Category Archives: MOTIVATION MONDAY

DON’T GIVE UP…JUST KEEP SWIMMING!!!


In light of the upcoming release of Pixar Film’s “Finding Dory,” I sat down this past weekend and re-watched “Finding Nemo” and began to think (because I do that sometimes)  about not giving up and pushing through. The gist of the movie was a father Marlin, a clown fish, who refused to give up looking for his son Nemo, captured by a scuba diver after disobeying him by swimming beyond the reef. Marlin’s quest led him all the way to Australia and along the way, he met some interesting characters one of which was Dory. Dory claimed to have seen the boat that carried Nemo away and she and Marlin gave chase. Marlin followed Dory in one direction, then another, and another, until she couldn’t remember why he was following her to begin with. Dory suffered from short-term memory loss. Can you imagine how frustrating it must have been for Marlin to follow someone who lacked direction? Although Dory wasn’t much help in terms of direction, she was ultimately there for support and encouragement. She kept Marlin on track. When he wanted to quit, turn around and go home, those famous words of hers still resonate with many: “When life gets you down you know what you’ve gotta do?”

ūüé∂JUST KEEP SWIMMING. JUST KEEP SWIMMING.ūüé∂

When you feel like quitting because the obstacles before you seem insurmountable, here are a few tips to keep you on track:

  1. FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: Make sure your accountability partner is someone who encourages you, not someone who criticizes, judges or tears you down. Your accountability partner is stronger than you in the areas where you are weak. It can be a spouse/partner, a significant other, family member, co-worker, mentor or friend. When you feel like throwing in the towel, there’s nothing like a “Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah” from your accountability partner to get you back on track.
  2. TURN TO YOUR FAITH/MEDITATE: Whether you are deeply spiritual, deeply religious, deeply spiritual and religious or none of the above, turn to your faith. Turn to something. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, staying rooted in or strengthening your faith/what you believe in can help you press on. Deep meditation can also help regain focus and reinforce goals.
  3. EXERCISE: Remember exercising releases endorphins which can alter your mood. Exercising may not be your thing, but find an activity that elevates your heart rate. Cardio is key. A jog or a brisk stroll through your neighborhood can provide the boost you need to jumpstart your dwindling energy. You’d be amazed at how therapeutic opening the blinds, and letting a little sunshine inside your home or stepping outside to breathe in a bit of fresh air makes you feel better.
  4. SOCIALIZE/NETWORK: Your schedule may not always allow you to get out in the mix of others, and you may be a bit of an introvert, but social media can help.  I love the interaction I have with connections I’ve made on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and my new favorite, LinkedIn. No, I’m far from an introvert. I love to read on social media about others reaching their goals/accomplishments, creating new ones or even reading just to escape for a laugh or two. Either way, virtual interaction can be a great motivator.

When I was fulfilling the education requirements for my AFC Certification, I wanted to quit… many times. Overwhelmed with a demanding class schedule, problems on the home front, trying to maintain the update of my social media outlets, and the general pressures of life had me leaning towards giving up. At one point I thought about shirking my way through the semester, barely passing my classes with just the minimum required grade. But in the back of my mind, doing so would have left me disappointed in myself because I knew I could have done better. Determination kept me going. Each time I entertained the idea of quitting, I thought of how far I had come and kept my ultimate goal in mind. Before I knew it,  I was half way through the semester. I kept pressing forward. I kept pressing forward until it was time for final exams and I pulled down A’s in both classes.

So the message here is quite simple. DON’T QUIT! Is it clich√©? Of course it is! And as clich√© as it is, the message is still effective today as it ever was.
DON’T QUIT!!! KEEP GOING!!!

Andrea Coleman (The Financial Hack) ©2016

 

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MOTIVATION MONDAY: Take time for self

The lagoon at the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve was absolutely stunning! Photo Cred: The Financial Hack
Recently, I took a much needed vacation after a grueling semester of what seemed to be endless reading, weekly assignment deadlines, quizzes and exams. One would think returning to school 14 years after receiving an MBA would be a piece of cake but a piece of cake it was not. I was overwhelmed in the beginning but gradually fell into a pattern of keeping my schedule eventually devoting the majority of my weekends to study. Returning to school was a huge sacrifice for me, but one well worth it in the end.

