YODA: LIVE YOUR LIFE, YOU MUST

Every time we watch a television program or movie, we are watching others live their scripted lives. In retrospect, this may be one of the biggest wastes of time in our lives if we watch 1-2 programs each day.

Some years ago, I recall a friend reminding me that people on TV programs don’t waste time watching TV. Based on their script, they are to provide active comedy, drama, tragedy, etc. — not to simply view others live in a fictional world. I recall about 25 years ago eliminating cable TV from my home when my three children were young. It seems there could have been a lot of complaining — and perhaps I remember only the happier moments — but protests, strikes and throwing fits didn’t happen.

We simply turned out attention to playing outside more often, taking trips, spending time with the family and handling our responsibilities. 

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TOP 10 MOMENTS IN SPAIN

On UDPhotos.com’s first trip to Spain, we came home salivating from the cuisine, as well as the adrenaline rush of this special week that included amazing tourist adventures, rare meetings with world changers and world-class service. Many thanks to Mind Valley for hosting this event and to Marisa Peer for being the first to invite us to join this historic annual journey.


Here are UDPhotos.com’s TOP 10 MOMENTS IN SPAIN (and unedited images for effect):

See additional images and blogs here, at UDPhotos.com.

10. Meeting 26-time world-record holder and endurance/pain specialist Wim Hof. This man has lived a life of challenging the limitations of human capacity. He currently baffles science and laughs about it. So refreshing to here is honesty on stage. If he visits your area, take the time to meet Wim. He is a special combination between a Guiness World Record live demonstration and a visit to the Improv!

9. The varied architecture, historic buildings and castles around Barcelona are too numerous to count. But adventure hunters are invited to chase them all down, including the Gaudi masterpieces. Feel free to start and finish The Magic Fountain in Montjüic where the nightly water fountain show borders on surreal. It was created for the 1929 International Exposition by famed engineer Carles Buigas.

8. Checking out the 3-story, marble Apple Store in Barcelona was a kick. Apple architects are always sharpening their store appearances. In this rendition, the glass/marble look (maybe its plexiglass and PVC, but it looked great) keeps visitors engaged.


7. The sculptures and water fountains in Barcelona are among the best the UDPhotos team has ever witnessed. Dancing waves that change color in perfect sequence often attracts crowds in the thousands. When you visit, don’t miss these highlights.

6. The beaches of Barcelona bring to mind the mellow atmosphere and physically-fit nature of a Southern California beach. Volleyball, biking, roller blading, running and fit bodies of all ages were plentiful. The water was clear although as loaded with Atlantic Ocean saltwater. The beach sand was a little coarse, but easy to enjoy. Also the beach we visited was clothing optional. 

5. Meal to Live For: The cuisine in Spain is flavorful and diverse. We stayed at a Crown Plaza Hotel, which hosted the event and included two restaurants: A bar and a full restaurant we could not seem to coordinate schedules with. On our final night, we enjoyed a 5-star dinner highlighted by beef tenderloined cooked in salt.

4. Main Meal to Live For: We joined about 25 other people at a dinner at a special location on Saturday night after listening to Marisa Peer talk. At the restaurant, we were exposed to a variety of Spanish delicacies like baby octupus, but the main course of beef was so flavorful and tender, it left most of us speechless. And that is a rare quality for a roomful of ambitious leaders! Best food we found in Barcelona, and we logged numerous Top 20 dining experiences this time.;

3. After watching dozens of Vishen Lakhiani videos on YouTube.com, I was searching for an opportunity to see him in person, and this trip brought three of my favorite speakers together at one time. Vishen founded Mind Valley (MindValley.com) several years ago and has partnered with numerous of the world’s elite personal improvement speakers. His book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, is an eye-opener to the way most of us were taught when we were younger. On stage as in his book, Vishen cites research and facts while challenging everyone to test the rules they live by daily, which may be holding them back.


2. Famous hyponotherapist Marisa Peer (MarisaPeer.com) made me an offer I simply could not refuse. Having seriously considered flying to England to train with her in recent months, her invitation email regarding the Barcelona MindValley.com event arrived at a key moment. And we enjoyed the opportunity to eat a meal and ask for personal advice from Marisa. Marisa has been a counseling sensation for years for her Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) method, which she has used on television programs to solve serious problems in rapid fire for celebrities. Marisa is a trendsetter in her industry and the author of numerous books, including the best seller Ultimate Confidence. She holds the key to happiness for millions of us.

