity had a specific fragrance and, at one point, only high priests could use them; fragrances were used for opening the sub-conscious mind and facilitating communication with the spirit world. The practice of mummification, a strictly religious process, used spices and oils of cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, and juniper. Essential oils were used in all aspects of daily life.

Photo credit: Dennys Hess @dennyshess

China (circa 2697-2597 B.C)

Essential oils spread into China during the reign of Huang-Ti and were used primarily for medicinal purposes. Emperor Huang-Ti is famous for having written The Yellow Emporer’s Book of Internal Medicine, which is still referred to today by those practicing essential oil treatments in Eastern medicine.  Shennong’s Herbal ( a study of 365 plants)  is China’s oldest surviving medical text (2,200 B.C.). Today, China is one of the world’s biggest producers of essential oils.

Photo credit: Tim @timvk

India (3,000 years ago)

Essential oils have been the backbone of Ayurvedic medicine (practiced for over 4,000 years) almost from the beginning of their introduction into India. They were used for both religious and therapeutic purposes. Some of the more commonly used oils were: ginger, cinnamon, myrrh, coriander, and sandalwood.

Photo credit: Cristina Gottardi @cristina_gottardi

Ancient Greece (circa 400 – 500 B.C.)

Essential oils were adopted into Greek circles (influenced by the Egyptians). Hypocrites, the most famous of Greek physicians, studied over 300 plant oils and documented each one of their uses. He advocated essential oil perfumed baths and massages for well being and wrote: The Key to Good Health Rests on Having a Daily Aromatic Bath and Scented Massage.

Another Greek physician, Galen, also developed a wide knowledge of plants and their uses and wrote extensively on them. He treated Roman gladiators and, reportedly, even emperor Marcus Aurelius. Roman physicians used the writings of both Hypocrites and Galen as a basis for their practice. Romans were fanatical about aromatic baths and scented massages.

Discondis (the father of pharmacy) was a physician in Emporer Nero’s army and wrote De Materia Medica.

The ancient Greeks believed that the air was toxic and needed to be fumigated. They held that the winds and other elements filled the air with disease-bearing germs. So, they would fumigate the air with scents to clean it.

The Roman Empire

The Romans were influenced by the knowledge of both the Greeks and the Egyptians in medicinal practices and integrated them in the various aspects of their society. The bathhouses of the Roman empire were famous throughout the empire and beyond. They would infuse the baths with aromatic oils and use them for massages as well, following the teachings of Hippocrates.

Under the Roman empire, Israelites would use oils such as frankincense, cedarwood, hyssop, and fir to enhance spiritual communion.

Photo credit; Hasan Almasi @hassanalmasi

Persia (circa 980 -1037 A.D)

Ali-Ibn Sana (also known as Avicenna the Arab), was a well-known physician and a prodigy at 12 years of age. He wrote extensively on plants and the properties and uses of their oils. His books document the properties and uses of 800 plants. Ali-Ibn Sana is also the one who discovered the method of distilling essential oils, a method that is still used today. He discovered the chemistry behind non-oil-based perfumes and this allowed him to produce rose water which was highly esteemed as a status symbol in Persia (now Iran).

The Dark Ages

Following the fall of the Roman empire and the subsequent rise of the Catholic church and beginning or religious oppression, bathing was considered to be sinful and was strictly prohibited. The use of aromatics became almost obsolete. The prohibition of bathing contributed to the spreading of the plague (the Black Death).

There was also a lot of thievery during the times of the plague. Interestingly, thieves who robbed plague victims were said to have been perfumers and spice traders who regularly bathed in the oils of cinnamon, cloves, and frankincense and were not infected when touching plague victims.

The Holy Crusaders, coming back from the distant lands in the East, brought with them essential oils and perfumes as well as herbal medicines. These became highly popular in Europe. During the 14th century, when the bubonic plague was in full force, these herbal preparations were used extensively to fight off the disease and prevent it from spreading.

The belief of foul scent causing disease continued into the Middle Ages. People believed foul scents were offensive to God and also that they caused illness. They would wear amulets containing oils, incense, and fragrance around their necks to ward off the “evil air”.  Apothecaries ( alchemists who prepared these mixtures) set up shop and began selling their wares in the 16th century. This time period was a transitional period between serfdom on land owned by lords and the rise of free enterprise.

The Rennaissance

The Rennaissance brought people out of darkness and oppression to an awakening to holistic medicine to heal and nourish the body. Old medicinal practices were revived. A new interest in natural medicine was born. Paracelsus (1493 – 1541), a physician and alchemist of outstanding medicinal success is said to have been highly successful at healing leprosy with natural medicine.