 

I decided months prior, I would travel somewhere, anywhere, because my birthday coincided with the end of the semester and what better way to celebrate Phase 1 of my Accredited Financial Counselor Certification and my birthday than taking a trip. I decided on the Dominican Republic. The history is rich and the beaches are beautiful. What was significant about this trip was I traveled alone, and in doing so, I had time to think, to ponder my life, its direction and my purpose. I can’t do that in the city. Too much “white noise.” The irony of it all was I had to travel out of the country to “find myself.” I know. It sounds cheesy and so cliche’, but it’s the truth.

Look at that smile! Don’t I look happy?
Spending time alone while away allowed me to look deep within. I discovered what I want in life, what truly makes me happy, and the stillness provided much needed direction. Not that I hadn’t pondered these things before, but there’s a certain comfort that comes with walking alone on the beach, the sand between your toes, the crescendo of the breaking waves and the breeze gently caressing your cheek allowing your mind to expand and your thoughts to flow freely. It seemed to be an epiphany, the “Ahh Ha” moment Oprah Winfrey makes mention of. Suddenly everything became clear to me. And then all was calm. I’m confident I returned from my trip not a “different” person, but a “better” person, if that makes any sense.

Obviously, it isn’t necessary to travel out of the country to take time for self, so until you’re in a position to do so, here are a few suggestions that may help:

  1. Consider a “staycay.” Tell your husband/wife (s)he’s on “Mommy/Daddy Duty” for the weekend/day/night or drop the kids off with your mother/mother-in-law and run away from home. Check into a nice local hotel for the weekend in your city or if possible, opt for a change of scenery by driving to a neighboring city. Austin, TX is my “go to” city. No television, no phone. Just you (and room service if possible.)
  2. Create a space in your home free from all distractions. This could be a closet or a small room in your home. Create a tranquil environment with candles and the soothing sounds of soundgarden/spa music. Draw the blinds, close the door, relax, free your mind and find your center.
  3. Meditation/Yoga. I’ve always admired how people are able to close their eyes and block out everything, no matter where they are. It takes serious concentration and mental ability. Yoga is also a great way to a healthy mind, body and spirit.
  4. Appreciate beauty. When was the last time you visited your local arboretum or took a long stroll around the park? Consider a hike at your local reserve. The beauty and appreciation of nature can have extensive healing powers.

Employing some or all of these tips can help you relax, re-center, and recharge. Each requires very little effort or money and is worth your peace of mind. And trust me, when you have peace of mind, you’re free.

~Andrea Coleman (The Financial Hack) ©2016

Follow me on Twitter @IAmCoachAndrea

 

 

SPRING IS HERE… TOP 5 CLEANUP “MUSTS” IN YOUR LIFE

Can you¬†believe it’s been over ONE MONTH¬†since I actually posted a blog on my website? Not the occasional PSA or motivational posting, but REALLY¬†SAT DOWN AND WROTE A BLOG POSTING? Wow! One month is too long. I do thank all of you that are on the email list and those who religiously visit my website if for nothing else but to check the “Quote of The Day.” Again, I cannot thank you all enough.

So let’s get to the topic at hand…. SPRING CLEANING. This blog won’t be your typical “spring cleaning” blog. Well kinda. It’ll be pretty standard, but I’ve got to¬†put my extra two cents into what spring cleaning also involves most this season (to me anyway) So here we go… The TOP 5 Cleanup MUSTS in your life:

  1. TACKLE LARGER PROJECTS FIRST: If cleaning out your closet is the biggest chore for you, start there first…. AND DON’T STOP UNTIL YOU’RE FINISHED. Survey your closet. Look at every article of clothing and every pair of shoes. If you haven’t worn it within the past year, get rid of it. Donate it to your local charity/thrift store, or have a garage sale (my personal favorite.) Garage sales can be quite lucrative especially if you have items that are in excellent condition, have never been worn and/or still have the tags on them. If you are simply not ready to part with those items just yet, put them into boxes, plastic storage bins, etc. If you don’t come back to those items within the upcoming year, GET RID OF THEM. You don’t need them.
  2. DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE: As I always say, declutter your home, declutter your life. The same holds true for your office, your car or anywhere you spend a great deal of time. It’s ironic I can’t work on a desk riddled with papers strewn about, yet¬†I’m a paper hoarder. Don’t ask me why or how it happened, I just am. I¬†spent three days sorting through letters, receipts and paperwork AT HOME some dating back to 2008,¬†shredding what was unimportant and filing what was. You will find¬†when you’re better organized, completing tasks aren’t such a chore. I haven’t¬†begun to start on the files in¬†the drawers at my¬†office. Never fear, Thursday is the target day. If your car is riddled with papers, trash, toys, empty water bottles, soda cans etc, get rid of it. That is a source of irritation for me. I never ride with trash in my car. A tip to dispose of your trash when you’re driving is to find a small plastic bag (I keep the small bags I get from Barnes & Noble) and I put it on the gear shift of my car. This way, if I finish a cup of Starbucks, a bottle of water, etc., I put it in the bag and empty it when it’s full. If your children travel with toys, try to transport the smallest¬†of toys and find a canvas bin, or even a box to store them in. They’ll make your life much easier.
  3. CLEAN YOUR HOME IN WAVES: I have 4/3.5/2. My suggestion is to clean your home in waves. I wouldn’t dare try to clean the 4500+ square feet¬†I have in one sitting. Forget about it. Not gonna happen. That’s bananas! Again attack the toughest projects FIRST.¬†For me that would be my bedroom, bathroom and closet first, move to the kitchen, the great room, guest bath, study… you get the picture. Perhaps for you, the kitchen is where you’d start. It doesn’t matter in what room you start, start where you spend the bulk of your time. Your level of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment will be much greater.
  4. CHANGE YOUR HABITS/ROUTINE: If you’re usually LATE everywhere you go, LATE meeting deadlines, LATE responding to emails/text messages, change that behavior. Make it a point to arrive 15-20minutes early. Promptly respond to important text messages/emails (or at least acknowledge the message has been received.) You’ll be surprised yourself…. and many others in the process. Don’t do it once or twice, make it a habit. I’ve read it takes 21 days to form a habit. In my opinion, it depends on the habit and the behavior towards the habit that determines the amount of time to change. I firmly believe if the behavior is something you truly wish to change, it shouldn’t take long to adapt. It’s all about your mindset. You may also want to change up your routine. Use this change of season as a time to take up a new hobby. Exercising, running, mentoring, taking an enrichment class, reading more, becoming involved in your child’s school, increasing your community service, you name it… YOU CAN DO IT!!!
  5. EVALUATE FRIENDSHIPS/RELATIONSHIPS: This to me is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT of the five “musts” of spring cleaning. Spring indicates a change of seasons. Just as seasons change, people and relationships change as well. Is it time to let some friends go? Cut ties in some relationships? Only you can answer those questions. My mother always told me to ask myself if¬†the friendships in my life were one-sided. In my opinion, a true friend is concerned about your well-being. A true friend looks out for you, and a true friend always has your back. If the opposite applies, you have to ask yourself if this person is truly a friend. If your relationship is bringing you more¬†misery than joy, perhaps it’s time to have a “sit down” with the one you love. Whether it’s a friend or¬†a significant other,¬†have a conversation, voice your concern(s) and¬†hopefully the end result will be a win/win situation.¬†If not, it may be necessary to¬†plan some¬†funerals, bury some friendships/relationships and begin the healing process.
I hope these five suggestions will help you in your Spring Cleaning process. GOOD LUCK… AND MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
~The Financial Hack (Copyright 2016)

Hello My Name Is…. AND I’M A PROCRASTINATOR

procrastination

NOTE: This should have been posted as yesterday’s “Motivation Monday,” but because of my persistent procrastination, I’m posting it today. Read on to find out what the triggered my “call to action.”