1. The spontaneous conversation my wife and I had in March as this trip originated with the announcement of a rare live convergence of authors and speakers at the very top of my must-see list. Marisa Peer’s signup email arrived, announcing a 3-day event only in Barcelona, Spain in June. I called Suzie and asked if she wanted to go to Europe for the first time for an early anniversary trip. Fortunately she said yes.

FROM RULES TO LIMITLESS

By Terry Carter, Editor

I once heard a story of a newly married couple, and the husband was helping his wife cook dinner in the kitchen of their new home. She had purchased a roast, seasoned it, cut off the ends and put it in a large pan. 

While the oven was preheating, the husband asked his new “Why do you cut off the ends of the roast? It seems like a waste of good meat.” She gave him a defensive look and explained, “My mother has always done it this way – and so did her mother.” Several months later, the newlyweds met the whole family for a big holiday meal. The husband promptly asked the bride’s mother why she cut off the ends of the roast before cooking it. She said her mom had always done it that way, and it was tradition.

After some family talk on the subject, the husband asked the grandmother why she had cooked roast that way. Being an honest woman, she went right to the point and revealed a revalation. “I cut off the ends of the roast because my oven at the time was too small to fit the whole roast.” 

She had sacrificed out of the necessity and passed on this cooking tradition to her daughter and granddaughter. And no one realized the reason or that ovens today are big enough for even the largest roast. It was simply a rule of the day because ovens in the 1940s were small.

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Much of our lives today is run by rules we learned young and still follow, even though those rules may have reached their expiration date or are simply not benefiting us. Look around analytically, and you will see that many rules we expect to be universal laws are not always accurate, such as we must have a college education to succeed. I know many men and women who have not college experience, yet they are successful, in my view.

I grew up absorbing the wisdom of my parents, and my father worked for large corporation, averaging 40-50 hours a week on a Monday-Friday schedule. I only recall him working for perhaps three companies in my life, so the mantra of the day seemed confirmed: Get a good education, work 40-50 years for 1-3 major companies and then you can retire early.

Upon earning my bachelor’s degree, I encountered a changing world that destroyed that ideal career scenario. I was laid off three times in five years in my chosen field. As a result of my desire to control my destiny, I have started or co-founded six companies so far while still staying in touch with the consulting or employee side of my life. 

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Most of us live a life of lies because we firmly grasp these rules growing up. Work hard, for example. Reality is: We all work hard, but only a small percentage work smart and employ the creative genius thereby leveraging their time, talents to get ahead. Fewer still actively create a framework that allows them to pocket millions of dollars while traveling the world in opulence.

I have means and end goals currently, but means goals are more common for nearly everyone because of the rules we heard when young. And you have means goals about career earnings, raising a family, retirement, purchasing a special home and working for a great company.

But end goals are probably where we as humans want to go because as we begin achieving the means goals set by society and our culture, many of us wind up NOT happy at all when we are in our 30s, 40s and 50s. We may have a high-paying career, but we are actually stuck in boring, stagnant positions running from home to work, home to work and home to work.

We have less time with our families than we truly want. And because of that, we often find our relationships at home suffering to the point our spouses ignore us, our children don’t want us around and our pet growls or hisses at us. For millions of Americans, it is the literal rat race, and we are the rat being chased, pressured and squeezed by deadlines, bills, work, home, retirement (if we can afford to consider it) and more.

This is a real-world case. Even with a Master’s Degree as a 1-percent earner and at the top of his or her field, the achievers today are not truly happy. Sure, they look good on camera. But many are struggling to get through each day, wondering why they are not happy with their vaults of money, garages of fine vehicles, multiple homes. And somehow, we sit in our 10-year-old Honda, driving to work from an apartment to a deadend job and believe we have all the answers about happiness. 

The truth is less than one percent of us would be content if our income fell 50-70 percent today because it is way beyond our comfort zone. But layoffs happen, and that is often a 100 percent pay cut. Retirement happens too, and many retirees settle for less than half of their full-time career income.

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So how do we get from “living within the cultural rules” to having limitless options for improvement?

We pay attention to movers like Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and numerous other major companies. We learn from Richard Branson and Vishen Lakhiani and Michael Beckwith and Marisa Peer. These people are changing the potential for extraordinary achievement by ordinary folks like you and I. They are telling us how to do what millionaires Musk, Branson and Lakhiani have already done.