By the 1600’s literature on essential oils was spreading around Europe (particularly England, France, and Germany). By the 1800’s, most pharmaceutical books (pharmacopeia) in these three countries were prescribing essential oils for treatment. In France, during the spread of tuberculosis (the 1800’s), those working in the flower fields (exposed to plant oils), remained, for the most part, free from tuberculosis. This discovery led to the first lab test on the antibacterial properties of essential oils (1887).

World War I

During the first world war, Chemist René-Maurice Gattefosse was treating ground soldiers with essential oils and eventually (in 1928) coined the term “aromatherapie” as being ” the treatment of injury and disease by use of essential oils.”

Photo credit: Annie Spratt @anniespratt

Today

Well! We certainly have come a long, long way from the early beginnings of plant oils. Unlike in ancient Egypt, essential oils are not restricted to a certain class of society. And, thankfully, we don’t have to spend time fumigating the air outside with fragrances like they did in ancient Greece and the Roman empire, though it certainly is a good practice to clean the air inside the home. We can burn incense if we like, but it doesn’t have to be a part of a religious ritual.

Knowledge about essential oils is available to everyone as is knowledge about hygiene, so the Bubonic plague or other such diseases can be effectively taken care of with proper understanding of plant properties and use of plant oils. And thank goodness we don’t have to go around town with amulets around our necks to ward off sickness and evil air. That would not be much fun.

Photo credit: Christin Hume @christinhumephoto

My Takeaway

The story of essential oils is fascinating. I hope you enjoyed it as well. I personally use essential oils and have found them to be helpful in many ways. I encourage you to find out more about these versatile oils.

Have you found this post helpful? Please leave a comment.

Please click and share below.

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

.

 

Please follow and like us:

Easy Mason Jar Salads

Category : Health

photo credit Mariana Medvedev @nibiteuntilphoto

Mason jars are trendy for everything from salads to smoothies, to puddings and parfaits. Everyone is toting their lunch in a jar these days. And let’s face it, they are attractive. The colors in your mason jar salad are highlighted in their rainbow colors. The staple mason jars which traditionally served for making jams and preserving foods have now become a popular way to carry our lunch and snacks.

These creatively presented salads, smoothies, and snacks are great for picnic lunches, office lunches and anytime a healthy snack is needed. I personally love to carry my smoothies in a jar to work.

What are the Advantages?

  • They are visually attractive which is a plus to whet the appetite.
  • They are eco-friendly
  • They are portable
  • They keep food fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • They taste is better (compared to eating out of a plastic container).
  • They don’t expose us to the harmful effects of BPA.
  • They allow for portion control.
  • They are easy to eat – you can just pour out the salad into a bowl
  • The jars are inexpensive.
  • They can make great gifts (just remember to refrigerate).
  • They are trendy! That feels good!
  • They can be made ahead of time for the week.

How to Pack a Mason Jar Salad

Beginning with a clean, wide-mouth Mason Jar:

  1. Put salad dressing in first at the bottom.
  2. Add crunchy veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber). These can marinate in the dressing
  3. Add legumes ( beans, chickpeas, lentils)
  4. Add grains (rice, pasta, quinoa)
  5. Add proteins (tofu, seitan, meats)
  6. Add leafy greens (lettuce, spinach) and sprouts (alfalfa)
  7. Add toppings (olives, nuts, dried fruit, and croutons)

Following this order will keep your salad crisp and fresh, preventing it from going soggy.

As you can see from the picture of my first attempt to make a Mason salad jar, I did not follow this order. The legumes went in before the crunchy veggies. It tasted fine but maybe it might not have kept for as long. I put in dressing, then chickpeas, then cucumber, then tomatoes, then quinoa and finally romaine lettuce.

But I Don’t Have Time for That

I get it. We’re all busy and who has time to make attractive salads every day? Why not do the prep for the week all at the same time? Why not create a prep salad bar? We can just cut up veggies ahead of time and put them in jars to redistribute in our Mason jar salad. the bonus is that family members can get involved and create their personalized salad from the salad bar. These salads can be made for the week ahead of time since they keep well in the fridge, so we don’t have to make them every day.

Some Recipes to Start

Vegan Mason Jar Taco Salad

1/3 cup of dressing (see below)

  • 1 small avocado + juice from one lime + a small handful of cilantro blended together (I added a bit of water to be able to blend it)

1/2 cup of shredded carrots

1/2 cup of pinto or black beans (I prefer black beans)

1/2 cup of cooked rice

1/2 cup of chopped red peppers

1/2 cup Vegan taco meat

  • 1 cup of raw walnuts + 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes blended together

1/2 crushed taco chips

a handful of romaine lettuce to top

Follow the order of packing above.