It has taken me 15 minutes to get started writing this post. Let me tell you what I’ve done during that time.

  1. Sent a Tweet.
  2. Responded To a Tweet
  3. Sent a couple of Text Messages
  4. Put a clear coat of polish on my nails
  5. Searched Google images
  6. (You get the picture.)

I did everything I could do to avoid this posting. Procrastinating is something I have always done and had yet to master, to my detriment of course. I always work well under pressure, but is it necessary to put undue stress on myself as a result? Of course the answer is a resounding “No!”

Why do some people procrastinate? I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you why I do. I suffer from Type “A” personality. No, I’m not an A-hole, but when I complete tasks, I want them to be perfect. Flawless. Almost effortless. I’m one of those people who gets agitated because of a misspelled a word I catch AFTER posting on my website, posting a tweet, or sending a text message for that matter. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t make these kinds of simple mistakes. In MY world? Forget about it. The result, is wasted time, stress and anxiety. I’m used to it, so I should have adapted by now and should also be able to deal with it right? Yes and No.

Case in point….

As you know (if you don’t, I’m telling you now,) I’m taking classes to become an AFC (Accredited Financial Counselor.) Keep in mind. I received my last degree, an MBA, in 2002. That was 14 years ago this month. Distance/Online courses are NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING like they were over a decade ago. Back then email is what kept everyone connected. No FaceTime, Skype, Lynk, Google Plus or any other methods for face to face communication. Matter of fact, there were no smartphones back then either. Technology has come a mighty long way, but I digress. A couple of days after being registered for my classes, it was important to sign up with a school id and password. I’ll do it tomorrow became the next day and after about 4days (and an email from the Program Coordinator,) I set it up. Now that that “chore” is completed, it’s on to the syllabus for both classes right? Wrong. I’ve got time. I can look at it tomorrow. Oh wait, the weekend is here, I’ll get everything done Sunday. This is the self talk of a “Professed Procrastinator.” HUGE MISTAKE on my part.

Allowing an entire week to pass cost me TWO CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS OF STAYING UP PAST 3am. After reading through the syllabi, I discovered assignments/exams are due by 1pm in the afternoon, NOT the normal midnight that I was accustomed to. OH NO… What have I done? I’ll tell you. I screwed up by procrastinating. Here’s a glimpse of my initial reaction….


Once I saw the work required, I immediately got my ass in gear. One of the professors gave us a “crap ton” of assignments to complete. The practice assignments were even brutal. Word of advice… Never underestimate a professor who is teaching a class and also working on a Doctoral Degree at the same time.

From that moment on, I was OVER IT!!! Over procrastination. Over waiting until the last minute to complete my assignments, blog postings, anything that required time constraints be placed on them. My “struggle glasses” were past over it refusing to stay on my face, somehow punishing me for the sin of procrastination.


At the end of the day, I am pleased to say, I completed ALL the assignments including the extra credit for BOTH classes. It only cost me two nights of decent sleep. Having a Type “A” personality can come in handy especially when it motivates us to excel. And when it comes to exceling, it doesn’t take much for the “Type “A”

So how does procrastination tie in to personal finance? IT DOESN’T. Just felt like sharing. Well, I could tie in a lesson to it, but not on this posting. It’s random. What I will say is procrastination and poor planning IS NOT a habit successful people employ. Successful people create “To Do” Lists and STAY ON TASK. I too create “To Do” Lists. The problem is, the lists would be much shorter if I wasn’t constantly moving tasks I procrastinated doing from the previous day/days to the current day. You get what I’m saying.