Lakhiani founded Mindvalley and transformed the company into a industry-leading personal development mastermind organization that is setting the world of achievers on fire currently. I am re-reading his book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, for the second time in seven days. The hardback version has been highlighted beyond belief because it reveals startling, new information. Since I read 40-60 books annually of business, personalities and improvement, I think I can safely say this book is probably the best book I have read in decades. 

Jack Canfield, co-author of the best-selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul, said it bluntly about Lakhiani’s book. And Canfield is an expert on this type of writing: “Vishen Lakhiana’s knowledge base and his ability to present it clearly and to actually put it into practice is above anyone I have ever seen in this field.”

Lakhiani has many unconventional suggestions. But when it comes to finding the end goals that lead you to your desired destination in life, he mentions these:

  1. What experiences do you want to have in this lifetime?
  2. How do you want to grow?
  3. How do you want to contribute?

(More on this topic soon)

POOR MAN #2

By Terry Carter, Editor

A poor man knows only that he needs money desperately while a rich man has options. The poor man is often backed into a corner either to receive medical care (aka Wake Up! Obamacare does not provide affordable medical insurance for anyone paying a deductible) or feed his family (Damn! Food prices are still sky rocketing). 

What defines a poor man? To begin with, if you can save 10 percent of your income each month, your cost-to-income ration is at least favorable. That demonstrates discipline on your part. But being poor suggests more than a low income — and it’s subjective.

  • WHERE DOES POOR REALLY BEGIN?

For my friend George or most veteran engineers/executives of the oil and gas world, poor is a state of mind when your annual income has been six figures for more than a decade. $50,000 may be broke for them, but it would simultaneously be a gold mine for a janitor, receptionist. 

It all depends of your spending habits (whims), insurance and other expenses and how it compares to your income. If the income falls, the whims (aka glitter toys) go first. But when you have stopped the following, and you still don’t have money for rent, groceries or medical insurance and/or medicines — all of these are items I say are necessities — then you have reached the poor category in my book.

When you have done the following and still cannot find money for your savings account, you are temporarily among the poor: A) Stop eating out at all; B) Disconnect cable or satellite TV; C) Stop professionally grooming your pets; D) Request and purchase only generic medications where possible; E) Use the lowest-priced gasoline on your route home; F) Re-invent your canceled gym membership by walking at the park; G) Divide every check into bills due now and mortgage/rent due on the 1st; H) Take the ATM withdrawal cash of your wallet and put it back in the bank — whether it’s coffee, doughnuts, gambling, cigarettes or liquor, it’s a waste if money is this tight.

So how did you do? I have used, at times, each of these techniques to survive financially in my life, and so far, my spouse has not shot, departed or fired me. We have become home owners and made upper-middle income cash. But I have also been unemployed for months, in the hospital for others and just made bad choices. No one makes perfect choices, however…

If you fit the general “poor” financial picture at this moment and have not implemented the starting suggestions listed above — those are just a measuring stick to determine how poor you currently are — plug them in. They work for all ages, sizes, sexes, styles, backgrounds. 

Plug those in, use them daily for 1-2 months and monitor your balance carefully. Is any deduction showing up, and you are not aware of its origin, timing? If so, put an end to it immediately or close your bank account. I recently eliminated an automatic account renewal by Active.com that started when I signed up for a 5K racemore than a year ago. I was shocked to find it — it is a byproduct of online shopping. So be careful having any site remember your credit card.

After careful evaluation — and yes, I know some of you are shaking your head YES already — you may know these changes and others are still leaving your balance in the red. Therefore you feel poor — trust me, it’s temporary if you options exist. Two quick choices here, and both rest solely on your shoulders: A) Get Serious about finding a higher-paying career;  B) Either sell the extra items you are no longer using (aka: Art, old equipment, gear, collectibles) or step up with a side gig like teaching dance lessons, singing or being a DJ. Even $200 a month can save you from sleeping in your old truck with no heat nor A/C.

  • THE RICHER SIDE OF POOR

Imagine you make $100,000 annually and have for 20 years. It’s a safe bet you would have upped your spending on vehicles, perhaps a home and non-essentials like a pool, boat or condo if you currently make half of that or less. Based on the American Dream of generations gone by, owning a home would be a natural purchase for most people with this 6-figure income. As would a nice newer vehicle every 4-5 years, like a Lexus or Infinity. 