Chickpea Mason Jar Salad

2 teaspoons of lemon-mustard vinaigrette

  • juice from one large lemon + 1 teaspoon dijon mustard + 1/2 cup of olive oil + 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup of cooked chickpeas

1/2  cup of sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup of chopped red onion

1/4 cup of chopped green olives

1/2 cup of fresh baby spinach

Follow the order of packing above.

 

Conclusion

These days, our hectic lives keep us running forwards, backward and sideways. We want to eat healthily but it is hard to find the time to fix up healthy lunches and even harder to get our kids to eat them. Mason jar salads have risen to the occasion. They are attractive (and kids know what is in them), they keep well, they are easy to make and they can be made in advance. They are great for the home dinner table (everyone can build his own from the selection) and for an office lunch.

What I really like about them is that it is an all-in-one meal – no adding extra toppings or pouring messy salad dressing. You can eat them right from the jar or pour them into a bowl. Why not try one? You may get hooked on Mason jar salads!

 

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

Click below to share with others.

 

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

Please follow and like us:

What I Learned about Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin)

Category : Life Tips

photo credit: andrefrancois@silverhousehd

We have probably all heard of Bitcoin and know someone who knows someone who is into trading and buying cryptocurrency. But what is it exactly? How does it work? These are questions I wanted to explore and try to answer in order to understand it better. Hopefully, this information will give a clearer picture of what cryptocurrency is all about.

I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, nor do I intend for any of the following to be used as advice to buy or an endorsement of cryptocurrency.

So, What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is one of over 1,000  cryptocurrencies and the most popular and widely used of them all. It was launched officially in 2009 following the Wall Street Banking fiasco by Satoshi Nakamoto. It is unclear as to who Satoshi Nakamoto is or whether this name refers to one person or a group of people. The Bitcoin grew out of the frustration people had with the financial system: the mishandling of borrower’s money, exorbitant banking fees, distrust of the banking system and the sentiment of deception.

The idea was to create ” a new electronic cash system” that was “completely decentralized with no server or control of authority.”

So, cryptocurrency is a decentralized currency (independent from the financial system) which the owners are in control of entirely.  It is essentially an exchange of digital information that allows owners to transact (buy and sell) without the intermediary of a financial institution. The information flows from person to person in a network (through a file-sharing system). It does not follow the traditional rules and regulations of financial transactions. There is no collection of names, IDs or other personal information.

The first Bitcoin pioneers wanted to:

  • eliminate the “middleman”
  • eliminate interest fees
  • make transactions transparent
  • halt financial corruption
  • cut back on fees

photo credit: David Shares @davidshares

More Details Please

  • Cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous and irreversible. Once the transaction goes through, it can not be changed. No one knows the identity of either the buyer or the seller.
  • There is no physical location. Bitcoins are received through digital addresses and there is no connection to the buyer or the seller.
  • Transactions are fast and global. They happen within minutes anywhere in the world since it is a global network.
  • All transactions are secure, They are locked into a cryptography system and owners have one or more encryption keys to access their account to send or buy currency. It is virtually impossible to break into the code.
  • The system is independent. Anyone can download the software and install it. Once the account is set up, you are set to go and can begin buying and trading.
  • The supply of Bitcoin is highly controlled and limited. Only a small number of bitcoins come out every hour and there is a cap of 21 million Bitcoins. Presently, there are around 16 million in circulation.

Are they accepted as currency?

Currently, there are over 100,000 merchants and businesses that accept payment with cryptocurrency including big names such as Expedia, Microsoft, Dell and Overstock.com and the list is growing.  People pay for things like pizza, flowers, and gift cards with Bitcoins.

Ok, So how does it work?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are mined by miners. The mining process is a highly complex combination of algorithmic problem solving and record keeping. Volunteer users verify transactions within the network on computers. Each transaction is recorded in a ledger which is grouped with other transactions to form a block. These blocks (or groups of transactions) are then put into a blockchain, which is essentially a massive publicly accessible and permanent record of all transactions worldwide.

The existence and continuity of the blockchain is dependant on the miners to keep up their work of recording transactions, which will continue to grow indefinitely. Blockchains are created roughly every ten minutes. They are the only record and arbiter of all transactions and proof of ownership. The blockchain also serves as a payment processing system which is also facilitated by the miners.