Never again will I do this. I have created a schedule where I block off time during the week to complete important tasks whether it’s my class assignments, reading, writing blogs etc. It’s somewhat robotic, but for me it’s a necessity to keep me on task. This schedule allows me to balance school, community service, maintaining my website/social media, my social life, and just life in general. I can now remain consistent, stay on task, and most importantly, keep my weekends. I’ll work hard during the week… The weekend however belongs to me.

Have you found yourself in this situation? I hope this posting helped you understand procrastination and what you can do to avoid it. Does procrastination leave you feeling powerless, stressed and anxious? If so, how did you overcome it? Leave your feedback below. I’d love to hear from you.

~The Financial Hack ©2016

 

MOTIVATE YOURSELF!!!

“Liven up yourself in the morning time y’all…. Liven up yourself, Cuz I said so.” ~Bob Marley

If you’re familiar with Bob Marley and the song “Liven Up Yourself,” you know his interpretation is slightly different from what most are accustomed to.¬†Its underlying meaning however, remains constant. It’s time to get up. It’s time to wake up.

IT’S TIME TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF!!!

When I decided to commit myself to helping others by promoting Financial Literacy, there were¬†people around me who were skeptical. People close to me. People I actually knew. There were naysayers and I sensed a general lack of interest from¬†those I¬†believed could benefit from the knowledge and experience I had. It had/has nothing to do with¬†“feelings of superiority,”¬†I was¬†simply excited to share with others what took me most of my adult life to learn.¬†It was crushing to not have¬†the support from people¬†I¬†truly believed¬†I could count on, but that didn’t stop me. I AM MOTIVATED¬†to do what I do. I “liven up” myself daily and am constantly reminded of my purpose. I wake up every day determined to learn something new that I can share with those who wish to receive it. As someone¬†reminded me¬†in one of my Periscope sessions, when the student is ready, the teacher will come. Powerful.

I teach Financial Literacy to our youth. I teach¬†Financial Literacy¬†to adults…. And you know the beauty of it all? THEY GET ME. The ability to connect to people no matter where they are on their financial journey is motivation for¬†me.

Motivation comes from knowing you’re on the right track. Motivation comes from knowing what you are doing is positive. Motivation comes from¬†the excitement¬†of seeing your purpose manifesting itself. Walking in¬†my purpose¬†is enough to keep¬†me going.

So stop seeking validation from others. Stop¬†waiting¬†for someone to pat you on the back and¬†tell you¬†“Good Job,” or “Well Done.” Never mind what others are saying…

You’re too busy being great.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

 

 

LET’S TALK THE “B” WORD… BUDGETING!

budget

Oh no… The dreaded “B” word. BUDGETING. Some people¬†are offended by it. For others, it comes naturally like eating and sleeping or walking and talking. There was once a time, well a few times actually, when¬†you would never hear me utter the words,¬†“That’s not in the budget,”¬†but I find myself saying it quite often now and for good cause. Here are a few reasons why¬†incorporating the “B” word into your daily lexicon¬†isn’t such a bad thing after all.