Reality check: After a modest home purchase (30-year mortgage/ monthly payments between $900-1,800) and a upscale vehicle, the 6-figure income now requires you to live on the same  budget as a less well off person with a used Honda and living in an apartment. The new car/SUV is costing about $700-1,200/month depending on your downpayment. Combined you are spending about $2,500+ of a monthly income of $8,000 on those two items. And one excess leads to another. I’m hoping, if this is you, you have a $2,000-$3,000 minimum going to your 401/IRA.  Those items aside, Mr. Six figures now has about $3,500-$4,000 to buy the necessities and service the pretty Lexus, which requires pricy service work that starts at $200+ for oil changes.

You see those vehicles in your garage each week, and you know the people who climb out — whether married or single — likely used their credit to buy those fancy rides when a Honda or Toyota would have worked for half the price.

Credit cards account for the downfall of even the wealthy people in your world. When your wealthy neighbor has his vehicle repossessed or loses his home, the options are few: A) A primary income vanished; B) Mortgage company screwed you; C) Lucky Significant Other has departed; or D) The World as you know it is about to end.

Either way, even billionaires can identify with broke. Donald Trump was pretty close once. Back on Earth, however, any of us can feel broke if we can a pay cut, lose a job (even on an unpaid day off) or transfer to a new position, only to discover the pay rate  or hours worked does not benefit you.

But you are not truly broke if you can still pay for gas, groceries, your abode, medications and a few other items. Bottom Line: We can all be dead broke within days, weeks or 3-6 months unless we are millionaires. And studies prove that very, very few of us save even $500/month, and even fewer still have 3-6 months of income if employment or then niche field falls apart.

More on this another day…

RICHER AND POORER

By Terry Carter, Editor

A typical rich man knows not the pain of wanting, of waiting, of struggling each day. Sure, he wants more at age 30 than he had at 20. But it is all a measure of time. He will eventually get there.  He learns early that his job is to work hard and make money. His field of expertise? It is meaningless as long as it generates growing revenue.

A poor man also works hard, but he lacks drive, a focused skill to make millions in business for himself. He makes millions in his lifetime for another, and his reward is minimal. No 401k and no golden parachute here. A poor man’s mentality clearly states he must work for someone; it rarely allows him to work for himself, where he has a slightly better chance of winning the financial lottery with the same work ethic.

Without  a good education, specialized skillset, a mentor and some encouragement, a poor man will struggle mightily in this life. He will likely have 30-40 jobs — and most end in anger, frustration or confusion. Hungry and pissed off, the unprepared poor man has little thought of a better job and a brighter future. Instead he takes the first offer of work because he needs food today. This means minimum wage to $12/hour is his permanent pay range.

His is a reactionary move, — not one of learning, planning and marketing as the rich man learns. And managers have a knack at reading people interviewing as not worth a bump in pay and then offering only the lowest rate available. And a struggling person, who has been hungry and unemployed, has a tendency to accept any amount because it means a chance to eat again. Forget that he/she may be weeks without prescription medication, months with a hole in their only boots and sleeping in an old vehicle.

In all likelihood, the poor person struggles at his first job and continues to struggle until he is laid-off from his final job. Then he dies and can only be buried through the donations of family members or government.
The rich man, even when young, is taught to learn from each mistake, each maneuver. If a job is lost — and this is a key separator between the rich and poor mindsets — the rich either learn a valuable lesson and apply it or they KNOW the person who fired them made a mistake. The problem in any firing is not with the rich-mindset employee. It is with the employer.

For the poor-mindset employee, they are blamed and assume full blame when  And, most likely, they have family at home willing to back up that hypothesis repeatedly. And that reinforces what a poor, miserable wretch this now unemployed person is. The poor self-esteem is reinforced daily at home, at work and by everyone this alleged loser meets. How nauseating.

While the rich mind focuses on winning, on making more money, the poor mind focuses on what they want most. They focus on the recreational time and the fun, amusement they cannot afford to enjoy. 
If the rich man is then taking all the cash and getting richer, how does the poor man compete? Actually it is usually the poor women who compete and outsmart the rich best. By have many children, by earning disability benefits in court, by suing for millions with clever attorneys, by using government programs like food stamps, subsidized housing and the Gold Card, the poor have found a workable niche built by the Democrats for the underprivileged. And by broadcasting their plight to wealthier people they work for, the hard-working, yet poor, person, often takes home donations like food, furniture, toys, clothing.

They may never be rich, but millions of hard workers in America currently have more available cash than middle-income U.S. citizens. Even the contractor working day jobs or on construction sites and cannot speak English, take home enough cash to send money home or buy Tequila and smokes on the weekend. Think about.