In return for their dedication and work, the miners are rewarded with Bitcoins and they also receive transaction fees paid by buyers. Sellers who charge transaction fees typically get paid first over those who do not.

Each owner has a private (digital) key which confirms his digital identity and allows him to buy or sell Bitcoins. The key is called an encryption key. The keys must be kept very safely; if they are lost, it is impossible to access your account and if it is permanently lost, so is your Bitcoin currency – into virtual space.

Bitcoin exchanges (such as Coinbase, CEX, Coinmama or Kraken) allow owners to exchange (trade) Bitcoin units (Bitcoin can be broken down into subunits) for world currencies such as the dollar or the euro and for other cryptocurrencies. There are transaction fees for the exchange.

photo credit: Thought catalog @thoughtcatalogue

Where do you keep the Bitcoins?

Bitcoins are stored in digital wallets, either private or public wallets (in a public exchange or storage center).  Generally, the wallets are secure cloud storage locations with special owner ID information confirming ownership.

Where do you buy Bitcoins?

There are different ways you can acquire Bitcoin. One way is to set up an account with an exchange (such as the ones mentioned above) and then depositing fiat currency (dollar, euro) into your new virtual wallet. It is free and simple to set up an account – just like setting up a Paypal account. Then you are ready to begin buying and trading in cryptocurrencies. Another way to earn Bitcoins is to accept them as payment for goods or services. Owners cand lend out Bitcoins and earn interest on them. You can also earn bitcoins through trading.

What about the risks?

Since Bitcoin is a digital currency, there is always the risk of theft through hacking. The public exchanges (and wallets) are particularly vulnerable to theft through hacking. So, the possibility is there.

Bitcoin transactions are virtually untraceable, which means they are very secure, but at the same time they are also obscure. You can never know who you are buying your currency from, nor who is buying from you. If you have bought from scammers, there is very little recourse for you to recover your funds.

Being a relatively new and decentralized currency system, the rules and regulations governing cryptocurrency are a bit murky. It is a “legal grey area”. Some things to be wary of are:

  • stealing of private keys
  • wallet theft and vulnerability
  • Illegitimate or fraudulent exchanges
  • Vulnerability of exchanges

What is the takeaway?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy. There is a lot we know, but also a lot we do not know. There are obvious benefits. There are also risks. It could be argued that there are risks with traditional currency as well and money has been lost through mishandling and deception there too. The jury is still out on where it is going and the governing rules are still murky at best.

One thing I have gotten out of this is that common sense should always rule. For obvious reasons, you probably wouldn’t want to put the money you can’t afford to lose into any financial endeavor without first getting all the facts, if at all.

Disclaimer: This post is purely for educational purposes. It is not to endorse or facilitate any financial decisions. Before engaging in any financial transaction, you should always consult a professional advisor. I am not a financial advisor, nor a legal advisor. I do not offer financial or legal advice.

 

Have a great day!

Has this post been helpful to you?  Please leave a comment.

Click and share below if someone you know might enjoy this post.

 

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

Please follow and like us:

The Seeds of Possibility

Category : Success

What if?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do what you have always thought you would like to do? Have you had these thoughts and then backed down because you didn’t think you have what it takes? Have you looked around at your reality and said: “that kind of dream is only for some people, but not for me”? Have you written yourself off from this dream?

It happens to many of us. We put up fences and set glass ceilings for ourselves and our lives. Maybe we don’t actually believe that we have what it takes to “go for it“. Our lives are busy, we are tired and we don’t want to add more to our plates, so we content ourselves with our routine.

But why do we have imagination in the first place? What is the purpose? Surely, we were meant to use it for greater pursuits. Surely, we were meant to do more than survive financially, try to be good people and entertain ourselves from time to time and get through life relatively unscathed. Certainly, we were meant to do more and be more.

Our mind and our imagination are unlimited. What we imagine, we can bring into reality. What if we took a break from ourselves and allowed our imagination to take over for a bit. What could we do? Where could we go?

Imagination can be defined as the ability to see what has not been seen and give it substance.

Albert Einstein said:

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

This last statement by Albert Einstein is profound; it is a reflection on how we do things today. We spend a lot of time acquiring knowledge to get a job or start a career (“study hard and you’ll get a good job”, we hear our parents say), but how much time do we spend cultivating our imagination which, as Einstein said, is more important? Why are we focusing on the less important element and not the one that can take us far? Without the imagination of dreamers and inventors, our lives would be vastly different today. If they had not had the courage and drive to persevere, where would we be today?

Why Not You? Why Not Me?

Are we any less able? Are we any less intelligent? What does it take?