  1. BUDGETING HELPS YOU¬†ESTABLISH CLEAR¬†GOALS: Is it your goal to start paying off¬†financial debt? Is it to start your own business? What about a vacation in Belize this year? How about establishing an emergency fund or as I like to call it, a “shit happens account?”¬†Do you plan to¬†invest more this year?¬† What about saving for your child’s college education, or perhaps saving for a down payment on a home? Budgeting makes these goals possible.
  2. BUDGETING GIVES EVERY DOLLAR A PURPOSE: By budgeting, you tell each dollar where to go, therefore giving you control over your money. There’s no guessing how much money you can save this¬†month or how much you can save from this pay check, that sale, etc. IT’S RIGHT THERE ON PAPER… AND IT’S DONE EACH MONTH. Budgeting keeps you on task.¬†Think of it as a¬†map to your financial freedom.¬†That’s¬†part of the¬†purpose right? You can’t reach an unknown destination without following a map or guide to point you and keep you moving in the right direction.
  3. BUDGETING HELPS¬†BUILD HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS REGARDING MONEY: Spouses and partners who budget may feel more as equals in the relationship as opposed to one person being responsible for how the monthly income is spent.¬†THE COUPLE THAT BUDGETS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER.¬†Keep in mind the¬†majority of¬†marriages/partnerships end not because of infidelity, but because of¬†money issues.¬†Having a monthly “sit down”¬†to discuss¬†your finances is a good way to keep the lines of communication open and flowing. Not only can this method be beneficial to spouses/partners, but to parents and their children. Allow your child(ren) to have some input¬†regarding the monthly budget (although they don’t of course get the final say.) By doing so, you are teaching them financial literacy at an early age and¬†allowing them some level of autonomy regarding the household finances at the same time.
  4. BUDGETING HELPS IDENTIFY “TROUBLE” AREAS AND/OR BLINDSPOTS: Perhaps you’re spending too much money on entertainment or realize you have more discretionary income than you thought you did. Perhaps after reviewing your budget from last month, you’re not saving enough money to reach a financial goal. Budgeting can easily help you identify those trouble areas/blindspots so you can make any necessary adjustments.
  5. BUDGETING HELPS YOU FORM HEALTHY HABITS IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE: Once you get into the habit of budgeting your money¬†each¬†month,¬†other habits will begin to form as well. Perhaps you weren’t very organized until you started¬†budgeting monthly. Now that you are,¬†you may begin to notice yourself writing “To Do” lists, decluttering and organizing your¬†space therefore¬†decluttering your life. You may notice a shift in your mindset where subjects or topics that were once important to you, no longer hold its value in your thought process. You may even find yourself¬†spending less time with¬†friends/acquaintances you once had. Budgeting can manifest itself in the form of “reprogramming” the mind. I may be “reaching” here for some, but in the grand scheme of things for those who have experienced a change in your “financial mindset,” you may or have¬†experienced this change in mindset¬†and can truly relate. Change is good.
Keep in mind, for your budget to work, you’ve got to put it to work. It won’t be easy in the beginning, but stick to it. Stay the course. Some behaviors will have to be learned, others, unlearned and in some cases, totally forgotten. To create a budget and not follow it through is surely a lesson in futility, but I know that’s not you. NO WAY! You haven’t come this far to stop and turn around. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.
Click on the “Worksheets” tab of my website to download the Monthly Cash Flow/Zero-Based Budget Worksheets to get you started, or you can click the link below.
~The Financial Hack (copyright 2015)

5 DAILY HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

success_key

Ever wanted to know how successful people spend their time? Here are a few of their habits:

 

1.¬†WAKE EARLIER THAN MOST: Successful people get a head start on their day.¬†74 year old Earnestine Shepherd,¬†Guinness Book of World Record’s oldest female body builder,¬†wakes up every morning at 2:30am, eats 10 egg whites, drinks 16oz of water then proceeds on her morning 10mile¬†jog. Research shows that the brain is at its sharpest 2 1/2 to 4 hours after waking.¬†Rising¬†as early as 4:30am,¬†some may hit the gym, go for a run, engage in yoga/meditation or simply read the morning paper while enjoying a cup of coffee to jumpstart the day.

 

2. PLAN THEIR DAY: Successful people never attack their day without a plan. They write “to do” lists and prioritize them. Steve Jobs said in his commencement address at Stanford in 2005 that he spent 33 years asking the same question every morning; ‚ÄúIf today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?‚ÄĚ
There’s no need for busyness every second of every day in the grand scheme of things, however by prioritizing what is important, the result is a higher level of productivity. The most powerful man in the free world, President Barack Obama despite his schedule, makes time to sit down¬†for dinner with his family as well¬†orchestrate “date nights” with First Lady Michelle.
 
3. WORK HARD.. BUT PLAY HARDER: Successful people work hard and play harder. Traveling and/or pursuing hobbies is a way some reward themselves for their hard work. Saint Tropez, Anguilla, Bora Bora, Aspen, Maui, Lake Como, and Mallorca are vacation hot spots for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Richard Branson, Michael Jordan, Uma Thurman, Quincy Jones and Paul McCartney to name a few. Former President George W. Bush enjoys painting, Tom Cruise, Will Smith and David Beckham enjoy fencing as a hobby, while Rod Stewart enjoys his model trains and railroads, Susan Sarandon enjoys ping pong, and although strange to some, Angelina Jolie enjoys collecting daggers.
 
4. ARE DEVOTED TO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Successful people believe in continuous personal development. This could mean furthering education or knowledge base by pursuing advanced degrees, extensive reading, attending lecture events etc. To increase their net worth they must increase their personal worth. Warren Buffett spends 80% of his day reading.
 
5. GIVE BACK: Successful people “give back.” There’s no better feeling of celebrating success and wealth than by giving back to others. This could be through the giving of time and/or philanthropic endeavors.¬†For example, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s College-Ready Education program aims to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college, and¬†their Postsecondary Success program aims to dramatically increase the number of young people who obtain a postsecondary degree or certificate with labor-market value.¬†I myself intend to¬†award¬†laptop computers this school year to¬†TWO STUDENTS through the Black Former Student Network (BFSN) of my Alma Mater, Texas A&M University.¬†It always FEELS GOOD to give. I give not for recognition and praise but because¬†I have been blessed to do so.¬†I find it unnecessary to list my every¬†act of kindness, because it’s personal in¬†many cases. Plus what I do to “give back” to others is between me and the God I serve.¬†In his book “Wealthy Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals,”¬†author Tom Corley¬†discovered 73% of wealthy people volunteer¬†to various organizations, charities and/or foundations five¬†or more hours each month.

 

DO YOU posses any, some or ALL of these habits? If so, welcome to the “Successful Persons” club. Keep up the good work. We’re expecting great things from you.
~The Financial Hack (2015)

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Plants Can Teach Lessons Too?

  
Let me share some Wisdom that was laid upon me early yesterday morning. 

Look at this photo. In it you will see a potted plant next to the fireplace. What’s the big deal? I’ll tell you. This is the plant given to me to take care of when my cousin “Bubba” died in 2010, approximately SEVEN days after I got married. I married Christmas Eve, he passed New Year’s Eve. Five years later, his plant is still thriving but that wasn’t always so. I always took special care of that particular plant. I watered and pruned it. After a while it was no longer thriving. It began to wither, the leaves became sparse and I could tell it was dying. After a while, I thought there was no hope left for “Bubba’s plant,” but I refused to let it go. Bubba was like a little brother to me and when he was a young boy, like a son. 24 years old is too young to die and he had so much living to do. 

So what happened to the plant you ask? There’s an answer to that too. I evaluated the factors contributing to the death of the one plant I cherished so much and came to three conclusions:

 1) The plant had been in the same spot receiving DIRECT sunlight for years. All plants don’t need direct sunlight they just simply need to be in the “presence” of the light. 

2) The leaves were yellowing because of overwatering but I couldn’t understand why its growth had become stunted and wasn’t thriving. 

THEN WHAT WAS MOST IMPORTANT HIT ME:

3) THE PLANT HAD OUTGROWN IT’S PLANTER!!! Its roots were exposed and could no longer spread because its soil had eroded. 

To solve the problem, I re-potted the plant into a planter that could accommodate its growth, added more soil to COVER its roots and repositioned the plant so it was no longer receiving direct sunlight. The result: ABUNDANT GROWTH. The new planter not only made room for the roots to spread and grow, but old leaves were revived, new leaves formed and as I type this, sprouts of new leaves can be seen. 

So what did I learn from my quiet time in reflection: 

In life, we sometimes have to be “RE-POTTED,” our roots “RE-COVERED” and our life “REPOSITIONED” in order to thrive. 

Change is inevitable. We can adapt to it or resist and risk stunting our growth. I could have given up on “Bubba’s plant,” but I refused. Look at it now. Growing. Thriving. Flourishing. THAT’S LIFE. THAT’S LIVING.

Rest In Peace Bubba…. I Love You.

The Financial Hack ©2015