Most people who have achieved great things will tell you that there is no secret; it takes a dream and action. It takes vision and guts. It takes a lot of failures and some victories. It takes a lot of belief and tough skin to ignore the peanut gallery of naysayers. The “achievers”  are not more special than you or me. These “achievers” have just believed longer, worked harder, failed more and learned not to be discouraged.

The Pursuit of Happiness

In the movie The Pursuit of Happiness, Chris Gardner (the main Character) struggles under a number of crushing obstacles trying to make a better life for him and his young son. He is evicted from his apartment and the two of them find themselves homeless.

Chris sells portable medical devices for a living, but the circumstances are difficult and they are not easy to sell. Every day is a challenge as Chris must try to sell these devices, get his son to school and make it to the homeless shelter on time to get a bed to sleep in.

Chris has a chance meeting with a man who works in a brokerage firm and ends up vying for an internship with other equally eager candidates. And, of course, the internship does not pay. So now Chris has to study to get into the internship, work at the brokerage firm, continue to sell medical devices, get his son off to school and get them both to the shelter on time to have a place to sleep.

The Story of Chris Gardner is a story of a dream, of perseverance, of courage, of failure and most of all a story of how maintaining a positive attitude despite failures and adverse circumstances is key to success. In real life, Chris overcame all these obstacles and became a master in the investing world. If he had not believed, if he had not imagined a better day for him and his son, the story would be quite different.

 Things We Can Do with Our imagination

With our imagination we can dream up plans, we can build businesses, invent new things and start movements. These are positive uses of our imagination; they bring results if we act on them.

With our imagination, we can also dream up problems and obstacles and create worst-case scenarios. We can create entire realities of things we don’t want to happen, but will eventually pan out. It really is up to us how we use our imagination. It is there, ready to be used and we will either use it for fruitful purposes or to fan the flames of worry and fear.

It Takes Imagination And Action

Achieving our dreams results from first having dreams and then acting on them. If we imagine things we would like to do or see ourselves doing one day, but never take the first step towards making them a reality, they will remain a fantasy in our mind and never see the day. If we have no dreams and do not imagine better and different things in our lives, then we are just existing for each day, with no purpose other than to get through each day and go to sleep.

Some people work very, very hard each day, hoping that one day all the hard work will pay off and that there will be a reward at the end of the line. Unfortunately, working without a goal, without a driving purpose will just result in what we can call “grinding”, doing the same thing day after day, but without a passion, without something to work toward. After all, it is the purpose, the dream that makes all the hard work and failures bearable and even, enjoyable. The joy is in the process.

Some do not dream at all. Perhaps life has been so hard that they have given up on the idea of even pursuing a dream. Perhaps they have been told many times that it is unrealistic to dream and that dreams don”t pay the bills. Perhaps they have resigned themselves to their day to day routine. Perhaps they feel that their dreams are not for them. So, the result is that the potential and the possibilities remain dormant.

The Seeds of Greatness

We were born for so much more than we give ourselves credit for, or that we believe we are able to do. Our minds are infinite reservoirs of possibility. We have dreams written in our hearts. What limits us, is what we tell ourselves. What limits us, are the stories we tell ourselves and the excuses we allow to control us. We allow others to set our limits, to label us, to put us in a box. We allow our past to determine our future and we allow our present circumstances to eliminate future possibilities.

Our past does not define us. Our present reality does not predict the future reality. Anything can change and we can change anything if we are willing to change ourselves and how we think. Our finances can improve, our relationships can improve, our health can improve if we choose to take a new path and if we refuse to give up. I know you have heard this all before, but at the risk of it being a cliché, it is actually true. Faith can and does move mountains. And, without faith and hope, what is there?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

If faith is substance and evidence of what we can not see yet, that certainly means the potential is there. It means that faith will carry us through the difficulties and help us navigate through the obstacles. Faith will tell us not to listen to the voices that discourage us (even our own) and to leave the past in the past. Faith will tell us that the future lies ahead and we can step into it with confidence. Faith tells us that things can change for the better.

You Have a Purpose

You are here for a reason and that reason is unique to you. Only you can provide the potential you have. That potential is written on your heart and it lies in your gut. It is a dormant volcano waiting to erupt onto the stage of life. Your potential, if realized, will impact lives and you may never know how many lives will be touched by your gift and your work.

But like a gift which is never opened, if you never permit yourself to dream of what could be and if you choose not to step out of the comfort zone and take a chance, you may never know what potential lies inside of you.

 

I hope that this post has been an inspiration to you. Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

Click to share below

 

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email